Social Media Slice for Tuesday, July 10

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Pinterest has strong reach. Timehop has data breach. Those and other stories in today’s’ edition. SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers and Small Business Owners doing their own marketing.


MAIN SLICE

Pinterest. Can your client make $$ off it? Three influencers say yes you can. But you need to treat it as more than a repository for pictures. It is not Instagram. Pinterest is the number one shopping destination for millenials, a leading driver of website traffic, an online shopping hub, and a powerful search engine, Here are tips to maximize your presence on Pinterest. More


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

Security breach affecting 21 million users hits Timehop, a service that surfaces a user’s past social media content. Bad news: over 4 million phone numbers breached, along with usernames and email addresses. Good (?) news: no financial data affected, nor evidence of any improper account access at this point. More


SLICE MOTIVATION


SLICE INGREDIENTS

Knowing what the competition is doing provides you strategic advantage — especially on Facebook. I have posted tips before. Get ready, more to come. More.


SLICE ON THE GO

Shark Week on TV is having an effect in the air. No not the next installment of Sharknado! Southwest Airlines is rolling out 5 shark-themed designs on its Boeing 737 aircraft. Then use Flight Aware to track the flights, and share plane-spotting photos on Twitter with @SouthwestAir using the hashtag #SharksTakeFlight.” More


And… if you are looking for a marketing promotion today for your small business: July is National Picnic Month and today is Teddy Bear Picnic day. 

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Do You Know What “Social Care” Is?

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Social care, simply put, is the combined efforts employers & employees make through social media to care for customers. I would venture to say many small businesses do not practice it. And as such, most of them let opportunities to attract, engage and convert slip by.

social careHootSuite had an insightful article by Dara Fontein, How to Deliver Exceptional Social Media Customer Service  filled with very interesting facts and suggestions relating to social care.

  • 51 percent of consumers said they would give up on a purchase after trying to reach customer service only once. In other words, customer service has become a no phone zone
  • On average, consumers only tell 9 people about a good experience, but they will tell 16 about a negative one. Ouch!
  • And, this is a wake up & smell the coffee item: 50 % of consumers now use social media when seeking/expecting an actual response from a company about a service issue.

Fontein writes “Social care is not only being used by young digital natives, but is consistently utilized across all ages, languages, genders, and income levels.”

So, whether you are on social media or not, customers are and they are talking about you. Social care is a way of measuring how well you are listening and how quickly you are responding to them.

To that end Fontein includes a very informative instructional video on how to monitor multiple search streams involving your brand on HootSuite.

Easy to do you say, for a big operation able to hire a social media team, but what if you are a small business like the one mentioned in a reader comment:

“How would you best manage responding in a timely manner if you don’t have the resources to do so? Many businesses seem to be a 1 person operation.”

My response is that there are social media strategists (gurus, wizards, etc, etc) who provide affordable free lance service, operating in niche areas. For example, as a writer I can contribute with blogs & Twitter engagement. My friend John is a photographer and could assist with Pinterest & Instagram.

As a small business owner you can design & develop your social care plan with such affordable free lance input. Select the social media platforms in which you feel comfortable to handle, and delegate the others.

Learn how to listen; determine when to join the conversations and when not to. It will show that your small business is social and that you care about customers.

(Anthony M. Scialis is a social media strategist focusing on blogging & tweeting as a two-step customer service effort in bridging the gap between the wants of your small business to grow and the needs of your customers to be satisfied. Follow https://twitter.com/amssvs)

Where to Focus Your Small Biz Social Media Buzz

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Social media is not comprised of one size fits all platforms. The platforms serve different functions. They show different sides of businesses. They appeal to different sexes and ages. If you’ve relinquished social control to a staff member whose “social business experience” is that he/she has an Instagram or Facebook account, those facts may not be known.

Perhaps that’s why the platform your small biz is using has not been delivering results, that is increased sales, followers and communication? Could be.

Let me share with you an article Hootsuite offered up; it’s a travelogue to walk you down the ins and outs of how Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. affect and are affected by different industries.

By no means are all covered. For example, the restaurant industry— one of the most prominent here in Salem— isn’t highlicon blog 1ighted. The article should really have delved into that area because unlike most other businesses, this service industry also has to deal with review sites— of which you usually have no control on the content.

(If you were asking me, I would say because an eating establishment is visual, go with both Instagram & Pinterest— but don’t neglect word of mouth that can be generated by Twitter and blogs, which can also deflect the occasional negative review on consumer opinion sites.)

Author Evan LePage suggests the following symbiotic relationships (you’ll need to read the article for the supporting reasons):

  • Retailers go with Instagram
  • Manufacturers go with YouTube
  • Media go with SnapChat
  • Government agencies go with Instagram
  • Technology go with whatever comes next (think about it, if you’re a tech company you should be on whatever is hot— or even before so— to prove how cutting edge you are).

What about Realtors, amusement attractions, tourism outlets and social organizations, all of which have a strong presence in the Salem business mix? Well, what do you think would not only showcase those businesses yet also allow for the all-important communication with customers?

(Photo courtesy of Kromkrathog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

How to Use a USA Today Survey to Benefit Your Small Business

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Being aware/involved with surveys that pertain to your home customer base is a powerful and inexpensive way to build community support.

Salem MaCommunity involvement is critical when you are a small business. You need to have local shoppers know you, support you and care about your business to have it succeed. But it’s a two-way street.

For example, consider this current promotion:

Halloween 2015 is fast approaching, and USA TODAY 10Best is on a mission to find the best fun and spooky attractions and experiences available. We need your help! Vote once per day for your Halloween favorites in the categories of Best Halloween Destination, Best Theme Park Halloween Event, Best Haunted Hotel, Best Ghost Tour and Best Extreme Haunted Attraction. Voting ends on Monday, October 12 at noon ET, and winners will be announced on Friday, October 16.

This is the “Current Leader board” link for Salem MA in the Best Halloween Destination category.

If you are a restaurant on Washington Street, or an attraction on New Derby Street, or a craft-themed store on Essex Street then informing and motivating your current customers through social media to participate will go a long way to spread the word that your Small Business supports Salem MA (or whatever your community if this blog is being read outside of Salem).

Again, according to USA Today:

The witchy women of Salem’s infamous past have haunted the town since their unfortunate trials in 1692. The verdict for the town’s tourism industry, however, has been nothing but sunny. An entire industry is built around the city’s spooky and strange history and that all culminates come Halloween time when Salem Haunted Happenings brings pumpkin carving, parades, haunted cruises and all manner of history-based events for all ages. The city’s beautiful architecture really helps set the mood.

The synopsis could have highlighted the fact that Haunted Happenings is a MONTH-LONG celebration. It could have added that we have real witches walking about and working in our community. It could have also mentioned that we provide a Tourist Info Booth to help enhance a visitor’s experience so he or she spends more time at an attraction rather than looking for it.

So you take the initiative: point out those contributing factors in your company Facebook posts, tweets and blogs, as well as in your Instagram & Pinterest themes, etc.

Let the public know that you support the goal of winning the survey. Vote for Salem!  And Salem will vote for you.

 

Reporter’s Notebook: Picture This, Social Media Sizing Tips

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There are two kinds of writers I recently told my friend John Andrews of Social Palates Photography. There are those like me that use many words to write a story, peppered with one picture. Then there are writers like him who use pictures to tell a story, and they sweeten it with a few words.

the-walking-dead-season-4And then there special cases like this Walking Dead poster which say so much and so little with one picture and a few words.

That said, since I am speaking mostly to word writers, I thought I should provide some advice on optimal use of pictures in your blogs.

So friends, students and lurkers, here is a cheat sheet from Luna Metrics for sizing pictures on various social media platforms. The article by Samantha Hosenkamp appeared on the PR Daily site.

What size should a Timeline pix or Thumbnail on Facebook be? Or a Shared Image on Twitter? Ever tried to fit in a Shared Video on Google+ or the Mappable Header on You Tube? Thinking about the Career Cover Photo on LinkedIn? And what about the Pin Preview on Pinterest?

All the secrets revealed. This is one item I am going to bookmark and email to myself just to make sure it doesn’t fade away like… an old picture.

Reporter’s Notebook: TV and Social Media

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Social media as a tool to report & comment on a TV series is now giving way to social media becoming an integrated part of the programming. Alexandra Jacopetti, Senior Account Manager of Rocket Post recently wrote an interesting roundup 5 Top Shows Killing It With Social Media (Social Media Today).

She writes: “CBS’s returning crime show Person of Interest is inviting fans to submit their photo through a new Facebook app. The app determines your “threat level,” then creates a profile picture you can post on your timeline. You can then submit the photo to the show’s producers and it might show up in a future episode.”

Jim Caviezel

Jim Caviezel star of Person of Interest (Photo credit: Air Force One)

As a fan of Person of Interest, these promotions and social marketing are quite inviting.

Read the article for yourself.

Granted this integration intensifies the personal experience of the program’s viewer. But, will it improve the writing or bear any fruit in attracting non viewers?  Advertising revenue is after all still based on ratings.

Additionally, could it even backfire, going so far as to alienate any of a program’s current viewers who may not be as “fluent” in social media. Would they begin to feel ostracized or discriminated “from the party” and tune out?

What do you think?