Tag: social media


Time to get social

Anyone who’s had just a passing experience or two with social media engines like Facebook and Twitter could pretty fairly conclude it’s a big swamp they don’t need to wade into. BUT, there’s strong reason to start heading in. The waters get clearer over time and the value grows more evident.

This sector is a community of common interests and concerns, and technology is enabling companies to build industry awareness and relationships, distribute information and solicit feedback rapidly, and at no real cost other than time.

If you think Facebook is for birthday photos and seeing what your high school buddies are up to, you’re right. But many, many, many major brands have strong Facebook fan sections set up with hundreds of thousands or even millions of people hooked in to them. It’s a forum to talk to customers, distribute information like videos and product launches, promote events, promote your people, and do recruiting. And a lot of other things.

With Twitter, a little knowledge and the right tools allow you to fine-tune the “stream” of content to your interest area. I use it to flag interesting articles I’ve read online, and read things that people I follow and respect say are worth my time. I know people who follow others for industry intel. If I need to get the word out on something quickly, I have hundreds of people who “follow” me and thousands more who watch for “hashtags” like #digitalsignage and #dooh.

In other words, social is not going away, and if you’re not using it, you need to start.

But have a strategy and rules going in. I’ve seen a few corporate accounts run by junior staff, who think nothing of blending their personal lives into the messages. That can go sideways on you, and quickly.


DS PR 101: Don’t invite people people to drop by, and then lock the marketing door

On Twitter this morning, a European software company breathlessly hyped how something big was coming, and then two hours later released the exciting news that a “preview” version of its Website was now live!!!

So please come by and please pass the excitement along …

Dutifully, I clicked through because I had not heard of this company before, and was therefore curious. Website has nice, simple layout. Good. Vague value statements and silly statements like “Simplified by geniuses.” Not so good. Links from main page briefs to “Learn More” that go to a contact form. Dumb. And annoying.

Two things here:

1 – When companies finish their Websites they tend to be far more excited about that than the people who visit the sites. Announcing a sneak preview of a corporate Website is just nutty. Turn your new Website on when it is really ready to be seen and provides value. Even Apple, in its preview of the iPad, has extensive information about the coming product on its preview pages. You don’t get to do teaser campaigns when there are roughly 300 companies who have the same product you think people will be excited about.

2 – The old saying about only having one chance to make a good first impression applies here. Asking people to come visit your company’s Website, and then giving them nothing but a handful of empty marketing phrases and a frustrating call to action to fill out a form, is a fabulous way to ensure those people won’t return.

Don’t ask people over, and then lock the door, turn off the lights and sit in the kitchen oblivious to the irritated people who are ringing the doorbell.


Teaser tweets that fail

So my alma mater puts out a note on Twitter saying it is proud to announce the release of an update to its software platform – presumably with the idea that this will intrigue people and do things like inform customers and excite prospects.

Good software, good people. I go have a look on the Website to see what’s been added.

Nothing there. Nada. Zip. Zero.

I search online. Zippo.

Yes, it is just a Tweet. But this is the social media equivalent of going to a sales call and starting off the conversation by saying, “We are here to tell you we have some exciting upgrades to our product” … and then leaving the building.

If you start a marketing conversation, you need to be prepared to carry it.