social media marketing

Why Facebook Timeline is Good for Brands & the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

Reposting my post originally shared on the AMP blog, with a couple of updates:

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CocacolatimelineAs you all know now, Facebook made the switch for all brand pages over to the new Facebook Timeline layout as of March 30th. While the jury is still out among some social media professionals as to whether or not this shift is beneficial to brands, I’m not having any trouble seeing the value this shift brings to the table for brands seeking real relationships with their consumers. This shift in functionality is one that finally, and for the first real time in the social media space, enables brands to tell their story, share their history, share the milestones that matter, and engage with consumers in an authentic conversation and relationship. Does it get any better than that? Isn't that exactly what brands have been claiming to strive for? Then why have so many of them just allowed ths witch to happen without doing a thing to prepare? 

Here are the top 5 things you’ll need to keep in mind as you work towards rebranding your page with the Timeline functionality – and you do need to work to make  your page shine in the new Timeline layout! Simply allowing the switch to happen is not enough and you’re NOT doing your brand any favors if you didn’t put any thought into making the switch!

  1. Choose a cover photo that represents your brand and your story, while being mindful of Facebook’s rules on what your cover photo may not contain:
    • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
    • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
    • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
    • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
  2. Highlight the most important elements of your brand along the top. Tabs as we know them are morphing into a series of icons highlighted just below your cover image.
    • Photos are a static element in the new design, but you can change everything else, and the order in which they appear – be sure to make good use of the limited real estate. I’d recommend not keeping Likes as one of the 4 primary tabs at the top – don’t you have more to share with visitors than how many other visitors have liked the page?
    • You’ll also need to choose images to represent the elements that you want to highlight – make this a priority given it’s placement on your page, as it’s one of the first things visitors will see
    • You can also pin a post to the top of your page to highlight the most important content/conversation for your brand
  3. Additional tab changes mean some additional work to optimize the visitor experience:
    • Default landing tabs are no longer an option so choose  your posts wisely as these will now be the first thing a visitor will see when engaging with your brand
    • The width of tabs is also changing from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide – this means you’ll likely need to rework most of the tabs you had on your page previously to make use of the expanded real estate, but until you do, they’ll center within the 810 pixel width
  4. Milestones and the brand story become the forefront of the experience. While pondering what to include, consider these elements as you tell the story of your brand:
    • What are our brand goals and objectives?
    • What matters to our target audience?
    • Are there large gaps that we can fill with notable elements, such as key hires, new products, awards, etc.?
  5. Direct, private messages to brands from users are possible for the first time, enabling more direct brand-to-consumer interaction than ever before. As you’re adjusting to this new functionality you’ll want to consider:
    • Your strategy for responding to customer inquiries publicly vs. privately including message categories and response times or SLAs to inquiries
    • Real-estate is now precious on your page, so take offline conversations offline via direct messages

For some examples of great brand uses of Timeline, check out:

  • Coca Cola – With the exception of the Likes being one of the four icons at the top, the Coca-Cola page is a great example of a brand-relevant layout making excellent use of the Timeline functionality.
  • Barack Obama – Whether you support Obama or not, one look at his Facebook Timeline demonstrates that his team knows what they’re doing when it comes to leveraging the new functionality. They’ve peppered his page with relevant facts and news throughout his life. They’re also using the cover photo to demonstrate compelling, relevant information to this year’s campaigns.
  • Tide (yes, as in the laundry detergent) – The team at Tide has done a great job of laying out relevant milestones in the product’s history, along with interesting facts and information the company has shared with consumers over the years. They’re using their cover photo for new product awareness – a no-brainer! Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Subway – Who knew sandwiches could be this interesting! The company has done a great job of filling in interesting facts about the products, organization, and corporate responsibility throughout the years. Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Burberry – The fashion house has done a fantastic job of replicating theHeritage section of their website into their Facebook Timeline. Not surprisingly, they’ve also mastered the art of visual appeal in the use of eye-catching images sprinkled throughout their timeline.

All in all, while the new Timeline functionality swap seems like a very drastic one, and in many ways it is, it’s also a chance for brands to finally tell their story. It’s an opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers in a compelling way highlighting what matters the most to the consumers who wish to know the personality behind the brand. For brands, Timeline offers an easy way to connect in a more human, more personal way.

What have been your experiences with Timeline for brands so far? Do you like it? What would you change if you could?

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

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The Rise of Social eCommerce in an Age of Dwindling Consumer Loyalty

The challenge of brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is harder to obtain than ever before. In fact, in our research study, Inside the Buy, AMP Agency found that only 3% of consumers say they are loyal to a brand and never buy anything else. A Contemporary Loyalty has been born where consumers are somewhat loyal to a product, but open-minded to similar products that are new or better. As such, companies need to differentiate themselves like never before to remain in the consumer’s consideration set at the time of purchase.

What’s in it for me?

The higher the perceived value a product or manufacturer offers, the more stickiness it has for a consumer. Consumers expect to be able to find information about products when they search, and where they search. In the same study, AMP Agency discovered that 43% of consumers always do research before making a purchase.

Instant gratification

In the same way that consumers expect to be able to find information on products when they search, they also want and expect to be able to buy things where they want, when they want, and how they want – and yes, that means on Facebook and other social networking sites if they so choose.  

Enter Social eCommerce

Companies that got ahead of this curve early on are seeing some great results in their consumer engagement, purchases, traffic, loyalty and word-of-mouth. Here are a few examples of successful social ecommerce stores on Facebook (also called f-stores):

1800Flowers f-store – the first f-store on Facebook opened in 2009

1800Flowers

Delta Airlines f-store – Delta was the first airline to offer ticket purchase capabilities thru Facebook

Delta

Best Buy f-store – Given their mantra of “shop & share,” Best Buy is taking advantage of their fans purchases by encouraging them to share their purchases with their Facebook friends – a pretty neat word-of-mouth strategy.

BestBuy

NBA Fan f-store – Great place for their 10MM+ fans to shop for their favorite teams’ logo merchandise

NBAStore

Lady Gaga f-store – Lady Gaga is the 2nd most popular female celebrity on Facebook, so her store is sure to get some engagement

Gaga

At the end of the day, It’s all about providing the right content to the right people at the right time in the right place! These are not new notions when it comes to the business and consumer landscape – the only thing that has changed is the storefront!

Questions to consider before launching your own f-store:

What do we hope to achieve?  

You’ll want to define the goals you have for your f-store. For example, is it strictly a revenue generation too, or do you intend to use it to help generate buzz and awareness about your brand, as well? Be honest about the amount of revenue your f-store will actually bring in. It should be viewed as an opportunity to realize additional incremental revenue, but not a primary revenue driver. You’ll be able to determine trends after it has been live for a period of time.

How do we intend to measure success?

You’ll want to define your measures of success and tie them back to your goals. What measures will tell you that you made a good investment and how long do you intend to give them to see the trends?

How does this tie in to my larger social media marketing strategy?

Your Facebook store should complement your overall social media strategy, not be a result in and of itself. How can  you use your Facebook presence, and therefore your f-store as a part of a larger strategy, campaign, contest, etc? You’ll also want to consider how you intend to market your f-store. 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

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Reflections on Week 1 @AMP_Agency


Image Courtesy: http://jbordeaux.com
Since so many folks have been asking me how week one went in my new job at AMP Agency, I thought I'd share with you, as well, just how great it went! I feel like a kid in a candy store! 

What a week it was! I knew that joining an agency was going to be interesting and different, and would present me with different challenges than what I faced while working on the client side at EMC. But I have to tell you that there’s nothing that happened last week that scared me away, or wasn’t a welcome challenge for me to face. I love the fast pace of the agency environment. I love the atmosphere. Everything about going agency side feels right to me.

Having been on the client side for the past five years I wasn't sure exactly how that transition would be, but I have to honestly say that I've always found agencies appealing - because of the energy, because of the creativity, because of the people. People work hard but also know to have fun while they're working hard and the creative brainstorming sessions that I've participated in this week are just one example of that. I’ve already had the opportunity to contribute to about half a dozen different clients working on social business solutions for them, and the creativity coming from everyone at the agency is just amazing. I honestly couldn’t be happier with the change that I’m experiencing and the atmosphere that I’m in. Really awesome stuff.

If I had to pick one thing that was my favorite new experience this week, it would be the ability to work with both B2B and B2C clients now, instead of just being focused on the B2B side. I have always said that even if a business is focused on marketing to and selling to B2B clients, there are still people behind the “B” that you have to connect with and win over, and I still firmly believe that. And having sat in the seat of being focused primarily on B2B clients at EMC, I can definitely attest to the fact that it is absolutely possible to communicate B2B using social media and do so successfully. What is different for me, at least in this first week of true exposure to the B2C side is that there are more opportunities to be creative – to have open brainstorming sessions about the consumers and purchasers that are the “C” in the B2C equation.

An equal favorite new experience this week is getting to meet and know the people at AMP.  Ok, so that’s two things – but I couldn’t not mention the people! What a group of interesting, exciting, and enthusiastic people!  And they have been great to me this week. I'm flattered and humbled by the reception that I've received from everyone at AMP. Everyone is so nice and so happy to meet me and has so much information and advice to share with me that it has been just a remarkable experience.

Image Courtesy: http://1000awesomethings.files.wordpress.com The funny thing is that a lot of people asked me if I was sure that I wanted to go agency side when I mentioned that I was leaving the client side at EMC to go to the agency side, and while I know it’s only been a week – it’s been a fabulous week, and this was absolutely the right choice for me.

I'm so excited! I can’t wait for week two! As I said, I feel like a kid in a candy store!

 

 

 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

 

 

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One door closes, and another one opens. Leaving @EMCcorp, heading to @AMP_Agency

Courtesy of: http://positivefaces.com/ Many of you who know me likely already know this, but yesterday was my last day at EMC as their Manager of Enterprise Social Media Engagement Strategy.  Leaving was a hard decision, but it was the right decision for me, at the right time. I’ve been with the company for five years, and it’s been five great years. I’ve worn a variety of hats, and had a wealth of opportunity come my way thanks to all the tremendous work of the many talented people at EMC.

I must admit though, that my favorite hat has been the one of social media strategist and evangelist – helping people at EMC to understand the power of social media and how it can help them to work better, faster, smarter and harness the collective intelligence and power of the world around them. I love nothing more than to help people understand the tremendous power that social media has to offer. I also love learning how they’re using social media, what’s working, what’s not and how we can make a difference, together. And the learning on my end has been tremendous, and that’s honestly why I’ll never get tired of social media and collaboration. It’s what I have a passion for – connecting people with people and people with information. It’s sort of my motto. In fact, I often describe myself as a “connector.”

AMPAgencyLogo Given my passion for social media and connecting people, it’ll come as no surprise to you that I’m staying focused in the social media space. I’m delighted to be joining AMP Agency in Boston, the leader in inspiring brands with integrated digital and experiential marketing, as their VP of Social Media. They have a tremendous wealth of talented people there doing amazing things. One look at their work and clients and you'll see what I mean. I can’t wait to dive right in and begin learning and adding value. I’m also seriously psyched to be able to continue forward with my passion of helping drive forward the value that social media has to offer individuals and companies, big and small.

I start down the new path on Monday. I can’t wait. It’s going to be one heck of a ride, and I’m ready to dive right in headfirst. But then, that doesn’t surprise many of you all that much now, does it?

The Possibilities Inspire Me.

Let's stay connected. I’ll still be here, and I’ll still need you to chat with, bounce ideas off of, and keep me connected.

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

 

 

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Social Media Metrics: Are you measuring the right thing?

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.livingstonbuzz.com In all of the conversations I have in working with folks to create a meaningful and measurable social media strategy, I work thru a series of 5 basic questions to help them not only think thru what they want to do, but also think thru how they’ll know when they’ve achieved success. Amazingly, time and again, the one question that always stumps folks is the one around measurement.

(I’ll cover the first 4 in greater detail in a series of other posts, but wanted to share them here high-level now, as well.)

  1. What are you trying to accomplish?
  2. What topics are you prepared to talk about and who are the subject matter experts already talking about it?
  3. Who are you trying to talk to?
  4. Where are they currently talking?
  5. How will you measure success? 

How will you know you achieved your goals? What are your measures of a successful effort? What precedents have been set before, if any? How will you meet or exceed those?

Generally speaking, the first 3 questions are easier for most groups to answer. Although the answers may not be ideal in all cases, they’re at least prepared to discuss them and work thru them together. The metrics question, however, is the one that brings the most discussion and questions and debate and grief just about every single time.

A typical answer to that question goes something like this:

Me: How will you measure success? 

Them: Our success measures will be that we achieve XX followers or fans in the first 90 days. Our success measures will be that we tweet XX times or post on our wall XX times in the first 90 days.

Photo Courtesy of: http://bowlpickins.com Me: [INSERT LOUD “WRONG ANSWER” BUZZER SOUND HERE!]

Ok. Let's chat this thru. How are these metrics helpful to the goals you just identified? In my view, these are metrics that anyone can achieve and are, frankly, meaningless numbers when gathered alone.

Them: But what else can we even measure? 

Me: Well, there are lots of things you can measure. At the bare minimum, you need to focus on both audience and engagement numbers. Let me say it again – at the bare minimum, you need to focus on both audience and engagement numbers.

(I’ll get into all sorts of other useful measures in a later post.)

Me: While it may feel good to have 5,000 fans on Facebook or 10,000 followers on Twitter, what good is that to you (really) if those fans and followers never engage with you or your brand, never comment, never share the information with their networks by liking, commenting, retweeting, etc.? It’s not!

The sad reality is that you’re also not achieving your goals in any way, shape, or form. You’re not having a conversation, you’re not increasing awareness or share of voice, and you’re certainly not influencing anyone.

If they’re not engaging with you, they’re not really adding any substantial value to your brand, they’re not reciprocating any sort of information exchange or conversation – and you don’t even know if they like what they’re seeing, although I’d argue it’s a pretty safe bet that they don’t like what they’re seeing if they’re not engaging with you. This is the kiss of death because they’re going to tune you out sooner or later, if they haven’t already.

So, while fans and followers are a nice to have – they’re only part of the equation when it comes to measuring success in your social media efforts.

If you’re not measuring both – you’re measuring the wrong thing. And that means you’re delivering the wrong results.

Photo Courtesy of http://www.phillymarketinglabs.com


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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

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A little social media marketing helps EMC Break Records

EMC Breaks Records

Last week, in case you hadn’t heard, EMC launched a record 41 products. You can view the Record Breakers simulcast replay on EMC.com, if you’d like. But, I’m not here to talk to you too much about the product side of things – I’m no product expert although I think that there are some awesome new products out there from EMC. Instead, I’d like to talk to you about the social media side of things that went very well, and that I’m extremely proud of. It’s also a demonstration of how well things can go when you have the passion and drive to move them forward, budget or no budget.

How things came together

Pre-Event: January 3 – January 17

First off, we started out with a direct mailer of “broken record puzzles” to key folks around the industry. The feedback was positive on these, and the intent was twofold – 1) Invite them personally to the Record Breaking event on January 18th, and 2) Encourage them to tell others about it in the hopes that their networks would also be interested in the event and accompanying announcements – this is WOM (word of mouth) marketing at its best! (Photos courtesy of Michael Cote)

Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327583777/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327584807/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235196/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235628/in/photostream/

EMCCorp Facebook Challenge Close on the heels of the puzzle, we launched a nifty little Facebook game to drive awareness and encourage fans (yes, I still call them fans!) to break their own records! It’s still up there if you’d like to give it a whirl. Warning: It’s rather addictive!

At the same time, we launched a couple of viral videos on EMC’s YouTube channel, which have accumulated over 700,000 views between the two of them, and successfully drove registration to the EMC event.

All this time, we were also tweeting about the event using a common hashtag - #EMCBreaksRecords - to drive awareness, registration and buzz. We were sharing the videos, making folks aware of the game, and also tweeting world records that had been previously broken – asking them in the form of questions in the morning to gain responses, and giving the answer at the end of the day.

I should also mention a practice that has worked very well for us to keep EMC employees around the globe in the loop of our activities in the social space, as well as enable them to join in on the activities in a consistent and measurable fashion – “social media activation kits.” These kits contain a high level overview of the program at hand, as well as links to content and collateral (both traditional and social), tracking links, hashtags, suggested tweets/posts, social hubs and just about anything else you can imagine to participate in a truly organized social marketing campaign. These are hosted the internal employee community that I used to manage, EMC|ONE – now thoughtfully managed and curated by our own community manager extraordinaire, Michelle Lavoie. Michelle was kind enough to host a front and center widget on the home page to drive further awareness of the activation kit, as well as the overall social media plan for the launch.

In-Event: January 18

The tweeting continued around things that were going on during the simulcast – EMC actually arranged to break a couple of world records with the folks at Guinness during the event. I’ve shared the videos of each within this post – check them out.

 

#EMCBreaksRecords The tweeting during the event also resulted in EMC’s first ever trending topic on Twitter across the entire United States. Last may, we reached trending in Boston for EMC World 2010 – but this is the first U.S.-wide achievement – so you could say we set a record in social media, as well!

EMC Community Network Also, for the first time ever, we held a live Q&A session within our own EMC Community Network. Envisioned and championed by the folks on the ECN team – this was the company’s first ever live simultaneous Q&A session – so another record for us, in a matter of speaking!

Also, the day of launch, our super stellar EMC Blogroll of subject matter experts along with other industry folks produced over 40 blog posts released on the day of the launch, further generating buzz, awareness and affinity for the EMC brand.

So what does all of this mean?

Well, at the end of the day, it means that social media engagement played a critical role in generating awareness and buzz about EMC’s most important and most impactful launch!! Here are a few key statistics and milestones:

  • 1,000+ Broken Records Mailed out to key influencers >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, and ultimately registrations for the event
  • EMC’s first Facebook game generated 80,000+ tab views and over 6,500 new fans of the EMC Facebook page >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, event registration and increased our social audience and the potential realm of our future conversations with these enthusiasts
  • Thanks to our viral videos, EMC’s YouTube channel was ranked #55 in the Gurus Category on YouTube >> increased awareness, buzz, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The #EMCBreaksRecords hashtag achieved trending status across the entire U.S. during the event on January 18th with over 1,500 tweets across multiple geographies around the world! >> increased awareness, buzz generation, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The EMC Community Network attracted new users to the community with the live Q&A –in fact, 42% of the visitors that day were new users to the ECN! >> Increased awareness, affinity and exclusive access to the subject matter experts people wanted to talk to the most!
  • EMC bloggers, as well as other bloggers generated over 40 blog posts on the launch >> generating buzz, awareness, and access to the SMEs on the topics surrounding the launch, as well as the products announced.
  • All of this amounted to thousands of mentions in the social space – blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and shares, and industry articles amount to an uber-magnified awareness of EMC and the company’s offerings, messaging and plans for 2011. Heck, even our stock price reached one of the highest points in the past 10 years.

Up Next?

With all that activity and success, you might be wondering what’s next – how will we keep the momentum going?

RBTour1

The EMC Record Breaking Tour, of course! You’ll be able to follow the tour drivers around the world as they make stops, break records, and demo all the latest and greatest from EMC! You can follow the drivers on the Twitter account we set up for them, and keep an eye out for the Record Breaking Tour blog coming soon! There will also be Facebook components, and an invite to all EMC customers, partners, and enthusiasts to share their own record breaking moments!

I’m looking forward to seeing what this next chapter holds!

 

 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

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