Oreo and the Mars Landing

What does an Oreo cookie have to do with the Mars landing?  It is part of The Daily Twist marketing campaign – an effort launched by Nabisco-owned Oreo launched in late June to mark the cookie’s 100th birthday. An image of an Oreo will be shared every day for the next 100 days on its Facebook page, a dedicated Tumblr account, and a page on the Nabisco website. This particular image garnered over 20,000 ‘likes’ , 365 comments, and over 3,100 shares on Facebook! Relevant, timely content.  That is how you play the social media game!  What do you think of their efforts?

Oreo Mars Landing

Personal Branding – Your Identity

Personal Branding

I’m working on a coaching class to help my colleagues and team build personal brands. Once I’ve completed the class, I’ll share the material here for anyone who wishes to build their own online brand.

Here is a teaser:

STEP 1: Identify a high-interest topic that YOU are interested in and that you want to be perceived as an expert in.

STEP 2: Curate that topic and provide some context around it. Over time, if you continue curating a lot of content in that topic area, it will lead to expertise and credibility that will build a following.

Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!

Got Klout?

UPDATE: Klout just released this great infograph that I thought helpful to those who have read this post on Klout. Enjoy!

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Klout score and analysis

Do you have Klout?

When I first started noodling through social media land, back in the day (July 10, 2007 according to Facebook), I knew I was an early adopter, but wasn’t really too concerned about my Klout. What is Klout? According to Wikipedia: the company, Klout, “uses social media analytics to measure a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content.”

So what is the benefit of having Klout? Ever wanted to be ‘famous’? Klout may help you get there. Want free stuff? Want to be an early user of cool stuff?  All this ‘apparently’ comes with having Klout. On the Klout website, there is a “Perks” tab, that shows you different rewards you ‘might’ be eligible for, IF you have KLOUT!

Klout Perks

Now, I have what is considered to be a fairly decent Klout score of 61. Some of the people I think are BIG social influencers have scores only slightly higher than me. But I never seem to receive decent Perk offers. Aren’t there companies out there that would like a socially savvy, 40+ female marketing executive to try out some of your cool stuff? Each “Perk” has eligibility requirements, and the good perks go really quickly. So either I’m not eligible (see image below where ‘location’ makes me ineligible) or I’m too late.

Klout Perks Eligibility

I hope smart businesses take note of Klout and leverage social influencers. Maybe one day I’ll get to try that shiny new product before anyone else does… 😀

What’s in a Name?

This week I’ve been working with someone to develop their brand name. It is a bit of a process, but a fun one! If
you’re considering starting a business, changing your brand name, or know someone who is, take a look at these tips on creating a GREAT business name.
  1. Brainstorm. How do you want people to feel when they hear the name? Write down those words on paper.
  2. Relate. Using the list you’ve created, think about related words and phrases that evoke the feelings you want.Now use the thesaurus and find all the synonyms for your words and phrases.
  3. Relate more. What are the Greek and Latin translations of your words? What colors, gemstones, plants, animals, etc., relate to your words.
  4. Experiment. Start mixing the various words and partial words to see what you can create.
  5. Reflect. Review your list and just give some thought to each name. How does it make you feel when you hear it?
  6. Communicate. Ask someone you trust to go over the list. How does each name make them feel? Does it resonate with them? Can they remember it?
  7. Prioritize. Throw out any that just don’t fit and make a prioritized list of the rest.
  8. Check trademarks. Make sure no one is using that name in your line of business. You may be able to use the name in a completely different business, but be aware that it may create confusion for both you and them.
  9. Check domain names. You want to make sure that an appropriate domain name is available. You want YourCompanyName.com, of course. If that’s not available, you may want to reconsider.
  10. Search the internet. Even if someone doesn’t have the domain, you still want to see what else is out there that has the same name. That doesn’t mean you don’t use it if you find something, but you need to know.
  11. Check company names. If you’re planning to incorporate, check with the Secretary of State (or other appropriate office outside the U.S.) of the state you’re planning to incorporate in. For Virginia, that is the SCC.
  12. Stake your claim! Register your assumed name or file your incorporation papers right away. Also, start using either TM (trademark) or SM (service mark). You do NOT have to register them to use them.
  13. Get the domain(s). Find an inexpensive registrar, like GoDaddy, and register your domain and any obvious variations on it.
  14. Protect your brand. A U.S. trademark or service mark costs $325. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to trying to defend it later. It’s not really necessary, though, for a small local business.
Tips:
  1. Avoid generic names based on names, such as Joe’s Bar, Sam’s Hardware, etc. They’re not memorable and are nearly impossible to trademark.
  2. Avoid generic names that literally describe the product or service, like Computer Consulting Company, Appliance Sales and Service, Inc., etc.
  3. Generally, avoid geographical names. Besides not generally being very memorable, what happens if you decide to move or expand? The exception is if you’re trying to create a strong local affinity like, say, a neighborhood bar.
  4. Preferably, don’t restrict future product or service lines. Be broad enough to include your wildest long-term vision for the business.
  5. Try to keep the name short and easy to pronounce.