Monthly archives: May 2012

Social Media Content Tips for Brands

Success in social media requires time, patience and really good content. If your customers aren’t responding to your posts, then you definitely have a problem. You can’t always rehash old content because your viewers and customers will take note and become unengaged. Regardless of whether you’re using Facebook, Google Plus or any other social media platform, here are some social media content tips to help customers engage with your brand:

Provide a Visual Experience

Whether we realize it or not, we are all captivated by visuals and enticing imagery. This has led to major changes in the social media experience with Facebook and Google Plus. Knowing this, brands should provide a visual experience for their followers. Brands like Coca Cola use this to their advantage. They offer content that is appealing, interesting and even historical! Users have a chance to explore the brand’s history by clicking through the timeline.

My favorite is an 1892 testimonial from a customer:

Coca cola testimonial Social Media Content Tips for Brands

Check out their Facebook post on the Sunday before Memorial Day:

coke holiday Social Media Content Tips for Brands

Provide Exclusive Content

Social media marketing is unique so you should provide unique and exclusive content to keep your followers engaged (whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus). Offering content that isn’t available anywhere else will make your followers feel appreciated and special.

Elle UK magazine’s editor in chief, Lorraine Candy, shared recently that tweeting from cover shoots of featured celebrities has lead to a large social media following for the brand. Candy explained that live tweeting broke their cover shoot history. They used the hashtag #kristenelle, which eventually became the number one trending topic of the day. The campaign resulted in high website traffic and an increase in magazine subscriptions.

Another example comes from Cadbury UK. They are using Google Plus to build a community and recently tested Google Hangouts on Air.

cadburyuk 500 Social Media Content Tips for Brands

Be Passionate & Have Fun!

One of the best ways to engage with followers is to show passion and have fun with your posts. Certain brands do this very well. For example, GE celebrated Geek Pride Day on Facebook for fun:

GE Facebook Social Media Content Tips for Brands

Smile, laugh and humanize your brand so followers feel connected to the content you’re posting. Show your appreciation and encourage conversations. This will encourage followers to share, creating natural word of mouth marketing. Happy social media marketing!

What are some tips you may have for engaging with a social community?

Posted in Online Marketing, Social Media | Leave a comment

Facebook: The Advertising Challenge

Facebook – The Advertising Challenge

Facebook is all the media rage right now, especially since the weak opening of its highly anticipated IPO. The social network’s value is being questioned for monetary reasons. I’d like to take a step back and remember why Facebook was created – to help build connections. I remember when I joined the social network in 2005. Why? Because I wanted to digitally connect with my friends. At the time it was only available for college students and was the preferred alternative to Friendster and MySpace. As the site has grown and expanded, businesses have been able to take advantage of this tool by potentially reaching millions of people, who they may not have been able to otherwise.

Some of the key successes of businesses on Facebook (and Twitter) have been building engagement and awareness of their brands. On the other hand, a recent study found that 83% of US Facebook users hardly or never click on ads when using the social network:

Facebook Users Ad Click Throughs Facebook: The Advertising Challenge

This number may come as a surprise to many. Facebook has definitely been challenged to find a stronger advertising model, but perhaps businesses should take a look at their objectives as well. In March 2012, Social Fresh reported 44% of Facebook advertisers were expecting ads to generate conversions:

Facebook Ad Goals for Advertisers Facebook: The Advertising Challenge

There’s a discrepancy between what users are doing and what businesses are expecting. This tells me that businesses should update their strategy to build awareness and engagement for their brands. I believe advertising is a long term investment that requires consistency and when combined with an overall marketing strategy leads to monetary gains and positive ROI.

Businesses need to revisit why Facebook was created, and focus on building a strategy that enables them to connect with customers on a different level and build a community of brand advocates. Once they’ve become your brand advocate, they’ll purchase from you… and once they’ve purchased from you, they’ll recommend you to others (as long as they’ve had a good experience!). That is the power of word of mouth marketing.

Have you invested in Facebook’s ads?

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Four Marketing Lessons From “The Artist”

The Artist poster Four Marketing Lessons From The ArtistI recently re-watched the Oscar winning film, “The Artist.” Having grown up watching classic Bollywood films (I’ve seen many black and white films with my parents when I was younger), “The Artist” caught my attention immediately. As I watched the film, I picked up on many lessons from the main character, George. The movie showcases his turbulent career during the changing world of Hollywood in 1929. Without spoiling the plot, here are a few lessons that I think anyone can benefit from:

Let go of the ego

As humans we’re often threatened by failure and afraid of taking chances when we’re already seeing success within our comfort zone. In the film, when the main character, George, refuses to accept that the ‘talkies’ will soon take over the silent era of film – it is his ego that takes over. He didn’t want to accept that the times were changing.

In life we come across many situations that we don’t want to accept, but no matter what, leave the ego at the door. An ego can give you false perceptions of yourself and make you turn away from people who are closest to you. The key to success is staying humble.

Don’t be afraid of taking risks

We’re allowed to make mistakes and we should always take the opportunity to learn from them. A quote that summarizes this well is, “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” This stands true for everyone. In the film, George, hits rock bottom after his failed movie attempt. He took a risk, but he didn’t rise from it immediately. The lesson here is: don’t be afraid of taking risks. You will fall, but the real treasure is rising and become a stronger person from it.

Pay attention to change

A great lesson the film provides is that changes are happening all the time. George initially didn’t accept that moviegoers wanted to hear sound. He refused to be a part of talking films, which ultimately led to his minor decline. The industry moved on without him. The lesson here is: pay attention to the changes around you. You have to observe and listen to what your customers are saying.

Never give up!

The last but perhaps more important lesson is: never give up! The world is your oyster. Reach for the stars. I could go on with cliched phrases, but ultimately it is up to you to make it happen. George, had given up. But with the help and support of his friends, he was able to get back up on his feet and enter the movie industry again. Don’t give up on yourself and your dream. No matter how defeated you feel, there’s always a way to come back up and win again.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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10 Social Media Customer Service Tips From Dell [Infographic]

As a brand on social media, you need to build a strong and positive rapport with your customers. When they comment, good or bad, about your company, you need to respond. In turn, this will increase engagement and confidence in your brand. Social media has proven itself as a way to connect and build stronger relationships with current and potential customers. Because of this, social media customer service is more important than ever before.

I recently came across this helpful infographic from Dell that provides some great tips on responding to customers on social media. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or another social media channel, this guide can help businesses determine how to respond to customer service questions or issues.

dell social media tips 10 Social Media Customer Service Tips From Dell [Infographic] 

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Five Creative & Engaging QR Code Campaigns

Until recently, QR code campaigns had not been seen as a popular form of interactive marketing, even though mobile barcodes have been around for almost two decades.  Mediapost reported that mobile barcode scanning was up 157% during the first quarter of 2012.  Since the smartphone market has seen enormous growth, it is safe to assume that more consumers will engage with campaigns that use QR codes. Here are some creative ways companies have increased audience engagement using QR code campaigns:

Emart’s “Sunny Sale” Campaign

South Korea’s largest retailer, Emart, created a shadow QR code that was only visible when the sun was at the correct angle in the sky between midday and 1pm. The campaign promoted a ‘sunny sale’ mobile website that gave access to special offers, coupons and a download for Emart’s mobile app.

This campaign resulted in: 12,000 coupons sold, increased membership of 58% from the prior month and increased lunchtime sales by 25%.

L’Oreal and NYC Taxi Shops

Earlier this year during NY Fashion Week, L’Oreal and Glamour partnered together to place QR codes within special  Lancôme “Taxi-Shops”. This campaign allowed customers to view how to videos, learn about trends and shop Lancôme beauty products – all while getting a complimentary ride in Manhattan! You can see a demonstration of the concept on YouTube.

backseat shopping Five Creative & Engaging QR Code Campaigns

The five day campaign resulted in a seven percent overall purchase conversion rate and downloads of the apps increased by nearly 80%. While taxis may not be the ideal place to ask customers to shop, the brand reached out to a niche audience that was engaged with the campaign.

JcPenney and “Who’s Your Santa?”

Last Holiday season JcPenney developed a brilliant QR code campaign that encouraged shoppers to engage with the receivers of Christmas gifts. The idea behind the campaign was to include a recorded personalized message for each gift, giving friends and family a way to interact. The video below captures how it works:

While there hasn’t been much talk about any success metrics, the campaign was well executed. It gives customers a chance to add a little more emotion to a gift.

Timberland and Microsoft Tag

One of the benefits of utilizing QR codes is providing customers with exclusive content. Timberland followed this route when they created the mobile barcode campaign for their Lucky magazine ad using Microsoft Tag (considered a QR code competitor but I still think this is a good example!). The retailer showcased a Microsoft Tag that linked to a special page with options to play an exclusive style video, “like” the brand’s Facebook page or shop on the mobile website:

QR code Landing Page:

Timberland and QR Codes Microsoft Tag Five Creative & Engaging QR Code Campaigns

Timberland has reported that they’re seeing four to five percent of consumers scanning various featured mobile bar codes.

Heinz and “Guess What We Just Planted”

Earlier last year, Heinz placed QR codes on ketchup bottles in various US restaurants to promote their environmentally friendly packaging. The campaign allowed customers to win prizes by answering trivia questions, which was made available by a mobile optimized site.

 Five Creative & Engaging QR Code Campaigns

It was later reported that more than one million customers scanned the QR codes on the bottles. This QR code campaign encouraged engagement on a mass consumer product, and with success!

The key lesson from the examples provided is to make sure that all parts of the campaign are optimized for mobile. It’s important because if a customer can’t easily view the content from their smartphone, they won’t be engaged and will drop off instantly – creating a poor customer experience. Have you seen any creative QR code campaigns? I’d love to hear about them!

Posted in Mobile Marketing, Social Media | 2 Comments

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