Tag Archives: social media

Effective Facebook Marketing for Businesses

Despite losing its “cool” factor over the past few years, Facebook is still the king of social networks with 71% of online adults using it. That is more than triple the usage rate of social competitors like Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. With this in mind, Facebook should still be a key facet of every company’s marketing mix. Casey Petersen, Director of Audience Development here at Collective Bias, gave insights into effective content marketing on Facebook in a recent podcast with KBInsider.

According to Casey, the key first step in any Facebook marketing plan is seeing yourself as a content producer, not just a content poster. Producing content that is relevant, unique and interactive will get the most engagement from your audience. Make it sharable!
Paying attention to the analytics of each post is also crucial to cultivating a wider Facebook audience. Taking the time to look at what posts performed poorly or particularly well in the past will bolster your knowledge for future posts. To learn how to get more likes on your page, what content works or doesn’t work and more, listen to the full podcast on KBInsider.com.

Connected Moms on the Global Stage

Despite having fully-packed agendas in their hometowns, today’s socially-connected moms are finding the time to voice their concerns about causes based in other countries, continents, even hemispheres. Social media brings the world to one’s fingertips, meaning moms are able to stay in the know about an array of issues that are both locally and globally-impacted.

Holly Pavlika explains just how influential globally-connected moms are when paired with major corporate charity efforts in her latest MediaPost article, “Have You Heard Of The Global Zip Code?” Campaigns such as Girl Up and brands like Johnson & Johnson’s Clean and Clear are achieving powerful resonance with moms and through moms by putting them at the center of engagement strategies that drive conversations around important causes such as healthcare, education and economic development. These unique but ever-increasing partnerships induce principal governments and corporations to listen up and take notice to the causes these moms hold to high regard.

Today’s global moms are highlighting the importance of corporate social responsibility and how it plays into not only current conversation but future support by customers. Learn more on MediaPost Engage: Moms blog.

I Want It All and I Want It Now!

I Want It All and I Want It Now! Aggregation Tool RebelMouse

Do you wish you could have the real-time big picture overview of your social media presence? Do you long to create one place where you can view everything you publish, plus track responses and see the chatter about your brand? Aggregation may be the solution.

RebelMouse, the First All-In-One Publishing, Advertising and Social Conversation Platform, makes it easy for brands to create an organized collection of their social-media posts, articles, videos and other online content. It is a ‘Social Front Page’ of sorts, which can be a useful low cost marketing tool.

RebelMouse, created by former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry, reached 17 million unique visitors in November 2013. Fast Company recently named RebelMouse one of “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Media.” They must be on to something with this revolutionary publishing platform.

With its Pinterest-like interface, RebelMouse allows brands to show-off their content in a familiar visual style. That is progress over scrolling through an endless feed. The easily embedded tool, which allows brands to create a Social Home Page, is a prime way to use content as advertising.

Early adopters of RebelMouse, like Burger King and Pepsi, realized the value of displaying thousands of tweets and images from their customers. You can and should find a place in your marketing plan for the powerful tool.

How RebelMouse Works

RebelMouse uses a freemium model—the basic plan is free. The Primetime level costs $500 per month, while the Enterprise level costs up to $5,000 per month.

It is simple and easy to set-up your site. After opening an account, you create a page and decide what you want to share. RebelMouse then captures your feeds from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. You can use tags, keywords or hashtags to cull the information.

You may opt to allow RebelMouse to choose which content is displayed or you can customize your page to fit your needs. You can also add original text, photos and video directly to your RebelMouse page. There are many options for topic-specific tabs and visual themes. You can add multiple sub-pages to your RebelMouse site too for a broader share of voice.

Once established, you use your RebelMouse page(s) to create a stand-alone website or you can add it to your existing website or blog. Your page can embedded in a sidebar of a preexisting page or blog for a real-time feed. There are many uses for a variety of PR needs.

The best way to understand the power of this tool is to look at what brands are doing with it. Here are a few examples:

 

The Wall Street Journal’s Coverage of Fashion Week

T-Mobile #BreakUpLetter

Burger King’s SatisFries Campaign

#SamsungFrontRow

General Electric Social Media Page

RebelMouse for Personal Use

This platform is not just for mega brands. Bloggers will find RebelMouse useful in promoting their content. You can use your social media presence to create buzz and establish expertise in your niche. Some are even using it to find a job.

Any online content (articles, blog posts, guest posts, photos, videos, designs, etc.) can be placed on your RebelMouse page. It is a great way for a web designer or photographer to present their professional portfolio.

RebelMouse is still evolving as new features and functionality are added. It is unbelievably easy to use, yet incredibly powerful while living up to its slogan— “making content more” and its promise to “let your content roar.”

Read More about RebelMouse:
RebelMouse Blog  
RebelMouse for Individuals

 

FIFA World Cup Fever

Written by Ally Haag

Do you feel it? The overwhelming wave of American pride as the U.S. soccer team competes in the FIFA World Cup.  Perhaps you’re not even watching the World Cup or cheering for the US, but you can’t help but feel some sort of enthusiasm and excitement for such a world-renowned competition? It could be that this feeling has suddenly originated as you scroll through your social media accounts. The Hollywood Reporter states that the World Cup has produced more social media content than any other major event ever measured. In terms of Facebook content, the World Cup has surpassed a combined total of interactions from the Oscars, the Super Bowl, and the Winter Olympics. According to Adobe, until the big kick-off on June 12th, the phrase “World Cup” already generated more than 19 million social mentions from 90% of the world.

Forbes comments that Brazil plays a major role in this social media outbreak, as 86 million out of Facebook’s one billion-plus users are only active in Brazil. However, as the World Cup exceeds this social media record globally, it is predicted that America will only contribute a small portion, with only 7% of Americans planning to diligently keep up with the soccer tournament. (We’ll see how this changes after USA’s performance on Thursday versus Germany!) On FIFA’s Live Activity Map, you can track the top trending teams and players, as well as the tweets per minute, mentions per hour, and total mentions. These numbers continually remain in the thousands, and even millions. Fascinatingly enough, depending on the game and team currently playing, these numbers can all change within an instant.

As the World Cup overtakes social media, this can only help the players of the tournament gain even more attention and fame.  Take Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer superstar for Portugal with over 117.4 million social media followers, for example. According to Forbes, Ronaldo’s vast following has lead him to major sponsorships like Tag Heuer, a personal underwear brand, and Nike.  All things considered, the opportunities are huge for athletes in the World Cup as social media leads them to their ultimate stardom.

Are you interested in following some of the FIFA World Cup’s most famous players? Check out this list of the Top 5 Social Networking Superstars of the 2014 FIFA World Cup: (followers are including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): over 117.4 million followers
Lionel Messi (Argentina): over 62.52 million followers
Neymar (Brazil): over 42.2 million followers
Wayne Rooney (England): over 30.51 million followers
Andres Iniesta (Spain): over 29.61 million followers

 

How Social Media Can Change Your Unemployed Life

With more and more technology solutions, robotics taking over jobs, the state of the economy and more, unemployment seems inevitable for most at some point in their career. I spoke with Carlos Gil, Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing at SaveALot and we both agree that social media marketing can be the tool that helps keep you employed. And in fact, Carlos went as far as writing a book, ‘My Unemployed Life: Finding a Job in a Social Economy’ and starting JobsDirectUSA.

“The only time that I’ve been unemployed in my career was in 2008 when I was laid-off from my job in the financial services industry. Although I suspected that the company I was working for at the time (AIG) would downsize, due to the recession, I was not prepared. In fact, this was long before LinkedIn and social media as we know it today. The day that I lost my job was the same day that I signed up for LinkedIn. If I were to lose my job today I would have a network with thousands of professional contacts to turn to. A big difference between now and then,” said Carlos.

As a 50+ female, the agency business is brutal and I totally believe one of the reasons I am working right now is due to having kept up with social media and technology. It’s so important to be well read and keep up with your particular industry.

How has social media changed your career, job searches and more?

Social media has changed my life. I would not be where I am today in my career if it weren’t for social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter has expanded my network outside of a few small business circles. It has also helped me build a personal brand, which shows a potential employer the value and expertise I can bring to them. Because of the work I did for my own company, I was able to learn a new skill set in public relations, marketing, and community relations which ultimately led to my recruitment in 2012 to lead social media for a Fortune 500 retail company.

Tell me about JobsDirectUSA. How does it work? How has it grown? Do you have partners in this with you?

Within days of getting on LinkedIn, I knew that the only way I’d find a job again was to rebrand myself. Nobody was hiring in the banking or financial services industry. It was through LinkedIn groups that I became inspired to help others find jobs. For me, it was also a way to not fall into the unemployment slump of inactivity. I created a group of my own and called it “JobsDirectUSA”. Shortly thereafter, I invested the little severance that was given to me and started up a website: JobsDirectUSA.com. Between 2009 to 2011 I worked countless hours growing the database, promoting my cause, and hosting job fairs throughout the United States. Oftentimes not making a dime. I’m still involved in the site and social media but the business model has changed. Needless to say, I’ve been recruited since.

What tools/tactics did you use to fight off the depression that often comes with unemployment?

Staying upbeat and positive is tough when there is no sign of hope. The month that I lost my job so did 500,000 other Americans. Nobody was hiring. Social media was the only way for me to remain optimistic. Every connection became a networking opportunity, even if it was an opportunity to be connected to someone else. There were many times that I wanted to give up but I was determined to not let the recession defeat me.

Not everyone is using social media, what 3-5 tips you would give people for getting started?

If you’re not a believer in what social media can do for you, please take a few minutes to connect with me. It’s the difference between being discoverable to a potential employer and not being found at all.

• upload your resume directly into LinkedIn

• have a professional headshot.

• write a compelling summary which describes to an employer the value that you potentially bring.

• utilize Linkedin groups as a tool to help you develop or expand your network.

“Finding a job today is competitive. I hope that the book, ‘My Unemployed Life: Finding a Job in a Social Economy’ will put into perspective how far the job search process has come from 2008 to today. Throughout the book I discuss my experiences while being unemployed during the recession but I also guide professionals on how to leverage social media for personal branding, networking online, tips on how to find recruiters and what to say to them. The book is a tool that I hope will bring a lot of success to job seekers worldwide,” said Carlos.

You can connect with Carlos on Twitter and LinkedIn and check out his blog!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/my-unemployed-life

Twitter
LinkedIn

Preparation for Syndication

Written by Mike Abb

So you’re a photographer, blogger, videographer, artist, actor, or musician. You work tirelessly making your content/product the best you can. The focus can take so much of your time that when the product is finally polished enough for you to release to the masses…. you are just plain burned out on it. The excitement that existed in the creation process has faded and you simply want to move onto the next project. Some of us perfectionists know this feeling all too well.  Often times you lose sight of the fact that content creation is a two-part game.

GAME OF HALVES

You thought of the concept for the media you wanted to produce. You acquired the materials needed to produce it. You then created the content. This process can take hours, days, months or years to complete.  The creation process is only half the game though and you’ve heard me say before they don’t give you the championship trophy at halftime.  The second half is where the content game is won and lost.

THE CROWD

The crowd roars with approval lauding their hero. Another quality piece of media becomes worthy of their attention and potential dollars.  The content producer is celebrated and the demand grows for encore performances. How did this producer get to this arena to even contend for the crowd’s eyeballs and ears? They got here because they knew how to syndicate properly and prepared themselves prior.

MY KINDA PARTY

Where does your content really belong?  Most people have the usual social channels, Facebook and Twitter, as an outlet for their content. Although these are what I consider defaults, have you looked into more specialized channels? For example, if you are primarily a foodie or crafter, the channels you should target would be Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram.  If you are a musician then the channels you should target would be Soundcloud, YouTube, TuneOrg, Reverb Nation, and Bandcamp.  This is just the tip of the iceberg; there are thousands of specialized forums and message boards that your content can be viewed upon as well.  If you really want to seed your content properly then you must find the appropriate outlets. If not, your content will fall on deaf ears and you will miss out on those social kudos that validate your hard work. Take the time to prepare your list of outlets for each piece or type of content you are creating.

NEXT STEPS

Your content is ready to spread out to the masses and you have identified the necessary channels for your work to live on.  You then realize just how tedious it is trying to syndicate to multiple channels. This is where you can use some automated tools that can really speed up the syndication game. Many apps like Instagram allow you to post to multiple social channels in-app, but there are many more that don’t. That’s why I really like the app IFTTT that allows you to set up what they call Internet recipes. These recipes can make posting to multiple channels a breeze. For example, you can have your Facebook posts instantly be shared to your Google+ account or visa versa. There are endless possibilities with this tool and I highly suggest you start using it.

MAKE IT EASY 

Now that you have a better grip on preparing to syndicate via your own posting efforts, what about making it easier for your readers? At Collective Bias we specialize in bloggers. We see many of our bloggers still missing out on including a basic social share widget on their site.  I can’t stress the importance of including this on your blogs. Without having the share bar, you miss out on those key analytics that help prove the success of your media. If you don’t offer the ease of sharing to your readers then they most likely won’t share it. With modern media consumption and attention levels competing every step of the way you have to give the reader that instant satisfaction of sharing with one click. Here is a great link that highlights some of the most popular wordpress social share plugins. There you have it folks: a little dose of how to prepare to syndicate properly. If you have any other tips or tricks, please share them in the comments!

How to Find Your Voice in Social Media

Written by Jamie Smith 

What does social media voice have to do with branding?

Picture a 35-year-old woman named Kate. She’s a mid-level manager at a regional corporation. She’s also a wife, mom and a volunteer at her favorite local charity that helps women and children. In each role she plays, Kate is authentic—she’s true to her personality and beliefs. Yet she knows that to be the most effective, she must behave slightly different in each life role. After all, she wouldn’t manage her children the same way she manages her employees or vice versa. In each of Kate’s roles there are common threads that all point to them being a part of who she is.

The same is true for branding, be it a company brand or a personal brand.

Branding: the glue that ties all messages together

Branding involves all aspects of portraying the company’s culture and mission, the logo colors and design, the website style and language, or how to manage social media. A brand is established through understanding the company culture and purpose.

The same is true for a blogger’s personal brand in that the brand is established from the blogger’s interests, beliefs and purpose in writing the blog. A personal brand is personified through blog design, social media presence and, of course, how the blogger behaves in person.

Whether it’s a corporate brand or personal brand, the goal is to always have positive and consistent recognition across all communication, yet also recognizing that different communication forms need their own flair.

So what does this mean for social media? 

When people talk about a “voice” they don’t mean whether the company or blogger sounds like Pee Wee Herman or James Earl Jones. A company or blogger’s voice is how they communicate:

• What words do they use? Are they formal or casual?

• What kind of tone do they use? Is it fun, serious or philosophical?

• Do they adopt a role or mascot? (An example of the latter would be the Aflac duck being the “spokesperson” to speak for the company or a blogger assuming a role such as “Cleaning Fairy.”)

Social media by its very nature is, well, social. It is inherently more casual than a website or company newsletter. Social media is often called the cocktail party of the online world. Anyone who seems too self-involved or uncaring at a party will be ignored and the same goes for social media.

This concept means that the social media voice should be unique and fit both the target audience’s needs and the company’s needs. Social media offers the ability to show the fun side and be more conversational.

Say, for example, the company sells extreme sports equipment with a target audience of mostly Millennials. Should the social media voice use the same tone and language as a company selling hair regrowth gel to middle-aged men? Of course not. That’s just weird.

The extreme sport company is going to be more fun and daring with ideas for places to participate in the extreme sports, safety (but shared in a cool way, of course), and ideas on types of equipment to purchase. A good social media strategy includes engaging people in conversation and actually listening to what they have to say.

Creating and evolving social media voice 

Your brand voice in social media will evolve over time and if you don’t have an established voice, it’s not too late to create one. If you’re already on social media, it’s perfectly OK to transition into a new voice. Stephanie Schwab, in writing for SocialMediaExaminer.com, offers a four-part formula for finding a brand voice that also works for developing the social media voice.

Stephanie describes the four parts of voice this way:

  • Character/Persona (is the voice: friendly, warm, inspiring, playful, authoritative, professional?)
  • Tone (is the voice: personal, humble, clinical, honest, direct, scientific?)
  • Language (is the voice: complex, savvy, insider, serious, simple, filled with jargon, fun, whimsical?)
  • Purpose (is it to engage, educate, inform, enable, entertain, delight, sell or amplify?)

What’s your social media voice? What else would you like to know about how to develop your social media voice? Leave your thoughts in the comments and we can discuss!

Jamie Smith is a professional writer who owns Jamie’s Notebook, a business that offers writing services such as corporate blogging, website copy and news feature articles. She is also a Social Fabric member and blogs over at Jamie’s Thots.

 

What’s in Store for Moms of the Future?

Written by Colleen Vaughan 

According to founder and CEO of the Brain Reserve, Faith Popcorn, wearable and embeddable technology will take the world by storm in the next five years, with mothers being amongst its most ardent embracers.

Holly Pavlika interviewed Faith for her MediaPost article, “The Embeddable Mom of the Future” about this upcoming wave of technology and how modern-day social media-savvy moms will adopt it, utilize it and benefit from it. Faith believes embeddable technology will give moms the ability to (almost) be in two places at once –  with the capacity to always be in touch with their kids, partners and friends.

Embeddable technology will also prove to be a turning point for retailers to bring more focused and entertaining shopping experiences to consumers of every kind, according to Faith. Entering a retail store can go from being an unremarkable part of a consumer’s routine to a fun and exciting event that is different every time.

Find out how moms and shoppers may become the next mobile device on MediaPost Engage: Moms blog.

SEO Refresher: Make Your Blog Stand Out Online!

 The world of SEO has changed in recent years. A lot. In the past, keyword stuffing and aggressive link-building pretty much assured you a Page 1 listing.  These days, quality content is the most important thing when it comes to being found online.  Search has evolved since the early days of Google, Yahoo, and Alta-Vista.  Today, SEO is as much about discoverability in general, as it is about technically optimizing your site for a particular search engine.  That means in addition to some site tweaks, you have to really understand the best ways to share your content so people can view it.  Here are a few tips to revamp your SEO and gain more traffic:

1. Get a good plugin.  This is specific to WordPress, but I recommend Yoast. It’s easy to use, and incredibly powerful – you can tweak any part of your site.  Ranking in search is only part of the battle; you also have to make people click on your link.  Yoast not only makes sure your site is structured well for the crawlers (programs that search engines to analyze websites), but it also allows you to easily tweak the way your site appears in search results.

2. Get on Google+ . . . TODAY.  I’ve heard all the excuses.  “Do I really need a new social network?”  “I don’t want another place to post.”  “I can’t get ‘in’ to Google+.”  I get it.  I really do.  But more than anything else that you can do, Google+ has the most power to boost your search results.  Get on Google+. Develop a following of engaged people. Join communities. Encourage your readers to +1 your content. Your +1’s actually causes your site to shoot right to the top of search results for people in your network; the same goes for your followers.  All of their friends on Google+ will see your web pages that they have +1’d much higher in search. You simply cannot afford to be a content producer and ignore Google+.  This also lets you set up Google Authorship.  Another must.

3. Make it easy to share. Use a plugin, or find a feature in your preferred blogging tool that allows your site visitors to easily share to any social network they want.  Put Google+ first.  That’s where you truly want them sharing.  But include everything else too. Make it easy!

4. Clean-up Site Structure.  This is the most technical piece, but it’s still important.  Take a look at your site’s title, subtitle, and description.  These should be very descriptive of what your site is about, and use keywords that you want to rank for.  Here’s a quick checklist:

a.     Title – Use SEO Keywords here that are important to you

b.     Tags – Choose meaningful tags for your posts – 3-5 as a general rule.

c.     Permalinks – Ditch the standard number-based permalinks.  Your permalinks should use the title of your post, or the category and title.

d.     Internal Linking – Make sure that in your blog posts, you’re linking liberally to past posts that are relevant.

 

Socializing the Customer Experience

Written by Brad Lawless

Do Your Social Accounts Reflect Your Customer Service Ethos?

Do Your Social Accounts Truly Represent Your Brand Promise?

Shopper Social Marketing Shouldn’t End at the Cash Register

The Internet provides unlimited access to product and pricing information along a shopper’s path to purchase. While some choose to research a product at home on their laptop or tablet, others stand in front of one retailer’s shelf and use their smartphone to discover product details or find competitive pricing from other retailers.

Forrester analysts predicted that 50% of American shoppers would “access the Internet multiple times a day, from multiple locations, with at least three devices” by the end of 2013. These ultra-connected shoppers expect not only always-on access to information but also want new levels of responsiveness from brands and retailers in their experiences as customers.

Social media has transformed the way many brands market to their shoppers, but few companies truly understand how social content and platforms can help them in their customer experience management efforts. According to 360Connext.com, “86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that organizations consistently meet, or exceed, their expectations.” Engaging with fans through social platforms can definitely help a company exceed, or at the very least, meet the expectations of those shoppers.

I recently sat down with Jeannie Walters, 360Connext CEO, to discuss the changing nature of customer experience in the ever evolving world of social media.

Brad: What are the customer experience table stakes for companies today? In other words, what must companies do to ensure good customer experiences with social media?

Jeannie: Companies need to have a plan of action for responding to customers’ social media inquires, and then they actually need to follow through and respond. Customers today expect real time responses in social and digital. When they look for help in those channels, you need to be ready to respond or manage their expectations regarding other places they need to go to find answers to their questions.

Brad: How has social media changed general expectations for customers today and is it reasonable?

Jeannie: Customers want their problems solved. Expectations change along with emotions. If I’ve already called the store or had something repaired and it breaks again, my emotions start to escalate. People are irrational. When we get upset, we expect someone to quickly address our reason for getting upset.

Brad: What’s the benefit to companies for addressing customer concerns in a timely manner?

Jeannie: Loyalty can go up if you if you address concerns in the right way, if you solve a problem with empathy and compassion. I’ve seen loyalty ratings swing as much as 12% in those cases.

I recently read of a customer experience experiment in the medical industry. For years, doctors have been advised by lawyers never to apologize for mistakes. The lawyers felt apologies would open up potential for increased malpractice suits. In this case, the researchers found that simple apologies actually decreased the incidents of malpractice suits.

Brad: What’s the biggest customer service gaffe you’ve seen online?

Jeannie: I don’t want to name specific brands, but the worst thing is when the person representing the brand becomes personally offended and starts to respond to complaints as an individual. At that point, they start lashing out at people under their care. I think we’re beyond some of that due to smarter hiring practices. Today’s social media manager is necessarily much more savvy than people doing the job a few years ago.

A more consistent issue is neglect. If a product or restaurant receives a 4-star review online, that post often contains clues on why the reviewer withheld the critical 5th star. Most companies ignore the advice their customers give on how to move from adequacy to excellence.

People love to focus on the practice of social media complaints, but many brands never respond to the natural advocates talking positively about their brand. A simple thanks for some online support will go a long way in transforming a once-in-a-while cheerleader into a passionate fan.

Brad: What’s the best customer service example you’ve seen in social?

Jeannie: Warby-Parker — They are exceptional. They go out of their way to give video shout-outs to people who are fans. I mentioned them once in a blog post and they hit me up on Twitter that same day.

Brad: What still can’t be done in social?

Jeannie: Anything complicated that requires a lot of touch points.

Last year, I experienced so much pain just ordering a Father’s Day grill. I paid extra to have someone come and set it up. They arrived late, dropped the box on my porch and left. I tried to reach someone via social, but realized the big brand was too siloed to do anything about specific about deliveries. The social manager had no pull with the delivery department, so I Just stuck to calling them on the phone.

When people use social to get product info, they don’t want to talk with the person managing the brand’s Twitter account. They want direct access to a product expert.

Brad: What one piece of advice would you give companies to improve their social customer experience management?

Jeannie: It starts with the foundation of the promise. What are you promising in your customer experience? Companies should completely understand the foundation of their customer experience promise and ensure their  social accounts reflect that ethos.

Most brands get very excited about the promise of social, but their resulting implementations come across as very dry or miss the brand promise. Solving a shopper’s problems with social means not only getting them necessary information prior to the sales, but staying around to support them with answers and additional usage information after they take the product home.