Social Media

On September 22, 2011, Facebook introduced Timeline, a new Facebook profile layout that allows users to tell their life story through photos, friendships and personal milestones. The update is expected to forever change the way that users connect with one another and share information with their friends.

Not surprisingly, the change has got businesses wondering when Timeline will be available for brand pages and how they can use it to attract new customers. Facebook has not commented on when the new feature will be available for businesses as of January 10.

Just when you think you’ve got something worked out, it changes!

Engagement with your audience is one of great advantages of social media marketing, but creating meaningful and advantageous conversations is as much an art as it is a science.  Engagement increases brand loyalty and public conversations can serve as free advertising.

The team at Awareness, Inc. reviews proven steps and real world examples of how to ignite the social spark with your fans and followers from our recent whitepaper 11 Strategies to Increase Engagement with Social Media.

Contests

The team at Socialnomics always has lots of great information – check out this article on improving social engagement for your business.

Facebook makes Vanity URLs easier to get!

Great news!! You no longer need to have 25 Likes before you can get your “vanity” Facebook URL!! So instead of your Fan Page being facebook.com followed by a bunch of numbers, it can now have your business name. For example, mine is http://www.facebook.com/DWBHConsulting. If you want to grab your vanity URL, just go to http://www.facebook.com/username/

Which brands post too much on their Wall?

Recently we have published an article giving out recommendations of how to publish on your Facebook Page. One week later, let’s take a look on Pages that don’t follow these recommendations and what it means for them in terms of their Engagement.

This was an interesting (if brief!) article looking at how often a business should post on their Facebook Page. Although it’s only opinion, Social Bakers do a lot of analytics on Facebook, so their opinions are based on data. Click on the link to read the full article.

An interesting look at how one restaurant chain has utilised social media to grow their business.  Click on the link to see the full story.

Local public relations executive Elizabeth Friedland, who has become known for her social-media expertise, sees both advantages and drawbacks for restaurateurs such as Wise who use social media.

“It throws the doors of communication wide open, allowing restaurants to solicit valuable feedback, put a face on their brand, build loyalty and market directly to their diners,” she said. “It cuts out the middle man.”

 

Many of us know that social media marketing is an important part of a solid inbound marketing strategy. However, sometimes we need some backup when speaking with others who might still be struggling to understand how social media fits into the overall marketing mix. This post is for them — and you. Even if you are a veteran inbound marketer, these stats will get the gears in your head turning about the still limitless possibilities that the internet provides.

A really cool article if you want to have some brain busting statistics to share at your next dinner party!

Taking customer service and interaction to a new level! What a great story on how a business can use their Twitter presence effectively. If Mortons hadn’t been on Twitter and monitoring it, this could never have happened.

If you’ve ever day-dreamed about a mouth-watering steak awaiting you after your 6 hour flight, you’ll know how Peter Shankman felt when his favorite steak house had a chef, 24 oz. Porterhouse steak, vegetables, potatoes and cutlery waiting for him as he got off the plane. And he earned this special treat because of a half-joking tweet he had sent just hours before.

 

 

Attitudes of US Small Businesses Toward Using Social Media for Their Business, June 2011 (% of respondents)An interesting article about the use of social media by small businesses. I wonder if these businesses really think it’s not necessary, or that it’s just too hard and time consuming to learn and implement?

 

Uptake of social media marketing among small and medium-sized businesses has become widespread. Research has suggested it’s a cost-effective, easy-to-use marketing channel that can boost customer acquisition as well as fulfill other marketing goals. But most small businesses still don’t see social media as a necessity.

More than half of the small-business decision-makers surveyed in June by small-business insurance provider Hiscox said they used social media for business purposes, but a plurality also declared that it wasn’t necessary to their business. Just 12% considered it a “must.”

As I visited the exhibitors at the recent Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce Business Networking Expo, I wondered how many of the participating business owners were aware of the potential benefits of using social media during a trade show.

While social media is not a magical marketing solution for businesses, one powerful way it could be used is as part of your trade show strategy.

Start early

The Chamber’s event was just last month, but start thinking now about how you might use social media at next year’s Expo if you plan to exhibit. This may sound extreme, but businesses that use social media successfully at trade shows usually start planning more than six months before the event.

Develop a social media following first

First become proficient in using a successful social media marketing campaign for your business as a whole before using it at a trade show.

It won’t do you any good to be posting or tweeting information about your trade show activities if you only have a few people receiving your message.

Determine what type of social media would be most effective for your business. Twitter is great, but is it really right for reaching your customers? Would you be better off starting with a blog and Facebook? Don’t be shy about getting professional help with your social media campaign.

Plan your activities

You need to plan your trade show social media activities. Do not jump in haphazardly and expect things to work out. Be organized and methodical in your approach.

Establish goals, determine what media to use and how and develop a calendar of activities. Put together your trade show social media team. Determine what technology you will use during the show.

Before the show

One to two months before the show, start using social media to inform your followers about your exhibit.

You could blog about what and who will be at your booth, tweet about incentives, promote give-aways, etc. Let your followers know how they can interact with you during the show.

Provide your booth number, a location map for the show and a description of your booth. Give them information about the event venue and city.

Remember: Social media is not the only way you will publicize your participation in the trade show. Traditional marketing should not be discarded but should be enhanced with social media.

During the show

You may tweet about or post on Facebook what is going on at your booth during the show. But don’t overdo it. Share information but don’t drive people crazy with constant chatter.

Post pictures of the event. Create videos of visitors to your booth talking about themselves and your exhibit. Post these on YouTube (with their permission).

In addition to the staff at your booth, you may want someone back at your home office monitoring and replying to feedback from your followers.

After the show

Once the show is over, you could blog about the experience, share photos through Facebook or Flickr, thank those who visited the booth, tell about prizes you gave out, etc.

You also could solicit additional feedback from your followers about the event.

Remember: It is “Social” Media

Although you need to develop and execute a well thought out plan for using social media at your next trade show, don’t forget that this is an interactive activity. You are not just pumping out information according to a rigid planned schedule.

I believe you should use the three F’s — fun, feedback and flexibility.

Be sure the messages you send during the show are interesting, exciting and even fun for your followers. Pay attention to the feedback you receive. Be flexible enough to respond to their feedback and use it during the show.

The above are only a few suggestions for using social media at trade shows. You must research and choose the most appropriate channels and methods for your business.

Many of the above strategies are discussed at the Marketing Savant web site at www.marketingsavant.com through their blogs and webinars. You can also get more information about using social media at trade shows from Exhibitor Magazine at www.exhibitoronline.com.

Connie Edwards is a business consultant with the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at 912-651-3200 or cedwards@georgiasbdc.org.

Some good, solid advice in this article.

Unhappy with how your business is doing when it comes to social media? Looking for someone to blame for the fact that more of your customers keep unliking you on Facebook everyday? Frustrated as to why no one retweets your company’s tweets on Twitter?

Here’s what you’re doing wrong.

1. You don’t own it.

You hired a company to do your social media for you. Since you became their client, they’ve had a dozen different people working on your account. How can you expect your business to succeed when your social media plan amounts to passing the buck?

2. You’re trying too hard.

Spamming your followers with non-stop brand-related chatter will make you lose followers, not gain fans. Social media works best when it involves an element of play. Develop a compelling voice. Be entertaining. Use humor. This the internet, not a board meeting.

3. You don’t get it.

Here’s the thing: You don’t have to understand social media. In fact, those who refer to themselves as “social media rock stars” really don’t get it. The truth is: Nobody gets it, not really, not yet. It’s evolving. Today’s expert is tomorrow’s idiot.

4. You’re boring.

The goal of social media? A response. Your mother may pick up the phone every time you call, but consumers will only respond if they’re interested. If you’re boring, if your social media strategy is boring, if your content is boring, you will bore everyone in the social mediasphere.

5. You’re a control freak.

Back in the day, people didn’t buy traffic; they earned it. Content went viral organically. Social media wasn’t directed by a suit, created by an account executive, and vetted by legal before it went live. If you think you can use your old broken model to excel online, you’re dead wrong.

Good advice!