No sooner did we start getting comfortable with incorporating social networks into our daily work as UW marketers/communicators then another medium starts vying for our limited attention and resources—and that medium is mobile devices. But just like any other shiny new toy, we’d be doing ourselves and our constituents a disservice if we chase after it just because it’s pretty.
This article (called “Attention, marketers: Please don’t ruin mobile!”) on the Mobile Marketer Web site provides some helpful insights that are important to bear in mind before you begin sketching out a mobile marketing strategy for your unit. Though it’s aimed at for-profit businesses, it makes points that are relevant to us, such as this one:
“A mobile device is a very personal, intimate part of a person’s life. You have to push yourself to answer the question, ‘Is this idea going to improve my customer’s mobile experience?’ Are you going to be interrupting them or providing value?”
The author goes on to give a great example of a company he thinks is managing to market itself mobily and add value: Charmin, the toilet tissue company, has branded a mobile app that allows people to find and rate public bathrooms. As the article author puts it: “It is simple, on-brand and very useful for their customers – a complete home run.”
Though Google released Buzz as a social networking tool, so far it seems to be functioning more as a news feed than an interactive tool. An analysis by PostRank showed that 60% of the content on Buzz is from Twitter. Another 26.47% is from news feeds. That leaves a little more than 10% of the ”buzz” potentially being original content generated by Buzz users.
Of course Buzz is still very much in its infancy, and the powerful potential of its integration with Gmail should not be underestimated. So we’re definitely keeping an eye on it.
Most of us are fortunate not to have to deal with a lot of controversial postings on Facebook and elsewhere. However, abusive behavior is something all of us who manage social networking presences should look out for. Today I ran across a helpful blog post by a woman who’s been managing a Facebook page that draws a lot of hateful postings. Here’s an excerpt:
“Freedom of speech is important, but you have to make a tough decision about when one person’s inflated ego and political or social beliefs trumps thousands of others in your community. There are many, many other places on the Web where they can go rant. You will need to decide when you no longer want them ranting on yours for the greater good of your community.”
Many of us don’t give a lot of thought to LinkedIn or our presence on it. But it’s still a pretty active social networking site—it has more than 60 million members worldwide—and it’s one we should continue to keep an eye on. This article on the Intellectual Property Marketing Blog has some insightful tips about how to use LinkedIn more effectively as a marketing tool. Specifically, it discusses:
- Boosting your search engine optimization.
- Promoting your blog feed.
- Creating LinkedIn ad campaigns.
- Using events to engage.
- Using groups to connect.
- Getting recommendations.
For those of us who have fundraising as a component of our jobs, this article on Mashable.com is very helpful for helping you determine whether and how to use Twitter for that task. Here are a couple of excerpts:
“‘Raising money takes a lot more than getting Ashton Kutcher or someone with a lot of followers to tweet about your charity,’ said Twestival creator Amanda Rose. ‘That’s not Twitter fundraising; that’s creating buzz and awareness. Twitter fundraising is getting people involved with your mission on a real grass-roots level.’
“Whether it’s a tweetup, a festival, a rally, or a concert, having an offline component tied into your fundraising practice is vital. … Rose says that having a strong offline component is what makes people want to donate their time and energy to Twestival. … ‘I’d like to see charities start to use apps like foursquare to tie in geo-tagged fundraising initiatives, or Social Scavenger for charity challenges,’ shared business consultant Danny Brown. ‘A user online could be following instructions on a web feed, and directing the user on the ground to where a challenge is for donation dollars or items.’”
A Web site called Social Media Governance has posted copies of the social media guidelines of various companies, government agencies and nonprofits. This may be of interest if you’ve been asked to help establish guidelines for your unit.
In this white paper, MarketingExperiments offers several good tips for how to get recipients of your e-mail messages to click your links. (One thing to be aware of, though: Their focus, and language, is from the for-profit marketing realm.) Here’s one of them, which they illustrate with a specific example in the white paper:
“Effective communication in every medium unfolds in a logical, orderly way. A comedian would never start a joke with a punch line, a magician would never start a trick by showing his assistant already sawed in half, and marketers should never start an email message with a direct sales pitch.
“Effective email messages that drive customers to action are little more than engaging conversations. By assigning a goal to each piece of your email (’From:’ field, subject line, headline, etc) that allows it to build on the piece before, you can guide your customers to the desired action.”
View past editions of the e-newsletter Marketing Matters.
A large group of Web and e-mail administrators calling themselves Project Honey Pot has been tracking spam trends since 2004. This article pulls together some interesting data they’ve compiled, including these:
- There is a 21% decrease in spam on Christmas Day and a 32% decrease on New Year’s Day.
- They’ve seen the word “Viagra” spelled at least 956 different ways to try and trick spam filters.
- Facebook is the second most phished organization online and, if current trends continue, is on track to take the top spot in 2010.
This list is from a blog called Inside the Marketers Studio. The first 9 on his list sort of puzzled me because I don’t know how to measure “buzz” and he doesn’t explain how. But the rest of the list is good stuff to keep in mind, especially when having to justify the time you spend on marketing/communicating via social media.