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Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

I recently voyaged to Malaga, rather than just post up my holiday snaps (that’s for another post!), I thought I’d share some of the more humorous life lessons I learnt while out there.

 

1. There’s no point having a cool/expensive/awesome thing, if you don’t use it/promote it/turn it on.

I saw this free Facebook photo booth at one of the bars in Malaga. It looks pretty awesome and is a nice way for the bar to promote themselves through pictures of their clients enjoying themselves on Facebook. I thought I’d have a go. It wasn’t turned on. I presume that they turn it on at night or the staff are unsure of it and don’t know how to do it. Or, of course, it could all be a ploy, so that digital and social fan girls, such as myself, take a picture and upload it to their blog, giving the bar promotion anyway. Yeah, that’s almost definitely it.

Facebook photobooth

 

2. Reality doesn’t always live up to the promise.

Just like a woman in a Wonderbra, these two foodstuffs only provided disappointment once unwrapped. You’re hardly going to go and complain at this stage, but you can’t help but feel a little cheated.

Promise vs Reality

Maxibon

 

3. Good artists copy; great artists steal.

If it’s good enough for Steve Jobs, surely it’s good enough for you and I? And Nutella. It appears they’ve seen the success of Coke and jumped on the band wagon. Only they have stickers, so you don’t just have to buy a tub to share with a friend, you can whack a sticker with the branding all over it onto their face. Plus they’re also pushing the the Facebook page more. It seems like they’re really embracing social, odd, given that they ordered superfan Sara Russo to cease and desist with her World Nutella Day; the unofficial international holiday created by fans to celebrate their love of the hazelnut-chocolate spread.

Nutella find your name

 

4. Wear sunscreen.

Finally, to quote Baz Luhrman, wear sunscreen. Seriously, I’m still hurting from a burning.

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I recently attended an “Innovation briefing” (pretentious as you like!) on Future Trends. I really enjoyed it and given its prevalence and applicability, social media featured quite strongly.

One of the slides from the day said, “If you build it, they will come.” Now, as anyone who has tried to build up a community online or offline before will probably tell you, this isn’t necessarily the case. Sure, a couple of people may accidentally stumble across you, but they’re unlikely to stick around. You need to engage with your audience before they want to engage with you.

Building a site/forum and commanding “TALK! And only nice things about me,” just won’t cut the mustard.

Social networking sites have become increasingly about the user, Myspace, Twitter and Facebook let you customise your home with them, be it the background, your conversation topics, apps, music, groups, lists etc. It’s now about you, the basic framework is in place and you know the rules, but what you do with it is up to you. You decide who you want to engage with and who you don’t. But just because Starbucks (just for example) have a Facebook fan page, Twitter account, Myspace page does not mean that you’ll squeal with joy, quickly add them and sit there listening attentively waiting for published content.

Why won’t you do that? Because you have a life.

Your community, product, content or brand needs to be useful, relevant or entertaining, although not necessarily all three simultaneously (but brownie points if you succeed!), in order for your audience to want to engage with you. You need to either create something that makes their life easier, something that means something to them or excites them enough to want to spend their time with you, and time is a rare commodity nowadays.

Branding is key. Your communication has been carefully plotted into the realm of social media, but this doesn’t mean you should forget who you are or what you stand for to the people you wish to communicate with and who, just might, want to communicate with you. Your message, words, tweets, need to be an extension of your brand and support the experience that your audience/consumers have come to expect from you.

I’ve recently been reading a book called Crowd Surfing: Surviving and Thriving in an age of consumer empowerment by David Brain, it’s brilliant, covering lots of different case studies about organisations relinquishing the tight grip around the throat of corporate communications, some who got it right, others…not so right. In the book there is a quote from Charles Leadbeater:

“Workers can be instructed, organised in a division of labour. Participants will not be led and organised in this way”

I like this quote, I think if there was going to be a massively under described explanation of social media this would be it. Essentially, you can’t tell the crowd what to do and like any more. So you have to get creative in order to hold their attention.

After mulling it for a while, I’d like to think that six social media commandments can come from this:

  • * Participants aren’t your employees
  • * Your audience won’t be told what to do.
  • * You’ll be burnt if you try to force them.
  • * You’ll be burnt if you lie to them, (and they find out, but lets not get sneaky and lets assume they will, it’s safer that way).
  • * You can create cool and interesting stuff that makes buzz around your brand and inspires conversations.
  • * Be human. They’re human and your company is made of humans, so why act like a machine? They’ll dislike you for it.

If you think any are missing, let me know. I’d love to hear some feedback.

Social media isn’t about telling people what to do, its about giving people the material and the space to hold a conversation. In short, you might build the hive, but until you let people decorate their rooms how they want, they’re unlikely to want to live there for any long amount of time.

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One of the main issues with Social Media campaigns is tracking. If you post an unmodified link to your site from any of the popular channels, such as, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc, it is going to show up in Google Analytics as traffic from that site, with nothing else about the post it came from, i.e, under traffic sources you will see facebook.com / referral.

There is however a way around this, which is very very sneaky and very very clever. The answer is the URL Builder for Google Analytics. Using this tool you can create a campaign name or reference (as you can see below) so that all visits generated through this link will be bagged and tagged by Google Analytics for you.

Google Analytics URL Builder

Very awesome. You may find the generated URL to be quite long, there are a couple of options for this: A) Disguise the link with HTML (See my previous post) B) Use an URL shortener such as bit.ly or owl.ly (Hootsuites internal shortener and my current preference)

The other brilliant thing about the URL Builder is that it needn’t be limited to simply social media exploits, you can also track your ad banners or even, your HTML newsletters. If you want some more info of this try Justin Taylor’s article on Auspire, he goes into the process a bit deeper.

So get creative and have a play.

Very tasty tool number two, using advanced filters to create profiles in Google Analytics which helps you to track Twitter Clients (Hootsuite, Tweetie, Twitterific and like) and URL Shorteners (Bit.ly, twurl etc).

I would go into more detail at this point but luckily Ran Nir has done a spectacular job over on the eConsultancy blog thus saving me the trouble. Fab.

Have you got a better way of doing this? Want to share? Please do! Every day is a school day :)

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It seems like a simple question and I’m sure you may know or at least think you know the answer. But when conducting a piece of work recently, that required me to weigh up the pros and cons of each of these Facebook formats for use with a company, I realised that perhaps I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about Facebook.

So I gave it some thought, did a bit of research online (including setting up a fake account and having a bit of a play) and put it all in an easy to digest table format. Which I have decided to share with you good people. Don’t say I never give you anything!

P.S: Personal profiles are not for company use according to Facebook’s use policy and they can close down your profiles if they feel that they are being misused. So you may want to bear this in mind when making your social media strategy. You have been warned!

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