The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Engagement

This is a guest post by Hilary Smith.

Businesses today know the benefits that come with social media. Social networks can do much more than give existing brands new life; they also give brands many more opportunities to build collaborative relationships with consumers like never before.

However, the term “social media” also comes with a lot of baggage. There’s actually a lot more to managing these networks than sharing cat videos and following worldwide trending topics. Brands must understand what social media makes possible for their businesses: engaging with customers, providing quicker feedback, reaching new audiences, and so on.

Unfortunately, many brands treat social media as a short press release — a way to talk about themselves. With so much competition for attention in social media, brands need to consider how they’re effectively showcasing their humanity, as well as how they can help their consumers through these channels.

Delta Airlines, GoPro, and ESPN have slam-dunked social marketing initiatives across a variety of platforms. Read on to learn how three brands put social media to work to great effect…

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is a great example of a brand taking advantage of Twitter’s casual but conversational user interface. Delta gained a popular following on the website with mentions of pop culture, holidays, and anecdotes:

delta airlines twitter

The Delta account also frequently responds to individual tweets. Delta’s lighthearted, personable, and often humorous brand strategy on the website stands out and makes users more willing to listen and even engage — Delta adds to the average user’s experience and overall daily enjoyment of the platform.

Your business can follow along Delta’s flight pattern by deciding on a brand persona. In sales and in life, people remember how you make them feel over what you’re actually saying, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Opting for the most professional tone and technical language will likely not get your business the attention it needs on Twitter.

GoPro

Lifestyle video brand GoPro recently ran two campaigns on Facebook:

  1. GoPro’s Everything We Make Sweepstakes was a chance for people who did not yet own a GoPro to win one of every GoPro product.
  2. The Photo & Video of the Day campaign on Facebook was for customers who wanted to share their GoPro adventures.

GoPro then selected content submissions from some of their biggest producers and put the top photos on their Facebook page. Doing this encouraged other GoPro users to like, comment, and share. As a result, their rate of social engagement increased.

gopro contest

Not only did GoPro give their customers a cool way to participate by showing off their purchase, but they’re also able to showcase their excitement in continued use of the product. While the sweepstakes only accepts entries from those who use their product, it’s still a great motivator to encourage people to buy their own GoPro to enter the photo contests!

More than anything, people want to be involved, especially your customers. When it comes to hosting a contest or giveaway, a great way to ensure that your brand gets recognized is by allowing your customers to participate. This goes way beyond just “liking” your Facebook page or commenting on a photo. Encourage your audience to share their experience with your brand, and you might be surprised as to what you get as a result.

ESPN

With over 30,000 hours of curated sports content and several household video marketing campaigns, ESPN is a heavy-hitter on social media. ESPN’s Sports Center brand features prominently among the company’s video content with the “#SCtop10 hashtag,” “This is SportsCenter” commercials, and feature segments under #SCFeatured. These hashtag campaigns make it easy for viewers to find new and favorite content, while the highly popular “This is SportsCenter” spots are entertaining advertising rather than tedious.

this is sports center

ESPN’s Youtube channel is an instance of putting a media platform to work for your brand. Your business can get the most out of Youtube when you give people options. It’s best if you publish your video under your own channel, where it’s easy to find and you can add to your SEO strategy for search engines.

 

Hilary Smith is an online journalist, covering everything from small business news to globalization. You can find her at hilarylorensmith.weebly.com.

 

Facebook Tips from the Masters

Want to rock it on Facebook?

You can’t go far wrong by following these ten tips we’ve collected from ten of Facebook’s finest.

We’ve linked to sources, because that’s the right thing to do, and so you can dig deeper and find even more goodies.

1. Write Posts Like You’re Talking to a Friend

Amy PorterfieldCheck out your last 10 Facebook posts. Ask yourself, “Do I sound like I am talking to a friend or do I sound a bit stuffy and corporate in my posts?” Also, ask yourself, “If I saw this post in my news feed, would I want to like, share, comment or click?”

If you don’t feel compelled to engage with your own post, I can guarantee your fans won’t either!

Amy Porterfield, The Risks of Running a Business Without a Facebook Marketing Plan.

2. Grow Your Professional Network With Graph Search

Joshua WaldmanPreviously, it was very difficult to know what companies were represented in your network and extended (friends of friends) network. Now you can see what companies you have connections to, locations you might have acquaintances in and even brands your network prefers.

So if you are targeting a company to work for and want to know if people in your network (friends or friends of friends) work there, you can. And with Facebook’s pay-to-message feature, you can pay to have your message delivered to their inbox.

Joshua Waldman, How to Use Facebook’s Graph Search to Supercharge Your Professional Network.

3. Post Outside Peak Times

Kevan LeeInstead of posting when the majority of your audience is online, try posting when the majority of your audience is offline.

[This is called] the late night infomercial effect. Basically, it works on the assumption that when there’s little else being shared online, your content is more likely to stand out.

Kevan Lee, The Complete Guide to Growing Your Organic Facebook Reach.

4. Ignore Reach and Escape “Reach Fury”

Jon LoomerReach means very little because it is rarely a good indicator of success.

If you’re an advanced Facebook marketer (and I know you are!), you measure things like traffic to your website, leads and purchases that came as a result of your efforts on Facebook.

If you follow your metrics closely (and I know you do!), you know that a high Reach doesn’t guarantee these things.

Jon Loomer, Why Our Obsession with Facebook Page Post Reach is All Wrong.

5. Make the Most of Audience Insights

Ben HarperIf you’re running Facebook campaigns, it’s time to forget about how you’ve run them in the past. Audience Insights allows you to put data first and truly understand your audience in order to target in the best way possible. By understanding your audience at a new level of depth you can begin to analyze what else they are interested in, how likely they are to buy online, and their brand affinity. This lets you find targeting opportunities that are less competitive, and more relevant for the audience you most want to capture.

Audience Insights, if used correctly, should lead to an overall reduction in cost per click rates, and a reduction in cost per acquisition figures (from an increase in conversions) as you are using the new data to hit the right audience first time.

Ben Harper, What Facebook Audience Insights really means for advertisers.

6. Re-Cycle Your Top Performers

John HaydonYour content strategy doesn’t have to only include new content; you can also recycle your most successful posts to reengage fans.

To find and reframe your top-performing posts, you need to know post engagement rates—the percentage of people who saw an update and liked, commented on or shared it.

To find post engagement rates, go to your Insights and click Posts. Scroll down to the All Posts Published table, and click the Engagement column to quickly sort your posts by engagement rate.

To really get a feel for which updates your fans loved, export at least six months of post-level data and study it.

John Haydon, 18 Ways to Improve Your Facebook News Feed Performance.

7. Get Into the Media Spotlight

Maggie PattersonJournalists rely on Facebook to source stories and Facebook itself actively promotes the platform as a “Rolodex” with 1 billion contacts for reporters.

Where your company may have relied on a press release in the past, you can now share your story on Facebook. It provides a low-friction way to report the facts in the case of breaking news or to provide comment on emerging issues that will help get your story to the media and your public faster.

Maggie Patterson, quoted in Six Facebook Marketing Tips From the Pros.

8. Share Photos to Maximize Engagement

Mari SmithYour photo should make people laugh, cry, or go “awww!”

Photos on Facebook have always gotten a slightly higher EdgeRank score, which means better visibility in the News Feed. But, don’t necessarily use an image on every single post; keep it interesting by mixing in links, videos, questions (app), and text only updates.

Mari Smith, 7 Ways To Craft Your Facebook Posts For Maximum Shares.

9. Re-create Local Community

Jeff BullasLocal stores are threatened by competition not just around the corner but in the next suburb and across the world. There is one thing the local store can do that a pure online store cannot do and that is provide that local sense of community that combines and synergizes both on-line and offline. Put up local news and provide information on your Facebook page that is relevant to your town or suburb and crystallizes your local community behind you.

Jeff Bullas, 15 Tips for Selling on Facebook.

10. Lay Off the Hashtags

Julia BorginiAre hashtags useful on Facebook?

In a word, no.

EdgeRank did a study on hashtags, analyzing more than 500 Pages that posted both with and without hashtags. After looking at 35,000+ posts, they found only 6,000 had hashtags. That’s only 17% of the posts on Facebook.

When they dug deeper into the numbers, they found that hashtags didn’t have a positive impact on the brand’s engagement levels on Facebook.

Julia Borgini, Are Facebook Hashtags Worth The Effort?.

Follow Twitter

 

Who should you follow on Twitter if you want to succeed fast?

It depends.

It depends on who you are, where you’re at, and what success means to you.

Ultimately, you have to decide who’s best placed on Twitter to help you out. Factors you might consider include:

  • How close they are to a person you want to reach.
  • How responsive they are on Twitter.
  • Whether they have the power to make a decision that gets you to where you want to be.
  • Whether you have something in common, so you can start a conversation.

We’ve put together a small(ish) list of 973 people to get you started. We’re not saying you should follow all these people (though give us a Twitter shoutout if you do follow any of them). We’re just showing you how easy it can be to find and connect with people who have influence.

When you’ve found the people who you’d like to talk to, check out our article on getting the attention of Twitter influencers.

Ready to dig in? Then let’s get started!

 

Founders

Are you an entrepreneur or business owner? Other entrepreneurs can give you great advice on how to make the most of your business.

And you never know, they might (one day) give you the investment you need, too (though always build a relationship first, and never use Twitter to make the ask).

You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to connect with business founders on Twitter. These include:

Editors

Got a story you want to tell? Of course, you can start up your own blog, or share it with the world on Twitter.

But if you want to shine an ultra-bright spotlight on what you’re doing, then traditional media is still the way to go. And that means connecting with reporters and editors.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of publications… but it will help you see how easy it can be to find editors and journalists on Twitter.

Bonus 5 We Love!

Here are our special picks – five Twitter users we’re sure you’ll love! (Click their names to check out their Twitter accounts)

Aaron Lee

Who is Aaron Lee? Aaron is a Malaysian blogger who rose to fame sharing his passion for coffee. He now blogs about social media marketing.

Why follow Aaron? Aaron makes a point of engaging with as many of his followers as he can. If you want to start a conversation with an influencers, try talking to Aaron Lee.

Mari Smith

Who is Mari Smith? Mari is the queen of Facebook. Whatever you need to know about Facebook marketing, she’s your gal. She also has a huge Twitter following.

Why follow Mari? Because she’s fun-loving, inspirational and she’ll always brighten your day. Plus she shares extremely useful stuff.

Derek Halpern

Who is Derek Halpern? Derek is the founder and lead writer at Social Triggers, a blog that helps readers become more influential.

Why follow Derek? You’ll learn proven psychological tricks and techniques to help you (and your business) succeed faster.

Ankesh Kothari

Who is Ankesh Kothari? Ankesh is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor based in Mumbai, India.

Why follow Ankesh? Pretty much everything he shares will blow your mind and help you see the world in a new way.

Leo Babauta

Who is Leo Babauta? Leo is the founder of the Zen Habits blog.

Why follow Leo? You’ll learn how to be a minimalist and be uber-productive. Leo will show you how to have a laser-sharp focus that helps you get more done.

You Should Also Follow…

And finally… whenever we feature influencers, we link to their Twitter profiles. Why not check out these articles for the low-down on some of Twitter’s biggest names?

You might also look at our article on using Twitter’s advanced tool to help you find brilliant opportunities and fabulous people to connect with.

Over to You

Twitter is a great way to get ahead through networking. But as we’ve said, who you must follow on Twitter is subjective. It depends on what you plan to achieve.

With that in mind, is there anyone who you’d suggest is a must follow? Which Twitter accounts have you found the most helpful?

Let us know in the comments section, below.

One Last Thing…

Do you follow Social Caffeine on Twitter yet? If not, you should. You’ll find us here.