Social Media Logos Offline Make No Sense Without a CTA!

A few days ago I was on the bus, sitting by the window, contemplating about the fact that I kept seeing Facebook, Twitter and Youtube logos in every other store window.
Then I thought to myself, isn´t it by now OBVIOUS that every store is on Facebook? Then why post the sign in the window? More importantly, why post a sign without any call to action?

Why would I surf over to your Bershka or Mango page, unless I have any incentive to do so? Are you really that cool and impressive making it worth the effort?

I´m tired of brands who expect people to be searching for them on Facebook because to follow them should be the dream of every persons life.
I'd rather say it's annoying these days to follow brands considering the massive amount of spam that I receive. I un-follow more brands than ever now days. In fact, it reminds me a little bit about 10 years ago when I started opting out on email lists. Now, the few email lists that I'm on, they are carefully sorted into lists and some of them go straight to Spam.

I read a kick ass article yesterday that I encourage all of you to read: Can you name 3 reasons I should give rip about your facebook business page
Can you? Because to me it seems the vast majority of Facebook pages don't give me any specific reason that makes it imperative to follow their updates.
I can find the new Mango collection on their website, I get the fashion news in my Google reader, I got a discount coupon from the newspaper last week...

The same thing goes for the TV ads, big street posters or any type of ad that is not on the web.
Keep in mind it's not a small but rather a HUGE step for me to go from that store, home, keeping in mind the ad, turning on my computer, and searching for your brand on Facebook.
You need to give me a tease to do that.
It's completely different in my opinion, the fact of whether or not to place a Like button or a Twitter symbol on your website, in your newsletter or in your email signature. That's a no-brainer because it's such a small and simple step to the user. It's ONE CLICK versus me sitting on that bus and actively entering a browser typing in your brand name, probably finding 10 pages with your name on it and entering into the right one. Makes me tired just thinking about it...

I'm not going to be all negative here and would like to mention the great surprise that I found at the exit of sports store Decathlon:
This QR code leads me directly to their Facebook page, doesn't really give me anything exclusive, but I do give them credit for at least jumping into the water, doing SOMETHING out of the ordinary plain thumbs-up sign at the exit.

Like Pam is telling us in her article, marketers should take a look at how their social media presence really ads something to it´s potential fans day-to-day life's.
This may seem easy at first but it's really not. Especially in today's integrated marketing campaigns where everything is everywhere.
I encourage you to try to get 3 answers on Pam's list.


Can You Afford To Screw Up?

Returning to the subject I spoke about in my last blog post, we are all customers at some point.
As marketers, the key to finding out what works, is often to take off the "marketer hat" for a while.

Can somebody tell me what's up with this "NON PHOTO LAW" that business owners keep imposing upon me?

I remember passing by DESIGUAL at Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona a few months and seing this really nice hoody that I immedeately knew would be perfect for a friend of mine.
So I picked up my iPhone, took a couple of pictures and before I had the time to even open up a new email to send it over to my friend, a man came up to me waving in front of me like a maniac. "No Photo No Photo!" To me that is like saying "No Business No Business" What are you, a non-profit organisation? You don't want me to recommend your hoody to my friend so he can stop by at your store after work to spend HIS money on YOUR product? Ok fine, I'll head over to ZARA instead.

Further more, what is there exactly to lose here, do you honestly think I'm going to sew up a similar sweater myself or sell the picture or...what?

Where I work there is really only one option to eat, Pans & Company. A rip-off of Subway I guess, but worse.
Today I bought a sandwich there and noticed they had introduced a new menue. Figured I'd take a picture and send to my colleague to tell her to come down and join me. Again, I barely had time to snap the photo before an angry lady popped up saying again "No Photo No Photo".
What did I do? I used the same photo to send to my friend, telling him "Gross, don't ever come to Pans&Company, food sucks and the service stinks".

When are businesses going to USE us to promote them instead of thinking they have any type of power trying to control what we the customers are doing.
You don't have ANY control anymore. What are you going to do with this blog post? What are you going to do with the hashtag #pans&companysucks? What are you going to do with my PICTURE? (I'm sure as hell gonna pin it!)
What are you going to do with an angry customer?

You have so much to win, and so much to lose. Heard of pinterest and instagram? Are you simply not interested in getting tons of traffic to your website or to reach new custumers through the most cheap marketing in the world = Word Of Mouth?

Focus on positive stuff instead of entering into a game that you simply can not win.

Pinterest Lets Me Dream

The articles about Pinterest and its success don't seem to ever slow down. Scanning through the daily summary from Mashable, 4 out of 20 articles mention Pinterest.
I always try to analyze from a personal user point of view, what it is that makes me sign up for a new network, click on an offer from a brand through Facebook, retweet a tweet or pin a picture.
Marketers too often think as...MARKETERS and I'd prefer to see myself as something in between the business and the public. A bridge, a communication channel, a facilitator.
I love Pinterest and I use it to express myself. I love sharing, I love the fact that Instagram makes me feel like a semi-professional photographer if only just for a minute. I love to have an audience on Twitter that find my information useful.
I'm certanly not the first one to say it, but what Pinterest makes me feel, is a sense of dreaming. On my Nature board I collect places, corners of the world where I would like to go, places that I want to remember, small moments outside in the nature that makes me feel close to nature, close to life.
Pinterest is not for every brand. But if you do have nice images, nice content that can inspire people, then do consider this network for your business.

I stumbled upon an interesting chart on Techchrunch this morning that I found interesting (now wearing the "Marketer hat").


Really rude people - They DO exist!

Today I'm making an exception on my Social Media topic blog. When I originally created this blog, it was supposed to be a place not only for social media topics but also a place for reflextions on cultural differences and experiences here in Barcelona. Today I go back to that topic, just one post.


Why I Share Your Content

A big part of the job of any community manager or social media manager is to aggregate other people's content. 
Even if you're fortunate enough to have access to inhouse original content nobody really wants to listen to someone that's only talking about themselves so whatever brand you are, you should be looking for external content to some extent.
Too often I am surprised about the small mistakes that blog owners make and that inevitably makes me pass on their posts.

I program tweets and my social media tool allows me to quickly program tweets from my Google Reader. The tool makes a copy and paste of the Tweet text and shortens the link. Now, if your posts title is written in CAPITAL LETTERS THAT MEANS MY TWEET WILL BE CREATED LIKEWISE. I don't know about you but I don't like to scream at my followers. So I pass on all your blogposts just because of this simple mistake. Sure, I can (and often do) change the tweet text, but come on, every time?!
Secondly, the images. I was just about to post a great blog post to tens of thousands of Facebook fans, but the 10 predetermined pictures that Facebook gave me (and that utimately you have picked to feature on your blog) are all just selfpromotional pictures with zero relevance to the actual blog post.

These are simple details that can make you gain thousands of visitors to your blog, new fans, followers and subscribers.
Take the time to make it right.


Opened Or Closed Facebook Wall

Social media should be opened, honest, a fluent conversation, lots of interaction, high engagement rates and transparency...right?
Well from the eyes of a Facerbook page administrator it's not always as easy as it seems.

I've been a fan of opened walls for a long time. I think it's nice to see when a brand invites people to post, not only comment on what the brand dictates should be on the wall.
I also assumed that the engagement rates of the brands with the opened walls would be much higher than the brands with closed walls...Until I did a bit of research.

I researched 30 brands and wrote down the Number of fans, the number of People Talking About the brand, calculated the Engagement rate and made a note on each brand whether their Facebook page wall is opened or closed to the public. I then highlighted the brands with an engagement rate higher than 10% in green.
Out of the 30 brands I researched the one with the highest engagement rate is Toyota. Second up is  McDonalds and Third place goes to Nestle. All of them have their walls opened to the public.

However, what might come as a surprise is the low engagement rate on brands with opened walls such as Oreo and Skittles. And the relatively high rate of brands with closed walls, such as Nike, AdidasGucci, Luis Vuitton and Playstation.
Also note that two brands from the same industry, Playstation and Xbox have almost the same engagement rate even though one lets it's users post and the other doesn't.

Obviously there are more factors to take in consideration to extract some conclusion for this.
What content strategy is in place? Does the brand respond to people? How often do they post?

At the end of the day there are various things to take in consideration when deciding on the wall settings.

If you're a brand with millions of fans it's likely a hot space for spammers, advertisers and freeriders who all want to be in the spotlight if only just for a moment.
Does your brand have the resources to monitor the wall constantly and take actions when unwanted material is posted? If so, it could push up the engagement rate a bit to have your wall opened.
If you don't have those resources and you still choose to keep your wall opened, you MAY end up with something that looks more like a scribble wall instead of a professional Fan page.


The Source - Great Content

I read somewhere that we process more than 90% of our information through our eyes.
I also read that the most succesful piece of content on Facebook for brands are pictures.
I also know, from personal experience that about 70% of what I share online with my friends are pictures, the remaining would be videos.

Now I'm going to ask you a question, think about the content you see from the brands you follow on Facebook, what type of content do you actually care about?

I read somewhere that all people want from brands online are discounts but I don't buy that. Just think about it, I would say close to  80% of the brands I follow are based in America and they almost always have some type of location restriction on their contests and sweepstakes. That puts me on the "not qualified" list immedeately. So why do I keep following them? For great content of course.

Great content is unique.
Great content has a "wow"-effect.

Great content adds a smile to my face.
Great content makes me want to share.
Great content inspires me.

You want more fans, more followers, more channel views and subscribers on Youtube? Produce great content and the rest will come.

Look at companies that produce great content and you will see the number of fans resonates pretty accurately.

This also brings me to Pinterest which I love - For the great content I find there. For the visual experience, for the low maintenance.
For the focus on great content instead of the real-time urgency you have on Twitter.


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