Posts Tagged ‘fans’


Rebranding Your Facebook Page

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

What would you do if you had to start a new Facebook page for your organization and convince all your fans to like a new page? This is the reality for the athletics department of my alma mater, the University of North Dakota (UND). The university is going to stop using the “Fighting Sioux” as its nickname, and so they need to convince the 48,285 fans (and counting) of University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux to “like” UND Sports instead. To date only 2,296 fans have “liked” the new UND Sports page.

This brings up an important, but often forgotten, point about Facebook pages… You need to choose your Facebook page name carefully, because, as I discussed in my BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post, Facebook Tips for PR Pros, you cannot change the page name once your page has 101+ fans. If UND had used “University of North Dakota (UND) Sports (or Athletics)” or some variation originally, this situation might not be happening. Remember, you can change the “About” and “Company Overview” at any time, so consider using these for more creative names and information.

Diane Thieke, founder, Simply Talk Media and Mike Schaffer, director of social media, iostudio have both recently helped clients make a Facebook page change. Both advocate a well-developed communications strategy, which should include:

  • Clear messaging: Why is a new page needed? What new benefits will it offer?
  • A transition timeline: Allow enough time to communicate the change. This can be as little as eight weeks, for a small fan base, up to six months or more for a large following. It is very important to give an end date for when the old page will no longer be updated, and stick to it.
  • Integrated marketing: Communicate regularly, and often, through multiple channels (email, newsletters, website, etc.) about the transition. You want to reach as much of your fan base as possible to let them know about the page change.
  •  A content strategy: Drive people to your new page. For example, post identical content to both pages until the end date is reached, but gradually phase out content on the old page. Eventually, your new page should offer unique information not available elsewhere. Expanded content, like HD video, pictures and polls, will give the new page more value.
  • A “like” campaign. Consider offering incentives. For example, you can donate $1 for every “like” to charity. Branded swag can help rebuild the emotional connection. Be sure to promote all campaigns across all channels of communication.

Thieke says, “Remember that social media is a conversation. Respond to the comments on the old page and acknowledge how your fans feel, but avoid engaging in arguments. Often, people just want to know they’re being heard.”

Rebranding is never easy. Schaffer confirms, “The key to remember is that the loyalty isn’t to the name, but to the institution.” If the new Facebook page is going to allow fans, students and alumni to gain information and insight to the teams, then they will make the transition. Eventually, the old name will become less important.

Have you had to change Facebook pages for your organization or a client? Can you share some lessons learned and best practices with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?

Facebook Timeline: Exciting Users or Making Them Unhappy?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Andrea Corbo*

Facebook has described it’s new timeline as a way to “tell your life story.” If you have any presence on social media sites, you’ve surely been hearing the hype from friends and online articles alike.

Users will now be able to display their likes, photos, apps, and more from the beginning to the end in timeline format rather than a traditional profile. This leaves many users wondering if the site will display things from the start of their account or if they’ll be asked to fill in the blanks from earlier moments in life. Of course there are other questions:

  • Will there still be a newsfeed?
  • Will there still be status updates?
  • How does this new type of profile influence the way we connect with friends and fans?

The company itself seems pretty confident in the new layout and timeline. They’ve even released a promotional video in anticipation of its launch.

With the countless changes to Facebook in the past, the most recent being the addition of a ticker of real-time updates from connections, I can’t recall a video for any of those new features.

With all this hype over timelines, I’m left wondering, what is the damage verses the gain when changing a social media site? Each time Facebook makes even a small layout change, users post angry statuses complaining about what they don’t like. When Facebook first added the newsfeed back in 2006 it seemed that everyone was outraged. Now, users are comfortable with the newsfeed (despite the latest updates that change the way posts are displayed in a feed) and expect to see it. So, do users just want to keep things the same for the sake of comfort? Or are these new projected changes really a negative thing?

With the new timeline, some current users fear threats to privacy, dislike the open display of too much information, and dread adjusting to the differences. Yet, others seem excited to relive moments with friends and embrace a new approach to display their info. I can guess that once the timeline is launched to all users, people will reject the change at first and then eventually learn to love it.

But for now, we will have to wait and see as Facebook Timeline Has One Week Time-Out and has delayed beta testing in order to sort out issues over possible trademark infringement.

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After receiving a B.A. in communications, and briefly working at a TV production studio, Andrea began volunteering abroad. This lead her to work in the non-profit world, where she was fortunate enough to learn about international education, women’s empowerment and social issues for the elderly, while traveling to over a dozen countries.  Since joining BurrellesLuce in 2011, Andrea is excited to share her thoughts and views on branding, social media, and communications with the growing Fresh Ideas audience, as well as her passion for cultural awareness, volunteerism, and sustainable efforts. Twitter: @AndreaCorbo; Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce

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.

Measuring Social Media: The Value of Influence

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Valerie Simon

“Influence is about the value you give,” emphasized Deirdre Breakenridge, author and President of Mango! Marketing at the February 15th PRSA NJ Measurement and Evaluation workshop on Monitoring and Determining ROI for Digital/Social Media. Breakenridge also noted that it is extremely important to consider the platform(s) where those you are targeting spend time. Measuring social media is about going where your audience is; if you are trying to reach teens, for example, consider focusing your efforts on Tumblr.

Here are some additional thoughts on evaluating influencers Breakenridge shared with me during this video interview following the event.


 

As we continue to counsel BurrellesLuce clients on new ways to identify influencers and listen to them across all types of media and platforms, one thing is apparent: the elusive influencer is not one who can be discovered by simply noting fans or followers. The power of a particular influencer may change based upon their platform, subject matter, and perhaps most importantly, the demographics and interests of your target audience (hint, no matter how “influential” Lady Gaga is reported to be, if you are attempting to convince my dad where to vacation, find another influencer). 

So what is the real secret to identifying key influencers for your community? It begins with taking the time to get to know your community. Listen. Understand who (and what) motivates them. Consider how you can help brand evangelists to become true influencers and how you can encourage influencers to become consistent and loyal brand evangelists.

What is your definition of an influencer and how do you determine the influencers that matter most to your brand, organization, or client? Who are your favorite examples of influencers and why? The comments are all yours. 

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