Saturday, October 14, 2017

Yoko Ono Forces “John Lemon” Soft Drink to Change Name

She alleges that a Polish beverage company infringed on the late John Lennon’s trademark

Yoko Ono has threatened legal action against a Polish drink company over a beverage called “John Lemon,” the Guardianreports. Ono alleged that the company’s name infringed upon the trademark and personal rights of her late husband, John Lennon. The company has now agreed to change the drink’s name to “On Lemon.” While the drink company originally denied the allegations, Ono’s lawyers pointed out an instance when they had used his likeness in a wall mural along with the company’s logo. Other advertisements have depicted Lennon’s signature round glasses and the phrase “Let It Be.” Ono’s lawyers warned the company that they faced costs in the range of €5,000 a day and €500 for every bottle sold. It must sell up the last of its John Lemon drinks by the end of October.

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3 Simple Steps to Automate Your Content Marketing

As a business owner who has to perform multiple tasks in a day -- sometimes simultaneously -- you likely appreciate the benefits of working with systems. Having systems in your business takes away some of the strain and helps you focus your energy on things that really need it.

The same goes for content marketing. But even if you enjoy this task, you're a busy person who probably doesn't want to have to spend any more time than necessary creating and sharing content. 
If only there was a way to reduce the time you spend on these repetitive tasks to help you focus on other important tasks. Turns out there is: content marketing automation tools. Here is a three-step approach to systematizing and automating aspects of your content marketing strategy to put more time back into your hands.

1. Content curation

One of the best ways to build your brand’s online presence and grow your audience is by finding useful content and sharing it. In fact, one content-sharing rule suggests that five of every 10 social media updates you make should be content from others that is relevant to your audience.
That means curating great content. By automating this process, you get the advantages of not having to go out and find the content yourself, plus saving yourself time and providing your audience with relevant information on a regular basis.
That’s why a tool like is a must-have. With a Pinterest-esque interface, this tool is designed to give you a familiar user experience. To start, pick a topic and will generate relevant content complete with sharing buttons. You’ll also be able to view complementary topics and other relevant users you can follow on the site.
Once you register, you'll receive daily updates of topics you follow, giving you a stream of relevant articles that you can share with your audience. has a freemium option, so you can try it with limited features before committing to it. Alternatives to include: Feedly, Storify, Swayy and Sniply.

2. Social sharing

Scheduling is one of the most important aspects of social media management. This allows you to share updates with your audience at the time that's best for them -- whether you yourself are online or not -- and save yourself time in the process.
Buffer does a great job in that respect. It was originally designed for Twitter but now you can also use Buffer for Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. This integration with social channels gives you easy and automated sharing of social media posts -- including blog posts. To share, all you have to do is choose a time zone, then set the schedule.
The tool also allows you to add posts to a queue so you don’t have to keep scheduling. However, it’s advisable to not over-schedule: Scheduling too much and too far in advance could lead to untimely sharing. For instance, content that made sense a fortnight ago could be irrelevant by the time it goes out.
In terms of app-integration, Buffer has Android and iOS apps that you can download to use it from your smartphone. There are also Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Safari extensions available to use it on PCs too.
Buffer has a freemium plan with certain limits so you can start sharing and see how it suits you. Alternatives to Buffer include Hootsuite, SocialPilot and SocialOomph.

3. Monitoring

As you share your content across various channels, you’ll find it hard to keep up with the audience’s reaction. So you’ll need a tool that notifies you whenever your brand is mentioned.
A tool that allows you to do this automatically is Mention. Mention allows you to see all the mentions your name or brand gets across social platforms, websites and blogs from a single dashboard. It also allows you to reply to messages and engage with the audience straight from the dashboard.
To keep you abreast of all the mentions of you or your brand, Mention will send you an email update whenever the mentions occur. This helps you to respond to audience comments on time, boosting your engagement. With this, you can quickly address any questions or concerns about your brand from the audience.
In addition to tracking your brand, you can use it to monitor your competition by setting up relevant keywords: owner's name, brand name, specific pieces of content, etc.
Mention also allows you to assign particular tasks to team members. Make sure that you don’t have just one person responding to comments but the most relevant people in your team engaging with the audience.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

How To Start a Social Network and Promote Your Brand.

You probably know that Geico Insurance Company has a mascot – the Geico gecko.
He has his own Facebook page and Twitter account. And he posts every day, sometimes several times a day. Followers check in regularly to see what he has to say and to read stories about his adventures. This little critter, in fact, has almost 500,000 followers.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could create your own social network that is as large as his?
But Geico is a big company with the resources to maximize social networking to promote its brand. You may not be in that same position, but the influence of social media and communities on purchasing is huge. You need to get in on this if you want to promote your brand successfully.
Here are just a few stats that should provide an incentive:
  • 40 percent of social media users have purchased an item after sharing it with others
  • 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on referrals via social media
  • 78 percent of consumers say that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases
It makes sense, then, that you should take every step you can to create your own social network to promote your brand. Here as some easy steps you can take right now.

Build a Brand On a Few Social Media Platforms

You have probably already done this and are posting regularly, following the 80-20 rule. Perhaps you’re following is growing, and that’s a good thing. You have done the research and know where your target audience hangs out, and maybe have even placed some ads. But beyond this, you will want to “jump-start” a larger following that goes beyond just your presence.
Your next step is to investigate existing communities related to your brand. Join them and jot down the observations.
The most popular social media communities typically share the next characteristics:
Appealing to the User’s Needs/Wants
Specifically, great communities are typically designed to anticipate what’s members want to get out of participation – new knowledge/skills; get entertained; make new personal/business connections etc. The functionality and content should be build to match those needs.
Offer Tools for Self-Expression
Lenses, filters, stickers – these small things build up the engagement. According to Adweek, Instagram boasts the highest engagement numbers as it encourages every user to be creative with photography.
Use Push Notifications
The average engagement rates for users who enable push notifications soars to 88 percent. These quick updates help you retain users and encourage them to access your network more frequently. The best part – push notifications can be enabled for web browsers too.

Create a Social Network Website of Your Own

As your following grows, consider creating your own social network website. You can drive followers and group members to it by providing great content and discussion forums on your website, as well as incentives for them to “join.”
From the tech perspective, you will need to decide between either of the two options:
Hire Developers to Build a Social Network From Scratch
According to TheNextWeb estimates, a Facebook-clone will cost you around $500,000. A simpler community built using CakePHP or Django framework can cost you between $50,000-$80,000 to develop though.
Use a Ready-To-Go Solution
Arguably the most popular choice is Ning – a drag & drop community builder, offering sleek community designs and a your average social media network features including user profiles, content creation tools and like/share functionality. However, you may still need to hire developers for advanced customization.

Your Content Will Determine Your Success

You have heard this before, but every piece of content you produce has to support your “brand personality.” What is the personality you want to project? Geico uses humor, and it works. You will need to identify the personality you want to portray and stay consistent with it. This does not mean, though that you will not use variety of content that will educate, inspire, and entertain. Just make sure that all of it supports your brand image and will be well-received by your target market.
  • Using visual content whenever possible – it is preferable to walls of text. Content with images gets 94 percent more views.
  • Establish relationships with influencers and conduct interviews. These make great podcasts.
  • Use your current customers and followers as brand ambassadors. Offer incentives for them to share your website and content with their communities
So, these four actionable steps. They begin with establishing your presence on major social media platforms where your market hangs out; the move into joining groups then forming your own. From there establishing your own social networking website can make you the “go to” brand for information, for benefits, for discussions, and for great entertainment or inspiration. Finally, get others to promote you – influencers and brand ambassadors. All of this takes time, but “steady wins the race.”
Remember, too – social media is the great equalizer in terms of marketing. You may not have the financial resources that the big boys have, but you have the great universe of social media for free.