Brilliant Example Of Engagement Reminds Us All To Keep Pushing The Envelope

bodyformTo say that the lines between PR, media and marketing are blurred is putting it mildly. What was once about facilitating and gatekeeping has now become a creative free-for-all as more brands step into the role of content makers to try to strike a chord with their respective audiences.

As an agency, we’re constantly thinking about best practices among the complimentary disciplines, along with how we can leverage a combination of them most effectively for our clients.

One of the more recent discussions was around engagement on social media. While we’re all familiar with it from a personal perspective, it’s still an area that can be a challenge from a business standpoint.

Even though there’s a general understanding among brands that social media is a marketing tool that can help them reach out to their customers, it can be difficult to convince them to loosen the reins and fully harness their network’s power to unlock the true potential.

Bodyform 1But rather than brainstorming something like a list of the “10 tips for better social media engagement,” we simply wanted to show an example of the magic in action in this video from UK maxipad maker Bodyform, made late last year. The company created it in response to a man’s tongue-in-cheek “rant” on their Facebook wall, claiming that he’s been lied to about the “happy periods” depicted in their ads over the years.

What might make some brand managers bury their heads in the sand to avoid addressing, Bodyform embraced as an opportunity to get a conversation, ahem, flowing in its community.

“We found Richard’s post very amusing and wanted to continue the positive dialogue around periods that this generated,” said Yulia Kretova, brand controller for Bodyform, in a statement. “…Breaking down the taboo around Bodyform and periods has always been a challenge, and I hope that we have started to address this.”
The result? Well, not only did it delight fans and followers, but the video went viral, and we’re still talking about it months later as a hilarious – and effective – example of engagement at its best.

While the saying “no publicity is bad publicity” will always be up for debate, there’s no denying that any kind of feedback – even negative – can be a major opportunity in social media to convert its loudest naysayers into its most fervent fans. And that’s something none of us should overlook – period.

Summer Fun at IMS13 With PerkettPR – Get Your Schwag With Bite

ActualSharksIf you’re attending IMS in San Francisco today, please be sure to find our own Jennifer Hellickson, who will be giving away these cool shark bottle openers to the first 100 folks to connect with her. We’re having some fun at the show by combining our love of summer, Shark Week and our intent on delivering killer marketing. Find Jennifer at the show (hint: follow her or us on Twitter to help you do so) and you will also get directions on how to enter a chance to win our $100 gift card drawing, which will be announced on Friday, August 2 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST on Google+, so join us there, too.

If you’re not at IMS this week, take heart! We also thought it would be fun to share some shark trivia, so follow along today and tomorrow on Twitter or Facebook and test your shark knowledge. We’ll be randomly choosing five online folks to receive a complimentary bottle opener as well. (Hint, you could increase your chances by tweeting with @PerkettPR and #killermarketing in your tweets!)

Enjoy learning at IMS, San Francisco, and contact us if you need help taking a bigger bite out of the industry with #killermarketing strategies.

Persuasive Picks For Week Of 6/17/13

hashtag1The popularity of the hashtag (#) has just received another boost with the recent news that Facebook will now be rolling them out to users. While most of us are familiar with hastags and their rise to fame on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, their background and meaning remains shrouded in internet lore. Who created the hashtag? Why is it called a pound sign, number sign, and a host of other names? And when we use them, are they actually helpful? EContent‘s Jose Castillo explains The Humble History of the Hashtag #And #Why #It #Matters.

Social media can level the playing field between industry leaders and upstarts, between multinational corporation executives and small-business owners, making peers of all participants. So what makes the difference between a following of 500 and a following of 500,000? Brian Patrick Eha, Assistant Editor at Entrepreneur.com, provides 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know culled from darlings of the current social media landscape. Use these tips to increase your influence and make a direct impact on your business strategy.

types-of-social-media-followers-peekTake a look at how many fans your company has on its social platforms. Now, look at how many of those fans are active and how they interact with your brand. There are all types of fans to consider; the casual liker, the deal seeker, and of course the ranters. So what other types of social media fans exist? MarketingProfs‘ Verónica Maria Jarski posts an infographic that provides profiles and suggestions for reaching various fan types in Seven Types of Social Media Fans and How to Engage With Them [INFOGRAPHIC].

Relatively recently, YouTube made a change to their ranking algorithm to favor watch time, which means the longer you can keep viewers tuned in to your videos, the higher they will rank in search. This doesn’t mean, however that you should make lots of long-form videos of 15 minutes or more. Watch time simply means the length of time your videos keep a viewer on the site. In ReelSEO‘s latest “Creator’s Tip #96″ How to Increase YouTube Watch Time by Linking to Playlists, host Tim Schmoyer offers this subtle method to get viewers watching more videos per session.

Persuasive Picks For Week Of 6/3/13

many-suited-businessmen-300x168Knowing how to convey tone in your online writing – including blogs, Tweets, Facebook posts, pins, etc. – is to know your business inside and out. SocialMediaToday’s Kylie Robertson asks readers “If your business were a person, what would it look like?”- stressing the importance of personality, because that’s what your company will be perceived as online: a person. Read more about writing with the right tone in mind in Who Does Your Company Sound Like? Finding Your Tone in Social Media Writing

Social media and blogging has gone from being an activity we started just for  fun and pleasure, to a more serious business. If you need to market and monetize your business, personal brand, website or blog to take advantage of the opportunities, then you need the right tools, resources and advice to guide you. But the explosion of websites, apps, tools and resources online is often confusing. Business2Community contributor Jeff Bullas narrows it down to 39 Awesome Tools and Resources for Blogging and Social Media Marketing.

emailA recent survey of more than 1,000 mobile device users found that for the first time ever, email is the primary reason people are using smartphones. What’s more, emails from brands are second only to personal recommendations when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions on mobile devices. What does that mean for marketers? Michael Truby at PRDaily explains Why Email Is A Key Element Of Mobile Marketing and notes a few key factors to keep in mind.

When marketers list the types of content they’re producing, many put a check next to the box titled “webinars.” These online presentations have been used effectively for many years, and the webinar’s popularity has surged with the decline of tradeshows during the recent recession. But Marketing Automation Evangelist Mathew Sweezey points out that Only 16 Percent of B2B Consumers Prefer Live Webinars, and suggests that implementing three essential techniques will help you earn more ROI out of each webinar and increase lead generation significantly. – via ClickZ

“Influencers Who Inspire” Our Latest Interview With Jason Miller Of Marketo

Jason Miller serves as senior manager, social media strategy at Marketo. He leads the company’s social media efforts, focusing on optimizing social for lead generation and driving revenue. He is a regular contributor to leading marketing blogs, such as Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today and Marketing Profs.

JasonMillerMarketo

Pick one: Beer, Wine, Soda, Juice, Coffee, Tea  or Water?

I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Stella.

In addition to your social media strategist position by day, you are also a rock music photographer by night. What is the one band you haven’t seen live yet that you would love to photograph?

I have been fortunate enough to photograph many of my favorites including The Cult, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Keane, etc. But I am missing one, and that would be Cheap Trick. Their management company has ignored my requests for some reason, but there are two shows coming up here in The Bay Area that I will be attending so I am hoping they respond accordingly this time. It’s free PR for them, so I am very surprised to see them pass up the opportunity.

What parallels in skill sets can you draw from photographer & entertainment writer to the social media magic maker you are today?

Creativity, striving for perfection and the freedom to try new things. Social media marketing is all about how creative you can get while selling to your customers and prospects without selling. There’s a great quote from marketing mastermind Gene Simmons that I always go back to: “We need the people to like what we do. The more they like us, the more they will buy.” That’s been his philosophy regarding KISS and their worldwide domination, but it also applies very well to a company’s social media strategy. The mentality of ‘always be closing,’ needs to change to ‘always be helping.’

In your recent AMA webinar on the topic of Social Media for Lead generation you spoke about “getting out there and trying things.” What ‘things’ do you recommend trying first to increase engagement?

By ‘things’ I essentially mean trial and error. Social channels are simply another touch point between you and your customers and prospects. They move in real time and what works for one business may not work for the other. The idea here is to find success stories and strategies, then make them your own by adjusting the tactics to your audience. Many of your early social campaigns will indeed fail, and that’s ok. The key here is patience and not giving up too early.

How do you keep up with all of your different social networks ? What processes or tools do you have in place to make it easier?

It is challenging, to say the least. Hootsuite is essential for managing multiple social networks, but I really love reading blogs. With the looming death of Google Reader, I have switched over to Feedly to aggregate and read the blogs that I love. Flipboard is also a great option when I want a fully-integrated social feed in a magazine-style format, the only problem there is the filtering. But they are getting much better.

You talked a bit about LinkedIn as a critical social tool for lead generation, and it has certainly improved in the recent months. What do you see as the most valuable way for a business to use LinkedIn?

The most valuable way businesses can use LinkedIn right now is for prospecting, listening and building credibility. There is a cornucopia of insights within the platform, if you know how to set up saved searched-around keywords. There is also a tremendous opportunity to engage with super relevant conversations within the newsfeed and LI groups. I am really excited to see the new products that will be coming from LinkedIn for marketers in the coming months, as I believe they are just getting started.

You also mentioned Facebook as being an important lead generation tool no matter the kind of business you are in. Can you explain why that is the case?

The bottom line here is that if your business or brand, regardless of the niche you are in, doesn’t have a presence on Facebook, you are simply missing opportunities. There are more than one billion people on Facebook; if you think your customers, prospects and decision makers are not there, you are wrong. The important thing to remember is that in the world of B2B marketing, your customers and prospects are not on social to be sold to. Entertain them, tell them a story, give them something to share, help them along the way, and when it comes time for them to purchase, your company will likely be top of mind.

Measuring success is always important to any marketing initiative and tying our work with social back to lead generation is no different. For a small business that may not be able to afford a Radian6 or Marketo right now, what metrics do you recommend looking at beyond likes, shares and follows to determine campaign success. Are there any good free tools that go beyond the average vanity measurements?

That’s a great question. For a small business or anyone just getting started, I would recommend something simple but super effective such as Sprout Social. It’s a pretty decent all-around social tool and provides a nice foundation for anyone looking for a quick snapshot of the social-sphere around their business. Once you begin to get a bit more serious around your social measurement of lead gen opportunities, then you need to start tracking social as a lead source, along with referring traffic and conversions from social. You can do that with Google Analytics. The main thing to keep in mind is that when you start seeing leads come in from social, they are almost never ready to buy. You need to have a lead nurturing process in place, and that’s where marketing automation really shines.

We work some amazing and dynamic marketers and CEOs with fantastic ideas, but sometimes best intentions for writing don’t seem to happen. What is your best tip for inspiring busy executives to crank out the blog posts?

Easy. Go to lunch with them and ask them questions. Record the conversation, then have it transcribed via TranscriptionStar or a similar service. You can extrapolate from there and possibly even have two or three posts from one conversation.

As an aspiring comedian, would you please share the funniest social media update you ever posted or remember seeing across your networks? 

I don’t know if it’s as funny as it is disturbing, but I once tweeted that I woke up one morning still unable to forgive George Lucas for introducing Jar Jar Binks to the world. Somehow it got retweeted tens of thousands of times, and I ranked as the number one influencer for Jar Jar Binks on Klout.

Interested in learning more? Please leave any questions or comments for Jason below.  You can also catch up with him on the Marketo blog or follow him on Twitter.