Tag Archive | social-media

9 Tips For Managing Your Business’ Online Reputation

Like - Thumb UpInternet usage is at an all-time high: the average American spends 30 hours online every week. (For Millennials, the average is 40 hours!) Another key data point? More than half of mobile-web users interact with companies on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Do you know what people are saying about your brand on the web?

Because the internet offers so many chances for brand interaction, reputation management is more important than ever before. Here are nine best practices for monitoring and managing your business’ online reputation:

1. Optimize your website for Google search
You want Google to treat your website as the ultimate authority on your product (and, ideally, on the market segment in which you compete). Why? If Google ranks your site favorably, it will appear at or near the top of a search for your company name and terms specific to your industry.

KissMetrics provides a great guide on getting your website indexed by Google.

2. Establish a strong social media presence
By creating a Facebook page, Twitter profile and blog – and posting relevant content to those channels – you will both improve your search-engine rankings and improve how you interact with customers and prospects.

The RingCentral Social Team has written about social-media tips and tricks in the past, so for reference, check out the RingCentral Connect archive.

3. Set up Google alerts
There are a bevy of expensive tools available to monitor your online presence, but you don’t need to spend a lot to see what people are saying about you across the web. We use Google alerts to let us know when the term “RingCentral” is mentioned – they show up every day in a short email.

Here’s what the notification looks like:

Google alert

4. Monitor social networks and reply promptly
The simple fact is, people want companies to be available on social networks. According to Arnold Worldwide, close to 60 percent of consumers expect brands to respond to their social-media comments and queries.

It’s generally good to aim for a social response of no more than an hour or two. (Most businesses aren’t nearly this vigilant, so you can really stand out by striving to be responsive!)

5. Respond to reviews and comments
The last time you bought something online, did you read any reviews before clicking “Confirm Purchase”? You probably did! Product reviews are invaluable when you’re shopping online, and they can be hugely valuable to companies, too.

Not only can reviews help a business learn what people do and don’t like about its offerings – they offer an opportunity for the business to turn unsatisfied customers into raving fans.

6. Turn frowns upside down
Segueing from tip number five: the holy grail of customer support is satisfying an unhappy customer. If you can make this happen on the web, so much the better: successfully turning a negative experience around will leave evidence for customers and prospects to see. That, in turn, will help you demonstrate that you care about doing right by your customers.

7. Blog communications
Social networks are great for pushing out short communiques and providing customer support. For “long-form” communications, though – things like new-product announcements or market forecasts – a blog is ideal.

You shouldn’t expect your business blog to succeed beyond measure, or yourself to become the next Tim Ferriss. Rather, look at blogging as a way to share inside information on your company and engage with your most enthusiastic fans. It’s well worth the effort.

8. Ask happy customers to post reviews
It’s bad form to incent positive reviews with gifts or in-kind compensation. But there’s nothing wrong with simply suggesting that your happy customers say something nice about you on sites like Yelp, LinkedIn or Google Places. The worst that can happen is that they’ll refuse.

9. Feature positive reviews on your website/blog
If you have some positive reviews in hand, great work. They’re a marketing asset as strong (or stronger!) than anything else (whitepapers, datasheets, etc.) you may have put together. Why? Two words: social proof. We’re wired to look favorably on things other people view favorably – restaurants, cars, clothes or just about anything else.

Plus, third-party reviews’ objectivity is inherently valuable. When we say we have a great phone system, you may think, “Of course they’re going to say that.” But when an outlet like PC Magazine awards RingCentral Office an Editors’ Choice award – well, it means a little more coming from them.

Hope these tips are helpful. Let us know if you have any more to share!

Featured photo courtesy of: SalFalko via photopin cc.

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5 Public-Relations Best Practices from Corporate PR Pros

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 11.28.56 AM

Expert Panelists at the PR Summit.

As a member of the Media Team at RingCentral I know just how important press can be. We’re no strangers when it comes to receiving great press mentions, such as the ones we recently received from a PC Magazine Editors’ Choice award to positive coverage at Laptop.com. But still, we’re always looking to step-up our public-relations game. That’s why I recently attended the PR Summit in San Francisco. The annual event, organized for start-up companies, focuses on the impact that powerful creative campaigns can have in burnishing a company’s image.

Dozens of ideas, suggestions and strategies were presented. Here are the five that impressed me the most!

1) Learn to spin your story

“It’s not enough to have a good product: you have to romanticize it,” said Noel Lee, the founder of Monster Cable. In other words, how you spin your story – and educate your target market – really matters.

“It’s better to be the big company in a niche market than to try to get everyone’s attention,” Lee added.

2) Take the Facebook test

When you are creating new content, run it through a “Facebook test”. Would you want to see your content on your own Facebook News Feed? If the answer is no, the content probably isn’t worth sharing, emphasized BuzzFeed‘s Chief Revenue Officer, Andy Wiedlin.

To create the best PR content, be strategic in your efforts: focus on those who will be more likely than the average person to embrace your message.

Consider the relevance and timeliness of what you’re saying, too. Strive to keep the conversation going and engage your audience – just as you’d do on Facebook.

3) Trade in share-able, snack-size bites

“In social advertising, you don’t create one thing and see how it goes,” BuzzFeed’s Wiedlin noted. “You create 12 and see what catches your audience’s attention.”

The lesson for PR professionals? Keep your message short and simple. And don’t be afraid to re-iterate.

4) Show me! Don’t tell me!

In PR, as in art, what is depicted is less important than how it is interpreted.

“Emotional engagement with your audience is the only thing that is going to drive your product forward, and get people to come back,” stated Kym McNicholas from PandoDaily.

Your company should come off as transparent and candid as possible so your audience can create their own opinions.

5) Write content for a person, not all people

“The ultimate moment of truth is the next person’s zero moment of truth,” Altimeter’s Brian Solis (author of The End of Business As Usual and  What’s the Future of Business?) observed.

Translation: there is no way to reach multitudes with one message, so you must narrow down your target audience. Once you have reached a single person and established a connection, your message will be able to take root and spread.

Ultimately, PR is about creating stories. Narratives that touch people at a personal level are what separate superb PR campaigns from less-effective ones.

Do you have additional pointers on how to build a strong PR campaign? Share your experiences with readers below!

How To Add Instagram Images to WordPress

We live in a visual era where people are driven by photos. Majority of marketers understand that photos can make or break a marketing campaign. Case in point, two of the fastest growing social networks today are Pinterest and Instagram, both of which thrive off of the concept of sharing images. Instagram’s growing popularity has made it one of the must-have apps for iOS and Android phones. However, until recently users were not able to embed their Instagram photos into blog posts. Well fret no more savvy social picture enthusiasts because WordPress recently announced that you can now embed your carefully filtered and curated images directly into your blog! Talk about great timing too because just yesterday Entrepreneur magazine announced the top five ways in which Instagram can boost your marketing plan.

Now for the how-to, first what you need to know is that this works best with images you have tweeted out because you need to access the image URL. For anyone familiar with Instagram, you know that it is a strictly phone based app, with very little web presence. So even if you go to intagram.com, and log in to your account, you can not access your photo stream. So, from your Twitter profile page you can see your most recent images, including the ones you shared via Instagram.

Most recent images in Twitter feed.

Next, select the image you wish to embed into your blog post. Your view will now look like the one below.

Image preview in Twitter browser.

Please note you do not want to use the Twitter URL that appears at the top of your web browser — this URL will direct you to Twitter, and not Instagram. Instead you want to click on the photo, and your picture will open in a new window or tab. See the below image;, this URL will now link back to Instagram.

This is the Instagram URL needed to embed the image into WordPress blog post.

Take this URL and copy it into your blog post where you want the Instagram image to appear. Remember to make sure that the URL is on its own line within the post.

Instagram URL inserted into blog post.

I would now highly advise that you click to “Save Draft”. Then hit “Preview”, the image will now appear in you blog post as shown below.

Instagram image embedded into published blog post (on “preview” mode).

If for any reason the image is NOT showing in your “Preview mode” view, and you only see the Instagram URL there (like in the below image), don’t fret because not all hope is lost!

Only URL showing in “Preview mode”, NOT the Instagram image.

You will simply then need to go back to your draft blog post. First, delete the URL from the “Visual” view. Then (while still in draft mode) change your WordPress screen view from “Visual” to “Text” (reference image below).

Switching draft view of your blog post.

Once you are in “Text” view mode, then add the Instagram URL where you wan the image to appear in your blog post. Remember the URL must still be on its own line (as shown above). Again, you will need to “Save Draft” and then press “Preview”. Your image will now appear directly embedded into your blog post “Preview mode” view (as you can clearly see below).

puppy love all day 💖

A post shared by Carolyn (@mini_mau5) on

Oh, and that’s me and Mona (most talented little show dog there ever was)!

Any questions? Or need more clarification? Comment below, and I will get back to you.

How to Build and Manage a Brand Superfan Program {Video}

The RingCentral Superfan program is our way of giving thanks to our biggest customer advocates. At the recent Social Media Strategies Summit, our director of social strategy, Baochi Nguyen, presented tips on how to create and grow a brand ambassador program. Watch the video above to learn our strategy and tactics for customer Superfans.

RingCentral at Dreamforce 2012 {Video}

If you work in the Silicon Valley, or in the tech industry in general, then you’ve heard of Salesforce.com, and you’ve definitely heard of their biggest event – Dreamforce.

Well this year the conference was bigger and better than ever. From amazing speakers and sessions, to an expo hall full of all the hottest and latest tech companies, to the after parties, to the epic Red Hot Chili Peppers concert on the streets of downtown San Francisco there was no shortage of excitement and buzz about Dreamforce this year.

Lucky for me, as a member of the RingCentral Social Team, and the one responsible for event coordination, I was able to participate in all the fun! So, check out the video of the amazing RingCentral Dreamforce Dream Team in action at the 2012 event!

For more info on Dreamforce click here.

And a special thank you to everyone who helped me organize and put on the event, I couldn’t have done it without you!!

Me, working the RingCentral booth at Dreamforce 2012.

Top 7 Apps For Social Media Community Management

As a social media community manager who is always on-the-go, I rely on some key apps to keep me connected and engaged with the RingCentral community. Below are the seven apps that I use and highly recommend.

Which apps do you recommend for community management?

1) Eventbrite for iPhone and Android (free):

Like most community managers, I attend my fair share of conferences and meet-ups. If it weren’t for the Eventbrite app, I would be completely disorganized. The app allows you to find events in your area or in a specific city. You can filter search results by relevance, distance, date, and ticket price. But what makes the Eventbrite app extra special is the ability to keep track of past and upcoming events, as well as store relevant event information such as tickets and directions. In other words, you don’t need to schlep around printed material with the Eventbrite app — just pull up the event ticket barcode or registration info on your phone to gain admission. Hooray for going paperless!

2) Facebook Pages Manager for iPhone (free):

If you’re active on both your personal and brand Facebook pages, this app is great for separating your efforts and staying organized. The Facebook Pages Manager app is similar to the standard Facebook app but packs additional features that make it more convenient to manage brand pages while you’re mobile. Notable features include: status updates, photo uploads, notifications on post comments/likes, notifications on page likes/private messages, and basic Insights data. Admittedly, the Facebook Pages Manager app lacks some functionality — you can’t upload videos, edit Page admins (although you can view the folks who are admins), or interact with brands your brand follows via a home feed. The other bummer is this app is only available on the iPhone and not on other iOS devices or Androids. I’m guessing Facebook will continue optimizing this app. But as it stands, the Facebook admin app suits my top needs for managing brand pages without mixing with my personal profiles page.

 3) HootSuite for iPhone, iPad, and Android (free):

The Hootsuite app allows you to monitor various social networks including Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, and LinkedIn. In our estimation, the app is most effective for monitoring Twitter — in fact, it’s the best Twitter app out there. In the “Streams” view, you can access/add/remove your Twitter feeds, e.g., the home feed, mentions, and key word searches. When you’re viewing a specific feed page, simply swipe left or right to see your other streams. All the standard Twitter features apply, from posting a new tweet to retweeting/replying to a tweet. And for those of you who need an easy way to translate tweets, Hootsuite’s in-app translation is awesome.

4) Instagram for iPhone and Android (free):

We love taking pictures here at RingCentral, and our photo app of choice is Instagram. It’s simple, easy-to-use, and has a great interface. We love the various filters, as well as the ability to share photos to other social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

5) LinkedIn for iPhone and Android (free):

The full-featured LinkedIn app is great for staying in touch with your professional network. View status updates from your connections, top news, messages in your inbox, group conversations, and job opportunities. You can also post your own status updates, send private messages to your connections, and invite individuals to connect. My favorite use of the app is for exchanging contact information with new contacts. Rather than exchange business cards when I meet new business contacts, I just quickly search for their names in the LinkedIn app and send them a request to connect. Talk about efficiency!

 6) Pinterest for iPhone and Android (free):

I won’t deny it: I’m one of many Pinterest addicts. Good thing it’s part of my community management job. The Pinterest app is great for staying updated on the latest pins no matter where you are. The best part about the app is the ability to snap a photo and upload it to any of your boards.

 

7) WordPress for all iOS iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, and Android tablets (free):

Avid bloggers using WordPress, if you don’t already have this app, get it now. Edit and write posts on your smartphone or tablet. Upload images. And best of all, view statistics.

A Tweegram Picture is Worth A Thousand Tweets

There’s no doubting the popularity of Twitter and its 140-character bursts. But don’t get content with just tweeting out text — a recent study shows that tweets with images attached are most popular. So here’s a spin on the usual photo and infographic attachments: turn your tweets into works of art with Tweegram, a free app (yes, free!) for iPhones. 

Tweegram is easy to use. Here’s a step-by-step guide:    

Step 1: Launch the app

Step 2: Enter up to 140 characters of brilliant text to share with your community of followers (bonus: you can even add emoticons to spice things up).

Step 3: Tap the “Next” button in the upper right hand corner and the real fun begins.

Step 4: Scroll through options for various backgrounds to enhance the style of your tweet.

Step 4.5: Some options even allow for you to insert your own image. This option is an additional $0.99 for the “Pro Pack” and gives you unlimited premium styles with custom pictures and no limit on characters. So for anyone who is an avid and die-hard tweeter, this is really a great investment and really helps your tweets stand out.

Step 5: Scroll through the options, and select your favorite one, the one that truly coneys your mood and message. Then press “Share” in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Step 6: Now the world is your oyster, and the choice is truly yours. So, you choose where you want to share your new Tweegram. You can post to any number of social networks (e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr), email to recipients, or save it to your photo album. 

Step 7: I chose Twitter for this example, so I can add an additional message to my tweet and add my location.

Step 8: Press “Send,” and that’s it! Your Tweegram is now available for all your followers to see.

Don’t believe me? Let’s just go to Twitter, and check it out.

And there you have it, your beautifully created tweet!

Hope you all enjoy this app, and have as much fun with it as I do.