Archive of ‘Social Media’ category

Sometimes You Have to Swing Both Ways

Social Media Icons

Social Media Icons

One of the biggest errors I see people make when they are devising their social media strategy is that they concentrate only on the business perspective. In social media, you should always swing both ways – and think about the business and the user’s perspective. What is everyone getting out of this interaction/conversation/relationship?

Recently, I was with a group of Communication professionals brainstorming some tactics that could be used for a social media campaign. I was in “the zone”…you know that happy, creative place where ideas just come to you freely. Ideas were just coming one after the other… Afterwards, someone came up to me and asked “how did you think of all that?”. The answer is – I swing both ways, meaning I consider all perspectives involved.

If you’re a business and your target audience is moms, then you need to think like a mom. First thing to ask is: Do moms use social media? Many would say no, but many would be wrong! Moms are actually very big users of social media! Next – decide on which platforms you want to use.

One of the next big steps is to try and pinpoint what type of information you want to get from your audience. It’s great to know the things that people love about your company but it’s equally important to know what people don’t like about your company or product. Take your time and decide on the best approach.

When you finally get to the tactics part of your media plan, my suggestion is to outline the types of content that appeal to your audience. Consider your audience’s lifestyle, where and how they use the Internet. If your audience typically accesses the Internet from smartphones then you want to be certain that your pages/sites are compatible and optimized for a variety of formats. Also, if they don’t have a lot of time (like most moms) then refrain from posting long articles that take forever to get through. Use different types of media and keep it interesting…

Virtual Networking

Don’t Burn Virtual Bridges

About a month ago, an old rapper/performer friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to a music video that he did for some kind of good cause…My memory is a little foggy but I do remember thinking “wow – what a great guy…he’s using his music to help others…I hope he goes far…” I was even thinking of trying to find a way to include him in an upcoming project down the line…But just two weeks after that he made a huge social media

I’m going to call my friend “Kyle”. So, Kyle creates this “event” which wasn’t a real event. Instead, it was a page promoting his new album and telling invitees that this is how he plans to weed out his contacts and determine who is really “engaged”…You see – music is such a hard biz and he’s always been about the music, so if you don’t click on “attend” and purchase and album then he’ll delete you from his “network”…

Ummm….ok? So, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t mean for it to come across as snippy and whiny as he did…but come on! I still like the guy, but he made a huge social media blunder that is drastically affecting his grassroots support. Learn from him.

What Kyle Did Wrong:

  1. Didn’t Use Facebook Properly: If you are hosting an event, create an event page. If you are a business, musician or public figure use a Facebook Page (Fan Page). If you are an individual, create a Profile. Kyle should have posted this info on his fan page. There was no event, so no need to create an event page. That’s just dumb.
  2. He insulted his Supporters by threatening to delete them if they obey his call to action. Music is a hard business to be in. I get it and I empathize. But if it was easy then it wouldn’t have the same allure. Social Media can be used as a vehicle to gain support and broaden your audience. Stop your whining…who are you? Noel Gallagher? Don’t insult, threaten  or whine to your followers – we don’t want to hear it.
  3. It’s not up to your audience to TELL you that they’re “engaged”. Don’t be lazy – use the FREE analytical data provided to figure it out yourself. If you don’t want to then employ the services of a company that will tell you.
  4. After receiving feedback from invitees on how they didn’t agree with his method of “marketing” and what his message was Kyle stood his ground. I have to give him props because he responded to the messages in a very respectful, amicable tone. BUT – then 1 week later he reworded his “event” to sound nicer. Kyle didn’t commit. He stood his ground and then second guessed himself. If you pick a strategy (even if it’s ballsy) you need to think it through first. Examine every aspect. Develop contingency plans. Instead of doing this, he wavered and now looks defeated. He also burned several “virtual” bridges.

Don’t do what Kyle did. Think your strategy through. Be thorough. I just checked his event page again and 1,135 people took a stand and clicked on “Not Attending”. This amounts to almost 30% of his original network that decided that they either weren’t interested or didn’t appreciate his approach. Ouch…

348 Days Left

Countdown: 348 Days to go

Don’t you just love the weekends? It’s so hard to get fired over them ;) Today is Friday!… Do you participate in #FollowFriday? I was surprised to learn how many people are oblivious to these gems!! It’s never too late to learn though and today is the perfect day!

So – the beauty of Twitter is that you can follow and unfollow whoever you want to, right? Well, Twitter is like a cocktail party and Friday is like happy hour.

 

Martini

Image by ginsnob via Flickr

 

Your Twitter friends use this hashtag #FollowFriday to recommend cool people/brands to follow. You have to take this with a grain of salt though. If you trust your “friend’s” opinion then great, but if not then you have a 50/50 chance that you’ll find value in their content. The great thing is that if you don’t like what someone is tweeting about, you

can unfollow them without any embarrassment or awkward moments. How many times have we wished to be able to have the same luxury in real life?!!… Oh so many awkward conversations and polite smile and nodding that could have been avoided…It’s just tragic…

So – there’s not much more to it… If you want to read recent suggestions just type the hashtage #FollowFriday into your search box. So, go test it out!

 

Follow MediaBzz on Twitter

Follow MediaBzz on Twitter

 

The Wilderness Downtown

Interactive Video killed the Video Star

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen Arcade Fire‘s interactive video yet – DO IT NOW!! RIGHT NOW!! Click here In case you’re a stubborn mule I’ll post a link to the it from youtube. This version isn’t personalized though. So…you may as well just click the darn link.

You have to check out this video – its sick! Like “sick” in the way that young kids use that word…meaning its really really cool! To view it best you should install Google Chrome. You type in the address of the place where you grew up and it uses Google Street View to feed in some of the images and video. I love the concept! At one point you are given the opportunity to use an etch a sketch type box and draw freehand. I love stuff like this because ifs fresh and makes me get lost in my own creative thoughts….like where I think video and media are heading? Please let me know if you come across any other fresh products/concepts like this!… Also, just in case you were wondering, I think the song is pretty great too.

The neat thing is that even though I think this is a great concept and video, I would be quick to point out that another video from my “Must See List” is OK GO’s “Here it Goes Again“. I think that this was executed incredibly because it’s a 1 constant shot. As a former fitness instructor and a videographer I was (and still am) thoroughly impressed!

FB toying w/ my emotions

PICK ME! PICK ME! I WANNA BE IN UR GROUP!

 

The Group

Image via Wikipedia

 

I had butterflies in my stomach all morning yesterday… trying to figure out what Facebook was going to announce. I even tuned in to the streaming livecast which was pretty cool! In case you’re not a geek like me and you missed the big announcement I will summarize for you.

Facebook is changing groups. They are adding group chat, email lists and just reinventing the way that groups are set up on. According to them, they are “optimizing it” It will be an ideal work space for small groups of say 5-150 people. Ok – I’m intrigued. I have an open mind and I can already see the potential uses for this in my own personal and professional life. They said it would probably take a few days to be rolled out to the whole community. I’m on day 2 now…and I’m still waiting….I keep checking every few hours to see if I have access.

One of the cool things about this is that it is being unveiled “virally” so this means that if you have access to it and invite me then I’ll catch the virus too! Ummm…I mean, I’ll have access too! Oh…I hate waiting…

Have you tried it yet? Thoughts?

Lost-Train-of-Thought

Oh bugger…I  never did get to my point from yesterday’s post

So my point was that my new role isn’t just a walk in the park!…It comes with a whole bunch of risks (something that I’m not notorious for taking). After just 1 year of being married and buying a house I decided to relocate to Ottawa…by myself! We found a 1 bedroom apartment downtown and that’s where I now call my home away from home.

No – my husband and I aren’t separating…we’re just physically separated for now because sometimes when you’re a grown up you have to make these tough choices. It didn’t make sense for him to just quit his job and move to Ottawa because he enjoys what he does and has the most handsomest, generous bosses in the world. It’s hard to find a great group of people that you work with and when you do you need to stop and appreciate it. (Btw, shout out to my peeps at Ipsos. They were a great group of people and it was hard to leave them)

My “probationary period” at the new gig is 1 whole year!! So, according to my calculations I have to make it another 360 days without “breaking the CBC”. I think that I should start a countdown…Please feel free to email or write a letter to my boss telling him what a great job I’m doing! Also, feel free to send me in any social media, media in general or public broadcasting questions or comments. Keep in mind that these are MY thoughts and opinions!…

416 to 613

Carrie Bradshaw of Social Media…?

The cat is out of the bag – I have moved over to the land of 613 (Ottawa, ON, Canada) just last week so that I could pursue an exciting opportunity. We always have to refer to new opportunities as “exciting” because it means that we’re still optimistic. See – if I referred it as a “risky” or “impulsive” opportunity it wouldn’t have the same ring to it…not that the opportunity is at all impulsive…it is however a little risky.

Quick background – a few months ago I launched my baby: MediaBzz. I did it for two reasons – 1) to satisfy a niche market, and  2) to satisfy my own personal passions: media and people. As life would have it, I was thrown a curve ball – I was offered the chance of a lifetime.  A chance that although it comes with its fair share of risks, I could not pass up. Canada’s Public Broadcasting company (CBC/Radio-Canada) asked me to help guide them through the world of Social Media. Oh – but one small thing this would include moving to Ottawa

See what I’m doing here…I’m getting off topic and I’m making it sound like I’m a big cheese…like the CBC was banging down my door. Truth of the matter is, I applied for the job and even dragged my husband down to Ottawa for the interview. We drove up that morning together and I ended up changing and getting ready for my interview in the public washroom at the Exchange Center… I know, I’m a classy dame…

But no matter how you spin it, the result is the same: they picked me.  I thought that this would mean that MediaBzz  would have to be put on the back burner, but after a few days of pondering this I have decided that NO – the show must go on!  If anything this gives me an opportunity to let my inner geek run wild and post all of the freaking time!!…Stay tuned because its going to be a wild ride! Should I be so bold as to dub myself the Carrie Bradshaw of Social Media? I wonder…perhaps I should hold off on that title…I don’t smoke, or look like a horse for that matter…but I do like my shoes!!…

Sarah Jessica Parker 1722

Sarah "Horse" Parker

Twitter Direct Messages

Etiquette for Twitts…part 1

Follow MediaBzz

With the cold weather coming, I’ve been spending more and more time getting in touch with my inner geek and spending even more time on the computer. Aside from my fascination with perusing wedding dresses online (which I already confessed about a few weeks ago) I also spend a lot of time on Twitter.

Everyday, I follow more and more people. Everyday, I also unfollow those that have gotten under my skin or annoyed me for some reason within the last 24 hours. One of the easiest ways to annoy me is to send me a generic auto-response direct message as soon as I start following you.

In case you’re not very familiar with Twitter, there are applications that you can add that allow you to schedule and/or automatically send direct messages to people. Many people think that its good etiquette to send a “thank you” to someone who has just started following them. I don’t disagree with this in theory – my beef is when the message is plagued with generic-ness. If social media is all about having conversations then why not actually have a conversation with this person?! Within the span of 24 hours, I received 14 messages that said the exact same thing:

“Thanks for following me. Look forward to your tweets!”

To me – that was a waste of a message. It’s also not very accurate. Unless they decide to follow me back, they won’t even see my tweets. If you’re set on sending an auto-response message, here are some suggestions on how to make it count:

1) Keep it simple. An easy “Thanks for following ”

2) Add value or a teaser to your message. Let them know what they have to look forward to from your tweets. “Thanks for following! Hope you find our indie music tweets helpful and inspiring.”

3) Start a dialogue -ask a question that is aligned with what you tweet about. “Thanks for following! What is your favorite thing about independent music?”

4) Be different. If you’re a graphic designer and tweet about the industry try sending out a tip of the day. “Thanks for following! Did you know that you can customize your twitter profile background? Some colors hurt the eyes so choose one that is easy to look at so visitors stay on your site.”

Remember – always tweet responsibly and proofread like your life depended on it!

Funkify your 404’s

Spice up your Error Msgs

I’ve been working in the online biz for a while now and during my time I’ve seen my fair share of 404 error pages. A 404 error is a standard error code that means that the page you want to view can’t be found.

Just because it’s a standard error message – doesn’t mean that it has to be boring and lame. I’ve come across several funktastic 404 designs. Mashable recently posted a selection of great examples of customized 404 error pages.

Customized error pages are a great way to reinforce the look and feel of your website and online presence.  They are quite simple to design (partially because of the lack of content) and its a great opportunity to be creative and appeal to your audience base. Here are some of my faves…

Is your social media getting stale?

Are you having a Social Media Mid-Life Crisis?

If you look up the typical signs that your spouse is having a mid-life crisis you’ll find articles with similar symptoms as the ones listed below. Try replacing the “he” with your consumer/reader and see if any of this sounds familiar.

  1. He says life is a bore = your content is boring
  2. He is thinking about (or already) having an affair  =visiting other blogs/sites/ profiles…maybe even your competition’s!!
  3. He is suddenly making spontaneous decisions about big decisions =like deciding not to be your “fan” or “follow” you anymore…the nerve!!!! Not even one of those “it’s not you – it’s me” emails.
  4. He has little interest in spending time (or having sex) with you = he doesn’t want your social media to engage him anymore…ouch…the rejection….
  5. He is drinking too much or abusing other substances = hmmm…this one is debatable but if your social media sucks that bad that it would drive people to drink (if that’s not what you were going for) then stinkers for you
  6. He is displaying the classic signs of depression = not retweeting you or sending those sweet little “great insight” or “U rock” posts
  7. He is overly nostalgic and constantly reminiscing about his youth or his first love = remembering the better days when you and your content used to be cool

What you need to do is assess where your social media is and what your downfalls are. Then fix them. Here are some tips to get you on your way. Think about who you want to be “talking” to and what is the core message that you want to communicate? Have you lost your focus?

I relate this to women and their hormones…sometimes the message we want to communicate comes across differently when we actually vocalize it. In my head I may be thinking “This place needs to be cleaned. I need your help” but it may come out more like “you freaking slob – clean up or you will pay!”

Next- re-examine the tactics you’re using (ie. the way that you are accomplishing your goals). A lot of people use vehicles (like blogs, microblogs, community platforms, etc. ) as a way to communicate written messages – but what about using non-written forms of communication? Try drawing a picture. Writing a poem. Make a video. Music. Flash. Poster. Ask a poll question. Whatever – just don’t limit yourself to the typical written articles.

Once you’re tactics are all aligned, look to see if you’re promoting yourself properly. Are your social media profiles connected to each other? When you update your blog, are updates being sent to your facebook, twitter, etc. pages? Try linking to other people’s blogs or writing guest articles for them. This can be a great way to increase your exposure. Good luck and stay tuned for more tips!

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