June 2013 Issue #2
Vine: Marketing and PR with 6-Second Videos
MediaBistro / Fame Foundry / Mashable / ClickZ
Vine, the Twitter app that allows users to share 6-second videos, already has achieved a top spot on Apple's App store since its release in January. Users post 5 Vines on average per second, according to research from Unruly
. The videos also receive substantial engagement, creating an effective new marketing channel.
Four Months Later, Vine Is Earning Its Keep
among marketers, Eric Sevick declares. Twitter users share branded Vines four times more often than branded online videos because they are less disruptive, load quickly and are, as Sevick explains, "a perfectly digestible nugget of content." Smaller brands benefit because Vine provides a free, simple way to expose their names to a large audience.
How do marketers get started with Vine? After downloading the app onto your phone (it's now available on Android phones, too), the actual video-making process is quite easy — it requires little more than using your finger to stop and start recording.
The difficult part comes in developing creative ideas for videos. Jason Ferster explains Vine's abbreviated format complements Twitter's 140-character count perfectly, "so the name of the game is just the same: whatever you share, make it quick and compelling." A good place to begin: create a Vine that introduces your company in a behind-the-scenes way, as Ferster recommends in Vine 101: 10 Ways to Engage Your Customers in 6 Seconds or Less
. Ferster offers different ways marketers can use Vine — to increase engagement as a trivia game, to introduce new products, and to celebrate special events and holidays, to name a few.
For advanced Vine creators, Christine Erickson shares 11 Types of Vine Videos You Haven't Tried
. Some of the ideas are simple, like the dramatic "white-out" method, while stop-animation and 360 tactics offer challenging (but entrancing) approaches to promote brands. When hunting for ideas, it's best to set your brain to "Vine mode" throughout the day so that you'll recognize good Vine material when you see it, Jeremy Cabalona recommends in 12 Ways to Make your Videos Stand Out
As Vine is a Twitter app, don't forget to employ hashtags in your Vines, Greg Jarboe reminds in How to Use Twitter's Vine App
. Trending hashtags provide brands with the opportunity to engage potential customers with their videos, and by monitoring hashtags, you can assess the ROI of campaign efforts. One hashtag that is always popular on Vine is #loop, so try tackling a loop video (Cabalona also offers advice on how to do so) once you're experienced with the app.
See also: A Beginner's Guide to Using Vine
SMM Standards Coalition Defines Standards and Best Practices for Social Media Measurement
K.D. Paine / SMM Standards / AMEC
After 18 months of deliberation, the Conclave has issued the Complete Social Media Measurement Standards
for key social media metrics. The Conclave is a broad coalition of B2B and B2C companies, PR and social media agencies, and industry associations including the Institute for PR, the Council of PR Firms and the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC). The new standards set by the committee include definitions and best practices for six prominent social media measurement areas:
1. Content and Sourcing
2. Reach and Impressions
3. Engagement and Conversation
5. Opinion and Advocacy
6. Impact and Value
Completing a definition of standards for social media measurement is Perhaps the Most Important Social Media Launch of the Year
, notes K.D. Paine, who served as co-leader of the committee. With the new social media measurement standards, PR pros can share intelligent reports to engage stakeholders; connect social media to ROI, business goals and marketing objectives; and integrate social media with sales reports and web analytics to evaluate trends. AMEC reported that the ultimate goal in defining standards was so social media could be measured across the company.
Each committee-approved standard was posted on www.smmstandards.org
for review and comments, and was then modified based on public comments. The most recent postings are the standards for Influence and Opinion and Advocacy, which are open for comment until July 31.
PR to Play a Critical Role in the Changing Economic Landscape
Altimeter / PRtini
A collaborative economy is the next phase of social business, Jeremiah Owyang forecasts in his analysis Corporations Must Join the Collaborative Economy
. Through social media and technologies, customers have already begun sharing products and services with each other — redefining the buyer-seller relationship and putting companies that don't adapt to the new economy at risk. The solution: Companies must rethink their business models by becoming a company-as-a-service, motivating a marketplace or providing a platform, Owyang suggests.
These new models put PR pros in a critical role to help brands navigate and thrive during the period of transition, Heather Whaling declares in 5 PR Opportunities in the Collaborative Economy
. As brands begin to reevaluate their business models to align with consumers' purchasing behaviors, opportunities will arise for PR pros to build and cultivate these new relationships. Referencing Owyang's statement that "People want to rely on people, not just companies," Whaling notes it will be up to PR pros to "humanize" the nameless, faceless corporations. PR will play a key role in bridging the gap between the company and its constituents, and in repositioning businesses as a company-as-a-service.
Public Relations & Marketing Silos are Suicide
All corporate functions including PR blur into the sales. While PR pros like Jayme Soulati insist the Blending of PR with Marketing Is Its Death
, Amy Tobin maintains that the opposite is true: Silo-d PR is Business Suicide
, Tobin argues. Public relations strategies should be at the foundation of all marketing and sales efforts. Referencing thought leaders Danny Brown and Gini Dietrich, Tobin explains that "hybrid" PR professionals with skills in media and blogger relations, content marketing, and SEO succeed not because the definition or traditional skills of PR has changed, but because the channels to communicate with others and to disseminate information are changing. Businesses will prosper from PR programs that reflect that fact.
An Online Reputation Guide: Avoiding and Resolving Bad Reviews
Resolving mistakes and interacting with frustrated consumers is vital to maintain a solid online reputation, explains The Ultimate Guide to Avoid and Resolve Negative Reviews
. Simple mitigation gestures usually cost a business very little compared to the damage that could be created by an upset client, Brook Zimmatore reasons. As for resolving bad reviews already in existence, first ensure that you have addressed the issue internally, and then publicly offer to fix the problem for the critic. Not only does this remove the harm, but is a powerful marketing strategy and makes clients feel taken care of. The takeaway that is also the "powerful law in PR": When you cannot appease an antagonistic person with great customer service, then that person has other agendas or ethical issues. In such cases, it may be time to look for support from a lawyer or cyber forensics expert.
Using PR to Propel Your Company's Blog
Blogging is a powerful marketing tool, but requires diligent PR work to jumpstart its exposure, visibility and traffic. Blogging PR Secrets and Style Guides - What's In and Out
includes a checklist of SEO, promotional and content structuring tactics to gain increased readership of your personal or company blog. Optimization is among the most effective tactics. The article advises integrating WordPress SEO Plugins; editing headlines, image file names and content so they are keyword-friendly; and adding an author page and Google Authorship tag. Keeping employees in the loop with the latest posts and encouraging them to share socially can also help promote the blog. The Power of the Double-Whammy Headline: How to Increase the Chances of Your Content Being Read
explains that sometimes, two ideas are better than one. Try integrating complex headlines, complete with colons, hyphens and parentheses, so that the first line pulls you in, while the second half of the headline "knocks you out."
How to Pitch Broadcast Journalists
While online news and social media get the most attention from PR, it's a mistake to ignore the tuned-in audience of broadcast media, Allie Tedone asserts in PR Secrets of Breaking into Broadcast
. When pitching to broadcast journalists with whom you don't have a strong relationship, Tedone advises sending your pitch in the beginning of the week, when "broadcast media are most hungry." Since TV is a visual medium, it's helpful to have a visual clip to pitch, she adds. This might be a video of your spokesperson in past interviews or media mentions about your company and/or the subject you're pitching (these clips can be obtained from media monitoring suppliers that offer broadcast monitoring). Clips can be helpful to explain the bigger story to journalists, and also act as a proof of performance so the journalists can get a sense of how well your spokesperson interacts on TV.
Twitter Trends for the PR Professional
Search Engine Watch / Media Bistro
As Twitter evolves, so do the opportunities to build relationships with journalists, share content and generate leads. In 13 Twitter PR Secrets to Report News, Gain Publicity and Build Relationships
, Lisa Buyer unveils PR trends and tactics for Twitter. The secrets include a graph of the best times to tweet (depending on the day) and a list of tips to increase media coverage. Note: Tweeting later in the day gets a higher click-through rate than tweeting in the morning. Buyer also encourages PR pros to utilize Twitter Cards, which attach to your tweets to richly represent your link's content. Use the app PitchEngine, and your tweets will automatically render with Twitter cards, she hints.
In What I Have Learned from Writing 2,000 Articles about Twitter
, Shea Bennett shares his years of experience. He includes advice on how to get more followers, handling your tweets and followers' tweets and managing brand pages. He maintains that having key influencers follow you is more important than trying to amass as many followers as possible. Additionally, there's no "magic" number of people you should follow — everyone on Twitter is connected, so news will always filter through to you if you're connected to industry leaders. Bottom line: It's more valuable to follow the right people and have the right people following you. And the "right people" are different for mostly every industry and company.
What to Expect While Meeting with Venture Capitalists
The most difficult thing to explain to an investor is your plan to grow, Brian Moran affirms in an interview, 12 of the Hardest Questions Venture Capitalists Will Ask You
. According to Moran, investors want to know how you'll out-do everything you've already done. Explain to them the staffing or product creations that will help you have the business you want to have. Brent Beshore, another leading entrepreneur, cautions: don't even approach investors until you've achieved traction. If you do, you'll be left with answering the question, "Why haven't you gotten traction?" Perhaps most importantly, hopeful entrepreneurs must research and make the case for how they stand out from other similar companies in the market. Consider how your offering, approach, technology and team makes your company suitable for success.
Pocket Guide to Social Media Measurement for PR
As Seth Godin contends, "Measurement is fabulous. Unless you're busy measuring what's easy to measure as opposed to what's important." Measuring what's important means tying it to your business goals. Pocket Guide to PR Social Measurement
includes a helpful chart that proposes metrics you should be measuring and their measurement process, as determined by the business goal. Developed by Don Bartholomew of Ketchum, the chart ties social media metrics to four important business functions: customer service, marketing, talent acquisition and listening. Bartholomew then provides each function's use for social media and PR, the metrics to measure it and its ROI. Key marketing metrics: awareness, purchase consideration and brand preference. Marketers should measure their efforts from e-commerce, product promotions, fundraising and testing to evaluate revenue generation.
Customer Service Data: Treasure Trove for Marketing
Direct Marketing News
Once viewed as a cost center and silo, customer service is now a key source of customer data for marketers. Marketers need to dig for valuable data housed in customer service, which can include call recordings with customers' opinions, concerns and recommendations — all of which marketers can use to uncover trends, customer preferences and customer views on competitors, Ginger Conlon explains in Customers Are Talking. Are You Listening?
Learning what your customers are expecting and the opportunities that are available yields actionable strategies that, when completed, can be shared with customers to show that their input matters. Bottom line: Understanding + data = engagement.
The Latest Tools & Trends in Social Media Marketing
David Moth, a former journalist-turned-content marketer, shares his blogging expertise in 11 Things I've Learned from Writing 1,000 Blog Posts
. The importance of readership numbers is largely misconstrued, Moth says: many bloggers aim to gain as many page views as possible, but if you're not bringing in the right type of readers who actually purchase your products, then it's all for naught. During his time at eConsultancy, Moth also learned that news blogs are nowhere near as effective as blogs with tips and best-practice posts — news can be retrieved from a number of sources and has a short shelf life, but insights are evergreen. When it comes to content, it's best to use subheads, lists and bullet-points to break up the page. And, as always in corporate communications avoid clichés, jargon and puns.
Creative Social Media Marketing Strategies for Uninteresting Brands
For brands that sell products that are inherently uninteresting — toilet paper or household supply brands, for example — Lindsey Plocek recommends giving consumers a mission beyond your products. In No One is Advocating for Your Brand. Now What?
, Plocek explains that brands should aim to solve a problem and reveal higher-level values so consumers can become emotionally involved. One example of this strategy succeeding: Dawn, the dish soap brand, which gained a loyal customer following by prioritizing wildlife safety following the BP oil spill. The Dawn Everyday Wildlife Champions Facebook page now has a loyal and committed fan base with nearly half a million likes. In another interesting strategy, brands turn to customers for marketing: during Kleenex's "Feel Good" campaign, the tissue brand found 50 people tweeting about feeling sick and sent them surprise care packages. All 50 reacted by uploading photos of the care package to social networks.
The Most Important SEO Page-Ranking Factors
Search Engine Journal
There are roughly 200 factors that affect a website's ranking in Google. While Google has not publicly released all its ranking factors, research from Entrepreneur.com and Backlinko illustrated in an Infographic of Google's 200 Ranking Factors
provides a comprehensive analysis of key elements to optimize your website. The well-organized and thorough graphic, which cites Google's Quality Guidelines document, CEO Eric Schimdt and Google's head of webspam team Matt Cutts, is organized into domain, page-level, site-level and backlink factors as well as several other elements involved in Google's algorithm.
Definite social signals include verified Google+ authorship and Facebook shares, which probably have a stronger influence than Facebook likes. Optimized pages have domain names with a keyword as the first word, a large number of words (at least 2,000), and a fast page-loading speed. Up for debate is the reading level of sites. Some say a basic reading level equals better optimization because it appeals to the masses, while others, like Linchpin SEO, discovered that a higher reading level separates the quality sites from content mills.
Brands, Bloggers Advised to Disclose Endorsements on Social Media
The New York Times
A lack of endorsement disclosures on social media is starting to draw the attention of federal officials, The New York Times
reports in Disruptions: Celebrities' Product Plugs on Social Media Draw Scrutiny
. Under FTC guidelines, companies and celebrities risk breaking "Dot Com Disclosures" when they endorse brands and products on social media without clarifying sponsorship. Times'
warning isn't just for celebrities: Bloggers and anyone being paid to promote a product via social media must consider the ramifications of paying for "plugs." Violations can result in fines and a loss of loyalty from angry followers. Brands, in turn, are responsible for the action of their spokespeople, and should inform them of their disclosure obligations. There are no specific FTC rules on the language needed to clarify sponsorships, but advertising and media attorney Linda Goldstein recommends simply using the word "ad" to preface a tweet — it only takes up two extra characters.
The Most Used & Most Effective Business Tools for Agencies
Most agency executives rank LinkedIn as the most effective social media platform, according to a survey conducted by The Definitive Guide to New Business Tools
. The guide reveals a list of categories for what executives consider the best in business tools. Hootsuite is the most-used social media monitoring tool among agencies, but executives noted a high level of dissatisfaction for all tools in the social media monitoring category. Such tools are time consuming, can't be tied to ROI and are difficult to find actionable insights, according to the survey, which "certainly suggests there might be room for a new and improved method for monitoring."
HubSpot is the most used inbound marketing program, but Marketo was rated to be the most effective. The most widely used SEO tool is Google Analytics (no surprise), while the best tool for survey research is SurveyMonkey. The Definitive Guide also disclosed that fewer than half of all agencies use a list service or CRM. Of those that do use CRM software, Salesforce was rated the most effective, but only by 26% of those surveyed — the rest said that all CRM software was essentially the same.
The most-used tools in business:
Social Media Platform - LinkedIn
SEO Tools - Google Analytics
Meeting/Webinar Platform - GoToWebinar
Presentation Software - PowerPoint
Research Service - Hoovers and Forrester
Project Management - Base Camp
Email/Auto-responder Service - Mail Chimp
Survey Software - SurveyMonkey
Social Media Monitoring Tool - Hootsuite
CRM Software - Salesforce
Prospect Contact/List-Building Service - The List
Inbound Marketing Platform - HubSpot
The Reading List for Media Training, Crisis Management and Body Language
Mr. Media Training
In his compilation Read These Books: Public Speaking, Media Training & Crisis
, media training specialist Brad Phillips lists a collection of his 13 favorite reads on communications. While his selections cover a wide range of PR subjects, he also includes two books on a relatively obscure subject: body language. The reason? It's an important communications technique when meeting clients or interviewing sources. "What Every Body is Saying" by Joe Navarro explains how to read body language, while "The Definitive Book of Body Language" offers the basics of gestures, eye contact and deceit signals, as well as the hidden meanings of seating arrangements and physical space.
How to Cut Down on Unwanted Phone Calls
Just Ask Kim
Everyone receives phone calls they don't want to answer. Unfortunately, the National "Do Not Call" registry can't stop personal, political or survey calls, but it does protect you from irritating calls from telemarketers by removing your number from commercial solicitation phone number databases. How to Report Someone Calling a "Do Not Call Number"
explains the process to register your number on the list, and how to report numbers who still call once you're listed (it's illegal to do so). A proactive hint: When filling out web forms that ask for your phone number, use 000-000-0000 so that your actual number doesn't end up in a database that is bought by unscrupulous marketers.
Factoids of the Week:
50% of B2B content seekers listed "too many download requirements" as the most frustrating characteristic of B2B content. Also in the top 3: "blatantly promotional" (43%) and "non-substantive and uninformed" (34%). (CMO Council)
80% of online content is now user-generated. (Fjord)
70% of consumers feel most loyal to brands that listen to their feedback, while 98% are either likely or highly likely to purchase a product they helped ideate. (Crowdtap)
Quote of the Week:
"A goal is a dream with a deadline." — Napoleon Hill
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— 4th Annual PR Summit
, hosted by Graffiti PR, will be held July 30 in San Francisco, Ca. The cost to attend is $300.
— Content Marketing World 2013
, hosted by Content Marketing Institute, will be held Sept. 9 in Cleveland, OH. The cost to attend is $1,295 for the full conference, $395 for the workshop and $695 for the summit.
— SES Conference & Expo
, hosted by SES, will be held Sept. 10 in San Francisco, Ca. The cost to attend is $1,495 for three days and $1,300 for two 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 email@example.com
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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