How to Ace a Brand Management Interview

Brand managers are responsible for planning strategies for marketing a business’s brand. This is a demanding position that directly impacts a company’s bottom line. A company wants to be sure that the brand manager they hire is going to produce results and prove to be a worthwhile investment. For this reason, an interview for this type of positions is likely to be quite rigorous. If you want to get hired as a brand manager, you have to make sure you’re well prepared for the interview.

Do Your Research About the Company

Each company requires its own unique branding strategy. You can’t expect to ace an interview if you show up with a generic idea about how to market brands. It’s essential that you come prepared with detailed research about the company that’s interviewing you. This can be a grueling task if you have multiple interviews scheduled. Still, it’s important that you display a real familiarity with the particular company’s style and challenges.

You should familiarize yourself with the company’s basic financials. This will give you an idea of its marketing budget, which in turn gives you clues about what kind of strategies you might employ as a brand manager. For example, if you’re interviewing with a medium-sized company with a modest budget, you wouldn’t suggest advertising at the next Super Bowl. You also should understand the demographics of the company’s customers. Find out the age, gender, income, location and other characteristics of their target market.

Know the Competition

Just as you should be familiar with the company that’s interviewing you, it’s important to know a little about the competition. Even if the interviewer doesn’t specifically refer to competitors, you’ll impressive him or her if you display some knowledge in this area. Try to come up with at least one idea on how you would help the company differentiate itself from a competitor.

Explain How You Would Help the Brand Grow

Assuming you’ve done your research, you should be able to make some suggestions about how to improve the company’s brand management. In this area, you have to take into consideration the overall personality and style of the owner or CEO. While you might suggest certain modifications as a brand manager, you don’t want to come across as arrogant and recommend a total overhaul of their current brand management approach.

It’s best to take a moderate approach and look for innovative suggestions that are still within the general parameters of what they’re already doing. For example, if the company is already very active on social media, look at which platforms it favors. You might then come to the interview prepared with some ways to improve the Facebook page or LinkedIn profile.

Provide Examples of Past Results You’ve Achieved

As with any type of interview, it’s likely that you’ll be asked to discuss what you’ve accomplished in past positions. It’s ideal if you can give examples where you helped a company increase its visibility, reputation or profits. It’s important to list specific strategies that you implemented to achieve these results. Always emphasize the areas where you were able to achieve quantifiable improvements, whether in terms of profits, social media followers, customer retention, website traffic or whatever your area of focus.

Talk About Brands and Campaigns That You Admire

One likely question that you’ll be asked at the interview is to name some high-profile brands that you admire and possibly some specific campaigns that especially impressed you. You want to be able to explain in detail what you like about these brands or campaigns. This type of question gives the company some insights into your personal style of brand management.

A variation on this question is to ask you what your dream brand management job might be and why. It’s fine to mention a high-profile brand but you also have to be careful about explaining why this would be your choice. If you say that it would be nice to have a virtually unlimited budget and get to travel around the world, a smaller brand might conclude that your goals are too grandiose. At the same time, don’t be too enthusiastic in your admiration for other companies. Remember that your goal is to get a position at the company for which you’re interviewing.

Establish Your Credibility as a Problem Solver

Interviewers love to pose questions that test your problem-solving skills. They might ask for an example of how you helped another business overcome a difficult period. Or they might pose a hypothetical situation where you have to solve a branding or reputation problem. This is a good chance to illustrate your ability to diagnose a problem and come up with a solution. This is also a test of your adaptability, which sometimes entails abandoning a strategy that’s not working and trying something new.

Additional Tips to Ace Your Interview

  • Keep in mind that your main focus is convincing the interviewer that you have what it takes to strengthen their brand. No matter what questions you are asked, remember to relate everything back to the contribution you intend to make with this company.
  • To ensure you’re well prepared, rehearse giving answers to likely questions. If possible, recruit a friend to act out the part of the interviewer. This will help you increase your confidence and refine your responses.
  • One caveat to keep in mind when discussing strategies that could help the brand is that you don’t want to be too specific. Otherwise you risk providing so much value in the interview that they don’t have to hire you! If you happen to get an especially brilliant insight about a possible campaign, you might want to drop a few enticing hints and hold back a little.
  • Find companies for which you’re a good match. Don’t try to remake your whole personality to get a job where you won’t really fit in. You’re better off focusing on companies where your experience and personality are truly a good match.

Twitter Marketing Tips for 2017

Twitter turns 11 years old today. It’s gone through some incredible periods of growth, followed by a leveling off. Despite some claims that it’s “dying,” however, it remains one of the top social media sites in the world. According to Statista, Twitter had 319 million active users at the end of 2016. If these are numbers for a failing company, most businesses would welcome this type of failure.

Even more significant than raw numbers is the incredible amount of press that Twitter gets. During the recent presidential campaign, Donald Trump made some of his most newsworthy remarks via Twitter. Similarly, hardly a week goes by when you don’t hear about a famous celebrity, athlete or other public features achieving notoriety from a tweet. All of this has relevance for marketers. Twitter is still a large and highly influential platform for reaching almost any type of audience. Here are some tips to keep in mind for succeeding with Twitter in 2017 and beyond.

Make Use of Twitter Analytics

One of the best things about Twitter is that it’s possible to find out a great deal about your followers and people you might want to follow and other users in general. You can learn a great deal from Twitter Analytics. You might also use additional social media tools for greater insights. Wherever you get your data, let’s look at some of the key metrics to track.

  • Measure engagement. This is one of the most important metrics with any social media marketing. With Twitter, you’re tracking retweets, likes and link clicks. You always want to know which of your tweets produces the most engagement, as this is a clue for creating popular content in the future.
  • When is your audience engaged? What time of day or day of the week is best for tweeting? This varies according to your audience. Naturally, it’s best to focus your efforts during the times that produce the best results.
  • Know your audience. Clicking on Audiences tells you things such as the location, interests and lifestyles of your followers.
  • Track events. One category on your Twitter Analytics dashboard is Events. This is always worth clicking on, as it lists many events that might be worth tweeting about. You can filter these by type, location and dates. No matter what your niche, there will be events that are relevant, whether these are holidays, festivals, elections, movies, sporting events or anything else.

Of course, the real purpose of analytics isn’t just to collect data but to put it to good use. The best way to do this is to get ideas for content. It’s obvious that high engagement for a tweet means that this is a good topic to cover. In addition to Twitter, however, you can use this data for your wider content strategy. A popular tweet might also be a good idea for a blog post, video or even an e-book.

Broadcast Live

Live streaming video has suddenly gotten extremely popular, with Facebook, YouTube and others coming out with platforms for live broadcasts. If you have a large Twitter following, however, there are advantages to using Periscope, which was acquired by Twitter in 2015. Twitter now lets you broadcast live with its own app, powered by Periscope. Moving seamlessly between tweeting and live streaming is a powerful tool for businesses that want to increase engagement with followers. Here are just a few ways to use live broadcasts for your business:

  • Broadcast from interesting events. This could be your event or any interesting event where you’re present. Depending on your audience, you might broadcast from a business conference, festival, big sporting event, art opening, or anything your followers would find fascinating.
  • Introduce products. Introduce a new product with a live streaming event. Or provide instruction on how to use it. Remember, this is live so people can ask you questions in real time.
  • Interviews. Talk to experts, customers or anyone who can speak intelligently about your field.
  • Give people an inside look at your business. Whether your headquarters is a store, office or your home, you can stream live and let people see where you work.

Use Twitter for Social Listening

Twitter is a powerful tool to track how your customers and prospects feel about many issues. There are certain things that are especially good to monitor for the health of your business.

  • Monitor brand mentions. You always want to know when people are talking about you. It’s helpful to monitor brand mentions for your competitors as well. This lets you learn what people like and don’t like about product features or other aspects of your industry.
  • Track hashtags. Hashtags let you know which topics are trending. Aside from Twitter itself, a good source for comprehensive information on the latest hashtags is
  • Use Twitter lists to keep track of people. Lists are a Twitter feature that many people don’t use. You can add anyone to a list, whether you follow them or not. This lets you create lists for specific categories and find out what these people are up to. Lists may be private or public. Private lists, that only you see are a great tool for tracking influencers, competitors or consumers of a certain type of product. Public lists are useful for engaging people with certain interests.
  • Use a social media listening tool to receive email notifications about Twitter activity regarding your chosen people, keywords, topics or hashtags.

These are some of the best ways to get the most out of Twitter. As with any marketing strategy, it’s essential to put in consistent effort at connecting with your audience. The number one tip in this regard is to simply tweet regularly on topics that your followers care about. Beyond this, making use of strong analytics, social listening and engagement tools such as Periscope help you make an even stronger impact.

The Future of Twitter

The one thing you can rely on in social media is that there will be change. Each year new networks pop up, and some go away. The major social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) have been fairly stable for the past five or six years. That might be about to change -Twitter just reported a dismal Q4 for 2016: 16 cents per share on revenue of $717 million. This was way below Wall Street’s expectations. Back in November 2016, the shares were $18. They are now at around $16.

So what does this signify for the future of Twitter? Apparently, brands don’t consider Twitter as sexy as Instagram or Snapchat. It doesn’t create social media stars, and their advertising is not producing as much revenue as other networks. (This might not be such a bad thing in light of the PewDiePie incident, which highlights just how tricky working with these young social media influencers can be)

Journalists on Twitter

One aspect of Twitter that’s not well-known and often not considered by brands is that journalists and news organizations are the largest and most active verified group of Twitter users. (Source: the now defunct, Triggertrap report.)

21.6 percent of journalists believe it is the platform most likely to grow in value to the media industry, and approximately 40 percent say Twitter is their most valuable social channel. (PR peeps take note!)

The Growth of Video on Twitter

There is some good news: even though user growth and revenue were disappointing, video views on Twitter are on the up and up. Business Insider and its two sister publications attracted more than 6 million video views on Twitter in January 2017, a significant increase from the 1 million number six months ago. Similarly, Mashable’s video views on Twitter have quadrupled in the past four months. (Source:

Why Should We Care if Twitter Flies Away?

Used correctly, Twitter can have a huge impact on customer service, perception, and reputation. One CEO who knows how to do this is Elon Musk. His tweet about a new Tesla product launch resulted in a $900 million increase in value. His prompt reply to complaints about Tesla car owners hogging charging stations earned him more goodwill.
I asked a few PR influencers for their thoughts on the future of Twitter.

Q: What’s your take on the future of Twitter?

Gini Dietrich SpinSucks“Twitter serves a unique role as a communication channel that can’t be found anywhere else. People take to Twitter to be part of the news cycle and to engage with brands, celebrities, and influencers. It’s an incredible resource for brands seeking to understand what motivates and engages their audience. Unfortunately, much of the doom and gloom you see in media coverage is due to people comparing it unfavorably to Facebook. But here’s the thing: There’s only one Facebook. And people use Facebook and Twitter in entirely different ways, and for different purposes.”  
Chris Abraham Gerris:“Twitter isn’t going anywhere. It’s become an International dial tone, like the internet itself, like your phone service or your AM, FM, and Ham Radio spectrum. Twitter will become protected some way or another becoming, effectively, a protected essential public utility. Twitter is an essential commodity that benefits the State Department, Open Source Intelligence (NSA, NRO, CIA, FBI), and Corporate Intelligence (NASDAQ, DOW, etc.’re already seeing). There’s too much good, free, intel — remember the Real Time Web? It’s still a thing!”  
Lee Odden Top Rank Marketing“A recent poll of Top Rank readers shows that 50 percent view Twitter as a news feed. It certainly serves a function for users, whether it’s marketers pushing out content, people reacting to what’s on TV or political hyperbole from you know who. The question is whether that use is enough to sustain the business model.”

Q: This announcement of a big loss in the last quarter has raised doubts. Will it last or fade away?

Gini Dietrich: “I think we already see Twitter making some moves to adapt to what it does really well. For instance, people love to take to Twitter to discuss their favorite TV shows in real-time as they’re watching them. Twitter has been working with brands to take advantage of this with targeted advertising, custom emojis, and more.”  
Lee Odden: “Twitter hasn’t added much in the form of features to attract users or to create additional capabilities that businesses would pay for (outside of advertising). I may be wrong, but Twitter is its own worst enemy in the way it has been managed and its ability to adapt and innovate in ways that satisfy both “free” users and paying customers.”  
Chris Abraham: “Maybe this is a play for a leveraged buyout. Maybe someone has discovered that Twitter is the #1 channel for @realDonaldTrump and @potus to communicate directly to and with the world. More valuable than CNN, MSNBC, and possibly FOX News — at least when it comes to total eyeballs. Don’t forget that volatility doesn’t necessarily mean vulnerability. It could just mean corporate raiding.”

Q: If it does go away how will that affect brands that use it for customer service?

Gini Dietrich: “Most brands are not exclusively using Twitter as their customer service platform. As new social media platforms gain traction, brands have to assess how they want to use them, and what level of customer resource support to provide through them. If Twitter went away tomorrow, many brands would likely see an increase in emails and phone calls on customer service issues that were formerly handled through the social network.”  
Chris Abraham: “Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat can’t do the same thing that Twitter can do, all these years later. And I don’t see another one coming up. Know why? Because Millennials and Gen Z like their small little chat apps a lot more than they like their live-out-loud and share-with-the-world networks. Bieber could leave Insta but he would never leave Twitter—I mean, (he has) 91.7M followers!”

Q: And how will it affect the public who have grown used to a fast response via Twitter?

Gini Dietrich: “Your customers are expecting a fast response through whichever channel they use to contact you. And research is showing they’re becoming less patient each year. That means brands will have to figure out how to harness artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve their customer service communication performance times.”  
Chris Abraham: “Aside from the fact that the Twitter handle has become a de facto internationally-recognized contact number second only to the URL, there are other sexier and stickier channels that people devote a lot more time to. But everyone knows that they can actually get liked, retweeted, and responded to by their favorite brands and celebrities and influencers — or somebody reppin’ them—on Twitter and that’s rarely the case on Facebook.”

Q: What about those of us who use it as a news source?

Gini Dietrich: “Twitter is just one of many digital news sources people use. Our phones learn what news we’re interested in and push us notifications. I can ask Alexa to read me my daily news update while I check my email. Other tools will find their way to fill the gap.”  
Lee Odden: “Since a large number of users regard it as a news source it will leave a gap.”  
Chris Abraham: “The real-time web just isn’t the same on Google or Facebook or anywhere else. Twitter really does still have the pulse. I feel like normal consumers use Twitter less as a news source, outside of celebrity news, than actual media outlets and so forth, although the app and the web interface is evolving to become a better and better filter with a much-improved algorithm.”

Q: What are the implications for PR, if any, if Twitter goes away?

And the last word from Gini: “Twitter has been a boon to PR practitioners for building relationships with influencers and journalists. Without Twitter, it will be significantly more difficult to identify those people and build a relationship with them over time. PR is a relationship business. Always has been. That means we’ll have to find other places where they’re congregating, such as niche industry community sites, and start over there.”  
A good social media strategy is one that is well-thought out. If you don’t have a strategy in place that serves the needs of your brand at every budget size, download our ebook to get started.

social media to scale ebook



This article originally appeared in The Proactive Report, was written by Sally Falkow from Business2Community, and legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Social Sidekick 4/16-4/22: Social Holidays, Themes, and Noteworthy Events

Three things are certain in this life: death, Tax Day (this year on 4/18), and your trusty Social Sidekick. The week kicks off with Easter Sunday and ends with Earth Day, so you had better hop to incorporating both into your content calendar—or at the very least some bunny jokes. Sign up to receive Social Sidekick straight to your inbox to never miss another holiday (or terrible pun) again.


Jazz Appreciation Month, Poetry Month

Alcohol Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Donate Life Month, National Facial Protection Month, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, National Minority Health Month, Occupational Therapy Month, National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, STI Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month of Action 

Garden Appreciation Month, National BLT Sandwich Month, Soft Pretzel Month, Soyfoods Month, Grilled Cheese Month, Garlic Month 

Inventors Month, Decorating Month, National Couple Appreciation Month


Sunday, April 16

Easter, Emancipation Day, Eggs Benedict Day, Save the Elephants Day

#SundayFunday, #SelfieSunday, #Sinday 

Pope Benedict, Selena, Chance the Rapper, Akon, Martin Lewis, Charlie Chaplin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Beverly Hills Dog Show (USA, 8 PM), The White Princess (Starz, 8 PM), Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees (CBS, 8 PM), Guerrilla (Showtime, 9 PM), The Leftovers (HBO, 9 PM), Veep (HBO 10:30 PM)

social holidays

Monday, April 17

World Hemophilia Day, Last Day of Passover, Patriots Day

#ManCrushMonday or #MCM, #MondayBlues, #MotivationMonday, #MarketingMonday, #MeatlessMonday 

Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Garner, Rooney Mara, Sean Bean

T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH1, 10 PM)

social holidays

Tuesday, April 18

Pinata Day, Columnists Day, Amateur Radio Day

#TransformationTuesday or #TT, #TravelTuesday, #TongueOutTuesday, #Tunesday

David Tennant, America Ferrera, Britt Robertson, Conan O’Brien, Kourtney Kardashian, Melissa Joan Hart

Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations (Travel, 9 PM), Cooper’s Treasure (Discovery, 10 PM), Famous in Love (Freeform, 9 PM), L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later (A&E, 9 PM), Pretty Little Liars (Freeform, 8 PM), Problematic with Moshe Kasher (Comedy Central, 10 PM), Team Ninja Warrior (USA, 10 PM)

Last day to file your taxes (or to file for an extension)


Wednesday, April 19

Garlic Day, Banana Day, Bicycle Day, Hanging Out Day, Poetry Day, Amaretto Day

#WomanCrushWednesday or #WCW, #WayBackWednesday or #WBW, #WineWednesday, #WellnessWednesday, #HumpDay, #WisdomWednesday 

James Franco, Kate Hudson, Tim Curry, Maria Sharapova, Harden Christensen

Fargo (FX, 10 PM)

social holidays

Thursday, April 20

Volunteer Recognition Day, High Five Day, Chinese Language Day, Kickball Day, 4/20

#TBT or #ThrowbackThursday, #Thursdate, #ThoughtfulThursday, #ThirstyThursday, #ThankfulThursday

Jessica Lange, George Takei, Andy Serkis, Miranda Kerr

social sidekick holidays

Friday, April 21

Day of Silence, Tea Day, Bulldog Day, Kindergarten Day, San Jacinto Day (Texas)

#FollowFriday or #FF, #FlashbackFriday or #FBF, #FridayFeeling, #FriYay, #FridayReads

Queen Elizabeth, Tony Romo, Iggy Pop, Andie McDowell

Angaleena Presley, “Wrangled”; Arto Lindsay, “Cuidado Madame”; Brad Paisley, “Love And War”; GAS, “Narkopop”; Have Mercy, “Make The Best Of It”; Incubus, “8”; Jason Eady, “Jason Eady”; Joe Goddard, “Electric Lines”; Justin Walter, “Unseen Forces”; Matt And Sam’s Brother, “My Brain Hurts A Lot”; Maxïmo Park, “Risk To Exist”; Ray Davies, “Americana”; Richie Kotzen, “Salting Earth”; Robyn Hitchcock, “Robyn Hitchcock”; Ron Sexsmith, “The Last Rider”; Sheryl Crow, “Be Myself”; The Black Angels, “Death Song”; Woods, “Love Is Love”

Leap!, Unforgettable, The Promise, Free Fire, Born in China

Bill Nye Saves the World (Netflix); Bosch (Amazon); Girlboss (Netflix); Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On (Netflix); Thunderbirds Are Go (Amazon); Tramps (Netflix); Burn Motherf*cker, Burn! (Showtime, 9 PM); Yukon Men (Discovery, 9 PM)

social holidays

Saturday, April 22

Earth Day, Jelly Bean Day, Oklahoma Day

#Caturday, #SexySaturday

Jack Nicholson, Marshawn Lynch, Amber Heard, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Machine Gun Kelly, Peter Frampton

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (HBO, 8 PM)

social holidays events

How (and Why) Brands Should Use Paid Social Media Ads to Boost Their Earned Media

Earned media is getting more attention these days, as trust in paid ads continues to decline. While a brand talking about itself in an ad may not win the trust of buyers, an editorial piece that appears in a reputable publication can add major credibility.

However, when brands do score that media hit, it’s no longer enough that the story appeared. PR pros face a new challenge. Now, they must work to ensure that it’s seen by the right audiences.

So, what can PR pros do to extend the reach of that earned media win, making sure to maximize the benefits it brings to the brand?

In the past, those in public relations tried to distance themselves from advertising. Now, they’re beginning to see it differently. Some are turning to paid social media to help earned media have more of an impact.

“It’s about making sure the press coverage you’ve already earned works harder for you,” says Steve Rubel, chief content strategist at Edelman.

Why is paid social an effective way to boost earned media?

Even before buying a product, consumers often follow a brand on social networks. This gives brands a chance to reach those consumers using paid social media ads. And while following isn’t everything, 62 percent of those surveyed by Sprout Social said they’re either “likely or somewhat likely” to buy from a brand they follow online. It stands to reason that using ads to reach these audiences can only help persuade them to buy.

Paid social media boosts trusted third-party content to those that benefit from the information,” says Abel Communications. “For example, a great hit in the Wall Street Journal for a B2B brand should be repurposed on LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform and amplified through a sponsored update.”

And how much can paid social media ads benefit your earned media hit? “By supplementing our highest priority content with paid dollars, we see organic and earned reach increase by 10 – 20x,” says Melissa Wisehart, managing director of digital strategy at Moore Communications Group.

Want to try incorporating paid social into your earned media strategy?

Here are some tips to follow:

1)      Be selective: As with promotion of blog posts and other content, be selective when choosing which earned media to promote with a paid social ad. Chad Pollitt, co-founder of Relevance, believes social media isn’t a good channel to promote all your content. Instead, he recommends promoting only those pieces that have already attracted higher levels of engagement.

 2)      Be sure to tie the paid social effort to a goal: For example, if you want to increase sales, you can target specific groups or industries with your ads. Then, you can see if that results in new business leads.

Larry Kim of WordStream regularly uses this approach to earn widespread news media coverage for his content. On his blog, Kim cites an example of using paid Twitter ads targeted to a tailored audience which led to him to an opportunity to appear on Fox News. That then led to coverage in high-profile publications. Kim says Twitter’s tailored audiences and Facebook’s custom audiences open up new doors for brands to reach untapped customers or influencers.

 3)      Choose the right network: When selecting which social media platform to use, consider your demographics. Facebook ranks at the top of the list for all age groups, from millennials to Baby Boomers, with Snapchat and Instagram coming in second and third.

 4)      Don’t expect it to break the bank: Advertising on social media needn’t be expensive. According to Pier Communications, “Facebook’s Boosted Posts (which you can also set to run on Instagram) and LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content are the fastest and most affordable ways to drive traffic back to your website or a recent article.“For Facebook or Twitter, start with a small test of $100-250 to promote a great hit,” suggests Abel Communications. “With an average cost per click of $0.27 on Facebook, that’s almost 1,000 more views on your story.”

Amplifying an earned media hit with a paid social media ad can spell success for brands. Experiment by starting with a small budget to see what makes the biggest impact on your audience and works for your clients. If you’re ready to get started download our webinar to learn how to grow your social media program into a full-fledged business.