I can’t believe it, but it’s already December, and the holidays are bearing down on us.
While you’re undoubtedly busy planning your personal social schedule with family and friends, now is also a perfect time to be planning your social media activity for the coming weeks. Planning can be critical to ensure you’ve got your ducks in a row for when you inevitably take a bit of time off to enjoy the season, and to sustain activity and engagement with your audience during this time.
In the interest of avoiding over-used clichés and long-winded rambling, let’s get into it:
Plan your content calendars
This is an obvious one, but certainly worth noting. Be sure that you not only have your December content calendar ready to publish (which you should already have), but that you have your January calendar ready to go as well. If you work with a team on content creation, or require any approvals from management, clients, legal, or anyone else, they aren’t likely to be around during the latter part of the month to accommodate your requests. Therefore, be sure to have your January calendar prepped and ready for approvals well in advance of people taking off for the holiday.
Spend a few extra minutes thinking about your holiday-specific content
If Christmas, Boxing Day, or New Years Eve have any relevance to your business, brand or audience, which they likely do, then it might be worthwhile spending a bit of extra time thinking of how to create special content for those days. Sure, you can keep things simple and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday, but you could also embrace these days as a creative opportunity with your content.
Have a monitoring schedule in place
It would be easy to forget about your social media communities during the holidays, but the reality is that you should really try to keep an eye on any activity that might be going on during this busy time of year. Keep it simple by setting a schedule for yourself to login, quickly monitor and moderate, and then get back to enjoying some time off.
Reflect on the year that is largely behind us
There is a tremendous amount to be learned by reviewing past performance, amazing successes, and dramatic failures. Take some time before the craziness of the holidays to reflect on how things have gone for you and your business in 2013 on social media. You might be able to identify helpful trends, reinforce activity to avoid or not replicate, think about new ideas that haven’t been explored, or more. Without a doubt, dedicating some time to reflect will be revealing, and of great benefit.
Set goals for the coming year
New Years Day represents a fresh beginning, and opportune time to enact resolutions and find ways to build upon successes of years past, and the same holds true for businesses, many of which have a fiscal year that mirrors the calendar year. While having a personal resolution to lay off fried food, or visit the gym more frequently are easy to identify and put into action, business resolutions – or goals to be more direct about it – should be more thoughtful and strategic, and thus, require more time to think about. So, if you haven’t been thinking about your social media and content marketing goals for 2014, now is a perfect time to start.
Take some time for yourself
Taking time away from social media can be reinvigorating, energizing, and save you from being made fun of by your family and friends for your unhealthy obsession with checking Twitter and Pinterest. Remember to take some time for yourself and to not stress about the craziness of social media and content marketing; you deserve it. It’s the holidays, and you really should be spending some quality time with the people who matter most to you.
What are your tips and tricks for prepping for the holidays?
If you have anything to add it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Armistice Day was originally observed to remember the soldiers who died in the line of duty during the First World War. As time passed, and thus more wars were fought, the tribute we pay to fallen soldiers expanded to include these more recent wars including World War II, the Korean War, Afghanistan, and all other conflicts in which members of the Canadian Forces have served. In time, Armistice Day came to be known as Remembrance Day.
For many other countries around the world, the specifics obviously differ slightly, but today is the day that we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by so many.
I’m clearly not a history buff, so my apologies for the surface-scratch of an explanation of the importance and meaning of this day. What is clear is that this is a serious day of observation, a day that we should be paying tribute to the men and women who have so bravely fought for us.
I know many of you know what Remembrance Day is, and why we observe it.
However, after browsing my Facebook Newsfeed today, it’s clear that there may be a few people out there who needed a reminder.
Nobody will be singled out, but what I came across today in my Newsfeed were several sponsored stories from businesses clearly exploiting Remembrance Day posts as bait for fan acquisition.
Frankly, this just seems like bad taste to me.
The observation of Remembrance Day shouldn’t be seen as a social media opportunity. If you want to pay tribute to the soldiers that have served your country on your organization’s social media properties, it is my recommendation to do it tastefully, in a tone that is appropriate for the day, and keep it solely focused on honouring those deserving of being honoured.
I am certain that the people in these organizations didn’t intentionally mean any disrespect by their posts, and subsequent paid promotion of their content, but it serves as a reminder to really think before publishing content on your social media communities to ensure what you’re posting is appropriate.
Every day there are businesses and brands producing and publishing amazing content, and tightly integrating traditional media with their digital and social programs.
It wasn’t long ago that I was writing about Ikea’s awesome 2014 augmented reality print catalogue, and Ikea has knocked it out of the park again with their second-hand furniture campaign.
What they did
For the eight-week program, Ikea shared their media space with customers looking to sell their old furniture.
Ads were created for chosen participants’ used furniture. These ads featured professional photography, descriptions, prices, and contact information for the individual selling each piece. Then, they were run on a number of media channels including print, television, OOH, and digital.
Finally, Ikea Norway’s Facebook Page was turned over to their audience to serve as a digital flea market where these ads dominated their Timeline.
Check out AdAge for a more detailed description of the program and video that concisely summarizes Ikea’s activity.
Why it’s killer
What makes this campaign so amazing is that numerous lessons from social media and content marketing are applied seamlessly in Ikea’s integrated campaign.
Executing this campaign meant engaging and interacting with Ikea’s audience, the provision of huge value – not just for the sellers, but for buyers as well, and focusing not on selling product, but proving a brand promise.
It’s exciting when brands take a leap like this and do something that doesn’t immediately and obviously connect with sales. How does selling used furniture boost Ikea’s bottom line? It’s not so obvious, right?
But it does. It proves that Ikea loves furniture and that they are the go-to experts on, and providers of, cost-effective furnishing solutions. Whether it’s their product, or their consumers’ second-hand product, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day Ikea has created a memorable experience for everyone touched by this campaign, which will build affinity, loyalty, trust, awareness, and ultimately, sales.
What can be applied to your business?
Personalize your mass media communications
Customization and personalized messaging are not relegated to being social media marketing tactics. Find ways to build contextual relevance in your mass media communications to truly gain your audience’s attention, versus blasting a forgettable message and hoping just enough will stick to affect your bottom line.
Shift focus from your business to your consumers
Whether you are creating social media content, or mass media communications, stay sharply focused on your consumers and what will add value to them versus what you want to say. Your consumers will appreciate you putting them first, and if you’re truly adding value, they’ll actually pay attention to what you have to say.
Create communication ecosystems
When planning social media, content marketing, above the line advertising, below the line advertising, or anything in between, consider how every touch-point can work together to enhance the experience your targeted audience has with your brand. Every time your audience has an experience with your brand it should build off the last to amplify the effect of each individual component. Keep adding value, and keep wowing your audience, and you’ll win consumers.
Get creative and take a risk
I can’t imagine this campaign was easy to pull off. Selling this through Ikea’s hierarchy to buy into this program would have taken guts. It would have been easy to kill this in favour of a more traditional campaign pushing Ikeas newest wares, but they didn’t. They took a risk and it yielded an amazingly creative campaign that has people paying attention. You will never achieve great things by doing what everyone else is doing. Take a risk.
What do you think of Ikea’s Second-Hand Furniture campaign?
What risks have you taken recently that have paid off?
Have you seen any killer content recently that you’d like to share?
It would be great to chat with you about your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
If you’re like me, you spend a solid amount of time reading.
Educating yourself about your business. Industry trends. New thinking. Old thinking. Learning about what the competition is up to. Listening to your consumers. And much, much more.
I’d be willing to bet that you’re not the only one in your organization doing this either.
Now imagine if you could have access to all of the best information, articles, whitepapers, reports, and resources that your coworkers are paying attention to.
Also imagine if they had access to everything you were checking out online.
You would all be better for it, right?
You’d all have access to the most interesting, thought-provoking thinking available, and be smarter and more knowledgeable as a result.
This might even save you a bit of time. Having a collective contributing to the curation of the best, most relevant content means that each individual isn’t left to their own devices (and lunch breaks) to do it themselves.
Let’s get into it. Here’s how you can use Twitter to enhance your organization’s collective intelligence.
Getting set up
First, you’re going to need a Twitter account (obviously).
Set up an account as you typically would, but I recommend adjusting your privacy settings to protect your tweets so that your competition won’t be able to benefit from your organization’s internal feed.
Organize curation, contribution and support
Volunteer to be the lead curator, responsible for collecting content and publishing it for everyone’s benefit.
Promote that you are doing this to your organization so they know how to experience the benefits and get involved by contributing their best finds.
Gain the support of senior leadership to really give this initiative a shot in the arm. Having the support of your leadership team will help this plan to really take off, and to gain the attention it deserves from the rest of your organization.
Establish a hashtag
Choose a relatively obscure, or very specific hashtag and have all participants use it so that you can easily find the content they think is relevant to the rest of your organization.
You don’t want to choose anything that is likely to be used by other Twitter users because it will taint your search results. You’ll be happy if your search results only yield your coworkers’ content and you don’t need to syphon through other conversations happening on Twitter to find what your coworkers tweets.
Search and retweet
Set up a search stream in HootSuite for your hashtag and retweet everything your coworkers are tweeting using that hashtag.
Soak up the goodness
And that’s it… contribute when you come across something valuable, and enjoy the flow of interesting content from your coworkers.
BONUS – Newsletters
If you have any interest in really going above and beyond with your Twitter content curation project, consider creating and distributing simple monthly newsletters featuring links to what you deem to be the most interesting pieces of content for anyone that may have missed it in their feed. I’m sure there will be more than just a few individuals that find this to be helpful if you’re up to it.
How do you share information internally in your organization?
Is that information collected anywhere for future reference?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
A well-executed live event can be an amazing way to place your brand in front of a targeted audience.
Interacting and engaging with your current and prospective consumers at events gives you opportunity to further prove your brand’s promise, build affinity and awareness, showcase your value proposition, humanize your brand, and much more.
Additionally, the proper utilization of social media can serve as an amazing support and amplification tool to optimize your results and ROI when running events.
Social media channels can be fantastic channels through which to pre-promote your brand’s participation in, or organization of, a live event. Let your audience know the basics such as when and where it is being held.
Also, let them know why they should be excited to get involved in the live event. Whether it’s an entertaining brand experience, free product or swag – or whatever – let them know why they need to be there.
Updating your social media properties live from your event with pictures, interviews, anecdotes, videos, or any other type of content, can be a great catalyst to get live participants involved in your social chatter and to serve as social validation that your event is a hit to your broader community.
Remember that people are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to interact and engage on social media, so don’t forget to encourage attendees to carry on the conversation about your event on social media, even when you are meeting them face-to-face.
It goes without saying that live events can be an incredibly rich opportunity for capturing content. Make sure you capture as many awesome photos and videos as possible.
To ensure no opportunity is missed, I recommend brainstorming in advance of your event to think of every opportunity for content capture that would be valuable. There’s nothing worse than your event wrapping and just at that moment realizing that you’d forgotten to capture something that would have been absolutely killer.
When your event ends, there is still more social media goodness to be had. Share content from your event with your social media community to give them the inside scoop as to how it all went down. They’ll appreciate being able to see how your brand behaves in the real world, and if your event was successful and can show it off online in a compelling fashion, it can help to further solidify their affinity for your brand.
Pre-promotion of next year’s event
Many organizations participate in and run iterations of the same event year after year for a number of reasons. If your organization does the same, content captured from one year’s event can be used as part of next year’s pre-sell campaign. By showing the success of last year’s event you can successfully build excitement and anticipation for this year’s event.
How do you promote events on social media?
How do you keep your social media audience engaged during events?
Do you have any tips for content capture during events?
Can you think of any businesses or brands who do a particularly good job of this that you’d like to share?
It would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial