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Three Examples of How to Succeed in Social Media Marketing

Social media has made tremendous gains in recent years with both individuals and corporate users. While people use the popular sites as a means to stay in touch with friends and share important life events, companies have used Facebook and Twitter as a means to connect with their customers and fans.

Some companies use their social media as a way to deal with customer feedback while others use the unique channels as a way to market their products and services. Regardless of how they interface with customers online, the most successful companies have found the proper balance between the “what” (product) and the “why” (story and branding) of their marketing campaigns.


We’re all familiar with the slogan that Oreo is “milk’s favorite cookie.” The iconic snack’s advertising has always had fun with the simplicity of the treat while incorporating an absurd sense of humor in its celebrity endorsements, such as the DoubleStuf Racing League. This sense of humor extends to their Twitter feed, which frequently retweets fans, drives discussion as to how their cookies are best eaten and shares contests and other opportunities for fans to compete for prizes. The strong unity of their central theme keeps the company’s voice from differing on its different media channels and keeps fans involved.

Try to develop a strong narrative voice for your company and incorporate it into all of your media efforts.  Keeping the tone fun and self-aware can encourage more interaction and personal relationships with fans.


When a fan posted a mocking post on Bodyform’s Facebook page pointing out the misleading advertisements of feminine hygiene products, the company was given a golden opportunity: to better brand its company by being transparent on social media. In the popular viral video response, an actress portraying the company’s CEO breaks down the stereotypes of feminine hygiene commercials, all while breaking preconceived notions of accepted female behavior. The company has enjoyed more than 2.8 million views of its video and increased awareness and appreciation of its brand as a result.

Social media is full of jokesters and trolls. Sometimes when one serves up such a golden opportunity to better your brand, you must take it. Being honest with yourself and your public helps to drive brand transparency and build trust with consumers.

Southwest Airlines

Making travel plans in an increasingly expensive economy has become difficult as many different travels sites are available. How can you be sure you’re getting the best deal? Southwest Airlines, an affordable travel provider, has used its social media to share deals and perks for travelers, as well as direct complaints to a customer service page. While the methodology is simple, the classic approach to connecting with consumers puts the focus upon its customers and how to better serve them through special deals and offers.

Remember that your focus is on your customer. Put plain details in place to help direct them to proper channels to solve their issues and share offers to add value to their time on your site. Without the consumers that make up social media, you would have no business to run. Don’t forget that – most of the social media failures are big box companies focused more upon marketing than interfacing.

Social media represent a special opportunity for companies to interface with their consumers. Whether you tie your company’s voice, transparency or service to social media, be sure that the approach unifies your company and meets customers’ needs.

Cost of a Voter [Infographic]

Article first published as Social Media: What’s a Voter Worth? on Technorati.

Social Media Value of a Voter

It has been a matter of discussion for a long time. What is your follow worth on social media? As business owners we are constantly trying to tabulate what a followers monetary value is. But what about the value of a voter?

PC Magazine answered some of these questions for us and assigned the monetary value we so desperately crave.

Twitter Follower: $2.05 Facebook Like (Fan): $8

Tweet: $5 Facebook Share: $14

Cost per Follower: $2.50-$4.00 Cost per Like: $1.07

Cost per Engagement: $0.75-$2.50 Can’t proactively engage

However, these numbers drastically change when you look at the value of a vote. A new tool is out that can tabulate the value of your social media presence to the Presidential nominee’s.
Read more at Business 2 Commuity

A Guide for Facebook Etiquette: The Awkward Unfriending

Do you remember the good old days? Do you remember the friendships you had before the juggernaut of social media? Come on, it wasn’t that long go, a different decade, sure, but the same millennium. Facebook only launched in February, 2004. Pre-Facebook, if a friend annoyed you with their endless chatter, gossip and updates (Oh my… God, can you believe Jane and Tom are dating?) you simply didn’t pick up the phone when they called.

No biggie, right? However, if so-and-so stole your teal with chrome custom Kitchen-Aid, that was something else; if you found out they stole your super-secret lemon-bar recipe and shared it with everyone on Saturday night when you weren’t there, well, you unfriended them for life. Dignity, grace and etiquette were out the window. You ignored them, talked trash about them and banished them from your circle of friends.

Things are different now.

Champagne to All My Real Friends, Real Pain to all My Sham Friends

With so much friending, liking and posting, chances are your Facebook portfolio has swollen to epic proportions. The friends are not really friends, but more like self-perpetuating weeds; Eventually, you’ll need to do some gardening. In the end, you never know who is going to turn out to be a hacker. While Facebook has privacy guidelines and safeguards, a lot of your personal information is still accessible. When you visit Lifelock on Facebook, you can learn more about identify theft and how it applies to your social-media account.

With This Many Facebook Friends, Someone is Bound to get Hurt

In the Facebook universe, being unfriended is like being slapped across the face, Victorian style, with a pair of gloves. Honestly, it might sting a bit if you’re the one being unfriended, aka slapped, but the person doing it isn’t even getting their hands dirty. They’re clicking a button on a computer. If you have 2.1 million friends on Facebook, is unfriending someone or being unfriended really the end of the world? With this many friends, someone is bound to get cyber-slapped once in a while.

Restrictions and Hiding Friends

While your Facebook sham friends are easy to erase, what about those peripheral people in your life? What do you do about your boss, who’s not really a friend, or that nice woman who cuts your hair but also wants to be BFFs?

There are a couple of options:

A.) You can friend these people, then hide their posts from your news feed.

B.) You can hide your post from these friends by putting them on a restricted list, in which they will only see your public info.

Choice B is better. These people are part of your public sector (not your private), so access to public information seems fair. Of course, there’s a third choice, and that’s to consider what you would do if you were still living in a world before social media. Chances are you’re not going to friend a boss who just denied you a raise.

Finally, if you’re feeling guilty about unfriending someone you have been close to for 20 years, just remember they stole your Kitchen-Aid and probably still have it.

Pete Phelps Pete writes about the entertainment scene on the West Coast. As an LA native, he’s equally frustrated with and thrilled by the growth he sees in LA.

Where are You Registered?…Facebook! -Collections the New Facebook Shopping

Getting married? Having a baby? Having a birthday? Updating your wish list? Have you registered on Facebook?  Ok, so there is no official Facebook registry for shopping, but a new feature  is being tested that might change that. Taking their lead from Pinterest, which is currently the 4th largest traffic driver on the web, Facebook is creating a pin style photo display designed to drive sales for retailers. This new feature they are testing is called “Collections“.

Originally posted at Business 2 Community…continue reading.

Lauren MacEwen Business to Consumer Logo

War of the Words: How to be a WOW Blogger

When radio was young, Orson Welles held the world in frightened captivity when he narrated an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ fictional tale, The War of the Worlds. Since the first hour of the radio program was structured as a series of news reports, many tuning in to the broadcast heard frantic, panicked descriptions of an alien attack on our planet, and, trusting what they heard coming through the box, believed it to be true.

But that was 1938. Surely, that could never happen today, right? Well, probably not to that degree. But the power of words, once they are transmitted, is still undeniable.

Nowadays, with technologies that have gone beyond the one-way messaging of radio and TV, such as texting and Internet communications like emailing, social media, chat rooms, forums, and blogging, we are sending and receiving information to such a degree that our ideas can make an instantaneous impact. At the same time, however, our choice of words is more important than ever, and our message needs to stand out among the seemingly endless stream of sound bites we are bombarded with each day.

The most impactful leaders of our generation utilize the latest avenues of mass communication and social media to impart their ideas and share their knowledge. But what a leader says, and how she says it, is critical to her success. Words are indeed powerful, but their strength is intrinsically linked to the way they are communicated.

Blogging is an ideal format for a WOW leader to convey her message to a broad spectrum of followers. As a leadership journal of sorts, a blog provides a venue through which ideas can be shared, opinions can be voiced, problems can be discussed, and solutions can be offered.

So, how do you make your business blog a success? How do you turn your WOW ideas into a WOW leadership blog?

1. Keep it short. Whatever you say, say it fast. You are competing for the attention of busy, information-overloaded professionals. (Admittedly, keeping my blogs short, succinct, and to the point, is one of my greatest challenges.)

2. Make it relevant. Know your target audience. With a leadership blog, keep your topics related to the challenges faced by those in the business arena. Don’t stray off topic with irrelevant posts and offhanded observations.

3. Find your voice. Be confident in your own opinions, and then use your voice in a consistent and truthful manner. Remember that your words do have power, and can be helpful, thought-provoking, and inspirational to the right group of individuals. Through an open, honest exchange of thoughts, you can lead as well as learn, reinforcing your own leadership abilities and honing the skills that make you successful.

4. Stay positive. Although there may be times when your topic refers to negative subject matter, don’t always be the bearer of bad news. Keep your tone positive in nature with a solutions-based approach to realistic problems.

5. Think big. Unless Donald Trump is writing a blog, readership is anything but guaranteed. Once you start blogging, your following will likely be relatively small. But a great leader keeps her goals focused on continuous growth and steady progress. She is always thinking big, aiming towards expanding her viewer profile and reaching more potential leaders.

Blogging can be an invaluable tool for up-and-coming or established leaders. A blogger’s message may not have the effect that Orson Welles’ broadcast had on the public nearly 75 years ago, but through the latest technologies, the power of words can be just as impactful.

Sheri Staak has served in many Vice Presidential roles at both large privately held and publicly traded global companies. She’s a corporate powerhouse and has been the recipient of numerous sales awards and recognitions. In addition to her key position in a highly aggressive, extremely competitive industry, Sheri is a regular contributor to a travel newsletter, lending her expertise by writing articles that provide tips and advice for business travelers. She also shares her wisdom and business perspectives with regular postings at her leadership-focused blog, The Staak Report.

Social Media: A Double-Edged Sword

Social Media Miscommunication

Are you being misunderstood on social media?

Social media can be a great way to update your circle of friends on the latest family news, accomplishments, or general goings-on in your life. It’s a great way to reach out in a mass cluster, informing those you might not otherwise pick up the phone to call about every life event.

However, as much as social media has its advantages and conveniences, it also has its downside. When you start posting your opinions and viewpoints, the anonymity of your behind-the-screen typing can cause you to be more loose-lipped than you would when talking to a friend in person. You might inadvertently wind up saying too much, saying the wrong thing, or saying something you’ll later regret.

Imagine this scenario: one morning, while sipping a latte at a local cafe, you pick up a coffee-table magazine and come across an ad with a slogan that captures your perspective on animal rights. It reads: Pet stores don’t find homes, they find customers. You aren’t a fan of pet stores that sell animals, so you post the message on Facebook, sharing with everyone on your Friends list. Naturally, you think everyone will appreciate the comment as much as you do.

Unfortunately, with a few hundred Friends on your FB list, it slips your mind that one of your good friends and supporters, who happens to own several pet stores, is among your followers. Your friend is not in the pet business to exploit animals for money. She’s an avid animal lover, and does her best to protect the welfare of pets. Your comment has insulted, offended, and hurt her in a very personal way. Even if she doesn’t “de-friend” you on Facebook, you’ve lost her support and you’ve wounded the relationship, perhaps beyond repair. And you, the poster, may not have meant any harm, but harm was certainly done.

If you’d been at the coffeehouse with several friends, including the pet-shop proprietor, you surely would have been conscientious enough not to make any remarks similar to what you posted. Although your opinion about selling animals at pet stores remained the same, you wouldn’t have disrespected your friend’s career choice.

It’s all too commonplace to over-share or under-filter your comments on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. You often make posts on the fly or even on a whim. But don’t forget, those offhanded remarks that you may instantly forget about, are out there being read and evaluated, and could even be damaging friendships, tarnishing your reputation, or destroying your career.

When you tweet or post, be careful of every word shared, and be mindful of the message you are actually sending. Here are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Pass on the Politics Think twice before you make statements of a political nature in a social media forum. Even if you’re certain most of your followers are of a like-mind when it comes to politics, you’re almost certainly wrong. While you may consider yourself to be open-minded and lighthearted when it comes to government issues, you may have friends that are more convicted and invested in particular candidates or hot-button topics. Remember the old saying that “politics make strange bedfellows,” and reserve discussions of your political persuasions to those you can, and would, personally confide in.
  2. Comment with Caution Although it may take some of the fun out of the process of social media sharing, consider every comment you make carefully before you release it into cyberspace. Think of what you’re saying from every angle, ensuring that you’re not putting yourself in a potentially awkward situation. Think of the example where the poster offended her friend because she posted what she thought to be a cute and widely-held belief about pet stores. Sometimes, our jokes or our “harmless” posts do more harm than good.
  3. Socialize Selectively Don’t accept every friend request or invite everyone you know to be social media buddies. There’s no point in trying to rack up the number of friends or followers you have as if it’s a popularity contest of sorts. Limit your social-media circle to those you want to share with. Keep your circle selective and close. Think twice about opening that circle to recent acquaintances, potential love interests, or friends of friends that you don’t really know all that well. Do you really want someone you just started dating to have access to your private pictures, thoughts, and friendships?
  4. Don’t Mix Business with Pleasure Keep your social media worlds separate. Facebook and Twitter are great places to share with your friends, but perhaps your boss wouldn’t appreciate the pictures of you from last weekend’s party. Open a Linkedin account for business posts and career commenting. But don’t be tempted to “friend” your colleagues, even if you consider them friends in some respects. You never know how things from your personal, private life might be construed or held against you in the workplace. It’s wise to compartmentalize and separate the business and personal sides of your life. And it may just help you keep your job!
  5. Reign in Your Ego Although friends and followers sometimes comment or tweet in reference to your posts, social media is often a one-way street. You write your thoughts, ideas, and updates, hit send, and that’s that. You can, and perhaps do, say whatever you want. You’re the master of your own domain. Social media is your own personal soapbox, and you’re free to get up on it whenever you want. And you don’t even have to witness the reactions from the crowd. You’re safely tucked away behind your computer, tablet, or smart phone. But you need to realize that not everyone appreciates everything your say. You are not the end all, be all of opinions. Of course, we all like to think of ourselves as having the right and most logical perspectives. But then again, so does everyone else. Be careful not to espouse your ideals as if they apply to everyone out there.

Social media is like the proverbial double-edged sword. It can be a fun, beneficial, and convenient way to communicate with friends and family. But, you need to be careful with a sword in your hand. You need to handle it in such a way that no one gets hurt. Watch where you swing the blade of your words, and don’t point sharp comments into the face of a mixed crowd. And remember, it’s been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Your words are powerful, poignant, and have effect on those who absorb them. When using social media, be mindful of that power, and protect yourself by respecting the meaning behind every message you relay.

Sheri Staak has served in many Vice Presidential roles at both large privately held and publicly traded global companies. She’s a corporate powerhouse and has been the recipient of numerous sales awards and recognitions. In addition to her key position in a highly aggressive, extremely competitive industry, Sheri is a regular contributor to a travel newsletter, lending her expertise by writing articles that provide tips and advice for business travelers. She also shares her wisdom and business perspectives with regular postings at her leadership-focused blog, The Staak Report.

Mobile OS in Alliance with Social Media

Feature phones… you probably know a few folks that have them, right? In the world of mobile devices, let’s break it down. HTC leads the pack in innovative smartphone coding, Apple takes notes and improves, Samsung copies those notes and Nokia is nowhere to be found. But not so fast. Feature phones may not be all the rage in America, but globally a significant portion of the population still uses them.

Should you try to optimize your mobile plan for feature phones? That all depends on who’s buying your product or, even better, to whom you would like to sell your product or service. The secret to success is hidden within your target market. Getting to know the demographics of feature phone users will be the first step.

Does anyone use feature phones these days?

In the United States, asking after feature phones’ success seems like a reasonable question. Mobile companies practically give them away if you sign up for one of their data plans. But according to a comScore data release on September 14, half of the U.S. market still uses feature phones, and over one-third of the mobile phone purchases in July were feature phones. These purchases are typically starter phones. If you’re marketing to first-time mobile device consumers, you can bet that the percentage exceeds 50 percent of feature phone users. To demonstrate potential target markets for feature phones, statistics on feature phone purchases in the second quarter of 2012 significantly jumped in the 13-17 age bracket. The largest portion of feature phone users is the 65+ age bracket, but purchases have slightly decreased in the second quarter. A majority of smartphone users are found in the 25-64 age brackets.

New global horizons and feature phones

Although the feature phone use in the U.S. is starting to point to the fringe of consumers, that’s not so on the international platform. With 5.3 billion mobile subscribers, 3.8 billion mobile users live in developing countries:

  • Asia Pacific accounts for a ratio of 603:115 feature phone to Smartphone users
  • Africa is the largest growing sector with a ratio of 172:37.
  • Latin America is the smallest portion of mobile users, but still shows a ratio of 139:28 in favor of feature phones.

If you want to target these feature phone users, explore SMS messaging. We aren’t talking about loyalty programs or coupon codes. Many feature phones substitute SMS messaging for a WiFi connection. Large companies like Foursquare, Cha-Cha, Paypal, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and RSS feeds all have SMS applications.

Although you don’t have the full functionality of a smartphone, you can still use many of the same features a smartphone possesses through SMS applications. The good news is these third-party proprietary operating systems such as Java or BREW have increased their power to integrate with more features on mobile devices. Companies such as Saya! are banking on it by integrating many of the same smartphone features into a feature phone. The Java-based operating system allows the end user to access social media applications through an SMS plan that costs less than $.01 per month.

Earlier, we wondered where Nokia was hiding. Guess what? We just found them. The company is aggressively targeting regions like India, Indonesia and Africa where countries aren’t able to support the infrastructure required by smartphones. That also means that there is no competition with the cost-prohibitive iPhone or Droid. As the feature phone becomes accessible to developing countries, social media marketing for feature phones still plays an integral part in mobile marketing and we can expect new levels of sophistication to arise.

Key to Success is Social Presence

In today’s time, we get to see that the internet has completely integrated in the lives of people. Everything is done online, like shopping, filling a form for admission in the college, paying the utility bills etc. Hence it is a necessity that entrepreneurs and big organizations alike should make a strong social presence in the growing economy. So if you own a large or a small business, the key to success is to go online, take necessary steps to improve the social presence and make your presence felt to the entire world with your products and services.

Why social presence is considered important?

We all know about the wave that is being created by two social networking giants Facebook and Twitter. Facebook now has around 955 million users and it caters to around 1 billion search queries per day. Whereas Twitter has around 500 million users, with 1.6 billion search queries per day.

The sheer volume of people using the Facebook and Twitter and the sheer number of search queries handled by these two social networking websites makes sure that small business should have a presence socially.

Moreover, having a social presence helps business to create a brand identity for them and helps them to cut down on advertising costs too.

How business can improve their social presence?

With Facebook businesses get an option to create their own page explaining about their service. Apart from this it helps businesses to interact closely with their customers. Apart from just having a Facebook page businesses can also participate in groups related to their niche and offer solutions and advice to the problems posted by people in those groups. When businesses work on this strategy it helps them to identify itself as a brand that offers help and easy to reach and this results in more people visiting and the page of a particular business.

Facebook also has their own ad platform where businesses can create an advertisement and those advertisements will be shown on profiles of the users who have interest in the niche where the company provides its. This feature also helps a business to improve its social presence in Facebook

With Twitter, a company can generate business based on the number of followers it has. Businesses can create their own profiles and post tweets about the service they offer. When posting the tweets they should make sure that the services offered should be preceded with #. This symbol is called a hashtag and identifies key words for the internal Twitter search engine. When someone searches for these words in twitter the results shows the tweet posted by the business and there is a good chance that user can follow your business and can become a customer.

Similar to Facebook, Twitter also offers paid advertisement to improve the social presence of a business. There are two paid advertisement options available with Twitter. First offer is called “promoted Tweets” and second option is called “promoted Accounts”.

With promoted tweets option, the commercial tweet you post is promoted when a user searches for those keywords. The tweet shows up in the newsfeed of the search results. Whereas, with promoted accounts your twitter profile can add more followers related to your niche on the basis of pay per follower.

These are methods through which a business can improve its social presence with social networking giants like Facebook and Twitter. The importance of businesses to improve its social presence is definitely increasing as recently Google plus has also integrated their Google places listings with Google plus profiles. Therefore, I can very well conclude that businesses need to improve their social presence in order to remain successful in future.

Philip is a guest blogger interested in writing informative contents related to social media. Recently Philip has updated information on how to improve social presence for a business on his website. For more information please visit social-presence.net

Creative approaches to Inbound Marketing

Many people in the business of marketing love the assignments where they get to be creative and really have fun with a project. As a marketer, you see jobs come in that at first glance seem too dry or straightforward for a fun approach, but you should think of these customers as a challenge. It’s possible to take straightforward material and make it fun through different marketing techniques. This fun approach to marketing is often more inviting for a consumer and more sharable between potential customers. Social shares and other micro-conversions lead prospects down the marketing funnel toward those sought-after macro-conversions that our clients love.

Finding the fun side

What’s fun about filling out paperwork? Where’s the humor in payroll or human resource software? Sometimes, the best way to find the funny side of what a client offers is to produce a short video that amuses people by turning their expectations on-end.

A great example of how an ordinary product or service can be made more entertaining is this short video about payroll software: Confessions: I Love Payroll from Paycor Payroll on Vimeo.

Viewers see a woman explaining that her dream of owning her own bakery comes from a lifelong desire to handle payroll. The video then expands on that premise, with the woman ignoring customers – and even her daughter’s bedtime story duties – due to her excitement about handling payroll tasks at all hours of the day. The marketer plays on the prospect’s need for efficiency, work-life balance and desire to focus on her true career love: baking and seeing other enjoy her bakery treats.

As a marketer, it’s your job to help clients find creative ways to showcase their company and/or the products and services they offer. Video is a great way to showcase whatever you are advertising. People identify with each other, which is why advertisers often use faces in their marketing materials. Videos allow people to see themselves in various settings. Videos can also be less of an investment of time and energy than reading. And consumers want their info easy.  And the video about payroll programs – while humorous – still delivers the message that what’s being offered provides a real-life solution to a problem. Because more than anything, consumers want answers to problems. Anyone spending unwanted time on payroll tasks will relate to this video.

Exaggerate the situation

When you choose videos for your marketing channel, you can use humor to your advantage. Who doesn’t like a hilarious video? Exaggeration is a great tool for injecting humor into your video. If you’ve ever seen the “Don’t Wake up in a Roadside Ditch” commercial for DirecTV, you can appreciate how an outlandish chain of events creates a memorable and funny ad. Most people have travel-gone-wrong stories or other kinds of stories that they tell over and over because the absurdity was fantastic and goes over well at parties. Generating this kind of humor in marketing makes sense because these are also the kinds of pieces that get tweeted and retweeted. And that’s when brand awareness can take root with a prospect.

Call customers to action

In another type of video, the call-to-action is more than just a single link or nudge to a website. The video takes the opportunity to introduce the company, explain how the company is different and then urges the viewer to visit the website. Some marketers are afraid to take too much time on a call-to-action, but if you provide the right information and stay positive throughout, then you’ll have nothing to worry about. Most potential customers will want to know as much as possible upfront, and the views on the website are far more likely to come from people who are actually interested in the product. Without a clear call-to-action, you risk losing the customer who’s ready to take the next step.

For many, the use of video as a marketing tool is still relatively new and like most marketing tools, there’s a right and a wrong way to use it. Keep your audience in mind when shooting and be sure to plan out the video before you begin. Explore your client’s needs and figure out the right ways to accentuate a product’s usefulness with humor and fun – even payroll software!