An organization asked me a while back to take over its Twitter account to help promote its festival. The organization wasn’t very active on Twitter so I had to start from almost nothing.
Starting Off on Twitter:
The first thing to do is know your target audience. Before following anyone get a feel for how the target audience uses Twitter. You could start off by replying to some of their tweets. After a couple of weeks, I believe you are ready to start actively following members from your target audience.
My formula for how to effectively use Twitter is: 70-20-10
70% is putting out useful content that will interest your target audience. You could tweet about interesting articles, pictures, videos or quotes. Try to put out at least 10-20 tweets a day.
20% is replying to other tweets that you find interesting or replying back to people who’ve interacted with you.
10% is self promotion. These are tweets about your work, campaign or business.
Nobody likes to read about sales pitches or about how great your company is. Followers want to know about your value.
There seems to always be a fun and exciting contest on Twitter. Most of the time it’s the big brands like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Gatorade or Nike that are implementing those contests and giving out amazing prizes. Big brands have all the liberty to be fun because they are already popular, and for the most part people love their products. What do you do if you’re not popular?
I tried to copy some of the contests the big brands had done, but it didn’t work out too well because most people didn’t know much about the organization I was working for. I should have had contests more focused on having them understand the organization.
For example, one cannot start out a contest with just one day saying, “Tell us about a unique experience you had in France using the special hashtag, and the most unique story wins a free dinner.” Most people will wonder who you are and why you’re asking them that question. However, once people start to get you know better that’s when the fun and more engaging contests can take place.
I just finished reading the book “City Branding” by Keith Dinnie. It opened my eyes to how hard it is to build a sustainable brand. It takes years to allow the message to get out and for the message to remain consistent. It needs to be funded and there needs to be constant commitment. I feel some cities and countries today are just trying to launch flashy and fun campaigns, within a short period of time, to gain instant buzz.
The definition of city branding is a combination of marketing and urban studies. The city administration must complete a strategic examination of trends in the social and economic environment before even coming up with a brand. A brand is based on city values, attitudes, behaviors and characteristics. It’s hard to come up with a brand building marketing campaign if you really don’t know much about the city. Residents are instrumental in building a city brand, without them the brand is weak.
Lately, I’ve seen many country and city brand building marketing campaigns, and I always wonder if residents were involved in the process. Resident satisfaction is the ultimate outcome for city branding. If the residents are happy with the branding campaign then it has been a success. Residents are the most loyal ambassadors, and if you take their feelings and opinions into consideration you’re on the path to success. It takes more time to get residents, businesses, city government officials involved in the process, but it’s worth the effort.
Could you give me some examples of cities or countries doing a good job in getting important stakeholders involved?
Pinterest has become my new obsession. Who knew pinning images to different boards could be so much fun.
One contest I liked came from my home state of New Mexico. The New Mexico Tourism Department created a contest titled, “Favorite Foods Photo Contest”. It asked people to take pictures of typical New Mexican dishes and add a little flag saying “Get the Picture”. The picture that received the most “likes” won two Spencer Theater tickets to see Gary Puckett & the Union Gap May 23, plus two tickets to the Theater’s Angus Burger Buffet prior to show time. This was an excellent way to get some NM residents involved in promoting their own state. State residents are instrumental in building a state brand, without their support it will be hard to build a strong long-lasting brand.
I loved this contest because who doesn’t love to look at pictures of food. Culture, food, natural attractions and history are all important components of tourism promotion. When you visit a place you want to know what’s good to eat and about the good local restaurants.
This contest was a good way to raise awareness about New Mexican food and the state itself.
Check out this story to learn about other Pinterest contests: http://mashable.com/2012/03/23/pinterest-marketing-campaigns/
Way to go New Mexico!
This blog post is more about looking for answers than me sharing any insights with you. I have many questions about the whole process of responding to a RFP.
My understanding is that one should respond to a RFP when one thinks it has the experience and personal connection to the project, right? My question is: what if you don’t have the experience but you have the passion and the personal connection, should you still respond?
How do you transmit that passion? How could the person reviewing the proposal understand that you are someone he or she can trust, that you will put your heart and soul into the project?
What are the key factors that you must include in a proposal? Is a proposal more about big ideas or about how you’ve been successful working on other similar projects? How detailed should the proposal be? Do you need to include a communications plan?
How do you organize your employees to work on a proposal? Should one person be in charge of writing it by themselves and then have the others give their input or should it be a collaborative effort where each team member contributes by working on one section of it?
One thing that I did learn about writing proposals is that it is so important for the proposed team to understand the RFP. The responsibility should not just be on one person to carry it out; each person should be aware of his or her proposed role. Once he or she knows about its role the research must begin to learn how his or her skills or expertise could contribute to the project. The person in charge of writing the proposal should be able to include the team member’s feedback or work into the proposal. Remember that the feedback should be in sync with the strategy, goals, objectives and challenges of what the client is asking for. It’s important that each team member go beyond just writing about the tasks needed to accomplish the goal but about the tailored strategy that will accomplish it.
I have learned a couple things, but I still have many questions about the best ways to write a winning proposal.
Please, provide me with feedback on how to win a contract.
Another social media tool that some may have to deal with soon is Pinterest.
Since I’m in the field of PR and social media marketing I must be up to date on all the latest trends and tools.
I see this tool as a way to get to know a person or organization/company on a more personal level. One can only pin pictures. No articles or text allowed. It’s the pictures that tell the story.
This is a great branding tool to let the world know about your style, tone and reputation. For example, if you’re a travel agent and not many people know about you Pinterest will allow you to express your brand through pictures. People will get to know your personality and passion, and if they like who you are then you will automatically gain true authentic customers or followers forever. Social media is all about transparency and being authentic.
My advice is let the world know about the real YOU through pictures. Once someone knows about your self-interests and about what you stand for it will make the next step of selling or promoting something quite easy.
My pinterest site is http://pinterest.com/adriana15/. Get to know the real me!
The other day I was asked to come up with a social media engagement measurement plan, and the first thing I thought about was the many useless measurement plans I had seen before.
The two things you first want to think about are the goals and objectives before drafting a measurement plan.
Below is a bad example of a social media measurement plan:
The goal: To brand an American clothing line in the Mexican market.
- Increase awareness by 15% within 6 months
- Create relationships with 5 top fashion bloggers in Mexico within a year
- Create a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter within a year.
Side Note: After you’ve established the goal and objectives you can come up with your Key Performance Indicators, which help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals.
Below are the following social media KPIs the American clothing line came up with.
The KPI Objectives to achieve in 6 months for Twitter were:
- 40 replies
- 80 RTs
- 234 lists
- 50 clicks a month
The KPI Objectives to achieve in 6 months for Facebook were:
- 18,000 fans
- 450 likes and comments
- 10,000 impressions
I’m not sure how they came up with those numbers because there was never any explanation as to how those numbers would help achieve the goal. The goal is very simple- to brand the American clothing line in the Mexican market. I find it hard to believe that if the American clothing line achieves those KPI objectives, within six months in social media, more Mexicans will be aware of the American clothing line.
It looks nice to come up with those numbers out of thin air, the client may even be impressed but those numbers in the end don’t mean anything.
A good example of a measurement plan:
Forget about the numbers until later. Your best bet is to start off with some general KPIs, and please don’t attach NUMBERS to them. For social media it’s important to measure engagement, influence, distribution, and internal communication throughout the campaign or project.
- 2.0 Conversations(Replies)
- DMs on Twitter
- Mentions on Twitter
- RTs on Twitter
- Satisfaction (Thanking us)
- Sentiment positive, neutral or negative (http://tweetsentiments.com)
- Number of active positive fans
- Number of influencers on Twitter (http://tweetreach.com)
- Reach/impressions (http://tweetreach.com)
- Web site numbers
- #Facebook updates
- Time spent researching
- Time Monitoring
- # Answered inquiries
Create an excel sheet to track the engagement, distribution, influence and internal numbers. By looking at the numbers every couple of weeks you’ll see what’s working and what’s not. If you notice that when you post certain content you receive positive feedback getting you that much closer to achieving your goal then continue to do it. In the end if you have 18,000 fans but those fans are not buying your products, what’s the point!! I say forget about coming up with KPI numbers and you be the judge of what works and what doesn’t by looking at your excel sheet every couple of weeks.
A couple weeks ago I was asked by InterNations to do a promotional exchange, InterNations would include my blog on their site and I would have one of their bloggers contribute a blog post to my blog. This is a great way to gain more exposure for both InterNations and myself. Throughout my career I’ve always worked hard to connect brands, people, issues, and products to niche audiences in order to create more of an impact. InterNations itself has had an important impact on expats, creating a community in order for them to feel more comfortable in a new place. I truly believe in InterNations mission, which is why I’ve decided to partner up with them.
Check out Valentina Griffin’s post about assisting those who are far away from home!!
Lending a Helping Hand to Expats
by Valentina Griffin
Think back to your first day of school. Most of us felt squeamish and nervous and didn’t know what to expect from this so-called “school”. Mom and/or Dad would bring you to school, say “good luck and have fun” and disappear. Luck? Fun? All you wanted to do was go back and sit in the neighbor’s sandbox counting bugs – or brushing Barbie’s hair…
Let’s take away the Barbie, the sandbox, Mom and Dad and the school and just leave that feeling behind. Isn’t that kind of what moving abroad is like? You are thrown into a completely new environment: you may not know the language, the people, the customs, the architecture; this all may seem quite strange. Despite the fact that you are much older and wiser now, the initial pinprick of fear is still there: facing the unknown.
In a world where globalization is as familiar a term as breakfast, moving overseas to a new country for work is nothing out of the ordinary. Yet the feeling of being a little lost and needing a helping hand will probably never go away. Regardless of whether or not one is a veteran expat, it would still be nice to know that there are people out there in your shoes. Well, there are! And you can meet them at InterNations, the largest online social network that connects over 300,000 expats with one another.
InterNations wants to help expats lose that first-day-of-school feeling. Members of almost every conceivable nationality and living in over 270 Communities worldwide can exchange information, experiences, ideas, tips and tricks, or just chat about life as an expat in general on the InterNations World and Local Forums or via private message.
Globalization, in part, has become such a norm due to the impressive advances that technology has made in the last decades. It is hard to imagine someone in the modern world not possessing a mobile phone or having Internet and communicating via e-mail. Yet at the same time the Internet sometimes makes it too easy on one. People get lazy about keeping social contacts and networking in person. To prevent personal contact from completely dying out, InterNations has established regular monthly Events in all of its 270 Communities across the globe. Here members can meet face-to-face, network, make business contacts, and, best of all, meet friends, all the while enjoying each other’s company and an after-work drink.
InterNations membership is by invitation only, which protects its members and ensures that they have a global outlook and international experience and are open to enriching their minds, while simultaneously guarantees the quality of the website. It is InterNations’ intention to act as the parents of the kindergarten child who say “good luck, have fun and everything will be alright, we are here for you”.
Just click on the title “Media Relations Tips” to hear the entire podcast: Media Relations Tips