Social Media Advertising: When, Why and How

Social Media Ads

I know the feeling. Your company has been slugging away on Facebook, Twitter and various other social media networks for years but can’t seem to get the community growth, engagement or business results you’re looking for. If you haven’t tried putting some dollars behind your account or content, maybe it’s time that you do.
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So you want to work in social media?

Working in Social MediaYou’re not alone. Frankly, I think it’s a great decision. The demand for talented digital communicators has never been higher.

A few years ago I had an honest conversation with myself about whether I wanted to specialize in social or position myself as a generalist in marketing, communications, advertising or public relations. I chose the former and have absolutely no regrets. Here are a few skills that will either help you land a job in the social space or help your thrive once you’ve landed one: Continue reading

13 Memorable Moments from Social Media Week Toronto 2013

http://socialmediaweek.zippykid.netdna-cdn.com/toronto/wp-content/themes/smw-global-2013/assets/images/logo.pngI attended Social Media Week in Toronto for the 3rd time over past few days. Here’s a quick summary of some noteworthy quotes.

I even managed to squeeze one of my own in there. I mumbled it to myself, OK? That counts!

  1. “The Three Old Rules of Marketing: be first, be the best, be heard”

9 Facebook Metrics every Marketer Should be Tracking

Facebook EngagementYou’ve likely noticed Facebook’s new Insights dashboard. Whether you come from a traditional marketing background or strictly digital, two-way, I’m confident these changes will help you quantify your social media marketing initiatives…..if you understand them (hence this post!).

The three overarching elements the new Facebook Insights measures are your page, your posts and your people. Read on to understand what I mean.

Here are the 9 Facebook Metrics every Marketer Should be Tracking: Continue reading

6 Fundamental Traits of a GREAT Social Media Manager

Photo: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hinchcliffe/community-management-the-essential-capability-of-successful-enterprise-2-0-efforts/913Just a few years ago, the role of a social media manager (now commonly referred to as community manager) wasn’t nearly as common as it is today. Fast forward a few years, and I can say with confidence that most companies have someone that manages their organization’s presence on various social networks.

Be it healthcare, education, finance or consumer goods, organizations have begun formalizing what that role means to their brand(s) and how they choose to approach their respective digital ecosystems. Now that I’ve held a few Community Management positions, I thought I would compile a list of 6 character traits all social media managers should have. Continue reading

How to Wow Sports Fans with Social Media

Social Media Sports

“My kids, if I ever accidentally have some, will not go to school. They will start twitter accounts and learn from the people.”– Paul BissonettePhoenix Coyotes

It’s tweets like these that have made Phoenix Coyotes’ enforcer Paul Bissonette generate a healthy following on social media. And there is something to be said about how athletes engage on social media.

Most sports fans know their favorite athlete’s height, weight, jersey number and noteworthy statistics. But that trend is changing as more and more athletes dive into social media and fans around the world subscribe to their every tweet.

Just like in business and other industries, professional sports organizations are seeing the vast promotional potential of social media. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has even announced that he would dish out $240,000 towards improving his fighter’s followings. How’s that for incentive? Paid to socialize, sign me up.

So what is it about social media engagement that fans really enjoy?

Accessibility: Fans want to gain access and connect with athletes. Social media has made that a possibility. Whether it is a  brief exchange about last night’s game, insights into fitness regimens or injury updates, all of these provide something meaningful to the fans. People connect with athletes through social media to learn more than they would get from the radio and television. Takeaway: Be accessible to your following. Make them feel special.

Be Human: The public sometimes forgets that athletes have significant others, children, and even a life outside the game. Interacting with fans via social media shows a human side that online communities desperately want to see. My personal favorite is Paul Bissonette, the professional hockey player mentioned above who has amassed a following of 211,686, despite only tallying 5 career NHL goals. If you’re looking for personality, he’s your man. Takeaway: Crack a joke, admit you were wrong, or thank your social followers for pointing something out. Show you are human.

Insight: Just like someone who works in law, business or education, athletes have a significant level of insight about the sport they play and can build their community up by educating their audience. Takeaway: Whether you work for a sports related brand or not, share your knowledge so the rest of us can take it in.

Relationships: Social media gives athletes and their fans a chance to connect and deepen relationships. Your audience is constantly evaluating the strength of their relationship with you so take the time to show them you value their support. Takeaway: Show them love and it will come back 5-fold in long-term support.

Regardless of who you are or what you do, make your audience feel valued.  Give them access, show your personality, and provide any insight you might have. You can manage the relationships by consistently WOWing your audience. For Bissonette, that is providing humor and insight that fans don’t expect to get from professional athletes.

To learn more check out the top 100 tips to live by via @darrenrovell. Can you think of any other methods to engage with your following? Share below! This post originally appeared on the Radian6 Social Strategy Blog where I contribute to the community engagement team.

Been Blogging, you?

A business Blog has proven to be an effective way to generate buzz and traffic.

—Why Business Blogging is much more than a hobby

I knew a guy that refused to Blog simply because he despised the word. He was a journalist, constantly on the lookout for story leads, but he cringed when someone said the word.  He is just one of a handful who feel that way, and like all acts to resist new technology, they eventually fade into the night. Especially when that fad becomes overwhelmingly popular and beneficial.

But think of Blogging as one tool in your online marketing strategy, perhaps even a central piece. It can be used in many ways to communicate more effectively with staff, customers, industry experts and potential investors. What makes a Blog work so well? They have the ability to target a specific audience in a quick and cost-effective way. This means keeping your customers informed about new products, events or industry information. All of these components portray that you are the expert in your field; whatever that is.

But just as Blogging can be a great way to generate traffic and buzz, it can also work against your intentions if done improperly. Posting unfavorable content or saying something you might eventually regret can’t be erased. Someone, somewhere out there, has it stored on a server. Not to mention the traces left on search engines like Google.

Blogging is a powerful marketing and communications tool that can help businesses indirectly promote their product(s) to customers, stakeholders and suppliers. According to eMarketer, as many as 43% of companies will be Blogging by 2012. Here’s a list of 6 things to consider when starting your new Blog:

Shipping it is not enough. You’ll need to ensure that your Blog is integrated into your existing marketing/communications strategy and presents a brand message that is cohesiveness throughout all mediums. If it’s done properly, a Blog can enhance your overall traffic, activity and more importantly, ROI.

Consistency is everything. Publishing periodically isn’t enough (as I admittedly do myself).  Assuming readers enjoy your work, they will come back and expect the same level of “awesome” that the received the first time. So set up a monthly calendar of potential topics, and stick to a weekly plan for consistency.

Content is King. As important as consistency is, it’s the quality of that content that will make you stand out amongst other similar Blogs.  Think of your top 5 favorite television commercials. What do they all have in common? The fact that they stuck in your head is one of them. People like commercials that stick and commercials that people like often stick. As you embark on your new Blog, make your posts memorable. If you are memorable your posts will stick in the minds of your readers long after they were published. If you are really lucky, they will even share it with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Read It, Stumble Upon, Delicious, Flickr, etc.

Simplicity. The simplicity of Blogs makes them influential. For the many of the technologically challenged, Blogs are refreshing. They cut out a lot of the fluff and simply present what matters most. That is the information.

SEO. A Blog will inevitably enhance your businesses Search Engine Optimization. The more your name is associated with keyword-rich content, the more often it will show up in search engines.

Blogging is hard work. Before jumping into it you need to understand that this is much more than a diary of the days events. You’ll need a dedicated staff member to be responsible for the creation and maintenance of the Blog. They will probably spend 30-60 minutes a day to brainstorm topics, write, edit and tag all posts. Depending on the size of your company, that number could increase dramatically.

After considering these recommendations, it is important to measure and track your success. This means analyzing website traffic in key areas such as top posts, referrals, and click rates. You can start by using complimentary stat trackers and even Google Analytics in-depth array of information on bounce rates, visits by country, and more.

Blogging has its advantages and disadvantages and should be handled with great care. If you can’t wrap your head around Blogging, don’t be alarmed. It is a learning experience that, if done properly, can be very beneficial for your business. After all, the goal is to become the expert in your field, solidify your position in the industry and attract new business.