March 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
Pinterest may have some competition. Fancy is a new social media platform very similar to Pinterest. The difference is, Fancy is geared towards ecommerce. It’s like a Pinterest wish list. It’s less about inspirational quotes and creative pictures and more about the place you want to travel or the sundress you saw in Vogue and want to buy.
The ecommerce site is a great tool for merchants and retailers. After you “fancy” (“fancying” something is the equivalent idea as “pinning” something) the retailer can see that it was “fancied” and contact you to give you a special deal. According to Stylelist Home, Fancy has been described as “Groupon in reverse.”
It currently has 250,000 users, which is not much compared to Pinterests’ 10 million users. However, it has only been out for a few months, and with endorsements from celebrities like Kanye West and P. Diddy, I don’t think it will be much longer before the social media site really takes off.
In contrast to Pinterest, 60% of Fancy’s users are men; Pinterest’s user-base is comprised primary of women. That doesn’t mean the dynamic won’t change in the near future when the site becomes more popular. More women tend to use social media when compared to men, and shop online more than men, so we’ll have to see if men continue to hold the majority of users for Fancy
It will be interesting to see if the social media site will succeed or if it will flop. I think this might be the new big thing. What do you think? Check it out for yourself and let me know.
February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
For those who haven’t heard about Pinterest, it’s a bookmarking site that allows its users to bookmark links and images that they find interesting. Once you bookmark or “pin” an image, it’s then placed on a virtual bulletin board of your choice. Although the social networking site is about 2 years old, its popularity has increased dramatically in the last few months. According to Compete, between Sept 2011 and Dec 2011, Pinterest had a 429% increase in new members. And who is taking advantage of this? Businesses, of course.
As people “pin” that cute dress at Macy’s or the new necklace at Tiffany’s, those retailers are attracting more traffic to their sites. Between July and December, “same-store referral traffic from Pininterst to five specialty apparel retailers rose 389%.” Although it is definitely driving more traffic to retail sites, it still falls below referral numbers for facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Yahoo; search engines still bring the most traffic to retail sites.
Although Pininterest is driving traffic to many sites like Nordstroms, West Elm and ModCloth, that doesn’t mean the site will work well for all businesses. You never want to jump into a social media site without a strategy, and if you need help creating one please refer to my previous post, What is a Social Media Strategy, Anyway, for some step by step tips.
January 18, 2012 § 3 Comments
Everyone talks about social media plans. But do you really know what it takes to create one? A social media plan, whether it is for personal use or for your business, isn’t just one set of rules, but many different guidelines. Here are step-by-step guidelines that can help you with your plan:
1. Start listening.
It’s important to know what people are already saying about your brand. By using specific key words you can set up a dashboard with feed readers, creating an easy to understand display of what people are saying about your brand. Try Netvibes for your dashboard, it’s the platform I prefer. Also, set up Google Alerts for your brand so you know whenever anyone says something new and relevant that will show up on Google. The key is to know what communities you want to be involved in, before you throw yourself into the vast world of social media.
2. Determine your goal.
Know what you want to accomplish. Do you want to increase sales, increase brand awareness or gain more traffic to your site? Know your goal before you start, that way you’ll know what you need to be tracking when it comes to the measurement portion of your plan.
3. Know who you are and who is best suited to show that in your company.
Outspoken Media has some great thoughts on knowing who you are. Generally, it’s having the ability to tell a story about yourself or about your brand that is going to make other people want to interact with you online. On that note: DO NOT LIE! Being transparent is extremely important, because if you’re not it only takes about 4 seconds to do a Google search and find out the truth.
Knowing who you are means knowing who your customers are, too. Figure out who your target audience is. Knowing the demographics and psychographics of your audience will help you with step 4 when you choose which channels to use.
After determining who you are, make sure the person you’ve chosen to implement the social media plan reflects the image you would like to maintain online. You also need to make sure you have the time and the necessary resources, because if you stop a few months into it, you’ve wasted not only time, but money that could have been better spent on another marketing plan.
4. Decide what channels to use.
Not every social networking site is going to fit your goal. It’s important to choose the sites that will. Although it would make sense to use facebook if your goal is customer communication or brand exposure, it wouldn’t make sense to use it if your goal is SEO. Take a look at this chart from Drew’s Marketing Minute it will help you decide what sites work best for your goal.
5. Create rules.
You need rules for engaging with people online. What are you going to do when someone says you’re doing something great? And what are you going to do when someone tells you that your brand sucks? Make sure your rules leave room for flexibility but create a solid guideline for how to react in both good and bad situations.
6. Creating and Scheduling Content.
Now you’re ready to start creating content. Know how often you want to be pushing information out, making sure you don’t flood your fans and followers news feed. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to schedule all of your posts. Try Hootesuite or Tweetdeck, they’re both easy to use and free. Watch your noise to signal ratio as well. People don’t really care about what you’re eating for lunch as much as they care about the big sale over the weekend. Remember, quality over quantity.
7. Engage, be genuine and be transparent.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Be transparent and be genuine. No one wants to talk to a robot and no one wants to talk to a liar. Engage with people online. Decide what you’re going to do to encourage participation. You don’t want to be talking at people online, you want to talk with them.
8. Measure, analyze and rework your plan.
Are you accomplishing your goal? If your goal was to increase sales, have you? If your goal was to get more traffic on your site, what does Google Analytics say? Do you have more traffic then you did before you started your social media plan? If something isn’t working take time to rework and rethink. If your plan is working but you’re running out of money to fund it, analyze your overall marketing plan and consider cutting your losses; maybe you can get rid of something else and focus on social media.
Don’t expect results right away. A social media plan can take anywhere from two to six months, and sometimes longer, before you really start to see results. And if it didn’t work for you, figure out if it’s worth it. If your brand was doing better with traditional forms of marketing, then it’s probably a good idea to stick to what works for your brand.
January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
At #7 on the list, PR Executives even come before the Corporate Executive on the stress test. This doesn’t mean that every Public Relations Executive is going to have an extremely stressful job; it just means the majority of them do. Just the same, the police officer who sits behind a desk for eight hours a day isn’t going to be as stressed out as the one who patrols the streets.
Why is the Public Relations Executive so high on the list? PR Executives are in charge of maintaining the positive image of the corporation, company, person or government entity they represent. Sometimes this is a difficult task, especially when the client is involved in any type of scandal or controversy. Being the intermediate of communication, the PR Executive often acts as the voice of the client while interacting with the media and the public. In a very competitive field, meeting deadlines and making speeches is a large part of the job.
Ironically, the Event Planner comes in at #6 on the list, which is often categorized as a type of Public Relations. Moral of the story… If you’re looking for a place to relax, the Public Relations industry is probably not for you. But if you’re looking for a career that is going to keep you on your toes and give your something different to do everyday, then you’re on the right track.
December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
Have you ever wondered where your twitter followers are from? A new app, Tweepsmap, can show you. All you need to do is authorize the app and in a matter of seconds, Tweepsmap will show you exactly where all of your followers are from using the information your followers gave Twitter when they first signed up for their accounts.
Tweepsmap shows the location of your followers in a Google map. It also allows you to display your followers’ locations as a list and a pie chart. Personally, I like the google maps view because it allows you to zoom in and out and view your followers location by country, state, or city.
This tool is not only interesting for the average user, but could be a great tool for businesses. By using Tweepsmap, business owners could see that they have a lot of followers in Europe and not as many in the US. If they’re marketing to people in the US, then they’re missing out on a large amount of business they could be receiving from Europe. Tweepsmap can show business owners when they’re missing specific locations with their marketing and when they’re right on target.
Although it’s a relatively basic app, it’s pretty interesting and if you’re not a business owner, it’s still pretty cool to see where all of your followers are from.
December 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
Although social media may be “the new media,” it’s no longer new. It’s been around long enough that simply creating a Facebook or twitter page isn’t necessarily going to get people to click that “like” or “follow” button; you need to be persuasive. Being persuasive in social media is key to getting your message heard, because if you don’t make it worthwhile for someone to click on your page, you’re wasting not only their time, but yours as well.
Being strategic is key. You wouldn’t build a house without blueprints or start a business without a plan, so why would you make a facebook fan page if you don’t have a focused goal? That plan doesn’t have to be as strict as blueprints for a house and, yes, the plan can change as the medium and goal does. But you should always have one main focus. The focus can be to create a community, to raise awareness, to generate a conversation, but whatever it is, make sure it is clear and you understand how you’re going to execute it.
Be Likeable. And no, this doesn’t have anything to do with the “like” button on facebook. Ask yourself, “Do people like me?” Being likable means being genuine and honest, because no one likes a liar. Not only do you need to be honest but you need to be nice too. Watch your tone and make sure you’re interacting with people in a pleasant, polite and sincere manner.
Make people want to listen to you. This means showing off. Have you ever been published? Do you write for a well-known blog? Talk about it. What about building a company or developing software? If you’ve done anything noteworthy, brag about it, but in a tactful manner, of course. Showing that you have been professionally recognized for your achievements proves that you are worth listening to.
Get popular. Make yourself available, but not too available. Creating specific, well known, times to be online for twitter chat or setting deadlines for sales and promotions will help. The more followers and fans you have, the more likely people are going to think, “Well, this person must have something good to say.”
Hopefully these tips and tricks can help you while you start up or revamp your social media pages. If you need any tips on good tools to use feel free to visit a previous post, Social media tools you should be using for personal use, because these tool are good for business, too!