Thursday, 27 March 2014

#NoMakeUpSelfie Signals Social Media is Very Much Alive

Social media marketing is never the 'easy win' organisations seem to assume it will be. The hard slog involved in building a brand via social media can mean some business quit while they are behind and see little value in continuing to tweet, pin and update their Facebook status.

However, those who stay the course and commit to really listening to their customer, engage and build loyalty through social media will start to see their hard work pay off.

Last week the viral spread of the #NoMakeUpSelfieforCancer once again hi-lighted the power of social media engagement.


Women across the UK posted photographs of themselves with no make up on and asked people to donate money to cancer charities. The trend spread across Facebook, Instagram and twitter like wildfire, encouraging even high profile celebrities to jump on the #NoMakeUpSelfie bandwagon.

Cancer charities, who hadn't been responsible for starting to trend, recorded record donations. The CEO of Cancer Research UK posted his own 'selfie' on their Facebook page letting people know that thanks to their efforts they had received £8mil in donations just that week.

Although our business or brand may not inspire the same spontaneous reaction as this trend did to raise the profile of cancer charities, there are lessons to be learned from this. 

1. Inspire your followers - our biggest win on social media is not putting a cool update we are proud of, it's inspiring our following to share our message. "Here is my product for £x" is not an inspiring message! Listen to your audience to find out what inspires them and post content that they will relate to and want to share. 

2. Reward Sharing - The NoMakeUpSelfie craze could have died down on day one, but cancer charities were smart and proactive. They hopped on social media to let the doubters know what a massive impact the campaign was having, thus spurring people on to continue to share and to find extra ways to engage. Those involved felt warm and fuzzy about their contribution and continued to be ambassadors for the cause. Let your customers know how much you appreciate their support and what it means to you. Reward them with words and offers.

3. Give them a simple share option - the beauty of the No Make Up Selfie was that it was an easy idea for people to pick up and do. If you want your audience to get spreading word about your brand then make it easy, and fun! Simple instructions to do something that will give them a buzz is what you want. 

Above is my #NoMakeUpSelfie for which I'd love you to text 'beat' to 70007 which donates £3 to cancer research. 


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Marketing Lessons Learned from Horsemeat Scandal

You will have had to have been hiding under a rock to have missed hearing the words 'Horsemeat Scandal' over the last few weeks.

It all started with a burger and has since snowballed with large food manufacturers like Findus being thrown into the frame.  The latest reports indicate schools and hospitals have been supplied with beef products that contained horsemeat - and so it goes on!

But what can we take from this? It seems that no one is really outraged at the fact they have been nibbling on Red Rum's extended family, some even commented that they thought the food they had been mis-sold tasted good. The problem lies simply in the description. Calling meat 'beef' when in fact it is 'horse' is where the issue really lies.

As business owners we can learn from this. If your product looks, smells, tastes, or proves itself to be good - your customers don't really mind about how you came to produce it. What they DO want is to know EXACTLY what it is they are buying. So when marketing your product or service:

  • Be clear and concise
  • When limited by character on social media channels such as Twitter, post links to more information
  • When agreeing contracts of work, ensure you have gone through the fineprint carefully to avoid conflict later
  • Use pictures where possible
  • Be honest!
Check out this Guardian article for more on the scandal.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Happy Birthday Facebook!

Mark Zuckerburg's Social Media baby turns 9 today!



On 4th February 2004 the site was first launched from a Harvard University dorm by Mark and his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes .  The site, which was orginally called thefacebook.com, has become the most well known and well used social media site across the world with more than 1 billion users.

Since its creation facebook has grown at rapid rate, inspiring a movie 'The Social Network', making a public listing in May 2012, turning its creator into a multi-millionaire and become a common social reference in media.

I wonder if in the days when Zuckerburg's site required you to have a college email address to join that he could have forseen what a giant it would become.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Social Media Menu 2013

Does your business need to get on board with Social Media?
Are you mystified by the worlds of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Blogs?
Check out my 'Social Media Menu' for 2013 and place your order now.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Social Media and the End of the World

So if we were to believe the Mayan Calendar we have just days to live as 21st December 2012 is officially the end of the world! Nasa have released a youtube video letting us all know that there is no need to panic! The end of the world is not nigh according to their scientists.

But whether you buy into the hype or not one thing is for sure – We are going to see #Endoftheworld trending on Twitter and a whole host of Social Media buzz about it.  Here are my predictions for the last ever day on Social Media:

1.       #Everything MustGo 


Watch out for those end of the world bargains! For businesses it is a perfect opportunity to jump on the bang wagon and hold an ‘End of the World Sale’.  

2.       Milestone Reached
 
 
What a great milestone to add to your facebook page ‘I reached the end of the world’. I’m sure we will see this tongue in cheek post across facebook on Friday.

3.       Final #FF
 

So if Friday really was the end of the world it would literally be your last time to #ff – recommend who to Follow on Friday on Twitter, or for my followers my last #SocialMediaStars of the week. This Friday we’ll see people #ff-ing their nearest and dearest, or most respected colleagues. You’ve got a few days left to become end of the world #FF worthy.

4.       PInteresting Pics
 

Expect to see pinterest boards flooded with pictures of how the end of the world may happen and final thoughts. Search for ‘End of the World’ on there. It’s full of ideas already.
 

5.       Instagram End of the World


If it really were to be the end of the world how instagram would be flooded with natural disaster pictures! It will be interesting to see how many people upload fake instagrams on 21st Dec, or pay homage to the possible end of days.

Regardless of whether you are still here to read this on 22nd December or not, we have to be sure the End of the World is coming to Social Media updates.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Need to Know #Hashtags

When exploring the world of Twitter you will soon become familiar with this little symbol - #.  This is a hash and is used on Twitter to create what is known as a #Hashtag. A hashtag is created when you put the hash symbol in front of any word. This then indexes that word on Twitter becoming a trend that people can search by to find commonly themed tweets. Each day on Twitter the most popular of these become 'trending topics'.

Why do you need to know this? Well firstly because joining in the conversation of popular trends is one good way to get noticed. Secondly using your own hashtags to highlight keywords within your tweets will help drive relevent followers to your Twitter page. Thirdly, knowing a few key common hashtags can help you not only build following, but possibly gather PR opportunities for your business.
 
Need to know #Hashtags

#SBS – A Weekly competition run by Dragon’s Den’s @TheoPaphitis.  Tweet @ him your business outline each Sunday evening between 5pm and 7pm. He chooses a handful of the best ones to retweet. #SBS winners get a certificate from the man himself and a great deal of Twitter kudos.

#WOW – Women on Wednesday is a competition run by @Jacqueline_Gold. Tweet at her what your women lead business is between 1pm and 3pm on Wednesdays using this hashtag to be in with a chance of winning a RT.

#FF – Follow on Friday – Every Friday Twitter users use this hashtag to recommend to their followers who they should be following this week. It’s a nice way to build rapport and give a mention to the deserving.

#JournoRequests – Journalists use this hashtag to draw attention to their tweets asking for people to be featured in their latest articles. For businesses this is great as you can keep an eye out for PR opportunities that fit in with your business and tweet a reply.

#DidYouKnow – This hashtags is followed by those who are interested in facts. See if you can incorporate it into factual tweets about your industry

#Socent – Are you a Social Enterprise? This Twitter hashtag links all things Social Enterprise, so use this in selective tweets to join the conversation

Thinking about hashtagging some keywords in your tweet to get it noticed? You can stop by Hashtags.org and run a search on your hashtag to check its popularity and best times to use it. Similarly Tagdef.com will help you identify hashtags trending today, regularly popular, all time top used tags and to check your proposed tags popularity. It will also help you to understand what a particular hashtag means if you spot an unfamiliar one that you want to check out.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Social Media Time Saving Tips for SME's

For larger organisations, understanding the importance of Social Media for engaging with their customer has a simple response - employ a dedicated Social Media Officer! However, for small businesses such as sole traders where one person fits all roles, time saving is essential.

So how can you join in the conversation when you are already feeling time stretched, and where should you begin?

1. Social Media Traffic Lighting - This is a concept I have been drumming into the vast majority of my clients of late. The World of social media can seem overwhelming, so it is important to drill down to where you have a presence, what you do on there are why rather than rashly signing up to every site going and leaving them lacklustre.  Taking a step back to research and consider where your customers are hanging out online and and what strategy you can employ to reach them is essential. When you have given yourself this head space you will be able to consider which social media site is:

GREEN - the one where your customers hang out most, and makes most sense to your marketing strategy.  Green = Go! This is the site you should start with. Commit some time to updating it regularly, and read around how other businesses are using this channel for marketing.
AMBER - these are the social media tools that could add value to your marketing, but should be considered as your business progresses and you find you have some extra time to commit.
RED - Avoid these at start up stage. These may be sites you could justify to yourself using as marketing tools, but they are not an immediate priority. Ditch them for now and put them in your business plan under 'growth strategy'.

2. Automate Activity - If you can't be online daily, don't let your social media channels die a death just as you have got them going.  Use a tool like Tweetdeck, or my personal favourite hootsuite. With these tools you can log in when you get chance and schedule messages to go out through your social media channels at a selected time and date. You can also link your social media activity together using tools like Networked blogs, or the Twitter and Facebook apps on the respective sites. A small warning here though - it's important to not automate ALL of your activity. It's called 'social' media for a reason, so make sure you commit at least some time to live interaction.

3. Finding Content at Your Fingertips - Google Alerts is absolutely your best friend for narrowing down hours of thinking through "what on earth can I post about".  Set up Google alerts for key words and phrases around your industry to receive daily, weekly, or 'as it happens' updates showing new web content on the topic.  Then follow these links to use them as posts you can comment on via your social media channels. Simples!

Whatever you decide to do to save time, don't go for the "I'll just leave it altogether" option. If your business hasn't got a social media strategy it is getting left behind - fact! Every business needs marketing, so think of it as swapping the time you would have spent on another part of offline marketing rather than an extra chore.  And if it all becomes too much, consider using the services of a freelancer until you grow big enough to have dedicated marketing staff.

For more support with building a strategy for your social media marketing get in touch via joaustinmarketing@gmail.com