May 2013 Issue #2
The Customer Service Payoff in Social Media Monitoring
CustomerThink / Social Media Today
Originally focused on corporate and brand reputation management, social media monitoring now centers on social listening for customer engagement and customer relationship management, according to a recent Gleanster report
. The study shows customer service closely follows public relations as a top reason to invest in social media monitoring. In Customer Service is Changing the Social Media Monitoring Industry
, Leon Chaddock of Sentiment Metrics
is quoted: "A standard monitoring tool is great for charts and trends and understanding what's going on, but it's not the ideal place for customer service." Brands are now placing importance on social listening and multichannel customer engagement, recognizing that consumer reviews can be more influential than brand marketing.
What does the migration of social media monitoring to customer service mean for PR pros and marketers? The public relations and reputation management value of social media monitoring will continue, but PR and marketing will likely become more closely allied with the customer service function and process. Many experts advocate a "hub" arrangement in which PR, marketing, and customer service all cooperate in developing and implementing a social media monitoring strategy and program.
In 8 Simple Ways to Monitor Your Competitors
, Freddy Aurso encourages using The Godfather Strategy of social media monitoring: keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Aurso advises companies to follow competitors and their key followers on social media. He also discourages relying on Google Alerts — which only deliver news, not social media clips — and dismisses it as "the absolute minimum for any company that is serious about its business."
The Successful Pitch Deck to Raise Capital
In PR, "pitching" is the process of media placement. In finance, "pitching" aims to raise angel or venture funding. The storytelling techniques are quite similar for both, and PR pros often help with venture-funding presentations. Ignoring warnings against sharing successful pitch decks, Buffer founders Leo Widrich and Joel Gascoigne provide a real-world case study in The Pitch Deck We Used to Raise $500,000 for Our Startup
. Widrich's post breaks down the most important points in building a successful pitch deck to investors. The two entrepreneurs include the slides they used in raising half a million dollars to fund Buffer, a social media app that allows you to schedule posts. Their key slide: Traction. Investors want numbers, a plan and its potential growth in the industry. Their second most important slide was a visual representation of where Buffer stands among its competition.
It's PR, Not the Product, That Makes Start-Ups Stand Out
How do you distinguish your new business from a sea of startups? "The hard truth is that no one cares about the latest whiz bang product or service released by an unknown company unless it does something amazing," Wendy Marx opines in The Truth About PR Done Right, and What it Does for Your Startup
. A great PR strategy and program — and yes there is such a thing — transforms a product or service into something truly meaningful that can "knock your socks off." As Marx puts it, "a good PR person can properly position your product or service, or yourself for that matter, so that people care." Key takeaway for start-ups and companies looking to boost sales: invest in a strong PR strategy that focuses on effective messaging and positioning.
Using SEO for PR Monitoring Purposes
PR pros understand the importance and techniques of search engine optimization (SEO) to generate website traffic. Lesser known is how SEO can track the success of your content marketing programs. SEO for PR: Gauging the Success of Content Marketing
suggests monitoring the SEO traffic and looking at a variety of data points, not just SEO rankings. PR pros can use Google Trends to track the before and after periods of campaigns and press releases. Another key suggestion: Monitor your shares, followers and likes for specific posts, and compare those numbers to competitors' posts on similar topics. This will help determine the most effective content for marketing and public relations.
How to Write Headlines and Photo Captions That Grab Attention
The Daily Egg / Daily Writing Tips
Understanding your target audience is key to writing an engaging headline, Scott Martin professes in How to Create Winning Headlines in 9 Simple Steps
. The article includes an outline for writing and testing headlines, complete with classic headline formulas that get readers' attention. Key words in headlines include "Warning," "Secrets," and "How to." For winning captions, 10 Tips About How to Write a Caption
advises using complete sentences, not titles, and matching the tone of the picture's text with the text of your article. Common mistake: Copying content from the article, making the caption redundant.
Shrinking Newsrooms Create PR Opportunity and Culture Clash
The lines between PR and journalism have indeed blurred, and as a result, PR pros have a gigantic opportunity to supply news, features and other content to digital newsrooms that don't have the manpower to fill their copious online space. Nick Lawrence addresses that opening in How PR Can Take Advantage of Our Changing Media
. The result is two-fold: a benefit for both PR agencies and their clients to supply and deliver content, and a culture clash between PR and journalism. PR pros will now take on new roles as journalists: researching data, conducting interviews and producing stories. Since story-driven content marketing is so effective, Lawrence backs the longtime practice of PR firms employing experienced journalists, who are natural storytellers, to create the new digital content.
The Associated Press Revises Social Media Policy
The Associated Press / EContent
The Associated Press has updated its social media guidelines
, which now encourage AP staffers to be sensitive to sources after handling dangerous or tragic events and to avoid circulating rumors on social media. As The Conundrum of News Gathering on Twitter
explains, major events like the attacks at the Boston Marathon highlight the need to remind staff to be cautious and use good judgment when gathering and releasing news on social media. LA Times'
online managing editor Jimmy Orr recommends using Twitter as a "tip sheet;" always verifying the post's content and source identity before relaying information. Adhering to the AP media guidelines can be good practice for bloggers and other writers in social media.
Being Proactive is Key in Crisis Management, Adidas Demonstrates
Adidas Group / Huffington Post
The collapse of a Bangladesh clothing factory that claimed over 1,000 lives in late April sparked a crisis situation for clothing companies that operate similar factories in foreign countries. But Adidas, which coordinated with independent Chinese NGOs five years ago to launch a workers' complaint hotline
, illustrates how being proactive can ease PR crisis efforts and possibly even save lives. Adidas is now encouraging its Asian factory workers to share any work grievances via text messages. As Adidas explains in a recent Huffington Post article
, the crisis management tactic works efficiently: "Problems can be detected early on and be tackled before they result in greater problems because of the direct, personal and simple communication." Starting a digital complaint box may be an effective strategy for many organizations.
SMMW: The Most Important Trends in Social Media
Social Media Examiner
The Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego last month highlighted important social media trends and how they can be utilized by PR and marketing. 26 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Pros
gathers the best ideas from the conference on content strategies, calls to action and engagement, as well as notable quotes from its leading speakers. One good idea: Target Twitter users who have touch points with your brand but are not already following you, and use a CTA post to engage them, panelist Kyle Lacy of Exact Target advised. Another essential trend for audience growth is to tune into what's being talked about, Marcus Sheridan recommends. Search monthly for the most common phrases and their key word ranks.
Essential Metrics and How to Measure Them
Raven Tools / Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Social media isn't impossible to measure; you just have to measure what matters to your company. For a complete run-down of the most important metrics, why they matter and how to measure them, read Courtney Seiter's 30 Social Media Metrics that Prove Real Value
. The research conveniently groups metrics into Activity, Reach, Engagement, Acquisition and Conversion, so you know what the metric is actually measuring. Quite often, a metric can be incorrectly attributed, as Russ Henneberry acknowledges in How to Truly Measure the Success of Social Media
. If consumers engage with your products through multiple interactions, your analytics may only mark the last interaction method as the efficient one. Through his "First Interaction Attribution" and "Linear Attribution" models, Henneberry explains how to be sure you're not overlooking successful channels to ROI.
Marketing Metrics that Executives Notice
How can marketers explain ROI when the complexity of how customers make decisions increases exponentially? Measurement should provide signals for where you need to optimize your efforts and improve your effectiveness, John Ellett explains. In The Metrics That Will Make Your CMO Love You
, Ellet breaks down his outline to a successful marketing strategy in three steps: Connect your marketing efforts to revenue generation, understand the behavior of your customers and measure the impact of converged media for improved collaboration.
Klout vs. Reader Engagement: Which Has More Value?
Businesses Grow / The Social Craft
In a partnered initiative with Bing called "Klout Experts," Klout users' activities and scores will now affect their content's search ranking. The move creates interesting implications for the emerging world of social influence, Mark Schaefer speculates in Klout Innovation Will Power Search Engine Results
. Currently, content high on search results is the product of optimization and advertising, but now, having lots of "Klout" will boost rankings.
This is an issue for researchers like Cindy Meltzer, who reports that influence can't be measured by a single number in Blogger Influence: How Brands Measure It, and How Bloggers Wish They Would
. While most brands request statistics for the amount of Twitter and Facebook followers and blog traffic, some bloggers insist that reader engagement has more value. A blogger with a smaller, but more loyal and trusting readership, has more influence than a blog with large viewership — which more brands and PR firms now recognize and accept. Which means that the Klout Experts initiative could potentially lose influential bloggers in the shuffle.
Language and Taboos of Social Media
HubSpot / Business2Community
The Marketer's Guide to Proper Social Media Etiquette
examines taboos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest — all of which marketers would be wise to learn and avoid. Some are common knowledge, such as avoiding too many hashtags in one tweet. Others are more subtle. Important for LinkedIn, which has a much more professional tone than other networks: stick to posts about product updates, industry-specific news and thought leadership discussions, and limit your queries for product recommendations. You can also stay up-to-date on social media with Over 40 Twitter Abbreviations You Should Know
, which lists online "slang" that can help you understand your audience's abbreviations. It's probably best to abstain from using them in marketing posts to avoid the risk of looking unprofessional, but it doesn't hurt to know how to use a #FF trend to your advantage.
Successful Webinars Start with Quality Marketing
Convince and Convert
Webinars are proven effective in generating leads and establishing your company as a key influencer in its field. Gini Dietrich's 14 Steps to Hosting a Successful Webinar
presents a guide for promoting your webinar during the month leading up to its air date. Most registrations for the event will not come from social media, Dietrich advises, so focus on news releases, email campaigns and blog posts. Two weeks before the webinar, use Facebook and Google ads as an inexpensive way to try to attract new visitors that may not know about your business. Finally, remember to record the webinar (half of those who register will not show up, she reveals) so you can send a link of the recording out to those who didn't attend. You can then also promote the availablity of the Webcast on Demand
A Marketer's Inspiration for Infographics and Vine
Pinterest / Melamed Riley
A fashion show of infographics, The Best Infographics of 2012
aggregates a year's worth of infographics on various content, subjects and topics. Even if you're not creating an infographic anytime soon, the page gathers a multitude of interesting how-to's and statistics, including: how 10 popular brands got their start, a comparison of social media and search marketing, and a list of ways to optimize your Pinterest page. Best Practices from Brands Rocking It on Vine
displays another visual list of brand content that successfully employs the new 6-second video format. The videos acknowledge brands that take innovative and influential marketing approaches on Vine, whether it's via storytelling, promotions, personal experiences or just entertaining videos.
Priceless Parodies on Digital Media
10 Hilarious Digital Media Parodies
proves that one of the funniest things to mock on the Internet and social media happens to be Internet and social media . Our favorite: a satirical commercial for the iPhone 5, which boasts a new foot-long phone to make scrolling "a thing of the past."
How Social Media Changed the Game of Baseball
Communications professionals may be surprised at how social media has impacted various industries. In How the Rise of Social Media Has Changed the Game of Baseball Forever
, MLB reporter Zachary D. Rymer acknowledges how social media was a game-changer for baseball. Like any industry, social media has its pros and cons: It allows fans to look at players as regular people and connect with them, but its knack for circulating rumors frequently places players and coaches on the hot seat. Baseball fans will especially enjoy the examples of how baseball players and sports media are using Twitter.
Factoids of the Week:
70% of questions from Facebook fans go unanswered by brands. (SocialBakers)
Facebook content posted later in the day gets more likes and shares. Likes peak around 8 p.m. EST while shares peak around 6 p.m. (HubSpot)
Nearly 50% of journalists will delete an email pitch that contains several of the top buzzwords, like: "Leading," "Influencer," "Dynamic," and "Phenomenon." (Pressat)
Quotes of the Week:
"Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business." —Zig Ziglar, Author and Motivational Speaker
"Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds." — Albert Einstein
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— Integrated Marketing Week
, hosted by the Direct Marketing Association and Econsultancy, will be held June 10 in New York, New York. The cost to attend is $715.50 for one day, $1,165.50 for two days and $1,525 for all three days.
PR & Marketing Job Openings
The listing for this issue includes PR job openings and marketing positions — with detailed job descriptions for each. Readers are invited to submit job postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of Previous Issues
Determining Your Media Monitoring Needs
Print News Monitoring Vs. Online News Monitoring
Broadcast Monitoring for TV & Radio News
Selecting a Social Media Monitoring Service
F.r.e.e & Low-Cost News Release Distribution Services
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ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
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