We all like to think that our lives revolve around Facebook. We aren’t afraid to brag about the time we spend each day sending friend requests, uploading photos, tagging friends and updating statuses but can you really consider yourself a Facebook power user?
20-30% of Facebook’s total population of users are considered power users and the infographic below provided by DemandForce provides some insight into what being a power user is all about. Keep in mind that a power user doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at everything. In fact, only 5% of Facebook users excel in four or more of the core Facebook actions. For this reason, power users tend to be great at a single, basic Facebook activity such as commenting on other’s posts or pressing the like button.
Check out the infographic below to find out if you can call yourself a Facebook power user!
The restaurant business can be extremely competitive so leveraging social media is imperative to stay one step ahead. When it comes down to it, restaurants using social media are receiving much more than monetary gain. As a restaurant, your business revolves around an extended interaction with customers. You’re providing a service as well as a product and fine-tuning this experience takes more than a dose of “practice makes perfect”. It’s important to remember that although social media takes time to turn non-revenue producing activities into revenue producing activities, it can and does happen!
Consider the following ways in which social media can help you effectively maximize your time, effort and resources:
1. Gain insight and gather feedback on menu items, events and service
2. Promote specials and events
3. Encourage new customers to try your restaurant by offering exclusive discounts or specials
4. Monitor your online reputation and provide complaint resolutions in real time
5. Using employees as brand ambassadors to create awareness
6. Keeping the community and customers informed about new projects (remodels, new locations etc)
7. Finding new employees
8. Having a direct conversation with your current customers and potentially reaching new customers
9. Sharing information such as contests or giveaways to increase foot traffic and generate excitement
10. Using social media to connect with your franchises (if applicable) to create an online support community
People go out to eat and drink at restaurants to interact and be social. Those who enjoy this concept are bound to enjoy the interactivity that social media offers as well. There are many different ways to leverage social media but there is no doubt that overlooking its potential for the restaurant industry is a mistake. It will take time and effort, like most marketing initiatives, but it’s possible and it can be done successfully if the proper steps are taken to strategize.
Customer retention is a top priority for most businesses as acquiring new customers is significantly more expensive than retaining the ones you already have. With advancements in social media, customer loyalty programs are adopting new concepts. Here are some of the ways social media can help your business build customer loyalty:
Creating A Personal Bond
Customers enjoy knowing that they can create a direct relationship with your business. Being able to directly communicate and “bond” with customers through platforms such as Facebook or Twitter can provide them with a feeling of closeness. The customer will feel personally connected, thus forming a loyal business relationship for the future.
Feedback And Responses
Customers love to leave feedback, both good and bad, in relation to their experiences with businesses. Social media has made it possible for businesses to connect with their customers and not only receive feedback, but provide direct responses. Not only is it great to receive a response, but thanks to social media, you can now expect a response in a much more timely manner. The customer will receive a sense of appreciation when a response is elicited and will enjoy further conducting business with you.
Usage of social media platforms such as Groupon, Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook has been on the rise. These platforms provide customers a direct link with benefits to using a businesses’ services or connecting with a business online. Customers enjoy receiving a “little something extra” in addition to conducting regular business with you. It acts as an incentive to remain loyal rather and deters them from exploring the competition.
Social media provides new venues for customers to access your business. The more convenient it is, the better. Increased accessibility equals increased reach and exposure. If your business is available on various social media platforms, it increases the number of ways your customers can form an attachment with you. The more ways that a customer can connect with you, the more likely the exposure will create a long lasting relationship with your business.
Businesses are now better able to track the behaviours, likes and dislikes of their customers through the use of social media. If businesses are better able to track this valuable information, they can then better provide their customers with what they want. By providing them with current, popular and desired products and services, the customer will feel understood and want to continually conduct business with a company who directly suits and adapts to their evolving needs.
As described in McClelland’s Theory of Needs, ‘need for affiliation’ is “the need for open and sociable interpersonal relationships.” Instinctively, people want to feel included. If the customer feels included as part of your business (i.e a follower on Twitter), they will likely remain loyal to your business based on the attachment. The feeling of being included in a group or having membership with your business will solidify the relationship and result in a long term sense of belonging for customers.
If you find yourself in downtown Berlin you may notice a big crowd gathered around a photo booth wearing headphones. No need to be alarmed, it’s just a new, super smart marketing campaign from Mini that puts you at the heart of a billboard in Berlin and gives you the chances to win a Mini. If you live in Berlin, you can become part of the mini by entering a photo booth beside the billboard or, if you’re inconveniently located elsewhere, you can go to Mini’s Facebook page online to take part.
Campaigns that feature the consumer front and center are not a new concept but campaigns like this one that seamlessly integrate Facebook are propelling the user experience to a whole new level. This Mini billboard campaign has managed to not only create buzz in Berlin but also all around the world as citizens of any country can participate online. One of my favourite parts is probably the most subtle feature; participants are required to wear headphones which highlight the Mini’s snazzy mirrors. This is a great concept that is sure to generate a lot of buzz and excitement!
Every once and a while a viral video on Youtube makes a big impact. Just last week I came across this promotional video for The English National Opera. The video is being used to promote a new opera entitled Two Boys and the performance is said to “lift the lid on the risks of life online.” To spread their message, they created an entertaining video that features one man roaming around and approaching strangers in public to ask them questions. The video is intended to open our eyes so, as social media users, we become aware that the way we’ve been conditioned to act online isn’t necessarily normal or safe. Sometimes it takes a video to make us realize that online interaction does not translate to human interaction as seamlessly as we’d like to think. Watch the video below and let us know what you think.
At some point in our lives, chances are, we’ve all used the services provided by a URL shortener. They’re a great tool to utilize, especially when posting content to a micro-blogging platform like Twitter where every single character counts! Now it may seem that a URL shortener can’t really get much better, but a new startup called Bre.ad is seeking to change that mindset.
Bre.ad is, as expected, a URL shortener. It shortens links, has the ability to sync to Twitter and Facebook and it provides link analytics. What makes this new startup so unique is that it helps users promote brands, interests and charities through a full-page interface. The difference becomes apparent when you click on the Bre.ad link. You aren’t taken directly to the content, but instead, are re-directed to a webpage that was created by the person who originally shortened the link. These pages display messages left by the person who created them as well as 720 pixel by 300 pixel billboards. The user stays on the page for five seconds before being re-directed to the link he/she originally clicked on.
These pages are delightfully referred to as “Toasts” and they can be used to promote anything from a personal Twitter account, to a charity that you support. As a user, you can upload multiple “Toasts” and when you generate Bre.ad links, they will be chosen from at random.
Bre.ad founder Alan Chan believes that people are always willing to promote causes whether they’re personal or business related so his goal was to find a simple, classy way for them to display their passion. While Bre.ad hasn’t gone public yet, its Beta version will be launched in the next few weeks. In the meantime, Lady Gaga, North Face and many other brands already have Toast pages. The site even features an explore option that lets you see which brands, causes and profiles are the most popular.
It’s difficult to judge public reaction to Bre.ad as it’s yet to be released. The service was designed not to feel like advertising but users could avoid clicking on Bre.ad links because they know they’ll be forced to watch an ad. It’ll be interesting to see if people adopt the technology with open arms and if users can find creative ways to convey their messages through “Toasts”. Who knew URL shorteners had so much to offer?!
It’s no secret that Youtube has become a seriously powerful online search engine when it comes to music videos, news stories, cute babies, funny cats and everything in between. We’ve compiled is a list of 10 tips for small businesses that are interested in utilizing Youtube as part of their social media strategy.
1) Customize Your Channel
Having a channel on Youtube is like having a page on Facebook, it needs to be branded! Take the extra time to customize the colours so they compliment your brand, experiment with adding graphics and really make your channel stand out.
2) Utilize Subtitles
Since March 2010, Youtube has provided users with the option to add auto-captioning to their videos. By providing subtitles, you’re allowing the hearing impaired all around the world to engage with your content, something that most companies ignore.
3) Beware Of Annotations
Have you ever watched a video and been annoyed by text appearing over top of the footage? If you have, you’re definitely not alone. Don’t be tempted to go down this route as annotations are very unprofessional and tend to be a big distraction to viewers. You want to grab people’s attention and make a great impression but relying on irrelevant text to do that is not the best strategy.
4) Remove Offensive Comments
While everyone knows you should never delete negative comments from your social media pages, offensive comments can be a tough judgement call. You can’t actually stop people from leaving unfriendly comments on your videos or your channel but you do have the power to remove spammy or offensive remarks. If the comment is negative or critical in nature, it should be left alone, especially if it’s relevant. If the comment uses offensive language, racial slurs or is completely saturated in spam, removal is recommended. Keep in mind you always have the option to moderate comments before they are posted live so this may be a better solution in terms of managing your reputation.
5) Engage With The Youtube Community
Some people forget that Youtube is a social site so it’s important to explore other users’ channels and content. You can favourite videos that you like and are applicable to your business and even make suitable Youtube friends. If you’d prefer to stay away from associating with other individuals or companies, try searching for content or channels that are relative to your local area or a good cause that your company supports. Aside from being social, it’s also important to stay up to date on Youtube’s own news as the site goes though some fairly major changes from time to time and is always adding new features.
6) Organize Your Content
It’s tempting to avoid organization, especially on Youtube, but making sure your content is viewer friendly is the most important part. Group together related videos, or stash older content in time-related folders. It’s also important to keep in mind that Youtube offers the ability to embed entire playlists into external sites such as blogs or personal webpages so always keep that feature in mind when organizing content.
7) Don’t Ignore Tags
As well as many other social sites, Youtube’s content is organized on a tag word basis. This is an important facet that many users and businesses fail to recognize. A tag word system works on the basis of logic; what words will people type in to find your product? On the other hand, there are no limits as to how far you take the tag words so if you’re offering a cat food product you can use words like “kitty”, “cat” and “kitten” because you really never know for sure what people will type in. Youtube also offers about 15 categories to classify your content. Try to choose the most relevant but don’t be afraid to experiment if your content falls into more than one category.
8) Promote Your Channel
Don’t always assume that any interested viewers will come to you or automatically know you have a presence on Youtube. Utilize your other social media platforms as well as any external websites or blogs to promote and share your content. Keep in mind that linking social accounts can also help in terms of ensuring that your content is published across as many platforms as possible. There is also an embedding option that allows other users to showcase your video on their own external sites. This is always a benefit to you because the more views you get, the better!
9) Don’t Be Scared Of Analytics
There are many free analytic tools offered directly through Youtube. The information they provide should never be overlooked as they give valuable insight into view stats, demographics, community and most importantly, discovery data which shows you how users found your videos.
10) Stay Active
Don’t mindlessly create content for the sake of staying updated, but realize that its important to stay active. Even if you have no new content to post, continue to respond to comments or friend requests and work on building up a database of favourite videos. If Youtube is a platform you’re very interested in utilizing, don’t let your enthusiasm dwindle after the first few weeks because it’s important to remain active. Come up with a schedule that works best for you and try pre-planning your content for videos so it’s easier to stay organized and up-to date.
It seems like the process of networking has changed a lot over the past few years with the development of new technology. Gone are the days of filing business cards and keeping business contacts on blocked social media profiles. Things have changed and the wide world of mobile apps has a lot to do with it. We’re using our smartphones to make our lives easier in every aspect so why not use them when we make new connections? Take a look at our top three mobile apps to help push your networking practices into the 21st century.
Described as the “ultimate networking app,” Hashable offers a unique user experience that takes it roots from the check-in craze. Sure, all your friends are checking in to restaurants and TV shows, but have you ever considered the concept of checking in with a person? Luckily for us, Hashable has! As a user you can track your meetings, calls and other events either privately or publicly which makes it easier for you to remember who you spoke with and why. You can type in another persons email address or Twitter username to exchange contact information directly with them and you can even expand your network by watching who your friends connect with.
One of the great things about Hashable is it allows you to connect and network on the go through your smartphone so if you make a connection in an unexpected place, you don’t have to worry about not having a stack of business cards on you. What Hashable focuses on is tracking your strongest relationships and in a world so heavily dependant on constant communication, this free app makes the stress of networking and keeping in touch less of a burden.
Have you ever lost an important business card and in turn, an important contact? If you answered yes then this app is definitely for you! CardMunch allows you to take a photo of a business card and it then pulls important information like the name, phone number, email, website, and address, and creates a new contact on your phone in seconds so you’ll always have that contact’s information no matter where you go. Business card enthusiasts can leave their binders at home because this app will save you a lot of storage space! With a simple flip of your phone you can also view all the business cards you’ve snapped photos of in a beautiful rolodex style.
If you’re a fond user of Linkedin, you’ll be happy to know that CardMunch is owned by Linkedin so scanning a contact’s business card and adding them to Linkedin through the app is only a one-click process. As a user you’ll also have the option to use the search function if you’re looking for someone but can’t quite remember his/her name. As for storage, CardMunch can either add your contacts to your iPhone address book or create a separate CardMunch address book to keep you more organized; the choice is yours. On top of all these features is peace of mind. CardMunch automatically backs up all the contacts you’ve added through the app on your web account so you can log in anytime, anywhere, and retrieve lost data.
I think the best part about this app is that it’s completely free! As networking professionals, we’re always looking for tools to make mundane tasks easier and to integrate social media into our every day lives so CardMunch is definitely worth it!
Networking online can be a difficult process. It’s never easy to find the right people in the right place and as a business person you never want to scare them away with a sales pitch. The folks at Quora must have asked themselves, “Why doesn’t the internet have a place where professionals of any ranking can ask business questions and participate in conversation?” After some intense brainstorming and planning, Quora was born! As a networking professional, using your skills online is important and Quora helps connect you to a vast array of people including CEO’s of major North American companies and even business enthusiasts who just want a place to connect and talk.
Using your knowledge on a specific subject to help another business person in need, is better than any hard sale tactic that would typically drive them away. What Quora does is give you an opportunity to show others what you’re made of and have intelligent discussions about topics that are near and dear to you. As a user you can ask or answer any questions you want, you can follow topics that interest you, communicate through messages, add connections and create a biography. You can log in via the website or through the free app for your smartphone. This is one social network you can’t afford to miss out on!
It’s that time of year again and as usual, Valentines Day has created a stir of emotions online. It seems that people either love it or hate it, there’s no in between. With social media becoming a stronger presence in our lives, holding together a solid relationship is getting complicated. Before Twitter and Facebook breaking up was a simple task involving a phone call or face to face chat, packing up all of your ex’s items into a box and leaving it on their porch. If they tried to make contact afterwards you just didn’t answer their calls. But now, with breakups becoming extremely public and relationship status’ stirring up drama online, it’s difficult to hold things together for yourself and not let curiosity get the best of you.
In a world so consumed by technology where every detail of our lives is available for the world to see (or at least a large list of approved friends), it’s awkward to announce a breakup of any kind and then endure the questions and concern that come flooding in from people you forgot you knew. While these social networks get a bad rap for hindering communication in the real world, they are still excellent communication tools when used properly. After all, you can’t rely on Facebook alone to have a mature discussion with your partner. There comes a time when a good phone call or meeting up over coffee is the most appropriate thing to do.
Unfortunately this new technology makes snooping and spying a lot easier and as a result it becomes difficult to move on, even though we know it’s over. Let’s face it, we’ve all visited an ex’s page on Facebook, creeped their photos, and checked their status’ on Twitter. With all this information available at our fingertips it’s hard not to re-visit the past when it’s one click away. YourTango.com, a love and relationship advice hub, released a series of survey results that shed some light on how social networks have affected relationships. Seventy-four percent of people look up their ex on the Internet, 86 percent admit to clicking through photos of them (14 percent of those people are married) and 50 percent called, texted, emailed or IMed an ex when that probably wasn’t the most advisable move. Arguably because of all of this mess, 71 percent say that they think about their ex too much.
As a result of these responses YourTango created a “Break Up With Your Ex Day” yesterday, February 13th. They encouraged people to unfriend, unfollow, block and basically stop stalking their ex’s online. They even created an online badge that users can post publicly once they complete the required steps to cleanse themselves of their ex. For those of you who aren’t sure how obsessed you are with your ex, you can take the quiz and find out if you need help or not. YourTango’s website also has a good amount of pro-valentines day articles that will help you choose a date idea or a movie for the special occasion but they also have a fair amount of anti-valentines day articles that any sceptic would find entertaining.
Whether you’re dating, in a serious relationship, married, divorced or enjoying the single life, keep in mind that your past is never more than a click away and only you have the power to move on with your life and put a stop to the social media stalking. This Valentines Day, take the pledge and free yourself for good!
Create a company profile
Take the time to set up a profile for your business on Linkedin. It’s a simple process that will give you a presence on the social network. When users search your company name or make generic searches within your industry, your page will be available. In addition, you can add your company name to your page as a current job and it will link back to the profile so if any of your connections are interested in learning more, they don’t need to leave the website. As long as you already have a personal page on Linked in, you qualify to create a company profile.
Get Your Employees Involved
Chances are at least some of your employees have a presence on Linkedin. Encourage them to add the company name to their current job title and they’ll show up on the company profile as an employee. This can help your business gain credibility and gives your employees’ connections a chance to learn more.
Include the Linkedin Widget on Your Website
Take advantage of your presence across multiple platforms and use the Linkedin widget on your company blog or webpage. The widget allows visitors to interact with your content and re-post something they like to their own Linkedin connections therefore spreading the word about your business. The more people share your content, the more likely you are to attract new visitors.
Linkedin is more than just a profile page; it’s all about interaction with your connections and learning to network on a new platform. Groups are designed to attract niche users who enjoy discussing certain topics. For example, as a graphic designer, there are many groups you can join with other established graphic designers that act as a forum for questions and niche networking. You can also join groups based on your location or groups designated for a specific event. Participation in groups is a great way to generate leads without seeming pushy and it can help you establish a solid base of potential connections for the future. As a group member you can participate in any discussions as well as start your own so if you have a question you’ve been dying to get another experts opinion on, this is the perfect platform. You can also submit articles, search for jobs or even post your own job adds if you’re looking for new employees.
Say Active by Asking and Answering Questions
Linkedin Answers allows users to ask questions to other members or answer questions that have already been asked. Participating in an activity like this can really show others your expertise and knowledge on a certain subject which can help provide solid business leads from members who require your services. This area of the site also presents a great opportunity to learn more about your industry and stay up to date on the latest trends by gathering knowledge and insights from other members. If you answer enough questions where your answer is selected as the best, you will eventually earn the title of expert and an expert star will be added to your Linkedin profile. This can increase your exposure on the site and lets your connections know just how credible you are.