Social Media Week 2013: A Recap of the Recaps

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social-media-2013Last week, bloggers and journalists around the world attended Social Media Week events held in various cities. The folks at ProfNet were fortunate enough to attend some of the events, and shared the highlights of what they learned in a series of recaps. In case you missed any of them, here’s a recap of the recaps:

  • Digital Newsgathering Standards. Hosted by Associated Press and Muck Rack, this discussion centered on user-generated content, content verification, and reporting accuracy during a time when there is pressure to release news as quickly as possible. Speakers included representatives from Sawhorse Media, Associated Press, Edelman, Spundge and Poynter: bit.ly/157n6q3
  • Social TV – The Next 12 Months. With the dawn of the social media era, a new way of watching television has arrived. People are no longer sitting back and watching the tube – audiences are grabbing their smartphones and using Twitter and Facebook to interact with each other both during and after their favorite programming airs. Panelists from Bravo Digital Media, Xbox, and Lost Remote discussed how marketers are taking advantage: bit.ly/XYXKEC
  • Community Managers of the Future. Hosted by Social Media Club NYC, this panel discussion focused on the evolving role of community managers. The event featured speakers from Mashable, HuffPost Live, Digitas, and Thomson Reuters: bit.ly/XwywBz
  • Longform in a Shortform World. These days, most people get their news through instant, up-to-the-minute feeds such as Twitter and Facebook, but longform writing — which puts the focus on the quality of the writing, not the speed at which it is produced — is seeing a resurgence. Editors from BuzzFeed, Longform, The Verge, and The Atavist came together to discuss longform writing in a shortform world: bit.ly/X8NtKj
  • You’ve Built a Fan Base. Now What? Having a large fan base is great, but it is hardly an effective way of measuring social media success. Today, CMOs are looking for measurable proof that social marketing programs are effective. So, how do you engage your followers and amplify their voices to build truly meaningful interactions? That was the question posed as part of this session, which featured representatives from Nokia, The Stelter Company, and EngageSciences: bit.ly/13lkpCZ

Whether you’re a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email — all for free! For more information email them at profnet@profnet.com.

Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia.

SoLoMo Stats No Business Can Afford to Ignore [INFOGRAPHIC]

For those business owners who still haven’t considered the benefits in implementing a more wholistic internet marketing strategy, like SoLoMo, our newest infographic asks & answers a very important question for those who are new to the discussion: do the stats add up? And the answer is yes!

For the unitiated, its important to remember that anecdotal evidence of this strategy working or not working should be taken with a grain of salt. SoLoMo is no different than SEO or more traditional marketing techniques in that it takes time to not only refine the strategy around your brand’s strongest potential clients, but also to build a presence & reputation among socially engaged, locally active and those who are “digitally connected” when mobile.

This infographic was created by Crestmedia Internet Marketing.

Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia or  http://klout.com/#/RyderMedia.

49+ Ways How Businesses Can Use Social Media to Increase Visibility and Traffic

1)      Social Bookmark Links – Improve sharing by incorporating social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts.

2)      Social Profiles – Build buzz that leads up to the holidays by using your social profiles. People often only start as holidays are happening. Start early and build up the buzz to the holidays in your social profiles.

3)      Good Content – People want to share compelling, inspiring, educational and valuable content. Produce great content which are interesting and it will automatically be shared virally online.

4)      Writing Blog Content – Content is crucial to kickstart a successful social media campaign. Write blog content that is catered for your target audience and what your community wants to know about. Here’s how to create a blog that matters: http://startablogthatmatters.com

5)      Branding – Use social media to enhance your branding. Design a seasonal branded image to match across all social networks and the company site.

6)      Be consistent – Update your content regularly and consistently. People tend to keep coming back to a site if they know that the site is frequently updated with new content.

7)      Craft Compelling Headlines – When promoting your content on social media networks, craft headlines that interest people such that they want to read the rest of your article. You could take up a copywriting course to learn more about writing compelling headlines: http://www.copywritingsupremacy.com/

8)      Evaluation and Measurement – Track and measure social media ROI by analyzing how it performs compared to more established channels or advertising methods. Compare the quality of traffic they drive to your website and the conversion rates.

9)      Metadata and Tagging – Metadata is data which is a description of the characteristics of a piece of information. Tags can be terms or keywords that are assigned to particular resource. Tagging and incorporating other metadata can help improve searching and measure the spread of information.

10)  Popular Lists – ‘List’ posts tend to get passed around online very quickly. An example will be the “Top 50 ways to make money online”.

11)  Combine Social Media with Traditional Marketing – Include social media profile addresses on printed advertising materials like brochures, fliers, newspaper ads, etc. Discover how to fully utilize social media here: http://www.thesocialnetworkingacademy.com/

12)  Retweet Buttons On Blog Posts – Locate and install WordPress plugins that enable you to place a Retweet button on your blog at the top of all your posts.

13)  Community platforms – Build up community platforms like forums, fanpages, groups and etc. around real communities of shared interest and keep the conversation going.

14)  Microsite – Build a microsite that encompasses all of your social and overall marketing efforts. This site can contain a hyper-focused campaign as well.

15)  Facebook Share Button – Locate and install WordPress plugins that enable you to place a Facebook share  button on your blog at the top of all posts

16)  Be Careful When Using Hashtags On Tweets – Studies have found that hashtag-stuffing caused 5% fewer click-throughs.

17)  Facebook Like Box – Add a Facebook ‘like box’ near to the top right side of your blog / website. In this way, people can ‘like’ your Facebook page even while they are on your blog / website. Here’s how to get more Facebook Likes: Http://doubleyourlikes.com/

18)  Having More Followers Than Following – Having more followers than following on your Twitter account enhances your Twitter influence and thus adds to your Twitter account’s SEO potential. Here’s a software that automates your Twitter marketing: http://twittenator.com/

19)  Posting Useful Content – Avoid aggressively pushing your products or services on your social profiles although it may be the holiday season. Rather, post useful content on your social profiles and think about how to help the people on your network to get through the busy holiday season. In this way, people tend to trust you more and like you more hence increasing the chances of them converting to buyers and customers.

20)  LinkedIn Share Button – Locate and install WordPress plugins that enable you to place a LinkedIn share  button on your blog at the top of all posts. Here’s how to master LinkedIn Marketing: http://www.linkedinfluence.com/

21)  Online Community – Build a substantial online community by asking for feedback, offering prizes and giveaways, and actually saying “thank you” for their interactions, mentions, and contributions of good content.

22)  Advice And Tips – Give advice and tips on your topic’s challenges. You can do this by providing short tips on Twitter (using a branded hashtag). After which stream these tweets into a dedicated Facebook tab, and expand on these tips by creating tutorial videos for YouTube.

23)  Blog Commenting – Make a connection with influential bloggers in your niche by commenting regularly on their blogs and posts.

24)  Benefit-oriented Content – When writing a blog post, share about the problems that your product or service is able to solve. No one actually cares about what is your product or service and their features, they are more interested in what your product or service can do for them.

25)  Conduct Polls – Research by polling people about what are the biggest challenges they face. After which, look at how your own product or service can help them and communicate that to them.

26)  Tell Stories – Marketing is like storytelling and your customers are just like the characters in the story. Craft content that motivates your customers or readers. Let their actions, wants, and needs drive the story.

27)  Influential Bloggers In Your Niche – Find which bloggers are most influential in your niche and learn how they got their influence through their content and social media efforts. Imitate and implement.

28)  Creating a Personable Image – Post and share photos of your company parties, or your participation in charitable events. This brings the company to a personal and amicable level with your readers and customers. People nowadays value that personal touch.

29)  Email Subscribe – Make usability of your website easy for people. For example, simplify the process it takes for someone to subscribe to your updates via email. You can use an autoresponder account like: http://www.aweber.com

30)  Show Some Discretion In Sharing – Being personal draws people to you but there is a need to show some discretion when doing so. Always stay professional and positive in the portrayal of your online social profiles. Avoid depressing tweets, vague tweets, humblebrag tweets and etc.

31)  Audio And Video – Create a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing. Here’s an excellent video software: http://www.thetrafficplayer.com/live/

32)  Think Long Term – Create content for the long term and envision keywords with next year in mind. This is so that your subject can enjoy ‘longevity’ with your readers.

33)  Guest Post – Write to influential bloggers in your niche and request to do a guest post on their blogs. Craft an agreement that encompasses them to provide a link back to your blog.

34)  Answer Simple Questions – Think about these questions: Who am I speaking to? What do they want from me online? And cater your content accordingly.

35)  Talking About The Weather – People like to talk about the weather where they are at. So, pay attention to the weather where your customers are located and sensitively consider this when posting content.

36)  Social Media Subscribe Buttons – Place social media subscribe buttons such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. in a visible place on your website / blog so that readers can follow you on your social media networks.

37)  Tweeting Blog Posts – When you publish a new blog post on your website or blog, post several tweets of that post and track the conversions of different times and keywords you use. In this way, you can evaluate what times of the day, which keywords are optimized for conversions. (Note: Please take note to include tweets that are of value and non-promotional in between these blog post tweets.)

38)  Flickr and/or YouTube Groups – Build media for your events by experimenting with Flickr and/or Youtube.

39)  RSS Subscription Button – RSS feeds is a powerful medium to push your new blog posts to people in their ‘Google Reader’ accounts or other reader accounts. Hence, provide a subscription button via RSS so people know that your blog or website is updated and new contents are published. Here’s how to unleash the power of RSS: http://relatedrssplugin.com/cb2/

40)  The Secret Of Retweets – Tweets referring to the author himself or herself have been shown to get fewer retweets than other information. Hence, share more relevant and good information that is not about yourself. Retweets drive traffic to your blog posts and can boost SEO. Start generating quality content on Twitter that helps you connect you with more followers.

41)  Staff Blogs – Get your staff to start personal blogs on their personal interests. This is so that they can have a feel of what it would be like to promote, drive traffic to a particular website and etc.

42)  Fine-tune Your Strategy – Test out different techniques on different social networks and determine what type of content your readers are responding to.

43)  Blog Updates On Facebook Page – Once you have published new blog posts to your blog, update it to your Facebook ‘Page’. There are programs that do that for you automatically, ie. Networked blogs

44)  Social Media Campaign Plan – Plan out an integrated social media promotion project that incorporates blogging, use of commercial social networks, and a face-to-face event to build leads and drive awareness of a product or service.

45)  Thematic Pictures – Post interesting and cute pictures that revolve around a theme and share it on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook etc. For example, Halloween theme – Pets in Halloween costumes.

46)  Ask For A Response – After posting cute thematic pictures on your social network, start a conversation with your followers by asking them questions relating to the theme. For example, what their best Halloween costume was as a child, and ask them to share a photo as well.

47)  Facebook Page – Share content and links on your Facebook page that will make your fans want to share and like your updates. Here’s a course that will help you master Facebook marketing: http://fbinfluence.com/

48)  Measuring Social Media Metrics – Take a step back and think about why you are tweeting this information, or why you have a Facebook Page. Is it because you want sales? Then measure conversion rates. Is it for market research? Then monitor trending topics etc. Here’s a software to track social signals: http://socialmetricspro.com/v1/

49)  Live Videos – Conduct live interviews, online talk shows and etc. with uStream.tv and Mogulus, or Qik on a cell phone. Such sessions become viral very fast.

50)  Contests And Competitions – Create competitions or contests on social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook etc. to conjure up buzz surrounding your company products or services. Here’s a software that helps unleash the full power of contests: http://www.contestburner.com/

Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia or  http://klout.com/#/RyderMedia.

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Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia or  http://klout.com/#/RyderMedia.

 

Bed Bath & Beyond: Their Facebook “Like” Ask And Why It Fails

I received an email from Bed Bath & Beyond this morning with the subject header – Like our FB page? Give it a thumbs up! I don’t know who is in charge of their social media strategy but I think they need some unsolicited advice.

1. As a national brand you should not assume everyone you are emailing inherently knows that FB is an abbreviation of the word, Facebook.  Don’t alienate potential customers by assuming their world is your world.

2. You are asking me like your page so “we” can be connected” and “join the conversation” and so I “don’t miss a thing” but the reason why many consumers flock to the social presences of companies is because they offer tangible benefits such as coupons and discounts. There is no incentive to participate other then to talk… about water filters? Bedding? Not a very tantalizing offer.

The findings of a survey recently conducted by Market Force – a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions queryied more than 12,000 consumers in the US and UK, they wanted to see how consumers engaged with varying industries – retail, restaurant, travel, entertainment and financial businesses to be specific, via the big dogs of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

The findings revealed that 78% of respondents said the posts by companies they follow on social media impact their purchases.

One can assume all of these brands who directly impacted the 12,000 respondents were offering a truckload of freebies, coupons and other various promotions in an attempt to directly influence purchase decisions. If Bed Bath and Beyond wants to run a successful social media campaign they need to give more per “like” and not just ask without anything in return.

Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia or  http://klout.com/#/RyderMedia.

5 Ways To Increase Your #Klout Score, Even If You think It’s A Stupid Waste Of Time. #socialmedia #sm

So you have to deal with Klout. But you don’t have to let it push you around.

  1. Tweet more often – One of Klout’s criteria is frequency of tweets. So increase yours.
  2. Specialize – Tweet and post about just one or two different topics. Become known as an expert. Interested in a wide range of topics? Great. Just don’t post, blog, tweet or pin about them. They’re not helping your score.
  3. Follow the crowd – See a popular article on a popular Website? Tweet it or post it. Comment on it (just like this article about Klout!). That extremely moving and interesting post on your friend’s blog about the item that you actually care about? Ignore it. It’s hurting your Klout score.
  4. Suck up – Culitivate online relationships with netizens who have higher Klout scores than you do. Retweet their tweets, share their posts, comment on their blogs. In turn, if they follow good “netiquette,” they’ll retweet, share, etc your content as well, automagically pushing your Klout score higher. And you get a little bump just from associating with higher-scoring peeps.
  5. Get happy! – Tweet and post enthusiastically about upbeat topics. Because Studies Have Shown that upbeat updates get more positive engagement across social media sites.

Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia or  http://klout.com/#/RyderMedia.

Stuck on Pinterest? 8 Alternatives to Try

Don’t lock yourself into one platform. Here are 8 sitesImage to get your wares in front of more click-happy shoppers.

Have you pinned all of your marketing hopes on Pinterest? If so, it’s time to reconsider the law of working with new tech platforms: One day a platform is in, the next day it’s out—so don’t fall into the trap of pouring all of your time into the hottest one of the week.

You’re much better off spreading your efforts across multiple sites. Here are eight Pinterest-like services to check out. Sure, they might not have incredibly high page views (yet), but you never know when one of these might suddenly attract the attention of millions of new surfers looking for ideas.

1. Looqiloo

This brand new start-up, still in beta, is like Pinterest with video reviews. You can still browse through product categories and scan quickly through images, but other users post their thoughts about the product so you can decide if it is worth your time or not.

2. AllIReallyWant.me

The site All I Really Want (AIRW) claims to cut your clicks in half. Well, that’s true: With Pinterest, you click once to see an object of desire and then again to access the link for purchase. So, with AIRW, you can click once to see the purchase site for a new pair of glasses or a dress that catches your eye.

3. Postwire

Postwire is more like a private version of Pinterest. There are pages with links to products and services, and the same visual browsing slant. (The human eye can scan images faster than text.) But each page is a private link for articles, videos, and docs you send to potential customers.

“Instead of sending your client off to your website for a pricing page, your YouTube channel for customer testimonial, your Facebook page for a photo, and your blog for an article last week, we allow you to collect all of those disparate pieces of content into a simple, easy-to-view page where you can focus your client on the content that really matters,” explains co-founder Craig Daniel.

4. Pearltrees

This one might be a stretch, but there is a site discovery slant. Basically, Pearltrees lets you click on similar interest “trees” to find videos, links, and products. For a small business, there’s an interesting paradigm here: You can create an interest tree for whatever your product does. For example, here’s one tree for creating a website.

5. Main and Me

Pinterest is all about crafts and objects of desire. Main and Me offers a similar purview, but with a local feel. You can browse through items in your local area (or where you might be heading for a business trip). Geo-locating your business on a site like this might spur sales. The quick “nearby me” link can draw customers to your site, but the higher population areas will get the most traffic.

6. The Fancy

The Fancy is a pure-play Pinterest clone: It has thumbnails for unique products, including clothes, cars, and craft items. The big difference is that you can “fancy” something instead of using pins. End users let Facebook and Twitter friends know they have found an item-say, for a wedding. While that might not differentiate the site too much from Pinterest, it is another sales avenue.

7. StyleSays

I like the visual style of StyleSays, which has the same pinboards as Pinterest but the objects (with more of a home decor and personal style theme) are all sizes and shapes. There’s a clean white background, and instead of just pinning an item, you can “re say” something as a “first love” or “addiction.” For business owners, you have more control over the photo size of your product.

8. Knack Registry

It’s no secret that Pinterest has a primary user: those who are about to get married and want to let others know about gift ideas. Knack dispenses with the subtleties. Users look for gift registry ideas and share them with those who will be attending their wedding. In many ways, this makes the site like a wedding-centric version of Amazon, but the site is focused on smaller shops and artisans.

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