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Posts Categorized: Social Media

Does telling people to write great content make for great content?


If you read enough blog posts about social media, you quickly will see a common thread that runs through it. “Write great content” is a mantra in marketing circles these days.

Well, duh.
It seems like every time we turn around, someone is telling someone else to write great content. It doesn’t matter if it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogs, or your favorite bar’s bathroom wall (really, you shouldn’t be writing on walls, though arguably a bar bathroom is fair game for marketing). No matter what the question is, the answer always seems to be “Write great content.”
Can’t we do better than that?
As professionals–i.e. people who get paid to create and promote content, ideas, messages, etc.–we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Yes, the internet is often an echo chamber. Yes, we borrow ideas from things we’ve read, process them, and then miraculously pass them off as original ideas that no one has ever thought of before. Sure, there’s a common consciousness we share to some degree based on the common things we share online.
So, without casting any more stones, here are own tips for creating great content, built from our own experiences.
1) Ask your audiences what interests them. A simple five-question survey will help you find out what’s interesting to your audiences. What information are they lacking that they aren’t finding elsewhere? Figure that out, and you’re destined to win some hearts, minds and eyeballs on a regular basis.
2) Find out what people’s pain points are. Along the same lines as #1, find out what bothers your audiences, and address that.
3) Get visual. With the rise of Pinterest, we’re all thinking more visually today. Yet, we’ve seen lots of posts across a variety of media that don’t have any visual (obviously, Pinterest excluded). Find something interesting to grab people’s interest!
4) Get comical. A pithy observation with a twist of dry wit can go a long way. Not only can it endear you to your audiences, but it can also help get your content shared.
5) Don’t be afraid to reach out. Find out who your most vocal advocates are, or who you want them to be, and reach out to them. Compliment them, tell them you like their stuff, respond to their tweets. The bottom line is that you need to build a relationship. Once that’s established, reach out when you have something relevant.
6) Have an opinion! When was the last time you paid attention to someone who didn’t have something interesting to say? And what made it interesting? Possibly it was their viewpoint. People pay attention for differences, and opinions stick out. Do you have to be controversial? Read number 7 to find out!
7) It’s as much about how you say it as what you say. To answer the previous question, it’s not necessarily about stirring controversy (though that doesn’t hurt sometimes). But you can state an interesting, well-thought out opinion without being controversial or brash.
Need more tips? We’re happy to help. Get in touch and we’ll talk.

Top 2012 Marketing Trends and Predictions Roundup


It’s that time of year again! Social media and marketing experts across the globe are trotting out their lists of prognostications for the coming year. There’s lots of great advice out there year-round, but somehow this time of year makes us all highly reflective. And there’s so much out there. We thought we’d take a few minutes to summarize some of what we’re finding and reading.

Marketing Profs: Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2012
  • Dealing with “Big Data”
  • Marketing automation leading to more complete customer profiles
  • Improved customer intelligence revealing marketing opportunities
  • A renewed interest in the customer lifecycle
  • Right-time multichannel marketing lets marketers sell what customers want, when they want it, how they want it
Social Media Explorer: FIVE SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS FOR 2012 
  • Content Marketing (it’s amazing people are still talking about this as though it was just invented)
  • Social Media Influence makes its way into discussions in the c-suite
  • Increased integration between marketing, technology and data (i.e. mobile)
  • Legal crackdown on blogger giveaways
  • Social connections used for more than just measuring influence
B2C Community: Top 5 Inbound Marketing Trends for 2012 
  • The rise of personalized marketing as mobile and local collide
  • Faster real-time analytics leading to more agile marketing
  • More channels = more need for channel integration
  • More cloud services (SaaS) options for marketers
  • The unchained (mobile) consumer
eMarketer: 2012 Trends: Social Media Metrics Take Center Stage 

Only one big trend noticed here: Many marketers still don’t have a good sense of ROI that social is offering, but many are confident it will yield a result (eventually).

Social Meida Today: PR, Communication, and Marketing Trends 2011

Got a prediction for next year? Let’s hear it! Leave it in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Burberry Gets Social. Do You?

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“To any CEO who’s skeptical at all: You have to. You have to create a social enterprise today. You have to be totally connected to everyone who touches your brand. If you don’t do that, I don’t know what your business model is in five years.”

–Angela Ahrendts, CEO, Burberry

It’s great to hear a quote like this coming from the CEO of a top fashion brand–and not just a social media evangelist. It was a key highlight of this video put together by Burberry and Salesforce.com, highlighting what the 100-year-old brand is doing to connect with customers online.

If a brand this old take these bold steps to declare itself a social enterprise, why do so many other companies still grapple with social media? Granted, most know that they need to be social, but they fall down when it comes to actually being social. This begs the question: If Burberry says they get it, can they prove it?

The answer is: Yes. And No. Here’s some fun things they’ve done on social in just the past few days:

  • Livestream a live fashion show on Facebook (livestreaming is one of our favorite things to do, by the way)
  • Ask people about the weather where they live on Twitter (sounds banal, but not when you consider their trench coats are wildly popular)
  • Crowdsource a collection of customers pics at artofthetrench.com

The one thing that really bugged us, however, is the main Burberry website. There’s lots of social integration throughout, including “Like” and Share buttons on each individual piece of clothing showcased, but there’s no way to find where they are on various social networks. You might argue that with a brand with such a strong following doesn’t need this. But there’s no way to know if Burberry is on other networks besides Twitter and Facebook.

The question businesses need to ask themselves is this: If a brand that’s as old as Burberry can get social, why can’t I?