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

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

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

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.

---

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

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