Author Archive: Becks Moring

Have YOU heard it on the grape…Vine?

 

Vine –- The new kid on the block. We all like new toys to play with but does this one add value to a brand’s marketing efforts? We take a look…

 

What is Vine?

Vine is a new app launched by Twitter. According to them, it “lets you create and share beautiful, short looping videos” that will play directly in your Twitter or Vine news feed (Vines uploaded to Facebook will play in another window). These videos are limited to six second loops but you can stop and start the recording at will, so you can shoot in tiny sections like a flick book if you wish and videos are shareable if uploaded to a social network.

Can we really create good video content in six seconds?

Urban Outfitters shared a simple video that will appeal to one of their core demographics.

 

Bacardi UK have been demoing cocktails made with their drink, and inviting further engagement by asking followers what they’d like to see next.

 

Everyone had the same reservations about Twitter, how could we possibly say what we needed in 140 characters or less? We soon saw that the real beauty of Twitter was exactly that limitation — it forced you to creative and concise.
Brevity is particularly important online as a readers attention span is short. So when it comes to Vine, six seconds is pretty perfect for someone whizzing through their Twitter feed and this means that the right content could be incredibly shareable.

How can brands can use it?

  • Behind-the-scenes clips — share a snapshot of a day in the life of your brand or the history behind your brand
  • Demo your products in six seconds!
  • Show sneak peeks of upcoming products, announcements or new advertisements
  • Create a Vine competition where your fans submit the content to Twitter using a specific hashtag
  • Let your staff get creative! See what content they can come up with that might be interesting to your fans and customers. Maybe they can answer common questions or share tips?
  • Endorsements! Film your happy customers recommending your brand! (With their permission of course) Or ask them to submit Vines to you, for you to share.

If you decide to use Vine as a content creator for your brand, above all, remember that Vine is like any other medium you would use to create content. Make sure your videos are creative, shareable and relevant to your audience, and continue to test what works best for your community. Your content should still be high quality, even if it’s in six-second snapshots.

The Rules

  • Make your Vine visually exciting and creative
  • Ensure the message is on-brand
  • Ensure it has a message! Whether that’s promoting office culture, or showcasing a new product – it should have value for the both the brand and the viewer
  • Include tags/hashtags to make your content searchable
  • Share on other social platforms to ensure maximum visibility

Still need some inspiration? Check how other brands are already using it — http://brandsonvine.com/

Pinterest Rolls Out Official Business Pages

 

With Pinterest recently hitting the top 50 most visited websites in the US and the news that Convertro placed them with the honour of driving more revenue per click than Facebook or Twitter — Pinterest needed to get serious about their business customers. And they have.

Pinterest announced the roll-out of new tools for businesses. Whether you currently have an account or are ready to launch yours, these tools will be a great benefit.

Until now, commercial usage was technically prohibited so the new updates come with their own terms of service for business. Brands also have the option to add a single brand name to their Page rather than using the first name, last name format that was the previous option. There is also now a verification process (much like verified accounts on Twitter) to add validity to the account.

To further encourage adoption, Pinterest has also provided resources for businesses, such as case studies and best practices, to ensure they get the most out of the growing platform.

A business account also comes with goodies, which include ‘pin it’ and ‘Follow me’ buttons for your website. According to Cat Lee, Pinterest’s Product Manager, Pinterest is hoping “to add more tools and features that are geared toward this audience.”

 

So with these extra developments, should your brand be on Pinterest? It isn’t for every business, but if you have visually interesting products and/or are willing to share content that isn’t solely about your business, such as inspirations and trends that will resonate with your branding, then it could be worth the extra time and effort.

According to Media Bistro, “59 percent of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on the pinboarding site” and “79 percent of Pinterest users are more likely to purchase items they’ve seen on Pinterest, compared with Facebook users purchasing behaviour”. This clearly isn’t a decision to be taken lightly; it’s well worth giving some thought to whether your brand would benefit from a presence on Pinterest as it could impact on sales revenue for your business.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lowdown On Global Facebook Pages

 

A single global Facebook Page or several local Pages?

Until now, if you were a brand posting on Facebook, those were your options.

Historically, this choice has been tricky when deciding on a strategy for your brand, as both came with their own set of pros and cons.

Single Global Page

  • Large global fan count
  • One Page in search
  • One vanity URL

BUT…

  • No way to localize content/look (i.e. cover photo, profile picture)
  • Limited regional insights data
  • Geo-targeting can be tiresome

Local Pages

  • Localized look to Pages
  • Regional insights data

BUT…

  • Search is cluttered
  • Fan counts are smaller (Fans tend to check the validity of the Page by the Fan count first)
  • No global community

Facebook has eliminated some of these pain points by introducing Global Pages for those brands with managed accounts (i.e. those with an Account Manager at Facebook).

What does this bring to the table? Read on…

  • Brands can have a Global Page and localized Pages (Local Pages), all using one Facebook URL.
  • Users will automatically see their most relevant Local Page, determined by a number of factors, including the users IP address.
  • Brands will have the ability to learn about all customers through one set of global insights, which include robust localized data.
  • Aggregated Like count and PTAT stats shown across all Pages.
  • Eliminates a cluttered Facebook search experience by only offering one brand Page option. Which also eliminates the possibility of a Fan liking the wrong Local Page.

Global Pages can…

  • Offer a localized look, such as localized cover photo, profile picture, news feed, apps, milestones, ‘about’ section and even a translated brand name.
  • Direct those fans without a Local Page to the Global Page as the default.
  • Group audiences by language. i.e. All English-speaking fans could be directed to one Local Page for US, UK etc. – N.B. This approach is not recommended if detailed demographic data is important to you
  • Geo-target posts on Local Pages to specific cities

Global Pages can’t…

  • Cover markets, you don’t cover – therefore if you want Local Pages, you must have the support in place in those countries to run those Pages, as Fans directed to Local Pages, will not receive updates posted by the default Global Page.
  • Show Local Page Managers stats from other Local Pages or the Global Page.
  • Publish from the Global Page to all Local Pages – Local Page Managers must post their own separate updates.

One of the major issues when choosing the single brand Page strategy was that brands lose the detailed demographic data they have with the individual local brand Pages. This update means that brands get the best of both worlds, one simple, clean URL and the robust analytics of a local Page.

Aside from a simpler search process, the user experience will remain unchanged. Fans won’t see the redirect; they will automatically see the localized Page. If a Fan prefers to receive updates from a different region, they still have the ability to select an alternative Local Page by clicking ‘Switch Region” in the gear menu near the cover photo.

Brands are now only left asking themselves two questions:

  • Do we have adequate support in local markets?
  • Do we have local audiences, which would benefit from regular targeted content and a localized look?

If the answer to both is yes, then leveraging Global Pages is the solution.

Global Pages are a great addition for large global organizations with worldwide markets and a support infrastructure to match. For these organisations, the decision is a no-brainer. If they have the support necessary to run several Pages and they desire the clout of a global Fan count and a single URL, then this is the obvious choice for them. They can localize the look and the content and keep track of their local audiences’ wants and needs – all without losing out on any Global stats.

For those brands that don’t have adequate support in local markets or don’t feel they could generate enough local content to warrant a separate Local Pages? — The old single brand Page structure is the most beneficial. Local Pages can, of course, be added as the brand and it’s markets change and grow.

For smaller brands, aside from probably having less of a need for a global presence, it is likely that they won’t have a Facebook Account Manager and therefore the Global Pages option won’t yet be available to them.

Five Reasons Not To Abandon Email

At this point, we all know that social media is a powerful tool for business and, if leveraged correctly, can be an essential part of your marketing plan. Does this mean that social media should replace email? We say no and here’s why…

1. Road to Conversion

Email marketing is the perfect bedfellow to social media; together they form a holistic approach to project your message to a broad audience. For example, social media campaigns or newsletter opt-in promotions can be used to gain email addresses from fans and bring them into your contact list. Email marketing allows a brand to be more directly sales orientated than may be acceptable on a social media site.

2. Perfect Partner

Chances are, your email-marketing list is more robust than your fan or follower counts. Email can also be used to promote your social presence, drive awareness that you exist on social media, and provide more opportunities for you to connect with your customers. Users can be encouraged to follow you on social channels for daily updates and social sharing can be enabled to help grow your audience and drive traffic to your website. Judging by Twitter’s recent decision to start sending personalized weekly updates to their users, they also must agree that email is a useful ally.

3. Freedom Of Choice

Some of your customers may still be reluctant to let brands into their social space and most still expect to be able to subscribe to email updates. An email address can be procured at the point of sale, and this puts you in the driving seat to start a relationship. Customers who are already interested in your brand or have already bought from you are your most valuable contacts and email is a great way to get advertising copy to those people.

4. Permanence

Email is not as time sensitive as the transient social media update which lives in an ever-moving News Feed. It can be opened by the recipient at their leisure and can be referenced time and again. Whilst it is true that a subscriber can still choose not to open an email, they will at least have the choice. Email messages also allow you the freedom to get your full message across rather than the more fun and engaging but truncated messages via social media.

5. Personal Touch

Emails can be customised using details from your database to add a personal touch to your communications. A users name can be added, a product review of a recent purchase can be requested, or you can send directly relevant content to them based on their interest preferences. This customisation allows your messages to be personal and targeted, meaning users are less likely to unsubscribe – allowing you to build longer-term relationships and encourage repeat business.

Social media and email should be complementary channels that promote your business and each other. Maximise the potential of both by ensuring that they are fully integrated with each other in your marketing plan.