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Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Event

6873782601 dfa737da68 n Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Event

You might be asking yourself: Why be social at events in the first place? Don’t I already have enough to do?

Social media can play an important role at any type of event – whether it’s tradeshows or even webinars – and can help you achieve a variety of different goals. For those who are dubious about social media, there are many benefits to creating a social media strategy for your next event. Using a variety of channels, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog and Facebook, you can attract customers to your booth, potentially drive sales, increase interest in what you actually do, and get people talking about your company.

The key point to remember about integrating social media in your event strategy is that it’s not about the technology, but instead about building relationships. Here are some key ways you can integrate social media into your event marketing mix:

Engage and Connect with Audiences

Contrary to popular belief with social media, buzz doesn’t happen on its own! You’ll need to engage and connect with attendees. Here are some ways to make this happen: tweet to the event hashtag asking a question or adding value, post your blog link to the events LinkedIn or Facebook wall and live tweet content from the event (this can include pictures).

Generate Buzz

This can include a variety of different tactics, including: publishing blog posts leading up to the big event with topics related to the event, infographics with images and statistics, and sending out tweets in relation to the event’s hashtag.

Socialize your Social Sites

If this is your own event, then make sure all your social sites are featured prominently on the event website, invitations, event emails and signage. If your audience is aware of your social channels, then they are more likely to engage with your brand on social media!

These are some ideas to help you kickstart your social media event strategy. Are there tips we missed? Share them in the comments below!

This was originally posted on Activa PR.

 Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Event
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Tips on Enhancing Your LinkedIn Company Page

Linkedin Tips 300x199 Tips on Enhancing Your LinkedIn Company Page

This week LinkedIn released a list of the 10 best company pages in 2013. LinkedIn reached out to its members and asked them to nominate businesses and organizations who inspired and engaged users. The list of top companies included: Adobe, Dell, Four Seasons, and Hubspot, to name a few. This begs the question: What encompasses a great LinkedIn company profile?

A great LinkedIn company profile can complement your website and allows you to build a following of professionals who are interested in your products or services. Here are some tips to help you enhance your company page:

Optimize your page

Have you filled out the Products/Services section of your LinkedIn profile? If you answered no, then that needs to change. Marketers who utilize this section tend to attract twice as many followers. Use this section to explain what you do and give users more reasons to follow you. Along with this, company pages are very SEO friendly. Google previews up to 156 characters of your pages text. This means you should take the time to edit your description and use keywords that describe your area of expertise.

Make sure you have a good banner image

It goes without saying that the first thing a user sees on a company page is the customizable cover image. This image welcomes users to your page, so you should definitely make it pop. You can use this space to share company specific info, upcoming event info or even a new product or app launch. Ultimately you need to choose an image that represents your company and concurrently impresses potential followers.

Post engaging content

It’s very important to update your page regularly. LinkedIn is a social marketing channel, which means you need to be social! You should use this channel to share new blog posts, product announcements, company updates and other relevant news. Users are following you because not only are they interested in your business, but they also want to know what you’re up to. Just taking a few minutes a day to update your page regularly will help make your page engaging and resourceful.

Final thoughts

LinkedIn provides companies, brands and small businesses the opportunity to share their stories, and engage with potential and current customers. It’s also important to note that LinkedIn, like other social media platforms, also allows companies to engage with employees and partners. By utilizing the tips provided above, businesses can achieve greater visibility and also add value/thought leadership to their industry.

Image courtesy of Socialmediamx. Originally posted on the Activa PR blog.

 Tips on Enhancing Your LinkedIn Company Page
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Tips for Building Loyal Brand Advocates

7214953050 f90567f11c m Tips for Building Loyal Brand Advocates

Consumers are influential. They have the power to influence their peers to buy or not buy your products – both offline and online. How is this determined? Based off their experiences with your brand. Creating a brand advocacy program can help you take steps towards turning your customers into advocates. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Know Your Content

Before you decide on what you say to your advocates, you should know the story you’re trying to tell. It’s important to determine your tone of voice, narrative, platform and even your content creation process. Understanding the process of content ideation, creation, approvals and distribution can be demanding – which is why it’s important to create a structure. The combination of everything outlined above will allow your advocates to help you tell your brand story.

Appreciate and Thank Often

At the core of building brand loyalty is rewarding and thanking users for their activity and engagement. Taking the time to say thank you forms a positive reciprocal relationship between you and the consumer, and brands that take advantage of this early on can create loyal advocates. If someone is taking the time to support your brand, you should ask yourself how can you say thank you?

Evangelize internally

In an earlier post I shared the importance of embracing employees as brand advocates. Employees continue to be one of the most under-leveraged resources for many brands. From experience, I’ve found that this is often caused by departments being siloed, which creates a lack of communication. Building a successful brand loyalty and advocacy program includes a company-wide initiative. You should ask yourself, if your employees won’t buy your product, then why should anyone else?

Listen and Learn

If there is anything word of mouth marketing has taught us, it’s that customers want to be heard, and not only that, they want to make sure you’re actually listening. Advocates are not only keen on sharing experiences about your product or services, they can also provide insights and suggestions. If you’re listening but not doing anything with consumer feedback, you’ll build brand critics, not brand advocates. The importance here is engaging and adding value for your customers. In turn, they will appreciate your efforts and recommend you to others.

Are there other tips I’ve missed? Share them in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Jenni Rodger.

 

 Tips for Building Loyal Brand Advocates
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4 Types of Social Media Mistakes

oops 300x248 4 Types of Social Media MistakesThere are many examples of social media infractions by companies, but the good news is that these types of experiences force marketers and senior executives to take notice and become more responsible about social media. In an earlier post I shared tips on how organizations can respond to criticism on social media.

While examples provide a good baseline of what “not to do,” they also help you take a step back and explore the different types of social media mistakes you should avoid. Here are a list of top social screw-ups and what you can do to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Lacking a Presence

Not having a social media presence could be considered slander in today’s digital marketing world. Social media gives your brand the opportunity to have a voice that reaches a wider and diverse audience. Solution: Learn to let your hair down, be open, insightful and deliver to your targeted demographic. Also take some time to listen to what others are saying about you – this will help you understand the general sentiment and deliver content accordingly.

Mistake #2: Poor Customer Service

Sub-par customer service and poor-performing products have no place in today’s social landscape. Consumers are quick to share their dissatisfaction, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or any other social platform. Solution: Listening will help you capture negative experiences customers are sharing. As an organization you need to set certain expectations and make it right with the customer.

Mistake #3: Poor Responses

Whether it’s taking too long to respond or offering oblivious responses to consumers – these are all reflective of your brand. Many companies are past due in realizing that anyone using a corporate account speaks as the voice of the company across social media. Solution: Offer organizational social media training that is compliant with social protocol and will also help mitigate embarrassment for your brand.  

Mistake #4: One-Time Fiascos

The reality is that mistakes happen (although one could argue that some are more obvious than others). Some mistakes even originate outside of social media, but the new digital landscape offers consumers an opportunity to relay their opinions and responses quickly. Solution: Create a social media disaster plan. The worse possible response you can have to a social media mistake, is no response at all. You need to show consumers that you care. This means developing a plan to get out a message, apologizing and participating in the discussion.

Are there are other mistakes/solutions that you’ve come across? Share them in the comments below!

 4 Types of Social Media Mistakes
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Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]

As a social media marketer, content marketing plays a key role in my overall social media strategy. Content marketing is not only focused on selling, but it should also inspire loyalty and interest from current and potential customers. With that said, as a business you should know who you’re trying to target. Many businesses attempt to appeal to everyone, but this can often lead to mixed messages and sometimes confusion. It’s important to narrow your market and select a niche to focus your social media content marketing efforts. This will allow you to craft targeted messages and content that will attract the customers you’re looking for.

Understanding Social Media Customers

I recently came across a study by VisionCritical which identified important factors for organizations to consider when trying to understand their social media consumers. The data was focused on their behavior and actions using different social platforms. Here are a few key points the study brought to light:

What social networks are your customers using?

In order to use social media to reach your customers, you need to understand where to find them. Understanding what customer segments are using which social networks is key. This will help identify opportunities and direct your social media strategy to address the needs of your different customer segments.

Social Media Audience Pinterest Facebook Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]

Question: Which of the following social media sites, if any, do you use?

What do they want from your social media presence?

Users engage on social networks differently. For example, users may turn to Pinterest to learn about DIY projects, or Twitter to learn about current events. As a brand you need to understand what your customers like to do on each social network, and most importantly how they want to engage with you. The keys are to provide content that is relevant and understand the tone that resonates with your users.

Presense on social network Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]

Does purchase lead to sharing or sharing lead to purchasing?

The study identified that the relationship between sharing and purchasing is largely dependent on the individual. There are instances where social sharing is a very weak indicator of purchase intent, but in other cases social sharing can lead a consumer directly to a purchase. The study found two important data points:

  • 41% of people purchased because they just happened upon it while researching and they hadn’t even thought about buying it
  • 88% of people purchased by searching for it and were already thinking about buying it or something like it

Key lesson: Ask your customers whether they share during their discovery process. This will help you focus your social outreach to customers who are actually researching your products.

You can find the entire study here (highly recommended). Research and images courtesy of VisionCritical.

 Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]
Posted in Customers, Online Marketing, Social Media | 1 Comment

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