How to Send Your Company’s Reputation Through the Roof

By Dan Radak

In the business game, reputation is king. Word of mouth can literally launch a business into the stratosphere or shut it down. Especially today, with social media influencing every aspect of our lives, reputation plays a key role. Mistakes are almost impossible to hide – they reach other clients, and your potential audience in an instant. How you position yourself, and what kind of picture you paint of your company can greatly influence the success of your business endeavor. But how do you build up your company’s reputation? Here are some tried and true methods.

Don’t Bite off More Than You Can Chew

The first and foremost thing that will affect your reputation is how serious you are about your work. When you are negotiating, don’t allow yourself to be seduced by potential profits, only to realize afterwards that you have no way of actually honoring your deal. Going back on your word, delays and incomplete deliveries are a quick and sure way to run your business to the ground. No matter how attractive an offer might …

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Keeping it Human Online

I’ve been working to keep things human online since 2010, but it didn’t start out that way. It started with a feeling of novelty, and with experimentation for its own sake.

I joined Twitter in 2009, and the same year started blogging for The Huffington Post. I also published my own WordPress Blog called “500 Words on Thursday.” I picked out my own theme! It was all fresh and new. Strangers commented on obscure blogs like mine. Once, when I was defending Oprah for introducing alternative medicine on her show, I was shocked to receive nearly 100 comments on my Huffington Post blog, many of them pretty nasty. It was scary back then to post a personal thought on Twitter because it felt so shockingly public.

Things are sleeker now, more automated, less human.

Twitter is a mobius strip of personal materials shared in a public forum, so you wonder what can be called personal anymore. Life’s events are so often posted on Facebook that their intimacy is drained away. The boundaries are crumbling, that’s old; what’s new is …

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Like a DJ, You Need to Spin a Good Mix

I work on Twitter feeds for clients every day. When I’m not working their feeds, I’m working on mine. Been doing it since 2009. Discovered this: Like a good DJ, you need to be a master mixer. That means that if you post on message all the time, every day, you will be boring. Boring doesn’t work so well in social media.

What does a good mix look like? You have some direct calls to action, like ‘buy my stuff,’ ‘take my class.’ You also make an effort to post stuff your audience may like. This can get pretty fine grained. If you’re speaking to people looking for book cover designs, you need to inspire that group and post about design. I use Feedly to track articles by topic, and Design is on my topic list, and so is Inspiration. If you need to reach ad agency directors, you should talk about creativity, about coloring-outside-the-lines campaigns. I always throw in a few curve balls and sliders, because that is what makes Twitter interesting. The oddball post is what people will read …

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Startup Social Skills: Not Everybody Can Be Social

Is Google Plus going to make it? Vic Gundotra, its leader and creator, quietly quit Google. Google’s Sergey Brin told a conference audience that Google Plus was ‘a mistake.’

It’s a skill to be social.

Just like Google, you can’t succeed on every platform. But you have to succeed on at least one if you want people to know about your startup, latest venture or conference.  What platform will that be? Where will you show your social skills?

It’s a question of medium fitting the message.

Some of us are picture people. Say you’re handy with your phone camera, or you’re an honest-to-gosh pro photographer. Instagram will be your beat, and you can get an image-driven Tumblr blog. Fellow creatives will discover you and follow. You can build a community there.

Some of us are word people.  Blog away, I say.  WordPress is an easy platform, and if you’re feeling productive you can even write a few blogs in advance and schedule them for publication.  Beats panicking, wondering what you’ll write about today. (Been there, done that.) The WordPress …

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Collaboration and Control

Once upon a time,  communications departments in corporate and university settings, even your average PR person of the old school, were more interested in controlling what the media said, controlling the message that got out there, spinning, shaping and shepherding the story.

That’s pretty much not the way things are anymore.  More and more people are collaborating on this thing we call news. We are taking in our news completely differently now. As was recently written in The Atlantic, Twitter has broken many of us of the habit of checking a single site for news.  News has become unbundled, like everything else. This means that since there is no single source of news to check anymore, you need help if you want people to see your writing, images, blogs and websites. You have to invite people into your media. We need others to share our media in as many channels as possible.

The only way to get that happening is by creating something that’s remarkable enough and interesting enough that people will want to share it on their own, …

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Connected and Disconnected

500 Words | Written by Lee Schneider

We feast on social media networks, chewing through posts, texts, moments, images. We are insatiable, worse than zombies eating brains. It’s scary as a zombie movie, but scarier still is the possibility that we aren’t consuming anything –  the networks are consuming us. Watch a Southern California kid crossing the street while texting, oblivious to traffic, and you will certainly see a type of zombie.

Attention is the rarest form of generosity, wrote philosopher Simone Weil. It can be argued that we have become quite miserly. Since my nose is in my iPad now, does that mean that I care less about you?

The NY Times recently ran an opinion piece by Jonathan Safran Foer. He pointed out that most of our communication technologies began as diminished substitutes for an impossible activity. Traveling across the country to visit a friend was a bit of a bother, but a telephone conversation was a reasonable substitute. Better yet, when we didn’t want to speak with that person anyway, leaving a message on their phone machine …

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TechSmart Podcast 21 – Susan Curtis on Wine Marketing

In this edition of the TechSmart Podcast, Susan Curtis, social and marketing director for Scott Harvey Wines and president of All Social, discusses how Scott Harvey Wines uses social media channels to gain visibility in the food and wine world.

Wine is personal, and keeping it that way online means creating a proxy experience in wine marketing, a virtual tasting room, that draws an audience ready to get closer to the wine and the winemaker. Susan discusses the online presence of Scott Harvey and also the Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco, with its novel use of Twitter.

The interviews on the TechSmart Podcast are conducted by Lee Schneider. Find the podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher Radio. When on the Red Cup Agency site, just hit the orange button to listen.

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Why Research Matters

Many of us construct an online presence complete with a website, a Twitter account, some Facebook action, something on LinkedIn, maybe some Instragram and Pinterest posts and then just sit back and wait for the money to roll in. How’s that working for you?

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