Social Snafu -- Recovering from a social media marketing faux pas

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 25, 2011

It’s every social media manager’s nightmare. One tweet taken out of context. One Facebook post with a catastrophic grammatical error. One good-natured joke that offends legions of social media users. One accidental check-in at the strip club down the street on your company’s Foursquare account instead of your own. Before you know it, without any malicious intent, you’ve managed to spearhead the biggest PR disaster in your company’s history, in 140 characters or less.

The social media screw-up has become pretty legendary. The news seems to be flooded with examples of people making poor social media choices and putting their brands’ reputations at risk. From Gilbert Gottfried to Anthony Weiner, social media snafus are everywhere, and they can mean serious harm to your company and your career.

First, let's face facts: The social media faux pas happens. Hopefully it won't happen to you, but it might. In case it ever does, here are a few tips for dealing with it.

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Topics: Anthony Weiner, Business, business, education, embarrass, facebook, faux pas, Gilbert Gottfried, Marketing, Nivea, offensive, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

What Would a Business Page Look Like on the New Facebook Timeline? We Want to Hear From You!

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 6, 2011

By now, it's pretty much common knowledge that Facebook is releasing a fancy new profile style called Timeline. While its full-scale launch has been pushed back due in part to a legal skirmish, some users have been given early access to the Timeline. (You can check out my recap of the changes at "The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline.") It should be rolling out to all users soon.

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Topics: branding, Business, facebook, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Timeline

Beating Back the Boredom: How your social media marketing campaign can outlast your fans’ short attention spans

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 7, 2011

Bad news: Social media is killing your attention span. In fact, you’ve probably stopped reading this post already. If you’re still going, I applaud your strength and perseverance. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

How often do you log on to Facebook? Once every day? Once every hour? Once every seven seconds? I admit, I’m closer to the latter, and a lot of you probably are too. I check in on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ like a hyperactive six year old switches between Saturday morning cartoons, and when I do, I expect to see something new and exciting happening. Every single time.

That may be a little unreasonable (and it puts a heck of a lot of pressure on my friends), but it’s what social media has trained us to expect. It’s true for me, it’s probably true for you, and I can almost guarantee it’s true for your customer base. With the ever-shrinking attention span of the social media public, I can’t help but wonder—what’s the reasonable lifespan of a social media marketing strategy?

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Social Discounts - 5 great ways to discount using social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 31, 2011

When it comes to selling your product, “discount” can be a tricky word. On one hand, discounts can be great for luring new customers or bringing back old ones, and they can also help move old inventory. But on the other hand, discounts often attract customers who are more price sensitive and less brand loyal. Discount purchasers are less likely to come back for more.

The reason is simple. Although you are giving buyers a reason to purchase (my wife would gladly trade my left arm for 40% off a yoga mat), you’re not giving them any reason to be charmed. There’s no interaction, no engagement, no reason for someone to think, “Wow, this company really is something.”

But all is not lost! There’s still room for the discount in our highly connected, prove-that-you-deserve-my-loyalty-or-I’ll-go-online-and-find-someone-who-is world. Enter the social discount.

Part traditional discount, part social networking, the social discount allows you to attract price sensitive customers and strengthen your company’s brand. The next time you feel the urge to blanket the town with 10% off coupons, consider using one of these social discounting methods instead.

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Topics: Business, business, discount, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Groupon, Marketing, money, ROI, SCVNGR, social media, tips, twitter

Staying Afloat in a Sea of Likes - 5 ways to stay relevant on Facebook

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 23, 2011

Just five years ago, Facebook was a virtual corporate wasteland. Business leaders weren’t really taking the social network seriously as a marketing outlet yet, and Facebook wasn’t trying very hard to convince them otherwise. Pages hadn’t yet been introduced, and any company wanting a Facebook presence had to create either a group or an entirely new account under a fake name, like Mr. Radio Shack, a 35-year-old male from Fort Worth, Texas whose interests included batteries, transmitters, and R/C racers.

Facebook was piling on new users faster than anyone believed possible, but despite the growing pool of worldwide consumers using the service, businesses shied away.

That’s all changed, of course. Facebook is no longer a subject of skepticism, and we’re now faced with the opposite problem; there are millions of businesses on Facebook. When you’re competing with 1.5 million other businesses for the public’s attention, you need to do a few things to stand out.

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Topics: Business, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, like, Marketing, ROI, social media

Background Check – Making the most of your company’s Twitter background

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 17, 2011

When’s the last time you checked out another business’s Twitter page? I don’t mean when’s the last time you saw one of their tweets. I mean, when’s the last time you clicked through to view that company’s full Twitter profile and saw its Twitter background design? I’m betting it’s been a while. For most of us, any Twitter profile other than our own is out of sight and definitely out of mind.

But sooner or later, we all find ourselves exploring someone else’s Twitter profile. It usually happens when we’re searching around for new tweeters to follow. Sometimes it happens because we want to scroll back through all the person’s recent tweets. Every once in a while it happens because we’re just bored out of our gourds and have nothing better to do than surf through random Twitter usernames. (You thought you were the only one who did that, didn’t you?)

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Topics: Business, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, ROI, social, social media, twitter

Digital Disappointment: Four reasons businesses flop on social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 4, 2011

A landscaper once told me that he found social media to be a useless marketing tool. His attempts to expand his customer base by way of social networking consistently fell flat, and his time investment gave him little, if any, return. He wanted to know why he should spend so much time cultivating his Facebook page if it wasn’t going to help his business.

It's a question that a lot of business owners have. There’s a never-ending stream of buzz lauding the terrific marketing powers of social media, but let’s face it. It’s not working for everyone. The aforementioned landscaper’s Facebook page currently has about 20 fans, despite being created more than three months ago. He’s right, social media clearly isn’t working for him. So what gives?

The simple fact is, he was promised too much. All too often, small business owners buy wholeheartedly into a few fallacies of social media marketing that are showered down upon them by their friends, family, and news media, only to find that social networking doesn’t live up to their expectations. When this happens, it’s easy to become disillusioned with the idea of social media marketing in an extremely short period of time.

In order to help curb such negative experiences, here’s a look at a few of those misconceptions and the corresponding truths about social media marketing.

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, twitter

Opening the Floodgates: How like-gating impacts the social media marketing dynamic

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 1, 2011

Last week, for our Social Media 101 series, I wrote on the topic of like-gating. Today, we’ll look a little more closely at the concept and its impact on the business-consumer relationship.

A quick refresher: Like-gating is when a company requires a Facebook user to like its Facebook page before accessing exclusive content. The benefit of this strategy for the company is easy to see. People want exclusive content, so they like the page on Facebook, thus increasing the overall number of page fans and expanding the company’s digital audience.

Every time a person likes a company on Facebook, the company’s posts flow through the person’s Facebook news feed. The more people who see the post, the more the marketing message spreads, and the higher the company’s potential ROI on its social media marketing becomes. Because of this, likes have become a serious social currency. Like-gating is one way to leverage the phenomenon—but what impact is like-gating having on the business-consumer relationship?

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, like, like-gate, Marketing, ROI, social media, tips

5 Lessons Social Media Marketers Can Learn From Angry Birds

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 21, 2011

If you’re reading this, it probably means you’re taking a break from playing the multi-platform breakout hit game Angry Birds. (I’ll try to keep this short so you can get back to beating Mine and Dine.)

Angry Birds, which was created by Rovio Mobile, was initially released for the iPhone in December 2009. Now, a year and a half later, Angry Birds is everywhere; iPads, iPods, android devices, PC browsers, Google Chrome, and even the PlayStation Portable. Wherever you are, there, too, are the birds. The game has been downloaded more than 250 million times.

There are several lessons social media marketers can learn from Angry Birds’ seemingly boundless success. Here are the five biggest:

1. Your campaign doesn’t have to be complex to be successful

Angry Birds is a simple concept. Launch the bird, hit the pigs. It’s an easy game to play, which means it’s an easy game to learn. Virtually anyone can pick it up and start playing in a matter of seconds, which makes it broadly appealing. When designing a far-reaching marketing strategy, keep in mind that simpler is often better.

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Topics: angry birds, Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, network, ROI, social, social media, tips, twitter

Insights and Impressions - What are your social media analytics telling you?

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 18, 2011

You’re brilliant. You know you’re brilliant. You have a fantastic new Facebook marketing campaign for your product, and it’s the most brilliant thing you’ve ever come up with. It just shines with brilliance. So you launch the campaign, and you wait for the rampant success that should always come with this high level of brilliance.

But how will you know if the public thinks it’s brilliant? How will you know if your campaign really is destined to become that rampant success? Ideally, of course, you should see an increase in sales. After all, what is your hard work for if not to increase your company’s bottom line? But it can take time for your marketing message to translate into a customer purchase, and before that money starts flowing, it’s helpful to know how many people are actually seeing your message. Enter Facebook impressions.

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Topics: analytics, Business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, klout, linkedin, Marketing, media, ROI, social, social media, twitter

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