This week we’ve decided to give you a roundup of some new articles that do a lot of different things. It’s been a busy week and we didn’t want you to miss out on some important and helpful information that’s been popping out of Mashable in particular. So, in an old fashion tip of the hat to Mashable, we present you with some of this great content getting you up to speed on what’s up with all of these different platforms.
What’s Up With Smartphones? Well, we’ve got tips for you to make your app more discoverable. It has to do with optimization, in-bound leads, and customer reviews. Oh by the way, soon your phone may be able to tell you when you’re sick. When will we see the phone that tells you what the right thing to do is?
What’s With Facebook? They’re experimenting with comment ads. This is an interesting move, and is a nifty new idea that you may want to start considering. With this addition to the ad strategy, en element of engagement is instantiated that wasn’t present before.
What’s Up With LinkedIn? They’re perpetually getting better, and now they’re using column ads and profile promotions to encourage follows and recommendations, similar to some of the features on Facebook’s right hand interface column. Imagine, on the side of your LinkedIn page, “you might be interested in applying for this job”.
Are your fans this passionate? Well…that may be a good thing…
Most days you’ll go into work, talk to some customers or clients, and, if you’re reading this, you probably spend a reasonable amount of time talking with online fans, followers, etc. Sometimes you see them, but, especially if your organization is web-centered, often you don’t. This might not always your top priority, but in today’s post, we encourage you to, for the next few months, bump it up a notch or two or six.
There’s something about face to face interaction to which, despite the efficacy and revolutionary grandeur of the web’s new marketing tools, social media has always conceded. And we defy you to consider a handful of times that you’ve had a more riveting interaction on the web than you did in real life. There’s something mysteriously complex and fascinating about talking to someone. Human beings are social. And if social media is all about building relationships, then there’s no replacement for a good handshake, good eye contact, and a welcoming, comforting attitude–really talking. In the small business world, people follow people, not entities.
We’re asking your business, for your sake and ours, to be something to do.
So this week, as the Summer rolls itself in and the city gets its itch to go out and play, we’ve got a handful of articles talking about how to set up and promote live events, how to integrate them with your existing social media strategy, and what kinds of things you can get out of them. Enjoy!
***************** 8 Ways to Improve Events With Social Media. This Mashable article goes through the strong fundamentals of live events–establish social networks, incentivize invites, new tools, live streaming, and a lot more. This is key.
3 Reasons Live Events Are Good Content Marketing. Another smart one from the Profs. Live events allows you to get your content to an audience in a way that’s fun and engaging for both parties. What would you rather go to? A webinar or a half day summit with lunch and cookies! See, it’s not even a question.
Last Sunday, President Obama officially announced (on TV and via a live stream online) the news that people had been tweeting about for over an hour: Osama Bin Laden had been located and killed by U.S. Military forces. Whatever your politics, the event was the single biggest landmark for social media to date, and everyone responded. Below we’ve collected the absolute best coverage of the event from a social media standpoint. If you have anything to glean from this response (other than that if you’re not on Twitter, you probably should be), we’d love to get the conversation going.
Osama/Obama Gaffes. And next-to-lastly, how not to do social media in a time of crisis. Lesson #1–do not report, under any circumstances, that the President has been killed.
Players learning that social media needs to be used responsibly. You tweeted, she tweeted, we all tweeted. Let’s face it, not all of it was appropriate and you’d be a lucky one if you managed to squeeze by a Facebook political conversation unnoticed. But if you’re an NFL player, it’s hard to hide in the crowd. And Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers learned the hard way.
Really, does Old Spice ever do it wrong? In the spirit of great things, we’ve provided you with a plethora of advice from the best in practical form. I would like to note the tremendously fantastic use of video throughout these links (and the above, to be sure), so that’s a nudge in a direction we think you might be thankful for. Got questions about video? Let us know. Enjoy these highly entertaining, highly inspiring examples of organizations and businesses that just got it right. Now, it’s your turn. We believe in you!
5 Smart Social PR Campaigns to Learn From. While turning a profit or just being helpful is still prevalent in this domain, social PR is about a bit more, and these campaigns do some really fantastic things to make their relationships intimate, meaningful, and genuine.
20 Awesome Facebook Fan Pages. Lip balm, candles, coffee, cupcakes, music, science. I mean, really. Take a look. There’s a lot to learn here, with a focus on doing fan pages right.
Last week we showed you how to get Facebook fans. This week we show you how to keep them. Engagement is key in both of these endeavors. People aren’t interested in liking a page that no one else is interested in. Likewise, it’s hard to convince fans to stick around if there’s no party going on with your page. So that’s one way to think about it–make sure your Facebook page is a constant party.
In addition, look: what’s social media about? Here’s a good answer–building relationships. Relationships? Engagements?! This sounds heavy! Not ready to commit? That’s fine, but when you’re able to have real conversations that you and your Other are both interested in, when you can be mutually helpful and supportive–well, you might just find yourself changing your relationship status to “married to my fans”. Jokes aside, if you want to have any success in social media, get your audience talking. How? We’re glad you asked.
The 5 Golden Facebook Engagement Metrics. Metrics are key for finding out what to do. So we have two articles here for you. This one gives you the tips as well as examples for the things to do/watch for no matter the size of your business. If you keep just these 5 metrics in mind, then you’ve got a good start for progress.
How to Measure Your Facebook Engagament. I mean, you could start counting comments and likes, but we’re not sure that’s really what you want to do. Facebook comes with some sophisticated analytics that allow you to see what works and what doesn’t. Remember that, in the end, past all the tips, do what works for you.
And one of our clients sent me a direct message that hinted – well, downright stated – that it didn’t inspire confidence in our clients. I could see where they were coming from, especially since they had recently signed a contract for a customized Facebook fan page from us.
I messaged them back that it had the #devilsadvocate hashtag for a reason, that I used Twitter as an industry sounding board, etc. but still, it nagged at me.
A few weeks later, one of our interns emailed me about an article I told him to post to our blog, fan page and Twitter account. It reported that only one out of every 10 Facebook posts gets noticed. He wasn’t sure we should post something like that. Maybe it would undermine our services.
Should we put blind faith in our tools?
I think as good marketers we should question our tools. Our clients and fans trust us to point them in the right direction, to guide their social media efforts in the most effective manner possible, and to be the voice of reason in a very noisy industry.
If every one out of 10 Facebook posts goes unnoticed, our clients and fans need to know so that they can adjust their strategies accordingly. I don’t think our clients should be walking around thinking that each and every one of their status updates is cherished and honored when it’s not the truth. It doesn’t make Facebook a lesser marketing tool. People continue to buy television advertising knowing full well that most people don’t see them. They adjust their strategy, and purchase in bulk, cycles, and with the idea that they will repeat, repeat, repeat.
Social media isn’t a magic bullet. It’s not different from traditional marketing in that sense. Do you have a better shot at reaching people? We think so, especially if you are working within the framework of being helpful, resourceful, and useful to your target audience. But what if it still isn’t working? Something’s broke, and you have to find out where the breakdown is occuring. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s the target, and sometimes it’s the platform.
Questions Lead to Answers (Hopefully)
If I’m having a hard time increasing engagement on any platform, I’m going to question it’s usefulness for our own clients. In questioning we find answers. To shut our eyes and ears off to what we see happening is to be blind-sided in a few months or a year.
Literally days after I sent that tweet, Facebook made sweeping changes to fan pages. They now allow fan pages to comment on other fan pages, which dramatically changes any given fan page’s effectiveness in drawing fans there. Fan page administrators now have the ability to do outreach to other areas of Facebook and draw in new users.
That makes me think that my initial concern was right on, and that I wasn’t alone in questioning it’s effectiveness. Facebook must’ve known this as well, or they wouldn’t have made the changes that they did.
The reality is that social media marketing is all still very new, and will remain a moving target for marketers as the platforms upgrade, change, and shift. The only way to avoid falling into the trap of putting all our eggs in one basket is to continue to ask questions, play devil’s advocate, and keep our eyes open to the limitations and capabilities of our tools.
On our Facebook fan page poll the other week, we asked you folks what you’d like to learn more about, what your current challenges are in social media. We had a lot of people saying they wanted to learn how to get more Facebook fans, so we’ve collected a slew of articles here for you that either share stories of how a company got so many fans or give some concrete, proven directions when it comes to getting more people to click that “like” button.
It’s important to remember that getting more fans isn’t the point of social media. It’s a necessary part of it. You want the right fans, and you want to engage them in the right way. A large part of getting more fans is to have a solid, well-kept, helpful, interesting Facebook page. So never sacrifice quality of content for numbers. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere.
Oh yeah, two notes. Firstly, there are a lot of people out there telling you that you can buy more Facebook fans from them. It’s ridiculous, and don’t do it. Unless of course you’re hiring on a professional, reputable company who is helping you build a social media strategy. Otherwise, stick to doing social media well. It’ll pay off.
Secondly, a couple of these first articles are old (the dinosaur ages of 2009 and 2010). This isn’t because we’re unhip–hey, we read Slate–but because the trouble of getting more fans has been around since pages were introduced. So some of the information is outdated, but know we chose these articles because they are still useful, and the tips are still relevant/still hold. And there you doubted us for a second.
How To Develop A Facebook Page That Attracts Millions.Now this article doesn’t actually tell you how to get a million fans (and for a small business, we’re not sure that’s what you’re aiming for). Aaaaand it’s also from 2009, but that shouldn’t deter you. Even if it is one of those articles telling you what a facebook fan page is, we checked through all 10 tips and all 10 tips still hold. Call it goin’ retro. It works.
The Top 5 Ways to Stand Out On Facebook.This one is less directly focused on getting more fans, but talks about how to be a good brand on Facebook. You do that, and people will like you, link to you, and trust us, you’ll see the fan count rise.
With a good Texan salutation, we move on to this week’s Friday blog post, in which we cover some new stuff with Facebook. No, we won’t be covering the “shift+enter” complaints or the “memorable status updates” (Watch your words! Facebook never forgets!), but we do have some articles that should prove a tasty treat for those of you with a sixth basic taste of business. So what can Facebook do for you today? Let’s see:
What’s New With Facebook
Facebook Expands Tagging to Include Comments: The same “@” sign that you’ve been using to link events, people, and pages is being expanded into virtually any place you can enter text on Facebook, which, if you’re the taggable brand, is good news for you.
4 Facebook E-Commerce Tips for Brands: a lot of businesses use Facebook to sell directly rather than as a referral tool. If you’re doing this or this idea sounds appealing to you, here are some good tips on doing it right.
Yes, Facebook Is A Viable Marketing Strategy For Startups: There is some concern among “the they” that Facebook is no longer– or at least will soon no longer be—fashionable or effective. Nick O’neill calls them out and argues that Facebook is still the number one marketing channel and is “practically mandatory” for online startups.
Why You Need Facebook’s Like Button On Your Site: We probably don’t need to beat you over the head with this idea for you to know its importance. But really, you should do it. The article has some resources and fully explains the awesome functionality of the “like”.
On its surface, it seems ridiculous. What could we possibly have to learn from a self-proclaimed cocaine addict, a possible wife abuser, and guy who waves a machete on his roof all wrapped into one?
On a personal level, probably not much. But on a professional level, Charlie Sheen has really done something interesting with social media. And all without a Facebook page.
Below we have one of the videos that started it all and had everyone asking, is he crazy? Has he lost it? Is he coked out? Or is he a genius?
But after a while people stopped caring so much about what brought on this sudden outburst from the actor we’ve known so long, and started #winning, throwing a #fastball, and discovering their #tigerblood. The simple word “winning” has gone from a cool thing that might get you a few Facebook likes from friends to “Just scored the last jelly donut at work. #WINNING” and puts you in touch with the wave of millions of Charlie Sheen fans all stoked on their fortune, all part of the most twisted and accidental motivational campaign the internet’s ever seen. And even the ironists are taking part in the trend in Chuck Norris-Joke fashion, which is just as much absurd as it is peculiarly self-satisfying. Like Sheen says,
“Admit it folks, the whole winning thing, you just feel better when you say it.”
But how’s he doing it? First, the video went viral. But how do you sustain it? He took some cues from Conan O’Brien, creating his Team Sheen, and with a Twitter the world could get as much Charlie as their smartphone put out.
No matter what’s behind the outing of Charlie Sheen’s new public game face–a hugely successful publicity stunt, a comedian that never was, whatever; as long as you’re #winning right?–there’s no doubt it’s been tremendously successful. So here are five things we can learn about social media from Charlie Sheen.
(1) Video, Video, Video.
Here is the viral video that started it all (apologies, it wasn’t embeddable). We’re not recommending you do this–or anything else Sheen mentions in the video–with your business or with your self, but there’s something to be said for (1) standing out from your competition, (2) breaking the rules, (3) being fearless, (4) having crazy intense catch phrases rolling out of your mouth every five seconds.
But that’s not all. Sheen also does live Ustream shows for his fans. It’s called Sheen’s Korner. Branding branding. Some of this stuff is really amazing writing, and we doubt it’s all Sheen. But after all, it is Charlie.
(2) Twitter Is Powerful For Personalities
This is the link to the official Charlie Sheen Twitter. It’ll speak for itself. But here we have a mind that millions of people want to get inside of, and Twitter is the perfect platform for that. Look at the extreme use of personality to drive people to this Twitter. And also, we’re cheating here, but another lesson—Never Understimate Humor. If people couldn’t laugh with Sheen (and remember Sheen is laughing too), they wouldn’t be following him.
Just a few hours ago an article was published “revealing the secret” behind Charlie Sheen’s tweets. Surprise surprise, it’s not all him. But we can safely assume it’s mostly him, and he’s been using this to promote his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option Show”. Want to talk ROI? Now here’s some tangible, monetary ROI.
(3) There Are Some Important Considerations In Getting An Intern
There’s been a big fuss recently about last week’s tweet from Charlie Sheen saying he’s looking for an intern. The particular fuss is that once people know that Sheen’s totally removed from his tweets, people will lose interest. They want the #warlock. So there’s some good discussion on what makes a good intern. Your scale of social media probably isn’t Sheen-sized, but if your business doesn’t depend solely on your personality (or even if it does), do some serious thinking about who your intern will be and how your intern will operate within your social media goals.
(4) If People Like You, The Street Team Will Form Organically
Not everyone is so lucky to have a last name that sounds a lot like “team”, but you can get creative. If you’ve stood out from your competitor’s in an important, bold, and assertive way, people will appreciate that and promote your distinction all on their own. Word of mouth is one thing, but if your breakfast taco is “twice the power of the normal taco”, the idea is so absurd and funny that people are likely to take it upon themselves to promote it how they can. We seem to be in an age that appreciates they hyperbolic, the exaggerated, the ridiculous. Capitalize on this and find your quirk. People will want to talk about you and promote you.
(5) It Is, Always Has Been, and Always Will Be About People
Sure, we can talk about online conversion and merchandising—Charlie Sheen is making big bucks off of all this. With catch phrases like “Dyin’s For Fools” and “I only know one speed–Go!”, who wouldn’t want a shirt that says that? But in the end, no one is stoked on Coca-Cola, or Disney World, or XYZ Donuts. People really follow people. So perhaps the most important lesson from all of this is, for better or worse, be a real person, be fearless, and be yourself.
Ever wonder how to social media? Yes, it’s true, we’ve taken the liberty of verbing “social media”, but it’s in the spirit of the slew of How-To articles we’ve provided for you this week. We’re particularly excited because we decided to introduce some things Neovia hasn’t touched on much, including 2d codes and customer events.
Then we’ve got the most recent takes on bettering your business approach to two key players, Facebook and Foursquare. And don’t fear redundancy. The social media world is so rapidly changing (and we get you the sizzling hot new stuff) that every new article hits a new beat. So this next week, we’ve got the “how-to”, you’ve got the “do”. Until next time, von boyage!
How To Develop Ideas That Will Disrupt Your Industry.“In 2003, Jonah Staw was having dinner with some friends in a trendy restaurant in San Francisco when the discussion turned to what he calls “disruptive business ideas.” Suggestions were flying left and right, and at one point, someone asked, ‘How crazy would it be if some company started selling socks that didn’t match?’”
How To: Grow Your Revenue and Sales using 2d Codes.“By now, you’re probably already familiar with 2D codes. They’re the square boxes that are showing up on ads, posters and billboards that connect people to mobile sites for more product information…Here’s a primer and some key examples of how top companies are using 2D codes to improve business.”
How To Host a Customer Events.“Events for customers are a throwback to the days when a handshake was more meaningful than a text alert. An event done right can be just as valuable today, but done wrong can be an expensive cocktail party.”