Hate speech. We see these words flash by in news headlines a lot these days. Far from the maddening crowds chanting these words as a form of protest or as reactionary behavior, we see hateful words play out as status updates and comments to news articles on social media. What happened to civilized discourse? When did we as an American people decide that it is more important to sway someone to our way of thinking vs. being champions for freedom of thought? What happened to respectfully disagreeing with someone vs. bullying them to a digital pulp?
Many commentators portray themselves in a negative light with their biting words and adversely affect public opinion of their personal brand. Either they are incredibly naïve with regard to how social media works or they simply don’t care. I suppose that some would suggest a third option: that they are just plain stupid.
I really can’t imagine that in-person social discourse would lead to the hate speech and bullying comments that I see posted online. A screen gives people the power to say things that they normally wouldn’t say in public: a type of virtual courage. These statements are attached to identifiable data: a name, a face, a location, and any other public information that is shared on individual profiles and gives the reader the ability to find out more about this vocal commentator.
We hear you.
We see you.
We know who you are.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could leave the vitriol behind, stop trying to convert everyone to our way of thinking, and follow the simple golden rule of treating others the way we would want to be treated?
Once upon a time fully-loaded family station wagons deposited fresh-faced first year students on the steps of their new college home. After a quick hug, maybe a photo on their 35mm camera, and a couple of tears, mom and dad drove off into the quickening sunset. Except for the occasional pay-phone or in-room call, communication ceased until the first big holiday break. Junior went on to acclimate to his new surroundings and make life-changing decisions on his own (Do I drop Calc I? Should I sign up for alternative spring break?). Parents went on to adjust to being empty nesters or devote more attention to the ones still left in the nest.
Today’s social-media infused world leaves contemporary parents with a completely different set of circumstances. No longer do we have huge absences in quality communication, but we can speak with our kids easily at any time and watch their lives unfold in real time on Instagram and Twitter.
I personally traveled 500 miles away to attend a Jesuit university in the Midwest. It was a rare occasion for me to have any direct communication with my family. The ability to call was always there, but the need was not a pressing one. My peer group was of the belief that we were independently taking care of business for ourselves. Today, the 18 year old who told me at the close of Family Orientation that she would not be calling us, has maintained a pretty strong connection via iPhone calls, DMs on Twitter, Facebook comments, and Instagram tags. I guess you would say we have a pretty close connection if she actually tags me on Instagram. We have learned of her test grades as she is walking back from the professor’s office; found out about her selection as a student ambassador for the school via FaceTime, and have seen super-magnified slide photos of the fruit fly brain research she was working on via text.
While social media has maintained a window into her world, it is has been purely just that: a window. We have let her initiate communication with us and celebrate her successes while keeping the conversation/Face-Time, Texting, etc. short. Where social media broke through the looking glass of voyeurism and transformed into a crucial assist was when she was stranded in the airport of one of largest cities in the U.S.
She had her cell phone, and despite existing on low battery, was able to plug into one of the powering stations in the terminal. She called to let me know her situation, and I immediately left my business lunch to get in front of a screen larger than my cell phone to figure out how to get her from point A to point B in the midst of a major storm. I could easily check websites for airlines, trains, busses and taxis as well as be in communication with her school, all while keeping her on the line. In the end we figured it out. She took the first cab ride of her life on a 2+hr trip with a driver who spoke very little English. I crossed my fingers and hoped she would arrive in the right place. She did.
Times have surely changed in terms of parent-college student communications and I for one think that could be a good thing. I guess we can say that the closing of the SUV hatch does not signify the end of the relationship.
Speaking from the sociological side of social media- Cheers to you!
84% of your Facebook Fans Won’t See Your Page Posts
Facebook made a major move to increase revenue recently with Promoted Posts (not the same as a Facebook ad). If you have a Facebook Page for your business, you may have noticed that your Page stats (number of new fans, reach and frequency, etc) have been edging southward. For example, a typical Page post might have garnered a couple of hundred views on a fan base of 800 with a moderately engaged audience and above-average content several months ago. That same Page is seeing reach numbers in the double digits (i.e. 63 views).
I just completed a Facebook Page Promoted Posts test in which I updated the same post about an upcoming C3 LinkedIn Training class as a regular post and as a Promoted post. I found a major difference in organic and viral reach with the paid post (much higher!). In fact, the Promoted Post (a mere $5 outlay) brought in 851% more total views than the non-promoted post with identical content. I had zero viral reach for the non-promoted post, only organic (original) Page fans, while the Promoted post had several hundred viral viewers. (Check this out for information on the difference between organic, viral and paid reach.) Post analytics will also point out how many of the views were paid views. It’s interesting that my organic views (original fans) were much higher than the non-promoted organic views for the post, emphasizing the point that Facebook adjusted the Edgerank algorithm to allow more of my current fan base to see the post in their news feed as when the post was not promoted.
It’s really too bad that Page owners won’t be able to use Edgerank to drive frequency and reach with engaging content as they could prior to FB’s current quest to drive monetization.
I think this will have a huge effect on small businesses. Every business, regardless of size, will need to set aside part of their marketing budget to allocate to Facebook advertising or risk having only 16% of their user base see posts shared by the Page.
If this sounds like Farsi to you, then perhaps a Facebook Page Marketing consult should be in your future. We are happy to get your business/organization up to speed on the recent changes to Facebook Page Marketing. Just contact us here.
Here’s a little gem that I picked up over the weekend. While it can be entertaining and useful, I also see implications for initial spammers. You can now Tag a Page or Application by naming it something else. For example, let’s say I post on my personal Facebook Profile or another Page the following statement:
Hanging out with the most progressive bunch of people on the planet.
I can substitute the hyper-linked phrase: “progressive bunch of people” for my actual C3 Facebook Page, so that when someone clicks on the hopefully enticing statement, they will be taken directly to my C3 Facebook Page.
The code for the status update would look like this:
@@[0:[91368159145:0:progressive bunch of people]]
The numbers refer to my Page ID and the terms that I want to stand in for the ID follow the colon and precede the closing brackets.
I can just see the “questionable” sites using the new .xxx domain using this as a redirect to their Facebook Pages with innocent sounding links. Makes me think that the capability won’t be around for a long time, so use judiously while you can and make your friends think that you are a social media rockstar! Ok, I could have said GURU, but I detest that moniker!
Now go Market your Page!
p.s. if you are still reading- here’s a site that will crank out the html code for you: C3 Tip of the Day.
One thing that is consistent about social media is that it is constantly changing! It’s practically a full-time job just to keep up with these changes and process them into workable ways for a business to capitalize on reaching their intended target audience more effectively.
Today, I am sharing a quick tip that will make your Facebook Page more effective and boost your ability to be found online in search.
Here’s the tip:
Setting a personalized URL (PURL) for your Facebook Page
What does this mean?
Right click on your Facebook Page name and take a look at the URL or web address. Does it list your name and a series of numbers like this:
If it does, you need to set it to a proper address. It will be helpful from an SEO (search engine optimization) stand point, as well as be a more concise web address for you to promote on your print marketing materials.
See this link to learn how to set your URL. Be aware that Facebook has recently reinstated the 25 Likes Rule for PURLS. This means that you MUST have 25 Likes (Fans) before the PURL can be set.
Additionally, your Page name does not have to match exactly with your PURL. Take a look at this Juvenile Diabetes example:
They opted for the smaller name for the PURL and in their profile banner (myJDRF), but chose the full name in the Page Title in order to take advantage of the key words: juvenile, foundation, research and diabetes as key search terms.
If you work for the biz or org of the Facebook Page, then make sure to add the link in the Info Tab of your Facebook Personal Profile. So many people don’t realize that they have inadvertently connected a hyper-link to the community page for the business or organization and not the REAL Facebook Page.
If you need help with setting your Facebook PURL and Name, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 513-445-2180. We are always happy to assist you!
Even if your business or organization has a Facebook Page, are you truly leveraging Facebook Marketing capabilities to create a dynamic Fan base that drives customers/clients to action? Are you on top of the many changes Facebook has made over the past few weeks that could affect your Page?
Announcing the Facebook Page Marketing for Businesses and Organizations Workshop, a hands-on computer lab class that will allow you to work with YOUR Facebook Page to learn how to fully optimize settings, create content and foster engagement as we discuss strategies that are unique for your business.
Facebook Marketing has exploded and is being used by corporate brands, small businesses and non-profits all over the world to connect with and engage their clients and customers. Gain the competitive edge by learning how to leverage this important social networking tool. Don’t just have a Page in name, have a Page that builds community and becomes a destination point for your fans!
The workshop covers the following topics:
Page Settings Optimization
Custom Landing Pages/Tabs
Building a Strategic Fan Base
Creating Winning Engagement Strategies
Content Creation & Management
Cross-Marketing via Tagging
Marketing the Page outside of Facebook
Using Facebook Ads
Understanding how to monitor & measure using analytics
October 2011 changes (Timeline, ‘People Are Talking About This’, News feed & algorithm changes)
Laptops will be provided for the workshop and participants will receive a training manual. Group discussion surrounding strategy for each participant’s industry is also included and has been cited by previous participants as a very helpful component of the workshop.
This workshop sells out every time! Register here to grab your seat.
I recently gave a Keynote Address on the Importance of Social Media Strategy to 250 small businesses from the Cincinnati Region at Xavier University’s Cintas Center on behalf of The Berry Company. I wanted to share the gist of my talk here on the Blog. The presentation was taped, and once receive a copy from Berry, I will post that as well. It includes a Q & A session.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it“.
This quote from Socialnomics author and digital media expert Erik Qualman is even more telling today than when originally published in 2009. Today, Businesses realize that they need to have an online presence. Like it or not, we are living in an online world with current and future customers and clients who have grown up with this technology and for whom interacting with brands on Twitter and Facebook is just second nature.
With the advent of Social media, Small businesses are seeing a leveled playing field, where they have the ability to the same platforms as the big companies and brands. The R(e)volution has begun and the time is now for your organization to get on board with reaching your target audience where they reside: ONLINE
For those of you who currently maintain a social media presence for your company, you can attest to the fact that it can seem overwhelming. There are many digital media and social networking choices for a company to use. The key is in understanding what the tools are, how they work, and how to maximize them for your business.
Stratgey This is all part of setting a distinct strategy for your online marketing efforts.
Having spent 15 years with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble in sales and marketing roles, I can tell you that having a Branding Strategy is absolutely critical in your marketing efforts. I’d like to share an exercise that I use with my clients to ensure consistency and clarity around their brand or business’s online marketing efforts.
After these questions are answered, the results are formulated into a summary statement that describes the brand. This statement becomes fodder for all Social/Digital platforms that are used ensuring a constant message and image is being shared across all channels no matter where a potential customer may find you online.
Having a social media presence goes well beyond just setting up the various platforms. Social Media is much, much more. It includes the following critical elements:
Creating Signature Experiences- providing an online experience that is memorable, fitting to your brand, and brings the customer back to you
Creating Needed Content- we are no longer living in a Broadcast state, nor one with static information- instead a successful brand will provide content that is Needed by consumers. Don’t know what that is? Just ask them!
Conversations- It’s all about the dialogue and sharing of information between the brand and the consumer. We are no longer living in a Word of Mouth society, but are permanent residents in the new World of Mouth universe.
Engagement- Consists of providing content that sparks some touch. Whether it’s a comment, a Like, a Re-Tweet, or a +1 on Google Plus. When the consumer takes action, that touch has a ripple affect seeping into their own social graph and spreading news of your brand throughout their network.
Relationships- This is what is achieved by implementing focused content and engagement strategies and being fully present on the platform. The worst thing any business can do is, set up the Open Sign and be permanently out to lunch.
When we take a look at how some national and local businesses are winning in the market place in these key areas, we find a variety of tools that you can implement as well. They include examples from (see video to hear about the specifics for each example):
The key to an effective social media strategy is crafting a plan that integrates best practices with a mission and vision for each platform.
The first step on this journey is to become educated on Social Media, even if someone else in your organization will be ultimately responsible for managing your online real estate. Social Media is a constantly changing landscape and it pays off to stay informed.
Know your audience and where they reside, this will help you to determine the best platform(s) to reach your consumers. Knowing the correct number of platforms to be engaged in can seem overwhelming, having a strategist assist you in the process can be well worth the expense. I love social media marketing executive and author Brian Solis’s response to the perennial question: How many social media profiles should a brand have?”:
“The answer is as simple as it is revealing. Create the number of channels that meaningfully extend the focus of your business… and relevant stories to the dedicated audience they’re designed to serve. Additionally, only create the number of channels that strengthen the brand rather than dilute it and also possess the capacity to ensure its ongoing relevance.”
Here is a plan I have put together for the Small Business Sector:
Create a Plan that integrates with your off-line marketing and advertising programs
Determine In-house or Agency management based on skill base, time and/or budget
Set Goals & Objectives
Create Content Plan for each Platform- Be mindful of language and timing (day/part)
Create Engagement Strategies for each Platform
Connect all Platforms & Cross Market
Monitor the Platforms – Be an Active Listener & Be Responsive
Use Analytics to Measure & Make Changes
~ A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble
Letting go includes the art of listening. Brands need to create a reputation management program to stay on top of the conversations that are occurring about them; whether they happen on brand-sponsored sites or on someone’s personal blog. Addressing any unpleasant information directly and in a customer-service focused way will show that you are active and responsive to feedback. Remember the old adage: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? Well, what happens in Vegas now stays on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and Blogs and….. you get the point. We are truly living in a ‘World of Mouth’ universe.
In Conclusion here are 6 Steps to Social Media For Business Success:
Be Authentic- speak in a voice true to the brand
Be BOLD- this is an evolving playground- jump in and try some things!
Measure, Measure, Measure- if you don’t have an indication of where you have come from, how can you move forward?
Reputation Management: Be on top of your Brand.
We have certainly have come a long way from simply creating a social media presence. Winning in today’s market place involves real interaction with the consumer in a dynamic back and forth conversation that brings value to both parties. Metrics are key and measuring results vs. objectives should be an inherent part of the plan. We must remember however, that success is not in sheer numbers of Fans , Followers or Friends; success should be measured in terms of influence and the number of brand evangelists that have emerged in support of your efforts. Better to have 500 followers singing your praises then 5000 who don’t interact with your brand in any way.
I wish you all good luck. Enter the Digital Space Boldly!