Tag Archives: ENGAGEMENT

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.

Social Media Superstar: PepsiCo

As I travel around the country giving my presentation “Socialize Your Talent Strategy,” I’m always on the lookout for companies using social media in innovative ways to attract job applicants.My latest unbiased SoMe (if you don’t know what that means, sign up for my next Webinar) Superstar discovery is PepsiCo, the family of brands that includes the famous soft drink, Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, and Lipton. True, a few weeks ago, Pepsi lost out to Coke in my head-to-head competition of consumer-facing social media. But when it comes to social recruitment marketing, Pepsi has some fizz.Here are 4 reasons why:

  • The company maintains one digital employer brand. 
  • The company offers iPhone, iPad, and Android apps solely for job-seekers. 
  • The company manages a separate Twitter account just for job-seekers and a fully optimized LinkedIn Careers tab.
  • The company speaks to the next generation of workers by posting in Spanish, highlighting PepsiCo’s jobs perks, and emphasizing its environmental and charity efforts.

Employer Branding: “The Power of Possibilities,” and four value propositions: Culture, Benefits, Diversity, and Development are featured on their Careers Site. (Memba when I called them out on this:http://bit.ly/mrhzNr?) Job-seekers can also watch four well-crafted videos that each tell a story about a different employee. This section includes download options for Pepsi’s mobile jobs applications (which I believe is the future of best-practice recruitment). 

Many members of Generations X and Y claim that salary isn’t as important to them as working for a company that does good. PepsiCo addresses this issue on their YouTube channel, with videos such as PepsiCo Feeds America and PepsiCo’s Global Water Goals. The employee profile videos are also here, for candidates who don’t visit the main site.

PepsiCo’s careers Twitter profile has over 4,700 followers and continues the “Possibilities” branding. True to my philosophy of providing interesting content, the company’s tweets include recipes (“Spice Up Your Snacking with Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Fritos Pie”), answers to applicant questions (“Hello, Gunther. Make sure your contact and work history are current…), and even posts in Spanish, which broadens its applicant pool.

But it’s on LinkedIn where PepsiCo really stands out. The Careers tab is branded with the “Possibilities” logo. There’s a video message from the CEO, a list of employee benefits (including an on-site gym and café), three testimonials from employees, introduced by a particularly powerful employer value proposition for the marketing and communications positions that PepsiCo is trying to fill: 

We entrust our marketing and communications experts with creating our message, positioning our products in the right markets, understanding what consumers want and building demand for our products. They are the curators of our message and the guardians of our brands.

So, we raise our glass of soda to Pepsi,  BRANDEMiX latest unbiased example of a SoMe Superstar!

Forget Engagement and Strive for FUNCTIONALL

The last Employee Engagement conference I attended had speakers from both Human Resources and Communications at Fortune 500 companies presenting case studies of their latest Internal Branding efforts. Based on their similarities, I deduced that the trend in Employee Communications is “I Am [insert company name]”

They must have all read the same 3-step engagement doctrine which lists the path to engagement as movement from UNDERSTANDING (“I understand how to impact the brand and the company”) to DELIVERY (“I am the brand”) and thought that it was as simple as fill-in-the-blank.

But, since it is the last day of February and trendwatching.com’s February Brief was about FUNCTIONALL, let’s brainstorm together on how we can implement cheap and/or simple ideas that keep employees committed to their employer and enhance the culture and brand.

1. Move From Message Controller to Brand Curator.
The first step is to realize that whoever you are in the organization, your role must shift from message controller to message curator. You will now facilitate the conversations, not invent them.
If you’re scared already, then either you know that the talk won’t be pretty or you don’t know what their saying, in which case, back up a step.
-1. Conduct Focus Groups.
Even if times are bad and layoffs were deep and employees are scared, mad or sad, talk to them. They are still on your payroll and expected to contribute to the success of the organization. Ask them how they are doing that, and how derive satisfaction from doing that? Then help them tell the stories.
2. Give them some toys.
For less than $300 each, you can buy digital camcorders that tap into everyone’s creativity and responsibility into bringing the brand to life. Help them through editing and enhancing but keep it real. That’s what NY Utility Con Edison did – and the results are authentic movies that appear on the CE Eye channel- a popular internal video news channel.
3. Tune into WII FM (What’s In It For Me.)
Ok- this is only for the brave. Help your employees build and promote their personal brand. Give them professional assistance in updating their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and articulating the value that they bring to their current role. This is a radical way to become part of the dialogue thats happening without you. I contend that this will come back to you both in brand equity and the ability to utilize and deploy the right talent at the right time for every new challenge that arises.

At BRANDEMiX, we believe that companies are made up of moving parts called employees, and the easier it is for all of us to function as one, the more successful we all we be.

Let me know how it goes with your efforts in FUNCTIONALL. I want to hear your stories.