We’ve now come to the third letter of our FLIRT acronym. the I for Integration. An important step in the development of your social media plan. Once you’ve completed your Focus and Listening phase, you will know on what social networks your clients hang out, what they talk about, where your influencers are and what the trends are in your market place. So now you can decide on what social networks you need to be to make sure you meet your clients and influencers. Or any other of your stakeholders.
One of the fastest growing social networks these days is Google+. Google+ has now firmly established itself as one of the main social networks. In Trendstream’s Global Web Index, the fourth quarter of 2012 ended with Facebook having nearly 700 million active users, with second place going to Google+ with 343 million active users. But what makes Google+ different? Google+ is not just a single social networking site like facebook, but rather a social “layer” that covers many Google online properties like Search, Youtube, Google Drive, Google Play, and Google Local. In other words, if you want to feature high in the Google search engine result pages (SERPs) without having to pay for it, you can’t afford to miss out on Google+.
During our Social Media Blueprint workshop I do talk about Google+. But I now strongly believe that the time of talking about Google+ is behind us. The only option you have now is to be using it. Given Google’s positioning of Google+ you can no longer afford not to be on Google+ for the following reasons:
1. Since Google is the most popular search engine on the Internet, Google will give search preference to pages, posts and profiles with high social presence and activity on Google+.
2. With the ability to drag and drop people in Circles, you can segment the contents you want to share with your customers, partners, colleagues and others without sending irrelevant messages to other people in your network.
3. Google+ is Google’s social layer over all Google products. It follows you across Reviews, Maps, Chrome, Ads, Hangouts, YouTube, Drive, Calendar, and Wallet. That’s why they call Google+ Google 2.0.
Plenty of reasons for you to start digging into what Google+ can do for your organisation. To help you with this, we will be hosting a series of one-day Google+ workshops that will give you everything you need to know about how to set yourself up on Google+ and how to maximise the use of it for your business. The dates we have set for these workshops are Tuesday 28 May in London, Thursday 11 July in Manchester
and Thursday 18 July in Glasgow. Feel free to contact me if you would like to attend any of these workshops.
In the meantime, why don’t you read this fantastic infographic with 20 reasons why you should switch to Google+. Happy switching. And if you have any additional reasons for switching, do share them with us in the comments section.
As you’ve been reading in my recent blog posts, FLIRT is Love Social Media’s 5 step acronym that assists you in setting yourself or your business up for Social Media. So far we talked about Focus, Listen and Integrate. In this blog we will cover the next letter in the Acronym, R for Reaching out. This is a fundamental step in your social media deployment. If you consider your web site as your castle, and your social media networks as your embassies, you reach out into your markets to create as many outposts as possible. In these outposts your prospects and customers will experience your content, to be lured to your social media sites (your embassies) to drive them back to your castle (your web site) where you can transact with them.
Consider these outposts as link bait. You give people a teaser of your blog post and if they like it they will go to your blog to read the full post. Reaching out is critical in the social media engagement process. Here are the key steps in reaching out:
1. Tell the key search engines that you have a blog so you will increase the chance that you come up in the search results. To do this, you register your blog at Google Webmasters, Bing Webmasters, Technorati and BlogCatalog. Here’s a site with a list of many more places where you can register your site.
2. Use Hootsuite to send out your content as linkbait on your existing social media sites like facebook, Linkedin and Google+. You will now understand why your blog title is so important. Its the teaser that will make people want to read the full blog post.
3. Repurpose your content on other social sites. For instance, turn your blog posts in 3 slides and upload this on Slideshare, capture your slides in a video and upload on Youtube or Vimeo, and turn your blog post in a podcast with Podomatic and share via twitter etc.
4. Run campaigns to promote your content and get your followers to create content for you via competitions, promotions, events etc. Here are my a few of my favourite social media campaigns:
Burgerking Whopper sacrifice: Getting your facebook campaign talked about in the newspaper and on TV is a great way to get more people to like your page. Burgerking maximised this by launching an app where people would get a free whopper voucher for every 10 facebook friends they deleted. They challenged the fundamental concept of Facebook. It didn’t take long for Facebook to change the functionality of Facebook so the app wouldn’t work anymore. Too late for them. It gave Burgerking a tremendous boost in likes.
Volkswagen Fox – Twitter Zoom Campaign: Volkswagen launched a great campaign in Sao Paolo to launch a new model car at the Planeta terra festival. Volkswagen hid secret tickets across the entire city, and then displayed them on a microsite using Google Maps. The catch was, the map was zoomed all the way out and the only way to zoom in was to have the community band together using the #foxatplanetaterra hash tag, and the more tweets made, the more the map would zoom in, ultimately revealing the pinpoint location of each ticket. At which point it became a foot race in the real world to find them, day and night for 4 days.
Blendtec – Will It Blend? A viral marketing campaign consisting of a series of infomercials demonstrating the Blendtec line of blenders, especially the Total Blender. In the show, Tom Dickson, the Blendtec founder, attempts to blend various items in order to show off the power of his blender. The phrase Will it blend? has become an internet meme on sites such as Digg. Blendtec has said the campaign has been a great success, saying that the campaign took off instantly and the company has increased sales.
In my workshops I cover many more case studies of great examples of reaching out and campaigns. If you know of any good campaigns, don’t hesitate sharing these with us in the comments section.