Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
January 24, 2017 by Kay Paumier
That’s bad news if you’re trying to break through the clutter and get your message to your prospects and clients.
Fortunately, consistent, informative email newsletters can help you get heard above the noise. According to the Annuitis Group, “businesses that send lead-nurture emails generate 451% more qualified prospects than their competitors who don’t.”
But how do you keep your newsletter from ending up in the delete file with nary a glance? I asked Kathie Sherman of TenFour Marketing that question. Kathie is a newsletter guru, known for producing newsletters that get results.
These are some of her tips:
Keep your goal in mind.
This may seem too obvious to mention, but everything comes down to your objective. Are you trying to generate leads? Nurture prospects? Increase brand awareness? Your goal will guide all your activities.
Develop a good list.
Collect contact information from people at networking events, on your website, through email and through social media.
One way to expand your list is by offering a good “lead magnet.” This is valuable information you offer people in exchange for their email addresses. You can offer it on your website, through social media, and in your email newsletter itself.
Good lead magnets are laser focused on your prospects and customers. They address a single issue, and appeal to our natural desire for information. Samples include reports, quizzes, software and training tools.
Get permission to send your prospects material.
It’s essential you comply with the Can-Spam Act. This requires, among other things, that your subject line be accurate, your header information correct, and your unsubscribe information clear.
Deliver short, valuable content.
We’re talking here about non-sales content targeted for the top of the sales funnel. That’s where your prospects are just learning about the subject; it‘s the “awareness” part of the “awareness,” “interest,” “desire” and “action” buying sequence.
The goal of your content is to attract people to your site, whether you’re using original content or curating content developed by others. One approach, suggested by Margaret Magnarelli at Monster, is to concentrate on:
Stumped for ideas? Brainstorm with a “content buddy.”Or check out resources such as What To Write, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator or Content Forest.
Send your newsletter out regularly. Monthly is fine, more often if you can keep it up.
Prepare a content calendar to help you organize your ideas and stick with your schedule.
Develop strong subject lines.
People spend only fractions of a second evaluating email subject lines. So your best shot at connecting with them is a short, one-line description of your content. Emphasize the fact that the content is useful, ultra-specific, unique or urgent. Possible formats for subject lines include a testimonial, a benefit statement, a question, some news or a how-to.
Here’s the important part. It’s essential to get started.
A great way to get started is by attending the Newsletter Ninja Workshop, which will be taught by Kathie Sherman (the source of most of the information in this blog post) and yours truly. This is a hands-on event where you will practice these skills. You won’t leave with a “to-do” list; you’ll leave with a “have-done” list. Specifically, you’ll leave with a content calendar and the draft of one to three articles.
There are two workshops, one in the East Bay (Wednesday, February 15, 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m., 1815 Harbor Place, Alameda) and one in the South Bay (Thursday, February 23, 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m, Intersection Space. 3165 Olin Avenue, San Jose).
For more information and to register, go to http://tenfourmarketing.com/ninja. We hope to see you there.
September 30, 2016 by Kay Paumier
In a result that probably doesn’t surprise anyone, a recent survey found that social media has become a major news channel.
The TEKGroup’s 2016 Social Media News Survey found that people are increasingly discovering, sharing, reading and posting news online.
Here are some of their key findings:
I encourage you to read TEKGroup’s survey in its entirety. There are some interesting findings.
July 6, 2016 by Kay Paumier
There’s a lot of discussion about the relative value of social media. Is it worth the time and trouble?
Based on a recent experience, I can definitely say “yes.”
You see, Twitter helped me get a new refrigerator.
Here’s my condensed version of the worst customer service experience in my life.
My almost new fridge stopped working. It was under warranty, and I had service scheduled twice (only to have the technician not show up). Then I was told I had to wait another 10 days just to be on the technician’s schedule. (No guarantees he would actually show up, however.)
I had already been without a fridge for almost three weeks. I was tired of shopping almost daily and living out of a compact refrigerator. Fortunately I found the manufacturer’s customer service reps on Twitter and sent this message: “Pls. help. Fridge not working. Under warranty. Service no-shows 2x. Need to wait for another 10 days for technician.”
Took a few days, but things changed big time.
The Twitter-based customer service person asked me to choose a replacement refrigerator, which was delivered in a few days. Problem solved. No more rotting food.
So let’s hear for those powerful 140 characters.
June 21, 2016 by Kay Paumier
Knowing how difficult it is to get the attention of mainstream reporters, I watched Cision’s webinar, “The New Rules of Media Pitching,” with Michael Smart of Michael Smart PR.
Here are some points that struck me.
Page views are the new prime factor that reporters use to determine whether they will use your content, according to Cision’s 2016 State of the Media Report. Facebook “shares” are a distant second factor.
What does that mean for you? It means you should tout the online performance of your web content. Pitch content that’s doing well online or predict it will do well. This approach works best with groups such as “digital natives” (e.g., online sites like Mashable) and young influencers.
To create a newsworthy angle, connect your content to some ”new” content. One PR person connected an old book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes Are High, with the Thanksgiving holiday and the challenge of friendly conversations with relatives.
Plug any holes in your media list. Search for new outlets and refresh your media list at least quarterly.
Use social media to develop a relationship even when you don’t have anything to pitch. According to the Cision survey, most reporters want to get pitches via email, not via social media. However, 73% of the respondents want to build relationships through social media. So follow the reporters on Twitter and Facebook. Retweet their tweets, adding a thoughtful comment (something more significant than “a great read”). Eventually the reporters will recognize your name, which definitely increases the chance they will read your next email.
Make a well-researched, personal reference. Again, in the survey, 79% of the respondents wanted public relations pros to “tailor pitches to suit my beat” and 77% wanted them to “better understand my outlet.” So refer to their earlier work. Mention something that makes it clear that you read the article and have something to add to the discussion.
Cision’s “New Rules”webinar contains other great techniques and examples of how those techniques can be applied. I encourage you to watch it.
September 15, 2015 by Kay Paumier
The 2015 Global Social Journalism Study, conducted by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University (U.K.), produced some interesting findings and predictions about how journalists and media professionals use social media for their work.
I found these five conclusions the most interesting.
Journalists fit into five distinctive groups and are becoming more social media savvy.
The five groups are skeptics, observers, hunters, promoters and architects. Last year, skeptics outnumbered the observers (31 percent to 26 percent). This year, the opposite is true (29 percent are observers, 23 percent are skeptics). “This small shift suggests journalists’ use and attitudes towards social media are gradually moving towards acceptance as social media becomes an integral feature within the industry and their working life.”
The report describes each of the five groups in detail. The important point is that the various groups use social media differently, and media professionals need to take those differences into account when contacting journalists.
Social media is a routine tool for most journalists, but their use of it is stagnating.
Almost all the respondents (94 percent) use social media on a daily basis. However, after an initial rapid adoption of social media, the percentage of journalists using social media for more than two hours a day is declining. “This suggests that after the initial excitement of the introductory phase of social media, the journalists found an optimum amount of time to spend on social media. For most journalists, constant use presents no additional gains, and most are settling for up to two hours per day of use.”
About half the respondents believe they need social media to do their work.
Most of the respondents felt that social media made them more productive, and journalists in all six countries felt that social media had become more valuable the last few years. However, apparently social media doesn’t make their jobs any easier. Fully 85 percent of respondents thought social media had not decreased their workload.
Experts and PR professionals are key information sources for journalists.
U.S. respondents thought experts and PR professionals were the two most valuable sources of information. Only about one-third of the respondents felt they were less reliant on PR professionals because of social media, “suggesting that social media supplements journalists’ information (sources), but does not replace existing PR networks.”
Journalists prefer to be contacted by email, but social media is gathering pace.
Overwhelmingly, journalists want PR people to contact them by email. U.S. journalists rank social media as their second-favorite contact method, followed by phone calls.
Based on these results, the survey developers made the following predictions:
About the Survey
This is the fourth year that Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University have done this survey. Journalists from 11 countries participated—the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Spain and France. However, the results only include responses from the first six countries listed, as they are the only ones that have participated all four years of the survey. Most of the findings are based on more than 3,000 respondents. Half were women and slightly less than half (48 percent) fell into the 28-45 age group.
I’ve only touched on a few highlights. I encourage you to read the report in its entirety. You’ll be glad you did.
May 19, 2015 by Kay Paumier
I recently watched Cision’s webinar on “Film School: How to Use Video for PR.” Matthew Schwartz (PR News) and Heidi Sullivan (Cision) did a good overview of some basics. Here are some points that impressed me.
Video is more and more important.
I knew this, but the stats are impressive.
For example, mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop usage last year. By 2018, mobile video will represent 69 percent of the traffic (Cisco Systems and comSource). And 64 percent of viewers are more likely to buy a product after seeing an online video ad than the ones who haven’t watched it (Quicksprout).
Why? Here’s a nerdy factoid: 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it processes text (3M Corporation and Zabisco).
Put another way, good video “works” because it:
But getting the advantages of video requires creating good video. And here, planning is essential.
Pre-planning is essential.
Before shooting a video, it’s essential to define its objective (e.g., brand building, lead generation), and decide on the budget, the process (in house or outsourced), timeframe and the like.
Then develop the storyboard, which is like a blueprint that outlines the beginning, middle and end (the story “arc” if you will) that will guide your work. This leaves little to chance when actually shooting.
Plan for videos of different lengths. That way you can maximize your investment in the shooting time.
Remember to film B-roll, footage that is not part of the primary shoot. More and more organizations will need video libraries available.
Maximize the shoot time.
Do several takes at different angles. This is where you’ll get the footage for the different segments and for B-roll.
Then distribute the video through multiple channels. The goal is to “shoot once, and distribute many,” so make the videos available on your website; post them on YouTube, Facebook and other social media channels; tweet about them; and the like.
Obviously I have not covered all the material presented in the video, which is a good review of the basics. See the webinar for yourself here.
February 16, 2015 by Kay Paumier
We hear a lot about engaging with our customers and other “constitutents.” The trick is to know how to engage in an effective and sustainable manner.
A recent webinar “Beyond the Campaign: Engagement Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations” gave some practical tips for such engagement. The webinar was presented by Outmarket and featured Lori Wizdo, principal analyst of Forrester Research. I encourage you to view the recording.
In the meantime, here are some of the webinar’s highlights for me.
First of all, engagement marketing is different from campaigns (e.g., fundraisers). By definition, campaigns are about an organization’s goals (not necessarily about its constituent’s interests). Campaigns are episodic and time bound.
Engagement marketing is about relationships. It’s continuous. It’s marketing around themes, rather than around events or requests.
Both campaigns and engagement marketing have their place, but campaigns don’t help you “be found.” And the fine art of being found is key in today’s marketing environment.
Four tools that can help you “be found” and engage with your constituents are:
For me, the most significant tool was using content to engage, which was defined as “a marketing strategy where brands create interest, relevance and relationships with customers by producing, curating and sharing content that addresses specific customer needs and delivers visible value.”
Engagement content has several advantages because it:
There is a lot of content out there, but it is possible to break through. A short video entitled First World Problems is a good example. The video shows third-world people stating first-world problems. (For example, a man standing in front of a hovel says that “I hate it when my house is too big I need two wireless routers.”)
In the process, the video makes the point that “first world problems are not real problems.” The campaign has been amazingly effective in generating donations for Charity: Water, which is bringing clean drinking water to people in developing nations.
And (more good news) you don’t need to actually create the content. You can curate existing content. But this is not just aggregating content and it’s not a matter where quantity beats quality. Curation adds value; it requires making judgment calls to select the best content on a given topic.
For example, you could put together a list of “the top 10 things you need to know about xx.” Several good content-curation software tools are available to help with this process.
Again, these are elements of the webinar I found interesting, not an attempt to summarize the entire webinar. Watch it yourself and see what impresses you.
January 20, 2015 by Sandy Jones- Kaminski
This article was written by a colleague, Sandy Jones-Kaminski, and first appeared in the Women In Consulting (WIC) blog. It is used here with permission.
During a keynote presentation at an annual BlogHer Conference in Chicago, I was surprised to learn that about 80% of the 1200+ bloggers in the room were hardly utilizing LinkedIn at all. After that presentation, and delivering 20+ other corporate and one-on-one LinkedIn learning sessions, I knew it was about time that I shared publicly the 10 things I do on LinkedIn each and every week.
By sharing this secret sauce…oops, I mean blog post, my goal is to inspire others to do more on this powerful professional networking platform so we all can leverage this modern marketing and social selling channel.
And since, like so many things, what you put into your time on LinkedIn is directly correlated with what you’ll get out of it, I recommend spending at least 30-60 minutes on LinkedIn each week.
For me, some amazing things have happened, including:
If you start doing even just a few of the tactics below, I’m certain you’ll soon see some new (and welcome!) outreach, activity and more. I also suggest you make note of how many profile views you’re averaging before you start implementing this tactics so you can compare the number of views in 30 days or so.
10 Things I Do On LinkedIn Each Week:
What things do you do on LinkedIn on a regular basis? Please feel free to add your weekly LinkedIn To Dos in the Comments section so others can learn from you as well. Thank you!
About the Author:
December 9, 2014 by Kay Paumier
Why is it so hard to connect with journalists? Why don’t they respond? Why don’t they “buy” my pitch?
In short, what do they want anyway?
Many PR pros have asked themselves these and similar questions for years. In many ways, it’s easier than ever to get to know journalists, because their work is generally available online. At the same time, it can be harder than ever to connect with journalists, because their schedules are so demanding and they are overwhelmed with pitches and other material.
Fortunately, the Lawrence Ragan Communications report “What Journalists Want” describes many of the steps needed to develop good relationships with journalists. Here are some of their key points.
Engage with journalists on social media.
Follow them on Twitter. Retweet their tweets, but “don’t just click the retweet button. Instead, quote them in a tweet of your own, and include ‘RT’ or ‘MT’ and their @ handle. Tell your followers why the tweet matters, or even just add ‘Yes!’ or ‘I agree.’”
Target the right reporter.
Journalists have complained about inappropriate pitches from time immemorial. And today there really is no excuse to pitch the “wrong” reporter. Between online and social media, you should be able to confirm that you are approaching the right person.
Send appropriate email.
Most journalists (at least according to many surveys) prefer email to other forms of communication. But to get the reporter to read the message, you need a good subject line. Here are Ragan’s guidelines:
Make the body of the email “a short paragraph explaining what you’d like the reporter to cover.” In the process, answer these questions:
The whole email should be about half a screen. And, in general, you should not follow up with a phone call.
The report has other great tips on press releases, online news rooms and media interviews, which I’ll discuss in subsequent posts. But I am only discussing a few highlights. I encourage you to read the report in its entirety.
August 7, 2014 by Kay Paumier
It’s the middle of the year, and it seemed a good time to take another look at the Vocus State of the Media Report 2014.
Some things really struck me, notably the not-so-encouraging statement that “PR practitioners may find it harder to place stories” because of social media. For years we’ve competed with breaking news and other popular stories. Now we have to compete for the attention of journalists “who have a worldwide web of blogs, social media and alternative news sources at their fingertips.”
All this means that PR professionals should not “expect more than 10 seconds” of a journalist’s time.
I agree that the competition has never been greater. But the basics remain. “It’s more important than ever to connect with reporters on social, comment on their stories, offer information that is relevant to their beat and build relationships.”
Findings about Social Media
The level of engagement that social media makes possible has changed the reporting dynamic. In the past reporters didn’t know what their readers were thinking unless they got a letter or phone call. “Now readers and reporters alike know what the other is thinking almost immediately.”
That said, I found some of the specific comments about social media interesting.
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