What Worked in 2013

Facebook

Top 50 brand pages 

Twitter

Lessons from the NYT’s social media desk

Vine

33 best videos, according to Mashable

Online Video

Best viral videos

Advertising

Co-create ranks the best ads 

Top marketing trends, according to Socialmedia Today

Advertisements

Managing Social Media and SumAll

Managing social media presence means knowing what’s working and what isn’t. There are several applications available for tracking your social media traffic. Which to choose? Hootsuite is the most popular, and in  addition to providing analytics lets you post to multiple platforms at once and schedule posts. It’s got bells and whistles, but is it the best service?

SumAll.com, still in beta, presents in a streamlined and elegant format that is very visual– beautiful to look at and easy to use. This app also tracks your online revenue, so that it’s easy to see correlations between online activity — say, a tweeted special — and sales. This service is clearly the work of a very good marketing team.

The website is still glitchy, so hold on to Hootsuite for the time being. But sign up for SumAll while it’s free, and keep an eye on this beautiful app as it develops.

As an additional perk, SumAll’s blog offers some great beta for mastering the social media playing field.

Here’s a peek of the chart SumAll started for my instagram account:

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.15.03 PM

 

Your business needs to be on Google +

Your business needs to be on google +. Yes, it’s a network in its infancy, arguably still mostly the territory of computer nerds, and when you post there it may seem an empty shout into a void. But if you care about SEO, you need to use google +. This is because the ubiquitous search engine google uses google + to index. Pushing new content through google + is an easy and elegant way to boost you SEO. Clever move, google.

SEO aside, google + has seen a 58% increase in users in recent months, now claiming over 300 million active users. Compare that to twitter’s 230 million and Facebook’s 1 billion. Nothing to shake a stick at. Google + is business oriented and an essential part of your online marketing plan.

How to go about using google + is a topic for another post.

Sources:

 “Google’s Social Network Sees 58% Jump in Users”. USA Today

“How to Breathe Life into your Google Plus Profile” . Search Engine Journal

Choosing Your Social Media Networks

More isn’t always better when it comes to social media, in terms of how often you post, as well as how many sites you post to. Generally speaking quality trumps quantity, and as Jay Baer says in a post for Convince&Convert “Just because a new social network – or even a new ‘trend’ like real-time marketing– crops up, it doesn’t mean your company is required to test it and create a presence . . . each time you add a shiny new ornament to your social media participation tree,  you are taking effort away from your existing outposts.”

To preserve your business’ virtual reputation and conserve internal resources used for generating content and monitoring social media identity,  it is a good idea to put careful consideration into deciding which sites best fit your business’s needs before embarking on your SM campaign.

In making this decision, three primary considerations are a) what types of marketing media you will be using, b) what demographics you wish to reach, and c) what your goal is with your social media campaign. Once you’ve answered those questions for you business, there are some great resources choosing which SM networks to engage.

In choosing how/when/where to use various media, consider that according to market researchers Millard Brown, “Video is better at driving salience than communicating key messages or driving engagement or recruitment,” and  “Static display is better at communicating key messages, or driving engagement or recruitment, than driving salience.”

You’ll likely use a mix of media, so choosing which sites to populate with which types is another important consideration. If the chart below from  on geek.com isn’t enough, This article from Mashable can help.

social_media_donut-590x590

The next chart, a result of surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center,  can help you identify which of the most popular social media networks your demographic is using most. For greater depth, check out the full report.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 10.50.20 PM

 

 

For good in-depth breakdown of how different demographics use the top six social media sites, with some insight into which sites will help you reach particular business goals, check out this article from audiencebloom.com.

 

Sources:

“Digital Media Planning: Some Evidence-Based Guidelines.” Millard Brown

“Social Media Marketing: More isn’t better.” inc.com

“When is Social Media Experimentation a Waste of Company Resources” convinceandconvert.com 

“How to Determine which Social Media Network Fits you Business.” audiencebloom.com

“The top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends that will dominate 2014” Forbes.com

“The State of Social Media Users” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Link

Ask the right Questions

Understanding why a company exists ( or sometimes even just what it does) can be challenging, especially when dealing with startups. However, the better you understand it’s why and what, the better you will be able to serve its marketing needs. This article contains some questions to pose to the company you are working with when their mission is unclear or vague. When you’re helping a company brand or re-brand, having an arsenal of these sorts of questions is of great value.

“Man Therapy”: Campaigns that Work

Denver-based Cactus nabbed Pro Bono Campaign of the Year for “Man Therapy,” a campaign for the Carson J. Spencer Foundation & Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, at this year’s Advertising Age Small Agency Awards. The goal of this campaign is to reduce suicide amount working Colorado men age 25-54 . This demographic accounts for the State’s largest number of the suicide deaths and is the least likely to seek treatment. How can these men be reached and moved to action?

The centerpiece of the campaign is a website, http://mantherapy.org/

Here is why it works for me:

*Guiding you through the website & introducing you to ManTherapy is likable, relatable, humorous character who is targeted specifically at the demographic

*Consistent voice–streaming video has the character introduce every element of the website, and his tone carries through the copy as well.

*The whole website is a story: you’re at the therapist’s office, this is your session.

* Personalization: quizes

* Interactive

*Beautiful balance of humor and seriousness. It’s not confrontational or threatening.

Sources:
Bailey Lauerman, Campfire Take Top Honors at 2013 Ad Age Small Agency Awards

Mantherapy.org

A Creative’s toolbox, Part 1

A creative’s tool box:

Item A: notebook

Guillermo Del Toro calls them “idea incubators.” Fill it with inspiration. Draw from and study the past. Study yourself. Study the things and people that shape you. Draw the heart in the jar on the shelf of your biology classroom. Describe the bum in his threadbare suit washing his feet at the spiget outside the Chinese restaurant. Immerse yourself in artists who came before you who inspire you. Draw what they’ve already drawn. Copy their style. Inhabit it.

Practice taking the complex and making it simple.

Be messy.

Look back at your sketchbooks ten years later for inspiration and messages from your younger self. That young guy knows you.

“We tell stories because we have a hollow place in our heart.” —Guillermo Del Toro

Put the idea on paper. “Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.” — Emma Coats

Practice finishing, letting go of something even though it’s not perfect. You’ll do better next time.