Determining if the “shiny object” is the right social network for your Brand

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Does your brand get distracted by shiny objects (aka social networks)? Don’t be fooled by a fad; but at the same time don’t dismiss them either. We’ve come a long way since the days of only MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter — there’s a new social network popping up seemingly every day – whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, or the next shiny object – each brand needs to evaluate which ones work for them.

Is your brand wondering which social networks to use and which ones to not bother with?

There are two main things to consider for the “shiny object syndrome” when it comes to the latest and possibly greatest social networks:

Does it work for your brand type and does it work with your brand’s marketing and digital strategy?

Fashion works well on sites like Pinterest & Instagram but is LinkedIn right? Video content? Do you have the content or the ability and resources to create said content on a regular and consistent basis? These are all things to consider before diving in. It’s always better to do a few very well than a lot very poorly.

Consider Test and Learn to determine if the channel meets your goals and assists in your overall  marketing strategy.

To check out my examples for engagement, traffic, and sales read my full post on startup fashion. Interested in learning more about determining which social channels are right for your brand? Reach out in the comments below.

The Importance of Mobile for Brands Today

Brands realize (or are realizing) the importance of mobile considerations as our society is no longer just consuming content via a desktop of the television or newspaper. In the age of smart phones, tablets, and constantly being “on the go,” brands need to constantly consider how best to distribute content – where, when, and how. Distributing content on a blog, on a website, on Facebook is one thing – but is it mobile friendly? Can someone view easily? Share easily? All things to consider when considering a distribution strategy for content and content consumption by the target audience.

Content varies from blog posts to tweets to video to infographics to…so much more. In the case of video, mobile consumption is growing each year. Currently according to YouTube:

  • 25% of global YouTube views come from mobile devices
  • People watch one billion views a day on YouTube mobile
  • YouTube is available on 400 million devices
  • Traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011

Video content tells the brand’s story – whether it’s on YouTube or a quick snippet on vine – and of course they’re both shared across social. Both are meant for mobile so it’s important to ensure mobile friendliness when you are embedding on your sites –  check to see that your site is either a mobile site or a responsive web design which adjusts to screens accordingly.

If you aren’t considering mobile – you’re losing audience members, you’re losing engagement, you’re losing the value ofy our content. In one word – Fail.

Rather than losing out – when it comes to video content and focusing on mobile consumption consider the following when strategizing: (1) short and digestible content; (2) uploading 2 hours before the optimal viewing time for your audience; (3) second screen opportunities for engaging your audience when watching TV (ex. extended content or behind the scenes); and of course (4) ensuring your content is easily shareable across your audiences’ preferred social networks.

Questions or Comments on how your brand strategizes for mobile? Let us know in the comments section below.

NOTE: this post was originally written for socialnomics and can also be found here.

Image sources: http://readwrite.com/2012/08/22/youtube-finally-offers-mobile-ads; http://www.midbeam.com/articles/play-youtube-video-streaming-on-mobile-with-2g-slow-speed/

Ten Tumblr Tips to Optimize your Fashion Blog

Tumblra microblogging site and social networking platform has over 60 million blogs running on it currently — including individual blogs to blogs by brands. Brands have come to utilize this platform as a simple-easy-to-use tool for their content needs. Blogs range from informative, technical, financial, news-worthy, lifestyles, and more. The blogs that do the best are those with unique and fresh visuals such as instagram pictures and the like. No wonder it’s a perfect place for a fashion blog.

The following are ten quick Tumblr tips to get started on one of the top platforms for distributing and sharing content..

  • The Right Domain: start with a domain that either represents your brand or the niche area of which your fashion brand will focus upon. My tip: either keep it to one specific niche or a couple unique ones that are related yet will emotionally connect to a few different target markets.
  • Pick a theme: Choose a Tumblr theme that is not the same as everyone else’s. My Tip: Pay for one or customize it in-house. Tumblr’s API is very user-friendly.

Kate Spade Tumblr Page

  • Follow: Tumblr is a community with a built in audience – make sure you play nice and follow people and follow back – regularly.

To read the other 7 tips I offer, check out my original post on the Startup Fashion blog here! And let me know what else you would want to learn about Tumblr in order to optimize your content and blog in the comments below.

Three Examples Why LinkedIn is stronger than Facebook

Facebook may have over 910 million users, but it still has stealthy competitors such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn may not be where most individuals share their photos, check their newsfeed or share their daily status updates — but it is where businesses can flourish, B2B kicks butt through lead generation, and  ”likes” can have more weight.

Businesses Flourish

Facebook is a great place for businesses and fans to share content, but the types of content vary from all different spectrums: from Justin Beiber to brand news to business strategies to the Red Sox to pictures of  cat. In short, business content that is relevant to marketing, B2B, finance, etc may get lost in the clutter that is the Facebook news feed. On the other hand, the content on LinkedIn is largely related to marketing and business, and has a higher chance of being seen on the channel. It is purposefully designed for business-minded folk who want to share relevant content. In addition, it is a great platform for brands to distribute similar content and where many followers will look to find information on a brand, what they offer for a product/service, and the content related to it.

B2B and Lead Generation

So it is evident that LinkedIn is great for business content and businesses. But what else? “David Meerman Scott stated that LinkedIn’s conversion rate is now 2.60 per cent, less than what it was back in January, but this is far greater than its nearest rivals Twitter and Facebook, which has 0.67 per cent and 0.39 per cent respectively.” So what, you ask? In short, LinkedIn has competitive percentages when it comes to B2B lead gen due to the ability to target content, optimize for SEO, focus CTAs and utilize both company page and groups.  In addition, those who are visiting LinkedIn are visiting in order to post, read and/or comment on business content. The leads are prime for the picking.

“Likes” Have More Weight

On LinkedIn, people are more careful on what they post on their site, who they “link” to, and what they like, comment on and/or share. It is a site where people are judged for who they are career-wise. In short, if someone “likes” your post or comments on it or shares it — it holds greater value than it would on Facebook and Twitter where Likes and ReTweets are a dime a dozen normally. A recognition on LinkedIn = how many Likes or ReTweets? That’s still up for debate, but in my opinion, LinkedIn has a bit of a lead.

Last piece of Advice

LinkedIn may be a great place to invest in for businesses and those that are business-minded; but it is also easy to goof up if relevant content is not posted appropriately. Invest time to research first, target your content appropriately and grow your page within the channel over time. It is not an overnight success, but the trick is to maintain quality versus quantity.

Note: I originally wrote this post for Socialnomics – my original post can be found here

Additional Reading

http://thenextweb.com/asia/2012/02/21/growing-faster-than-facebook-linkedin-passes-1-million-members-in-indonesia/

http://writingontheweb.com/2012/02/21/the-pros-of-linkedin-vs-facebook-for-professionals/

http://www.simplyzesty.com/social-media/linkedin-4-times-better-than-facebook-twitter-for-b2b-leads/

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30030/LinkedIn-277-More-Effective-for-Lead-Generation-Than-Facebook-Twitter-New-Data.aspx

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2011/02/16/why-linkedin-is-more-valuable-than-facebook/

http://www.donhalbert.com/10-reasons-why-linkedin-is-better-than-facebook-and-twitter/

Content, Content, &…more Content

In the days of “content being king” many brands have recognized both the importance and value of content in their marketing strategies. Simply put, marketing without content is like peanut butter without the jelly. Now that would be a sad little sandwich.

Luckily most brands have not forgotten the relevant ingredient.

Created Content

Ok, so content. Check.

But what kind of content are we talking about. Content doesn’t just mean a blog post or a whitepaper per say. Yes, it can be created content such as these, but it also includes items such as a facebook post, a Tweet, a YouTube video, a photo on Instagram, a board on Pinterest, and so on.

Just look at brands like Burberry who realize the need for being on the platforms which their audiences will engage with them on. They provide these consumers the content they want: visual elegance, updates on new items, events, and more. They took note on the content their audience desired, and made it happen.

Without content, your audience will move on, be bored, and feel that you have no true value to offer them.

Curated Content

Not all content must be created from beginning to end. Curation is a helpful tool for things like giving your insight on a topic, sharing great tips by an influencer, giving industry examples, creating a reading list, etc. The key point is to ensure you don’t just share the content and slap it on like it is yours. Give credit, give your opinion, and demonstrate why it was worthy to share in the first place.

A great example are brands who RT and share other brand’s blog posts or opinions because they believe it also valuable for their audience. They are demonstrating they aren’t afraid to share others’ content over their own. It demonstrates that they believe valuable content exists in other brands and companies too. Why not share if their audience will find it valuable?

Branded content

Brands used to slap their name to piece of content and call it theirs. Now it’s about creating content that engages their target audiences — branded content. Brands such as Nike and Dove understood this and made the investment to develop deeper and more meaningful content for their particular audiences.

Content creators are excited to work with big brands such as these in order to create videos, web series, digital experiences, and more, which will not only entertain but also inform and entice consumers to engage with the content. Netflix, Hulu and others which were known just as distributors of content before…now also create. They allow brands to share and tell their stories in a unique and forward-thinking fashion.

Seeing brands go that second and third step is refreshing. It’s not just about that youtube video but about leading the audience to engage during and afterword, whether it’s through an app experience or a content or whatever it may be. That extra step divides the weak from the courageous.

Great Example: Gwenyth Paltrow’s GOOP
Parting Tip
Ensure that all your content is mobile-friendly…especially on social sites. It would be unfortunate if your consumers couldn’t read, enter a site, write a comment, or share your awesome content just because it wasn’t viewable on a smartphone.

Are you prepared in this content-driven world? Strategize now.

Note: this post was originally written for Social Media Club –  my original post can be found here.

Additional Sources:
http://www.buddymedia.com/newsroom/2012/03/l2-buddy-media-hospitality-brand-hotel-digital-iq/
http://adage.com/article/guest-columnists/time-marketers-invest-branded-content/228877/
http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2012/02/coca-colas-content-strategy-lessons-for-marketers/
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/fashion/22iht-rbrand22.html
http://www.collings.co.za/2012/01/brands-as-content-curators.html