Month: November 2013

How to create engaging content for your Facebook fans

Facebook have taken a number of steps this year to become more celebrity-friendly, taking notes from Twitter, and introducing features which benefit users and personalities.

This year has seen the introduction of Facebook verified accounts, allowing users to recognise legitimate accounts (just like on Twitter) as well as hashtags, and a test of a ‘Trending Topics’ feature. Facebook have even hinted at introducing features, which will make it easier for celebrities to connect with fans in the near future.

So while you’re waiting for some of these fantastic new features roll out, how do you get the most out of Facebook as a personality (or brand)?

Rule #1 – Stick to Facebook best practices.

No matter who you are, if you’re using a social network, you need to use it correctly. Setting up a page and not using it a Facebook cardinal sin, it’s like having a phone you never answer. Post regularly and post the type of content that engages your audience. Text posts can often get the best reach, so mix it up with text, photo, video and links to keep your audience interested and interacting with your page.

Rule #2 – Be yourself

It sounds corny, but if you be yourself and show your personality online, it will be better for your personal brand.  People use Facebook to connect with friends, so by adding personal thoughts or the occasional candid photo to your page, you make it easier for your fans to feel like they are ‘friends’ with you.

Rule #3 – Give back to your community

There are so many fantastic ways to give back to your fans and thank them for being loyal followers. Ricky Martin recently hosted a live Q&A on his Facebook page, delighting fans when they received replies to their questions.  Use your page to host contests, answer questions, and provide fans with exclusive content or information. When you give fans an exclusive or reward, your content becomes social currency, an asset which is valuable to those who know about it and will share with those who don’t. You also strengthen your relationship with followers when you acknowledge and reward them for being fans no matter what.

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Rule #4 – You can get help

If you want the exposure, marketing opportunities and community support that social media can offer, but don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself, a social media manager can help. Stars including Star Trek’s George Takei, Britney Spears, Kanye West and more admit to having professional help with their social media. Takei himself admits to paying a ghost writer $10 per Facebook post. Whether you want to disclose it or not, having help with posting is beneficial for a number of reasons. It allows you to fill in gaps where you are too busy to post something yourself.  Also, if you have difficulty with spelling, grammar or expressing yourself through text, a ghost writer can help to make your message clear.

Example of content written by Lady Gaga herself and also by a page manager.
Example of content written by Lady Gaga herself and also by a page manager.

As a personality using social media, you have the benefit of your popularity to building page likes, and exciting, interesting content to drive engagement. There is a wealth of opportunities for using social media to maintain a loyal following of fans to support you in the years to come, and Facebook is a great place to start.

Twitter management tips – what you can learn from an Australian actor

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Look at the top celebrities on Twitter and take note of what makes them great to follow. They tweet frequently, talk about their personal lives as well as their work, and even chat with fans. You don’t need to be an ‘A’ list Hollywood celebrity to be popular on social media; you just need to follow a set of basic rules.

A homegrown example of top notch Twitter practices comes from Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars host Daniel MacPherson (@DanMacPherson). The former Neighbours actor has been popular on television for a number of years, and is now popular on Twitter too, with nearly 65,000 followers.

Twitter success is not just for actors and musicians; it’s available to industry leaders, professionals, athletes, and more. Twitter offers individuals and businesses alike the opportunity to chat about numerous topics, interact with followers and promote themselves.

What makes Daniel a Twitter pro?

Frequent tweets: Daniel tweets as Dancing with the Stars airs to get maximum interaction with fans and stay topical. He also tweets frequently in general, which creates and conveys excitement and liveliness, that what he’s doing is interesting and you should be interested.

Takeaway:  It’s common for people to use social media while watching television, so tweeting about a show or news story is a way to relate with fans through common interests. Tweeting frequently will give followers much more information on a subject and give them more to read, more reason to be interested, and thus more reason to follow.

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Use hashtags and @mentions: Being connected with a program or community has its benefits – as Daniel regularly uses the @DancingAu and #DancingAu identifiers in his tweets.

Takeaway: Using @ and # works in two ways – @mentions let others know you are talking about them (greater chance of a retweet), and hashtags add your tweet to a topic feed to be seen by others, eg. #DancingAU. There will always be relevant hashtags for you to use, no matter what industry you are in.

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Retweet and reply: Daniel regularly retweets content related to his work and hobbies, to show support to other twitter users and keep followers up to date with his activities and interests. He replies very often to follower tweets, which keeps fans happy and shows that he is a genuine, down to earth guy.

Takeaway: always reply to follower questions and comments in an appropriate manner. By replying, you let people know that you are happy to interact with them and shows respect to your followers. Similarly, retweeting someone else’s content will give them a warm, fuzzy feeling, and you might get an RT in return.

Show what makes you interesting: Daniel has a large following because he is on a popular TV show, but he also uses Twitter to showcase his travels in Australia and the USA, as well as his passion for Triathlon.

Takeaway: By tweeting about a broad range of topics, you give more fans a way to relate to you. In this way you can promote your other interests or activities, as well as your work. When fans can connect with you on a number of topics, it makes it easier to grow a following of engaged fans who will keep an interest in you as your life and career changes.

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Get visual: Daniel uploads interesting images from online, behind the scenes at Dancing with the Stars, his Instagram account, as well as links to videos he enjoys on YouTube.

Takeaway: The latest Twitter update means users will now see Twitter photos and Vine videos in the news feed without having to expand them. Pictures uploaded through Twitter and Twitpic are more likely to be retweeted (94% and 64% respectively). Capture your followers’ attention with pictures and videos that tell them what’s happening in your world.

Practicing these good Twitter habits will help you to get the most out of the platform and make yourself worth following. Using Twitter doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, but if you feel like you are struggling or don’t know where to start, a social media consultant can help you to become a Twitter pro. Ask us about how we can help you be successful on social media, and stay tuned for our next post on Facebook strategy.

Celebrity Marketing Australia – Social Media Strategy for Celebrities and Brands

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ellen De Generes has topped the list for the most followers on Instagram, with a whopping 3.04 million followers worldwide. Similarly, celebrities on Twitter like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry boast tens of millions of followers. Not only are these celebs connecting with fans, sharing news and entertaining the masses, they are developing their personal brands, and nurturing a loyal fan base to support them for the years ahead.

The most valuable asset you have, as someone with fame, influence or popularity, is yourself and your fans. Your celebrity status is your brand, you mould it around what type of work you do, your hobbies, charity or community work, as well as your attitude, values, and behaviour. As you want to maintain a reputable brand, one people can trust, relate to and consume for years to come, you need to start building a strong brand now. What’s the quickest and cheapest way to build your brand? Social Media.

Why is social media essential to celebs, influences and personalities?

Celebrities and personalities big and small should be embracing social media to grow a loyal fan base of people who will be your online word of mouth referral system when they need them most. Say you are a celebrity weather presenter, like Channel 9’s Steve Jacobs. Right now your job is great and you enjoy company-supplied publicity, but what happens when you want to move on and get another gig? Maybe you want to run your own business or write a book – what better way to spread the word about your new venture than by contacting your loyal online fan base? What happens if you lose your job? The person with a large social media following and well-established personal brand is going to be much more valuable to potential employers. If you can bring a strong following with you to your next job, your employer will be very happy, and you will benefit in the long run.

Creating a community of loyal fans will allow you to leverage your social currency, where your fans can have exclusive access to content and news. Social currency is the driver of advocacy and social sharing, as fans feel like they have access to something that others don’t, so they want to share what they know.

Endless supply of content, endless opportunities.

Celebrities and personalities have a bevy of potential content which is interesting to their fans, and could attract new fans who were previously unaware of your skills or charity work, for example. Given that the work you do is interesting to large groups of people, you could show off your interests, behind the scenes footage, host giveaways and run competitions. These types of content allow you to market your personality and create a personal connection with fans so that they feel they know you, can relate to you and support what you do. Social media is all about engaging in conversation and adding a human element to everything you do (this is what some brands do very well, and what some are yet to understand).

When a celebrity posts about their new album coming out or a new perfume release, they are still marketing their products, as any business would. The benefit for individuals is that they are a) not seen as a business in the way that, for example, Coca Cola is; and b) often have a more human element to their products that people can relate to more quickly and easily.

Frequent social media activity, such as live tweeting during events or shows is one way celebrities can connect with fans and keep their work top of mind. Keeping a regular schedule of updates and interaction will also ensure you maintain your relevance to your fans as your industry and or job changes. By keeping fans up to date with various aspects of your life and work, you will carry those fans from job to job.

Keep calm and call your consultant

A big selling point of social media for personalities and celebrities would have to be the capacity for reputation management. Whether responding to a negative situation or publicity, or simply maintaining everyday activities, you have the ability to quickly address any issues that arise. It allows you to be in control of your response, and a heartfelt “I’m sorry” is much better than total silence in negative situations.

Ultimately, a social media manager would be beneficial in monitoring social media activity and coaching you in getting the most out of each platform and opportunity. A manager would also be able to prevent any heat of the moment angry tweets you might exchange with a disgruntled fan.

At the end of the day, you as a celebrity or personality are a brand and need marketing. Social media provides an easy to use promotional platform for a variety of content. If part of your success is due to your loyal fans, what better way to maintain and build an active following than with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more?

Stay tuned for my next post on what an ex-Neighbours actor can teach you about being a social media pro.

 

 

 

SEO & Google Advertising – What Australian franchisors can learn.

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The internet has been a huge success for the consumer, who now has more choice than ever before and it’s all at their fingertips thanks largely to Google. Google advertising and Search Engine Optimisation are more than just the new Yellow Pages. Once upon a time, local area marketing consisted mainly of the Yellow Pages, fliers and local papers as the way that franchisors would spend their franchise marketing budgets to drive sales to the local stores. The advent of the Internet, but more specifically Google Adwords and Search Engine Optimisation, has largely moved local area marketing online, yet the franchisors have been slow to understand the value of this new technology.

The franchising model has been one of the most globally successful stories in the SME world. However, many franchisors have seen smaller operators successfully infiltrate their market share through highly effective online strategies. On the Internet even the smallest business can look big. On the Internet even the biggest businesses can look small and incompetent.

What many franchisors in Australia fail to realise is that the Internet (Google) is actually perfectly designed to support the franchising model of multi store locations. 90% of all searches online are done using Google. What this means is that the first thing a business needs to get working is their presence on Google. If you don’t come up in Google search results for the products and services that you provide, then you are invisible to the consumer looking for you.

Why a franchisor should use a Google Advertising Specialist company.
Using a Google Advertising specialist, Franchisors can run campaigns for each of their franchise stores and effectively manage the advertising budgets for each store. A Specialist will provide Franchisors with a (ROI) report detailing the cost effectiveness of advertising spend, something near impossible to do with flier drops and other more traditional local advertising.

The importance of an SEO specialist company
Search Engine Optimisation is abroad term for organically coming up in search results down left hand side of a Google search. This includes having a presence on all Google products from Google Maps, Google Plus to Google business listings. Each of these needs to be dedicated to a clear keyword strategy so that you can focus on coming up for search results that are more valuable. With the recent changes that Google seems to continually release, it is important to work with an SEO company that not only understands SEO but also the franchising industry.

But how is also this any different to any other business out there? Well one thing that Google is focused on is localisation in search. If I am looking for a hair dresser or someone to cut my lawns and I live in Adelaide, I’m not going to be looking for a business in Sydney to come up in search results, am I?

So what does this mean for the franchisors and the franchisees? It gives the brand Internet reach that only a brand with multiple locations can achieve. This means that the brand can come up more often in search results in more locations across Australia, and as such improves the likelihood of conversions. More touch points means the brand becomes more relevant and more competitive.

While anyone can have a presence online, the brand with more presence will have a bigger presence. This is why it is vital that franchisors focus their online strategy on making sure that each of their franchise outlets are well optimised to come up in search results and that they are all following the same strategy. This is why it is important to deal with an Internet Strategy company like SLAM strategy who are focused on the franchising industry.

5 Critical Factors New gTLD Investors Need To Consider:

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1500 new gTLDs will launch at roughly the same time and the owners of these have to consider how they are going to deal with this glut. Millions of dollars are at stake and those that can stand tall will do so by taking into account certain risk management strategies to make sure they come out on top.

Here are some things for those investors in gTLDs to think about.

  1. The vast majority (80%) of the global community don’t even know that new top level domains exist
  2. Of those that do know many have no idea what they would do with a .xyz or a .love
  3. Owners are often more in love with their own business plan visions for the gTLD string than the wider community is, so there’s the likelihood that although it makes sense to the owner, it’s going to be harder to sell a domain than they think.
  4. With so many options available, how are their new gTLD strings going to stand out from all the others?
  5. The industry is dangerously incestuous with long term industry advisors, specialists and consultants that are almost entirely from within the domain industry itself. There is a real risk of a lack of innovation, creativity and missed opportunities as each TLD is treated with the same thinking from years of insider industry experience.

SLAM Strategy is different:  we present a new, fresh set of eyes, ears and ideas. We don’t come from the gTLD community; we are not formed by well-established industry insiders, whose thoughts and ideas are based on a history working within the technical of the domain industry itself. We are an Internet Strategy company focused on return on investment strategies for businesses wanting to find new success online. Our strength lies in our real world experience on the front line of the business community – of being found online by your target market and converting them. We are a specialised, leading edge strategy company built by business people with business ideas and a focus on finding ways of maximising our client’s conversions as cost effectively as possible.

The Internet is about to move into a higher gear, as it’s about to change from being a technical function into a main driver for society. Right now, the need for new players like SLAM to step into the fold and provide fresh eyes to a fresh industry could never be more important. No longer are gTLD an administrative function but a full blown business process that requires a new kid on the block to help drive business.