Archive for the 'Tips' Category


Social Media Marketing: What Brands Can Learn From “Mother Monster”

What could your brand do with 40 million followers on Twitter?  What about 45 million?  Celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber send out tweets daily to this amount of followers, while their fans continuously respond with compliments, love, and devotion.  So, what can brands learn from these enormous celebrities about how to create an engaging and interesting social media presence?lady-gaga-social-media-tactics

 1—Create A Culture

“Little Monsters” may be a little to eccentric for a company to call their customers, but the united culture is something to strive toward.  Lady Gaga has managed to turn her fans into a loving, supporting culture.  “Mother Monster,” as she’s called, has given her fans a home, and a sense of belonging.  Customers, consumers, and users are all terms that are too disconnected.  A brand should show their customers that they have a subculture that their buyers belong to; a family they didn’t even know existed until they started using your product and service.  Make your customers be proud to be your “little monster.”

 2—Believe In Your Message, But Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Sarcasm is now a language within itself.  Sarcasm and humor demonstrate personality, which is crucial to a company’s social media presence.  You want to offer a human aspect to your accounts so fans and followers know they aren’t just engaging with a robot.  Lady Gaga is never afraid to poke fun at herself, her songs, her crazy sense of fashion, and the world around her.  Showing personality helps followers relate to your brand’s voice and feel like they know you.

LittleMonsters-Private-Beta 3—Encourage Collaboration

Shockingly, the people that know your customer base the best are your customers!  Lady Gaga took notice that her fans were just as artistically inclined as her, and opened up her own social network,  This site has provided a community for her monsters to share their art, while also creating relationships based on acceptance and their love for Gaga.  Opening up an opportunity for customers to use their creativity with your brand can help build loyalty towards your brand.

What are other celebrities that companies should learn lessons from?  Or what are other lessons that can be learned from the big names in music, movies, and TV?  Share with us in the comment section below, and also on our Facebook and Twitter!  Also, check out how we create brand cultures on social media at


You ‘Like’ Us! But does that mean you’ll be a customer

Three tips to turn a Facebook like into a real paying customer

According to the Adobe Global digital advertising Q1 2012 update, there was a 176 percent increase year over year in brand engagement on Facebook. The increased engagement can be traced back to the release of Facebook Timeline for Fan Pages.

More than 600 million users regularly interact with Facebook. As more brands convert their fan page to the Timeline format, engagement should continue to grow. But that raises a big question, how does a marketer turn someone who clicked a Like button into someone that will pay for products and services? Here are three easy to implement tips to convert likes:

1. Contests

Facebook is a place where people commonly go to play games: Farmville, Words With Friends, etc. Leverage the gamification aspect of Facebook with your own game. Recently, PostNet held an ‘I Love My PostNet” contest, where customers were encouraged to post videos to Facebook explaining how much they love PostNet. The winner of a trip to San Francisco was announced on the Facebook and people were driven to the PostNet website to see the winning video.

2. Drive opt-in emails

Less than 10 percent of companies are leveraging Facebook to increase subscribers to email. But, the new Facebook Timeline provides the perfect opportunity to turn fans into customers. Use the Tab feature (pictured inside the red circle) in Facebook Timeline to create an opt-in form where someone can sign up to receive emails without leaving Facebook.  Call the tab ‘Special Offers’ and describe your email program. It’s special because, as a Facebook fan, they will receive email notification of events, sales, coupons, etc. before the general public.

3. Share News

It is really important to avoid being too product focused on your Facebook wall, but according to the CMO Council, 55 percent of consumers connect through social media channels for new product information, Facebook is a viable news sharing platform. The tip here is to offer Facebook fans a behind the scenes look, or a preview at what’s new. Something they can’t get elsewhere and host drive traffic to the website for that Facebook special sneak peek.  Make it easy to share and watch the loyalty build.

Have you seen any other great tips to turning a Facebook fan into a paying customer? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications.


Top 10 Things Learned At IFA Conference 2011

Weise Communications is back from the International Franchise Association (IFA) conference in Las Vegas (Feb. 13-16). The conference was full of highlights, from newest Hall of Fame inductee (Doc Cohen) and his moving acceptance speech, to 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto’s presentation on customer service and the two keynote speeches from former Massachusetts Govenor Mitt Romney and editor in chief of Forbes Magazine, Steve Forbes. The four-day conference didn’t disappoint. After five sessions, four roundtables and an executive forum, here are the top 10 things learned at the conference.

  1. Benchmarking KPI (Key Performance Indicators) through IFA ‘on track’ system is long over due.  Props to IFA for making this happen and highlighting it at the conference.
  2. Financing is still the biggest hurdle to overcome for franchise systems to grow. The IFA continues to push for political and financial movement in this area, while many franchisors look for innovative financing options of their own.
  3. Integration of marketing tools is essential.  Communication is no longer filtered through the media and our messages can go direct to the consumer. Thus, we need tighter control over what we say about our companies.
  4. A great way to get into the social media game is to use store locator maps on websites to help drive foot traffic. But, if you are using this tool, it is essential that locators are accurate and complete. The franchisor should own this operation, not the individual franchise owners.
  5. In 2010, there was a lot of discussion about using social media effectively in the world of franchising. In 2011, the entire conference could have been dedicated to this topic (@davemurr of Re Group). Franchise systems are increasingly savvy about driving consumers to their locations through mobile and location-based marketing, but still unsure how to use the same tools to sell franchises. Luckily we heard from some great systems that they are developing leads and closing sales based on their social media efforts. Social media is here to stay and it sounds like that message has been heard loud and clear by most franchise systems.
  6. A lead is a lead. A conversion is a sale. Franchisors are now more interested in the quality leads they can generate that actually close a deal, rather than simply how many leads they can get from any one source. The prevailing question now is, “How do I close the sale?” as opposed to “How do I get a lead?”
  7. Franchisors that still don’t believe in the value of social media probably have the wrong mindset. Social media is not pitching products and services; it is a relationship-building tool.
  8. When it comes to social media, like any other marketing outreach initiative, you need a plan that is realistic to execute and based on a legitimate goal. It also needs to be a sustainable plan because social media is not considered authentic unless it is ongoing.
  9. Separate training and support operational functions. Good professional trainers can get a franchisee started with excellent training. However, those skills are not necessarily successful for a franchisee operating for a while. They need a different level of support. Both of these functions need distinctive skill sets and most likely different people working on them. But the increased focus on the right area will increase franchisor profitability (@Mike_Walls of Caring Senior Service).
  10. Franchising industry must integrate social media with traditional methods and processes (@PaulSegreto of franchisEssentials). Social Media is a vital channel for growth both at the franchisee and the franchisor level (@JackMonson of Engage121).

Let us know if you think we missed something. Share your thoughts about IFA with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

See you in Orlando in 2012.


Beyond Tweet and Potatoes: 4 Tricks to Get Retweeted

New research from Sysomos, a leading social media monitoring company, examined 1.2 billion tweets posted in the last two months. The results were fascinating:

  • 29 percent of all tweets produced a reaction – a reply or a retweet
  • 92.4 percent of all retweets and 96.9% percent of @replies happen within the first hour of the original tweet
  • Of all tweets that generated a reply, 85 percent have only one reply

The most critical factors to Twitter success are developing a large following, providing contagious content, engaging influencers and retweeting your most influential followers content. You can use social media analytic software like Twitalyzer to identify your most influential followers – or wait until Twitter releases their free analytics product by the end of the year. In the book Science of Retweeting, social media scientist Dan Zarrella proves that tweets with links are three times more likely to be retweeted. Be sure to use URL shorteners or

Armed with this data, here are four tweaks to make to your tweet strategy:

  1. Make sure that your tweets include a shortened link and are short enough (around 120 characters) to be retweeted without editing – retweeting adds your Twitter handle to the tweet and that counts against the 140 character limit.
  2. Although it flies in the face of the social media purist, you have to retweet your tweets. If 92.4 percent of retweets occur within the first hour, you need to reach different Twitter audiences checking tweets at different times to maximize retweet opportunities.
  3. Speaking of checking tweets at different times, if your calendar looks like mine, I have meetings at the top and bottom of the hour throughout the day.  When I am able to check my Twitter Stream, it is usually a few minutes after the top or bottom of the hour. For example, consider sending tweets at 11:02 a.m. after the conclusion of the 10:00 a.m. meeting.
  4. All-aboard the hashtag train – the likelihood of auto retweeters that specifically hunt for certain search phrases and hashtags finding your tweet significantly rises when you include an appropriate hashtag – within 120 characters.

Let us know in the comments below what types of retweeting strategy are successful for you. You can find Weise Communications on Facebook and follow Weise_Ideas on Twitter – look for a tweet linking to this blog at 11:02 a.m. today.


Three Ways to Protect your Facebook Profile

Yesterday, Facebook has revealed a host of security features to fight spam, malicious attacks and phishing scams – coincidental timing after Facebook board member, Jim Breyer, fell for a phishing scam as reported by CNET on May 10th. Facebook added a layer of authentication when it notices unusual activity. Facebook might ask you to confirm your identity by correctly identifying tagged friends in photos on your account. Another security feature notifies users when their account is accessed from a computer or wireless device they haven’t used before.

Facebook is asking users to opt-in to the new security settings.  Good luck figuring out the privacy settings, as you need to navigate through 50 settings with more than 170 options. The New York Times created a detailed drawing of the “tangle of options” confronting each user. My favorite note is that the Facebook privacy policy is now longer than the US Constitution. Even Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president for public policy, said their efforts “appear to be too confusing for some of our more than 400 million users.”

Despite the tangles, it is critical that individuals protect themselves because Facebook has become a target for scammers looking to phish for personal information.  Here are three things you should do to ensure you are protected.

  1. Tighten up Facebook settings. The default settings for Facebook leave users most vulnerable.  You need to take the time to determine what you want others to be able to access on your page.
  2. Stop taking quizzes. We all have seen the 25 things you don’t know about me quizzes. However, many of the questions (name of your first pet, favorite restaurant, where you met your spouse, etc.) are also the most commonly asked security questions that could give someone the info needed to access your financial accounts online.
  3. Don’t trust tiny URL’s. Since it’s introduction, tiny URL’s have long been used for cloaking links to spam and malware that could harm your system. Before clicking on a tiny URL, find out where it goes by entering them into a URL decoder, such as LongURL.

Remember, Facebook is a great place for cybercriminals to lurk since people implicitly trust information that ‘appears’ to come from friends.

If you have any tips and tricks to help navigate the Facebook security maze, let us know and next time you are on Facebook, check out Weise Communications and “Like” it for future updates.


don’t make these blogging mistakes

Josh Catone from Mashable recently wrote a blog post titled, “Top 5 Business Blogging Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.” Weise has a number of clients currently considering entering the blogosphere, so we thought we would repost Catone’s how-to guide and provide some of our own advice and experiences.

Business Blogging Blunders:

#1 Treating Your Blog Like a Press Center

Long story short of this section, don’t use your company blog to toot your own horn. This doesn’t mean you can’t mention a recent newsworthy event, usually reserved for the traditional press release, just make sure you add a personal touch to the post. Express how excited you are for a new company program or a new partnership.

One of the “ground rules” Weise established prior to launching The Side Note, was to avoid promoting the agency. We prefer to be contacted directly by readers who find our content interesting, rather than constantly using a push-messaging strategy about how great an advertising agency we are. If readers like your content, they’ll find you. (Having a link to your Web site on your blog doesn’t hurt, though.)

#2 Not Blogging Regularly

Now that you have started blogging, don’t lose steam! There is no benefit to gaining loyal readers and then not posting for a week, two weeks, etc. Catone’s point in this section is to commit to posting on a regular schedule.

“If you plan to put out new posts every Tuesday and Friday, for example, try not to start writing Tuesday’s post on Tuesday morning.” I agree completely with this suggestion.

#3 Not Enabling Conversation

This is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid! Enable commenting on your blog, reply to comments in a timely manner, and comment on industry blogs. Do these things to retain your readers and attract new readers to your business blog.

#4 Making New Content Hard to Discover

Josh offers four suggestions to make it easier for readers to discover new content on your blog.

  1. Include your blog’s link in you email signature, business cards and collateral.
  2. Make your “subscribe to RSS” feed easy to find.
  3. Use Twitter and Facebook to inform your followers/fans of new content. (Both allow you to automate this process!)
  4. Integrate into your blog posts and titles relevant key words that your audience would search for.

#5 Expecting Too Much, Too Soon

Cantone says it best, “Blogging isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Your blog won’t be an overnight success, and for the first few months it might feel like you’re writing for no one. It can take time to build up your readership and have a regular community of people who participate on your blog. Don’t expect immediate returns from your blog and do expect to put in a lot of hard work.”

Good luck bloggers!


Mobile Marketing Ideas for Franchises

phoneAs mobile marketing continues to increase in popularity, franchisors need to consider how this technology can be implemented to help grow local business. And as with all things marketing related, when it comes to franchised companies, it always gets a bit tricky. So to make your life easier, here are two ways to use mobile marketing for your franchises:

Mobile sites with maps: Regardless of if you are a service business, retail shop, restaurant or doggy day care, if you are a franchise, you have numerous locations. Ideally, you want customer loyalty no matter where they might live or travel to. Develop an easy-to-use mobile site with a one step “click to find a location near you” function.  With the use of maps and click-to-dial numbers from handheld devices, customers will always be able to locate and access your locations.

Mobile banner ads: Targeting consumers with mobile banners can be done using many of the major targeting techniques used in traditional media. Franchise companies can choose to target customers based on their current location, demographics or behaviors. For example, if you are a franchised hair salon, a mobile banner targeting teenage girls during homecoming season can remind them to come to your locations to get their updos for the dance.

Use your marketing advisory boards to help determine other creative ways to implement mobile marketing campaigns that will help grow business for all of your franchise locations.

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