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How to Use Social Media in Philanthropy: Run4Philippines.com Knows How

Run4PhilippinesIn the wake of the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan, Utah philanthropic organization Run4Philippines sprung up to help the people of the Philippines recover. By promoting their January 25th 5 and 10K Provo, Utah running event through social media, the organization hopes to generate enough funds to help with reconstruction and food donations.

You may be asking, “What does a 5K have to do with new media?” When it comes to humanitarian causes, Run4Philipines’ use of social media is exemplary. You philanthropist’s should take note.

Here’s the take away message in a nutshell: Run4Philippines uses social media how their potential donors would want them to use it. With three out of four young donors liking, retweeting, or sharing nonprofit content on social networks, listening to how millennials expect a non-profit to approach them through social media will increase their likelihood to interact with it. Interaction spurs donations.

As part of its 2013 Millennial Impact Report, Achieve asked 100 millennial donors to review a number of non-profit social media pages. Based on their honest feedback, I’ve listed four ways to improve your use of social media to effectively market your philanthropic cause.

Post Content That Builds Credibility

This is the age of content marketing. People want to see additional content on your social media pages that will give your cause and organization credibility. Try providing articles, educational blog posts, case studies, or content from humanitarian organizations that support your cause or have a similar cause.

The Run4Philippines Facebook page currently shows a blog post about the 5 and 10K run event written by the Mayor of Provo, Utah; the city where the run will be hosted. It also shows an article from the local newspaper about the event and its organizers.

Post Content that’s Sharable

If you can, try and kill two birds with one stone by making your credibility building content sharable. As we all know, people love sharing content online. This is because sharing content allows people to fulfill basic motivations, one of them being the desire to spread the word about causes—all the more reason to purposefully make your cause related content sharable.

Some of the most shared content on the Run4Philippines Facebook page includes video. One video is about the cause, made by Run4Philippines and the other shows Utah State Senator, Mike Lee promoting the January 25th event.

Video is a great medium to promote sharing. In fact it’s the 4th most shared content format behind pictures, links and quotes.

Provide Website Access

This might seem like a no brainer when setting up your organizations social media presence but donors who visit these pages know that the most information about the cause and its associated event is on your web page. Make sure the link is prominently placed so they can get all the info they want.

Run4Philippines has their URL as their Facebook page title (Run4Philippines.com) and has also placed it prominently in the “About” section.

Clearly Show What Your Organization is about

Just like a product on the shelf, your donors will make a split second decision as to whether they want to invest their time and money into supporting your cause. For this reason it’s important to concisely list what you’re offering (the cause to be supported and the event) in a prominent place on your social media sites.

The fact that so many 5 and 10K runs are organized to support causes and that the typhoon event is still fresh in people’s minds allows the Run4Philippines name to convey a lot of clear meaning as to what the organization does. It doesn’t hurt that they placed their name throughout the header of the site and that they provided their mission statement in the “About” section.

With so many people willing and wanting to interact with companies through social media these days, it’s crucial for philanthropically focused organizations to use social media to their advantage. Following these four donor suggested tactics will surely help your cause.

With nearly 6,000 people dead and over 4 million displaced, the Filipino nation needs your help. Register for the Run4Philippines 5 or 10K run up until event day, January 25th, 2014. Register at www.Run4Philippines.com. Enjoy a concert, hot air balloons, Polar Bear Plunge, food and many other fun activities.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in New Media

 

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How Do You Measure the Effectiveness of New Media? – As Best as You Can

Media Measuring Tape

Written for Pacific Bridge Marketing; Washington D.C.

New media” or “emerging media” consists of any newer or newly emerging media formats that can be used in marketing.  These include social networks such as Facebook and Twitter; social media sites such as Pinterest and YouTube; websites; apps; widgets; podcasts; RSS feeds; banner ads; blogs; in-game advertisements, Bluetooth marketing and much more. These formats are notorious for being difficult to measure and evaluate.

New media is called such because it’s simply newer than traditional marketing formats such as TV, radio, and print advertising.  It’s the newness and evolving nature of these media that makes measuring their effectiveness harder (think of Facebook’s ever changing advertising rules, privacy policies and user interface).

Todd Watson, eRelationship Manager for IBM said in an interview with Google that there is such a “land rush” of new and emerging media that if we really want to figure out how to measure these new media well enough, we would have to wait until the land rush stops and for standardized measurement metrics to be developed.   He and we both know that the land rush will not be stopping anytime soon.  He goes on to say that because these new media aren’t standardized and because new media formats are developed constantly, we need to use whatever we can to measure their effectiveness.

I feel the best way to standardize the measurement of new media is to use both web metrics and online consumer surveys simultaneously.  Using web metrics can quantify the success of a new media format by counting click through rates (number of people arriving on your webpage, RSS feed, YouTube channel etc.), conversion rates (number of online purchases), bounce rates (how many leave soon after they get there) etc. Yet clicks and traffic don’t tell you everything you want to know.

Using consumer surveys on top of web metrics can help qualify the reasons behind the click through rate, conversion rate and bounce rate.  A survey can discover why the consumer clicked or why they made a purchase or why they spent so much time on the site.  It’s good to know that a company’s app is attracting more click throughs and conversions than the company’s website but knowing why is important.  Knowing why would lead to an improved website experience for the consumer and an improved brand experience overall which can lead to numerous things – purchase, repurchase, word-of-mouth etc.

These two measurement tactics can standardize the measurement of a new media formats  effectiveness because 1) web metrics are already standardized – a click is a click whether it’s on a website or a podcast and 2) once survey questions are formulated properly, they can be asked at different times during the life of the company’s use of a new media format and still be applicable – a question about how confusing a website is when it’s first launched will still be applicable if asked 1, 5 or 10 years later.

These two measurement tactics will not only standardize the measurement of new media formats but also provide actionable measurements to benefit the company.  Is there any other reason a company would go through the trouble to measure effectiveness of their marketing program than to take action based on the results?  Attempting to standardize measurements will provide more consistent results over time and help to prove that any action taken as a result was merited.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your new media marketing? We’d love to hear from you.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in New Media

 

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Facebook vs. Twitter – Which is Better for Marketing?

social-marketing-twitter-vs-facebookBusinesses of all kinds are jumping onto social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter these days.  Even funeral homes!  (Not really sure what they would be posting about – don’t think I want to know.)  It makes sense though because social sites are where we spend a lot of our online time these days.

If you’re a business, you need to think of your marketing goals and objectives first before choosing a platform.  Some may be better for your organizations needs than others regardless of how many potential consumers are found on them.  This is because they all have their advantages and disadvantages.  Regarding Facebook and Twitter specifically, you’ll see that many of Facebook’s advantages are Twitter’s disadvantages and vice versa.

Facebook’s Advantages and Twitters Disadvantages

There are 4 main advantages to using Facebook for marketing.  First, Facebook’s sheer number of users.  Facebook has 901 million monthly active users where Twitter only has 140 million monthly active users (“active” being the key word here).  Facebook can obviously give a company access to more potential customers.  Also, the more people a company can access through a sharing system like Facebook, the more potential word-of-mouth about the brand.

Second, Facebook is now the most popular social networking site in the world.  Based on an annual study of 136 countries regarding social network usage, Facebook is the dominant social network in 127 of them.  Facebook’s 901 million active users aren’t solely in the U.S. and a few other countries; they are in 127 different countries!  This may not matter for many small to medium sized businesses who may only work locally but for those international companies, Facebook can be a one stop shop for reaching all their markets.  Twitter doesn’t have the international reach that Facebook does.

Where social networks are used in the world

Third, the frequency with which Facebook’s user’s login.  Forty-one percent of Facebook users log in daily where only 27% of Twitter users do.  The more often a user logs in, the more potential they have to be exposed to your brands message.  The more often they’re exposed to your brands message, the more likely they are to take action on it (buy, donate, volunteer etc.)

The fourth main advantage of Facebook for marketing and Twitter’s fourth disadvantage is based in Facebook’s unrivaled ability to increase interactivity with consumers.  Both Facebook and Twitter offer the ability to include videos and photos in ones posts but Facebook also offers quizzes, polls, games and other means of interactivity.  Interactivity increases the time that a user spends with a brand and their brand message.  Many of these tools can also be very sharable which can make them viral and push the brand message further than the brand could by itself.

Twitter’s Advantages and Facebook’s Disadvantages

There are also 4 main advantages to using Twitter for marketingFirst, Twitter followers are more likely to buy from the brands they follow.  Sixty-seven percent of Twitter followers will buy from the brands they follow where only 51% of Facebook fans will.  Isn’t this one of the main reason a company would use social networks? – To have people buy their offerings?  Twitter gets things sold it seems.

Second, Twitter followers are more willing to recommend the brands they follow.  Thirty-three percent of Twitter followers regularly recommend the brands they follow to friends where only 21% of Facebook fans do.  There’s nothing better for a brand than having perpetual access to a large group of active brand advocates who actually sought your brand out (more on this next).

Third, Twitter is more of a “pull” medium where a brands followers are the ones that are likely to seek them out and initiate a conversation.  Brands on Facebook on the other hand usually have to use “push” marketing tactics where they make third-party offers to obtain fans.  An example of this is when Bing employed Zynga to offer “Farm Cash” rewards to “FarmVille” fans to entice them to become Bing’s fans.  Pull is always better than push as pull means the consumer sought your company or brand out on their own.  This means they’re already interested.  Push marketing requires the brand to “push” an offer or ad in front of the consumer to get them interested.  This can degrade the value of that base, since the offer is disconnected from the brand.

The fourth main advantage of Twitter for marketing and Facebook’s fourth disadvantage is that tweets get more clicks.  Tweets with embedded links get 19 clicks on average while Facebook’s shared links only get 3 clicks on average.  Clicking is interactivity; clicking can lead to viral sharing; clicking can lead to sales.

Privacy Issues

There are many ways that Facebook and Twitter can infringe on one’s privacy.  Here are 2 main ones.  First, a branded message can be imposed on you unwillingly.  On Facebook, not only are we forced to see ads in the sidebar but at times, a friend who may be a fan of a brand will respond to one of the brands posts which will then be shown on your wall.  The same happens on Twitter.

Second, games, quizzes external widgets and other websites that allow you to sign into their site with your Facebook account, though they may notify you of the information they will be seeing, sharing and storing, they are forcing you to choose between privacy and using these entertaining and handy features.  The word “choose” is key.  We “choose” to give up our privacy but it’s the fact that we must give it up to use these features that makes privacy an issue.

Though Twitter doesn’t have games and quizzes, they still give access to their users private information if the user wants to use the tools mentioned above like Facebook does.  Facebook offers some privacy controls that may deal with this but many users don’t enable them or they’re hard to find or the wording is skewed so they don’t understand how the control works.

Social networks are gaining users by the minute, so the pressure to use one is mounting.  Although, depending on your business, you may not need to use one.  If you choose to do so, be sure to choose the right one for your needs.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in New Media

 

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What I learned about marketing from Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)This is a guest post by Julie A. Novak, author of the blog Moving Target Media.

I just finished reading Mindy Kaling’s first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I had been looking forward to reading it, anxiously awaiting my turn in the library wait list. I like to read a book before I decide whether to add it to my permanent collection. Kaling’s book made the cut, if only for the back cover photo. It never gets old. But more on that in a minute.

Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer and actress on NBC’s The Office. She is young, hip and humorous. Her comedy is self-deprecating and observant. It’s not a hard sell, really. Yet Kaling eagerly approached her book launch with smart strategy, combining social media, signings and TV appearances to create anticipation. It lived up to the humor she promised and I could have broken my library admissions rule without regret.

Here’s what she did best, and why it worked:

  1. She plays to her crowd. Kaling knows her audience and what makes them tick. She observes others for creative material and shares her comedic insights about current events, fashion and behind-the-scenes moments from The Office. Her content is fresh, updated frequently and interesting. Perhaps most importantly, she regularly responds to fans, giving them a personalized, interactive experience on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.
  2. She stays true to her personality. If you’ve ever watched The Office, you know Kaling’s funny. But she consistently leverages her unique voice and perspective across platforms in different ways. Fans identify with Kaling because she lets her true colors show on air and online.
  3. She is not afraid to laugh at herself. This is where that back cover photo comes in. It’s both a lovely and horrible reminder of the horrifying experience of childhood and adolescence. It works for Kaling. But I don’t think my dorked out seventh grade photo – braces, adolescent chub and poofy bangs included – would have the same effect on increasing the readership of my blog. You be the judge.
 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in New Media

 

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Making Powerful Connections with Consumers Online

Connecting-customersThe bottom line mission of any brand is to build lasting relationships with their customers.  Is there really anything else a company wants than to have repeat business from loyal customers?  There are 2 reasons for building lasting relationships: 1) A lasting relationship is more profitable than beginning a new one and 2) a lasting relationship is how brand equity is built.  Brand equity is the intangible value that a brand holds in the mind of the consumer.  A brands equity depends on 2 things: 1) how aware the consumer is of the brand and 2) how positive the consumer is about what they know about the brand as perceived by its image, identity etc.  If a brand is able to build a lasting relationship with a customer, the customer will end up being very aware of the brand and will usually hold a positive perception of the brand.  The more relationships of this nature the higher the brand equity.

Building a lasting relationship requires the brand to offer a message and a product or service that the consumer identifies with; a message and product that inspires or reflects their lifestyle.  In order to inspire or reflect the lifestyle of the consumer, the brand itself has to live the same lifestyle.  Conveying a brands lifestyle is primarily done through its voice and corresponding visuals.  A brands voice and visuals work to convey a brands character, image and identity, which are the outward expression of a brands lifestyle.

What is voice and how is it established?  Brand voice is exactly as it seems.  It’s what the brand sounds like in written form and even spoken form.  To establish a brands voice 4 things need to be considered:

  1. What is the character or persona of the brand?  Is the brand friendly, warm, playful, professional, or…?
  2. What is the tone that the brand should have in its written and verbal communications?  Should the tone be personal, honest, scientific, humble, or…?
  3. What type of language should the brand use in its communications?  Is its language complex, serious, simple, fun, whimsical, or…?
  4. What is the purpose of your brands communications?  Is the purpose of the brands communications to engage, entertain, inform, educate, or…?

Visuals, like voice are a powerful means to conveying a brands lifestyle to the consumer.  Visuals can be even more powerful than voice though because they are an embodiment of the brands voice; they show what the voice wants to say.  It can be very effective to show what the brand wants to say even before the consumer reads what it wants to say.  This is why some ads that employ the right visual content are more effective than those that rely more so or solely on verbal content.

Take for example Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s hamburger restaurants.  There is a reason he starred in nearly every Wendy’s commercial up until his passing.  Dave Thomas was a visual representation of the voice of Wendy’s.  He was a friendly character (character) that was honest and personal (tone), who spoke simply (language) to educate (purpose) the consumer about Wendy’s.  Below is a Wendy’s commercial with Dave Thomas to illustrate the point.

 

The most effective way to demonstrate a brands lifestyle to its target audience in an attempt to build a lasting relationship with them is to place ads that use both the brands voice and visuals in the places the target audience spends its time.  What types of media does the average consumer consume these days? According to a 2011 study, 56.5% of the media used by 5 different generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X, Adult Millennials, Teen Millennials and iGen) is offline media.  This includes radio, movies on a TV, TV, console games, personal media players, newspapers, magazines, books and music that is not on a radio.  The other 43.5% of media used is online media.  This includes news and information, Facebook, entertainment, videos, games and shopping.  This information concludes that using offline media would be the most effective for getting a brands message across because of reach, but which type of media is more involving in order to draw the consumer in and have them spend more time with the brand in order to be more influenced by its message, offline or online media?

It’s been said that online media, specifically new media such as websites, social networks, blogs, microblogging platforms, and mobile apps allow both the brand and the consumer a literal voice in a media cluttered world.  These tactics allow a brand to more fully demonstrate their voice and employ the use of strategic visuals as well as converse about the brand with the consumer directly, all of which allows the brand to become more live, personal and human in the eyes of the consumer.  By being more human the brand is more relatable and relevant to the consumer.  Being more relatable and relevant gives the consumer a reason to spend more time with the brand online and be affected by its message more frequently, likely leading to action on their part.  In essence, the brand can more easily convey the lifestyle it’s trying to create or reflect through online media.

A company that excels in the use of new media to create lasting relationships with its customers is Threadless.comThreadless is an innovator in t-shirt marketing and sales.  The company mainly makes trendy and quirky t-shirts whose designs are 100% crowdsourced from a large group of loyal designers who are also their loyal customers.  All of the designs are submitted by the consumer and all of the shirts sold on Threadless.com are there because the consumer voted to have them there.

Threadless is essentially a maker of makers; a creator of creators.  It’s a company that wants to consistently offer something new and unique and its patrons are the same in that they want to create what’s new and unique.  Both the designers and the voters end up creating the new and unique stuff that Threadless ends up selling.  This 100% crowdsourcing model is what helps perpetuate the Threadless lifestyle and the corresponding lifestyle of the consumer.

How does new media come into play in selling the Threadless lifestyle?  The only physical presence Threadless has is a single storefront in Chicago.  The company solely uses new media to spread its voice and associated visuals (the visuals are mainly pictures of the newest trendy and quirky shirt designs).  They have an online forum for designers and fans alike to connect; a blog that covers news and happenings at Threadless, a YouTube channel featuring news and funny employee and designer videos and social networking site such as Google+, Twitter and of course Facebook, all of which are used to promote the opportunity to submit designs and vote on them.  Most of these tactics are the best available for conveying a brands voice and including appropriate visual content which as mentioned previously helps in conveying a brands lifestyle.

For Threadless, the lifestyle they sell, sells the products more than the products sell the lifestyle.  This is because the consumer gets to have a say in what Threadless creates.  By being part of the creating of Threadless’s inventory, Threadless can almost be sure that the consumers who made the designs or voted on them will also buy the t-shirt they voted on or designed.  The creation process created the consumption.

Although the products themselves could in fact sell the Threadless lifestyle, it’s probably less likely because it’s less likely that a person who doesn’t know how to design will end up designing a shirt after they buy one from Threadless (becoming a maker or creator because of the product they bought).

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in New Media

 

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5 Things You Shouldn’t Post On Your Social Media Sites

Social Media No No Man

5 Things You Shouldn’t Post On Your Social Media Sites.

This SoshiTech.com article provides great insight into common ways we as social marketers can turn off our current followers and limit the accrual of new ones.  Below are some highlights of the article:

“Spamming someone’s Facebook wall or Twitter timeline is another massive annoying habit. This includes posting links to someone’s wall or tagging them in pictures they have nothing to do with. Just throwing things like that in people’s faces is not a good way to build a relationship or network via social media.”

“Sending out mass messages could perhaps be one of the most annoying of them all.”

We as marketers may do some of the things mentioned in this article unknowingly.  In essence, social media should be used to build sustainable relationships with customers; one’s that are as personal as possible.  Ask yourself, “Would I do these things to my closest personal friends?”  If the answer is no, which it should be, then don’t do them to your Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

Social media is the best way to make friends for your brand.  To do so, basically do the opposite of the 5 no-no’s mentioned in the article and you will do well.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in New Media

 

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The Science of Social Timing

This infographic provides some great insight as to when to post on Facebook and tweet on Twitter.  Timing is everything.  Post or tweet too soon or too late in the day or on the wrong days of the week and no one will be ready to read what you have to say.  Don’t waste your time and money; post when appropriate.

science of social timing part 1

Original article: The Science of Social Timing

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in New Media

 

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Facebook or Twitter for Building Brand Equity – Which Should I Use?

Twitter and Facebook logos

Every brand is valued in 2 ways: 1) by the tangible brand value it holds in the form of revenue (Coke Classic revenue vs. Diet Coke revenue vs. Coke Zero revenue etc.) and 2) the intangible brand value it holds in the mind of the consumer, also known as brand equity.  A brands equity depends on 2 things: 1) how aware the consumer is of the brand and 2) how positive the consumer is about what they know about the brand as perceived by its image.  The consumer’s level of awareness of the brand is evident by 1) how well the brand is recognized by the consumer and 2) how well the brand is recalled when the consumer needs what it does.   A consumer’s perception about the brands image is reflected in 1) the attitude they hold toward the brand and 2) how well the consumer perceives the brand to fulfill the purpose it intends to fulfill plus any other perceptions that can be scaled positive or negative.  These metrics indicate a brands equity can be high, low or anywhere in between.  It depends on the consumer.

A brands level of equity is what drives purchase, repurchase, brand loyalty etc.  A brand with high equity will have a high number of purchases, repurchases, loyalty etc.  Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are what help drive much of a brands equity these days in what marketers call “many to many” marketing.  Many people talking about brands to their many friends through social media.  The infographic below shows how Facebook and Twitter stack up against each other, which is helpful in deciphering how each can be used to build brand equity.

Branding and Social Media Statistics – How People Are Interacting With Brands Online
Source: AYTM Market Research

Based on the infographic, Facebook is the better platform for building a brands equity.  Seventy-four percent of Facebook’s 845 million active users use the site daily where only 35% of Twitter’s 100 million active users do.  Fifty-eight percent of Facebook’s users have “liked” a brand where only 29% of Twitter users are “following” a brand (for those who don’t know, “liking” and “following” are synonymous).  And though Facebook and Twitter are close in their number of users who mention brands in their posts (42% of Facebook users and 39% of Twitter users respectively), Facebook users are more likely to share someone else’s post about a brand than Twitter users are (41% vs. 29% respectively).

How does all this relate to building brand equity?  Facebook has more users who use the site more often, are posting more messages about the brands they like and recirculating messages about the brands their friends like more often.  Because of this, Facebook users are exposed more often to a brands messages, logos, positive press, customer success stories, promotions, discounts, events and of course what one’s friends feel about the brand which all influence the consumers knowledge of and perception of the brand.  This frequency and depth of brand engagement compounded with the persuasiveness of one’s social contacts is what creates brand recognition, stimulates brand recall, promotes a positive brand attitude and a positive perception of how the brand is fulfilling on its promises.

As a side note, according to the infographic, the majority of posts about brands on both Facebook and Twitter are positive rather than negative and positive information spread by friends is remembered better than negative information.  The sheer number of users Facebook has and their level of activity on the site mean that those positive posts cover more ground, making Facebook an essential tool for building brand equity.

If your company doesn’t have a Facebook account, consider getting one.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in New Media

 

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Facebook Pages and “Many-to-Many” Marketing

Facebook Pages and “Many-to-Many” Marketing – The Clickable Search Engine Marketing Blog – Advertising | Clickable.com.

Pyramid vs. Many to Many advertising

This Clickable.com article speaks about the importance of having a Facebook page as a business owner. Some key thoughts from the article:

“People are on Facebook, and they’re going to talk about you. By owning and claiming your presence, you have the ability to start participating in the conversation.”

“In most cases, it’s easier to get Facebook users to interact with your page than it is to get them to interact with your website.”

“The increasingly digital world we live in has forced B2B and B2C brands to think beyond their traditional marketing – where a few people decide the brand messages their audiences receive – to programs and campaigns that originate with and revolve around the audience’s digital life. Facebook is one of the important aggregators of these audiences.”

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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in New Media

 

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