Monthly Archives: February 2012

Successful marketing on Facebook

This week in my social media class, Sarah Van Elzen, the senior digital communications strategist at Laughlin Constable, spoke about the challenges and possibilities with Facebook marketing. Specifically she discussed how Medela’s Facebook page is being used.

Sarah informed us that Medela’s Facebook page is more successful than about 10 of its competitors. Some of this is due to some statistics that she has found. For instance, there are over 23 million United State’s moms on Facebook. To put that into perspective, that is about 2/3 of all moms in the U.S. Also, three posts a day on Medela’s Facebook page is the magic number for its audience.

Sarah also makes it a point to increase conversation by posting one question per day for the audience to help answer. By interacting with their audience and not simply “broadcasting” about the company, Medela is giving moms a reason to stay interested in the brand.

Few things are worse than liking a brand on Facebook only to see that they either never post or post every other minute with useless information. I cannot begin to count how many business or products I have “liked” only to be completely fed up with them later. The sad part about it is I still like the product. I just can’t stand its social media! My home page does not need to be filled with yet another post of what the Wednesday special is especially when it is the same every week.

An article titled “5 Facebook Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make” on Mashable.com offers a few tips that we can all learn from. The first, which Medela has managed not to do, is to broadcast. By broadcasting information you are not offering any sort of relevant content to keep them intrigued or excited about the topic, product or business at hand.

The second mistake is to not devote adequate amount of time to Facebook marketing. You cannot have a “build it and they will come” mentality when it comes to your Facebook page. Building an audience takes time and the page needs to be monitored very closely and regularly to maintain that audience.

The third mistake listed in the article is being boring or predictable with your social media. Switch up your posts! I don’t need to see something I already know or something that I read on your wall only a week ago. Create some variety. Joseph Manna, community manager at Infusionsoft also warns not to automate posts. He says, “It’s nice to ‘set and forget,’ but the risk is two-fold: publishing systems sometimes have issues, and Facebook places low-priority on auto-published content.”

The fourth piece of advice is failing to learn about Facebook’s tools and mechanisms. Now, I would generally think that this was pretty self-explanatory. A kind of “know what your getting into” kind of a thing but apparently not. The “info” tab isn’t used very often and many businesses do not take the time to create a custom “welcome page.” For monitoring, Facebook’s built-in analytics program “Facebook Insights”, is often overlooked.

Finally, the last helpful hint is to understand Facebook’s terms of use. Make sure you know the rules of running contests and tagging pictures. The article continues with “To avoid these common mistakes, invest time in learning about the Facebook platform, educate yourself on how to build and sustain an audience, and don’t forget to engage with people like you do in real life.”

By following Medela’s example and keeping these top five mistakes in mind, our own marketing plans on Facebook are sure to be a success.

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Pinterest: The Next Big Thing

In a world wide web of new social media sites, how do you know what one is the next “big thing”? According to Augie Ray, the “mom test” seems to do the trick. The “mom test” consists of asking, “Would my mother use this?” In the case of Pinterest, the answer is undoubtedly yes.

For those of you who have not yet experienced the world of Pinterest, it is a virtual bulletin board where the user can “pin” appealing images or interesting links. Categories on the website include “pets,” “travel,” “fitness,” “weddings,” and pretty much anything else you could want. After the user sees a picture, quote, recipe, hairstyle, etc., they can place that image onto one of their personalized boards. When the image is pinned, it can then be repinned by other users. I have a board for animals, food recipes and even a little used fitness board for all of those exercises I just can’t wait to try. Right.

Once you try Pinterest for yourself, it is easy to see why experts are saying the site is taking the social media game by storm. According to an article on Mashable.com, in January 2012, Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic when only six months earlier it accounted for only 0.17%. Just to put that into perspective, in January 2012, the social media giant, Twitter, accounted for 3.61% of referral traffic.

To add to those already impressive statistics, another article on Mashable.com wrote that Pinterest’s unique visitors increased 429% from September 2011, to December 2011.

Even Tim Cigelske, senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Education at Marquette University, sees the power of Pinterest over his particular demographic and now my beloved school now has a Pinterest account of its own.

Personally, even though there may not ever be a social media site that can rival FaceBook’s popularity or size, Pinterest has become my new favorite time waster. It is constantly being updated with different photos and links to keep me interested. If I’m not careful, I could spend up to an hour or two on it. Which, according to Tim isn’t that unusual since the average time a user spends on it is 88 minutes.

But what does Pinterest mean for brands? I think that it has enormous potential, at least for some markets. I think that hotels and resorts, if organized appropriately, can definitely get their name out there in the “travel” category. I know I’ve repinned hotels in Europe and the Caribbean that I think look luxurious and interesting. Car companies could also make the most of these boards. Place a picture of a nice SUV, link it back to the dealer’s website and website traffic is increased by a potential buyer. Retail outlets such as ModCloth.com and Nordstrom have a following of a few thousand.

My vote is that Pinterest is going to be around and popular for a long time, so make the most of your brand and just keep pinning!