How To Create Newsworthy Content on Facebook

So you’ve crafted the perfect PR campaign to create buzz for your new product launch. You’re now looking for ways to extend your reach and increase buzz. How could you amplify that buzz using Facebook? This is what we’ll touch on in this post with some examples from companies we think have done it well. Adding to elements of your Facebook content strategy will make a huge difference and ultimately benefit your clients as well.

Now, just how do you publicize the uniquely specialized and user-generated content that garners ‘likes’ and encourages fans to come back? The best way is to think:   1) creative and 2) always outside the box. Since you want to do something unique to attract visitors to your page think visual, think eye-popping, think fan engagement. A great example of this was the past Nescafé cover photo campaign by Nescafé Greece. Starting with their initial cover photo: a virtual glass jar of beans, they removed one bean for every new fan that ‘liked’ their page. The bean level went down as each bean was “removed” (fan was added) until the shape of their much-anticipated brand new jar style appeared. It was a great tactic, luring customers back to their Page repeatedly to see the “bean drop” progress. A clever use of photos, follower engagement and ‘likes’!

Once something like this gets the traction you want on your Facebook page, use it to highlight on your blog or Twitter feed, showing the ways in which clients were engaged and that newly gained fan/follower number! (Originally, it took 5,000 likes and 22 hours to accomplish what they’d set out to do — pretty impressive.) Then, if you get that blog post re-posted on other blogs as well like Nescafé did, this can further extend your reach. It was written about in PR and social blogs, (Social Media Examiner & PR Examples among others), they showcased it in a YouTube video, and it even showed traction on Pinterest and video review sites. Who would have thought a simple coffee jar could be so intriguing!

Another example is the use of Facebook by Vitamin Water to create its newest customer-generated flavor. They had a widget on their Facebook page where people could enter the contest by creating their own flavor: the FlavorCreator. Fans used the app to create custom original flavors and promoted it via the Page. Vitamin Water measured the success of each flavor by the buzz it created. This was calculated by clicks and social chatter on Google News, Twitter, and other designated websites. As the weeks progressed, there was loads of buzz around the flavors, and the top ten were picked for the audience of fans to vote on.

Once the winner was selected, the new flavor, Connect, was born. Facebook fans even used the app to design the packaging – the look & feel, the label blurb and colors, (and the winner also got a cool $5,000, by the way). This campaign was a huge success: being written up on Mashable, and other top tech news sites like CNET and the tech blog of the Wall Street Journal. It even made it into the pages of Fast Company as a top crowdsourcing campaign. The campaign was shown on a Baltimore food blog, and the popular, Inside Facebook.

A manufacturer’s website, Lightning Labels wrote about it even months later on their blog, mentioning the winner as “Sarah from Illinois,” named on Vitamin Water’s Facebook page. So we see, the reach of this campaign traveled far and wide, in many directions other than the initial appeal to their then-present fan base–who just wanted the “bragging rights” of naming the newest flavor. Quite a successful and buzz-worthy use of user-generated content. They now have 4 million ‘likes’ on their Vitamin Water Facebook page! Another example is North Face’s new extreme sports training program: Mountain Athletics Workout Programs in conjunction with their Ultra Protection Series of running and climbing shoes. These were a series of workouts, designed to help extreme athletes train for their individual sports. To launch the program, they set up a landing page, created a Facebook content strategy around it, and had billboards and banner ads all over. They tied this in with offline launch events, such as massive group workouts in places like Union Square in San Francisco, to showcase the new expert trainer-led programs, (and, of course, the new shoe line it highlights). Their press release/story was picked up by all types of sites from Department of Parks and Rec sites (e.g. DC.gov) to local papers, to sporting good stores’ blogs and events sites. Their Facebook page was filled with posts about the upcoming events, highlighting profiles of their pro athletes involved and inviting their fan base to the events. They even continue having free weekly workouts, to support their new mobile app and the program in general. A very multi-pronged media approach with very strong results. The lesson: Always cross-promote via multiple channels.

We see by these three examples that there are unlimited ways to promote and amplify the buzz of your PR campaigns with related Facebook content strategy. The trick is, once you have a campaign that’s successful – having measured it – use that information to replicate and adjust your tactics for future campaigns. And always keep the buzz going for as long as you can to make all that effort pay off. Facebook can be a powerful tool for promotion, so you will be glad you invested in the beginning to have a solid Facebook presence.

(If you’re just starting out creating the Facebook business page for your company, you can read about how to set it up from soup-to-nuts in this post by Leslie Nuccio.)

Top Social Media PR Trends Bringing PR into the Future: Part One

In today’s world of constant news bombardment, happening 24/7 on our social media feeds — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on — it has become the norm that social media plays an ever-constant and major role in it and this is true for us in PR, too. (Can you think of anyone who has not been touched by social media?) We can say that social media is to blame for having us constantly checking our phones, tablets, and even our watches now for the “latest.” For no one is this more apparent than the millennials or Gen Y’ers among us. For PR pros this has meant the birth of those new social media trends that are driving engagement and which are becoming parts of our everyday lives in our practice, to reach out to the upcoming generation. So what main trends do we have to thank for this “new” mode in which PR functions? We’ll call it Social Media PR. We will be exploring this in a two-part series: Which social media trends are the “new normal” in our PR world today and how can they benefit us in serving our clients and building our own brands?

One of the major social media PR trends we see is that of the customers as brand advocates, some would call them fans or superfans. We know that these followers on Twitter and Facebook love to share those posts that are relevant and intriguing to them. (With some we wish we could bottle their enthusiasm!) They help spread our clients’ or brands’ word for them. And for this we must thank, re-tweet and show them love whenever we can. “Love your fans right back,” says Mack Collier, founder of #BlogChat and author of Think Like a Rock Star:How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans. He also notes that we should be constantly connecting with them and giving them the tools they need (i.e. fodder for posting) to help them best promote the brand. If they want to give us free PR, who are we to stop them! This is a social media trend that is a win for everyone.

Speaking of re-tweeting your followers, another trend is one that is commonly called the art of “social listening.” Another word for this is engagement whereby we are interacting with our followers as well as monitoring our posts to see what resonates with them most. This can include audience research (taking their tweets into consideration when reviewing data on what content of yours has been re-tweeted or replied to), hashtag usage (using #hashtags to either attract or join in conversations related to your company or brand), and customer support (where some brands receive questions or complaints from customers via social media and so are then committed to responding to each and every one, timely). — It’s just good PR! (As an example, here’s what social listening looked like during the World Cup.) By having our “ear to the ground” and being present online and “available” to engage with our followers, they see us as approachable and likeable, and they will be more likely to readily engage with us. These are the benefits of social listening.

Another heavy hitter as far as social media PR trends go is somewhat more of a tactic and that is infographics. You know, those cool and colorful eye-catching diagrams that explain everything about everything. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I would venture to say that infographics rank in the hundreds of thousands, considering that they are generated by and often include huge amounts of very useful data too. So, we can say that the two trends tend to go hand-in-hand: infographics and the greater use of data or “Big Data.”

So analytics and the insights gained from them – as well as how they are shared via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. – are a big part of this trend. Since many people are visual thinkers and learners (yours truly included) it is a great way to reach out in addition to their being more attractive to those aforementioned millennials for whose waning attention spans we are posting to attract. Infographics are appealing because your followers can gather a lot of information from just a glance or snapshot, rather than reading confusing graphs or pages of text on end. (See our post here with the infographic from Inkhouse on PR Then & Now.)

Storytelling is another social media trend that we see being used often in PR. A great example of this is the newer sites and blog platforms like Medium and Ghost that promote the more long-form content rather than “traditional” brief blog posts. Keeping the readers on the page longer for more deep dive, detailed posts which tell a story rather than just being short blurbs, has been much more popular recently. Another example of this is a new micro-site by NewsCred and Getty Images called: The Power of Visual Storytelling. So, we see “visual storytelling” as a new buzzword also being a common part of this trend. This trend is important and rings true for audiences because rather than just being a “sales pitch,” this content is information-rich and adds value for the reader through its knowledge-building aspect (rather than just selling to them).

All this adds to the ability of a company to expand their brand’s reach through Social Media PR and in this way convey themself through a story. “Every business has a story to tell which deserves to be heard. The art of storytelling inspires conversation and builds relationships with your target audience,” according to CP Communications, Sydney (publicrelationssydney.co.au). Everyone likes a good story, right? And our target audiences are no different.

Another way PR is using social media to attract and maintain engagement with users is in the increase in popularity of niche interest networks and groups, and their participation on the various social media sites. As an example, many millennials have migrated away from Facebook and have become more active on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. (I have not jumped onto the Snapchat bandwagon yet myself, but Instagram is definitely one of my favorite apps to use.) There, they are likely to post personal pictures or more pictures related to a specific hobby such as art, sailing, architecture or fashion. Pinterest is another platform on which brands use very visual often-dynamic content to attract fans with specialized pages or boards. – DIY e-commerce site Etsy (www.etsy.com) has a huge community there for instance. So as you can see, this is one area where “going where the crowds are” is a way PR pros are staying relevant to these social communities. And for fans that are this passionate about their interests, it is a great way to engage them — which in turn gives you repeat or ongoing connections.

Video content is another trend from social media that we are seeing more and more in PR. Specifically, they are now ‘must haves’ for one’s Facebook page, to be included in press releases for more traction and to add multi-media to your blog, (as we have here), whenever possible to attract new eyes. It’s been shown that videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%, (WebDAM, July 2014). The popularity of video is also seen by the rise of Vine, the addition of video to Instagram and the posting of videos being ever more popular on Twitter. Last, but certainly not least, is the trend of the viral video phenomenon – the goal of every brand and every PR firm for their client. Having a video go viral is like the Holy Grail of a PR/marketing campaign’s success. Once while consulting with a client and asking what their main PR goals were for project scope, one of them was: they wanted a video created and they wanted it to go viral – simple as that. In their eyes, success equaled viral video = check!


(You may remember this very popular “Puppy Love” video from the Super Bowl this year. — It went viral even before the Big Game.)

Speaking of Instagram, it is the newest darling of social media, among the most popular with millennials and teens. In fact, a close friend’s daughter who’s a senior in high school once said that she and all her friends have dumped Facebook entirely and have moved on – they’re now primarily connected 24/7 to their besties on Instagram. It is a platform where people feel they can be themselves and since driven by images, express themselves however they wish. By using hashtags in their descriptions and comments, they can also attract new followers more readily and further express themselves in a particular post even more. It is a way to give followers a snapshot of, either, what you’re up to at the moment or a broader message you wish to convey. One friend of mine frequently posts inspirational quotes that she finds on other sites (prettily dressed up in colorful graphics, of course) and they are not only uplifting but also eye-catching and fun to look at, too. Posts like this add value for your followers by just a glance…instantaneously. This leaves a good impression as well as a reason for them to return to your feed!

By now you can tell there is an overall trend of constant change: in both social platforms and their functionality, and there are ones that will be most popular in any given day/week/month. For example, for a few weeks in January there was much popularity and buzz for an app called Jelly, a question-and-answer app by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. There was Secret and the slightly less-popular Whisper, which also had their 15 minutes of fame. Others in this category might now (or have in the past) included Snapchat, Vine, Tumblr and Google+. And as you may have guessed they usually have come to the forefront and are most popular first with millennials… those trendsetters at it again! — “We operate in an era that evolves by the hour,” said Adam Vincenzini, Managing Partner at Kamber, Australia. Well put! So we are pretty certain that by the time this post is read, each reader might have his or her own new favorite, too. (Scanning my Twitter feed as we speak to keep up on them, myself.)

You never know what is coming on the horizon for new social media, but you can be sure it will touch PR and how we deliver our services to reach those millennials, early adopters and everyone else in between just where they are “hanging out” at the moment.

When we as PR professionals can follow these changes tightly and participate where the companies’ followers are, we become seen as always extremely current and looked to as a source of knowledge and expertise in the field — those whom they will seek out to help them remain top of mind for their followers. Keep your eye out for our Part 2 on this topic, where we’ll delve into more trends and social media nuggets key to social media PR.

 

(quote sources: http://www.slideshare.net/AdamVincenzini/social-media-trends-2014 , http://publicrelationssydney.com.au/2014/01/)

 

The Future of Facebook Content Marketing is in Graph Search

Wondering where Graph Search is headed? Facebook content marketing will get more powerful.

Facebook Graph Search is a powerful tool for marketers: there are all sorts of tips and tricks as to how it can be used to assist your Reach, your business and your hiring process – among other things.  (For more on this, check out our book on using Facebook marketing strategies with Graph Search.)

Graph Search finds connections that you wouldn’t otherwise put together – and that’s why Facebook content marketing is going to get really interesting once Graph Search gives us full functionality to search posts.  Facebook started rolling out some of these features in Q4 last year, but has yet to uncork the full power of Graph Search for us.

Imagine, for example, being to able search for “Posts about World cup that my Followers Like” – that result will let you know how popular the topic is, which brands are doing well, whether there’s a specific topic related to the larger one that’s working, and what sort of content you might want to post to engage people.

When will Graph Search have this sort of functionality?  Well, we don’t know.  What we do know is that Facebook Zero (i.e. the organic Reach decline and the new rules about engagement and impressions) means that brands absolutely must spur engagement, or their content dies on the vine.  That being the case, Graph Search is set to become a really powerful research tool for your Facebook content marketing program – especially since the word on the street is that Facebook is prepping to release Graph Search features on mobile.

Stay tuned… and, in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our social media blog to get all the latest updates from the world of social media marketing and beyond.

Summary of World Cup Coverage

Sadly, the World Cup is over for another 4 years, so –  instead of moping – we thought it would be a great idea to put together a summary of the World Cup Coverage from social media and online news.

For the duration of the World Cup (June 12th– July 13th) we at Meltwater  were monitoring public mention across social media and news channels and discovered some interesting insights.  All the stats and data provided are based on the mentions which include “World Cup”, “#worldcup2014” and “#Worldcup”, all analysis is made with Meltwater Buzz.

The number of social media mentions on the World Cup coverage significantly outweighed that of the 2012 London Olympics, with an outstanding 1.15 million tweets on the day of the World Cup Final. The Semi Final between Argentina and the Netherlands on the 9th of July (when Argentina won on penalties) generated the second highest number of mentions on Social Media.

World Cup Coverage – Most Mentioned Teams and Players

The most mentioned teams in the World Cup, (in English):

  1. Brazil
  2. Germany
  3. Argentina
  4. USA
  5. England

It’s not surprising to see that Brazil is the most mentioned country, as they were hosting the games. Germany on the other hand, received a very high number of mentions throughout the entire World Cup month. In relation to the word “win”, Germany and Brazil were the favourite countries in the twittersphere.

As for the players, the most mentioned were:

  1. Lionel Messi
  2. Neymar da Silva Santos Junior
  3. Luis Suarez
  4. Cristiano Ronaldo
  5. James Rodriguez

The world loves Messi and of course it’s not surprising that throughout the World Cup he was the most mentioned player on Social Media. Messi is then followed by Neymar, one of Brazil’s finest players, who was injured during Brazil V Colombia game of the World Cup.  And of course, you can’t forget Suarez, the biting machine… He got booked for 9 games for biting one of the Italian team (not a first one for Suarez, maybe he needs to eat more!)

 World Cup Coverage- Poster demographics & geographical location

It’s not shocking to see the male contribution is much larger than the female.  We did see many businesses take advantage of the event; with the likes of Benefit Cosmetics who launched a “women’s bar” in central London, to allow customers to have a pampering while watching the games. For more info on World Cup PR Wins click here. 

As for the geographical breakdown, the US and UK make up for over half of the mentions on Social Media for the tracked terms “World Cup”, “#worldcup2014” and “#Worldcup”,

World Cup Coverage – Total Sentiment on Social Media

World Cup Coverage- Social Media Word Cloud

After extracting all the conversations on Social Media about the World Cup, here’s an interesting themes cloud showing those terms that were most prominent throughout the month.

World Cup Coverage – Global News & Press Mentions

 

As for the news coverage of the whole event, the country that had the most press hits was USA, with nearly 50% of the total, followed by the UK with 10% and then South Africa with 1.29%.

So that’s it for the World Cup 2014, and that’s it for our summary of World Cup Coverage, we look forward to 2018 and to see whether Social Media can predict the winners a second time!

To leave you on a high note and help with those World Cup blues, here’s Adidas’ World Cup 2014 campaign, All in or Nothing-

 

 

 

5 Things You May Not Know About Marketing on Facebook

Wondering how to get more out of your marketing on Facebook? Step away from the computer, get some coffee, and take a gander at these 5 tips.

Marketing on Facebook is a pretty hot topic these days, and since we’ve launched all 7 books in our Facebook for Business series, I figured that today would be a fine day to cover some random Facebook marketing tidbits that I learned while writing these.  Here we go…

1. Facebook Zero Affects the Ever-Declining Organic Reach

Facebook isn’t giving away real estate for free anymore: that earned media is earned, folks.  We wrote a few months back about