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Entries in social media (51)

Tuesday
Jul032012

Putting the Zip in Your Communications

A media audit is an excellent way to see whether your media coverage conveys your key messages — and whether your communications match up to your strategic objectives.

This simple form of research can yield invaluable insight into the effectiveness of your communications and how they can be improved.

It is common nowadays for organizations to conduct social media audits. Nothing wrong with that, but too often a social media audit misses surveying the broader impact of all communications, ensuring they reinforce, not confuse, your messaging.

A comprehensive media audit will examine both internal and external communications, talking to employees, customers, stakeholders and the media. What you learn from these focused conversations can be lined up against objectives such as key messages, target audiences and successful calls to action. Did you actually send the messages you intended? Did those messages reach your target audience via the tactics and channels you chose? Did employees, customers and stakeholders respond? Did the media find you believable?

Even highly successful communications programs can benefit from a media audit, which can illuminate ideas to freshen your message and leverage new channels. For example, an award-winning communications program designed as recently as three years may not have integrated Pinterest, Instagram or Cinemagram into its arsenal.

A practical value of media audits, which senior managers appreciate, is information that can be used to allocate always-scarce communications resources. You may discover it pays richer dividends to strengthen the content on your website and spend less time on Twitter. Or maybe your networking on LinkedIn can be expanded through more intensive blogging.

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Monday
Jun252012

Staying in Touch on Social Media

The question isn't whether to be on social media, but how to use social media to track brand comments, engage customers or snoop on competitors.There are credible reasons to steer clear of social media. But there is one compelling and overriding reason to participate — to listen to what your customers and fans are saying about you.

You can have different strategies for listening:

  • Track brand comments

  • Respond to customer complaints

  • Engage your audience

  • See what your competitors are doing

Tracking comments on social media is the simplest and very often a revealing strategy. It requires learning enough about social media so you know where to listen and watch for relevant comments. This is a great way to dip you toe in the water to see how social media works or gain insight into consumer perspectives and industry trends

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Monday
Jun042012

Content Curation as Thought Leadership

Collecting and re-using content from third parties is emerging as a critical marketing strategy to inform and engage customers and stakeholders.As the amount of information available on the Web and other sources has exploded, marketers have turned to "content curation" as a strategy to demonstrate thought leadership and elevate brand visibility. 

Content curation involves collecting and repurposing for your target audience articles, charts, infographs and images posted online by third parties.

A study of 400 professional marketers conducted in March 2012 by Curata, an online content curation provider, shows 85 percent of marketers believe effective content curation establishes thought leadership and elevates brand visibility and buzz. That is up from 79 percent in 2011, the first year Curata conducted its research.

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Friday
May042012

Local Matters in Marketing

The new social media phenomenon of Cash Mobs proves that in the global economy, twitterverse and cyberspace, local still matters in marketing.

The Cash Mob movement encourages people to go to small, local business and spend money, en masse. 

According to the Cash Mobs website, a Buffalo blogger, Christopher Smith, originated the idea almost a year ago. A Cleveland attorney helped popularize the movement last fall. NBC's Today Show gave its seal of approval in a televised segment last week.

Using Twitter, organizers put out a call to followers to meet up at a local store on a particular day — and bring money to spend. A horde of smiling, eager shoppers can brighten the day of any merchant, perhaps even making a difference in whether the local business can keep its doors open.

Cash mobs are a stark contrast to the rash of flash mobs that have flouted surveillance cameras while looting stores. The goal of cash mobs is to "build community," not ransack them.

This application of social media is further evidence that reach can be global, but targeting can be local. Whole Foods Market has demonstrated the value of tweeting about events or special offers in individual or groups of stores. Local and regional brands such as Burgerville, Ninkasi and Dave's Killer Bread use Twitter and Facebook in the same way. Posts build brand familiarity, while marketing local activity.

The advent of cash mobs reinforces the point that marketing isn't just about money. It's also about creativity and energy.

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Wednesday
Apr182012

Joining the Online Olympic Village

Social media is all about community and conversation. Now Samsung has launched a Facebook app that fosters a new level of online engagement with U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

The launch coincided with a splash of promotions reminding us the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London are only 100 days away. But the app itself has more far-reaching potential than just the Olympics. It embodies what social media platforms should do.

Called the U.S. Olympic Genome Project, users can participate by going to www.Samsung.com/HowOlympicAreYou and "like" it. Facebook fans answer questions about themselves to create robust profile that are used to find connection points with Olympic and Paralympic athletes, present and past.

Through the app, fans can take Olympic quizzes, find out about Olympic athletes and the Olympic movement and follow Team USA news. And they can share their new connections with other Facebook friends.

"The Olympic Games is one of the few global celebrations of human potential and achievement," says Ralph Santana, a Samsung senior vice president. "We wanted to give consumers the opportunity to be part of it in a personal way."

Fans gain status in the "community" by taking quizzes about the Olympics and finding more connections with Olympic athletes. You earn tokens as you rise in status that can be redeemed through contests for Samsung mobile products or even trips to London.

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