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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Blue Sky Content Marketing: Think outside the blog, social media and online video boxes

January 7th, 2014 1 comment

Every day I wake up, come into work, and stare at a box.

So do you.

Oh, it’s a magical box. I can write words in it that will instantly appear the world over.

But sometimes, we have to peer outside of this box, and think about content marketing as more than just digital words, pictures and videos.

 

Content marketing can also be a grilled cheese sandwich

Some of us (me for sure, how about you?) are so focused on digital channels for content marketing – to improve SEO, build email lists, gain more fans and followers – that we overlook an entire universe outside of this digital box.

For example, can content marketing be:

 

A grilled cheese sandwich?

In this MarketingSherpa case study, Bonvoy Adventure Travel rented the Gorilla Cheese NYC  food truck,  and let the good folks in Midtown Manhattan name their own price for lunch.

This is a great example of content marketing because it demonstrated Bonvoy’s value proposition while offering something of value to the audience: the triple cream brie with prosciutto di parma.

At the end of the gooey day, Bonvoy served up 34,000 impressions on Twitter.

 

Print?

As digital marketers and publishers, sometimes we overlook the value of good old-fashioned print. It obviously meets the two conditions of content marketing above (demonstrate value prop while providing value).

It is also more credible than digital, and, like the above example, it can help your content marketing cut through the clutter. Zig where others zag.

For example, there are 861 million results in a search for “IT Solutions,” but I guarantee there are way fewer magazine articles that cover that topic.

Don’t take my word for it. The “Godfather of Content Marketing” himself, Joe Pulizzi, wrote about why you should consider print for your content marketing strategy.

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: Which type of content is appropriate for different platforms?

April 2nd, 2013 5 comments

When I was a kid fresh out of high school, I was a little socially awkward. I didn’t exactly understand the various types of social gatherings to which I was invited to, and I consequentially always showed up dressed incorrectly, saying the wrong things and bearing the wrong gifts. We all know the guy who shows up to the baby shower with a bottle of tequila, right?

Unfortunately, a similar situation exists in marketing circles when advertisers crash the proverbial wedding of social media platforms wearing board shorts and flip flops. That metaphor may be a little dense, so follow me…

For all of the analysis currently existing about how to best leverage social networks for marketing success, we actually understand comparatively little about how the various platforms work. Frequently, despite best efforts to the contrary, marketers end up looking like the odd man out simply by taking the wrong platform-specific tones with their campaigns.

Companies simply can’t expect to behave the same at different social functions and receive an overwhelmingly good response. Since we’re on the analogy train today, I’ll try to keep the theme going.

 

Facebook is a pub crawl

People spend most of their Facebook time interacting with their “friends.” In truth, most of the “friends” with whom we interact with on Facebook are merely acquaintances.

Nevertheless, the environment yields similarities to the dynamics of a pub crawl. Surrounded by acquaintances and, yes, a few old friends, we dive into topics of various levels of seriousness ranging from the patently absurd, to the politically charged before wandering aimlessly from topic to topic for a spell.

We do so without expecting to be inundated with marketing messaging, much the same as we would expect to not be rudely interrupted by an insurance salesman while we were in the middle of telling our best frat house story from college at the local bar.

In order to market effectively on Facebook, you first have to win a seat at the table, or be interesting enough to be the topic of our slightly buzzed conversation.

 

Twitter is a speed date

You’ve got 140 characters to impress me, so you’d better make it work for you.

I might spend a few extra minutes after the last round of speed dating with a particularly interesting person (company, product, etc.), but if I do, it will be because you have done or said something particularly compelling in your allotted time slot.  Equally as fun as interviewing potential dates, I can wander sneakily around the room to see what other people are saying about me …

“That guy has impeccable taste in clothing,” says one. “He’s stunningly good looking,” says another.

Brands can do the same with Twitter, getting a better idea of how the market is responding to their product offerings. In order to market on Twitter, you have to learn how to answer the question of what you’re into right now, and answer it in a compelling enough fashion for me to care when you’re done talking.

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Social Media Marketing: Penguin’s Twitter book club nets 14 million impressions for its hashtag

November 6th, 2012 2 comments

Some fields seem more resistant to social media than others, and the transition strategy isn’t always readily apparent. Marketers in these fields know the benefits social media can bring, but need to find a way to engage their consumers in a way that is familiar and will breed genuine excitement.

 

 

Reading, for instance, is usually a solitary pursuit. It is cherished by the people who love curling up in a comfy chair in a sunlit corner with a worn Penguin classic, or who craft their own alone time while in the middle of a crowded subway or city park.

Readers emerge from this private world to connect with other readers in two ways – local book clubs, and lining up to meet authors at book signings.

Penguin Group (USA) found a way to integrate the book world’s most social activities into social media.  Read more…

Social Media Marketing: YoCrunch boosts average Facebook post interaction 821% (plus two more case studies)

September 27th, 2012 No comments

The Social Media Club of Dallas monthly meetings always feature a presentation on social media for attendees, and earlier this year, I had the chance to take in SMC Dallas’ case study “showcase.”

This event offered up a number of quick-hit social media case studies from a variety of marketers and agencies, and I wanted to provide MarketingSherpa blog readers with a sample of several of these presentations.

 

Local pizza chain increases ROI more than 300% with charitable effort

Background:  I Fratelli, a restaurant local pizza chain with nine locations, was preparing for its 25th anniversary. Its brand identity included charitable outreach.

Marketing Opportunity: Understand that local organizations and charities are always in need of fundraising dollars.

Strategy: Create a local social and viral community fundraiser.

Jeff Schick, Director of Integrated Digital Strategy, Online Performance Marketing, said the objective of the effort was to emotionally connect with consumers so they would feel like part of the solution in i Fratelli’s charitable fundraising marketing campaign.

The campaign consisted of five steps:

  1. Create a name/identity for the effort – in this case, “Pizza DoughNation.”
  1. Get fans excited by allowing them to nominate their favorite charities.
  1. Take an “it takes a village” approach, and leverage the networks of fans, charities and organization to spread the word. Seed code words across social media, and have consumers mention these code words during pizza orders.
  1. Measure the effort by tracking code words.
  1. Give proceeds to the charities. These check presentations were seeded on owned media, but then drove earned media.

The campaign itself used three main outlets: the website and blog, Twitter and Facebook.

The blog was branded as “The Sauce,” and offered a program overview, nomination form, best practices and tips, and past results for viewing.

Twitter was used for geotargeted and contextual conversations on pizza occasions, and content was regularly pushed out timed for lunch and dinner.  Tweets were cross-promoted to both the blog and Facebook. And, influencers were identified to propel the program’s success.

Facebook documented and housed the brand’s “giving back” strategy, and was used to develop relationships with local, regional and national chapters of charities. Also, the Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm was used to focus on an “aggressive news feed optimization strategy.”

Results

  • 3,000 unique blog visits for nominations: 86% leads driven by social media, 14% direct URL entry
  • Increased Facebook impressions over from 40,000 to 125,000 per month
  • Increased retweet rate (generosity) on Twitter from 0 to 19.4%
  • Drove ROI in the form of increased sales, ranging from 304% to 381% over first four months of program
  • Impacted 32 local charities

Key learnings and takeaways

  • Social media results are not just for big brands. SMB brands can leverage social media for attitudinal, behavioral and financial objectives.
  • Get the product, service and experience right first.
  • Get cross-functional teams involved — that way they begin to place a higher value on social media.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask fans and followers for help. Engage with the social media audience.

About the effort, Jeff said, “It wasn’t necessarily a challenge, versus an opportunity. The i Fratelli brand is known for being a part of and giving back to the Dallas-Fort Worth community for the past 25 years. The opportunity was uncovering an idea that leveraged social media to make a greater impact. Historically, the community-giving initiatives were led and funded by i Fratelli alone. By creating the Pizza DoughNation program, fans could take part in and join in on the giving back efforts.”

  Read more…

B2B Social Media Marketing: 5 career killers and how to overcome them

August 28th, 2012 No comments

Day one of B2B Summit 2012 has finally arrived.  Today, I had the opportunity to listen in on the panel discussion “5 B2B Social Media Career Killers … and how to overcome them.”

This session went beyond simply helping your company, and on to improving the future of your personal career.

MECLABS Director of Editorial Content Daniel Burstein moderated the panel of three B2B social media experts: Eddie Smith, Chief Revenue Officer, Topsy Labs; Chris Baggott, Chairman, Compendium; and Nichole Kelly, President, SME Digital.

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With the introductions made, they jumped straight into the first B2B social media killer …

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Social Media Platform Selection: Keep your eye on the bigger picture

May 31st, 2012 No comments

The news of Facebook’s recent IPO has mostly focused on technical glitches at NASDAQ. But, one question sits in the back of many marketers’ minds: Is this a sign that the social network will not continue its market dominance?

After all, we’ve seen the rise and fall of sites like Friendster and MySpace, along with the constant emergence of new social media platforms like Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

So, in the midst of all this change, what is the biggest factor you should keep in mind when exploring social media platforms?

Not the social media platform itself, according to Kaci Bower, senior research analyst, MECLABS Content Group, and author of MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook. Kaci suggests you focus on your bigger inbound marketing strategy and architecture rather than relying on tying marketing to any one platform, even if it does have more than 800 million different users.

 

A strategic approach can give you a distinct competitive advantage

Integrating inbound tactics is the marketing equivalent of avoiding sugar and exercising every day, Kaci claims.

“The vast majority of marketers agree it’s critical, but a much smaller percentage follow through,” she says, citing MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report. “Seventy-six percent of marketers believe integrating SEO and social media is essential, but only 47% are actually doing it.

“A 30-point difference is huge,” continues Kaci. “It indicates the challenge of inbound marketing integration — it’s far easier to give it lip service than execute it.”

 

Lost in the noise

She suspects that is due to the massive amounts of information in the marketplace on SEO, social media and content creation. Consider this graphic that illustrates the complexity of the social media landscape by showing the huge amount of social media marketing and social networking tools and platforms.

Of course, you don’t have to use everything. Just use what works best for your company. As you can see in this chart from the Inbound Marketing Handbook, usage and effectiveness do not always consistently match. For example, two of the most hyped social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – showed significantly more usage than effectiveness. Meanwhile, blogs may be more effective than many marketers realize.

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Social Media Marketing: Proactive social touch generates 17.5% more sales for moving company

March 30th, 2012 5 comments

Hey marketers of 1985 … imagine if you could overhear many of your potential customers’ conversations in an ethical way. Why, if they had an interest in buying a product or service in your category, you could just reach out and start a conversation of your own. This would be way cooler than a hoverboard or flying car (although not quite as cool as the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor).

Of course, the year is 2012, and we’re now living the dream. On social media, people open up their conversations to the world about what they want to buy, where they want to go, and what they’re trying to crassly self-promote. But how many marketers take advantage of listening combined with proactive social touches to act on these conversations? Here’s a real-life example of how it can work. So I tweeted …

 

 

Most people probably just saw my tweet as a crassly self-promotional attempt to brag about the beautiful March weather here in Jacksonville while trying to poach top marketing talent from frigid northern locations and let them know about the job openings here at MECLABS. (wink, wink)

However, one clever marketer saw an opportunity of a different kind …

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: Opportunity knocks worldwide

February 24th, 2012 No comments

Living in the U.S., we often use social media to reach domestic customers. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were popular here first, and that sticks with us. But as social networking expands worldwide, the size of the audience we could be reaching has multiplied.

Focusing exclusively on the U.S. would ignore 80% of the people on Facebook and Twitter, according to “It’s a Social World,” a report from comScore. On LinkedIn, it would ignore more than 60% of the audience (Note: You’ll need to provide an email address to download the report. It’s worth it.)

 

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The report is full of mindboggling stats like, “social networking captures nearly 1 out of every 5 minutes spent online worldwide,” and “social networking sites now reach 82% of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users.”

If your company sells anywhere outside the U.S. (or ever hopes to), and you’re marketing through social media, then the report points to a world of opportunity. Social penetration among online audiences is above 90% in 35 of the 43 countries measured.

Read more…

Holiday Marketing: 3 last-minute ideas to boost conversion

November 22nd, 2011 1 comment

The holiday shopping season is upon us – the proverbial golden goose for consumer marketers. I’m sure you’ve planned thoroughly throughout the year, and just have to focus on how to execute, execute, execute in these last remaining days before December 25 rolls around.

But, it’s too late to make impactful changes to your plans, right?

Right?

Well, I’ve been listening to one of those “challenge the model” books on tape (you know, the ones that tell you, “Burn the status quo! The only rules that exist are the ones we impose on ourselves!”). So, I’m understandably pretty worked up. All the same, I say we take on this beast. Let’s try to make a few last-minute shifts and move that needle.

If you can spare a minute away from your daily transactional data, let’s brainstorm a few last-minute ideas to help you get an extra bump in sales this holiday season (and I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section, as well). After all, anything’s possible. As long as you commit.

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Social Media Marketing: Analytics are free and plentiful, so use them

November 15th, 2011 7 comments

For years, the debate on social media marketing centered on ROI. Marketers asked themselves “How can we measure the impact of social media?” “What’s the ROI on Twitter?” “How do we know if LinkedIn is worthwhile?”

Thankfully, those days are behind us. Data is available from tools both paid and free. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, not every marketer has taken advantage, as you can see in the chart below from Adobe and Econsultancy, which we pulled from The Social Media Data Stacks e-book.

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Five of the six metrics listed above have a greater number of marketers saying they’re important than the number of marketers tracking them. This is like saying it’s important to eat right and exercise while eating chili cheese fries and canceling your gym membership. It just doesn’t make sense.

But don’t worry — we have you covered. Here is a list of free tools you can use to start measuring each social media metric.

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