Ah, Twitter, that medium where 140 characters can make or break the very core of your business.
Okay, so maybe Twitter’s effect on your business isn’t that dramatic. But tweeting about your industry is an essential part of social media marketing. If you are tweeting on behalf of your company through your own Twitter account, it can be tempting to rewrite your Twitter bio to reflect the voice of your brand. But here’s the problem: Twitter is the place to be friendly, casual, and yourself. Users want to see personality, not a corporate drone. So if you’re tweeting for your company, try to be professional and conversational. Take a look at the fictional Twitter bio below to see what I mean:
I love working at @CompanyName! We bring value to our customers and strive to be the very best at what we do! We’re here for all questions, comments and more.
Is it nice? Sure. Is it natural? Probably not. The key here is to be yourself and be enthusiastic about your company’s brand. Here’s an example of what you can do:
Love #branding, #books, and #cupcakes. Social media voice & marketing rep for @CompanyName. Tweet me questions, comments, and random thoughts.
It’s still a bit cheesy, but you’re revealing more of yourself without going overboard.
And you appear passionate about your company, which looks great for new customers. This bio also includes hashtags; use them to appear Twitter-savvy and fun.
Think of Twitter as a continual first date. You want to tell the truth about who you are, but there’s no need to reveal everything right away or pretend to be someone you’re not. Most people can sense if you’re putting up a false front. So remember: be excited about your brand as yourself – one tweet at a time!
You use airplanes to visit friends in faraway places. You use Facebook to share information online with friends in faraway places. Now Alaska Airlines has come up with a nice blending of those two activities, and it cements the Seattle-based company’s reputation as one of the more progressive airlines when it comes to its use of social media marketing.
FlyingSocial is a Facebook app that lets its users share Alaska’s fare deals and discounts with their FB friends. Once you sign up for the app, the software takes a few seconds to hunt down all your friends on Facebook, and then pulls up a map with their profile pics, locations and any special deals involving that destination. For example, clicking on the pic of a high school classmate of mine living in Houston shows a $99 one-way fare, as well as pics of other friends and how many miles they are from the airport. I can immediately share the deal with those friends, post it to my Facebook page and also check out any discounts offered by hotels and rental car companies.
FlyingSocial could help Alaska Airlines navigate the recession-induced turbulence in the airline business; its latest and greatest fares get that much more exposure thanks to the world’s largest social network, and frequent Alaska flyers are given incentives to stick with the airline and make it a habit to check FlyingSocial every day for new deals. It also puts Facebook squarely in their booking process; a “Shop Now” button in the FlyingSocial window that comes up when you click on a friend’s picture takes you directly to Alaska Airline’s reservation page.
I’ve written here before how Alaska Airlines’s social media team used their Twitter and Facebook feeds to deal with a March computer outage that could have been a public relations nightmare. Instead, regular updates posted promptly on the company’s social media platform, sensitive use of Twitter to deal with individual complaints, and a quickly-produced “apology” video starring company executives helped dampen customer outrage and mitigate the damage. All that was Alaska Airlines being reactive in the right way. FlyingSocial is the company going proactive with social media in a way that could add smiles to all those frequent flyer miles.
That’s just one example of a social media success story. Here’s some more social media marketing guidance courtesy of the week’s news feeds:
Don’t Forget To Answer Your “Social Telephone”
Social media consultant and author Jay Baer, along with Amber Naslund, coined the term “the social telephone” in their book The Now Revolution as a way for companies to think about their social media platforms. In this post on his Convert and Convert blog, Baer talks strategies regarding a new study about businesses that ignore Twitter complaints to their peril.
When Engaged (And Enraged) Customers Force Companies Back To Square One
Trackur CEO Andy Beal writes about the recent customer blowback directed at The Gap, OnStar and Netflix via their social media channels when those companies tried to change branding and business models.
Walmart Nation Joins Facebook World
The world’s biggest retailer is using the world’s biggest social network in, well, a big way; it created 3,500 Facebook pages for its local stores to announce promotions and deals to customers. Juan Martinez has the details in Direct Marketing News.
That’s all the news that’s fit to share this week, but feel free to send us comments and news tips in the space below. Enjoy what we hope is a perfect fall weekend for you and yours, and we’ll see you back here on Monday!
Every time I visit one of the many news websites online, they all have the same headlines day after day.
- “Economy Failing – Unemployment Rate at an All-Time High!”
- “War in the Middle East – Send Our Troops Home!”
- “Shooting in New York City – Six Critically Injured!”
- “Politicians Battling For Control – Republicans vs. Democrats!”
I passed the point a long, long time ago where I grew tired of seeing these headlines. These stories plaster our social media walls, covering Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds, and LinkedIn updates, and it’s just plain sad and depressing to think about. Who thinks their friends and family really want to see stories like this? I just don’t understand.
We’re creatures on this Earth with a finite amount of time to live, but we’re not really living. Instead of spending our time worrying about life and reading stories about despair and death, why not spend our time indulging in happier, more inspiring websites? Why not watch something that can possibly inspire and motivate us to do great things?
Well guess what? Today I want to share with you a few of those places that truly inspire me.
One word: YouTube. If you want a real news website, go here. They will still have all of your depressing news stories if you really want to see that same old content, but they also have a “Most Viewed Today” section which is my holy grail of great discoveries.
One piece of treasure I found through this section is “Where The Hell Is Matt?” If you have never seen one of his videos, check out the one below.
These simple yet inspiring videos remind me that, even though the Earth is covered in wars, crime, and terrorist threats, the world is still a place full of people who are good souls.
Another diamond in the rough is “MysteryGuitarMan”. Talk about creativity and imagination. I’ll include one of his first videos here so you can see how he does what he does.
He’s a constant reminder that anything in life, no matter how simple it is, can be turned into fun. Remember when you were young and something as simple as blowing bubbles would make you the happiest person in the world? MysteryGuitarMan reminds me that you’re never too old to be young again. Never.
The final place I find tranquility in my daily grind at work is NoShoesRadio. I know people listen to iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc., but NoShoesRadio is one of the main things that gets me through my day. It’s a perfect blend of old school rock with a tad of country, ranging from Aerosmith and the Dave Matthews Band, to The Beatles, Kenny Chesney, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and everything in between. It always has a relaxing beat to it and lets me imagine that I’m sitting on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean, pounding down a margarita, and watching the waves roll in – even though I’m staring at a computer monitor surrounded by Post-it notes and an empty Nestle water bottle.
The reason I wanted to share these things with you is to remind you that the Internet is full of amazing places, and you don’t have to settle for the same old headlines and news websites that make you sulk day after day. You just need to dig deeper to find these treasures. Everyone has their little space that they have carved out on the Internet where they find joy and happiness. Sharing those treasures with others will truly make the world a happier place.
Feel free to share your treasure in the comments below. I’m always game for a new adventure or fun place to visit. Thank you in advance.
Social Media Help Desk is brought to you by the lovely Natalie Bidnick, a social media manager here at Splash Media. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/nataliebid.
So you’ve launched a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page. You posted a few times…but then got busy with your business and forgot about it. It sat quiet for a few months and you just now remembered that once upon a time you had a social media marketing strategy.
Not to worry; here are 3 ways to restart your social media marketing campaigns:
* Get your company employees involved in liking, following and posting on your page. Whether you have three staff members or 300, they are your core audience and can help your engagement get back on track.
* Run a contest. Everyone likes something for free, so how about a 20% discount off your products and/or services for the lucky people who like your page? I’d recommend setting a community minimum. For example: “Once we get to 500 followers, we’ll give away a free consulting session.”
* Follow, follow, follow. Look for new followers and fans and like their pages. Show your support towards them, and they just might like you back. Like and follow as many accounts as you can find in your industry.
Remember: social media is constantly evolving, so it’s never a lost cause to start up again if your campaign has stalled. Now’s as good a time as any to jump back in and start posting.
Another Halloween, another “Paranormal Activity” movie. And another chance to see how one movie studio uses social media strategy to empower horror movie fans, so they can be among the first in the world to have the you-know-what scared out of them.
It was 2009 when the first “Paranormal Activity” movie hit theaters after generating considerable buzz at movie festivals. The low-budget scarefest told the story of a San Diego-area couple who documented the ghostly goings-on in their condo via home video. In an age of YouTube “screamer” videos and real-world shocks captured on smartphone cameras, “Paranormal Activity’s” found-footage vibe resonated a lot better than its stylistic predecessor of 10 years earlier, “The Blair Witch Project.” “PA” grossed nearly $200 million worldwide and has replaced the much gorier “Saw” franchise as the must-see Halloween treat for horror fans; last year’s “Paranormal Activity” 2 continued the shocks (and box office success), and now the third edition is set to open in theaters Oct. 21st.
But as with the previous movies, certain cities are getting a chance to see a “Paranormal Activity” film before anybody else – if they cast their votes via Twitter.
Just as it did in 2009, Paramount Pictures is letting filmgoers have a say in who gets the first screams at a “Paranormal Activity” film. Two years ago Paramount opened “PA” in 13 select college towns. The great word-of-mouth from those showings prompted the studio to hire www.eventful.com, which set up a “Demand It!” campaign so people could vote on the movie coming to their city for the next weekend’s round of premieres, and so on. It was the same story last year for “Paranormal Activity 2.”
This year, from Oct. 4th-13th, Paramount is tabulating those votes at www.paranormalactivity.com. “Tweet To See It First!” says the website, which shows a map of the world. Navigate to your city and tweet your vote; as it says on the site, the top 20 cities will get to see the movie first at midnight Oct. 18th. Last year’s early showings of “Paranormal Activity 2″ featured free soda, popcorn and prizes for those who came out to the special screenings.
“Paranormal Activity” was one of the first movie franchises to use social media to make the connection with filmgoers, and one of the first to show other studios how it should be done. Sure, “Blair Witch” pioneered the use of websites and internet content to create its groundswell of sensation. Yet “PA’s” crowdsourced marketing techniques didn’t just save Paramount a bundle on selling the first movie in the series; it let horror movie buffs have early ownership in the film. Paramount saw how the core demographic for “Paranormal Activity” was using Twitter to share its rave reviews and to its credit quickly started the @TweetYourScream account, which is back in business this year.
Personally, I love these films. They return the communal experience to your neighborhood multiplex; everybody screams, and then everybody talks among themselves in the theater about their screams. That’s old-school exploitation filmmaking at its best, and the “Paranormal Activity” series adds the benefit of new media and social media to help fill the seats with moviegoers eager to face the next shock.
What do you think about the “Paranormal Activity” movies? Will you go see “Paranormal Activity 3?” And what do you think of Paramount’s use of social media marketing? Please share with us in our Comments section below.