Category Archives: Pop Culture

Are you obsessed with Facebook?

God … I hope not.

Saw this great infographic turned YouTube video. Check it out and let me know if you’re obsessed.

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Sunday Round-Up: Facebook Tips

It’s Sunday. Oscar night. And it [social media] was the topic of conversation last night at a friend’s engagement party. It’s funny (and ironic) that social settings are always telling of our state of social media adoption. Since there’s nothing that brings me more joy than talking about Mark Zuckerberg on a Saturday night, I took a sip of my non-alcoholic beverage and jumped right into that pool of daggers. These conversations always start off a little rough (for me). I listen, and listen, and listen some more. And what I came to realize was, these casual chats always revolve around three questions:

  1. I don’t see a point in <insert social platform>. It’s just another fad. (okay, not really a question, but for some reason this tiger starts to crouch for a pounce).
  2. I only use it for personal use, how can I use <insert social platform> at my company or in my job?
  3. How do you make <an account, a page, an event, or insert anything here>?

Since these seem to be recurring themes, I thought I’d start doing a Sunday round-up of great tips from pros in the business. This week, we’ll focus on Facebook in honor of The Social Network and its Oscar nominations. Check out the articles below and share your helpful favorites.

Setting Up An Account (How to Facebook 2011, via WeeJee)

How to Set Up a Winning Fan Page (via Mashable)

How to Keep Facebook Fans (via Social Media Today)

How to Tag People for Personal and Business Use (via Mari Smith)

Creating the Perfect Facebook Event (via Social Media Today)

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Insights (tips on FB measurement via Mashable)

Have you seen any helpful articles? Share them in a comment!

Team Ken: Mattel Makes a Move to Social

I was never a Barbie loving type of girl. She didn’t look like me, she never held the jobs I really wanted (until the late 90s), and I really wasn’t interested in a pink house. But, when I saw that Mattel was on a mission to reunite Barbie and Ken, I couldn’t help but smile. Maybe it’s my new cubicle neighbor, who has a Valentine’s Day tree (yes it’s true) and pink and red decor all over. Or, maybe I’m becoming a softy. Regardless, let’s just say that this February, I’m a sucker for love.

Have you seen the new Ken’s mission to win back his beloved Barbie? If not, check out this video.

What I like is that Mattel is bringing to life two of the most iconic childhood figures through the online world. The digital campaign is centered around the barbieandken.com web site. They also leverage social media platforms to provide realtime updates and deliver individualized messaging. The website has a voting mechanism and a “Love-o-Meter,” and it includes links to Barbie and Ken’s social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

The use of each platform is personal and humorous and has a distinct voice for both dolls. Ken shares stroll down memory lane through FourSquare check-ins. It’s cute. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s Barbie so what do we expect?

There are a few things I like about this campaign. The integration is smart, the way that the social platforms is smart in the sense that it allows us to hear a Ken’s distinct, pleading voice. We see Barbie and Ken as people, but can also enjoy the humor in the fact that they are dolls. Do I wish it was just more than simply tweeting and checking in? Yes. Are there more humorous ways of presenting Ken’s story? Absolutely. Does this effort really reach their target demo? I’m not sure. Is there a point to the Website? Absolutely not.

My hope is that this is just the beginning for Mattel. There are so many opportunities, and I feel like this campaign could be so incredible and has all the components to be “viral.” It’s the how Mattel executed that’s missing for me. Fingers crossed that the rest of the year shows a more intriguing campaign.

Putting People Back at the Center

Yesterday, my colleague Sean and I braved the weather and attended Social IRL Explore and Engage with Brian Solis and Jason Falls. The conference got me thinking – we’re at a shift in how we communicate, how brands impact our lives and how we, as professionals, need to re-focus on learning, leading and engaging.

One component of Brian’s keynote that really struck me is the Interest Graph. In order for us to reach our consumers, we need to be more relevant, more helpful and more human. Companies need to quit functioning like faceless organizations, and put people at the center. However, in order to do this, we have to turn the organization inside out. We could list the many reasons why the C-Suite would prefer not to do this, but we could also name the long list of reasons why companies must change, or die. Or in Brian’s words, “Engage or Die.”

The more and more that I’ve worked on social strategy and communications, the more I learn that no external strategy will ever accomplish an organization’s true goals. So, before you decide to create a Facebook page or get a Twitter account, start with these three steps:

1. Ask yourself: “Are you ready? Really?” Are you listening? What’s your review process? Can you respond to consumer questions, comments and concerns in a timely fashion? Can you truly engage in a two-way conversation? Do you have guidelines and guidance? Do you have a brand/voice guideline? Who will be engaging? Are your employees happy? You never want to hang your dirty laundry out for everyone to see, but in a world where access to information is endless, it is inevitable. Are you ready?

2. What can you provide that is of true value and relevance? Yes, corporate messaging on your Website is great and all, but it doesn’t give consumers information that they want and need? If you are listening, you have an idea of what customers really want. In a world where we’re bombarded with messages, what makes yours stand out? Relevance. This means that what we provide customers needs to be helpful to them as individuals. The days of mass broadcast are over.

3. What’s your long-term strategy? Social media is not standalone. In order for us to be successful, we need to look at all components of authentic marketing from paid to owned to earned to shared media. Integration and collaboration are key. Establishing an online presence doesn’t mean simply creating a page. It requires time, effort, passion, risk-taking and resilience. Do your employees live and breath the same mission that will resonate with your customers?

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Any examples of companies you think are putting people are the center of their business?

Engagement is a Privilege, Not a Right

In the old world of marketing, there is a level of expectation that consumers want to hear about our brands and that if we push it – it will sell. Today, that has changed. In today’s world of personal filters and lenses, consumers don’t see your brand unless they want to. We are blind to web ads, we fast forward to TV ads, and have the option to choose to “like” a brand. Consumers hold all the power.

Daily I face the challenge of finding ways companies can engage with their target consumers. And the answer is simple, but not one that many companies want to hear. So, I’ll tell you instead.  Brands need to be human, customer-focused and provide good products in the first place. Grab a piece of paper and answer the following questions in this exercise. Come on, it’ll be fun!

Step 1: For kicks, let’s go back to middle school or hell, high school will do too. It’s your first day. You know no one. Your backpack is filled with Five Star note books and all the essentials on the school shopping list. You know, because you checked twice. What’s the first thing you do? What do you see? How do you feel?

Step 2: The bell rings and it’s the dreaded lunch time. So the question is – do you lock yourself in the bathroom, do you eat lunch alone and wait for someone to come to you, or do you try to make a new friend? What do you say, how do you make friends?

Step 3: Two weeks have gone by. You now know the popular kids in school, the sports they play and the ultra-cool language they speak. There’s a party coming up and you want to go. How do you find the in?

Step 4: You got the invite and to be honest, it was a blast! But, the weekend’s over and it’s Monday morning. What do you do?

Now, imagine that these four steps were just a different setting. The new school was an online community, lunch
time is your moment to truly engage. Step 3 is focused on what you talk about, what you do and how you build relationships within that community. Step 4 is aimed at maintaining the relationship, so that you can keep getting invited to that party. The only world is all about cliques and niches, and becoming a member isn’t a right – it’s a privilege to be welcomed. Be real, be yourself and consistent. Same rules apply for engaging with consumers.