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!

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‘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

Cats, babies, and selfies go business. What cute stuff to tweet/post from an event?

regarde le cielWhile participating in a conference on social media best practices, I candidly asked what engagement is. The young gentleman who was kindly bestowing his knowledge upon us answered: “You’ll know when HE asks you!”, suggesting, in quite a sexist manner, if I may add,  that engagement is somehow the equivalent of the excitement  the marital “will you?” will most likely bring about.  Then, one day, light years away from the said event, while sneaking a peek on the Facebook page of a local pop star, there came the answer to my question. She had just posted a cute selfie with the succinct, yet so eloquent heading “Hello!” and gotten back around 14 k of likes and a dozen of comments. Now, that’s engagement! Or is it?

Businesses, at least those not dealing in cute cats and baby paraphernalia, will most likely have to invest more than a selfie to gain a like, a re-tweet, a comment or any other sign of engagement. One area in which they can, however, go a little wilder than usual and add some cuteness to their professional communication packages is that of live event reporting.

I set out on a quest for the cutiefic photographic or video items that one can tweet or post in connection to a business event and here’s what I found:

  • a crowd. As simple as that. Before your booth opens, post this image together with directions on the exact location of your booth. You do know about the universe conspiring for your success, don’t you?
  • a landmark of the city your fair or exhibition takes place in. Yes, do brush up on your Tour Eiffels, pyramids and the like. This will add a human touch to your tweets/posts as it will point out the beauty of travelling the world for business: you actually get to see places, even if only briefly. If you’re staying home, add a dolled up image of the venue you’ve chosen.
  • eye-catching advertising reflecting your company’s presence at the respective event. Think buses, airport walls, outdoor banners or mashes, anything big and bold will do! If you don’t have any of this, you can always think and act bold by cleverly creating a trompe l’eoil with a magnified ticket or badge that’s placed against a nice background.
  • any graffiti, disparate words or images that give a sense of the city you are in and which reflect the main idea of your event.
  • any wonder of nature (flowers, trees, animals, clouds, a ray of sun, etc. ) that you can cleverly slip into the conversation about the highlights of your show/fair/launch. Thinking of talking about cloud technologies? Well, just look at the sky!
  • got a badge, t-shirt or any other giveaway? Make it a star, (photo) shoot it and send it out into the world as participants’ luckiest charm of all!
  • any plans for setting up a fancy booth, reflecting the unquestionable awesomeness of whatever it is you are offering the world? Pictures or it did not happen. If you don’t have a King Kong size replica of your logo or mascot, just choose any furniture item, shoot it from an interesting angle, add a touch of anything (lights, shadows, textures, poster features) to it (plenty of free tools for lightweight photo editing) and it’s good to go.
  • candid moments from before the booth is set up. Put that Vine of yours to some good use!
  • a shiny shoe, a perfect tie, any other detail that spells out: “we’re ready, come see us!”

How about you? Anything else you’d like to add on the list?

Birdie nom, nom. Quick tips for increasing Twitter engagement

Is your business present on Twitter? If the answer is yes, you probably already know that just sending out 140 long character messages  about how great your business is doesn’t help you achieve specific goals either in the short or long run. Twitter can be a really powerful tool for businesses  and, just as with all other social channels, using it requires that you have a strategy , a content plan and  some  objectives to start with. Let’s say you’ve got a decent followership. What do you do with it? How about connecting with it in such a way as to build a strong community and to find your very own your brand endorsers who will keep your tweets rolling?

Twitter offers some best practices for success, but I’ve also put together a list of tips that, in my experience, can help you send your message across loud and clear  across the sea of social noise out there

  • Go visual! – but not with every tweet. As Twitter is becoming more and more of a visual platform, a new feature called image preview has been added.  This means that images (and Vine videos) will appear without the user being required to first click on your tweet.  As visually enhanced  tweets have proven to  generate more engagement, make sure you put your best creative foot forward and  choose the right eye candy to go with your clever message  🙂
  • Starbucks coffeeDon’t make it all about you! –  You know you’re cool, but people need to hear about something else than just your products and news. Make sure your content calendar includes  3rd party content that brings value to your followers; you could for example, post  news from your industry or just a really interesting blog post that you’ve come across.
  •  Reply, retweet, reward (RRR) –your followers will retweet you but they expect you to get involved in a conversation with them , especially when they need help, an answer to a question or some kind of recognition. You could reward your fans by retweeting them, thanking them or just by organizing some #FF messages occasionally
  •  Hashtag your way to greatness –your hashtags are important, but make sure you increase your reach by adding a relevant and active industrys-specific  # to your tweets.
  • Events look great on Twitter– if you are participating in or organizing an event,  don’t forget that live tweeting can help you increase both your followership  and your engagement.  Just make sure you plan for tweets to go out prior to, during and following the event proper. In this way, your audience has a complete view of the event agenda and topics, the unfolding of presentations or workshops and of your plans for similar future occasions.
  • How about a nice Twitter chat? – Twitter chats, whether you organize or sponsor  them, are the perfect opportunity for your audience, customers and prospects  to connect with your business and have a say on one of their topics of interest.   Before hosting a chat, make sure you actively promote its hashtag, get a team ready to respond to questions (and monitor activity) in a timely fashion and have a plan B to fall back on in case of a  hashtag  highjacking.
  •  Organize contests – contests will, undoubtedly, heighten your fans’ interaction with your account. For a true win-win situation, get your prizes rolling during your events, when celebrating a milestone in your business history or for the launch of a product.

asos tweet

  • Haaaave you met…. promoted tweets? when you want to reach a broader audience for your blog post, whitepaper, product message etc, you can use this tool that the platform offers; promoted tweets are great when you are sponsoring an event for example, and you want the audience that posts to the event # to interact more with your messages.
  • Be creative – a brand’s coolness factor is best shown in real-time challenges. We love it when this and this happens, as these are examples of what awesome means in social marketing.

Looking forward to knowing your best practices for twitter engagement, do share them in the comments 🙂