Friday 30 May 2014

How are you protecting your on-line reputation?

Our last post was all about creating a social media strategy; now you have it,  you have to protect it!

This post is all about how to protect your reputation with the advent of untempered, anytime, anywhere access that your clients have to social media -  the same social media outlets that you use.

Let’s look at some of the main guidelines for posting to protect your reputation:

Many business owners have both professional and personal pages and most know the difference between what is acceptable on a personal page but is perhaps a touch inappropriate for a business one. The problem may come when your potential client does a search for your business and your personal page comes up. This tip is post ONLY what you wouldn’t mind your Mum and Dad seeing.

It is best to be actively involved in only a few sites so that you don’t end up neglecting them. This can lead to people thinking you are no longer in business. You have to consider what you are posting and how often you are posting. Ask yourself  the following questions:

1.   Is it useful information?
2.   Are my connections interested in this topic?
3.   Am I constantly and consistently selling my product?

If these questions are not asked when you are posting on your social media accounts, it can damage your reputation because people will soon disregard you if you are spamming them through social media, or you cannot show them that you are knowledgeable in your area.

Negative comments that can have a damaging effect on your reputation only come about due to dissatisfaction. It is important to realise that no matter how wonderful and customer focused you are and how great your product is, it is likely that at some point  you have been or will be unable to resolve a complaint to the exact satisfaction of the complainant, especially if it is an unjustified one. With the very occasional bad review posted by an unhappy patron, it’s imperative that you:

1.   Do not remove it.
2.   Respond in a positive way. Thank them for bringing the issue to your attention.
3.   Do not play the blame game.
4.   Involve them in a conversation about their concerns, if it’s appropriate explain how you have changed things so the same thing doesn’t happen again.

Remember data protection law also applies to social media sites, a lapse here could not only damage your reputation, but could land you in trouble with the law.

At Blue Box  we have the expertise to help you manage your online presence within good practice guidelines.

As always, we would love to hear from you - feel free to give us a call on 084 3289 3288 or drop us an email at 

Learn more about us, the things we do and the people that we do it for at  

Until the next time.......

Sunday 18 May 2014

8 Crucial tips for developing new business

In the March issue of our newsletter, we revealed why all businesses need a business plan and a strategy for winning and keeping new customers.  The natural progression from strategy is continuous business development – this month we outline 8 crucial tips
every company should be aware of.                                                                                

1.         Business without strategy is not a business – the strategy must include an action
            plan which should be kept live and constantly revisited in light of ever-changing

2.         As in the point above strategic goals and targets from business planning must be constantly addressed, kept current and refined if necessary to align to business strategy.

3.         After your staff your most valuable asset is your business database. Past, current and future business can hold the key to new business.  Is your database efficiently set-up, to be maximised and ‘dissected’ for business development?

4.         Centralise your database, make staff accountable and emphasise the view that it is intellectual property belonging to the business. Protect against departing staff taking leads.

5.         A simple filter can be set up to profile the characteristics of your most profitable account, with the right criteria having been input – eg. SIC (sector industry code), company turnover, number of employees.  The more detail you have when profiling
customers (current or ideal) the better chance of discovering potential new ones.

6.         Maximise your sales team resource by ensuring appropriate skills to kick-start the sales process, crucially start with thorough desk research (internal or external data).  Although they will not be ‘on the road’ if correctly guided this desk research can provide effective and relevant information for setting up truly qualified sales meetings.

7.         Business development is almost wholly dependent on your communication with the outside world – review your image.  Do you stand out – is your image a trustworthy, effective, reliable one?  Constantly develop your image through your website, digital marketing, branding etc.

8.         Finally, competition in today’s world is fierce and to stay ahead of the game you must be better.   Keep abreast of your competitors and the external market place so you can be one step ahead.   

We hope that you enjoy reading our hints and tips - we would love to hear your thoughts and any suggestions for future topics (either for newsletters or for future blog posts).  You can contact us by email at or pick up the phone and give us a call on 084 3289 3288

If you want to know more about us and the work we do, then go to our website at 

See you next time

Creating a social media strategy that works for your business

Welcome to our mini series of posts on social media. Part 1 focuses on building a social media strategy, while part 2 looks at maintaining a professional reputation through your online activities.

There are, surely,  few people in the whole world that have not heard of the biggest social media sites, just in case you are ones of those people, the 3 main ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, however for creative types such as interior designers and fashion Gurus Pinterest and Instagram are considered essential. It is always worth taking the time to see if there are any industry specific networking sites. If not, you can always create a group on LinkedIn or Facebook for like-minded people.

Most people, however, do not know that there are hundreds of social media sites. The trick is to pick at most 3 or 4 of them and really do them some justice. The main reason for this is you don’t want your presence to look abandoned. Current thinking suggests you should post on Twitter at least 5 times a day in order for it to be effective. If you are managing lots of sites your presence will be spread too thin. You can use automation for publication, however that can be a trojan horse, because you must avoid duplicate content at all costs, so choose a program that still allows you to make posts that are in an appropriate format for their destination. A tweet is different to a Facebook post.

A social media presence is not just about what you post on those sites. If you write informative, interesting blog posts you can establish your authority with online networking groups and build relationships with product leaders in your chosen area. Although you wouldn’t put your 400 word blog post directly on to your social media account, you can use them to let everyone know that it’s there. This will also boost your link profile, which Google uses to apply value to your site, pushing you up the rankings.

Questions you need to answer in order to start your social media campaign:

1.   Who do you want to interact with? If the consumers of your product or service are other businesses then the networks and choice of updates will be different than those you might choose if  you are appealing to the bulk buy, cheap and cheerful market.
2.   Follow industry leaders through their blogs and social networks - offer VALID opinions. Not only should you be writing your own posts but comment, share and retweet on the posts provided by other people.
3.   Be personal -  current evidence shows that it’s not just Google that likes to know that there is a face behind the website. Wherever possible use a personal image for your profile. Speaking of profiles, ensure that your profile on each site is kept up to date.

Join us next time for a brief look at managing your reputation on social media.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about how your social media strategy can be integrated into your overall marketing strategy then do not hesitate to contact us either by phone on 084 3289 3288 or by email at we would love to hear from you

If you want to learn more about the people behind Blue Box and the things that we do, then have a browse at our website

Until the next time...........