• Duo Consulting
    Michael Silverman on October 15, 2014

    4 Reasons Drupal Is the Best Social CMS

    It turns out Drupal and Social Media are a match made in heaven. Because of Drupal’s system of modules, integration with external websites can be as easy as installing a module that fits your site’s needs. And once these modules are installed, you will have a central place to manage profile information and plug-in modules, such as follow and share buttons.
  • marin-software
    Brenda Ton on October 25, 2014

    Why Cross-Channel Retargeting Drives 200% More Clicks

    To help enterprise advertisers optimize their growing retargeting programs, Marin Software surveyed 233 digital marketers of leading brands and agencies to produce an 18 page report covering important trends, benchmarks, and best practices for cross-channel retargeting success.
  • Legal-sounding disclaimers that claim to give the poster copyright over their IP content pop up on Facebook from time to time, urging users to copy/paste and repost them. Learn why the Facebook copyright disclaimer myth is false, why it's harmful, and what you can do about it.

    Maybe it's because I'm a professional social media manager or maybe it's just because I find chain-letter posts incredibly annoying, but I often find myself playing the role of mythbuster on some friends' Facebook posts. One chain-letter type post stands out as a particularly frustrating repeat offender: copyright disclaimers. In this post, I will explain this myth and how you can help keep it from spreading.

     

    (Disclaimer: While I am a social media consultant, I am not a lawyer and this post should not be construed as legal advice.)

     

    Myth: By copying and pasting a legal-sounding disclaimer from a friend's post, you can claim and maintain copyright to your content. Here's one example (via Snopes):

     

    In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). 


    For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times! 


    (Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws, By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law(UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute). 


    Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

     

    Mythbusting Proof: Here's the relevant excerpt from Facebook's terms that disproves this myth.

     

    For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.


    Why It's Bad: This type of post is harmful because it leads users to believe that by posting a privacy disclaimer they automatically have some right to the content they share on Facebook, which is absolutely incorrect. As much as it might bother you, by agreeing to Facebook's terms and conditions (which you do by using or even just logging into the site,) you automatically waive all rights to your content. Spreading this myth is particularly harmful to artists or others for whom copyright is literally valuable. Leading people who make money off of their content to believe that posting a disclaimer once gives them copyright can lead to financial consequences if their content is then used without their knowledge or consent and without generating royalties for them. An example might be a photographer who uploads an image to Facebook, thinking that because they posted this disclaimer, they maintain the copyright. Under Facebook's terms, Facebook can use the image on ads and elsewhere, or transfer rights to another entity, without paying the photographer any royalties or even giving credit. Knowing that Facebook has the rights to any content they upload might prevent the photographer from uploading valuable content. The more we can educate ourselves about Facebook's terms of service, the more careful we can be about what we share.

     

    Do This Instead: If you are truly concerned about maintaining control of your content, delete your Facebook account and track down any content shared by your friends, or anyone else, and ask them to remove it from Facebook. If you, like me, can't imagine life without a Facebook account and you see a version of the copyright disclaimer in your Timeline, you can stop its spread by pointing out that it is a myth. Often simply posting a link to Snopes works just fine. And finally, the most important step you can take in being a Facebook mythbuster is to read Facebook's terms, a.k.a the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If you're going to be a user of a site that owns your content copyright, you might as well be an informed user.

    Businesses that succeed at social media marketing are able to create unofficial brand ambassadors that are genuinely excited about their products and services and willing to share them with family and friends. But there are also several obvious risks for brands using social media to connect with customers. From illegitimate pages and pornographic avatars to brand attacks of a political nature, companies are often faced with a number of challenges.

    There are a number of benefits for brands that build an engaging presence on social networking sites. Businesses that succeed at social media marketing are able to create unofficial brand ambassadors that are genuinely excited about their products and services and willing to share them with family and friends. But there are also several obvious risks for brands using social media to connect with customers. From illegitimate pages and pornographic avatars to brand attacks of a political nature, companies are often faced with a number of challenges when they take their marketing efforts online. Due to the sheer size and ever-changing nature of social networks, these issues can be difficult to track and regulate. If they aren’t dealt with quickly, brands can lose customers and their reputations can be adversely affected.

    How should companies manage risk? After all, participation in digital forums is no longer optional for businesses that want to grow. But managing the risk exposure of your brand can be a full-time job and the vast majority of companies are unable to staff accordingly. Experts in the risk management industry have the following recommendations for companies looking for ways to protect their brands on social media.

    Implement a social media usage policy for staff and audiences

    Anyone can create a brand profile online. A common case study, especially for small to medium-sized businesses, is that a well-intentioned member of your marketing team might think that they are helping spread the word about your business by launching a branded Twitter account. But there are a few inherent issues with this approach if accounts aren’t part of a broader social media strategy or provided oversight for brand consistency.

    One common issue is that it can be confusing for potential customers who may be getting conflicting messages from multiple brand profiles. Dan Nadir, VP of Product Management at Nexgate, a social media and brand protection company says that, “Despite having good intentions, the content that’s posted on an unofficial account may or may not align well with brand messagingEven worse, completely fake brand accounts are frequently created that attempt to embarrass the brand or defraud unsuspecting customers.”

    In other cases, like the recent US Airways Twitter debacle where an employee accidentally tweeted a pornographic image to an unhappy customer, shared content is harmful and embarrassing. Similarly, it is important to have guidelines for the audience or community you are allowing to share content on your accounts and pages.  For example, having a link to an acceptable content use policy on your company’s Facebook page should be required and allows your brand to be clear about content that can and can’t be shared.  That way, in the scenario where an audience member comments on a Facebook post with an X-rated image or a link to one, it is clear why it may be deleted.  For companies interested in protecting their brand online, the first steps are to implement and enforce a social media usage and content policies for staff that regulates personal use while on the job, branded account use by employees, and content policies for the audience of branded accounts.

    Be proactive and diplomatic when handling customer issues

    There have been countless media reports of companies behaving badly on social media, from community managers deleting customers’ posts and team members responding inappropriately to customer concerns to robot tweets from well-known brands. One recent example is a large bank that came under fire in 2013 for auto-posting generic responses to Twitter users.

    When it comes to handling customer issues online, it’s important for company employees to be well trained and diplomatic with their responses in order to effectively protect the brand. Deleting customer complaints and replying with robotic responses that aren’t addressing the issue can do more harm to your company than good. The most effective social media policies include a clear chain of management and escalation, for when front-line marketing or customer service staff don’t have an understanding of what to do.

    Monitor potentially damaging scenarios

    Another issue that businesses need to be aware of is the world of negative SEO: when others create social media pages or profiles with the intention of harming your business. Nadir says, “It takes just minutes for someone to start up a fake business account. They can reach out to fans with the promise of special discounts if they provide their credit card information.”

    That’s not the only issue that brands need to monitor. Another common problem is social media users with pornographic avatars posting content on unsuspecting company pages and even posting pornographic content on the account. Twitter revised their terms of service in 2009 to help keep pornography out of users’ profile pictures, but it’s still a lingering problem on many social networking sites. As a result, businesses are looking to use content moderation solutions that identify and filter out content posted by users with pornographic avatars or pornographic content itself. Nexgate has paired up with UK-based image scanning technology provider Image Analyzer with the intention of extending their image analysis capabilities to provide the broadest coverage for automatically keeping pornographic content from showing up on clients’ blogs and social media accounts. This technology approach will provide the speed, scale and efficiency in content removal that frees moderation teams and services to focus on real customer and community engagement versus burning time and service fees on reviewing and handling obviously bad content.  

    There are countless benefits for companies that choose to add social media to their marketing toolkits, but there are also a number of risks. In order to help mitigate risk, businesses need to be proactive about social media usage policies and staff training. It’s also important to handle customer issues professionally and monitor potentially damaging issues. But for most companies, the benefits outweigh the risks. Nadir says, “Unlike many other channels, brands have the ability to target their customers very specifically. They can really focus in on getting specific messages to certain groups and then creating and fostering real engagement with those individuals or groups.”

    Shares and retweets are excellent ways for your message to go viral and for ensuring it ends up in front of as many potential leads as possible. There is not a magic wand you can wave to make your social media content go viral, but there are a few steps you can take to get more shares and retweets from your social media content.

    According to a Forester Report published by CMO, advertising spending on social media platforms is expected to increase by double digits by 2019. Currently, social media content is how most people follow what is going on in the world. If you want to reach your target audience, you need to use social media. Shares and retweets are excellent for your message to go viral and ensure it ends up in front of as many potential leads as possible. With that said, there is no a magic wand you can wave to make your social media content go viral. There are a few steps you can take to get more shares and retweets from your social media content. 

    The most important step to create social media content with the potential to go viral is to simply make sure you are tuned into your industry. This will ensure that when something important breaks, you are to date, and can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. One great tool that helps you to stay on top of news is Google Alerts. With Google Alerts, you can subscribe to company blogs that are relevant to your industry, thus ensuring that you are always current.

    Keep in mind that while it is important to stay current, if you are going to create material that gets the most possible shares and retweets, you need to differentiate your content. Ask yourself: what it is about your content that would cause a reader to hit the retweet or share button? What is your spin on the story? Focus on coming up with something original.

    Remember to focus on “why it matters”. Make a point of giving your readers valuable information. Too often companies approach content marketing by simply spewing information without saying anything that actually matters. Do not leave your readers in a position of wondering why they bothered to read your content. Remember that your readers' time is valuable. Make sure that they are glad they took time out of their busy schedules to read what you had to say.

    Regardless of how great your content might be, there is little chance that it will be shared if you do not create a plan for actively promoting and making it shareable. For example, think about elements you can add to your content that will increase the likelihood of being shared, such as video or images.

    Take the time to get to know the various social media channels and the types of content that is most likely to be shared on those platforms. According to a report published by Quick Sprout, users on Twitter are more likely to tweet images than videos. In fact, images are retweeted 128% more than videos. The report indicated that the majority of images retweeted were humorous. While there is a common perception that the most popular tweets are related to personal stories, the Quick Sprout report found that in terms of retweeting, list-based articles and “how-to” articles received three times more retweets than any other type of content.

    In the process of writing content that is worthy of being retweeted, always keep length in mind. Twitter-based content is usually short. In order to increase the likelihood of being retweeted, keep your message well under the maximum character limit, so that users do not have to worry about editing the initial tweet. Make it as easy as possible for users to retweet your message.

    Facebook tends to work differently than Twitter in terms of content sharing. According to eMarketer, photos are the most popular type of content shared on Facebook. In fact, photos comprise 75% of the content on Facebook. When you create content specifically for a Facebook campaign, including photos is an excellent way to gain more attention. This is mainly due to the fact that photos tend to be easier to consume than large chunks of text. Keep in mind that not all photos are the same. When creating shareable photo-based content, make sure that you only use high-quality photos. It is also important to include relevant links with all images that you post on Facebook in order to divert traffic back to your website.

    Understanding the importance of comments and how they work in relation to shares is vital, particularly with Facebook. A Social Intelligence Report published by Adobe Digital Index found that Facebook comments have increased by 16% this year compared to last year. This is good news, as it indicates that fans are taking the time and the effort to make comments on content that they find interesting. In order to take full advantage of this trend, be sure to reply anytime a fan comments on the content that you post. Not only is this the polite thing to do, but it can also serve to drive more shares. Your user will receive a notification about the like, which could encourage more comments. To gain more exposure for your brand, it is also a good idea to "like" comments made by users not only as yourself, but also as the Facebook business page.

    Finally, do not expect to churn out a one-hit wonder on any social media platform if you do not participate frequently. If you are focused on Twitter, then make it a point to tweet often, and meaningfully interact with others. The same strategy also applies to Facebook and other social media platforms. By doing so, you ensure that when you do post content that is worthy of sharing, others on that platform will sit up and take notice. 

    When Chicago-based Christian Conti sent a tweet to a relatively unknown New York-based clothing company called Hawke & Co complaining about a recent purchase, they sent the 46 characters above by way of reply. The result was nothing short of a spectacular example of how NOT to use twitter for customer service.

    “We’re sure your 320 followers will understand.”

    Just 46 simple characters, yet they caused so much damage.

    When it comes to customer service, Twitter can be a magnificent thing. Customers can interact with brands quickly and efficiently and it allows brands to give themselves a personality beyond the purchase. Brands excelling at customer service attract a loyal audience. It’s different for those that don’t.

    When Chicago-based Christian Conti sent a tweet to a relatively unknown New York-based clothing company called Hawke & Co complaining about a recent purchase, they sent the 46 characters above by way of reply. The result was nothing short of a spectacular example of how NOT to use twitter for customer service.

    Hawke & Co responded to Conti’s original tweet with several (since deleted) messages, referencing that with only 320 followers his complaint wouldn’t matter. At one point the company used the hashtag #entitled. It appears that size does matter, however, as Hawke & Co’s tweet about the number of Conti’s followers went viral with several influencers picking up on it and retweeting the tweets before they were deleted.

    The irony in this? Of Hawke & Co’s 19,000 followers at the time, only 39 were real accounts. Hawke & Co deleted the tweets, send another one out that claimed it to be a social experiment and then delete that as well. To make matters worse, in a series of private messages Hawke & Co thanked Conti for the exposure he gave them. The twittersphere went wild. The exchange made it to BuzzFeed. Finally Hawke & Co issued an apology.

    In today’s cynical world, we wouldn’t be faulted for thinking this was all a brand awareness stunt. The comment about it being a social experiment could be true… but it was a very risky one to take. If you scrutinise it, this was just an example of customer service gone very wrong.

    There’s nothing wrong with a brand having a voice or a positive attitude – that should be encouraged. But what Mr Conti experienced should not. It was not appropriate.

    Every interaction with a customer should be treated with the same respect, regardless of someone’s status. Hawke & Co had the opportunity to apologize and correct the problem yet instead failed to realize the power of Twitter. Even for someone with 320 followers.

    The motto of content marketing is to create and distribute content that is consistent, relevant and valuable to an audience. The aim is not solely to ramp up the sales or social shares but to build brand name, create sharable visuals, provide great content and create value.

    The motto of content marketing is to create and distribute content that is consistent, relevant and valuable to an audience. The aim is not solely to ramp up the sales or social shares but to build brand name, create sharable visuals, provide great content and create value. With good content marketing, the results are always one – the defined audience learns to recognize the brand as a friend. Many brands have achieved a perfect content marketing score while sticking to the basics. The following are 10 perfect examples of content marketing that everyone should emulate:

    1. Moving House Checklist by Budget Direct

     

    This is simply not a checklist, it is a master checklist allowing Budget Direct homeowners to never be scared about the moving day again. As an insurance company, it sticks to things it knows – insurance. But that doesn’t mean the brand can’t provide value beyond that subject. By choosing a related subject, Budget Direct is still appealing to the same defined audience base and, at the same time, providing immense value. The checklist tells the reader about how to prepare for moving 2 months before the date. It keeps offering valuable tips as the moving day gets closer.

    2. Anthropologie’s Coconut Cooler and Other DIY Drinks

    Anthropologie is an established name in fashion but look at its side act – the DIY drinks feature. The best thing about this feature is that the drinks are seasonal. The flavors and ingredients are different, which adds an element of uniqueness to the blog. Anthropologie’s fashion posts are known to be original and this USP extends to the DIY drinks segment as well. More than anything, after reading these posts, the reader recognizes Anthropologie as a friend that knows a lot about fashion and enjoys amazing drinks.

    3. Tumblr of Lana del Rey

    This is a great example of using shareable visuals for content marketing. The Tumblr blog was launched in 2014 and from the first post itself, the content marketing began. Using gifs, a popular medium on the internet (and particularly Tumblr), from “West Coast”, Lana appeals to her target audience – teens to 20s girls. Gifs allow the content to be visual, short and extremely shareable and the microblogging site is a perfect platform for this. Also, Lana’s core values – which have always been feminism and other social issues – are also mirrored by Tumblr. Thus, her audience would recognize her as a friend on these issues and thus, a reliable word.

    4. Virgin Atlantic’s Tokyo Instagram Gallery

    Crowd curation is a great technique to use in content marketing and Virgin Atlantic does it extremely well. The blog of Virgin Atlantic is mostly known for great travel content – places people should visit and what they should see there. However, they pad these posts which Instagram galleries like the Tokyo one. The photos are curated from Tokyo’s instagrammers who give the readers a peek into the real Tokyo. They have many other great Instagram galleries like Los Angeles Instagram gallery through which their readers get interesting sights with perfectly curated content.

    5. Disney’s Behind the Screen Content – The brilliance of behind-the-scenes content should never be underestimated and Disney has understood the importance of this content marketing tool. The blog of Disney Parks frequently contains posts of behind-the-scenes acts. For Disney fans, this is amazing because they want to find out how the magic was created. Everyone likes bloopers and makings, and Disney fans like it even more. These posts show that Disney knows its audience and the frequency reveals that it cherishes that support by giving them BTS perks every now and then.

    6. Equinox Plank Marketing

    Equinox reveals the value of amazing brand building using content marketing through its Plank post. This fitness club has various locations in the US and their website appeals to the most important thing that their readers look for – fitness. So, there are a lot of fitness based articles, like the Plank one, which reveal interesting facts and practical tips to stay fit. The plank post too shows, with the help of a slideshow, some key planks that the reader might be missing.

    7. Whole Foods’ Money Saving Grocery Tips

    What is the one thing that Whole Foods’ consumers cherish the most? It is eco-friendly and healthy foods. Walking into a Whole Foods is an experience in great customer service, splendid organization, healthy foods, friendly employees, and of course, eco-friendly products. Their blog mimics these ideals by frequently offering great tips, like how to save money on grocery, with content that is shareable, relatable and useful.

    8. Brew Guides from Intelligentsia

    The industry says B2B whitepapers and Intelligentsia answers with these amazing brew guides. They use great and attractive photography to offer instructions about various tools used to make coffee. The readers must be aware of V60s, Chemex and French Press but do they know how to use them perfectly? The pictures are so delicious that everyone wants a fresh cup of Intelligentsia coffee ASAP!

    9. World Business Schools Infographic of Business Insider India

    For an infographic to work, there is no need for fireworks. All it should do is provide valuable information in bite sizes. This infographic by Business Insider India provides information about the top 25 business schools on a global scale in images that are concise and cohesive. The design is clean and simple, and contains all the information a student would need from this infographic. Also, it is a time saver!

    10. Panera Bread’s Pinterest – All the posts of Panera Bread on Pinterest are content marketing geniuses. They give visual stories, promote the brand, offer curated content, use visuals and also give links to their blog. Most importantly, however, they match with Panera Bread’s ideals – healthy, cozy, familiar, and comfort. A lot of external sources are used and the images are absolutely delicious.

    The trick to content marketing is that the content needs to be eye catching. The value you wish to provide would not work if the content is not attractive looking. This is why visual and shareable content works so well for the above examples.