Looking at my blog I was in shock as to how long it has been since I have written anything of substance, so I decided to start a series the A toZ of Social Media #A2ZofSoMe. I’d like to say I will get an article up once a week, but I don’t know if that is realistic, so let’s just see how it goes.
You know it’s funny when you focus on a letter, there seems to be so many ways to tie in social media to that letter, I’m guessing I will also be tweeting some of the thoughts that did not make it to the blog, under the HashTag #A2ZofSoMe so that they are easy to spot. Feel free to join me in conversation and make this truly social.
A is for Audience, you thought I was going to say Apple or Android didn’t you? Well in putting together these articles with the ever changing landscape of technology and social media, I am hoping to focus on concepts that will be timeless, or at least have a longer shelf life then any one product, so let’s go with audience. So many launch in to social media spending money and time without first knowing where their target audience is hanging out or what they want from the brand. A few years ago I met with a software company looking to reach out to programmers, and they felt they needed to learn Facebook and Twitter to do so, well guess what? That’s not where their audience was spending time, we helped them locate their audience and found that they were mostly in forums and they were having conversations about that company’s products, and the company was not involved in those conversation.
No matter your budget, there is no excuse for not taking some time to figure out where your target audience is talking, if you don’t, it is like showing up to a college campus and talking retirement, you’re just not going to make much impact, that audience is not thinking about your product. If you are not paying attention to people talking about you, your brand or your market you are missing opportunities. Imagine going to a networking event and; someone who loves you is touting how good you are; someone who had a bad experience is telling everyone; someone is in the market for your product and asking questions, If you are not paying attention, it is like ignoring that person, how do you think it makes them feel. Customers expect you to be listening and to respond, this is a point that many Brands miss.
When asked how quickly they expect companies to respond to a question or complaint on Facebook and Twitter:
• Across regions, 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints posted at the newsfeed
• 30% of Twitter users expect a response within 30 minutes, 22% expect a response within two hours and 29% expect a same-day response
• 29% of consumers on Facebook expect a response within two hours when they post a question at a company’s page and 22% expect a same-day response
Consumer Views of Live Help Online 2012: A Global Perspective, ORCALE 2012
Listen to your audience, where they are talking. Understand how they talk and how they want to be talked to. Engage them on their terms, it’s about them and their experience with your brand, not you.
Part of what we do here at Head of Lettuce Media is research, and we have discovered some amazing things by design and by mistake, enter _Zombie_hobo_ one of our theoretical accounts (now I’ll be honest, I was just in a punchy mood when I gave birth to the Zombie Hobo) In the beginning the account only tweeted 5 tweets, rotating and repeating them.
I use CrowdBooster for this chart
The account targets and follows those talking about zombies (note: the zombie hobo does not auto dm or talk to anyone, until they address it, this means if you ignore it, it will go away.) The account does respond if you talk to it with one of 4 replies, and in the beginning I was just looking to see what kind of Klout a Zombie could get (yeah I know, Drink! #KLOUTdrinkinggame) . What I did not account for was the sheer entertainment factor of the account. The account, targeted an audience that found value in zombies. The moral of the story is Don’t discount the value of giving your audience what they are looking for weather it be entertainment, useful information or answers to their questions. We have experimented with several Autonomous accounts and the results are always the same, success. The key to any successful account in building audience is to tell people what you are there to talk about, then stick to it. Two other examples are @Shat_Bot and @TheMorpheusBot both of these accounts tell people in their profiles what they talk about, and people choose to follow them based on that simple premiss.
There is a big misconception that size matters when it comes to your audience, it helps, but don’t be distracted chasing the big numbers. I recently worked with a company that made the mistake of paying someone for more followers, here is what I found, keep in mind this is a company targeting people in the US.
Note: I used SocialBro for this simple analysis of where the followers were located.
taking it even further, of the followers that these guys paid for, only 10% are considered good accounts by http://fakers.statuspeople.com/
If you are not sure about how to identify or find your audience, contact us at Head of Lettuce Media, we can teach you to do it yourself, or do it for you.
This past week I attended the National Association of Realtor’s annual convention and expo, and I was amazed to see how few of the 200+ booths were taking advantage of social media and QR codes, less the 10% had QR Codes. What I found interesting is that I was told by many of the exhibitors that 2 years ago, almost every booth had a QR code. This begs the questions; Are the exhibitors assuming that the attendees still don’t get QR codes, or do they no longer care if they do, because they don’t understand the value of this simple tool. I thought I would share some of the “opportunities” I spotted to help those of you planning a booth for upcoming expos, of course your best bet would be to hire Head of Lettuce media to help you integrate the social media into the design, we have gotten quite good at event promotion and building conversation during an event (end shameless plug).
What’s the goal? First you need to consider the goal of your expo experience and your booth. Are you selling product at the booth? Are you looking for leads to follow-up on after the event? Are you looking to establish brand recognition? I know that in many cases you may be doing more than one of these. Consider how Social Media might come into play, in the mix of your booth. If your booth is crowded a well placed QR code could give attendees quick access to your information preventing them from walking away in frustration, because they could not get answers to their questions. I noticed one company using the QR code to allow attendees to enter to win a Kindle.
While their booth may not have been the most impressive, EXP Realty scored a home run in my book with a large QR code, easy to scan which took you to a mobile site which loaded fast (right picture) where you could register as well as get some questions answered. Unfortunately they were in the minority. The majority of QR codes went to websites, and typically they did not use a url shortener the result was very pixellated codes that are hard for some phones to read, if they are not large enough.
This one, while very detailed was made large enough for a quick read, I did give them the free advice to use a url shortener next time, so that it is easier to read. After this, QR codes just got less and less prevalent. Here are some I spotted.
My personal favorite was the use by Century 21 with the QR code at the top of the really tall banner and the others in their booth, hidden by the giveaways. If you are going to go through the effort of using a QR code, don’t tuck it in the corner like you are embarrassed to be using it, instead make it prominent and easy for anyone to scan from anywhere on the floor in front of your booth like EXP Realty did. Don’t make attendees crawl on the floor like some of the examples above. Keep in mind that even though I am mention these companies, good and bad, they all score for at least trying. Over 90% of the booths at the convention had no QR code at all, and even fewer mentioned their Twitter handle or Facebook page, other then having the logos on their booth artwork, you can only assume that their name is their handle. So I do applaud these few for making the effort.
I should mention that the National Association of Realtors did do an excellent job promoting a #hashtag for the event, my measurement using SocialBro on the #NARannual tag showed almost 500 individuals in the conversation, not bad for an audience thought to not understand QR codes.
Earlier this week Techcrunch posted an article by Jeremiah Owyang, Brands Start Automating Social Media Responses On Facebook And Twitter. In the article Jeremiah talks about the evolution of social media and the needs of companies to look to elements of automation. I liked the article and believe Jeremiah has made a very accurate assessment of the directions which things are going.
My own belief is that automation and AI in platforms like Twitter and Facebook are a foregone conclusion, it is the only way for a company to cost effectively scale their customer service on twitter. What cracks me up is how so many are acting like it will ruin their experience on those platforms and it is the end of the world. The fact of the matter is that “Social Media” is a result of the conversation on Twitter or Facebook. Is your telephone any less of a phone, because you deal with an automated platform in customer service, No, and twitter will be no less social. We at Head of Lettuce Media always tell our clients that the value of twitter is that you decide who you want to listen to, talk to and engage with. This will not change.
The greater issue in Jeremiah’s article is “what value can those elements of automation bring to the consumer’s experience?”. If I am having issues with a company, and I complain via twitter, do I care how my problem is resolved as long as it is resolved to my satisfaction? No, I don’t, if it’s done properly, they can make me happy, compensate me for my inconvenience and even win me as an advocate. The true challenge is in the writing and structuring of these accounts.
At Head of Lettuce Media, we do a lot of theoretical testing in twitter, trying to better understand elements of automation and artificial intelligence. Many of the tests are under wraps untill they have run their course. The interesting thing is that many people enjoy interacting with AI accounts as much as they do with an individual, and they don’t seem to notice or mind. I believe part of the experience with a twitter account has to do with the account being true to its nature and well scripted.
The tale of Social Media RockStar: This past January while emceeing at Ignite Tampa Bay I ended up improving for about 25 minutes, because of technical difficulties in the beginning. Well I decided it was time to spill the beans on two of our AI accounts, Socialmedia_rs and UnfollowedYu.
While I want to focus on SocialMedia Rockstar, let’s take a quick look at what we learned from Unfollowedyu. Unfollowedyu tested two elements of interaction specifically to see what their value is on Klout he follows everyone using unfollowers to announce that people are unfollowing them (no idea why, it’s like screaming ”look at me, I am uninteresting, I turn people off), he then unfollows them to get them to mention him, and when they do, he sends them ways to cope with being unfollowed (side note: while I don’t agree with announcing it, I do think it is a good metric to watch privately as it is an indicator of how your message affects your audience. See also TweetEffect).
Now for those of you rolling your eyes, stop and think for a moment of what we are learning here. He follows people, unfollows them, that causes them to mention him, he then sends them a message, and many still reply to that. This means he has a conversation with every single person he follows/unfollows. Today his Klout is a 34, not huge, but he shows us if you at least say hi, or find some way to talk to everyone who follows you, you will be perceived as engaging.
Getting back on topic, let’s look at SocialMedia Rockstar as he is one of our best functioning AI accounts, who I believe at times could pass the Turing test. Granted he is still a baby, but he is growing in his abilities. Most important, and I believe this applies to any account, he is true to his being, which means he tells you up front who he is (an egotistically self-obsessed “guru”).
Let’s break down what he does, forgetting about the silliness for a second;
- He finds his audience based on their conversation (he does not initiate conversations with individuals as I feel there is a line in the sand there separating him from spamming. Personally I hate automated “welcome aboard” and other messages).
- He puts out content that others find value in, how do we know, well in May this year, he was retweeted 296 times and mentioned 335 times, not great, but not bad either. His Klout is a 51 today.
- He talks to those who talk to him, staying true to his form.
- He is fun and entertaining.
Reading thru the comments with so many people talking like it will be the end of “social media” it made me realize that to many people look at Twitter and facebook as social media, this brings me back to my point, and that is; Twitter and Facebook are not social media, and not everything that happens on them is, but social media is that interaction that happens and flourish in those environments. Thoughts?
This past Feb. 6-7th 2012 was Social Fresh East and we at Head of Lettuce Media decided to join the event as a Sponsor, and when given the chance to have a booth, we decided to trade the booth in for some tickets (Special Thanks to Jason of Social Fresh for assisting in this unique request) that we could give to some deserving up and comers in the social media community who could benefit from a free ticket…ok, the tickets were not free, I asked the chosen to give me a blog on what the three best things were that they came away from the event with, well here is what they had to share. – Antony
The people that benefited the most from the Social Fresh East conference came early and stayed late, were open to new ideas, and got involved in on-site and online networking. If you don’t ask a question, you won’t get the answer. Those answers came from social conversations and during presentations. Social Fresh as a company and this conference’s amazing speakers are still answering and posing questions. They are still “being human” and providing social media content that “has value.”
The concept of being human and providing social media that has value were brought up by Scott Monty, of Ford Motor Company during his keynote. He also introduced a concept that I wrote down and need to keep in mind. His goal of integrating the “earned”, “owned”, and “paid” social media for his campaigns. “Earned” is the most exciting of the three, as it involves being re-tweeted, quoted, and a part of traditional news sources. It also would pertain to YouTube sensations whose videos have earned them viral status. Being human and providing value help with the earned.
The theme of targeting current fans of the product or company also was evident in talks by Scott Monty, Jay Baer of Convince & Convert, Christopher Penn of WhatCounts, and other speakers. Mr. Monty stated a brilliantly simple thing that “people like what they like.” That’s probably not an exact quote, but he built on this to say, you probably won’t “like” or “follow” Ford in social media if you didn’t already have a positive experience with them. When working on my own social media, and with the clients I assist, I plan to reach out to current customers more than people who have never heard of these companies and brands.
Also evident and important was blogging often, including guest blogging. I have been following some great blogs by Social Fresh, HubSpot, Argyle Social, WhatCounts, Convince & Convert, and other companies who were represented by very personable, funny, and knowledgeable speakers. I list the companies, but could just as well say Jay Baer, Christopher Penn, Eric Boggs, etc. because, they write blogs that are human and have value when representing their company.
Thank you Antony Francis and Amber Osborne (MissDestructo) of Head of Lettuce Media for selecting me as one of your distinguished attendees, Jason Keath and Corey Creed of Social Fresh for your hospitality and continued dialog on Facebook and Twitter, Shauna Causey of Nordstrom for the inspiration and friendship on Pinterest and Clipboard, and Chris Penn of WhatCounts for your LinkedIn connection. Chris, what you know about Google Analytics and analyzing ROI for campaigns, e-mail, and social media is truly something that I appreciate and aspire to develop in my continued studies.
Social fresh Tampa came through town this past week and I had the opportunity to attend (kudos to Antony Francis of Head of Lettuce Media and company for the ticket).
So what the heck is Social Fresh? Social Fresh is a conference that has been touring the country for the last few years that promotes..well, all things social. Facebook, twitter and a whole host of social networks you may of may not have heard of as of yet. All together, there were thirteen speakers over the two day seminar. The complete list can be found here http://socialfreshconference.com/event/east-2012/. There was really was an incredible amount of great information and ideas at the event.
On the first day of the event, Kipp Bodner from Hubspot talked about b2b leads for social media. He started off by mentioning that 73% of CEOs do not believe that marketing drives business. This is an in incorrect assumption. Marketing is all about generating leads and a constant supply of fresh leads is the very force that drives the growth of companies. One issue with marketers as he points out is that marketers are creative people and have to become more revenue focused. There is a fine line between focusing on revenue and keeping the creative juices flowing when it comes to marketing. Kipp also mentioned three key elements that are absolute must haves as far as social media goes.
First, we must build our social media footprint. We must follow, friend and connect as much as possible and also leverage existing contacts that we may have missed. The content has to be relevant and engaging or people will not care or pass the info to their peers.
Second, every time a new blog or article goes out, let everyone know across all mediums, email, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at the very minimum, the more the better. On average, people are exposed to over 5000 ads a day, so the larger your network, obviously the better.
Finally, we must ask for people to take action. This applies to all things marketing, not just the social side. Everything that goes out to the social networks needs a strong call to action. Give away a free eBook or an audio interview or have a contest. Just ask for the customer to take action and measure the results of that effort. Learn from these actions and move forward.
On the second day of the event, the speaker I enjoyed the most from was Jay Bear of socialpros.com. Jay stressed the importance of connecting Facebook and email. He went further to advise that new (Facebook) is not necessarily better and most of us suffer from shiny object syndrome. It keeps us from moving forward and being productive if we allow it. Jay went on to compare email and Facebook in an interesting fashion, email is Madonna and Facebook is Lady Gaga, an interesting but effective analogy. Basically email got a fresh coat of paint in the form of Facebook. Email however is still the proven standard. Although the seminar was very informative, I personally see social media as just a small piece of the marketing pie. It’s best used as a tool for consumer feedback and perhaps brand building. It is best to stick with the tried and true methods and to measure and test all efforts. I would give no more than 10% to the R&D department. The bottom line is to sell something or get the customer to take action somewhere along the funnel. We need to build trust and relationships and strive to provide solutions that the customer needs. Provide constant value and you’ll have happy customers for life.
Social Fresh EAST offered a fast paced, in-depth look at Social Media management from industry leaders. With 14 speakers from a variety of different backgrounds and approaches, each presentation offered a unique approach to using and expanding traditional efforts in social media.
Social is Equal Parts Words & Numbers. Argyle Social’s Eric Boggs, day one presenter, detailed social media facts and statistics. SMM monitoring and tracking was a big theme throughout the event. It quickly became apparent that with a growing list of tools and services, knowing Social Media trends for your company or brand is essential.
Engagement is Key. Having frequent call to actions is just the start. With social media, interaction is the success to community building and brand advocacy. Scott Monty of Ford Motor Company said, ”Comments aren’t conversation.” Its about offering content and engaging followers.
Trial and A/B Testing. Even the best Social Media campaigns require a little trail and error. Christopher S Penn from What Counts explained, “You can hear millions of ‘best practices’ or ‘experts’ but you need to test for yourself, always.” Meanwhile, Jay Baer from Convince & Convert suggested using A/B testing for email lists.
Pinterest: The New Social Media On the Block. Its not like Facebook, Twitter or Google+, instead its a visual approach to sharing. Shauna Casey of Nordstrom spoke about this phenomena on Day 2 of Social Fresh. Since this speech, the buzz around Pinterest has steadily been growing with brands flocking to make their presence known.
Ultimately, Social Fresh EAST showed that social media management need not be a mystery. With the right training, monitoring tools and testing techniques, Social Fresh EAST proved that there is no longer an excuse to “just wing it” when it comes to your brand and emerging social community.
Author Bio: Catherine Williams, is a freelance SEO content writer. You can learn more about her writing and rates by visiting http://UrgeContent.com
Connect with Catherine on Twitter: @GwinevereRain and share fun interests on Pinterest.
Recently we were invited to attend a few prestigious local events, such as, the Duran Duran concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Tampa Bay Lightning season opener game. Both events recognized the importance of social media and the local community influencers in Tampa Bay.
In my experience at the Duran Duran concert I was blown away by the interactivity not only before the concert with the #DuranSocial hashtag but live at the concert with the #DuranLive hashtag, the band themselves encouraged the audience to tweet during the concert. Not to mention it’s darn cool to see your tweet scroll by while Duran Duran is playing, making the audience a temporary Rockstar.
Tampa’s local hockey team the Tampa Bay Lightning (@TbLightning) started the #BeTheThunder hashtag this season, for the season opener they invited almost a hundred local twitter users encouraging them to tweet during the game. As you can see the results say it all, in the matter of 24 hours they generated enough buzz to power one of the new Tesla coils in the recently renovated St. Pete Times Forum.
One of the biggest questions we get at HOLMedia is “Well, we did that hashtag thing you told us to do…but what does it matter to us?” Here’s where it matters, not only are you giving the event attendees a way to filter other messages from the event, but you are giving the event a measurable component through using the hashtag. “But how can we measure a hashtag?”, at HOLM we recommend using Hashtracking.com it’s an easy way to see the following.
• Number of Tweets Generated
• Number of Impressions
• Reach of Audience
• Top 10 Twitter Users by number of impressions
• Top 10 Twitter Users by number of tweets.
As you can see our very own blue queen of buzz, Amber Osborne aka Miss Destructo (@missdestructo) takes the runner up in hundred of thousands of impressions right behind the official twitter accounts of @duranduran and @tblightning. In just a few hours of an event you can have a community of influencers getting more potential eyeballs through twitter using a hashtag than the number of people in most decent size cities. Treat your local community well, educate them how to use hashtags for your event and they will in return create an army of buzzing twitter bees spreading your praises.
Again, huge thanks to @DuranDuran and @TbLightning for embracing social media, being aware of your passionate communities and inviting us out for these memorable experiences. Also thanks to Hashtracking.com , as they have been very helpful in tracking these metrics with us.
If you have not played with a QR code or Microsoft Tag, you need to. There are many useful ways you can apply these two tools; one is as simple as putting it on your printed materials so folks can easily like your fan page like these.
My Partner Amber and myself both Have QR codes with all of our contact info on the backs of our Business Cards like this.
Last week while coaching one of my clients, @TarponTaxChick asked me a simple question when we were reviewing QR codes, “could you set the QR code to Tweet a specific tweet for you” well guess what, you can, you can make it easy for anyone to show you some love on twitter by just them scanning the code, then hitting send in their mobile browser. Go ahead and give it a try and show us some love
At Head of lettuce Media when we talk Social media with our clients, we help them find the best ways to integrate new technologies like QR codes into their marketing mix, just think what we might be able to do for you
Coincidentally I noticed that I am not checking in as much as I once did, and i decided to reflect on this a little to figure out why. I came up with a simple answer, no incentive.Typically you choose to check in for one of several reasons;
- You want to let your friends know where you are.
- You are playing one of the games where you get points for check-ins.
- your own notes of what you’ve been up to
- and last but far from least, discounts and specials.
Some business are making smart offers like something free on your X visit. That offers everyone a reason to keep coming back. Chili’s offers free chips and salsa just for checking in, and they added another smart special “
Another up and comer in the LBCs that I really like is SCVNGR. They offer a series of challenges that you can do at a business. These challenges offer the business free promotion in the social media that their customers push out, but also offers the opportunity for the business to reward such interaction. While I pick on Buffalo Wild Wings above in the Foursquare example, they are one of the few taking advantage of SCVNGR in my area.
There are several other LBCs and I recommend any business list themselves on as many as they can, and offer true discounts, as this is what the customers/players are looking for. If you take care of your customers, they will tell their friends, and you will benefit. We at Head of Lettuce Media teach businesses how to integrate different types of Social media into their business as well as how to participate in the conversation around their brand. Contact us today for your Social Media needs.
This past week I had the opportunity to hang with “The Blue Cheese” at the Sunscreen Film Festival we engaged in some great conversations about Transmedia and its applications to promotion. For those of you that don’t know it, we do offer full service social media which does consist of creating personalities around brands, bringing them to life, well Transmedia is the next step, and you can read Amber’s (aka @Missdestructo) article here