Saving Your Virtual face

The new age of PR

Managing your media image has become a priority for every business owner, and should be if it is not already. Social media is an integral part of our corporate culture today, yet the line between personal and business social media is a gray area, where does one begin and the other end? As a business owner there is no escaping your social media identity and presence, fail at this and there are no second glances. The general public has become personally involved with the businesses they choose. The public interaction and interest with corporations has peaked to new levels and the demand for quality information is an insatiable hunger.

Most companies Marketing Directors are now also Social Media Managers, Special Event Coordinators, or expected to be professional writers. Advertising isn’t what it used to be, print ads are no longer part of our budgeted items to which we have no way of tracking actual effectiveness, thank goodness. With greater control, greater reach of our audience and image, comes greater responsibility. It is critical that close attention is paid to these platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and our own website and its blogs, which is really no longer an “optional” on corporate websites. The situation has become even trickier when Marketing Managers are trying to become “Jack or Jacqueline’s of all trades, masters of none.”

There are three keys in developing, designing and strategizing a Social Media identity and plan. The first step is understanding, not only what each of the social network platforms focus is but also their capabilities and readership. For example, a Twitter account is ideal for Press Releases, breaking news, current Special Event Information. Keep it short, sweet, and current. Pinterest is a strictly visually stimulated site, so pictures should be high quality, relevant and interesting to your readers, it would not be appropriate to post embarrassing company party photos on a pin board!

Organizing the information you want to relay is equally important. Determining what goes on a site, what goes where and what will be the response are all important factors in being organized and prepared, both invaluable traits a business should convey. Organizing information is not everyone’s forte, neither is customer service or quality assurance, yet all of these are important elements. Professional writing is mandatory and inexpensive and worth every penny. Hiring someone who specializes in customer service for your team is not different than hiring a graphic designer; they are professionals in their field that are invaluable to a business and its clientele.

Utilizing the social media platform is validation that you exist in today’s technologically savvy world. This is no different than the “dotcom” boom, when if you did not have a website, the legitimacy of your business was doubted. By taking advantage of the many free sites that you can contribute to, establish an image on or create a “buzz” on, it would be foolish and archaic not to embrace the vast opportunity. The most important thing is to save your virtual face and always show your best profile side. Outsourcing, interning, or even hiring a team of professionals to create, manage, organize and design your virtual image is now a requirement. Looking within your company there may also be social media “junkies” willing to contribute to the team as well.

The dialogue of the virtual office world we live in includes SEO rankings, Facebook “likes”, Subscribers, Tweets, RSS feeds, Blogs, Google rankings, You-tube promotions, all of which occur on a daily basis. News travels on the internet , approximately 20mb-50mb per second, managing the information about you and your company doesn’t take lighting speed, just time, focus, accuracy and effort and of course professionalism.

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