Tag: brand

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.

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 types of social media strategy you need to be using.

One of the most common questions that business owners have when it comes to social media, is,

“How do I make money from it?”

You can increase your sales and grow your business using social media, but it won’t happen overnight. Building a loyal customer base takes time, and you will need to use social media to grow and nurture your community of current and potential customers.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, you need to start by knowing what it is you want to achieve from using social media. If sales are your primary focus, you need to remember to keep your online communication broad and forget the hard sell.

Increasing sales from your social media efforts should be approached in a similar way to how you would attempt to increase sales offline; with superior customer service, occasional discounts and special offers, product demonstration and information and brand development. Think about what sells in-store and apply it to your online activities – happy and rewarded customers are more likely to be loyal and repeat customers.

When creating social media networks, keep in mind what elements of your business you want to build, what weaknesses you can strengthen and what strengths you can promote.

Below are five types of social media strategy you should be using. It’s up to you to decided whether you focus on one strategy, combine a few or go for the whole hog!

  1. Brand maintenance – monitor mentions of your brand, respond to comments, queries and complaints. Post updates.
  2. Community building – build relationships with internal advocates, and external brand ambassadors or groups of similar interest. Join groups to share your business and exchange advice. Nurture your community, be engaging and social.
  3. Influencer outreach – identify and engage influential people around your passion points or industry. Consider collaborating with like-minded people.
  4. Reputation management and development – repair a damaged reputation, develop thought leadership. Add recommendations and positive testimonials.
  5. The big splash – big creative campaigns, which garner a lot of short-term attention, such as competitions, discounts and offers. These campaigns don’t have to cost much, and are great for brand exposure and tapping in to the best part of social media: virality.

Think about your calendar of events, upcoming products, etc.  as to how you can combine these strategies to promote your business.

Remember; don’t get discouraged when results aren’t happening quickly. Most people dedicate about 20% of their Facebook use to interacting with brands to learn about products, offers and discounts. Be social, be engaging and find creative ways to keep your fans interested (not just on Facebook).

THE KEY TO DOTBRAND SUCCESS

In the second quarter of 2013 the first “Branded Generic Top Level Domain Names” also called “gTLDs” will likely be approved for use on the Internet. For the first time in history the Internet is about to get seriously commercialised, by allowing brands to own and govern their own slice of the Internet.

Brands are about to turn our Internet world on its head in ways that we cannot currently imagine. Now these aren’t just any brands, they are among some of the World’s biggest, most progressive, dynamic and successful brands there are going around globally. Where you once had .com, .net, .gov and a few others, you will soon see the likes of .nike, .tiffany, .abc, .nbc, .afl, .seven, .google and nearly 1,000 more from a variety of countries around the world. Soon your computer screens, smart phones, TV’s, newspapers (and just about every other form of advertising medium) will come alive with chatter from these brands as they prepare to educate the general public about the importance and value of their new purchases. Most importantly though is that they will try and convince you as to why you should own your own personalised .brand like www.johnsmith.nike or something similar. Yes, your favorite brands will soon be able to offer you your very own branded web address. Soon you will see a global education campaign start up to drive your attention to a new look communication tool for brands, E.g. “If it doesn’t end in .nike, its not supported by Nike”.
What this new space will look like and how it will operate exactly is yet to be seen, but one thing that we can be sure of is that anything is possible when you put the most cost effective, global, digital marketing tool in front of the marketing departments of global brands.
There has only ever been one application round conducted for new gTLDs at this stage and inevitably there is going to be a second and possibly more when all the existing applications (including other related applications for generic terms like .app, .love, .sydney) have been approved. Just the applications alone for one of these top level domains cost $185,000 with an ongoing fee of $25,000 per year, not to mention legal and other support costs. It has been widely mentioned that each of these domains can cost 1 million dollars before it is even accessible (added to the root zone).
Until the second round starts (which is likely to be up to 5 years away to approve all existing applications and then approve the next rounds applications), these brands have a unique window of opportunity to find new commercial solutions without their competition being able to do anything about it. This window is critical in gaining leverage of a once in a life time opportunity to build brand awareness and market share in the new Internet world with a select group of businesses.
There is much speculation about the need for these new domains as they really are just a naming convention so “technically” of very little value. However from a branding point of view it is the chance to offer a unique selling proposition to their target market in ways that they have never been able to do before. Although not a technical a game changer, a dotbrand is a massive windfall for brands when it comes to marketing and advertising. The fact that these lucky few brands will have the space to themselves for quite some time is just the icing on the cake. The possibilities are endless and soon you will see just what the minds of these powerful and successful brands can conjure up.
So what can brands like Nike do with their dotnike (.nike) that they can’t do now with nike.com?
Firstly, they will be able to set down the rules and regulations of how the space is operated and who is allowed to own a domain ending in their brand. With a .com the brand is at the mercy of the rules that govern .com and has little if any control over who purchases any .com domains.
Secondly, by owning a branded top level domain, any website that ends in a .brand e.g mystore.nike, can only exist because Nike approved it as an official Nike outlet, so the brand suddenly gains huge amounts of control over the communication of its products and services online. Shoppers can be confident that their new purchase online is from a genuine Nike shoe outlet and therefore the shoes are genuine also. With a .com it is possible that some websites are not genuine but copy outlets selling inferior products.
Thirdly, Nike also has the unique ability to offer personalised domains to their customers for easier communication, better brand exposure and more accurate target marketing. With a .com there is no way of identifying a loyal customer.
Imagine Nike saying to you that you can have your very own personalised branded domain name like Johnsmith.nike. Perhaps you’re a Ferrari car enthusiast, and want to own Johnsmith.ferrari. Imagine what these brands will be able to do with their marketing spend if they could focus it on those customers who they could identify as closer or more loyal to the brand. It would be an army of customers who are passively promoting a brand just by owning a personalised branded domain name, showing it off publicly in their Internet communication. Imagine thousands or tens of thousands of customers doing this globally. Tiny changes like these on a global scale can be worth millions in promotion and brand recognition.
One of the biggest problems with advertising and marketing has always been about trying not to waste money on people who don’t want or who aren’t interested in buying or using your product or service. Imagine being able to rally customers to a promotion on a global scale in one click. Fewer dollars spent to reach the same people to generate more sales. Sound exciting?
Every brand will be looking at these domains as a way to vastly reduce their overheads, increase their brand’s exposure globally, tighten their communications, gain a marketing edge and therefore increase their ROI. What do you think these multi-million dollar companies would be prepared to pay to achieve that considering they spend hundreds of millions of dollars doing this already? The million dollars invested is peanuts…as long as they can conjure up the right strategy to benefit from it. Regardless of the outcomes, you have to be in it to win it.
So we believe brands are going to be hot on the trail of looking for customers to support their brands and build closer, more intimate networks, with the people who actually buy, support and talk about their products and services. This is about active users being actively engaged with the brands they support.
So what is in it for the customer? Well these brands need to take advantage of this new frontier and will likely approach it like a gold rush scooping up vast databases of potential customers with special offers just so they can have you as their brand champion, championing and promoting their products and services. In exchange for that promotion they can afford to offer you discounts, special, unique purchases, VIP passes, points, the list is endless. Your support of a brand means their success and that success is vital if they are going to get the edge they are looking for.
The big question that we think that will be on the minds of those in the boardrooms and at the marketing brain storming sessions will be how? Brands already have contact with their existing customers through email, on their website and social media but how will they educate them to want to have a personalised domain name? Then once they have reached those customers, how will they reach new ones? This could be a costly education exercise as most people don’t even know what a gTLD is let alone why they would want or need a personalised one. Finally, how can they do it before their competitors have their own branded gTLD domains approved and operating?
We believe having the answers to these questions will help leap a brand to the next level. This is where the truly great brands will dominate their sectors and gain massive market share.
SLAM Strategy is exclusively an Internet Strategy company that is focused on these sorts of issues. For more information on branded domains and how to take advantage of new opportunities contact us today. enquiries@slamstrategy.com.au