Tag Archives: social media campaign

Tech before people? Think again.

22 Nov
Source: knogimmicks.com

Source: knogimmicks.com

With all the social media tools out there, it’s easy to go by the seat of your pants on putting something out just for the sake of feeling like you did something today. How effective is that? What did you really accomplish long-term? Having a good social media campaign before you set off is crucial to successfully attaining your organizational goals.

At the heart of that is understanding your audience.

“In the age of social media, most businesses have become decidedly antisocial,” said Rob Asghar in a 2013 Forbes article. “Your call to the customer-service center is shuffled off to a faceless script-reader in Manila. Or many times you don’t even get that:  You get a machine that keeps asking you, with an edge in its voice, to take another crack at clearly stating the nature of your problem.

And pressing ‘0’ only gets you another computer voice, mocking you and reawakening the spectacular sense impotence that your family instilled in you at the dinner table. The truth is that the company that you called doesn’t want to hear from you. Ever. You only wanted to discuss a minor billing question, but now you need to return to therapy.

Hopefully, therapy is the not in the cards for you and your audience. You do have to take an honest look at what your base is and who you are to them.

Source: socialmediaexaminer.com

Source: socialmediaexaminer.com

“Every company has not only a different client base, but also a different target social media audience. Understanding who you want to target is vital in social media. If your business is using social media to grow, then you need to focus your message and content toward that goal,” said Patrick Rodgers of powerserve.net.

Pam Moore, CEO and founder of Marketing Nutz, gives some good tips to make sure your efforts are audience-driven and that you understand what you’re taking on.

“Relationships take time and are not going to be nurtured overnight,” Moore said.

1. Know who you are.

2. Know who they are.

3. Know what they want.

4. What can you offer them?

5. What format do the good come in?

6. How much will it cost them?

7. Do you make it easy for them to get what they want and need from you?

Michael Stelzner, of Social Media Examiner.com, suggests reconsidering the relationship between you and your audience now that social media has come into the mix.

“Originally marketers delivered the promise via email, but now you have to take that style of thinking into the social and mobile channels. Proprietary audiences will only be there if you build them. If not, you’ll have to pay in the form of advertising.

Before the Internet, creative thinkers only had to worry about great creative. They didn’t have to assemble an audience because mass media did that for them,” Stelzner said.

“The difference today is not only coming up with the creative, but also thinking about distribution and building an audience that belongs to you—one that nobody else has access to. So when you have that great piece of content, you are able to push the button and reach your audience.”


Hashtags—Think before you become the ‘bum’ of PR jokes

25 Oct

While I was Tweetchating Monday night during #socialchat’s weekly hour-long session, the topic of hashtag usage for events came up. I really hadn’t thought much about it.

You come up with a name, you put a # sign in front of it, and you release it into the Twitter wilderness, right?

Well, you can, but it might end up like British singer Susan Boyle’s well-meant attempt to promote her new album with #susanalbumparty, but instead users had a field day coming up with this:

Source: hashtags.org

Source: hashtags.org

In January 2012, McDonald’s had the unfortunate experience of having its #McDStories, which was supposed to bring up warm fuzzy sentiments of McDonald’s memories, ridiculed and hijacked by Twitter users who went with a different messaging direction.

Source: hashtagnation.blogspot.com

Source: hashtagnation.blogspot.com

The failed campaign was taken down after only two hours. Ouch.

“Creating hashtags is no easy feat and not something left to an intern to brainstorm for 30 minutes. They embody a part of your brand in as few characters as possible, but they still tell a story. Make sure it’s the right one,” said Jon Thomas of SocialMediaToday.

Who knew so few characters could do so much damage?

“If you associated a poorly-crafted hashtag with your brand, it could make or break your reputation online,” said Vanessa Doctor of Hashtags.org.

Thomas says that being honest about your brand is one of the first steps to ensure if your campaign with flop or be successful.

“McDonald’s, as well as a number of other half-health-conscious restaurants, has to get honest about its business. Domino’s is the poster child for owning up to a negative brand story and using that negativity to craft a new brand story. Domino’s used to be like most fast-food restaurants—making the food as quickly and at the lowest cost as possible in pursuit of high volume and profit margin. Unfortunately, the lack of pride in the product resulted in feedback claiming it was ‘mass-produced, boring, bland pizza.’

Instead of deflecting or ignoring the negativity, Domino’s embraced it, publicly admitting its faults and using them to fuel a marketing campaign called The Pizza Turnaround. It documented its reinvention, changing its recipe and tracking down the detractors in hopes that they’d try its #newpizza and reconsider,” Thomas said.

When in doubt, Domino’s Pizza went all out. Their hashtag was the cornerstone of a massive PR campaign that included a separate website specifically for all things “#newpizza,” positive TV coverage and a stint on Gayle King’s (Oprah Winfrey’s BFF) radio show.

San Francisco advertising firm RadiumOne released findings in March related to a mobile hashtag survey of 494 respondents asking about how they “perceive, value, and use hashtags.”

  • 58 percent of respondents utilize hashtags on a regular basis, and 71 percent of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices
  • 43 percent of respondents think hashtags are useful and 34 percent use them to search/follow categories and brands of personal interest
  • 51 percent of respondents would share hashtags more often if they knew advertisers awarded discounts for sharing product based hashtags
  • 41 percent of respondents use hashtags to communicate personal ideas and feelings

With these kinds of numbers, it’s worth it to put a little effort into creating a relevant and honest message with your hashtag. Being included in the “worst of” category is never pretty. Just ask Susan Boyle.

Got an ugly e-newsletter?

27 Sep

Lack of people, time and financial resource are often at the root of some well-meaning, but ill-conceived, nonprofit and small business communication campaigns. The main offenders are usually social media messaging and e-newsletters.

One of the best things about working in a technology-heavy media age is that there are some really good platforms available to nonprofits and small businesses that fit their specific needs.

Constant Contact has been around a while, but I only recently saw what it could do in action.

The company, based out of Massachusetts, “offers email marketing products, which allow customers to create, send, and track professional and affordable permission-based email marketing campaigns and social campaigns,” according to its Yahoo! Finance profile and boasts 555,000 customers.

Constant Contact has a Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook account with creative ideas on how to launch campaigns and examples of e-newsletters done correctly.

“Then Vs. Now: How Running a Business Has Changed in Five Years,” “When is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?” and “What Does Mobile Mean for Small Businesses and Nonprofits?” are just some of the videos on the Constant Contact YouTube channel that offer helpful tips.

They have plans starting at $15 a month for email marketing, online surveys, social campaigns and event managing. Nonprofits have a different pricing tier.

This type of platform is especially useful for nonprofits and small businesses whose communications department is probably the marketing, social media, public relations and event management department, as well, and manned by one to three people.

Larger corporations will unlikely have a need for this kind of platform because they usually have two to three departments that are doing the same job with more people and more money.

I promise I’m in no way affiliated with Constant Contact. I just saw it in use, and I saw how easy, even for me, it was to use, and I thought I wish we had this when I was working for a small nonprofit in 2009. Our cause was worthy. Our e-newsletter was woefully primitive.

Constant Contact is just one of many good websites to visit. Every organization will have a different need and function based on their goals. Some might not need a platform with so many options. They might just need something they can do a real e-newsletter on, and there are great sites just for that.

Source: paper.li/WindroseNP

Source: paper.li/WindroseNP

Paper.li lets users upload text, photos and videos to set up their online newsletter to where their site looks like a real online news site that readers can follow using social media.

“The successful campaigns I have worked on, where we got over a million people interacting with a Facebook campaign, have been integrated with other marketing activities, such as email marketing. All channels have to work together. We need to think of it as more of a marketing campaign than a social media campaign,” said Marc Blinder, MEA director of social media strategy at Adobe.

I think this is where the digital tide is turning for most organizations. With so many options available, there aren’t really any excuses for a crummy e-newsletter anymore.

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