Social Media

Why You Shouldn’t Put All Your Social Media Eggs in One Basket

When discussing social media channels, we hear a lot of people ask, “Well, why can’t I just use Facebook?” Well, there’s (at least) a few reasons why only using Facebook for marketing isn’t a great idea. And, that’s what this video is all about!

Bonus: We experimented with a new format, and had a lot of fun with this one!

As always, get in touch with us if you have any questions or ideas for new videos!

LinkedIn Showcase Pages: What I Learned (So You Don’t Have To!)

LinkedIn_Showcase.jpg

Last week, I got to play around with our LinkedIn page. The “Products and Services” piece of company pages was discontinued in April to make way for the new “Showcase Pages.” These pages are a chance to, well, showcase, your company’s skills and services. Sounds like a great tool, right?

Right. But, there were a few things that caught me off guard during this process, and I thought I’d shares them with you:

1. There’s a 200 character limit: When I pushed up my sleeves and got started on this little project, I was stoked. I had all these plans about what I was going to put on each of the four pages, what images to use, what I was going to write… And then, LinkedIn threw all these parameters at me.

For starters, each Showcase Page is limited to 200 characters. That’s 20 less than your average tweet.

I managed to build all four pages within LinkedIn’s rules, and I’ll probably need to go back and refine what’s there. Clearly, “short and sweet” is the ruling philosophy, and I must say, it was a great exercise in keeping it simple.

2. There’s more data to keep track of:  In case you didn’t already know, LinkedIn business pages have analytics that measure how many followers you have, their demographic, and how often they engage with your posts.

 

An example of what information LinkedIn measures for businesses.

An example of what information LinkedIn measures for businesses.

Since each page is set up as it’s own entity, each page has its own set of analytics. For smaller businesses, this seems overwhelming. I had no idea I set up four new pages for myself to manage. That’s a lot of data.

But, maybe it’s a ‘divide and conquer’ sort of thing. We may notice that our Social Media Marketing page is generating a lot of engagement among its many followers, while our Workshops and Training page is a virtual ghost town. With this knowledge, we invest some time into building up the weaker areas.

3.  It’s an opportunity to reach the right people:

This article explains that a large company like Gap can manage its individual branches (Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime) in an easier manner. Plus, those who are interested in Old Navy don’t necessarily shop at Banana Republic, so following the company as a whole doesn’t seem appeal to them. Showcase pages allow them to “divide and conquer.”

Since we don’t have branches at Breaking Even, it made sense to divide our Showcase Pages by services. One page is dedicated to E-Mail Marketing, one is for Website Design, the third focuses on Social Media Marketing, and the last is for Workshops and Training. Each showcase page links back to the corresponding information page on our website.

Our Social Media Marketing Page

Our Social Media Marketing Page

 

ALL of our clients aren’t interested in ALL of our services. A Showcase Page may encourage those who only want to focus on Social Media Marketing to follow that particular page, when maybe they were put off by following the company as a whole.

4.  You have to build everything from scratch: Another detail I wasn’t aware of- when you create a Showcase Page, it becomes its own entity. It doesn’t bring in any of the people who already follow the company. When I discovered this, I was pretty frustrated, and wondered “What’s the point, then?!”

Well, going back to the example of a larger business, it does makes sense not to automatically move followers of Gap Co. to each of their showcase pages.

But what about smaller businesses? Admittedly, it’s more work for us. Our audiences aren’t as large, and convincing people to follow our showcase pages when they already follow the company page feels silly. I’ve come to look at it this way: by starting showcase pages from scratch, users are encouraged to opt-in. They have a choice to like the page, and when they do, it means they are serious about it, as opposed to being moved over from a larger list. The numbers you generate are interested followers, not people who follow you because they didn’t have a say in the matter.

Screen shot 2014-05-16 at 8.25.39 AM

Starting from scratch.

In the end, Showcase Pages have a lot to offer, even to us small business types. Yes, it creates a little more work, and probably doesn’t seem like it’s worthwhile. Admittedly, those were my thoughts, too, at first- but, as with most things in life, it’s all about how you use it.

 

Tech Thursday: How to Insta-Brand

More and more businesses are using Instagram as a marketing tool. In our April e-mail newsletter, we talked a bit about the benefits of using Instagram from a business perspective.

In this week’s video, we’re going to explore some Instagram best practices (and, they apply to both personal and professional Instagram usage!).

 

 

 

Tech Thursday: What’s the Deal with #Hashtags?

Hashtags are popping up all over the place lately, but what exactly do they do, anyway? This video explains why people use hashtags, what they do, and how you can benefit from them, too!

Note: Kassie didn’t know anything about hashtags pre-filming, but she did use “YOLO” quite a bit…

 

 

How Is Twitter Any Different Than Facebook

Facebook’s recent change of only showing your posts organically (ie not having to pay) to between 1-2% of people who like your page is exactly why I have always suggested that it’s important to not put all your social media eggs in one basket.

“I’ll just use Facebook. I mean, I don’t even get Twitter.” said several clients.

And years later, they still ask, “So, can you explain Twitter to me?” They are probably wondering how this website can keep going on years later when they don’t ‘get’ it.

I have a friend who owns a brewery getting on Twitter for this very reason: Facebook restricts who sees what he puts out there, Twitter doesn’t.

So besides ‘Facebook has failed us’ you might wonder why else people use Twitter. Here are a few you might care about.

Less people on Facebook see your stuff... because Facebook wants to make some money off you. Totally geek out here: http://moz.com/blog/facebook-algorithm-change

Less people on Facebook see your stuff… because Facebook wants to make some money off you. Totally geek out here: http://moz.com/blog/facebook-algorithm-change

See what’s trending in real time.
Gone are the days where we have to wait until the 6 o’clock news to get an idea of what’s going on in our community and around the world. By following hashtags, I can see at a glance that Snooki might be in #barharbor (actually seemed to be just JWoww) or what people are talking about related to #politics.

Try listening in on conversations in real life or elsewhere online. It’s either difficult or considered kind of rude. On Twitter, listening is neither of these things.

Follow and talk to celebrities.
While most celebrities have PR people handling their Facebook pages, lots of celebrities and other VIPs have their own Twitter accounts. You can see Martha Stewart unfiltered for example or publicly reply to @kimkardashian.

These and other Martha gems here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/martha-stewarts-17-best-tweets-ever

These and other Martha gems here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/martha-stewarts-17-best-tweets-ever

Keep in touch with the press.
You know what news reporters are? Busy and kind of overworked. But if they won’t friend you on Facebook because you’re some creep they don’t know and get hundreds of emails a day they don’t respond to, how are you supposed to be friendly with them?

That’s right Twitter. Stop just sending people press releases, make friends with them.

Hop in on a conversation then hop off.
Ever heard some insane conversation and, while you didn’t necessarily want to invest in carrying it on, you’d like to say your idea then jet? On Twitter, you can totally do this, whether you were a conversation originator or not. And so long as you aren’t saying any rude, this behavior in and of itself is not considered rude.

Because think about it, if you didn’t want people to say anything, would you be publicly broadcasting it? Probably not. People post stuff so other people say something. So say something if you want.

Organize people into lists.
Yes you can do this on Facebook too but it somehow seems much easier to do this on Twitter.

People, while they do post some personal stuff on Twitter, it is somehow much less annoying then on Facebook. Maybe it has to do with photos being linked (so I don’t have to see pics of my friend’s kid’s first poop) or maybe it’s the whole putting people in lists thing but I somehow don’t mind seeing that my friend checked into the burrito place when I don’t have to see the badly photographed burrito. Maybe text takes up less memory energy?  Note: If someone has any actual scientific information on this, let me know! This is just my idea and what I’ve heard others say but I’d love to back it up with a source or two!

Listen, Twitter is not nearly my favorite network. And in terms of getting us new customers Facebook and Pinterest are better… right now. All that said, I get some valuable information and have built real relationships (business and fun) using Twitter. And if you want to sit on the sidelines and keep missing the fun, that’s your business.

Now please excuse me while I discuss the merits of Rosalie’s versus Finelli’s pizza with a tourist visiting Bar Harbor.

Snapchat for Businesses: Pros & Cons

forrest-gump

Last summer, the following conversation occurred between a good friend and myself:

Me: “I got an iPhone! In no way am I qualified for this much technology!”

Friend: “You have to get Snapchat. NOW.

And, since I lack the forces necessary to counter peer pressure, the app was on my phone less than 5 minutes later.


For anyone who is unfamiliar, Snapchat involves taking a picture or video, adding a caption and/or drawing on the picture, and sending it to friends (who you can search for or add right from your contacts). The catch is you can set the viewing time between 1-10 seconds, which adds the urgency of “THIS MESSAGE WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN…”  The premise resembles a social experiment where  people  live free of consequences, and the ability to screenshot functions as a vague force that keeps (almost) everyone in line. Plus, you never know quite what to expect. When I explain this concept, some people  react as if I’m chatting up the sketchy guy standing alone in the corner of an already questionable basement party (I promise, it’s not that bad).

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Snapchat boils down to these basics:  it’s fun, easy, and at times, totally inappropriate. What’s not to love?

In the past months, businesses large and small tested Snapchat as a marketing tool. My knee-jerk reaction was Why would anyone want to get snaps from businesses? Well, after taking a bit of time to ponder the issue, I came up with this list of business snap pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Exclusive, One-on-One Connection with Customers:   Snapchat provides a new way to engage with customers on a personal level. For example, some use it as a way to take customers “behind the scenes.” For smaller businesses with a close-knit customer base, this might be a fun way to communicate. All you need is a cell phone number (or, give your company’s profile name to customers, and let them add you). Roughly 63% of people use the internet on their mobile phones , and most likely check e-mail and Facebook. Snapchat doesn’t get tied up in that stuff: it’s a different thing altogether, which means more room for your message to be seen. Plus, unlike e-mail blasts or status updates, snaps are sent to individuals who can’t see the other recipients, making it feel like a message meant just for them.
  • New Medium for Contests and Giveaways: For example, 16 Handles is recognized as one of the first businesses to implement Snapchat as a marketing tool. The giveaway went like this: customers added the company on Snapchat, sent them a snap (which had to be a picture of them at a 16 Handles), and in return, a snap was sent back with a coupon (with anywhere from 16-100% discount). In order to redeem the coupon, customers had to wait until they were at the register before opening it. Sure, this could’ve worked with a different medium. I’ve seen department stores mail coupons that get scanned or scratched off at the time of purchase to reveal the discount. Using Snapchat instead reaches a different age group altogether, and saves the trees.
  • No One Else is Doing It: Well, that’s an exaggeration. But in the grand scheme of social media, Snapchat is still considered emerging. Discovering how to implement it in an entrepreneurial way remains a challenge, but it may be rewarding for the businesses who try.




Cons:

  • Junk Mail Potential: Most people assume that if businesses start using the app, they’ll constantly be sending spam snaps, and the whole experience will lose its appeal. One person’s “Oh that’s fun!” is another person’s “Stop marketing to me!”
  • May Not be Worth the Time: The 16 Handles Contest, while innovative and successful, made the customer do quite a bit of work for slightly cheaper fro-yo. While it doesn’t require Herculean amounts of effort, the snapping back-and-forth might feel cumbersome to some people, and thus not worth their time to participate. For businesses using it as a way to send “behind the scenes” or what have you, if they see people aren’t opening the snaps, or otherwise engaging, it may make sense to either try a different approach or scratch the snaps altogether.
  • It Leaves No Trace: In terms of meaningful forms of communication, Snapchat a few steps below texting. The whole appeal is that the content doesn’t last. It’s fleeting in nature. I get a Snapchat from a friend, open it, laugh a little, and go on with the day. Depending on something that lasts 10 seconds (at most) to build a consumer base seems like a recipe for failure.

So, whether or not you decide to try Snapchat for your business, I definitely recommend it for entertainment purposes. My only example is this snap below, from last December. Could I have e-mailed or texted it? Yes, but I wanted to spare my friends the burden of having “Wrecking Ball” stuck in their head all day, so I sent the type of message that cleans up after itself.

Wrecking_Snap

A Yuletide Miley tribute.

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