Executive Reputation Growth & Employee Advocacy Blog


The Birdfeeder

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Qnary Japan and SoftBank Form Partnership for Multilanguage AI FAQ Engine

Improving Interactive Communication and U.S. Market Development

Reputation Growth Service provider Qnary Japan (herein after Qnary) will partner with SoftBank Corp.(herein after SoftBank) to provide Artificial Intelligence Frequently Asked Question engine APTWARE in Japan and North America. Qnary will bolster its Qnary BirdCloud Solution Suite of Reputation Growth Services with SoftBank's APTWARE Multi-language Compatible Chat Solution.

“We are excited to have the new interactive FAQ systems available as part of Qnary’s reputation growth management service. By providing the AI based social media activation which complements the current Qnary platform,” stated Masahiro Kano, CEO of Qnary Japan.  “users will be able to respond appropriately to the various comments posted on their timelines and/or in messengers at any time, and will have the option to select the method of response. The response can be automated utilizing APTWARE’s AI technology, manual by human operators, or a combination of both. This results in decrease in operators’ and staff time, which leads to cost reduction and at the same time increases customer satisfaction. It can most certainly improve your reputation among your customers, your employees, and your partners.”

APTWARE is a natural language processing solution compatible with multiple languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. If an ambiguous question is provided by a customer, the platform will ask questions to narrow down a set of possible answers and present the best suited answer.

APTWARE is used in various business scenarios and implementation of its system has:

  1. Saved labor costs at call centers
  2. Improved usability of websites
  3. Gathered insights on the potential needs of the customers (users) from conversation logs.

Qnary will add APTWARE to its current Reputation Growth Service involving SNS such as Facebook, to further improve the quality of the content and diversify its service. Beginning in April, Qnary will start creating content utilizing APTWARE for its official Facebook account and start monitoring in Japan.

"We are honored to partner with SoftBank on the technological development and implementation of AI in our Qnary solution suite." stated Bant Breen, Founder and CEO of Qnary.

In 2018, SoftBank plans to expand APTWARE to North America, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea, while Qnary U.S. is planning to expand its service starting in North America, and proceeding to Europe, and South America. Qnary U.S. works with several of the largest companies in the world across a full-range of business verticals (banking, insurance, manufacturers, retail, food and beverage). Expansion is planned to start by introducing the service to the clients in the verticals.

SoftBank’s APTWARE

APTWARE is a multi-language (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean) compatible AI FAQ system. It is used for automatic response to inquiries from customers and internal workers and is compatible to multi-devices, and multimedia. SoftBank uses its AI concierge service in its internal portal site, and is accumulating knowhow to be shared with the market.

APTWARE enables the user to “update and add the automatic response answers” and “improve the precision of the answers.” Creating the data allows the absorption of the fluctuating keywords and key phrases. Also, by preparing data scenarios for ambiguous questions, it allows the system to ask “What will you like to know about?” and understand the intention of the questions to provide an accurate answer.

APTWARE product site

https://rizbell.jp/

Qnary Japan

Qnary U.S. was founded as a company in January 2012 with the purpose of providing service focused on Reputation Growth. Its solution is centered on empowering the voice of the professional and to enhance the reputation of Executives and brands by creating optimized social media content for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

Qnary Japan opened its office in March 2016, and in July 2016 formed an alliance including capital involvement and business partnership with News2u, a digital PR Agency.

https://www.qnary.co.jp

Contact:

Qnary Japan Inc.

info_japan@qnary.com

APTWARE

SBMGRP-rizbell_support@g.softbank.co.jp

Phone: 03-6221-9512

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Why Companies Should Have Closing Times

I spent the early part of my career working in Manhattan ad agencies where I grew accustomed to long hours. Leaving my office at 2am the night before a pitch wasn’t rare. I remember once, a new coworker asked me one Friday afternoon around 5pm as we were headed into our boss’s office for a meeting, when we would be able to go home and I just laughed. I remember she said concerned, “I have family dinners on Friday, I’m going to be really late.” As a single Manhattan lady, this was like a foreign language to me.

Fast-forward five years, I’m 9-month pregnant, still working those hours. I remember getting home one night around 8pm and asking my husband, “What time do babies normally go to sleep?” He had no idea. We called his sister who was a mother. “Around 7-ish,” she said.

“We aren’t even home by then,” I said, beginning to panic. “Wait, how are we going to do this?” By ‘this’ I didn’t exactly mean How are we going to raise our child? I meant, How are we going to see our child?

After a few months off to wean my new baby into the world, I started a new job not at an ad agency. Instead I moved to a startup—enter Qnary! Qnary was founded and led by two former coworkers of mine from a past agency. Because of these relationships, I felt confident enough to say during the offer, “I accept, BUT I have to leave every day by 5:30pm.” They said that was fine.

Two years later, I still leave every day by 5:30pm. I’m often the first one out the door. I’m unabashed by this. Part of it is because I know that if I don’t leave then, I won’t have an hour with my toddler that day, and that hour is really important to both me and my child. But it’s also in a large part because I am really confident about my output of work, which I’ve been really proud of. I credit this to having a personal office ‘closing time,’ which I believe fosters better work.

Here are a few reasons why I think this is the case, and why I would recommend considering having an office ‘closing time’ for your company.

You are more productive when there is an end time

When there is a gun to your head, you are more productive. It’s much easier to push off what you actually have to do, when there isn’t a clock ticking in your ear. When 3:30pm hits now, I realize I only have two hours left and I kick it into high gear. How many more tasks can I complete if I really focus right now? As a result, I’m pretty much always focused because I am so aware I only have a finite amount of hours.

You prioritize better and put what must be done, first

Instead of pushing off what you don’t really want to do first, you do what you must get done first. You become hyper aware of the priorities you need to accomplish that day, and working in the same time frame each day, you become better able to realistically understand how many of those priorities you can actually accomplish. You become a target deadline setting ninja.

You don’t get bitter about work and you don’t burnout

Ad agencies have a high burnout rate and I understand why. After a few years at past agencies, I would always burnout like clockwork. I never realized this until after the fact. But it’s what happens when you feel like you are being taken advantage of, which happens when you constantly feel pressure to stay at the office later than you want to. This makes for not-great work and a not great company culture.

And face it, you still work at home

For better or worse, thanks to today’s technology, you are plugged into work 24/7. You check emails at home. You don’t allow bottlenecks to happen. You answer the phone when a colleague or client calls. And it’s fine when this happens, because you know keeping things moving is really important.

Big ideas never happen inside an office

I realized recently that all of my big, good ideas come from my weekend morning runs. These are the ideas that have really helped to shape my department. I have adopted the habit of often emailing my boss bright and early on a Saturday with an idea, super sweaty on the East River running path. I have never gotten a big idea at my desk.

You are happier

You just are. We say so often how important maintaining a “work, life balance” is and it’s true. Perhaps, as how we work continues to evolve with technology, it is becoming more important that we establish a healthy “work, life integration.” When I am outside of the office, often times I am still thinking about problems and challenges happening inside the office. And I am happy to do that, because I am happy at work. I have a healthy relationship with it.

Sitting at your office desk late at night being bitter doesn’t help your company. That generally isn’t the context that produces great work. Having a group of happy employees that are prioritizing what needs to get done effectively and figuring out challenges when they are in their brightest headspace—that does produce better work, and it makes for better companies.

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The Qnary Platform: Where Are We?

When people ask me what I do, I never have a clear answer. It’s always been that way. I don’t mean my parents (or my children, for that matter). They just know I “work with computers.” So of course, they expect me to fix their computers that they’ve cocked up. Fair enough. 

techguy.png

Now, if someone gets what I do (build digital products), my favorite follow-up question is “Why would you do that?” What they mean is “Why would the market need that?” or “How did you decide to build the thing and not some other thing?” That’s a good question. So I’ll answer it right here and talk about what we do at Qnary and why we decided to build some thing and not another thing and why we think this thing is Really Important!

We at Qnary come from the worlds of ad tech and digital brand management. We know brands. We know the powerful digital platforms that brands get to use to manage their online presence. We also know that your data is out and about being sold and bought and analyzed by these brands. As much as we know and love brands, we thought “Well that aint fair. People are pretty important. People should have these tools for themselves. And they should know more about how their data and identities are being handled online. Right?" Well why would people need that? Yep. There it is! We heard that when we built tools for brands, too. Why would a brand want to be on social media? Isn’t that for people? Woah…things are really sounding meta here, eh?!

Everyone needs to understand and manage their online selves.

Put simply, four years ago we built a platform that would allow anyone to brand themselves online. Rather than help people hide online, we understood that - with just a small amount of effort - a person could easily grow and manage a digital footprint. SEO management, branding, and audience growth tools and reports were put into the platform, laying down the groundwork for the experience. This was great, but it posed a problem for the product team:  What was our core use case? We were working with a wide variety of individuals interested in managing and controlling their online identities. We needed to focus the business now.
 

Dashboarded To Death

This is what it  can feel like to a digital marketer. Big brands talked about War Rooms of monitoring and reporting dashboards run by teams of analysts to make sense of it all. We had a dashboard too. It was a straightforward one, but it was a dashboard all the same, and required a person with a marketers mind to log in to yet another tool and make sense of some (very pretty, we thought) graphs and visual displays. But do regular people want to see dashboards? We thought so…but we weren’t so sure.

The Personal Digital Footprint dashboard

The Personal Digital Footprint dashboard

Qnary Curate

As part of the Qnary arsenal, we automatically generated a unique web page for users where they could easily curate items from their social networks or whatever links they wanted to create a sort of living, curated branding page. This was also very attractive and our users who did leverage it reported great satisfaction. These curated pages also landed high in search results.

Sign up, connect, and voila!

Sign up, connect, and voila!

The Shift

As we progressed, our business started to focus more and more on professionals and executives. As younger employees who understood the particulars of curating their social media profiles came on board and as more and more subject experts and thought leaders took to Twitter and other social media, companies understood that executives needed to actively have a voice, despite the potential pitfalls that could come with it. So they needed a strategy and a plan and the tools to execute. And, of course, the execution needed to be efficient, mobile-first, and trustworthy. Anyone who has built technology solutions for busy people know this. So we had a use case. It just happened to be a very tough one. These are busy people constantly on the go.

Gratuitous cheesy stock photo appearance

Gratuitous cheesy stock photo appearance

The Platform Today

Today we have a mobile-first platform that gets relevant content to our clients in real-time either created by real people or by suggestions based on conversations and news relevant to the unique individual’s expertise and topics of interest. Individuals receive vetted content to post via mobile, a feed of hyper-relevant news and conversations, and insights based on their social media engagement and new mentions of them across the internet. While they are tethered to content managers and creators, they are also empowered to engage on their own. Personal PR-in-the-pocket. Tinder for content.

 

Not necessarily a marketing solution

What we have found in the marketplace is that many folks initially think of our solution as a marketing solution (and it can be). While some features tend to stack up against Employee Advocacy tools, we are not interested in employees amplifying messages from the marketing team looking for earned media. We are interested in carefully and effectively empowering the individual voices that make up an organization. What we hear again and again from clients who have used marketing solutions for content sharing is that “We can’t get our employees to use it” and “We have a problem with good content.” Employees feel like it’s a chore. They don’t feel like content is for them and their personal professional growth.

 

We’ve come full circle. 

Years of working with brands in “traditional” digital advertising and then in social media made me a bit of a cynic. At some point the question we heard nearly a decade ago - why should our brand be on social media? - is relevant again today, though in a different light. Of course they should be on social media. But social media is still first and foremost “social”. People want to hear from authentic voices and real people. Business partners and clients want to  know who they are doing business with. Professionals know that growing their personal brands fuels the growth of their business and their careers. They are comfortable knowing that they have a strategy and are actively engaged in something they didn’t have time for, didn’t know how to do, or weren’t allowed to do because of potential risks. involved. 

Qnary started with a vision and while the product has done some maneuvering, we’ve kept to that vision. Today thousands of unique pieces of content hundreds of alerts, and thousands of targeted news and conversations are delivered to our mobile app for professionals who are serious about becoming more engaged with their colleagues and employees and more empowered to grow their professional footprint.  

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Don't Buy Influence, Build Influence

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Don't Buy Influence, Build Influence

Influencer marketing, it's been around forever but has been rebranded from the way less hip celebrity endorsement. Basically, you pay people cooler than you to tell their legions of loyal followers how awesome your product/company/service is. Since their followers hang on their every word they will all run right out and buy your shit. Of course, nobody cares what a kid making cat memes thinks about insurance (or anything besides how to make awesome cat memes). Consumers and clients making purchase decisions would rather hear from experts about the product/company/service they are considering purchasing. Why throw gobs of money at someone who doesn't have any expertise about your product/company/service instead of arming your people with the tools to build their influence?

Influence is earned and can be fleeting

The idea behind influencer marketing makes sense. You are partnering with someone who has built an audience who likes them, trusts them, and looks forward to seeing their stuff. But if that stuff is not relevant to your product/company/service, all of that influencer means nothing. Also, influencer marketing campaigns can go very wrong.

and another

Now these are sort of extreme examples of poorly implemented influencer campaigns where the influencer was just cashing a check. Even though the products they were influencing were somewhat relevant the campaigns were failures because it was obvious they were paid for their endorsement and they didn't care enough to be thoughtful about what they were doing. Not only does the influencer lose trust and authority but the brands who paid them see no return and lose brand equity and trust, too.

Your Best Influencers are in your company

Instead of paying outsiders who really know nothing about your product/company/service why not help your leaders and employees build their influence? They have knowledge and expertise that interest others outside of your company and they can provide ongoing results not attainable through a one time marketing campaign of dubious value. Give them the tools to build an audience and share their domain expertise with the world (especially your customers). Allow them to talk about things they are expert in (and not just schill for your company) and connect with their audience authentically. It highlights the awesome and super smart people you have working for you. When they do share promotional content they can have a much more profound impact and actually drive real business results. It keeps them happy and drives positive ROI (without a huge payout to an Internet celebrity who doesn't have any clue about your product/company/service).

So instead of spending time and money on your next influencer campaign, start building influencers from within. It will have a profound impact on your business for a long time, keep your leaders & employees engaged, and save you a lot of money.

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Power to the People

Photo Credit: http://solidarityhalifax.ca/campaigns/power/

Photo Credit: http://solidarityhalifax.ca/campaigns/power/

When we started Qnary 5 years ago, we began with a simple premise: people are important. Whether a sole proprietor, a small medical practice, a senior executive at a huge organization or just a dude, people are the power behind social media. Businesses and brands may be the lens through which the industry views social media, but it's human connection that holds everything together. Hence, our goal was and still is to give the people the tools to navigate and thrive in this seemingly complex and ever-changing environment. We set out to give the power back to the people and it's been amazing to see it take shape and become reality.

Humans Crave Personal Connections

People have an innate need to connect with other people. It's a core part of what makes us human- we are social creatures. We want to hear what others are thinking and share our thoughts to create meaningful bonds. This human connection is the essence of social media. It's why brands are so keen on participating in the medium. In the end, we all know that brands are there for one thing, and it's not to make meaningful connections...it's all about the 💰💰💰💰💰. Sure, some brands are really doing it right with social media and creating meaningful interactions with their consumers, often serving as an amalgam of customer service, HR, and PR. But in general, brands are on social media for business. While there is nothing wrong with that, the value gained through social media becomes harder to achieve as more people are waking up to this fact that their feed is inundated with commercial content. That's why Facebook's algorithms continue to evolve to lessen the visibility of brand content to ensure we are connecting with real people. Brands have a place but people want to connect with people.

Qnary Returns the Power to the People

Our premise has evolved but has not changed. We still believe that people are what matters in social media and your people are how others view your brand. Building a successful social media effort should not be solely focused on the brand strategy. Your leaders, executives, and employees should be a core part of any social efforts. Your partners, customers, and employees want to hear from your people. When your people share their expertise and unique experiences it humanizes your company and creates more meaningful connections with the audience you are trying to reach. Establishing thought-leadership not only improves the status of the people within your organization, it also highlights your company as a place made up of really smart people. Smart companies are waking up to this new (old) reality and it will improve their business and make social media a more interesting and better place.

 

 

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Top Social Media Moments of the 2016 US Presidential Campaign

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Top Social Media Moments of the 2016 US Presidential Campaign

By David Arthur
This piece was originally going to be titled “Top 10 Social Media Mistakes from the 2016 US Presidential Campaign”, however I felt that such a title would be disingenuous, and I am no swindler. Social media was center stage during this election and everyday it felt like there was another incredible social media blunder. So in honor of Inauguration Day, here are my top 10 Social Media Mistakes—and Moments—from 2016 US Presidential Campaign

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Forget About Brands on Twitter, Follow Their Executives

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Forget About Brands on Twitter, Follow Their Executives

By David Arthur

In today’s world, brands have to be on Twitter. It makes sense. It’s a good place to share new products and deals, manage your corporate image, and connect with consumers. But let’s be real for a minute, most people are rarely going to follow all of their favorite brands on Twitter… they’re more likely to not follow any brands on Twitter.

Take me, an urban based consumer who falls into the generational demographic that starts with an “M” and ends with “illennial”, for example. Now, I like a freshly scented apartment as much as the next guy, but give me a brisk smack to the head if you ever see me following @Febreze_Fresh (sorry Febreze, I truly love your “Meadows & Rain” scented candle and, oh baby, don’t even get me started on those Fresh Cut Pine MELTS). I find very little value in following them on Twitter and am sure as hell not going to ruin my follower:following ratio to see tweets like:

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Brand U Events Gets Even Better with Qnary

Innovative Talent Accelerator Event Series Expands via Joint-Venture Between High Potential Ventures LLC and Qnary Holdings Inc.

Innovative Talent Accelerator Event Series Expands via Joint-Venture Between High Potential Ventures LLC and Qnary Holdings Inc.

The pioneering talent accelerator event series BRAND U Events, which provides leadership training for high-potential mid-level brand marketers at Fortune 500 companies and agencies, today announced it will accelerate its growth in 2016 via a joint-venture between its parent company High Potential Ventures LLC and leading executive reputation growth company Qnary.  The first event of 2016 is scheduled for February 24 and 25 in New York City.

New research released by Deloitte reveals that two-thirds of millennials plan to leave their current organization by 2020 due to insufficient opportunities to develop their leadership skills, highlighting the need for organizations to proactively grow talent through intrapreneurship.  High Potential Ventures’ founder, Karen Salama launched Brand U Events in October 2014 to address this challenge by delivering leadership training for high-potential brand marketers to Fortune 500 companies and agencies.

Businesses Must Invest in Their Talent

Talent is one of our most valuable assets in today's competitive landscape. If we, as organizations, don't take the time to invest in their future, support their growth and challenge them to think bigger, they will leave and with that, our organizations will lose.” says Karen Salama, Founder and CEO of BRAND U Events.

By combining BRAND U Events unique curriculum with the technology and infrastructure of Qnary, this new joint venture will increase the number of annual events, expand the geographic footprint, and offer in-house custom events to companies seeking innovation for their learning and development programs.

Bant Breen, Founder and CEO of Qnary,  adds, “We were a proud sponsor of BRAND U Events in 2014-2015 and it feels like a positive natural extension to expand the relationship in 2016 as we assist executives to move their careers to the next level.”

 

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Yearly Review: Top 5 Social Media Fails of 2015

By Nasr Kamar - Editorial

Everyone has done something they regret in 2015. Whether it’s saying something embarrassing like Hillary Clinton’s quick freudian slip, or doing something extreme like when the mayor of Glendale, Arizona agreed to be tased by a disgruntled constituent. The true beauty of human error came to a head with the advent of Social Media. Unfortunately for those with many followers, a brief mental lapse is never forgotten, because what happens on Twitter...stays on Google forever.


5. Don’t Believe Everything You Read

    One of the great things about social media is the ability anyone has to discuss topics and gain follows in advocating for changes that need to be made when problems arise. However, as with Jack Warner’s case, you can find someone doing it wrong.

This Ex-FIFA VP took to Youtube to post a video in which he rants about the bidding war for the FIFA World Cup. This is completely normal. But here’s the catch—Mr. Warner was complaining about how after the United States lost the 2022 bid to Qatar, FIFA awarded them the 2015 competition. How could this be? The U.S. isn't hosting the World Cup—there isn’t even a World Cup competition in 2015. Ah, yes because it isn't true! The Ex-VP read this in an article from a satirical news source, The Onion. Remember: don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Especially when it's from the most popular purveyor of faux news.

4. He’s Making A Tweet. He’s Checking It Twice

    Companies can post a single piece of content on multiple platforms to gain interest and interaction with brands and products. In this case, Blackberry’s official Twitter account released a tweet promoting its Twitter app on Blackberry devices.

An understated feature of this app is a little receipt on the end of each tweet which notifies viewers what type of mobile device the tweet was sent from. Blackberry’s Social media team seemed to be completely unaware of this. When they fired off the tweet announcing the app on the new devices, it was accompanied by the brief statement “via Twitter for iPhone”. I guess the company makes phones that not even their own staff would want to use.

3. Candidate for Minnesota Legislature Tweets Empathy For ISIS

    Minnesota House of Representatives hopeful, Dan Kimmel, tweeted that ISIS was not necessarily evil and members were just doing what they thought was best for their community. While his remarks were not intended to be in support of the terrorist group, they didn’t sit well with his constituents. He promptly withdrew from the race after the post.

2. Florida Woman Gets Herself Arrested By Broadcasting Herself Driving Drunk

    A 23-year old from Lakeland used social media app Periscope to livestream herself while intoxicated behind the wheel. Viewers called police, who arrested her after she failed a sobriety test. This girl really shot herself in the foot.

1. Coca-Cola duped to referencing Mein Kampf

    In efforts to make social media and the Internet a better place, Coca-Cola sought to decrease the amount of negativity by populating the digital cosmos with positivity. Thus, they created the #MakeitHappy campaign where a happy image created with ASCII Art characters would be tweeted to any negative posts with the hashtag. A Gawker Editorial Labs Director helped build the bot for the automated tweet system-but there was some ill will to his help with the project.

    The director, Adam Pash, designed the automated tweeter to create these images with lines of characters. However, the characters were arranged to form quotes from Hitler’s Autobiography, “Mein Kampf”. Coke immediately removed all tweets created.

There’s never a shortage of social media fails. Maybe next year, people will adopt our Holiday inspired motto in The Nest: "He's making a tweet. He's checking it twice."

 

 

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Meerkat: Top Video-Sharing App of SXSW

If you’ve been in Austin for the last week, you’ve heard of Meerkat, the app sensation of SXSW 2015.

Known as the live-streaming video app, Meerkat enables users to broadcast live videos from their smartphones to their Twitter accounts.

Twitter users can upload a Meerkat video link to allow their followers to watch and comment on the videos in realtime as well. The real-time video content gives users a more personal, interactive experience.

Three days after it launched, 20% of users were watching more than two hours of video a day. In just a few weeks, the app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Businesses are able to use Meerkat for on-the-go marketing by generating real-time content. In addition to creating great quality content, Meerkat also helps with distribution through its connection to Twitter.

Sarah Montante, Senior brand manager at Unilever USA, told Inc.com, "Content is truly the future of marketing because that's what captures people's attention and hearts. And that's what makes this space so exciting right now."

However, some are cautious. Many who have started using the app agree that it can generate good real-time content, but wonder about what happens after real-time. Others are concerned that with multiple video apps, there just might not be enough in room for the app in the crowded space.

What’s clear is that creating compelling, high-quality content will continue to be an issue in the future, and it is going to be fascinating to see what is going to happen next. 

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Students: Four Reasons Why Your Social Media Matters Now

College students are probably the most in tune and active with social media and popular culture. Engrained into their everyday life, social media has become an ordinary tool for younger generations. Ironically, this population tends to misuse the Internet the most. Your personal brand is most recognizable by your digital identity. Invest in your future by building your brand now -- one carefully crafted tweet at a time. Establish a social media strategy – a strategy that will in turn, propel your career. Here are four reasons why your social media matters now:

  • Online Networking Opportunities are Endless

Social media networks are unique from traditional networks. Offline networks are contextual – bound by time, space, and location, whereas online networks are limitless and constantly evolving. If you miss an offline networking event, chances are, you missed an opportunity. Miss a late night post on social media? No problem. You can revisit and engage at your best convenience.

  • Social Media is the New Resume.

Students – If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile already, it’s already too late. The truth of the matter is that resumes are losing their value as LinkedIn is gaining more ground. If you are not paying attention to the details, then potential employers might not be paying much attention to you. That being said, you need to maintain some sense of personality on your social channels. Too polished? Social recruiters will notice that and question your authenticity. It’s all about balance. Maintain your professionalism, but throw in some personality. If Jimmy Fallon is tweeting about #TheDress, so should you.

  • “What Happens on Twitter, Stays on Twitter” – is a Myth.

This statement used to be relatively true. Given enough time, tweets would shift down Twitter timelines, losing their relevance and search-ability. Complaining about your professor online, tweeting derogatory language, or posting pictures at 3AM from a frat party is not going to resonate well with potential employees. The Twitter-Google Partnership just made your tweets that much more visible in search results. A useful exercise to implement: imagine that each of your tweets automatically gets sent to the President of your college. Thinking about changing your twitter strategy now?

  • Your Voice Matters -- Share it!

Social networks have given ordinary people the power and necessary means to shape the way knowledge, opinions and ideas circulate. Embrace your innovations, share your insights and become an influencer. The earlier you adopt this mindset the better. Before you know it, you’ll be a thought leader.

The Bottom Line: Establish a social media strategy, share your voice and most importantly…don’t forgot about your personality.

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How To Achieve Authentic Employee Advocacy

Need a new marketing strategy? Your best bet is just a cubicle away. Step away from the traditional branding mentality and turn to your team for the simplest solution: employee advocacy.  

Content shared by employees is seen as a trustworthy recommendation compared to corporate messaging. Employees, after all, are ordinary people who possess personal networks. When you look at it this way, it seems silly not to utilize these connections.

Why not use the voices of the individuals who care deeply about your company? Try these three tips to inspire your team to become top brand ambassadors.

Empower Them

How will your employees benefit from engaging with your brand on social platforms? It’s not just about drilling into your employees that they reflect your brand, it’s also about giving employees a reason to engage in the larger business community. To foster social advocates, help them connect to the broader objectives of the company.

Promote Personal Branding

Convince your team how powerful it is to have a strong social media presence at the individual level. How do they benefit from cultivating a personal brand? They could become thought leaders and influencers in the digital world. They may be able to earn free registration at conferences or guest speaking engagements to further their personal brands.

Make it Competitive

Employee advocacy is not attainable unless people are willing to contribute. No one can resist a competition — try offering employees unique incentives that build your company culture. This strategy is a bit more time-consuming, but the benefits are two-fold: employees are happy, companies are happy.

At the end of the day, it’s all about giving staff a reason to get involved. How does employee advocacy play out in your company? Reach out to us on Twitter @Qnary with your feedback.

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Qnary Birds: Out of the Nest And Into Digital Discussions

A bird needs to leave the nest every so often. In our case, some of the Qnary team will be straying from the nest to attend invigorating events and stimulating speaking engagements. Here, we will outline the events we are looking forward to in the coming month.

Social Media Week: Hosted by NYUSocial Media Week (SMW) is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations, and insights. Exploring how social media and technology have collided, SMW focuses on how these interconnected worlds are altering business, relationships, and culture at the personal, local, and global levels.

The global theme of 2015 is Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of the Connected Class, and it looks at the consequences of a connected world, aiming to re-imagine the way people engage, work, and create. This poses a dynamic question: How can increased connectivity, help humans benefit?

Qnary’s founder and CEO Bant Breen will be joining the discussion at New York University’s adaption of Social Media Week on February 19th. Breen will share his top strategies and predictions of what’s trending and what’s to come in social media.

Brand U Events Building upon the success of the inaugural BRAND U Summit held this past fall, the company will launch its second event, BRAND U Silicon Valley on February 26th-27th at the LinkedIn Headquarters.

Breen will join the stellar roster of speakers at the next BRAND U Event. At this stimulating conference, major influencers will gather to help rising corporate leaders advance their careers by discussing the ins and outs of cultivating both professional and personal brands.

BRAND U provides attendees: - Tools, information, and guidance from experts that can be implemented immediately to accelerate careers - Coaching and training that includes internal communications and career mapping - Online reputation audits and profile development guidance - Access to start-ups with products to solve challenges

A throwback to the first BRAND U event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmFu_8kxTyU&feature=youtu.be

What rising stars in your organization would be a good fit to attend BRAND U Silicon Valley? Reach out to us!

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Yes Virginia, SEO Still Matters

So here we go again, the SEO is dead and doesn't matter anymore conversation is heating back up. I know I shouldn't get caught up in the bullshit but I could not help myself. This conversation has been happening since the beginning of time, but for some reason it blows up every so often (usually around a major algorithm update). Search engines are constantly evolving and the rise of mobile has lead to changes in the way users discover content. In addition, off the shelf content management systems have improved from an SEO perspective. The fact is these changes make SEO more important. As long as people are trying to find things online, SEO is necessary to ensure that those searchers find you or your content, trumping your competitors. Let's look at two of the more recent anti-SEO arguments that have arisen.

Algorithms are becoming more complex

 

This is certainly true. Search engines are constantly evolving to improve discovery, limit spam/manipulation, and serve searchers across different devices and need states. Searches on a mobile device might mean I am looking for something within my proximity while the same search on desktop may be deemed more informational. I still get some local results on the desktop search but they are below the informational and news related results. Mobile searches are just the opposite with the local/map results at the top and the informational and news-related results below.

 

All the SEO you need is built into off-the-shelf CMS

Another argument against SEO is that new content management systems like Wordpress do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to SEO. While, many off-the-shelf content management systems have improved their SEO functionality there are still many potential issues that can inhibit SEO performance. One big one that I am seeing more and more with Wordpress is the growth of Parallax websites built on the Wordpress platform.

 

Parallax sites are designed to deliver a seamless and mobile-friendly experience, which they do. The problem is that many of them eschew a proper folder structure, which brings all of the content under one URL. Bringing all of the content into one URL limits your ability to target specific topics and keywords important for each page, limiting your ability to rank for all of the keywords that are important to your site. It also increases page weight, which lengthens page load time. Most developers, wouldn't give this a second thought. An experienced SEO expert would identify these types of issues and provide a solution while maintaining the seamless user experience.

 

Additionally, since more content management systems have a decent SEO framework it becomes more important to have an experienced SEO expert further optimize to differentiate your site from your competitors. If everyone starts at the same place those with more refined SEO are going to have a better chance of winning. After all, there is still an order to the search results and those on top will undoubtably win. Those that assume that their CMS will take care of it will wallow in their tears while their more savvy competitors celebrate.

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Revenge Porn and The Streisand Effect

By now most Internet denizens are aware of Revenge Porn sleaze Craig Brittain and the horrible website extortion racket caused by Isanybodydown.com. If you are saying to yourself who the hell is Craig Brittain and WTF is Isanybodydown.com, you can find out more here andhere. Essentially, he allowed anyone to anonymously upload nude photos along with information about the person on the photos (like full name, phone number, address, Facebook screenshots, etc.). Most of the people whose photos were uploaded were unaware and did not give permission for the photos to be displayed publicly (and certainly not with their personal information attached to them). There are also allegations that Craig tricked women (and men apparently) into sending him nudes and then posting them without their permission. The victims were able to get the pictures taken down for a fee of course, usually between $200-$300. In January of this year he settled charges brought by the FTC for violating the federal law.

WHAT DOES BARBRA STREISAND HAVE TO DO WITH THIS?

No, nobody shared nude photos of Yentl on Isanybodydown.com (well, maybe she had nudes there but that's not the point). So, if you are looking for Barbra Streisand nudes you will have to go somewhere else. Now, let's get back on track. So after Craig settled his FTC charges he decided it would be smart to send a DMCA Takedown request to Google. He isn't happy that there are a lot of articles discussing this story, and he wants Google to remove them from their index. Obviously Google is ignoring this request but his request has initiated the Streisand Effect, which is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. You see, by filing these irony laden requests Craig has garnered more attention and compelled even more articles to be written about this saga. The Internet, yours included, has obliged and there are countless articles about his latest attempt to ruin his own reputation.

BUT WHY?

I am not entirely sure , but I can't imagine that he is dense enough to not see the irony in what he is doing. And he can't really expect Google to honor his requests. The only thing that might make sense is that he is attempting to defend his behavior painting Google as the hypocrite. In essence, since Google won't simply remove the results he doesn't like, he should not have to remove the content he is allowing on his site. It would be absurd if true, but based on his past behavior I wouldn't put it past him. Google not removing legitimate news articles is nowhere near the same as him posting stolen photos along with personal information and then extorting the victims. Time will tell what his real motivation is but until then we can only hope he excuses himself from the Internet for a long, long time.

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