Tag Archives: social media

New Social Media Channels: How Can Your Brand Use Them?

Just when you think the world has enough social networks, another emerges that changes the entire landscape: Facebook supplanted MySpace. Google launched Google Plus. Foursquare became more like Yelp. And visual sharing evolved from Instagram to Pinterest to Snapchat.

More social channels are on the horizon. While they all aim to be fun and useful, they’re not all appropriate for brands to use for marketing or recruiting. I’ve researched the latest technologies coming out of tech conferences around the world and found a few start-ups you’ll want to keep your eye on in 2014.

Thumb Pro

Thumb Pro

Thumb
What it does: Thumb allows user to poll their social network for answers to questions such as what to cook, what to wear, and what movies to see. On Facebook, I often see friends asking questions like “Where can I get great sushi in Chelsea?” Thumb gives those queries a dedicated home and is aimed at getting instant answers and sparking conversations. 

How your brand can use it: Thumb Pro allows brands to “get hundreds of authentic responses from real people in seconds.” It allows your organization to ask a question to a specific audience segment, get instant responses, and then follow up privately with anyone who responded. The website gives examples such as “Would you pay an extra 25 cents a can of Coca-Cola with real sugar?” and “Would you buy a reuseable Starbucks coffee sleeve?” You can conduct market research on logos, pricing, advertising, and even product design. You can use it for recruiting with questions like “Do you want to be challenged in IT every day?” or “What are some questions you have about working for a non-profit?”

Nextdoor
What it does: Nextdoor is a social network for communities and neighborhoods. And the company means it — a physical address is required to join. Nextdoor allows neighbors to discuss local issues such as crime, garage sales, lost dogs, nearby bargains, and community events. The goal is to “build happier, safer places to call home.” 

How your brand can use it: This social network is perfect for local businesses. It allows shop owners and their employees to participate in the community and build goodwill. Your business can be one of those “nearby bargains” or it can sponsor one of those community events. It puts a face and a name to your company. It’s also great for hiring locally and reinforcing that community connection. And if you’re the one who finds a lost dog, you’ll be a hero to dozens of people!

Impossible

Impossible

What it does: User post “wishes” for the public to see, usually based on tasks or knowledge, like “I wish someone could teach me how to make chocolate” or “I wish someone could change the oil on a snowblower.” Other users then contact the “wishers” and fulfill the task — for free.

How your brand can use it: Since you can’t sell anything on Impossible, you have to embrace the site’s generous spirit. In much the same way brands give away information through blogs or social media, your organization can answer questions and give recommendations, building a foundation of customer service. If you’re a tax preparer, you can answer tax questions; if you’re a landscaper, you can answer gardening questions.  Many brands don’t know about Impossible, so your company can be one of the first to stake a claim in your area of expertise.

Pinterest clones
Finally, while Pinterest continues to grow, a number of similar sites have appeared that target a specific category. Depending on your industry, you may find these niche sites useful. Examples include Trippy (travel), I Wanna Nom (food), Dwelling Gawker (interior design), All I Really Want (gifts), and PolyVore (fashion). You can use these sites just as you would use Pinterest: posting images, liking others’ images, and making comments on posts that are relevant to your business. You create a selfless image for your company and brand it as an expert.

As you can see, social media is always evolving and it can be hard to keep up. At Brandemix, we follow the latest trends and investigate all the research to stay ahead of the game. If you’re ready to move beyond Facebook and Twitter for your marketing, branding, or recruiting, contact us. We’ll be happy to connect. 

Branding, Marketing, and Web Design Trends

With the holidays fast approaching (such as Thanksgivukkah in just two weeks!) we thought we’d share some of our professional predictions for 2014 branding, marketing, and web design.

Branding: Clean-Slate Brands
According to Trendwatching, new is good, less is more, and sometimes true is better than tried. Consumers are seeking greater control, choices de-simplified, and upstarts on a mission. 2014 could be the year of the entrepreneur with a great product and an inspirational mission.

Web Trends: Start with Small
Begin your design phase of every project with an eye on how it will look on a mobile device. Then branch out to tablets and PC’s. It will help you frame your content by what’s important and build an architecture based on best-practice. Less is more. Just as we saw above, the trend is moving to simplification: large images, parallax effects, and one-page websites organized into blocks of content inspired by Pinterest. The only thing that will get more complex is the choice of web-friendly fonts you can use.

Video is surging in popularity. A June 2013 survey conducted by AOL showed that almost three quarters of marketing professionals plan to increase their spending on branded video content or video ads in 2014. Same rules apply: keep it short and simple, and make it good. 

Social Media Marketing: Diversify Your Strategy 
As we saw from investors’ show of support for Twitter’s IPO, social is only getting bigger and more relevant. As choices expand and audiences fragment, it gives marketing professionals the opportunity to create meaningful content that creates affinity for your brand’s voice. Once you build out a brand framework and architecture, drill down your value proposition for each audience and demo you’re looking to reach.

  • Google+ will continue to grow in size and influence and should no longer be thought of as a second-tier site. Delete that joke on the famous “Donut List.”
  • Image is everything and make it fast. Think Vine, Instagram, Pinterest. The popularity of these sites shows us that appetite for bite-sized chunks of content is growing. Say it in 6 seconds – and go! 

As always, it’s best to have a strategy and never too late to download our free Social Media Marketing Strategy Guide

What are your marketing predictions for 2014?  We’d love to hear them. As an agency that specializes in branding, marketing and web design, we love staying ahead of the curve. 

Brandemix Bonus Reel: Decoding Social Recruiting

Jason Ginsburg, Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix, reveals surprising insights from the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey.

Download our free Social Media Strategy Guide for Talent Acquisition here.

Register for our free webinar, Employer Branding Boot Camp.

Three Chances to See “Socialize Your Talent Strategy” This Month

Have you experienced “Socialize Your Talent Strategy” yet?

Click here to register for the SHRM 2013 Talent Management Conference.

Click here to register for SocialHRCamp New York.

Click here to register for the Quality of Hire virtual conference at HR.com.

Brandemix Bonus Reel: More Interest in Pinterest

Is your brand ready to join Pinterest? If so, here are some beginner’s tips from Jason Ginsburg, our Director of Interactive Branding.

Dollars to Donuts: It’s Time to Update the Internet’s Most Famous List

We’re all familiar with the funny image that goes by various names, but is basically “Social media explained with donuts.” As a reminder, here’s the full list

Social Media Explained With DonutsCompanies, including my own, use the “Donut List” to simplify the major social sites to novices. But as these sites add features and move to our mobile devices, the differences aren’t all that clear.

Take YouTube, indisputably the king of internet video. But Facebook also hosts videos; they play right in your timeline. Google Plus, which owns YouTube, easily integrates with its sister company. Pinterest lets users pin videos and even the business-minded LinkedIn allows companies to post videos, if they upgrade to the premium packages.

Yes, virtually all the videos being watched on these different sites are coming from YouTube. But does the average user care? And what if you find that your brand’s videos are being watched more through a Facebook timeline than on YouTube.com?

Another reason to update the Donut List is that Pinterest has evolved. It started out with a mostly female audience, no brand presence, and a large amount of recipe pins. But now the site has moved away from text and consists almost entirely of images. Brands are showing off their products, couples are building wedding registries, and just about everyone is sharing infographics. So what’s all this about recipes?

And then there’s Google Plus. When the Donut List was first published, the social network was seen as a poor attempt to compete with Facebook. The Wall Street Journal called it a “virtual ghost town.” Hence the joke that only Google employees used the site. But Google integrated many of its other products into G+, including YouTube and Gmail, encouraging (some might say demanding) that users create a profile. Less controversial are the popular Google Hangouts, live G+ video chats on with celebrities, thought leaders – even astronauts on the International Space Station. Today, Google Plus is the second-most popular social network in the world, behind Facebook. So now the joke’s on the Donut List.

Astronaut Google Hangout

I have a few other quibbles with the Donut List. For example, Instagram may be known for its “vintage” filters, but people and brands are posting plenty of “unfiltered” images there, making it a competitor to Pinterest. And I’m not sure that image-hosting site Imgur will ever become a true social network, especially as Instagram and Pinterest become more popular.

In conclusion, the Donut List is funny and insightful, but is no longer accurate. Social media is always changing and so should the Donut List. How would you describe these social sites? Would you add any? Delete any? Let me know. And if the evolving social landscape has you confused, Brandemix will be happy to help.

Until then, I’m grabbing a donut.

Free webinar: Socialize Your Healthcare/Non-Profit Recruitment

This inside look at social media recruiting best practices for hospitals, healthcare companies, and non-profit organizations will take place on Wednesday, March 13, at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific.

Register for free here!

Boasting from Brandeland!

What a week for Brandemix! Our Director of Interactive Branding and I
have shared our thoughts on employer branding, social media, and recruiting in four fantastic publications. On top of that, we presented our popular webinar,
Socialize Your Talent Strategy, to more than 70 participants around the country and across the Atlantic. We were even asked to moderate an HR panel at Pace University.

Want to see what we’ve been up to? Check out these sites:

I was interviewed about employer branding for The Human Factor, the website of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management. I gave shared my stories, gave advice, and outlined the three
characteristics of a successful employer brand: Alignment, Authenticity, and Differentiation.

I was also quoted an article for Rescue a CEO, part of CEO BlogNation, offering entrepreneurs tips on how to rebrand a small business. I broke down every rebranding initiative into four simple steps.

Always a big fan of social media, I was featured in a piece for Managing Your HR called Social Media Can Help Companies Better Compete for Qualified Candidates. I quoted some important statistics for recruiters, like how 73% of employers
claimed they had made a successful hire through social media, and that 43% of employers said social media increased their quality of hire.
 
Jason Ginsburg, our Director of Interactive Branding, wrote Meet the
Rock-Star Brands of Social Recruiting
for the SmartBlog on Social
Media. He showed how Taco Bell, Sodexo, and UPS are cleverly using social channels to engage job-seekers and make hires.

Jason was also at Pace University, moderating the panel “Careers in Focus: Human Resources,” which featured representatives from NBC Universal, Penguin Publishing, Ipreo, and Harlequin speaking to students from Pace’s Lubin School of Business about the evolving field of HR.

Finally, I also had the honor of moderating a panel, “Selecting
and Optimizing Your Applicant Tracking System
,” hosted by HR/NY. I
spoke with professionals from TechnoMedia, S&P, and Oracle Taleo about matching an ATS to the
needs of a company, its recruiting partners, and its ideal candidates. We all shared best-practice
tips for maximizing your system’s potential.
 
Would you like us to write for your site or speak at your event?

Social Media DON’Ts

I’ve told you about Social Media Superstars and various best practices – but what about worst practices? What are some tactics to completely avoid?

Here are some of my personal pet peeves for each major social network. Think of them as social media don’ts.

Twitter
Ignoring questions and comments. Twitter, like all social media, is supposed to be a dialogue – that’s the “social” part. Only broadcasting and never replying is almost like shouting continuously. Everyone can see that your Twitter stream has no @mentions or retweets and they’ll know it’s pointless to communicate with you before they even try.

Facebook
Not using all the features. Believe it or not, some brands post only text and links. The Photos tab is empty, or maybe has their logo as a default. And don’t forget that Facebook allows you post videos, as well. In fact, you can have 10 custom Facebook tabs. Use them! Tabs can be used for posting jobs, holding contests, or creating interactive experiences. Look what Coca-Cola offers, for example.

Coca-Cola's Facebook Tabs

Coca-Cola’s Facebook Tabs

YouTube
We make a lot of videos here at Brandemix, so my pet peeves are production-based. Bad lighting and bad sound absolutely ruin videos for me. So are videos that stretch three minutes of content into ten minutes of agony. And some people don’t understand the concept of a second take, stammering their way through a presentation. Take the time to do videos right or else they may go viral for all the wrong reasons.

LinkedIn
If you’re in a LinkedIn Group, please add to the conversation and comment on others’ posts before posting a blatant advertisement for your services. Yes, we’re all on LinkedIn for business purposes, but that doesn’t mean civility and etiquette don’t apply.

Don't be like this person on LinkedIn.

Don’t be like this person on LinkedIn.

Pinterest
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a fan of Pinterest accounts that only repin others’ pins. To me, it’s like only retweeting on Twitter and never posting something original. You don’t have to be an artist or designer to have access to some kind of visual collateral. Post photos of your office, or your employees, or your neighborhood. Do you have a pet? One category that never fails for me: 
dogs wearing sweaters.

Those are the worst offenders for each of the major social networks. Google Plus suffers from the same problem as Facebook, and Instagram abounds with the same poor production quality as YouTube.

What are your social media pet peeves? Have any examples? We’d love to see them.

And, of course, if you’re having trouble achieving social media best practices, we’re happy to help.