Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

It’s not enough to call social media a “trend.” It’s a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, and more business owners are jumping on the bandwagon each and every day.

It’s not surprising, considering the fast-paced and often confusing nature of the industry, that myths and misinformation are prominent. Below are seven of the most common–and the most damaging:

1. “My customers are not active in social media.” Nielsen estimates that social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all active U.S. internet users. Social media isn’t limited to certain demographics. Your customers are out there–it’s up to you to figure out where.

2. “Facebook is the only social media site we need.” Facebook is an ideal platform for reaching consumers. LinkedIn, on the other hand, offers easy access to business owners and professionals. Twitter continues to explode in popularity, currently growing at a rate of 11 accounts per second. LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest all have a valuable role to play as well. Don’t limit yourself to a single social media channel.

3. “I can’t have a significant impact if I don’t have thousands of followers.” While a large audience is certainly desirable, pursue quality over quantity. A hundred Twitter followers or Facebook fans that belong to your target market are better than 10,000 who don’t. Seek to build relationships and provide value to your market; the numbers will take care of themselves.

4. “Pinterest is a passing fad… so I don’t need to establish a presence.” Actually, Pinterest is the fastest growing social network of all time–ignore it at your peril! (Here’s how to get started.)

5. “Social media is great for B2C sales… but not B2B.” LinkedIn is an incredible platform for selling to businesses. Create a profile, get involved in targeted groups and participate in discussions relevant to your industry.

6. “Our customers talk about us on social media without us–we don’t need to create conversation.” Customers who act as brand ambassadors are incredibly valuable, but if you fail to control the conversation, you are leaving the fate of your business in the hands of others. You need a presence in order to respond to criticism and consistently broadcast your brand.

7. “I don’t need a social media strategy.” Many business owners consider social media platforms to be fun and even engaging, but not worthy of a long-term strategy and a system for executing it. But in order to be effective on social media, you must be consistent. And without a systemized approach to social media, it’s impossible for a busy small busy owner to maintain a consistent presence.

[Image: Flickr user Gabe Gross]

Originally published by expert blogger JOHN SOUZA | 04-20-2012 in Fast Company

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Where Should You Post Your Social Media Status?

Posted: November 3, 2011 by FMstereo in Social Media

Twitter Releases Web Analytics Tool

Posted: September 13, 2011 by FMstereo in Data Analysis, News, Social Media, Tech

How much traffic does your website receive from Twitter? Twitter Web Analytics, a new tool announced Tuesday, should help provide some clarity to website owners who rely on the information network for content distribution.
Twitter Web Analytics is intended to give website owners more data on the effectiveness of their Twitter integrations. It’s powered by BackType, the social analytics company that Twitter acquired in July.

Twitter Web Analytics, explains BackType founder and new Twitter platform staffer Christopher Golda, will help publishers and website owners understand three key things: How much of their content is being shared on Twitter, how much traffic Twitter is sending their way and how well Tweet Buttons are performing.

The tool is free and currently in beta. A small group of partners will gain access to Twitter Web Analytics this week, and Twitter will roll it out to all website owners in a few weeks. An API will also be released for developers.

 

 Originally published on September 13, 2011 by Jennifer Van Grove in Mashable.

5 Truly Creative Uses Of Social Media

Posted: June 7, 2011 by FMstereo in Social Media

The biggest news in the world of social media over the last few weeks has been the IPO of LinkedIn, the upcoming Groupon IPO, and the slew of floatations these two are likely to herald. And, of course, underpinning all of this has been the simple question of whether the valuations these companies are receiving mean that we are in a bubble.

Whilst I’m in no way qualified to answer that (though I tend to agree with the analysis by multi-media consultancy Broadsight that all of this activity suggest that we definitely are in a bubble), what I can say is that nearly all of these companies rely on marketing, if not direct advertising dollars, for their business models.

This worries me because at present all of them seem to be enabling, if not actively encouraging, incredibly uncreative communication strategies. As a colleague of mine, who had his doubts about social, once said to me, “Are there any great social marketing campaigns that don’t rely on bribing the user”. And, when you think about it, there aren’t that many.

Groupon is built on bribing, or buying, your customer’s attention (with all the dangers that brings of investing in acquisition with absolutely no guarantee of retention), whilst many other ‘famous’ campaigns are built on similar models: vouchers, competitions, etc…

If Facebook, Twitter and the like really want to meet their valuations they need to win TV budgets, and that means that agencies and marketers need to get much better at using social platforms and technologies to build lasting relationships with consumers, without resorting to financial rewards, and start creating truly innovative strategies.

So, rather than just rant about this, I thought it would be useful to give examples of brands that are doing exactly that, in the (almost certainly vein) hope that this might encourage others to do the same.

5 Examples Of Excellent Social Media Campaigns

1. Intel – Museum of Me

This was the campaign that made me decide to write this post. A stunningly simple mechanic (pulling data from people’s social graphs using Facebook’s API is hardly original).

But done in a truly beautiful way, that actually made me stop what I was doing and give my full attention to what was unfolding in front of me. And, in doing all of this, it subtly, but very definitely, hammers home the overarching brand message. This should win awards. Lots of them.

2. First Direct – Live

Marketers often dismiss social, saying that it only works for cool brands, ones where people will want to get involved. So it would be impossible to use it for, say, a bank, right? Well, First Direct, to highlight the fact that unlike most other UK banks, were trusted by their customers, used social technology to surface consumer opinion, and then published it, on their own site, and broadcast it, in offline marketing. Again, an old tricks (it’s what movie studios have always done) but given an innovative twist, that won awards, and hit business targets.

3. Heineken – Star Player

Sponsoring major sporting events is an expensive business, yet so many brands go no further than slapping their logos on the bilboards and the ads around the games. Heineken went one better, and created an app that not only appeals to the target audience (football/soccer fans), but is truly engaging and, creates and facilitates live conversations.

4. Metropolitan Police – Choose A Different Ending

If you can’t use social for boring sectors, surely it can’t make a serious point? Well, the (London) Metropolitan Police proved otherwise with this interactive video narrative that allows youngsters to see the dangers of carrying a knife through a ‘choose your own adventure’ style YouTube platform. Gripping, engaging and perfect for the target audience. Truly creative, and true social work.

5. Burberry – Art Of The Trench

Another industry that has, for the most part, steered clear of social, and indeed digital in general, is the luxury sector. But fashion brand Burberry decided to grasp it with both hands, and the result was the highly successful Art Of The Trench, which has been followed with the world’s first 3D livecast of a catwalk show, with real-time Facebook & Twitter commenting.

It actually took me a while to come up with these, as so many, admittedly creative uses of social, rely on giving something physical back to consumers, whether in the forms of discounts or competition prizes.

So, help me out. Help me prove my colleague wrong. Help us prove that social media can be used creatively, without recourse to competitions, vouchers and give-aways, by giving your own examples in the comments.

* Heineken & First Direct are both Mindshare clients, though Mindshare was not involved in the creation of the Star Player app. I have tried to use non-US examples on purpose, to prove that great work does exist outside of America.

Originally published on Jun 7, 2011 at 9:30am ET by Ciarán Norris in Search Engine Land.

button

As expected, Google is now offering +1 buttons that can be placed on any web page via a short code snippet. The code/button is supported in 44 languages, but +1 activity continues to show only on English-language search results on Google.com. (Google says it’s working to expand +1 worldwide.)

Webmasters can use Google’s self-serve code generator to customize the size and language of the button, along with a few other advanced options.

plus-one-code-generator

There’s more about the advanced options here, and be sure to read the FAQs at the bottom where you’ll learn, among other things, that Google recommends using the +1 button in conjunction with the “rel=canonical” tag.

Postscript, 12:00 pm PST: If you’re trying to install the button on your site, it may only show up if you and your visitors are logged in to your Google accounts. Google tells us this is temporary and due to the fact that the button is still being rolled out. In a “matter of hours,” the buttons should be visible to all, whether logged in or not.

The button looks and acts, of course, much like the existing social buttons that you see regularly on all kinds of websites — but make no mistake that this is Google’s most direct attempt yet to compete with Facebook’s nearly ubiquitous “Like” button, which has practically become the default way we share content online. Google has repeatedly said that it would like access to Facebook’s data to improve search results, but the two sides have been unable to work out anything along those lines.

Analytics For +1 Users?

Google has previously shown screenshots of what a +1 dashboard will look like in Google Webmaster Tools:

But there’s no mention on any of Google’s blog posts about this feature, and my own Webmaster Tools account has nothing new related to +1.

+1 Button & SEO Impact

When +1 launched in March on Google’s organic and paid listings, Google said it would look at +1 click data “as a potential signal to improve search quality.”

A new +1 button FAQ explains this in more detail:
Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1′s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality. For +1′s, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.
That FAQ page also explains another SEO impact: The +1 button might get a page crawled or re-crawled:
Once you add the button, Google may crawl or recrawl the page, and store the page title and other content, in response to a +1 button impression or click.

Where Does +1 Activity Show Up Online?

The +1 activity of your network (as Google defines it) shows up visually in Google’s search results and that will now include when your network clicks on the new +1 button on websites, not just when they “+1″ a Google search result.

If you allow it in your Google Account settings, your +1 activity may also show up on websites that use the +1 button — very similar to how you see messaging on web pages that “John Doe liked this on Facebook.” This Google Account page shows how it looks and lets you choose to share your +1 activity or not.

plus-one-other-sites

Your +1 activity — both in Google’s search results and on websites using the new button — will also show up on your Google profile if you choose to allow it.

We’ll be testing and using the +1 button ourselves, and asking Google questions about it — and the analytics feature — so stay tuned for more in the near future.

Originally published on Jun 1, 2011 at 1:41pm ET by Matt McGee in Search Engine Land.

Blogging

I was going to call this article “All ‘Social Media Experts’ Need To Go Die In A Fire,” but I figured I should be nicer than that.

But my title stands. If you call yourself a social media expert, don’t even bother sending me your resume.

No business in the world should want one on their team. They shouldn’t want a guru, rockstar or savant, either. If you have a social media expert on your payroll, you’re wasting your money.

Being an expert in social media is like being an expert at taking the bread out of the refrigerator. You might be the best bread-taker-outer in the world, but you know what? The goal is to make an amazing sandwich, and you can’t do that if all you’ve done in your life is taken the bread out of the fridge.

Social media is just another facet of marketing and customer service. Say it with me. Repeat it until you know it by heart. Bind it as a sign upon your hands and upon thy gates. Social media, by itself, will not help you.

We’re making the same mistakes that we made during the DotCom era, where everyone thought that just adding the term .com to your corporate logo made you instantly credible. It didn’t. If that’s all you did, you emphasized even more strongly how pathetic your company was. You weren’t “building a new paradigm while shifting alternate ways of focusing customers on the clicks and mortar of an organizational exchange.” No — you were simply an idiot who’d be out of business in six months.

Ready for the ultimate kicker? We still haven’t learned! We got thirsty again, and are drinking the same ten-year-old Kool-Aid without so much as asking for ice. Rather than embracing this new technology and merging it with what we’ve learned already, we’re throwing off our clothes and running naked in the rain, waving our hands in the air, sure that this time it’ll be different, because this time it’s better!

“It’s not about building a website anymore! It’s so much cooler! It’s about Facebook, and fans, and followers, and engagement, and influence, and…”

Will you please shut up before you make me vomit on your shoes?

IT’S ABOUT GENERATING REVENUE THROUGH SOLID MARKETING AND STELLAR CUSTOMER SERVICE, JUST LIKE IT’S BEEN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.

It’s about transparency. It’s about not lying to your customers, and thinking that a good Twitter apology will suffice when you’re caught. It won’t, and you’ll lose. Customers will run away in droves, because they can. They can go wherever they want now — it doesn’t matter how loyal they were in the past. Lie to them and get caught, and say goodbye.

It’s about using the tools to market to an audience that wants to help tell your story, because you’ve been awesome at providing them with the service they deserve. United’s reaction to “United Breaks Guitars” WASN’T a stellar example of a good use of social media. It was the exact opposite–it was knee-jerk crisis management that would never have had to happen had United been focused on customer service in their marketing to begin with.

It’s about relevance. It’s not about tweeting every single time your company offers 10 percent off on a thingamabob. It’s about finding out where your customers actually are, and going after them there. If you’re tweeting all your discounts, and none of your customers are on Twitter, then you sir, are an idiot. Marketing involves knowing your audience, and tailoring your promotions in specific bursts to the correct segments.

“Social media experts” don’t know this. They’ll build you a fan page, and when all that work doesn’t convert into new sales, they’ll simply say, “Well, we’ll just post more.”

Don’t be that guy. Real marketers know when to market using traditional methods, social media or even word of mouth. Go ahead. Ask a “social media expert” what a traffic planner does at an agency, then laugh as they quickly ask Google for help finding the answer.

It’s also about brevity. You know what the majority of people calling themselves social media experts can’t do, among other things? THEY CAN’T WRITE. The number of “experts” out there who can’t string a simple sentence together astounds me. Guess what — if we have about three seconds to get our message across to a new customer, you know what’s going to do it?

Not Twitter followers. Not Facebook fans. Not Foursquare check-ins – NO. What’s going to do it is GOOD WRITING, END OF STORY. Good writing is brevity, and brevity is marketing. Want to lose me as a customer, forever, guaranteed? Have a grammar error on any form of outward communication.

Finally, it’s about knowing your customer, and making sure your customer thinks of you first. When Barry Diller was running Paramount, he’d call ten people in his Rolodex each morning, just to say “hi.”  That translated into all of Hollywood knowing this previously unknown executive’s name — because he took the time to reach out and communicate. It also translated into Paramount making billions in a time where other movie companies were struggling.

Do you know your audience? Have you reached out to them? I’m not talking about “tweeting at them.” I’m talking about actually reaching out. Asking them what you can do better, or asking those who haven’t been around in a while what you can do to get them back. It’s not about 10 percent off coupons or “contests for the next follower.” For God’s sake, be smarter than that.

You’d never give the intern permission to write the corporate press release to accompany an earnings announcement, so why the hell are you listening to the 22-year-old who says, “we’re going to do this social media thing because it’s cool?”

Social media is not “cool.” MAKING MONEY IS COOL. Social media is simply another arrow in the quiver of marketing, and that quiver is designed to GENERATE REVENUE.

If you’re doing anything else with social media, here’s a book of matches, and I expect to never see you again.

Originally published by Peter Shankman on May 23, 2011, in Business Insider.

 

Facebook has released a new tool that lets users convert their personal profile into a Facebook Page. Though the terminology is often muddled, a key difference between the two features is that users can simply “like” a Page while they must “friend” (establish a mutual relationship with) a profile, which makes Pages a much better solution for businesses and public figures.

On a help page explaining the new tool, Facebook describes what happens when you make the switch:
“Be aware that when you convert your profile to a Page, your profile pictures will be transferred, and all of your friends will be automatically added as people who like your Page. No other content will be carried over to your new Page, so be sure to save any important content before beginning your migration.”
Migrating is irreversible at this time, so you may want to download your profile information — including photos, wall posts, messages and friend list — before making the switch.

With the tool, Facebook’s prime target appears to be businesses and public figures that have previously set up a profile instead of a page. Beyond having a somewhat different feature set, profiles also have a 5,000 friend limit that has become a limitation for some popular entities.

Personally, I’ve been waiting for this feature for some time, as it will allow me to move my “friends” (many of which are more like Twitter followers since I’ve never met them) to a Page and set up a new profile to maintain a more personal relationship with people I actually know. While that might be a somewhat limited use case, it should be a welcome addition for people who were previously a bit too loose in terms of who they accepted into their Facebook network.

Originally published on Mashable on 31st of March 2011


If there’s one thing websites and publishers can’t get enough of, it’s analytics — data-mining tools like Google Analytics and real-time snapshots of activity like Chartbeat, which show who comes to a site and when, where they come from, and what they do when they get there. Now websites can get that kind of info from Facebook too, thanks to some new analytical tools the social network launched today, which give publishers insights via Facebook’s plugins — including the ubiquitous “like” button. As social media starts to drive more and more traffic to websites, such tools are becoming even more important.

Facebook has had analytics for its own pages for some time, which show “fan” page administrators how users are interacting with the pages, whether they are sharing content, etc. — along with particulars about their age, sex and any other demographic info they have chosen to share through the network. And since it launched its social plugins last year, the network has provided some data about how users are responding to “like” buttons, etc. But the new features it launched Tuesday provide a lot more information, and real-time data, about that activity. The analytics include:

  • Like button analytics. Facebook provides anonymized data to show sites the number of times people saw “like” buttons on their pages (known as “impressions”), how many times they clicked on them, as well as how many times people saw those buttons on Facebook and clicked through to the site.
  • Comment analytics. Sites can see the number of times people saw the comment plugins Facebook recently launched, how many times they actually posted a comment, and how many times they clicked through from a comment that was cross-posted from the site to Facebook.
  • Demographic analytics. Just as it does with Facebook pages, the social network can show websites aggregated demographic data about the visitors to their pages who logged in with their Facebook profile.
  • Organic sharing analytics. Even if a site doesn’t use the Facebook open-graph social plugins, the site’s new analytics offer data on how often content from a site is shared on the network, either by someone pasting a URL or sharing in some other way.

Although many websites and publishers have concerns about integrating themselves so tightly with Facebook, in part because of the control that gives the giant social network (and in some cases, concern about the impact on users’ privacy), there is no question that this kind of data analysis is going to be very appealing to a lot of sites — particularly the ones using Facebook’s social tools to expand their reach, and looking for evidence that this strategy is working. They can see exactly which content is getting engagement and when.

Already, some sites, such as Talking Points Memo, have started to notice that Facebook is generating a growing amount of their traffic. (The Nieman Journalism Lab is asking other sites to submit data about where their traffic comes from, so it can track those patterns.) And the implementation of Facebook comments is likely to drive those numbers higher for many, although there are concerns about that as well.

One risk for publishers, however, is that they start to focus only on users who login via Facebook and spend less time paying attention to visitors who don’t. And the ultimate extension of that kind of thinking, of course, is to give up on your website altogether and just use a Facebook page, as the hyper-local community site Rockville Central recently did — something the social network is no doubt happy to facilitate.

Originally posted by By Mathew Ingram Mar. 8, 2011, 4:04pm in GigaOM.

Which brands post too much on their Wall? image

Recently we have published an article giving out recommendations of how to publish on your Facebook Page. One week later, let’s take a look on Pages that don’t follow these recommendations and what it means for them in terms of their Engagement.

We decided to follow our 1st rule: Post too many times a day on Facebook

Posting too often on your Wall could be represented as spamming your Facebook fans which shouldn’t be done by any means. Recommended average of posting for brands would be about once a day (or 2 – 3 times exceptionally if you have a very good announcement).

Do brands follow this posting average? We’ve digged into our database at Socialbakers Page Analytics and found out that some brands heavily exceed this limit. Here are some of the brands that post on their Wall too much.

Sapo Portugal: 390 wall posts in the last month? That’s way over limit, they average at about 13 posts a day! Also their posts clearly don’t work. With almost 24k fans, they can reach much higherEngagement than 0,06%.

Asos fashion online: averaging at 5 wall posts a day in the last 30 days, Asos should reconcider their posting strategy. Their posting clearly doesn’t work as they’ve reached on 0,002% Engagement with almost 480k fans.

Forever 21: big Facebook base, more than 4 million fans, definetely a Page which should have a good posting strategy as the fan base is very good. This brand averages at over 3 wall posts per day with very low ER – little over 0,002%.Again, next time they should focus more on the quality of posts rather than their quantity.

Avon Products Page: Little less than 3 posts per day, so not that bad anymore. However, we think they could do much better in terms of Engagement. They gained about 294k fans and currently reach Engagement at about 0,004 %.

We’ve taken into account only bigger and well known brands which should care about their Facebook presence. Of course there are many other local brands which would be the potential “winners”in our charts. They average at around 10-20 posts a day with almost no engegement!

Originally posted in Socialbakers on 22.02.2011 19:23.

Facebook News, Facebook Games and analysis of Facebook

http://www.allfacebook.com/

Filled with interesting tidbits of information, such as: