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Facebook Changes and How They Affect Things You Like

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If you have been following the Ingrained Media or have been following Facebook news that is not IPO related then this may not be news to you. However, if you have not read our Facebook blogs then now would be a good time. The one thing that seems to be certain about Social Media, is that the networks seem to come and go.

Despite knowing this information, these facts never seem to stop the major brands from pouring tons of money into building brand value on networks that have limited lifespans and that they do not own. The good news for these brands is that spending money to promote your Facebook page just became a requirement. The news coming from Facebook is that reach is more important than Likes. They are no longer pushing your content to those that like your page. Users will have to find your your page and check it or, and this would make the Shareholders happy, you can now promote your message. That is right, if you think your message needs to reach the people who like you, Facebook has provided you the ability to promote that message, for a fee. Yes, you have to pay to do this and the amounts that you will pay and the amount of people you can actually reach, all vary by the actions of those who follow you.

Yes, that means that Facebook is requiring users to be social. For the lurker you either search out the content, subscribe (which is getting harder to do) or hope the brand will pay to push the message to you, if you are not interacting you will not see the post. Facebook wants Brands pay to promote their message and thus increasing a brand’s exposure and decreasing the value for the visitor the Brand is desperately trying to reach or connect with.

Here at Ingrained Media we have been saying this for the last few years. Reach is the most important factor on Social Media. If Brands were running analytics they would have already seen that their actual reach vs the amount of people who follow or like is extremely low. Unless the Brand is engaging with the followers and providing unique content the actual reach has limited and return on investment is low. Paying to promote Tweets or FB messages can be effective but if you are not extracting the relationships then I see no value.

Pretty much every television commercial or print ad has the Brand’s Facebook page. The Brands are paying money to tell people about Facebook or Twitter. They are asking the consumers to follow them (some are) but now Facebook is telling you that you have to pay to reach them. So for those brands that have millions of Likes that were created by contests, unique content, engaging with the fans or followers or by the commercials promoting the brand’s Facebook channel, you now have to pay to communicate. Sure the user signed up and said let’s engage but Facebook wants to be paid for that. If Sally the home baker with just over 1,000 friends wants to tell everyone of them about her home bake sale on her Fan Page she will have to pay.

Social Media was supposed to be this great equalizer, right? Yet the big brands have the big numbers and mom and pop still have the smaller number of fans or followers. What exactly is Social Media then? It is an indicator that people like to connect with like minded people on the net. This is not anything new, but the Brands continue to look for some magical solution to connect and engage with the consumers. They want to build brand loyalty and reach their target consumer. The consumer has become more elusive and advertising to them is less about see my brand and more about connect with my brand. For the small to medium size businesses Facebook ads would be a better solution vs paying to promote to people who may or may not be engaging with you.

Connections are lasting engagements. If that is the true goal why in the world would you spend any money to build these engagements on platforms that you do not own, control, or fully understand? Those that were successful and played a role in building Facebook’s almost billion users, they would like to thank us by charging us to communicate our message. No thanks.

Brands need to be looking at these social media platforms like ripe hunting grounds. They can be a great source of things you need but they do not last forever. Make sure that you are investing in building your own platform and use Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and any of the other popular social networks to target your potential consumer and extract them to your own platform. Invest in building great content on your own platform and use these third party social aggregators to identify the people you want to reach, pay to tell them about your network. A place where they can come and hang out with other like minded users. Think of it like a virtual rewards program. If it is worth doing it is worth owning. By building this platform you can control the controllables and your investment into your own social media content.

For some of you that might not be feasible, maybe you have limited resources or time. Maybe you are a small business or a local brick and mortar. My initial reaction would be if you fall into this category then do you really need a Facebook page for your business? Just because the brands you know are doing it doesn’t make it right (as we mentioned above) and even if it was effective for Wal Mart why would you assume that it will work for you? Could you service 1% of Facebook’s members if they decided to purchase from you? Of the almost billion users of Facebook how many of them would actually be your customer? You could still have your own social community but if you were not interested in that approach then you should be looking into Geo Social solutions. Such as Yelp, Fourquare etc.. These networks are much more community based and your time spent connecting on them will have a direct impact on your business.

If you are a Fan of pages and want to have the content pushed to you, there are a few things you need to “try” and do. I use the word try because Facebook has been doing different things for different users a lot more frequently. This means you may not see the promote button or be able to subscribe to a page. Here are some tips:

1. Find a page you’ve “liked.”
2. Hover you mouse over the “Liked” button. Which may or may not work.
3. Try clicking the “Liked” button. That also may or may not work.
4. After clicking “Liked,” try hovering over it again. This may or may not work.
(Sensing a theme? Access isn’t consistent…nor intended to be easy, I have a feeling. Please keep trying.)
5. Once you (finally) get a drop down menu, confirm “Show in News Feed” is selected. In theory, this should put all more posts from the page back in your newsfeed.

Even doing the steps above won’t guarantee that you get to see what your favorite brand or celebrity post on their page. The new Facebook algorithm is designed to push content to those that are truly interacting with the brand. Liking the page is not a “true interaction”, subscribing to the page will not be a “true request”, Facebook’s algorithm will determine what you see on your page no matter what you ask for or request. If you are a Facebook lurker and do not interact with the page you will not get the feed on your timeline. Unless the owners of the page pay Facebook to feed you the post. So ultimately the brands will have to pay to inform you or you will be required to interact with the page to get the information automatically.

The saddest part of these changes is that they are not ways to increase the value of the community but to increase the value of the company. Facebook has to answer to its shareholders and is expected to earn money and show that it can be a viable business. Up until this point the money had been made off the traffic. Now the traffic will have to participate and the brands that helped create that traffic will have to pay to communicate.

Jason Genet
CEO of Ingrained Media


Where Is the Brand Activation for Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos Sponsors?

UFC on Fox Sponsorship Activation Non-Existent Leading Into Their UFC Heavyweight Championship Bout

We keep waiting and waiting but it never comes.  This next weekend marks one of the biggest events in Mixed Martial Arts history and yet there is little to no activation.  Since it is obvious that most of the MMA industry does not seem to understand what that word means, here is a brief description:

“Activation includes events, promotions, retail display, outdoor, digital, CRM (customer relationship management), direct, and other such services.”

Why have these athletes and their agencies missed the boat?  Is it because the UFC  has strict guidelines against any ambush marketing for this Fox debut?  Or have the managers of Dos Santos and Velasquez failed at executing on this tremendous opportunity?Even the brands that have been supporting Cain Velasquez from the start of his career, before his fame and before the championship belt have not made the push to connect their brand to the upcoming event.  Aren’t they hoping that the wider reach will sell more shirts?  Is this not the opportunity of a lifetime for Dethrone?  They invested heavily into Cain and having Cain at the forefront of their marketing long before he was a star.  Shouldn’t they be connecting the dots?I know it is a bad economy.  That excuse only flies here in the United States.  The UFC and Cain’s management have gone to great lengths to sell Cain as a Hispanic fighter (even ignoring the fact that he was born in the US) yet where are the Hispanic brands?  There was no housing bust in Mexico.  As a matter of fact a lot of the money from the housing boom here in the US was sent back to Mexico.  So where are the Mexican brands?

The endemic brands are not taking credit or touting the investment made and their success of that investment and the non-endemic brands that have signed on are not activating leading up to this historical event.  Why not?  What am I missing?  Is this not a dream come true?

Look at how well Anderson Silva is doing in his home country of Brazil.  He is landing marquee deals with Nike and Burger King.  Junior is a very likable and marketable guy, especially in Brazil.  Both Mexico and Brazil would be ecstatic to have their Countrymen as the reigning UFC Champion.  Yet it appears that nothing is happening.  If it is happening and the activation is coming post the event, then that is just a recipe for disaster.

We are never going to attract the NASCAR type of sponsors if what we call marketing is ironing a decal on a pair of shorts.  Here at Ingrained Media we have brought in main stream electronic companies, main stream boating companies, large auto manufacturers, drink companies, huge musical talent and more.  We have brought them into the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.  Provided them with activation and total marketing solutions.  All of these companies expected activation and marketing solutions that went above and beyond logo placement.  That is why we have talent on the preliminary cards getting bigger name sponsorship deals then most of the main card talent.

MMA Athletes are not commodities and these opportunities that are being created by others (mainly Zuffa) can be life changing events.  What does it matter if you are fighting for the UFC Heavyweight Belt, if the guy you beat is busy counting his cash, paying off his homes (yes homes) and cars?  What is the actual goal?  To be a World Champion or to be able to support your family and not be in the struggle?  I would rather have my talent be rich than famous.  The sad part of the UFC on Fox event is that you could actually have both.  These managers or agents had an opportunity to change the lives of their fighters, open flood gates for their talent, and the future of the sport. They have not done that and I guess I just do not understand why.

Jason Genet
UPDATED 11-18-2011 – The UFC on Fox has came and gone.  I wanted to update my post a bit to reflect what we saw in the way of sponsorships.
Cain- Cain had a lot of the same sponsors as his previous fight.  Milwaukee Tools, Oak Grove, Dethrone, MicroTech, BSN, LUGZ and a few others.  These sponsors are feeling the pinch of not taking advantage of the opportunity.  There will always be a loser so that is why activation is so important.  Not only will there always be a loser but sometimes the fights are so boring that both fighters come out as losers.  These sponsors had months to promote Cain and keep him active with the Brand.  That is especially true for an athlete that is off due to injuries.  LUGZ who is a Urban shoe company has been sponsoring Cain and other MMA fighters for many years.  They were the only Brand with visible pre-fight activation.
JDS- Junio had Gillette from Brazil.  Gillette is a long term Zuffa sponsor and I am not sure if the two are tied together.  Most brands like Nike or Gillette have international divisions that usually run somewhat independent from the US Brand.  That is likely why we did not see any activation from Gillette here in the US.  This was likely the Brazil division and I am sure they had the activation going in Brazil as they are a major Brand.  Actually it appears that 100% of Juniors sponsors were Brazilian based companies.  In the end it seems like a smart move for a guy who is a hero in his home country and n0t to mention the 22 million viewers that tuned in to watch the fight.
Juniors camp did a great job targeting a lucrative and virtually untapped market.
FOX TV Rating Notes:

- If you combine the FOX and FOX Deportes telecasts (one in Spanish, one in English), it would have received close to a 3.5 rating with 6.2 million viewers and a peak of 8.8 million and a M18-34 rating of 4.7. It is believed a peak close to 9 million was achieved combining both.

- The 4.3 rating in Males 18-34 beat every college football game this season except the LSU vs Alabama game on CBS.

- The 4.3 rating in Males 18-34 beat 65% of the playoff and World Series baseball games this season on FOX.

- The 4.3 rating in Males 18-34 was the third highest rated television show of the year for FOX Deportes.

- The show drew 1.7 million women over the age of 18.

- The median age of viewers for the telecast was 35 years old.

- The 5.7 million viewers was the most watched fight in broadcast on US television since HBO’s Lennox Lewis vs Vitali Klitschko back in 2003

- UFC programming delivered a total of 6.7 million impressions across all FSMG television networks.

- The peak of 8.8 million lasted as long as the fight did, which was 1 minute (fight started at 9:40 pm).

- By 9:45 pm, the viewership had dropped to 5.9 million. Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson peaked at 6.51 million and lasted for 10 minutes and 38 seconds. (Sports Illustrated) … about 25% of the audience had left at the end of the main event.

- UFC on FOX began with 5.2 million viewers and dipped as low as 4.4 million before viewership started to climb around 9:36 pm, as the fighters were starting to make their way to the Octogon. (Sports Illustrated)

Brazil Ratings on TV Globo:

- The event peaked at 22M viewers in Brazil, and during the fight (1 minute), it reached a 20 rating and a 52% share (percentage of homes with TV’s). The ratings were above average for a Sunday morning. (Globo)

-Jason Genet


Social Media for Events

As a Dad I can’t remember how many birthday party invitations my kids received or handed out over the years but I know it was a lot.  Some of them were written by the parents and others in that famous kid penmanship that even makes pharmacist’s take a double look.My wife is a big Save the Date kind of gal and yet it seems that the days of paper invites and RSVP’s are becoming relics of the past.  The web and specifically Web 2.0 has change the way people plan events and get the word out.

Social Media is making it easier then ever before to plan, promote, and reach the masses or just your family and friends.  Social Media allows individuals to communicate information rapidly and adjust this for any unforeseen issues.  You do not need stamps, envelopes or smoke signals to get the word out anymore.

Social Media also allows you to engage and involve those who can not make the event and also allow them to still share and participate.  You can share photos and videos of the event as it is happening and share stories online after the event.

Social media can make the planning process smoother by leveraging digital word-of-mouth. Here are some tips for best results.

Establish Your Event-Related Channels

The months and weeks before your event is a critical promotional period. Use every social media channel at your disposal to get the word out about your event.  If it is a private event make a group and keep it exclusive or if it open to the public encourage them to share the event.

You can encourage people to share information on the event in return for small rewards. For example: “Share this event with 20 friends for 10% off your admission.”

If you have your own social community or use third party applications the process is very similar.  One thing you should know about adding events to your own site is the SEO reward that comes with events.  Search Engine Crawlers love relevant and timely information and events are almost always indexed higher then blogs.  If you have your own social community or website we recommend using this this as the hub for the event.  If you do not, consider Facebook and Twitter as your next best solution.

Start by creating an event page on Facebook and an event hashtag on Twitter, then create an event blog where you’ll post updates about it (new speakers, registration discounts, etc.). Make sure your Twitter hashtag is specific to your event or organization, without being too long.

Once you have your channels established you have to begin to feed them.  Populate them with content.  Make sure your event content is relevant to the event.  One common mistake is if you have a Mixed Martial Arts event populating the channel with MMA specific content is a road for failure.  The content is not original, is not relevant to your event, and will detract from it.  If it’s a social event, post video or music clips, create a pre-event contest, or connect event-goers through interaction and games.

For a social or community event the content should be engaging, fun, and shareable in order to drive word-of-mouth interest. If the event is more corporate in nature, offer fans and followers sneak peeks at topics to be discussed, or special pre-conference articles and presentations.  Keep the content about your event and what you are promoting.

Provide Incentives for Viral Marketing

Participation is key to your success.  The social community sites we build come with a built in “Event” tool.  This allows you to RSVP, share, promote and comment.  Make sure you are being responsive and relevant with your postings.  We can then push the event to any number of Social aggregators like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and many more.

No matter the platform or approach if you are a corporation or public event that is trying to attract eyeballs and attention to your event offer fans and followers special discounts or content. Incentivize people to register for the event, offer them early-bird discounts, invites to pre-event parties, or other rewards.

Make Registration Social

In the social communities we built Event sharing, inviting and RSVP’ing is all built in.  If you do not have a site that has this built in you can use a social registration service like EventBrite, which not only makes registration easier and more streamlined, but allows attendees to share their event activity with their friends. Other popular social event invitation platforms include Plancast and Twtvite. Most of these services are highly integrated with social networking platforms and can be configured with user caps and privacy options.

Use Location-Based Services and Check-in Rewards

Geo-location sites let you set up a page with rewards including badges, coupons, specials, or gifts. These location based services are easily integrated with other social networks such as Facebook, FourSquare and Twitter, so check ins will be shared with larger networks. When attendees come to your event, you can reward them for checking in at different stations, panels, or activities. Rewards such as free tee shirts, a gift card, or other small incentives can be redeemed after the show.

This helps you and those around you find you.  They may not be interested in attending the trade show you are at but if they know you are their and interacting they might just stop or check in.  This gives you a great chance to convert non-event attendees to visitors.

Bring your Event to Life With Social Media

This is one of those areas that is often missed.  Why are you at the event?  The answer should be it is for a good person, cause or business.  Any of those are worth promoting.  We live in a digital world and there is no reason to limit the event to the attendees.  One of the best ways to have more people at your next event is to have them talking about your event.

Why not capture your event as it unfolds and share it on your social community and push it out to sites like Twitter and Facebook.  If you do not have your own community contact us and in the mean time start using Twitter and Facebook for these feeds.

You can also encourage your attendees to share the events happenings as they unfold.  It is important that you encourage them to use your hashtag.  You can bet they will be Tweeting if it is a failure so encourage them to share it if they are enjoying themselves.  make sure you have someone from the host side on their Social Media Channels Tweeting and reading tweets.  Respond to problems.

Example: We were in Vegas for a fan meet and greet.  My client had to make a flight so eventually we have to cut the line off so we could get to everyone that was in line.  One of the clients fans was upset and in tears about missing out on meeting the client.  They Tweeted and because we were monitoring the channel  I was able to see we had an upset fan and sent someone to find them.  We were able to connect the fan and client and issue resolved.  I am not saying we would have lost that fan but I am saying we were able to make a meaningful engagement because we were monitoring the event.

Use a photographer and let your attendees know they can get the pictures from your social community or your social channels.  This will encourage them to come to your site and view the picture.  It will also increase the likelyhood of them sharing your event and the photos.

An active Twitter stream during your event not only engages participants in real time but also allows people who could not attend to get a feel for the sessions and topics being discussed. Some event organizers set up a huge screen behind speakers to display hashtagged tweets in real time. But again, this can backfire if the tweets become negative or go off-topic. All that interaction can derail speakers as they try to respond in real-time to all the “interference.”

This is why it is critical to have your team monitor the channels and interact or even lead the charge on interaction.  The @UFC channel on Twitter does a great job of engaging the fans and promoting the events beforehand, during and post event.

Include Non-Attendees

The goal of every event is to have happy attendees and hopefully be able to do the event over and over again.  The best way to “grow” the event is to include those not in attendance.  This is where your future growth will come from.  Plus there is absolutely no reason to share the event as it happens.  As mentioned above the majority of your attendees will be connected to one or more Social Media Platforms during your event.  You can and should try to own and direct this interaction.

There are some great tools that will allow you to livestream during the event using Facebook or UStream so fans can follow along online. Facebook enables you to store this stream so that people can watch it after the event proper. You can also create a YouTube channel for the event to post videos before, during, and after. Encourage non-attendees to ask questions through Twitter or Facebook during the event and answer them live.

The communities we build are fully integrated with all of these platforms and can support or host a livestream.

Extend the Shelf Life of Your Event, Even When it is Over

Your event doesn’t have to end the day it’s over. Social media can keep the momentum going for many weeks and months afterwards. On your blog, post a “wrap up” of all the key highlights. You can add links to presentations, key learnings, and other downloadable documents. Of course, you’ll want to post photos on the blog and on Facebook, and continue tweeting about the event even after it’s over. You can post thoughts, ideas, or links to longer articles that might be of interest to those who attended.

Another great way to keep your event from fading fast from people’s memories is to create ways for attendees and other interested parties to continue socializing, discussing, or debating topics covered there. Do whatever you can to keep the conversation alive.

I am sure a lot of you have been to fundraisers where they have the step and repeat and a house photographer that gives you a card for redemption of the photo later on in the evening.  Give that person your Social Channels address’s and let them know where they can find the videos, pictures and share stories from the event.

Post event contest are great too.  you can do contest like share your favorite story and the best commented or most shared content gets a prize.  Just be creative and let the attendees know that you are capturing the memories and where they can find them.

Use Social Media Metrics to Measure Success

Consider using online surveys to ask attendees for feedback on panels, venue, speakers, topics, and other facets of the event. Facebook polls are fun, easy ways to get quick responses and feedback from attendees.

Be prepared for honesty. If someone has a negative comment to share, make sure to address their comment or concern and store the information to improve next year’s event. Lastly, pull total social media stats from sites like Search.Twitter.com and Social Mention, or set up Google Alerts ahead of time. If the results are positive, don’t be shy about publicizing some of these metrics to highlight the reach and impact your event had.

This is another area where your hashtag or using third party social platforms like UbberTwitter or Hootsuite give you easy tools to track tweets and mentions.  Many of them are offering Social Media Analytics too.

HASHTAG

This is not a game that your hippie parents played while attending Woodstock.  This is an easy way to make your event come up on searches.  It is essentially Twitters answer to tags like you see on Flickr.  A hashtag can be any word or combination of words.  As an example #UFC would help my tweet show under searches for “UFC”.

Be Real and in Real-Time

Social media is your ability to be the source.  Your target audience is likely using social media right now.  You just have to engage with them and be real.  We have addressed this in some of our other blogs.

Make sure that you are posting in the real-time.  If you are hosting or attending an event make sure you post your opinions and experiences.  As you see things happen comment and share.  This will increase interest int he event and in you.

Jason Genet
http://www.ingrainedmedia.com


Social Experts or Snake Oil Salesmen?

We’ve received quite a few emails about our Facebook blogs, so we wanted to expand upon some of those thoughts. Please feel free to comment or send us an email about your thoughts.

The fact is Facebook is a 500 pound “Gorilla” and most people know of it or have an account. So essentially, it becomes the easiest target for companies and brands to focus on. The job of “social media manager” is one of the fastest growing new job postings. University of Southern California is even offering courses and degrees focused on this new phenomenon. Agencies all over are working overtime to create new divisions focusing on social media. Pretty much every brand has a social media “expert” to assist them in this new world of social media.

The “affiliate marketing” experts are now touting their social selling skills and as this new market emerges, the so called experts seem to be more like job seeking opportunists rather then social media experts.

This group of newly employed “experts” continue to spout off about engagement on third party social platforms like Facebook as if they are Mark Zuckerberg’s first cousins. They are the same ‘experts’ that lead brands to the social graveyard called Myspace.com. They claim that these engagements are meaningful and encourage these brands to spend their hard earned money to help promote a third party application. Billions of dollars are being spent to gain a “like” and resulting in tons of free exposure for the brands like Facebook. Where is the ROI? They are merely telling brands what the brands already know (that Facebook is popular) and that social media marketing is an emerging but necessary market.

As we have discussed in our previous blogs, people (the brands target consumer) use social networking and specifically sites like Facebook to connect with friends. There was a time when you could not even join without a connection within the network. Now that it has grown, the brands and their experts see Facebook as the holy grail of social media marketing.

Facebook is essentially web 2.0’s version of email You do not need to send emails through email clients. You can share, connect or find your friends, colleagues and family. It is an easy way to stay connected and communicate with the people you want to connect with. No email address changes or loosing the phone number. Just type in their name and Facebook will give you numerous ways to connect. Most consumers do not seek to have these kinds of relationships with brands. They are interested in brands providing them content, information, contests and so on, but a meaningful friendship is not what they are after. If you are a brand and not an athlete or celebrity, the actual engagement ration on Facebook for brands is close to zero percent.

People aren’t involved with most brands’ fan pages, even though on a daily basis a large percentage of them are involved in connecting with the brand. The problem is the “real” engagements and the feedback provided is normally one directional. This is not engagement, but more like a new form of email spam. When the engagement is real Facebook provides no real way to engage the users back. Ultimately, what little success you will find can backfire. The consumer will feel ignored.

People tend to forgive the celebrities for the lack of response. The celebrities tend to be forgiven based on the sheer number of fans they have commenting. It would be humanly impossible to engage with 50 Cent’s 12,000,000 Facebook fans. He offers his hard core fans his own unique social network that has over 540,000 active members (www.thisis50.com). To me, this group is far more valuable to 50 and his endorsed brands. He can directly communicate back and forth with his fans. The engagements are real. He can monetize thisis50.com and owns it rather then being a passive participant on Facebook.

There are too many people and groups on Facebook and making lasting and meaningful engagements is next to impossible. Facebook and sites like it offer the users of the site a tremendous platform to stay connected and communicate. It just does not mean that all of its users will “like” you or even be your target consumer. Social media is like having clovers in your lawn. They look cool and you hope to find a four leaf clover but they are not necessarily good for your lawn.

I always try to get our clients to visualize social media as a virtual social gathering. If you had a gathering with 12,000,000 people, it would be chaos. Even 500,000 could be chaotic so brands have to remember that they are going to be at the center of the conversation. So building your network needs to be balanced with feeding your network content and meaningful engagements.
Brands should, however, focus on Facebook advertising. The cost to advertise on Facebook is very affordable and very effective. Since Facebook revolves around socializing, those conversations create the ability to target conversations and interest. Facebook users tend to list their likes and dislikes and Facebook advertising can effectively help you find your target consumer. Targeting is the smartest ad expenditure brands can make. Niche advertising networks like MMAAdnet.com are one solution; contextual based targeting is another. Each are very effective and remove a lot of the mystery involved when advertising on or off line.

Brands SHOULD have a page or at least a group or two established on sites like Facebook. They should use these platforms to help find and potentially extract this consumer from being a passive friend to a truly engaged consumer. At the very least, Facebook and third party social media platforms offer “free advertising” for brands.

Build a realistic plan, assign realistic goals and go. If you are using it correctly, social media will tell you where to go and what to do. You have to listen to the consumer. If your expert has advised you to focus solely on Facebook and suggests hiring staff to manage the comments and tell you what you should be sharing, you might need a new expert. There is no magic to social media marketing. It is about engagements and providing feedback in a timely manner.

You can have your own thisis50.com style site with an iPhone app for under $5000. You and your team can manage this and all of your social platforms through your cellphones and desk top. I guarantee you it is not Weird Science or even Sixteen Candles. It is just communication with the very person you are willing to spend tons of money to understand what they like and want. Save your money and time and just ask them.

Jason Genet

IngrainedMedia.com


Social Media Engagements

Facebook Party

You likely read our blog about Facebook members not “Liking” brands. I doubt many, if any of you, went out and deleted your Facebook accounts so here is a blog on how you can increase your potential engagements as a brand who utilizes Facebook.

The information in this blog was extracted from Buddy Media’s 14-day study of 200 of its very own clients pages. The studies show that more and more Brands are seeking Facebook users as potential target markets. Let’s be frank advertisers are inherently lazy and consumers are becoming more an more elusive. Many blame the over saturation of ads on Myspace.com for the demise of this Social Giant. Yet advertisers will simply follow the herd.

Your goal as a Brand should be to extract your target consumer from these Social Media giants. If you can’t or won’t extract, in the very least, engage. No one likes the guy at a party that just stands around and watches everyone and yet no one at the party knows the guy. Awkward or creepy is how you would describe that person. Yet brands tend to do the same thing on Facebook.

One of the biggest mistakes brands make is they look at these platforms as where the consumers are, instead of looking for their consumer. They are content with hoping or praying that the consumer somehow finds them or they can hire an influencer to push potential consumers to you. This is worse than being the creepy guy standing around not saying anything. Now the party is at your house and you are still awkwardly silent.

Social Media is about being social. Facebook is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. What does that mean? That means that Little Jimmy does not have to wait until his friend Tommy gets back from Grandma’s to show him the new bike he got for Christmas. Yep Facebook is even open on Christmas day. It never closes.

Yet the MARCOM’s or Social Media Managers tend to work 9-5. Which means even if we are trying to engage our consumer we might not be doing so at the right times.

Be Timely

The study found that daily Facebook engagement has three peaks: early morning (7 a.m. EST), after work (5 p.m. EST) and late at night (11 p.m. EST). Therefore, posting all of your updates during the workday means you’re missing key opportunities to engage fans at non-work hours. However, not all brands’ engagement peaks at these three times — Playboy’s engagement peaks in the wee hours of the morning, for example — so you must work on a case-by-case basis.

We have tools that allow our Brands to communicate on and off the clock. They are readily available to anyone who can use Google to search. The common mistake brands are making is hiring a Social Media employee and utilizing that person during the work day. The hours of work need to be split between finding time to engage with the consumer and research what the best engagements are. In essence find time to listen to the conversation before you jump in. The only thing more awkward then the silent guy at the party is the the guy that keeps jumping into conversations off point.

Think about how you would like to be engaged and when. Mon-Wed are usually stress days and Thursday through Saturday tend to be fun focused. Thursday actually being the most meaningful day to engage potential consumers. This is very similar to old PR strategy. We have advised many on the importance of using key days of the week to stage news. As an example bad news is best released on a Friday so the weekend gives them time to calm down or forget. Brands often forget Sunday’s, this could be a huge mistake. Sunday is a great day for engaging. Friday’s not so good.

The problem with PR is the same that you will Social Media. Brands tend to be lazy and they will start “stacking” news around these dates and ignore the less responsive days. This is a tragic error. You should increase your frequency of engagements on the good days but also engage on the down days. Not just 9-5 engagements either. Social Media is not about being a robot and the minute you think you have your consumer figured out, they are on the move again.

There are various ways to enhance the timing of your engagements. Be timely, on topic and pay attention to your targets behaviors not just your allotted time to create the engagement. Brands should consider how timely they are being.

Be Concise

The text box is not a glass and does not to be filled to the rim. Tweetlonger or anything that allows you to extend past 140 characters is a blog not an engagement. Do not become Chatty Cathy and hopes that someone will listen. Social Media engagement is as much about what you did not say. Keep the post under 80 characters if possible.

The study showed tweets under 80 characters garnered 27% more engagement than posts that were more than 80 characters.

What about the URL tools that shorten the URL? Surely they will allow for more right? Nope! In fact the URL tools like ow.ly and tinyurl actually have the opposite effect. Studies show that people are three times more likely to click your link if they know what they are clicking on. http://www.yourbrand.com is going to get more clicks then the URL extension created by tinyurl. Brands would be better served to create their own branded URL shortening tools. Or get creative and use less characters and more URL.

Words ranked in order of their effectiveness at converting Likes and comments


Ask to be Engaged

Just ask. Yes it is as simple as asking. Again let me reference the party setting. So you are at a party and you see someone that you are attracted too. Do you think if you spoke with the person, found out about them (make sure you really do like them) and strike up a conversation they might like you back?

Brands fail to engage and yet they expect a consumer to Like them because they found them on Facebook? Fact is you need to engage and learn about the person you are hoping to get to like you. Don’t just hope your good looks will Carry you through the relationship.

Miracle Whip has one of the best campaigns I have seen that does just this. They are asking consumers to tell them if they like Miracle Whip or do not. Another effective tool is to let the target consumer know why they should like you. “Like us if….” is way more effective then asking for a “Like”

“Like” is and should be viewed as the lowest form of engagement you can have. This simple engagement is viral and highly effective when done right. Remember, “liking” only takes one click and then the “liked” item is syndicated on a user’s own page, so don’t be afraid to ask for the thumbs up.

The same goes for comments — outright saying “post,” “comment” or “tell us” motivates fans to engage. If you’re seeking answers, put a simple “where” or “when” or “would” question at the end of the post. The study showed

you’ll get 15% more engagement than if the question is buried in the middle. Shy away from “why” questions, as they seem invasive and ask much more of a user than a “what” question.

Social Media and the engagement is not some new creation or way of thinking. We just have technology and solutions that bring the masses together, we can reach more people over longer periods of time. We just need to know when and how to engage.

Jason Genet

IngrainedMedia.com


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