Be a clutter-breaker online: Be Seen and Heard

Today, digital technologies have made it far easier for companies and start-ups to build a network for sharing their messages. Brand owners can stay in touch with their audience and manage their own personal brand, with proper planning. Through LinkedIn you can connect with business acquaintances, media contacts and colleagues; you can post daily through Facebook, and then there are tweets, Instagram posts, Pinterest updates and of course, emails. But at the same time, these digital technologies have also made it harder for a brand to stand out and forge strong professional connections and media links. Companies and entrepreneurs should ideally promote themselves and their businesses online.

Social media presents a unique opportunity for companies to develop a business reputation. The key is understanding how to be successful in leveraging the tools of the social media to effectively build your online reputation.

Here a few tips for cutting through the clutter online effectively and build your reputation online:

Target your press release
When you are planning a press release think about who is the target.Ask yourself why your product is relevant to each specific person or group you’re trying to reach and tailor the message accordingly. Your press release may have one set of benefits for small-business owners, another for big corporations and still another for industry journalists. It’s not enough to list only the good points of your product or service, add a few positive quotations from leaders too.

Stay focused, be aware
Listen to online conversations continuously that are happening across the web, related to your business; learn from the content you read, listen to, or view online. Social media success depends as much on ‘listening’ as it does on publishing. Define your niche and focus the majority of your social media participation on conversations and content related to that area of focus. A focused brand is definitely more powerful.  Always highlight your strengths on the social media and be consistent in your content and conversations in order to successfully build your online reputation.

Be authentic, honest, trustworthy and meaningful
Your social media participation will be ineffective and useless if your content and conversations are bookish or boring. Be real and imagine you’re speaking with your audience in person (rather than online) and adjust your content and tone to match your target audience’s needs and expectations, based on your brand promise. Honesty is an essential part of building your online reputation and transparency is a strategic imperative, which should apply to your social media participation.
And, the content you publish on the social media must be meaningful to your target audience. If your content doesn’t add value to your audience’s lives, they won’t talk about it and share it with their own audiences. To put it plainly, there will be little opportunity for your content to spread online, and the growth of your online reputation will be limited.

Research always
Research is very important here. The people you are trying to reach or your target, won’t be easily reachable. You need to think and figure out which key decision-makers you need to connect with and how to get in touch with them. After you connect with your target, you just need to put in a little time. And always remember to follow up after you send the message.

Don’t reach out only when you need something
Make a plan of emailing contacts regularly – it can be some interesting news stories or useful information or it may be to introduce them to people they should know. This will ensure that emails get read, making you more than just another LinkedIn contact, who only corresponds when there is a need.

Contact reporters/editors on phone
For making that first connect with journalists, email and social media are great. If you’re serious about getting the press, unless you can get reporters interested you won’t get far. Short of meeting face-to-face, it’s the single best way to accurately sell your story and answer questions. Be prepared: reporters don’t want to talk on the phone if they can avoid it. But if you’ve spiked their interest levels over email, you’ll be on your way. Follow up with a phone call, establish a rapport and then go right ahead. If it is an editor, then all the better!

Be accessible and responsive
You need to spend a lot of time acknowledging other people on the social media, so that you can build a relationship with them. An important part of building your online reputation via social media participation is understanding that you need to respond to questions, comments on your blog, Facebook posts, tweets, and so on.

 Lastly, be involved
‘Quality’ is more important than ‘quantity’ when it comes to building an authentic reputation online. So, get social and build your reputation online. And, you will surely manage to be a clutter-breaker!

Shree Lahiri on EmailShree Lahiri on LinkedinShree Lahiri on Twitter
Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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