Posts Tagged ‘targeting’


How Targeted Is Too Targeted? 3 Tips For Using Local Ads Responsibly

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Facebook Local Awareness Ads Tips BurrellesLuce Ellis Friedman Media Monitoring PR Software Public Relations

flickr user viZZZual.com under CC BY

Yesterday, Facebook announced its new advertising feature, local awareness ads. Their messaging portrays this as a tool primarily aimed at helping local businesses reach more people, but the way the feature works is it shows the ad to people who live in the area or were recently within a certain radius of the business.

What Facebook doesn’t elaborate on is how they know who had been near the business or where exactly – or within what one mile radius – people live. Surely geotagged posts and photos will play into it, but since a new feature can track your location through your phone (though so far, on a purely opt-in basis), it seems their precise targeting tools have only gotten more precise.

Local awareness ads are certainly appealing to brick-and-mortar businesses of any size and should help Facebook generate even more advertising revenue, but it also risks making users feel surveilled. So businesses considering implementing local awareness ads will have to consider whether their targeted ads will cause their audience to feel uncomfortable. Take the example of the marketer who hypertargeted Facebook ads for his roommate. The roommate became so paranoid he stopped talking on the phone for fear of being tracked. Though it was a prank, it’s a prime example of how targeting too well can backfire.

Of course, used with common sense and discretion, Facebook’s new feature won’t make people feel that way. We’ve talked before about how brand personalization can be done effectively without being creepy, so let’s revisit the topic with creating targeted ads that aren’t Big Brother-y.

Make sure it’s opt-in

Whenever you’re using a location-targeted ad platform or service, do your due diligence and make sure that data is collected on an opt-in basis. This means that the setting that collects data should not be a default; it should ask users explicitly to opt in, and then make it easy for them to opt out at any time. While making something opt in isn’t your responsibility, you want to make sure you’re using platforms responsibly so that you don’t find yourself a scapegoat or example of creepy behavior.

Don’t talk to them about where they are

Your location-specific ad probably shouldn’t say, “Hey! We see you’re just down the street, come on in!” This definitely sounds creepy. Craft a better, more engaging message like, “Looking for ___?” or, “We’ve got ____” or even something vaguely targeted like, “Whatever you need isn’t far away.”

The most important thing is that, even though people are being tracked by a lot of providers like Facebook, Google, and mobile companies, the key is to avoid making them feel like they’re being tracked. Instead, the goal is to be just helpful enough that your ad seems serendipitous

Don’t give people things they don’t ask for

This should sound obvious, and it isn’t something you could do through Facebook’s local awareness ads, but don’t give people digital things they didn’t agree to. Apple learned that lesson the hard way last month when they paid U2 lots of money and then delivered the new album to every iTunes user.

Just like a lot of other aspects of brand personalization and targeted advertising, it’s all about striking a balance and being helpful, not overly personal. Exercise common sense and go forth and reach that target audience!

Branding and Marketing Lessons From Publishing a Book

Monday, July 7th, 2014
Branding and Marketing Lessons From Publishing a Book Lauren Skidmore BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas What is Hidden Public Relations PR Marketing Branding

Image posted with permission from Lauren Skidmore

by Lauren Skidmore*

You’ve written a book. Great! But that’s only the start of publishing. Even if you do public relations or marketing as a day job, marketing your own debut book can feel like shouting into a void, especially when you don’t have a built-in audience from a large publisher to do half of the work for you. My debut novel was released a month ago, but the work that went into marketing it began long before that. Here are three quick tips on how to jump start getting that book into the hands of readers.

Create an Online Presence

People need to be able to find you. The general recommendations are to pick two or three social media platforms to do, and then do them well. An author website is a must, even if it’s just a simple landing page – you can always expand it later, and you’ll be glad when you’ve claimed your domain name early.

Facebook and Twitter are also strongly recommended, but it also depends on which platforms your target demographic use. With a young adult fantasy novel, I split most of my time between Twitter and Tumblr because that’s where many of my readers are (and it’s where I have the most fun). I also use a Facebook page and my blog for big announcements so readers can always quickly find out what’s new with me.

Build an Audience

When I pitched my novel to potential publishers, one of the things they wanted to know was how many followers I already had online. As a hobby, I had a Tumblr with over 4,000 followers at the time – that’s 4,000 potential readers right there! Publishers don’t like to take risks, and if they see you already have thousands of potential buyers, that’s one more mark in your favor. Again, pick the place that works best for you. It doesn’t really matter whether you do this through blogging, Twitter, or elsewhere, just get that follower count high.

You also want to hold on to your audience, and newsletters are great for that. People can sign up and get updates right in their inboxes. I suggest only sending these newsletters when you have big announcements, such as a book release or promotions, and definitely no more than once a month so you don’t spam your readers. MailChimp and Constant Contact are two popular tools for creating your own newsletters, and if you’re under 2,000 subscribers, MailChimp is free!

Brand Yourself

What will people associate with your name as an author? For non-fiction writers, you should establish yourself as some sort of authority or expert in your field. You can write guest blog posts or maintain your own blog, participate in social media or forum discussions, or whatever you can think of to put your name out there.

For fiction writers, it’s a little different, although doing any of the above certainly won’t hurt. You’ll want to define your genre, as well as what you’re bringing that’s new. For example, my novel was essentially pitched to publishers as a Cinderella retelling in which Cinderella has to rescue the prince.

Genre? Fairy Tale Retelling. What’s different? Role reversal. My target audience knows right away if this was something they’d be interested in, as well as what makes it different from every other retelling.

The good news about doing all this early is that the groundwork will already be done when your release date is here, and you can hit the ground running on your next novel.  Because in the end, the best thing you can do is keep writing and keep releasing new material. Your books will begin to advertise for you as they take up more shelf space and loyal readers return to see what else you have in store.

***

Lauren Skidmore author What is Hidden BurrellesLuce Broadcast Public Relations PR MarketingLauren Skidmore is the Broadcast Keyperson at BurrellesLuce by day and writes by night. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Teaching and double minors in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. After graduating, she lived and taught in Japan for a year before returning to the United States where she spends far too much time on computers and the internet. What is Hidden is her first novel.

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?

Experiment in Social Media by ‘Communicating the Experience’

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
PRSA-NCC Panel on "Communicating the Experience"

Flickr Image: Capital Communicator - 9/18/12 PRSA-NCC panel on Communicating the Experience featured Heather Freeman, Heather Freeman Media and Public Relations, moderator; Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief, Washingtonian; Amy McKeever, editor, Eater; Vanessa French, co-founder, Pivot Point Communications; and Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum.

The only way to succeed in social media is to experiment A LOT! One out of ten tries will be successful and two out of three will be somewhat successful, says Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief, Washingtonian. A panel at the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on Sept. 18 confirms his statement. All the panelists look for ways to communicate the experience, especially in relation to food.

Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum, speaking about the Double Tree by Hilton Cookie CAREavan Across America campaign, a winner of the 2012 Thoth Awards, says they focused on three key ways to connect to the public via social media:

  • a cookie confessional (video of consumers discussing cookie or Double Tree experiences)
  • swarm car (a Twitter contest for an office cookie party)
  • and an online sweepstakes.

The swarm car originally left executives nervous, but eventually provided additional opportunities, such as when the Atlanta office of the Associated Press won and tweeted their happiness.

Tips for Experimenting in Social Media

Incorporate photos into the mix: With the implementation of the Facebook timeline, Vanessa French, co-founder, Pivot Point Communications, advocates using a lot of pictures. Speaking of pictures, everyone agreed “food porn” is irresistible to the consumer. People love to post pictures of food, so organizations should take the lead and upload photos to their media properties.  

Leverage outreach to boost advocacy: French advocated outreach to local bloggers about events, which she finds can often lead to their posts being testimonials.

Know your audience: As with all campaigns, the key is to knowing what platforms your audience is using. In reviewing Facebook and Twitter, Graff comments Facebook is for following friends who are strangers and Twitter is for following strangers who are friends. French also says Facebook users do not like shortened links, unless they are coming from an established media company.

The panel considers Pinterest the new bright shiny tool, and brands need to evaluate it for usefulness for their campaigns. Graff says it is especially useful if you are targeting young women looking to get married, even if the wedding is not imminent. French commented on several non-profits, like the World Wildlife Federation, using it successfully. She also said many men are on Pinterst talking about technology.

Expand your communities: Amy McKeever, editor, EaterDC, says she stays in-touch with many smaller restaurants through Facebook and Twitter, and she finds Twitter to be a good way to gather news. She doesn’t post news to social media until it is posted to Eater, because her goal is to drive traffic to her site.

Align tactics with business goals and objectives: Campbell says the debate over creating a website versus a Facebook page is discussed in their office. Many of his younger colleagues advocate for the Facebook page. French says if you do choose a website, be sure to advocate for a blog, which will help with SEO.

QR codes and the next wave of social-technology…  French says she pitches QR codes to clients, but they are often not in the final campaign. Graff feels we are at a low point for QR codes, right now. They are not easy to use, so he says a simple link works just as well. But, he thinks a more advanced QR code that is universal might be on the horizon.

How are you and your clients continuing to experiment with social media? What new trends do you see on the horizon? What tried-and-true tactics continue to work in the present? Please share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

Highlights from BurrellesLuce #PRWebinar – Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

HMA Public RelationsYesterday BurrellesLuce had the opportunity to host a webinar, “Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events,” with Abbie S. Fink, vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations. (Download the on-demand webinar and slides on the BurrellesLuce website).

During the webcast Abbie offered some great tips to help PR professionals drive awareness, boost organizational profits, and pitch events to the c-suite and employees.

Here are some Twitter highlights from Abbie’s presentation:

  • Improve the outcome of events by using a PR plan. Your organization’s mission and goals can serve as the foundation for a strategic PR plan for your event.
  • Make sure events fit your plan. Have goals to measure the success and value!
  • Don’t short change your goal setting. Set the expectations in advanced, look at the calendar, and make adjustments.
  • Prioritize your goals and develop objectives. Then develop strategies, tactics and tasks based on needs.
  • Build relationships with spokespeople at every level. Remember to include internal communications/employees as part of your PR strategies. They are one of your best resources for planning a special event.
  • When you partner with the media remember this may limit how other outlets can cover the event. Target your audience.
  • To add value, implement promotions and activities to further enhance media relations efforts & establish partnerships.
  • If you mix the general public and the media at an event – let your spokespeople know.
  • It is easy to get lost in details. So, share responsibilities and know who does what and what time is needed.
  • Remember soft costs should be accounted for when determining the COST of events.
  • Think about trade and other ways to use and maximize your budget through sponsorships and in-kind donors.
  • Separate specific events from special ones. Know what would be standard or regularly occurring rather than a one-time or special milestone. (Think annual Gala vs. 25th Anniversary Celebration).
  • When looking for volunteers, look for people with particular qualities and who enjoy giving their time and energy. Then ensure there’s work for them, even if it is as simple as stuffing envelopes.
  • Remember – if it’s mandatory than it isn’t volunteering.
  • After implementation consider conducting an evaluation (e.g., survey or focus group) to determine the effectiveness of events.
  • Always say “Thank you.”

Want more tips for planning and evaluating successful events? Download a copy of Abbie’s Tip Sheet for Planning and Evaluating Successful Events! And be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post where Abbie shares additional insights on the Q&A not addressed in the webinar.