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.


Related posts:
Why I Love StumbleUpon

3 Social Media Tools I Use daily


How Much HD Do I Need?

Yesterday while strolling around the streets of Barcelona, I stopped by one of those stores selling TVs, stereo equipment and cameras to check out the GoPro cameras.
Lately I've been watching too many crazy extreme sports videos, that in addition to starting the bike season with a couple of great excursions made me think I really should have one of those cameras that goes on top of your helmet.

Turns out the "new" version has not arrived yet to this store but either way I figure I'll investigate a bit about the differences of the "old" version (by old I mean like 6 months since it was released, no joke these guys put out new products faster than I change my socks).

The girl who helps me tells me that the new version shoots in HD. I'm confused, "Doesn't the old version also handle HD?" I ask thinking that if what I have seen the last months from GoPro is NOT HD then what the heck was it!?
"Yes it is, but this new one is even more HD". Yes, these are her exact words.
I'm even more confused. More HD? How much HD do I need? I'm fine with normal HD. I'm not going to show off my biking in a movie theatre any time soon.
"Oh, and it records in one stream instead of several smaller streams" the girl continues. I'm officially 100% off the track now.
I leave the store more confused than ever, wondering how many HD levels there are.
My conclusion is, if I don't know what the difference is in between HD and "more HD" and what it means to film in one stream then I probably don't need the new version.

I leave you this Sunday evening with a great video. As you can see, GoPro has a nice presence :-)
Happy Monday folks!

Experience Freedom from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.


8 Keys For A Successful Social Media Strategy

People talk a lot about social media strategy these days.
It's not enough anymore to just have a community manager answering posts, uploading photos and tweeting. We need a plan, we need stability, we need a roadmap of where we want to end up.


The most common type of social media engagement is the external one. Facebook fans, Twitter followers and Blog posts all in its honor, but to build a house you need a steady base to build on.
Investing in social media should be a long term project and internal support is imperative.
Make sure your company understands social media before diving into it. Further more, make sure you have a commitment from people to treat social media as a priority.


This point is very related to my first point.
While finding out what support you have in your company, don't forget to see what internal resources you have.
Do you have access to a programmer who can help you make changes to your company blog? Do you have a designer that can once in a while help you out with transforming a photo in Photoshop and make it 10 times more sharable? Do you have people working in customer service that can help  out with your Twitter support? Is there any writer savvy team members who would love to contribute to the blog?
Make a list of what resources you have in-house to later see what you need to go and find elsewhere.

Goals and objectives

I may be repetitive but the goals are a fundamental part of your strategy.
Is Twitter really right for your company? Does it make more sense to be on Pinterest?
What are you trying to achieve? Brand awareness, increase sales, loyalty campaigns, cost savings the list can be as long as you decide it to be.
I have been at companies where the main goal was brand awareness. Then a great content strategy, continuous engagement and contests online were important parts.
I have also been at companies who's sole objective was to increase sales. Then exclusive social media offers, a steady blog post with various integrated sales pitches and actively reaching out to potential customers were all parts of our day to day actions.
Goals are also necessary to establish KPI's. How are you going to measure your efforts? What is social media success to your company?

Learn from others

Social media is not new any more. There are thousands of case studys out there, so take some time to check out your competitors, benchmark well and read, try, learn, adapt and try again.


Is your company a local store, a national enterprise or does it have an international presence?
Do you have representatives in other countries?
Do you have CUSTOMERS all over the world?
How many "hubs" do you have (places to drive traffic to).
Sit down and consolidate the already existing material out there. Do you have several Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that need to be merged? What's going to be your communication language? Do you have access to local content that can support a local Facebook page?
It's important to understand that one model does not fit every company and think long and hard about what online presence you should have in different locations.
If you have a worldwide audience you may need to do some research on what the most popular networks and platforms are at your other locations. Although Facebook and Twitter are big platforms in most countries there are many niche communities in different countries that could be much better for your business.


The core of social media is communications. It's about a two-way communication with your customer, making that fan into a brand evangelist. But it all starts with a connection and some type of communication.
Social media can belong to your marketing department if you want but whether you want it or not, the communications department will (and should!) be involved. Now, when forming your social media strategy, make sure you find out how the flow of communication works in your company.
Social media should make communications easier, not harder. Yet many companies struggle with finding a smooth flow of communications in between departments. Social media is fast. If you take 1 hour longer to answer your customer than your competitor does, you may loose that customer. This means you can't go through 3 people to get an answer when a customer is calling. You need to have access to the express line to the responsible person who can help you get an answer.
Your responsible person should be a centric role in your company, not isolated into one department. He or she should have direct access to the heads of each department.


Social media is also about creating relationships. Once you start working in a company with social media you should make a digital rollerdex and take note on important Twitter followers, interesting blogs and contact information. Fill up your excel sheet or google docs spread sheet as you go, file important tags so that you later can go and export a list of contacts from a certain segment when you need to get your brand new infographic, viral video project or press release out to the digital world.

Content strategy

If you are an IT company selling printers, maybe photos may not be the sexiest type of content. However, videos may be a perfect match considering the opportunity to make tutorials and create helful and meaningful content.
If you are a bakery making cupcakes, photos may be the ideal type of content and platforms such as Instagram may be great places to showcase your beautiful cupcakes, while LinkedIn may not fulfill that many objectives.
Think long about this point. Don't waste resources, time and money pushing out all types of content to all platforms just for the sake of it. Pinpoint where your customer is and what he/she appreciates.  How can you help your customer? How can you entertain him? How can you impress her?


What made me buy the ticket?

Tuesday reflections.

I fell for it. Advertising!
I am a living proof it works. But it was Youtube that made me buy the ticket, or was it?

Walking on the street a week ago I was suddenly faced with a big display ad on the side walk and Denzel Washington's eyes were staring at me. "Safe House. Premiere this Friday".
I'm a big fan of Denzel, especially "Bad Denzel", Training day Denzel makes me wonder why I ever left Los Angeles.
Entering Youtube 3 hours later the trailer literally throws itself at me and I press the repeat button 16 times. I also share it to everyone I know, posting it to all my social channels, sharing my passion for Denzel and his work. I even liked and rated the movie at IMDB before I saw it (!)

I keep saying it was Youtube that made me buy that movie ticket but the fact remains that I saw it first through a poster on the street. Also I have to admit I had no idea about this movie before I saw the ad.
If I wouldn't have been such a great Denzel fan or if I wouldnt spend so much time on Youtube I may not have seen the trailer. Would I have bought the ticket?


Why I Love StumbleUpon

A part from the fact that StumbleUpon is by far hands down the number one most important source to find quality content online right now, it is a GREAT traffic referral tool.
In fact, it drives more traffic referrals than any other social media site.

As an online marketer we all know that a Facebook post or needless to say a Tweet has an extremely short life span. A tweet lives for a few minutes, Twitter is fast, and I keep repeating the phrase that my ex-boss once told me "Twitter should be what CNN uses in their tag line, Be The First To Know".
Facebook have their own lovely alogithm that is supported by several likes, your interaction history with each user, time of posting e.t.c. A Facebook post may live for a few hours.
But after 24 hours your post is far down on any users newsfeed.
On StumbleUpon it keeps travelling.
A page shared on StumbleUpon has after 400 hours just gained half of the engagement it will ever get. A Facebook post reaches that point after about 3 hours.
2,5 million webpages are added each month to StumbleUpon. I personally added 15 in the last hour. That's the effect SU has on you, it makes you stick around, it's sticky, it's good.
Check out the infographic for yourself and install the browser toolbar and start adding your favourite webpages and blog posts!



How To Become Your Customers Friend

It has to make sense. We can't run around trying to track every single Key Performance Indicator that we can extract from Social Media, in a desperate attempt to justify it's use. It's already justified.
When social media blew up a couple of years ago, everyone thought it was free. Now I think it's safe to say that most executives have realized it's NOT free.
Qualified manpower, applications for your fan page, blog tools, prizes for contests and monitoring tools all ads up.

It's a swift of doing business. It shouldn't be treated as normal business, cus it's simply not.
In traditional business you pay 10 euros for marketing and plan on getting 20 back within a short period of time.
Social media is first of all a complete change of mentality that very few have yet understood. Almost a type of friendship. Like us, belong to us, follow us, check in with us...For what?
The easy way would say, for building a base of people to blast your marketing at.
The different way of doing business model would say - To create a bond. To be human. To get into their lives and have them let you be a part of theirs.

When we make friends we are humble. We listen to our friends, we don't yell. We invite them for a coffee, and in return they invite us back next time. If they treat us well we invite them for dinner at our house and when they need our help, we are by their side.
Friendship is not about exploiting eachother, trying to get the best and most out of the other person.
And friendship IS a win-win deal at the end.
This is what you want to ashieve as a brand doing business in a new and innovative way. You want to get invited to your customers home (their Facebook wall or Twitter feed), you want them to have your back and be loyal when a competitor offers them a better price. You want them to genuinely like you. Not change you for the first best option.
How do you do that? Be genuin, be nice, don't rush for the sale, be human, always over perform and happily surprise your customer, apologize if you mess up...

A KPI should be Online Reputation Management. How are people talking about us online?
A KPI should be engagement metrics, how are people sharing our content online?
A KPI should be referal traffic to your hub (website)
A KPI should be returning customers.

The sales come later, and maybe they´re not even direct sales. People are 71% more likely to purchase based on social media referrals. Maybe a person checks you out on twitter and 3 days later makes a sale because they had you in the back of your head, they were familiare with you already.

So do you engagement, be a brand evangelist, create a champion persona of your brand online, and the rest will come...


Brand may not be social - But the customer is

"This is what social media is about!" I announced while stepping out of Mezzo Di Pasta exatcly 27 minutes ago. I haven´t even eaten there, ever.

Me and my boyfriend were on our way home after having had a great Friday dinner out in the best sushi restaurant in Barcelona, and almost at home we figured we should check out the new opened restaurant just 20 meters from our door. A fast food type of Mc Donalds place, but Italian.... Sounded interesting.
We stepped in and it was empty, bad sign.
My dad always used to tell me "Always check for the packed places". An empty place means nobody likes the place.. OR maybe people haven't discovered it yet? After all, this place was new, they just opened a few weeks ago.
To make a short story short, we walked up to the counter and explained that we were neighbors and just wanted to see what this place was all about.
A guy in this 20s behind the counter started sharing his passion for the brand and it was completely contagious.
We now know about all of the the company´s history and origin, menus, the combinations, the special deals, the fresh pasta and it´s ingredients and the cookies that seem extremely unique and tasty.
At the end the guy said: "You wanna have a taste just to know what we have here, for free?"
I was totally full after a huge dinner so I simply couldn't. But I walked out of there thinking, this guy is good, this guy is gonna make me come back for a take-away-coffee each morning from now on. This guy is going to make me write a blog post and THIS is what new business is about.
It´s not about Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. It's about treating your customers in a human and friendly way and having THAT behavior go viral.
Some companies may not even use social media, but the point is: Their customers are.