Top Ten Friday: Social Networks Your Company Needs To Be On

Social media has become as valuable as any marketing and advertising channel, but not every social network is perfect for your company. Before you join any network, make sure you go in with a strategy and goals in place, otherwise you may lose steam shortly after starting and end up with a dead page. Sure, you could write an entire post, or even a series of posts, about each network, but we’ll just give you a couple reasons to be on each network.

1. Facebook

There are more than a billion users on Facebook. That alone should get your attention. Facebook allows you to post to a large audience with a variety of content and also gives you built-in analytics to help track your strategies. Use the Timeline to tell the storied history of your company. Post consistently with a variety of content to help you with Edgerank. Brands doing a great job on Facebook include Oreo, Frank’s Redhot, Red Bull and Skittles.

 2. Twitter

Twitter is a conversational platform and is much easier to connect with users. Brands take advantage of this by responding to questions, problems and general comments in order to build relationships and loyalty. Posting company news, coupons and deals, jobs and general conversational posts are just a few examples of what you can do. Brands like Starbucks, Oreo, Whole Foods and Chobani are doing wonderful on Twitter.

 3. Google+

Many brands are hesitant to take the leap to Google+, but I wouldn’t shy away if I were you. Utilize Google+ Hangouts in every way possible, especially because they’ll automatically upload to your YouTube account. Send products to fans to try out and invite them to a Hangout to talk about their experience, create Circles of brand advocates and participate in Communities. A few brands nailing it on Google+ include Cadbury, BMW and National Geographic.

4. Pinterest

This is the ultimate visual platform and has quickly grown into one of the most popular social platforms out there. Pin your products, stories and news about your company, industry news, your company’s work, things that represent your brand, just a few ideas. Brands that really strive on Pinterest are Chobani, Nordstrom, Lowe’s and Ben and Jerry’s.

 5. Foursquare

Foursquare is primarily for visibility and brand loyalty. When users see a place offers a deal or special for checking-in, they are more likely to stop in or become repeat customers. Brands should continue to update the page with posts about current deals or updates from your company. Some brands doing a great job include the History Channel, Bravo Channel and CNN.

 6. LinkedIn

If you’re wondering what the best social network for B2B companies is, it’s LinkedIn. It’s great for finding talent, highlighting your company’s updates and work and offering content to help give people answers to questions they’re yet to ask. Brands doing a great job on LinkedIn include Hubspot, Adobe and HireVue.

 7. Instagram

Instagram allows you to share pictures and 15-second videos. When you take pictures and share them, you can use filters to alter your shot. Short-form video is becoming powerful and with 15 seconds, you can do a lot. Like Vine, you can use it to take behind-the-scenes videos, how-tos, product demos and releases. A few brands really doing great on Instagram include Gatorade, Starbucks, Chobani and Sharpie.

8. Vine

Vine is a young, but popular platform that allows users to create six-second videos on their smart phone. Six seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, but many brands have gotten creative to cram a lot into such a short amount of time. As a brand, you can use Vine to demo a product or service, show off current environment such as your office or photo/video shoots, introduce employees or celebrate great moments. The possibilities are endless.

9. YouTube

YouTube is one of the largest search engines on the Internet and videos appear high in search results. Brands like Red Bull, Oreo, Nike and Whole Foods are doing a great job creating a variety of content their users love. Some popular types of videos include product demos, how-tos, events and conferences, interviews and thank you videos. YouTube is popular for content because video is much easier to consumer than written content.

10. Yelp and TripAdvisor

These two are important, but often overlooked. Just because you’re not active on a site, doesn’t mean people still aren’t talking about you there. By having an account here, you then have the opportunity to respond to any problems customers face, that aren’t shared on Twitter or Facebook, and can also keep an eye on all conversations about your brand.

Are there any other social networks you feel are essential in 2013?

Check out our last TTF post about finding ideas for creative inspiration. Stay tuned for more upcoming TTF posts!

July 26, 2013 · Posted by in social media  

Facebook has made many changes this year, both for personal and business pages. Graph Search may have been the biggest change for personal accounts, which is still currently being rolled out to everyone. Brand Pages are also making changes. Earlier this year, Pages received the “Reply” option for threaded comments, which is a long-awaited feature for brands that want to reply to each individual personally. Facebook has also opened up the hashtag option for everyone, Pages included. This allows for brand’s posts to be found much easier in Facebook Graph Search.

Some other changes include a new cover photo policy. Your image cannot include price/purchase information or contact information. The words “Like” and “Share” are no longer allowed nor are calls-to-action. Previously, the images couldn’t include more than 20% text, but that is no longer a rule as of July 2, 2013. The Ads Manager has seen some changes that are meant to make it easier for marketers to run ad campaigns. Check out this breakdown for more insights on the Ads Manager changes.

Two other major updates include the ability to set comments in chronological order or by popularity on Brand Pages. This makes it easier to address top comments without having to search through the clutter. Photo comments have arrived in recent weeks and seem to be quite popular so far.  These are just a few of the changes worth mentioning. Facebook is constantly changing, albeit very quietly, so pay attention because there is always something new.

As for some of the changes we’re waiting for on Facebook, whether it’s for Pages or personal accounts, that list is endless. Some of the things I’m hoping for include:

  1. Ability to edit posts, both for fixing simple typos and for adding font/size/color changes, too.
  2. Make Lists easier to find and create. Also, allow posts to be shared with specific lists, similar to Google Plus and Circles.
  3. Edgerank to take a hike. This is a problem for brands because less than a fifth of your fans see your post, on average. It also filters your personal accounts, which means you only see a small percentage of your friend’s posts.

What kinds of things would you love to see added, removed or changed on Facebook?

July 2, 2013 · Posted by in social media  

By now, you’ve probably at least seen the new Facebook Timeline layout. (Maybe you even recall getting a sneak preview of it a few months back in a blog post by Pete.) I recently switched over to the new layout myself. Personally, I find it a little less user-friendly, but maybe that’s because I’m still getting used to it.

To my point… I just came across the first example I’ve seen of a business/organization using Facebook Timeline for marketing purposes. The Israel Anti-Drug Authority created a fictional profile of a guy that depicts what a year of his life would look like while using drug, versus a year of clean living. That was the concept at least, however, it really only goes back to Dec. 1, 2011. Although the execution fell flat, especially on the druggie side, which turned out a little cliché, the idea behind using the timeline in this way is creative.

This got me thinking about the potential uses for Facebook Timeline in terms of marketing and branding. The platform would be great for showing a company’s history, product innovations, major events, etc. Although Facebook has not revealed details on Timeline for brands just yet, I’m guessing it will follow this initial rollout for individuals. In the meantime, it’s exciting to imagine the possibilities.

January 6, 2012 · Posted by in branding, marketing, social media  

Happy Friday everyone! I just wanted to share an interesting infographic about social media in small businesses and the potential for business growth.

The State of Social Media in Small Business

November 18, 2011 · Posted by in branding, social media  

Facebook

If there’s three things that you can count on in life, it’s death, taxes, and Facebook making changes. (I’m pretty sure that’s how the old saying goes.)

Since the new look is only available to developers right now, I thought I’d share some screen shots to let you know what’s coming.

The image above shows my new profile. You can choose a nice big image of yourself (or a monkey) for people to see.

Facebook

Typically Facebook makes changes to its user interface and design, but this time around it seems a bit more radical, as they’ve made a number of changes that seem to be positioning them to broadcast your lifestream. In a way this is good, because previously it wasn’t easy to go back in time to see all of your old posts, but it’s also a bit weird to think that Facebook has so much information about you.

On the right is a timeline that shows everything from today back to the point when you were born. Yes. When you were born. If there was ever any doubt Facebook wanted to know everything about you, this should dispel that doubt.

Facebook

You can also add important “Life Events” such as getting married, having a baby, losing a limb, or eating a bagel.

I won’t go into much more details, but I thought it might be nice to give a sneak-peek of the coming changes. Also, in six months when they make more changes, we can look back at this post and talk about the “good old days” with some fondness.

September 27, 2011 · Posted by in social media  

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