How to Use Facebook to Win Fans

By claire |

wwwtibethouseorg

Facebook has millions of subscribers.  It has reached international ubiquity, and is has a huge potential  market for whomever puts in enough effort to stand out. But how exactly do you reach people on Facebook? What are the ground rules to follow to keep your fans?

There are several ways to reach out to clients on Facebook. The most unpractical one became the easiest way to do it. It went from “half-baked group with fewer capabilities” to “almost full-blown profile page-like” point of presence.

The answer is: create a fan page !

This is the easiest way to reach people online. The problem is, you cannot go outside and ask people to be your friend, as if you had a profile. You have to wait for them to get to you. But first, how should you create your pages?

If you have a really recognized brand, and a few “blockbuster” products, feel free to create different pages for each of these products. For example, one fan might love M&M’s, but not Snickers bars. Having only one “Mars” page would not make sense in that case. Plus, if you have big products that don’t have pages, you run the risk of individuals creating fan pages named after your product, in which case you will not be able to control it.

There is only one way to get this spot back: kindly ask (no Cease & Desist here) them if they could transfer you the ownership of the page, so you can keep everyone updated with awesome news and updates about your product. In most cases, people will happily transfer ownership (after all, they’re fans too). It is not failsafe: this is why, as soon as one of your product might become huge, you should create a fan page. If your product is or becomes well known, people will join.

Now there is the problem of how to create page without a personal account. One could create a profile named after the company. This is a spreading technique strictly forbidden by Facebook, and you risk getting your account terminated. There is one proper way of creating this is going through these steps:

Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Choose the right section, your name, and press Create. You will be taken to a sign up for Facebook page. If you already have a personal account DO NOT USE IT! Use your company e-mail or create a specific one for that purpose. The next step is to validate your registration following the link in your mailbox. Voilà, you have your own Facebook Fan Page! Now you can start to edit it.

So, how and how often should you update your page? The answer is: try to spread the updates as much as possible.  There are several studies on it and some of them think that posting at 4:01PM is the best time for the highest exposure (this is not a joke). If you have several updates to do (uploading videos, adding pictures), it is okay to have 2 of them in a row, 3 maximum. Anything over 5 and all your updates except one will disappear and add a “SHOW x MORE POSTS” link on the user’s homepage, resulting in two things:

  • People will “unfan” you because you’re flooding their homepage;
  • You will lose a lot of exposure since all your posts vanished under that banner.

To sum up, here’s a quick list of things to do and things to avoid:

  • DO have fan pages for all your products, if they are influential enough.
  • DO add enough content to your page so people want to subscribe to it.
  • DO NOT update 10 times in a row; people will unfan you as fast as they added you.
  • DO NOT create a profile for the company to get a fan page: this will get you banned from Facebook.
  • DO add a link to the page on your website; Facebook will even offer buttons to insert directly to your homepage.

Hopefully this post gave you better insight on the matter of getting people to know you through Facebook!


Why bother using Twitter?

By claire |

So, now you know what Twitter is and how to use it. Great!  But WHY should you use Twitter? Of all the social media platforms out there, why should Twitter be at the top of your list?

Here are three quick reasons why to use Twitter.

1. Twitter is Everywhere!twitter-international_web_traffic1

A common misconception is that social media is “an American fad” that holds no weight in the international community. Actually, the complete opposite is true. Sixty percent of Twitter web traffic comes from outside the United States. Countries like Japan, Spain, the UK and even Taiwan are large contributors to Twitter web traffic.  Twitter has become the newest way to cross international borders and create the proverbial “global village” online.

2. Everyone has Twitter!

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Everyone from President Obama to Ashton Kutcher to my next door neighbor is on Twitter.  Since 140-character bite-sized Tweets are the main form of Twitter communication, no one can say that they don’t have time to Tweet. Since everyone is using Twitter, having a large number of “followers” ensures that you have a large audience. And if you can communicate your brand message in 140 characters, you’ll have a captive audience.

 

3.  People visit Twitter

This may sound just like Reason #2 but there is a slight difference.  Often, social media will have a huge spike in membership at its launch, but the number of hits (or unique visitors to the website) will dwindle after the novelty has worn off.  With Twitter, the exact opposite has happened. Twitter has simply exploded since it was first introduced. In fact, a recent study has shown that Twitter.com has more visitors than the websites of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal! Twitter is even giving Google a run for its money!

The long and short of it is that Twitter is a unique and emerging platform that people are using. So, don’t be afraid to jump right in and have fun on Twitter!globalprojectshelpwebscom


Twitter: How to Optimize your Brand

By Perks |

“I googled it” – I bet you $10 that you’ve heard that phrase before.  twitter-seopic-for-blog1

Google’s search engine has become such a large part of our lives it has become a noun. When you need to search for something on the Internet you head straight for Google right? Wrong! According to many, Google may well be shaking in their swanky offices for fear of Twitter taking part of their market.

 Gyuate Park from Winning the Web, declares Twitter “definitely has the potential to be the ‘next big thing’ and gain enough market share for certain social queries to put a dent in Google’s search business.” 

Is he right? Perhaps. And the fact that one is even contemplating that perhaps mega market monsters Google could have a potential dent is more than significant.

So, how can Twitter be used to optimize your brand? Here are a couple of easy tips:

  1. Stand for something. If you are using Twitter as a business tool, there really isn’t any merit in letting your consumers know that you ate a mushroom omelet for breakfast. (Unless your business is that you are a mushroom omelet connoisseur of course) To be honest, no one cares. Focus on what your message is and stick to it. Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be personal – far from it! You want to have your own voice and presence, but keep it relevant.
  1. Personalize your profile. Okay so I guess the blue background… or even the brown one… looks kind of cute, but this says nothing about you or your business. If you have a logo – use it. Create your background to include the colors of your brand. Show a little effort and people will be much more receptive.
  1. Get Chatting. This one is easy!Follow people who are relevant. Let them follow you back. Talk about interesting things. Engage in conversations to develop these relationships and make them solid. Through this community, you’ll create that essential buzz about your brand, raise your SEO and increase traffic to your website.

So what do you think? Are you a Tweep on Twitter? Has your brand benefited? Is Google a Gonner? Let us know your thoughts…

 

 


Twitter 101: The Basics of Tweeting

By Perks |

Twitter? What’s that?

 

twitter-bird

If you are asking yourself this question then you must have been living under a rock for the past few months. But that’s okay – we’ll get you up to speed and no one will ever know your recent abode.

Twitter is THE new social media tool about today. I know I know, “there is always some latest fad that won’t last”… but Twitter is different. Honestly. It’s growing at a rate much faster than Facebook (gasp!) and is proving rather profitable to many brands in the business world. So pay ‘attweetion’ (ha) here’s a quick “Twictionary” 101: 

 

1. Tweeps = Members of Twitter

2. Tweets = The sentences (or “micro-blogs”) you write that can be no longer that 140 characters long

3. Tweetup = An event created through Twitter

4. Twerd = A Twitter Nerd

 Okay – so now you know the lingo, how do you actually use the site? Here are a few basics:

1.    Twitter – A site dedicated to micro-blogging that resembles the “Status update” of Facebook

2.    Followers – People who have asked to be your friend on Twitter that, once accepted by you, can read your tweets on your profile

3.    Following – People you are friends with of whom you can read their tweets on their profile

4.    D – The symbol used to “Direct Message” a follower, allowing them to read your message but no-one else

5.    RT – The symbol used to “Re-Tweet” a tweet on your profile that you copied from someone else’s profile

6.    @[enter followers name] - The symbol used to reference a re-tweet (see above) or to reply to a particular follower’s tweet.

 So there you have it – everything you need to know about Twitter from a functionality point of view. Check out our next post where we’ll give you the low down on how Twitter can be used to optimize your brand…


Social Media: What is it and does it work?

By claire |

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Businesses that survive, and even thrive, during a recession aren’t afraid to be innovative and take risks. At a time when your consumers and clients are pinching their wallets closed even tighter, it is crucial to establish a strong brand presence and highlight what makes your business stand out.

Enter social media.

 

“Social media” is one of today’s hottest buzz words. But, what exactly is social media? And are people actually using it?

Social media is a cost-effective online marketing and networking tool that takes the form of several online networking outlets. (Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) These networks are the newest portals to reach your target audience and capture their attention using the websites that they visit most.  

By connecting with your target audience on their wavelength, not only are you given extra (and mostly free!) opportunities to reinforce your message, but you’re also showing your customers that you understand what they like and can relate to them on a more personal level.

So, does this actually work? Here are some stats that may open your eyes to the perks of social media:

Still not convinced? Well, here are three tips to help you get your feet wet with social media.

1. Create a Social Media Strategyblogwebcopypluscom1

Like any traditional marketing campaign, you want to ensure that your brand message is consistent and accurate across all social media platforms.  By making a social media roadmap, you can understand what social media outlets attract your target consumers and where your opportunities are strongest.

2. Start small and build out

Rather than opening accounts on every social media platform and not utilizing them, begin by creating accounts that make the most sense for your brand. Optimize these accounts and, once you feel comfortable handling a few social media outlets, start to expand the scope of your social media.

3. Begin conversations

The whole point of utilizing social media is to interact with you target consumer and engage customers to learn more about your brand. So, don’t be shy! Get right in there and get the conversation about your brand started! 

During tough times it’s more crucial than ever to reach out to your customers and show them how your brand outshines the competition. Stay tuned for the Perks Consulting team to take you through today’s most popular social media outlets and give you tips on how to navigate the complex world of social media. So, get innovative, get creative and have fun with social media!


Women need to MARKET each other

By Perks |

Today, the Perks Consulting team started our morning at a Power Breakfast organized by 85 Broads. The event was held at AJ Maxwell Steakhouse in the heart of Manhattan. After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bagels and fruit salad, we  had the chance to network with successful women in a wide variety of businesses, as well as listening to the very inspiring guest speaker, Courtney Banks. Banks has an impressive background with a range of experiences related to being an ambitious female in the most male dominated business of all time: Homeland Security.

Throughout her speech, Banks emphasized the importance of females supporting each other and how this needs to be emphasized even more in today’s troubling economy. The reality is that people are being laid off and/or fired and many of the women in the audience have experienced this. Basically, what women need to do now more than ever is to MARKET each other. Banks, along with 85 Broads founder Janet Hanson, is doing more than her share by organizing events, publishing books and articles and reaching out to women everywhere. One of the cornerstones of female empowerment and the importance of women supporting each other is how we can do this. And it is not as hard as it sounds. Banks asked the audience a simple question,

“How many of you can say that you actually help women?”

None of the women in the audience raised their hands today, and that is fundamental if we want to see a change. And we should want a change, because why is it that it is 2009 and we still have a majority of men at high-powered positions? Not to talk about the wage gap. According to the AFL-CIO, the average 25-year-old woman  will earn $523,000 less than the average working man in her entire career.

 

Females should consider themselves to be on the same team and organizations such as 85 Broads are instrumental in bringing women together. Networks are here to support each other. Women make up a global network that has a long way to go before we can say that we are equal to men. Ever since the network started in 1997, 85 Broads has been doing their share by arranging events like these. If we can succeed in bringing women together more hands will be raised at the next Power Breakfast, and then we will know we are on the right track.


How to Market for a Good Cause

By claire |

 

cause1Clearly, partnering with a cause in any way (from in-kind sponsorship to cause marketing) is a win-win for all involved So, how do you implement this up-and-coming marketing model?  Here are a few tips about how you can market for a good cause.

1 Choose a Cause that is Relevant and Meaningful to your Business

Avon’s  choice to promote female health and combat breast cancer was an obvious one.  In choosing a cause that directly affects their target demographic, Avon was able to motivate and mobilize their consumers to buy products associated with an issue close to thei

r hearts.

 

2. Develop a detailed plan with measurable goals

The (RED) (link to (RED) blog) business model, mission, and core values were developed with a clear set of goals and evaluation tactics in mind.  By creating a solid business model with quantifiable and repeatable metrics for success, PRODUCT (RED) has been able to report results to further their credibility and support for their cause.

 

3. Integrate your Cause Marketing Efforts with Other Business Efforts

HIV/AIDS in Africa is the core of the PRODUCT (RED) business model.  Every action they undertake is for the sole purpose of promoting their cause.  While your business doesn’t have to go to these lengths, integrating your cause in other areas of business is a great way to spread the word about your brand and its socially responsible behavior.

 

4. Vary your involvement. Put your cause in a variety of places

Avon has not only created a line of Pink Ribbon branded products, but has also hosted events, opened a registry tribute, and even established a Breast Cancer Center at a leading hospital.  In placing their message in a variety of places, Avon has increased the visibility of their cause and brand, further establishing credibility and motivating future purchases. 

 

5. Be grateful to those involved.

Everyone who is involved in your cause marketing campaign truly believes in the good work that you are carrying out. Be grateful for their support since it takes a lot of effort to bring a great cause to life.



Marketing for a Good Cause

By claire |

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What is Cause Marketing?

 In previous Perks blogs, we have outlined strong examples of cause marketing, like the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade  and PRODUCT (RED). But what exactly is cause marketing? Cause marketing is defined as a partnership between a for-profit business and non-profit or

ganization in which a decided-upon percent of each sale of a specially branded product or service is used to benefit a social or community cause.

 

American Express Statue of Liberty Restoration and The Birth of Cause Marketing 

 In 1983, American Express coined the term “cause related marketing” in their campaign to restore the Statue of Liberty.  Each time an American Express card was used, or when a new member signed up, a small donation was made to the Statue of Liberty restoration project. In just three months, $1.7 million was raised for the cause and the use of American Express cards rose 27%, with the new application rate up 45%. Thus, cause marketing was born.

 Why Choose Cause Marketing?

Cause marketing has ample benefits; not only for the cause, but also for the business involved. Cause marketing:

 –Creates loyal customers and employees

According to a Cause Evolution Survey conducted by Cone, about 87% of consumers state that they would switch brands if another brand was liked to a social cause. Additionally, about 90% of employees show strong loyalty to a brand that supports a cause. 

 –Increases sales

A similar study conducted  in 2008 showed a 74% increase in the actual purchase of Brand X shampoo when they connected with a cause, with 47% of participants who chose the brand for the sole reason that a cause related message was on the bottle.

–Increases visibility and positive media coverage of a brand

By utilizing cause related marketing, your business will see an increase in positive media coverage. Partnering with a nonprofit will also increase your visibility and help your brand stand out from the competition.

 


Avon and the Marketing of Breast Cancer

By claire |

 

avonwalk_logo1Like the PRODUCT (RED) campaign,  the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is a cause marketing model that has met great success by using innovative strategies to advocate for a relevant cause.  Avon  a leading provider of women’s health and beauty products started their crusade against breast cancer in 1992 and has remained one of the most powerful examples of cause marketing today.

 Since its inception, the campaign has raised over $585 million in funds that have been disbursed over 50 countries.  These funds help programs with initiatives in:

lidsl1 By selling Pink Ribbon branded products, hosting yearly breast cancer walks in cities around the world, and establishing registry tribute funds , the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has stayed at the forefront of the battle against breast cancer.

Avon de-mystifies the disbursement of its funds (and thus builds consumer trust and brand loyalty) by allowing users to search for its grants by year and geographic location and making financial reports readily available on its website.

 Avon has also established the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins,a leading hospital for breast cancer research and treatment that offers a variety of programs, including a volunteer team of breast cancer survivors to support and educate current patients.

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade chose to brand its products with the Pink Ribbon that has become synonymous with breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon was created in 1991 by the Susan G. Komen foundation in partnership with Yoplait’s Lids for Life cause marketing campaign.  By teaming up with a well-known cause and branding their cause with a color (like PRODUCT (RED)) Avon has created a  positive association that consumers are familiar with.  Using innovative and strategic marketing tactics to mobilize and educate about a cause that directly affects their target demographic, Avon has been able to make a world of difference in the fight against breast cancer.

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Target Audience: Women (No Jimmy Choo, Martinis, or Pink Allowed!)

By claire |

Posted By: Sumontro Roy, strategy@perksconsulting.com

This Monday morning, while discussing our weekend activities over steaming lattes, my colleague and buddy, Sumontro, mentioned that he had attended a wedding that weekend : “you know, the sort that you see in the movies…the quintessential trophy wife having her dream wedding, replete with her knight in shining armor”.

Cut to: a few blank – but thoughtful – moments.
Followed by: us immediately thinking about the stereotypical female profile, and the different ways the “female stereotype” is used in marketing to women. Especially relevant to us at Perks Consulting too, since many of our clients sell women-targeted products and services :)
Later in the week, Sumontro and I again found ourselves talking about “female stereotypes” and their typical uses in marketing campaigns. We came up with a quick list of  “female stereotypes” and related images that are generally used when targeting female audiences.
Some of them are:
Shoes and Shopping, Girls Night Out, Cosmopolitans and Martinis, and the Home-maker
stiletto_sandals2
cosmo_martini-14martha_stewart_cakes-706100
As Brand and Marketing people, I’m sure we all agree that the frequent use of these “stereotypes” has a lot of benefits – they certainly represent a great number of roles that women continue to successfully and creditably play in our modern societies and, therefore, identify with. Marketers and brand strategists have successfully used (and continue to use) them to trigger high levels of target-customer associations and to motivate purchasing behavior.  However, does this also tend to limit us to thinking of women being limited to these typical roles ? Are these the only roles that women fill ? Or identify with? Or aspire to?
So, Sumontro and I decided to challenge ourselves to think outside of these stereotypes and come up with new attributes upon which to build marketing campaigns to women. Here are a few immediate and intuitive ones:
  • Community and environments outside the self and home e.g. female doctors in developing parts of the world.
  • Women in professional sports
  • Leadership and the role of women in the corporate world
In modern society, women encompass ever changing roles… don’t you think it’s time to change the way we relate to them as well? What ideas can you come up with outside of the typical five? And, importantly, how can these be used in marketing campaigns?
Oh and BTW, let’s add another to the “typical” list : the color Pink!
We’ll follow up next week,
Cheers !
Posted by Sumontro and Claire.
Photos taken from:
  1. http://shoes.about.com/od/imagegalleries/ig/Sexy-Sandals/Stiletto-Sandals.htm
  2. http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/sex-and-the-city-tv
  3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianalexandermartin/272961901/
  4. http://www.iphonesavior.com/images/2008/03/22/martha_stewart_cakes.jpg