Posts Tagged ‘social media marketing best practices project’

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Bridge the gap

September 10, 2008

For those of us who have been involved in the online world for more than a few years, the latest incarnation of the web is pretty exciting stuff. The connections and interactions via blogs, podcasts, twitter, Facebook, Flickr, friendfeed, YouTube, etc, brings us closer together with other people on the other side of the country, the other side of the world, or even in our own neighborhood in ways that have never been possible before.

There is some awareness of the echo-chamber nature of the social media world, but I’m not at all worried about that, mainly because the rate of adoption of these tools is picking up speed. I wonder how many people in the television industry were worrying about the rate of television adoption in the early 60s?

But when creating a social media marketing campaign, one has to remember that not everyone is connected using these tools, and even if they are, they’re not necessarily aware of you, or the fact that you’ve got some cool things happening online.

So another best practice: bridge the gap between social media and face-to-face interactions. I recently went to a restaurant in Boston with a sticker in the window that read “People love us on Yelp”. I had actually found the restaurant because I used the Yelp iPhone application to give me a restaurant recommendation near my current location.

Having the Yelp sticker in the window accomplishes two things: It welcomes Yelpers who arrive to the restaurant for the first time, making them feel special and at home. It also may create curiosity in non-Yelpers to check out that web site. And creates awareness for Yelp at the same time. This is a great example of bridging the gap, even when your virtual company has little or no physical presence.

Example number two of bridging the gap: One of the hottest social media campaigns, inside the credit union world or out, is Young and Free. The first incarnation launched in Alberta, Canada. Now there’s a sister campaign that has launched in Houston. One of the neatest aspects of getting this off the ground is the amazing Go Mobile/Guitar Hero/Info truck that Trey is driving around from event to musical event. Many young folks in the target demographic are using social media and networking tools, but they wouldn’t necessarily come across the campaign unless there is some bridge from their world to finding the CU’s social media site. This fun, tricked-out truck, which is camping out at events that young folks are at fits the bill perfectly.

What marketing efforts do you see that nicely bridge the gap between the online and physical worlds?

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Use multiple media

September 9, 2008

Continuing Mitch Joel’s excellent suggestion to write about social media marketing best practices, today’s post is about the differences in media.

The social media universe now includes many, many types of web sites and media. It’s not just about blogging. Social media includes podcasting, videocasting, networking, photo sharing, instant messaging, and texting. And importantly, it includes dialog in all of these media.

Blogging still figures importantly for a variety of reasons. The written word can be powerful, and importantly, most people can respond and give feedback via a blog, which is not as true for other media. Also, reading the written word is much faster for most people than listening to a podcast or watching a videocast of the same information.

There are some people who are tied to the blogging and the written word. While there may be valid reasons for blogging, a social media marketing campaign will have greater reach and participation if other media are also incorporated. Just as some people prefer to create in a certain media, (written word, audiocast, videocast), people also prefer to “consume” in certain media. And many people consume different media depending on the situation. Some people access the internet in the evenings at home, and enjoy watching video clips. Others like to listen to information on their commute, so prefer audio versions. Yet other folks scan the internet while at work and want information in written form so that they can read and digest the information they are seeking quickly.

Once you have developed your core message, adapt it to the nuances of each of these very different presentation media. Written word, video, and audio media are all different, and each should be utilized properly. After all, we wouldn’t use a TV ads’ audio for a radio commercial– a radio commercial needs to be created knowing that there are no visuals to go with the audio.

For those discovering this meme, and want to learn more, here are other outstanding contributions:

I have been remiss in tagging others to add to this meme. I tag William Azaroff, Aaron Strout, Tim McAlpine, and Trey Reeme.

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Reaching out

September 2, 2008

Last week, Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation announced he is working on a project of best practices in social media marketing.

Here’s my third Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Reach out to others. Most people don’t find you by accident, they find you through referrals. No matter how large or small your following, you can increase readership and visibility by reaching out to others. Here are six ways to do that:

1.) Write a guest blog post for someone else. The key to making this work is that the blog you are guest writing for MUST have the same, or very similar, target audience as yours. If you write for a blog with a different target audience, there will be minimal beneficial effect. I found this out the hard way. I gave a big news scoop to someone else, but did not see much increase in traffic after the initial surge. And even the initial surge wasn’t as big as I was expecting. And I think it was mostly due to less overlap in target audience than I thought we had.

2.) Ask a popular blogger to write a guest post for you (simultaneously mentioning the guest post on their own blog). Figure out what you can do in return for the guest post, or perhaps the cross-promotion will be enough of a fair trade. Or you can ask others to talk about/link to your article on their blog. Again, the target audience must line up for this tactic to work. If your friend has a distinct readership from your own, his/her referral will drive traffic and awareness your way.

3.) Develop a blogger outreach program. I first ran across this concept being employed by Mabel’s Labels. Mabel’s Labels’ blogger outreach program includes giving away free samples. What kind of free samples or schwag could your company give to bloggers?

4.) Comment on others’ blogs. Many bloggers want feedback, critique, and reinforcement on what they are writing. By commenting on others’ blogs, you are increasing awareness for your own. Not only will the author most likely check you out, the author’s readers may also check you out (though the rate of readers clicking through to you might not be very high).

5.) Put your friends’ and target audience’s names in lights. People enjoy reading about themselves. When you blog about someone, be sure to a.) let them know about the fact that you blogged about them, and b.) tag your post with their name. This EverythingCU World 2.0 Adventure blog receives many hits on people searching for other people’s (or their own) names. When a person meets someone for the first time, and are interested in furthering the relationship, whether its business or personal, nowadays people will google their new friend to learn more. Why not have your blog come up in search results on the people you are writing about?

6.) Ask other bloggers to write about a subject that is important both to you and to them. That’s exactly what Mitch Joel did to touch off this meme. It’s only a few days old, and already its been written about by Chris Brogan, Corby Fine, Liz Strauss, Drew McLellan, SuzeMuse, and Kate Trgovac. A benefit for Mitch is that all of these blogs are now linking back to his blog, increasing his visibility among all of these blogs’ readership, as well as search engine rankings, such as Technorati. That Mitch Joel is one smart cookie!

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Make it easy

August 28, 2008

Another principle for successful social media marketing (inspired by Mitch Joel’s project): Make everything as easy as possible for your visitors.

One of the reasons why you see YouTube videos posted everywhere online is that YouTube makes that extremely easy to do. When you upload a video to YouTube, you are given code on the side of the page that will embed the video. All one has to do to post that video on their blog or discussion board is to copy and paste the code. Sure, a techie could figure out the code on their own. But it’s hard to do, time consuming, and there is no way that non-techies could figure out the code to do it. YouTube has made it cut-and-paste easy for any of their video clips to be embedded anywhere. That is a large factor in their success.

At EverythingCU.com, we owe much of our success to the fact that we are constantly thinking about ways to make doing things online in the community as easy as possible for our members.

Make it easy for your visitors to:

  • sign up
  • participate in your community or project
  • find and connect with other people
  • find the information that they are looking for
  • share and re-use elements of your community/media for their own projects and sites
  • tell their friends about it

What are you doing to make it easier for your audience to spread the online word about you? Do you have a Refer a Friend button on your web site? Sure, the same thing could be accomplished via email, but having a button on your site reminds the viewer that they could be sharing this with someone who might appreciate and benefit from what you have to offer.

In order to make things as easy as possible for your members, you have to design your site and your processes from your members point of view. Imagine being in your visitor’s shoes, and walk yourself step-by-step through your screens. If you haven’t done this in a while, no doubt you will uncover some ideas for improvement.

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Everything links

August 27, 2008

Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation announced he is working on a project of best practices in social media marketing.

Here’s one: Make sure EVERYTHING links to EVERYTHING.

Social media encompasses much more than blogging, which was the origin of social media. Social media now includes:

  • Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook
  • Photo and video sharing sites such as Flickr, YouTube, and 12 seconds
  • Blogs, such as those found on WordPress, TypePad, and Blogger
  • Realtime conversation sites such as Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Identi.ca
  • Virtual worlds like Second Life
  • Your main web site


Chart by Fred Cavazza

With such a divergence of sites, it’s easy to forget that people are going to run across your media on any of the sites they reside on, not just your “main” site. My own work flow consists of posting photos to Flickr, some of which I then use in my WordPress blog. When composing a blog entry on WordPress, I link to my Flickr photos. I usually also remember (though not always) to write in the description of my Flickr photos that I’ve written a blog entry with it and provide a link to the blog entry. Flickr is a sharing community in its own right, and some people will discover your blog from a link on your Flickr photo, not just the other way around. Otherwise people who find your photo on Flickr would have no clue that it is being used in your blog post. (For instance, I found the attached Fred Cavazza image because my friend Jean-Christophe Capelli commented on his Flickr photo. Fred was already following this linking advice; he provided a link back to his blog entry on his Flickr photo.)

Bottom line: Make sure EVERYTHING links to EVERYTHING. No matter if its your main web site, your blog site, your Flickr photos, your 12 second videos, your tweets, your Facebook fan site, or anything else. Make sure it all links to each other and to your main web site. You’ve got their attention, don’t blow it by not providing a link to where you want your visitors to go at every opportunity.


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