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Liblog : 9th media

新媒体创意工场 Socal Engage & Digital Marketing

 
 
 

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A brief introduction of Social Media PR   

2008-03-27 11:23:54|  分类: 新媒体公关 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Technorati ProfileRe-edited by Liblog

Background
What is important to understand is that online PR is effective for direct to consumer communications as well as media relations. The bonus is that adding social media to online PR initiatives can have a multiplying effect.

According to a report released by comScore, half of all internet users visited news sites in June 2006. Of the most popular news web sites, Yahoo News is #1 surpassing CNN, MSNBC and AOL News. Their Chinese counterparts are Sina.com.cn, 163.com and Sohu.com.(QQ.com and MSN.com.cn also enjoy large readers pool.)

There’s also an increase in the use of social media both by end consumers and the media for tracking information that interests them. This includes: blog and news search engines, social news, social bookmarks, podcasts and video. The thing that ties all of this together is RSS. RSS enables people to subscribe to the kinds of content from the channels or formats that they are interested in.

Yet, in China, the RSS is not widely used. First it is because Chinese users will not not bother to search news with RSS readers and second there is no good-quality RSS readers which can statisfy the readers.

What is important to understand is that online PR is effective for direct to consumer communications as well as media relations. The bonus is that adding social media to online PR initiatives can have a multiplying effect.

Social Media & Why it Matters

Social Media is an important, growing channel in the world of online marketing. China is becoming the world's largest country by the number of social media users.

Others organizations are not inherently built for social media, not because of business models but because of content creation models.

It’s not only difficult to get anything social approved within such organizations, but the conversations on the path to social media can be painful.

For the attendees, both inhouse and agency, in the audience looking for the WHY to social media,

CREATE
1. Opportunities to connect and engage the target audience
2. Buzz around content, products, services, etc

INCREASE
1. Traffic to the website
2. Links to the website
3. Rankings in the SERPs (search engine result pages)

I find one of the biggest push backs on social is companies are afraid of what users are going to say about them.

Most organizations are employing the ‘ignorance is bliss’ way of thinking and ignoring that users are talking about their brand anyway.

It is important to know where your audience is conversing online, what they are saying and get involved.

Cliché as it may sound, companies shouldn’t focus on the bad review, but rather how they respond. Bad reviews are going to happen, it’s part of business. What doesn’t have to happen is companies ignoring conversations in which they can have great impact on the most targeted of target audiences.

Enough of the negative. There are wonderfully positive conversations about brands in the social media space and this is an untapped resource for great content.

We consistently work with clients to take the good and milk it for all its worth, whether media coverage, client testimonial, analyst review, the list goes one.

The positive information should be leverage throughout additional marketing channels to increase credibility with the target audience.

Work with your company/clients to be glass half full kind of people regarding social media because if you are, your glass can be full of results.


Socoial media and marketing strategy

There are many reasons social media can be a productive marketing and public relations channel or platform. Rather than emplying it as a tactic du jour, the purpose should dictate strategy and the tactics used for reaching desired goals. A few common outcomes for social media marketing efforts include:

  • Gain insight into a community of interest -You can run all the customer surveys you want, but some of the most interesting and progressive market research can be found within the social communities where your customers interact, share information and make recommendations. Tapping into the streams of dialog is a great start to engagement and social participation with your brand.
  • Build brand visibility and authority - You’ve heard it before, “Conversations are happening online about your brand, with or without you.” You might as well participate and do so in a way that pays close attention to the interests and needs of your customers - providing them with information and interactions that further support your brand.
  • Influence and promotion of products/services - Providing information to educate customers about your products in the formats and media types they prefer can go a long way towards building the kind of buzz that results in new business. By promotion, I mean advertising on social media sites.
  • Link building for traffic and SEO - Creating linkbait and promoting it to social media news and bookmarking sites can attract a slew of links from bloggers that read them. However, sustaining high levels of promotion to the same site or with the same user accounts will quickly be outed as social media spam. Creating value for the community is not the only rule, creating value and behaving according to formal and unwritten rules is what sustains social media sourced link building.
  • Drive traffic for ad revenue models - Becoming a power user of several social communities involves consistently contributing quality content, rewarding those who vote positively on that content as well as growing a large base followers. That base of like-minded connections can serve as an effective distribution channel for unique and interesting content which drives traffic to ad supported blogs that host the content. The linkbait suggestion above not only attracts links, but also attracts traffic. However, many ad supported sites report that traffic from social media sites is notorious for not clicking on ads. It’s the bloggers that write about linkbait content first viewed on social media sites that drive the kind of traffic which results in ad clickthroughs.

The mechanisms for putting these strategies into action vary depending on the resources and time allocations a company can make on its own, or when working with an agency. In fact, it is most often due to internal resource constraints that companies outsource social media strategy and tactics in the first place.

Type in “social media marketing” into Google and you’ll get about as many search results (23 million) as there are social media tactics being promoted. As with any type of marketing, social media promotions center around matching content with interested audiences as well as stimulating conversation and buzz. Content can be created from scratch, mashed up or you can “borrow to build” by piggybacking on someone else’s social media success. The key is to listen and participate.

"Speaking of social media tactics, I recently wrote/facilitated an article on social media marketing for Larry Chase on his famous Web Digest For Marketers newsletter and web site which includes social media tips from some of the most opinionated minds on the topic: Brian Solis, Neil Patel, Chris Winfield, Mike Moran, Rohit Bhargava, Jeremiah Owyang, Muhammad Saleem and Jason Falls."

Each of these social media experts provided tips of their own as well as resources from: Steve Rubel, Robert Scoble, Charlene Li, Andy Hagans, Pete Cashmore, Chris Brogan, authors Huba/McConnell and Emanuel Rosen. If you’re interested in social media as part of your online marketing strategy, the tips are worth checking out when it posts this week.

I am curious if Online Marketing Blog readers are finding that social media marketing tactics are getting included in strategic marketing discussions? Is social media getting singled out like SEO or PPC in budgets and forecasts?

9 Quick Tips to Optimize Online Sales Lead Gen
These quick tips are written by Managing Editor Eileen Shulock, who is an ecommerce fashionista at her day job. She sees firsthand what works and what doesn't when selling hip threads online. Your humble publisher (that would be me, Larry Chase) also contributed some key observations and to-do's that I've discovered from publishing Web Digest For Marketers since April 1995.
-LC

Eileen's Tips:

1. Have More Than One Lead/Offer: If you only have one promotion featured on your website or in your email, here's what happens: Your site visitor either likes the offer or he doesn't. That's a big risk to take, because if he doesn't like the offer, he leaves and is gone forevermore. If you are a B2B company, that means you should feature more than one whitepaper or other lead generator on your website. If you sell products, you should show more than one. If you offer very different leads, such as whitepapers on different subjects, you are segmenting your leads at the same time. Love those time-savers!

2. Study Your Influencers: A few key "influencers" drive the most quality leads and sales. Rather than targeting the whole world of influencers (blog editors, sites like Digg or community shopping sites, etc.), you track down the key people and woo them however you can. If you feature content, consider offering key people guest-editor spots on your site. Not only will they drive traffic/leads to your site; you will also be "top of mind" when they have new opportunities to share. Nothing works like flattery!

3. Offer Referral Fees or Gifts: An affiliate program is one well-known way to generate leads (i.e., you partner with like-minded sites to offer each other's products or services). In addition, when done legally and with tact, there is nothing wrong with wooing appropriate parties with special gifts or fees. "Fees?" you say with horror. Yes, indeed. When I am looking for leads in the fashion world, I regularly contact appropriate sites and offer referral fees or money for a sweepstakes or gratis products for promotional purposes. A gift such as a complimentary subscription to your service is an example of how this suggestion could work for you. In the offline world, this is called "nourishing the sales channel."

4. Offer "Out of Stock" or "Upcoming Products/Services" Notifications: Let's say you have a new whitepaper or product on your site, and you know you have more coming down the pipe. You can promote those future projects by offering to notify interested parties when said items are ready. This is an easily implemented tactic that creates a lead pipe with ease. If you offer more than one notification at the same time, do try to segment the subject matter so you have ready-to-go segmented leads. And do deliver what you promise!

5. Get Out There and Participate with Vendors: If you feature multiple vendors on your site, make it known that you are game for any promotions that they have in the pipeline. For example, I work with two fashion vendors to promote their new product lines. "What's in it for me?" you ask. Well, duh, you become the go-to source for that product or complementary service, and you piggyback on the time and money they've already spent to get the thing organized and rolling.

TIP: Ask the vendor what other companies are participating in the program so that you make sure none of your competitors is involved. You don't want to fight for the leads.

Larry's Tips:

6. Long Tail Landing Pages: As the publisher of Web Digest For Marketers, I've noticed that one of the biggest mistakes people make is to take their landing pages containing an offer down too soon. If it's an evergreen B2B landing page, you can keep it up without touching it for a very long time. Just be sure to harvest the leads from it, and watch how long that tail gets. I've noticed click-throughs on offers in Web Digest for over one year after the original offer ran.

If yours is a time-sensitive offer, you naturally have to address this and perhaps post a consolation offer for those who missed out on your promotion. Maybe you put a coupon up that is good for a full year thereafter. Then, watch how many redemptions you get.

7. Amortize Your Whitepapers: Another pattern I see as publisher of Web Digest is that some advertisers underutilize their creative assets. Often an advertiser will think a whitepaper has reached the end of its shelf life after running just once or twice. In contrast, I've seen advertisers run the exact same whitepaper repeatedly and get impressive click-throughs two, three and four times. In the email-marketing channel, this has much to do with list vitality.

TIP: While you can offer the same whitepaper, swap out ad copy, or at least the headline. But I have seen identical copy pull just as well the second time as the first time within a few weeks.

8. Make Marketers Listen to Sales People: For some stupid reason, marketers often think they know more than sales people. The opposite is often true. Why? Because sales people (be they in a trade show booth, on the phone or in a showroom) work where the rubber meets the road. These are the people who interact with your audience on a daily basis.

Marketers tend to talk to other marketers and persuade each other something is true when it often isn't. If your sales people say the leads you're feeding them are awful, listen. They may be right. On the other hand the sales people might just be complaining. It's probably a little bit of both.

9. Quick, Do a Vid: All the trends I'm seeing show that video is hot. People click on it because they can now easily play vids thanks to expanded bandwidth between server and client PCs. Maybe video is still a novelty, and it will wear off (but I don't think so). But, since video usage is increasing so rapidly, and it's so cheap to produce, why not?

Yes, producing video is more laborious than a simple text or banner ad; but, come on, it's still cheap and easy. Do it while the getting is good. It won't be long before you see video PPC ads in those sponsored listings that will compete with those must-click video stills in Universal Search results. Never underestimate the magic of motion and sound.

Push and pull PR

Push basically means the tactics used to distribute a company’s news including using press releases sent out via wire services, email or fax. It also includes pitching the media on story ideas and contributed articles.

Pull activities are based on the demand consumers have for online news as well as the search activities of people in the media looking for subject matter experts, researching past news coverage and looking for story ideas. Pull PR makes it easy for the media and your intended audience to find and pull themselves to your news.

On a continum, push and pull would be on either end with media coverage in the middle. Achieving media coverage by one or both push and pull allows you to further extend the reach of your news. First, by pulling more readers to your message via the publications that have picked up your story. Second, by using that media coverage as a direct marketing promotion via email or direct mail.

Examples of pull PR:

  • News search engine visibility
  • Organic search engine visibility
  • Social news and bookmark sites
  • Blog & RSS search engines

Examples of push PR:

  • News release distribution
  • Pitching journalists and bloggers with story ideas
  • Social Networks/Rollodex
  • Paid reviews on blogs (advertorial)
Blogger Relations

One of the most unexplored opportunities for effective push PR is blogger relations. Pitching bloggers can be a slippery slope, so keep in mind the following considerations:

  • Be relevant - Mass emailed press releases do not work with bloggers. Review the blog’s categories and previous posts and only offer related news.
  • Personalize - Blogging is much more a personal expression than writing articles in a mainstream publications and bloggers respond to personal messages. Generic and poorly written pitches will either be ignored or posted to the blog for everyone to see.
  • Make it easy - Write a summary of your news with links to full versions and related resources. Many bloggers will copy paste your summary, add a few of their own comments and link to the news release.
  • Schwag is good - If you have products or services that can be tried out, be sure to offer them.
  • Be persistent - Many bloggers have day jobs and do not have a lot of time. Do not be discouraged if your news does not get picked up or if you do not get a response on your pitch. Try again and be persistent, but not annoying.

Fundamental press release optimization includes keyword research, placing keywords in the correct positions and frequency in the release and adding links. A social media release deconstructs the content offerred in a regular press release into sections that can be more easily scanned and used by journalists to glean story ideas.

The social media press release

  • Headline
  • Abstract or Summary
  • Key points as bullet points
  • Quotes
  • About the company
  • Logo graphic and headshots as appropriate
  • Media contact information
  • Link to a del.icio.us resource page
  • Links to Technorati tags
  • Links that enable the reader to bookmark the release
  • RSS subscription links
  • A link to the release in a traditional format

Post-release distribution actions:

  • Post news release on company site or blog enabled media room
  • Bookmark the release with social bookmark services
  • Bookmark pickups with del.icio.us
  • reate a MS Word doc and PDF version of the release optimized with keywords and links and embed images/media

Success can be measured through:

  • Wire service reporting - impressions, reads, prints, pickups
  • Clipping services - online and offline pickups
  • Web analytics - referring traffic and conversions as appropriate
  • Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts - Email notifications
  • RSS: Technorati, Google Blog Search, BlogPulse.com

By optimizing your press releases and adding social media, you can increase the distribution channels and take advantage of increased visibility to demand driven traffic. A PR strategy that involves both push and pull provides many more opportunities for coverage than any single tactic.










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