Persuasive Picks for the week of 06/06/11

PieBy the numbers: Social media’s slice of the marketing pie
Get up to speed on how companies with small, medium and large social marketing budgets are spending their money via these highlights of several recent Hubspot, Nielsen and Altimeter reports compiled by Dan Taylor – in this post on TheNextWeb.com.

4 Ways Video Can Help Your Social Media Marketing Success
This Clickz.com post from Liana Evans provides some practical advice for creating useful video for your business rather than shooting for the that virtually unobtainable “viral” brass ring.

How Southwest Airlines Is Connecting With Customers Via Social Media
Last week’s picks featured a look at how JetBlue has been finding success with their social media efforts. This week you can also take a peek at how they’re doing it over at Southwest – via this video post over on SocialMediaExaminer.com.

56% Of Content Shared Online Occurs Via Facebook
Not using Facebook as part of your social marketing strategy yet? You might want to reconsider it. Get a quick rundown of some pretty impressive stats when it comes to sharing content online – via this AllFacebook.com post from Jennifer Moire.

Facebook And Twitter: What If The Real World Was Like Social Media?
This week’s round of picks wraps up with this very funny video from the English National Opera that shows what things would be like if you applied your online life to the real world. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Salim Virji

If Your Social Content Isn’t Brand-Relevant, It’s Just Noise

In the PR industry, we’re paid to make people take notice. Notice of products, services, people, companies. Notice of articles, comments, updates, events. And it’s not always easy – it’s a crowded world out there and “breaking through the noise” is a big challenge. Social media has opened up the options for promotion – we’re not tied only to third parties, such as media, to spread the word. We can create, share and promote our own content more than ever – and ask fans, customers, and followers to validate such content through “liking” it, sharing it, commenting on it, etc.

The biggest mistake we see in this type of promotion is a failure to connect the dots. Too many companies are so busy providing status updates and ad hoc content just to fill a page (or justify someone’s job), that they aren’t thinking about an integrated strategy. There’s also a lot of unrelated content posted by businesses that doesn’t seem to support the brand, the products or the company’s mission. Even if you are just trying to entertain your community and be conscientious to not over-promote to them, you should still make sure you’re posting content that makes sense. Otherwise, it’s just unnecessary noise.

The old ABC adage – Always Be Closing – doesn’t apply to social media and community efforts by brands. Of course you don’t want to be overly-promotional in your networks, or you’ll turn your fans away. They don’t want to be marketed to – they want to be talked with. And that means sharing interesting content that’s helpful, entertaining or intriguing in some way – but it should still tie to your brand.

One good example I saw recently was by the Life is Good company on Facebook. As a company that sells “optimistic apparel & accessories,” they are constantly posting inspirational quotes and images. They’re lucky in this aspect because it ties to their company’s mission. Recently, I noticed a post with a link to “Life is Good Radio.” I thought it was interesting that an apparel company took the time to create an online radio station. But when I listened, it made total sense – the songs were all upbeat, inspirational and happy. The station reinforces the company’s mission – optimism. Music provides that emotion for many of us, and the company describes the programming as “eclectic and reflective of the company’s positive outlook.” They nailed it.

When thinking about your social media and marketing content, how do you ensure it ties to your brand or company’s mission? Are you considering the tone you’re setting with the content you share? Are you taking the time to train anyone responsible for growing social networks and community on your behalf, so that they are fully aware of that tone/sentiment, and so that they know how to tie interesting and engaging content to your brand?

Here are a few tips:

  • Post content that gets people thinking about an issue, topic or trend that ties to your business. Content should relate to your business in order to help brand recall. If a customer remembers your brand when thinking about an issue, you’ve won. For example, as a parent, I’m always thinking about ways to keep my children healthy. Say I follow a company on Facebook that makes children’s iPad apps, and they post 10 tips for helping my child to build a strong memory. I’m going to remember that brand as helpful and resourceful, and oh yeah – I should probably check out their app.
  • Post content that gets people to engage with you. It’s all well and good to post a funny dog video but it’s even better – especially if you sell products to dog owners – to get people to answer a question about the video on your Facebook page – spending more time exposed to your brand, logo, messages, etc. – and likely to come back again to see what other people’s answers are to that question (enforcing that sense of community around your brand).
  • Post content that makes sense. This seems obvious, but if you work for or represent Chrysler, Tweeting that people in Detroit don’t know how to drive is … well, just stupid. Even if it was your personal opinion. Social media doesn’t mean you have to share every thought. Especially if you want to keep your day  job.

 

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/28/11

Social Media Cycle

Understanding the Social Media ROI Cycle
The 60 Second Marketer‘s Jamie Turner shares some excellent insight into Social Media ROI and the various phases of a social campaign via this guest post on Mashable.

Lessons From a Corporate Insider: Dream Big, but Think Small
Leading the charge to convince corporate communications of the benefits of moving into the the social space can be a tremendous challenge. This post from Mark Ivey on MPDailyFix.com provides some good tips, along with a personal experience story direct from Mark. As an added bonus, additional advice from the community continues on in the comments section.

Proof of Life: 4 Reasons Why B2B Marketing Lives On
MPDailyFix turned up this other great pick by way of this Pro-B2B post from Carlos Hidalgo who shares “our reasons why B2B marketing is still alive and kicking.

Expand Your Social Media Mix: Twitter Alone is Not Enough
This excellent post from Jeremiah Owyang hits the nail on the head by urging readers to add a little more “steak” (more substantial content) to their social media mix. Several social tool alternatives are shared to help get you away from focusing on Twitter as your primary content sharing vehicle.

Why the digital agency will never die
In this iMediaConnection.com post. JetSet Studios CEO, Russell Scott shares his take on why digital agencies are here to stay and how the “story” is at the center of it all.


 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 01/10/11

QuoraHow Quora could get interesting

Quora might be the shiny new social tool of the month, but the jury is still out as to whether there’s value contained within or even if the site will last. Chris Brogan provides his view via this post that continues on with a great comment thread from the community. What’s your take?

How Small Businesses Can Use Quora
The topic of Quora continues with this next pick. Still not sure how it might be used with your business? ReadWriteWeb‘s John Paul Titlow shares several ways you might integrate the tool into your social strategy.

In Social Media Marketing, Influence Trumps Popularity
Need a better understanding of why “influence” is such an important part of the social web? This post from Mila D’Antonio explains why influence is not the same as popularity and provides a real world example of how Rayovac has leveraged the power of influencers in their recent social campaigns.

5 Tips for Optimizing and Integrating Your Social Media Content
So, you’ve got an editorial calendar chock full of great content ideas ready to roll out, but are you making the most of your content creation efforts? Liana Evans provides several good tips to keep you going in the right direction via this guest post on Clickz.com

Firms are overcoming their fear of social media: report
Graham Charlton from eConsultancy shares the results of their recent “2011 Customer Engagement Report” that revealed an increase in companies use of social tools for customer engagement and support. Read on for details.