Tag Archives: Strategy

Facebook Finally Features Hashtags

Ready for some #awesome #Facebook #news?

Starting June 12, hashtags became clickable on Facebook.

Facebook is unrolling a series of features that allow users to engage with the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. The spearheading feature is, of course, hashtags. Continue reading

The Importance of Scaling Social Media Operations

What happens when one business has over 500 locations across the country and is looking to use social media to help each location communicate with their customers?

If they’re looking for results, scalability happens.

Why is scalability important?

Because when one strategy is lazily applied across the board, ignoring the needs of individual locations, results can be hard to come by. Each business is as unique as the person or people running it and they each deserve their own specific plan. Continue reading

Going “Facebook Official:” How to Take Your Relationship with Social Media to the Next Level

Social media is a lot like a romantic relationship: things will work a lot better if you understand yourself, your needs, and your goals, and you understand the person you’re with.

In the case of social media, a company that lacks a projected forecast, fails to understand its needs, and is unable to engage with and understand its customer base, is doomed to fail. After all, some people just aren’t ready to find their soul mates just yet.

Below we have three primary reasons a company would not be ready for social media and examples for each. Read ahead, and find out if your company is ready to take this relationship to the next level.

You Have Commitment Issues

Social media is very transparent. If you “aren’t sure of the direction you’re taking the company” and can’t commit to a strategy for your company, social media should be the least of your worries. “It’s Complicated” isn’t a status that you want to hang on your relationship with social media. Continue reading

Sources and Content Creation

“Don’t think so hard. You might hurt yourself.”

I can’t remember the name of the teacher who interrupted me during an exam with that message, but I’ve never forgotten their words.

Each month we host an internal training for all members of our content team. This month we focused on ways to find inspiration for content curation and creation, and the presentation was heavily inspired by the sentiment behind those words.

In the interest of sharing and all that is social, we’ve decided to make portions of that training available to the public. Enjoy!

[slideshare id=13312503&doc=contentinspiration-120613115615-phpapp01]

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys finding that her degree is relevant to her life. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

Learning from GM

Facebook’s IPO has come and gone, and while the big story is that there was no big story (save for a mini-scandal), the lead up to last Friday came with relatively few stumbling blocks….

Except one: GM announcing they will be ending their Facebook Ad spend.

Many that follow social media have heard the basic details. General Motors, which invested $10 million annually into Facebook ads, will be ending this endeavor by summer, citing that paid ads on the site have little impact on consumers’ car purchases. This loss of revenue is pennies on the dollar for Facebook (less than that when you consider the site had more than $3 billion in ad sales last year), but it is the perception of this decision that is more important.

The question many have been asking is, “If GM can’t make Facebook ads work, why wouldn’t others pull their spends as well?”
The question we as an agency have been asking is, “What was GM’s goal for the ads in the first place?”

Was it to attract followers and have a presence in their community? Lead gen? Branding? All of the above? Whatever the answer is, different strategies and messages have to be developed and expectations have to be set. If GM’s goal was for people to see their Facebook ad and decide to buy an SUV from them, then their expectations were out of line because any marketing expert (or novice for that matter) will tell you the bigger the ask to the consumer (especially in monetary terms), the harder it will be to have that consumer commit to a purchase.

While GM did not find what they were looking for, many have been working within the parameters set by Facebook quite successfully, and it is because they are first defining what success looks like before trying to achieve it. So look at the GM situation not as a suggestion for your own use, but as a cautionary tale on preparing before investing.

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Greg Morgan is Communications and Content Director for Make Me Social, a social media agency that develops customized social media strategies for businesses. With experience in industries ranging from sports to state government, Greg focuses in crafting messages for all types of clients in an effort to perfect what he calls “versatile communications.” Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, he remains a loyal UConn Husky fan, despite now residing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Learning from GM

Facebook’s IPO has come and gone, and while the big story is that there was no big story (save for a mini-scandal), the lead up to last Friday came with relatively few stumbling blocks….

Except one: GM announcing they will be ending their Facebook Ad spend.

Many that follow social media have heard the basic details. General Motors, which invested $10 million annually into Facebook ads, will be ending this endeavor by summer, citing that paid ads on the site have little impact on consumers’ car purchases. This loss of revenue is pennies on the dollar for Facebook (less than that when you consider the site had more than $3 billion in ad sales last year), but it is the perception of this decision that is more important.

The question many have been asking is, “If GM can’t make Facebook ads work, why wouldn’t others pull their spends as well?”
The question we as an agency have been asking is, “What was GM’s goal for the ads in the first place?”

Was it to attract followers and have a presence in their community? Lead gen? Branding? All of the above? Whatever the answer is, different strategies and messages have to be developed and expectations have to be set. If GM’s goal was for people to see their Facebook ad and decide to buy an SUV from them, then their expectations were out of line because any marketing expert (or novice for that matter) will tell you the bigger the ask to the consumer (especially in monetary terms), the harder it will be to have that consumer commit to a purchase.

While GM did not find what they were looking for, many have been working within the parameters set by Facebook quite successfully, and it is because they are first defining what success looks like before trying to achieve it. So look at the GM situation not as a suggestion for your own use, but as a cautionary tale on preparing before investing.

______________________________________________________________

Greg Morgan is Communications and Content Director for Make Me Social, a social media agency that develops customized social media strategies for businesses. With experience in industries ranging from sports to state government, Greg focuses in crafting messages for all types of clients in an effort to perfect what he calls “versatile communications.” Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, he remains a loyal UConn Husky fan, despite now residing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Problem With Google+ Pages

Google recently launched their business pages product. The product is not without serious flaws or issues. Most importantly, officially you are only allowed to have one person as an admin of a page.  The page must be attached to one, and only one, personal account. At the agency level this makes Google plus pages nearly impossible to work with. Having multiple administers serving several different functions is a basic requirement of social networks in 2011.

Google+ Brand Page Creation

Creating a Google+ Brand Page

There are several reasons why businesses need to have multiple, and replaceable, administrators that are obvious at surface level. When working within an agency there are even more reasons. Community Managers, Clients, Media Teams, Digital Strategists, Account Executives, among others might have a need to log in as an administrator of a page.  In fact for most businesses, more than one person needs to have access and control of a social channel. Google, as a company that recently switched CEOs, should have realized this reality. The Spam controls are great for the network as a whole, however, they are well beyond what is needed from the first iteration, mostly because pages didn’t NEED this much functionality at launch.

The fact that the Google plus business product is missing this core administrative feature is probably most disappointing, because it represents a failure Google has been able to avoid since the inception of the network. Until now Google has not re-created the Facebook wheel. The administrative rights alone indicate that avoidance of early Facebook mistakes may have been more luck than skill. Had Google launched nonfunctional pages with just an avatar, static info, and multiple admin rights it would have been better for everyone. Almost every feature they have is 3 or 4 steps beyond the basic administrative level, and shows an inability to fully understand challenge of running a business channel on social media.

I reached out to Google to ask if the Facebook pages 1.0 solution, *creating a business profile that has no activity for the purpose of managing a page*,  was acceptable. The response, “there will be no terms of service exceptions.” With the real name profile policy on Google Plus the Facebook 1.0 solution out of contention. Google seems to be serious about their terms of service, unless of course, a brand spends a few million in ads every year or it is Google themselves. If  you are not in this category or, you don’t value your adwords, Google Docs, Google Analytics  or Gmail accounts, it is probably not worth breaking the rules.

At this point Google Plus has nearly the same number of active users as Foursquare and Get Glue’s user-base put together, or about 20% of active Twitter users. Until the admin issue is resolved, or the network explodes additional resources are best used for the following purposes.

  • Keeping an eye on brands that are messing up/ creating fire storms on the network
  • Looking for bright spots
  • Investing in developing a strategy for organic growth (few brands are doing this at all and it is very possible, that is a different blog post)
  • Clocking post life
  • Analyzing ripples
  • Personally using new engagement functionality no social site has ever brought to a brand
  • Learning the Terms of Service, Google has shown they are not gun shy about closing down anyone, even big name players! (Looks at Ford)
  • Looking at the SEO considerations

Google Plus Pages is hardly a complete or even adequate product for large organizations at this time.

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Mike Handy has been working in Social Media since Facebook was only for college students. He started his first blog in 1999 when most people were still figuring out this “Internet thing”.  These experiences paired with his background in advertising and data-centric approach provide him with a unique view of social media. When he isn’t working he is probably watching, playing, or doing something hockey related.