Content is Key

Having a content strategy is one of the most important things a social media team can put together. Having proper content allows you to engage with your customer, connect and keep people coming back. Without it, you become the blind leading the blind. Here are three different info-graphics depicting different concepts behind content strategies. 

INFO-GRAPHIC ONE: 

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I really enjoy this info-graphic (and not just because of the funny little man). I enjoy it because it’s simple but informative and hits a lot of the key factors you would need to include in your content. I find there are many strengths here elements, one through four are really important. I find the weaknesses lie within elements five through seven. Although we have discussed these elements in class and they ARE important, I find because this info-graphic is simplified, that people could misinterpret the intention of these elements. I don’t believe there should always be a call to action in the content you produce, sometimes content can just be entertaining or informative on its own. Linking the content to your product or service is, yes important, however I feel it would be better to say it should always be relevant, not necessarily directly link each time. Obviously measurable content is important, but like we’ve seen in class it’s not always about numbers but about the value of what you’re putting out. 

INFO-GRAPHIC TWO: 
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This would have to be my favorite info-graphic of the three! Not only because I love it’s tasty photo, it really takes the key elements of a content strategy and puts them in a way that makes sense to everyone. I can’t really find any weaknesses within this info-graphic, maybe it’s because I love hamburgers that much, maybe because I believe it really has covered everything that matters. If I were to be picky though, I would say though it’s missing the measurement part of a content strategy. I wouldn’t necessarily say measurement would be a key element in your actual ‘content‘, but it is important to be able to measure your content in some for another, either through a program like HootSuite or Facebook analytics. It’s essential to be able to analyze who you’re directing your content to and who is interacting with you, to be able to mould your strategy  and make sure you’re keeping up with your audience. 

INFO-GRAPHIC THREE

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I feel this is the most simple of the three info-graphics. This diagram centers around content specifically and I feel that though some people are great at putting together strategies and plans, a lot of actual content becomes lost in the planning and as a result gets a bit dry. I like this one because though it seems to be common sense, these five elements are key in what your write for your audience. Being active, interesting, humble and honest are so important and keep people coming back for more. The one weakness I find though is the fourth element, advising people to be unprofessional in their postings is tricky. Though the point is to remain casual, friendly and open, swearing, having your own personal agenda or being inappropriate should be avoided (you’d hope most people would realize this, but you’d be surprised. 

I think each of these info-graphics are helpful and definitely illustrate the variety of the elements of a content strategy. They do all focus on one and the most important element of all, connecting with your audience. Without this, your strategy will fall flat and finding ways to connect with them is what it’s all about. 

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Sources: 

Info-graphic One: http://socialmediarevolver.com/content-strategy-top-tips/

Info-graphic Two: http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/the-content-strategy-burger-infographic/

Info-graphic Three: http://www.prmarketing.com/blog/5-ways-to-make-your-social-media-strategy-more-effective/

Look for Crisis on the Label

Kryptonite bike locks: always protecting what defines you.

Probably not the best slogan to promote a lock that can be picked with a ballpoint pen.

The Kryptonite evolution 2000 U-lock was advertised as ‘the toughest bicycle security in moderate to high crime areas’. Kryptonite invented the original U-lock in 1971 and set the standard for premium bike lock security. in 2004 a man discovered he could pick the Kryptonite 2000 with a Bic pen, then he wrote about on his blog. Naturally the story spread in record time, even prompting the New York Times to write a story about it.

So you’re thinking… where is Kryptonite in all of this?

Kryptonite did nothing. There was no response via social media, regular media or otherwise. Kryptonite did not respond at all.

If it were me running Kryptonite’s social strategy I would take full advantage of what would be an incredibly embarrassing crises.

The first thing I would do is immediately recognize the blog and address the issue directly on the man’s blog with humor and tact. I would thank the gentleman for his incredible skills and state that ‘though Kryptonite was tested with all sorts of tools and put under many strenuous tests, we as a company had overlooked testing it with a Bic pen’ and thank him for pointing out this weakness in our product. The second thing I would do is offer the man an opportunity to test out the Kryptonite products from here on out, using his skills would definitely be beneficial to the company. The third would be to use the guy in different advertising campaigns, poking a bit of fun at the company and ultimately turning the situation into a positive one.

Like we explored in class, whether it’s a corporation or anyone else, when you openly admit to a mistake and can laugh at your own short comings the situation will almost immediately be extinguished. The joys of having a crisis online is that you can use the negative attention to create and develop positive attention and stand out in people’s minds who you may not have reached in the first places.

Unfortunately for Kryptonite, they stand out in people’s minds in a whole other way.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.kryptonitelock.com/Pages/Home.aspx

http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2004/09/64987

http://econsultancy.com/ca/blog/7913-14-epic-social-media-fails

http://www.imz6.com/2012/07/17/5-huge-social-media-mishaps/

Week 3 – Promoted is a four letter word..

I’ve struggled with the idea of Promoted Tweets for a while now. 

Social media has become such a wonderful tool for so many corporations to use, in order to reach a wider audience and network further. I realize that a majority of corporations see it as a major marketing tool – alongside the use of ad space in magazines, tv commercials etc. and the best part is that it’s free. Of course companies would want to take full advantage of this new medium and its ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people. 

Social media gives regular people the opportunity to become journalists, influencers, report the news and make an impact on society.  The fight against one way communication started to take a new stand. It is no longer corporations telling us what to think and when to think it. We are able to think for ourselves and speak for ourselves and concentrate on what matters to us

My issue with promoted tweets is that it seems to be taking the best part of social media, its freedom, and flushing it down the toilet. It’s large corporations and companies once again buying the ability to get people to notice them by force not by choice. It’s taking money to reach their audience instead of using creativity and awareness.

New social media outlets like Pinterest are quietly working again companies ‘promoting’ themselves via social media. They are allowing them to connect with their audiences but not by force, only by choice. I understand Twitters ROI behind promoted tweets but if anything, tweets that are ‘promoted’ are always labelled as such and never have me doing anything but ignoring them.  

 

 

Week 2 – Finding My Inner Geek

Starting week two of our social media exploration, we dive into the discovery of location-based services within social media.

I am a big fan of Foursquare. Mostly because my friends and I have an ongoing ‘Mayorship’ battle to see who can obtain more than the others each month, but I mean hey, who’s counting?

I also have a QR code scanner on my phone, which at first I was quite excited about using, but after discovering that so many businesses have not utilized the purpose of QR codes properly I stopped paying attention. I did notice a poster the other day with a QR code on the bottom. It was advertising travel in Scotland, unfortunately to scan it I would’ve had to stand on the third rail of the subway tracks and frankly, I’m just not that interested in learning what they have to say.
I started to think about how Foursquare and QR codes could be put to better use in the Public Relations world. There’s no doubt that I enjoy using Foursquare on a personal basis but I wanted to see what a Public Relations team could possibly gain from using Foursquare in their PR strategies?

I came up with a few ideas.

The first would be using Foursquare as a rewards program for their customers. For example, reward the person who obtains ‘Mayorship’ with a free coffee or if you reach 20 check-ins at a specific location, they receive a percentage off your next purchase. Then by encouraging your clients to check-in you can pay attention to the demographics of your clientele and apply this information to your PR strategies, essentially Foursquare keeps both you and your clients happy, everybody wins.
A start-up tech company I work for currently is developing business cards for their team. In an attempt to build a name for themselves and become recognized globally I suggested using QR codes on the back of the business card (shaped in the company logo).  I reasoned that the QR code would contain their media kit, for anyone who would want to seek additional information on the company, or for press use. This way it’s environmentally friendly and provides people with useful information right at their fingertips. I think it’s a relatively innovative way to use QR codes and something that people will and can actually scan.

 
I would have to say that the most important thing I learned, in paying close attention to not only my own use, but the importance of QR codes and Foursquare, is that if these newly designed social media services are misunderstood by the businesses that are supposed to be using them they will quickly become obsolete. It’s unfortunate that the some of the general public fails to understand these services as they can and are quite helpful and effective, if used the right way. The other unfortunate thing is, that in these days when information is being delivered in nano seconds, that people also fail to take the short amount of time to understand something that can be beneficial to them in the long run. Hopefully someday we will learn to take our time, even if it’s a matter of mere seconds.

Back to school, back to school…

In June, when I finished the final class of my final program, I wasn’t sad.

Sentimental, yes. Sad, no.

I was more than ready to start my life in the “real world” finally. After eight years of post-grad education, I was restless and tired of highlighting textbooks and overdosing on XL Tim Horton’s coffees (yes, the new sizes).

However, I seemed to have fallen and hit my head, or just have finally admitted to myself, that education, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in school is essential to our innate survival in this world.

I dreaded the initial meet and greet and as expected the questions of “why are you here?!” came up, but I didn’t expect it from my own teacher (a definitely appropriate, LOL can be placed here)! What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. I love to learn, expand my knowledge and be the best that I can.

I have no doubt that this class and my classmates will teach me something, that if had stayed in my ignorance, I would never know…

… or at least I’m hoping that’s the case… it would definitely make my crazy busy days and constant questioning of “are you insane?!” from my fellow staff members a bit easier to take with my morning XL coffee.