Thursday, July 11th, 2013
At SXSW, I had a conversation with a senior Executive at a major media company. When he learned that I advise companies on social media he said, “Oh Rachel, social media, that’s just media.” No sir, it isn’t and you are missing out on a major opportunity if you continue to treat your company’s social media profiles and postings like traditional media distribution outlets.
As companies are rushing to become media companies by developing content strategies and then producing micro-content to provide storytelling for their brands, often they are just broadcasting out media. They are forgetting that what makes social media special and compelling is that it is social in nature. You can use it to build a relationship with your consumer and if they feel close to you they will share your content with your friends and then your content really will go viral.
What made social media magical to me in the early days of Twitter and Facebook is that I could use them to cultivate new relationships with anyone around the world. Anyone is just a tweet away. Through the social networks like Twitter I have founded relationships with thought leaders like Chris Heuer and Porter Gale and then once I became friends with them used Facebook and Instagram to solidify the relationships. I will never forget the day when the author Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, favorited one of my tweets and when Jeremiah Owyang retweeted one of my tweets which immensely grew my following.
Dear media and marketing executives, keep on developing great authentic branded content but while you are doing so, take time to strategically think about how to make your content social. Think through how to make it an interactive conversation. Some things you might want to consider doing is:
Featuring your fans and audience members in your content.
Give them a social media oriented mission eg “Tweet me a photo of how you are using our product around the house.”
Ask your fans a question and for their response.
A model to look at for this type of social interactive content is Marie Forleo, the business and life coach, who has received over 4 million views on YouTube.
Content that is social in nature builds community. This community of fans is an incredibly powerful viral distribution network that you can own. Go for it. I know that you can do more than just tell great stories. This is the dawn of the interactive media we have all be dreaming about.
How are you going to make your content social in the future?
Monday, April 1st, 2013
Last week, Rachel Masters joined Porter Gale, Virgin America’s former VP of Marketing, in a creativeLIVE presentation to share her social media expertise. To help our fans and brands, we’ve created a complimentary Social Media Toolkit based on the presentation, which details our best practices for brands around the most widely-used social platforms.
Its contents are inspired by our hands-on work with our clients — what we’ve seen be successful, and how to be the most efficient with your time — we know you can’t devote your whole day to social!
We believe there is huge opportunity for you as a brand to connect emotionally with your audience — to share the story behind your brand and build a relationship that fosters advocacy. Choosing the right social media platforms and using the well will enable that engagement. Download our toolkit for free by signing up for our newsletter here: http://www.redmagnetmedia.com/socialmediatoolkit/
We hope you’ll find these tricks of the trade help you be more effective and confident in working with your community. Let us know what works for you, and happy Monday!
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
At a panel on how girl fans are changing the music industry, one panelist boiled effective fan marketing down to one commandment: Listen to the fans and act on what they tell you. Sounds simple, right?
The panel was made up of women on the front lines of fandom, working with the excited, driven young women who create fan culture. (They are obviously experts – check out their reactions to meeting Jared Leto!) Their insights into how to reach and how to leverage the power of these fans are great fodder for campaign ideas and inspiration. They also provide an opportunity to step back and look at your strategies to see whether you’re in tune with your band’s – or brands’ – biggest advocates.
Here are three key takeaways for people marketing to and managing communities of fans:
1. Remember what it was like for you when you were a fan
Who was the first band you were a superfan of? Was it The Beatles? Or maybe New Kids on the Block? Was it Debbie Gibson or Britney Spears? Whoever moved you, remember you would have moved mountains to interact with others who felt the same way. Tap into that emotion and passon when thinking about fans, and remember to treat their enthusiasm with respect.
2. Tap into the technology
Tumblrs are today’s fanzines. As a marketer, you have to be prepared to understand and contribute to the technologies that underlie fan culture today. Whether that means you’re making gifs, reblogging, or finding fans with a karaoke app – like we do with our client Blush – embrace the latest platforms like a native.
3. Find the influencers and take them seriously
Want to reach teenage girls? Elevate teenage girls. Give teen fans photo credentials to shoot all-ages shows. Ask community leaders to create gifs you can reblog. Validate the effort they’re willing to give their fandom and teach them to be proud of their passions. They’ll reward you with lifetime loyalty. After all, that 14-year-old fan will become a 24-year old woman with disposable income, and a 34-year-old woman with a broad sphere of influence.
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Mr. President Goes Google+
Barack Obama answered questions in a Google+ Hangout last week which mostly covered his State of the Union address on Tuesday. 16,516 people submitted their questions and 5 citizens joined the hangout to ask questions live. Google Hangouts have become one of the most successful Google+ services, and we love seeing President Obama leveraging social platforms to connect with Americans across the country. One of the biggest benefits: Hangouts are recordable, so there’s a video archive where hangouts like the one the POTUS hosted can be revisited again and again.
Social Media Advertising Budgets are Growing
Marketers are realizing the amount of time consumers spend on social platforms (20% of online time, 30% on smartphone time) and are upping their social media ad budgets. 75% of surveyed advertisers said they invest in paid social media advertising. Though social media advertising is new, the increase demonstrates a dedicated budget.
Snapchat Raises 13.5 Million
Snapchat has raised another $13.5 Series A — and is seeing 60 million snaps sent per day. Snapchat wants to use the money for new hires and to help grow its community. Snapchat funder Mitch Lasky, of Benchmark, says, “I started hearing Snapchat in the same context as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.” As the Snapchat community continues to grow, we’re excited to see brands start using the app in creative ways, like to reach out to customers with special offers.
Instagram Launches Desktop Site At the end of last week, Instagram launched a desktop site in which you can browse your feed. The idea is to evolve the Instagram browsing experience, so your feed can be accessed and viewed at any time, from any device. You can’t, however, upload photos from the desktop site because Instagram wants to keep the curation experience in real time , encouraging users to produce and share photos on the go.
Friday, January 25th, 2013
When Jeremiah Owyang called for experts on creating a social media voice for brands, we responded. Having a strong voice is an important piece of getting your whole team speaking the same language. For organizations that have several people communicating on their behalves, it’s important that you all have the keys to communicate effectively as one.
Having a good voice is even more important for social media. With many people having access to social channels, each of which is a unique platform for communications, it’s important to be speaking to your community in the same voice. At Red Magnet Media, we create tone guides for all our clients – both for their use, and for ours. Whether you’re one writer or several, a tone guide will help you represent and understand what to say or show when you tweet, post, pin, and even email. Most importantly, it will help you represent your brand effectively.
Among the responses to Owyang’s post was a great suggestion. Hannah Law said to think through the following: If your brand was a person at a dinner party, what characteristics would they have? If your brand was a celebrity, who would they be?
Here a few more good ways to distill who you are, and how to communicate it:
- Create an idea board to get insights into who you are – and who you want to be.
- Make lists, using specific words, of who you are and who you are not. Are you authoritative? Are you sincere? Are you clever but not snarky? These distinctions will go a long way to defining how you communicate.
- Check out some examples for inspiration. Mail Chimp’s voice and tone guide is public and is a great model for showing examples or connecting broad characteristics to specific communications.
We’re in the process of revamping our own tone guide here at Red Magnet Media and we’ll be sure to share what we learn from the process with you here. Have you created a tone guide? What’s your best advice for ensuring and distilling an organization’s voice?
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Happy 2013! To kick off the New Year, we’ve made a few resolutions for the coming months to to engage our clients and community. Great resolutions are ambitious but achievable, challenging and rewarding. And, you’re more likely to stick to your resolutions if you share them, so hold us accountable! Here are three what we’re planning to make 2013 Red Magnet Media’s best year yet. Join us – help us keep our resolutions and share yours with us, too.
1. Make friends:
…And deepen relationships. We will engage fresh influencers and our community members through meaningful, thoughtful conversations with our peers in the fast-moving social marketing world. We loved learning from other agencies last year and plan to keep those relationships moving forward.
2. Try Pinterest’s business tools:
For anything visual, Pinterest only continues to grow. Just a few months ago, they released a suite of new tools and resources for businesses, including verification and advance details about product releases, that we’re eager to try.
3. Make our presence prettier
Social marketing isn’t just about the clever written word. More and more photos, videos and graphics can say so much. We expect to start an Instagram account soon and experiment more with video in 2013.
4. Blog regularly:
We’ve resolved to blog better a few months ago, so we’re off to a great start. We’re sharing relevant updates from the industry, including news about social networks and community management, tech, music, and what we’re up to. We are also eager to pen a few guest blog posts (so let us know if you want to collaborate)!
A blog is a great centerpiece for any company looking to share meaningful, relevant content about your business, product, or service. We hope you’re enjoying this resource and that you’ll continue to read and follow us in the New Year.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
Making resolutions for 2013? Here’s one to put on your list: Try a new platform for one of your social communities and amplify the messages you’re sending by engaging in new, relevant groups. Plus, you want to be well-positioned if one of those networks becomes the next Instagram. New communities, though small, often have a more engaged user base. They’re full of the kind of people who become advocates and ambassadors for the service. Connecting with them at an early stage means you’re connecting with future influencers.
If you’re stumped about where to start, try two we love:
How it works: A mini video and photo platform, upload what you want to gif-ify, make a few taps, and ta-da! Gifs. Once made, you can share to Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and beyond. Like Instagram, the app is its own mini-social network where you can also browse content by category, message and follow other users.
Why we like it: GifBoom simplifies the gif making process for the less technically savvy and those on the go. Want to gif an inspiring dinner? Cup of coffee? Home run at bat? Done, done, and done. The smart sharing to platforms including Tumblr puts your content in front of the young influencers who are fueled by these tiny animations.
How it works: Designed around an iOS app, users make step-by-step guides with photos and video, the fill in the text of how to complete a project. For cooks and crafters, the site is a wealth of information as well as a hive of social activity. Users can follow each other, comment on guides, share to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and even embed guides in blogs.
Why we like it: Snapguide provides a combination of compelling content creation with social networking. Consider it for any social strategy where you’re creating process-oriented content to share.
Are you planning to try any fresh platforms for 2013? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us your thoughts.
Saturday, December 15th, 2012
When Marissa Mayer took over as CEO of Yahoo, a certain internet community issued a plea: “Please make Flickr Awesome again.” Dearmarissamayer.com was tweeted more than 50,000 times and spawned the #dearmarissamayer hash tag, which exploded among photo lovers, who felt Yahoo had been neglecting the photo site for a long time. So, when Flickr’s new iOS app was released this week, its fans mostly breathed a big happy sigh, and it was pronounced awesome.
Time called the update “meaty.” A Mashable article called it “beautifully-designed.” In addition to photo and sharing features, the app is integrated into Twitter, Tumblr, and FourSquare. The Aviary-powered filters in the new app match Twitter’s own newly-released photo filters.
The Twitter integration comes at a key time; as Twitter and Instagram’s relationship problems escalate, Flickr’s courting addicted-to-sharing users with a big bouquet of colorful features including better discovery, social, and editing tools. That friendly integration with Twitter is key, since Instagrammers are seeing their photos disappear from Twitter and related sites (though some savvy users are leveraging an IFTTT recipe to get around the problem). The Washington Post’s T.J. Ortenzi noted that Instagram photos had stopped showing up in TweetDeck a few days after the update that made Instagram’s photos appear incorrectly or not at all through Twitter.
GigaOm gets right to the point with what’s so great about the new Flickr app, beyond it’s beauty: “Photo sharing is viral behavior everyone wants to own.” Now, Flickr users have access to that sharing through Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. The app also allows Facebook log-in, which Yahoo has long allowed for commenting on its websites.
Thursday, December 6th, 2012
There are only 19 shopping days left until Christmas. Are you planning to drive traffic with Twitter?
More and more evidence suggests that social media is an effective driver of consumer behavior, especially for people advertising and connecting with consumers on Twitter. A recent study from Twitter itself showed increased engagement and likelihood of purchasing for people using the service.
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Twitter published a study analyzing behavior from the back-to-school shopping season. Looking at data from 7,600 users and 700 retail brands, they found that Twitter users visited retail websites at a higher rate than other internet users. More importantly, they found that Twitter users were more likely to make purchases than other internet users, and were most likely to make purchases if they had seen a tweet from a retailer.
TIP: When building tweets for shoppers, be sure links effectively streamline the purchase process.
Twitter’s research, conducted with Compete, also showed that people were more likely to make purchases and visit a retailer’s website when they saw more tweets.
TIP: Consider special offers to entice people to click through Twitter to shop.
Now that we’re tweeting effectively for shoppers, here’s a different perspective: A report from IBM after Black Friday said Twitter drove 0% of holiday sales traffic. That’s right, zero. That headline buzzed its way onto quite a few websites, too. But Josh Constine at TechCrunch thinks the problem is lack of attribution, rather than an actual lack of referred traffic. In his view, Twitter is probably driving some traffic but not getting the credit due to poor downstream conversion tracking, which he points to as a major problem facing the marketing industry.
What do you think: do social media campaigns drive sales? How do you measure their impact? Tweet us your answer at @redmagnetmedia.
Friday, November 30th, 2012
Ever hear of an RFP? That’s “request for proposal,” and if reading those three words makes you heave a big sigh as your head swims with Powerpoint template images, we feel you.
But what if you could participate in an RFP by truly showing your work? The folks over at Aloft Hotels are giving us the chance to do just that, and we’re having a great time. For the last two weeks we’ve been participating in the #PitchAloft #RFTweet, a Twitter-based competition where we’re joining with other agencies to pitch Aloft with our answers to their questions in 140 characters or less.
So far, this has been compelling and fun. We wait for the next question like it’s a quiz show and then collaborate on how to answer in just one tweet. But more than that, the process really highlights the great benefits of working in social media: We’re learning from each other and making friends (we’re looking at you, @MotionPRChicago). More than that, we’re having the opportunity to think critically about our work and to see others’ approaches.
Tweeting an RFP has forced us to think about ourselves and our work in a new way — a way we have to articulate in 140 characters or less. It’s something we do all the time for clients, and what we’re learning from turning that lens back on ourselves is making us even better at what we do.
Want to see how the competition is going down? Check out the PitchAloft Tumblr.
And in case you’re wondering, here are some of the most fun parts of our conversation so far: