Announced just days ago, Google has fired a shot over the port bow with its newest attempt for a piece of the social media pie. The appropriately-named “Google+” is made on the heels of two rather striking social media failures—Google Buzz and Google Wave—but this time around, the social media universe (yes, that includes the Twitterverse) has high hopes.
Google’s new innovation includes “Circles”, a new feature to counter massive lists of friends that’s the mainstay of Facebook. By dragging and dropping individuals into these customizable groups, users will have a tighter control over who sees what information (or that drunken party picture from last night). A piece of media shared in one circle goes out to all members of that group.
Google+ holds new opportunities for advertisers. With “Sparks”, an integrated feature of this new platform, Google will tailor entertainment information specifically for users based on their lists of interests and activities while logged into the platform. With a more comprehensive analysis of user data, we wouldn’t be surprised to find more targeted opportunities for HR professionals and marketing gurus to pinpoint their target demographic.
Google+ is still undergoing testing, but keep an eye out for future development!
Signing off for now,
Creating an effective strategy on Facebook takes more than just the time to set up your site and fill in relevant information. You need a content plan where you’ll be disseminating helpful tips to your fans, enticing customers with special deals, and doling out entertainment to those who wander through your little spot in the social media space. Another powerful promotional tool on Facebook is events. Using the built-in utility, you can create and promote event happenings in a quick, easy, and very visible way.
1. In order to promote an event, you must first have a business Facebook page. A personal account won’t cut it—you need to have a central portal your attendees can “fan” as part of your registration process.
2. Choose a location that is close to where the majority of your Facebook fans reside. Consider integrating a Tweetup, holding a seminar, or hosting a hiring event for your business
3. Send out invitations. Decide if you want your event to be invitation only, where the only people who can accept and view details are ones you have sent to, or open to all.
Events remain a great way to show that your Facebook page isn’t just for looks—things are happening, and that keeps your brand foremost in the minds of your fans.
Signing off for now,
It may have custom apps, updates from your best friends, and pictures of birthday parties across the globe, but at the end of the day, a Facebook webpage is still a webpage. Businesses maintain a Facebook page for the same reason they keep up a traditional website: to attract customers or potential hires. Therefore, it stands to reason they need keep an eye on SEO, too. If a company is invested in their Facebook strategy, they should keep a close watch on its visibility. Paying attention to a few attributes will help boost your Facebook site’s ranking in search engines, and make your new media plan that much more effective.
1. Keep current on your content; post at least once a week—more often will get you ranked higher.
2. Stay consistent in your naming—your Twitter and LinkedIn account should all sport the same brand name as your Facebook.
3. Upload media to Facebook including images and video.
4. Get your industry keywords up in the “info” and “about” sections of your page.
5. Investigate events—by hosting an event and promoting it through Facebook, you’re adding another indexable element to your page.
Until next time,
At first, it seems like an easy proposition—setting up an account on Facebook or Twitter and keep running updates about your company. After all, millions of teenagers and grandmothers do it every day. But there are unexpected challenges that come with a company staking a claim in new media venues: obstacles that get in the way of maintaining a neat and orderly operation that distributes the content you want while building your own community.
Disruptions to your social media strategy come in two distinct flavors: spam and negative feedback. To manage both, it’s not simply enough to set up static safeguards (ie. fan and comment approval systems); you need to actively police your wall, Twitter feed, or blog comments.
Spam can come as supposed fans posting messages on your own wall: solicitations to visit a specific blog or buy prescription medicine online. Oftentimes, spammers will target your industry specifically to lessen the chance that their missive will be detected. As a good policeman of your content, delete all spam messages immediately, and block the spammer from your system. Trust us, you’ll have a cleaner wall in the long run.
While criticism can be constructive, negative or angry feedback on your wall can be distracting and damage your reputation in an online space. By all means, answer questions and do your best to engage your community, but outright “troll” messages should be deleted. If a message is angry but making a valid point, engage a fan in a more personal way using a messaging system, and leave the public drama behind.
Until next time,
As the American economy enters a period of recovery and growth—albeit slower growth than many of us would prefer—eyes once again turn toward advertising. Advertising in any economy lays a solid foundation for development of your own, but in times of want, it often takes a back seat to other budgetary concerns.
Advertising, whether for recruitment purposes in building a stronger, more capable company, or in promoting your services and product to customers, is the engine of success. Now, as we enter a period of economic recovery, it’s more important than ever to convince an increasingly consumeristic market to invest in your brand. Advertising will:
1. Make more jobs – Attract the right type of employees to your company, or drive the economy forward through sales.
2. Reduce selling costs – By creating a demand, you’re streamlining the way your product reaches its target destination.
3. Grow company profits – On average, every dollar invested in advertising sees itself multiply by half again. Targeted advertising will grow your investment even further.
4. Find security – By crafting an advertising strategy now, you’re creating a pattern of product recognition and sales that will keep your company solvent for years to come.
Until next time,
Much like Digg, StumbleUpon is a site that’s rapidly gaining popularity. What does this mean for businesses? An opportunity to drive new traffic to your social media sites. StumbleUpon (www.stumbleupon.com) is revolutionary in that it’s a highly personalized experience for every user: as a person votes on what sites he or she likes, the portal picks up on interests and suggests new sites to satisfy their tastes. Think Netflix, only without the monthly fee.
This model is a great business opportunity because, as a business, you have more control over the way your content is presented. Unlike the also-popular Digg.com, registering a site with StumbleUpon is more individualized. You must a) visit a site either through StumbleUpon’s portal or by using their toolbar, and b) type in your URL and then “Thumbs Up” your site.
If you’re the first to register a page on StumbleUpon (say, your company blog), you’re in a very good position. You may set up searchable criteria by listing “topics” that your site covers. You can add tags. You can write a review. You even have the option of naming your site appropriately—something that you might not want to trust to an average web-surfer.
Once your site is in the system, StumbleUpon users can encounter your site if their interests match the particular tags you’ve defined for your page. This is a great feature. By attracting relevant consumers, you’ll be cutting down on spam messages and increasing the odds of generating a dialog concerning your subject material: the Holy Grail for social media content managers.
StumbleUpon is up and coming, and a great diversion for Internet surfers. Turn their rec time into face time for your organization.
Till next time,
If you’ve read our last post on the Buyer Advertising blog, you’re familiar with the concept of crowdsourcing and its ability to deliver specific business-oriented benefits. Crowdsourcing is the art of tapping into your existing social network to solve problems or achieve quick results. Here are a few ways you can leverage crowdsourcing to maximum effect.
Charity drives – The more people who know how to make a positive difference, the more successful a charity event or fundraiser will be. Keep your message concise, clear, and provide a way for fans to connect with your happening.
Lead generation – Whether you’re sourcing customers or clients, asking for a boost doesn’t hurt. In many cases, you can reach maximum effectiveness by sticking to a single industry—for instance, asking if any of your fans are involved in the health industry, and if they know someone who needs your company’s service.
Talent sourcing – If you’re tackling a project, you may have need of contract work—fast. Crowdsourcing is a low-overhead way to connect with discounted rates from professionals. In some cases, bartering services can eliminate cost altogether.
Taking home the prize – In some businesses, winning an award can mean a ramp-up of your market appeal. Tapping into social media to ask (nicely) for votes is considered acceptable, and could fast-track you to the blue ribbon.
Good luck in your future crowdsourcing endeavors! We wish you the best.
Until next time,
It’s not your fault: as a business, you’re stuck a in a service mindset. You build social media networks to offer industry insight to your customers and provide them with an exceptional selection of products and services. It’s what staying in business is all about: serving your customer. But by ignoring the larger potential of social media—a vehicle to help you out in the process, you could be missing out on a source of potential marketing and, yes, revenue.
The power of many is the opportunity crowdsourcing provides. Simple stated, crowdsourcing is tapping into a large group of people at once, through the power of the Internet, to help with a question or challenge you’re facing. Companies like Mountain Dew have, in the past, used their social media network to let fans vote on the new look of their brand. Meanwhile, businesses like Kickstarter tap their audiences to raise funds for good causes. Companies have also been known to call on their fans directly for creative talent or to find leads.
At the same time, you want to be smart when it comes to tapping your audiences. Don’t give away more information than you’d like about your current strategy, and don’t reveal clients that would prefer to stay anonymous. And remember—this goes for double if you’re a publically-traded company—never admit you’re in dire need of help. Keep it positive, remain excited for new opportunities that your own personal crowd can bring you, and await (and hopefully receive!) some powerful results.
Signing off for now,
As a professional invested in the marketing of your business, you like to stay informed. Chances are, you check at least a few articles, magazines, or blogs (after all, you’re here, aren’t you?) per month to generate an electric brainstorm of ideas that could propel your advertising strategy forward. Future-minded though you might be, if your nose is pointed directly at what’s to come, you could miss an important source of inspiration: your past.
Your company has enjoyed success. As a matter of fact, to stay in business, that’s a requisite. And it’s exactly those successes that you can turn to in order to drive you forward. Take a trip down memory lane and pull up pieces you’ve done in the past. By actually examining individual projects, they’ll stir up memories—what’s worked, what hasn’t, what goals you had set originally—that can provide the push you need to market your organization more effectively.
Every company is different. Take great notes about what’s worked for your organization—numbers, if you can wrangle them up—and track what strategies or campaigns have been most effective for your business, that what’s pooped out on you. Information often turns into inspiration, positioning you perfectly for the next big idea.
Farewell for now,
It’s amazing how quickly simple concepts can transform into large headaches. Take social media, for example. You can sit down and create a plan of action that includes periodic updates and fan-gathering tactics, but once you become established, you’ll notice a bump in the road: trolls. Defined as those who attempt to disrupt communities with attention-grabbing antics, trolls pollute your social media space with distracting, vulgar, or otherwise unwanted messages. Here’s how to identify two types of trolls that are appearing on your company blog or Facebook page, and react appropriately.
The Spammer: You’ll find this troll both on blogs and Facebook alike, advertising (usually) completely unrelated product or services, often in broken English. They’re particularly rampant on blogs, where a single spammer can generate up to a 100 spam “comments” a day, clogging up your message approval process or turning customer correspondence into a nightmare. One solution: ban by IP. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can block all messages from an IP, effectively silencing that troll forever.
The Malcontent: Whether it be through cursing or a personal attack against regulars to your site, there are trolls who are just out to ruin another person’s day. Instead of negotiating or refuting their claims, try this hair-saving technique: just delete their comments. Once malcontents realize you’re not a soft target and their comments are going missing, they’ll move on to more fertile grounds.
No matter your troll troubles, stay alert and realize that content management is an inextricable part of social media. But the results of a solid strategy are worth it: SEO, qualifiers of professionalism, and a tool to engage prospective clients. Don’t give up!
Signing off for now,