Experts & Insiders 11/16/2010

E&I: We're Not Really Friends on Facebook

 

E&I: Twitter 101 + Facebook Basics

Twitter 101

Despite that 70 percent of tweets (twittereds?) are being ignored, Twitter is still a great way to marketing your brand to specific audiences and engage new followers.

The crew @ BBPR manages between 4-6 client profiles on Twitter at any given month.  Because of Twitter outreach, we’ve actually had media seek us out in the green and fashion spaces, in addition to finding a great group of consumer champions.

We’re not social media experts, but here are a few tips we’ve learned along the way.

* Keep it Tight: Not just because you only get 140 characters, but also because you want your fans to RT (re-Tweet for you newbies) what you Tweet.  Or Twittereded.  Whatever.  And if your Tweet is too long, it’ll be difficult for them to do so in 140 characters.

* Abbreviate: In the spirit of keeping it tight, it’s ok, if you write the numeral 4 instead of “for” or even make up your own shorthand. Use “some1” or even “sum1” instead of “someone”.  Write the way a high school kid sends text messages… it’s ok.
* Time Your Tweets: We mentioned this before. Tweet when your audience is on Twitter.  We’re not going to tell you when that is… it varies by audience.

* Engage: Ask questions.  Don’t just post that you uploaded 90 pictures to Facebook.

* Respond and Thanks: This falls under engagement, but people (especially on Twitter) love it when brands respond to them.  Thank people for RT’ing your content or simply giving your brand/company some kudos.

* Hash Tags: You don’t need to # everything you Tweet, but do so when the descriptor doesn’t fit into the Tweet on it’s own.  If you’re Tweeting about a political campaign, the word “politics” may not fit nicely into the sentence, so add “#politics” to the end.  If you’re talking about Monday’s NFL game, use “#mondaynightfootball” at the end of your Tweet.

* Fill Out Your Profile: Twitter gives people and brands a little profile section to fill out.  Do it.  And be real.  Real “marketing ninjas” don’t need to write that they’re ninjas, so avoid that.  Try to put what you Tweet about, if you can.  For individuals, location is very important too.

* Don’t Over Tweet: Similar to your use of Facebook, either as a brand or individual, don’t simply log onto Twitter and blast 20 Tweets out, then go away.  You’re going to annoy more than promote and even though someone is following you, there’s a good chance they’re doing so via a list or dashboard program that lets them break out different categories of who they’re really following.  Don’t over-Tweet… you simply don’t have that much going on (a good exception being an event, where people may be tuned in specifically for your Tweets).

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines and there’s a lot more that goes into making Twitter part of a strong marketing program.  However, they’re basics we see a lot of brands we follow on Twitter missing, so we wanted “2 do u a fvr”.

Facebook Basics

We’re not really friends  on Facebook.  Even though technically we are Fans of your brand, we may as well not be.

When you’re working with social media, it’s incredibly important that you don’t judge success based purely on how many people you’re potentially reaching.  You need to take into account a few other metrics and one of the easiest ones to measure is how many people are hiding your Fan page.

we r not friends 1

Hidden Friends

Similar to how you can “hide” your neighbor from third grade who you haven’t spoken with in 30 years (and besides a few posts back and forth, you still don’t), brands that engage (and I use that term loosely) on Facebook in ways their Fans (or Likes… or whatever they’ll be called in 2011) don’t deem appropriate, risk being hidden from their Fans’ feeds.  And once a brand is hidden, your posts simply aren’t seen by that particular Fan (by the way – you can’t tell who is hiding your brand at the present time, you can only see the number of people hiding your brand).

How easy is it to hide a brand on Facebook?  It only takes two mouse clicks on your feed.

Dirty Birds PB San Diego chicken wings beer foodWe would never consider hiding Dirty Birds… this is just an example.

If you’re in PB, like wings, beer or good times, you should head on over!

So how can you ensure people aren’t going to hide your brand?  Start with how you interact with Fans through Facebook.  Here are some basic do’s and don’ts when working out the strategy for your brand’s Facebook Fan Page.  They’re basic, but I see a lot of brands missing the mark:

Do’s

  • Build out a schedule for your Facebook and other social media interactions.  You know what ads are running in December, right?  Put the same planning into your social media programs.
  • Post about events you have going on.  Realize that you can target posts by geographies, so consider making that UK event UK specific, unless what you have going on will have global appeal.
  • Post about new and upcoming products.  But work hand in hand with your PR department (if they’re not already in charge of social media for your company).  You don’t want to cannibalize potential editorial coverage.
  • Respond to positive comments and posts.  Depending on how many people are Fans and the size of your team managing the page, you probably can’t respond to everyone who posts.  But respond to a few, the feedback will go a long way.

Don’t’s

  • Treat Facebook like a one-way street.  When people become Fans of your brand, they’re opting in.  Engage them from time to time.
  • Post more than twice a day, unless you really have something great going on.  Similar to how you hide your friends who post every hour or so about mundane things, frequent posting by brands can lead to hiding more than helping them engage.
  • Freak out if you have a few negative comments.  It happens.  But be ready to monitor and address for potentially large-scale issues.
  • Post anything and everything.  Just because you have 40 pictures from an event or a product comes in 90 colors does not mean you should post them all.  Edit.
  • Post “when you have time”.  Post when your Fans are online.  Figure out what demographics are your biggest Fans and skew accordingly.  If your company makes football cleats, you probably shouldn’t post after school during football practice, because your main users will be offline and practicing themselves.  Facebook gives you numerous free insights into demographic information, so figure out who your Fans are and work posts in accordingly.

These are just basic guidelines.  Similar to other forms of marketing, you don’t always have the luxury that comes with unlimited bandwidth to do everything to its fullest potential.  Do what you can, but try to do it right.

 

 

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