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/

The Evolution of Social Media at Adobe

Maria PoveromoA lot of brands are still trying to solve for social media organization, activation and ROI. We thought we’d share a Q&A we had with Maria Poveromo, who has led and evolved our own social media efforts, to share some successes and takeaways from the past year.

What are your thoughts on the value of social business to an organization, and can you talk about how Adobe is organized around social media?

Social media represents a tremendous opportunity and paradigm shift for brands. For several years, brands were at the center of their marketing efforts – they controlled the message, their story, and how it was told publicly through designated spokespeople. Social media has turned this traditional communications model on its head. Today, customers are at the center of communications. In many cases, they can drive and shift brand perceptions by vocalizing their views on a brand or its products and services.  Social media has also enabled brands to build direct relationships with customers at a level of magnitude that is unprecedented.  The brands that embrace these shifts stand to win.  So it is critical for businesses today to organize their social media programs, resource them adequately, engage with customers authentically and measure their effectiveness in order to be successful.

Adobe’s social media program was founded in December 2009 after we discovered great pockets of innovation across the company that were occurring in silos and lacking an overarching strategy. We adopted the popular “Hub and Spoke” model. The hub (or center of excellence) would enable more coordinated and strategic social media across the company through a common set of guidelines, trainings, and infrastructure, while the spokes (subject matter experts) would drive day-to-day social strategies for their specific line of business.  Today, Adobe has moved towards the multiple hub and spoke model, where teams worldwide have established their own hub and spokes based on growing needs, with a dotted line to the teams at corporate.

2012 was a year where social media played a larger role in Adobe’s integrated campaign efforts like Create Now and Metrics Not Myths. There was room to test and take more risk. Thoughts on successes and takeaways for each campaign?

It is true that in 2012, social media started to play a strategic and critical role in campaign development and execution. The two primary campaigns that we launched as a company in 2012 were very different.

“Create Now” represents Adobe’s traditional DNA – enabling creative professionals to unleash their creativity with our tools and services.  With “Create Now,” we focused on introducing the Creative Cloud and the opportunities it introduced to create freely and receive ongoing product updates with a relatively low price barrier.

The “Create Now” campaign represented the first time we launched a social campaign in a truly global fashion with a diligent focus on measuring tangible ROI.  We delivered robust and engaging content to activate our fan base and experimented with games including real and virtual or online scavenger hunts to drive engagement.  We also encouraged trial downloads and eventually purchase of our new offering.   Through our rigorous measurement we were able to demonstrate high volumes of engagement with our customers, positive sentiment and significant ROI.

“Metrics not Myths” is a new type of campaign for Adobe.  While Adobe is traditionally associated with our creative side of the business, few people know that a large portion of Adobe’s business is also focused on digital marketing. In order to drive greater awareness for Adobe’s leadership position in digital marketing, we launched a provocative campaign that focused on debunking traditional myths about marketing.

Through this campaign we learned that not all of our experimental efforts will be successful.  In this case, we tried to establish a community of digital marketers on Facebook through an application through which we featured live debates and real time polling to engage our audience.  We did not attract the number of marketers that we hoped we would and the level of engagement was lower than our target but we were able to grow our Twitter and Facebook communities and learn from these efforts.

One aspect of the program that was highly successful was the “ultimate case study” where we published the real-time results and takeaways from the campaign as it was being executed.

I think we are learning as we go with both campaigns. For Create Now, we want to focus on the ongoing value that a Creative Cloud membership provides as members have access to ongoing updates and benefits. For “Metrics not Myths” we are targeting ourselves – digital marketers who are in the market for solutions that ease our day to day tasks and ultimately help us prove the ROI of our efforts. Both are challenging and exciting in their own ways.

Social media ROI is a hot topic. You have team that spearheads measurement, analytics and even social e-commerce. What’s your perspective on ROI for social, particularly a B2B organization?

Adobe is fortunate to own analytics solutions that allow us to track and determine the impact of our social media efforts against traditional demand generation success metrics such as trial download, website traffic, and ultimately, revenue.

However, I believe that the true value of social media extends beyond ROI and demand generation. To me, the true value of social media lies in the interactions a brand has with its customers, and the consequent actions those customers take on behalf of the brand by defending it in times of crisis and promoting their positive experiences with your brand with their extended networks. Business impact and ROI are most certainly very important – and we extend great effort to measure and report on these metrics in order to improve our programs and prove their worth.  At the same time, the value of building strong relationships with your customers is intangible but equally important.

Adobe just hit 10M fans and followers across its social media presence. Any plans you can share about activating them in the year ahead?

A primary focus of ours in 2013 will be to further activate our social media influencers and advocates by building more organized and consistent programs that recognize and reward our advocates for their actions. As mentioned, I believe the true value of social media lies in the relationships a brand builds with its customers.  We hope to continue to delight our fans and followers by listening to their requests and by continuing to deliver compelling and engaging content.

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day!

Birds of a Feather Community managers put in long hours making sure their communities are happy and thriving. They’re the face of the company to hundreds or even thousands of customers, and are sometimes the only company employee any customer will know by name.

Within their companies, they are the voice of the customer, reporting back on issues, concerns, successes, and requests. And yet all too often, they are the company’s unsung heroes.

Community Manager Appreciation Day is one small way to help balance those scales out. Today is a day to recognize these heroes and let them know they’re valued.

So here’s to community managers everywhere! Each in your way works to make the world a happier and more harmonious place. Thank you for all that you do.

Facebook’s New Graph Search

Facebook’s high level goals have always been centered on creating more connections, creating more interactions, and getting people to stay logged into Facebook for longer periods of time. As Forrester’s Nate Elliot pointed out, “Facebook’s worst nightmare is a static social graph”, which is a very real concern.

Facebook introduced Graph Search which enables users to search their own social graph; spending more time on Facebook and finding more people to connect and interact with. The Graph Search appears as a larger search bar at the top of the screen. Searches are constructed using phrases (“which of my friends have been to AT&T Park” rather than “SF Giants”) and a series of filters. Although Facebook has made it clear that this is not an engine to search the web, it does apply competitive pressure to Google, Bing, and other search engines since this will potentially create more advertising opportunities on Facebook.

The new feature is currently in beta; if you want to take it for a test drive, you can request that here.

FBGraphSearch1

Individuals

This new product is aimed at helping individuals discover more people and content to Like, comment on, or otherwise engage with. No new content is made available or public; it is just that which a person would already be able to see browsing around in Facebook.  While making it easier to find friends that also love banjos or help to plan a Game of Thrones party, it could also turn into a way to easily find social recommendations for local businesses, much like what Yelp does but with more social context.

Businesses

Facebook Graph Search will include paid results, such as Sponsored Stories. This paves the way to sell more of these ads as more people explore Facebook through Graph Search. It also sets the stage for future ad products that are even more targeted and personalized. Similar to Google, Facebook will be able to develop a database on how people search, in addition to the wealth of other knowledge they have on people.

In addition to the Yelp-like use case I mentioned above, Graph Search has implications for larger brands as well. Facebook is encouraging brands to “continue to invest in [their] page[s]”, making sure that all the information listed is up to date and as complete as possible.  A brand’s content or pages can be populated in search results organically if they are relevant. For example, someone searching for “web development tools my friends like” might see the Adobe Dreamweaver page populated in the results.  A search for “Creative events near me” could point the searcher towards the Adobe MAX page if they live in the area or if their friends have liked that page.

FBGraphSearch2

Now What?

This would be a good time to make sure any information you have posted (like photos and interests) are up to date and still what you want to be shared. It is also a good time to review your privacy settings to make sure you are only sharing what you think you are.

For businesses, this will mean an increased emphasis on relevant content, complete profiles, and even fan counts, all of which will impact ranking. This also means it is important to make sure any off-Facebook sites that are linked to (like blogs or home pages) are optimized for Facebook sharing (i.e., meta data, preview images, etc.). As Facebook continues to develop its Graph Search, we will see more opportunities for brands to connect with and target specific customers, and see even greater importance placed on constructing a more relevant and engaging social presence.

 

More resources:

Facebook’s newsroom page

Huffington Post

Mashable

New Year, New Community Events

community There’s two community events coming up in the Bay Area, both in their fourth year, and both of which I’m pleased that Adobe is participating in.

The first is Community Manager Appreciation Day – January 28th. #CMAD, as it’s known on Twitter, is dedicated to highlighting the efforts of community managers – often the unsung heroes of a company.

If you’re a community manager and will be in San Francisco on the 28th, Adobe, in cooperation with Altimeter, Autodesk, Yammer, Lithium, and The Community Roundtable, will be hosting a Happy Hour at District Wine Bar. Please RSVP here and we hope to see you there!

The other event is the Community Leadership Summit West, an all-day unconference on February 2nd. Community managers and unconferences are a great combination, and each year I come away impressed with the depth of discussion and the great insights displayed. Whether you are a professional community manager, or an active volunteer, CLSWest is worth your time. You’ll meet some great people and learn a lot. You can sign up here.

I’ll be at both events and hope to see you there!