Busy week? We bring you six bits of information that you might have missed.
1) Surprise! Not many businesses believe social is important. - MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte surveyed 2,545 business professionals in 99 countries on the topic of social business, and found that only 36% of surveyed professionals viewed social as important to business.
2) If Instagram is high school 2.0, who are you this time around? - Instagram is the high school of social networks, allowing users to develop their style and personality in a very public way. Find out what typical high school role (The Star, The Selfie, The Foodie, etc.) you play with your Instagram portfolio.
3) Facebook is raking in profits from mobile advertising. - The social networking company said Wednesday that it had revved up its mobile advertising from virtually nothing a year ago to 41% of its total ad revenue of $1.6 billion in Q2 2013.
4) Chipotle faked their own Twitter hack, and it worked. - To promote their 20th anniversary, @choptletweets posted a series of abstract tweets that were hints to their daily trivia. Because of the stunt, they gained over 4,000 followers and received over 12,000 RTs; that’s way more than the normal 250 followers they gain per day.
5) Instagram ads are on the horizon. - Mark Zuckerburg announced during a Facebook Q2 earnings call that Instagram might one day have ads. It’s no secret that advertising on social boosts brand engagement, but will users accept the interruption?
6) Facebook user stereotypes: are you a stalker, a newbie or a curator? - Facebook users each browse and post on the platform in different ways, but this Optify infographic attempts to whittle them down to nine stereotypes. Which profile best suits your habits? Note: none are particularly complimentary.
In more Twitter news, the company’s interactive Amplify program welcomes a new client, television giant Viacom. Viacom will soon have the ability to deliver ad-supported video content from networks like MTV, VH1, CMT and Nickelodeon directly into the feeds of its followers.
Taking another step towards brand-friendliness, Twitter launched Amplify to integrate traditional TV into the Twitter platform, allowing partners to embed real-time programs—highlights, trailers, promotional clips—into their tweets. These so-called “second screens” have the added feature of a frame that can host additional advertising content.
Viacom’s first use of Amplify will occur during the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25, when the network will tweet real-time clips of the program to the Twitterverse…probably something along the lines of “Here’s a clip of Beyonce’s performance: what did you think?” “Check out Bruno Mars walking down the red carpet: how about that hair?” The conversation should be interesting, to say the least, and we’ll be watching.
What’s more, this kind of video integration may eventually open doors for smaller brands to directly embed their own video content into Twitter, interacting with followers in a new, meaningful way.
Yesterday, Twitter released a public analytics dashboard to all users in a move that they hope pushes more users to adopt their ads platform. To access the analytics platform you must go through Twitter ads dashboard. Taking a cue from Facebook’s ability to promote personal status updates, Twitter clearly wants you to consider promoting your tweets.
The most insightful information users can access in their dashboard is which content receives the most engagement. It shows statistics like the number of “faves,” retweets and replies to your last 500 tweets. Users can also see how many clicks each link receives, which we see leading to more optimized content. The dashboard also shows a 30 day history of your followers gained and lost, but does not allow you to see details from specific days. The platform also includes an overview of your followers with information on interests, gender and location.
Although informative, Twitter’s analytics platform is still behind many third party platforms. We would like to see more analytics on the per day loss and gain of followers. The export features is handy but is missing information on the number of clicks. A larger backfile of tweets, and a total number of users who saw your tweet would also be nice. At this time, the dashboard is barebones information, but is enjoyable.
Social media has provided brands, regardless of industry or size, the opportunity to connect directly with their community of supporters. The brands that are most successful on social provide relevant, engaging content to their fans, rather than exclusively talking about themselves. Twitter hosts countless customer service interactions, YouTube often showcases internal culture, and blog comment sections allow brands to garner and digest immediate feedback. In each of these instances, the focus is on listening to the customer and turning social media into a two-way conversation, not a highway billboard. While there are many examples to choose from, the health and fitness industry has done an especially great job, using their social channels to listen to their customers and tap into their lifestyles.
Here are a few examples:
ViSalus has turned their Instagram channel into a platform that fans can visit for weight loss motivation and encouragement. They share recipes, boast member before-and-after photos, and showcase the healthy, happy members of their community. They also regularly show off the gym in their corporate office, demonstrating that the ViSalus team is truly committed to health and fitness.
Weight Watchers is doing a great job on Pinterest, a channel that often gets the little-brother treatment. Rather than focusing exclusively on product, they have made an effort to make their pins useful to their customers. By filling their Pinterest page with healthy recipes and motivational boards like “Words to Live By,” the brand is a helpful resource and acts like a loyal friend to their customers. And Weight Watchers didn’t simply set up their page and forget about it; they actively drive traffic to their Pinterest page through their Facebook posts.
Whole Foods consistently does a great job of nurturing brand loyalty and trust. They listen closely to what matters to their community and adjust accordingly. With over 5,000,000 YouTube views, they use the channel as a vehicle for transparency and communication, by directly telling their customers what they're doing and why they’re doing it.
These brands are each making the most of their social channels by creating content that is relevant to their customers’ lifestyles and providing useful services. They successfully demonstrate just how critical transparency, authenticity and connection are for brands today.
To friend or not to friend—a perpetual social media question. If you work in client service, or have clients in some capacity, you’ve probably run into this particular dilemma of becoming friends with your clients on Facebook. So, what’s appropriate? If you work for a social media agency or in a social media-based role, might it be expected that you become friends with all of your contacts? Or is it better to keep your business all business and your personal, well, personal?
That depends. A better question may be, “Is Facebook really the best way to connect with your clients in the first place?” While Facebook is best for sharing among people you already know, Twitter and LinkedIn encourage you to share information, articles and other thoughts in a public space. These two platforms are natural places where you’d want to conduct conversations with professional contacts and new leads. Since your tweets can reveal as much or as little personal info as you’d like, you can intersperse your content with personal tidbits like photos without also giving access to your Spring Break photo albums from college.
As opposed to a few years ago, most people now are on LinkedIn and check it more often (i.e., not only when they’re on the job hunt). More frequent use is even broadening the type of content shared. Rather than always posting industry shop talk, more and more users are occasionally sharing content of personal interest to appear like a real person who’s more than his or her career. Like Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to develop your professional image while you conscientiously share certain types of content that convey the real you.
It’s also easier and less intimidating to follow clients (or have them follow you) on Twitter and LinkedIn. My Facebook public profile may seem innocuous enough because most of my info is friends-only, but if you’re a new friend, I honestly don’t know what you might find if you dig deep enough in my profile—that thing is almost 10 years old! I’d rather take our relationship online via Twitter, where my content is fairly ephemeral, or LinkedIn, which started out as my “professional” channel, and then I’ll share bits of my personal life with you there.
Being a client services person in the social media world doesn’t mean being an open book, but rather using the right networks to connect with your clients and contacts in a meaningful, yet appropriate way. And what do you do if a client friends you? Dawn Mentzer, aka the Insatiable Solopreneur, advises establishing a consistent “Facebook friend policy” for clients—you’ll either accept client friend requests, or kindly inform them that while you use Facebook to keep up with family and college friends, you’d love to connect with them on Twitter and LinkedIn (and follow through by connecting with them on these networks).
I’m sure a lot of you have thoughts on connecting with clients on social media, and I’d love to hear them! On what networks do you connect with your clients? Has connecting with clients on social media led to any success stories or cautionary tales?
As you might have guessed, Melissa Komadina works in Account Service at Renegade. Feel free to tweet her or find her on LinkedIn.
Though the big game is days away, major corporations like Coke, Mercedes, Audi, and Carl’s Jr. have already begun playing the field for the hearts of the 111 million viewers. Aside from the earned media potential of blogs and publications picking up the story, what advantages does pre-releasing your ad have?
In the case of Audi, probably nothing! Their pre-released YouTube tab “Big Game” seemingly gives away their entire spot, which costs around $2.5 million per 30 seconds. There is additional content around the same theme available for viewing, but unless Audi has a surprise up its sleeve for the big day, it has already run out of gas.
Mercedes and Carl’s Jr. haven’t quite shown it all. @CarlsJr has posted a few tweets with images from the ad shoot with swimsuit model @NinaAgdal as an appetizer. The full TV ad surely won’t be short of saucy. Mercedes, too, pre-released their ad spot with Kate Upton getting her shiny car washed, which alludes that there is more to bare.
Coke seems to be the most inventive, taking full advantage of social media for its big ad. Visit CokeChase.com and you can watch a pre-release video that sets the stage for the big day with cowboys, showgirls and badlanders racing to the land of sweet, bubble nirvana. Coke asks you, the user, to choose who will win the race and the final spot on the air—all you have to do is tweet your vote. The fun doesn’t stop there! Immediately in return, Coke sends you a tweet with the option to delay the contenders. This is a prime example of perfectly executed brand engagement that builds to the finale. When Coke’s ad finally rolls out on the big day, you can expect to see a hoard of tweets from enthusiasts rooting for their team.
Stay tuned to @Renegade_LLC for the Big Game Ads reviews, live as they happen on Feb 3rd.
This is part three of a three-part series about getting your friends, colleagues, family or associates to join social networks and find their value.
Now that you’ve got your friend to join multiple social networks and find a community for them to embrace, let’s talk about how they can create value for their audience.
Before we get into the tips for each network, let’s first define what social media value actually is.
If you’ve ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, you would know that he places people that force cultural change into three distinct groups: Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen. To quickly sum up the roles of each, Mavens have vast knowledge about a particular subject and are able to talk about it eloquently; Connectors are people who know individuals in a particular field; and Salesman have the ability to make individuals adopt ideas that they were previously unsure of.
In real life, you’re lucky if you become one of these archetypes, but in social media, the ones who are adding value to their connections are all three. Value comes from being knowledgeable when commenting on relevant topics, interacting with people and letting others see it, and being convincingly opinionated so that you are sometimes at the point of being controversial. Doing all three of these things consistently plays a major factor in determining your value on social media. Think about your favorite blog site—would you visit it if they didn’t update it on a consistent basis? I don’t think so. Would you follow your friends if they didn’t contribute to a conversation on Twitter? I didn’t think so either.
Creating Value on Twitter
Having a strong, consistent and opinionated voice on Twitter can attract an audience to a specific account. This is where you can take the reins of being a Maven on Twitter.
Don’t hesitate to jump in conversations that surround a topic you’re interested in. If one of your followers is talking about a subject that interests you, or one that you can formulate an opinion on, just hit the reply button and put in your two cents.
Your fashion friend can set up lists of industry bloggers and search terms using Tweetdeck to monitor hot hashtags or and reply to their tweets. Here are examples of tweets containing the hashtag “#fashion”:
A response that can be written in reply to @CuriousYam that adds value would be something like “@CuriousYam I really like the #Floral #Circleskirt. I bought a similar one from @Target but it’s a print pic.twitter.com/adsuha”
Another example is answering questions that users post. For instance, if a person is looking for a specific product and you know where it can be acquired, you become a Connector by replying with the answer.
Engage With Influencers
By finding and following the major influencers in a specific industry, it’s easier for a user to be “in-the-know” of breaking news to form an opinion and share it with their followers. When it comes to social media, like in real life, the faster your access to information, the more influence you can have. Most individuals have to build this influence organically by constantly updating their social feeds, unless they have a pre-established reputation.
To find interesting influencers, you can run a quick search of “fashion” on Listorious.com, a site that lists reputable accounts by topic. You can quickly see a few of each account’s most recent tweets and reply to them from inside the website. Have patience in building relationships with these influencers. Sometimes they won’t respond, but if you reply to one of their tweets with something insightful you may be rewarded with a retweet or a mention. When influencers start taking notice of your ideas or thoughts and start to engage in conversation with you, it raises your status as a Salesman.
Creating Value on Instagram
Images hold a lot of weight in the online and mobile space because, besides videos, they capture a person’s attention the longest (after all, a picture is worth a 1,000 words). We might as well make every one count.
Mix Images With Descriptions That Resonate With Your Audience
Along with pictures that showcase a brand’s work, telling a story or putting a description with relevant keywords will resonate with your audience.
In the picture above @sethbrundle is able to showcase his new partnership while using relevant keywords. You can see that he received a bunch of likes and comments on his post.
Let’s say for instance that your friend, who has a huge following in New York City, posts photos of a new shop and their products to her Instagram account (and tweets them). She becomes a Maven by showing her followers where it is and the things she bought, and she becomes a Connector and a Salesman for that brand once she mentions them on her picture. By doing this, your friend helps to create value for those interested in fashion and even people who are interested in new shops that open in their neighborhood.
Creating Value On LinkedIn
People go to LinkedIn to find news, get valuable insights from experts in their particular industry, and to also have access to them. Being consistent in posting relevant articles, statuses or questions in groups and on your homepage can create interaction and lead to discussions.
Let’s go back to your friend, the fashion designer. For him or her to create value, they will have to be on the forefront of news that relates to their industry in order to share it on their timeline. If your friend has a fashion blog, sharing new posts on their timeline can create views and showcase their expertise. Even if they’re not creating original content, providing commentary on articles from the LinkedIn Today – Fashion & Apparel section, for example, will generate positive activity on their timeline.
Interaction within groups can raise your friend’s value as well. Many people, particularly in fashion, are looking for manufacturers, as evidenced in the Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Fashion group.
Suppose your friend is an experienced designer with connections to models and raw materials. Answering questions on these topics in LinkedIn groups allows them to become a Maven, Connector and a Salesman in the group. Asking questions about relevant subjects also can potentially create leads that eliminate the middleman, which would strengthen your friend’s reputation as a Connector..
Last, but not least, your friend can connect people to others. LinkedIn offers the ability to “introduce” two individuals who are not yet connected to each other. You can call it e-networking. Most users do this when they'd like to talk to people who are offering jobs on LinkedIn.
There you have it, three steps on how to get your friends to join social networks, find value for themselves and create value for others. I hope this works for you. Now go out there and make some new friends, followers, and connections! Don't forget to read part one and part two.
This is part two of a three-part series about getting your friends, colleagues, family or associates to join social networks and find their value.
Part II: Helping your friend find their community
The biggest step is now over—you got your friend to sign up for Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn. Let’s move on to the next step: how does your friend find the people who share the same interests and passions?
I firmly believe that social media becomes worthwhile when a person finds a niche community that they interact with on a regular basis. Going back to our example in my previous post, your clothing designer friend will value social media only if they can use it to meet the designers, big fashion houses and trendsetters that matter to them. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and techniques within each network that can help guide your friend’s search and unlock the power of social networking.
The first group of people your friend should immediately follow is their real-life friends. These folks are a good place to start because they probably share some of the same interests as your friend, and they’ll be willing to divulge information from within a particular online community. Advise your friend to look through their friends’ followers and connections for interesting accounts to follow.
A big purpose and where the power of social media resides is being able to go outside your reach and connect with people who you wouldn’t have access to in real life. The following tools exemplify this and heighten a user’s experience in a way that can benefit them.
Follower Wonk: This tool allows you to search Twitter bios for particular keywords and compare followers or following of up to three separate users. For instance, if your friend is looking for other fashion designers to collaborate with or get advice from, a search for the terms such as “fashion,” “fashiondesign” and “couture” reveals hundreds of results. From there, your friend can compare three users to see who they mutually follow in order to grow their network even further. Go ahead and give it a try.
Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is a desktop or browser add-on that lets you monitor and engage various users; the platform also provides insight on certain keywords and allows you to create lists for certain followers and search terms. Your friend can monitor words like “fashion AND NYC” to see who is talking about certain fashion events in New York City. The strength of the keywords and lists can help your friend see who is actively engaged in the topic of their choosing. This is a great way to be more specific in a search for users that are considered influential within a certain community.
Search: Probably the most powerful tool for Instagram is already located within the app itself. The search feature allows you to look up hash tags found in the picture’s description and comments. Searching for the tag “#fashion” brings up close to 13 million images. Once your friend sees a user who consistently posts high-quality images that are constantly receiving plenty of interaction, they should tap the follow button because that person is viewed as an influencer. Monitoring several tags at once can help your friend target their niche market.
Statigram: Statigram is an online Instagram viewer that allows users to view more pictures at once in a web browser instead of scrolling through their mobile app. It also gives you a great breakdown of the metrics within your account. The only feature that it doesn’t have is the ability to post pictures to an Instagram account.
Like Instagram, LinkedIn’s search bar can be used to access all of their users, groups, and companies. Their advanced search feature allows a user to be more thorough in their search. This can be helpful if your friend is having trouble finding a person’s name but remembers their title and company.
To find big guns, joining groups would be the best place to start. Members in groups are typically employees within a certain field that are trying to gain benefits from the content and discussions that are posted. Within each group page, on the right column, LinkedIn lists the top influencers for each week. Since these individuals are leading a lot of the group’s discussions and managing the group, interacting with them could offer more insights. All your friend has to do is make their acquaintance within the group and then request to connect with them.
Now that your friend has found influential people to follow and started interacting with people who have the same interests as they, it’s time to move onto the final step: creating value to gain a loyal following.
-- Sean Clark
In his short story “The Aleph,” Jorge Luis Borges recalls an experience he had gazing into an aleph. He describes it as “one point in space that contains all other points. The only place on earth where all places are—seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending.” This fictional story regards the aleph as a both a gift and a curse because it gives the gazer a chance to see and know everything on earth. That is what social media has developed into today. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and countless other sites, we now have the opportunity to see all—to see into people’s lives and to see the world like never before. Social media has opened up the unimaginable universe. Like peering into the aleph, checking your newsfeed or your Twitter timeline provides insight into everything in our world, from every angle—simultaneously, infinitely.
The aleph is significant beyond Borges’ short story. Its symbol is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is literally a part of the word “alphabet.” It is venerated by Kabala and other mystic traditions that put value on an aleph as the pursuit of truth. Like the aleph in these ancient traditions, social media is the means by which we seek truth in modern times. From companies to customers, from artists to fans, from friends to family, and from your PC to mine, we can now paint a more accurate, “truer” picture of the people we interact with via social channels. Social media offers us an endless amount of communication that is continuous and extremely transparent. Through following people, companies, bands, etc. on social media, we can see who their friends are, what interests them, where the have been, where they plan to go, their religious, and political stances and a plethora of other information that we otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.
"Aleph Sanctuary" - Mati Klarwein
Thanks to the advances of social media technology and the massive amounts of information these sites are processing, we have transitioned into the age of the “recommendation.” There are logarithms, programs and software that can now introduce you to more people, places, and things based on what you already like and your physical location. You can discover when concerts and art festivals are happening in your area, what news is breaking, and what song will go well with your mood for the day. Other sites will recommend vacations spots, restaurants, lawyers, and doctors. Heck, these sites can find you a job or an employee—all out of the comfort of your living room! This age of “recommendation” is giving us options like never before and it is shocking how incredibly accurate the recommendations are.
As our technologies grow and progress, we must accept that our lives are no longer veiled in secrecy. You can be a pessimist and see this as an intrusion on your privacy, but if you are receptive to this information exchange, the possibilities are endless. The more you share, the more people will share with you. The more you follow, the better recommendations you will get and the more useful social media will be for you. So instead of being wary of this connectivity, you could revel in the endless possibilities of this aleph. It will undoubtedly open your world to bigger and brighter things while introducing you to more people and experiences you would have never had an opportunity to access before.
— Jake Annear
“I just don’t get it – what’s so great about Twitter?”
This is the typical response I receive when my friends notice how much of my time is dedicated to my phone screen, reading tweets from my 500+ followers. What ensues shortly afterwards is back-and-forth dialogue where I argue for the advantages of social networks and then notice I have a new follower a few days later with my friend’s name attached to the account.
Convincing your friends to join a social network that you’ve already fully embraced can be an arduous task; fortunately, I’m battle-tested and willing to share my tactics for making them social media believers as well.
In this three-part series, I will help you to win your friends over and open them up to the world of social media. In part one, I will explain the advantages of the three main networks I believe each individual should join: Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Part two will have advice on finding and engaging an audience that shares your friend’s same interests. Finally, the last part in the series will be how your friend can create content that will add value and attract a following.
Most of the confusion that stops my friends from embracing social networking is that they really don’t know what each network is. I don’t blame them for stopping there - I wouldn’t try to go in the kitchen and try to make my grandma’s mac-n-cheese if I didn’t know how a cheese grater worked. Rather than trying to explain to them how each network works, I instead try to show them the purpose of each. Here is an excellent example using donuts:
However, if they’re still confused after seeing this, I’ve broken down the uses of each the social networks I mentioned earlier.
Twitter gives real-time updates of situations happening in real life. Your friend still doesn’t believe you? Go to Twitter and search for “DNC2012” to view the thousands of tweets that inform you who was at the DNC podium and what line from their speech resonated with the audience. If there’s anything happening with more 500 people in attendance, there are probably at least a few tweets about it.
But the best part about Twitter that makes it stand out from other social networks is the access. Because it’s a public forum, viewable even if you don’t have an account, it grants a ton of transparency to thoughts, ideas, whereabouts, and announcements from people you would never meet in real life – and for free.
Let’s say that your friend is a fashion designer. They’re about to launch a new line but they don’t have any exposure within the fashion industry. By tweeting often about the developments of their upcoming line and using the right hashtags, such as #fashion, #fabric and #design, your friend can introduce their products to a relevant audience and possibly even create a demand for them before they’ve premiered.
You can also consider Twitter’s search option a powerful, real-time engine for updates on current events and trends. This helps if your friend likes to research different topics or find out what’s happening in a certain area.
Need further help explaining? Instruction AE put together this video to explain Twitter:
Instagram is a photo-sharing community that has exploded onto the scene within the past year and a half. With membership reaching close to 100 million members, Instagram has yet to show any signs of slowing down. Even though you can attach a photo to a tweet on Twitter, Instagram fosters interaction around a photo by allowing users to like and comment on a picture like they would on Facebook. Instagram also allows users to share their pictures across other social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and through email. Idea Channel even thinks Instagram is the best thing to happen to photography:
Let’s go back to your friend, the clothing designer. They have tons of designs but aren’t getting exposure for them. Imagine they take a picture of a shirt they’ve made and instantly someone asks how they can buy it. How did that user find it? Simple: our friend added a hashtag such as ‘#shirt’ or ‘#fashion’ to their picture, which allowed other users searching those hashtags to come across that photo. If the picture is aesthetically pleasing, more than likely it will receive a decent amount of attention. Since Instagram has not yet allowed pictures to be shared, a lot of users screenshot the image and post it on their account while giving credit to the original photographer. That’s the end result of exposure via Instagram: a possible sale for your friend.
With 60-80% of jobs coming through personal connections and networking, why not have a social network to lend a helping hand? Voila! Enter LinkedIn to serve that purpose. LinkedIn’s power is in connecting people in various professions so that they may collaborate on ideas, projects, and find new positions. A profile on LinkedIn closely resembles a resume, which is advantageous for recruiters who are searching for the person that best fits their needs. Linkedin is different from Facebook because it is viewed as being a strictly professional network.
Your designer friend has experienced some success selling their items and wants to now become an in-house designer for a major fashion label. Using LinkedIn, your friend can search for a label, view any open positions and clearly see if any of their connections work at that company or if someone they know is connected to an employee and asked to be introduced through a simple message. If your friend fears networking events, LinkedIn offers a new way to make connections.
LinkedIn Groups is also a powerful feature for job seekers and professionals who want to network and keep up with their industry. Mostly dedicated to different types of professions, Groups offer insights and resources on their particular industry.
If looking for a job on Linkedin is on your friend's mind, this little tutorial could be useful:
Hopefully by this point your friend has created an account on each of these networks and is ready to learn what they can do to find out where their audience is and how to engage them. I’ll discuss how to teach them these next steps in my next post.
-- Sean Clark