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.