Tag Archives: social media

The Social Media Vendor Landscape

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I’m always interested in finding new tools to help make analyzing data, curating content and dealing with consumers (both publishing and listening) easier, as well creating value.  I’ve come across this “Vendor Landscape” from TrustRadius before and am very interested to know how these tool really stack up. Note: I especially love when certain vendors overlap in multiple categories, in a “two birds, one stone” sort of way.

Have you experiment beyond native tools? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience with them!

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LinkedIn Changes Worth Knowing About

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Just last week I posed the question: Linked or Facebook? If still having to choose one, I would still probably go with Facebook, however, I still think that the new LinkedIn upgrades are still worth noting…

For this post, I’d like to focus more on the back-end of LinkedIn company pages, rather than just the visual style of the front-end, which has also changed. These are best suited for smaller businesses using LinkedIn as well as more seasoned social media types who still find the platform lagging in certain areas, these new features and sections are a big improvement.

LinkedIn Social

The first big thing is the Notifications; located at the top of your company page next to “Home” and “Analytics”, you can now see a “Notifications” section. Here you will find an overview of your page’s daily, weekly and monthly performance (pictures above. You will also find an overview of all notifications on old posts published to the page. These both include likes, comments, shares and mentions.

The next section to note is the Certified Marketing Partners; these are very, VERY similar to the Facebook Marketing Partners (formerly known as PMD or sPMD). These come in two parts: the first is the company page partners, which focuses on page management such as analytic partners, social listening tools and publishing tools (which is a big help for community managers, as there is still no native scheduling system). The second is the sponsored update partners, which focuses specifically on advertising on the platform, such as tracking performance, publishing and even strategy aid.

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Lastly, there have been a few updates to the Analytics section. First, sprinkled throughout the analytics tab found at the top of the page, you may notice a LOT of suggestions throughout. These suggestions pair with the specific type of stat you are looking at, for example, if you are looking at Reach/Impressions, you may see a suggestion to sponsor an update to increase these numbers. They’re a little annoying to people who already understand LinkedIn marketing, but I can see how this would be useful to someone just starting out. The second part of the analytics section to note, is the native analytics themselves; LinkedIn is now showing both impressions AND reach (previously only impressions). They are also beginning to break out different types of engagements (clicks, comments, shares, likes, etc.) rather than just clicks and interactions. This last section is still catching up, but hopefully these will begin showing accurate numbers soon.

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So let me know, would you find any of these tools helpful?

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Facebook vs. LinkedIn

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Over the past year, a couple of my clients have begun making moves onto LinkedIn. Although they’ve been on board the Facebook train for sometime, they’ve decided to make the shift onto LinkedIn for a few reasons:

1. The Target Demo: The belief that this is where the older, affluent target demo lives online
2. The “Respectable” Platform: LinkedIn is associated with success and accomplishments; an opportunity for the brand to also associate with these things
3. The “Newness”: LinkedIn is still seen as relatively new and the audience is still growing

These are all perfect reasons why creating a brand presence on LinkedIn makes sense; however, does this mean that more effort should be put into LinkedIn rather than Facebook? In my opinion, no.

LinkedIn being still relatively new lacks a LOT of what Facebook has already spent years perfecting. I believe that Facebook still excels in three main areas: Audience insights (interests and usage), advertising (self-serve ads and better targeting), and finally media type publishing options. The back end of LinkedIn just does not compete – it’s incredibly basic, in the sense that knowing your audience and advertising to them is very limited. And next, on the front end, it is just no where near as aesthetic: photos are very hard to optimize for both desktop and mobile, and there are still no native video option.

Also… what’s sup with their news feed algorithm? It feels busy, and cluttered and just doesn’t makes sense seeing things from weeks ago beside recent updates. Just odd (and I know I’m not the only one who thinks their news feed could use some work).

For another perspective for the comparison, check out [this great infographic] specifically focusing on the advertising on both platforms.

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The Most Effective Social Platform for Your Brand

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Marketers are always asking “Which social platforms should my brand be on?”

Most assume that they should be everywhere and anywhere just because they can. Each social network is essentially free to join and free to set up a branded account, however there are many points to still consider. My theory is to generally look at two things:

1. What makes sense for my brand
2. What can I afford

The first is a given; go where your audience is, and go where the most of them are. But when your audience is in the “millennial” group, this is generally thought to still be everywhere… but not necessarily. Some social networks still skew more male or more female, so this should be considered. Also, what type of message are you sending? For example: are you a quirky, crafty brand – consider Pinterest or Instagram, which are both very visual and captivating. Or are you a very savvy, intellectual brand – consider Twitter or LinkedIn, which both appeal to people who actually want to take the time to read, and learn more.

Now to my second point: What can I afford. I’ve always been told and believe, “Don’t try to do everything. Instead focus on doing one thing really well.” If you have a large budget, and can afford to hire people that know these networks inside and out AND have the around the clock time to moderate and manage these accounts, then do everything… However, if you can only afford to do one really well, then do it. It just does not make sense to try doing everything, if everything does not live up to a good standard; by this I mean leaving networks silent for long periods, or creating low quality content. That “it’s about quality, not quantity” thing really does apply here.

** I will note though: If you are worried that people will take your brand name and use it their own handle (which does happen, and can be very difficult to get back), then go ahead and secure these. But if you are inactive, leave a post, tweet or status that points to your website or another network that is active.

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I came across this incredibly simple yet helpful guide for which social networks your brand should be on. Check it out [here]. If I was to recommend one network right now, it would be Facebook: The highest audience, the highest time spent, an advanced ad platform (targeting), and a variety of media options (especially now since they’ve ramped up video). And yes.

Tell me what your favourite networks are and why!

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YouTube “Music Key”

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Right at the stroke of midnight I saw this little gem at the top of YouTube:

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The navigation links at the very top, “What to Watch” and “My Subscriptions” now includes “Music”. Since I am a lover of music, I decided to do a little more exploring and I stumbled onto the YouTube Official Blog introducing their new initiative: Music Key.

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YouTube has always been a great place for watching music videos, but with the success of Songza, Spotify and Grooveshark (just to name a few), it’s no wonder they would want to put some more effort into the music listening space. YouTube seems to be introducing this in 2 ways: The first is free and accessible to anyone with a YouTube/Google account – this caters music videos based on your watching history (image above). The second way is with their (beta version) subscription service, which does the same, except with no ads, the ability to listen even when your phone is locked, offline access, and more. Apparently this service will be available at a discount rate of $7.99/month ($9.99 regular). Watch the ‘trailer’ here:

You may already pay for NetFlix’s monthly subscription, but does this seem like something you’d buy into as well? I’d like to hear more before I take the dive; for now I’ll stick to the freebie version.

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10 Reasons People Follow Brands on Twitter

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Take a second to think of the brands you follow on Twitter. Now think, why do you follow them. If you’re like the majority of people, you said one or more of these reasons:

  • 55% follow because they like the brand.
  • 52% follow for special offers or promotions.
  • 51% follow to stay up to date with news from the brand.

It makes sense right?

Somewhere subconsciously in your brain, you’re likely asking, ‘what do I have to gain from taking this action?’ And it’s a great question. Is it because you’re looking to be entertained, to get answers, to participate in an activity… Well there are a few more reasons than the 3 above – 10 to be exact. See here, for the Top 10 Reasons Why People Follow Brands on Twitter from Twitter UK.

What next? Take this information, and deliver. Have giveaways, provide new product information, welcome feedback, entertain people etc. and people will see the benefit in following you too.

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Social Influence & Decision Making

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About 5 years ago I picked up a fascinating book called Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behaviour. It’s a book that really does make you think about the way that you think, and look at the way you make every day decisions.

What makes you do the things you do, and purchase the things you purchase: Is it a celebrity endorsement? A recommendation from a friend? An online 5-star review? Who or what has influence over the daily decisions you make. Example: When looking for a new cleaning product, who’s recommendation will you trust more: The big CEO in their swanky office, or mommy-blogger next door to you? Mommy-blogger, right?! She’s relatable, she gets you, she knows what’s best for you. Your purchase decision has just been swayed.

This is why brands reach out to influencers and write press releases. As a marketer, you’re always trying to convince people to buy into what you’re selling (sorry, but that’s the truth). These are just a couple things that might change a person’s opinion on their product.

Social psychology is fascinating in the marketing/advertising world, because it really is built in at every level, even down to the colour of a logo. Hank Green (Vlog Brothers + Crash Course) does an amazing job at explaining even more examples of decisions making and how people are influenced by others in the following video (definitely worth watching):

So after getting a little deeper into the psychology of things, does this make you think twice about the way you think? Will you start reading between the lines when making your next purchase? Or will this information help you sway others? Let me know!

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The Internet: The Conversation Prism

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“Listen. Learn. Adapt.”

Meet the Conversation Prism. Where conversations happen and “social” is brought to life. The internet (or at least what matters) is categorized in this technicoloured pinwheel chart better than I could have ever imagined. Basically, if you think that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all fall under the same category, it’s time to take a step back and really learn where these online spaces fit in your business or social life. Go ahead, take a closer look and let me know if you were able to learn something from this!

 

 

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How to be a Social Media Guru..

I always liked this little chart and I think it’s pretty helpful too. A lot of these points are pretty obvious to me now, but when I started as a social media marketer/community manager, some of these would have blew my mind.

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I think these tips would definitely help entrepreneurs who want to dabble in the social media world, but just aren’t sure where to start. However, I think it’s also a good reminder for the veterans who can sometimes get caught up in “THE BIG BRAND MESSAGE”. Some of these tips really remind you to step back and look at things from a simpler perspective and really get back to the basics of what works. Whether you’re a newb, or a guru, it might be a good idea to read through these. Who knows

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2013: The Year of the #Hashtag

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Did you know that concept of the “hashtag” existed way before the existence of Twitter?

A “channel” is a term used to communicate with multiple people within an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) session, which are basically like chatrooms. To indicate a channel, the pre-fix “#” is used, and this symbol would collectively group and categorize topics within IRC networks. Complicated? Maybe. Luckily for us, this idea of grouping topics because much simpler with “The Hashtag”. Although Twitter was founded in 2006, the hashtag wasn’t introduced until 2007 (see tweet below), and did gain popularity until 2009. In 2010, trending topics were introduced, and it’s been history since then.

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So why am I claiming that 2013 is the year of the hashtag, even though it’s been out for so long you may ask…?

Well, bottom line, it’s gone mainstream. I feel as if once my Mom knows what a hashtag is, it’s mainstream. It’s on every news station, every television series, every billboard, every movie has one, every event you go to has one, and if you don’t have one, you’re missing out. Also this is the year that Facebook latched on. Although the Facebook hashtag has yet to prove useful or successful, it was news worthy. Other websites such as Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn and of course Instagram and more have adopted the hashtag. All of these big web players make it easy to share and discuss these #topics.

To make matters worse, people are starting to talk in hashtags too… #ThisCanBeAnnoying – #ButAlsoPrettyFunny! Some people are sick of them, and some people refuse to hashtag anything now, but they’re still everywhere, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. #SorryNotSorry

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Later this week I’ll be revisiting the hashtag to discuss what hashtags can do for you, your business and in media. I would also like to visit some of the best hashtags used in advertising/marketing since it’s creation. Stay tuned!

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