Archive for social marketing
It might not come as a surprise that many of the world’s top CEOs still are not onboard with the whole social networking thing. What is most interesting though is the percentage of CEOs who don’t care. 2 CEOs from Fortune magazine’s top 100 companies have Twitter accounts. Does this mean that Twitter has no future in successful companies? You make the call.
According to Hitwise research, Twitter sends traffic to social networks. In fact, it can almost be considered a social networking search engine. Search engines send less than 10% downstream clicks to social network sites, while Twitter drives around 20% of its visitors to social networks. So what does this mean? If you have a blog, wiki, Flickr, Facebook account for work you should have a Twitter account as well. It therefore follows that the development of your Twitter network, you can develop your social networking platforms.
Building and Developing Your Twitter Network
Twitter networks go though stages and when comparing these stages it is not unlike cultivating a garden. When growing flowers you don’t dump tons of fertilizer and water on them, you slowly nurture them over the course of weeks if not months. Making a successful Twitter network requires time, but it does not require a large amount of work.
The first stage of your network is getting your initial 50 to 100 followers. Your account should include your picture or your company logo (if this is a company account). Your Twitter profile page should be linked to your most important site (personal blog or company site; index page, basically whatever is on your business cards). Promote your Twitter account by adding the profile to your forum, blog, and email signatures. This right here is the gift that keeps on giving. If you are already a prolific writer or social networker you don’t have any extra work to do in this aspect. When you do add tweets make them useful and timely, but do not over do it. Having no tweets and then slamming the channel with 30 tweets in a row is overkill.
Now that you have your followers it’s time to keep them. Take an active role in those who follow you and those who reply to your tweets. Follow those who follow you, if they link to places then go ahead and read them. This is all about common courtesy and since they are trying to hold on to their followers as well, you will probably find something useful. If you especially like the link, the link to it with your blog. This is networking after all
On a special note, using cool scripts to update Twitter is nice, but those who follow you on Twitter probably follow you on other social sites and having something spam multiple sites can be a put off. Essentially it tells your network they aren’t worth your time to address. If you want consolidation, then by all means using something like Ping.fm, but post separate messages on your different sites, even if you are posting about the same thing, make different messages. The extra steps will be rewarded.
Now the final stage, is basically maintenance of your Twitter network and using it in constructive ways. I want to stress that Twitter is two way street. If you want value out of Twitter you need to put value in it. Up until now, we have been interested in gaining Twitter followers and keeping them. As you go you have been discussing things that you are doing with your company, while providing useful information about yourself, your company, and things you find interesting. Now is where we kick it into high gear not just for your site, but for your followers.
How to Use Your Twitter Network
Your Twitter network should be mutually beneficial. At its most basic, Twitter can be used to direct traffic to various links and in this manner send traffic to your social networking sites. This is the obvious usage and if you are using Twitter than you should be taking advantage of this facet. However, there are many more uses to Twitter and all of them can provide quite useful for your business.
Twitter can be used to bounce ideas and brainstorm. This is especially good when you are using a private Twitter network (say for your company or maybe for a professional network). The ability to bounce off ideas around the world from something as convenient as your mobile is a very powerful thing. Along with brainstorming there are many project platforms such as Hudson that have Twitter plug-ins. So you can be alerted when a new build or version of your project is done and then talk about it with your network.
You can use Twitter to perform research. Marketing, product, technology, and company research can all be performed using Twitter in either a private or public network format. You can also use it for QnAs of which there are many examples that have worked wonders.
Most blog software allows tweets to go straight to the comment section. Blogs are already a hot topic for linking from tweets, with a little modding you build a symbiosis between linking a blog in tweet allowing you network to discuss the blog in tweets.
Twitter can also provide the ultimate in transparency in customer and company feedback. Say you had a server and you had 50 clients on it. You give them all a twitter account to hookup to, for the sake of being generic we will call it Server110. Now all your clients on that server are on the Server110 channel. If the server has a problem the technician can tweet an update here saying the server has a hard drive problem. Other people can do an @Server110 and say tweet about a support problem. In this manner, a constant line of communication between the technician and the clients is opened.
Lastly, if you watch the news, by now you know that Twitter is a great means to provide live coverage of events.
I hope by now, if you weren’t of the opinion already, you are all beginning to see the power of Twitter and why this is not something that a successful business should blow off. Instead, I challenge you all to develop your Twitter networks and find new ways for one of the fastest and most convenient ways to communicate in the world today. And while you are at drop me a line at my Twitter account, David_WHM.
The other day I was marveling at the number of FaceBook quizzes. You know the kind I am talking about, personality tests, what items would you have if zombies attack, which Doctor Who character are you, etc. Some of the quizzes spread like wildfire from one person to the next.
To see how fast things could move, I ran an experiment. Using my personal FaceBook account (the one for family and friends) I picked three topics for quizzes to look for to see how many far they would propagate. I have several friends who are microbiologists or are going to school for microbiology, so for the first quiz I choose “What virus would you be?” Without sending this quiz to others, it had been filled out by 67 people, possibly more, still waiting on my friend network to report how many of their friends’ friends have used it. 67 people in twenty minutes. The quiz itself is not a recent one, it has been around for several months.
The next quiz was something more generic, but also one of those things that is good for nerdy laughs. What Periodic Element are you? Coincidentally I was Gold ( lol ). This one didn’t spread as far as the other one, but not bad considering I know pretty much no one who has any sort of chemist inclinations. 44 people in an hour. Again this quiz was written a few months ago.
The very last one is something near and dear to me heart: “Which Liquor are you?” This one spread like wildfire. Several hundred people picked this one up and ran with it. After the first half day worth (about 10 hours), I stopped keeping track.
Two things I found wrong with these quizzes, one thing I found right. First off, people love quizzes. I like stupid trivia, they enjoy answering funny questions with equally funny answers, and they enjoy getting funny little results. Good quizzes will gather good traffic and great quizzes, well you can see my meaning.
The two problems with quizzes is a) most of them have no thought put into them and b) people don’t capitalize on them as much as they should.
A good quiz can take several days to put together, mainly because you want to give the audience as many different results as possible and you want the questions and answers to be as funny (or thought provoking depending on what you are doing) as possible. If you are trying to monetize the quiz the amount of thought that is put into becomes even greater. Now you have to pick the approach as to how you will make money off of it, how to integrate that, and how to make the quiz coincide with what you want to sell.
Some industries are far easier than others when it comes to putting out great quizzes and being able to profit off of them. In this instance profit can be multiple things. It can be making money or it can be producing traffic or increasing your page rank, whatever. For instance the game industry is perfect for quizzes. Role playing especially, you could make a quiz such as what class or alignment or race are you and then at the end tell them to “join the fight” or whatever.
Web hosting quizzes can be done, though most would probably be more serious with a splash of humor, such as how secure is your site?
Hopefully I have given you a few more ideas to punch around. I hope the general moral of this blog has not gone unnoticed. On a broad scale, you can use any tool, any area of human interaction to garner opportunities. On a smaller and semi more selfish scale (at least this is to help me out), put some attention into these stupid quizzes, I want to be entertained not bored to death. 8-D
Incoming search terms:
- facebook quizzes monetize
Social marketing can be a very fickle fiend. When a company decides to advertise all it takes is a simple plan, build the message, select the medium, craft the pitch, then let it rip. But how do companies go about making something viral?
Viral messages are those messages that are so different, so amazing, or so funny that they get picked up by the population. An infection through casual contact, the viral message moves form person to person till tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people view the message.
So how does one make a common blender go viral? Well what can a blender do and what would make in interesting?
Blendtec had an answer. A blender blends, chops, dices, juices, etc. It takes stuff and breaks it into smaller stuff.
But blending the normal things Mr. Popeil would on some infomercial would not do. Watching raspberries getting turned into a fruit smoothie is not interesting. What is interesting is anything that is labeled don’t try this at home. The element of danger, but what to blend?
Howabout an iPhone, or a remote control… perhaps a Rubik’s Cube?
Blendtec decided to build an interesting Web site around the question, “Will it blend?”
Add some cheesy music and man who looks like engineer from the back room of some laboratory and you have the makings of a message that blows from one end of the world to the other.
You might ask how do I apply this to web hosting? Well that is for you to do. A viral message is the essence of creativity. The true definition of thinking outside of the box. They do not come simply because you want them to. Viral messages come because the message is deeply in-tuned with the audience (for instance a blog that puts down Windows and glorifies Linux is good linkbait for Digg) and is a must see.
The biggest question is once you have a viral message, how do you capitalize on it? But that is an answer for another time. Until then happy hosting!
Like many buzzwords in the marketing arena, social marketing has been both over and under estimated. It has been hyped up beyond all belief as well as being sidelined as not a worth while investment of time and money.
I could spend this article praising social marketing or I could spent it demonizing social marketing. However, if you did a quick Google search I am sure you can find thousands of articles doing either written by authors who are far more passionate about either side than I am.
No for this column of The Art of War, I will discuss the number one enemy when it comes to failed social marketing campaigns.