Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

5 Ways Your Company Can Use Twitter Hashtags

September 26, 2012

If your company has a Twitter account, hashtags, better recognized as #,  should be a part of your social media strategy. Follow these five tips to improve your company’s hashtag strategy.

1. Look for Business-Specific Conversations

If you use Twitter for one thing, use it to learn from others. Look for hashtags such as #smallbiz or #socialmedia to find advice, resources, and influential people to follow. While using these hashtags to learn and gain advice is great, step into the conversation once and a while. Using a hashtag about a subject you’re interested in will put you in the conversation and will allow other people to engage with you too around that topic.

If you want to jump into a more specific conversation, narrow down the hashtag. For example, looking for a business savvy person to follow? Try #entrepreneurs. Wanting to meet new people? Try #networking.

2. Keep it Simple and Consistent 

When tweeting about a new blog post about creating and developing mobile apps, don’t do this: #MobileAppCreationandDevelopment. Try this: #mobileapp #development #design. Overwhelmingly long hashtags are hard to read, making your tweet buried in the mix, and also aren’t search-friendly.

3. Create Your Own Hashtag

Large and small companies can create their own hashtags, and they should! Hashtags are a great way to generate buzz around just about anything! For example, Domino’s Pizza told followers to tweet #letsdolunch. When the number of tweets reached 85,000, Domino’s split prices in half during lunch that day. Get creative! Hashtags are a fun way to engage with you followers and be more than just a Twitter account.

4. Organize Social Dashboards by Hashtag

Whether you use HootSuite or TweetDeck, using a social dashboard can conveniently keep you up-to-date with relevant hashtags for your company. You can create specific columns by social network, search term, or hashtag.

5. Take Advantage of Follow Friday

Micah Baldwin, CEO and Chief Community Caretaker of Graphic.ly, announced on Twitter that he would suggest people to follow every week. This trend took off with the hashtag #FollowFriday and has now been shortened to #FF.

You can use Follow Friday in two ways. You can create a list of great people to follow and try to fit as many of them as you can in a tweet using the hashtag #FF. You can also group your favorite followers in categories. For example, tweet #FF #entrepreneurs and then list the entrepreneurs you like following. This is a great way to contribute to the conversation while letting people know you like following them at the same time.

These are just 5 ways to use hashtags. What are some ways your company uses them?

Below is a current example of how our business used hashtags in the hiring process.

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Facebook Dominates Social Networking Traffic Worldwide

June 11, 2012

According to a new infographic map, Facebook shows a strong hold on traffic to various social sites worldwide. 

Vincenzo Cosenza, an Italian-based social media strategist, has studied the most popular social networks used across the globe and has put together a map to highlight the leading platforms. He posted his findings on his blog.  

Facebook, which has more than 845 monthly active users, is the top-used social networking site in 126 out of 137 countries analyzed, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Japan, Brazil, and India. 

Although Facebook has its roots in the U.S., with 222 million users, Europe is the continent with the most Facebook users, 232 million. 

However, Facebook is not the top player in Russia, China, Vietnam, and Latvia. 

“If we take a look over Facebook’s shoulders we can see the battle for the second position between Twitter and LinkedIn or, especially in Europe, between Badoo and Twitter,” Cosenza noted on his blog.

What do you think? Do you think other social networking sites have the potential to pass Facebook in the future? If so, which sites in which regions?

15 Steps to Superior Support

June 4, 2012

Customer service plays a key role in creating or maintaining a reputable business and brand. These 15 Steps to Superior Support, provided by GoSquared, are great to constantly keep in mind when dealing with customers or clients.

LinkedIn Recommendations: Things You Should Know

June 1, 2012

LinkedIn is continuing to grow rapidly, which means more people are using the tool for intelligence, recruitment, and networking. A social space like LinkedIn can make specific individuals stand out among others; a specific way individuals can best leverage this social network is by gathering recommendations on their LinkedIn profile. 

Here are some guidelines for LinkedIn recommendations: 

1. Ask For Specific Recommendations

When you ask someone for a recommendation, make sure the request is personal and polite. LinkedIn will autofill the recommendation request text box, but remember to take that out. Replace it with asking the person for a recommentaion for something specific you worked on together. Also, ask the person to include what happened as a result of working together. Specific information showing how your skill or work was used reflects well on you. 

2. Don’t Ask Everyone

Don’t send out a defaulted autofill recommendation to all of your connections, because most of those connections haven’t worked with you close enough. You also want to keep the recommendations business related; you don’t want your best friend or landlord to recommend you in a way that doesn’t relate to business. 

3. Don’t Ignore a Request

If you receive a recommendation request from someone that you don’t really know that well, don’t ignore it. Say something like “Thanks for the recommendation request, but I don’t feel that I can endorse your work, since we don’t really know each other that well.” With a response like this, you have let the person down gently and didn’t just leave them hanging. 

4. Be Careful About How You Recommend

While a lot of recommendations look good, make sure your whole team or all of your co-workers don’t recommend each other. Recommendations like that add little value. 

5. Update Recommendations

It’s not very common, but you might want to delete some recommendations you have made. Go to the “recommendations you have made” link in your profile and withdraw it.  You can also revise a recommendation here. 

6. Say ‘Thank You’

When someone writes you a recommendation, you are given the option to return the favor. Don’t do it unless you feel comfortable recommending the person. Regardless, send the person a note saying thanks for the recommendation they wrote for you. 

Recruiting through Social Media

May 30, 2012

“Social media touches every facet of business and is more an extension of good business ethics.”

-Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics

When recruiting through social media, think of these tools in the following ways:

1) FacebookThe Coffee Shop. Fans see updates in real time so you can post about job openings, trade shows, etc. You can also create pages for job listings.

2) TwitterThe Speed Date. Include links to job postings. Can post several times a day. You can get conversations started here very easily.

3) Your BlogThe Open House. Your blog shows off your business’ personality and is a great venue for posting job openings.

4) LinkedInThe Networking Event. Users can follow your company page and you can post jobs inexpensively on your Career page.

5) YouTubeThe Public Access Cable Channel. Videos can showcase your company so prospects can “meet” the people or place they will be working with/at. You can also create a recruiting “commercial”.

For more information on recruiting through social media, click here.

Benefits of Facebook’s Timeline

April 2, 2012

The new Facebook timeline has caused a stir among Facebook users, especially users that are trying to build a brand for their business. Although it will take some getting used to, timeline has perks that are great for businesses.

1. Timeline encourages fresh and active content and conversation.

Timeline now makes business pages look and feel more like personal pages. Instead of just acting as a landing page with default tabs, timeline highlights active content, which is the most effective way to drive new traffic to the store and to the page.

2. Timeline provides a richer opportunity for seller expression.

Timeline gives businesses more space to showcase their brand and products. The most obvious example of this is the cover photo. This is a great opportunity to draw new customers and engage current fans. Also, the old default tabs have been replaced with photos, which is more visually appealing to viewers.

3. Timeline offers deeper engagement insights, tools, and analytics.

The old version of Facebook insights did not deliver users with real-time data. With timeline’s new insights, users can now track how a post is doing within five to ten minutes after posting. Other new tools include: people talking about engagements, friends of fans, reach, and virality. These insights provide users with more tracking tools and instant gratification from posts.

As a business, we are getting used to the new timeline and are appreciating the new changes more and more.

For more information on these benefits, check out Mashable’s article discussing reasons Facebook brand pages are good for businesses.

Successful Social Media Contests

March 19, 2012

Our previous blog post provided tips on how to successfully create a social media contest. Here are a few social media contests that companies implemented that were both highly successful and creative!

1. Citizen Eco-Drive

During the 2011 U.S. Open, Citizen Eco-Drive, a sponsor of the competition, ran contests on Facebook and Twitter offering a free watch to a daily winner. In order to win, people had to follow, like, retweet or answer trivia questions. This contest was successful because of the easy entry, great prize and huge fan engagement.

2. Bing

Bing, a popular search engine, created a jingle contest where users uploaded a video of their “Bing Jingle” for a change to win a prize. This contest was promoted across its social media outlets and resulted in increased engagements and word-of-mouth marketing.

3. Dodge

Dodge recently launched the “Find the Dodge Journey” campaign, which was a real-life scavenger hunt with the prize being a free car. Dodge used YouTube to create viral videos that hyped up the exciting adventure.

4. Basecamp

Basecamp, a web-based project management tool, recently created a “Tell A Friend” contest that offered a discount to new users that signed up through references of a friend. This contest successfully promoted word-of-mouth marketing through friends and co-workers.

5. Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Lines recently launched a social media contest asking participants to create a “Didja Ever” list, or a bucket list. By submitting a “Didja Ever” list, participants were entered to win numerous prizes, one being a free trip for two on one of its popular cruise ships, Carnival Magic. This was an extremely successful campaign and helped them gain more than 1 million Facebook likes.

For more successful social media contests, check out Mashable’s article, 10 Companies That Hit the Bullseye With Online Contests. 

75 B2B Facebook Marketing Tips from Social Media B2B

June 10, 2011

One of the blogs we follow and really enjoy, Social Media B2B, recently compiled a list of the top 75 Facebook tips for B2B marketers. We’ve blogged before about the importance of compelling content within the social media space and really engaging/interacting with your audience. We’ve also posted about the need to align your SEO efforts, driving traffic back to one spot (your Facebook page, your website, your blog). With those two things in mind, take a look at the list below for great ideas on how to get great results from your business Facebook page.

Liking the Page

1. Ask your staff, customers, vendors, and partners — who already know you and like you — to “Like” your Facebook page first. (source)

Facebook Content

2. Share lots of photos, and ask your fans to share photos. Facebook’s Photos remain the most viral feature of its platform. (source)

3. Write for the newsfeed, not for your wall. (source)

4. Don’t worry about writing too little. (source)

5. Be strategic and pay attention to signal vs. noise. (source)

6. Write posts that encourage sharing across the network. (source)

7. Boost your comments by asking questions, but stay away from simple Yes/No answers. (source)

8. Mix it up a little between videos, photos, questions and information (source)

9. Use the 80-20 rule to determine how much other people’s content to post versus your own. (source)

10. Use @ tagging strategically. (source)

11. Target by location or language. (source)

12. Tailor your content to mobile users. (source)

13. Diversify your team’s voices. (source)

14. Open the door to user content — but not the floodgates. (source)

15. Keep posts 80 characters long or shorter. (source)

16. Don’t Be Afraid to Show You’re Human. (source)

17. Have a Unique Voice. (source)

18. Diversify Your Content. (source)

19. Post original and relevant content. (source)

20. Post industry articles and blog posts fresh from your newsreader. (source)

21. Share exclusive, behind the scenes information. (source)

22. Write simply and plainly. (source)

23. Think mainstream for content. (source)

Analyze and Optimize Content

24. Use Edgerank to find your best & worst days. (source)

25. Monitor which posts attract the most Likes and comments (eyeball), and use Insights – Facebook’s own analytics tool – for data. (source)

26. Track the Performance of Your Posts. (source)

Calls to Action

27. Treat your Facebook “Like” button or link to your Facebook Page like any call to action – make it easy to spot. (source)

28. Encourage others to share your calls to action, so they show up in their newsfeed. (source)

Tabs and Landing Pages

29. Make creative use of Tabs. (source)

30. Choose a “landing tab” wisely. (source)

31. Have calls to action on your landing tab. (source)

32. The landing page should be relevant to the ad driving visitors there. (source)

33. Offer incentives. (source)

34. Keep it up to date. (source)

35. Provide interesting content. (source)

How and When to Post

36. Watch Your Post Frequency and Timing. (source)

37. There is a short window of opportunity to gain traction with an update. (source)

38. Be careful with automated posting services like NetworkedBlogs or syncing updates through your Twitter feed. (source)

39. Establish a regular schedule for your brand’s Facebook updates. (source)

40. Post towards the end of the week (source)

41. Weekends are more Facebook sharing friendly. (source)

Audience

42. Know your audience well, and when you make a mistake, quickly own up, do right by your audience and fix the problem. (source)

43. Don’t forget to send an update to fans. (source)

44. Allow your fans to tag photos on your Page. (source)

45. Put Your Fans in Charge Every Now and Then. (source)

Interaction off the Facebook Page

46. Integrate Facebook outside of your Fan Page, on your website, in as many places as you can. Create more compelling opportunities for people to buy your product based on their friends’ Likes. (source)

47. Find synergy with other organizations and entities, and then work together to promote each other’s Facebook pages so that everyone benefits. (source)

Optimize Your Facebook Page for Search

48. Link to your Facebook page from your website home page, using your brand in the anchor or alt‐text. (source)

49. Use your brand name in your posts. (source)

50. Get links to your Facebook Page by driving social engagement and “likes.” (source)

51. Use Facebook Shares and Likes to improve rankings of any page on your website. (source)

52. Interlink your directory pages with parallel Facebook pages. (source)

53. Integrate your website broadly with Facebook Social Plugins and Facebook Connect. (source)

Facebook Advertising

54. Restrict ads to people that don’t Like your Page. (source)

55. Invest in sponsored stories – they work. (source)

Resources

56. Find the resources to respond to your fans questions and inquiries. (source)

57. Accept you won’t work a 9-5. (source)

Miscellaneous

58. Assess the business value of your Page. (source)

59. Hold real-world events. (source)

60. Make use of “Add to My Page’s Favorites.” (source)

61. If you have a physical location, use Place Pages and Deals to drive traffic through your doors. (source)

62. Respond to comments. (source)

63. Polls delivered directly to users’ news feeds are not only effective in their reach but also in their ability to drive engagement. (source)

Facebook Mistakes

64. Broadcasting Content. (source)

65. Not Investing Adequate Time. (source)

66. Being Boring or Predictable. (source)

67. Failing to Learn About Facebook Mechanics and Tools. (source)

68. Violating Facebook’s Terms. (source)

69. Assuming People Go To Your Fan Page Versus Seeing Your Posts In Their News Feed. (source)

70. Expecting Welcome Tabs To Get You Lots Of Fans. (source)

71. Overestimating Apps and Tabs. (source)

72. No Budget For Ads To Acquire Fans. (source)

73. Posting In A Self Centered Way, Not Trying To Get Likes And Comments. (source)

74. Not Optimizing For Impressions And Feedback Rate. (source)

75. Over-Selling and Hard-Selling Without Conversing Or Arousing Desire First. (source)

Employees…the heart of the brand.

November 9, 2010

Mary Beth West sent this Advertising Age article to me this morning, just as I hung up the phone with a client who so desperately needs to follow this advice! It is definitely worth the full read, but I’ll paste the wrap-up here:

5 Reasons to Engage Employees in Your Marketing Strategy

They’re consumers, too
Their opinions are already fully formed and ready for you to tap.

They’re on the frontlines
The product should always be the focus in marketing, but its delivery is crucial — and employees are charged with making that delivery. Investing in their knowledge will pay off.

If you sell the message to them, they’ll sell it for you
You have to convert your employees before you can expect to win over consumers. If successful, you’ll gain genuine, loyal ambassadors for your brand.

It humanizes your brand
Using employees rather than the CEO makes your message instantly less pitchy, and consumers are more likely to trust people they can relate to — people like them.

You might just get something
Remember, this isn’t just a ploy. Tapping your talent for their creative input could produce a sea of duds, but it is also likely yield some solid, workable concepts that fit your brand. (And that a winning idea came from the mailroom is a PR line in and of itself.)

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Don’t Blow It – The Nasal Allergy Game

November 17, 2009

With the growth and expansion of social media, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to step out of what we’ve been doing traditionally and do something completely different to engage in that new area.”
—Julie Lux, Nasonex, director of global product communications and advocacy realtions

After conducting research on their target audience—mainly women ages 25-50—Nasonex decided to use an online game to promote its Nasonex allergy medication, reminding consumers that allergies happen year-round.

“Don’t Blow It” engaged consumers in a new way. Nasonex introduced it in the spring allergy season, and the game featured links and widgets that enticed users to click through to Nasonex.com or share the game on Facebook. They spread the word through a group of select bloggers and traditional media, including health writers and TV weatherman who often talk about pollen count.

In the fall, Nasonex unveiled the “Name Ronnie Nose’s Dog Contest,” and promoted it via dog and pet bloggers and writers.

They also partnered with American Forests to donate one low-allergenic tree for every new user who played the game.

More than 11,000 unique visitors to the site have played the “Don’t Blow It” game, which means 11,000 tress have been planted, and the dog-naming contest has received over 500 entries.

Nasonex plans to update the game each season, continuing to educate users on allergies year-round. Lux says, “There is still life in this particular game…We’ll continue to look for new ways to spread the word about treatment of nasal allergy symptoms.”

Reference: PR Week

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