Posts tagged with “Social Media” and “Communication”

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social media experts are storytellers
At JDPR, we are storytellers.

One of my favorite questions to ask a client is, “What sets you apart?”

It’s the basis of any good story. And especially if you’re targeting earned media (our forte here), you’re going to need a good – no, a great – answer to that question.

So it is with marketing agencies. In an era when everyone’s an “expert” on social media, how is a brand manager expected to know exactly who to turn to?

The truth is social media is nothing more than a new platform for us to tell and shape our stories. Facebook, being the social media powerhouse that it is, gives us little more than a shiny new interface with which to tell the narratives of our lives – often, these days, from inception to death. In fact, “92 percent of youngsters under age 2 already have a digital footprint, meaning identifiable photos and other personal information has been posted of them online,” according to Huffington Post.

Between photos of the college roommate’s newest dog and best friend’s first baby, how do brands cut through the clutter? Isn’t that what everyone is asking?

The answer is simple, and Facebook has upheld this rule time and time again, with each minute change or shift in its algorithm: Enhance the lives and the digital experiences of your target audience – with stories.

Instagram is a visual storytelling, and Twitter, while becoming increasingly visual, is a short-form storytelling. Facebook is a community storytelling, and Pinterest is a project-based storytelling. I could go on, but the point is, obviously, these sites are simply avenues for stories. Harness your brand’s stories and the stories of your consumers – and leverage social media’s tools to do it.

“I promise you, [the companies] who don’t learn how to tell these stories on today’s platforms are the ones who will go out of business,” said the king of social media, bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk.

With more than 25 years of award-winning storytelling experience, the JDPR team is uniquely poised to take the social media world by storm on behalf of our clients. That’s our differentiating factor.

Want to learn more about our unique social media strategy? Contact us today.
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Harness Social Media to Brand Yourself for Job Hunt Success

By: Alex Buchart

It is projected that in 2015, 93% of job recruiters will screen potential candidates’ social media profiles. That’s right, 93% of job recruiters. This means that almost every job you will apply to, a potential employer will be Googling you to see how you present yourself to the world. Additionally, 69% of potential employers have rejected a potential candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

Here is some food for thought, why not use social media to brand yourself as the perfect candidate for the job rather than as a liability? In fact, 68% of potential employers have hired a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

We hear about how businesses try to create their own unique brands all the time, but what about people branding themselves? Ever found an Instagram or Twitter user you love to follow because they have so many interesting things to say? Well, that is an excellent example of someone branding themself to be a social media success.

Let me give you two examples of successful “branders,” so to speak, that I have observed on Instagram.

kinoyoga

One of the users I follow, a woman named Kino MacGregor , posts detailed yoga poses for each day accompanied by an inspirational caption. Her captions typically involve a message about how much diligence and hard work it has taken her to reach her level of strength – at times even a decade! With 498,000 followers, I began to analyze her success. It’s not just her ability to put her feet behind her head that is fascinating, it is also her ability to bare her vulnerabilities to her followers that ultimately makes her such an inspirational person to follow. She manages to showcase her talents while reminding her followers that it is continuously striving for success after facing failure that makes you stronger.

courtneykerr

The other user I follow is named Courtney Kerr , who uses bright photos and clever captions to capture the interests of her followers. Courtney’s posts are a little more lighthearted, yet she is similar to Kino in that she showcases pieces of herself as well. Typically these pieces are brightly colored jackets and bedazzling jewels, but it is the way she pairs these together that gives her followers a taste for her personality, interests and fears without even truly knowing her. Courtney also uses quotes, moments of sadness as well as joy that give her followers the feeling that she is a real person who has important attributes to show the world.

A few of my takeaways from these Instagram personalities are that in order to brand yourself you must showcase what you love in a clever, tasteful, soul-baring way. These are not just photos of a woman doing yoga on the beach or another posing in a hounds-tooth coat; they are windows into the lives of other people.

I have used these women as inspiration to advertise what I love in a manner of self-expression. In fact, my Instagram is full of dishes I have tried, places I have been and hobbies I love. These past few months I have begun using my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a complete reflection of my resume. Anything and everything I have put in my resume, I have attempted to showcase in some form on my social media. Not only does this prove to employers you are not lying, but it also serves as a portfolio to show my potential employers what I am capable of.

Social media is a wonderful way to brand yourself as a cooking connoisseur, a culture junkie or even a music enthusiast. Let your social media accounts be another voice that speaks truths about who you are as a person and what you can accomplish. Harness the things you care about and put them out there in a way that show your potential employers what you love too!

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Pinterest’s New Features and What They Mean for Communicators

By Megan Grubbs

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has become known as a hub for women looking for wedding planning tips, holiday decorating advice and drool-worthy photos of food. It hasn’t garnered the respect its social media peers have acquired; there are no watchdogs analyzing and experimenting with its changes in algorithms and no national media mentions when it rolls out a new function, but no longer is Pinterest a social network underdog. It’s quickly gaining recognition as one of the top players in the social sphere, and its user base is quickly catching up with the big dogs.

Pinterest is working to shed its reputation as just the “social network of choice for cocktail recipes and succulent gardening.” Recent upgrades to this unique network reveal the brand’s commitment to innovation and improvement, and the massive potential it presents to communicators and social media marketers.



Guided Search
With its new Guided Search function, Pinterest has perhaps forever changed the online search process. Rather than displaying the results tagged with your specifically mentioned search terms, the new Guided Search function helps answer searches that might have more than one solution, helping you to explore new topics, discovering content you may not have otherwise found the correct keywords for. Suggested guides help point you in the right direction, or in a direction you weren’t even aware you wanted to go. Watch the video above to see it in action.

The possibilities for marketers with Guided Search are huge. Gone are days of hoping your keywords magically match users’ search terms. The Guided Search feature takes into account a pin’s board name and unique description, as well as comments left on the post. Your content is much more likely to be shared with your target audience thanks to these changes.



Messages
Pinterest’s most recent upgrade—messaging—offers brands the chance to communicate directly with consumers. Let’s say you have one extraordinarily engaged pinner that consistently pins original content from your website, or regularly repins your brand’s pins—you can send a private message personally thanking that user for his or her dedication and support. Or maybe you’re running a Pinterest-based contest and giveaway—you can alert your most influential followers, who in turn can help spread the word. One caveat, however, is that both users must be following each other in order to send and receive messages, a move on Pinterest’s part to prevent spam.

These new features not only improve Pinterest user experiences, but afford social media marketers the opportunity to reach more pinners with their content while also building relationships and increasing interactions with brand advocates and online influencers. As many social media experts predict users’ emigration from Facebook and the demise of Twitter, I’m calling it: Pinterest is the next huge social network.

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Content Marketing Lessons from Weird Al Yankovic (Yes, Really)

By Megan Grubbs



It’s safe to say that everyone loves a good viral sensation… and that every social media marketer would love to have his or her content go viral, whether a video, an image, even a heart-warming story. The truth, however, is that very little content actually manages that great feat.

Creating viral content is an art form, an arduous, strategic process. So how can you accomplish it? Unfortunately, most content will fail, but take notes from Weird Al Yankovic and his recent viral videos, and you just might succeed:

1. Utilize the best medium for your content and audience. Weird Al’s been in the business for more than three decades, and during that time, has learned to design his music and videos to reach fans in the most effective way possible, whether via MTV in the 1980s or on YouTube and around the internet today. Know where your specific audience is and what they want, and you’re heading in the right direction. 


2. Humorous parodies are often the way to success, a fact Weird Al has acknowledged throughout his career, with hits like "Fat” and “Amish Paradise.” Recent YouTube sensations like “Do You Wanna Go to Starbucks?” and “I’m So Pregnant” have captured millions of views and shares because of their clever interpretations of already popular media. Capitalize on trending topics, and you’ll increase your shareability. 


3. Try and try and try again. Every marketer has experienced it at some point: a timely, clever piece of content you just know will go viral falls flat online. Gather insights as to why your content failed and move on. Fourteen albums and 35-years later, Weird Al has nabbed the No. 1 spot for the first time ever with his new album, “Mandatory Fun.” If that’s not a testament to perseverance, I don’t know what is.

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Using Social Media for B2B Leads


By Tiffany Deluccia

I find most people immediately discount social media as a B2B marketing channel. While on the surface, that may feel intuitive, this philosophy in practice could cause you to miss out on opportunities to build relationships, nurture leads and market successfully. There is a personal component to B2B relationships.

A 2013 Gallup study found only 20% of B2B customers are actively engaged customers. The overall takeaway from the study can be summed up in the headline of the published article:

B2Bs Win by Building Relationships, Not Selling on Price

If that’s the case, social media can work with a strategic approach.

The most important thing before starting any social media campaign is to research which channels you should be on. If you’re a small B2B company, I’d begin that research by talking to current clients about what social media platforms they use and for what purposes. This will be less about the accounts their businesses use for marketing and more about what the decision-makers personally use. Is LinkedIn their first stop for business news and updates in the morning? Are they fanatical about following Twitter trends? Find out how the people you want to reach are using social media.

Second, figure out your content goals. What kinds of messages are you hoping to communicate to decision-makers at the businesses you target? What assets do you already have that you could repurpose online?

Third, plan your content strategy. This marries up the first two points. Once you know the kinds of platforms your target audience uses, plan to communicate your key messages in ways that make sense on those social media sites. If they are mostly using LinkedIn, longer-form blog posts, white papers and infographics could be good tools for communicating your messages. If YouTube, perhaps you could capitalize on the great personality of one of your salespersons and try something like what Moz – a search engine optimization company – does with its Whiteboard Friday series of videos about SEO.

Twitter has also introduced a special kind of tweet through its advertising platform called Lead Generation Cards that can actually help you capture names and email addresses of people who are interested in your offers directly from tweets you send out. I’ve found them to be very simple to use and, astonishingly, they are free!

So, take some time to thoughtfully consider social media as a B2B marketing tool before you write it off. And if you want some examples of B2B companies using social well, check out this Social Media Today article from earlier this year.

Photo Credit: atomicjeep via Compfight cc

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Lessons from a News Release…About an Ad Campaign…with a Social Media Call to Action (#Seriously?)

By Tiffany Deluccia

I recently saw a respected, up-and-coming technology company use a news release distributed via PRNewswire to announce its new TV ad campaign, which featured social media calls to action…

….

Seriously?

I laughed out loud as I read the self-promoting introductory paragraph riddled with the clichés the PR industry has made journalists loathe.

I would love to know the thought process behind this “strategy.”

The news release clearly wasn’t intended for pick up by the news media: If you have a TV ad, they’d generally prefer you pay them for airtime. Nor was it intended for the general consumer, who doesn’t subscribe to news wires. My only guess is that the goal was loosely based on SEO goals. The only trouble is, Google doesn’t index press releases in Google News, and even if it did, the release wasn’t written with any particularly strong keyword appeal.

Were they trying to drive people to watch the ads on YouTube? Seems like social sharing has more intrigue than four paragraphs telling me why I should watch this video about the company that makes this product.

As I racked my brain to figure out why some Marketing or PR leader approved this release, I jotted down these three takeaways:

1. If your TV ad campaign isn’t compelling enough to get people buzzing, perhaps you have the wrong campaign idea.

2. If social buzz is your goal, invest your energy in social strategies rather than trying to add social on to your traditional methods.

3. Limit your use of news releases to when you have actual news.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Antífama via Compfight cc | (Note: Hashtag added)