Overcoming Social Media Fear: 5 Steps to a Braver Brand

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 27, 2012

Earlier this year, the CFO for Francesca’s Holdings, a retail clothing company, tweeted, “Board meeting.Good numbers=Happy Board,” and in doing so violated SEC regulations regarding fair disclosure. He was fired on the next business day.

In March of 2011, a social media representative at New Media Strategies, a social media marketing agency, who was handling Chrysler’s Twitter account accidentally posted a tweet to @ChryslerAutos that was actually meant for his own, personal account. The tweet read, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to [expletive deleted] drive.” The representative was fired from New Media Strategies, NMS was taken off the Chrysler account, and Chrysler found itself scrambling to engage in damage control.

And in July of this year, Celeb Boutique, a fashion company, saw that #Aurora was trending on Twitter and decided to take advantage of the trend by tweeting, “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress ;)” with a link to the company’s online store. What they didn’t realize, of course, is that the reason #Aurora was trending was because of the tragic incident that occurred at the Aurora Century movie theater during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Understandably, the backlash was instantaneous and extremely damaging.

These are just a few examples of companies and representatives that have suffered the potential pitfalls of social media. They are by no means alone. In the past few years, we’ve seen similar stories from American Red Cross, McDonald’s, former Representative Anthony Weiner, Gilbert Gottfried, and many, many more. Social media snafus happen every day. They’re usually embarrassing, and although they sometimes go by unnoticed, they can also be incredibly damaging, to corporate brands and personal careers alike.

There’s just no way around it; social media can be scary.

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Topics: analytics, Business, business, campaign, compliance, dashboard, education, facebook, fear, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, regulation, regulatory, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Social Media 101: Facebook's EdgeRank Formula

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 8, 2012

“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we examine what is arguably one of the most important content concepts in social media: Facebook’s EdgeRank formula.

EdgeRank is a ranking system designed by Facebook that determines how many of your company page’s fans actually see each of your Facebook posts. Believe it or not, the vast majority of your Facebook fans do not see your status updates, photos, videos, or links in their news feeds. Rather, the number of posts in an individual’s news feed is culled by Facebook in order to lessen the amount of social overload Facebook users would likely experience if every post from every friend and every business page posted to each person’s news feed. Researchers estimate that, on average, only about 17% of total Facebook friend and fan page posts actually appear in a user’s news feed.

EdgeRank is a mathematical algorithm that filters out Facebook posts based on three variables; Affinity, Edge Weight, and Time Decay. The more successful a post is in each of these areas, the higher its rank, and the more people will see it.

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Topics: 101, business, comment, facebook, gremlin, gremln, like, Marketing, media, post, ROI, share, social, social media, Social Media News, strategy, tag, Timeline, tutorial

Intern Insights: Gremln Marketing intern Kristy Okada offers advice for finding internships and jobs through social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 1, 2012

Our fantastic (and socially savvy) Marketing intern Kristy Okada is wrapping up her time with Gremln, and as one of her final projects, she jumped at the opportunity to write a blog post for college students everywhere with advice on how to use social media to find internships and jobs. Kristy is a Junior at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She is majoring in Economics.

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College students, let’s be honest with ourselves for a second. Under the guise that we’ve got it all together, we are freaking out…a lot. In addition to maintaining a social life, receiving good grades, and staying involved in extracurricular activities, we feel the pressure to find an amazing internship or job that will give our resume that “WOW” factor.

Although the job market is recovering, the competition is still tough with hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of students clamoring for the same job. Especially with other candidates just as qualified as us, differentiating ourselves can be quite a tough task. Fortunately, the advent of the Internet has changed this completely. Instead of being a name on the page, we can wield our technological literacy to make ourselves standout in a sea of electronic applications by branding ourselves through our social media accounts. So loosen those strict privacy settings a little bit and show the world who you are and why you should work for them!

Here are some of my best tips:

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, job, linkedin, network, recruiting, social, social media, tips, twitter

The Branding Games: London 2012 and Social Control

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 27, 2012

The International Olympic Committee has a problem. Their problem is, practically everyone in the world is going to be tweeting about their product.

Sounds like a good problem to have, right? Everyone in your office would probably do back flips if your company started simultaneously trending in 200 different countries around the world. A lot of marketing directors spend their entire careers trying to get even 1% of that kind of popularity for their brands.

But social media success is a double-edged sword. It brings a wealth of marketing strength, sure, but it also represents a huge loss of control. You control what you say about yourself, of course, but you can’t control what other people will say about you. The good, the bad, the hopelessly neutral; it all flows freely from your fans and followers, and the more people who post about you company, the less you can respond to a huge influx of negative tweets. If one person takes to Twitter to complain about your product, you can respond and attempt to correct the situation. If 1,000 people start complaining, the situation is way beyond your management. Now consider; the number of Olympic athletes alone is about 17,000. That doesn’t include managers or trainers or sponsors, and it certainly doesn’t include the masses of people who will be watching (and Facebooking, and tweeting, and Google Plusing) around the world.

In short, the potential for Olympic brand negativity is astronomical.

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Topics: brand, Business, business, dashboard, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, guideline, IOC, London 2012, Marketing, networks, policy, regulation, social, social media, strategy, twitter

7 Steps to Social Media Intern Success

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 17, 2012

A lot of social media advisers will tell you, unequivocally, unabashedly, without hesitation, and without reservation, to never, ever, ever, even in times of great desperation, put your company’s social media into the hands of an intern. The reasons they’re likely to cite for this are many; interns are untrained; interns are unproven; interns are untested; interns have limited experience; interns turn over faster than steaks on a grill. And are you really going to entrust your most accessible and spreadable public voice to a college student who is unfamiliar with your company and, in all likelihood, not even on your payroll?

These are all excellent points, and for many people, they outweigh the distinct benefits of intern social media management (namely, interns are cheap, they’re eager, and they tend to be digital natives). But sometimes, a dedicated social media employee just isn’t an option. Non-profit organizations and smaller companies with extreme budgetary constraints (or even budgetary non-existence) can find it impossible to justify the resources needed to manage an ongoing social media presence.

In other words, sometimes there’s no choice: Hire a social media intern, or forego a social media presence altogether.

Despite the warnings of naysayers, though, utilizing a social media intern doesn’t have to be a doomsday scenario. It just requires a little careful preparation.

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, education, facebookt, gremlin, gremln, intern, internship, linkedin, management, media, non-profit, organization, ROI, small business, social, social media, strategy, success, team, twitter

Twitter, UnLinked -- How Twitter's recent changes affect LinkedIn users, and how Gremln can help

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 2, 2012

If you have a LinkedIn account, you probably received an email last week explaining that their relationship with Twitter has changed. Until recently, users could connect their LinkedIn accounts to their Twitter accounts and have their tweets posted automatically to their LinkedIn timelines. In other words, if you posted a tweet on Twitter, it automatically posted to LinkedIn as well. But Twitter has altered its sharing strategy a bit, and it’s closed off LinkedIn’s ability to post users’ tweets on its own site.

The move is a good reminder to LinkedIn, and to all of us, that social networks are constantly evolving. Like so many companies, Twitter is exploring new ways to maximize its product potential, and their search for industry nirvana has caused them to change up their third-party sharing settings. As a result, LinkedIn has had to shift its own product a bit, and all LinkedIn users who have relied on the connection between the two networks to post their tweets to their LinkedIn timelines are going to have to shift their habits a bit, too.

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Topics: adapt, analytics, business, change, dashboard, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, media, news feed, ROI, social, social media, Social Media News, Social Media Updates, strategy, Timeline, twitter

The Power of the Survey

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 2, 2012

Okay, quick survey: How many of you hate taking surveys?

If you just rolled your eyes at even the suggestion of taking a survey, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I couldn’t manage to dig up any actual survey data on how many people refuse to take surveys (for obvious reasons), but I know the number’s pretty steep.

I know it because I’ve been on both ends; the giving (“Well, hm. Why aren’t more people taking my customer survey?”) and the receiving (“Oh man. Another customer survey? Oy.”). Surveys take time, and they’re often pretty dry. Taking a survey isn’t nearly as fun as, say, Rickrolling a co-worker.

But surveys are incredibly important for businesses – what better way to find out what your customer wants than by asking? – and if you think about it, they’re pretty flattering for us as consumers. Businesses create surveys in order to pinpoint our thoughts and attitudes about their products or services, presumably so they can better serve us and make us that much happier with our purchases. It’s a great thing to have the opportunity to enhance, or even alter, a company’s approach to the public marketplace just by sharing your thoughts and opinions. Your voice can, in a very real and literal sense, change a company for the better.

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, education, gremlin, gremln, Gremln News, Marketing, media, ROI, social, social media, strategy, survey

Recruiting Outside of LinkedIn: 3 ways Facebook can help you find your next employee

Posted by Clayton Smith on June 20, 2012

According to some pretty recent data, LinkedIn is the number one social network choice for recruiters looking to fill corporate positions. In fact, “over 80% of employers who use social media for recruiting use LinkedIn,” and, according to one study, 48% of recruiters use only LinkedIn to find potential job candidates.

You’re probably thinking, “Okay, sure, that makes sense.” After all, LinkedIn is pretty widely regarded as the professional social networking platform. It was built specifically to encourage online business connections and, for many people, LinkedIn acts as an online resume, so it may be no surprise that recruiters focus their social energies there. But here’s what probably will surprise you; according to the same study, the majority of people who successfully found a job through social media did so via Facebook, and not LinkedIn. In fact, according to the survey, 18,400,000 Americans claim Facebook helped them land their new job, and only 10,200,000 give LinkedIn the same credit.

Recruiters are utilizing LinkedIn, but job seekers are almost twice as likely to find a job on Facebook. That’s a heck of a discrepancy.

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, facebook, Free, gremlin, gremln, hiring, hr, human resources, linkedin, Marketing, media, recruit, recruiter, recruiting, ROI, social, social media dashboard, strategy, twitter

Facebook Fans: The art of passive engagement

Posted by Clayton Smith on June 13, 2012

As social media marketers, we usually tend to focus on Facebook fan engagement and active interaction. And that’s a good thing, not only because each Facebook interaction spreads your social media message to a new circle of people, but also because engaged fans are passionate fans, and passionate fans are likely to become loyal customers. For many of us, the need to engage becomes so all-important that our Facebook strategies can be boiled down into a simple equation: Engagement = Success, Silence = Disaster. Because of this, it’s easy to panic if your Facebook posts go seemingly unnoticed.

But take heart! While engagement is an excellent metric for measuring social media success, silence doesn’t necessarily mean your words are falling on blind eyes.  

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Topics: analytics, Business, business, campaign, crm, dashboard, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, insights, like, Marketing, media, network, ROI, social, social media

Treadmills, Travel Time, and the Value of Analytics: Justifying the cost of social media success

Posted by Clayton Smith on May 22, 2012

Confession time: I pay good money on a monthly gym membership just so I can go and run on a treadmill a few times a week. It drives my wife crazy. Why spend $40 a month, she argues, when I can save money by running outside for free? It’s a reasonable question. After all, I’m sure we could find some great uses for an extra $480 a year, and if all I’m doing at the gym is running, I’m not experiencing any additional workout benefits than I would by running on the sidewalk every day. So yes, it’s a good question. Luckily, I have a good answer.

I’m buying the analytics.

Running on my own, outside, is great, and it’s actually the way I prefer to run. Fresh air, occasional sunshine, near-death experiences involving inattentive drivers; it all makes running outdoors a lot more exciting than jogging in place, staring at a wall. But when I run outside, I’m running blindly, analytically speaking. I can’t pinpoint how far I’ve run, how many calories I’ve burned, how steep my incline is, how fast I’m going, or how high my heart rate is. I don’t have access to any of these metrics when I run on my own, and to me, these analytics are a vital part of my workout routine. Tracking them allows me to see how my workouts are improving and how successful my runs are from a personal health point of view. The numbers help me stay motivated, and they constantly give me new goals to reach. For me, $40 a month is a small price to pay for those stats.

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Topics: analytics, Business, business, campaign, dashboard, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, small business, social, social media, statistics, stats, strategy, twitter

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