Tag Archive | "socialmedia marketing"

Do Facebook and Twitter make us ‘bad’…?

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Do Facebook and Twitter make us ‘bad’…?


Do Facebook and Twitter really make us bad? There was an article in the Metro on April 13th that says it does… According to London’s free paper:

‘Fast-paced modern media, such as Facebook updates and news feeds on Twitter, do not give us time to reflect and could make us indifferent to human suffering, according to a group of researchers.’

I also recall an article, around the same time, that suggested the same, after a landlady saw video posting of her flat being trashed by the tenants – the implication being what? That without the advent of the internet and video streaming, the party would never have happened?!

I think it is worth reminding ourselves that people come in good, bad and indifferent flavours and that each and every medium can be used to demonstrate or enhance those traits.

Twestival would be a clear case in point and cmash and the case studies hosted here are testimony to the fact that social media can, and does create and contribute real and measurable social good, in ways and with reach that would have historically taken obscene ad budgets and mountains of precious trees for snail direct mail.

Covered in the Guardian, there is clear and compelling evidence that people can, will and want to use new social mediums for good, the success of Twestival being clear. The Guardian writes:

The team’s (behind Twestival) 10-page guide on how to hold a Twestival has inspired Twitterers in every continent, franchising the charity event.

Volunteers have found venues, offered design services, put together maps and found drink sponsors for all 175 official Twestivals. There is even a Live Aid-style Twestival radio project called Twestival FM which aims to raise $200,000 through donations for music downloads from artists including Bloc Party, Erol Alkan and Imogen Heap. See here for full aricle

Surely to suggest that a medium can ‘make us bad’ is nonsense? And yet, perhaps those of us in the world of social media should simply see the accusation as a compliment, being one that has been levied for years at television for years?…

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Ten Key Tips to Maximize Your Microsite

1. Make it personal. Why do you care about this cause? How has your participation in this organization or campaign affected you? Micro-campaign sites, such as the Colorectal Cancer Coalition’s Cover Your Butt (http://coveryourbutt.org), hinges on the type of passion you generate to spur others into action—so make it matter.

2. Encourage community participation. Visitors to your Web site have at least a passing interest in your cause. Micro-campaign sites should not only begin and end with your organization’s story but also encourage members or donors to share their own experiences. On FinancialPrivacyNow.org, Consumers Union asks individuals to submit their or loved ones’ identity theft stories, facilitating online communication and collaboration on this issue.

3. Take your event virtual. You can easily focus on keeping participants involved in micro-campaigns by quickly sending them personalized automated emails that provide fundraising tips, solicitation reminders, encouragement and your gratitude. This is especially true with virtual events, such as Goodwill of Greater Washington’s Virtual Fashion Show (http://www.fashionofgoodwill.org) and Amnesty International Canada’s Taste for Justice (http://www.amnesty.ca/tasteforjustice). You can mobilize more followers to logon to your microsite on a specific date, eliminating physical and travel costs.

4. Spotlight your current appeals. For its Red Kettle Campaign (http://www.redkettles.org), the Empire State Division of the Salvation Army used the main page of its microsite to inform potential donors and volunteers about its priorities and successes. Appeals bring visitors back to your micro-campaign site and also offer great content for keeping it fresh and topical.

5. Make it high-tech. Perhaps as important as what you say, is how you say it…not to mention where and when! You can expand the reach and portability of your campaign by using an application on Facebook, posting updates on your progress via Twitter and more. Amnesty International featured an interactive cell tour of Guantanamo via Flickr and a video blog on its microsite, TearItDown.org—sharing inspiration, motivation, social media tools and tips for meeting campaign goals.

6. Integrate peer-to-peer elements into your microsite. You can maintain the core messaging of your campaign while enabling constituents to personalize the message for their own networking and recruitment efforts. For example, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International’s Passport campaigns (http://passport.panda.org/tellafriend) allow microsite visitors to send e-cards to friends and family, educating them about the cause and how they can get involved and make a difference.

7. Ensure that your microsite is easily accessible from your organization’s homepage. The Nature Conservancy clearly displays the link to its Plant a Billion Trees (http://www.plantabillion.org/) micro-campaign site. You don’t want to lose visitors with each click it takes to get your microsite.

8. Take advantage of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Think about the key words potential donors or members associate with the cause you champion when they search online. You should feature those key words throughout your microsite and main Web page. For example, the terms “heart”, “health” and “awareness” bring visitors to The Heart Truth microsite (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/hearttruth) of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

9. Publicize your microsite. The Christian Aid Week Web page (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/getinvolved/christianaidweek) provides the community will all of the tools it needs to promote the event. It even allows individuals to create their own presentations and develop localized campaigns. Allow your micro-campaign to multiply organically and at no further cost to you—one evangelist is worth much more than one donation.

10. Don’t forget about your content management system. The look and feel of your site should engage the target audience—not push them away. Make banner ads and graphics, like the Green Caps for Green Energy microsite (http://www.silkgreencaps.com) compelling; tailor Web content based on individual visitor interests. You can even have your online creative reflect the expertise and professionalism of your mail pieces.

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Brand ‘Management’ – it is all about control…or is it?

The lexicon used in reference to brands and those who ‘run’ them usually explores words such as ‘guardian’, ‘manager’, ‘owner’ and even ‘police’.

Control over brands has been sought after and fought for through courts and high courts and this is perhaps no surprise given the wealth attached to some of the super brands.

However, social media is changing the rules. It is like the ‘Right to Reply’ show screened by channel 4 from 1982 – 2001 and the newer Whistleblower series, only with more power, more voices and greater reach. Thinking that we can totally control what is said is second in foolishness only to trying to ignore what is said about ‘our’ brands, and non-engagement is not a viable option.

However cynical one might be about the arguably extreme actions of Skittles in giving over their entire site to Twitter last month, it has to be said, that it was a brave move and one that signalled Mars’ move  from denial to embracing the latent power of social media. One could argue that this is a little like taking your much loved and nurtured child out for their first ever bike ride, taking off their stabilisers and sending them headlong down a steep hill, but, the principle remains that the brand police over at Skittles have decided to get active and see what the world is saying about (and therefore to) them.

It’s not just the commercial sector that has its Brand Guardians, the Third Sector does too and the challenges are the same; how do you preserve the lovingly crafted and tended values, tonality and standards of your brand, whilst talking so that the supporters will listen and listening so that they will talk? It is a question of dialogue and social media is just that but, the challenge for brands is that their definition of dialogue has historically been to run focus groups and then ‘own’ the conversation..  so, what now the audience have started to backchat?

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US & UK Social Media Marketing Budgets picking up

social media marketing spending

According to Mashable’s recent media usage trends, there is a definite increase in the numbers of consumers that are adding more and more forms of digital content to their media diet. As a necessary corollary then, so too we find growing marketing budgets – first in the US and now it seems in the UK.

A new study released by Aberdeen Group (published by eMarketer), suggests that

“63 percent of companies plan to increase their social media marketing budgets in 2009, despite the current weakness in the economy. Digging deeper into the numbers, 21 percent of those surveyed plan to increase social media spending by 25 percent or more, while a mere 3 percent plan to shrink their budgets (34 percent responded ‘no change’).”

We should include the caveat before we all get too excited, that eMarketer did end up reducing their estimates for overall ad spend on social media at the end of last year, they also state in their report that a combined 59 percent of companies found it difficult or “very difficult” to measure social media marketing.

It should also be noted that “social media” is now perceived by brands (and their marketing agencies) to be much more than just the likes of Facebook and MySpace, one only needs to look at the recent brave yet misguided venture by Mars / Skittles, into Twitter, Facebook and YouTube…There have been plenty of comments and blogspace taken up with that one…

It still amazes this writer when people ask whether “social media” actually works. My favourite case study begins, “Do you remember the 2008 Presidential Campaign…?”

Are social media budgets growing within your organisation? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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