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questions about social media Archives - Page 2 of 8 - Jaggers Communications

Better Business in Charlottesville

By | Communications, Marketing, Public Relations | No Comments

Teri Kent is my hero. Truly. Teri started Better World Betty as a resource for all things green in our community. Then, she took it to the next level, creating, managing and executing the Better Business Challenge.

Last night, the Jaggers Communications team was delighted to be present as friends of the firm walked away with awards they earned by converting to a paperless system, reducing waste, increasing recycling efforts and reducing energy consumption. It was a fine display of environmental stewardship and we were proud to be applauding fans of the effort.

Teri has been at the forefront of the whole effort. She’s professional, efficient, inspiring and enthusiastic. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

We’re also so proud to be affiliated with, neighbors and friends of participating organizations including Rebecca’s Natural Food, Woodard Properties, Beer Run, Camp Holiday Trails, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, C’ville Coffee, Eppie’s, GreenBlue, Jean Theory:, and Relay Foods. Congratulations to all the winners and, indeed, to all the participants; this effort is just another reason we’re so proud to be part of the Charlottesville community.

 

 

 

Good Community is a Timeless Social Media Value

By | Communications, Corporate Strategy, Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | One Comment

We were at a client meeting last week presenting social media strategy, and Marijean was kind enough to mention my past history as founder of a company called Rowdy.com. Rowdy was known as a “social network” and was focused on NASCAR racing. We built a platform to blog, share photos, video, comments, and observations on racing. Facebook wasn’t out yet, so we had to build it ourselves.

We produced award-winning podcasts, video, and content on our own to get the conversation started, but our primary goal was to create a place where real fans could get to know each other and get closer to their favorite sport and those involved in it. Rowdy grew very quickly primarily because we gave the fans something they could not get on their own–a singular voice that was about the real sport, not corporate spin. Our tagline was “Rowdy: Tell It Like It Is” and that’s exactly what we did. It was truly cutting edge and and was one the best examples of online community available, regardless of the topic.

One of the participants at our meeting remembered the site and was truly complimentary. I think it enhanced our reputation and credibility just a little and I was flattered to have had a positive impact on a race fan through that effort.

Cool, you say. So what? That stuff is old hat now! The takeaway is that even though that site was shut down earlier this year (after a two-year stint as a property of The Sporting News), folks still remember the quality of the content and the friendships they had there. Many fans are still offline friends–one couple who met there are actually getting married! Fans remember fondly meeting IRL at the races after friending one another at Rowdy. It was a true bonding experience because it was real people, useful and engaging content and a friendly, open forum for sharing and celebrating a passion.

So…are you creating that environment for your customers? Are you providing an open, engaging resource full of good content, friendly people, and social connective tissue? Are you using the tools currently available to maximize connection and interaction? If not, why not? Quit acting like this doesn’t matter. It does.

Sure I Like You…But That’s About It.

By | Communications, Corporate Strategy, Social Media | No Comments

“Forget about the number of fans or “likes” your organization’s Facebook page has. It’s what the organization is doing to keep those fans engaged that is important, especially if those fans comprise the “Millennials” – individuals who are 18 to 29 years old.”

That’s a quote from a great new piece of research from Dr. Tina McCorkindale, an assistant professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Communication, who has been doing a bunch of poking around into the habits of Millenial Facebook and social media consumers. You can link to the article here, but the key paragraph is right here:

“With so many companies spending so much time and money on social media, we need to understand not only social media tools but the strategies of how to use it,” McCorkindale said. They found that while 75 percent said they had “liked” a profit or non-profit organization on Facebook, 69 percent said that once they “liked” the organization, they rarely or never returned to the fan page. Only 15 percent of the respondents said they visited organizations’ fan pages weekly. Most respondents (44 percent) spent less than 30 minutes a day on Facebook…Only 28 percent said they had actively searched for an organization’s page.”

Wow. Shocking! Not really. Getting someone to like your Facebook page is actually pretty easy. Getting them to like what you have to say and absorb the value you claim to be providing enough to come back more than once is an entirely different proposition. First, you actually have to PROVIDE that value, whether it’s superior quality of service, workmanship, price/benefit, design, humor–whatever it is you do–it has to be done well, and with commitment.  Think about it. How many Facebook brand pages provide so much value to you that you HAVE to come back regularly? I can’t really think of more than about three, and they are all musician pages. Now I might be different than you, but I go back because I’m a fan and there is usually something new to consume–a video, more tracks, a question, some tour photos.

Are you providing that to your current or potential customers? If not, how can you expect that they are going to take time out of their amazingly interesting day, search for your page, go look at it, and consume what they have already seen? Guess what, they aren’t. At all. And why should they?

These are TOOLS, people. Like picks and shovels and databases and chainsaws and mobile apps. They only do something if you pick them up and get to work. In the social space, that means connecting, responding, engaging, rewarding, asking questions, providing answers in ways your customers can actually extract some VALUE from.

But you knew this, right?

Five Ways to Beware the Social Media Scammer

By | Corporate Strategy, Media, Social Media | 2 Comments

There was an interesting study released last year by Booz & Co. in partnership with Buddy Media on social media and marketing and its impact on job growth. Some highlights:

  • Virtually every company (96%) has plans to spend more on social media; 40 percent plan to spend “substantially more.”
  • As companies are building up their social media, much of their investment is focused on hiring in-house staff. Partners also will play a key role in supporting companies as they use social more widely.
  • The money spent on social media will primarily be shifted from other forms of digital advertising, so new expertise will be required.

Great, we’ve gone mainstream!

But I gotta say, I’ve been really bothered lately by these so-called “social media experts” and “social media marketing firms” that are cropping up everywhere. “We have a decade of experience with Facebook marketing,” they say. Really?? It’s only five years old. Trust reduced. “View our case studies,” they invite. Really? OK, it says here your team worked with the client to develop a Facebook and Twitter marketing strategy. Cool. But what did that strategy actually include? What insights did you gather that make it worth sharing and using as a promo? Are you just spamming our news feeds with promos, or are you actually engaging? Why should I believe you without evidence?

Um, I don’t. Trust further reduced.

My point here is that there are a LOT of people out there capitalizing on the ignorance and fear of those who don’t understand how to tap into the amazing potential of engaged, strategic, social media use. They need real help, and so might you. So here are some guidelines to help weed out the opportunists from those folks that can actually get your social media projects off the ground.

  1. Make sure they create and deliver a strategy, not just tactics. Social media without a plan is worthless. You need to determine what your business goals are, how social tools fit into those, how content fits into that and who will do what. There also needs to be legit measurement against actual business goals, not just a laundry list of “likes” and “retweets.” If your potential vendor glazes over when you ask about those, run away.
  2. Check references. Did they actually accomplish anything of value for others? Not just what their web site claims, but real accomplishments that map to what you’re hoping to do as well. Can’t find those? Run away.
  3. Does what they claim sound reasonable? Anyone claiming to have more years of experience with a platform than it has actually existed would be a example of a suspect vendor.
  4. Run away from specific promises. “We’ll get you page one on Google, guaranteed!” would be an example. Another would be “get thousands of Twitter followers right away!” These things are theoretically possible, but without strategy and patience it will either be fleeting, damaging to your brand, or both.
  5. Focus on the conversation, engagement, and long-term relationships. These are the hallmarks of all the best social media campaigns. A legit social media strategist will embrace these ideas. Scammers, not so much.

Lock your doors, set the alarm, hide the kids!  Or call someone who can really help.

Have you ever been the victim of one of these scammers?

Remaining Calm Regarding SEO

By | Communications, Corporate Strategy, Media, Social Media | 2 Comments

We just got a call from a potential new client that runs a web site. Her site is currently the market leader in our area for her specific area of expertise, but a new competitor has just launched and she was a little worried about how that would impact her. She already has an excellent publishing platform, writes, contributes and shares regularly on the topics her customers care about, and has built all the necessary relationships behind the scenes to support her customers. She has a presence on all the appropriate social networks, but she still felt the need to get in touch with another local “SEO expert” to make sure she was on track.

Whenever I hear that, my neck tightens up.

The bottom line with SEO, just as it was way back in 2007 when this seminal post by Scott Karp was originally created, is that good content and user experience drive links and readers, and links and readers drive good search engine rankings. That hasn’t changed. In fact, Google already hinted at SXSW this spring that if you try too hard to optimize for SEO you could actually LOSE rankings. One thing that HAS changed is that your supporting social media presence is now a big part of how well ranked your site and content remain. Social is tied directly to search results. So what does this really mean and what should you do?

  • Google+ is going to have a huge impact on search results. One way Google can drive adoption of Google+ is to reward participation. What a concept! They have over 90MM users already and they all see personalized search results (SERPs). High participation and large, well-connected circle counts matter in Google’s search rankings. So get on there and start sharing!
  • Conversations and traffic are being emphasized almost more than keywords (which are still really important). The more visibility and connections a piece of content can generate, the better it does for SEO. Social networks are now the primary drivers of those connections.
  • Content remains king. The king is dead. Long live the king! Content has to be fresh, regularly updated, and well-distributed over the social web. So a good content publishing strategy with social distribution is a core competency for your business to develop.
  • Tweets and retweets matter. Google says they don’t directly count tweets in rankings, but a popular tweet containing a link earns a lot of re-publishing across the web that Google does crawl, index and count.
  • Facebook really helps Bing results. Through Bing’s partnership/integration with Facebook, results are massively personalized for any logged in Facebook user. So building a presence and sharing content there is no longer optional.
  • Social content distribution drives awareness and branding, which also drives searches. People just knowing about you and what you think will make them search for you more, yes? It also can lead to more love from the press, who are looking for easy ways to generate stories via social networks and connections.

In the end, it all comes down to content. As usual. If you regularly publish things that are worth reading and sharing and you hook up the necessary social platforms to actually DO that sharing (and enable your readers to help you), you will earn a social search rankings boost, gain natural followers and links, amplify your reach and influence, and bias consumers towards your stuff. And towards your business. All will be well. Deep breaths…