Category Archives: Social Media

Linkedin Connections or Follow

Linkedin has release a product enhancement to allow for people to “Follow” industry professionals. Over the last few years it’s been clear Linkedin has been trying to keep up with social media industry and search giants by including apps and news into the platform. I just wonder why a follow when the Linkedin network has been strategically focused on connections.

In my experience Linkedin executives and industry leaders don’t take time to entertain building connections on Linkedin. In other words they are too big to take the time, so they either leave their profile or have someone else manage their connections. In my career experience, I’ve noticed a link between executives and skill behind the keyboard playing a factor in Linkedin account adaptation. That’s a funny. But this factor is for another blog post.

In my opinion the recent Linkedin Follow feature supports the higher end Linkedin user not needing to manage their Linkedin account.

Facebook announced reaching 1 billion users today, and part of that market share is tied to the interaction which happens naturally on Facebook. However, Twitter is the best platform for immediate news and time sensitive information.

Will Linkedin’s Follow feature be successful without the Twitter @back experience? Twitter and following is about the interaction. If I want to follow thought leaders I will; read their books, subscribe to Facebook and blog RSS. The question is will this Linkedin feature support industry leaders interacting with real people and listening to the ideas and feedback available at their finger tips?

It’s the interactions which makes the difference when it comes to social media. Without the interactions these networks risk becoming just like traditional media outlets.

In this election year, I think we all owe it to ourselves to have a voice and it’s within our social media networks where are voices are heard and the change happens.

Here is my 10 second video review of Linkedin’s Follow feature while I’m following industry experts.

Hashtag and @ Twitter Overload

For the last month or two I’ve been creating Follow Friday Twitter Spotlight blog posts for clients. These spotlights focus on the people using Twitter who are engaging with their followers. It’s been really hard finding real people! I’m guilty of using automatic tools. Back in 2009 the thought of breaking the news to my small business clients that they needed to hire more staff and increase overhead to support their brand on the social media networks was tough. The past several years have been hard on small businesses and I focused on efficiencies using RSS feeds and automated tools instead of reducing the bottom-line by hiring more staff.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the engagement and it was awesome when Dean and Deluca tweeted back to me and brands were listening and responding to me in the beginning, but it took a lot of time! I was behind Twitter and sending @ to this person and @ to that brand and then I would wait and wait. I’m sorry, but social media for a small business is time consuming and if you notice it’s the owner doing all the listening and @ing back. Business owners need to be focused on their businesses and not listening and waiting to respond on social networks. Sure there are tools that monitor, but show me a tool that tells me “when” and “who” to respond to easily and I will change my opinion. I seek tools all the time all, visit my tool page and let me know the tool I’ve been searching for and haven’t found yet.

But now for the point of this post; when will the tweets stop making sense with hashtags? I don’t want tweets with just hashtags. Hashtags are not a sentence people. The point is in the words not the tags.
Hashtag overload

Today I saw a Tweet with just @Twitterprofiles and not #FF or #FollowFriday, no words saying why these people are important, just @s in 144 characters.

We are in a Twitter danger zone. At some point we are going to login to our Twitter accounts and not be able to understand anything being tweeted!!

Someone enlighten me and show me the way, because right now, I see the end. I’m going to guess in the future, Twitter will create a clause in their ever changing Terms of Service/Use that too many hashtags will make your account suspended. Oh joy, been there done that twice!

Tweeps Beware
Hashtags Suck

Social Media Strategy and Implementation

I keep my eyes out for brands learning as they manage their social media presence. While some companies executives are still making the turn to support social media as a valuable marketing channel, other executives are on-board with the social media marketing practice.

The role of a social media strategist requires multiple expertise which crosses many different skill-sets; copywriter, campaign manager, analyst, developer, designer, technologist, quality assurance, etc. In general, medium and large-sized companies have different individuals in each of these specialized roles. The time it takes to coordinate between these groups when building and managing a social media presence creates a big challenge. Social media moves at an accelerated rate which means execution of social media efforts needs to move at the same rate.

As a social media specialist and manager, when I feel I’m caught up, I’m actually behind. I never launch a social media presence or campaign without studying the industry “again”. This includes all the tools involved in efficient execution; third-party apps, third-party tools, Facebook apps, Facebook platform changes, Facebook advertising, Google Analytics enhancements, Twitter platform changes, Twitter advertising, etc. And the studying continues with a competitive analysis focusing on being unique and not like the competition. When you finally start building and executing it’s imperative to test and re-test. And while testing the social media campaign, the Facebook platform changes again. The process is cyclical.

Today I found a really good example of the issues which come up when companies hire one person without ALL the expertise. The strategy wasn’t executed successfully because the settings in Facebook’s permissions were not checked.

Social Media Strategy

Following is the effect of not checking the Facebook settings. Notice the fans are really nice, but all of this could have been avoided with a simple settings check. And know I’m not perfected, but I try really hard to avoid these types of mistakes.

To allow people to tag on your Facebook page go to: Edit Page>Manage Permissions> check the “Tagging Ability” checkbox and “Save Changes”

Social Media Strategy - Facebook Oops

There is a lot of misinformation on the web when troubleshooting, so make sure to search Google using time filters.

Here are a few social media tips I recommend when building a successful social media presence:

  • Create a strategy that involves something more than posting and sharing your product or services. Think broadly; if you sell running shoes, post information about health & wellness. If you offer a marketing service, share information about all aspects of business. The goal is to bring people back to your website, your Twitter, your Facebook, your Youtube because the information you share is valuable.
  • Build promotions with cross social platform love. When giving away a gift card, request people to LIKE (Facebook), FOLLOW (Twitter) and SUBSCRIBE (Youtube).
  • Create a blog and write about your topic.
  • Promote campaign using online advertising; Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, AdWords, etc. Get a budget and work the budget.
  • Use all marketing mediums when executing a strategy; email, radio, TV, print, etc. Without killing the budget, try to get as many of these mediums into the strategy execution. Make sure to have your promotion included in your advertisements i.e. Win an iPad.
  • Don’t buy radio, TV and/or print without requesting Facebook, Twitter, Email and/or Blog(website) activities from the media provider. While this is new to some traditional media providers, this is how you establish a partnership (win-win) which lasts.
  • Have a yearly plan with quarterly reviews. Don’t be too tied to the schedule that you miss opportunities to share current relevant information.
  • If you are managing social media for a company large or small, make sure to communicate the strategy, time-line and promotions to the entire company. You never know when a co-worker will have another set of eyes on the company’s social properties and help you out. I’ve seen social media notification tools with lags and delays which prevent timely responses.
  • Don’t have too many Facebook administrators. That checkbox you checked may become unchecked by someone not as familiar to back-end.
  • Test, test and test again; create a test Facebook page and implement in this area before you go live on the company Facebook page. Utilize internal resources to test out processes as an end-user to make sure the experience works the way you designed it to work.
  • Don’t share Tweets with Facebook or Facebook with Twitter. I know this is a pain, but integration isn’t optimal. Hashtags don’t belong in Facebook and Twitter doesn’t want messages more than 140 characters.
  • Integrate your Search Engine Optimization campaign with your social media efforts. Know your keywords, use your keywords but don’t be spammy.
  • Track everything; utilize UTM tracking for activities not easily trackable in analytics.
  • Monitor sentiment on the web. You can do this through services like Spiral16. If you have a tight budget, set-up Google Alerts this will help you monitor specific keywords on the web and support finding interesting content to share.
  • Get a company phone. If you don’t have one request one. You need to manage comments and receive notifications through a mobile device.
  • Read everything you can get your hands on. I read industry news daily, so make a point to allocate at least 1-2 hours a day.
  • Hey and don’t forget it’s #FollowFriday today! So make sure to follow me twitter.com/annemhaynes :)

    Facebook Status Gone Wrong on Oprah Winfrey’s Page

    I’ve said it before, “It’s all in the details” and this morning one of Oprah Winfrey’s assistances missed an important detail; the “I” used in the word “In”. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not free from typos, misspellings, and misplaced modifiers when posting to Facebook and other social media website, but Oprah Winfrey? I actually like the mistake, it’s authentic but it’s not the kind of authentic Oprah speaks about on her network.

    What is your take on mistakes with social media? Are mistakes good for your brand?

    Facebook Status Gone Wrong