Five Ways Social Media Can Help Protect Your Reputation Online During a Crisis

Social media can be your biggest ally in monitoring and protecting your reputation online and it can impact several aspects of your business—from managing reviews to dominating search results for your name. When a crisis occurs, monitoring and managing social media are vital. This effort can impact your image and how you’re perceived in the marketplace.

Sometimes, events occur that drastically alter the way your company is viewed by its stakeholders. According to the Institute for PR, a crisis is an event that causes “a significant threat to operations or reputations that can have negative consequences if not handled properly.”

Academic scholar W.Timothy Coombs says there are three different types of crises organizations face – victim, accidental, and preventable. Victim crises are when the organization suffers a crisis due to no fault of their own. Examples of this are seen in natural disasters, workplace violence, product tampering, even Coronavirus. Accidental crises are those that happen despite seemingly good intentions, such as technical errors, data breach (could also fall under preventable), fires, or product defect issues (think Samsung Galaxy) – not resulting from negligence. In other words, it’s unintentional or uncontrollable. Preventable (or intentional) crises are risky events the organization knowingly participates in. Examples include sexual harassment, human-error product harm, or organizational negligence.

No matter what type of crisis your organization is facing, here are five ways social media can protect your online reputation: 

  1. Social media allows you to engage with customers and immediately respond to issues, comments, and crises.

During a crisis, your organization may see an increase in social media comments. Though stakeholders may be speaking poorly about your organization through comments or posts, be sure to remain responsive and do not hide or simply hope that the issue will resolve itself. When you delete users’ comments, it can appear you’re trying to hide something.

Instead of deleting comments, you can use in-app messengers (like Facebook Messenger, and Twitter / Instagram direct messaging) to send private messages to these people to assure them. By directly connecting with people and taking time to send private messages to them, we’ve created relationships and reduced fallout on social channels, which protects reputations.

Silence also isn’t the answer and, during times of crises, no response is a clear response. Acknowledging the crisis and providing your audiences with the information and resources they need, helps them view your brand more positively.

  1. Social media sites appear high in search results, and because you can manage most social content, you control the narrative (your image online).

Perception is key, and while your organization may or may not be to blame for the crisis, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage and protect your reputation online. The first five results on page one of a search are responsible for nearly 70 percent of all search clicks. With this in mind, it is easy to see why complaints, negative reviews, and information about an organization or crisis that appear high in search results can seriously impact credibility, reputation, and sales. In fact, through our ongoing review of our clients’ analytics, we have found that if a complaint (a negative social review/post) appears in the first five organic listings of a search result, a B2B organization can expect conversion rates to decrease by 30 to 40 percent. In some business sectors, we have seen a conversion rate drop 65 percent due to negative content that appears high in an organic search.

The main thing to know is that social media channels appear high in search results. Google places a priority on social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and the like. As a result, if you have active social media profiles, they will likely appear on page one of a search result for your company or your key executives’ names.

  1. Social media allows you to post fresh content in real time, so you can consistently and proactively disseminate positive information about your organization to manage perception.

Social media allows you to develop and share a steady stream of content, from resources to stakeholders on managing the crisis – to subject-matter-expect advice. In other words, your content can pop up consistently reminding your potential customers that you are the expert and still offer smart solutions despite reputational challenges. If you proactively build a strong social presence, you can enhance the likelihood that your well-managed social content and profiles appear prominently on search engines so you can manage perception and your company’s image.

  1. Social media is a tremendous resource for collecting positive reviews about your company, which can markedly influence stakeholders.

The unfortunate reality is when companies receive praise for their services, the positive stories rarely appear and get noticed. During a crisis, you can expect a disproportionate number of negative reviews that communicate an inaccurate view of true customer satisfaction. We have met with companies that have thousands of happy customers and only two dozen negative posts and complaints. The ratio of satisfied to dissatisfied customers was not reflected in the negative reviews that prominently appeared online, and they lost sales opportunities because of a small percentage of unhappy clients. This is due to the fact that only a very small percentage of happy customers posted reviews. This demonstrates the importance of managing your online reputation and developing an ethical system for attracting reviews from happy customers.

Reviews pack a lot of punch. In fact, 83 percent of people in one survey reported that they do not trust advertising, while 72 percent said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from real people.[1] Just how trusted are these peer-review sites? According to a Nielsen survey, peer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising, and when it comes to making a purchasing decision, buyers are 92 percent more likely to trust their peers over an advertisement.

Be sure that customers will see right through any attempt at deception, so be persistent in your efforts to encourage happy customers to post their authentic thoughts.

  1. Social media channels are a great place to disseminate publicity, views, thought leadership, and expertise, which impact reputation and image.

Here is another way social media can help you protect your reputation: Google and other search engines consider media outlets to be authoritative due to their credibility, fresh content, and heavy web traffic. This means that if you secure earned media coverage, it will rank high in Google’s algorithm—particularly if you syndicate synopses of the articles on social channels with links to this content online.

Then, use SEO tactics, such as link building, to promote it. If you act strategically, then, you can leverage positive media mentions of your company to control search results.

Managing search means managing perception, so work to manage the message and content that potential customers and partners see.

Of course, it is smart to prepare for crisis scenarios that could impact your reputation and organization’s livelihood.

Contact pr@rosica.com with any questions about crisis communications or social media marketing.

My Time with Jack Welch, by Chris Rosica

While serving as the president of the New York City Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), formerly the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization or YEO, I picked up the phone and called Rosanne Badowski. For 14 years, Badowski served as Jack Welsh’s personal assistant, or shall I say personal manager. She did an incredible job of “Managing Up” and eventually wrote the book on it – under the same name.

I asked Rosanne if Jack would speak to a group of 300 business owners and CEOs from YEO and YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) groups in NYC. After a few conversations, Welch agreed to do it at no cost, and we locked in a date. Jack was on a book tour for Winning, which had just been released, so we had just two months to plan this elaborate event. We bought books for all attendees, which made HarperCollins happy.

It was a pleasure working with Rosanne to coordinate all the details. She was very professional and cordial. She told me that Jack preferred interview style presentations, rather than standing at a podium and giving talks.

I soon had the amazing good fortune of interviewing him in front of this large, high-powered group for more than an hour.

To say I was nervous is an understatement. The tension escalated when just five minutes before the event Welsh hadn’t arrived. I couldn’t reach Rosanne or Jack via cell and decided to wait on the street in case his driver was having difficulty finding the entrance.

Inside, the anticipation of his arrival was palpable.

To my great relief, with literally one minute to spare, Jack, Rosanne, and his wife Suzy, the book’s co-author, arrived at this sold-out event.

When we got off the elevator at the penthouse event space, Jack put his hand on my arm, looked me in the eye, smiled, and said “Let’s get something to drink and unwind for a minute.” Despite his very hectic schedule and the event start time, he insisted we take the time to decompress. Jack always said what was on his mind and asked for what he wanted but thought of others around him and what they needed as well. He knew I needed to relax! Jack was intuitive, considerate, and responsive. All worthy leadership attributes.

Soon, we were sitting together in producer’s chairs under the bright lights for one of the most memorable 60 minutes of my life.

I had read his book twice before the interview, highlighted it, and had prepared plenty of questions. Afterwards, he sincerely thanked me, signed a few books, and chatted with a small group of entrepreneurs before disappearing into the night.

Some of my takeaways from Winning:

  1. Jack always instructed his managers to hire for integrity, intelligence, and maturity.
  2. He expected employees to:
    1. Have positive energy and to possess the ability to energize others
    2. Tap into the courage to make tough yes or no decisions
    3. Get the job done right – and to “own” execution
    4. Learn from their mistakes
    5. Be passionate
  3. He also wrote about the importance of top managers and leaders possessing authenticity; being able to look ahead and predict the future; demonstrating resilience; surrounding themselves with smarter people (which requires not having an ego and needing to be right); and knowing when to celebrate.
  4. Finally, throughout the book, he spoke about candor and how important it is in growing a culture of accountability and effectiveness. He personified the word.

My regrets to his friends and family. Thanks Jack and thank you Rosanne for our exciting time together.

In his work life, Jack Welsh certainly walked the walk. All who worked for him report that he embodied these principles.

He will likely go down as the world’s greatest CEO.

Chris Rosica

Making The Case For Micro-Influencers

Photo of micro-influencers taking a selfie

Much had been written in recent years about influencer marketing and micro-influencers. Many clients ask whether this is (still) a worthwhile investment of time and money.

Companies that approach marketing from a strategic vantage point — and understand the importance of integrated marketing communications and maintaining a positive reputation online — appreciate influencer marketing. According to Nielson Consumer Trust Index, “92% of consumers trust influencer marketing.” Influencers are people who have the power to impact purchasing decisions because of their relationship with their audiences, their expertise, or valued opinions.

According to an AdAge article that ran this week, “Micro-influencers (which CreatorIQ defines as content creators with followers in the 10,000 to 99,999 range) and nano influencers (1,000 to 9,999) consistently have the best engagement rates, particularly on Instagram. Brand marketers, according to the survey, are increasingly showing a strong preference for such smaller-reach influencers vs. so-called mega influencers with a million or more followers.”

However, on rare occasion have we witnessed an influencer campaign delivering significant direct sales benefits.

Micro-influencers are a subcategory of influencers, obviously with smaller reach, but who are much easier to work with and do not require big-dollar partnerships. While most, if not all, large influencers require payment, which can cost thousands, micro-bloggers and influencers are generally open to creative (free or low-cost) partnership opportunities.

If strategically implemented, an affordable micro-influencer initiative can give a boost to your online reputation management, SEO, and content marketing efforts.

What you should know about micro-influencers

The benefit of working with micro-influencers is you can reach a smaller, but highly relevant following. According to Forbes, “This tight-knit group of followers may be more likely to want to buy products that are being marketed by someone they feel they know or who seems more exclusive.” But, again, don’t do it to boost sales unless you’re looking to be disappointed.

Micro-influencers are far more flexible and authentic — and much less demanding. As said, reaching their audience can be free or may require a product sample or small stipend. They typically won’t price gauge. Regardless, it’s smart to set aside a small budget in case it’s needed to reach your target audience and support your SEO efforts, especially if there’s added value, as mentioned in the “tip” below.

These influencers can be bloggers, well-regarded writers for trade publications and websites) accomplished consultants, industry analysts, or anyone who is well regarded and has a following. They also encompass key opinion leaders, subject matter experts, clinicians (doctor, nurse, veterinarian, Ph.D., etc.), professional speakers, association executives, conference managers, advocacy group reps, and authors. When they talk, people listen.

There are several software tools we use to find micro-influencers, though it’s important to note the number of bloggers in certain industries or segments may be limited. That’s why it’s smart to research tradeshow speakers and subject matter experts to round out your list. Attending events is one way to identify micro-influencers. Consider attending industry conference/tradeshows and get to know the keynote speaker and presenters (research them in advance and follow them on social channels).

3 reasons micro-influencers matter today

  1. This category of influencer can strengthen your social reach

When working with micro-influencers, it’s important to establish a relationship with them before sending pitches. Most people wouldn’t open spammy email from a stranger, and the same mindset applies to social media. Through engaging with them, they will become familiar with your organization. Social media enables the sharing of articles, viewpoints, industry news, trends, and information that center your positioning and your strategic objectives. Leave comments, build rapport, share what you like about their posts, and share and re-tweet their views. This way, when you do reach out, the interaction will be authentic.

  1. Online reviews are VIP: micro-influencers impact an organization’s reputation online

Perception is what matters most. When businesses in a B2B environment and consumers in the B2C world search online for the products and services they require or want, reviews inevitably appear. Securing numbers of micro-influencer reviews and write-ups can go far to managing an organization’s image online. After obtaining positive reviews, it’s important to synopsize, optimize, syndicate, and promote them through social and link building.

When a micro-influencer talks about your company, it can also go far to build thought leadership, increase positive social references (which people often review as well), and support organic search optimization.

  1. Their articles can give a boost to your content marketing

If a micro-influencer you are working with reviews your product/service or mentions your company in a positive light, you can repurpose their content in email marketing campaigns, on your social (including your blog), for search marketing, and other stakeholder communications.

When leveraging micro-influencer reviews/references, be sure to create unique content for each channel, which should help with your overall search engine rankings.

It’s important to remember that micro-influencer content does not have to be too polished. It should look and feel authentic or organic – not overly produced.

Tip: Hire an industry expert to write an article for your blog or website and pay them a small stipend to do so – regardless of the size of their social following. This infuses your site with fresh, quality content that can help your SEO – and the article can be sent out in an email marketing campaign to your database and posted to your social media channels. You can ask the influencer to share a synopsis of the article on their social channels with a link to your blog or website. As you can see, this approach supports content marketing, SEO, and your social strategy. Due to the modest stipend, this expert may also be open to mentioning you at a conference they’re speaking at or writing about you on their blog in the future.

For more information on micro-influencers, please contact pr@rosica.com, or call us at (201) 957-7156 x 202

James Lewis of the National Society of High School Scholars featured on CNBC.com

James Lewis, president of the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), was recently featured on CNBC.com on smart ways families can obtain scholarships.

He commented on the various types of scholarship opportunities that exist for athletes, minorities, and students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

For the complete article, click here.

Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Employ Cause Marketing

Today is World Corporate Social Responsibility Day.

From a business standpoint, it’s also the perfect opportunity to employ cause marketing.

Cause marketing is a public relations strategy that leverages the public’s demand for socially responsible corporations by forging an alliance between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization (or “cause”).

Under a cause-marketing campaign, a company incorporates a philanthropic agenda as part of its marketing strategy, garnering ongoing media attention and visibility through cause-related events, public relations activities, internal communications, merchandising, advertising, package design, online social media, and marketing. Cause marketing principles can be applied to any business model, whether the corporation is business-to-business or business-to-consumer, and regardless of company size.

Here’s the Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Engage in Cause-Marketing Campaigns:

Reason # 1 Give a Boost to Sales

Cause marketing attracts media attention, which gives the public greater awareness of the company. When properly implemented, cause marketing attracts media attention, which gives the public greater awareness of the company. And greater publicity (especially positive publicity) always translates into a bigger bottom line and desirability factor. A company that engages in a cause-marketing campaign enjoys increased sales because consumers show a greater interest in conducting business with charitable corporations. Because cause-related marketing impacts a company or brand’s image, it also impacts customer loyalty, which means that a company sees repeat sales from its existing client base and attracts new ones.

Reason #2: Build Brand Awareness

Did you know Famous Amos Cookies began with no advertising budget? No advertising budget whatsoever. However, in a textbook case still studied in college marketing classrooms today, Famous Amos and Literacy Volunteers of America (another little-known brand) partnered to develop grassroots media events that spread the message nationwide. With the help of Rosica Mulhern & Associates and its founding partners, Bill Mulhern, Marilyn Rosica, and John Rosica, the team-built brand awareness for Famous Amos Cookies, which eventually was purchased for millions.

Reason #3: To Improve Employee Morale

Companies that face high employee turnover and demoralized employees can ignite their employees’ passions by engaging in cause marketing. Common sense dictates that happier employees are more productive employees. If employees feel deeply passionate about a cause and understand that the company is concerned with more than profits, the company will see greater productivity and lower turnover. Companies that engage in cause-marketing campaigns will witness the entire corporate culture change for the better. Employees, excited about going to work, will feel good about the work they do.

Reason #4: Manage or Avoid Crises

In a perfect world, cause marketing should be proactive. Optimally, it should begin long before a company faces a public relations crisis, so that if and when an obstacle presents itself, the company has already established itself as a charitable one, and the fallout is not devastating. But let’s face it—many companies turn to public relations only as a solution to a crisis. If properly executed, cause marketing can help counter-act the reputational damage of a crisis by showing stakeholders your organization cares about a cause. This helps improve your brands image in the public eye.

Reason #5: Create a Fresh Public Relations and Publicity Strategy

One of a company’s main challenges is to keep itself fresh in the minds of its audiences when the company has nothing new to report. Ongoing media attention helps corporations (both business-to-business and business-to-consumer) build their brands by providing third-party endorsements, thereby boosting credibility and visibility. Cause marketing gives a company an evergreen story to tell. In terms of public relations coverage, this practice keeps the momentum going; it keeps the spotlight on the company year-round.

Nearly every company, regardless of size or objectives, should incorporate cause marketing into its public relations strategy. To order The Business of Cause Marketing, from Noble Press, visit Amazon.

Contact pr@rosica.com for more info…

5 Ways AI Can Help You Enhance Content Marketing

In today’s world, AI is becoming increasingly more integrated into our daily lives, yet many people are still wary about it. (Don’t worry, this blog post isn’t being written by a bot.)

“AI adoption is forecasted to surge by 143% over the next 18 months,” according to a recent Salesforce study — meaning more organizations will begin to incorporate AI into their communication campaigns as well.

How AI Can Help Enhance Your Content Marketing Efforts?

1. Augments content creation

Creating fresh, original content for blogs, social media and your web properties is extremely important today, given what we know about Google’s algorithmic preferences. Not only does frequently-refreshed and relevant content encourage readers to keep coming back to your site, it really helps with SEO.

To lighten the workload, you can use AI content services, like MarketMuse and Automated Insights, which can write original content for you. A bit apprehensive? Consider that the Associated Press uses AI software to generate content on corporate earnings reports and, according to a NY Times article, roughly a third of content published by Bloomberg News uses some form of automated technology.

2. Eliminates tedious tasks

Data analytics is another benefit of AI. Long gone are the days of reviewing t-tests and bar graphs. According to Lingumatics, text mining is “an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that uses natural language processing (NLP) to transform the free (unstructured) text in documents and databases into normalized, structured data suitable for analysis or to drive machine learning (ML) algorithms.”

Some companies hire employees for the specific purpose of audience engagement. However, chatbots can create auto-responses that interact with stakeholders on social media platforms to promptly answer questions, like posts, and enhance customer engagement.

3. Enables personalization

Artificial Intelligence helps personalize content to enhance the stakeholder experience with your organization or brand. Through platforms like SharpSpring, you can now create specialized email marketing campaigns addressing the receiver by name, organization, and how they’ve interacted with your company online (on-website, through email, or social). AI also helps make widely-distributed emails feel more personal, encouraging users to respond and interact with your company.

Additionally, AI helps customize newsfeeds on social media based on user demographics and location, and through data analysis, predict which posts users are more likely to comment on, hide, or mark as spam. This helps measure which campaigns were more successful than others.

4. Improves customer service

AI improves customer service by asking specific questions designed to find out exactly what information the stakeholder is seeking. This helps eliminate long phone queues waiting to speak with a representative. By integrating these initiatives into content marketing, users are able to get valuable information they need without wasting time and energy. All while taking steps not to lose the human touch, especially for elevated customer-related issues.

5. Helps with sales conversion rates

Platforms like SharpSpring and SalesForce help companies keep track of the sales funnel from initial leads and contact to conversion and repeat customers. Leveraging data gathered through online engagement with prospects and stakeholders, these services are especially efficient, aggregating information into one resource for effective decision making.

Content marketing has a lot to offer and AI can support your content marketing initiatives. Contact a member of the Rosica team today at pr@rosica.com to learn more.

News Releases Are Dead… Long Live News Releases.

3 Reasons they are alive and well

Media dilution is an understatement. It’s impossible to keep up with thousands of information channels we have at our fingertips today. With media dilution, PR has completely changed. As a result, the perception is that PR’s impact has become watered down, creating a vortex that leaves public relations pros looking for ways to demonstrate ROI, add value, and meet the demands of smart in-house marketers who require measurement against pre-determined KPIs.

Long gone are the days when sending out a press release would generate meaningful coverage. With the exception of media “alerts” or “advisories,” it’s been years since we’ve sent releases to producers and reporters and expected them to take action. This change is in large part due to the fact that media outlets have very limited staff nowadays, often operating with skeletal crews and low morale. They’re inundated with emails from PR people and simply do not have the bandwidth to read them all.

It’s important to note the quality of news release writing, whether by PR agencies, PR departments, or corporations, has always been criticized by media. Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal announced (ironically through a press release) that they were no longer accepting press releases. The New York Times responded on the story the very next day. It’s also important to note, later that same week Rosica secured a front-page story on the Wall Street Journal. Through what means? A news release.

The moral of this story is that sometimes you need to go against the grain. While pitch letters now dominate reporters’ email inboxes, news releases have become the path less traveled, which means you’re more likely to get a reporter’s attention. When everyone else stops distributing press releases, send them – keeping in mind the tips below.

3 reasons news releases are still alive and well:

Reason 1: News releases can be part of your overall content marketing strategy

Whether you are posting news and information on your website, sending it through an email marketing campaign, or sharing it on social, a news release represents an unexpected communique. Ask yourself: How many press releases do you, as a businessperson, receive daily, weekly, or even monthly? We are inundated, however, with e-newsletters, email marketing solicitations, advertisements, banner ads, and other overt promotional pieces.

As an example, we have many clients who send direct mail and email marketing campaigns with news releases on Rosica agency letterhead, which present as third-party endorsements in a format that is not widely used for email marketing and sales letters.

We’ve also shared releases at client conferences, meetings, and tradeshows — and synopsize, search optimize, and syndicate this content on blogs and across social media channels.

Reason 2: News release content can bolster SEO efforts

When posting a news release to PRWeb (SEO version) or PR Newswire, you are introducing fresh, branded content on the web. If you effectively build links to that release online, this content can be found by people searching for your organization’s name. This means that incorporating optimized keywords and phrases into a release is an imperative.

Google is always looking for fresh content. Posting a synopsis of a release on your website or blog provides fresh content for your site, rather than duplicate content. With the synopsis, be sure to include a link to the full news release (i.e., PR Newswire or PRWeb) online.

Reason 3: News releases help manage perception

If you effectively disseminate news release content and promote it through SEO then the likelihood of this managed content appearing on page one of a Google search for your name will be heightened greatly.

A key strategy in communications today is search engine domination. Simply put, this is about developing and promoting fresh content to manage perception online — what people find and learn about your organization. Therefore, managing the first page or two of organic search results for your name is paramount. Most people never leave page one, so this effort can help protect your image.

As you can see, news releases still have much to offer. Often times, what’s old is new again, so long live news releases.

To learn more about what news releases can do for your organization, contact pr@rosica.com.

7 Strategies for Using Social Media to Grow Thought Leadership

Does your organization have the reputation of being a true innovator in your field? Maybe there’s a person in your company who is a true subject matter expert, possibly one of your C-level executives, product/service specialists, or another key opinion leader.

In his forthcoming book entitled The Power of B2B Social Media, The Marketing Strategy You Can’t Afford to Ignore, Rosica Communications’ President Chris Rosica defines a thought leader as “an individual, brand, or company that has the reputation of being an authority in its field, one with specialized expertise; a trusted and highly sought-after resource with credible, trustworthy subject matter experts or key opinion leaders.”

When aiming to become a thought leader, it’s important to remember that thought leadership is not about being known, it’s about being known for something.

Here are seven thought leadership strategies that will help grow your social media presence:

1. Pinpoint your positioning and messaging

In a CBS This Morning interview, New York Times best-selling author and educator, Simon Sinek said, “If you don’t know why you do what you do…then how will you get people to be loyal?” Identifying a groundbreaking new positioning that differs from what your competitors are focused on, should be at the core of your organizational and marketing strategies and matrixes.

After you define your positioning statement, it is important to develop audience-specific messages, and back them up with statistics and valid reasons to believe them. Conveying these beliefs to your sales, marketing, customer service, and other internal staff members is crucial so messages to stakeholders are consistent. Then, regularly disseminate these messages through social and other channels.

2. Generate earned media to bolster social

Earned media is the (non-paid) media coverage you receive through pitching stories to targeted reporters and media outlets. In the realm of thought leadership, opportunities like television interviews, bylined articles, and op-eds are excellent ways to share your organization’s beliefs and positioning. Since media outlets typically have large social followings through earned media, you gain the ability to reach a large audience of stakeholders across multiple social channels including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In addition, you can synopsize the media attention you receive and syndicate it on social channels to build credibility and engage followers.

3. Leverage social media to manage perception

Social media is a prime channel for reaching stakeholders. On these platforms, you can completely control the narrative. As mentioned, social media is great for sharing relevant articles, industry news, and trends, as well as the key messages developed during your positioning and messaging exercise. According to Business Insider, “since 2018 social platforms have seen explosive growth around innovative video formats like Stories,” so it’s important to leverage tools like this to manage perception, educate your stakeholders, and engage customers.

4. Strengthen your content marketing efforts on social channels

It is important to generate earned media through high-quality content posted on social channels. This includes thought leadership pieces like white papers, infographics, news releases, survey data and clinical studies, and other quality content. The content you create must be authentic and relatable, even more so on social channels — where transparency and authenticity rule. Of course, it must resonate with stakeholders you’re trying to reach. It’s important to remember it should not look like an advertisement, and instead, should be more organic.

Disseminating these attention-getting assets should be systematic. Customizing content for tradeshows, social, and email is a must to strengthen your overall marketing efforts.

5. Remember that people create thought leadership

People not only serve as the conduit by which you secure earned media coverage, but their expertise promotes trust and credibility. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) and subject matter experts (SMEs) should be developed from within organizations — rather than overreliance on outside sources.

While people have their individual LinkedIn profiles and Facebook pages, company profiles are vital in the social thought leadership and branding process. Leverage your network and that of your staff and partners to tell the story and position your organization as experts through social.

6. Repurpose and leverage earned media content on social

It’s important to know you need to repurpose and cater content to fit the needs of each social platform. While it’s great to share worthy news on all social channels, it’s important to tweak them to fit the needs of each. For example, you wouldn’t post a two-minute video made for YouTube on Instagram. Instagram videos typically should be about 15-30 seconds long.

Earned and original content can and should be syndicated and promoted. Practicing this can help bolster SEO, social media, direct marketing, online reputation management, and your conference marketing activities.

7. Connect with influencers on social channels

Engaging with influencers on social channels helps your organization gain followers in return. When you know the influencers you interact with, as well as like and share their posts, you garner their attention and begin the relationship-building process.

An effective way of building thought leadership on social media is to build relationships with and follow other thought leaders. This approach can help you build your following along with credibility, connectivity, online presence, and engagement.

 

To learn more about building thought leadership through social media, email pr@rosica.com.

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020

A new year means new technology, and with new technology comes the need to evolve. This is necessary in order to capitalize on the vast opportunities that come with new social tech tools and practices. We live in a world where trending apps and social channels change regularly. Every year, it seems a new social media platform comes along that dramatically changes the communication landscape. In 2019, the App in the spotlight was TikTok. How do you stay ahead of the curve? How do you take advantage of the latest social tools? And, what does this mean for your business?

Here are 5 tips for upgrading your social media marketing this year:

1. Use AI to your advantage

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a great way to help your customers get the information they need in an easy and convenient way. Many businesses in the healthcare, food, and nonprofit arenas have introduced AI to their marketing efforts through chatbots and online scheduling options. Integrating this technology into your organization, whether through a website, social media campaign, or online marketing effort, is beneficial to both your company and your customers and stakeholders.

2. Establish relationships with influencers

Connecting with influencers and having them talk you up is worth the time, cost and energy. This process, which is an integral part of public relations today, benefits your organization due to the importance of the influencer’s audience/reach and how they are perceived and respected. A vlogger with 300,000 followers on their YouTube channel or an Instagram account with 500,000 followers, can go far to promote your company and/or products.

3. Establish your brand’s identity

Establishing an image or guidelines for your brand helps characterize your organization. It’s not just about an interesting logo, compelling color scheme, contemporary website. It’s about standing for something and creating powerful messaging — then conducting effective marketing so you are known a key differentiator. It’s about having a unique social voice, which sets you apart, and enables you to be known for something.

4. Use video

According to a recent HootSuite report, frequent TikTok consumers watched on average 46 minutes a day of content. This is noteworthy, because TikTok videos are only 15 seconds long. While the targeted demographic for this platform is typically Generation Z consumers, the app does offer several features other platforms are now integrating. Staying aware of these trends helps keep your business ahead of the competition.

If TikTok isn’t a platform your company would use, Instagram (IG) stories or IGTV are a great alternative. Instead of redirecting users to an external link, like a YouTube video, IGTV allows users the ability to watch longer videos from the app.

5. Post quality content

While it’s important to post frequently on social media to remain at the forefront of your customers’ minds (and protect your reputation online), it’s only worth doing if it’s interesting, quality content. Planning ahead and setting a schedule for content and getting several people in your organization involved in the content development process are great ways to ensure the future success of social media and content marketing initiatives.

Want to learn more about taking your social media efforts to the next level in 2020? Contact pr@rosica.com to connect with our team.

Employers Turning to Pharmacy Benefit Managers to Fight Employees’ Prescription Drug Abuse

BeneCard PBF President Michael Perry shares how pharmacy benefit managers can be a key ally to reduce wasteful and inappropriate prescription utilization.

More than 10 million people in the United States misused a prescription opioid in 2018, and the opioid epidemic cost the country $179 billion including mortality, health care expenses, lost productivity, criminal justice expenses and assistance. The National Safety Council notes that the annual direct health care costs of individuals who misuse opioids are 8.7 times higher than those who do not.

The opioid epidemic offers an example of a preventable, complex public health and safety issue that has arisen due to a perfect storm of causative factors. Consequently, it requires multiple stakeholders to develop and deliver an effective solution to help lower costs and improve patient health outcomes. These stakeholders include health care providers, pharmacies, drug manufacturers and even employers.

However, the pharmacy benefit manager is one player in the opioid crisis that fills a critical role by employing clinical programs to ensure safe and appropriate utilization of medications. The PBM is a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs and primarily responsible for contracting with pharmacies for network services, negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers, developing and maintaining the plan’s list of covered drugs (a formulary), and processing and paying prescription drug claims.

PBMs have become an increasingly important part of health benefits since they first entered the market in the 1970s. Today, three pharmacy benefit managers control more than 80 percent of the American market. All are part of massive health care conglomerates that have interests in other aspects of the benefits food chain — from retail pharmacies to medical insurance.

This can create conflicts of interest, as these mega-corporations stand to profit from every stop on a patient’s journey. These conflicts of interest can in turn leave employers and patients vulnerable to increasing health care costs and crises such as the opioid epidemic.

The American public, from the employee to the executive suite and human resources professionals, as well as those who make decisions about employee-sponsored health care, seeks change in today’s profit-driven benefits industry. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

 

Read the rest of the article here.