Monday, February 6, 2012

Engaging with Facebook

In our last class, we had a great discussion about several social networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and a relative newcomer, Pinterest. With the exception of LinkedIn, most of these are generally used by consumers to interact with family and friends, you know, to be social. Brands do have an opportunity to become part of the conversation; we certainly saw many brands aiming to do just that during the Superbowl ads (mostly via Twitter hashtags, or labels).

Consumers will ultimately be the ones who decide how much you are able to reach them via Facebook by how much they engage with your brand on that platform. So, how can you get them to interact?

eMarketer recently shared some good information about what makes a Facebook post more likely to be engaging for consumers. As we discussed in class, photos are the number one way to get someone to interact with your Facebook page; the photo engagement rate was .37% vs .31% for video and .27% for text only. The article also pointed out that photos will continue to be powerful tools as Timeline reaches across more Facebook users (and potentially to brand pages as well). Here is one chart from the article:

The article goes on to discuss other ways to encourage engagement based on what words are used in the page's status update.

Don't assume consumers will see your Facebook updates in their news feeds just because they "like" your page. It is critical to get them to interact with you on that page. Ultimately, that's what we want, isn't it - to get our customers and prospects to build a relationship with us so we can sell to them or service them (and their friends) in the future? Keep it up for the long-term to see the best results.

What creative Facebook status posts from brands have you seen that have encouraged interaction? The photo at the top of this post is a screen shot of what Sanuk did recently on their Facebook page; love the long distance high five! I'd love to hear what you think works!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Building Connections with Blogging

Since I started teaching Marketing via New Media at UC San Diego, I have had over 200 students come through the door. They have each spent 9 weeks in my class learning about how to use social media to better communicate with customers and prospects, as well as to build longer lasting connections with customers. (And don't forget listening!)

Each of these students had to embark on a 9-week blogging journey. They learned how to write blogs, how to add in photos to enhance the content, how to link and comment on other blogs, and how to build a community with each other. My students tell me it is one of the best experiences they have during their time here at UCSD.

As my newest class gets ready to embark on their own blogging adventure, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the stellar blogs that have been created by students over the past four years that I have been teaching this class. I am amazed that these students are still blogging from their class blog (a few were blogging before the class started...) Perhaps they will inspire my new students in their blogging endeavors!

A Sampling of Student Blogs
bloggingaroundtheworld This blog comes from one of my very first students, Nicoletta Staccioli, who lives in Rome. She was one of my international students. Although she has taken a little break from her blog, it has always been very insightful as well as inspiring for me to see the passion it sparked in her!

FoodandUs This blog comes from Jessica, who shares a combination of pictures of restaurant food and of food she has cooked herself. It is a very authentic, fun blog and has inspired me to take more pictures of my own food!

iDownShift A simple photo blog, using Tumblr, which shares pics of exotic cars.

Secrets in San Diego Written by Jenn Boyd, a very active social media person here in SD who is also a part of the Social Media Club San Diego. An interesting blog; even San Diegans will find something new here!

Such Small Steps A personal blog written by Erin, one of my more recent students (who helped me with some book marketing ideas, too!). She had already been blogging for some time and has been continuing her efforts, even attending a blogging conference this week. Enjoy, Erin!

My Beautiful Life Written by Laura Lohr, who is a prolific blogger and is always open to learning something new. Another personal blog about her life and her family.