The Social Media Garden: 5 marketing lessons taken straight from the greenhouse

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 4, 2012

This probably comes as no surprise, but gardening can teach you a lot of things. It can teach you about patience, perseverance, ecology, pedology, and aesthetics…but it can also teach you how to be a great social media marketer. There are a lot of surprising similarities between horticulture and social culture. Here are 5 lessons your garden can teach you about social marketing:

1.    You have to have the right tools.

If you’re going to toil in the soil, you’d better have a trowel. And a few seed packets, and a watering can, and a good pair of gloves. You can’t grow flowers without the right tools, and you can’t grow your marketing strategies without them either. Before you plant your social seeds, make sure you have the right tools on hand to see the job through to the end. Gremln can help you with that; our message dashboard, analytics suite, statistics page, team management features, and compliance tools can help you nurture your social media campaigns from seed to bloom. Depending on your situation, you might need other tools as well, like budgetary support and dedication from your co-workers. Figure out what tools make the most sense for your social campaigns, and have them in order before you begin.

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Topics: 101, analytics, Business, business, dashboard, education, facebook, garden, gardening, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, marketingb, media, social, strategy, twitter

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

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

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

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

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

Succeeding With Social Media in Mental Health & Addiction Services: Six Dos & Six Don'ts

Posted by Clayton Smith on May 16, 2012
Recovery Systems Institute

Earlier this month, we wrote on how Gremln's new compliance tools can help companies in the financial services and healthcare industries adhere to social media guidelines set by regulatory agencies. This week, guest writer Cecile LaBore brings us a practical look at how healthcare providers can effectively use social media as part of their communications plans.

Cecile LaBore is Administrator for Recovery Systems Institute.  RecoverySI focuses on bridging the gap between treatment and recovery by providing information, tools, and resources for people in recovery and their families, clinicians, and addiction treatment programs.

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It's a big field, and includes everything from prevention to long term recovery services, nonprofits with no paid staff to big companies with dozens of facilities, and approaches that vary from the medical to the spiritual and all points between.  But we all have one goal in common:  If we're going to help, people have to know who & where we are-- and what we can help with!  That's where social media comes in.

But many of us have been putting off diving into the social media arena, or have maybe just "dipped a toe in."  Maybe a Facebook page with hardly any posts.  Or some staff presence on LinkedIn.  A dormant Twitter account.  We know we should do better, but we're worried:  Will social media become a "time sink" that uses up effort for an insignificant return?  Will it even work at all?  Worse-- will we make a terrible mistake that could get us in trouble, precipitate a lawsuit, lose us a contract?

Here are six "Dos" and six "Don'ts" that can help you get started on the right track with Social Media:

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Topics: business, campaign, compliance, facebook, financial, gremlin, gremln, health, healthcare, linkedin, management, Marketing, media, ROI, services, social, Social Media for Healthcare, team, twitter

365 Days of Fun

Posted by Clayton Smith on May 7, 2012

Earlier this year, we posted a blog about the importance of having fun with your company’s social media marketing. Since then, quite a few of you have asked us for ideas on how to liven up your social space with a little bit of mirth and merriment. But we thought we’d do you one better. After all, why just tell you how to make social media fun when we can show you instead?

Soon, Gremly will be taking over the Gremln Facebook page and bringing you 365 Days of Fun. That’s right. We’re bringing you one whole year of games, challenges, quizzes, contests, prizes, jokes, riddles, dares, and more, with a new bit of social media levity posted to our Facebook page every day. Gremln’s 365 Days of Fun is going to be so full of fun and ridicularity that we had to make up the word “ridicularity” just to describe it.

There’s just one problem. If you head over to our Facebook page, you’ll notice that Gremly’s all ready to board the Roller Coaster of Fun, but he’s not quite tall enough yet.

That’s where you come in.

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Topics: business, company, facebook, fun, google+, gremlin, gremln, Gremln News, how to, linkedin, Marketing, media, party, plan, ROI, small business, social, strategy, Timeline, tutorial, twitter

There is Value in Fun: An observation from SXSW

Posted by Clayton Smith on March 16, 2012

There’s a lot to love about South by Southwest, the 10-day music, film, and interactive conference and festival held every year in Austin, TX. The live music, the keynote speakers, the panel discussions, the post-conference parties, and the sheer energy generated by thousands of social networkers converging to celebrate new app launches and long-established social successes alike; it’s all pretty overwhelming, and it can be difficult for any one aspect to really stand out.

SXSW is generally lauded as the conference for launching exciting new social products. After all, it’s where Foursquare debuted in 2009, and though it wasn’t exactly the network’s official launch, Twitter really started gaining attention at SXSW 2007. New apps and services are unveiled in Austin every year, and marketers spend big bucks to make sure their booths and launch parties stand out from all the rest. But the conference can also be a good reminder that marketing promotion doesn’t always have to be expensive or flashy to add value to your product. Sometimes, all you need is a little fun.

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, education, facebook, fun, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, skype, social, south by southwest, strategy, sxsw, twitter

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