How to develop a hashtag strategy

how to develop a hashtag strategy

Have you ever thought about adding a hashtag strategy to your digital marketing plan?

A hashtag strategy is where you’re mapping down the hashtags you’re going to use for your content on social media. You have to ask yourself if you’re going to use hashtags for measurement or community building (or maybe a bit of both).

So how do you develop a hashtag strategy?

There are several different layers to it. The first is to figure out what hashtags are the most used on a global level based on which social media is being used. Here you can see the most used hashtags on Instagram and Twitter (in my opinion the two places where hashtags are used best for brand building and community building).

After you’ve printed these hashtags in your mind, it’s time to get closer, especially if your content is localised, and you’re not communicating in English on Instagram or Twitter. Try to have a look around on both Instagram and Twitter and see if there are any hashtags that are localised that people use? Localised can also be within a certain theme or subject. I have done a bunch of work for a record label lately (community building and digital strategic consulting). For a record label, some of the best hashtags aren’t #love #instagood or #tbt. Those hashtags known to be the biggest, but they should rather use hashtags such as #nowplaying and #listeningto that people use to find new music suggestions. So even though you know what hashtags are the biggest, they might not be  relevant for you and your brand.

You can also develop your own hashtags. It’s a great way for people to hook up with each other if they are at the same event, or if they are interested in certain topics. Even if n you want to create movements and get people to post images or tweets about certain discussions or on certain days. Hashtags are a fun way to engage, and a great method to build digital communities and have people connect offline at events as well.

When you’re done researching hashtags, and have created your own – you can always keep track of the impact they have on a service such as hashtracking.

All in all hashtags are a community builders game out there, but it’s such a creative thrill to work with them.

rock on

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social media DO’s and DON’Ts

social media do's and dont's

Here’s a small list of social media do’s and don’ts  that was mapped down on a piece of paper at Henriette Weber Inc. HQ. It’s the structure of  a talk that I did around CSR and social media a while back.

Do:
define and show the substance of your brand
– engage people in the things you care about and you do
– Make sure you practice what you preach – also in public

– transform great ideas into great content
-facilitate the people saying great things about you

don’t:

– be stupid
– maintain – be proactive instead. otherwise you’re not generating leads OR love.

rock on

You can implement slideshare presentations on your linkedin profile (free worksheet)

idea presentation worksheet

One of my constant go-to’s for inspiration in my work has been SlideShare. Or more the SlideShare / LinkedIn combination. It’s an amazing resource that can be used as a way to inspire you and your work, but also to get your creative ideas out there.

Slideshare has an embed function so you can share it across the Internet in the same way you would a youtube video. But one of the smart things that I often talk to people who want to turn their professional profile up a notch is that you can embed your SlideShare presentations directly on your LinkedIn profile.

That’s great for two things:

People who are interested in working with you will get a behind-the-scenes not “static LinkedIn summary” peek into who you are and what you’re passionate about enough to make a Slideshare presentation about.

You will get to work on your idea if you put it into a presentation. For me, I had one of my presentations featured on SlideShare, and it made a huge traffic increase to my site.

To prepare you even more, I have created a small worksheet that you can download for free.

You’re welcome – as always!

rock on

Have you defined your social media ethics?

social-media-ethics

Social media ethics is something that is left untouched by a lot of people on the internet. It’s really important and something we should have a conversation about. After all, it’s defines our behaviour, how people see us, or if you’re into business talk: your personal brand. Ethics are not what you preach, but what you practice.

Here’s some social media ethics that I think could make the world a better and more loving place if we all used them:

“Via”

I hate it when I have found something good and then somebody else links to it or shares it without mentioning where they got it. That’s why I always put in a “via” – the internet and the people on it love links – so spread the love!

Sharing pictures on blogs

If I use a picture on my blog – I mention where I got it. Social media ethics FTW! – spread the link love rockers!  Most people don’t mind that you’re using their stuff if you tell the world where you got it. Sometimes I find a drop dead gorgeous picture, which I want to use in a presentation for a keynote.  If a picture is protected by copyright, I ask the person if it’s ok that I use it. Haven’t gotten a no yet on that account.

Discussions

Remember that what’s said on social media is often very black and white. You can’t be in between. Just keep that in mind when you discuss. My all time worst discussions are political discussions. There’s just no way to tell people to respect that people have another opinion than you. On the internet, we speak in what I call our “ultimate truth”. Most times these discussions are text-based so either you agree (and tell it to the world). Strongly disagree (and tell it to the world). But if you’re indifferent about something you often just browse on through the emails or news feeds. That’s why it comes out like ultimatums. Keep that in mind.

Invites

One of the things that really gets to me, is people who keep adding me to groups without me approving it. I know you can do that on Facebook, and there’s no way (yet) that you can block people from doing it (you can with “event invites”, apps and pages). To me it seems like a hole in permission marketing that some people are using to their  advantage. Adding people again and again to new groups, creates more bad- than goodwill in my opinion, so watch that invite button.

People who share their content everywhere

You know those people who share everything they create into groups just because they can? It reminds me of a link baiting scheme. Making the rounds when you need traffic for your website, or you have a particular call-to-action you want to push.  It is a big mistake to do this on a continuos basis. Especially if you’re not contributing in the group apart from doing your seeding each time you have something you need to “launch”.

I do it myself though, on my channels where people have actively signed up to hear what I have to say. But in my point of view there’s a big difference between sharing on your social media “embassies” and then sharing stuff in groups where people haven’t signed up to get your… Well – should we say.. close-to-spam?  As a moderator of several groups on the internet, over-sharing is a problem. There’s a lot of discussions going on about whether or not it should be “allowed” if the content you’re sharing is of value to the people in the group.

I say nay. Not if it’s simply a part of a scheme. I think everybody owes to themselves to listen to their gut feeling whether or not they should be sharing their oh-so-valuable content. If it’s something you’re over the top about and you simply can’t resist because it’s that good – go for it!

I would love to give a shout-out to moderators of groups. Most of you are doing a great job. If you have people who are unhappy with you, because you’re keeping a close eye on how much people share (or spam), no worries. Mention to them that you’re watching their back and making sure that people don’t see them as “that person” who continuously push their own content for other people to buy. You make sure they’re not crossing the fine line between “valuable input” and “spammer” in a matter of updates. Or the fine line from goodwill around your brand to bad will.

 

rock on henriette weber

 

 

 

How to create a rockin’ LinkedIn profile

I believe that professionals are engaging more and more on LinkedIn on a grand scale, and they use it to reconnect with their peers strategically.

How to create a rocking LinkedIn profile

Every time I do a keynote on social media, the b2b members of the crowd are particularly interested in hearing me break down LinkedIn and in particular their LinkedIn profile for them.

And I understand why. As the hottest professional networking site with over 200 million members, LinkedIn has launched a new design with some cool, customizable options for everyone. It has become more conversational and more of an interactive portfolio page than a CV. It’s a nice transformation from those boring days where people would come only to peek through another member’s resume info and then leave as quietly as they have arrived…

Of course, you don’t want to be left behind with all the changes you can do on your profile. Now that they are viewing your profile you might as well surprise them with the way you rock – right?

Profile pictures and taglines on LinkedIn

The first change that will immediately affect you is the LinkedIn profile photo size (200×200 minimum or 500×500 maximum) providing you with a larger frame for your photo. I think that with the new “LinkedIn profile” picture size it’s increasingly important to have a professional style picture that shows only you.

A larger photo frame provides you the opportunity to brand yourself. Whether you dressed and looked like a stern looking queen or even a casual, comfortable hippie is your choice so long as your profile picture reflects the authentic, real you. Whatever you decide, I think it’s wise to go for a professional headshot especially if you don’t know much about photography.

Beside your name, put some power words that will make you stand out. Replace your title with taglines, for example:”Henriette Weber: Business Unusual, Digital Strategist”. Your photo and your tagline are part of your caller id, and they will show up when you call someone on her phone. However, you are limited to only 40 characters, so you need to be super creative in describing yourself.

Vanity urls on LinkedIn

You can prominently display your name or your brand by creating a unique, personalized public URL as LinkedIn allows you to change your profile link from a nonsensical string to your name or business. Mine is like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietteweber . You can do this in a snap. Just go to the Profile tab, and then Edit Profile, find Public Profile, make the changes and, presto! You have personalized your URL

Rocking your LinkedIn summary

This is similar to your  elevator pitch. And like your elevator pitch, here is an excellent moment to present your best possible self to the professional world. I beg your pardon? No resume-speak please and make sure your unique personality comes through (read: speak like a human, not a bot).

Spend more time and emphasis in doing your summary because competition is ruthless but if you do it well, you’ll surely get hired. Get those keywords around your work going, and you will find that they are sometimes the reason you’re found on LinkedIn.

Provide and share relevant, useful info for your niche on LinkedIn

But first, build an engaged audience that can relate to your ideas and welcome your updates by focusing more on relevant content and never forgetting to add your take. You should also actively join in the fun by commenting on an activity, sharing it, and if you’re really busy simply liking it (but that doesn’t generate a lot of relationship, the two other options works much better for you).

Join LinkedIn groups and make groups

Hands down – I like facebooks group function much better than LinkedIn’s.

I know its plain common sense, but I’ll say it anyhow. No constant pitching please; not on your profile and not in groups. Instead, focus on what’s valuable for your network and no worries, they will reward you down the road.

Using SlideShare to build an exciting  portfolio on LinkedIn.

And a very secret but hot tip that works for me every time? Cut the summary short. Share some presentations about yourself and your product on Slideshare and make sure it’s right below your summary – around ten lines down. Even though it doesn’t show up on your public profile, it will get noticed when people surf LinkedIn. And because there isn’t a lot of pictures, it will gain instant curiosity. I have written about SlideShare implementation as well here  (featuring a free worksheet)

Of course, there are still a lot of LinkedIn changes, but I think I have covered the most important ones… If you have LinkedIn ads available in your language, you could experiment with that (danish isn’t really covered – yet). They just integrated their company pages as well as your LinkedIn profile in HootSuite and Buffer so that’s really awesome too.

Social media value chain: Learn the art of listening

 Years ago, I created my very own social media value chain mainly to guide me along my work around branding, identity and social networking initiatives. It was just a spur of the moment, curly creative, seminal, scraggly map which I shared in a post here.
social media value chain by henriette weber first edition

But you know what? Surprise, surprise…

Although I did not know then that this map would be very useful in guiding me through my consultations with existing clients and helped me clinch projects with potential clients, it was more like a trial and error journey. There are some highs and a few lows but, I learned a lot through my interactions with business owners and my tweaks in social campaigns.

I even published an ebook, “Rock Your Identity”  to spread the good news. Rock Your Identity is sort of a mini-guide on how you can elevate your identity in social media to rock star status. No worries, rockers, you can download a free copy here.

Here’s a quick model of my social media value chain, distilled through years of practice. This is what a social networking value chain look like:

social media value chain by henriette weber final edition

Today, I won’t dwell too much on everything that I discussed in the ebook, because I assumed that all those who have not yet read it will want to know what the hell I’m talking about. However a value chain of social network is something I deem extremely important in your social media process.

Well, I like to amplify more on that first step when you engage in social media – learning the art of listening. Yeah, it may sound simple when all you listen to are five-star reviews and glowing feedbacks. But how will you react to those big, fat zero reviews and negative feedbacks? It’s too sad that a lot of business has failed miserably in their social media campaigns because they are just not prepared to handle social criticisms.

Sure, they have risk management teams and PRs to handle these situations. But generally, these efforts are superficial at best. In the intolerant and opinionated culture of social media, they only aggravate the brand’s image.

In any case – you have to know how to use those reviews (positive or negative) to add up to the bottom line of your company.

social media value chain: capitalize on user innovation

But that’s just one side of the coin. The other side is just as important. Most companies, after investing much time and effort in engaging their most dedicated consumers, fail to capitalize on user innovation, when those consumers have improved the products to fit their needs. Really, it’s one thing to decorate those suggestion boxes with all the latest tools you can get your hands on but, if those suggestions go straight to the trash… Oh, what a waste.

The culprit? Most brands are just not ready to jump into concrete actions on what they are hearing on social platforms. It’s a needed individual flow, somewhat like dancing into the groove. How are you going to make those comments or those ratings a part of your brand?

Maybe they are too proud to acknowledge suggestions coming from the front thinking wrongly that their R&Ds, with all the glowing resumes and fat salaries, are more equipped to handle product improvements. Maybe they think that their risk management plans can gloss over their shortcomings and everything will be fine tomorrow.

Here’s the gauntlet – everything comes down to one essential question: how do you react to what you hear around your brand? And have you set up a system that gives you a hunch around what you’re supposed to hear?

Last week I was at a conference in Copenhagen (at Better Place and on a side note I urge you to choose a car with a purpose the next time you’re purchasing).  The ever-awesome Chief Happiness Officer: Alex Kjerulf told a story about Zappos and how they found out that the reason one of their clients hadn’t returned the goods she said she would was because her husband died. Later that day, not only did they pick up the goods themselves, there was also a gigantic flower bucket standing on her porch with condolences from the whole Zappos team.

Do you have an organization that would do that? Do you have people in your employ that simply implements this because of the brand’s DNA ?

Social media do’s and dont’s for CSR professionals

I did a talk on tuesday for CSR professionals in Copenhagen through Tania Ellis and the social business club. I entitled it “Social media do’s and dont’s for CSR professionals” I recorded it and here it is:

Im honored that Tania and I are going to be doing a social business/social media masterclass on the 25th of october where it would be so good to see all of you

 

Should you use CAPS LOCK in your online communication?

One of my absolute horrors in business, is when people use capital words to emphasize how strongly they feel about something . How wild it makes them feel. How much they want you to do something for them.

I get a nervous fit everytime I see it.  To me it’s like two people standard across from each other, having a conversation and then a really annoying person comes over and starts to SHOUT at them. Something not in context. Something really important to the person, but that the two other people don’t really care about. You wouldn’t do that at an event, but apperently some people feels like it’s ok to shout at other people on the internet. Please don’t be that person.

It isn’t ok to shout at people – especially if you don’t know them that well.

Because I feel so strong about this, I decided to do the “league against the use of capital words in communication”. Everybody who’s in say “Aye”!

ps. the answer to the question is a HUGE no! use your creative communication skills instead of pressing Caps Lock if there’s something you feel strongly about.

pps. I am thinking about doing a “only speak in caps lock” day as a part of this process – what do you think? good idea ?

The ultimate guide to avoid physical store death

There’s a crystal shop in downtown Helsingør (the lovely city where I live) called Krystallen – a lot of my friends who live in the same city often talk about how it’s amazing that it hasn’t gone bankrupt yet, or been a victim of what i call the “physical store death” A lot of stores in Helsingør has gone under, firstly because they build a very unromantic mall near the city center where all the mall stores in Denmark moved in -yeah it’s the same stores in the malls everywhere here, and secondly because of the financial crisis.

Well one of the reasons it has kept it’s business up is that it has a very clearly defined niche (crystals, buddhas, angels etc), and it has championed Business Unusual in the world of physical crystal stores in Denmark. it’s present at all the crystal healing fairs – oh and it has a webshop. So when people start to talk about how it’s weird that it hasn’t gone bankrupt yet, Im thinking it’s strange that other stores aren’t doing the same.

Here’s what I see as some simple solutions to avoid store death/bankruptcy if you have a physical store:

A webshop is one of the simple solutions. I might even go as far as saying that it could be vital for existence in the future. It doesn’t need to be complicated to run a webshop, but it does take a lot of work. However check out Moonfruit.com if you’re into running a simple webshop – or bigcartel.com if you are an artist.

Social media and Location based tools Start surprising your more tech-savy clientel with deals and offers when they facebook or foursquare check-in. Make sure that you “claim” your store on yelp and answer like this to bad reviews  (from Adweek.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optimize your physical store and make it sticky. So people are holding on even though they are not in the store. Yes you need a newsletter with product info, specials and identity. Yes you need to do special events and see your store as having a small media/content producing outlet attached to it – and get that Return on Involvement going. But you need to ensure that stickiness exists for all target groups, you can’t plaster your walls with QR codes and only think in ipad and iphone apps if your clientel is 60+ years old- then you need to think in making a mailservice where you mail out your newsletter physically to them – possibly attached with a personal note for good mearuse. As also,  you need to have a newsletter sign up list at the counter in your store.

Think in clusters 

One of my favorite cases of optimizing/reviving physical stores (or venues as it is in this case) is the social media case of The Roxy – now I think social media havw had a huge part in that case, but I think the real key to success lies in the ability to actually work together with other venues on the same street. What are you doing to ignite that?

So what do we do to the already empty stores that are bringing our city to it’s knees?

Well you (as a city, or the owner of the empty store) rent it out to somebody who has read this blogpost and wants to sign this clause below – and preferably has hired me to help them out setting the system up:

the physical store clausule to avoid physical store death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what I want to see happening in Helsingør:

I want my favorite Café – Bakowski to know who I am when I walk in the door (hopefully they will do that now when they find out I’ve linked to them.

I want Isabell Shoes (a kick ass shoe store without any webpresence) to sell their awesome leather shoes online.

Oh and I want my bicycle store (Henriks Cykler) to do a delivery service (and cut back on the Istockphoto usage)

And my heel repairman to do that as well.

Also Levende Lys is remembered by everyone in all of North Sealand – it’s a landmark up here, and it doesn’t have a webstore.

Oh and I want the city square (Axeltorv) to become vibrant and digital.

Actually I think the whole of physical stores should think out-of-the-box and embrace  digital – but that’s just me. =)

 

I wish you all the best of luck in your physical/digital endeavors !

“the influencers” – your path to branding success in your business or a perfect title for a horror movie?

So in these times with the “new facebook” I think it’s important to touch upon the influencers in this glammed up world known as the social web. In this social web where identities are polished to be liked and adored and well.. social.

Where influencers and identities are fragments of the truth for branding success (and nowhere near the truth at all) and we tend to forget that.

Where the real conversations and phonecalls and connections are sometimes forgotten because of our obsession with a facebook feed, or a timeline or something like that.

In this social web world – we all have influence over our network, and even though some services out there are saying that they are measuring the influence of people – they are measuring the identity of people on the social web (you know the identity that’s polished to be liked, adored and popular.)

I often see the online Henriette Weber as Norma Jean would see Marilyn Monroe. this fictional character she steps into to make her wages. This fictional character that doesn’t lie, but who just, to their own advantage leaves out stuff that is not “sharable” and doesn’t add to what we want to achieve: influence. likability. Branding success.

We all want to be treated as little kings and queens right ? But the influencers (or online identities if you will) are something we all are, and they can be used to get closer to your targetgroup. To have your targetgroup stumble over your product and services and not the other way around as you see in business as usual.

So make sure your ecosystem is set up to support them, because they live of your love (and you of theirs).