Ohio University Strategic Social Media

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Author: practicewhatyouprich

When You Should Consider Stepping Up Your Social Media Budget

April 22, 2016 by AJ Agrawal

Your social media budget is usually something you set at the start of the year. Although you have to bear in mind that budgets are important, they should never be rigid. Things move so quickly in the worlds of business and social media that you can’t afford to stick rigidly to a budget.

So when you should you consider upgrading your social media budget?

Your Budget Is A Placeholder

The first thing to understand is that your budget should act as a placeholder. This is the minimum you will spend in order to carry out basic social media operations. It should never be the final budget because you have no idea what might happen.

When you set your budget, make it small and leave room for expansion. It’s best to start small because if you give yourself a huge budget it usually leads to disaster where you blow the entire thing on testing something that isn’t working. It’s better to budget too little and upgrade than budget too much and ruin your profits for the year.

Scaling For Success

Social media is all about split testing. The process is the same for all businesses. You will take various ads and status updates to test. Each time you will change a small aspect and check the results against your previous ones. Once you find something that gives you a reasonable ROI, you steadily scale up.

Scaling up is when you should increase your social media budget. It’s difficult to hit upon something that really works, so when you do get to it you have to give it room to breathe and grow. You may think that you can simply wait until your next budget review, but this isn’t going to work.

Check out the full article at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/04/22/when-you-should-consider-stepping-up-your-social-media-budget/#314ec7e36dee

Nate Riggs: The Inbound Master

By Tyler Prich

Inbound Marketing is one of the fastest growing forms of marketing, and social media plays a pivotal role in making it work. Inbound Marketing is about creating content (Blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.) to attract viewers who will share the content across social media. Nate Riggs started his career as a social media consultant at the very beginning, when Facebook still had .edu proceeding it and AOL chat rooms reigned supreme. But, Nate explained, the economic downturn of 2009-12 put many marketers out of work. Many of them hopped on the growing social media train, thinking it would be their saving grace. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Social media consultants popped up left and right, so much that the title lost all meaning. So Nate took a step back from social media consulting and focused on finding social media’s place within the bigger marketing picture. He most recently started his own inbound marketing company called NR Media Group.

Nate riggs

Source: http://www.nrmedia.biz/company/

I chose to interview Nate because his experience with social media goes back to its root in chat rooms and forums. He has seen the business evolve from the very beginning, and offers an analytical perspective of social media in the marketing world.

Q: Since the economic bubble popped in 2009, has there been a recovery for social media in your eyes?

I think it has matured drastically. While there are still a lot of consultants out there that do good work, for instance Jay Baer, but they are fewer and farther between. Now, those independent consultants got swallowed up by larger companies. For instance, you talk about social media for a small/medium sized business, locally run, where the numbers just aren’t there. Like Bob Evans, we were small. We had around 200,000 fans on Facebook, and managing that alone was a full-time gig. My second week on the job, I open up the page and the page is being bombed with dirty toilet pictures. That became a 48-hour job of cleaning up and responding to criticism. Businesses then realized that it takes a team of people to manage this. Now what they did, was create a director to oversee a team for social media. All of the sudden, there were entire staffs and firms dedicated to running social media.  Then what we saw was the advancement of third-party software. Monitoring systems, sentiment analysis, low-level dashboards all looking for the insights that we need. Now, every marketing system monitors social media, like HubSpot. Then we have one like Sprinklr, which is made for major companies like Cisco. The whole industry, driven by conferences, has really pulled together the stragglers of the social media boom, and now they are working in corporations to drive the industry forward.

Q: What do you think is the most important upcoming trend in social media and why is that trend important? (He is a noted skeptic of Snapchat)

Number one, technology is not a trend, but technology causes trends or can influence trends. Something like Snapchat, that’s just a technology and why I’m a skeptic is that marketers kill the ideas. We look at it and think, “How are we gonna make money off this?” That’s not the intention of what that technology is designed for. Think about Snapchat, it’s about privacy, I see something and I want it to go away. And there are people pontificating about how Snapchat is the future of business, which is what I heard about Google+ and Vine and the list goes on and on. Even a year ago, it was Meerkat and Periscope, and while they’re still out there and have interesting political applications, they’re dying too. What I do think is the next trend? I think there’s two. From a marketing perspective, social media moves from marketing into customer experience and service. The other is that social media is going towards privacy, and that’s driven by millennials who don’t necessarily want to put everything out there. I was part of the first wave of users who went, “Sure, here’s my life, put it online!” As a 35-year old, I regret a lot of that, and I took two or three of my years offline, because I didn’t want to be that public anymore. Your generation saw those mistakes and responded by saying, “well we don’t want everyone to see what’s going on. We can share business with the people we actually care about.” That close-group communication is going to heavily impact how marketers focus on that one-on-one customer service interactions.

Q: Back in the day, you started off doing weekly podcasts, is there a specific advantage to using that as a medium over others?

A: The big podcast we had focused on the restaurant business, but we stopped after around 55 episodes because the restaurant industry wasn’t the inbound target we thought it was. That being said, that one show landed me 4 or 5 speaking gigs, a whole bunch of network connections, clients, the list goes on-and-on. And so yes, there are results from podcasts and here’s why: a couple years ago, automakers shifted towards Bluetooth enablement in car stereos, and now that it’s become an everyman type of thing, it opens up a whole world for drive time listening. You wonder why talk radio has remained so popular, because average commutes are around 40 minutes in the city. And now that podcasts have grown out of iTunes, where it used to be only an Apple product, now you can hookup any podcast app in your car stereo. Both production and access to podcasts have become cheaper and easier. I think we’re going to see people replace drive-time radio with podcasting. We saw it start with Sirius XM, but podcasting gives so many more options as opposed to terrestrial radio, that only offers one show per station at one time. I can speak from personal experience, we’re getting ready to launch a new one in my company, Podcasts are a great marketing tactic.

Q: Who do you follow who in order to stay up to date when it comes to social media?

A: There’s always the analysts, like Jay Baer always has his pulse out there. Here’s the secret sauce though, if you want to stay up to date in marketing, you need to find the speakers and the conference goers. So people who work in corporations with ridiculous travel budgets and attend once a month, or the speakers who are going multiple times per month. It’s those people who are speaking who are doing most of the media, and are out there having conversations with people doing the work, talking with tech vendors, investing. That circle of folks are the ones to stay up to date one, folks like Anne hanley. If they’re out there traveling, they are the first place to get the news.

Q: How important is it to have strong writing skills in the world of marketing and social media? Given the rise of branded content.

I would say critical, but it’s not even critical anymore. If you don’t have them, you don’t work. At the end of the day, you have to sit down and write a compelling piece, whether it’s a blog post, script for a video, or a proposal. Whatever it is, if you can’t write, you can’t be a marketer. Plain and simple. That’s why we’re seeing branded content, which is a very Scripps term, I think the more dominant term is content marketing. When the journalism industry got shaken up and many journalists became unemployed, those journalists launched other businesses. They retain those writing skills and are able to produce unique content and then become an industry resource. Not to say don’t go out and work for a publication, you should get a few years under your belt, but the real money comes from working for a corporation and using those writing skills to tell their story and being a content marketer.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring social media professional?

Ah, that’s a good one. The most important piece of advice I would give is to become a systems expert. If that really is your goal, you should sit down every week and look at no less than 3 technology demos. Because there are hundreds of systems out there that help you monitor, manipulate, publish, post, catalog, whatever social media. And chances are, when you go into an organization, you’re not going to run Twitter from Twitter, or Facebook from Facebook. So, get familiar with analytics, get familiar with dashboards. Even the high-end ones. You can contact Sprinklr and go through an hour Webinar to learn the ins and outs, and having that knowledge makes you stand out to a hiring person. Scott Brinker built this graphic, that is the landscape of marketing technology. There are 1,876 vendors over 43 categories. The more of these systems you know, no matter what for, it’s going to make you a really good candidate for social media jobs.

Nate and I’s interview lasted around 30 minutes, and he rambled a bit, but the information was worth it. He offered a unique, technical-based view of social media. The graphic he provide me of the systems, and the advice he gave about learning these systems can place you ahead of the game in the job market. Social media is a valuable tool that fuels the inbound marketing process, and the systems are the key to harnessing it.

 

#UpForWhatever turns into #NoMeansNo

Tyler Prich

In an industry synonymous with questionable morals and risky behavior, alcohol companies need to pay special attention to how they market their products. As part of Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever campaign,  they rolled out 140 messages on bottles highlighting that Bud Light will take away any inhibitions holding you back from a good time. The campaign had a long, successful run, thanks to it’s fun, light-hearted feel. Until one message slipped through the marketing team that caused an uproar on social media. The message printed on the blue label stated that Bud Light is “The perfect beer for removing ‘No’ from your vocabulary for the night.” An image of the first surfaced on Reddit and quickly spread through the Internet, complete with plenty of backlash.

upforwhatever

Photo: usatoday.com

It’s safe to assume that whoever came up with this had no intention of offending anyone, but many believe that the message is unintentionally promoting rape culture, as well as reckless behavior like drunk driving. People were quick to react on social media, posting things like,  “What story do you tell with your brand? For Bud Light, it’s ‘Screw consent. Date rape is awesome!’ #UpForWhatever.” Thousands of responses like this were directed at the beer company using other hashtags like #NoMeansNo. Some even said that the message also advocates drinkers to drive drunk.

Bud Light swiftly issued an apology on their website. A statement by vice president Alexander Lambrecht reads, “It’s clear that this particular message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior. As a result, we have immediately ceased production of this message on all bottles.”  The company did not release what percentage of bottles had the offensive message printed on them, and it’s hard to say how many are out there because of the number of taglines they released in the campaign.

The damage had been done to the brand, and this isn’t the first time that the Anheuser-Busch company has landed in hot water recently. In celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in 2015, Bud Light tweeted out, “On St. Patrick’s Day you can pinch people who don’t wear green. You can also pinch people who aren’t #UpForWhatever.” The tweet was quickly deleted after the public took it as promoting sexual harassment and voiced their concerns. It’s hard to fathom how such sexist remarks can make it through such a large company without any questions. Some believe that females in large companies are too intimidated to voice their concerns. After all, Anheuser-Busch only has one female in an executive position.

Sexual Assault is a huge issue in today’s society, especially in the segment that Bud Light targets – college-aged men and women. Bud Light is paying the price for its lack of attention to detail on all fronts, especially social media, where these young men and women are most active. Anheuser-Busch had struggled to hit the female market for years, until the recent release of non-beer products such as the Lime-A-Rita and other mixed drink options. Unfortunately, I feel this company has taken a big step back. The company is new at hitting the female market, so research is needed within the company to accurately market to women. All in all, let’s just agree that the people at Bud Light committed a complete #SocialFail that should’ve been thrown out at the first meeting. How the message made it into the final 140, we may never know.

Bukszpan, D. (2015, April 29). What was Bud Light thinking? Consumers keep ‘no’ in their vocabulary. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from  http://fortune.com/2015/04/29/bud-light-up-for-whatever/

Griswold, A. (2015, April 29). Bud Light Dreams Up the Worst Possible Slogan for a Beer Company. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/04/29/bud_light_s_no_means_up_for_whatever_the_worst_possible_slogan_for_a_beer.html 

Hughes, T. (2015, April 29). Bud Light apologizes for ‘removing no’ label. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/04/28/bud-light-label/26532085/

Okyle, C. (2015, April 28). Bud Light’s Lighthearted ‘Up for Whatever’ Campaign Takes a Dark Turn. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from  http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245608

Strom, S. (2015, April 28). Bud Light Withdraws Slogan After It Draws Ire Online. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/business/bud-light-withdraws-slogan-after-it-draws-ire-online.html?_r=0

The Time Women’s Soccer used Social Media to Unite A Country

By Tyler Prich

#SocialWin

In the shadow of the United States Men’s National Team’s loss at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2015 U.S. Women’s National Team had a chance to redeem its country and promote the sport of women’s soccer. The problem was gathering attention from the U.S. audience, but with the help of social media, their run to the title was one of the most watched sporting events in recent history.

Emotions were boiling in the hot July sun when the United States women were facing Japan in the final match of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. After grinding for months, fighting past Germany, facing the same team that had stolen the title from them four years ago, with the whole nation behind them, and on July 4th Weekend! The whole world sat on the edge of their seats until the pregame shows finally ended and the ball is kicked!

The game was decided in the first 16 minutes.

After all the buildup, the United States scored four goals in the 16 minutes, and the game ended 5-2. Japan was decimated and Americans celebrated as Americans do: with USA chants. The ratings crushed the U.S. record for a soccer match. The 25.4 million turnout was 88% higher than the same match-up back in the 2011 final, and even higher than the peak of the recent NBA Finals.

Celebrities and Athletes show support on social media.

Celebrities and Athletes show support on social media.

Social Media drove months of anticipation before the World Cup even began. Even though it ended in a lop-sided finish. It started with the use of #OneNationOneTeam. The men’s team used this campaign the previous year,  it embodied the American spirit and sense of unity so well that the team chose to keep it as a parallel – and it worked Marvelously. Celebrities and athletes dawned personalized jerseys and posted pictures of themselves wearing them in support of the women’s run. From Barrack Obama to Beyonce. Many of the U.S. Men’s players even tweeted out to their counterparts who wore the same jersey number. All over the country, people posted texts, images, videos all in support of a sport finally receiving the attention it deserves.

The USWNT unveiled the newest campaign before their first official game, with a special feature on Twitter. Flags appeared next to any tweet with either #SheBelieves or #USA. The Tweets stood out well on social media, especially since the flags were in the shape of a leaf – because the game was in Canada. The team did a fantastic job promoting the tournament throughout the run, and the country was united in showing their support.

Not to mention a series of badass pump-up videos leading up to every game.

Following the trophy presentation, Social Media continued to explode. The center of attention belonging to Abby Wambach, star forward. Immediately after the final whistle, Wambach ran to the stands to kiss her wife. A vine captured the moment and received 2.3 million views in a short period of time. It was a another great moment that social media spread in the wake of gay marriage being legalized nationwide.

Then came the parades.

The team went on a victory tour around the country, from L.A. to New York, and there was a parade in each one of them. Each one was captured on social media. Snapchat even had stories running at each parade, complete with views from the audience and the players. You were able to feel the excitement when Wambach hoisted the trophy in the midst of a confetti storm.

From the qualifying rounds to the celebration, the USWNT victory was documented on Social Media for the whole country to see.