• Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on November 17, 2014

    The Rules of Engagement on Facebook

    If you want to make your content sharable and searchable on Facebook, you need to have a thorough understanding of Facebook principles and the general rules that apply to content and behavior.
  • A look at Oreo's holiday campaign, #DeckTheBalls, and how they managed to turn risk into reward to stand out from all the noise.

    Let’s face it. With so much content being produced everyday, it’s hard for any brand to stand out from all the noise on social media. Tack on the holiday season filled with promotions, gift ideas and deals galore and it's a tough feat to make any kind of splash right now. You have to work hard to get noticed.

    Today as I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline there was a brand that actually caught my attention: @Oreo with their #DeckTheBalls campaign:

     


     

    The content made me stop in my tracks. I can be conservative when it comes to protecting a brand online, so it made me cringe a bit. Oh, Oreo. This is such a brave and bold move with a hashtag that Twitter users can hijack in a heartbeat.

    After digging deeper into the campaign though, I like what I see. The move is risky for the brand, but in the end, I think it’s going to be a win. Here are four reasons why:

    No. 1- They own it.

    I imagine there was a lot of internal vetting when the concept and hashtag were pitched. But as I mentioned earlier, it is hard to stand out from the noise this time of the year. Oreo is a cookie brand. They should be able to have a little fun, right? The humor in this campaign helps Oreo stand out from the crowd, and my guess is the reward is greater than the risk.

    One of the biggest keys to success for Oreo with the #DeckTheBalls campaign is that once they said yes, they went all in. Oreo is not just promoting a hashtag and walking away. They have plenty of assets to help carry the conversation from adedicated Tumblr site to stellar Vines.

    If you are going to take a risk like this on social, make sure you are setup for success. Don’t create a campaign and walk away. Own it and make no apologies, just like Oreo.

    No. 2- It’s on brand.

    If you’ve never had an Oreo truffle ball, then you are missing out. In all seriousness, the campaign is on brand and hilariously fitting for the season: Oreo balls do make a great holiday favor, party gift or thank you.

    #DeckTheBalls works well before it isn’t a stretch. It's a perfect promotion of their product, making this a brilliant marketing play.

    No. 3- They have content galore.

    A good social media strategy / campaign starts with a content strategy. It’s about how you tell your story online. If Oreo didn't have content to add context, this could have been a disaster. Thankfully, they have created plenty of content to share with their audience to spread #DeckTheBalls cheer:

    As you can see from above, the content is not only funny, but it is also useful (recipes) and engaging. All three are key to creating content people want to share. 

    Let the #DeckTheBalls campaign be a reminder, that in the end, good content always wins.

    No. 4- The campaign promotes UGC.

    I’m a big believer in user-generated content. A brand can’t carry the weight of a campaign alone; it has to rely on its consumers to help expand reach. Because this campaign inspires cooking and recipes, it lends itself to some really great user-generated content (along with a great hashtag to rally around):

    This is always a good rule to live by: Get your fans and influences involved when you can. You’ll reap an even bigger reward in the end.

    So there you have it, four social media takeaways from Oreo's #DeckTheBalls campaign: own your campaign, keep it on brand, create good content and leverage your fans.

    What do you think of the Oreo's campaign? I would love to hear your thoughts, so share them below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We’ve created an infographic that shows the top local search ranking factors according to Moz.

    Moz recently came out with their survey of the top local search ranking factors of 2014. If you’re new to local search, I recommend you read the full survey. It’s got a ton of great information including local SEO factors affected by Pigeon, negative ranking factors, as well as comments from some of the most influential SEOs. Below, we’ve created an infographic that shows the top local search ranking factors according to Moz.

    If You use this, please include attribution to http://www.localsitesubmit.com/ with this graphic.

    ‘Tis the season for businesses to feast on holiday-fueled revenue, but are you getting the most out of the holidays with those sales strategies you’ve used year after year? If you’re wondering what else you can do to boost sales for the last little bit of the year, consider “cause marketing.”

    ‘Tis the season for businesses to feast on holiday-fueled revenue, but are you getting the most out of the holidays with those sales strategies you’ve used year after year? If you’re wondering what else you can do to boost sales for the last little bit of the year, consider “cause marketing.”

    Cause marketing is a fresh approach and is gaining traction because it can increase trust and loyalty from customers, ultimately leading to more sales. Not to mention the warm fuzzies you’ll get when helping your community! But Cause marketing isn’t just for the holidays. You could also partner up with a non-profit before January 1st to get some added tax write-offs, or plan a cause-marketing event any time of year when your sales aren’t meeting expectations.

    According to a 2013 corporate social responsibility study done by Cone Communications and Echo Global, “91% of global consumers say they are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause given comparable price and quality.”

    Cause marketing has been adopted by major brands such as Gillette, Walgreens, Wells Fargo and many others.

    Interested in giving it a go? Here are three campaign ideas that your business can use to get on the cause marketing band wagon:

    Vote to sponsor a pet

    Canine Active is a company specializing in pain relief for dogs. With their Sponsor-A-Pet campaign, they’re letting their audience (who are most likely the type to tear up at the thought of a homeless pet) choose a pet that the company will sponsor while living in a shelter. The campaign is collecting valuable user data that the company can use later down the road to send coupons to, newsletters, and announcements of future campaigns, all the while boasting their do-gooder business approach ultimately winning customers for life.


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    Make a Pinterest Board and enter it to win

    A unique and clever campaign hosted by Capital BlueCross and benefiting classrooms in the CapitalBlueCross service areas is the My Fearless Classroom Pinterest Contest. Teachers are able to enter to win a $250 gift card to use for classroom supplies as well as extra goodies for the whole class by creating a Pinterest Board based on Pins for creating a healthy classroom. With such a clever campaign, Capital BlueCross is boosting their reputation and building trust with a targeted audience by hosting their campaign on Pinterest as well as benefiting kids and classrooms.


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    Vote for a non-profit to win

    Windsor Court Hotel has partnered with 30 non-Profits in its 30 Ways to Give Back campaign which will certainly be beneficial for the winning non-profit, but for Windsor Court as well. Participants are asked to vote for 1 of 30 non-profits for the organization they’d like to see win an event at the hotel. The prize is valued at $10,000! Windsor Court will benefit from this campaign because not one, but 30 non-profits are directing their constituents to the campaign to vote (that’s 30 times the exposure you’d get than working with just one organization). During their down time, event space is likely to go unbooked and event staff may have just been twiddling their thumbs. Instead, Windsor Hotel will put it to good use and give a worthy non-profit the arena they need to host an event and raise dollars for their mission. A cherry on top for Windsor Hotel would be the PR from assisting said non-profit in raising those funds.



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    Reach out to the non-profits in your community and give cause marketing a try. Let us know your great ideas for campaigns run with community partners.

    How can you translate this friendly and inviting attitude from the store front onto your e-commerce site? There’s a few things you can do to give your customers what they really want while making them feel welcomed and like they’re getting the same level of customer service as they do at the mall. Making your e-commerce site a warm and inviting haven online will not only increase your consumer’s engagement on your site, but definitely increase your conversions too.

    What is the first thing that happens when you walk into a department store? You’re greeted by friendly (sometimes overly friendly) salespeople who are happy to accommodate you. If this is carried out successfully it can make a huge difference in the customer’s shopping experience. And as we know, when our customers have a happy and pleasant shopping experience they’re a.) Likely to buy more, b.) Likely to shop with you again, and c.) Likely to tell all of their friends to shop there as well.

    How can you translate this friendly and inviting attitude from the store front onto your e-commerce site? There’s a few things you can do to give your customers what they really want while making them feel welcomed and like they’re getting the same level of customer service as they do at the mall. Making your e-commerce site a warm and inviting haven online will not only increase your consumer’s engagement on your site, but definitely increase your conversions too.

    Welcome [insert name here]

    We’re all individuals. We all have our own likes, dislikes, personalities, fetishes, and fears. It’s about time we begin treating our customers as the unique individuals they are. Experiences are more heartfelt when they’re personalized and we feel like the store or the website really ‘gets us’. You’re essentially forming personal relationships with your customers through your e-commerce site. You want these relationships to be genuine and personal to retain your customers.

    Treat each customer differently based on their own unique shopping habits by using a tool like Commerce Sciences. Commerce Sciences uses behavioral targeting to ensure that your price sensitive shoppers, and your ‘heavy spenders’ receive relevant and personalized experiences to motivate them best or alleviate their chief concerns.

    For instance, if you have a new user coming to your site for the first time, offer them a coupon or a discount to make them feel special. Coupons and special offers make your first time users less hesitant to buy. You can also customize your website based on the location of the shopper. Using dynamic text insertion in the personal message you can hit their sweet spot with something from home. If the user is from New York City, you can offer them an I LOVE NY- get 10% off today, promotion. By tuning into individual’s specific interests or fears when it comes to their online buying process you can eliminate any of the stumbling blocks hindering your consumers from purchasing on your site.

    Express Yourself

    You would never buy something online without consulting your friends or family first, right? 88% of shoppers consult reviews first, in fact, if the review or recommendation comes from a peer or a person you know and trust it’s the best form of advertisement for your business. Getting your consumers talking and expressing their feelings and experiences with your brand is a priceless way to retain and make your current users into even bigger fans, and spread by word of mouth to new users.

    Build a community online for your customers to come together and discuss products they loved, share advice, and ask opinions. Opinion Lab will turn a column of your site into a scrolling list of real time feedback from all of your users. Their product feedback solution provides your customers with real time feedback of other customers using the product at the moment. While browsing your ecommerce site customers will be able to access a direct channel of ongoing communication about your products.

    You can also express yourself, the brand, through your website. Everything from the typography you choose, the colors employed, and the visuals selected help to portray the personality of your brand. Express this personality to your audience and it will make them feel like they know you better. ITLY employs bright colors and a fun very chic and stylish interface to give the users a feeling of what their brand delivers.  If your platform has a personality that your audience would want to be friends with, just like a friend you’ll see your users coming back frequently to ‘hang out’ on your site.

    Instantaneous Support

    What do those stores in the mall that are so inviting have that you don’t? Live customer service, but what if you could have that on your site as well. Live Chat is growing in popularity for e-commerce sites and customers automatically feel more at ease when they see the symbol knowing if they have any issues they’ll be able to resolve them easily. A huge reason why your bounce rate isn’t decreasing and people are turning away from your site is because they get frustrated and don’t have the real-time help they need. 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.

    Zopim is a new tool on the market, it’s really easy to setup and use and you can customize it to fit your site the way you want. Instead of becoming frustrated and getting fed up with your site users will be greeted with friendly customer service reps to help them through their issues. Zopim and other customer service apps make it so your customers never leave your website with a bad taste in their mouth. Every time their reminded not by the frustrating experience but instead by the warmth and invitingness of the customer reps who were readily available to help.

    Shopnfly, for instance, knows their target audience is travelers that don’t have a lot of time to deal with long annoying phone calls to get the answers to their questions. For this reason, they’ve added a LiveChat on their e-commerce site clearing the air and making it easier for their fast paced customers to make it through the conversion funnel with no obstructions.  There’s nothing worse than being put on hold and having to wait on hold to speak with customer support, having them accessible on your site will leave the consumer with much better vibes.

    Everyone is going to enjoy themselves more and find themselves coming back for more if you welcome them into an inviting e-commerce site. We would rather buy from people who are inviting and people we value as friends. Of course, you’ll see many more conversions from your more inviting e-commerce site but even more than that, you’ll see far more engagement on your site and more returning users.

    What are Twitter Cards, and how do they work? They enable publishers to attach media experiences to tweets — beyond the 140-character limit. They can help you drive website traffic, introduce new products and services, share rich content such as videos, and improve engagement.

    Twitter Cards enable publishers to attach media experiences to tweets — beyond the 140-character limit.

    They add a few lines of HTML metadata to blog posts and other thought leadership content that enable brands to stand out from the pack in Twitter feeds that are full of text. They can help you drive website traffic, introduce new products and services, share rich content such as videos, and improve engagement. Bypassing the character limit also helps increase conversion rates.

    Tweets with images and other media attract:

    • 89% more “favorites”
    • 18% more clicks
    • 150% more retweets

    Get started with Twitter cards in 4 easy steps.

    1. Choose a card type

    Summary card

    • Includes title, description, thumbnail, Twitter account attribution, and a direct link to your content
    • Best for blog posts or sites with pages that contain a lot of information

    Summary card with large image

    • Similar to a summary card, but with a larger image
    • Best for highly visual content producers

    Photo card

    • Photo only
    • Best for sites that features photography or art because the images speaks for themselves

    Gallery card

    • A collection of 4 photos
    • Best for telling a visual story or displaying multiple views of a product

    Twitter gallery card example

    App card

    • Details a mobile app with a link for direct download
    • Best for showing a snapshot of an app with its price and ratings, along with a description that drives people directly to their App Store

     Player card

    • Video, audio, or other media
    • Best for sharing video and song clips within a tweet

    Product card

    • Customized for product information
    • Best for selling items with details including price, description, and availability

    2. Add meta tags

    Here is some sample code for a Twitter summary card — consult Twitter’s guide for each card type’s meta tags.

    Sample code for a Twitter summary card

    3. Validate Twitter card code

    Run the URL through Twitters’ card validator tool to receive approval from Twitter:

    Twitter card validator

    4. Measure results

    Study your analytics snapshot to obtain a holistic view of how your content is performing on Twitter, showing the number of Tweets containing a link to your website or app.

    Twitter card analytics

    Twitter card change over time

    Check out the infographic below from SurePayroll and Ghergich & Co that walks through all the basics of Twitter Cards.

    Unlock the Power of Twitter Cards for Social Media Marketing

    top image: Bloomua / Shutterstock.com