Tag Archives: Social Media

Why it’s not the end of social media marketing

Why it’s not the end of social media marketing

Why it’s not the end of social media marketing

Read more at http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/36882.asp?imcid=nl#aghPx0ffb2WD2W3F.99

Murky research collided with lazy journalism last week to create a torrent of #socialmedia + #advertising = #fail link bait. Headlines in publications generally deemed respectable, and journalistically responsible, heralded the end of social media marketing.

“Social Media Fail to Live Up to Early Marketing Hype” trumpeted The Wall Street Journal. “This Is the New Stat Facebook Should Be Worrying About,” tsk-tsked Time. “Tweets, Likes, and Shares Don’t Make Us Buy Stuff, Americans Say,” echoed Bloomberg Businessweek. “Advertising On Facebook And Twitter Barely Even Works” came from Business Insider, and most pithily, Valleywag added, “Social Media Ads Don’t Do Shit.”

The root of this social-media-don’t-work brouhaha was a Gallup report entitled “The State of the American Consumer.” It professed that 62 percent of U.S. consumers do not believe the major social networking platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, affect their purchase decisions. Additionally, Gallup claims 48 percent of Millennial shoppers are uninfluenced by social media when it comes to buying stuff.

So much for the $5.1 billion advertisers spent on social advertising last year (not to mention billions more on social media marketing programs).

The lone voice of sanity in the media was a well-reported piece in Adweek, pointing out that not only is Gallup using data from late 2012 to make this dubious point, but worse, the data are self reported. No brand or agency would ever in a million years rely on self-reported data to assess or measure ad effectiveness. Self-reported data are near-worthless.

Google the term, in fact, and you’ll come up with results such as: “Self-reported studies have validity problems” and “notoriously unreliable.”

Moreover, as Adweek pointed out in a long voice-of-reason article on the topic (disclosure: I’m quoted), Gallup’s data were collected close to two years ago — a near eternity in internet time, and to top that, some respondents were polled by snail mail, a strange channel indeed to select for research on digital influence.

Looking beyond the dubious self-reported data, the digital equivalent of saying, “Sure, I saw a commercial on TV but didn’t buy the product so advertising doesn’t work,” some of the questions Gallup posed are strong indicators that social channels are indeed powerful platforms for persuasion and influence. The questions below indicate, aside from the obvious social connections, consumers spend time on social sites to share knowledge, research companies (and by extension, products), find and/or create reviews and product info, etc.

Even Gallup admits as much:

“However, companies can use social media to engage and boost their customer base. Consumers appreciate the highly personal and conversational nature of social media sites, and they prefer interacting in an open dialogue as opposed to receiving a hard sell. And companies’ use of social media to provide timely responses to questions and complaints accelerates brand loyalty and, eventually, sales. When it comes to social media efforts, businesses stand to benefit when they utilize a more service-focused approach rather than one dedicated to simply pushing their products.”

Yet this statement from Gallup seems not to be tied to any specific data from the survey.

Murky research conclusions and methodologies aside, Gallup’s deeply flawed research, and the editorial properties that piled on with link bait headlines, really did do a disservice.

We know that social platforms influence consumer buying decisions. The problem is, headlines in The Wall Street Journal, even erroneous ones, influence CEO decisions, too.

Rebecca Lieb is an analyst, digital advertising/media, for Altimeter Group.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet. Follow Rebecca Lieb at @lieblink and Altimeter Group at @altimetergroup.

Read more at http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/36882.asp?imcid=nl#aghPx0ffb2WD2W3F.99

3 Important PR Lessons from 3 Biz Dev Connections

A great article written by Sarah Rose Attman, president of Sarah Rose Public Relations and former staff reporter for US Weekly, about the may ways to drum up new business and three PR lessons to be learned.  — Pete E Cento

3 Important PR Lessons from 3 Biz Dev Connections


Today we bring you a guest post by Sarah Rose Attman, president of Sarah Rose Public Relations and former staff reporter for US Weekly.

This post is presented by AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

As a 20-something single lady, I’ve come to realize that finding new business is strangely reminiscent of searching for a boyfriend. I want someone who I work well with, someone who is interesting, someone I believe in, and of course, someone who can afford me.

When I started my company, Sarah Rose Public Relations in 2012, I didn’t realize how important “business development” would be to my success. I was simply trying to improve my PR skills of media relations and digital strategies. As my expertise and pricing increased, I realized that attracting new businesses is a skill in and of itself.

There are many tactics people use to drum up new business, but in my experience new clients often show up in the most unusual places. Here are three of the weirdest ways I’ve gotten new business and three PR lessons to be learned.

1) “Oh, you’re Coral Tree Café girl?”


Before I had an office, I worked out of coffee shops. One day I ventured to a new spot in Los Angeles called Coral Tree Café. I was sitting alone doing work when I noticed a handsome man walk in. I thought to myself, “I hope he sits near me” and lo and behold he did! He sat at the table right next to me and we immediately struck up a conversation. Turns out he was heavily involved in the Silicon Beach tech scene, and by the time I left, he had given me three new business leads.


I didn’t know how genuine his “connections” were until he coordinated a real live interview for me with a promising new account. This company would later become one of my best clients, providing me with years of work and tens of thousands of dollars worth of income. For a while when working with this client, people would come up to me and say “Oh! You’re ‘Coral Tree Café’ girl!” I was kind of a legend.

Lesson #1: You never know where a simple coffee shop conversation is going to lead. Be smart about what your offer up, vet your connections, and never underestimate someone who is genuinely offering to be helpful. PR is about authentic connections and solving problems.

2) “I couldn’t help but overhear…”

One afternoon I was having lunch in Washington D.C with my cousin who is a Business Development Director responsible for landing his company big, new accounts.

He was giving me a pep talk about how to sign on new clients by suggesting that I get out there more and network by getting coffees and lunches with new people each week. I was lamenting about how frustrating the networking process could be when suddenly a woman nearby interrupted us.

“Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation….” Turns out, she had been listening to us the entire time. She owned a small PR firm in Detroit and was looking for help with work in the District. Did I appreciate her eavesdropping? No. But did she offer up a real opportunity? Yes.

Lesson #2: Watch what you say. Broadcasting your agenda or laments can lead to attention. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so it is important to think about the story you’re telling. Remember, in PR you are in control of the narrative until you put it out in the public.

3) “Wow, your office!”

When I got my first office, I wouldn’t say that I went all out but OK, I went all out. The first order of business was painting it pink. The other tenants in my building were mostly men with early stage startups. Their idea of “decorating” was changing the background on their computer screens, so my mission to create a feminine, beautiful, and fun space was truly novel.

After painting, I bought bedazzled rhinestone supplies, framed press hits, bought bright pink desk mats, and installed a soft gray rug. My office stood out like the building’s crown jewel. Visitors stopped by on a regular basis asking for business cards and inquiring about my services.

Lesson #3: This is what PR is all about: Getting noticed and conveying the essence of your brand. I achieved all this while bringing in several new clients along the way. My office basically paid for itself.

In my experience, if you keep your eyes open and ear to the ground, business development opportunities are all around. It is important to not dismiss an impromptu conversation and to recognize the less obvious opportunities to tell your story. After all, you are your best PR.


Sarah Rose Attman is president of Sarah Rose Public Relations, a national agency that works with lifestyle, fashion, health and wellness, and technology companies. Prior to starting her business, she worked as a staff reporter for Us Weekly. Sarah is also a women’s health advocate and founded The Red Tent Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of college women.

Check out her website and follow her agency on Twitter and Facebook.


The National Preparedness Community


Greetings Community Members!

This week, we invited Claire Thomas, Community Preparedness Officer for FEMA Region II to share some information on how everyone – from emergency management personnel to community organizers and private citizens –  can use social media to increase preparedness awareness and for disaster mitigation. She’ll cover great points on how social media has been used in the past for emergency management as well as deliver best practices for use as well as resources for tracking the reach of your efforts.

Why use social media for emergency management?
Social media gives you the ability to build community resilience through prevention, mitigation, and preparedness efforts by the promotion of government participation and community interaction as in real time. Ultimately it helps save lives through rapid and real time communication. FEMA utilized Twitter and Facebook to much success during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Here are some examples of how we were able to do so:

Before Sandy:

  • Emergency evacuation route information
  • Evacuation orders
  • Regular hurricane updates
  • Promoting personal preparedness (stock up on supplies, food, water in advance)
  • Tracking of storm


During and After the Storm:

  • Emergency shelter information
  • Finding missing people, reuniting people
  • Food, water distribution details
  • Where to receive medical attention
  • What areas to stay away from
  • Dispelling rumors
  • All Mayor Bloomberg’s press conferences were posted on Youtube
  • Press conferences were live-tweeted by @nycmayorsoffice
  • Summary of press conferences posted to Facebook
  • Spanish-language tweets
  • FEMA had web page solely dedicated to Hurricane Sandy rumor control
  • FEMA tweets to correct misinformation via #Sandy RUMOR CONTROL

Before I turn this over to Claire I want to ask the community to share examples of how you used social media in an emergency situation. Did you provide updates, information or resources during a crisis? Where you able to assist people? If so, how? Have you used social media to advocate for preparedness? If so, what tactics did you use? Let us know how you utilized social media to spread the message!


In Region II, we have spent the past few months building up our Twitter page and developing daily preparedness tips for our followers. During this time, we have developed a few best practices for social media messaging that we would like to share with you!·      Be relevant This means knowing your audience and posting content that is relevant to them. Make sure you post daily to stay in people’s newsfeed and to show you are active on social media. Be sure to use language that is friendly and engaging, not formal. Make the information fun and engaging!·      Follow up with a link When you’re using Twitter, 140 characters is short, so be sure to add links to provide more info. Research shows that tweets that include links are 86% more likely to be retweeted, which means that more people getting the information you post. You can track how many people click on your links using free tools like Hootsuite, Google Analytics, or TweetReach.

·      Add visuals Tweets with images are twice as likely to be re-tweeted. You can even ask your followers to tweets pictures back to you as a “Twitter Challenge”. Linking videos to your tweets or Facebook posts is a great way to draw people in to your content. If you’re looking for content, FEMA has great videos on YouTube about how to prepare for all hazards.

·      Timing is everything If you are a regular social media user, think about when you check Twitter. It is usually during your commute, after lunch, and when you are relaxing after work. Social media scientist Dan Zarrella also found in one of his Twitter experiments that click-through rates were higher on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. You don’t have to physically tweet during these time, you can automate the posting of your tweets by “scheduling” tweets using free platforms like Hootsuite.

·      Evaluate your progress It is important to see how far your social media message is traveling. Who and how are you reaching people, and are there ways you can improve? HootSuite, Tweetdeck, Monitter, Social Mention, Google Analytics, Topsy and Trendsmap are all sites that allow monitoring and managing social media sites.

For more tips on social media best practices for Twitter, Facebook and others, check out IS-42: Social Media in Emergency Management.

5 ways to improve your blog’s performance without blogging

5 ways to improve your blog’s performance without blogging

By Jackson Wightman | Posted: March 31, 2014

Interesting article to increase the value of your blog and build a new audience of readers. — Pete E Cento March 31, 2014 

Ask the experts, and they’ll tell you that if you want to improve your business blog, you must regularly power it with high-quality content. 

Though the tips below are not intended to replace a consistent flow of engaging, relevant, and informative content, they can help you improve the performance of your blog (without your actually blogging).

3 social media tasks that can add PR value in less than five minutes

Interesting and well-written article about how to offer excellence in client relations for your PR and Social media clients by taking a few minutes to promote your clients press releases, newsletters and announcements via your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.  — Pete Cento

Carrie Morgan, a 20-plus year public relations veteran based in Phoenix, specializing in digital PR and is considered an expert in PR, Social Media and Marketing. A version of this story first appeared on the Rock The Status Quo blog.


3 social media tasks that can add PR value in less than five minutes

By Carrie Morgan | Posted: February 26, 2014

4 trends affecting PR departments

4 trends affecting PR departments

4 trends affecting PR departments

By Cassie Boorn | Re-posted: February 18, 2014
PR and marketing departments have faced a number of significant changes in recent years.Bloggers have shaken up the media landscape; consumer skepticism has driven brands to be more innovative; and social media has forced companies to reach a new level of transparency.

Over the past few months, several more trends have led to major shifts in the role of the PR professional, among them:

1.The Internet is killing the “expert.” 

Leveraging “experts” has always been a proven way to garner earned media coverage for clients. Experts are trusted resources that can organically land media placements while seamlessly plugging brands into the segment. Now that anyone with an Internet connection can share their expertise with the world, the once “trusted expert” is becoming harder to find.

Consumers are realizing that anyone can declare himself or herself an expert, making it more challenging to prove someone’s credibility. In fact, some experts are beginning to question their own credibility, proving that we’re all just learning as we go. Luckily, the lessons are the most interesting part.

2. Freelancers are taking over traditional media. 

The Internet shook the traditional media world around the time the economy collapsed, driving major layoffs across publications. In the first six years of the millennium the number of freelance writers has increased more than 300 percent with no signs of slowing down, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Today, freelancers produce more than 70 percent of magazine content.

Not only are PR professionals challenged to seek out relationships with freelance writers, but also they are forced to create story angles that publications will buy.

3. Consumers are growing skeptical of statistics. 

The growing use of visuals in social media marketing, along with the realization that data visualization is a powerful way to break through the clutter and drive consumers to action, has inspired brands to find new ways to use data in their marketing efforts. The result is a plethora of branded statistics.

Consumers are becoming skeptical about certain claims from brands. “Green” ads, for instance, have faced mounting scrutiny from shoppers, according to Nielsen. Consumers are beginning to pay more attention to the statistics and what those stats actually mean. As a result, brands should focus on delivering quality stats that are impactful.

Companies such as PayScaleOK Cupid, and BirchBox are finding innovative ways to tap useful statistics to increase search engine optimization, drive buzz, and position themselves as experts in their field.

For example, PayScale avoids stats that say 98 percent of top executives use PayScale. Instead, it’s releasing quality stats about the state of the workforce and, in turn, making itself a leader in the field.

4. Content curation puts the success of a brand into the hands of the consumer. 

Thanks to social media and the growing popularity of content curation, everyday consumers are becoming powerful influencers. Every brand wants a viral video or a social media campaign that drives major buzz, but few brands realize what it takes.

The success of a brand’s content lies in the hands of their consumers. Companies are challenged to understand what drives consumers to share content and how they can create the content that consumers will organically want to share.

Cassie Boorn is a writer, social media specialist, entrepreneur, and PR girl who has built digital programs for Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and bloggers. A version of this story first appeared on her blog, Ask A PR Girl.

Keeping Direct Mail Relevant in an Online World

Keeping Direct Mail Relevant in an Online World

FDMA February Meeting: Get your Direct Mail License to Kill

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Keeping Direct Mail Relevant in an Online World


Are you “killing it” at direct mail?

Do you know how to integrate the online and the direct mail worlds?

Want to add a PROVEN new (mature) channel in a 2.0 way?

February Event

Keeping Direct Mail Relevant
in an Online World

Event Speaker: Dave Lewis, President, SnailWorks

Dave Lewis is a recognized innovator in the direct mail industry. Dave was one of the creators of trackmymail.com, now a part of Pitney Bowes, and a co-founder of SnailWorks™, the first web-based company dedicated to integrating direct mail and the online world. He has been working in the direct mail industry for more than 30 years, and has held almost every possible position, from a letter carrier in the 1970’s to operations and marketing positions to a company owner.

An acclaimed speaker, Dave has spoken at National Postal Forums, dozens of PCC meetings and other industry events. In fact, in 2008 he was awarded MFSA’s Luke Kaiser Educational Award for his efforts. Dave has spoken on topics from mail piece design, to Intelligent Mail, and using Multi-Channel Marketing. His approach is casual and entertaining, but always informative.

Click Here To REGISTER

What we think, we become. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. – The Buddha

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