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Resources / Interviews

Special thanks to the team at Lee Hecht Harrison for hosting Social Brand U.  We love your lively, interactive audience!   Here are some of the resources we discussed in the “Branding You, Inc.” presentation:
 

Career related Tweeps to follow:  @TweetSmarter @BrandYourself  @Keppie_Careers @Alltwtr @TweetMyResume 

Other Great Tweeps to follow:  @jaybaer @equalman @story_jon @jasonmiller @12Most @OMGFacts

Great websites to bookmark:  Mashable, Alltop, OpenForum, SocialMediaExaminer, ConvinceandConvert,  SocialMediaToday and JeffBullas

Twitter career tools and resources:  TwitJobSearch    TweetMyJobs    Twellow    Razume    Visualcv    Twtbizcard    The Definitive List of Twitter Tools    How Social Media Can Land Your Next Job     10 Tips and Tricks for Powerful Twitter Search 

Recent Interviews

Social Brand U Founder Shares Social-Media Tips for Businesses

August 29, 2013

Adam Karwoski recommends his favorite social networking tools, plus tips for online conversations with your customers to our Verizon customers.  Read more in the Verizon Business Guide

 

Google’s Growing Social Network Shows B2B Potential

“For social media as a whole, if you’re not engaged in it, you’re choosing not to have a conversation with an audience,” says Adam Karwoski, CEO of Social Brand U, an Atlanta-based social media consultancy. “Conversations build relationships, relationships build trust, and it’s that trust that moves your business.”   Read more at AMA Access B2B Marketing

 

Social Media Marketing Magazine – Wow What a Story

Here are the reasons why I think social media is cool and why people love it, companies love it, and our culture loves it:  Continue Reading 

Southwestern College

Adam Karwoski is the founder and “Social Intelligence Officer” at Social Brand U, LLC. Social Brand U is a social media strategy and marketing consultancy that focuses on leveraging the power and reach of Social Media within Higher Education to increase student enrollment, increase alumni participation, improve the student quality of life and build the college or university brand, online.   Southwestern College Board of Advisors

 

 

Atlanta Business Radio

April 19, 2012

Learning How to Use Social Media to Build Your Own Brand with Adam Karwoski
– In this ASTD Social Media Special Edition we hear from experts on using Social Media to build your own brand and achieve your career goals.

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Adam Karwoski Interview with Stuart Bazga:

Melbourne Internet Marketing and SEO Expert  December 2011

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Atlanta Business Radio interview

April 2011

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Transparency and Core Values Should Drive Social Media Engagement

By Patrik Edvardsson 
Posted June 11, 2012 with 532 reads

Successful sustainable companies use core values to lead strategy and steer not only the culture, but also overall business performance. Social media provides new opportunities to lead and communicate these values. In this article I will explain why companies driven by strong values are particularly well placed to benefit from social media and the increasing demand for transparency in society in general.

Several interesting articles have been written on the impact of social media on business, particularly on how to communicate the value of social media to stubborn CEO’s. Household names in management literature include values based champions such as Ingvar Kamprad of IKEA, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, and the recently deceased Steve Jobs at Apple. These leaders “live the brand” and symbolize their companies. Strategic social media engagement enables organizations to have an orchestra communicating these values instead of relying on a soloist. I will explain the benefits of this, even if you’re not into classical music.

The pre-social media world

The role, the arena and the structure and strategy of communication is changing. In some ways the rise of the service industry started the development that we are now seeing. Employees became integral parts of the value proposition and they needed to understand what they were selling and how their actions reflected back on the company. The demands on organizations trying to engage in social media are very similar. It requires employees who can stand behind the values and culture and communicate it in a natural manner. Customer experience and service offering are key in the service landscape and missteps from employees can easily become the next viral hit on Youtube within hours. This freak some CEO’s out. Fear of ridicule and lack of control does that to people with control. Like it or not, the communicative landscape has changed and no matter what choices an organization takes it will impact your organization. And your CEO.

Why a possible demise of Facebook is insignificant for social media work

Some of you might come waving some recent article that proclaims that Facebook is dead and that people are bored with the whole thing, particularly after the calamitous introduction of the company to the US stock market. It is important to understand that it has little importance if this is wrong or right. Because what is not disappearing is the conversations people are having online. There will be groups and circles where people meet and share content, be it booking.com, a LinkedIn discussion group or a discussion thread following an HBR-article. People will produce own things and share and discuss matters that are important to them. This increased interaction between consumers and companies is spurring engagement in completely new ways. One example is the state run railroad company in Sweden. It keeps customers updated via Twitter as part of their customer service offering. This has not saved it from ridicule for its inability to get people where they want to go on time (which should be their primary value proposition) but it does provide answers to travellers desperately looking for it.

Transparency should drive a clear culture

This trend is coinciding with another important contemporary occurrence, the increasing demand for transparency. This has been going on for a while but has been highlighted during the past couple of months with the media scandal in Britain and attempts by the Chinese government to try and cover up a serious train incident. These interrelated trends in social media and transparency mean that companies and organizations need to think about how to communicate in this new reality. They also have to be very clear on where they stand in a complex world and act accordingly. The risks of not doing anything are apparent and do not forget that not making a choice (for example regarding social media) is also a choice.

Most companies are still locked inside the walls of an office but the days when a company image was something thought out in that very office and communicated through one-way channels are gone. This provides a great opportunity for companies with solid cultures and employees who are empowered to speak about the company they work for. It is terrible for greenwashing companies that pay big money trying to portray themselves as something they are not.

Unfortunately there is no one size fits all solution to this.  In my role as a communications professional one of the most pressing issues is attracting and keeping talent. To do this we need to understand what we do, how we do it and in what way we are helping to create a more sustainable society. Who better to do this than our coworkers who are the ones meeting our clients every day?

Empowering co-workers to take an active part in shaping our image

At my previous job I worked in a company with highly educated engineers who designed bridges, tunnels, houses and complex electrical installations. The actual work we did differed little from our competitors. That is why how we did it was so important to communicate.

After hiring a social media consultant who wrote a laughable report, part of the problem of social media being frowned upon is consultants not knowing what they are talking about, the management team decided that they would not engage with Social media. At the same time our engineers sold the idea of our company and service offering each day, they engaged in dialogue with clients and understood the concerns and issues that might arise and how to respond to them. We wanted to use this knowledge and help them share it. Working with social media is very much like facilitating the dialogue we have every day with our different stakeholders. We want to engage in conversation that reflects what we want to be. The culture and values belong and are created among co-workers. Enabling them to feel secure and to share this is a process that will and needs to take time.

As communications professionals we need to be clear about the changes in the communication landscape and what it means for business. We need to identify what possibilities this brings and which old truths that are no longer true. The impact of social media is not a fad but will be an integral part of the future business landscape. This means different things for different companies and organizations. The sooner co-workers learn how to use these channels to further enhance the voice of a company and their skills the better. Growing the business and claiming a clear identity that reflects what place we want to have in society will attract co-workers that fit the organization and thus minimize employee turnover.

Why an orchestra is better than a soloist

Someone once wrote that the old communicative landscape put a strong focus on getting an organization to play in the same tone. The social media landscape gives organizations the opportunity to have a whole orchestra who all play their own notes. That can really create an impressive whole if the aim is clear. Thus, having a conductor who knows where he or she wants to go and an orchestra where this is understood is bound to blow any soloist out of the water.

Patrik Edvardsson is working as Internal Communications Executive, EMEA at Experian. He is the co-writer of Customer integration in service development and innovation – methods and a new framework and has studied how Volvo Trucks, Securitas Systems, Electrolux, Philips, Greenpeace International communicate values. He also contributed to the book Values-based Service for Sustainable Business – Lessons From Ikea. He holds an MSc in European Communications Studies from the University of Amsterdam and lives in London.

Your Story Is Your Marketing Strategy

By Vanessa Merit Nornberg

Even small businesses can create powerful, meaningful, sincere branding messages.

Companies are always trying to create the perfect marketing tools–tools that will make brand history, generate buzz for products, and earn those products an unshakeable spot in customer’s lives. Large companies have the luxury of throwing thousands of advertising dollars into marketing budgets, but small companies rarely can.  I have found that the most powerful marketing device a small company can develop is its story.

Here’s what I mean:

Tell your company’s story.

Everyone likes to know the story behind the story, especially when there is an underdog or a hero involved. I was recently talking to the owner of a collections agency who told me he started his business because another company bought the one he was working for, and asked him to let go of most of the team.  Rather than doing that, he himself quit and started his own company, brought the entire team over to his new venture, and successfully avoided firing many people. Learning his story helped me see the kinder side of a business that otherwise seemed heartless, and I immediately felt myself rooting for the owner.

Tell your product’s story.

At a trade show this weekend, I stopped by the booth of a Japanese company that makes very traditional Japanese-style screens to decorate and divide rooms.  As someone who loves clean modern lines, this type of product is not something I would usually look at closely. So what made me stop? The company had recreated its workshop space at the trade show, and brought in a traditional Japanese artisan to the booth, to demonstrate how it constructed its product. The intricacy of the piece was astounding and the craftsmanship was fascinating.  It made the product beautiful in a way I never would have noticed had the owners not told me the story of how it was made.

Tell your personal story.

If you have a service-based business, your personal story and why you do what you do are not only great attention grabbers, but can also be striking testimony about your expertise. The real estate agent who helped my husband and I find our apartment was a successful psychologist before becoming a real estate agent–and she points that out in the literature she provides to prospective clients, because she knows that buying or selling a home can be a difficult and emotional experience.  She sells herself as a consummate negotiator and an understanding counselor to illustrate how she will get her client through the sale in good financial–and mental–condition. Out of hundreds of agents we could have chosen, she got our business.

Tell your customer how to get involved in your story.

Engaging your customers in your story can be just as valuable as engaging them with your product. There is an independent bookstore around the corner from my house with shelves I have often browsed. I had rarely bought a book there, until the shop posted a sign on the door that implored customers–who enjoy being able to shop locally and want the bookstore to be able to keep its doors open–to support independent bookstores by purchasing from them.  Now I make myself buy something every time I go to the shop–even if I don’t really need it.

The next time you set out to win over customers, think beyond the bullet points of your product.  As Lewis Schiff of the Inc. Business Owner’s Council once told me: “Facts get recorded; stories get remembered.”

Vanessa Merit Nornberg: In 2004, Vanessa opened Metal Mafia, a wholesale body and costume jewelry company that sells to more than 5,000 specialty shops and retail chains in 23 countries. Metal Mafia was an Inc. 500 company in 2009. @vanessanornberg

What’s The ROI Of Social Media? Why Brands Need To Embrace Online Culture [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Shea Bennett on March 19, 2012 8:00 AM

trusted brand Resources / Interviews It’s all well and good signing your brand up for Twitter or emblazoning your logo on a Facebook Page, but if you’re not actively engaging with your customers, listening to their complaints and delivering first class support, not only are you wasting your time, but you might actually be hurting the reputation of your business.

Yep. The key word in social media is and always has beensocial. Can you afford not to communicate with your customers?

With two billion people now online, being active – and proactive – on platforms like Twitter and Facebook has never been more important. However, it’s not enough to simply show up – you have to put in the miles. And with a recent study showing that some 71 percent of complaints on Twitter are ignored by brands, it’s very clear that we still have a lot to learn.

embrace online culture Resources / Interviews

(Source: J6 DesignBrand image via Shutterstock.)


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