Category: Posts by Brenda


Return on investment is a big part of justifying PR programs. The means to determine ROI are usually built into a campaign before it is launched. But how do you measure the return from social media?

In his article for Mashable, Brian Solis reveals that most organizations that participate in social media have no real way to measure the ROI from those activities. Of the survey respondents, 15% believe that Twitter does not provide a ROI.

Solis says, “I believe this is the direct result of a disconnect between social media activity and a clearly defined end game. We must establish what we want to measure before we engage. By doing so, we can answer the questions, ‘what is it that we want to change, improve, accomplish, incite, etc?’”

Clearly, PR practitioners need to work hard to show the ROI on social media campaigns. Some have started using social media channels in a tangible way. They are using customer stories and suggestions to shape their products and services, gaining trust and loyalty from those customers in the process.

Solis says that the effort of participating in social media is worth it: “We can adapt business processes, inspire ingenuity, and more effectively compete for the future.”

You trust your family and friends. How would you feel if a company such as Google or Facebook took advantage of that trust?

Those companies are doing so now. Facebook’s pages show which of your friends “like” the page. If the page is for a product or service, their liking it serves as an endorsement. These endorsements are important: 71 percent of people say their friends and family influence their purchasing decisions, as Alex Cohen reports in his lengthy article.

Cohen explains how Google is using detective work to create a similar system using “+1.” Users will be able to click “+1” near items and paid ads they like. This information will be used to target ads to these customers – and to their contacts. Big Brother Google is watching?

Social media is a great tool for businesses. But how do you get started? And how do you make sure you’re using it effectively?

Mashable offers a fairly simple, loose 5-step plan for getting started.
1. Listen. What are others saying about your organization?
2. Prepare. Who in your organization is appropriate to converse with others on behalf of the organization?
3. Engage. Go for it! Start getting out there and interacting on blogs, Twitter or whichever other social media site is appropriate for your field.
4. Go offline. Remember that face-to-face interaction is still often the best way to build strong relationships.
5. Measure success. What knowledge/relationships do you have now that you didn’t before?

This process is great for the PR practitioner because it gives a general overview of how to get started in the wild world of social media. Good luck and have fun!

New Influencers

What do you read? How do you get your news and connect with others? Are you more likely to pick up a newspaper or an iPad?

The way PR practitioners go about their daily lives affects their work, says Brian Solis. “Once they get it personally, then they can get it for whatever it is they’re trying to represent. If you don’t live it and breathe it yourself you can’t get it. It’s very cultural.”

Chris Beck, founder of 26dottwo, explores “the new influencers” in his interview with Brian Solis.

The focus has changed from newspaper and radio to Twitter and the Facebook news feed. “That is the attention dashboard today,” Solis says.

One tidbit to keep in mind? “You’re dealing with an audience who has an audience who has an audience. People are building social networks around themselves. You have to introduce value into their stream.”

404!

Errors while computing are frustrating. But are they a marketing opportunity?

Of course! For the PR practitioner, the 404 message is a relationship building tool. A 404 is an error page where visitors to your website end up if they try to navigate to a page that does not exist. If you keep the visitor calm and maybe get a laugh, you can turn frustration into fun, creating a positive view of your organization.

Some sites have completely random 404s, with Chuck Norris stealing the page or the page having been sucked into the void of outer space. Others stick to their brand identity, such as Hoppermagic using a hopper of sorts. One can even be used to prank friends!

You wake up, get ready for work and head to the bus stop. You haven’t had your coffee yet, so your eyes may not be working quite right, but you can tell that the bus stop looks… odd. It seems to have a couch, an area rug and drapery. Then you get on the bus and it has pot holders hanging from the handholds. What’s going on here?

You’ve been hit by Ikea’s guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla marketing involves getting right in people’s faces with a product or idea, and that’s exactly what Ikea did in Manhattan. Using the slogan “Good design can make the everyday a little better,” Ikea decorated the city for five days to show the inhabitants its wares.

This is just one example from the interesting and fun “10 Excellent Examples of Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns.” Check out the rest for some great ideas!

How should businesses be using social media? Who should be posting? Do advertising laws apply to social media? Should Facebook be used during screening for job applicants?

Social media has changed the way a lot of businesses send and receive information. In his article “How businesses can handle risks in the changing world of social media,” Matt McClellan looks at these issues. He provides common-sense advice that is useful for businesses of all types.

McClellan’s interviewee Jonathan Theder points out that “When it comes to social media, employers today don’t really know what to do.” The article is a basic snapshot of social media for the business owner who is at sea concerning how he can/should use this new technology. Knowing this is important for PR reasons to keep the business safe due to possible legal ramifications.

-Brenda

What do Rickrolling, sneezing baby pandas and three guys who used to work for PayPal have in common? They all became famous thanks to YouTube.

YouTube, as the second largest search engine, is a site that PR practitioners must consider when planning a social media strategy. Mashable’s “10 Fascinating YouTube Facts That May Surprise You” is a mixture of fun trivia and useful information about the site.

YouTube’s importance as an integrated social media site is undeniable. “YouTube says that on average there are more than 400 tweets per minute containing a YouTube link. Meanwhile, over on Facebook over 150 years worth of YouTube videos are watched every single day.” This means that posting an interesting, successful video to YouTube can lead to a lot of impressions. Use it wisely!

-Brenda Mackey