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Top 5: Facebook Timeline for Businesses Changes

If you live under a rock (or just aren’t in the social media industry), Facebook announced yesterday that they would be introducing timeline for business pages. This changes how pages will interact with the consumer, as well as how it looks to the consumer. After doing some research, these are the biggest changes I see.

 

1. Branding: No longer will we have just a small profile picture to show off who we are. The profile picture has shrank, giving plenty of room for the new, 851×315 cover photo. Interestingly enough, the guidelines for cover photos somewhat anti-marketing, including no price or purchase information, any about information (web address, email, etc – all should be in your “about” section), references to sharing or like us and calls to action.

2. Messaging: Good God, it’s about time Facebook allowed individuals to private message pages. This will be a big benefit with in-store issues for retailers, requesting information and more.

3. Highlighted Posts: The set up of the new Timeline pages revolves around the posts. We’ve changed to a two-column layout, with friend activity on the right. Here, we can highlight a story so it appears at the top of the page for up to a week. This will be great when a brand has an event or new product it wants to showcase.

4. Starred Posts: In addition to highlighting a story, we’re now able star an image so it stretches out between the two columns. This is great to focus on a specific event, product, or idea. You cannot, however, star and highlight the same post.

5. Fangates are Gone: No longer do you NEED to like a page before seeing their content. I’m sure they’ll still be a way to block this, but for now, the fangate option will be removed and replaced with tabs along the top of the page, under the cover photo and about information. Four apps will be shown (including photos), and a drop down menu is available for up to 12 more.

Who’s rushing to switch their brand over to the timeline? Who still hasn’t activated timeline on their own profile? Let me know what you think!

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What We Learned – Super Bowl Style

The Super Bowl has come and gone with a close win by the Giants, minor middle finger mishap during half time, and enough new commercials to fill a weeks worth of American Idol. While it wasn’t the best year for the #BrandBowl, there were some lessons to be learned.

1. Dogs can sell anything. This seasons top ads had one thing in common – no, not an exceptional strategy – they all used dogs. From Volkswagon’s preview ad “The Bark Side” to the beloved Bud Light rescue dog Weego, this seasons ads created a real dog-eat-dog world. Below are some of my favorite publicized pooches.

Bud Light: WeeGo the Rescue Dog

Sketchers: GO RUN Mr. Quiggly! 

Volkswagon: The Dog Strikes Back

2. Betty White’s Still Got It: OK – this can be up for debate with some, but I still love Betty White, and her appearance in NBC’s “The Voice” spot was priceless.

NBC’s The Voice: Vocal Kombat

3. #Hashtags #Sell: #MakeItPlantinum and #SoLongVampires started off the first quarter. Tying in the Twitter hashtags boosted online traffic for the brands who used it. My favorite? #MarryBacon

Jack In The Box: Marry It

4. You Mess With American, Clint Eastwood Messes With You: Step aside Chuck Norris. Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” campaign took another one of America’s icons, Clint Eastwood, to show that halftime doesn’t mean the game is over. America, eff yeah.

Chrysler: It’s Halftime America

5. We Love Beer. This is something we all knew, but Budweiser’s “Eternal Optimism” proved it.

Budweiser: Eternal Optimism

6. At a loss for strategy? Throw in everything you possibly can. Kia included Adriana Lima, Motley Crue and Chuck Liddel. Samsung used The Darkness, Miranda Kerr and a stylus (seriously, a Stylus?) Did it work? Personally, I’ll take my iPhone any day.

Kia: A Dream Car. For Real Life.

Samsung: Galaxy Note

7. Twinkies will Survive 2012. OK – The first thing that was said when this commercial came on was “interesting choice of song” by my boyfriends dad. Little did we know that the song would just ad to the hilarity. It should be noted that I was raised on Ford trucks, but I always appreciate someone having the balls to call out their competitor.

Chevrolet: 2012

You could also talk about the (terrible, lip synced) halftime “performance,” the fact that Coke & Pepsi should just stop producing bad ads, or the unfortunate idea of leaked ads (it wasn’t nearly as fun to watch ads I’ve already seen), but I’d rather just post a few more videos. Which was your favorite?

M&M: Sexy and I Know It: How can you not chuckle at that?

Budweiser: Flash Fans: This was aired in Canada, but gained ridiculous digital recognition.

NBC Sports Network: The Next Ones: Obviously I’m going to like an ad with kids and hockey in it, but overall I’ve loved the NBC Sports campaign. And that child in the Flyers jersey is absolutely precious.

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You’re a Social Media WHAT?

The Definition of Social Media Marketing: How to Find the Best Social Media Consultant » Techipedia | Tamar Weinberg.

Stumbled across this article today and thought, “Wow, what a great thought.”

I’m a social media coordinator. What does that mean? Well, I am glued to Facebook and Twitter all day, and that answer seems so silly. I have friends asking me all the time, “do you ever work?” What they don’t realize is that online communication is my work. I am responsible for creating conversations with fans and followers for various brands, which is a lot more than what everyone expects.

To be a social media professional, you need to immerse yourself in the brand. The industry is constantly changing, and social media professionals need to be aware of that at all times. You can only become better by living and breathing social media and the brands you support. Without the ability to admit faults, take on the brand persona and strategically interact with the audience, you, your brand and your social media profiles will suffer. Creative, personable and motivated individuals make the strongest social media professionals, regardless of age.

Sure, I do watch Facebook for notifications all day. I do sit on Twitter and find the perfect things to retweet. But believe it or not, there is a strong strategy behind that. Social Media for business is a strategic, prepared, well-discussed process. It’s about relating to the customer. No one wants to talk to a social media coordinator. They want to talk to someone who knows, loves and lives the brand. They want a response that they can understand, not some corporate talk. They want to be told about the great deals you have, show the great things you sell and become FRIENDS with your brand. Anyone can create a standard “Thanks for the reply” post. Anyone can refer your complaint to management, but it takes a true social media expert to interact and converse with customers.

Still not getting it? Let’s use a few examples:

Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka

Jeremiah Weed not only converses with their fans – they listen. The social media genius behind this idea realized that it’s not just about talking – it’s about listening. Through a spur of YouTube videos, Jeremiah Weed took their fans submissions for how they drink their vodka, and created these drinks for all to see. How cool would you feel knowing that you have a drink named after you? Pretty damn cool.

FAO Schwarz – Toy Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say it isn’t so! The beloved toy company truly disappointed me with their social media efforts. Not only was their response extremely generic, but it was removed from the page! How are people going to communicate with your brand if you don’t leave their posts up? Which brings me to one of the most important business practices in social media…

St. Louis Sports Zone – Arnold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People will always complain. You can address their problems, or ignore it. In the case above, it was not only ignored, but deleted. Social media has a strong following, and any negativity can be passed quickly. Ignoring a post won’t make it go away – it will just anger the customer further, so that they do not recommend your place, and make sure that their problem is heard. A better example of how to treat this to follow.

Once Upon a Child – Ballwin & St. Peter’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said – no brand is perfect, and social media is a great way to address that. However, it needs to BE addressed. By addressing the problem publicly, you not only please the upset customer, but other fans can see that you truly care about the customer experience, and are not afraid to admit your flaws (as long as they are quickly corrected!)

Strategically interacting with fans, followers and the like is the most important aspect of social media, and those professionals who provide these services know it.

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sports Uncategorized

Advertising Fail: St. Louis Blues, “Don’t Stop Believing”

Most of you will read this headline and say, “You can’t be serious.” Unfortunately, I am. VERY serious.

After last years “pay half now, and pay the rest when we secure our playoff spot!” disaster, I fully expected the entire marketing department to be fired, black balled out of the St. Louis advertising community, and possibly tarred and feathered. Clearly, the organization chose none of these things and kept these idiots on staff. (And we wonder why there are so many unemployed workers.)

Don’t Stop Believing is the song everyone chose to sing hammered at karaoke night. It’s the song college kids screamed on their decks in Panama City; the song teams like the Leafs play after being 40 points out of a playoff spot. Basically, it’s as influential as an anteater.

Not only is there a complete lack of strategy, (can you picture this meeting? “GUYS. We have the best idea EVER. Since we’ve sucked the last five years, let’s let the fans know that it isn’t time to give up. Let’s tell them, (huge impact font swirls into the power point) DON’T STOP BELIEVING!” It makes me cringe just thinking about it) but the logo looks like it was created in a fifth grade computer class. I realize the economy is tanking and we still don’t have an owner, but that’s really the best you can come up with?

20110825-090228.jpg

If I was the Blues marketing director, this idea would have never left my idiot interns brain. You want to activate our fan base? Focus on the experience of the game. The team sold out all 41 home games last year. There’s an excitement about sitting in 309, bonding with fellow season ticket holders, honking in the parking garage post game. Capture that emotion. “There’s nothing quite like it.” “Experience the Nosebleed.” Hell, “It’s Always Better on Ice” could have been more successful.

Will it discourage sales? Probably not. Will it be the laughing stock of the NHL marketing departments? Definitely.

It’s one thing to admit your faults, but it’s another to promote it with million dollar ads.

I welcome any “support” for this campaign. If you can make an argument for this being a “good” idea, be my guest, but don’t be surprised when you’re shot down faster then Cam Janssen’s scoring ability. Sorry I’m Not Sorry.

UPDATE: Believe it or not, it can get worse. Please see the first ad via Puck Daddy. Plus, “Born & Raised in South Detroit?” Our biggest rivals? Way to go marketing department.