Creative Art Direction: Employee Survey Flyer

Art Direction, Marketing

NHH Employee Survey Flyer

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Tips for Maximizing Your Social Media Tools

Marketing, Social Media

Social media and networking are not only becoming a more integral part people’s lives but also as part of the job search and application process, especially with the rise of the professional networking sites like LinkedIn. So wouldn’t it be practical to maximize the potential of your social media platforms like you would with your résumé?

Whether you’re using social media for work or for leisure, these are tools that have been proven to increase your digital presence through expanded reach, enhanced engagement and increased referral traffic. From a business point of view, Hubspot cites that “social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.”

Facebook

With more than 157 million users in the U.S. alone (Inbound Marketing Agents), it is not surprising that a 2011 study conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron found that 80 percent of U.S. social media users prefer Facebook when connecting with brands and nearly a quarter of users said that Facebook had the greatest influence on their buying decisions.

Shelly Kramer’s article on Ragan’s PR Daily outlines helpful tips for maximizing your Facebook’s potential (especially if you’re a brand or organization):

  • Use data to monitor your organic and viral visibility and fine-tune your content.
  • Reposition your photos so they are featured correctly!
  • Plan your content and schedule posts (editorial calendars help organize your topics).
  • Assign roles and responsibilities to your social media team.
  • Adjust the title and description of your links (and choose the best thumb if that’s an option).
  • Highlight your fans’ posts; fans can be one of your best brand ambassadors.
  • Monitor your page and/or content interaction (I.e. likes, shares, comments).

A word of advice: both friends and consumers DISLIKE auto-posting on Facebook. Digital Buzz Blog reported in 2012 that doing so decreases likes and comments by 70 percent.

Twitter

Twitter has risen as a great way to capture users’ voices and thoughts, all in a compact 140 characters. Here are some quick and easy tips (mostly via Search Engine Watch) on optimizing your Twitter account:

  • Keep the tone conversational; Twitter is a tool for humanizing your brand (or yourself).
  • Apply SEO in your bio; this is where many search engines pull their information from.
  • Follow this formula: Headline/phrase + link + hash tags.
  • Limit yourself to three #hashtags per post. Keep it concise; nothing drives people away like hash tag abuse. Also, they’re meant to categorize your tweet.
  • Call upon others to retweet your content.

Follow me on Twitter (@) for more information about social media, PR, marketing, all things related to strategic communications and more.

Pinterest

The content curation social networking platform has exploded in popularity since its introduction in 2010, with daily users counts increasing by more than 145 percent since the start of 2012 (Mashable). According to Karen Leland, “Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn — combined.” When pins on Pinterest go “viral” and are repinned upwards of several thousand times, they can result in many things including:

  • Building your brand
  • Advertising services/products
  • Referral traffic to your website
  • New followers for your blog
  • Better positioning in Google searches
  • Increased consumer insight

Lifestyle blogger and PR Daily contributor Jessica Turner outlines several tips that have helped her increase the traffic and reach generated from her pins.

  1. Create lists; people love things they can scan quickly.
  2. Use title graphics, photo quotes, infographics and data charts; people like visual content so you’re more likely to get engagement with these.
  3. Include a “Pin It” button with your content; people won’t be as likely to share or “pin” yoir content if the option isn’t there (same goes for all other social media platforms).
  4. Create relevant content.
  5. Use your friends to drive up traffic for your pins.
  6. Use other social media platforms to strategically target and push out your pins.
  7. Remind people after the initial “peak” period.

Need inspiration for how to organize your Pinterest boards or examples of popular pins? Check out my account Follow Me on Pinterest or some of the top corporate boards:

Nordstrom

3,227,215 followers

ModCloth

1,356,524 followers

Real Simple

190,799 followers

Etsy

155,341 followers

Anthropologie

132,835 followers

HGTV

184,321 followers

West Elm

86,066 followers

Whole Foods

73,402 followers

LinkedIn

In my Public Relations Writing class last spring, Nancy Voith, Managing Director at CRA, Inc., spoke to my class about resume building and using LinkedIn. In her speech, she emphasized the importance of your modern-day digital business card/ résumé.

Some of Voith’s advice for using LinkedIn:

  • Create and maintain a complete profile.
  • Profiles should showcase your leadership, initiative, responsibilities, etc.
  • Use the “SAR formula” to concisely showcase your experience.
    • SAR: situation, action and results
    • Focus on what makes you different from other professionals.
    • Connect through LinkedIn with other professionals you meet.
    • Have others review your profile and endorse your skills and expertise.

Sources Cited

PR Prominence: The Unavoidable Need to Strategically Engage Your Customers

All things PR, Personal Writing

As a public relations student with a minor in marketing and Spanish, I constantly judge a business or organization’s PR quality everywhere I go. This is even easier with the prevalence of technology and social media at the swipe of my fingers; if I ever need to find news immediately or look up a fact or reviews, I immediately pull up Twitter or a search engine on my cell phone.

I doubt there are any companies, marketers and brand managers in today’s wired world who can afford to forgo their own social media presence. Social media usage extends beyond products as organizations are increasing their focus on their reputation and maintaining relationships with and engaging customers. Thus enters the role of public relations firms. PRMarketing.com created an interesting and visually appealing infographic based on market research about online public relations, noting that online PR averages a 275 percent return on interest (ROI) for businesses. Click on the picture to the right or check the end of the post for the infographic.

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Unger, Assistant Professor and Director of Urban Programs at Wagner College, notes that President Obama was not the first candidate to use social media technology to leverage his campaign and ideals. However, President Obama most successfully applied the strategic use of social media to form a campaign platform that’s reach extended beyond traditional political networks.

According to social media news blog Mashable, the all politics in the 2012 presidential campaign is social. For an interesting infographic about social media in the race for the White House, check the end of the post.

Fast Company calls him “America’s first truly social president” as his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention broke political Twitter records by averaging 52,000 tweets per minute throughout its entirety. This is not surprising to me after seeing that Twitter’s vice president of international strategy quoted the company’s total registered accounts at 200 million.

One of my favorite websites is Ad Age, which is where I found this interesting section of stories, mainly for marketers but relevant to everyone, that discuss the importance of public relations firms to a business’s integrated marketing communications plan and its effects on the marketing industry.

According to Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, the firm that works with Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox gaming system, their campaigns to engage bloggers and fans begins 10 months before the ads even launch.

“Our job is no longer doing a press conference to break the ads—we are building engagement with enthusiasts to create a runway of credibility for a new brand or campaign,” Edelman said.

This is very true; companies cannot afford to not personify their brands to consumers because those voices carry so much influence in today’s digital word. According to Rob Flaherty, president of Ketchum, the consumers, not the press, are the real owners of media in today’s highly connected landscape. Word-of-mouth, especially when it is negative, travels further and sometimes faster than any other form of marketing. Research has shown that dissatisfied customers and negative experiences are likely to generate online conversation, and who hasn’t taken to their Facebook or Twitter to gripe about poor management or lackluster customer service?

Case in point: my one night stay at an Econolodge in Kingsville, Texas resulted in the tweet pictured.

I received an email from Choice Hotels, the parent company of Econolodge, that attempted to address my bad experience and improve from it, but it was too late. My attitude of the chain’s quality is set, despite their apologies and effort to make contact with me, and unfortunately for some companies it’s just unavoidable.

One of my coworkers also told me of a prime example of lackluster PR and marketing at IKEA, a privately-held Swedish self-assemble furniture company with a reputation for the non-literal help center and employees who never help customers. During this visit to IKEA, he noticed that all the temp employees wore shirts saying,

“Temporary Team Member…Please do not ask me any hard questions.”

As a marketing manager, his mind was as boggled as mine was after hearing this story. Especially coming from a teller job at one of the U.S.’s biggest financial institutions, it has been deeply ingrained in my beliefs that in-store employees are the figurative and literal “face” of a company. These types of employees, whether they’re an IKEA sales rep. or a banker, have direct contact with the company’s most important constituencies and whose interactions can greatly impact the reputation and relationship with these customers.

Perhaps this concept is lost on Leontyne Green, CMO of IKEA North America, or maybe anti-IKEA tweets need to reach 52,000 hits before it’s worth making a change.

PRMarketing.com’s Online PR Infographic:

Mashable’s Politics via Social Media Infographic: