Business Marketing


"With the pace of technology, you really need someone to set priority, direction and make the decision."
--Larry Kirshbaum, President, Warner Books

Do you ever wonder if you can make yourself into a brand through social media? You think you aren’t anybody special, but you have a unique offering that you want the world to see.?


Global President, Social Media Club

The simple answer is, anybody that has something of value can make themselves into a brand on social media, but you need to know what you are doing. It all starts with building your personal brand on social media.

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It is very important to define your brand position and objective. You need to clearly define yourself as a thought leader and make sure you stand out from the rest. Ask yourself why should people follow, friend or like you? Work at delivering the content that they want to see. What do you want people to see when they search your brand name? If you are a growing entrepreneur, what people see about your personal brand online has a lot to do with determining if your brand is successful. 

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Develop a personal brand communication style to stand out

Establish a communication style early on and  commit to it, and ultimately, perfect it. That style should showcase what you are great at while driving influence and making people take action. Choosing your communication style in relation to online personal brand development is critical to making yourself into a leading brand. This will also be essential for making your personal brand stand out in today’s competitive marketplace.
You need to claim your name. You can use a tool such as Knowem to see if your desired username is available on all social media platforms and if not you may need to create a slightly altered name. Consistency is key and every social media profile you create should have the same look and feel that reflect you as a brand.

Define your personal brand image

Your brand image  should clearly define your brand culture and adapt as need be to fit what your target market is looking for. Your smile, tone of voice and writing style all need to be an accurate description of your new brand. You should have a positive brand image, that is authentic to who your new brand is. 
For instance, Justin Bieber is often called the first YouTube superstar, and there is a good reason for that. The teen dream got his start by posting videos and Bieber built himself into a famous brand in no time at all and he’s not alone. Plenty of people have used social media to carve out niches for themselves just on the strength of their social media.

Image from gettyimages
Kelly Oxford was a housewife in Calgary, Alberta, whose Twitter account gained attention from stars like Roger Ebert and Jimmy Fallon, and now she’s sold several pilots, authored a book and moved to L.A. Without social media and Twitter she’d probably still be in Canada. Amy Jo Martin is a great example of self-made entrepreneur who turned herself into a brand by using social media.

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As a social media marketer, you spend a lot of time getting more shares, followers and traffic for your business. The same rules apply when the brand you’re promoting is yourself. You also should be actively participating within your communities in order to make your personal brand stand out. Your target market LinkedIn and Facebook Groups, Google+ communities and Twitter hashtag conversations are all great places to start. Your personal brand gets more exposure by being active and helps you position yourself as an authority in your niche and that should be your ultimate goal!

How to Choose the Right Domain Name

IN THE LAST three years, almost 1,000 new generic Top Level Domains, also called new gTLDs, have become available for registration. This exponential increase from the previous 22 options like .com, .net, and .org. has created a historic change in the way people navigate the web. Companies looking to provide the next big domain extension have sparked a flurry of activity, along with investors looking to cash in on the next domain craze. Before diving into the countless new domain extensions that could make or break your business, Jeannie McPherson, domain evangelist and marketing expert at Verisign, answers some key questions about the new landscape and the implications for businesses and individuals.

Okay, so what’s in a name?

When it comes to domain name extensions, everything. Thanks to nearly 30 years of top-tier news, entertainment and commerce being associated with the .com suffix, users have grown exceptionally comfortable with typing in .com as the default domain extension. Alternatives have sprouted up over the years, but .com remains the most versatile, trusted and recognizable domain extension around the world.

That’s not to say people should ignore all new gTLDs. Some of the new options will undoubtedly prove to be trustworthy and reliable fixtures on the internet. However, users need to make sure they are not investing time and money for naught, and possibly putting their brands at risk. Asking the right questions to ensure you’re getting the facts is key to making the right domain name choice.

Wouldn’t something new and different help me stand out?

Possibly, but going against the grain involves many risks, and it’s important to know what they are. It may be tempting to go with novelty to stand out, but three decades of trust and ingrained user behavior around established domain extensions may be a large hurdle to overcome.

Many of the businesses and organizations that have been enticed to try out new domain extensions are experiencing unforeseen issues, such as customer confusion about their web address, and the technical limitations that compound that confusion. Reports of clients’ skepticism and operational problems, like incompatibilities with commonly used email validation systems, browsers, and other websites, has some small business owners urging caution to those interested in adopting new gTLDs.

Even some of the most experienced companies have found that choosing the wrong domain extension can have big consequences. Online retail giant switched to in 2011 and learned this lesson first-hand. Overstock reportedly lost scores of visitors because customers instinctively typed in and were greeted with an “error” message because it was not an active domain name. The customer confusion prompted Overstock to reverse its rebranding in less than a year – millions of marketing dollars lost and customer confidence shaken.

Aren’t shorter names more memorable, though? If the domain is shorter, does the extension really matter?

Length is only part of the equation. More than anything, you’ll want potential visitors to recognize and trust your domain extension so they will visit your website. User trust in the internet is waning with the daily reports of data breaches and identity theft. Businesses already have so many hurdles to overcome in their daily operations. Why add user skepticism of your domain name to the pile? Unusual domains can create a challenging dynamic that can be overcome, but people need to understand that they are basically signing up for a handicap, and that’s the last thing most businesses owners are looking to do.

My advice is to follow the leaders. Every Fortune 500 company and most of the top startups have .com domain names. Successful companies like Tesla, Facebook, and Apple buy .com domain names on the secondary market, passing up other domain extensions entirely, because they know that it’s a smart and secure investment for their future. Even domain and SEO experts agree that a long .com domain name is better, more memorable, and less confusing to consumers than a short domain name on a lesser-known domain extension.

I’ve heard that using new gTLDs can increase SEO rankings. Is that true?

It’s not quite that easy. Search engines use various methods to determine the relevance and authority of web content, and how to rank it for their users. While there are many variables that go into determining search rankings – including content quality, inbound links, website structure, and download speed – one of the most important factors is site traffic. The more people visit and engage with your website, the more relevant it becomes to search engines. So, a big marketing campaign focused on driving traffic to your website can help increase its search rankings, but it doesn’t mean all domains that share your extension will see the same benefits.

Also, new concerns have been raised about vulnerabilitiesresulting from the availability of new gTLDs, and scammers are taking advantage of consumer confusion by using some to launch phishing attacks and other malicious cyber activities. Cybersecurity organizations monitoring this trend have recommended that people block the most abused TLDs from their networks, and individuals are already reporting doing so due to high levels of spam. At this time, it is unknown how many businesses and individuals have blocked new gTLDs from their networks for this or other reasons, or what the SEO affects are.