Social media users are becoming the new journalists, with more than half of us learning about breaking new stories via Facebook, Twitter, and other sites rather than traditional news outlets. In fact, when it came to reporting some of the world's biggest recent news stories, social media had the scoop first.
Royal Engagement Broke on Twitter
The British monarchy is steeped in tradition, but it showed it's embracing the digital age when it broke the news of the impending nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on Twitter in 2010. The engagement announcement was sent from the official Twitter account of Clarence House, the London residence of the prince’s father and stepmother, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Royal Baby News Hits Facebook First
Prince William and Princess Catherine continued to embrace social media with the birth of their first child in July 2013. A press release announcing the birth of Prince George was emailed to media and posted to The British Monarchy Facebook page. That meant that many people learned of the news on Facebook before traditional media outlets had a chance to release the story.
The announcement was also delivered traditionally on an easel outside Buckingham Palace but, in a modern twist, photos of the easel were also shared on the Monarchy’s Instagram page.
Whitney Houston's Death Makes Waves on Twitter
Yeah, I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Isn't that enough? While that is definitely a good start, by no means is that enough. In today's social atmosphere that we are a part of having a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterst, Google Plus, YouTube channel, and maybe even Vine isn't enough. To see any results you need to update regularly and respond to people.
Not sure why you need to be responding? Well let me put it this way. What if you were at a party and talking to a friend? And while you were in this situation, you kept asking your friend questions but you got nothing in return. Nothing but complete silence. You'd think they were being pretty rude, right? A conversation is usually multi-sided. Well, the same rules apply online. And as a business it is your duty to respond to people talking to you or at the very least responding to people who are looking for answers. It's good etiquette.
Beyond the etiquette side of things, responding can do a lot good for your business and the relationships you build online. Here are four more reasons why you need to respond to as many people as possible online.
If you are in social media, you will be aware of HootSuite. It is arguably the most widely used social media management tool globally, with over 8 million users. This week in the SMToolbox, I was privileged to interview Hootsuite guru Mike Allton to get his take on HootSuite and why it is so popular. Along the way he shared his top tips and his favorite HootSuite apps.
HootSuite: The Elevator Pitch
In HootSuite’s own words, the tool “helps teams execute social media strategies across multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure web-based social relationship platform.” There is a free version of the software, a Pro version and an increasingly popular Enterprise version.
The numbers behind HootSuite are impressive. In addition to 8 million users, there are over 1,000 enterprise customers, and there is a growing app directory with over 1 million app installs. The company is still growing at over 150 percent year-on-year, has just been ranked top for customer service and it has a new partnership with Brandwatch. We reviewed Brandwatch’s sophisticated social analytics software last week here on SMToolbox.
I've been thinking a lot lately about personal branding, in part because I'm about to begin a new commissioned white paper and so I've been re-visiting my popular white paper for Innocentive - Harnessing the Global Talent Pool to Accelerate Innovation, and what I wrote about personal branding there:
"... the world continues to move away from being a place where employees expect to have jobs for life, and fight against any change to this paradigm, to a world where portfolios, personal branding, and project-based work will become more common in an increasing number of industries. The evolving world of work is becoming a world in which individuals will need to be really good at collaborating and playing well with others, while also honing their skills at standing out from the crowd. At the same time, the external perception of your network value will expand from a focus on internal connections to also include the talented minds you might know outside the organization that can be brought in on different projects or challenges."
There are some businesses and entire industries that have struggled over the last few years to find how they fit into social media well. Then there are the industries for which social media seems to have been created in the first place. Sports and sports marketing fall solidly into the latter category.
The Perfect Fusion
What are sports all about for the average fan? Watching with friends, eating, drinking beer, yelling, laughing, having an enjoyable time at something you can get passionate about. In other words, it’s about being social.
Even if you don’t like sports, it’s likely that your Facebook and Twitter feeds get fairly clogged with comments like “Did you see that call????? #unbelievable”, or something to that effect, whenever some big game is on. Think about it. We’ve been yelling at our televisions for years while watching sports. Now we can yell to the whole world through social media.
Teams that harness the natural yearning of the sports fan to be involved well reap big benefits from their fans, the most important being loyalty. Not that loyalty to a sports team is an uncommon trait among sports fans, of course, but that energy can be channeled into bigger things through a good social strategy powered by good social media management software.
There is a great deal of buzz about the importance of creating valuable, high-quality content. Although such content is indeed integral to inbound marketing success, an effective company blog requires much more than valuable content. If you only focus on the content creation part of the equation, you are not maximizing the potential of your company blog. Optimizing your blog for lead generation and conversion—for prospects in various stages of your marketing funnel—can make all the difference.
After gaining a new blog subscriber, promptly send a personalized welcome email to show your genuine appreciation and kindly remind the subscriber what he or she signed up for. The welcome email is a great opportunity to increase your social following, so encourage your new blog subscribers to follow you on social media for additional content updates. Emailing too often is a common mistake, which can turn off new subscribers and land you in their spam folders. Offering various blog subscription options, such as daily, weekly or by topic, is a great practice.