Posts Tagged ‘brand awareness’


5 Tips for Enhancing Your Link Building and SEO Strategy

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

SEO flow chart on chalkboard

December 2011

Links come from many different sources and in many different sizes. Whether industry resources, your company or client’s news release, or shortened URLs shared throughout your online communities – link building is a vital part of your marketing and PR efforts.

You don’t have to be a tech-whiz to make the most of SEO (search engine optimization) and increase the exposure and credibility of your company, brand or client via inbound and outbound links.

Learn 5 Tips to enhance your link building strategy and brand awareness in this month’s BurrellesLuce Newsletter.

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A Listening Exercise – Gaining Information and Encouraging Action from Your Social Media Communities

Monday, June 13th, 2011
Flickr Image: Sebastian Fritzon

Flickr Image: Sebastian Fritzon

Valerie Simon

Listening, as I define it, is not a passive exercise. Listening is not a matter of simply hearing words. Listening requires a concentrated method of digesting the information, and using that information to take action. So like any exercise program, I’ll recommend you do a quick check up before starting to strengthen your listening efforts.

Check Up
Take a quick pulse: Review your business objectives and marketing plan. Keep in mind that social media participation should be integrated with your overall communications plan.

Set Goals:  What business objectives will your social media participation help you to achieve?

  • Sales
  • Donations
  • Event attendance
  • Customer Service (response/retention/loyalty)
  • Brand Awareness
  • Crowd sourcing/ product development
  • Membership/Admissions
  • Communications amongst different stakeholders
  • Recruitment
  • Thought leadership

Warm Ups
Who are you trying to reach? Consider what social media channels will be most beneficial for your organization. Stretch. Extend beyond Facebook and Twitter. Consider Flickr, YouYube, Tumblr, LinkedIn and seek out forums and blogs with strong communities.  BurrellesLuce offers several tools to help get you warmed up quickly, including ContactsPlus™, which helps you to identify new blogs by matching up a current release with those bloggers who are writing on similar topics, and Social Media Monitoring and Engagement solution, Engage121, which enables you to explore what is being said across social media channels and effectively build and manage your online communities.

Speed
Are you planning/prepared to provide immediate responses? The W Hotels “Whatever/Whenever” promise may well be on its way to becoming the standard, rather than the exception, in customer service. Social media allows stories to break and quickly spread at any time of day. I encourage those using BurrellesLuce’s Social Media Monitoring and Engagement solution, to experiment with setting up alerts using filters such as Klout rank or sentiment to sift through the noise and make sure that they are advised of critical information whenever it breaks. Of course a quick, well thought out and efficient response across all channels is critical.

Strength
Do some heavy lifting, err, searching. Investigate the current conversations being said about you, your competitors and the industry. Identify recurring themes and study trends. Review sentiment and compare how the conversations vary across different platforms. Identify key influencers and pay attention to the language and tone. What topics evoke passionate responses?

Flexibility
Don’t get stuck monitoring the same keywords you have always deemed important. As you study industry trends and influencers, adjust your searches accordingly. Begin listening to your communities even when they are not actively speaking about “relevant” topics. What do they care about? Consider what new topics or audiences may be interested in your organization.

Endurance
Set yourself up to succeed over the long term. Put in place a structure to collect the data that will allow you to learn from both your communities and your own social behaviors. There are a myriad of ways to measure social media buzz, sentiment, link tracking, share of voice, fans and followers, geo-location check-ins… slow down and take another pulse check. Review business objectives and consider what metrics can best indicate whether your activity is supporting those business objectives. As you embark upon this listening exercise, look at the data in a number of different ways.

Cool Down
Evaluate all of the data you have collected and all your new knowledge regarding trends and influencers. Go back to your business goals and consider how you will align your social media activity to meet those goals. What channels are best suited for your organization? Where should your voice be heard? Where can you build a strong community that will offer business results? Participating in social media will require an investment of time, so consider the time and resources you can devote. 

Prepare to Play
Listening exercise complete, you are ready for the big game… engagement. But that, my friends, is another post!

What would you add to your listening exercise? What activities are included in your daily listening routine? Share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Even Santa Can Use Some Good PR and Marketing

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

At the PRSA 2010 International Conference opening reception, Eric Schwartzman introduced me to Santa’s PR guy, Maj. Brian Martin, deputy chief of staff for communications at NORAD and USNORTHCOM. Ok, he’s not really Santa’s personal public relations consultant, but he does handle PR for NORAD Tracks Santa, and the program has a great PR story to share.

The history behind the 2009 campaign:

Over 50 years ago, a local department store advertised for kids to call Santa on a special “hotline,” but they accidently used the number for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). Col. Harry Shoup, received the first call and told his staff to put the rest through. They confirmed Santa’s location via radar, and the tradition of tracking Santa was born. CONAD is now the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).  NORAD volunteers still take calls, but they also answer emails and respond to social media posts from kids all over the world who want to know when Santa will be coming down their chimney.

As of November 19, 2009, Stacey Knott, public affairs, social media officer, NORAD and USNORTHCOM says, NORAD Tracks Santa had 719 Facebook fans, and a minimal presence on Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn and YouTube. For the 2009 holiday season, they wanted to increase communication with their audiences, improve awareness, and drive traffic to the NORAD Tracks Santa website. Additionally, they looked to increase awareness of NORAD’s brand and mission notes Maj. Michael Humpreys, public affairs officer, NORAD and USNORTHCOM.

Results from the 2009 campaign:

  • As of January 1, 2010, NORAD Tracks Santa’s Facebook page had 417,608 fans.
  • 13 million unique visitors from over 200 countries visited the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
  • The NORAD NORTHCOM Facebook page went from 447 fans on October 1, 2009 to 5,911 on January 1, 2010.
  • As of November 29, 2010, there 17,579 likes for NORAD NORTHCOM on Facebook.
  • The NORAD website typically has 1,000-3,000 visitors per day. On Christmas Eve 2009, the website had over 90,000 visitors and over 85,000 of them were unique visitors.

Preparing for the 2010 season:

NORAD Tracks Santa is a volunteer operation, so NORAD relies on many partners to help create the website, keep the website from crashing, and help strategize on other tactics.  For 2010, some local Colorado schools are helping to develop games for the website. And for 26 hours over the eve of Santa’s arrival, the command staff, families, and other volunteers will run the command center phones and monitor social media to answer questions. Martin says it has been a great way for NORAD/USNORTHCOM to spread goodwill.

“The memories of NORAD Tracks Santa are a real tradition in people’s homes,” says Knott. She goes on to say, you have to believe in Santa after you volunteer to help.

For social media, Humphreys says they decided to focus on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, where they have the most activity – although they previously had a presence on Flickr and LinkedIn. Since they post pictures to Facebook, using Flickr seemed redundant.  YouTube is the second most used search site, and they have a lot of activity on there.

All of the NORAD Tracks Santa social media sites and website are “family friendly.” Knott confirmed they spend a lot of time checking to ensure people are not posting mean, ugly posts, or profanity. In the video above, Maj. Martin discusses addressing issues on social media.

NORAD Tracks Santa’s Strategies, Tips and Best Practices—

  • Link back to the main website as often as possible
  • Have a consistent message across all media (mainstream media and social media)
  • Encourage interaction by looking for questions and try to respond to as many posts as possible
  • Further the conversation
  • Interact quickly
  • Have an engagement protocol and enforce it
  • Be trusting
  • Continue engagement throughout the year
  • Post pictures and videos

Humphreys says success comes from constant engagement on social media. Martin adds that NORAD Tracks Santa continues mainstream media outreach to print and web publications and with satellite media tours for broadcast stations.

I know I have great memories of watching the news to learn when Santa might be coming to my house. Do you have similar memories?

The BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers would like to hear how you’ve taken an old program and made it fresh with social media. Do you have any tips to share?

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Why It Pays to be the Influencer for Sales and Retention Efforts

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

by Emily Mouyeos*

Influence marketing is beginning to showcase itself as an effective tool in social media strategies. Companies such as Starbucks and Virgin America have partnered with Klout , a startup that measures influence on Twitter, to identify influencing social media users. The criteria used to identify key influencers include more than 25 variables used to measure “true reach,” “amplification probability,” and “network score.” Klout’s website explains that, “The size of the sphere is calculated by measuring True Reach (engaged followers and friends vs. spam bots, dead accounts, etc.). Amplification Probability is the likelihood that messages will generate retweets or spark a conversation. If the user’s engaged followers are highly influential, they’ll have a high Network Score.”

The examples of Starbucks and Virgin America shows how companies are reaching out to find influencers to (in the words of Frank Sinatra) “start spreading the news” or share their valued opinion on a product or service. However, it can be just as important for the company to be the influencer, especially in B-to-B marketing. Being an influencer means you need to create a following (True Reach), have smart and interesting things to say (Amplification Probability) and connect with other shakers and movers (Network Score.)

This article, appearing on The Drum, offers some tips for effective influencer marketing,  among them: 

  1. Focus on the Influencer.
  2. Focus on Transactions.
  3. Focus on the Story, not the pay-off.
  4. Measure what counts.

If want to become an influencer then scoring high in these areas will pay off for your sales and retention efforts. If people come to know and like you, they will want to buy from you. Co-founder of influencer marketing company Pursway, Ran Shaul states, “The fundamental marketing challenge today is more strategic than tactical. Numerous studies all draw the same conclusion – the majority of people buy based on the conversation and recommendations of trusted friends, family members, colleagues and, increasingly, online reviewers.”

klout happo 2

He then goes on to cite Nielsen’s latest Global Online Consumer Survey, which revealed that out of over 25,000 Internet consumers, from 50 countries, “90 percent of consumers surveyed said they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 trust consumer opinions posted online.” Incidentally, 70 percent of consumers surveyed also indicated that they “trusted brand websites completely or somewhat.” With 64 percent listing that they trust “brand sponsorships.”

How does this translate to sales and retention efforts? Becoming the influencer (directly or indirectly) gives you direct connection to potential clients who will remember you when they are looking to buy. These types of relationships increase brand awareness and prove you are a trusted advisor through thought leadership. Potential clients plugged into the industry chatter will know who you are and what you are about. Social Media has made it incredibly easy to share information. You no longer have to write a book to be considered an expert or impact the community.

As an example, I loved watching the phenomenal initiative; “Help A PR Pro Out” (HAPPO) impact the PR community. The campaign partnered together “PR Pros” with recent graduates looking for jobs in this tough economy. It may not have been the intent of the co-founders, Arik Hanson, ACH Communications, and Valerie Simon, BurrellesLuce, but they instantly became industry influencers to the young generation of PR professionals. You better believe that the college graduates will look to them for future partnerships and will one day become influencers themselves, not to mention the group of current PR influencers HAPPO was able to group together. I think the HAPPO campaign hit all of the “high scoring” variables used by Klout on the head. They created a strong following of PR pros and college graduates, gave out incredibly valuable information and gathered together the PR industries current and future influencers.

Do you know of any influence marketing campaigns where the influencer is the actual company? What are potential pitfalls to a company striving to be an intentional influencer? 

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*Bio: Emily Mouyeos joined the BurrellesLuce account management team with a background in nonprofit communication and development. Her background and current experience with BurrellesLuce allows her to effectively address client needs and consolidate feedback for senior management. To Emily, nothing feels better than helping others achieve their goal, whether it’s professionally or personally.  By focusing on client management through the Fresh Ideas blog, she hopes to evaluate new client management trends, as well as provide insight to the pros and cons of current practices. She looks forward to connecting with the readers of Fresh Ideas for new perspectives and dialogue on issues that affect overall success. LinkedIn: Emily Mouyeos Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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Great Social Media Marketing or TMI?

Monday, June 14th, 2010

by Crystal deGoede*

Original Images Courtesy of HBO and Diesel

Original Images Courtesy of HBO and Diesel

If done correctly, social media marketing (SMM) can really take your organization to the next level.  With SMM, the unique and innovative ways to target your audience, promote a new product, or engage with fans/clients are endless.  In addition, as more and more organizations realize the benefits they can endure, the more people will embrace SMM.

However, where do you draw the line?  When does a great marketing tactic turn into “TMI” (too much information)?

Imagine you are shopping alone, and you come across a “gotta have them now” pair of Diesel jeans. You go to try them on, but wish you had your best friend there to talk you into actually pulling the trigger and purchasing them. How would you feel if you could just press a button, and instantaneously connect to Facebook, where you could stream a video of yourself in the dressing room trying on the new jeans and get the opinion of your friends? Well that is just what Diesel Jeans is doing in Spain as their current “Be Stupid” campaign.

This is “free” marketing via social media for Diesel. Since everyone that you are connected to on Facebook may see your post, they may also want a pair of those jeans. Then again, does it make us peeping toms to look at people in dressing rooms – even if we’re “friends” with them online?  What if you forget to “push the red button” before changing back into your clothes or the person that was in there before you forgots and the video continues to stream live?  It is a little scary; then again this could be the future of shopping – where every detail of one’s life is made available for viewing (dis)pleasure.

And Diesel isn’t the only brand to put social media connectivity to “good” use. As a huge fan of HBO’s hit vampire series True Blood, whose new season premiered last night, I was intrigued that the newly released second season Blu-ray has a social networking feature. If you are a fan of True Blood then you know the huge presence it has on social media along with the vast marketing strategies of HBO, making fan engagement remarkable. The delightfully fresh (and very HBO on-brand) feel of the whole series was cemented by quirky PR that was infinitely quotable, with taglines like “Thou Shalt not Crave Thy Neighbour” or “It Hurts So Good”?

“HBO’s True Blood is number one in cable and making its debut to the top 25 primetime performers list at number 18, benefitting from fan advocacy and involvement,” according to the Optimedia U.S. Content Power Ratings 3.0

The True Blood live feed that is build into the Blu-ray disc edition gives the viewer the ability to send automatic updates to their Twitter and Facebook accounts. This feature has been described as the most extensive Facebook linking feature in Blu-ray so far, sending updates as you watch the episodes. Additionally, while watching the series, viewers can decide which “True Blood” group they wish to join: Vampire, Fellowship of the Sun, and Follower of Dionysus.

The viewing experience is then customized to that group; for the real “trubies,” they can use a picture and transform it based on the True Blood group selected. For those that choose Vampire, the more they watch, the more pale (and bloody) the picture gets.

“For True Blood, we have such engaged and passionate fans that we really wanted to provide them with a way to extend the fiction beyond what they see in the show,” says HBO’s Sofia Chang, “and share that passion with their friends.”

True Blood has such loyal and engaged fans in the social media arena; this is a great ploy for social media marketing.  In reality though, do most of us feel comfortable letting our friends, family, and colleagues know our true obsessions? I am not sure I would want people that I work with and network with on a professional level, seeing that I watched episode one of True Blood six times over the weekend. I do see the appeal to the ‘trubies” that want everyone to see they are the most devoted True Blood fan HBO has ever had in an effort to maybe win a guest spot on the show or free gifts.  But will it become nauseating to see all of your True Blood fanatic friends cluttering your feed to let you know they all “came out of the coffin” to watch episode one?”

HBO and Diesel have differentiated themselves when it comes to social media marketing. For better or worse, they have used social media as a way of maintaining constant fan engagement and brand awareness. Have you had a chance to try out any social media features on Blu-ray releases yet? Do you think these marketing strategies are innovative or TMI?  How are you using social media to maintain engagement? Share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce and Fresh Idea readers.

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*Bio: After graduating from East Carolina University with a Marketing degree in 2005, Crystal DeGoede moved to New Jersey. In her four years as a member of the BurrellesLuce marketing team and through her interaction with peers and clients she has learned what is important or what it takes to develop a career when you are just starting out. She is passionate about continuing to learn about the industry in which we serve and about her career path. By engaging readers on Fresh Ideas Crystal hopes to further develop her social media skills and inspire other “millennials” who are just out of college and/or working in the field of marketing and public relations. Twitter: @cldegoede LinkedIn: Crystal DeGoede Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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