LinkedIn & How Fashion Brands can take Advantage

So you know about Facebook and Twitter, but there’s more to social then those two players. Some brands forget that LinkedIn is not just a great resource for individuals and their “online resumes” – but also a great network for you to showcase your brand, boast product offerings, highlight team members, initiate collaboration, and more!

Here are 5 Ways Fashion Brands Can Leverage LinkedIn

  • Products and services tab: the perfect place to show off the great things your brand offers. For example: if your brand has 3 to 5 specific offerings, a new offer, or updates – the tab is a great way to link directly, give teasers, and provide a place for consumers to comment. Tip - consider video content on this tab to make your products more engaging and shareable.

  • Cross Promote:  LinkedIn allows brands to cross promote their other social networks such as Twitter feeds but also their blog rss feeds. Fashion brands that have a great content source such as a rich blog with visuals should always find ways to create awareness for their content and in turn engagement with it – whether it’s through the blog itself or through distribution on social networks.

  • Company Updates: LinkedIn offers a great location to update on what’s happening with the company. Does your company have a new CMO or Intern? Give them the spotlight and show how much you appreciate your team.

    To learn about the other 2 helpful ways fashion brands can leverage LinkedIn (or most brands for that matter) – check out my full post on startup fashion.

    Photo source: http://blog.amsterdamprinting.com/2013/03/07/10-excellent-examples-of-linkedin-cover-images-for-brands/030413_apl_blog_images_post2/

Why your Fashion Brand Should Consider Video Content to Add Value

Burberry Video Content

Video content isn’t a new trend, but it’s definitely being adopted more often by brands as the value and engagement has increased with social media and blog content — especially fashion brands, in order to tell their story.

The value of video content is growing exponentially in this visual world of social media and content.

Hot Example: Just look at Burberry and how they utilize YouTube videos and streaming videos throughout their Facebook page. They give their Facebook fans the chance to have insider content on their campaigns and runway shows, as well as be there live and “front row.”

Or if you want to get really tech-sexy: Add video to your in-store experience like Burberry did below.

 

Why should your fashion brand embrace video content?

Drive Commerce

YouTube videos are great for driving action if used properly. If your budget doesn’t allow for youtube annotations (driving to products and services) then embedding video content on social sites or a blog is a great alternative. It’s easier to drive to commerce and doesn’t cost a pretty penny to do so. Note – Videos are great for sharing a sneak peek into a new product line; how a line was made; a runway show; and of course enticing the viewer/customer to “want” – no, “need” your product.

Engage

Fans, especially loyal fans of fashion brands, want the inside scoop of the latest and greatest coming down the pike. And when there’s a sale – they want to be the first to know.

Gap on Facebook does a great job of letting friends know when something is new, when there’s a sale coming up, and when there’s an online exclusive.

Read more on how you can engage with video content; and my third tip on how to take advantage of video for your fashion brand on my original full post on Startup Fashion.

Photo Sources: Fast Company

How to: Take Advantage of Vine Video App for your Fashion Brand

vine video app

Have you encountered Vine yet? This short video app is already being utilized by brands and consumers alike due to its many advantages, two of which are simplicity and ease of use.

As a brand owner, you should think about how Vine could possibly work with your current social media strategy.

Here are 5 advantages Vine has for brand content across the fashion industry:

Short, Digestible Content

Vine takes quick snippets of video content and stitches them together to create a quick 6 second snapshot of video.

The fact that you don’t need continues footage but instead can use 3 snippets stitched together is very cool. It allows a brand to take 3 different views of its new fashion line or fashion show, rather than just one at time. It also allows the consumer to get more than just one view of a product or event.

Utilizing Your Twitter Audience

Since you can sign up through Twitter, it makes it simple to follow any of your twitter followers who are also on vine.

In addition, a brand can easily share Vine content on Twitter once it’s been recorded. It can also be shared on Facebook. The ease of integration is key for content in order to release it just as quickly as it’s recorded.

Ease of Use

The steps to setting up an account, shooting your first video, and sharing are as simple as one, two, three. The process has that same easy flow as Instagram, but makes it possible to share content on other channels.

There are also other Vine tools like VineIt that are being released (not necessarily connected with the Vine team) that help find and view videos, as well as integrate with Tumblr. Since so many fashion brands utilize Tumblr, it’s awesome that Vine can be uploaded or embedded in there too.

To read about key tactics fashion brands can utilize for their Vine videos alongside their digital strategy, read my full post on Startup Fashion. Hint – there are some great examples!

3 FREE tools to help your brand measure Social

So many tools, so little time. It is not always easy to determine which ones are right for your measuring your social media performance.

statigram

We know the usual suspects like Facebook Insights, which is free on Facebook for Page Admins, and Hootsuitewhich allows you to manage multiple channels and get some general information about traffic and keywords.

However, I’m going to focus on 3 others…one of which are known by many but should never be overlooked, and two others which are sometimes overlooked but still quite helpful for most brands that are active across social media networks.

The essential player: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is basically a free website insights tool which allows brands to track traffic to their site.

This is useful because you can see when a social channel such as Facebook or Twitter was the traffic driver to a page on your site or not. Also you can track which ones are the biggest referral drivers – and when. This is helpful because you can see the plateaus, dips, and spikes and see which campaigns may have attributed to those.

Extra Tip: In addition to Google Analytics, Google Alerts and Google Trends are also helpful tools. Google Alerts allows for RSS or email updates on when your brand is mentioned in blogs, news, etc. Google Trends is great because it can help your brand compare search terms and other sites, in order to get an idea on which search terms are being used most and which of your competitors are receiving said traffic.

A great sidekick: Topsy

I’m a fan of Topsy – even the free version- because it allows brands to get some real-time information on what trends are occurring.

To read more on Topsy and my other fun tool to utilize, check out my original and full post on Startup fashion!

How to: Be Successful in Social Media in 2013

Warning – this is not the usual social media success post. Keep reading to get to the root…

So you’ve read about what your brand resolutions should be, what social media goals you should consider, and what to do and not do over and over again…but do you really know what your brand needs to be successful in social media this upcoming year? I have three specific items your brand should have on its checklist (if it’s not on there already)…

1) Hire Well

It’s not just about what you do on Facebook and Twitter and the content you produce, it’s the people helping to strategize said content and how it’s utilized across channels. When hiring your team, consider your culture, your goals, and where you want that team to go. Do these new potential employees fit your brand needs and especially the culture your brand has been developing?

2) Hire Native

I cannot emphasize this enough – hire native, hire native, and hire native. By native I mean – digitally native. Do you want to teach your employees social media and blogging or do you want them to crash through the door with their own ideas, know it like the back of their hands, and challenge your team to think more creatively, think more personally, and bring it to another level? Enough said.

3) Do What You Preach

Unfortunately there are one too many brands who offer advice and preach to be social media savvy and then they don’t hold their own. Eat the dog food and show your brands you are an expert through your actions, and not just your blog posts. Your audience will trust you more, come to your brand for your content, and believe in your brand if you prove it. Just look at Amex who isn’t a social media expert per say, but they started rocking it across social media channels, using guest bloggers to bring in expertise, and offering their small businesses the content they need to be successful in their markets. Now that’s the ticket.

 

 

Follow: These Steps to Successfully Market Your Event

Have you ever been to a trade show or a promotional event and you just knew that brand had not prepared enough? Don’t let yourself be that brand. Two words: Plan Ahead.

When it comes to online and offline events, online event marketing is key to success in order to engage your audience pre-event, during the event, and even after the event.

EVENT MARKETING written on blackboard background high resolution

Use your social media presence, your online prowess, and your awesome marketing team to succeed at marketing your event.

Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, you name it…

You know the age old saying, “be where your audience is”… if your audience is engaging with you heavily on Facebook or Twitter, why not help promote your event to them there? Start early and update as the event approaches with new tidbits they may want to know.

Do you have a cool speaker? Special giveaways? An early bird entry fee? Your audience wants to know! And don’t forget a fun branded hashtag to corral the conversation so you can listen in and so can your followers. That hashtag can be used before during and after the event in order to keep the conversation flowing and get a larger audience to over hear what an awesome event your brand is having.

Event Page(s)

Why pay when you can leverage free offerings. Eventbrite allows for advance planning of events, social media integration, ticket fees and more; a great way for people to easily purchase tickets or sign up for an event online or through their mobile app.

Best part – you can keep track of sign-ups as they happen and alert the attendees as needed.

To learn about the 3 other necessary steps to successfully market your event, check out my full post on Startup Fashion. And leave comments below with questions!

 

5 Features to Consider with Facebook Global Brand Pages

Facebook gone Global or should we say local? Global brands can now reach a  larger audience  with these pages in the Facebook users’ own language. Great for brands and consumers. Here’s why:

1. Go local – Although targeting is available now for Facebook posts, it is a nice luxury to be able to have a whole page targeted to a particular area rather than just posts. Unfortunately small business are unable to do so (just yet).

2. Automatic referral to the right page – Consumers (aka Facebook users) don’t have to hunt for the global page they want; instead they’ll be directed automatically (although a person can choose another through a drop down menu if desired).

3. Combined Insights - We marketers all realize how important and invaluable measuring is in order to optimize our strategies. Luckily with Facebook Global Pages – brands can combine “likes” and “people talking about this” across countries. That helps in order to measure across pages, rather than going one by one.

4. Ability to communicate to global fan base already formed - Why is global valuable? Because most global brands already have a global fan base. Now it’s become even easier to communicate to each global fan. But what does this mean for content strategies – they are going global too (not just targeting one by one post). Get set…ready…crap…go!

5. Migration – one issue some brands may be concerned with is the migration or combination of multiple Facebook Pages they already have. Facebook appears to allow the migration of these multiple pages into one. How simple and easy that is – time will tell.

Want some real life examples – check out the movie Facebook Page forFrankenWeenie below….(when clicking on the carrot, you can switch “region” easily and simply if desired. It was already targeted to the U.S. for me).

 

NOTE: This post was originally written for Socialnomics and my original blog post can also be found here.

Questions? Comments? Let me know how you feel about Facebook Brand Pages in the comments below.

Classrooms and How they Integrate the Latest Technology and Social Media into Teaching

Living in a city where there is a sea of college students, I see more technological gadgets on these young students than sometimes even on adults. They have iPads in the classroom to take notes on, read their books on, and more. However it’s not just technology that’s advancing in the classroom it’s also the acceptance and usage of social media. There are many colleges that demonstrate adaptation and skill in using social successfully to teach students. So what are the benefits of using new technology and social media? Here are three reasons why your classroom should consider the same…


1. Use the technology and Networks They Already Use and Know

Students are already posting on Facebook, reading blogs on Tumblr, tweeting their favorite things on Twitter, and pinning what they love on Pinterest. They know how to use the sites well, and they use it often. Make part of the class participation online participation. It helps those who are creative but perhaps shy in class. For example homework can include keeping a Tumblr blog about a topic which students can comment on and share ideas on. Or if it’s a photography class, how about utilizing Instagram or again Tumblr to host that content. Tip: find the networks that work best for your lesson content (and students).

2. Integrate With Lesson Plans and Learnings

The infographic demonstrates that professors and teachers are already adapting, andeven shows the networks where they can utilize to make their efforts more fruitful with their students. It’s not just about using Facebook and Twitter, but realizing that you can create a wiki for the class and online discussion, and/or pin daily findings on a Pinterest board. There are numerous ways to take advantage, it’s about creating the lesson plan that works for you and your students creativity and desire to engage with the content in places they love interacting. Some students may be hesitant to use their own profiles that already exist – so perhaps create new ones just for class or a location where they can all contribute.

3. Continue and Extend the Conversation Past the Classroom

It is a great opportunity to extend conversation past the classroom. Take the offline, online. For example creating a hashtag for the classroom to corral conversation and extend a topic that was discussed in class, after class has ended. It keeps the students thinking, searching, reading, and interacting with the content.

Last Tip: Remember to  keep content and tools fresh. As we all are well aware, tools and social networks, and apps change, update, and pop up daily. It is tough to keep up but we have to. Perhaps utilize students who work for the school to keep up on the research regarding what’s the latest to help keep lesson plans fresh.

NOTE: This post was originally written for socialnomics and my original post can be found here. 

Further Reading:
http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/teachers-guide-social-media_b25989
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/for-social-media-in-the-classroom-to-work-instructors-need-best-practices.php
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/the-pros-and-cons-of-social-media-classrooms/15132
http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-03-04/facebook-twitter-social-media-classroom/53358382/1

Five Competitors and Add-Ons to Instagram Photo App

Instagram has been “downloaded like hotcakes” since it became available in late 2010 (now for both iphone and android interfaces). The perfect mix of a photo sharing app and social network for those visual fanatics. Currently with over 80 million users, it is still showing Facebook (who purchased it earlier this year) that the purchase was worthwhile and fans are not tinkering off anytime soon.
New in Instagram: The photo map which allows users to “opt-in” and then add their photos to the visual mpa where photos are geo-tagged.

However the “instagrams” of the world are popping up all over the place…Now there are new apps which connect to instagram to make filtering more fun, frames for your pictures, ability to combine photos in one one frame, and more. Here are a few of the newbies out there in the mobile space:

1) Hipstamatic:

Still an iphone solo app – but has the Instagram feel of an old Kodak camera, down to the viewfinder and all. Although it’s not free, it does allow you to upload pictures to instagram and integrates easily. In my opinion it’s fun for the older camera feel even when you’re doing it via iPhone.

2) Pic You

Known as the Instagram alternative, is very similar to Instagram in the look, feel, and filter appeal. Also lets you share with friends on Facebook and Twitter instantly. Although it doesn’t appear to have instant shares to Tumblr (as far as I’ve seen and read so far) it does have a web interface which is easy to use for those who like to upload via their computers.

3) InstaAlbum

An app which integrates with instagram to help users sort and share photos with ease via album, map, etc. The item that I saw that was intriguing about this one is that you can easily upload to Dropbox for saving. Back that pic up!

4) PicFrame

Combine your photos from your photo album from your Instagram album or others – combine them fun frames, and then automatically share to your social networks. Including Tumblr (win!) I love how easy it is to use and upload in minutes…

5) Camera+

An app that has more camera features to make you feel like you’re using a real camera with a touch exposure and focus. It even includes a stabilizer to steady your iPhone from your shaky hands. Although I still managed to feel inferior because I’m still an amateur photographer – it was fun to play with.

Personally I switch around on my apps and like to play with different ones, but in the end I am more faithful to Instagram. Which Photo app do you use? And why?

 NOTE: This post was originally written for socialnomics and my original post can be found here. 

How Top Boston Colleges Are Integrating Social Media

My eighteen year old sister types papers on an iPad, has a Tumblr blog, Tweets everyday, and knows the latest music and fashion via Pinterest and blogs before most. A newbie freshman about to enter a college in Boston – she expects her college to keep up and be ahead of the curve when it comes to social media. She’s only one of many who expects such.

Luckily for her – and many other students, colleges have realized the stretch of road ahead of them and have hopped on by effectively using social and integrating it into their campus and curriculum at a fast pace. Boston being a central hub of college students has led the way with 4 of its colleges in the Top 25 of the Top 100 social media colleges in the United States.

Of those colleges include: Harvard University, Emerson College, Berklee College of Music, and MIT. A few things to note on why they shine when it comes to social media:

Harvard: The Harvard Social Media Dashboard gives a taste of all the University’s efforts in social including up to date videos, tweets, and more from each of its accounts. Each of its different channels and different accounts – whether it’s for alumni, research, a grad program, or the undergrad — have different strategies involved regarding the social output and the content generated for sharing with their audience. Harvard demonstrates that even if there are multiple channels and accounts, social media can be optimized effectively if the effort is put forth correctly.

Emerson College: Their social media classes are one to note of, as there are local guest speakers from the industry, social media strategy projects for local places, and other hands-on applications for students to learn, apply, and utilize as assets.

Berklee College of Music: The Berklee Music Network allows students the opportunity to collaborate, share, and find music, jobs, influencers, and friends all in real time. Music isn’t just about performances on a stage when social media can help lead the way through posting music online and sharing through different channels.

MIT: The Sociable Media Group demonstrates the mix of social and technology at the fringe of discovering what’s next. MIT known for being techy and savvy, demonstrates this even in the socialsphere.

Although Suffolk University was not in the Top 25, it must still be given recognition for its curriculum and conferences. Suffolk put on its first annual social media conference which was about bridging the gap between education and the workforce. It brought the likes of many influencers from around the nation demonstrating that the University was pushing ahead in social media and adapting to what’s new, at a fast pace. Along with its social media classes for undergrad and MBA program, Suffolk is also well on its way.

In short – it’s about ensuring that the students are continuously challenged through the school environment and through a curriculum that is ever-changing — since social media never stands still.

NOTE: This post was originally written for Social Media Club. My original post can be found here. 

Further Reading:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/05/02/local-colleges-ranked-in-top-25-for-social-media/

http://www.studentadvisor.com/top-100-social-media-colleges

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/downtown/2012/07/emerson_bu_harvard_among_top_

5 ways to use social media apps to capture your summer vacation

Summer brings many enjoyable times each season including beach trips, family time, bbq’s, and much more. The tough part is remembering to capture all these great times so you can recall and reminisce later on. Luckily there are many creative ways to do so effectively, quickly, and easily with the touch of a smartphone app.

Make it Fun

1. Instagram 
Capturing photos and making it easy for your loved ones to access, comment, and share has been made simpler through social networks like Facebook. However, there are other networks and applications, which allow one to be more creative with images such as Instagram. Instagram offers cool filters to allow pictures to be more vivid and unique. Best part it integrates smoothly with Facebook and Twitter for easy sharing to your normal channels.

2. Tumblr
Want another place to share your adventures throughout the summer? Consider a simple to use Tumblr Blog. It’s easy to set up, maintain, and integrate with your other channels. My favorite part is that you can take a quick picture from Instagram, share it to your Tumblr blog, and then share directly to Facebook or Twitter. What could be easier for sharing all those images from your road trip to the beach?

Share it with your inner circle

3. Path
Sometimes Facebook and Twitter means sharing with too many people, even those we may have “friended” or allowed to ‘follow” us can seem a bit much at times. Why not keep it simpler and more private with Path? Path allows a maximum of 150 friends, cool photo filters, location sharing, and more. And when you want to share to your larger circles, you can with integrating with your Facebook and Twitter too.

4. GroupMe
Taking a trip with your friends or want to share instantaneously your thoughts on what’s going on? Images from your hike, the great sunset, or the food and drinks you’re indulging on? Share with your inner circle via groupme and have a conversation right then and there. Not sure what dress to wear to the summer wedding? Ask your friends all at once via this easy messaging app.

Stay Organized

5. Evernote
Being organized isnt’ just for the office. Evernote allows easy integration with saving notes, images, and more so you can stay organized with packing lists, things to do on your trip, itineraries, hotel and direction information, and more. Why worry about that address you need when you can access from Evernote from your laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone. Could it get simpler? I think not.

Although these five apps are well known and many people use them already, they are sometimes overlooked when it comes to trips, great times, and sharing adventures with friends and family. Next time you set off on your next summer trip, don’t forget to capture it so you can look back on it later. All from your smartphone…

Ready, Set, Click.

Note: This post was originally written for Social Media Club, and my original post can also be found here. 


Image Credits:
http://www.cc-chapman.com/2012/why-i-love-path/
http://evernote.com/evernote/
http://demopit.com/2011/01/21/groupme-lets-you-effortlessly-group-text-with-friends/
http://ralphvelasco.tumblr.com/post/24299130196/ill-be-in-this-city-tomorrow-can-you-guess-where
http://pamsahota.tumblr.com/page/2

Three areas in Facebook’s Business Model to Question

A social network born out of a dorm room has come a long way over the past 8 years. Here are just a few stats to show its immense growth:

  • 901 million monthly active users (March, 2012)
  • On average more than 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook per day (March, 2012)
  • An average of 3.2 billion Likes and Comments generated by Facebook users per day (March, 2012)

Despite its growth and ability to integrate in many aspects of our lives, Facebook has some areas us marketers question. Is it really a social network or an ad network? If it’s for marketers, then where are the advantages for marketers?

Facebook Ad Reach is Minimal

Although most brands have planted themselves on Facebook by adding Fan Pages, switching to Timeline, and perhaps even gone down the road of paid advertising, it isn’t always so simple to reach fans. Facebook doesn’t make it simple, nor do they give the reach once thought or expected. Most brands unless they truly engage with their consumers (shares, comments, likes, etc) will most likely reach 17% or less. In short, to get to fans not only must your brand have mouth watering, tantalizing content – but you need to fork up the big bucks and pay to reach your audience as well. The content is one thing, the money is another.

It has become more evident as even some brands have decided to put less effort into this ad network instead of putting all their ducks on board. “In mid-May, just ahead of Facebook’s IPO, GM’s marketing executives said they would pull $10 million in advertising from the social network after judging the efforts had “little impact” in reaching consumers.” Are they just the first of many?

Mobile: Who Will Dominate?

“Analysts also think Facebook will face difficulties deriving revenue from the growing n
number of Facebook users who access the site using mobile devices, through which Facebook derives much less advertising revenue than through a desktop PC. Facebook rivals Google and Apple currently dominate the mobile arena.”  Although it’s key to have content mobile optimized, I know that I am even less likely to look or participate in ad content while I am on the go. As long as brands are not putting all their eggs in Facebook ads and Facebook content then the brands are marketing and strategizing correctly. There are so many other ways to get your content to where your audience wants it and where it wants it. Depending upon your brand platforms like Tumblr and YouTube may be better assets and drive more search traffic to that content. Mobile is great, but only if your content actually reaches your audience when they want it and where they want it.

Instagram Acquitision

Was this acquisition about being a “friend or foe?” Some wonder as now Facebook is looking into their own photo app for consumers – which looks quite similar to that of Instagram. I was initially impressed that Facebook had purchased such a great asset as Instagram – a photo app which so many upload to, view, and share on a consistent basis. Photos have such rich content that words cannot match at times – and Facebook realized the opportunity when they purchased the app. However, will they keep Instagram running and giving its audience what they want or will they use it as ammunition for their own photo app?

Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but there are definitely pitfalls for marketers and consumers alike. Which platform will your brand turn to next? My 18 year old sister (the new generation) said it best…”Why would I spend time on Facebook, when there’s Twitter, Instagram and so many others…”

Note: This post was originally written for socialnomics and my original post can be found here.
 
Additional Reading:
http://marketday.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/05/12069407-facebooks-problem-ads-arent-grabbing-users-analysts-say?lite 
Image Credit:
http://www.laferle.com/tag/quitting-facebook/
http://softsupplier.com/tag/facebook/