Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?

Does your company have a social media policy? For smaller companies the answer could very likely be no, but developing a policy may protect your business.

Even if you're not currently using social media as part of your overall marketing strategy, please keep in mind that your customers and employees are using it and you should at minimum be monitoring what's being said.

Here are some questions to consider in developing a social media policy:
  • Who if anyone specifically is responsible for managing your business' social media. Whose managing the Facebook page, Tweeting, etc?
  • Who is responsible for developing and approving content or else defining in the planning stage what topics are permitted to be shared? 
  • What are employees allowed to say and what must be kept confidential? For example in the healthcare field there are strict patient privacy laws called HIPPA that prohibit sharing patient information with anyone not authorized to receive the information.
  • Are there any restrictions for employees (i.e. some may be allowed to use social media at work due to nature of their roles but for some it may not be necessary)?
  • Who will develop out the social media policy and how will it be shared with employees? In writing? In meetings? Both?
If you don't have a social media policy in place I encourage you to think through these questions and start formulating the framework for your policy. It's an important step in protecting your business.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ohio Department of Health Ad Campaign = Fail

Really Ohio Department of Health? I'm going to have to call this new ad campaign promoting breast milk a fail. Some even consider it an epic fail - including my teenage daughter and her peers who quote say "it's nasty, nobody wants to look at breast milk"! I have to kindof agree that the message and the image are not very attractive. Is the milk all over the baby's face really needed to convey the point? What's next...showing the breast?
So this is my little plea to the Ohio Department of Health. Please rethink the branding for this campaign. How about something like Breastfeed your baby for optimal health and just show a healthy, happy baby? This campaign is just bad. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Boston Marathon Brand

Wow! What an exciting day for running and runners everywhere! Especially for those running in the 114th annual Boston Marathon and those there to cheer them on! While I wasn't there to run or physically cheer for my friends - I was there in spirit and know many other people were too. The Boston Marathon is widely recognized as one of road racing's premiere annual events for a number of reasons including its longevity and also the need to "qualify" to be able to participate in the race. With such wide popularity and prestige, a limitless amount of runners would LOVE to be there to participate but alas NOT EVERYONE can run it due to time and capacity issues. To Boston Qualify aka BQ is considered prestigious for serious amateur runners who have trained hard (sometimes tirelessly) to be able to participate in such a world-class running event. Even watching the event online as a spectator was awesome because the runners and crowd exude energy!

While other marathons such as New York and Chicago have gained clout, Boston is still by far the rolls royce of marathons as runners from all over the world come to compete for the chance to be recognized. Boston is the power brand of marathons and I hope to be there running it and experiencing it firsthand in 2011! Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Promoted Tweets New Twitter Business Model

Twitter will be placing ads called "promoted tweets" on the network on Tuesday of this week. First the ads will show up in search results and later in users' Twitter feeds on as well as within thirdparty clients such as Tweetdeck and Twitterberry.

Twitter's first advertisers are Starbucks, Bravo and Virgin America - all users already heavily engaged in Twitter along with other social media sites. Twitter COO Dick Costolo has stated that Twitter is not in a rush to profit. According to him the goal is to roll the business model out slowly to see how users react to the ads.

To start advertisers will bid on keywords on a cost-per-thousand basis although Twitter is developing a model called "resonance" that may alter the pricing structure based on impact (how much a tweet is retweeted, marked as a favorite and how much a user clicks through to a link). Ads that outperform typical tweets with a lift in resonance will stay on the network while those that do not outperform typical tweets will fall out. This ad program differs from Google and other SEM platforms because Twitter will only display one ad at a time.

Watch for the promotional tweets this week and stay tuned for more updates on how the ad program develops and performs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Insightful Social Media Demographics

A co-worker was asking about recent social media stats this week so we did some digging. Here's the latest and greatest in terms of what social media sites are used most heavily, what age groups are dominating social media and what they want.

Most popular social sites:

• Facebook with more than 400 million active users
• Twitter with 75 million+ registered users (although we know not all users are active). Twitter estimates 50 million tweets per day are being sent by its members
• LinkedIn with more than 60 million users
• MySpace with close to 60 million users

Age Groups:

A recent study by Royal Pingdom pulled together statistics for 19 different social networks including the popular sites listed above plus some of the second tier sites including Hi5, FriendFeed, Tagged, etc. The results show the age group usage of social media as follows:

• 35-55 = 25%
• 45-54 = 19%
• 25-34 = 18%
• 0-17 = 15%
• 55-64 = 10%
• 18-24 = 9%
• 65+ = 3%

When looking at Facebook and Twitter's heavy users, the percentages of users 35 or older exceeds 60%. Bebo and MySpace as expected are made up largely of younger audiences aged 17 or younger with 35-45% falling into that age group.

Other interesting social age stats:

• Average LinkedIn user is 44
• Average Twitter user is 39
• Average Facebook user is 38
• Average MySpace user is 31
• Average Bebo user is 28

Social Content:

Online advertising network Chitika analyzed the interests of social networking sites. The results seem consistent with what we know:

• Myspace Users are generally interested in: video games (28%), Celebs and entertainment (23%), Business and Law (10%), Tech and Community (tied at 8%) and other (23%).

• Facebook Users are generally interested in: News (28%), Community and Other (tied at 17%), How to/DIY (13%), Shopping and Celebs/Entertainment (tied at 9%), Tech (7%).

• Twitter Users are generally interested in: News (47%), Other (23%), Tech and Celebs/Entertainment (tied at 10%), Movies (6%) and How to/DIY (4%).