• Russ Fradin
    Russ Fradin on July 29, 2014

    Why Employee Advocacy Matters

    Employee advocacy is an emerging new marketing strategy where companies empower their influential employees to authentically distribute brand approved content, create original content, and in turn earn recognition and rewards for their activity and participation.
  • In this week's SMT Shorts, we met with Best Thinker Laurent Francois, Executive Creative Strategist and Founder, RE-UP Agency, to hear his thoughts on how to keep fans on Facebook Fanpages, what luxury brands can teach the rest of us, and - in French! - how foreign brands can make their foreignness an asset.

    Here's our latest installment of SMT Shorts, a series that addresses your social media and marketing questions with concise, expert answers. This week, Best Thinker Laurent Francois, Executive Creative Strategist and Founder, RE-UP Agency, discussed how to keep fans on a Facebook Fanpage, what luxury brands can teach the rest of us, and, en Francais, how foreign brands can make their foreignness an asset. Thanks to Laurent for lending his expertise! Subscribe to our YouTube page to keep yourself up to date with not only our SMT Shorts, but other great video content as well.

     

    The first question came to us from Francisco Javier Jimenez Palacios on Facebook: "How do I keep fans on a fanpage when they've been caught by paid reach? Should I develop new strategies to keep them?" 

     

    For question number two, Laurent tells us what luxury brands can teach other brands:

     

    And, finally, Laurent switches into French to tell us how foreign brands can add some va-va-voom to their campaigns to make foreignness an asset:

    Thanks for watching. And stay tuned for more SMT Shorts with our experts!

    User engagement is a critical metric of success for social networking sites. If community members are frequently connecting and sharing content, then your business must be doing something right. But as social networks begin to scale, managing the massive influx of comments, photos, and videos from users becomes a daunting task.

    User engagement is a critical metric of success for social networking sites. If community members are frequently connecting and sharing content, then your business must be doing something right. But as social networks begin to scale, managing the massive influx of comments, photos, and videos from users becomes a daunting task. Implementing an effective content moderation system is equal parts essential and challenging. An integrated approach to content moderation involves using an effective automated solution in addition to human moderators, which ultimately results in a more streamlined process and less stress on your team. Here’s a concise analysis of why an integrated approach is often the best solution for social networks that are beginning to scale.

    The basics of content moderation

    If your business has a web presence where your community members are generating content, you probably have a mechanism in place to ensure that users aren’t submitting comments, photos, or videos that are abusive or explicit. Maybe you rely solely on human reviewers or a profanity filtering software. Depending on your approach, you may also pre-moderate or post-moderate. Some sites like the Huffington Post blogs pre-moderate content, which means all submissions are reviewed before they appear online; others opt to filter through comments after they’re already posted. Whatever approach you take, it’s critical to effectively moderate user generated content in order to protect your online community and your brand.

    Cost reduction

    When social networking sites receive hundreds of thousands of user submissions daily, moderating content is important, but it can also be quite expensive. This is especially true for businesses relying solely on human reviewers to filter out the good content from the bad. Often, pairing up with a business that specializes in profanity filtering helps reduce your costs. For example, one case study I came across recently focused on Tagged, the popular social discovery platform. In an effort to reduce costs and ease the burden on their content reviewers, Tagged collaborated with Image Analyzer, a high-tech image recognition tool to filter out offensive images. The end result was that their total image review volume was reduced by 50%. Image recognition tools don’t completely eliminate human reviewers, but they help provide a first layer of filtering that lets your human reviewers focus on more nuanced reviews that require human judgment.

    Time savings

    Relying on a high tech service to help you filter out content that violates your site’s terms of service streamlines the overall process for your employees. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to take an all or nothing approach when integrating an automated solution for your business. Many companies that specialize in profanity filtering offer customized options that support your existing system. Typically, if your business has a team of employees managing user generated content, an effective software platform can simply help ease their burden by filtering out photos, comments, and videos based on parameters that you set. Each company has its own guidelines, terms, and conditions. A solution that’s customized to your needs saves time by filtering out the obvious violations and producing more manageable workloads for your employees.

    Employee safety

    When it comes to user generated content, you never know what you are going to get. The majority of people in your online community may be sharing thoughts, photos, and images that are positive and acceptable, but there will always be people who try to ruin something good. Human reviewers are frequently exposed to the most violent, obscene, and abusive content on the web. Studies have shown that content reviewers tend to have higher instances of anxiety and depression, as well as other troubling issues. Whether your employees are doing this job or you’ve outsourced it to a third party vendor, chances are some of what they’re seeing is potentially harmful. Finding an effective automated solution to complement your existing review system can help minimize exposure to damaging content and streamline the process. The benefits here are two-fold. Not only are you taking some of the burden off your human reviewers; you’re also effectively reducing your business’ overall costs by adopting a more integrated and scalable approach to content moderation.

    If your social network has begun to gain traction and you’ve been reviewing content in-house, it may be time to consider a more integrated approach to moderation. Finding an automated solution can help your business cut costs, streamline your process, and save time. It may also help ease the burden on your employees, by reducing their exposure to damaging content.

    Image: Creative Commons user tillwe

    There’s no avoiding the clear trend that will come as the general public adopts wearable technology. The risks that accompany wearable devices are real, but they can be managed by the company willing to prepare for what’s to come. Common sense approaches and the latest security technology can go a long way to ensure a company’s data is protected. Once preparations are complete, businesses can proceed to reap the benefits that wearable technology brings.

    We stand on the brink of a wearable device explosion. In much the same way smartphones and tablets grew exponentially in popularity, wearable technology is expected to see a similar swing in upward momentum. A recent report from ABI Research predicts that wearable device shipments will hit 485 million units by the year 2018. In other words, mobile devices better get ready for some new competition, because the initial surge is expected to really get underway this year. Major companies have already come out with some early wearable devices, and with the recent announcement of the Apple Watch, the market should get crowded soon. But like all new technology, with this major expansion come some significant security issues. Many experts have already expressed concern about wearable technology related to personal security and privacy. These same worries are now extending into the office, where wearable devices will likely make in-roads over the next few years.

    Part of the concern stems from the rise of bring your own device (BYOD) policies among many companies. The idea is to allow employees to bring in personal smartphones and tablets for use at work. This can lead to added productivity and job satisfaction, but at the same time it introduces new security risks into a sensitive environment. These problems may be compounded as wearable technology becomes more of a common sight at the office.

    Wearable devices are relatively new, which means companies are still experimenting and improving on their capabilities. Much like other mobile devices, apps are being developed to maximize the potential of each device, but an added emphasis on simplicity can often lead to less focus on security. Part of the appeal of a wearable device is the ease by which the consumer can access information on it, which usually means a simple press of a button or swipe of a finger. While that method is certainly convenient, it also means attackers may have an easier time hacking the device. Even more distressing is the fact that many wearable devices may not encrypt the data they store out of performance concerns. Granting easy access to unencrypted data is just asking for trouble.

    All of these problems pose enough risk to the individual. Now imagine an entire office filled with dozens of workers with smart watches, Google Glasses, clothing sensors, and smart health bracelets. Many of the devices may not even be used expressly for work purposes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pose a risk to businesses and network security. If a wearable device is targeted in a cyber attack, any malware that is the result of an attack can quickly and easily spread to other apps, devices, and the network itself. Put simply, if hackers gain access to one device, they may be able to spread their influence further and infiltrate much more. That’s because for wearable devices to work, they need an almost constant connection to the internet, whether it’s to a Wi-Fi network or through a Bluetooth connection. And since wearable devices are designed to transmit data over the internet, that information can get stolen or leaked, putting all other company data at risk.

    Despite these serious risks, businesses aren’t powerless when it comes to defending themselves from outside attacks. In many ways, wearable devices should be looked at as an extension of BYOD policy. If a company wants to be prepared for the threats that arise with wearable technology, it needs to establish firm rules and guidelines for how to handle new devices. Employees need to know what behavior is acceptable and what devices are considered appropriate to use in a work setting. Some devices may be banned altogether, sometimes from the security risks it introduces or to prevent so many devices from overloading the network. Businesses should also invest now in updating their network security infrastructure, effectively upgrading the systems before the tidal wave of wearable devices actually hits the workplace.

    There’s no avoiding the clear trend that will come as the general public adopts wearable technology. The risks that accompany wearable devices are real, but they can be managed by the company willing to prepare for what’s to come. Common sense approaches and the latest security technology can go a long way to ensure a company’s data is protected. Once preparations are complete, businesses can proceed to reap the benefits that wearable technology brings.

    "Dear Socially Stephanie: My YouTube videos aren't getting any traction. On average, they are about 20 minutes long and very informative. Am I doing something wrong or should I just say goodbye to YouTube as a marketing tool?" Here's how to get those views up, Viewless in Virginia!

     

     

    Dear Socially Stephanie:
    My YouTube videos aren't getting any traction. On average, they are about 20 minutes long and very informative. Am I doing something wrong or should I just say goodbye to YouTube as a marketing tool?

    Viewless in Virgina

     

     

    Dear Viewless,

    Video is big right now. Strike that: Video is HUGE right now. So no, don't give up on it. Instead, let's rethink the way you are YouTubeing and make it work for you.

    Now, you probably do understand the value in YouTube and video marketing; otherwise you wouldn't be creating videos. But in case you are on the fence, let me talk numbers for a second. Sit down, because this is going to blow you away. 100 million people watch online video each day. 50% of executives watch business-related videos on YouTube. Of those people, 65% of them will actually check out your video after they watch your video. Bingo!

    Let me throw a few more out there. On average, online users watch 16 minutes and 49 seconds of video per month. There's your first problem. Your videos are longer than what the average person watches in a month. That's not going to work. So we if 20 minutes is too long, what's the sweet spot? 5 minutes. 5 minutes and 5 minutes only. That's all you need. Here's the good news: your 20-minute videos can be repurposed into four 5-minute videos, giving you more content to work with.

    If your videos are overlooked simply because they are too long, with a little tweaking and shortening you may see an instant change in views.

    The next thing that could be stifling the amount of views you are getting is something as simple as the way you upload your videos. And don't worry, you aren't alone. Many videos I come across are missing key components like tags, descriptions and links. Leaving these areas vague or blank is problematic because it hinders your chances of being found. Remember YouTube is owned by Google, and Google means search.

    Here's how I want you to combat that. First, make sure you add a link to your website or landing page right away, in the description. You want traffic and you want to make it easy. Next, create a keyword heavy description that will allow people to find you while searching for the right things. This will also help you get found for "related videos," which is muy importante. Some might even argue that transcribing your video in the description will help fill the space with context. See, simple changes.

    Lastly, you know that nothing just goes viral or gets a million views just because it is uploaded. You need to do your part to get it to the right people. Embed it on your site or in a blog post, share it on your social channels and seed it to your subscribers. Your fans know you, and they're the most likely to watch it right away. The more views you get to begin with, the more chances you have to keep that momentum going.

    Good luck!

    Socially,
    Stephanie

    Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?

    Please email SociallyStephanie@socialmediatoday.com and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)

    Illustration by Jesse Wells

    If you're experiencing a scary change in behavior with your team of in-house content writers, they could be feeling tired and running thin from an overload of content projects. This means it's time to get outside help — possibly from a creative group of immortals. Check out to this SlideShare to see if you're seeing the signs.

    Spooked out by ghostwriters? Don't be — they're friendly like Casper. 

    If you're experiencing a scary change in behavior with your team of in-house content writers, they could be feeling tired and running thin from an overload of content projects. This means it's time to get outside help — possibly from a creative group of immortals.

    Check out our SlideShare below to see if you identify with these five spooky signs and are in need of a team of ghostwriters.