Posts Tagged ‘Mid-Atlantic’

Social Media Marketers are all dying to know — Is Facebook dying? Or losing its cool?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

This post first appeared on Capitol Communicator 10.22.12 and is cross-posted with permission.

Most brands have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but, are they still relevant and the best place for your efforts? Several presenters at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore on Oct. 18 addressed this question and looked into the alternatives to Facebook.

If you ask author and marketing strategist Geoff Livingston if Facebook is dead, he will say, “It’s loosing it’s cool.” His fellow panelists say it’s still relevant. All did agree, if you want to get your post seen by your fans (or even friends for personal use), you need “pay to play” and promote your post.

During a later panel, Marty Conway, Imre Marketing and Communications, said Facebook isn’t dead, but suggested we should not be thinking about the distribution channel, but about the content. He advocates using more visuals, photos and video.

Although he feels Facebook is still relevant for marketers, Mitch Arnowitz, Tuvel Communications, said many people are tuning-out ads. He feels Facebook will forever suffer a privacy perception problem.

Strategies and Insights

Facebook’s customer targeting is great, said Cary Lawrence, SocialCode. People are self-identifying, allowing for extremely targeted campaigns. She went on to say it is a nurturing platform, so you need to nurture and engage fans to get your EdgeRank score up. (EdgeRank determines whether or not your post will be seen in a news stream on Facebook.) She also noted the community benefits the brand, because fans of a page will convert to customers twice as much as non-fans.

The goal is not to just get followers said Brian Razzaque, SocialToaster. You can concentrate your energy on a different channel, and know you will still get secondary following on Facebook. Although the number of users is smaller, he said Google+ is huge for SEO, and the degree of engagement is quite high.

You need to find your audience, said Katie Roberts, Laureate Education, and she advocates using surveys. She noted her research for serving a new university purchased by Laureate Education, which serves mostly Hispanic students. She learned Hispanics check-in on Foursquare more than any other audience segment.  Roberts advocated for experimenting with different platforms. For one of Laureate Education’s schools they created several topic-related Pinterest boards.

You should pick your content home-base (usually your organization’s website) and direct all traffic there. From the home-base, all content and platforms should complement each other.

In looking at your audience segment, Kari Mitchell, HZDG, commented that the older you get the more likely to click on an ad, versus younger users who are more likely to “like” a brand.

You can read the top tweets from the Summit on Storify.

Do you think Facebook is dead or dying?

Marketing Trend Insights from the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

This post first appeared on the Capitol Communicator blog 10.21.12 and is cross-posted with permission.

Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit Baltimore 2012

Consumers read and interact with content in many different ways and on many different platforms. Marketers need to measure across the various platforms and realize consumers are frequently opting-out of tracking. These trends and many others were discussed at the Oct. 18 Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore, which was attended by more than 300 marketers and communicators.

Engagement rules:
It is the twilight of the fan. If they aren’t engaging, it doesn’t matter if they are your fan, said Leigh George, R2integrated.

George gave the following take-aways:

1. Plan with the end goal in mind;
2. Don’t mistake a fan for a business metric;
3. Go to where the conversations are;
4. Respect the dark social; and,
5. Create content engineered to be consumed and shared.

Be true to the brand message:
Keynote Steve Sommers, Under Armour (UA), discussed brand messaging. As UA discusses new messages, they ask themselves, is the message true? Do consumers care? Does it make sense coming from your brand?  You need to talk with, not talk at consumers said Sommers. UA started a “What is beautiful?” contest to encourage female fans and customers. They discovered the female participants found community and were less interested in the competition.

Dormify lesson:
Karen Zuckerman, HZDG, found sending her daughter to college led to an idea for a new business, Dormify, an online design store for dorm rooms. She outlined their steps for creating a brand and business:

1. Create a brand – find a strong voice needed to connect with the personality;
2. Build a community – find evangelists to generate content;
3. Open an online store;
4. Market and promote it- they were beta testers for a Google catalogue;
5. Figure it out as you go: Since back to school is their Christmas, they created their own holiday – Cyber Monday;
6. Gain earned media – Dormify was often asked to partner with them;
7. Become the niche of our niche – 80% of their designers are in sororities, so they licensed sorority wear.

Consumers pay attention to content relevant to them.
Discussing campaign examples, Fred Jorgenson, Crosby Marketing, detailed how they used a hospital’s website to show emergency wait times. He added the caveat that checking the website is not always the best idea (dial 911, if needed), but it added a new level of interaction, which patients did not expect.

Throughout all the presentations, the speakers encouraged participants to experiment with new platforms and ideas, and always consider the overall business goals.

You can read some of the top tweets from the summit on Storify.

Digital Marketing Insights from the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Social media is boring, so let’s find a way to influence the physical world, says Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategyLabs, when highlighting his latest projects during the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit on April 20. The full-day event, sponsored by the Capitol Communicator and Potomac Tech Wire, was held at Gannett headquarters and included insights from marketing, communications, advertising and public relations experts.

With many folks overwhelmed by the number of social media platforms available, one panel attempted to put the social networkings into perspective. Moderated by Geoff Livingston, vice president of strategic partnerships at Razoo, the panelists looked at several options beyond Facebook and Twitter and shared what worked for their organizations. All the panelists encouraged participants to find out what platforms their core audience use.

Commenting on Google+ users, Kevin Dando, director of digital marketing and communications at PBS, says the site is just a place for men to talk about being on Google+. However, you shouldn’t discount Google+ because it will help your website’s page rank. Additionally, Google+ and YouTube are becoming closer and will soon have shared search. On the other side of the spectrum, Pinterest has mostly female users and can be very effective for visual campaigns.

PBS, like other TV networks, needs to be on GetGlue, a platform that allows users to check into TV shows and other entertainment media. Dando says shows with live Twitter events have ratings one percent higher than those without. He commented Tumblr doesn’t drive a lot of traffic, but it does have a lot of engagement.

The role of chief marketer has become chief storyteller, says Debra Lavoy, director of product marketing at OpenText. You should use the story to pull the team together and that content marketing should be renamed substance marketing.

If his marketing budget was increased, Vocus’s Jason Jue says he would wish for more storytellers. (Download this PR Storytelling tip sheet from BurrellesLuce). Speaking of storytellers, when I asked the Beyond Facebook and Twitter panel if they could review Storify, they said they were all fans, especially for events. At SXSW, they said they barely left a session before someone would post all the tweets from the event to a new Storify.

Examples of brands using marketing and social media for good and helping causes were also abundant. For example, Terry Macko, senior vice president of communications and marketing for the World Wildlife Fund, discussed WWLF teaming with Coke to raise awareness about the environment. Despite backlash and confusion over the white cans, the campaign raised over two million dollars.

The summit inspired several great blog posts, including: