Archive for the 'Flikr' Category

11
Sep
13

Social Media and September 11th: Small Memorials, Big Impact

Social media has allowed us to remember September 11th through not just major memorials, but small ones, that have just as much impact. Platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram provide an outlet for memorials for those tragic events that touched all of our lives and indelibly changed our nation.nypd

Last year, New York Police Department was able to honor the different officers whose lives were lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The Twitter account posted the names of the officers, as well as their end of tour date; 9-11-01.  These updates served as a reminder of the many public service workers who gave their lives to help citizens of New York that fateful day.

Twitter and Facebook have provided other unique venues for the public to share their emotions and stories in this continuously busy world.  Last year, Twitter was trending with stories of where each user was when they found out about the attacks.  Different age groups were able to illustrate the spectrum of emotions felt when the news of the attacks first broke.  Younger users told how they were in kindergarten class during the attacks, and had no idea what exactly had happened.  While the older population was able to see the news in their office or on their way to work.

September11In addition to a platform for stories, the Internet has become a place for remembrance in lieu of expensive and time-consuming memorial services.  Life unfortunately does not stop on difficult anniversaries, but that does not mean Americans cannot share their thoughts and prayers for each other.  A simple status update or tweet provides a short moment of silence, when the day doesn’t allow for a memorial service.  According to social media experts, these brief mentions have also helped to increase awareness of the importance of any day, which might have been forgotten years later.

Whether it is a moment of reflection, prayer, patriotism, or remembrance, social media has forever changed how Americans will commemorate September 11th, and all that was lost on that day.

How else have you seen others using social media to commemorate 9/11?  Tell us in the comments, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Be sure to visit our website and learn more about our agency and all that we offer in social media.

19
Oct
11

How influential are you online?

Have you ever wondered what presence you have online? There is a way to find out. Klout.com is a website that will measure your influence across your social networks. It takes your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social media sites and gives you a score. It uses variables from these sites such as friends, followers, retweets and posts. It measures these variables and gives you a score in three areas. Your true reach (how many people you influence), amplification (How much you influence them) and network impact (The influence of your network). It then combines the three scores and gives you a final score on a 1-100 scale with 100 being most influential.

Your True Reach is the number of people you influence. When you post a message, these people tend to respond or share it. Your Amplification is how much you influence people. When you post a message, how many people respond to it or spread it further? If people often act upon your content you have a high Amplification score. Your Network indicates the influence of the people in your True Reach. How often do top Influencers share and respond to your content? When they do so, they are increasing your Network score.

I’m sure by now you are at least a little bit curious about what your score might be. You should go play around on Klout.com and find out what your score is. Link it to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blog, LinkedIn and all your other social media sites to make sure you can get a score for all the sites you use.

Your score isn’t always going to be the same. You may sign on one day and be up a few points because more activity has been going on in your social media world and other days it may be down a few points because of lack of activity. You need to be consistently active in your social media to keep your Klout score increasing.

What is your Klout? Mine currently is 37. Share with us what you think of Klout and if there are other services that you think are more valuable.

10
Jan
11

The White House Communication Policy: Social Media (Thankfully) Enhances Press Conferences

We found out this week that the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, is out to allow for some fresh air in the press room. I read a lot of comments online about his skills, or his lack there of, with the press. Regardless of your personal preferences for Gibbs, as a PR professional I know he had an intense job. However, C.J. Cregg, he was not.

With the departure of Gibbs, I started wondering about the White House Communications in general. Barack Obama, as a presidential candidate, was a highly active participant in social media (or he hired really great people who were highly active users). Two years ago, Obama for President was a great story about how online marketing and social media can effectively raise money and gain exposure. His communications programs were exceptionally well executed, innovative, highly targeted and easily accessible to mass audiences. It was one seriously good way to help win a presidential campaign. And the story continues…

President Obama did not leave his social media savvy behind when he moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I was a bit surprised to find the White House is all over social media. There has been a lot of criticism of President Obama about whether or not his promises for transparency were real. One thing you can’t criticize is the appearance of accessibility. Twitter feeds, Facebook and MySpace channels, Flicker and Vimeo feeds and a LinkedIn group. There is even a White House blog. I had no idea. If you want information that deals with the White House, you can find it with little effort.

I especially like the White House YouTube Channel. The West Wing Week series is a nice recap of the presidential happenings. And the weekly mailbag is interesting. Some questions have answers that are more entertaining and better delivered than others than others, but hey, a question or two gets answered weekly by someone who knows something. Honestly though, I can’t bring myself to watch eight hours of forum presentations. Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to watch eight minutes of it.

Kudos to the White House Communications team for their focus on social media. Keep it up.

Do you think the White House Communications team is doing enough or not enough to keep the country informed? Tell us what you think about their efforts here or on our Facebook site and keep up with all of our blog postings on Twitter.

05
Jan
11

Branding Content: How creating a persona for your brand creates ROI

Branded content is essentially a fusion of entertainment and advertising that has been around for decades, just think of soap manufactures and the soap opera. With social media and the increasing prevalence of mobile apps in our daily lives, branded content seeks to have an increasingly large role in marketing and advertising of brands in the future.

Branded content can be anything from a short film, music, game, blog, mobile app, newsletter, blogzine, microsite or real-life event. The content merely exists to entertain and educate the consumer, while conveying subtle brand messages in the mean time. But more than this, branded content creates a persona for your brand and helps engage target audiences in a reciprocal relationship.

The idea for a brand is to listen to online conversations and establish what interests your target audiences. Is there a need or desire for certain information? Can you provide that information in an engaging way?

The most successful branded content programs are able to blend messaging in a seamless and transparent fashion, while still getting the information across to the consumer. Branded content creation serves several purposes: customer entertainment, stealth advertising and social engagement.

An industry that has embraced branded content is the fashion industry (see Louis Vuitton’s NOWNESS), but other brands that get it right are:

The iFood application allows users to:

  • Email or print coupons for Kraft products or even add them right to your store savings card.
  • Find recipes and post the ones you love to Facebook
  • Scan and enter a barcode to add to a shopping list or find recipes
  • Print shopping lists, coupons, and recipes
  • Get detailed recipe directions and even video tutorials
  • Set alerts about planned recipes, recopies of the day or special offers
  • Find a retailer to buy your products

Now, tell me that wont build more consumer loyalty?

Branded content is about creating an experiential story; It’s about crafting stories though every communication tool – signage, display advertising, print, radio and television ads, that are then translated to the web, social networks and now mobile apps. In the end it really comes down to knowing your customer extraordinarily well. By consistently engaging your audience via editorial content that is expertly mixed into the e-commerce landscape, you can tie sales. The best social media and branded content executions out there are driven by narrative, not commerce.

Branded content is quickly becoming a cost effective, long-term online marketing strategy that industries will continue to utilize as brands and retailers look for new, innovative ways to connect with customers online.

What impact do you think branded content can have on consumer behavior and where do you think this technique is headed in the future? We’d love to hear, so post a comment on The Side Note Blog, send us a tweet @Weise_Ideas, or find us on Facebook: Weise Communications.

10
May
10

Facebook, Foursquare for customer appreciation

Facebook is beta testing a new small business marketing effort in California designed to get businesses more “likes” on the social networking site. The California-based company sent out window decals to a variety of small businesses with specific instructions for users on how to “like” the establishment. The decals include phone numbers and details on how to text the “like” straight from your mobile phone.

This initiative sounds to me much like Foursquare. Foursquare, the social utility that allows users to check in at establishments they visit, earn points and discounts or other incentives from the businesses they visit.

Both the Facebook beta test and Foursquare offer a great marketing and customer appreciation opportunity for storefronts around the country. Case and point, my boyfriend recently “liked” Wahoo’s Fish Tacos on Facebook. Wahoo’s then sent him a coupon for a free enchilada. So, instead of eating at home that night, we headed to the local Wahoo’s with our coupon in tow. I have also seen several salons that post last-minute cancelations on Facebook in order to fill these slots. It is also become more common for businesses to check Foursquare and invite the current “mayor” to a free drink or other discount.

This expansion of marketing is an exciting and fast-growing media outlet and the limits are really only what you can imagine.

Facebook decided to gift beta testers of its small business marketing effort with $25 in ad credits to help drive home the utility of the service and propel businesses to participate in on-site advertising as well.

This first step toward serving local businesses is an extremely smart maneuver very much like Google’s Place Pages offering. Now, the marketing depicted in “Minority Report” when Tom Cruise entered a Gap, he received recommendations of products and discounts based on past purchases doesn’t seem that far off.

24
Mar
10

Social media is the next business revolution: another case study in social media success

In a recent post on The Side Note, we asked for great social media stories that have great business results. And we have great stories to share! If you would like to contribute your social media success story, let me know!

This is a guest post by Dawn A. Crawford – Communications Director at the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition and social media evangelist who spreads the good word at http://bcdcideas.wordpress.com.

The biggest foe of any communications strategy is return on investment (ROI). It can be a monster waiting to gobble up creative ideas. A failure to prove ROI on a project makes communicators look like they don’t understand business or don’t care about the bottom line.

I also know it can be one of the most popular ways for social media doubters to discount the new medium. For me, this is a moot point because social media has an amazing return on investment due to time being the only cost.

Creating a brand space on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, and Flickr is free. Even creating a blog is free. You can even go as far as to set-up a niche social network for your organization or nonprofit that could serve as your website only with more interaction and functionality for FREE (see Think 360 Arts for a great example).

The incredible aspect of social media and what places it above other communications tactics is the interaction you get out of this new medium. In the social media space, you can do exactly the same things you do with your print materials and advertising campaign. With social media, you can push key messages and tout the benefits of your work.

Only with social media, you get a bonus: interaction with your brand. You can ask to find out if people like your key messages. You get to query your customers to find out if they like your benefits or find something else more powerful. It is this rich experience of interacting with real people, in real time, is what makes social media’s return on investment invaluable.

Measuring social media ROI has to be about the interactions. It has to be about the quality of the campaign, not the quantity of eyeballs or reach. Social media communications is about connecting with real people who care about your brand and organization.

The crowning achievement of our 2009 social media efforts is a Thanksgiving campaign – The Healthy Kids Thank-A-Thon. This project was a way for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to give thanks for the healthy kids in their life. The participants were able to submit their gratitude statements on the CCIC website, Twitter or Facebook. The statement could be a simple sentence, a photo or even a video.

From these submissions we created a YouTube video, tweeted all Thanksgiving weekend long with the gratitude statements, created a Facebook album and created a landing page on our website.

The budget for this project was essentially zero. The costs included our monthly subscription to Constant Contact, website hosting fees, about 40 hours work by our intern Kelsey Gryniewicz (brain child of this whole project) and about 20 hours of my time.

See a great presentation created by Kelsey on the whole project including our ROI:

  • 34 people specifically and deeply engaged in our mission
  • The most web traffic of the year
  • 16 retweets on Twitter
  • 1,124 click through on tweets
  • 14 posts by bloggers (Including The Side Note Blog)
  • 25% email open rate and 14% click-thru
  • 2 media stories including a feature on 9News KUSA the night before Thanksgiving
  • Encouraging an intern to lead a project and bolster her resume

And we pulled this project off in three weeks. That is crazy short for a social media strategy, but it worked. Heck, that’s crazy fast for any communications strategy.

We engaged our followers to be the spokespeople for our cause. We engaged our social media base to share their passion for childhood immunizations.

Moreover, we couldn’t have done this campaign on any of the traditional communications tactics. We couldn’t have engaged a news outlet to help without major mullah or connections. Sure, we could have hosted it all on our website but without any interaction. We couldn’t have done this in print or in an event.

Social media is the next business revolution. It’s just like email. Some people hoped email would just go away so we could send faxes forever. Well, those people lost (thankfully) and now email is part of every successful business. Social media will be the same way in the coming years. If an organization is not engaged in social media they will look dated, out of touch and will be seen as having poor customer service.

So start small, and get engaged today. Your customers will thank you!

Thanks Dawn, for your contribution to The Side Note. If you would like to contribute your social media success story, let us know!

15
Jun
09

How Sarasota Memorial Hospital is leveraging social media to build better relationships. Q&A with Shawn Halls.

sarasotamemhospital

Recently, Weise Communications sat down with Shawn Halls of Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) to discuss social media’s impact on SMH and the way in which they communicate with the community. Below is our Q & A session.

Weise: How long has Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) been using Twitter?

SMH: We registered the site in November 2008 and promoted a $49 cardiac disease assessment special we were offering in December. But we didn’t start actively posting or following anyone until March 2009.

Weise: How has SMH’s Twitter account been able to add value to your patients’ experience?

SMH: When we first started we were like a lot of organizations, just trying to figure out how, or even if, Twitter could be part of our larger communications strategy. We tweeted our hospital promotions and a few stories from patients who had called to praise our care.

Then in April we were contacted through Twitter by a former patient. She had a somewhat negative experience while in our care, but actually had more of a negative experience trying to figure out who she should contact to discuss the issue.

Suddenly, Twitter, and social media in general, became not just a platform to communicate to patients, but a tangible way for our community to communicate directly with us as well.

Since that first patient contact, we have been Direct Messaged through Twitter by other patients with various questions. In our experience, more often than not a patient’s frustration is not about the care they received but the challenges associated with navigating healthcare.

Many people still prefer to call us directly, but increasingly customers are using Twitter and other social media platforms to initiate contact. It’s an interesting dynamic.

Most recently we had a patient’s family member find us on Twitter and ask for the name of a local florist so they could send flowers and ensure delivery prior to the patient’s surgery. This was a really easy one to handle, and we were able to communicate back to him within 10 minutes of his initial contact.

(SMH’s Twitter account)

Weise: Were there any reservations about using Twitter to communicate with the general public? If so, how did you overcome/justify establishing an online presence?

SMH: We did encounter resistance, because there are still a lot of unknowns about Twitter and other social media platforms as they relate to business. All social media platforms are blocked in our healthcare system, so we had to petition the chief information officer to allow our team access to Twitter. There is a valid concern that spending too much time online may distract employees, but we believed a balance could be struck. An organization with quality managers who engage their employees on a daily basis greatly reduce the risk of distraction. Certainly there are some who might abuse the privilege, but there are ways to prevent abuse that do not include a blanket policy to block access for all. Remember the era of codes to access copy machines? The idea was companies would lose too much money if employees had free access. Copy codes seem absurd in 2009, but we’re facing a similar issue with social media access today.

Weise: Do you think all healthcare providers should establish an online presence via social media? Why?

SMH: We do believe it’s important to have a social media presence. While social media won’t replace other avenues of communication, it’s important for providers to encourage communication through avenues people are using. With 200 million people on Facebook and nearly 10 million on Twitter, healthcare providers are missing an opportunity if they do not have a social media presence. Increasingly, healthcare is about building relationships with our customers. In this era of choice, patients choose which doctor to see, which outpatient lab to use, and certainly which hospital they choose. Social media helps us foster relationships with our customers by humanizing the healthcare system. We’re not just Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, we are 4,000 individuals who are part of our larger communities, and we enjoy communicating with our customers because they’re also our neighbors and friends. Certainly there are challenges for healthcare providers in establishing their social media presence, but we believe the benefits outweigh the challenges.

The one caveat, I’d say, is don’t create a social media presence if someone is not directly responsible for maintaining that presence. As effective as social media can be, an unanswered contact or an infrequently updated Facebook page could have n opposite effect, leaving prospective customers wondering if other aspects of their care would be hit or miss as well. At a fundamental level, social media is an extension of your healthcare brand, so it’s important to treat it with the same level of attention as other communication strategies.

Weise: SMH also has a Facebook fan page. What value is your page creating for the hospital and your community?

SMH: Hospitals and healthcare providers are brands people typically prefer not to interact with. Most of the time, people only use our services when they are sick or otherwise vulnerable, and healthcare is one of the few brands that can literally have life and death implications.

As I mentioned above, increasingly healthcare is about fostering relationships, and while Twitter is excellent for communication, Facebook allows for a more intimate interaction with our community. We are able to post photos of community events and share information that may not necessarily be hospital business but impacts the community in which we live and operate.

We recently posted information about eight students who received educational scholarships from us because they are going into the healthcare field. There isn’t really another format where we could have communicated that information, but it’s perfect for Facebook.

(SMH’s Facebook page)

Weise: Does SMH have any plans to adopt more social media into their marketing strategy? Perhaps, creating a YouTube channel to show video testimonials, events, interviews with doctors etc.?

SMH: Each market is unique, and Sarasota is no different. What’s splashed across the media today may not be the same next year. Since social media is so dynamic, we let our customers dictate which platforms to use based on their adoption of it. We are in the process of coordinating our first Twitter surgery broadcast – an amazing brain mapping procedure where the patient is awake during the entire procedure – and we’ll use YouTube to archive it. We’re also actively developing our Flikr, MySpace, and Delicious accounts and believe there are tremendous opportunities in those applications to help with patient education.

Weise: If you had one piece of advice for someone new to Twitter, what would you offer?
SMH: Don’t be afraid to bring a little personality into your tweets. It’s a lot more engaging for your followers and a lot more fun for you. ☺

About Shawn:

Sarasota Memorial’s Twitter feed is managed by Shawn Halls. Shawn is the market research manager at Sarasota Memorial and is responsible for measuring and communicating consumer insights throughout the organization. Before joining Sarasota Memorial, Shawn knocked ‘em dead at the University of South Florida as a senior statistician who had the unusual skill of being able to communicate complex statistical findings to statisticians and non-statisticians alike. Shawn holds a master’s degree in applied sociology from the University of Central Florida, proving you can actually get a job with a sociology degree.




Share The Side Note

Facebook Twitter More...

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,099 other followers

Weise Twitter

Archives