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Communication

Top5 myths on Facebook communication

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No surprises – well known truths put in 5 points with short explanations attached. One of the most important indicators is number of fans/followers Number of fans has lost any real connection to the number of reachable audiences. FB page owners will reach as much people as he/she will be willing to pay for to Facebook ad platform. Engagement is a good thing. No. Can you imagine a company that would be glad to see an increase in incoming service calls so that they need to hire more employees to handle the extra load? I don’t think so, either. It’s good if people interact by liking and sharing information, but questions – no, thanks. Social media is free By not paying for audiences on Facebook, brands are actually talking to themselves since no one sees them in their news streams. You have to publish something at least once a day Create less content, spend more on reaching people with the content you already have. If something is advertised, users will see it in their news streams a couple of times throughout the week. Post have to be published regularly and on set times Post when you want, advertise your content and users will see it when they log in on Facebook.

February 2, 2015

Chasing the social media dream

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The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the eyes of marketers, brands and companies social media has always been similar to the American dream – everyone can come and everyone will be able to reap its benefits. The part that sometimes tends to be forgotten by the potential beneficiaries of social media is the most important one – hard work. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen first hand that social media can be very good for business and it actually can help to reach success in easier ways than ever before, but that requires either the hard work or very precise approach. The reason why it’s sometimes so hard is that there are no two identical situations or golden formulas – everyone has to put in at least some work to find out what’s best for the business. Social media is an investment Every road leads somewhere, the trick is to find out the right direction. There are a lot of success stories out there that encourage more and more businesses to invest more and more in social media. There are also a lot of success stories out there on stock markets and people who have made their fortunes by buying and selling stocks, but that doesn’t make anyone (or at least me) to go out and start buying stocks – people who have made money this way have spent a lot of hours learning the trade, studying the market and thinking a lot before placing a bet on a stock. And even then they don’t always come out as winners – every one of them have lost their fair share of money on one or another deal. Takeaway – Michael Jordan might have reached his goals through playing basketball, but that way might not be suitable for everyone. Copying others on social media without knowledge about their goals, strategy and results is a waste of time. Sometimes the guy next door isn’t as happy/lucky/wealthy as he seems to be. Not everyone wins in social media, most actually lose Still, there are companies big and small who believe that by just setting up a Facebook page or twitter account and starting to “do social media” they will get to the promised land. Sometimes they truly get to the promised land and we have heard about these cases on news sites, advertising portals and from our friends or acquaintances. The thing that tend to get forgotten when talking about the few lucky ones is how many failed attempts there are per each successful one. I don’t know the number, but I’m sure that it isn’t pretty and doesn’t draw social media in pretty colours. Failing is good and teaches stuff, but it doesn’t mean that anyone should try to fix his own teeth. Homework nr. 1 for success on social media – setting up a […]

October 17, 2014

Facebook’s greed killed the conversation

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I had heard about it, but didn’t give it too much attention until it happened with me – Facebook page notification box has been replaced by reach data of the page’s latest posts. And there’s no option to get back notifications. It looks like this: This is bad for businesses and their customers. Let me tell you why. One more click to get to your customers Previously that box contained everything to respond to comments in a timely and easy fashion, now I’m forced to make another click through to notifications. Of course, I’ve used it before – for large pages with a lot of engagement it’s the easiest way to find comments and to respond to them – better than the notifications box. It’s the other way around with small and medium businesses which don’t have large fan bases and a lot of comments. I believe that for SMB segment that notification box was all that was necessary. Even more – that box had small thumbnails of commenter’s profile photo and one of the photo that was commented on. Simple & beautiful. And now that is gone. Facebook has to make money Yes, I couldn’t agree more. Nonetheless, the push towards spending money on advertising shouldn’t happen on the expense of usability of core services. Actually, the new “reach & promotions” box could’ve replaced other parts of admin panel, which aren’t as important. For example, the “invite friends to like the page” & “new fans” boxes really don’t add any value. I mean these two: There’s no daily need for these two, so instead of replacing the notifications box, I would’ve removed these two for the sake of having that new thing, not the notification bar. User experience will suffer Facebook as it is has problems at beating twitter at its game – twitter is faster, simpler and more dynamic – users (if they’re given the option) choose to speak up to brands there, not on Facebook. And with this change Facebook is taking a step back. This won’t make page owners to respond more and in faster manner. It’s the opposite – it’ll leave some comments unnoticed and some users less happy both with Facebook and businesses operating their pages. Facebook, bring back the notification box. It’ll be win-win for everyone.

April 22, 2013

What can we learn from Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin”?

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Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to watch Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” in Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. To make long story short – it’s about love, false accusations, deceit and betrayal. The scene which got me thinking was when Count Friedrich accuses (falsely, because his wife has deceived him) Duke’s sister, Elsa, of murdering her brother in order to become the Duchess of Brabant. One thing leads to another and it all comes down to a combat for honour. You can read more about it here (Wikipedia). The situation can be split in three parts: The false accusation Silence on the Elsa’s part Combat itself Somehow, watching this made me think about crisis communication. Yeah, I just can’t enjoy myself, I have to think about work. :) Acknowledging (or finding out about) the problem This (first) part is the tricky one — finding out that there is a complaint which can turn out in a PR crisis. It was easy for Elsa — she was taken in custody (hard not to notice that). This is why social media and other channels should be monitored. It helps to stay off the evening news and to make things righter before they go “viral”. As in this case, such complaints or unsatisfied customers are not always right, but sometimes it just doesn’t matter. People are lazy — it’s easier to share a Facebook message or to retweet a tweet than to check the facts. This is what got Friedrich later in the play — he didn’t check the facts, but just trusted his wife. Evaluating the situation & preparing for the response We all know that sometimes it’s better not to respond to outrageous claims, just because a response can bring a bigger damage (exposure) than the original message itself. Nonetheless, at such moment time shouldn’t be wasted just hoping that everything will scale down. When there is a chance of storm, while you’re evaluating the damage to the brand, time should be also used to prepare to react in case it’s needed. That includes: getting in contact with company’s spokespersons, responsible employees, choosing the right medium for response (video, infographic, pictures or other), etc. Especially important is employee interviewing (if the situation includes your representative) — remember, Friedrich did what he did because he had false information on his hands. When you come out with a counter (or, actually, any kind of) message, you have to be sure that you are acting on solid ground. You don’t want to go down burning just because employee of yours lied to you to save his/her skin. Why use so many resources for a message that might be unnecessary? In time of social media time is counted by minutes. If you’ll have to make a public announcement, the sooner you’ll come out with it, the better. If people are sharing false message about you, you should give them one which is right. There has to be something to fall back on for those, […]

March 24, 2013

First step in social media

I recommend starting with twitter. There are some reasons that come to mind first: • It doesn’t require a lot of resources – other social media sites require more visuals and take more time to understand how they work • It’s easy to start conversation and to speak up to people who you want to be connected with • It’ll give the feeling how the social media works and a lot of principles you’ll learn along the way Set up your account, upload your logo as profile picture, fill in all the data, enter your website address and make sure that you bio makes clear who you are and what you do. Now, follow some people who are relevant to your business, but don’t overdo this. Preferably, you should follow all the opinion leaders of your niche, some clients you know and partners. At first, when no one is following you, you shouldn’t follow more than 50 people. Connecting to people on twitter and establishing relationships on web is the same as in real life. Starting off with a story about how great you are probably isn’t the best way. If you act politely, provide help, add value to conversations and generally are a nice person (brand, in this case) others will speak kindly of you. And that’s the goal. That’s why you should try to connect only to people who are relevant to your business. If you will convince them that you are what you say you are and gain credibility (and maintain it), the people who trust you will pass this trust to the ones who trust these influencers. Simple as that. Help others and prove that you are worth doing business with.

September 13, 2012

Why 100 friends are worth more than 1000 acquaintances?

This is a no brainer. Every social media “expert” at any given time is ready to spill out this magical sentence: “on social media 100 friends are worth more than 1000 acquaintances” as soon as someone starts (or is about to start) bragging about the number of followers. Why is it that talking to 100 people is better than talking to 1000 people? That makes no sense, this is marketing – we want to get the word out, we want everyone to follow us. That’s why we are launching these campaigns, which everyone will like and we’ll have pretty sweet follower numbers afterwards.  You want to know your customer What keeps your or anyone else’s business alive are customers – those, who pay for your products or services. You have to keep them happy, because twitter follower number or Facebook fans won’t pay your bills or salaries of your employees. That’s my problem with generally entertaining social media campaigns – while you get a lot of new connections; you still don’t know who your real audience (existing or potential customers) are. Sure, your latest facebook post might get 50 likes, but were your target audience (real customers) between those people? Maybe your real customers actually didn’t like this one, but you’ll never know. And I hope that I don’t have to explain why you shouldn’t displease your existing (paying!) customers. Real influence doesn’t come from forced recommendations Auto tweet after logging in with twitter credentials isn’t going to help you make more friends or sales, forget about that. What will help you to get to new customers are real tweets from real people with real opinions about your product. For example: “this new ice cream is the best I’ve had” or “I’ll definitely return to that bakery – great service & muffins :)”. That’s why more and more marketers are tapping into klout data – that’s how they can reach out to people whose opinion matters and let them try out things. After these influencers have tried these things, they tweet about them – they’re real opinions from real people about things they’ve tried, that’s why they’re so valuable – they’re reliable sources. That’s why you should decide very carefully – who you’ll try to connect to and how. And why. Every one expects that you’ll say good things about yourself, but the trick is to make others talk about you and this can be achieved by connecting to those who’s opinion matters. Especially in your niche. Time = money Talking to 100 people takes a lot less time than talking to 1000 people. That’s why you should talk to your customers first. After a while, if you’re building a community, your customers will talk to their peers and answer their questions about your brand or product for you. That’s when you know that you have a healthy community. And don’t forget to reward those who are most passionate. What are your reasons? Tell me in comments.

September 2, 2012

Where Twitter beats Foursquare in local pt.2

Local campaigns to get the word out about business or event Campaign or everyday activity including a well-designed hashtag can create much bigger buzz than foursquare special. Of course, rewarding loyal customers or delivering specials is foursquare’s strong suit, but they’ll have to keep innovating to prove that they are as good as twitter in getting the word out about new place, event or anything else that’s local. It is by default that foursquare isn’t great at generating buzz and social conversations and sharing. They have much less users and their network is built that way. I just would like to show you these two campaigns. And while they both are one of my favorite case-studies, it’s clearly visible, that there is a point in creating a campaign for local event (or offer) on twitter. You just have to be smart about it. Granata Pet – Snack Check Fox at Planeta Terra Previous part of this article you can find here.

August 7, 2012

Where Twitter beats Foursquare in local pt.1

Foursquare is THE service, when we think about the combination of local and mobile. No discussions on that. Nonetheless, there are areas where foursquare falls short and twitter is there to beat them. This is the first part – from user’s perspective. Live conversations on the spot Foursquare might connect people via locations, but they are connecting only those who are already connected. This is a big miss. In my opinion, all those Highlight, Circle and other services are doing the exact thing foursquare should already be doing. They should spark new connections based on locations. They have these feedback (tip) fields- but they are dead. They’re like stone walls where rarely anyone writes anything. Fresh conversations about experiences would’ve been much more useful, engaging & fun. Since twitter turned off the feature in their mobile app to see nearby tweets on map, I’ve been looking around to find a tool which would let me see those nearby conversations. Other twitter apps let me see tweets which are made from “nearby”, but they are not on map and quite often they’re not near enough. I mean, they sometimes are picked up from different cities and from couple of days ago. When big events are happening, there are hashtags and sometimes you can search the location’s name to find and aconnect to people nearby, but rarely anyone would call this a great user experience. And this is something average person would rarely think of doing. This is something foursquare should think about. Users would appreciate

August 1, 2012

You wouldn’t put stickers on your customer’s cars while they shop, right?

It’s great that you have created a twitter-enabled app for showing off your newest product line or allowing your customers to enter sweepstakes to win some great stuff. I’m cool with that. But never, never tweet on user’s behalf (using access to their twitter account they’ve given you by logging in to the app) without them knowing that & without them giving you distinct permission for that EACH TIME. This can be compared to shopping mall putting stickers with their message on their customer’s cars while they shop. Just like anyone’s car is their personal belonging, anyone’s twitter feed is property, which says something about the person to the world. By not letting your customers choose what to say and invading their territory, you show your disrespect towards them. That’s a dealbreaker for any future relationship this person could have with you. Why am I writing about this?  I use sports tracking apps to count kilometers I run, swim, ride with bicycle etc. After getting bike last week I also decided to give a chance to Endomondo (my favorite is Nike+ GPS, but they do only running), because so many of my friends are using this app. It was a big (and not in a positive way) surprise that after I week I noticed that Endomondo had been posting my every bike ride to my Facebook timeline. There was no hint about this in the app and since I don’t use web interface of their service I wouldn’t have noticed this until much later if there wasn’t this one comment on Endomondo activity on my Facebook wall. This was the last straw and starting from yesterday I’m using Runkeeper. They have much better iPhone app & they give you option to post or not to post to FB and twitter after each workout. I usually choose not to, since it’s not too interesting to read about my daily bike rides to work.

May 23, 2012

3 reasons why it’s a bad idea to follow 2000 twitter accounts just to get noticed

Everyone has seen one. Most often, these are companies who are just starting out on twitter and just don’t know better, but in some cases these are individuals who are desperate for attention. Here are my three reasons for not doing that: It’s a miserable call for attention and looks exactly like one. Follow a few accounts you know could be interested in you or even people you know, who would be happy to help you out and retweet your tweets a few times- to help you get your message across and get noticed by like-minded people. You’ll miss the conversations you should participate in. If you choose to follow people who have the same interests as you (if you are starting a private account) or people who are acknowledged experts in your niche (if you’re starting company account), you can participate in conversations they are having and add a value to them. By showing that you care and can help someone, is the quickest way to reach your target audience in a meaningful way. That’s how relationships are being built. At one point you might decide to start using twitter more reasonably and that means that you’ll have to un-follow a bunch of people. If you actually do something else during a day, it’s impossible to read tweets of 2000 people. In that bunch of people will be some users who use services which notify about people who unfollow them. And when they notice, you’ll have created negative sentiment towards you. Some of them even might tweet about that. It can be compared to being friends with someone and after a while saying “Actually, after I have learned more about you, I actually have realized I don’t like you. You’re not interesting”. These are mine. What’s your argument for talking someone out of following 2000 accounts?

May 21, 2012