Tag Archives: social media strategy

5 Social Media Best Practices To Keep You Fresh and Relevant

This is a guest post by Calvin Sellers, @CalvinTheScribe.

The social media world is a cluttered mess where a lot of companies and individuals do things they don’t really understand — and much of this activity is done poorly. With so much going on, it’s unbelievably easy to get lost in the shuffle and lose sight of what’s really important. Fortunately, you can follow the tips below to get your message out there in an effective way.

Choose Your Media Outlet Carefully

A lot of social networking advertisers believe that social media is just a conglomeration of places to put your marketing message. While this is a part of the deal, that would be like painting a picture using only the undiluted color blue — it might look nice, but it would probably be incomplete. Instead, it’s wise to choose the social media site or sites that your target customers frequent and go after it genuinely.

Image via Flickr by ajc1

Image via Flickr by ajc1

Some customers love Pinterest, while others are glued to Facebook. Some tweet like it’s going out of style, while others are on YouTube having meaningful conversations while their videos load. You need to know and use these outlets if you intend to really reach people.

Really Blog

In this instance, blogging refers to any sort of blog-like website that is used to connect other people to your opinions. This can refer to traditional written blogs, podcasts, vlogs, or even a tweet where you describe an interpretive dance relating to some topic. The big thing about blogging is that if it isn’t honest, it’s not going to fly with most people. These days, people can tell a real statement from a lead-in to the next sales pitch. Let them learn to trust you before you start in with the hard sell — or better yet, let the soft sell happen naturally.

Use Nepotism Responsibly

Social media companies will often give added weight to their own components. The most overt example is Google, which gives a good deal of extra attention to their own Google+ platform. When you use G+ for your marketing, it will be indexed faster than if you use other resources. This can get your message ranked better and performing more quickly. It may not be perfect, but a little social media nepotism works wonders.

Plan for the Newest Technology

Today most people are not going to check out your social media pages on their computers. When you plan your media pages around the best smartphones, tablets and other devices, you open up your marketing plans to better options than ever before. If you ignore these newer and frequently used devices, you run the risk of being left behind.

Listen and Adapt

Social media is all about making the Web into a truly interactive place, where marketers really give the people what they want. When you listen and adapt to what you hear and read, you’ll do a lot better than if you just talk at people.

Social media is changing rapidly. Are you going to keep up, or will you keep doing things the old-fashioned way?

Calvin SellersAbout The Author

Calvin Sellers is a freelance writer and graphic designer from Tampa, FL. Follow him on Twitter @CalvinTheScribe.

How Campbell’s Go Targets Millennials On Facebook, Tumblr, Spotify, BuzzFeed And Mobile Games

Campbell's Go Facebook pageCampbell’s Soups is reaching out to millennials with a “whimsical, humorous personality” on social media to promote a new line of microwaveable soup products, called Campbell’s Go.  The campaigns reaches across multiple social platforms, including Facebook, Tumblr, BuzzFeed, Spotify and mobile gaming.

On Facebook, Campbell’s has given a distinct “voice” to each of the six Campbell’s Go soup flavors,   The Facebook page “follows a sitcom-esque style and features humorous daily posts and shared content,” Nelson Warley, senior brand manager of Campbell North America, told ClickZ.  The page, just launched in October, already has over 110,000 fans.

Other social media efforts for Campbell’s Go include:

  • Tumblr: Campbell’s Go has its own Tumblr page, which features similar content to the Facebook page.
  • BuzzFeed: the soup brand has teamed up with social news site BuzzFeed, creating funny posts that are designed to promote sharing – examples include “17 Animals Who Were Totally Prepared for Halloween,” “10 Famous Landmarks and Their Greatest Facsimiles,” and “10 DIY Tips for Camping Without Leaving Home” (ClickZ)  Campbell’s Go is also sponsoring BuzzFeed’s Nom Nom Feed, so posts tagged with Nom Nom appear with a branded tab – “Presented by Campbell’s Go Soups.”
  • Spotify: Campbell’s Go flavors are the inspiration behind a new set of playlists on digital music service Spotify, with one playlist for each of the six flavors. When a user listens to one of these songs on Spotify, he/she receives a coupon for Campbell’s Go and gains access to the full playlist.
  • Angry Birds: Campbell’s Go is also a launch sponsor for Angry Birds Star Wars (of Rovio Entertainment), and fans on the to-go soup’s Facebook page will have access to character reveals and game-playing tips.

The soups – meant for younger, always ‘on the go’ consumers – come in microwaveable packaging in six “bold” flavors: Coconut Curry with Chicken and Shiitake Mushrooms; Moroccan Style Chicken with Chickpeas; Chicken and Quinoa with Poblano Chilies; Spicy Chorizo and Pulled Chicken with Black Beans; Golden Lentil with Madras Curry; and Creamy Red Pepper with Smoked Gouda.

Campbell’s Go is the result of intensive research to understand the Millennial audience, according to Warley.  “We developed a digital marketing campaign aimed at igniting Millennials’ passion points – one being humor,” he told ClickZ.

The campaign will also include interactive banner ads on social sites, as well as digital and mobile couponing efforts.  Even the soup packaging promotes the individual ‘personality’ of each soup, with “whimsical photos and humorous sayings” that match marketing efforts on multiple platforms.

Will humor, social media and a healthy dose of ‘personality’ be enough to get twenty-somethings excited about soup?

Claire’s Ignores Copycat Claims, Deletes Angry Facebook Posts

Does silence on social media ever work for a brand?  Shortly after looking at Carnival’s choice to withdraw (temporarily) from social media following the Costa Concordia disaster, international accessories and jewelry retailer Claire’s tried a similar tactic.  Faced with accusations of blatantly copying jewelry designs from UK-based independent designer Tatty Devine, Claire’s has chosen to largely ignore criticism flooding in on Facebook and Twitter.

Tatty Devine blog post accuses Claire's of copying designLast week Tatty Devine blogged about Claire’s copying several of its designs, and selling these pieces in Claire’s stores around the world.  The blog featured images of the designs in question, with pictures of Tatty Devine products in direct comparison with the Claire’s knock-offs.

The news was rapidly picked up on social networks, and angry tweets about Claire’s started to trend on Twitter.  Fans also began posting on Claire’s Facebook page, many with links to the Tatty Devine blog post.  How did Claire’s react to fans’ questions and criticisms on social networks?

According to a tweet from Tatty Devine, Claire’s initially removed the ability to post on their Facebook page. In addition, Claire’s blocked some users from their Facebook page, and deleted posts that criticized the brand regarding the copycat accusations (ZDNet).

On Twitter, the first (and only) mention of the issue by Claire’s was a tweet on February 24, two days after the Tatty Devine blog post went up and fans started reacting, which said “Claire’s responsibly provides customers with the latest trends. We take claims of wrongdoing seriously and are reviewing the matters raised.”  A bit late considering the controversy was trending before that, but at least an acknowledgment that the issue is being addressed.

On Facebook, fans can once again post to Claire’s Facebook wall, and it looks as though the deleted comments have been put back up, though still with no response from Claire’s:

 Claire's Faces Angry Comments from Facebook Fans

Claire’s refusal to interact with fans and followers definitely created an even greater backlash, with many fans claiming they’ll never shop at Claire’s again, and expressing their anger that comments were deleted from Facebook.  Obviously Claire’s realized that deleting comments doesn’t help – but what did they hope to accomplish by simply putting them back on the Facebook wall without actually acknowledging the issue and responding?

One fan points out how much effort must have gone into deleting the posts about Tatty Devine – wouldn’t that time have been better spent responding directly to fan’s concerns?  The Tatty Devine blog posted updates every day or two about the progress being made with Claire’s – much of the copied merchandise (thought not all) has been removed from sales floors.  Why didn’t Claire’s deal with the issue in a more transparent manner, and post this information for their own fans?

 Facebook fans angry about Claire's deleting posts

According to ZDNet, this is not the first time Claire’s has been accused of copying designs – last year Laura Figiel of She Draws accused Claire’s of using one of her designs.

As with Carnival and the Costa Concordia, silence on social media is seldom (if ever) a good idea for your brand.  Customers are complaining in realtime – brands need to listen and address those concerns as quickly as possible.  This is a big social media fail for Claire’s, and an important lesson for other companies that may face a similar crisis on social platforms.

‘World Class’ Social Media Strategy: 84% of Global Brand Executives Don’t Have One

A new global study by Weber Shandwick and Forbes Insights asks brand and communications executives about online ‘sociability’ – social media strategy and use – for their brand.  Today, 52% of global brand executives see sociability as a contributor to overall brand reputation; in three years, that number is estimated to be 65%.
Social Media Presence An Important Part of Brand Reputation via Weber Shandwick, Forbes Insights

Yet while 93% use at least one social media tool and 87% have a social media strategy in place, only 16% believe their brand’s sociability is currently up to world class standards.  Why the disconnect, and what exactly makes a social media strategy world class?

According to the study, these main elements drive leading brand online sociability:

  • Creating original content –  45% of world class brands create content specifically for social media, vs. just 28% of all global companies
  • Using social tools – world class brands are 44% more likely to offer brand-related mobile content, 43% more likely to use location-based “check-in” apps, 41% more likely to do proximity marketing and 40% more likely to have a branded YouTube channel
  • Keeping the brand voice consistent – brands with world class social media strategy are nearly twice as likely to maintain a consistent brand personality across social and traditional media channels
  • Dedicating personnel – 61% of world class brands have a dedicated social media strategist/manager, compared to only 41% of all global brands
  • Listening to consumers via social – nearly twice as many world class brands have changed a product/service based on fan recommendations compared to the average global brand
  • Respecting social input – social contributors are ranked #1 by world class companies but #6 by other companies as a key metric
  • Continuing to expand – world class brands consider global reach just as important as customer service in terms of driving corporate reputation; yet the average global executive ranks global reach last
  • Monitoring from the outside – world class companies are nearly twice as likely as average global companies to engage outside support to measure their brand’s social performance
  • Protecting privacy – world class brands are always on ‘high alert’ to protect their social brand integrity, and are 58% more likely to be concerned about privacy violations

Respondents agreed that the rewards of using social media far outweigh the risks, by a margin of more than 2-to-1. “While there are inherent risks in socializing a brand, it is no longer an option to go without a social presence,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist, Weber Shandwick, in the study’s press release.

Is your brand working toward a world class social media presence?

The research found relatively few differences across regions, but click here for the highlights: “Socializing Your Brand: A Brand’s Guide to Sociability.”  The study was conducted online in spring 2011 among 1,897 senior executives from high revenue companies, across 50 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Nielsen Ratings and Social Buzz: Is There A Formula For Fall TV Premieres?

The X Factor Gets Most Social Media Buzz of Fall TV PremieresThis fall saw a huge buzz about social media efforts surrounding TV show premieres, from social games to Character Chatter to Tweet Week.  How can networks measure the success of their social media strategy for each show?  And what does social media success mean for more traditional television (Nielsen) ratings? Turns out answers to both questions are popping up rapidly.

SocialGuide is a platform that tracks social media activity and engagement for television, and can rate which show is the ‘winner’ of the fall premieres. According to Mashable, SocialGuide tracked Facebook comments, tweets, overall followers and other stats on 12 of the most anticipated Fall TV premieres (including The X Factor, New Girl, Pan Am, Charlie’s Angels and The Playboy Club.)

The results:

  • The X Factor easily took the lead, with more than 50,000 unique viewers and more than 100,000 comments across all social networks (although according to Mashable, the X Factor had a “huge promotional push, longer run time and inherently more social format” than the two shows below)
  • New Girl came in second with 24,634 uniques and 31,553 comments
  • Pan Am was third with 11,645 unique viewers and 17,535 comments
  • The number of comments-per-follower for all 12 shows was relatively consistent, with 1.22 comments being the lowest (2 Broke Girls) and 2.09 being the highest (The X Factor)

The actual primetime ratings told a different story. Leading social TV series The X Factor’s Wednesday and Thursday premieres ranked 19th and 20th in Nielsen’s TV ratings. Second and third place social TV stars New Girl and Pan Am did not even make the top 25 in Nielsen’s ratings. The show with the lowest number of social comments –  2 Broke Girls – came in a pretty decent fourth among most-watched new shows.

Is there a formula to compare social media success with actual television ratings?  A recent study by NM Incite and Nielsen found that a correlation between social buzz and TV ratings does exist, though it varies throughout the course of the season and with different demographics. The strongest correlations were found with younger demographics, viewers ages 12-17 and 18-34.

The results for viewers ages 18-34:

  • social media buzz most closely aligned with TV ratings in the weeks just before a show premieres – generally a 9% increase in buzz correlated to a 1% increase in ratings
  • as the show’s season went on, the correlation weakened – a 14% buzz increase correlated with a 1% increase in ratings at both the mid-season mark and just before the show’s finale
  • reality shows (competition and non-competition), dramas and comedies saw the biggest social-to-ratings impact with women in this age group
  • men in this demographic showed the strongest correlations with competition reality programs and dramas

For older viewers, the timing of social media influence was opposite. Social media buzz had a greater impact on ratings toward the end of the season, rather than at the beginning or middle.  Also, a slightly stronger correlation was found for women over men, through all age groups.

We second Mashable’s request to “see specific gains for specific shows — or specific losses.” And follow-up is required to see which shows (if any) see a deeper correlation between social buzz and Nielsen ratings as the season continues.  For Pan-Am, a successful launch has already begun a rapid descent, despite tons of social media outreach.

Is social TV here to stay, and will it start to have a greater effect on traditional television rankings?

ABC Launches Pan-Am With Big Social Buzz

ABC Launches New Show Pan Am With Social Buzz. photo via Facebook page.ABC Network just launched Pan-Am, a new show about the 1960’s stewardesses and pilots on the famous airline.   Social media played a huge part in promoting the new series, and Lost Remote interviewed Marla Provencio, Executive Vice President of Marketing for ABC, about how social elements figured into the launch.

The network was aiming to reach two main demographics:  the older generations with memories of Pan-Am back in its heyday, and the “Mad Men-loving” younger generation that is “travel hungry” and “psyched about the new world” that the series will present.

The major elements of ABC’s social media strategy for Pan-Am:

  • a strong presence at Comic-Con, including a flight simulator at the convention with people going into the plane every hour on the hour, and Pan-Am bag give-aways (which became “walking billboards” for the series throughout San Diego)
  • a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter
  • a Facebook app – the Pan-Am flight crew – which “encourages fans to get post-cards and unlock content”
  • a Twitter contest – the idea of a ‘Pan Am Twitter powered flight‘ was born, with fans ‘winning’ prizes along the way, including the Pan-Am bag or an exclusive video
  • a partnership with luxury deals site Gilt Group and Jetsetter as “a reflection of style and what the show emulates”

Traditional advertising was also used to promote the show.  According to Provencio, the breakdown for Pan-Am was 70% to 30% traditional vs. online.  While she believes some shows “scream out” for an online presence, in general paid traditional media is used to create awareness, and then digital strategies are more effective once basic awareness is in place.

This combination of traditional and social media has produced positive results. On the day of the series premiere, Trendrr (which tracks social and realtime engagement on TV) listed Pan Am as the #1 show on TV. Less than a month after launch, the show’s Facebook account has over 243,000 fans, and the Twitter account has over 18,000 followers.  While Nielsen is still working on measuring how viewers arrived at a show (though on-air ads, print, Facebook or Twitter, among others), Provencio is optimistic that viewers were “surrounded” by buzz about the show.  According to Mashable’s report of SocialGuide’s social media tracking, Pan Am ranked third out of the fall network TV premieres, with 11,465 unique viewers, and 17,535 comments across all social networks.

When asked what was most successful about the campaign, Provencio cited the incorporation of fashion, especially the Pan-Am bag that was given away through social media promotions, including a #hashtag contest on-air.  People really responded to the “excitement and glamour” of the Pan-Am brand and how “wonderful and stylish” Pan-Am travel seemed at the time.

ABC will follow up with Pan-Am’s social media strategy by looking at each outlet to see what is and isn’t working.  The network has already added content, including webisodes on ABC.com about real Pan-Am stewardesses.

The question now:  will ABC’s social media strategy pay off in the long run, after the initial Pan-Am ‘buzz’ wears off?

**********UPDATE********** (and thanks to @omarg for alerting us to this recent story about Pan-Am):

Apparently social buzz only gets a series so far – as of this past Monday, Pan-Am already took a serious dive in the preliminary ratings.  According to Entertainment Weekly, this 27% drop in ratings could signal a “death watch alert” where “chances for renewal drop precipitously.”


Business Use of Social Media: 96% Advertising, 86% PR, 75% Customer Service

A new report from Buddy Media and Booz & Company shows that 95% of companies are planning to invest more in social media, and breaks down how companies are planning to direct those investments.  Based on input from more than 100 leading companies, the report looks at the business use of social media:  the platforms being used, which company departments are handling and using social media the most, and measures the projected spend on social media.

The report measures how companies use the various social media platforms:

  • Facebook (94%), Twitter (77%) and YouTube (42%) are the basis of most social media strategies, and have the highest priority
  • Companies use multiple social platforms – 4.6 on average
  • Blogs and company-owned platforms are still important outlets, used by 25% of respondents
  • Location-based social media is only just beginning to emerge as a platform
  • MySpace has faded completely into the background, with only 2% of companies using it
  • These social media platforms are being used for: advertising and promotions (96%), PR (88%), customer service (75%) and market research (56%)

Business Use of Social Media: 35% Have Senior Level Exec Responsible for Social MediaThe research breaks down how social media is being handled within companies:

  • The departments responsible for leading social media are mainly: marketing (81%), digital (62%), PR (48%), customer service (26%)
  • Just over one-third (35%) have a senior-level executive who is responsible for social media company-wide
  • 38% of companies say social media is on their CEO’s agenda

What kind of spending are companies planning for social media?

  • 95% of companies will spend more on social media – of those, 57% will invest in ‘somewhat more resources’ and 39% will invest in ‘substantially more resources’
  • Only 5% of companies expect their investment in social media to stay the same, and no respondents expected their social spend to decrease
  • Of these projected investments, spending is directed toward: hiring full-time employees (57%), services provided by partners (48%), creating more content (39%), and media buys (38%)
  • The portion of digital media budgets spent on social media will grow significantly over the next three years
  • Much of the money (79%) that will increasingly be spent on social is being pulled from other areas of digital media spending, although some (21%) will be pulled from TV spending

How are companies measuring all of this social media spend and effort? Most respondents use a variety of metrics, with the most popular being engagement (forwards, shares, posts, retweets, likes)  at 93%, followed by participation (fans, followers, check-ins, sign-ups) with 92%, reach (uniques, PVs, video views, time spent) with 88%, and advocacy (comments, feedback, participation in polls) at 81%.

See the full report on the business use of social media below.
Booz & Co Buddy Media Campaigns to Capabilities Social Media and Marketing 2011

@PhilaUnion Soccer Team Social Media Strategy Gets Fans Into the Game

Philadelphia Union Social Media Strategy

photo source: Philadelphia Union Facebook page

When you’re the fifth major league team in town, it can be difficult to draw fans. That’s where social media comes in for the Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer team.

The team has built up more than 81,000 followers on Facebook and nearly 20,000 for its @PhilaUnion handle on Twitter − a significant base for a second-year team in a crowded sports market. It keeps rabid fans up to date with constant updates of news, statistics and contests, which are synced from the team website.

Can’t get to a game? You can follow it on your smartphone or computer since the Union sends out almost minute-by-minute tweets. Facebook updates are provided for major games as well. Immediately after a match, players tweet out comments and thanks for support of the team at the stadium and online.

Bringing fans close to players is a key part of the social media strategy. Star players like Sebastian Le Toux, Freddy Adu, Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes post frequently, often holding contests or asking their local supporters about the best places to go in the city.

@PhilaUnion Twitter photo caption contestThe team holds frequent contests of its own, such as giving away tickets for the best caption for a game photo; holds live chats on Facebook; and encourages fans to come to team meet-ups held around the city.

The results of these combined social media efforts and outreach to fans?  Philadelphia Union – working toward a mission to “fill the bleachers” with fans – has already seen several sellout streaks, even though the team is only in its second season.

You can read more about the team’s social media strategy on Bleacher Report.

KLM Launches 24Hr Social Media Customer Service With Live Replies Via YouTube, Twitter

KLM Launches Social Media Customer Service Campaign

Another airline making serious waves in the social media space is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.  Their latest endeavour, meant to promote the launch of a new “24-hour service to social media,” involves posting videos on YouTube of live human responses to tweets sent to @KLM.  This innovative campaign was announced via Twitter on September 19 and ran from 12 noon until late in the evening, according to the KLM press release. While the campaign was running, any tweets sent to @KLM might receive a ‘KLM Live Reply’ – KLM employees at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport lined up holding letters to become a ‘living alphabet’ 140-character response.

“To show the world KLM’s helpful social media service, we’ve replaced normal Facebook and Twitter typed responses with a living alphabet made up of 140 KLM employees. This dedicated crew responds to tweets and posts in a unique way, by running around and assembling the answer live before your eyes, within the hour,” reports Social Times. The campaign was explained in more detail on YouTube, and the dozens of live replies were both uploaded to YouTube and tweeted.

How much effort did KLM put into the ‘Live Reply’ campaign? It involved 450 KLM volunteers, working in three shifts, to answer questions via Tweets, Facebook posts, or Hyves, with all responses using just 140 characters.  “Today’s campaign should show, in a special — and, more important, personal way — that we’re willing to go the extra mile for our customers,” said Martijn van der Zee, SVP E-commerce AF KLM.

Going forward, KLM will use social media to answer every customer message personally within one hour, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in Dutch or English.  Customers can reach KLM through social media to ask any questions about their travel, and KLM will inform its ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ about the latest KLM news.

Was this an effective way for KLM to promote their new social media customer service capabilities?  And is the prospect of a live human response enough to get customers engaged and tweeting, and worth the impressive amount of manpower the effort required?


A Doughy Tale of Social Media ROI: Twitter + Humor Helps Naked Pizza Find Both Customers and Investors

Naked Pizza Uses Twitter To Gain Investors, CustomersFor its light-hearted Tweets over the years, Naked Pizza has always been one of our favorite foodies to follow (see our previous post). An article in The Wall Street Journal this week reinforces our view, demonstrating yet again how the New Orleans-based chain known for its all-natural  ingredients has achieved striking results from its social media strategy.

Besides bringing in customers, Naked Pizza’s tweets have prompted more than 8,000 people in the past year and a half to inquire about investing in the company or opening a franchise. About a quarter of those folks have invested in the company, according to co-owner Robbie Vitrano. That’s helped the franchiser open 20 stores across the country and the world, with another 450 soon to come.

“Gettin’ our global on this yr: stores to open sydney, mumbai, beirut & some other places we can barely spell. #nakedrevolution” was one of its tweets this summer. And shortly thereafter, “first person to name their newborn superbiotic – free pizza for life!” (that refers to the fact that its pies are made from a crust of 10 grains, prebiotic agave fiber, & probiotics).

The idea to use Twitter came from one of their early investors, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Frustrated at the difficulties involved in re-establishing the business after Hurricane Katrina and by not finding much interest from potential franchisees, the owners followed his advice.

As they say, the rest is history. Customers found the offbeat tweets tasty enough to get them to try the pizza and pack the take-out place. Investors found their way in soon afterward as Naked Pizza’s tweets such as “one more glass of wine and I will b buying pop tarts from that damn vending machine for dinner, again” were retweeted frequently.

Do humorous posts on Twitter work, or do the jokes risk falling flat or turning away potential customers? While this strategy might not work for everyone, Naked Pizza has used a bit of social media ‘attitude’ to gain plenty of attention.

Let us know your thoughts – could this work for your brand?