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Social Media Marketing: Twitter, Facebook Strut Their Stuff During The Weekend

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Social Media Marketing: Twitter Hashtag Landing Pages

Social Media Marketing: Twitter Hashtag Landing Pages

The social media marketing world got a very positive peek at the near-future over the weekend. One of those glimpses came from the hallowed halls of research, the other from the lightning-fast track at Pocono Raceway.

Twitter ran its first TV commercial during NASCAR’s Pocono 400 race on Sunday, and it was 15 seconds of a driver taking an iPhone picture inside his car. Okay, maybe not Clio-worthy material. But the leap into the next stage of social media marketing came during the very end of the spot with the words, “See what he sees, ” along with the URL Twitter.com/#NASCAR. It was the social network’s way of launching brand hashtag pages, and in NASCAR’s case it came complete with lots of special content, including behind-the-scenes multimedia and twees from drivers, pit crews and select fans/observers. And all of it was managed/controlled/curated by the social network, thereby ensuring that only relevant, compelling and non-controversial tweets got on the hashtag page.

What more could companies ask for? And yes, this was done for a big brand, but hopefully Twitter finds a way to leverage this new marketing avenue for smaller businesses. Here’s what brand hashtags bring to the table: more potential revenue for Twitter, sure, but also more engaged current/potential customers who will line up for exclusive content from businesses.

Remember Facebook? That social network that had a disappointing IPO, which was apparently the cue for everybody to scream that its best days are behind it? The web research firm comScore begs to differ.

In a June 7th blog post titled “It’s Time To Change The Discussion On Measuring Facebook Effectiveness,” comScore’s Andrew Lipsman takes exception to recent reports that consumer purchasing decisions aren’t influenced by Facebook “likes” or brand pages, and that people are spending less time on the social network. Lipsman, teasing a white paper coming this week from his company, says “we are gaining critical new insights that show Facebook earned media is having a statistically significant positive lift on people’s purchasing of a brand.”

Lipsman says comScore’s proprietary methodology does a better job of electronically gathering information on behavioral patterns versus surveys asking consumers to remember correctly if they were influenced by social media content. There’s also an inherent bias by people against admitting that they are influenced by advertising/marketing, and that plays into those earlier reports, he added.

We’ll be looking for more information the comScore white paper, and we suggest business owners do the same. It could help pry open that window into the future of social media marketing even wider.

Renay San Miguel is the Chief Content Officer at Splash Media and On-Air Talent and Host with Spark360.tv. You can find him on Twitter @PrimoMedia. Click here to see all of Renay’s blog posts.

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SplashCast From The Past: Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Social Media Welcome Mat

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It’s been nearly a year since Splash Media spoke with Veronica Torres, director of diversity marketing at the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau and the leader of the CVB’s social media strategy. Since Torres spoke with SplashCast host Renay San Miguel last summer, the Bureau has expanded its efforts to use social media to boost its destination marketing goals.

“We are actually working with other platforms and have three staff people internally managing our social media efforts,” Torres tells Splash Media. “We are also in the middle of a huge rebranding effort with Dallas and will be launching a new digital strategy before the end of the year.”

Torres says Pinterest is now a part of the Bureau’s social media mix, along with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In this SplashCast from the past, Torres talks about how her organization launched its social media strategy and how it uses each major social network.

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Dallas Convention And Visitors Bureau Social Media Strategy

Dallas Convention And Visitors Bureau Social Media Strategy

 

 

Amid The Doom And Gloom, What You're NOT Hearing About Facebook for Businesses

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Facebook for BusinessesEvery Friday morning, the Splash Media team meets to talk about the week that was and the good news for clients courtesy of social media marketing. This week”s discussion was especially gratifying, considering the five days of doomsaying and finger-pointing that has resulted following Facebook”s less-than-auspicious IPO.

A good portion of the news came from Facebook and Facebook ads; leads, likes, sharing, fans added to pages, forms filled, customer engagement thanks to questions on Facebook business pages. All are potential sales, but even if that isn”t the end result, all are community-building, content-sharing examples of social media”s power in business marketing. Oh, and did I mention that some of this goodness came courtesy of Facebook Ads?

But wait: wasn”t the Facebook IPO proof of a flawed business model, as media critic Michael Wolff wrote in a widely-distributed (and argued-over) MIT Technology Review post, “The Facebook Fallacy?”  Then there was Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steve Cool”s New Yorker piece, “.”  Between posts like those and mainstream media outlets doing their best to tie the company IPO to the dot-com bust, one would think the party music was winding down for social media.

However, life goes on for Facebook and its related ecosystem, even as questions have arisen about how this particular public offering was handled. Some new FB features from the week:

  • Facebook launched its Promoted Posts this week, which allows Page owners to get their content distributed to more users, depending on the number of likes they have and how much they”re willing to pay; the sliding scale ranges from $5 to $300, and Facebook tells you how many more users you”re likely to get at each price point.
  • The social network is releasing more analytical information to brand page administrators: the percentage of users who have viewed a page they liked is now available. Expect more data to roll out as the company continues its efforts to be more marketing friendly.
  • A new Facebook app, Timeline Movie Maker, searches the photo, video and text content on Timeline pages that drew the most engagement from users and turns it all into a one-minute video (with music). Here”s another content idea for jazzing up brands and business presence on the network.
  • Oh yeah: Facebook also released its own photo-sharing app, Facebook Camera, which may explain why it dropped a cool $1 billion on buying Instagram. A quick test-drive of the app resulted in fast sharing/commenting, plus you can see what your friends are uploading. The filters and effects aren”t quite ready to take on Instagram yet, but who knows; a year from now the two apps will probably be starring in their own episode of “Will It Blend?”

All that – plus a user base rapidly approaching one billion – sure doesn”t sound like the death knell of the world”s largest social network. But that”s just me. What do you think? Please share in our Comments section below.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Splash Media respectfully asks that you take some time this weekend to think about those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of their country, and to keep their families in your prayers as well.

Renay San Miguel is the Chief Content Officer at Splash Media and On-Air Talent and Host with Spark360.tv. You can find him on Twitter @PrimoMedia. Click here to see all of Renay’s blog posts.

Stay up-to-date on the latest in social media marketing; subscribe to our award-winning blog!

How Google’s Knowledge Graph Will Improve Your Business

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My searches are about more than just the words I’m typing. There’s meaning, context, and the relationship between items to consider. But it takes a repository like Wikipedia to understand that. However, with Google’s latest update to search results pages, the search giant is taking another step toward not only showing me results, but understanding those results. Search is becoming more human, and, as Google puts it, the Knowledge Graph is about “things, not strings.”

Here’s where it gets good. The recent launch of Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just good news for searchers. Businesses can take the information that Google offers in the Knowledge Graph and use it to inform content planning and even advertising campaigns.

Take a search for “Dallas” as an example. If I type “Dallas” into Google, the information I really want might be the population of the Texas city. On the other hand, I could be after the name of the actor who played the character Bobby Ewing on the TV drama. (I’ll admit, Patrick Duffy isn’t always top of mind.) Before the Knowledge Graph, Google didn’t know the difference between these two pieces of information, and it didn’t care. If I wanted to get really specific in my search results, I had to type “Dallas population,” maybe with quotes, maybe without. Or I had to type “Bobby Ewing Dallas actor” or something similar.

Google Knowledge Graph

Google Knowledge Graph

On the new results page, Google understands that I’m not just looking for information about the word “Dallas.” I’m probably looking for something deeper. Using information from Google Maps, Wikipedia, and other sources, the Knowledge Graph pulls a snapshot of information about what I’m most likely looking for. In this case, it’s a map of Dallas and stats like elevation, weather, and population. With billions of searches per day, Google can predict what information I’m probably seeking based on the queries of everyone who searched before me. And just in case I’m looking for Bobby Ewing, the Knowledge Graph also suggests that as an option so I can filter my search results just to the TV show.

Believe it or not, this has value for businesses, not just trivia junkies. If I’m managing social media for my veterinary practice, I want my blogs and tweets to be relevant. I want to provide information that people are looking for. Before I write a blog about Dalmatians, a quick Google search will check the Knowledge Graph and tell me what people most want to know. Are Dalmatians hypoallergenic? How long do they live? How big do they get? Now I have three content topics based on what my audience actually wants to know, not on what I think they want to know.

But sure, it’s good for trivia too.

The Latest Diagnosis For Social Media and Healthcare

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social media and healthcareIf you run a healthcare-related business, you might have questioned if social media offered any kind of prescription for success. After all, compliance issues and questions about the transparency required to take advantage of the potential in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube might have scared off some businesses faster than an immunization needle can spook a toddler.

But a recent study (registration required) from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC shows that more consumers and hospitals are using Facebook and other social media to shorten the distance between patients and doctors.

Perhaps more importantly for health-related companies; patients are talking to each other about the quality of care they receive.

The survey’s highlights:

  • A third of the more than 1,000 consumers surveyed said they were willing to share their health information with other patients.
  • 47 percent were sharing health information via doctors on social media.
  • 38 percent were using social media to talk to insurance companies.
  • 16 percent posted social media reviews of doctors, treatments and drugs.
  • 28 percent supported health-related causes via social media.

The PwC survey also included some 124 healthcare executives, and that research determined that there were now about 1,200 hospitals taking part in 4,200 social networking sites.

“Early adopters in the health industry tell PwC that despite concerns about integrating social media into data analytics and measuring its effectiveness, they are incorporating social media into their business strategy,” said the report. “Not long ago, terms such as liking, following, tagging, and stumbling all had very different meanings. But in the era of social media, they provide the clues that could lead to higher quality care, more loyal customers, efficiency, and even revenue growth.”

Obviously, we concur with that diagnosis. Hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices should know by now that they are already being discussed, rated and reviewed online. But small/midsize businesses involved in the healthcare field – either business-to-consumer or business-to-business – are getting more research data available to them showing business advantages to using social media. These play right in to government-sponsored mandates for more usage of electronic health records, which also can help with office efficiencies. But the real-time aspects of social media help businesses deal with vendors and others in the supply chain, and they can ease patient concerns, answer questions and solve customer service issues.

All of that can make the medicine go down a lot smoother for healthcare-related businesses – and those they serve.

Can you share any instances of hospitals, clinics or doctors’ offices using social media in creative/innovative ways? Please write them down in our Comments section.

Renay San Miguel is the Chief Content Officer at Splash Media and On-Air Talent and Host with Spark360.tv. You can find him on Twitter @PrimoMedia. Click here to see all of Renay’s blog posts.

Stay up-to-date on the latest in social media marketing; subscribe to our award-winning blog!