Social Media Archives - Page 11 of 23 - Splash Media

SplashCast from the Past: Can’t Buy Me Love-Or Fans and Followers


There’s a right way for businesses to build out their social media communities: by giving them great content that they want to comment on and share with others.

The wrong way involves spending hard-earned money on buying Facebook fans and Twitter followers. The Beatles were right, folks: you can’t buy yourself love. You’ll only purchase a ton of grief from your customers.

Melissa Ruggles, social media manager at Splash Media, talks to SplashCast host Renay San Miguel about the dangers of buying fans and followers, and the best way to create engaged, active social media communities that lend credibility to your business.

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Joseph Kony, Olive Garden & the Mysteries Of How to Go Viral, And Stories You May Have Missed

How to Go Viral

How to Go Viral

Why do certain social media posts become viral content? Two examples presented this week may not completely answer the question of  how to make something go viral. But they are fascinating nonetheless, and further underline the power that is now in the hands of online communities thanks to social media.

One of the pieces of viral content told the story of a horrendous situation in Africa. The other celebrates the unique charms of small town life – you know, like when a new Olive Garden opens for business.

  • I’m betting a Facebook friend shared with you this week a YouTube video about Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, a militia in Uganda doing terrible things to children in that country – abducting them to act as soldiers or sex slaves, in some cases making them kill their parents. The documentary-style video by the non-profit group Invisible Children, designed to raise awareness about Kony’s atrocities, was released Monday. By mid-week the YouTube video had more than 30 million views and was trending all over Twitter. True, there has been some controversy regarding Invisible Children and how they spend their donations, but there’s no denying the compelling nature of the video and the story it tells that proved to be very sharable on social media.
  • From the horrific to the sublime: On March 7, 86-year-old Marilyn Hagerty, EatBeat food columnist for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota, wrote a review of the brand-new Olive Garden restaurant in her city. Apparently the fact that any reviewer would want to share his/her thoughts about a chain restaurant – complete with glowing mentions of the decor, but not a lot about the food itself – was enough to launch Hagerty’s column into the viral stratosphere; more than 200,000 views and lots of sharing by the end of the week. Soon the snarkmeisters at Gawker were posting about the column. The chatter in comments, on Twitter and in various traditional media stories about the column – including the Wall Street Journal – included talk about whether or not the attention it received was really all about big-city condescension. And Mark W. Smith, social media marketing manager for USA Today, tweeted about the “monster missed opportunity” for Olive Garden, which has yet to acknowledge the Hagerty column on its own @OliveGarden feed.

The lesson for businesses from these two examples: users (customers, readers, the community, whatever) have control here. They decide what goes viral; you don’t. The best you can do is give them the kind of storytelling that will be worthy of sharing and recommendations. The Kony 2012 story speaks for itself; raise awareness, generate donation, give strangers around the world a chance to feel like they’re contributing to a positive outcome in some way by passing the video along to their Facebook friends. The Hagerty piece is more about readers using the column to filter their own thoughts and feelings about Olive Garden, small-town life, urban snobbery, etc. Yes, making fun of Olive Garden-style eateries is an easy target for many. But Hagerty and the restaurant chain have their defenders too. Both sides were more than willing to share those views in social media.

Businesses and brands wanting to tap into viral marketing should focus on telling a good story, figure out a new, unique way of telling it – and then let the community have its say.

What do you think about the two viral content examples? Please share in our Comments section, and consider these headlines from the week:

  • Your Obligatory Weekly Pinterest Story: Don’t Pin All Your Marketing Hopes On It Just Yet
    Courtesy of Lori Randall Stradtman, blogging at SmartBlog On Social Media: the good and not-so-good of Pinterest. A refereshingly clear-eyed take of the hot social network of the moment.
  • Would You Like A QR Code With That Entree?
    QR codes continue to spark arguments over their effectiveness and whether anybody’s really using them. But restaurants get some good insider advice from Hamilton Chan, CEO/founder of QR code company Paperlinks, in this Mashable post.
  • How Fashion Websites’ Best Practices Can Help Dress Up Your Social Media Marketing
    Gary Stein writes about how the Gilt Group and other fashion-centric sites are using content marketing and social networks to sew up customer relationships.

That’s it for this week. Please share any thoughts you have on social media marketing in our Comments section, don’t forget to spring those clocks forward this Sunday, and we’ll see you back here Monday.

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

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Throwback Thursday: Rewind Back to Our 1st Social Media Marketing SplashCast


This week, we are pressing the Rewind button and going all the way back to our inaugural social media marketing SplashCast with Trey Ratcliff.  We hope you enjoy this Throwback Thursday!

In our inaugural SplashCast, host Renay San Miguel interviews Trey Ratcliff, the blogger/photographer behind Stuck In Customs, the leading travel photography blog. Ratcliff tells us how HDR (high dynamic range) technology is adding more colors to the photographer’s palette, and reveals how hearing from his readers through social media helps him expand his own artistic range.

Ratcliff offers HDR tutorials on his blog.

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Public Diplomacy Takes On Social Media: 21st Century Statecraft


The U.S. Department of State”s social media presence extends around the world, thanks to U.S. embassies, consulates, and other missions. U.S. diplomats now receive social media training—called 21st Century Statecraft—before they head out on assignment. Some diplomats have readily embraced and begun using online tools such as Facebook and Twitter to share their message.

What is 21st Century Statecraft?

Public diplomacy   social media

Public diplomacy takes on social media

It is a key initiative started by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to work with traditional foreign policy tools. The idea is to fully leverage the networks, technologies, and demographics of our interconnected world.

In other words, it’s the State Department acknowledging the power and usefulness of social media as a necessary part of their diplomatic toolkit. Yet the department is doing more than just talking the talk; it’s also walking the walk.

For the State Department’s 21st Century Statecraft month (January 2012), department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland took questions from the public selected from their 10 official Twitter accounts using the hashtag #AskState. She also conducted a Twitter briefing every Friday in January.

Did you know that the U.S. State Department has 10 official Twitter feeds? They are in in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. The department also has a Facebook page, a blog (DipNote), a YouTube Channel and a Flickr account.

According to NPR, here are the numbers:

  • U.S. State Department Twitter accounts: 195
  • Facebook accounts: 288
  • Foreign language Twitter feeds: 11 (Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, English, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu)
  • Twitter followers for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice: 130,000
  • Twitter followers for U.S. Ambassador to Japan, John Roos: 49,000
  • Twitter followers for U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney: 28,000
  • Twitter followers for U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul: 16,000

Some Excellent Examples:

Despite evacuating Syria for security issues, that country’s U.S. Ambassador, Robert Ford, has continued using Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with and help shape the events within the country and stay in contact with Syrian citizens. Even before leaving Syria, embassy staff regularly used social media; Ford would routinely answer questions from Syrian citizens on Facebook.

The U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, has been using social media to counter an attack from the Russian press. He also starred in a  to introduce himself to the Russian people. He tweets in Russian and English and communicates regularly through Facebook.

In December 2011, the State Department launched a “virtual embassy” in Tehran, Iran. The United States hasn’t had an embassy in Iran since the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution when embassy officials were held hostage for more than a year.

The virtual embassy is the usual website, but it does have some posts targeted to Iranian citizens as well as information regarding visas and studying in the United States. However, the Iranian government blocks the embassy site, making it very hard for the average citizen to access it.

Like the rest of the business world, the State Department (which is really just a business itself, right?) has figured out that continuous innovation will keep it at the forefront of their industry, enabling broader, quality information-sharing and engagement.

If you want to see a complete list of all the embassies, consulates and other State Departments in social media with links to their sites, please visit the U.S. Department of State Facebook page.

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Social Media Marketing: Oscar Tweets, Country Music Beats


It’s official: social media content related to the annual Academy Awards broadcast is now much more entertaining than the show itself.  The fact that Angelina Jolie’s right leg ended up with its own Twitter feed during the show – quickly amassing some 12,000 followers – should be the kick in the pants that proves the point.

Oscar Tweets

Oscar Tweets

Reuters is reporting that the amount of social media buzz generated by Sunday night’s Oscars telecast tripled from the 2011 Academy Awards presentation. Most of the chatter on my Twitter/Facebook feeds focused on Billy Crystal’s return to hosting duties (and whether the jokes were worth the wait), Jennifer Lopez’s alleged wardrobe malfunction and Meryl Streep’s surprise victory over “The Help’s” Viola Davis for Best Actress. Mashable has a good wrap-up of those events and other memes that dominated the “Oscars and social media” discussion.

So will ABC, the perennial TV provider of the Academy Awards, learn any lessons from the sheer volume of double-screen viewing that was going on last night? It’s now clear that social media gives everyone a chance to be a pundit, a critic, a fashion expert. Can the network and its advertisers leverage that desire for real-time interactivity in 2013? And what about the movie studios themselves – are they willing to use events like the Oscars as a big focus group of sorts to help them make better choices in everything from which actors to cast, to what projects to greenlight, to how they can better market their products?

Maybe ABC and the studios can take notes from the 1,800 country music radio stations who attended last week’s Country Radio Seminar 2012, organized by the non-profit Country Radio Broadcasters. Every year, the CRB brings together radio executives from markets across the country and has them meet with those in the music industry to talk about what they can do to ensure that country music remains the top radio format in the U.S. This year’s event put a special emphasis on panel discussions regarding social media and digital technologies.

The broadcasters are eager to learn what they can do to take advantage of these online communities. That’s according to Splash Media co-founder and chief learning officer Paul Slack, who was asked to take part in CRS 2012 question-and-answer sessions about social media and search engine marketing/optimization. “Each social media session was standing room only,” Slack told the Splash Media blog. “The radio industry is just like most right now – they’re still trying to figure out how to use social media for their businesses.”

Still, Slack believes country radio broadcasters are better poised to leverage social media strategies “because they already have an active engaged audience who are on the social platforms talking about music and artists they love.  It was real eye opening when I mentioned that they (broadcasters) could be listening for people talking about an artist coming to town and actually engaging with them.”

Any ideas on how the movie industry and country radio stations can take advantage of social media? Any success stories you are aware of in either industry? Please share in our Comments section below.

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