Category Archives: social networks

Four Steps to a Successful Rebranding

You’ve read my blog post “Four Signs You’re Ready to Rebrand” and realized it’s time for a rebranding. Now what?

It’s important to have a well-executed, well-timed strategy that generates the most buzz from all audiences – both internally externally. A bad launch can undo much of the hard work you put into the rebranding itself.

Here are four steps to ensure your rebranding is successful.

1. Announce the Change
Every one of your channels and materials should announce the new name, logo, focus, or services. That includes your website, your email signatures, your newsletter, and your blog. Make it clear that your operations won’t be interrupted and that current customers have nothing to worry about. Give a link or email address where customers can ask questions.

I also recommend a press release distributed through PR Newswire or free services like Online PR News and Newswire Today. Here you can go into more detail about the how and why of the rebranding. Accentuate the positive and promise there will be no problems with customer service or product offerings. Include quotes from your CEO. And press releases are great for SEO – especially if you’re changing or adding keywords to your brand.

2. Change Your Social Media
If you’re rebranding is just in the form of a new logo and tagline, it’s pretty easy to change your social channels’ profile pictures, icons, and “About Us” copy. But if you changed your name or even your focus, get ready for more of an overhaul.

You can change your Twitter name at anytime, but your Facebook Page URL can only be changed if you have less than 100 likes. You can request a change from Facebook directly or simply create a new Page, encouraging your fans to follow you there. Then taper off your posting on the original Page.

As for YouTube, don’t worry about uploading all your videos to a new account. Though you can’t change your username, you can create a vanity URL that directs viewers to your original YouTube channel. Personal Pinterest usernames and Google+ names can be changed with only a few clicks. The hardest site to alter your name? LinkedIn, which requires a special email request.

A great example of a blog post explaining a company's rebranding

A great example of a blog post explaining a company’s rebranding

3. Make Corrections in the Field
Personally inform any blogs or publications that have covered you or listed you of the rebranding.

Then do a search for your brand. If you see it mentioned in a blog or message board, write a comment that notifies readers of the rebranding. It can be as simple as “Kentucky Fried Chicken is now KFC.” Informative without being too promotional.

In fact, you can even enlist your employees. We once worked with a major financial client that held a contest, giving a prize to any worker who found an example of its old logo anywhere on its websites.

4. Do a Final Sweep
Make sure your partners, clients, and vendors are aware of the change and have your new branding on all their materials. Shut down or redirect any legacy sites or links that may confuse your customers. Make sure your Google AdWords or Facebook Ads accounts have your new keywords. Search several pages deep into search engines to see if there’s any website you missed.

Of course, there’s always a small chance that the public won’t respond to your new branding. Look at what happened when the Gap changed its logo. The same thing is happening to JCPenney – but the Gap had the sense and humility to switch back  

As our name implies, Brandemix specializes in branding, rebranding, and employer branding. If the process seems overwhelming, or you’re ready for a major change, I’d love to help

Recruit on Social — Because That’s Where The Job-Seekers Are

Jobvite just released their annual Social Job-Seeker Survey, which tracks social media use by people looking for work. The changes from last year’s survey are eye-opening. They show that social media is now a major part of talent acquisition — and will only keep growing.

Jobvite talked to more than 2,000 adults. 60% were currently employed and 86% had at least one social media profile. One item that grabbed my attention was that only 318 of the 1,266 workers were not open to a new job; that means more than 60% of employees are willing to leave their current workplace.

Let’s get to the numbers:

16% of respondents said an online social network directly led to their current or most recent job. In fact, 15% said they found their favorite or best job on Facebook.

Social media is becoming a search engine for job-seekers. 34% of respondents say they’ve used Twitter to find work. 38% have used LinkedIn, while 52% have used Facebook. I’ve heard people joke that they only visit LinkedIn when they’re looking for a job, but apparently half the country isn’t going even that often.

Speaking of Facebook, 14% of respondents said they specifically “searched for jobs” on the network. 20% said a contact shared a job opportunity on Facebook. 9% used it to research an employer before or during the application process; how does your organization’s Facebook Page look to job-seekers?


In fact, we can look at Facebook from the recruiter’s point of view. Jobvite recently asked recruiters about content they found on candidates’ Facebook profiles. Their answers may affect job-seekers everywhere.

78% of recruiters had negative reactions to content involving drug use. 66% didn’t like sexual content and 61% didn’t like profanity. Even if you’re a sober, chaste, polite employee, you should proofread your posts – 54% of recruiters had negative reactions to poor spelling and grammar.

Content that generated the most positive reactions? Anything involving volunteer work or donating (66%) and membership in a professional organization (80%).

It’s clear that job-seekers are using social media to connect with recruiters, employers, and each other. They’re researching companies before they apply and updating their profiles with professional information. They’re even starting to search for jobs directly on social sites, which should give Monster and CareerBuilder something to think about.

If you’re interested in joining this exciting trend and recruiting on social media, Brandemix has plenty of experience. We’d love to hear from you.

Guest Post: Finding Your Brand’s Voice Through Social Media

Today we offer a guest guest post from Michael Kilcoyne, the Marketing Director at 360W3, a web design company that is finishing a refresh of our own site. Here, Michael explains how a brand’s tone and style in play an important role in how customers relate to the brand.

Coined years ago by Alan Siegel, founder of Siegel + Gale, “brand voice” refers to the unique tone in which a brand typically communicates with its consumers. Creating an effective brand voice is a matter of discovering how a brand communicates when they are at their best.

Prior to social media, that communication generally came in just a few forms — print, TV, radio, and perhaps web, but none were as always-on and involved as social media has quickly become.

Now, with the advent of social media, brands have been forced to rethink how they communicate with consumers, and to become far more willing in their communications. (And maybe that’s why the notoriously secret Apple has generally avoided social media, for the most part.)

But discovering your brand’s voice doesn’t have to occur through a series of increasingly complex brainstorms by the marketing department. Sometimes it’s just as a simple as:

1. Listening to Your Audience
Although social media is frequently portrayed as medium that is rife with broadcasters (which works okay for someone like the New York Times), it’s important for brands and individuals alike to actually pay attention to what consumers say about them through those channels.

According to a study by Socialbakers, last year, only around 5% of all wall posts that were posted on a brand’s Facebook pages were responded to, even though a report by Arnold Worldwide recently indicated that nearly 60% of consumers expect to receive a response from brands regarding service. One shining example of a great listener is Whole Foods, a company that spends about 40 hours a week listening and responding to their consumers:


Beyond encouraging consumers to interact with your brand, listening to consumers can also help you find out who you’re communicating with and how to best position your brand’s voice to appeal to those consumers. Facebook already provides brands with an exceptional amount of information regarding their fans (including their age, gender, and location), but other channels like Twitter and Instagram require more research. The earlier that your brand asks questions like, “How do our consumers communicate with our brand? What do they like?” the more successful you’ll be in crafting messages that align with those questions.

2. Telling Them What They Want to Hear
If your brand’s target audience is teenage girls, you probably won’t ask them about a UFC fight. Old Spice provides one of the best examples of a brand that has learned to cater to their target audience, providing an over-the-top, unconventional approach towards men’s personal hygiene. What started off as peculiar (and extremely successful) has quickly crossed over into full-on strange territory, including Facebook updates like this:

 

Old Spice discovered that their consumers love this stuffand their social media successes have enabled them to craft a brand voice that isn’t only unique in nature, but also something that people enjoy interacting with.

3. Maintaining A Consistent Tone
The biggest thing to take into account is the importance of maintaining a consistent tone. A communications guideline — like this excellent example from designer eyewear company Warby Parker — can help ensure that all of your brand’s external communications positively reflect your company and your brand’s unique voice so as not to confuse or put off consumers who have become accustomed to a particular tone.

Social media has enabled brands to be more human than ever, opening up a seemingly endless flow of conversation between consumers and brands. 
The most successful brands are the ones that are not only listening and actively engaged with their followers, but are also locked in on what their audiences want from a content standpoint.

Michael Kilcoyne is currently the Marketing Director at 360W3, a Westchester County-based web design company that specializes in website design and development, branding and social media marketing. Read more from him on 360W3’s blog, or follow him on Twitter @mikekilcoyne.

Social Media Marketing Simplified

Monetizeoptimizereciprocity, and even, yes, engagement. Ever come out of a social media marketing planning session with your head spinning? This new frontier has created all kinds of vague buzzwords. Surely posting 140 characters isn’t as complicated as all those words imply?

Don’t let the jargon throw you. Marketing, branding, and selling on social media boils down to three basic questions:

1. Do people like you?
Meaning, do you have fans, followers, subscribers? The first step in a social media campaign is simply getting your target audience to find you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to reach customers, donors, employees, job-seekers, or even a niche group like travel bloggers. You can’t get the results you want if no one knows you exist. Just posting and hoping isn’t enough.

How to be liked: Promote your social channels everywhere. Start online. Put links on your website, LinkedIn company page, and any of your personal social profiles. Encourage your leadership team and your employees to post them, too. Then hit the offline world. Your social channels should be on your business cards, in your brochures, on your recruitment materials, and, if you’re have a storefront, at your cash register and on your receipts.

Image via iMedia Connection

2. Are they responding?
We’ve all seen Facebook Pages that have thousands of Likes, but no comments. Once you’ve built a community (another buzzword that should be on the chopping block), you need to have a conversation.  If people are talking to you, it means they care about what your brand has to say. It’s OK if the first comments are complaints! Eventually you’ll get questions, ideas, and eventually, answers to your questions.

How to get ‘em talking: Show your audience that you’re listening by responding to comments right away, even if they’re complaints. Then post content that generates responses and shares. Social media expert Jeff Bullas (“guru” is forbidden!) has shown that photos, quotes, and infographics encourage interaction. Meanwhile, Social media scientist Dan Zarrella (a title he’s earned) found that humor often leads to sharing, as does content that’s useful or educational. The simplest way to get response is to just ask questions; Pepsi’s Facebook page often asks general questions like “What’s your favorite summer vacation?” or “What are your Labor day plans?” These relate to Pepsi’s spirit of food and fun, but don’t blatantly promote their products.

Posts on T-Mobile’s Facebook Page

3. Are they doing what you want?
Conversations are great, but you want results. Forget about terms like “return on investment” and ask the simple question: What do you want people to do? Buy your product, join your mailing list, apply for a job? It doesn’t matter if you have lots of fans or followers, or if they’re interacting with you, if you’re not ultimately getting the result you want. Likewise, a small fan base is all right, if they’re passionate and responding to your calls to action.

How to move them: Make every sixth or tenth post about your product or service; just enough to remind people but not enough to look like a sleazy salesman. Reward people who comment or share your content with special offers. Or go one step further (and Brandemix is great at this) and hold a sweepstakes, asking people to post photos, answer a trivia question, or vote on something in order to win a prize. Most importantly, be clear about what you’re asking, with simple statements like “Click here,” “Visit our website,” “Retweet to enter the contest,” or “Answer us in the comments.”

See? No need for obscure business terms. Just three simple questions. Of course, the answers can be more complex, and not every demographic reacts the same way to the same content. If you still need assistance, my agency can help your brand create a basic, straightforward social strategy – or simplify a campaign that’s gone off the rails. 

Just please don’t call me a guru.

PS: Want to take the SoMe Superstar challenger quiz? Then guess what these words mean: SoLoMo, Plussification. Answer in the comments — if you dare.

Why Zappos is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my speaking engagements and webinars, I’m always looking for brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” Past winners include State Farm and PepsiCo

Today I’d like to recognize a company that’s taken a fantastic brand and brilliantly expanded it into the social space: Zappos.
I’ve written about my love for Tony Hseih’s online shoe company before, but now it gives me great honor to truly call it a Superstar.

With more than 2,600 YouTube subscribers, 260,000 Facebook Likes, and almost 2.6 million Twitter followers (across seven accounts), Zappos has definitely made a social media splash. But lots of footwear and apparel companies appeal to young social media users. How does Zappos stand out? Here are a few reasons.

Website Videos – Instant, Honest, and Short
Zappos created a team of ten employees to make videos about every single one of its shoes. The videos are done on-site and are unscripted. Since starting the program in 2009, these employees have now created around 100,000 videos. They’re all under a minute, so that customers don’t get bored. Even better? Each video has three prominent sharing options – Twitter, Facebook, and HTML code for bloggers. The videos allow Zappos employees to share their love of the product and encourage customers to share their love on social media.

Social Recruiting, Too
Zappos offers a YouTube channel just for recruiting, with 33 videos. The content ranges from employee interviews to a look at the Zappos HQ fitness center to advice on how to dress for your job interview. This is a fantastic resource for job-seekers, with each video showcasing the spirit of fun and customer service that is the foundation of the Zappos brand. On Twitter, ZapposInsights and Inside_Zappos both offer a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s unique culture, with lots of interaction with followers.

Their Own Personal Pinterest
The Zappos website has a unique feature that really makes it a superstar. It’s called the TweetWall; a collection of tweets from anyone who has linked to a Zappos product. It’s a form of crowdsourcing, where customers can see what styles have the most buzz. And instead of encouraging fans to tweet about the company, Zappos is rewarding fans for already doing it. Fans know this, and may tweet about Zappos just get a spot on the coveted wall.


Through YouTube, multiple Twitter profiles, employee videos, and the TweetWall, Zappos has created a virtuous circle: fans celebrate the brand because the brand recognizes the fans who celebrate it.


For sharing videos, tweets, and photos with their fans, and allowing their fans to share content in return, I name Zappos a SoMe Superstar!

Do you know of a brand that deserves superstar status? Drop me a line.

Social Media Fun Facts

In honor of my appearance on HR/NY’s Social Media in the Talent Environment panel (moderated by Brandemix founder and CEO Jody Ordioni), here are some interesting facts about social media that I’ve learned in my recent branding research.

The record for most tweets per second is 25,088, which happened during 2011’s annual TV broadcast of Castle in the Sky in Japan. Viewing the 1986 animated film has become a national tradition, similar to Americans watching It’s a Wondeful Life at Christmas. (Geekosystem)

The previous record for most tweets per second was 13,684, which happened during a Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Chelsea in April. Before that, it was 12,233, which took place during the New York Giants’ game-winning drive in Super Bowl LXVI in February. (CNET)

Image courtesy of Infographic Labs

Zynga, creator of games like Words With Friends, Cityville, and Indiana Jones, was responsible for 12% of Facebook’s total revenue in 2011. (Forbes)

Searching for the phrase “How to land an airplane” on YouTube brings up 171 results. (YouTube)

The five most popular YouTube videos of all time are music videos, including “Baby” by Justin Beiber at #1. The #6 most popular video is “Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!” (YouTube)

The most followed pinner on Pinterest is Jane Wang, with more than 1.5 million followers. She is Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann’s mother. (Zoomsphere)

Image courtesy of Kate T.


In February, the most repinned image on Pinterest was a photo of a woman’s closet. The tenth-most repinned image was a photo of a bookshelf. Two of the top ten were pictures of cookies. (Pinfaves)

The top three brands on Facebook are Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks; all consumer brands. The top three brands on Google Plus are Android, Mashable, and Chrome; all in technology field. (Pardot)

Two people join LinkedIn every second. It’s the 36th-most visited site in the world. Its fastest-growing demographics are students and recent college graduates. (Business 2 Community)

The location with the most Foursquare check-ins is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with more than 632,000 check-ins. It’s followed by airports in Los Angles (LAX), San Francisco, and New York (JFK). By comparison, Disneyland has 200,000 total check-ins. (Foursquare)

Image courtesy of Coasttocoast

Disneyland is, however, the second-most photographed location on Instagram. The first is AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the Giants baseball team. (Instagram)

On Instragram’s list of 15 most photographed places are three New York City locations: the High Line, Madison Square Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Empire State Building and the new World Trade Center did not make the list. (Instagram)

Want to learn more about these and other social media sites, and how Brandemix can use them to help your consumer branding or employer branding campaigns? Drop me a line

LinkedIn Lovin’ – Here Are Five Reasons Why

It’s true that I’ve publicly predicted their demise, yet, like the grade-school girl who hits the boy she loves, deep down I really have a crush on LinkedIn. Obviously, I’m not alone. This professional network is signing on new users at the rate of two per second and has a lot of advantages that make it useful to anyone in business or looking to bust in.

Here are my five reasons for loving LinkedIn:

1. Picture perfect
Admit it. Before you meet with someone, or even before you call them, you look at their photo on LinkedIn. It’s just human nature to want to see the person you’re about to contact; LinkedIn provides that vital connection. It’s no longer necessary to think of the audience in their underwear to eliminate the fear before a meeting. Now I can get a sneak peek, and know before I go.

2. Group Therapy
Speaking of presentations, following Brandemix workshops on popular topics like DIY employer branding or social media marketing, I receive dozens of business cards and LinkedIn requests. But how do I remember that I met Jim from Dallas in Orlando and Jane from Orlando in Dallas? LinkedIn lets me organize my contacts with tags: keywords that I create myself. I can group by speaking engagement, event, date, location, or up to 200 differentiators. It’s a simple online solution to a real-world problem that LinkedIn recognized and addressed.

3. A happenin’ app
Hardly anyone talks about it, but I think LinkedIn’s mobile version is more versatile and beautiful than the site itself. Its intuitive images of file folders, envelopes, and ID tags are a welcome change from the web version’s stark blue and white. The big, bold icons make it easy to read content, comment on posts, and search the directory. The interface gives LinkedIn a more friendly, social feel, like Facebook or Twitter. And speaking of which…

4. Wonderful for wordsmiths
I can’t always express myself in the 140 characters of a tweet. LinkedIn gives me 700 characters or a post, four times as many as Twitter. I also get 1,000 characters under Interests and 2,000 for my Summary. Great for, shall we say, enthusiastic writers like me!

5. There is such a thing as a free lunch.
While LinkedIn offers excellent premium accounts and comprehensive recruiter packages, I have almost 800 connections and still use the free version. Even without InMail or the advanced search options, I’m able to form groups (and you’re welcome to join mine), join groups (I hit my limit at 50), and still get access to all kinds of useful content for free.

Miscellaneous: I always get enlightening feedback to my questions on LinkedIn Answers. I use my allotment of free introductions to expand my network. And I follow my competitors and my “wannabes” to stay up to date in the fields of marketing, branding, and interactive technology.


LinkedIn is my one-stop shop. And with its two new features – targeted updates and follower statistics – I’m finally able to segment my messaging and see exactly who I’m reaching. Last year, I worried that LinkedIn wasn’t innovating, but features like these (and don’t forget that great app) show me that LinkedIn is committed to being the most useful network for business professionals.

I’ll be moderating an NYC panel with a LinkedIn representative on June 27. Anything you’d like me to ask? Drop me a line or find Brandemix on Facebook or TwitterAnd do Link In.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn: A Look Back

About a year ago, I wrote about Facebook overtaking and eventually replacing LinkedIn. Since both social networks have been in the news recently, I thought now would be a good time to look back on that prediction — and how the social media recruiting landscape has changed since then.

In the past few weeks, LinkedIn has announced a doubling of revenueacquired SlideShare, and crossed the 100-million-user mark. Facebook, meanwhile, had its much-anticipated IPO, which fell far short of optimistic expectations.

image from pammarketingnut.com

When I wrote the famous blog post back in August, Google+ wasn’t a factor, and no one had heard of Pinterest. But now both sites are being used by big names, from Michael Kors to BWM to Fresh and Easy, for recruiting and employer branding. This means that LinkedIn is facing competition — but not necessarily from Facebook.

In my original article, I pointed to LinkedIn’s lack of innovation, calling their clean layout “bordering on empty.” But now the site offers dozens of premium packages for recruiters, agencies, and organizations, and has launched a special initiative to reach out to nonprofits. The acquisition of SlideShare, which businesses (including mine) use all the time to share presentations, has shown that LinkedIn is indeed innovating. At the same time, BranchOut and BeKnown, the two Facebook apps competing with LinkedIn, have grown more slowly than predicted.

image from Global Knowledge Blog

So will Facebook still destroy LinkedIn? Examine the evidence and decide for yourself:

The blog that started it all: Why Facebook Will Destroy LinkedIn.

I revisited the topic a week later, aggregating all the responses from other blogs.

The Recruiting Animal put Jason Ginsburg, our Director of Interactive Branding, through his usual interrogation.

And before I forget — thanks to Joe Light for writing the original Wall Street Journal article that showed some companies were finding more success recruiting on Facebook than on LinkedIn. Will other companies follow? Stay tuned…

Social Media Fun Facts

In honor of my appearance on HR/NY’s Social Media in the Talent Environment panel (moderated by Brandemix founder and CEO Jody Ordioni), here are some interesting facts about social media that I’ve learned in my recent branding research.

The record for most tweets per second is 25,088, which happened during 2011’s annual TV broadcast of Castle in the Sky in Japan. Viewing the 1986 animated film has become a national tradition, similar to Americans watching It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmas. (Geekosystem)

The previous record for most tweets per second was 13,684, which happened during a Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Chelsea in April. Before that, it was 12,233, which took place during the New York Giants’ game-winning drive in Super Bowl LXVI in February. (CNET)

Image courtesy of Infographic Labs

Zynga, creator of games like Words With Friends, Cityville, and Indiana Jones, was responsible for 12% of Facebook’s total revenue in 2011. (Forbes)

Searching for the phrase “How to land an airplane” on YouTube brings up 171 results. (YouTube)

The five most popular YouTube videos of all time are music videos, including “Baby” by Justin Beiber at #1. The #6 most popular video is “Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!” (YouTube)

The most followed pinner on Pinterest is Jane Wang, with more than 1.5 million followers. She is Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann’s mother. (Zoomsphere)

Image courtesy of Kate T.

In February, the most repinned image on Pinterest was a photo of a woman’s closet. The tenth-most repinned image was a photo of a bookshelf. Two of the top ten were pictures of cookies. (Pinfaves)

The top three brands on Facebook are Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks; all consumer brands. The top three brands on Google Plus are Android, Mashable, and Chrome; all in technology field. (Pardot)

Two people join LinkedIn every second. It’s the 36th-most visited site in the world. Its fastest-growing demographics are students and recent college graduates. (Business 2 Community)

The location with the most Foursquare check-ins is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with more than 632,000 check-ins. It’s followed by airports in Los Angles (LAX), San Francisco, and New York (JFK). By comparison, Disneyland has 200,000 total check-ins. (Foursquare)

 

Image courtesy of Coasttocoast

Disneyland is, however, the second-most photographed location on Instagram. The first is AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the Giants baseball team. (Instagram)

On Instragram’s list of 15 most photographed places are three New York City locations: the High Line, Madison Square Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Empire State Building and the new World Trade Center did not make the list. (Instagram)

Want to learn more about these and other social media sites, and how Brandemix can use them to help your consumer branding or employer branding campaigns? Drop me a line


The Best Branding on Social Media

It’s time for another round-up of the best brands in social media. Along with old favorites Facebook and Twitter, this time I’m looking at Pinterest, now the third-most popular social network in America, and Google+, which is finally gaining traction among brands. Who’s the best – and why? Read on.


Pinterest
 – Michael Kors
With 23 boards and more than 750 pins, Michael Kors’ Pinterest gives his fans a lot to look at. But only about half his boards are about the products themselves, such as watches and shoes. One board is “Style Tips,” a great resource for fashion enthusaists, while others like “Travel Diary” offer a sneak peak into the designer’s glamorous lifestyle. “Michael’s Milestones” feature photos of Michael’s past, including his child-modeling work in the 60s.  “On Broadway” presents Michael’s favorite shows, while “Eat Up” presents his favorite foods. It’s clear taht Michael Kors is using Pinterest not just to sell his products but also to connect with fans and give them an inside look at his life.

Twitter – Whole Foods
Named one of the Top Ten Twitter Brands of 2011 by Social Fresh, Whole Foods boasts more than 2.6 million followers. What makes them so popular? Their profile description includes this promise: “Ready to answer you questions Mon-Fri 9am-5pm CST!” I constantly remind clients that social media is a two-way conversation, and Whole Foods has embraced that idea by inviting questions (and, most likely, complaints). Whole Foods also tweets plenty of cooking tips and recipes, and dozens of images – not only of food but also of branded events, like its “Ring of Fire” ski tour of Pacific Northwest volcanoes. And the chain makes good on its guarantee, responding to comments and questions throughout the day. It’s a fun, enthusiastic, helpful channel, which is what every brand should aim for.

Facebook – Starbucks
Starbucks is one of the brands most engaged with its audience, according to social marketing firm SocialBakers. Their Timeline is filled with responses to fans’ posts, ranging from “Is your decaf coffee decaffeinated through the Swiss Water Process?” to a complaint about a rewards card that hadn’t arrived. In some cases, Starbucks takes a day to reply; in other cases, just minutes. The brand keeps things simple on Facebook, with no apps or games except for a tab that allows fans to send Starbucks Card eGifts to friends. There are plenty of photos and videos, though, featuring employees, music, and Starbucks’ scrumptious products. Best of all, the brand devotes one of its eight tabs to job-seekers, with a job search Facebook app that’s intuitive and easy. The result is more than 30 million likes, making Starbucks the second-biggest brand Facebook Page in the world.


Google Plus – BMW
Brands are still finding their way on Google+, but BMW sets a great example.
For one thing, BMW has constructed a photo of its new i8 Spyder concept car through a clever use of its four profile images – which some brands are still struggling with. The carmaker post lots of photos and videos of its products in action. Like Whole Foods, the brand is rewarded for engaging fans; its simple question of what rims to put on the new Gran Coupé elicited 433 answers. There are user-submitted photos, too. And while BMW may be a luxury brand, it never talks down to its fans on Google Plus, covering racing along with its high-end cars. Such compelling content and breezy conversations have garnered BMW 491,000 +1’s, and the brand is in 490,000 people’s Circles.

At Brandemix, we use all these social media channels, along with YouTube, LinkedIn, and others, to reach consumers, donors, employees, and job-seekers. If you’d like to learn more from our research into social media best practices, contact us.