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Posts in ‘Social Media’

The “Zen” Approach to an Effective Social Media Strategy

Feb 24

Zen of Social Media Marketing

2013 turned out to be a big year for social media (SM) events. From Twitter going public, to new social media networks popping up, such as Vine and Snapchat, to PR executive Justine Sacco being fired for a racist and inappropriate Tweet. While SM certainly had it ups and downs this year, one thing is for sure – companies must have a solid SM strategy in order to be successful.

SM news website, Top Ten Social Media, listed the best SM Marketing books of 2013, including “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani. The book provides a nice overview of the difference between traditional online marketing and SM marketing. Kabani describes online marketing as the art and science of leveraging the Internet to get your message across, so that you can move people to action. A successful online marketing plan should, attract, convert and transform. Social media marketing is the act of leveraging SM platforms (places where people connect and communicate) to promote a product or a service to increase sales.

The #1 reason people fail at SM marketing is due to the fact that they don’t have a solid foundation of understanding their brand or know what differentiates them from their competition. SM is the ultimate amplifier. If you have a good product or service, it be will be intensified until it is perceived as great.

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How to Increase Your Twitter Followers…Pronto

Mar 15

Increase Twitter Followers

Now more than ever, having an active presence on Twitter is vital to giving your brand a voice and interacting with those in your industry. Whatever (positive) news is happening within your company, your Twitter followers should know about it.

You can no longer rely on folks reading your press release, reading your HTML emails or visiting your website to get the latest information. Why? The reason is pure and simple – time. Time is money, and folks just don’t have enough of it.

However, if you’re going to spend time spreading the word through the Twittersphere, you also need to work on building up your follower list. After all, you can have the most interesting tweets out there, but if you have 20 followers, then why spend the time?
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Top Ten Technology Tweeters: Part II

Jan 17

Top Ten Technology Tweeters

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about the Top Ten Technology Tweeters. However, anyone that actively engages in social media knows that a “Top 10” list won’t even begin to cover influencers in any category – let alone technology!

Every day, I click “Follow” on insightful, interesting, funny and resourceful tweeters so, without further ado, I give you: Top Ten Technology Tweeters: Part II:

@karaswisher: Kara Swisher is a news-breaker, short and simple. She writes for WSJ’s All Things Digital, but if you follow her Twitter feed, you may just be among the first to know.

@GuyKawasaki: Guy Kawasaki is a former Apple employee and current co-founder of Alltop. Somehow, in between his busy work schedule, he manages to share concise, often hilarious articles to over one million followers. What I like most about Guy’s feed though, is that it is highly visual, full of infographics and videos. read all »

How Can Pinterest Benefit Your Business?

Nov 30

pinterest for business

Pegged by some as a passing fad in the realm of social media, Pinterest continues to prove skeptics wrong. This online “pinboard” website is no longer just a place for women to drool over designer wedding dresses and impractical DIY projects. With the amount of consumer traffic Pinterest gets every day, businesses are beginning to recognize the benefits this social media site could have for them as a free marketing tool. Pinterest has even recognized this trend and has created Pinterest for Business accounts to make it even easier. Below are a few ways your business can start using Pinterest:
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What Sandy Teaches Us About How People Get Information Today

Nov 09

hurricane sandy communications

(Iwan Baan/New York Magazine)

Recently, the East Coast was hit by Superstorm Sandy. With 85 mph winds, rushing tides and overwhelming flooding, Sandy brought New York City’s power grid to a crashing halt. For nearly a week, major portions of the five boroughs were without power, including the entire southern third of Manhattan, with a stunning demarcation line at 39th street.

Naturally in a time of crisis, we all know the value of being “plugged in” to news reports and city press conferences for the current weather outlook, the state of the city, evacuation zones and what to do next. But what to do when the power goes out and you suddenly find your link to traditional news sources has been severed? You go mobile.

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Top Ten Technology Tweeters

Sep 20

top ten technology tweeters

When it comes to Twitter, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless number of folks tweeting about technology. In the world of PR and marketing, those Tweeters dolling out nuggets of wisdom, linking to articles and providing industry insights can be a major resource. But how do you know who’s worth following among the millions of techies tweeting their days away?

Here’s my list of the top 10 Twitter feeds. Take a look and do yourself a favor: click “Follow.”

@HuffPostTech: Everyone loves the Huffington Post, but the online newspaper’s technology Twitter handle provides a perfect mix of news, opinions and funny quips.

@DaveMorin: If you didn’t already know, Dave Morin co-founded the “personal network” app Path. His tweets cover news from big brands like Amazon, Facebook, and Apple – but his own brand of commentary is that which only a start-up founder can provide. Also his wife, Brit Morin (@brit), is the founder of the lifestyle brand by the same name. Her Twitter feed and website are chock full of products, tips and tricks for today’s digital generation.

@chr1sa: Like gadgets? Wired Editor-in-Chief, Chris Anderson will keep followers updated on the latest, greatest and weirdest gadgets out there.

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5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Video Investment

Mar 15

make the most of your video investment

Video is increasingly becoming a preferred channel to market a business and engage with target audiences – customers, media and influencers – that is much more exciting and entertaining than text and photos.

Video can put a personality to your brand with an authenticity that is only available through face-to-face interaction. It is also affordable. The software and cameras available today are cost-effective, making this investment a winner for your business.

Here are five ways to make sure your video communications are maximized:

1) Content
It is critical that the content of your video is informative and will give the viewer a clear takeaway. Whether the video is a product demo, customer case study, tour of your facility, or a message from your CEO on a business topic, it should be direct, to the point, and provide valuable information to the viewer.

It is also important that the video is short – no longer than 3 minutes long. If you need more time, you probably need to think about doing a series of videos!
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Six Pixels of Separation: It’s time for your company to connect

Jan 25

According to Mitch Joel, the author of Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone, we no longer live in a world of six degrees of separation, but rather six pixels of separation – effectively changing everything we know about doing business, as the online realm becomes increasingly relevant in communication and decision-making.

Joel notes that it is crucial that all companies leverage digital channels to get their voice “out there” by connecting with others, becoming better community citizens, and, ultimately, making strategic business moves that will increase revenue, awareness and overall success in the marketplace.

Here are some of Joel’s key tips for engaging consumers through digital channels:

• Drive consumers to take action and keep them engaged
• Be active in blogs, micro-blogs (Twitter), podcasts, online social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn), sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr), user-generated content (audio, videos), and wikis
• Be compelling and consistent in everything you do
• Add value to the conversation – add personal insights and establish yourself or your business
• Be present, active and involved – respond to questions asked and ask your consumers questions

Digital channels will work for you based on what your users, community members and readers do with your content. It is important to understand that your reputation is online – so be helpful, sincere, credible, responsive and FAST!

It takes time to build content – find your voice, develop a community and earn trust and respect. Digital channels are about building real relationships, with both current and potential customers – they are built on trust and trust alone – and trust is built slowly over time.

Connect with us on Twitter: @Zer0to5ive

Social Marketing for B2B Companies

Nov 09

Social media started as a peer-to-peer connection tool – it was something people used to stay in touch, post photos, and share news and events. In the beginning, it was a channel used among friends and colleagues, like any other social venue.

Within a year or two of the social media explosion, corporations began to see the value in social media outside of conversations between peers, and they leveraged these concentrated cyber venues to connect with their customers, validate their brand, and sell their products.

The business tactics worked – and millions of people began to interact with these companies, posting on their Facebook pages, re-tweeting their tweets on Twitter and commenting on YouTube videos. But, even though this movement has exploded over the last several years, most of the companies involved are still B2C companies.

So – how can a B2B company benefit from Social Marketing?

According to Paul Gillin, author of “Social Marketing to the Business Customer,” the answer is simple.

In his book, which focuses on how B2B companies can successfully engage in social marketing, Paul Gillin lays out some best practices that all B2B marketers can benefit from. He argues that business buyers are looking to make decisions as quickly and intelligently as possible, and that the Internet is the best place to engage these buyers. He writes that social marketing tactics are not right for all B2B companies, but used in the right ways for the right corporations social media can be a very effective business-to-business tool.

Below are what he considers to be the top 3 benefits of social marketing for B2B clients:

1. Social media offers a way to humanize a business

Your online presence is the “face” of your company, resonating with people and engaging them in what your company has to say. Being able to connect with customers online is effective because it is essentially an extension of your brand, through a channel that your customer understands and can relate to.

Using your name, or even a picture of your face, is a literal translation of this (and it has been done!) – but another way to achieve this is by starting a company blog, and giving your company a voice.

2. Social media can provide opportunities to achieve market intelligence through surveillance

With social media you have the opportunity to monitor what is being said about your industry, from potential buyers and the general public. This information can make you more intelligent about your industry, and can be used to strategize future plans. You also can use your role in discussions to show your thought leadership and expertise.

3. Social media allows a company to discover new product opportunities or holes in the current market

As a member of the social media community, you are also a part of online conversations and discussions on new products, trends or news in your industry. More importantly, you can also monitor what your competitors are doing – or what they are not doing.

For example, you can monitor what people are tweeting or blogging about a competitor and get clues on how you can also be optimizing your business or using opportunities to get ahead.

With the right strategy and tools, B2B companies can (and should) effectively take action through social marketing channels.

For more information and additional resources, check out Paul’s website here.

Kelsey Rodenbiker
Zer0 to 5ive Strategist
Twitter: @KRodenbiker

The PR Industry is on the Rise – a Reflection of the Growing Need for Great Communications and the Growth of Social Media Outlets

May 25

As the economy picks up, more businesses are reinstating their PR programs to share news and connect with prospects. In addition, businesses are looking for PR pros to engage with their customers via social media.

With more jobs available, just how is a recent graduate going to get the gig?

Social media, of course! Social media tools, from Facebook to LinkedIn, have not only transformed the landscape of PR and marketing in recent years, but have also become a great way to network and find employment.

Twitter specifically is a great resource for reaching PR headhunters who are dedicated to helping recent graduates start their career. These seasoned professionals update their profiles numerous times a day with available PR positions, interview and resume advice and industry trends that will help any grad better understand the field.

Here are a few of the best:

  • Heather Huhman (@heatherhuman) – Helps Gen Y find internships and entry-level jobs. Career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended.
  • Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans)- PR and social media correspondent

Great social media skills will not only help graduates to find jobs, but also get hired. Companies are looking for young people who are knowledgeable about social media and can interact via social media channels on their behalf. It’s important for recent grads to understand how social media can be useful on a broad scale – which can lead to a great position with a company.

It’s not easy and can take some time to get the perfect interview – but with the right skills and the right approach, you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Seek out opportunities to network and reach new people and opportunities. Now is the time to take advantage of the upward growth happening in PR!

Mallory Jaroski
Zer0 to 5ive Strategist
Twitter: @MJaroski