Archives for social marketing

Twitters New “Marketing” Gallery

Article first published as Twitter’s New “Marketing” Gallery on Technorati.

Twitter has taken a bold step into photo sharing with the announcement of their new image gallery feature. But this step might do more than just increase engagement. It could be trigger a huge change in social marketing strategy.

Now on your profile is a photo strip that will show the most recent photos you shared on Twitter. Unlike in Facebook where you can organize your photos into albums as well as have the most recent pictures appear, in Twitter there will be no possible organization. At least not yet. The photo strip simply shows the images you have recently tweeted.

Twitter Photo Strip

The Twitter gallery features your 100 most recent images and will archive as far back as January 2010. It is pulling the images from third party apps like Twitgoo and Moby, because until recently you could only share images on Twitter via third party apps.

Your most recent 4 images will be shown on your profile. But if you click an image, a giant image gallery opens up that shows all your images. They can be viewed as a slide show or as a grid. When you click on an image in the gallery view, it will display the original tweet that posted the image. This allows people to easily retweet images that were posted yesterday or ten months ago.

This is the first time that Twitter truly supports retweeting archived tweets. Twitter is most commonly thought of as an active conversation that is happening now, and not a platform for looking at what people posted last week or even last month. Unless you post more than 100 pictures a week, you will be able to get a glimpse of your Twitter history in photos.

This new photo sharing feature on Twitter could very well be a game changer. It could drastically change the way people are using and sharing information on Twitter. The ability to retweet archived images increases the longevity of a tweet. In many ways it encourages people to tweet with pictures because of the de-archiving aspect. From a marketing stand point, it opens up a world of opportunity to do much more extensive branding through the use of photographs.

The new Twitter gallery may make businesses think more critically on their use of photos in their marketing and sharing strategy on Twitter. It also might make people think twice about sharing that embarrassing photo they took while hanging out with their friends. No matter what, the photo gallery is going to make people think twice.

Old Spice Guy vs. Fabio: A Marketing Bro-mance

Last year Old Spice made huge waves in the social marketing world with their Twitter campaign. The original campaign got 34.6 million views. Their new campaign modeled itself after the original but kept it fresh by bringing in Fabio as the challenger to the title of the official Old Spice Guy.

This new campaign has already gotten 22 million views on Youtube.

The Challenge:

The Twitter:

Like in the original Old Spice Guy Twitter campaign, the campaign is based around interaction with real twitter accounts. Here is one from @animalplanet where both Old Spice Guy and Fabio respond to the tweet.

The Story:

Old Spice Guy and Fabio did not just talk to big networks or famous people. They created videos for anyone who tweeted them, though obviously not everyone who tweeted them. The fact that they had video engagement with the public makes the brand, and the two of them as celebrities, seem accessible.

Beyond just answering questions on Twitter, they created a story line between Old Spice Guy and Fabio. At one point Fabio kidnaps Old Spice Guy and then replaces him with fake Old Spice Guys.

The story line continues, mixed in with more Twitter responses by Fake Old Spice Guy and Fabio, when the real Old Spice Guy has his dramatic return.

What is so excellent about the story line is they have added more depth to the marketing campaign. They are already creating interest by having a audience interactive contest between Old Spice Guy and Fabio. Then tapping into the highly successful and very funny model of the first Twitter based Old Spice campaign. By adding this additional level of drama and story line, it keeps the audience invested in the results of the story and the contest.

The Winner

The story and competition ended in a funny video that was both clever and campy.

Social Media: The Big Four (part 4)

The old spice man

Old Spice created one of the most successful social media campaigns ever. It was on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and their blog.

No surprise, the Big Four of social media are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs.  Ok, maybe that last one was a surprise. In Part 3 of our analysis of social media marketing trends, I talked about the rising influence of blogging in marketing. The Social Media Examiner’s 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report reveals the trends and where marketers are focusing their efforts.

Facebook is the number one focus, and businesses are investing more into Facebook as the cornerstone of their social marketing strategy.  There has been a lot of discussion on the effectiveness of Fan Pages for business development, but as a Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing tool, it is very strong.

Though Twitter is not as big as Facebook it is growing fast, and all levels of marketers use it. In fact, 77% of businesses are planing to increase their Twitter activity.   More people are finding the value in Twitter as a source for information and as a networking tool. Many marketers, including this one, would argue that Twitter can be a better tool than Facebook for forging partnerships, creating strategic networks and making sales.  Twitter facilitates active communication and does not restrict conversation between businesses and individuals the way Facebook does.

LinkedIn maintains a strong presence.Though many large corporations utilize LinkedIn, it is primarily a business tool for the small business or solopreneur. It is also used primarily for Business to Business (B2B) networking.  LinkedIn is best for small businesses and individuals because it is not meant to serve as a direct sales tool. It is highly valuable for group forums and the ability to network with business people.

YouTube is an area that marketers really want to grow. Large companies and experienced marketers are the ones who are really integrating video. 82% of businesses with more than 1000 employees said that YouTube was a key growth area for their social media strategy. Professionals who spend 40+ hours per week on social media are investing more into video content.  What this tells me is that video and video blogs are being dominated by companies with dedicated social media departments.  It is a very powerful social marketing tool, more accessible to those who have the time and tech resources to create quality content. People who create good video content are tapping into the potential to truly reach the viral market.

Facebook

  • Marketers of all experience levels are using Facebook
  • Number 1 preferred social media network
  • Used more for B2C than B2B
  • Increasing focus for B2C
  • 92% of marketers use FB
  • Top focus for people getting started

Twitter

  • Marketers of all experience levels are using Twitter
  • Number 2 preferred social media network
  • 73% of marketers plan to increase their activity
  • 77% of large businesses are likely to increase their activity

LinkedIn

  • Small businesses and self-employed are more likely to use LinkedIn
  • More B2B

YouTube

  • Large businesses are more likely to use video
  • Marketers with 1-3 years of experience are more likely to integrate video into their social media
  • Marketers who invest 40+ hours per week are more invested in creating video content
  • 82% Businesses with 1000 or more employees indicated that this is a key growth area

Social media marketing is on the rise. 73% of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube, blogs, FB and Twitter; 86% do not plan to use MySpace (so you shouldn’t either). Facebook and Twitter are the undisputed places to be.  While you are at it, try to make a video or two, you might like the results!

Social Media: The Ultimate Business Tool (part 1)

The Social Media Examiner released their Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Over this next week I will be sharing and analyzing it. Below is a summary of the top findings from the report:

Marketers place high value on social media: A significant 90% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business.
Marketers want to know how to monitor and measure ROI and integrate those results into their strategy.
Social media marketing takes a lot of time: Most marketers are spending 6 hours a week on social media.
Video marketing is on the rise: 77% of marketers plan to increase YouTube and video integration into their social marketing plan.
Facebook and Blogging are the two social media platforms marketers want to learn more about.
The top benefits of social media marketing: Social media marketing is generating more business exposure (72%) and improved SEO (62%).
The top social media tools: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs are the top social media tools used by marketers, in that order.
Social media outsourcing is underutilized: Only 28% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing.

This indicates that social media has become an integral part of business marketing.  It is a resource for business connections and, more significantly, for business exposure.  Traditional marketers continue to struggle with concepts of ROI, because in social media what is really counts is ROR, or Return on Reputation. ROR is not simply based on click-throughs or recognized at point-of-sale; it encompasses the relationships you build, the word of mouth you generate, the authority and trust you establish, the reach you gain and the influence you have.  Though this does not always convert to overnight money, it does convert to long term success. Social media is not about the immediate buck – it is about growth, development and the continuing success of your brand.

In short, social media is gaining strength as the ultimate tool in brand management and recognition.

This week I will bring you more trends, tools, successes and challenges of utilizing social media.

 

The Cost of Facebook

Top hat overflowing with money, with the Facebook logo on the front of the hat

Facebook does have a cost. It is the cost of investment.

On one of my posts about Facebook Fan Page updates, and the outrage about the wall filtering issue, Steve Silberberg emailed me some very interesting comments. You may remember Steve, he wrote the post: Social Marketing, the Online Tupperware Party. Essentially he pointed out that Facebook is free, so do we really have a right to get uptight about some change they made? The “if you don’t like it, don’t use it” strategy.

This got me thinking about the actual cost of Facebook. It is free, so it should cost nothing right?  Well, if you are using Facebook for business it is not as simple as that. The platform is free, true. But there are costs of doing business on Facebook.

The Cost of Facebook

  • Ads
    If you use Facebook Ads, there is a direct cost. In fact, the better you ad does, the higher the cost.
  • Custom Tabs
    Many pages have custom landing tabs. These are specialty pages on your Fan Page that look like a mini website. Often you see them when you first visit a Fan Page. The landing tab will be custom designed, and will try to inspire you to Like their page.  These cost money.  Most people are not fluent in FBML, or even know what it is (it is the coding language used in Facebook, like HTML). If you do know what FBML is, then you also probably know that it is a bit cumbersome. There are programs out there like Lujure that easily allow you to design a Facebook landing page.  And though they might not be expensive, they still have a cost.
  • Social Media Marketing & Strategy
    If you want to create a successful social media presence for your business, you need to have a strategy. Many people use social strategy firms to develop a social marketing strategy. This is an excellent way to make sure you are getting the most out of your social media.
  • Social Media Manager
    Many businesses hire a Facebook manager to post for them, take care of FB admin, Like new pages and respond to comments.  This is a great way to make sure your social media strategy is being implemented properly.
  • Time
    Even if you don’t run ads, learn FBML to create your own landing tab, design your own strategy and manage your own account, the one cost you cannot get around is time.  Your time has a value.  Facebook engagement can take a lot of time. They payoff for your business is worth the investment, but it is still an investment.

There are other places you can invest money: app development, stores, Paypal fees for running stores or fundraisers, analytic services, etc.  When you put all of these together and assume Facebook is free – well, it’s not.  Free is the hook, because once you sign up for the network there is a cost.  So when you ask if we, as Facebook business users, have a right to protest changes that affect our business usage in a negative way, the answer is a definite yes.  We have an investment with our branding, our time and our social marketing.  It is in our best interest for Facebook to operate while keeping in mind the best interests of its users.  Sure you can “Just say no to Facebook” but for most of us that is not a viable option.  I have invested in Facebook and I want it to work in support of my business Fan Page, not against it.

Social Marketing: The Online Tupperware Party

Vintage ad at christmas for tupperware

Do you build relationships and engagement because you are truly interested in people, or because everyone is a potential sale?

Social Marketing pundits always seem to drive home the importance of growing your network with the ultimate intent of selling your product or service. Call me a cynic, but this sounds a bit like an online Tupperware Party. You invite all your friends (subscribers) over, serve them a little food (content) and shamelessly hawk your wares.

But it doesn’t end there. In order to become more successful, you must push the limits of your friendships and exploit your Social Network’s goodwill. You ask them to bring their friends to the next Tupperware Party (follow you or friend you), all with the intent of selling to them.

When framed in this light, you might feel sheepish about Social Marketing. So why do it at all?

Google.

Google is the most popular kid in school. And Google only likes you if you’re really popular too. It doesn’t take the time to know who you really are – it just looks at what you’re wearing, makes some assumptions about you, and might even acknowledge you on occasion.

But Google is the ultimate gossip – it mostly cares what your friends say about you. So you had better be immensely popular and have a lot of friends if you want Google to invite you to parties or mention you to the other kids.

And how can you fool Google into thinking you’re more popular than you are? Social Marketing. The more your network mentions you, the better your chances are that the coolest kid will recognize you and think you’re cool too.

In fact, you may not realize it, but this blog entry itself is not really intended to inform. It’s a cheap ploy to expand my own Social Network and increase Google Rank. In fact, the sentence you are reading right now contains no content whatsoever and is only included so that the article’s word count is bumped up above a level acceptable to Google.

That said, get to it. Time to throw your next Tupperware Party!

From Lauren

I have really enjoyed my conversation with Steve about this post. I find his opinion to be very interesting.  A lot of social engagement has become about closing some deal.  Instead of looking at every person you meet as a potential sale, look at them as a potential relationship.  It is more than just networking.  The relationships we make through social media  can be influential and significant.  Take look at this friendship with Steve that started over an email comment about a blog I wrote.  We went from people out in the blogoverse and now are friends, debating the value of social media relationships. You can’t get much better than that. So maybe look at your social media people as potential friends and relationships and engage because they are interesting and not just because they can build your business. And they will eventually help build your business, if you engage them at an authentic level.


Steve Silberberg

 

Steve Silberberg is the founder and owner of Fitpacking, an outfitter that guides moderately overweight people on backpacking adventure vacations to get in shape and lose weight. He lives in a suburb of Boston and has a Master’s Degree from MIT if that’s somehow relevant.
Visit Fitpacking.com

My Twitter Real Estate Value?

The idea of Twitter real estate has never been more salient as it is right now.  Twitter real estate is the space you have to customize your Twitter profile page.  It is the space you have to be able to individualize, personalize, identify, set yourself apart, and express yourself.  It is your space to work on your branding. Until a week ago, Twitter real estate had a pretty high value.  When you wanted to see someone’s profile, you clicked their avatar and it took you to their page.  On that page you would see the custom design of their choice.  This could sway you into following them.  It might send you to their website. Or it might simply give you a better idea of who they are as a person.

The New Twitter has reduced your available real estate to about 100 pixels, or 1.389 inches wide.  Yeah, not very wide. Actually it is less than half of what it was.  Before you had about 225 px, safely, to design and add content.

Now principles of real estate, if less land is available then the more it is worth?  The New Twitter figured out how to squash that too.

Now, not only is there less space, but they reduced the likelihood that anyone will even see your 1.389 inches of custom background.  How?  Good question!

New Twitter has reduced your visibility a few ways. One way is to see a custom background you have to have your browser window completely open (up to 1080px). According to Banyan Branch, your custom profile will only be visible to about 5% of internet users.  So assuming you have cleared that initial visibility hurdle, New Twitter gave us another one.  Though this is nice for usability, it is not so nice for showing off your design work.  Now, when you click on someones Twitter handle or their avatar, instead of going to their profile page, it opens up an abbreviated profile on the right.  This abbreviated profile does not show your custom backgroud.

So unless someone goes to your actual Twitter URL (ie. http://www.twitter.com/twitterusername) then they will not see your profile, and even then they only have a 5% chance.

Should you have a custom background? Yes.  The audience has been narrowed but not eliminated.

How to Make a Background for the New Twitter

New Twitter Background

The New Twitter has changed their interface.  While this makes usability better for a variety of reasons, it is rendering the old custom background useless.  Yes the backgrounds are still there, but effectively no one can see them.

The reason custom backgrounds are so important is that they allow you to incorporate branding with your social media activity. Unfortunately the change has rendered our beautiful branded backgrounds unusable.

Can you still have a custom background?

Yes!  Though they are not as important as they once were.  The new interface width is 1040px, leaving roughly 100px on the left for your branding. This is not a lot of room for design or information content.

Who will see my new custom background?

Not many people. Mobile devices will not see custom backgrounds at all.  If you open a profile from your stream, New Twitter now opens it in the right side bar instead of going to their profile page.  To see the full Twitter page you have to open your browser window all the way, meaning 1080px.  Not everyone browses this way and not everyone’s screen is big enough, or set up, to open a window that large.  Banyan Branch says that the full Twitter screen will only be viewed by an estimated 5% of Internet users.

How to Create a New Twitter Background?

Create a document that is 1980 x 1080 px.

Only 41-312 px will be visible.  41px are visible to all browsers and 312px are visible to 4.6%.  Best to keep your content to 41-108px on the far left of the screen.

When you are done, save it as a .png

The New Twitter backgrounds are not as valuable as the old custom backgrounds. Your real estate has been significantly reduced along with the visibility.  However, it is still important to have a custom background.  It still helps branding.  It still makes you look more professional and it can still drive business.  So don’t toss the baby out with the bathwater.  Keep a custom background, just boil it down to basics and make it clean and simple.

I like you so I will like your Facebook Page

Facebook Thumbs Up

By the time you get a few hundred friends on Facebook you will start getting TONS of Facebook page suggestions.  These are the little notifications that ask you to “like” a page.  I don’t know about you, but I get more of these than I care to dwell on.  Honestly, I generally say “ignore”.  It isn’t that I don’t like the page.  I might find the topic interesting.  If I find the name of the page interesting enough, I might even check it out.

The reality is, most of the time I don’t click the link.  Most of the time I just hit “ignore” and move on.

So when do I “like” something?  Well, it is all based on who is suggesting it.

  • If a personal friend suggests it
  • If it is someone who I respect
  • If it is thoughtful, like a topic I am deeply interested in
  • If it is a business colleague

When am not going to “like” something?

  • If a personal friend suggests it who sends me 100 suggestions a day
  • Someone I am “friends” with, but don’t know
  • Someone who does not interact with me
  • If it is something to which I have no interest

The most important factor of these lists is the friend element.  If I get a suggestion from someone who interacts with me, who I consider a friend either because I know them in real life or because we have formed a relationship of Facebook, if it is someone who has made thoughtful comments and suggestions in the past.  Essentially, if I like you and respect you then I am  more likely to like your suggestion.

So if  you want people to “like” your page, then work on your relationships.  Talk to your friends. Engage with people.  Reach out to people.  If you have quality relationships, this will translate to fans.

It is all about relationships!  The more you give, the more you will get back.

Angry at New Twitter

Angry Twitter Bird

As New Twitter rolls out there is a lot of anger being expressed.  I have to admit, I am a part of the angry crowd.  The elimination of the effectiveness of custom backgrounds seems like a minor issue, however it is one that is affecting many people.

Custom backgrounds are a great personal expression.  It is a way to make your Twitter profile represent you.  If you are a business, it is a great way to show your company information, product, services or team members.

Many of us have invested a lot of money or time into creating a custom Twitter background that we felt was emblematic of who we are as people, as professionals and as a business.

Ok, so lets look at this from a monetary perspective.

How would you feel if you just spent a few hundred dollars on a custom Twitter background and found out that you threw your money away?

Angry?  Yes.

How would you feel if you are making a living making custom Twitter backgrounds and you just found out that your profession was made obsolete overnight?

Angry?  Hell yes!

If you just designed a background for someone and their Twitter converted to New Twitter; will the client now ask for their money back? You did your job,  it is not your fault that Twitter just made it obsolete.

Angry?  OMG YES!!!!

What if you have been building brand recognition for a client with their custom Twitter background being central to their brand strategy?  How do you now tell your client that you have to rethink their entire brand strategy?

Angry? F*%K YES!

Rendering custom Twitter backgrounds obsolete has a much wider scope than just the frustration of not having your preferred background.  It is affecting people professionally and personally.