I have my bed bagsed in my brother’s place in Kilkenny. I look forward to seeing you at PodCamp Ireland if you are going. The excitement is mounting, not least because of the organisers’ use of social media to attract attention. I’ve been listening to their podcasts, for example, and I think that Krishna De’s interview from last week’s podcast with Michele Neylon of Blacknight Solutions has some great pointers for those planning their domain name purchases, especially if you are considering buying a second-hand domain. Also on the show, winner of Best Personal Blogger in last year’s Irish Blog Awards, Grannymar, talks about her experience of starting a blog, giving some very good pointers on the essence of blogs, saying that some days she might only write two lines or post a photo and other days she might do more. As Krishna herself says Grannymar is an inspiration not least because she tells listeners to just go for it and commenters to get involved, “they are the lifeblood of any blog”. Even though hers is a personl blog, much that she has to say holds true for anyone considering starting a business blog. You can listen here at BlogTalkRadio (no fancy players required!). PodCampIreland are making use of all types of new and social media like RSS and blogs and microblogs and of course podcasts to facilitate the varied audience they have. Most of their content is published once but received by many in “the flavour” they like and much of it is done using free or cost-effective online applications.
Speaking of considering starting a business blog, one of our members has recently taken the plunge and considering the summer we have had here in Ireland I am amazed they had the time. Aedan and Suzanne Ryan are the people behind PuddleDucks, a company who sell waterproof clothing for adults and children. Aedan commented that he was much inspired by what he heard at the IIA Congress back in May about how organisations big and small were using Social Media to engage with their customers. I particularly liked their timely post a couple of weeks ago about getting kitted out for Electric Picnic.
Another company who are getting really into social media recently are IIA members, FBD.ie. You may have read on the IIA.ie website that they have just launched their new site. Part of their marketing campaign involved Twitter, including an advance launch of their site to Twitterers. They are also actively seeking comments from bloggers and twitterers and are engaging with them. Other IIA members using Twitter are the aforemnetioned Blacknight Solutions for whom it is, as they, a no-brainer with the profile of their clients. Two other IIA members, The Irish Times and RTÉ are also on Twitter but rather than using Twitter to start a conversation, they are using it to facilitate Twitterers who want regular news updates. RTÉ are feeding each of their news types through different twitter channels using the RSS feeds from their site.
The great thing about Twitter for a company like FBD, for example, is that they can approach those who twitter and if the Twitterer wants to, they can choose to allow FBD to follow them or not and conversely they can choose to follow FBD or not. It’s all about permission so it suits both parties very well. I have to admit that when setting my own ground rules for the IIA Twitter I decided that I would not follow anyone unless they followed IIA becuase I did not wish to be intrusive. I had, as I have mentioned before, been twittering in a personal capacity for some time and many of those following me were happy to follow the IIA tweets as well. I suppose the single greatest thing about Twitter and other microblogging platforms is that they allow users who aren’t constantly in front of a computer remain connected through their mobile phone by either updating via text, receiving updates by text or if the user has mobile internet capability on their phone a third party application can often be installed to microblog from your phone. I use Twibble on my Nokia E51 and I also have a Twitterfone account (Twitterfone was developed by Irish company Maxroam) which allows me to leave voice messages that are converted into text, ready for Twitter. I also use TwitPic which allows me to send photos from my phone by SMS. So for example I was able to twitter the Liffey Swim last Saturday. Great fun no doubt but imagine you were able to show the world your latest product the minute it arrived? Or twitter pictures of new staff so people would know them? Or a picture of your exhibition stand at a conference so people would know exactly what to look for? (Let’s hear how you are using these applications in your business: leave a comment below.) The name of the game is facilitation and developers are creating all sorts of web and mobile applications for all sorts of platforms to facilitate users and business users can mix and match their social media to create a mix to suit their customer base. While I wonder about the longevity of Twitter’s tenure as a killer app, I find Twitter can be a good source of information, feedback and every now and then, great entertainment and I just hope others feel the same way about our Tweets!
But on the subject of rain, our newest members, Imagine, accentuate the positivity of rain on their cheeky website using my favourite colour, pink. Considering their expertise in on-street promotions and guerilla marketing it’s probably a very good thing they have a positive attitude to rain. However as they fluently put it themselves:
“We are media neutral so we can truly put your brand wherever you want, whenever you want.”
They are currently hiring so if you own your own wellies and mac, you should send them your CV!
I am planning to write a short blog post about all new members so we can all start getting to know each other straight away. However current members are more than welcome to get involved through guest blogging: if you have something you want to get off your chest or an online service that you would like to write about or are seeking feedback from your peers or would like to write about your experience of one of our events, please contact me by commenting below or at members at iia dot ie.
I always wondered how guest bloggers decided how to start their blog posts.
All I can tell you is that when it came to my turn, I was lost for words – anyone who knows me will find that incredible!
You see being handed over the prime real estate online such as the IIA blog is quite some privilege. When Fergal approached me to be a guest blogger here I was rather bemused.
You see I am not at all technical. What could I offer the esteemed readers of the IIA blog I wondered?
So I am afraid over the next three weeks if you are looking for the inside track on search marketing, useability or new platforms like Ruby on Rails (I heard about that at BarCamp Dublin) you might want to look elsewhere.
What I do know about is building brands:
- your corporate brand so that you can attract more of your ideal clients
- your employer brand so that you can attract and retain great people to you team and therefore deliver against your business objectives
- and your personal brand as a business leader so that you realise the professional and personal success you desire.
I also know about what mistakes are easy to make when you venture online – some of them having been costly mistakes made by yours truly!
Over the last couple of years since I left my wonderful corporate life, I have also ventured into learning, applying and educating others in new media platforms to build their brand, from blogs, to podcasts and wikis.
In fact just this week I have launched a new corporate podcast called The Podcast Sisters with two fellow podcasters aimed at explaining the world of business online to women in Europe (you might be aware that women are under represented in the online world especially in the field of podcasting). Of course if you are male you are still welcome to join us over at the Podcast Sisters – after all no-one need know you are listening to three non-techie women if you listen to us through your headphones when travelling on the Luas!
So what I hope and plan to do over the next few weeks is share insights and tips about what I have learnt about building your brand online. I don’t promise to have all the answers but I hope my thoughts and articles will provoke you to think about building your brand online and therefore enhance your ability to build your online reputation, attract more of your ideal clients, differentiate yourself from your competition and use this wonderful platform of marketing online to generate more leads and more profit to your business.
I look forward to sharing my experience and things I have learnt on my journey into the online world.
If you have any questions, observations or comments I would love to hear from you – just post your comments here.
And if you want to know more about your guest blogger, you will find me building my personal brand online at at my business blog where you can also access further branding and business development tips, subscribe to my ezine Biz Growth Express, and find out how to join me each week for no-cost teleseminars with world leading experts where we bring you strategies, inspiration and tips to attract more clients in less time with less stress.
©Krishna De, 2007