Social media pentru afaceri mici și foarte mici: 1. Detox-ul de buget

N-avem, nu se poate! Just, in unele cazuri, chiar așa e. Dar daca, totuși, s-ar putea, cu condiția ca acel “n-avem” să nu fie însoțit de un deloc, ci doar de un destul.piggy2
N-avem destui bani, dar tot avem ceva: idei. În cazul fericit al cafenelei despre care vorbeam aici, etapa lui „dăm sfoară în țară” este, deja, depășită prin forța (magică) a gurii lumii.

Desigur, au contat foarte mult în rezolvarea acestei ecuații atmosfera, servirea, calitatea produselor, dar, mai ales, respectarea promisiunii brand-ului respectiv. Vii la cafeneaua Cuibul liniștit? Asta primești: tihnă și intimitate.

Ce e de făcut, însă, la început, când trebuie, mai întâi, să atragi ochii lumii pentru ca, apoi, gura ei să ducă vestea despre tine?

a) Avem o pagină de Facebook și o folosim fără frică. Postăm frecvent, mesaje care se potrivesc cu interesele celor care ne calcă pragul, cu conținut foto atragator, care să îmbie la partajare (da, aici e vorba de Share).
b) Ne asigurăm că avem ce spune. În principiu, e nevoie de trei tipuri de conținut: text, fotografie și video. Primele două sunt absolut necesare pentru ca algoritmul de funcționare al platformei (și al minții omenești, dacă stăm să ne gândim) să perceapă mesajul publicat ca având o valoare mai mare. Cât privește conținutul video, dacă nu ne simțim, încă, gata de un Oscar pentru mini-producție video, uneori e de ajuns un filmuleț postat de un vizitator/client entuziast și mai priceput în a folosi aplicațiile disponibile pentru regizorii amatori.
c) Căutăm talente. N-avem bani de copywriter si de fotograf. E adevărat, conținutul bun costă. Conținutul autentic? Nu neapărat. Un mesaj corect gramatical, adecvat situației și care creează o legătură sinceră cu publicul local nu e luna de pe cer.

De unde luăm subiecte? Un minim interes pentru evenimentele care au loc în orașul în care-ți desfășori activitatea poate să-ți asigure destul de mult material pentru un mini-calendar editorial. Adaugă micile gesturi de politețe/interacțiune afectuoasă pe care le face oricine – bună dimineața!, e vineeeri!, azi e soare/ au înflorit cireșii la noi în oraș- și ai meniul complet, pe care-l poți condimenta cu comentarii ad-hoc, ori de câte ori strada/piața/orașul sunt animate de un nou eveniment.

Cine scrie? Dacă nu putem conveni cu un angajat talentat să-și rezerve o parte din timp acestei activități (nu pledez pentru responsabilități extra neremunerate!) , un mic aranjament (plătit, da!) cu un elev de liceu/student la comunicare poate să ajute. Respectivul începător într-ale scrisului poate „să-și facă mâna”, în felul acesta, și să-și adauge în portofoliu o primă colaborare ca social media community manager.

Cine fotografiaza? Cu respectarea câtorva principii de încadrare și luminozitate, poți face fotografii clasice chiar tu. Altfel, o colaborare cu un fotograf începător, remunerat corect pentru un set de beauty-shots cu produsele principale promovate (reînnoite o dată la câteva luni), poate fi o soluție.

Altă variantă este folosirea unei aplicații pentru iOS sau Android care face realitatea să pară muuult mai frumoasă în fotografii și muuult mai captivantă în clipuri (inspirație în acest articol Mashable). O fi „no filter” ditamai trend-ul printre vedetele din online, dar pentru noi, începătorii, filtru bine folosit (chiar și accidental) chiar trece primejdia rea.

d) Captăm online-ul prin offline. E nevoie de un public minim care să justifice investiția în publicitate pe Facebook. Până acolo, calea e bătută cu muuuultă perseverență, care se poate traduce, de exemplu, prin menționarea existenței paginii cafenelei/magazinului oricărui client, fie în momentul în care se face comanda, fie atunci când se plătește consumația. „Vă mulțumim pentru vizită. Vă așteptăm și pe pagina noastră de Facebook care se numește ….”. Ajută, desigur, și menționarea acestei adrese pe consumabilele cu care clientul vine în contact, dar asta înseamna o cheltuială extra. Pentru început, vorba dulce like-uri și check-in-uri aduce.

Pentru cei mai curajoși, dornici să se infiltreze mai puternic în țesătura orașului, ar putea funcționa și un parteneriat cu un alt business local care atrage un flux mare de oameni. De exemplu, o cafenea și o agenție de turism ar putea face casă bună, pe bani foarte puțini sau chiar deloc. Cafeneaua poate propune organizarea de întâlniri, în spațiul propriu, în care agenția de turism să-și prezinte oferta de sezon; în schimb, angajații agenției pot promova cafeneaua discret, bându-și cafeaua din căni inscripționate cu numele cafenelei și menționând numele acesteia celor care le trec pragul. De aici, se poate ajunge, în timp, la un parteneriat cu radio-ul local, pentru ca în cadrul matinalului să se menționeze cafeneaua ca sponsor și să fie îndrumați ascultătorii către pagina de Facebook a localului pentru un eventual concurs cu premii.

Seria de tips&tricks despre social media pentru afaceri mici și foarte mici continuă.  Episodul doi: “De ce Facebook?”.

Cu un Like se face pimăvara. Parol!

 

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Cum să-ți dezmorțești mușchii social media

by Ioana

Plimbare prin urbea natală împreună cu bebelușul din dotare. Primăvară extra-zeloasă, soare mult, coafura rezistă,  picioarele nu prea. Binemeritată oprire (mămicile știu de ce!) la o cafenea din centrul istoric. 

Cuibul LinistitTrei măsuțe cochete pe trotuar. Scaune metalice cu pernuțe plasate strategic asigură părților moi ale șezătorilor un oareșce confort. Servire foarte rapidă, cu multă amabilitate și discreție. Prăjitură bună, sirop de soc excelent. Ce să mai, un loc bun de recomandat!

Facebook. Check-in. Pagina cafenelei are, deja, peste o mie de urmăritori. Postări rare,  cateva fotografii stângace, interacțiune cu publicul fidel aproape deloc. Ce să fie, ce să fie?

O vorbă-două cu patronul cafenelei și povestea capătă contur:

  • Afacere mică, buget mic, spre foarte mic. Ergo, promovare stil „bouche à bouche”, fi-ne-ar reuscitarea ușoară!
  • Pagina de Facebook cu pricina are o liotă de îngeri păzitori. Pentru că buget de social ioc. Pentru că administrator ioc. Pentru că, totuși, audiența crește.
  • Recenzii prea bune pe TripAdvisior. Locul e recomandat cu căldură turiștilor, care turiști descoperă, cu măruntaiele în plin protest, că aceea e doar o cafenea. Prânz cu specific local? Poate un ceai, un biscuit?

Coborăre în picaj de la înălțimea amețitoare a teoriilor despre campanii social media –planuri mega-extra-ultra, audiențe galactice și ROI-uri amețitoare –  pănă la firul ierbii, acolo unde nici greierele, nici furnica nu-și pun prea multe speranțe într-un amarât de Like. Ce poți face pe social cu resurse minime, dar cu oaresce bunăvoință?

Declar deschisă seria de tips&tricks despre social media pentru afaceri mici și foarte mici. Primul episod: Detox-ul de buget!

Cu un Like se face pimăvara. Parol!

Successful Brands on Pinterest- An overview

by Raluca

This year I went to visit my parents for Easter and besides the egg-eating and Romanian sherry-drinking ceremonies in my family we also tried to brainstorm ideas on how to redesign the back yard. What better way to decide than with the help of beautiful images? This is how I got the idea of setting up a Pinterest account for my mum who is sort of the project manager for this initiative. A quick search of back yards and beautiful gardens led us to some great ideas for our project.
Pinterest is THE network on which users can communicate with each other via photos that are presented to them in an easy flow. Recent stats point at more than 70 billion users, 80% of whom are women. 750 million boards have been created  so far and 80% of the sharing activities areactually repins (for more updated stats, check out this link ). The platform’s rapid success resides in the simplicity of organizing pins (after all, their goal is “to connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting”) and in the flow of visual content that is nicely displayed to the user.

We discussed earlier (quite a while back actually) this year how this is the time for brands to focus on visual content  The potential for businesses is huge and thanks to the visual component embedded in its DNA, Pinterest could be one of the “visual” platforms to focus on along with Tumblr, and Instagram. For more info on setting up your Pinterest business account, I recommend this short sample guide from Econsultancy.com

Go on Pinterest, then? Easier said than done. What type of content should your brand post on Pinterest, you may ask? Interestingly enough, this Blog post from Buffer shows (among other interesting stats) that men are interested in photography, art, design, and home décor on this platform. If you’re a producer of such goods, you may consider investing in Pinterest marketing. The most popular categories for women, on the other hand are: food/drinks, diy and home/décor.

To better understand how Pinterest can help you, here’s a quick look at what some of the most successful brands are doing on the platform:

  •  Better homes and Gardens

One of the most successful magazines in the US makes it easy for visitors of their website to follow them on Pinterest.  Their account has an impressive number of 632,365 followers and 10,550 pins so far.

bhg

BHG have created a great number of boards matching different interests from healthy recipes, gardens and pets to best tips and guest boards to which fans sometimes  ask to be added and therefore contribute to the popularity of those boards.

Sephora is another successful brand on Facebook with more than 293,000 followers and 6,755 pins.Besides expert advice on makeup presented in high quality images and product show cases, one of their most followed boards is Nailspotting. One take away from this board is the involvement of their community through the #Sephoranailspotting hashtag to which fans are invited to post their best tips for nail art (in a visual way, of course 🙂

sephora

If you’re a more technical brand, normally not endowed with the popularity glow of the FMCG category, worry not! In fact, technology brands have also caught up on this trend and they’re ready to rock your inner scientist on Pinterest. While these niche pages have a smaller number of followers, the communities created around them are quite engaged and….happy..

Here are two examples:

  • GE

GE prove that a great (visual) content strategy works wonders if you keep it simple and clever and their That’s genius board is  proof. Funny or inspirational science quotes in a high quality image is what makes GE stand out when expressing their ideas.

ge

Intel have placed their bets on  interesting cool-geek boards  that  showcase their minimalist-with-a-mad-scientist tinge visual assets. They have also created content for this specific platform striking it big with their Geek Chic showcases of fashionable gadgets. The board that reminds their fans of the company’s history  is quite  successful, while their Infographics home on Pinterest now has 8,021 followers.

If you have already embarked on your own  Pinterest journey, do share your best tips in the comments 🙂

until next time!

#MyHashtagHijack. A hashtag safety checklist

by Ioana Jelea

#LikeABoss. That’s a hashtag invented by my social media friends to describe situations in which one dared to push the limits of common sense/safety/polite manners&co and actually rise above a situation that would most probably have required some degree of embarrassment on the part of  its perpetrator.

Like all hashtags, it works as a label attached to some of the items published online and which helps us identify that item as belonging to a specific topic. It symbolically marks the creation of a venue of conversation – #whatever’sonyourmind hall – that aims to extract, from the permanent patchwork of Twitter conversations a stream that has its own logic. Pretty simple and clever, isn’t it?

That is, unless you get the hashtag hijack treatment that has turned many a social media soldier’s days to anguish-laden, insufferable hours of punishment speeding by at snail speed – oh, will this bitchin’ never end? ‘t’was just a conversation starter, dear Lord!

The recent #myNYPD incident  stands proof that hashtags are sensitive creatures of the social media universe that need to be tended to carefully before being sent out into the cruel, mad world of unfettered online conversations.

So, what to do so as to still drop it like it’s hot, but not get burnt in the process? A few things come to mind:

a)      Look for controversy. And when you’ve spotted it, try to figure out whether you have the resources to handle it. Do you have the court jester rocking your social media department? ‘cause then you’re all covered as it’s in his job description to be able to handle verbal duels and even win some.

The NYPD hijack should serve as a textbook example for this. It’s the police we’re talking about, not some kindergarten trying to boost its image. By definition, it’s a coercive force which will serve and protect some, while kicking others’ bums, to put it the dumbest possible way. Are you, then, willing to let the arrangement of the planets and the potentially good mood of your Twitter users dictate the direction of your Twitter campaign? Not really. To me, the #myNYPD move was a big, loud cry for a kick in the institution’s social media gut.

Then again, remember the “Shit product” coup against Zappos that bit Kanye in the rear end? All it took was a clever answer for the whole bubble to burst. Are the NYPD’s social media communication guidelines as permissive as that? My guess is that they’re not. Could, then, this controversy have been turned to their advantage? Unlikely. Could they have just said no to the impulse of playing it (too) cool? Definitely.

b)      Watch your spelling. A Mashable hashtag hijack wall of shame pointed out a hilarious example of what your oh, too clever! Twitter followers can do if you give them an A.N.A.L.B.U.M. No matter how you capitalize the hashtag, please take a look at all possible combinations that might result from it so your # does not get memorable for all the wrong reasons.

c)       Irony and Twitter glee/Live together in perfect har-mo-ny! They won’t mess with your hashtag. They’ll just attach it to whatever proves the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. As proven by the Obamacare hijacks, this is what you might get when you’re fishing for compliments in murky waters.

obamacare

Or just….

obamacare2

From Russia with #LOVE: The Russian Digital landscape

By Iulia Arsenii

The aim of this article is to give a general description of what the Russian Digital Media is and how it has evolved.I will NOT deep dive into too many details related to historical factors that influenced the appearance of personal computers, Russian-language internet, social media channels etc., as this would mean writing an entire book. I will focus mainly on the most important aspects that make the Russian Digital Media so unique.

Part I – A basic introduction to Russian Internet Culture

russiaA little bit of history …

Back in the early ‘90s, the USSR was at the end of its road. Mikhail Gorbachev pulled the trigger and a new era for the Eastern Europe countries began. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War made technology exchange and Internet penetration possible. Somehow, internet can be considered a child of the Cold War when communication was perceived as a collective necessity; the same goes for Runet, the Russian part of the internet, which emerged as the result of the political break-down of the USSR. Throughout history, Runet has been used as an important communication and manipulation channel related to the moments of political crisis such as: the attempted coup of 1991, the financial crisis in 1998, the war between Georgia & Russia in 2008, etc.

At the same time, the official attitude of the Russian government towards internet growth has varied over time . It’s interesting to notice the enthusiasm of Dmitry Medvedev, a technophile who has invested money in the development of a prestigious and competitive IT industry. He was the first Russian president who used a video blog to communicate with the population all over the country. In contrast, Vladimir Putin was not so enthusiastic about the internet  considering it as being almost exclusively used to promote pornography-, and even less enthusiastic about social media as it created an entire movement against him and his “regime”.

One memorable example is when a Russian blogger created the hashtag #thankstoputinforthat (#spasiboputinuzaeto) in order to celebrate Putin’s 59th anniversary; he encouraged people to publish their own tweets using the hashtag. Russians responded playfully by creating ironic messages with rhymes like this one: “No money and no flat #thankstoputinforthat”. With over 10,000 tweets in a day, #thankstoputinforthat became the most popular hashtag of that day on the global level and the first Cyrillic hashtag that ever achieved this kind of results.

 A little bit of statistics:

We can speak about a dramatic increase in the number of internet-users in Russia only after the turn of the millennium. If in 2003, only 9% of population were using internet on a monthly basis,  in 2013, 57% of the Russian population were accessing internet on a daily basis (source: Redaktsiia FOM 2013) which means more than 66.5 million per day – the highest number of internet users in any European country. Mention should e made  that two-thirds of internet-users  come from large Russian cities (e.g.. Moscow and St. Petersburg). An increase in  internet usage in  the small cities and towns is expected, since the mobile phones with internet connections have become so popular among the general population.

Most Russians don’t really want or like to speak English, or any other languages. According to Yandex reports, Russian is the primary language for 91% of Russian websites and in many cases, it can be considered as one of the keys to success in Russian digital environment.

To my mind, this has also something to do with Russians’love for and pride in  their country, culture & language. From a linguistic point of view, permeability is low, as they prefer either to adapt the English words in order to have an equivalent in Russian, or to translate them in the best possible way. Therefore, Runet remains a rapidly-growing and dynamic part of the global Internet, highly connected to linguistic, cultural and politic developments in Russia.

 

Stay tuned for Part II: RUNET – There is a Russian version for EVERYTHING

Guest blogger Iulia Arsenii

cover photo 2

Hello, dear friend! I’m Iulia. Fasten your seatbelt and feel inspired, ’cause we’ll talk about social media! #myfav #socialmedia #catlover My big passions are social media, books, cats …and statistics! For the blog, I couldn’t combine all of them in one place, but social media and statistics are really working great together as the figures can give the most accurate perspective on what social media is and can be in the future.

 

 

Pardon my French, but is THAT your social media plan for 2014?

By Ioana and Raluca

Missed us? (Yes, Mom, I know you did…love you too!) After quite a long absence we decided to start The (fairly) New Year with a set of digital marketing resolutions for brands to include in their plans for 2014. In the era of Impatience and of digital detox, it’s getting tougher for brands to strive in social.

Now that we are back to our sheep, here’s what we’ve put down on our to do list:      socialmedia

  • Mingle. Diversify your presence. Because having only one social network in your bag is soooo last year! Think big and act bigger as the success of your campaigns depends on your brands’ ability to integrate the high intensity traffic on all social media lanes. Not sure which platform to choose? Here’s Jeff Bullas’ great article on  social web demographics that will help you set sail.  In 2014, make sure you go where your target audience is, especially on rapidly growing niche platforms such as Pinterest, Snap chat, and WhatsApp.
  • Tingle. Focus on visual content. Yes, rapidly adapting your content to a visual form will be vital in 2014.  Check out this Social Media Examiner article which presents some easy-to-use tools that your social media team will love (remember our Christmas Cards?) as they will help them create nice images to support your content strategy.  Need more convincing? According to research published by the GlobalWebIndex, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform worldwide.

Veni, video, vici! Do get creative in expressing your brand values the fast – it’s 6 just seconds with Vine! – but  impressive way.  It is vital for your digital strategy to cover video as there are plenty of good stories to be written here. Just look at Old Spice, the saga continues in 2014.

  • Get nimble. Success comes to those who don’t wait, but listen carefully, analyze and act. So let’s all be good sports and keep our eyes on the…..trends.  First present for you from edible Packaging and Haptic Technology: JWT’s 100 Things to watch in 2014. It’s up to you to get yourself the second and coolest social media gift of all: the best of analytics! Be good to your numbers and they’ll be good to you, that’s the greatest learning of this big data era. And here’s the second line to this tune: set the right metrics, then count your blessings!

How do we do all of this?

  • Stay simple. Especially with B2B communication, this is a major sore point, but one that can be easily fixed if you keep in mind the communication characteristics of the platform you’re about to embark your message on. Quick, easy to read, informative and humorous, if possible, will do it! Don’t take our word for it, just read what The New Yorker has to say about it. Briefly put, though you’d like everyone’s bells to ring at the most specialized of catch-phrases in your domain, don’t forget that when in Rome, you might want to speak just as the Romans do…

How do you do that with highly technical and intricate explanations or descriptions that you are supposed to promote? First, think whether your audience will want to read that kind of info on the platform of your choice. Is that platform generally perceived as THE SOURCE for technical specifications and detailed HOW TOs? Once you’ve crossed this bridge, there comes the question of dressing that info up for the occasion: is a 35 page, Times New Roman, 10 font, no photos whitepaper REALLY the way to go on social? How about creating a lighter (not dumber, mind you!) infographic to showcase your magnificence? With this box checked, put your words where your page/account is! A twist of phrase, a pun, you know…the works! All in the name of smart business communication.

  • Stay true. It takes a whole lot of courage to admit to your faults or limitations. It won’t hurt you a bit if you run a quick check on whether what you have to say really has the watercooler-conversation-starter potential that social media requires. Pick and choose the types of content that you yourself would want to engage with and request the type of reaction that seems most appropriate: do you LIKE our presentation, do you AGREE (as in comment) with the findings of this report, do you think this is important to the industry? Then SHARE It. Not everything is shareable or likeable. Just admit it!
  • Stay focused. Until you actually witness the-thing-we-are-not-to say-for-fear-it-might-happen , just keep prepping your communication up for social. First, decide whether you can afford going social. Do you have the resources to create materials that are adapted to the specific platforms you are to use? Are those platforms that you can afford useful as communication tools in the markets that you’re interested in? Do you have the human capital to curate, manage or otherwise take care of your social media properties? If all this is covered, then set your objectives calmly and rationally: first build a community, then work with it; use social only when you need this kind of a loudspeaker, not just because it’s trendy; get facts, not suppositions on each platform’s utility in business communication; understand the mechanics of the platform before you hop on it and don’t assume that if a specific tactic worked for traditional media it will work with socila too (can I hear a “yes, I know my Facebook edge rank rules?” and a “of course I know regular Twitter posts cannot be geo-targeted?”)

Long list, lots to do. Go, happy 2014! 🙂

If you like it, then do show it, ‘cause we really want to know it! Facebook engagement essentials.

by Ioana and Raluca

It’s that time of the year when we all get all warm and fuzzy over retrospectives. What’s happened, who got it right or wrong, but, most importantly, what’s to be done for things to get a whole lot better. We’re no exception to this look back rule, so here are our thoughts on the lucky thirteen decade of the new millennium.

Facebook made quite a lot of changes in 2013. At a first glance, it seems that competition over newsfeed features is getting tougher. It’s also harder and harder for brand pages to literally get their messages across (ranking mysteries, anyone?), garner their fans’ appreciation and build communities. Despite all changes, content quality is still key, so you still have the power to turn things around and involve even the inevitable, yet so lovely Grinches among your followers. Provided, of course, that you keep your eyes and ears open for those content marketing principles that will help brand-building strategies  win the fight for relevance in the newsfeed, and across social networks.

You do know that the Holidays are coming, don’t you? So, what better way to honor them than with a bunch of nicely wrapped quick tips on how to improve and increase engagement around your Facebook messaging.

1. VI-SU-ALS! Yes, that’s right! Images have proven to be efficient both in B2B and in B2C Facebook marketing, as they generate 39 percent more interaction than other categories of posts. O course images should be fun and engaging so, before creating a visual item for social ask yourself: would I share it on my profile?

One of the classics of creativity tips is that of using regular events/holidays as engagement drivers. A great example from GE: a great Thanksgiving Periodic Table.

GEFacebook

Tips, quotes, jokes or stats with visual support will generate a lot of engagement, even in B2B communication, as proven by this American Express campaign here.

If you cannot make visuals of your own, use Stock Photos, but make sure they complement your message and aren’t just space fillers. This hubspot slideshow porvides some interesting tips on how to do it in style.

2. Don’t make it all about yourself- yes, that’s right! 3rd party content should be part of your editorial calendar as people will always want to know what’s going on in your industry. Share news, blogs and start the conversation around different topics to address the needs of your audience.

3. Post frequently. But don’t go too crazy, either as a maximum of 3 global posts per day should be enough. Create short posts, with call to actions. From time to time you can ask your fans to share your message, click your link, download your research, if they really enjoyed and engaged with your content.

4. Post timely. Measure results and make sure you have extracted from your social media monitoring tools the right time to post your content.  Lots of infographics are there to guide you through the timing maze, but I strongly believe that each audience is unique and there isn’t a recipe for success applicable to all Facebook pages. Don’t neglect the weekends! Your social business should keep the ball rolling even then 😉

5. Are you ready for Real Time Marketing?  RTM is a very hot subject in social media. While Oreo is the King of it – awesome campaign here–  don’t get discouraged, as simply reacting in real-time to digital challenges will work wonders.  Altimeter have done extensive research on it, and they offer some other great examples of how good RTM can be.

6. Don’t be afraid to use promoted posts.  As probably less than 16% of your fans actually see your content, promoted posts are a great tool for you to spread the word about your campaigns as far as possible.  Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use them wisely courtesy of Mashable.

What about you? Do you have any recommendation for increasing Facebook engagement? What works best for your brand?

Share your answers with us  🙂

P.S Bonus- The viral video of the week that I can’t stop watching. Great content, great  timing, well done!

‘Tis the season with a touch of Social Media

by Ioana and Raluca

Brands have already started their Winter season campaigns and we’ve seen some really great initiatives that best incorporate the spirit of the winter celebration  into their communication.

As we’re also getting ready for the holidays, we can’t help but giving in to the Christmasy music, sometimes transformed into really cool memes like this  and this.

Behold the Social Media Christmas Cards, from our musical social hearts for you to enjoy and share. How would you socially  hack a Christmas song?

 

Sharing is greatly appreciated..and very fashionable this season 🙂

Tweeting from ice

Let it TweetgowowSocial Santa

Allthingssocial

Let’s get together, right now, oh yeah! On the social HOW TOs of events.

by Ioana and Raluca

So, why did the chicken cross the road? To attend an event, of course, one well thought-out wonder of a gathering that would send the chicken and all of its feathery and non-feathery pals abuzz. Well, when buzz’s the word, plan’s the sword by which chaos – the greatest enemy of all events – will perish.

A plan, dear friends, is the secret to reeling in the crowds. It will keep them connected and engaged, head over heels in love with your ideas and plans and coming back screaming for more, more, more…. :-). Provided, of course, that you don’t forget to fit social into it with ample room to develop and to incorporate spontaneous bursts of creativity as well.ID-100211504

Like all good stories, the social@events one relies on a strong BEFORE, a stronger DURING and a memorable AFTER. Where do you get that? Read on:

BEFORE 

  • Where and who and why?  Based on the topics you are planning on approaching during the event, create a calendar of Facebook and Twitter posts inviting your target audience to register and participate in the conversation. You could, for instance, come up with a short video to motivate attendees to join you, raise interest in the event agenda and in your key speakers. Creating an event on Facebook and managing all your event communication there is a good idea as well.
  • Where’s your message at? This is to say that you need to make sure your event’s landing page contains links to the social properties you are planning to use. Also, don’t forget about the birdies in this story and do include your unique event hashtag (e.g. #awesmegaloreyay!) or your entire Twitter feed on the respective page. Make sure the hashtag is also featured on all your materials (venue, promo materials)and presentations.
  • Is that you? Back to the buzz: you need to put a name on it so you know it’s yours. So, choose your event hashtag wisely and tweet a lot to promote it. If you’re partnering with influencers, invite them to do it as well. If you’re sponsoring a bigger event, use the already created hashtag to announce your presence and the awesomeness (speakers, contests etc) that will unfold at your booth
  • R.E.S.P.E.C.T! Once you’ve gotten to know who your participants are, send them a thank you e-mail also including the social accounts that you’ll be using during the event as well as the event hashtag. Encourage them to use the hashtag during all activities you’ll be organizing on your on social channels as well.
  • How much is a lot? Make sure you have the right measuring tools in place to see whether your efforts paid off and to identify areas of improvement. Believe us, you can always do better and numbers will show it! Also, keep in mind the objectives you set off with, the metrics that you chose to concentrate on and any benchmark (i.e. prior events of the same scale) that might help you draw a comparison.

DURING

  • Rock the social stage. Tweet about your speakers, customers and influencers. Engage in conversation with them, re-tweet interesting content: quotes and graphs make really interesting and sharable material. Posting on Facebook a photo or video content that gives your followers a sense of what’s happening on site will keep the ball rolling as well. Briefly put, chirp like there’s no tomorrow!
  •  Mind the gap.  Monitor conversations around your event so as to be able to reply to questions related to your products or agenda. You might want to know the backstage details of the events, such as wifi passwords, location of your booth, speakers etc so you can send directions out promptly.
  • Show the magnificence within your content repositories. Make sure you pre-can plenty of tweets/posts focusing on assets that you want to promote: ebooks,  videos, infographics…don’t be shy! This is the perfect opportunity to showcase them all!
  • Do we have a winner? Contests are great at events, especially for driving visitors and engagement. You could, for instance, invite attendees to re-tweet a picture of themselves next to your booth for a chance to win various branded items. Take it one step up with Vine and organize a contest around the coolest video highlights from the event.
  • Drop it like it’s hot – don’t forget about all the other cute stuff you could tweet/post about while at an event 😉

 AFTER

  • Signed, sealed, delivered. Upload photos from the event and take the opportunity to remind participants of the main topics discussed and thank them for their participation.
  • Now what? If you’re going on a tour, post and tweet details of your next location to start engaging with the local audience.
  • Question a day keeps the doctor away. Ask participants to pitch in ideas for improvement or development of future similar events.
  • Will you? Get a sense of the brand love out there by asking participants to post or tweet a photo of any item proving their presence at your event. That’s bound to be more persuasive than a mere statement about the size of your audience. If the trinket’s worth keeping, than the event’s worth going to, don’t you think?

 

Now that we’re all set, shall we do it like this?

Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net