Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Advertising: have you got all the facts?

A cute infographic we created at OpenX for New York Advertising Week this year.


Often the first result that people want from their social media strategy is a mass of followers. Let’s be realistic here – it often takes time to see large levels of growth, and careful planning and development of a social strategy needs to take place before it will happen.

One important thing to mention here is that any social media strategy needs to be developed with full consideration of your business, organisation or mission aims. Without this planning you are simply wasting your time.

Once you – or your consultant – have spent the time building your strategy, and you’re still seeing a slower level of growth than you’d like, there are various ways you can help accelerate your number of followers.

Innovate and be creative
Remember to be creative about how you use social media, and be sure to use it as an opportunity to extend your brand’s personality and message. Spend some time understanding what your competitors are doing, and identify how you can be better and quicker than them. For instance, you may want to explore giveaways, or rewards to those that engage with you on social media – this is generally a fairly good way to build a loyal and engaged following. Perhaps you could host a live Q&A session for your followers to discuss some of the issues affecting your area of focus, or maybe develop associations and partnerships with other prominent players in your space.

Listen and respond
Aside from just listening to conversations and reacting to those discussing your brand or project, explore how social media could assist you in your product development process and offer your followers a chance to be part of defining some part of what you do by crowd-sourcing their input. This was a successful strategy used by Kodak recently as they developed a closer relationship with customers by appealing for, and integrating, suggestions for future product modification.

Still need more followers?
There are a myriad products and platforms out there that will enable you to simply buy followers (just search ‘how do I get 10,000 followers’ in your search bar and see just some of them), but you need to be serious about the quality of followers you are building this way. Having 100 advocates who are regularly discussing you is going to do a lot more for your brand awareness, volume and reach than 1,000 who have no idea who you are or what you do. Another route to generating a community of suitable followers is to take advantage of Twitter’s Promoted Account advertising. Still in beta testing and available to just a select few, this is a way of gaining followers based on pre-determined criteria such as geographic region or keyword relevance. The pay-per-engagement model means that you only spend money as you get results.

A key thing I always advocate is that it’s better to focus on community-building, rather than metric building. If you are using social media as a tool to stimulate discussion, interact and offer valuable content deemed to have high authority in your subject, you will see a healthy level of growth of followers that will be an asset to your community.

Need help building a social media strategy and growing followers? Get in touch.

Hootsuite – a great platform to help you manage Facebook (pages and profiles), LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare and Twitter content, and simultaneously monitor keywords, competitors and hashtags. You can also use this to schedule content to publish at times when you might be busy doing other things. The Vancouver-based company also provides a ‘Pro’ version ($5.99 per month) that has further features including additional team member access, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights integration.

Tweetdeck – I personally prefer the iPhone app rather than the desktop platform, but regardless it still provides a good way to keep up-to-date with conversations and keywords on the move or at your desk. Widely used, and recognised as one of the better tools out there, the company was recently acquired by Twitter (May 2011) as they build out their user management and analytics capability.

Ubersocial – ‘the world’s most popular full-featured Twitter app’. With versions for iPhone, Blackberry and Android, Ubersocial helps find the world’s best Tweeters on particular topics, and aims to generate followers amongst those keen to hear what they say.

Tweeteffect – want to know which of your latest Tweets generated most followers? Or perhaps see what may have caused some of them to stop following you? I find this tool a little unreliable, but can still provide a good indication of what content your followers are likely to be turned on and off by.

Klout – find out the influence your social channels have with Klout’s scoring system. Some recent changes in how they calculate scores downgraded a lot of people’s scores, but this is still a good tool to see who you most influence, and in what subject areas. This is useful as you manage your influencer lists and identify who in your follower base is most responsive to your content. Also, if you’re an ‘influencer’ in certain topics, you could qualify for special offers and gifts through the ‘perks’ program.

Have a suggestion that I didn’t include? Tweet me @JamesAldousPR and let me know.

Savvy social networkers from all over the globe will be participating in Social Media Week starting tomorrow with events covering pretty much every aspect of social media.

The mission of SMW is to connect and explore the ways that societies, cultures and economies are becoming better connected and empowered through the opportunities for global communication.

Here in LA alone there will be 75 events over the five days (spanning 470 square miles!) that have been cultivated into the following three themes: entertainment, marketing and social media for social good. Particularly, I’m looking forward to participating in the following:

For a full list of activities and events, see HERE and be sure to follow the SMW hashtags throughout. You can follow the @SMWLA handle for latest news and updates live from the sessions too.

Well, obviously. Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

This recently re-launched weekly conversation is a must for any communications professional looking to share advice and thoughts with other comms professionals.  Be sure to join the conversation at 8pm (UK time) on Mondays for guest speakers and sessions around topical themes. Originally started by @AdamVincenzini and @EmLeary, it’s now run by Communicate Magazine. for more.

Don’t get caught with your pants down. Learn from others on what to do when you find yourself in a ‘brown-stuff-meets-fan’ kinda situation.

A bit like rummaging in a jumble sale, PRs are sometimes able to pick-up a bargain here. This one is often used by journalists looking for contributors, case studies or spokespeople. Be quick though, the journalist is likely to be on deadline.

Got a PR request or need a contact for a journalist? Share it with your fellow PR brethren.

With the aim of stimulating conversation between PR students and professionals, this is a good one if you want to join in and help inform young aspiring PRs about recruitment, interning and everything else about the PR world.

Hosted by @MarketWire and @Sysomos this weekly chat (Thursdays 12 EST) brings in different experts each week on different themes. It’s been running for over a year now and recent sessions have covered making your real-time content SEO friendly and Twitter for business.

Social media optimization. Learn from those that know how to make the best of your social media content strategy.

The sum of this one is greater than its parts. Even if you’re a solo PR professional, you can join your community here and share insights into working alone as a freelancer.

Hosted by the @PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) and @CIPR_UK (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) this month marks PR ethics month with various chats around the theme of ethics in PR.

Have any more suggestions? Tweet me @JamesAldousPR