Social media is increasingly influencing public opinion around corporate brands and dramatically changing the landscape in which every company operates. While a growing number of companies are embracing the change head on, there remains a fair amount of skepticism among some businesses regarding the tangible benefits of “blogging” about industry trends or “Tweets” about what the company is up to at this very moment.
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The Conversation Prism debuted in August 2008 to provide a visual representation of the true expansiveness of the social Web and the conversations that define it. In this short time span, over one million people have crossed its path.
When Jesse Thomas, of JESS3, and I initially mapped “the conversation,” we recognized that the act of categorizing social networks within a visually rich graphic would be momentary at best, demanding endless iterations in order to accurately document evolving and shifting online conversations as well as the communities that promote them.
Click here to view Sergio’s 2009 Digital Impact Conference presentation Social Media’s Role In Building Your Brand: Your Brand Is What “They” Say It Is.
Whether you are fortifying your brand to endure the economic downturn, or repositioning your brand in preparation for the economic rebound, consider this:
Your brand is no longer what you say it is, it’s what “they” say it is. And the social media marketplace is where “they” – customers, prospects, journalists and other influencers – are talking about your brand. They are forming and sharing opinions that will impact your brand at the speed of light, and you need a clear strategy to effectively foster these conversations. You also need to get it right the first time by understanding which tactics will help you control your brand before “they” control it for you.
We, at MarketingSherpa, recently conducted the most comprehensive study of social media marketing and PR practices to date. 1886 social media practitioners participated in this study. When we asked them which strategic communications goals social media has been most effective at helping them accomplish, more than 90% said it was brand building. They also told us which tactics rated highest, not only in achieving their branding objectives, but in producing a favorable marketing ROI.
What follows is the unedited director’s cut of my latest post on TechCrunch, “Are Blogs Losing Their Authority To The Statusphere?” — my definition of Statusphere.
Depending on which numbers you source or believe, all reports agree that the blogosphere continues to expand globally.
As the leading blog directory and search engine, Technorati maintains a coveted Authority Index, which is considered among bloggers to be the benchmark for measuring their rank and selling their position within the blogosphere. Authority is defined as the number of blogs linking to a Web site in the last six months. The higher the number, the greater the level of authority a blog earns.
However, a disruptive trend is already at play. While blogs are increasing in quantity, their authority — as currently measured by Technorati — is collectively losing influence.
Educational psychologists talk about six levels of thought that are known collectively as Bloom’s Taxonomy: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. For public relations professionals, utilizing social media requires all of those skills. Monitoring blogs and social networks for mentions of our brands, and responding when appropriate, is a new challenge for the public relations community. It requires new tools and an attention to the unique cultures of social destinations online. But all of that falls in the categories of Knowledge, Comprehension, Application and Analysis that have always been integral to public relations.
What many people find most intimidating about using social media for professional communications is the idea of creating content: blog posts, videos, podcasts, widgets, microsites and more. That’s Synthesis, and while it may seem scary, it presents enormous opportunities for us to bring our messages directly to clients and consumers.
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