As we’ve seen with the rollout of Timeline, Facebook is a constantly-evolving social platform that continues to change how brands can interact with users. When planning your social media initiatives, it’s smart to understand the full potential of this resource – which includes robust functionality and engagement via Facebook Open Graph.
The Journey is Better with Friends.
May 17, 2012
April 19, 2012
Category Branding, Digital, Insights, Moose Life
Whether you consider yourself a social media expert, guru or just plain digital savvy, the ever-growing social media platforms and introduction of new social apps can leave even the most knowledgeable of recent grads and experienced community managers a beginner at some point.
Of course, after a week or two of playing, they’ll be back up to date on the strengths and weaknesses of any new social platform.
Wait, did I just say playing?
To fully understand how a social platform can benefit your company or brand, it’s important that you have a good grasp on how it works – and why consumers find it appealing. The best way to do this? Create an account and play.
April 12, 2012
Once you stop wracking your brain and thinking of all the ways you’d spend that hefty lump of cash, you may start to wonder – what’s next for Facebook + Instagram?
According to Facebook, Instagram will keep its own identity and act as their standalone app as they work to improve usability and functionality across both social media platforms.
Here at the Embassy, we’ve made our own predictions on what this really means and how this purchase will affect the next changes to roll out on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook just launched Timeline for brands on February 29th and they say the change will be mandatory by March 30th. So what can you do creatively for your brand in Timeline? Last week, Audra told you about telling a compelling story. This week, I’ll give you ideas to bring your story to life through design.
March 8, 2012
On February 29, Facebook announced their changes to Facebook Pages and Ads. All Facebook Brand Pages will be automatically updated to the new Timeline format on March 30, 2012. What does this mean for your brand?
Facebook’s new Timeline for Brand Pages places more emphasis on quality engagement to gain fans. Before the switch, it is important to understand the role of the new features and how to incorporate them into your social media marketing strategy.
September 8, 2010
Category Digital, Inspiration
In Is Social Media Right or My Business? Part I, we talked about what to think about before jumping into social media for your business and some general guidelines for the common social networks. In Part II, we will look at common industries and how they are using social media and online marketing.
The key is that social media is not just an ecommerce or “fun” business trend. Social media is another channel of communication and businesses are using this channel strategically to support their overall marketing goals. Social media is here to stay, and if it’s not being widely used among your regional competitors currently, chances are it will soon be a part of their online marketing. St. Louis businesses are quickly growing their social media efforts, so if you are in the St. Louis area (or any city for that matter), we recommend putting your social media strategy in place to stay in line or ahead of your competition.
Below is a breakdown of some key industries. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments below for any industries that are not covered here.
Arts & Entertainment
The use of social media among those in the Arts & Entertainment industry is very high – generally because a common target market for this industry is a younger demographic. Movie studios have already embraced social media heavily through online marketing promotions and specific tie-ins with social media platforms. The Arts & Entertainment industry routinely uses emerging media as part of their overall strategy, since their subject matter is often easily adaptable to the newer channels. For instance, the movie The Last Exorcism recently received a lot of buzz for using (and scaring people on) Chatroulette.
Independent artists, art galleries and musicians have also found a great deal of success in communicating with their fans through social media. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has nearly 90K followers on Twitter and use YouTube to share community events.
Community, Government & Education
Government organizations often face challenges in reaching and communicating with the community, especially as traditional channels such as newspapers and newsletters are disregarded. Focusing on the places where the community migrates and is ready to engage (think Twitter and Facebook) provide a unique opportunity. Facebooks fastest growing segment is Women over 55, meaning connecting with residents of a community online is become more viable each and every day.
Check out this article about cities using Twitter as a communication, profiling Mesa, Arizona and Killeen, Texas. These cities using Twitter to communicate quickly and directly with residents.
Service & Retail
Using social media as an online marketing strategy has significant benefits in the service and retail industries. Social media can be used to educate consumers on new product offerings, discounts, product news, customer support and, in many cases, can be used to facilitate interaction between consumers to help spread awareness of the brand.
Zappos is well-respected for their use of social media for educating customers on product specials, as well as using social channels as a customer support platform. State Farm, an insurance provider, uses social media to communicate with their clients on a daily basis.
Health & Medicine
The mix of social media and medicine is hotly debated topic, because unlike most industries, the health services field carries the ongoing high risk of exposing confidential information. However, strategically executed social media can effectively share research and development progress, facility and product improvements, and general health and wellness updates.
For example, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital uses three Twitter accounts: @STLChildrens shares general Hospital updates, doctors’ blog posts and other helpful tips, @STL_Kids is run by nurses and gives out advice pertaining to kids’ health and @Childrens_Jobs posts the latest job openings and HR updates.
Industrial & Manufacturing
Some industrial and manufacturing companies consider social media channels low-priority when it comes to online marketing strategies. However, many companies are finding a great deal of success through the use of LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows companies to find new employees, partnerships, and share industry related information. YouTube can also be an effective means for educating distributors on product features and training.
A presentation on Social Media for Manufacturing outlines how social media can be leveraged in this industry.
Not-For-Profit & Organizations
Social media is a very effective way for Non-Profits to reach both existing supporters and to recruit new supporters. By providing a constant update of related news and events, social media allows you to keep in touch with supporters in a less-intrusive manner than traditional methods. In addition, through the proper execution of a social sharing campaign, a non-profit can leverage its existing supporters to spread the word about the program to help recruit new supporters.
Checkout this article, a 10-step guide for Not-For-Profits, before starting your social media campaign.
Using social media to promote your restaurant is a great way to connect with both new and long-term customers. By promoting your social media platforms in your restaurant and throughout your website, you give customers the opportunity to stay up-to-date on specials and events. Also, through a social media marketing campaign, you can effectively use your customers to help spread the word about their experience and upcoming events. Location-based social networks, such as foursquare and the newly launched Facebook Places, also allow users to “check-in” to your restaurant and publish this check-in to their social media accounts. Businesses using foursquare can also create specials for customers that unlock when they check-in .
Whatever industry you are in, social media is a learning process for every organization. Finding the right resources, sending out the right message, and doing so on a consistent basis takes a concentrated, and sometimes trial-based, effort to get right. But with the right strategy it can prove beneficial for nearly every type of business.
What are some great examples of organizations in the industries above using social media effectively? Add to the list in the comments!
February 26, 2010
Category Digital, Inspiration
If you haven’t already realized it, social media takes a solid strategy and a lot of time to provide real business value – if you think it doesn’t then you should highly reconsider jumping in. What takes so much time? Well, being successful on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a company blog is all about producing valuable content, not just establishing a presence on these services. Valuable content is what establishes your company as an authority in the space, and creates a reason for people to become your fan or watch your video; and valuable content takes time to create.
So, with that fact sorted out, the question for small business owners becomes, “How can I leverage social media for my business when I don’t have a lot of time or money to throw at it?” Here are some things you should ask yourself before diving in:
An Ability to Create Authoritative Content
Let’s hit this one first, because again, it’s the most important. By authoritative content, I am referring to a lengthy article (400 words) or 3-5 minute video about a specific topic that provides value to your audience/customer. The key factors in your ability to produce this content are a) time/budget b) commitment to the concept c) knowledge of the topic d) creativity. If you feel that you or someone within your organization can fill all of these requirements, then you have the ammunition to start your campaign.
Make Time to Socialize“…often the discussion is far more important in getting eyeballs to your site than the original content alone.”
Creating the content is certainly one of the most difficult parts, but it’s only half the effort. Once you have created this content, you have to get it out there in social media, get people talking about it, and engage them. Granted, you are not going to engage every customer, but engaging those who are seeking discussion will help create additional content both within the confines of your content (through comments) and throughout the social networks of those participating in the discussion. Discussion on the web has a spider effect, more so every day as services continue to share more data – so often the discussion is far more important in getting eyeballs to your site than the original content alone.
It’s also important to engage others in your field who are creating authoritative content; it not only creates goodwill, but will ultimately drive traffic to your site. Keep at it enough, and before long you will be writing guest posts on larger publications that help drive considerable traffic.
Research: Keep Up with the Tools
Using just Twitter.com to interact with your audience or jumping on to Facebook each time you want to share something is not smart time management – keep up with the tools that will make your social media marketing life easier. Hootsuite is a great tool for pushing your content across multiple platforms and it offers a lot of other great services like click tracking and targeted search.
More Research: Track Your Results
Speaking of click tracking, you will want to make an effort to monitor what effect your activities are having on traffic and ultimately conversions (contact form, sign-up for demo, etc). Note your traffic levels before you start your social media campaign and track them on a daily basis to understand what content is producing the best results.
Hold Your Tongue – Understand the Different Networks
If you are a shameless promoter you better recognize! Like selling at wedding or gloating at a funeral – there are certain social networks where you have to be careful how you act.
At the same time, if you are quiet like a cat, you’re probably worse off than the guy above.
A quick rundown:
No-holds barred here, let the business chatter fly. Just make sure to keep it civil (more so than the other networks).
Twitter Personal Account
Posting specifically about your product once or twice a week is okay, linking to industry related news that you didn’t create more often is fine.
Twitter Business Account
Everything here should either be business related or talking about other things within the industry. Try to make it a nice mix of these too and also mix in some posts with personality, such as “Beautiful day, glad to be working with such great people” or “thanks @mikedavis, great meeting, looking forward to working with you!” As little as 1 post per day is sufficient; probably should not go over 10 per day, but there is no real good scale for this and it depends on your industry.
YouTube Business Account
Only post work related content.
Facebook Personal Account
Only post major announcements for your business on Facebook, and a good rule of thumb is only do this at most once per month.
Facebook Business Page
Similar to Twitter above, but try to keep it to no more than 1 post per day, as people don’t like their Facebook feeds getting cluttered with your news – otherwise they may hide or un-fan you. For this same reason, it’s best not to push all of your Twitter content to Facebook– it’s too much.
Depends on how tied to the business it is, but if it’s a completely separate experience, the same rules above described for a personal Facebook account apply.
This should be your hub for your most well planned and executed content. Try to only make meaningful posts (no quick thoughts, save this for Twitter). If you are not able to post at least once per week you should make it a point to get to that frequency and stick to it.
Have questions about other social networks? Ask about them in the comments below.
So that’s a good overview of considering social media for your business from a time commitment perspective, in our next post on this topic we will look at factors related to the type of business you are in.