The original posting of this blog can be found here and was written by Elizabeth Engel
Is your magazine frumpy? Is your blog out-of-date? Are your social media efforts mismatched?
Join Elizabeth Engel (Spark Consulting, LLC) and Mitch Arnowitz (Tuvel Communications) at MGI (623 N. Washington Street Alexandria, Virginia) for ASAE’s November Alexandria Brown Bag on Thursday, November 15, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.
Mitch and Elizabeth and a panel of experts (aka the Brown Bag attendees) will provide on-the-spot analysis and advice for the samples you bring to help improve your marketing and communications efforts.
This will be an interactive session with a computer and Internet access available for pieces like your website, landing pages, or social media outposts. If you’d like the group to look at a print piece (like a brochure, postcard, magazine, etc.), please bring enough that we can pass them around (say 5-8 copies).
Show off what’s working at your organization, or get the input you need to take your marketing and communications efforts to the next level.
Register now, it’s free! See you there.
This blog post is written by guest blogger Laura Harders
Since I’m a blogger & social media consultant, I really gleaned a lot from the social media geared sessions at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore. Directly following lunch, I had the pleasure on sitting in on the session “Is Facebook Losing Its Cool” with Moderator Rob Pegoraro, and speakers: Mitch Arnowitz, Managing Director of Tuvel Communications; Geoff Livingston, author & marketing strategist; Cary Lawrence, VP of Business Development at Social Code; and Kari Mitchell, Director of Digital Marketing at HZDG.
My takeaways from the session included:
1. Facebook IS losing its cool (almost unanimous amongst the panel of speakers).
2. Facebook is still an important social network and place where the largest audience is.
Some of the “issues” with Facebook that were discussed deal with the privacy perception and continual changes. I know for many bloggers and marketers, the change in reach of your message has been frustrating. Just because you have fans, doesn’t mean they will see your content. You now have to “pay to play”, in other words, you need to pay for Facebook post promotion and advertising in order for your fans to see your content in their news feed.
Some other takeaways for me:
- Facebook usage has declined among young people.
- Facebook has become more “noisy.”
- Younger users are more likely to “like” a brand than older users.
- Older users are more likely to click thru ads than younger users.
- Facebook advertising is now an opportunity to amplify your message.
- Facebook’s Timeline feature allows ongoing conversations with a readable thread, unlike other social platforms.
- Out of all four panel members, only one “friends” their clients on Facebook. The majority of the speakers felt that their personal FB account was reserved for family & close friends, a smaller network.
- Key to Facebook marketing is to gain “shares” as social validation for your brand & message.
Is Facebook losing its cool? Yes it is- for both users & brands. And while it’s still one of the predominant social media platforms, the importance of targeting other niche networks is critical, as well as creating custom approaches & goals on a variety of social media platforms.
Now its your turn! Do you agree with the panel conclusion that Facebook’s loosing its mojo? Please let us know in the comments below.
Laura Harders is a blogger and social media consultant living in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Besides working with small businesses to develop their social media marketing strategy and content, she also runs a popular, local deal blog, Beltway Bargain Mom, and teaches Coupon Classes.
Tuvel Communications is a market research and development company that combines human processes, social media and analytics. We collaborate with government entities, technology companies, non-profits and associations to identify rich untapped market segments and convert them into engaged online communities.
We develop and execute social media outreach campaigns, conducting market research and using customized communications while building valuable relationships. We’ve worked with such esteemed organizations as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Association of Broadcasters, Carahsoft Technology Corp. and 1105 Media, Inc.
We’re looking for a part-time Social Media Campaign Associate, who will be responsible for overall project management of a client campaign from start to finish, moving them forward on schedule. Please be aware that this is a telecommuting, 1099 independent contracting position.
- Managing and executing campaign strategies and tactics, including research, outreach, relationship-building with community influencers, social networking and contests/promotions.
- Managing campaign analytics, tracking and reporting.
- Assisting with the development of proposals.
- Contributing to the company blog, social networks and newsletter.
- 3-5 years’ experience in an online marketing and/or communications/PR role specifically using social media and working on email/influencer outreach campaigns (including development, implementation and/or management).
- 2-3 years’ experience in a project, campaign and/or account management role, managing all aspects of campaigns/projects.
- Experience developing and measuring campaign analytics, as well as developing reports.
- Experience with online market research and able to locate influencers and contact information using a variety of online research techniques. Our outreach campaigns go beyond just blogs, so knowledge of and the ability to find influencers in a variety of online communities – like web forums, user and professional groups, listservs and email lists, and other social networks – is absolutely essential.
- Extensive knowledge of third-party marketing and reporting tools and platforms and how they can be used for different projects. These include WordPress, Hootsuite and Mailchimp.
- Experience using Google Docs and Basecamp for project management.
- This is a telecommuting role requiring remote access, so you should actively use tools like Skype and gchat for communication with the Tuvel team and clients.
- Highly organized, self-starting and flexible individual, able to change directions on a dime and put in extra work when needed.
- While this is a telecommuting role, location within the Washington, DC Metro area is preferred.
Interested? Please e-mail your resume to hello<at>tuvel<dot>com with the subject line “Social Media Campaign Associate”
I remember my senior year of college when this thing called Facebook came around. I waited rather impatiently for the time when they would open up Facebook to my university. Finally, it opened up and I was one of the first people at my school to sign up. As a result, my inbox was flooded daily with dozens of friend requests.
Fast forward a couple of years and we saw high school kids getting into Facebook. Fast forward a few more years and anyone with an email address is signing up for Facebook!
In the beginning, Facebook was an exclusive club with limited membership. Now, this club has almost a billion members. Facebook has become the destination for extensive marketing campaigns and promotions brought to you by some of the world’s largest companies and brands. And, there’s this privacy issue that doesn’t seem to go away…
The mainstream media tells us that some teens aren’t liking Facebook as much as older users. And, the comments in this SodaHead poll seem to suggest that Facebook has become a “geriatric social network”. There’s even this website set up for people that aren’t to jazzed that their parents are even on Facebook.
While the number of cool things that you can do on Facebook has increased, do you think Facebook’s losing its “cool” appeal to the masses? Was Facebook ever cool to begin with?
The Mid Atlantic Marketing Summit is coming to Baltimore on October 18th where we’ll be be discussing Facebook’s coolness factor, content marketing and the next big thing. Hope to see you there!
Now it’s your turn! Take our easy Facebook poll below and then tell us what you think in the comments. To throw in some fun, we’ll be giving away a FREE marketing summit pass to someone randomly selected from the comments below.
Facebook- hot or not?
It seems like every marketing and PR shop out there is “doing” social media – everything from influencer outreach and managing your social media presence to “getting you (insert number here) more followers – guaranteed!”. And yes, Tuvel is also a digital communications shop that offers social media services (and we do some great work, too). But the task of choosing a social media agency to help you out should not be taken lightly.
Before even starting to look at potential social media agencies, there are 4 important steps you need to take (by the way, this will help you tremendously when it comes time to writing up that RFP for agencies to bid on):
Do your research. Just as you would research the online and offline publications your audience is reading, you should also do some preliminary research into their social media habits. Are your customers/members/attendees using social media? If so, where are they? What are they talking about? This is certainly something a social media agency can help you do, but this cursory research will help you gain valuable insights and establish goals. Which is the next thing you should do…
Establish goals. This is where you need to ask yourself WHY your brand should be using social media. Use the insights from your preliminary research, in conjunction with your high-level business goals, to determine specific, trackable and realistic goals for your social media marketing efforts. Examples might be:
- Increase awareness of your brand or product.
- Establish a customer service channel through social media.
- Establish your brand as a thought-leader.
- Increase new leads and sales.
- Increase traffic.
Evaluate resources. You may have already determined that you need to hire a social media agency to provide your organization with the additional knowledge and people-power to run a successful social media program; however, you should still evaluate the resources you already have in-house who will be assisting with program implementation, or even carrying on the effort after the agency has laid the groundwork.
Set expectations. Make sure that your internal team and management are clear on what to expect from social media. Everyone needs to understand that it will take time to build traction. Social media is also so much more than a set of tools – a well-defined social media strategy will have content, email, PR, sales and customer service elements woven into it – and everyone will need to pitch in time and effort to make it work, in tandem with the agency.
What steps do you take before hiring an outside marketing or communications agency, social media or otherwise?
Depressed yet? Never fear. In this excellent post on Frogloop, Allyson Kapin outlines some ways nonprofits can boost donations in 2012. One tip that stood out to me:
Don’t always ask for money. Many nonprofits are so focused on raising money and meeting their budgets, they often don’t treat their donors as important stakeholders in the organization. Your donors are a critical part of your community and want to be a part of your organization fighting for social change. Show them how they can help you meet your mission through actions, volunteer opportunities, social events, etc. Give them several paths to engage with your organization and make them feel like they are a valuable part of your mission. And of course you can ask them for money along the way.
To many nonprofits, this may seem counterintuitive; but Allyson makes an excellent point that ultimately comes down to your relationships with your donors.
If you take the time to identify your key advocates and build relationships with them, the return will be worth the time investment. Offer value and make them an important part of your efforts and organization, and you will see them giving more of their time and money in return.
Here are some ways nonprofits can build relationships with donors:
- Identifying key advocates and influencers: Conduct research to compile a list of those who are your strongest advocates or can influence others to do so. Check out this handy infographic from SmallAct and BlackBaud on identifying your influencers and scoring them for fundraising efforts.
- Developing opportunities of value: Think about all the different ways these key advocates can help your nonprofit – such as, like Allyson mentioned, volunteer opportunities and social events. Other ways might be through online word-of-mouth – spreading the word through their social networks through a blog post, tweet, donation widget, etc.
- Reach out: This is where you engage your advocates without asking for money. Ask them where they want to be involved and develop those opportunities for them. Focus on those who respond to your outreach and concentrate your community-building efforts on them.
- Keep building those relationships: Keep key advocates and influencers updated with new information and opportunities, ask for their input on a continual basis, and use their feedback. Through ongoing relationship and community-building, you can develop broader fundraising programs that engage not only them, but their communities.
Blackbaud, in partnership with Small Act and the National Wildlife Federation, recently published an interesting whitepaper on social media influencers and how to identify them for fundraising efforts. What I found most interesting about this whitepaper (which you can download here) is how influencers are scored based on how many networks on which they’re active, how large their networks are, and how engaged they are with those networks. The whitepaper breaks influencers down into 4 groups:
What’s even more interesting, is while Key Influencers and Engagers make up only 6% of total influencers, they have a total average estate value of over $700K. So, when it comes to engaging social media influencers for your next fundraising campaign, those two groups should be your biggest focus.
But, don’t discount Multichannel Consumers and Standard Consumers. While not as active on social media, they’re prolific (94% of total influencers) and still wield considerable donation power. They should be engaged in different ways, since they tend to be influenced more than influential – following the recommendations of their social media networks, friends and family.
Blackbaud produced this useful infographic, which defines each of the four groups and gives a good overview of the information contained in the whitepaper:
You may have read an awful lot about blogger outreach campaigns – how to build one, tools to find bloggers, etc. A blogger outreach campaign can indeed be an effective complement to your existing marketing efforts. It can help you identify new customer segments, build relationships, and reach new prospective customers. But if you’re just focused on bloggers, you may be missing a some crucial pieces to the outreach puzzle.
As we like to say here at Tuvel, our outreach campaigns go “beyond the blogger.” The research we do before launching an outreach campaign digs deep to find marketing channels that reach potential customers where they hang out online. Think about your customers and where they might be searching for information on your product, company or event. Sure, they’ll be reading blogs; but they may also be looking in other places:
Forums: Forums are certainly not dead yet! They were social media before Twitter and Facebook came along, and there are still many active online forums going strong. If your company is in the technology industry, for example, you should definitely take the time to identify the non-corporate support forums out there where thousands of your customers are discussing your products.
E-mail Discussion Lists: Yes, these are still going strong too. In fact, I’m a member of a very active and useful e-mail list, DC Web Women. These can be great for campaigns focused on specific topics, such as advocacy campaigns. By reaching out to list moderators to educate them about your cause and provide them with useful content, you can build valuable relationships that lead to fruitful discussions.
User Groups: Again, if you’re in the tech industry, it would behoove you to identify the top user groups for your products or related products and look for ways to build mutually-beneficial relationships. Many user groups offer discounts and free product trials to their members that have been provided by corporate sponsors. You may also be interested in presenting at meetings of local user groups to introduce your company and products to them.
Newsletters: Almost every industry has professional associations, societies and communities – many of which communicate with members with regular e-newsletters. Look for opportunities to provide information to those groups that can be included in their next newsletter, but make sure you understand what kind of content they would want to include first. If possible, find an archived copy on their website. Then, approach the editor with content they would be interested in.
In the next post, I’ll be giving you some tools and tips for finding and reaching out to contacts within these marketing channels.
Earlier this week, I participated in a Facebook discussion kicked off by Toby Bloomberg, the Marketing Diva. In addition to Toby, other way bright people in the conversation included B.L. Ochman. If you don’t already know who these fine folks are, make it your business to do so!
Turns out that Toby, an influential blogger, received an email from the PR Director of a major brand asking her to support their latest campaign. The discussion thread covered areas like pay-to-play and bad PR pitches. But, the part of the conversation that caught my eye was the definition of perceived value. Not value to the brand or PR Director sending Toby the note, but how the blogger or person receiving the communication defines value.
We execute influencer outreach campaigns on behalf of clients and sometimes reach out to bloggers. We don’t typically begin a conversation asking someone to support our brand or cause. Rather, we try to find out what turns the reader on, where the value is for them – usually referred to as the Whats In It For Me. Sometimes the value is not a free pass or sample! A free trial download may be valuable to our client, but may not be valuable to the person that they’re trying to impact. Instead, value may be defined as access, education or an audience.
Recognition of community participation on a leaderboard can be an example of value, demonstrated by the rise of social gamification. As these dated (but still on-point) articles detail, value to some customers can be offering product input or even involvement in product creation. Having said all of that, sometimes people do want dollars off!
On the Internet, beauty truly lies in the eyes of the beholder. While the end game may be brand support or sales, experience has taught us that the reception of our campaigns is greater when the focus isn’t solely on the client brand. It has to be about the people.
The other interesting issue discussed in this thread was relationship-building. B.L. Ochman nailed it when she said “we’d like you to support our brand” is like saying “can we pick your brain.” In other words, building relationships by focusing on the other persons needs is a good place to start. You may not always be able to deliver, but listening goes a long way.
But enough about us. How do you define value?
The Case Foundation recently launched this amazing video called “The Power of Social Media: Connecting for Good.” It really resonated with us here at Tuvel – one of our mantras around here is “Social media isn’t just about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – it’s about being social.” That’s exactly what this video illustrates so vividly, especially when it comes to using social media to mobilize supporters around a cause. We’ve done this with organizations like Share Our Strength, Venture Philanthropy Partners and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Enjoy the video, and I hope it inspires you to do GREAT things with social media!