Category Archives: Facebook

Don’t Kill Direct Mail in the Name of Social Media

A couple of mentions around the marketing world by NextDayFlyers blog and MarketingPilgrim regarding the effectiveness of direct mail have got us thinking about the integration of print and social media campaigns. Some companies have reviewed the cost savings offered by digital communications compared to cost to print, mail and design mailers, letters and postcards and have begun shifting marketing dollars for those projects. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook and other channels can be cost-effective ways to build an online presence and connect with customers and prospects. But, let’s face it, social media ROI can be difficult to measure. For some businesses, an online-only strategy might be a shortsighted approach.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Are your prospects and customers online? It’s easy to assume that everyone is “plugged in” these days. Despite the meteoric rise in popularity of Twitter and Facebook, some people are not using them regularly and some not at all. Understand your audience and how they want to interact. Social media isn’t the best fit for all companies.
  • Consumers are digitally saturated. The quantity of e-mails, tweets, blog posts and news articles the average consumer must sort through can be overwhelming. Relying only on communicating through these channels is taking a risk that your messages are glossed over or worse, sent directly to the trash file.
  • Coordinate messages across mediums. Direct mail and social media can work in concert – extend your online messaging to coordinate with mail. Use direct mail to drive traffic to your Facebook fan page or Twitter account.
  • No matter the method, the goal is to inspire action! The point made in the NextDayFlyers blog is well-taken. Using direct mail to solicit feedback is a great idea. Many companies are getting noticed for using Twitter for customer service purposes (notably among several is @comcastcares and @jetblue), but why not direct mail?

A marketing strategy should coordinate several channels.  Here at SG, we blog, tweet, email and connect with prospects via snail mail.  Oh, and in person, too!  What is your company doing to create an integrated strategy?

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Filed under Direct Mail, Facebook, Marketing strategy, social media, twitter

Educating A New Generation

“Things have changed since I was in school.” Sounds like something your parents said to you growing up, huh? That statement still holds true. Kids are a part of a whole new learning generation; interaction is mostly via instant message, text message, Twitter and Facebook and the internet is the first place they turn for research. The shift in marketing is taking place as we speak, but are Marketing and Public Relations instructors and professors educating their students about the phenomenon that is social media?

Back in the day, marketing majors were required to learn the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) and that is still relevant, but along with the 4 P’s they need to have a basic understand of HTML, design software, e-mail marketing campaigns, search engine optimization, and knowledge of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,etc). However, are recent grads receiving said education?

We’ve all read that many companies are struggling to understand social media and how it can be used in their industry. With this occurring, companies are looking to hire recent grads with degrees in Marketing and Public Relations to fill the social media gap. But, are colleges and universities integrating the new trends in marketing into their curriculum – such courses as Internet Marketing, Digital Media and New-Media Marketing? Another challenge: are college professors and faculty on top of the changing trends in the marketing world? If not, they need to be. How can you teach it, if you don’t fully understand it yourself? As the old adage states, “lead by example.”

Here’s a questions for all our Marketing & PR majors out there –Are NC State, Duke and UNC teaching courses on new-media and internet marketing? Or are you educating the professors on social media?

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Filed under Email Marketing, Facebook, marketing basics, north carolina, social media, twitter

How To: Optimize your Facebook Presence

facebook-logoMany brands have created Facebook fan pages to jump on the bandwagon, but don’t know how to optimize their page to leverage the power of social networking. Facebook fan pages offer the user many of the same options as a personal profile such as posting status updates, info and photo tabs, and application boxes. However, to be effective the user should understand the importance of placement and interaction.

Here are a few ways to optimize your fan page:

Create a vanity URL – We’ve spoken about this in a previous blog post and can’t stress it enough. Having a vanity URL makes it easier for users to find you on Facebook and increases your shareability.

Optimizing your share preview – A new feature to personal profiles as well as fan pages is the opportunity to share links. This feature allows users to select thumbnail images to be displayed when shared and allows the placement of the Facebook logo or link to your own site to drive traffic to your fan page.

• Perfect Profile Picture – Having the perfect profile picture is key in attracting new fans – it’s the first thing they see when surfing for your brand. When cropping the picture make sure it’s 200px wide with a 12px border around important information since Facebook automatically crops images.

Facebook fan pages are growing in popularity, so be sure to follow these tips to ensure your brand doesn’t get lost in the shuffle and help your fans find you. An added bonus – It’s free and easy!

And become a fan of Strategic Guru while you are at it!

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Filed under Facebook, interactive, social media

Interactive Marketing Will Grow – Is It Right For You?

Interactive marketing (e-mail, social media, online and search) is contributing to a major shift in the marketing landscape. With social media sites and mobile marketing emerging as the next big thing, some marketers are moving away from traditional tactics (print, television, display advertising), but is this wise? A recent report from Forrester predicts that interactive marketing will “cannibalize” other channels.  In fact, 60% of those surveyed will increase their interactive marketing budgets by shifting funds from traditional media.

Here’s our take:

Yes, interactive marketing and social media are becoming increasingly popular, but it’s risky to place all advertising dollars in one basket or move away traditional channels altogether. It’s clear that social media’s not just for kids; the largest group of Facebook users are aged 35-54. There are still people out there that don’t engage with social media and prefer old-school communication channels-direct mail, newspapers, magazines and television. Furthermore, a recent report from Razorfish suggests that people don’t trust their online friends as much as their offline friends.

For most companies, a combination of traditional and interactive marketing still makes sense. An integrated strategy will give you a better opportunity to reach your target market through various channels.  A blend of online and offline messages support each other –print ads can drive people to a Facebook fan page and a Twitter stream can direct prospects to get a coupon to test out your service.  For example, Starbucks is currently giving away coupons for free pints of their ice cream via Facebook.  Are they still running print ads for their ice cream?  It’s likely.  An online channel (Facebook) supports an offline channel (in-store advertising).

One last thing to drive the point home, marketing and technology are ever changing, so be sure to know who your target market is and what marketing channels they prefer before making any drastic changes  in your marketing plan.

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Filed under Email Marketing, Facebook, marketing basics, social media, twitter, Web Marketing

Have you secured your Facebook username yet?

Facebook LogoNot to worry you still have time! Social networking site Facebook recently offered the option to create a username to its more than 200 million active users. This new feature allows you to create your own custom URL for your profile. Don’t fret if someone has taken your name, you can request removal to prevent people from using your trademarked name. By creating a username, you are not only protecting your brand, but you’re making it easier for people to find your page on Facebook. It also increases your shareability, is good for your promotional strategy, and a viable B2B marketing channel.

Don’t wait any longer. Get yours today!

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Filed under Facebook, social media, Web Marketing

Don’t be the Jerk at the Social Media Party

Perry Belcher’s perspective on social media is spot-0n.  Think of social media as a party – the last thing you’d do at a cocktail party filled with a mix of strangers and friends is burst in and shout “buy stuff from me!”  He’s right, you’d be the biggest jerk in the room.

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Filed under Economic Downturn, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Flickr, marketing basics, north carolina, social media, twitter

5 Rules for the Social Media Playground

Jumping (or dipping a toe) into the social media pool is great – after all, you do want to increase your online real estate.  But it’s important to understand a few guidelines first:

  1. Are you prepared to engage? It’s important to understand that social media is a two-way street.  Sure, it’s a relatively easy to way to broadcast messages to your marketplace.  But the market talks back –and it’s crucial that you engage with them.  A Facebook page for a well-regarded television drama posts exclusive behind the scenes videos but doesn’t reveal the date of the next season premiere, despite fan pleas.  Don’t leave your customers in the dark.
  2. Make the Commitment Lifestyle guru Oprah (@oprah) made a big splash recently by joining Twitter and sending out her first tweet, albeit in all caps.  But she’s only sent 44 messages since April 17th, indicating that she’s not a loyalist.  It’s important to set goals for your social media campaign and then execute.  An abandoned Facebook page, Twitter stream or blog sends the wrong message.
  3. Be interesting What does your target want to hear?  What are the issues in your industry?  How can you relieve pain?  No one cares what you had for lunch — unless maybe it’s the special at your restaurant!  Understand what information you can share that’s worth knowing.
  4. You can’t control the conversation Understand that social media can’t be controlled.  People are talking about your business or industry, whether you participate or not.  You can’t suppress negative comments, only respond to them so better you be there than not.
  5. Social media offers no fast fixes Social media campaigns usually can’t deliver the same kind of metrics as other marketing tactics. A good plan should develop over time and results will emerge over time.

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Filed under Blogging, Facebook, Flickr, marketing basics, social media, twitter, Web Marketing