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Nov. 4, 2014

85: Protecting Your Content and Brand Equity in Social Media

85: Protecting Your Content and Brand Equity in Social Media

As your company's social media presence grows and you begin to yield "influence" in social media, you will be faced with those who copy your content as well as attack you. Neal shares his own experience as to how he deals with these issues to help prepare you and your business for what may lie ahead for you.

Key Highlights

[01:35] Who Are Considered As Influencers?

[02:21] Content Creator Perspective

[03:37] How to Find If Other People Is Copying Your Content?

[03:57] Tools for Plagiarism

[05:32] Taking It One Step Further

[08:48] Why I Don't Upload My Content to SlideShare

[11:32] How I Found Out My Ebooks Were Copied and Uploaded to SlideShare

[12:41] Always Embed Internal Link Into Every Single Blog Post

[13:39] Strategy on Creating Extremely Shareable Content

[15:17] Why I Think Publicly Confronting Someone Is An Attack

[16:50] You Got To Have Tough Skin

[21:10] Dealin with Disagreears

[22:17] It's Okay to Block People

Notable Quotes

  • And this is really what businesses want to become more should want to become right, you want to create content that is going to engage with users, that's going to help your company be found.
  • And that's, you know, the common theme for the consumer brand, or the business brand is at the end of the day, you want to be known out there, right? You want that share of voice out there on social media.
  • But I think it's something that's more of us need to do. If we find out about it, I would not be shy, because then copying your content is a very, very brash move in this new digital world that we live in. And perhaps we need to educate more people.
  • And if you're creating a lot of content for various purposes, sometimes you might create ebooks for the purpose of opting people into your newsletter of getting them to the top of the marketing funnel, you know, creating, creating a relationship with social media. But taking it down the funnel, one step by acquiring an email address is something that most companies do.
  • And if you want to take that approach, you know, you just want to make sure that you're branding, your product names, your service names, or company names are included, you know, throughout not just the visual branding, if it's a PowerPoint, but in a blog post is mentioned throughout every single blog post, and then maybe you don't have to worry about it.
  • So you get random people out there. And you sort of have to have tough skin, when you're out there, knowing that there's gonna be people who disagree with you.
  • Now, is anybody listening to that person? Probably not. So the biggest damage that you actually get, when people like this confront your business, or you as a content creator, it's more about just an emotional or a mental damage. 
  • And this is what's going to happen, once you establish got leadership or you have a large social media following, you attract the good and the bad. 
  • But at the end of the day, we come down to having a block people block people who are attacking us sending negative thoughts our way, and what have you. And it's okay to block people. 

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Welcome to maximize your social, actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social, social media author, speaker, consultant, founder of maximize social business, and soon to launch Social Media Center of Excellence. Neal Schaffer. Carey buddy. This is Neal Schaffer, welcome to another fabulous episode of maximize your social, I am coming to you from my home office today. We're actually already in November. Time flies, doesn't it. But time flies only if you think it flies is what I always like to say. So really, hopefully, you've achieved a lot. And when you look back at what's happened in social media, and hopefully social media for your business over the last year, you'll see that you've done incredible things and hopefully have gotten to that next level that you wanted to get to. But what happens when you get to that next level, that's going to be the topic of today's podcast, as I share with you a few? Well, I suppose the personal things that have happened to me over the last week, but as in social media, the personal is also public as well. So perhaps some of you have already been in conversation with me on the various social networks about what happened. But let's think of it this way. I am both a content creator, I published my first blog post in July of 2008. As well, as someone that, you know, I don't like to say I'm an influencer, or that word has a lot of meaning to it, that I think a lot of people take for granted. But when you get a lot of followers and your posts are shared a lot in social media, you are sort of considered a quote unquote, influencer. And this is really what businesses want to become more should want to become right, you want to create content that is going to engage with users, that's going to help your company be found. And that's going to help yield thought leadership or, and that's, you know, from a b2b perspective, for consumer brands, you want to engage with your fans generate brand awareness, you know, create an army of of loyal fans who will just do anything for you. And that's, you know, the common theme for the consumer brand, or the business brand is at the end of the day, you want to be known out there, right? You want that share of voice out there on social media. So what happens though, when you get that, so let's start with the content creator perspective, you create all this great content. Hopefully, you're blogging, and this is primarily blogging, and then it's like, wow, when you do a search for your own blog post title, there are tons of other sites that show up that have literally, literally copied and pasted your content onto their blog. And this can be quite a shock for many when it happens the first time. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, the internet works on advertising revenue. And if people can somehow get above you in the search results, or get people to go to their website, because of your content, it's going to help them not only potentially generate advertising revenue, but there are people who set up microsites to try to opt people into programs or downloads or whatever thing they want to sell, and your content is serving them. In other words, your content is serving their inbound marketing strategy rather than your own. So this is something that's happened ever since day one, it will continue to happen, because there are those that have nothing to say that just want to leverage the content of others there, there are many that simply just don't know, that content is protected by, you know, inherently by copyright laws that exist internationally. So first of all, how to find out if this is happening. Well, that's, you know, pretty easy to do. Like I said, if you just do searches, you can easily find this, if there's a paragraph of copy that you are particularly proud of there is a tool called Copyscape. And yes, I do want to introduce some tools to you, that can help you in your journey. But there's a tool called Copyscape, where if you get the premium version, it's like five bucks for 500 searches, it's really cheap, but you can literally, you know, put in your entire blog post and see where also the internet exists. And it's really good if you're working with a content marketing agency, or if you have guest bloggers, and you put that in, you're gonna be able to see how much if any, they have plagiarized other contents across the web. So that's a really, really great tool. There's another great tool. I mean, there's a bunch of great tools regarding this. How do these people steal your content, a lot of times it is through RSS feeds, they literally get your RSS feed, and they completely automatically publish your content on their blog. So if you use Yoast SEO, the most popular WordPress plugin for SEO, there is a way to upend your RSS feed with information like you know, this was published on maximize social business, or what have you. There's also a service called tint and I believe it's TV NTMA bbti en ti, I'm sorry, I haven't used them in a while. But they will automatically generate when someone tries to copy and paste from your site, they will automatically generate JavaScript, which will automatically include the link from whatever they try to copy and paste from your site onto whatever you try to copy and paste it onto. And maybe you've seen this, if you've tried to just, you know, copy and paste a link from a site and it ends up having all this appendage at the end suffix of data. That's because they're probably using that or a similar tool. So those are sort of the tools, the trade that you have to find and prevent. Now I take it one step further, because many of these people that are using the content, also have a social media presence. Social media is the public. And if I have no way of contacting these people, I will bring it to social media and say, Hey, why are you copying my content? Now? Is that a mean thing to do? Well, if they have a public channel open for communication, I can leverage that channel as well. And I want them to know very clearly that as a content creator, I value my content, I spent a lot of time creating it. And just by copying it, it's not something I'm very happy about. And I will take it to social and tell everybody Hey, why did you copy my content? Now some people feel sorry for because some people literally don't know or pretend that they don't know, well considered an education. But I think it's something that's more of us need to do. If we find out about it, I would not be shy, because then copying your content is a very, very brash move in this new digital world that we live in. And perhaps we need to educate more people. Now I used to, you know, do a lot more searches on blog post house, I really don't have much more. And in all honesty, whenever I do search my own blog posts every once in a while I don't see as much of this or maybe Google has become really, really good at hiding it, which I think they have of hiding duplicate content, because they want to showcase the content creator as well. And even though Google Authorship has been or the name or the you know, the project of Google Authorship has been put into the backburner, I still believe that they are trying to, they probably have a better way now of figuring out who the content creator is by looking at your byline on your blog, what have you. So that's sort of the first issue now, it's interesting, because the content that you create is not just blog posts, you probably have videos, you probably have audios. And I suppose the same thing could happen on YouTube for your videos, if you're not careful. I really don't have that many videos in any video that I have would probably be me speaking. So if someone wants to promote that as their own, and they see me, that's okay, right? Audio, I haven't seen someone copy my podcast yet. Once again, it's a very personal thing, because it's my voice. So I don't know how they'd be able to pull it off. But hey, you never know. But I had a real shocker when I went over to SlideShare yesterday. And as part of my own sort of social media marketing and content marketing initiative, I have this top 25 for social media business quotes, a blog post, which hopefully, you've read, and I refer to a lot because it really represents a lot of these core concepts that I'd like to share to help people better understand social for business. But so I created a presentation of these 25 images that are pinned and being shared, you know, visually, which are leading more people back to the blog post, and created a PowerPoint around it, and put it up to SlideShare yesterday. Now I use SlideShare in the past, I am one who does not and this It's funny how this, whenever I start on a podcast with a, a narrow objective, it always gets broader and broader and broader as I speak. But there's just so much, you know, that I want to share with you obviously, through each and every podcast, you know that the whole notion of the PowerPoint that I created was really to promote the blog post and my ideas. Now, whenever I present on social media, I always get someone saying, um, well, this SlideShare be available for later viewing. And I always say sorry, no, I do not upload my content to SlideShare if I represented right, if I'm a business, then I want them to, you know, I would upload every single presentation because you're trying to sell products and services, my products and services, my IP. And literally uploading the SlideShare is in essence giving away IP now there are some who do it anyway. And I have respect for them. And it's something that you're going to have to decide if your IP, you know, is is your business, then you're probably going to need to think twice about it as I have. But I did in the past upload two presentations, which were subsets of presentations that I normally do to give people a taste of what my presentation is look like. One was on the wall. They were both on LinkedIn, what was in English, and one was in Japanese. So if you follow me on SlideShare, maybe you found those and I'm at slideshare.net/neal Schaffer, ne al sh FF, er, like I am on every other social platform. So you know, those did well and I even had some companies contact me from them. And then I created this infographic for the social media dot SEO community that I uploaded to SlideShare as well. And I uploaded Why would I upload an infographic The slides are? Well, when I'm writing a LinkedIn blog post, the only way to embed a infographic, or to add an image, well, I could have added an image, but I wanted to embed the infographic. Let's put it that way. And right now, the only embeds that LinkedIn blogging accepts, are YouTube videos, and SlideShare Presentations are at least at the time of my publishing. So that's sort of the route I decided to go, I got that up there that got me additional views in that SlideShare community. And then I uploaded this presentation yesterday. And when you upload a presentation, or when you view the presentation, immediately, you get these related presentations in the side. And as I went through them, I'm like, huh, I see, my eBooks are up here. Now, these are ebooks. And if you're creating a lot of content for various purposes, sometimes you might create ebooks for the purpose of opting people into your newsletter of getting them to the top of the marketing funnel, you know, creating, creating a relationship with social media. But taking it down the funnel, one step by acquiring an email address is something that most companies do. But those that content might have spent a lot of money on, is now being uploaded by others who have no did not create the content. It's just been uploaded by them for their own personal gain right for their own SlideShare channel to get views or, or for their own personal branding. And I found this yesterday for two of my eBooks. And they were both being uploaded by the same person who I, you know, commented on their SlideShare. But I also sent them a not so happy tweet, because I was really offended by the fact that they did that. Now, a lot of times when I contact people about copying a blog post, or in this case, a SlideShare, they got back to me within 24 hours, because they're also active in social, and they wanted to take care of the issue at hand, it's a shame that I have to do that, that I have to send out sort of a negative conversation. And I literally do it in public, because I want others to know that this is something that's happened. And this is something you should not do. So that's sort of my personal philosophy on it. But if you create content as a company, that content at some point is going to be copied. So you don't have to do it every day. And I already introduced you some tools. But every once in a while, you may want to go into specifically of ebooks, or presentation SlideShare, as well as going into, you know, Google and doing blog post searches. The other sort of tip I wanted to recommend, and it's not as easy to do on SlideShare, although you can embed links into presentations. But I always, always, always embed an internal link into every single blog post, we publish it maximize social business, internal link, we know it's good for SEO to let Google know what content is relevant for certain anchor keywords that are in the text for whatever link that we share. But more importantly, if it gets copied onto another internet site, if they haven't stripped the links, which I'm sure there are some savvy technology or or software applications that will do that for you. It means that there I've created a backlink. So if someone clicks on that, they're going to be able to find me as the original creator of the content, even though my name and links may have been stripped from the author byline of the blog posts. So that's another thing I highly recommend you do with every blog post you publish as a business. Now, I said all this, there may be some of you who say, You know what, we don't really care, we want our content to be shared everywhere. You know, we don't care if it goes to a competitor, because our company name is in the blog post, our company name is on the ebook, our ebook is branded. And, you know, I think there is a strategy of creating extremely shareable content where, you know, the more it gets shared, the more it gets copied, the greater benefit it is for you. And if you want to take that approach, you know, you just want to make sure that you're branding, your product names, your service names, or company names are included, you know, throughout not just the visual branding, if it's a PowerPoint, but in a blog post is mentioned throughout every single blog post, and then maybe you don't have to worry about it. But I suppose the more IP that your content has, the more you invest in, in blogs, and in SlideShares. And in your content, I would tend to believe the more sensitive you're going to become that issue. So this is 2014, your content will get copied. Think about that in advance. Think about how you want to handle it and what your strategy is going to be. That's really, you know, what I wanted to talk about in this podcast, but it goes beyond the content in terms of what happened to me over the past week. And that's just a part of what happened. Other things happened. And it's funny, I think as I get closer to 100,000 followers on Twitter, maybe I'm attracting more people. You get more eyeballs, and you get people with different opinions, right? I was sort of attacked twice this week on Twitter in the same day, which was really weird. And you know, I mentioned these top 25 Social Media for Business Schools and there was someone who said You know, your quote is wrong. And, and you know, you go to their profile, they have about 100 followers there. You know, they look like their former executives, I didn't go as far as going to their LinkedIn profiles, but you know, they have a business, what have you, but to attack someone like that I thought was really weird. And maybe some of you wouldn't think it's an attack. But, you know, I see things all over social media that I might disagree with, but to take the extra step to actually publicly confront the content creator and say that I think takes a lot of, well, guts, nerve, insert your noun, but I responded saying, hey, you know, each of us, each of us can have our own opinion, right. And I actually wished him a good day, to which he responded, you know, not only you're wrong in a tweet, but then he added another tweet saying you're dead wrong. And when people start using language like that, you know, it really starts to get me worried about who is out there in social, and don't get me wrong. 99% of my interactions with people in social media in general, are extremely positive. But these people exist. In fact, I never mentioned this publicly. But a few months ago, I actually was in a Twitter conversation and someone leapfrogged in and said, you know, all you people are ripping off small businesses. And it's actually a someone from the East Coast, who says, if you're ever near where I live, you better watch out. And I literally reported it to Twitter. And I don't know if Twitter brings it up with the law enforcement authorities. But you know, once again, these people do exist. And you know, another guy actually said, Hey, Neil, you tweet way too many links, you should be sharing more native content. And this guy was like, well, let's just say that once again, about 100 followers, but he had a link of, you know, a site that was related to content marketing. And I went to one of the Twitter tools I use, and did a little analysis and found that I share links, maybe out of 48% of my tweets, he shares them 71% of the times, I'm like, Dude, you share links way more than I do. What's up with that? Why would you confront me, and he goes, Oh, I'm just experimenting. So you get random people out there. And you sort of have to have tough skin, when you're out there, knowing that there's gonna be people who disagree with you. I know, like someone in the mortgage industry, and he has a competitor that set up a fake Twitter account that just constantly says, so and so's a liar. So and so's trying to rip you off. Now, is anybody listening to that person? Probably not. So the biggest damage that you actually get, when people like this confront your business, or you as a content creator, it's more about just an emotional or a mental damage. Now, if you're a brand, and you have people complaining about your product that are actual users, and you go to the Twitter stream, and you've tweeted with them back and forth before, and they've never complained about other products, you know, these are things that you need to take, obviously, a little bit more seriously, and you need to confront them. And you need to be in touch with them proactively. I'm talking more about, well, for those of you that are creating content out there, of having to deal with people that aren't complaining about your product and service, but about your content, if that makes sense. But wait, there's more. Right? I got this other email from someone, we follow me on Twitter. So hey, if you're not a member, that Sue's social network yet will you sign up with my link. And this is another one that's just, you know, came from left field. When you follow someone on social media, everybody has a different definition of what that means. Well, this person, you know, someone you connect on LinkedIn, they opt you into an email list, because they assume that you opted in, right when you didn't. And this person just assumed because I was following you on Twitter that I would go out of my way to sign up on a social network. And if you haven't heard of Su tsu, it is a social network that actually shares advertising revenue with its users. So obviously, this person is looking to monetize my following him on Twitter, by having me sign up to sue on his link, because then I become in two terms a child, and all the advertising revenue that I generated share with him. This is why if you've seen people try to invite others to sue, uh, you know, I have no problem saying, hey, you know, if you're not on Zoom and want to check it out, you know, feel free to sign up through my link. I have no problems doing that. I think I did that myself. Because yeah, the only way to join Sue is to sign up through someone's link, right? But to proactively go out of your way to sign someone up. And then the amazing thing is, this is someone that did not mention this on Twitter, but actually went to my website and use my contact form to send this to me, without actually going to sue and, and doing a search for me where he would have found that I'm already a member. And when I brought this up on Sue, without mentioning his name, I'm not going to mention anyone's names because I'm not doing this for a personal attack on people. I'm in this to educate and share these experiences that I've had. So hopefully you can avoid them or if you have them you have a better you're better prepared to deal with them. But this person when I posted this on Sue and said hey, you know stop doing this, you're gonna ruin the site for everybody. Because then more and more people see it as just some lmm scheme which you probably might have already seen some people blog about concerning to or post on social media about This person, you know, basically attacked me in the comments of my own posts on Sue, even though I didn't mention his name, he went out there and tracked me down, right. And this is what's going to happen, once you establish got leadership or you have a large social media following, you attract the good and the bad. And it really gets down to, you know, conversations I have with executives, which are well, you know, if we stay away from social media altogether, we can avoid everything. And, you know, there's advantages and disadvantages. When I talk to executives about social selling programs, they go well, you know, we've just optimized the profiles for all of our salespeople. So now it's easier for all of our competitors to recruit them. Same thing goes for an employee advocacy program, it's like, look, you know, social replaces nothing complements everything, there are advantages and disadvantages, to doing anything in social. But with a quarter of our online time being spent in social with half of you know, LinkedIn is 1/3 of professionals worldwide. Remember, LinkedIn, you know, it is where the public is. So it behooves me to think of this day and age, you can simply ignore it and not have a presence, when you have a presence, you want to make sure that you get a lot more advantages out of it than the potential disadvantages. And there's a lot of ways you can do that. I think for 99% of the businesses out there, they realize it for those that are still a little bit conservative, or a little bit timid, may not have. But there will be just like with any other people, if you're, you know, if you're having a conversation out there in public, there are those who will be quiet, there are those who want to engage with you, there are those who will agree with you, there are those who will disagree with you. And it's really about dealing with the disagree ears. You know, this is why you have social media for customer service to deal with these people. You know, I think, because especially on Twitter, it's a public conversation. But then again, you can do a research, a, you know, a search the history of someone's tweets, you can find out pretty soon is this person just a complainer and trying to get money out of you? Or are they a legit customer fan that's really trying to give you some feedback and some good advice. And that's really where it comes down to a lot of common sense and doing some research, the beauty about social media is we can, we can research this person, this business across multiple platforms. And if you think they're a newbie, and they have no say, and they're attacking you, you know how to deal with it. At the end of the day, unfortunately, I like to consider social media and open public conversation. But at the end of the day, we come down to having a block people block people who are attacking us sending negative thoughts our way, and what have you. And it's okay to block people. I don't like to do it that much. I like to keep the conversations open. But at some point, you can only leave it open so much with someone that is just going to waste your time. So I bring these points up this week, because I want you to understand, I want you to sort of see the world from where I see it. And as your business gets more active and social as a content creator as an influencer, you will have to face the same issues. So be prepared. Take them with a grain of salt, unless they are a true customer offering true feedback and truly need to be dealt with. But for the others, you know, be prepared. A little bit of common sense goes a long way. And you definitely want to protect your brand reputation and your brand equity. So you might not want to be as public as I am when I sort of reach out to these people. But you know, understand that there's a lot of people that need to be educated. There are negative people out there for whatever reason. And I think we as those who look to reap benefits from social media, almost have a responsibility to keep social media, a positive, educational, resourceful, and social place, I plan to continue on my mission. And part of that mission is obviously through these podcasts. I know when I posted about these two Twitter, people on my Facebook page, or my personal Facebook profile, I should say that there were many, many, many friends who came out who talked about similar experiences, but also said, Don't let them get you down, block them, forget about him. And that's sort of the best, the best advice I can offer you as well, as you get deeper and deeper into this amazing, amazingly complex, but yet amazingly positive world of social media. So that's it for today a little bit different angle that I normally talk about. But these are sort of security, privacy, these are still issues that are very important, especially when you operate in such a public space. So looking forward to some more great content next week. Until then, wherever you are in the world, make it a positively social Day. Bye Bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community the Social Media Center of Excellence at social media ce o e.com. Thanks again and make it a social day.