I constantly see examples of brands that have merely set up social media channels and have not thought through the reasons why they are there or how they are going to provide content that’s interesting to their audience. The result is that engagement on their pages remain low, the community does not grow and the brand owners often walk away deeming their time on social media not worthwhile.
We’ve moved beyond the days of just having a presence on social media platforms. To be truly relevant we need to be actively engaging our consumers. Good content creation is your most valuable asset as it is the currency of social media. Branded or created, it’s your content that captures the attention of your consumers and customers, engages them and shapes their ultimate perception of your brand.
Like all marketing efforts, the goal of good content is to turn prospects into loyal brand advocates but without a content strategy, your time spent on social media can be a waste of time.
To make your content more compelling, here are some simple steps to consider:
Continue to ask yourself whether you’d be interested and engaged with the content if you were your consumer. Don’t just post for the sake of it if the content does not reinforce your messages or provide any value back to your audience.
Hootsuite have created a great reminder of what things you need to consider when you are planning content.
Join me at the Wine Communicators of Australia Webinar ‘Content to Connect’ on 2 May
Time: 1 – 1.45pm
Would love to hear your thoughts on your thoughts on what brands you feel are providing good content in the comments below.
(As published in July 2012 Edition of WBM Magazine)
There’s often discussion about the role of LinkedIn as part of your social media presence. Is it just an online Rolodex and a haven for recruitment professionals? Should you be spending the time to actually use the network and why would you bother?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and has recently surpassed three million Australian members. Globally, the site attracts more than two new members every second and grew to more than 150 million members worldwide in February 2012. There’s an active community using it and according to Cliff Rosenberg, Managing Director for LinkedIn in Australia, “over 60 percent of Australia’s professional population is now on LinkedIn.”
So how do you use LinkedIn most effectively and get the most out of it? Here’s a few pointers:
Marketers have also seen the benefits of using LinkedIn to reach out to influential, affluent and highly educated audiences in Australia. There’s some great examples of Tourism Australia and Microsoft using the platform to connect their business to a target audience in a relevant way.
Like any social media platform, what you get out of your LinkedIn experience will depend on your objectives. It does take time to contribute to the community and build relationships but given how targeted it can be, there’s plenty of reasons to explore it further.
So next time you hear of LinkedIn or get a request to connect, think about how you can use this platform for your own professional development and career aspirations before dismissing it.
Connect with me on LinkedIn au.linkedin.com/in/trishbarry
By Helen Kruger (@Lanikruger)
There is little doubt that Pinterest http://pinterest.com/ is THE social media network of 2012. Suddenly it’s in every social media blog, is creeping into Facebook feeds and has been touted as the new social media addiction – all while brands are still trying to work out what it means for them.
Launched in March 2010 Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular U.S. social networking site after Facebook and Twitter1. It’s rise has been meteoric: 866% growth in unique visitors in the 6 months to Feb 2012, 50% growth in traffic from Jan to Feb 2012 and an average of 1.36 million users daily2,3. And with a company goal to “…connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting…” it seems they intend to keep growing.
Unlike most start-ups Pinterest’s growth hasn’t come from a young male geek following; instead, its strength is in women. 68.2% of users are female, 50% have kids and 50% are aged between 25 and 44 years3. A staggering 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook fans are female3.
So what actually happens on there? The site is built on the belief that “…a favorite book, toy or recipe can reveal a common link between two people…” Acting as a virtual pin board it allows users to ‘pin’ and share images from the web they find useful, inspiring or interesting. And it is addictive! Browsing through other users’ ‘boards’ leads into a labyrinth of images, photos, ideas, recipes and products you can’t do without.
Reflecting its origins as a crafting and fashion site Pinterest’s top three categories are Home, Arts & Crafts and Style & Fashion. However it is the fourth category, Food & Drink, which is the one to watch. By far the most shared category it generates 50% more ‘repins’ than anything elseand is rated their main area of interest on the siteby 70% of users 4,5,6.
Pinterest is seen as a source of inspiration and discovery, which means it delivers a very high conversion rate. It generates more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined and almost a quarter of users have purchased something they have seen on someone else’s board3,6.
But while there are exciting opportunities for brands that can align with users’ interests, Pinterest should be approached with moderation.
Used innovatively Pinterest offers brands a uniquely powerful platform to engage customers. To show you just how powerful, we will leave you with the Kotex campaign – an impressive example of personalized marketing.
How to Set-Up a Business Account7
In the social media space it is worth registering your brand name and claiming the real estate, even if you don’t intend to use it yet.
Glossary of Pinterest Terms
A note on copyright: This aspect of Pinterest is still contentious. There are questions around whether a brand could fall foul of copyright law by pinning images that they do not own or reference properly. If you have any concerns it is best to seek legal advice before proceeding and where possible reference where you get your photos from if they are not your own.
If you love food and wine – join in the fun and follow Trish’s Food and Wine Boards - http://pinterest.com/trishbarry
1. The 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, Experian Marketing Services
http://mashable.com/2012/03/12/pinterest-food-marketing/ 8 Best Practices for Food Brands on Pinterest
There’s been lots of hype this week over Facebook’s $1billion acquisition of the 2-year-old photo sharing application Instagram. Whether the price tag is justified, this is one app to look further into. It’s been the #1 downloaded app on the apple istore this week and been an instant hit on Google play.
Over 30 Million people have used Instagram and download on their Iphone since the application launched in January 2011. It’s my favourite Iphone app by a long shot, but I know that for many of you reading this post, Instagram may not be an app that you’ve used as part of your social media tool kit. The good news is that Instagram is also now available for Android users too, so there’s a much greater audience who can use and share.
What is Instagram?
Instagram allows you to share your photos in a simple stream with friends to see. You can also play with the filters of the images to create better image effects and share instantly to facebook/ twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, Posterous etc.
You can follow other users’ photo stream and once followed their stream will appear on your news feed. You can also browse through the “popular” section to find users with similar interests to look at.
It’s also a great tool for creating content for those who are not avid tweeters or facebook users. You can download instagram on the phone of your winemaker, chef or staff who have access to content that can be shared in a visual format. Connect up your social networks, given them some brief training on the messages you’re trying to convey and you have a rich stream of photo content to access.
It’s as simple as taking the photo, applying the relevant filters, putting a description and hash tags and then you can send to your social media networks. The integration of Instagram photos within a facebook feed is also a huge benefit – the photos display in a large format and much more of a feature than using twitpic on your facebook page.
Ways to get the most out of using the app
Some other Instagram related tools/ sites you might not have known about.
There’s literally hundreds of Instagram related sites to help you manage and monitor your Instagram photos stream. Here’s just a few you may like to look into further.
Why not follow me on Instagram? Instagram.com/Trishbarry
This is a guest blog by Craig Wilson – doing great things with the NLYZR product that’s worth checking out to provide solutions for effective search engine results for your website. He’s a go to source for online information, so thought would be useful for him to share a few tips…
The advent of the web, search engines and social media networks has revolutionised marketing. While once we had to rely on outbound tactics like advertisements and direct mail, now we can utilise the more measurable and effective inbound marketing approach.
Here are the nine steps we use at Sticky for a successful inbound marketing plan:
1. Create content
Content is central to any good social media plan. You don’t attract traffic, comments, support or donations if you don’t have information or content as the lure.
Original content is material you might create in-house. It could be a news story, information piece, blog post, video or images. It doesn’t have to be lengthy material, in most cases shorter is better. But it does need to be regular material.
2. Post content
Your website should be the main location for posting content. Regular content drives regular traffic to that site. It creates return habits and subscriptions.
3. Optimise content
Every piece of content is another potential search result on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Optimizing each post, news item, image or video provides you with another opportunity to be found in relevant searches. By optimizing all your content for your target keywords you can substantially increase traffic. I believe so strongly in the importance of search engine optimization I launched a new business, www.nlyzr.com, dedicated to making it as easy as possible for small business owners.
4. Promote content
Once content is published and optimised on your chosen site, it’s time to promote it to your social networks. Word your message carefully. Use strong descriptions, emotive language and ask for action. The right wording can drive very strong responses. If you get a poor initial response, review the wording and try again.
5. Enable social sharing
Its crucial to make it as easy as possible for viewers to share your content with their followers and friends. Embed Twitter ReTweet and Facebook Share buttons on each post on the website. Consider other social network share options at the bottom of each post on your website (there are dozens of them) to make it easy for people to spread to their favourite networks.
6. Ask for action
If you don’t ask, you rarely receive. Depending on the nature of the content you are promoting you could ask for comments, feedback, to sign-up as supporters, to share your information or even (drum roll please) to purchase.
7. Monitor traffic and comments
Once content has been published and promoted you must ensure that you follow the ensuing activity, especially in the initial period when traffic will be highest. This is the time to engage with your audience and build the relationships.
8. Study results
Study the analytics of all your sites and social networks to see what works and what doesn’t. This will help inform future efforts. Your online efforts must have goals and these results are the way you measure them.
9. Repeat process
The most important thing is to be consistent and have a long-term view. Good inbound marketing has a cumulative effect and requires regular attention.
Repeat these steps frequently.
Craig is a contributor to the collaborative series of world-wide marketing books The Age of Conversation 1, 2, 3, recent contributor to the Australian Govt’s National Cultural Policy and is often called on by media to comment on industry news.