Tag Archives: Manalto

Don’t Just Tweet Your Booth Number

16 Feb

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Tweeting your booth number = Junk Content

You know it’s getting close to the big annual conference in your industry when every supplier starts Tweeting their booth number.

My team, colleagues, and friends are gearing up for #IFA2016 from the International Franchise Association and we’re seeing it all over the place.

These companies don’t share anything all year then suddenly think, “Hey it’s nearly convention time. Now what was that Twitter password…?”

They’ll log into Twitter to let the world know they’ll be at booth #123.  Oh and they’re giving away an iPad, because everyone will flock to the booth for that. And then they’ll go silent for another 11½ months.

Twitter is dying my friends. And it’s mostly because of junk content like that.

 

If Not The Booth Number, Then What?  

A few weeks ago, my Social Geek Radio co-host Deb Evans and I discussed some other things to share on social that might give some more value to your fellow conference-goers. Here are a few from our podcast:

  • Share details on a speaker you’re looking forward to hearing.
  • Post about a topic that’s on the agenda and get an engaging conversation going ahead of time. (This is what I like to do most)
  • Ask who else is en route and suggest meeting for coffee and chat. (This is what I need to do more of myself!)
  • If you’re familiar with the location, share items about the history, food, entertainment, transportation, or anything else out-of-towners might find interesting. (Deb is great at this)

 

But What About That Booth We’re Paying For?

Can you slide in a mention or two of your promotion? Absolutely! But I always suggest your social content be at least 80% about OTHERS and at most 20% about YOU. So after 4 or 5 updates on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook about the conference or other people participating, go ahead and share something about your promotion, contest, giveaway, or trade show activity. As long as this isn’t the only thing you’re pushing out, it’s cool.

 

I’ll be Tweeting a couple of booth numbers later this week for the IFA Convention myself, to let anyone interested in the Social Geek Radio podcast know where they can join us live. In fact, I’ll post it now! We’ll be at the Manalto booth (#461) on Sunday 2/21 and at the 1851 Franchise booth (#134) on Monday 2/22. Now that that’s done, it’s back to more posts about Others. See you at the show!

 

IFA SGR live 3

 

Posting Content Over Christmas Vacation?

13 Dec

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Some content marketers see the last two weeks of the year as down time. Do you?

You may believe that consumers will be spending time with their families, engaged in conversation, and too busy traveling to see your brand’s content.

This may have been true in 1989. But now at family gatherings, even Grandma is checking her phone. Families will be showing each other things they like online, the kids will be on Snapchat, Mom will be sharing images of her festive food and holiday loot with absent friends and family on Instagram, and Dad will read some blogs while checking email (and playing Clash of Clans).

 

More Travel = More Time on Social

Traveling once meant brands could not reach consumers while they’re away from their favorite media for a week. But now every extra minute delayed at an airport or sitting in the back of the Family Truckster means more opportunity for content to be seen. And let’s face it, after days together with family, most of us need to escape into our devices. 

griswold-blackhawks

If the Griswold’s Christmas was happening now instead of 1989, they would all have their faces buried in their iPads and iPhones.

 

New Devices = More Time on Social

And speaking of devices, people are getting new gadgets! Lots of people will be spending quality time spent with their new iPhone 6S or new iPad Pro. Give them something new and interesting to read! And if they didn’t get the gifts they wanted, they’ll be diving into Amazon to buy something else.

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Even Cousin Eddie will be on Facebook throughout his extended visit.

 

Tips to Win The Season

Your competitors and many brand marketers are not paying attention and may have left an opening for consumers to see more of your stuff.  In the fight for attention, there may be a great opportunity with more consumers on social and fewer brands on social! Some suggestions:

1. Schedule posts ahead of time. I’m not suggesting that you work 24/7 over the holidays. Schedule two weeks worth of posts now for all of your brand’s pages. If you need some help on this check out Manalto.

2. Double down on Facebook. Play the odds with the platform with the biggest audience. The extra online activity outline above includes a stop at Facebook. Your focus here should be sharing videos, native Facebook videos, not links to YouTube. Bonus – Here are 10 new tips from a Facebook Product Manager on publishing videos: http://media.fb.com/2015/12/11/10-tips-for-using-video-publisher-tools-on-facebook

3. Holiday Reruns! If you don’t have time to create 2 weeks worth of content in the next couple of days, look back over the past few months and reuse some of your favorites.

 

The 2016 Model of Google +

30 Nov

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Like an aging car model, Google+ has a fresh new look for the coming new year.

I was a huge proponent of G+ for many years. Since its inception, I have told countless peers, friends, clients, and all marketers that they must get on Google+ now, share your brand’s content, and engage! 

With the new model of Google+, I can tell you now that I’m not so sure how to tell a brand’s story there. And, the chances of engaging with customers are nearly nonexistent.

Of course, there’s still an important SEO factor. But this will be replaced by search results showing consumers your Google My Business page, Google Places page, and your brand’s website. (Until 2017 when we make all websites irrelevant and just drive people to your Facebook page. But I digress…)

Through the lens of content sharing and engaging, Google has succeeded in taking the social out of social media marketing. There’s just no one engaging. And most of all, I don’t see a path for marketers to pull in new fans and customers to G+ pages and compel them to “follow” the pages, when the pages are now harder than even to find. 

 

Recommendations for using G+

I recommend not spending much time or many resources on Google+. However, sometimes when everyone else is going another way on social media, it just might be worth hedging a bit and trying one more time, perhaps from another angle.

So if you’re marketer who’s not yet ready to give up on Google+, or if you’re true Social Geek and want to check out Google+ again, here are a few recommendations and tips:

G+ Tip: Use the mobile version only

It’s mobile or nothing. Maybe you’ll want to use the desktop version to set some things set up but then walk away.  There are just too many areas to make the desktop version usable by anyone. People? Well, business pages are here too. Pages? My business? All of the confusing navigation from the desktop version is missing in the mobile version – and I’m glad!

In the mobile version, there are only 3 areas:

1. Home – feed of updates from your friends and brands you follow (just like Facebook, and just like the “old” Google+).

2. Communities – like a more visual Facebook or LinkedIn Group.

G+ Tip: By sharing things here, we can reach and engage with people without “friending” them and letting them into our personal lives (what many are hesitant to do on Facebook).

3. Collections – like Pinterest or Instagram; you’re sharing images of your favorite things.

G+ Tip: When you add a post to Communities or Collections, it also adds to your timeline with an indicator that it’s also part of the other group. No need to add twice!

G+ Tip: share photos and text from the mobile version, try to avoid sharing links for now. An early glitch shows that when saving a link to a blog post, the photo I chose to be the thumbnail does not appear in the mobile version of the same post.

 

For further discussion on the new Google+, please check out this week’s Social Geek Radio podcast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Oh My God, They’re Turkeys!

23 Nov

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Theatre of the Mind

In 1978, television give a big Hat Tip to radio’s “theatre of the mind.” On WKRP in Cincinnati, you “saw” the whole horrific turkey drop, but you never actually saw a single turkey! 

Arthur Carlson WKRP

Art Carlson: “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

The art and science of radio allows for intriguing storytelling due to the need to describe in detail the events and subjects.

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I recently listened to a fascinating interview with President Ronald Reagan from the mid-1980s discussing his early stint broadcasting University of Iowa football games on WHO-AM Des Moines. When asked if he would have moved into TV sports broadcasting if he hadn’t gotten into film and eventually politics, he surprisingly said no. He felt that his strength was verbally telling the story and painting a picture of the action. Radio needed that, but Television didn’t.

Podcast Storytelling

All marketers talk about storytelling, but most have bypassed content marketing in audio form. Podcasting may be the simplest and most cost effective way to reach a targeted (and potentially large) group of customers. You share industry news, discuss relevant topics to your customers, and tell your brand’s story. And you don’t need studios in Cincinnati, Des Moines, or anywhere else to get the word out.

Mass versus Niche

One of the issues with terrestrial radio that lead to today’s listenership challenges was the race to appeal to too broad of an audience. The strategy of least offensive programming where stations and groups played content that neither turned off nor inspired listeners created a universal blandness up and down the dial.  

With podcasts, no niche is too small and no subject is too inside. Podcasters aren’t aiming for mass audiences; they’re connecting with smaller, specific audiences.  

For more on content marketing and social media, please join me on the Social Geek Radio podcast. The show airs Wednesday evenings, and is free via download here or on iTunes

Is Facebook Replacing the Internet?

3 Nov

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Facebook. It’s where your customers are.

Just a couple of years ago, many digital marketers frequently forecasted the end of Facebook:

It surely won’t dominate for long. There must be some Facebook killer out there. Be platform agnostic – don’t build your business only on Facebook.

But now, unless your customers are a small niche group, they are on Facebook and spending more time on Facebook than ever!

Sure, there’s also still great value in Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and … well, I guess just Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Snapchat, Pinterest, and the rest all have their place, and are great for some brands and audiences, but not all.

Play the numbers. Your customers are on Facebook and spending less time on the non-Facebook portion of the Internet. And that portion may be replaced or eaten by Facebook. Here are some parts of your digital world that may soon be replaced by Facebook and a next step for each to help you prepare.

1. Facebook Replacing Your Company Website

Some consumers already won’t leave the “Friendly Confines” of Facebook. In the months and years ahead, fewer of them will be likely to leave and go to some corporate website.

If your digital marketing strategy only focuses on driving people from Facebook to your website, consider skipping this step and engaging that audience while they have given you some attention.

What activity can customers do on your website that grows your business? Ordering product / eCommerce? Making appointments? Downloading videos? Do that same thing on your Facebook page.

Next Step: Look at your website and replicate the business-driving activity.

2. Facebook Video Replacing of YouTube As a Social Video Channel

Facebook is taking a big bite out of YouTube’s video ad business. At the same time, we should look at the current state of using these platforms to share organic video content.

YouTube is amazing, but it’s a repository, not a social channel. Sure, continue to upload all of your videos there for consumers to find through YouTube / Google searches, but don’t drive your Facebook fans there. Where would you prefer customers spend a few extra minutes? On your Facebook page where they can engage and communicate with you or on your YouTube channel, which lends itself more to snark from trolls than genuine customer engagement?

Next Step: Start posting your original video content direct to Facebook, not links from YouTube.

3. Facebook Ads Replacing Online Ads

The Ad Blocking trend is a HUGE opportunity for your brand on Facebook.

Ad blocking tools block nearly all types of mobile ads. But what’s not stopped? Facebook boosted posts (as well as Twitter promoted Tweets and other social ads).

Steve Rubel of Edelman recently wrote that this situation will make earned media more valuable and I absolutely agree. The way to best draw new customers to your brand is with interesting and relevant content. And the best way to attract consumers to that content in the first place is by paid ads on social channels.

Next Step: Jump into Facebook ads, particularly boosted posts now.

What other parts of the Internet do you think may soon be eaten by Facebook?

Please share in the comments section below. We’ll continue this discussion on this week’s episode of Social Geek Radio with my guest digital strategist and author, Chris Adams!

Luke Is Vader!

20 Oct

SW7

You heard it here first.  After careful analysis of the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I am convinced that Luke Skywalker becomes Vader, or a Vader – like figure on the The Dark Side of the Force. Submitted for your approval:

  • In this new trailer, Han, Leia, and Chewie appear, but Luke isn’t there. Or is he? Why would you not show Mark Hamill?
  • The shadowy figure in the black mask says to the Darth Vader skull / mask, “I will finish what you started.” Who better to finish Vader’s work than his son?
  • Legend has it that George Lucas wanted Luke turn to the Dark Side at the end of Return of the Jedi, but that idea was nixed for a more kid-fiendly ending.
  • Star Wars is all about parallel storylines. In the trailer, we see the former Storm Trooper becoming a Rebel, and perhaps a Jedi. To balance this, how fantastic would it be to see the hero of this epic go bad?!?
Luke?

Luke?

Special thanks to Star Wars Fanboys Anthony Owen, Chris Adams, Ian Wheal, and Wynn Corliss for validating my theory!

Watch the new trailer here:

Why You Don’t Want 1 Million Likes on Facebook

10 Aug

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You DON’T want 1 Million Likes on Facebook.

You want 100 pages with 10,000 likes. Or 1,000 pages with 1,000 likes!

 

Many digital marketers have spent the past year spreading the news that Facebook posts are organically reaching a mere 1% or 2% of their fans’ newsfeeds.

While this may be the case for huge brands with millions of fans, there’s good news for midsize brands. Earlier this year Locowise reported the following average organic post reach for Facebook pages of these sizes:

1 Million+ Likes                     2.27%

500,000 Likes                       7.47%

50,000 Likes                         9.62%

Under 1,000 Likes              14.21%

 

Sure, you would rather reach 2% of One Million people than 14% of One Thousand people. But what if you could repeat that 14% over another 1,000 pages? 

Who has that potential and could benefit in this current situation? Franchises!  Why? Because they don’t just have one small page with 1,000 likes, but multiple.

 

It isn’t the number of Likes you have that matters; it’s the number of pages you have and the number of Likes on all those pages.

 

This has been the case for the past couple of years. In 2013, franchise and restaurant chain brands I consulted reported higher reach levels than brands with a single page. This local page gap is widening and those who have all Facebook eggs in one basket are losing out.

Example using the current organic reach rates – 
Brand A: company with 1 Million Likes on one page reaches 2,270 people.
Brand B: a Franchise brand with 1,000 Likes on 1,000 pages reaches 142,100 people.

Both brands have a total of 1 Million fans, but the Franchise system reaches far more fans with every post shared on all pages. Franchises are indeed greater than the sum of their franchisees.

Act now while the window is open! Fortune 500 companies should be looking for a way to divide their giant page into 1,000 pages. Their organic reach would skyrocket.

 

 

 

Facebook Content Marketing in 4 Steps

9 Jul

fRANCHISING

The most important place for your brand’s content marketing is likely Facebook. For franchise brands, here are the four steps to effectively tell your story to customers.

Three of these are controlled by the franchisor; the fourth and final step is in the hands of each franchisee.

  
Steps 1, 2, & 3 by the Franchisor:

1. The Franchisor Takes Control of brand on all social pages
Don’t drive consumers to your franchisees’ pages until they’re ready. Be confident that they are all up to date with current logos, images, names, and proper content.

2. The Franchisor Publishes organic content, curated news, great stories
Share valuable content to all franchisee pages for their local fans to consume.

3. The Franchisor Sets up Franchisees to Engage
This may be empowerment for some systems that set up franchisees to dive in.  Or this may be more controlled for some systems that want to approve content from franchisees before it goes out live.

 

Step 4 by the Franchisee:

4. The Franchisee Boosts Some of the Above Posts on Facebook
This will maximize local audience exposure at the local unit’s discretion and depending on its means. Instead of spending resources on creating content, the franchisee can efficiently choose some of the posts the franchisor published (in Step 2) and boost with local ad dollars. Boosting will vary based on the franchisee’s budget.

Need more info publishing to franchisees’ pages? Connect with my colleagues at Manalto to learn more.

 

New Social Media Management Functions from Manalto

28 Apr

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I am pleased to be working on the top-shelf Social Media Management Software Manalto and thrilled about a new set of functions added by client request. These new features are key for any brand with multiple locations, franchisees, local outlets, or business units.

The brand and marketing executives I speak with daily need advanced functionality to manage hundreds or thousands of social media pages. Here is a look at these updated functions:

 Manalto V4 Functions x

 

 

Social Geek Tip for Next Week: Post Photos, Not Just Links

13 Feb

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Share Photos, Not Links on Your Facebook Page

When you post a link on Facebook and your fans share that post on their profiles or pages, it will state, “Jane Smith shared a link”.  

But when you post a photo and your fans share that post on their profiles or pages, it will state, “Jane Smith shared (YOUR BRAND NAME)’s photo.”

This is extremely valuable real estate! In the age where organic reach is falling fast, your best bet to reach new consumers (without paying for ads) is to have your current fans share your content and have their friends see your name on the content. If you’re posting links, they won’t see your brand name. If you’re posting photos, they will see it!

But what if the whole point of the post is to drive traffic to your website, blog, or article on the “other end” of that link? Simple – create the post as a photo first, then paste your link as part of the body of the text above the photo. This now clickable link will be just as accessible. 

Bonus – by posting as a photo not a link, you can choose an image and size instead of leaving it up to the thumbnail choices! 

 

 Example:

FB example

In the above example, a link to a great Social Media Today article was shared by Manalto. But Manalto posted it as a photo with a link. When another Facebook page, FranTech, shared Manalto’s post, Manalto’s name was shown. If it was only a link, Manalto would not be visible on FranTech’s post. 

 

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