Posts Tagged ‘social media best practices’

Making the Most of a Facebook Fan Page

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
Flickr Image: wvs / Sam Javanrouh

Flickr Image: wvs / Sam Javanrouh

Valerie Simon

According to a new study by Sysomos , a social media monitoring and analytics firm, 77 percent of Facebook fan pages have less than 1,000 fans. As I write this post, the BurrellesLuce fan page is hovering on the cusp of the top 33 percent, with 962 fans as of this posting. We’ve more than doubled our fan base in the past six weeks, and I had a great discussion with Johna Burke, our senior vice president of marketing, regarding how organizations make the most of the opportunity Facebook offers.

  • Have a clear understanding on why you want a presence on Facebook. At BurrellesLuce, our surveys demonstrated that our stakeholders are active participants in Facebook. Is your audience currently interacting on Facebook? Is the makeup of your Facebook audience different than those you are reaching out to through other forms of media?
  • Remember Facebook is not a strategy. Rather Facebook is one tactic in our overall communications plan. It provides us with an opportunity to connect with key stakeholders, to listen, and to share information. Our Facebook page incorporates our blog posts, the events we sponsor, and other marketing efforts. Be sure your activities on Facebook are consistent with your overarching communications strategy.
  • Set realistic expectations and goals. “If you build it, they will come” does not apply. Facebook may boast over 300,000,000 active users, but what does that mean for your brand? Consider the demographics of Facebook in comparison to your target audience and the category of your brand. Will fans want to engage with you? Some categories are inevitably more appealing than others, so although the most popular category on Facebook is “nonprofits”; “celebrities”, “music”, and “products” are the most popular categories among pages with more than one million fans.  In the business category, where BurrellesLuce falls, users often struggle with the issue of personal brand, versus professional brand.
  • Give your fans a reason to engage. The Sysomos study noted that on an average Facebook page, the administrators create one wall post every 15.7 days. As BurrellesLuce sought to grow our Facebook presence, administrators increased activity, posting between 3 and 5 times a week. Along with sharing posts from Fresh Ideas, we have done campaigns exclusively for Facebook fans, such as a drawing done at the PRSA International conference or a current raffle to give fans a chance to join us at the PRNews How-To Conference (December 2 in D.C.) for free. Not surprisingly, as the number of fans increase, fan generated content will increase; those pages with more than one million fans have nearly 60 times as much fan generated content as the average Facebook page.
  • Stay true to the medium Facebook is not your corporate website. Understand that Facebook is a forum for more informal conversation.

How is your organization using Facebook? What are the challenges you find in developing and engaging a community of Facebook?

Do Your Homework: Blogger Pitching Basic Essentials – Part 2 of 2

Friday, October 2nd, 2009
When pitching a blogger, remember they most likely don’t have an editor and can write what they want at anytime!

Image: PurpleMattFish

My last post was “Do Your Homework: Media Pitching Basic Essentials – Part 1 of 2.”  In part two we’ll look at pitching bloggers who aren’t members of the media. After all, pitching bloggers is not necessarily the same as pitching a journalist who happens to blog too. The Bad Pitch Blog recently stated “At the risk of oversimplifying…the difference between journalists and bloggers is paid vs. passion.” Remember, a blogger most likely does not have an editor and can write what they want at any time!

 Here are my three basic essentials for blogger relations:

  • Research the blog/blogger. As with pitching journalists, the first step is research. This entails not just using a search engine or service to find the blogger, but it means reading what they’ve written – not just the last post. Shannon Nelson hit the nail-on-the-head when she wrote, “PR has to invest the time to peel back the layers and research who [the bloggers] are, what [the bloggers] talk about and who [the bloggers’] audience is before sending a pitch—or take the chance of their pitch hitting the spam folder (or worse, appearing as a slam on their blog).”  To expand on that thought Frank Krolicki wrote recently, “Most bloggers are immersed in their topic of interest almost all day, every day, and are much more open to dealing with someone who shares their passion than someone who’s simply looking to get quick publicity for a client,” which leads to my next point.
  • Develop a relationship. You can do this by starting a dialogue with the blogger.  Connect with them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or any other social media sites where they hang out. Contribute to the conversation by commenting on their blog or post.  Always be respectful, but not stuffy, and don’t be overly familiar too soon. (Kind of sounds like dating, huh?)  Consider asking permission of the blogger before adding them to a pitch list.
  • Have a plan/call to action. Allow me to reiterate the last point in the previous paragraph: Consider asking permission before adding a blogger to a pitch list.  Better yet, don’t add them to a pitch list at all. Rather make the pitch one-on-one as part of your natural conversation. When you get to the pitching stage in your relationship, be sure to articulate exactly what you are looking for – set a common level of expectations to avoid any misinterpretations.

 Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to review Todd Defren’s Blogger Relations Case Study; however, before you go, please tell the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas what points you would add to the blogger pitching essentials list?

True Listening is a Two-Way Street

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

chihuahuacropped.jpgAre you a voyeur? Do you read your friends Twitter posts, but you never reply? Do you have 20 blogs in your reader, but you don’t go to the actual blog and leave a comment? You are not alone. I have personally been guilty of not adding to the conversation. I listen to several podcasts and read a few blogs about the TV show “Lost.” But, I have rarely (OK, almost never) left a comment. Last week, I decided I needed to, at the very least, let the bloggers/podcasters know how much I enjoy their sharing of ideas.

Just this past week, the BurrellesLuce blogging team had a meeting to discuss good social media practices. We were reminded to not be afraid to comment on other blogs and tweets.

Many of us are used to reading information, but we are often too busy to add to the conversation. For those of you with the lack-of-time excuse, check out Interactive Insights Group’s blog “How to Boost Your Social Media Productivity.”  I also suggest Josh Morgan’s post, “Free PR Advice – Comment on relevant blogs with something of value,” which gives you tips on commenting on blogs.

Don’t forget, it is “social” media, not “passive” media, so get out their and be social. Comments welcome!