social media brand management

On Branding: 3 Reasons to Kick Fear to The Curb

January was wonderfully full of inspiring femmes, good friends, and women business owners. A really great bonus of surrounding yourself with people who are similarly aligned and ambitious is that you get to grow professionally and personally.

While chatting about content marketing and strategy, as I'm wont to do, one of my friends said she was nervous to offend other moms with her blog topics. There's a lot she wants to say to encourage women to do what works best for them in motherhood, and her followers ask her questions all the time that she's unsure about answering. This fear came up over and over again in conversations with other women I admire and respect, who are complete boss babes in their own right.

Here's my favorite mommy blogger with the cutest dang babyyyyy aka Camilla. Click to see more preciousness on IG.

Here's my favorite mommy blogger with the cutest dang babyyyyy aka Camilla. Click to see more preciousness on IG.

Let's break down how and why you should speak your mind:

1. "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter."

The people who want to follow us on social and read our blogs probably aren't going to get offended by us speaking our truth. If they are, they're not our ideal client–and that's okay! An often misquoted saying, "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter," is perfectly true when it comes to your personal choices, and to take it further, your branding. This was Bernard Baruch's response when asked how he chose the seating arrangements for his dinner parties. After much success in business, he became a presidential advisor. He had a bunch of jobs and got things done well. Worrying about how people would react to seating arrangements wasn't a concern of his. You need not worry about offending someone because you share how you live or work. It's not for everyone and that's perfectly fine. It doesn't mean you have to keep it to yourself

Sitting on top of a fireplace in a common area in my apartment in the middle of the day because I wanted to get this shot while working with a film photographer, and I didn't care who noticed. Thanks to  Steven B. Photography  for the photo.

Sitting on top of a fireplace in a common area in my apartment in the middle of the day because I wanted to get this shot while working with a film photographer, and I didn't care who noticed. Thanks to Steven B. Photography for the photo.

2. You Must Stand Out

What if we all wore the same clothes? Had the same hairstyle? Watched the same shows? It would be so boring! Niche accounts on Instagram perform incredibly well, and I've observed that they're the easiest to grow. Not everyone is going to give a hoot about fountain pens, but my friend John just started a blog as a passion project because he's been a collector for over 20 years. In less than 6 months, he's grown to have over 1,000 organic followers who are just as into fountain pens as he is! (I test drove some. It's really pretty cool.) Do not be concerned that what you create or put out isn't for everyone. It shouldn't be! Just like you don't serve everyone under the sun, your content doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. By being super honest and getting real, you'll attract the people who want to go along with you on the ride. So strap in and carpool with people who are gonna be into the same epic road trip playlist. My preferred mix of post-punk and 90's hip hop isn't for everyone.

John is also a photographer, which is why all of his  Fountain Pen Love  is so beautifully showcased.

John is also a photographer, which is why all of his Fountain Pen Love is so beautifully showcased.

 

3. Authenticity Is Necessary

All good and functioning relationships are based on honesty. Social media is all about the relationship you have with people who opt into a connection with you. Sincerely sharing about your business and your views will help maintain clarity on why you do what you do and who you want to serve. It's okay to be selective. In fact, it's necessary so that you stand out! Don't be one of the herd. If you're just like everyone else, where's the value in following you? Additionally, when we make content that's true to who we are, it fuels us. Here's a post from when I had my very own a-ha moment via an excerpt from one of my Instagram posts:

I was all set to create some content for a beauty product. The more I used it, the more I disliked it. I also looked at the label and the list of ingredients freaked me out. Instead of going through with it due to obligation (I consider this potential partner/business owner a friend), I was honest about it not being my favorite. She wasn't mad. In the grand scheme of things, it did no damage, and I get to stay true to myself and only share things that I really like and think you may like, too.

I was all set to create some content for a beauty product. The more I used it, the more I disliked it. I also looked at the label and the list of ingredients freaked me out. Instead of going through with it due to obligation (I consider this potential partner/business owner a friend), I was honest about it not being my favorite. She wasn't mad. In the grand scheme of things, it did no damage, and I get to stay true to myself and only share things that I really like and think you may like, too.

When passion coincides with work, then you're living the dream. I give you permission to share your opinions. You're your own boss, after all. 

6 Social Media Management Rules for When There's Crisis In The World

It's heartbreaking. There's been another mass shooting and many have lost their lives in Las Vegas. Last night was the first time I've witnessed an ongoing terror attack that was livestreamed by everyday people. When LVPD tweeted to ask that eyewitnesses not share their locations or tactics, as that could cause more danger to law enforcement and victims, it was a startling realization for me—social media could be as damaging as it is helpful in times of crisis. I'm truly sorry for everyone affected by the terrorism on Sunday night. 

sympathyflowers.jpg

As more brands utilize social media marketing on a daily basis, it's important to adhere to some basic rules. We're responsible for what we share and when we post. The following are rules for brands and companies to adhere to in times of crisis:

1. Be Aware

You should be plugged into current events at all times. This is a necessity for any good social media manager, especially as it relates to Real Time Marketing opportunities. This is step 1. Know what's going on in the world.

2. Take A Time Out

If any of your scheduled posts aren't relevant, reschedule them. Pause. Layoff. No one is going to be working at full capacity in the wake of national terrorism. Not only that, but your brand will be perceived as inconsiderate for attempting to maintain "business as usual" on a day when many are grieving. The only exception to this rule is if your company is directly connected to the tragedy and you're being helpful.

3. Help

Is your organization in a position to help those affected? Whether it's providing access to medical care, or food, or shelter, by all means, utilize your social channels and assist if you can. Share hotlines and information that will mobilize your followers.

4. Be Real

If you're going to post something, make sure it's genuine and kind. Short and concise, a message of sympathy for the victims is what any good person would do. Your brand's social channels exist because people are managing it to communicate with other people. Be human and personal. 

5. Wait

There's an unspoken 24 hour rule that most with-it brands follow when it comes to their own branded messaging. After a short message of condolence, you probably don't need to say anything else. A lot of PR agencies will wait 48 hours before pitching again, out of respect for others. Use your own judgement to decide when exactly you get back on track. Do you really think it's going to be helpful if you proceed with your product launch, anyway? (Doubt it.)

6. Review & Revise

Did you post a goofy meme a few hours before the incident transpired? Well, it's probably in poor taste now. Were you going to announce a sweepstakes winner? They can wait a day or two. It's more than okay to delete any content that retrospectively seems tone deaf or to move your schedule around. Having empathy and being a brand that values people will have a lot more power for your long-term visibility than a happy contest winner.

What Not To Do

Do NOT co-opt any hashtags that are used in conjunction with a tragedy. Some people are searching those tags to find loved ones or sharing life-saving information. It's a really bad look to try and tap into that conversation for your own benefit. And Twitter does not forget. Also, it's just in poor taste.