Archive for the 'Twitter' Category



16
Jul
12

Advertising: Seventeen Magazine Photoshop Revealed – More on Real Women in Advertising

 

85,000 signatures, a demonstration outside of Seventeen New York offices and a Twitter campaign later 14 year-old Julia Bluhm finally got her point across.

Bluhm started the protest because she was outraged that the models in Seventeen Magazine seemed too perfect to be real. She found herself and her classmates comparing themselves to unrealistic standards that were lowering their self-esteem and dominating their day-to-day thoughts. She decided something needed to be done.

Because of the protest she conceived, Seventeen launched the Body Peace Treaty. They promise to show real girls, never altering their face or body, and to be up front about what goes on at photo shoots. Backing up their promise, they include one spread in each issue with a before and after photo, showing what was retouched. Seventeen has also been quoted saying they use only healthy models and feature non-models and readers every year as well. In addition, they do not retouch these girls’ body sizes.

Kudos to Seventeen for not only pledging to use healthy models and not alter their faces or bodies, but also to physically show the picture before and after any retouching is done. This is a big step in the advertising world, and it is going in the right direction. Using real and relatable models will help these teens grow up with acceptance and appreciation for their bodies. As a mother of a young girl, I am especially appreciative of this move.

One can only hope that this movement will make its way into other major publications that target the older but equally vulnerable crowd. Seeing stick thin models with unobtainable figures and complexions in Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Glamour still has its adverse effects on women, while publications such as Playboy, GQ and Esquire put those unrealistic standards in the minds of men.

This vicious circle often ends in depression and eating disorders.

What do you think, should other publications follow suit? Would you support a petition to initiate a similar Body Peace Treaty with other magazines? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise Ideas.

25
Apr
12

Back Tweet Driver: Eight Twitter Habits to Avoid

As much as we love the unprecedented access to newsmakers and the powerful search engine of Twitter, there is a dark side to the micro blogging service. In some cases, spammers and twitter bots pollute your feed and your @tweets. Sometimes your timeline is overrun with the solo opera (Me, Me, Me, ME), self-promo artists and links that go nowhere. Since we know these are a few of the things we can’t stand about how some people use Twitter, it is important for anyone wanting to use Twitter for its intended purpose to know what types of behavior you need to avoid.

Here is the list of dubious Twitter behaviors:

1. The Snob – When you follow back fewer than 10% of the people that follow you. If you do not choose to follow people back, you are not engaging with your audience. The winning formula is being open, transparent and freely sharing with information.

Interestingly, breaking this rule is the norm for celebrities, but we know there are different social media rules for celebrities. For example, if your name is Lady Gaga with more than 23 million followers, we’ll cut you slack for following back fewer than 2.3 million.

2. Blah, Blah, Blah – You average more than 24 tweets per day (excluding @reply.) These people are pumping out information and not engaging. This tweet volume is the fast track to being ignored or worse…saying so much without saying anything makes you background noise, like a ceiling fan.

3. What He Said – If your tweets either average more than 70% retweets, or more than 50% famous quotes, nobody is going to consider you a thought leader. You become a “hype man” always telling people what someone else said. Mix in an original thought.

4. Snoozefest – If you have fewer than 30% of people follow you back, you are following too many of the first three categories and at the risk of insult…your twitter feed is kinda boring.

5 – 8. Spam-tastic – the following makes you look like you are spamming, even if you don’t think you are:

  • If more than 90% of your content is pushed out from an RSS feed (look like a twitter bot), or
  • More than 50% links to apps (like Foursquare, and paper.li), or
  • More than 25% of the time you post the same link URL (self-promo), or
  • More than 80% of your tweets are links (shameless plugs)

If you are doing one of these, you look like you are spamming, if you do more than one – you are a spammer. Unless spam is your end game, incorporate more appropriate Twitter behavior: ask a question, answer a question, and respond to an issue with your opinion.

I have examples of each one of these categories; I’ll share on request. For example, tweet me to find out who averages more than 125 tweets per day and NEVER replies.

Shout out to @twitcleaner for cataloging the type of behavior and setting thresholds to let us know where innocent Twitter mistakes can make you look terrible. Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

Did you see our “Wall Tweet Journal: Four Twitter Tips to Improve Your Presence Today” on the SideNote?  We can’t help ourselves, if we tell you things you shouldn’t do, we have to give equal time to best practices, right?

23
Apr
12

Wall Tweet Journal: Four Tips to Improve Your Twitter Presence Today

Reporters, news-gathering organizations, celebrities and many businesses have unleashed Twitter as a tool to find, engage and expand their fans and followers.

However, when marketers start tweeting, they can’t understand why they are not making connections and seeing results. I heard a colleague describe Twitter as opening your glove compartment, shouting your info into it and slamming the door shut. Not particularly satisfying.

Resisting the urge to say “You’re not doing it right,” I promised to deliver four tips to improve your Twitter presence that can be implemented today.

1. Make your Twitter bio meaningful and searchable – You have 160 characters of searchable content, use the keywords you wish to be associated with you and/or your company.

Below are two profiles, one has 17 followers and the other has more than 146,000 followers, can you tell which profile has the bigger following?

I have a deep relationship with sleep and I’m about whatever, man!

Social Media Thought Leader, Consultant, Speaker | Author The New Relationship Marketing | Coauthor Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day | Scottish-Canadian

I’ll spare the first bio the embarrassment. The second bio belongs to @MariSmith. Mari recently co-hosted a content-rich webinar with @GuyKawasaki. The webinar is titled 7 Hottest Social Media Business Trends Impacting Your Profits Today.” Since I’m using Mari as an unauthorized example, check out her webinar for other social media trends to leverage today.

2. Use Twitter Lists to gain credibility about a subject – A Twitter list is a selected group of Twitter users. All Tweeps have the ability to create and be a caretaker of a Twitter list. When you click to view a Twitter list, you’ll see a stream of Tweets from only the users included in that list. As you build lists of Twitter users with content that you believe is valuable on your subject expertise, you become a resource for others as your lists are shared.

Here is a hidden SEO tip: Link your Twitter feed to your website (RSS feed) and include your Twitter handle (@username) in the naming convention of your list. When your Twitter list is shared with others, your list will link back to your website through your Twitter handle.  It takes patience and a strong Twitter list curator mentality, but as your credibility increases, it will also impact your SEO.

3. Maintain laser-like focus on your subjects – Friends and colleagues know that I am a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma and a huge fan of Oklahoma football (Boomer Sooner!) However, my twitter feed positions me professionally as focused on marketing, social media and SEO. It is not the venue to discuss the latest recruit, coaching decision or blowout victory. We recommend multiple twitter accounts, one focused on your professional brand and another that feeds your personal passions.

4. Twitter is a conversation, engage your audience – Nobody really cares what you had for lunch. Instead keep these four words in mind: ask, answer, retweet and respond. The key to engaging is asking and answering questions, retweeting interesting items on topic and responding to subject related inquiries.

If you are looking for an easy way to get involved, Twitter comes to the rescue, through @twchat. There is a collection of nearly 600 chats you can participate, check out this schedule of chats. Your bound to find at least one that you can engage and grow your audience.

To summarize your Twitter action items: optimize your bio, curate Twitter lists, use multiple Twitter accounts and participate in a Twitter chat. You can get these done today.

Let us know how much impact you see after implementing these tips. Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

Be on the lookout this Wednesday for “Back Tweet Driver: Twitter Habits to Avoid” on the SideNote.

18
Apr
12

How franchisors capitalize on social media – help your baby prosper

Its free, its accessible, and it reaches billions of people.  Social media is providing three key factors that should be putting dollar signs in the eyes of franchisors.

Being active in your marketing efforts while maintaining control over how your brand is portrayed is a key for franchise success. Creating awareness, engaging customers, building customer loyalty, and boosting sales are all goals for franchisors, and social media doesn’t just accomplish these things; it does it with a smile.

Smashburger, a fast-casual, gourmet burger franchise is a prime example of how a small business can catapult into the big leagues via social media. Birthing from three Denver locations, this restaurant became a smash hit with its expansion to 150 locations nationwide. With more than 77,000 followers on Facebook, reaching out to bloggers and their tweeting prowess, they have solidified the social media tools for expanding a franchise.

Just how did they do it?  Here are a few suggestions they have for your franchise success:

  • Get on the same page as your customers

People like to talk about themselves and what they want and like.  Give your customers the chance to feel like they are a part of how your product or service is expanding. Use queries relating to feedback on a new product or answer their questions and complaints. If your franchisee is going to prosper, they have to listen to the desires of their target market. Take these examples from Smashburger’s Facebook and Twitter:

 

  • Make your interaction enticing

Posting information about a new product or service can be effective, but allowing the customer to be a part of the decision is even better.  Trivia contests, voting pools and giveaways allow the customer to feel like their opinions are creating your brand.  Interactive coupons also keep customers engaged and coming back to your page to check out what is being offered today; keeping your business in the forefront of their mind.  Smashburger called out for votes and shared a link where they could vote to help their burger make it to the final round of the Dallas Morning News Burger Madness bracket:

 

  • Keep it interesting

Consistency in updating your social media profile will keep people interested.  That said, humor and playfulness should not be overlooked. Simply creating a chuckle from your customer will improve their retention of the message you are conveying.  Check out how Smashburger used humor to reach their customers:

 

Moral of the story, if you aren’t using social media you aren’t gaining the best exposure for your businesses. It is an opportunity to engage customers and that engagement can lead to loyal customers. Be sure to allocate enough resources to effectively manage your social media presence. Your franchisee will thank you. And even more importantly, they won’t go rogue.

A big thank you to Bre Wolta for her research and help uncovering Smashburger’s social media success.

26
Mar
12

I’ll have a burger please, with a side of social networking

If social networking hasn’t become the craving of the century, I don’t know what has.

Not only are people fascinated with how communication has turned into an interactive dialog, but whether they are finding friends on Facebook, tweeting their every move on Twitter, or now marketing their own customized burgers in the new frenzy that 4food has created, they are finding every excuse to play on the social media playground.

The restaurant, 4Food, in midtown Manhattan has brilliantly introduced a way to make creating your own burger an interactive experience.  Like some other build your own burger joints, the patty comes in a variety of meats (even veggie) and you can chose every aspect of your meal, from bun to sauces.  The donut shape of the patty is eye catching, however, leaving a hole in the middle of the patty for you to fill with a variety of “scoops” ranging from mac and cheese to Thai eggplant curry.

What sets 4Food apart is the marketing privilege the consumer acquires after their creation (from the 140 million combination possibilities) is complete.  Through 4Food’s accounts on FacebookTwitter  and their blog, you can name and market your personalized burger.

After you have marketed your creation, you earn a royalty every time that burger is ordered at 4Food.  The $.25 payment is credited to your account on 4food.com.

The learning curve is small, but fun for customers who currently use the provided iPads to order at the restaurant, and will be able to order on their smartphones in the near future.

The exposure that this new burger joint is experiencing purely at the fingertips of their customers is remarkable.  Social networking has driven itself to virtually take the legwork out of marketing for you, purely for free…how is your business using the power of social media to expand?

 

13
Dec
11

Avoid embarrassment: implement a Social Media Policy

Regardless of your company size, a social media policy to control the way your team communicates with online audiences is critical to the success of your business. Now that Facebook and Twitter have become an important part of doing business, it’s time for your company to craft an up-to-date and flexible social media policy to protect your company’s reputation both online and off.

Your policy must have a clear objective and should clearly define what employees can or can’t do on social media. Make sure that the objective is practical, reasonable and applicable to all who are participating in social media for your business. However when it comes to your company data, confidential information is an asset and everyone has the responsibility to protect it. If the social media policy is violated, ensure you have reasonable responses. Depending on the degree of damage or violation, you can go from disciplinary actions like suspension, termination, or even civil or criminal penalties.

Back in September, Microsoft employee Joe Marini tweeted about a Nokia Windows Phone. The trouble was, the phone hadn’t been released yet. This upset his bosses, and Marini ended up leaving Microsoft.

In 2008, Virgin Atlantic took disciplinary action against 13 crew members who participated in a Facebook discussion that “criticized Virgin’s safety standards and insulted passengers,” according to the Guardian. The comments were promptly removed, the group was fired.

When crafting a policy, be sure to:

  • Remind employees to familiarize themselves with the employment agreement and policies included in the employee handbook.
  • State that the policy applies to multi-media, social networking websites, blogs and wikis for both professional and personal use.
  • Tweets or posts should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary.
  • If an employee comments on any aspect of the company’s business they must clearly identify themselves as an employee and include a disclaimer, that should be something like “the views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of (your company’s name).”
  • Tweets or posts should not include company logos or trademarks unless permission is asked for and granted, and must respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure, and other applicable laws.
  • Employees should neither claim nor imply that they are speaking on the company’s behalf.
  • Require approval on corporate blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc., when the employee is posting about the company and the industry.
  • Reserve the right to request the certain subjects are avoided, withdraw certain posts, and remove inappropriate comments.

When the guidelines are used correctly this policy can help increase productivity as well as secure your company from social media disasters on the web. What do you think about social media policies? How critical is it for your business? How would implement it? Tell us what you think on our blog, share it with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

23
Nov
11

Social Media Education – It’s Elementary

I recently participated in a symposium and one of the topics was the basics of social media, hosted by my colleague Heather Horsey. I was surprised at some of the questions:

  • How do I get a hashtag? How much does it cost? How often can I use it?
  • When I set-up our company Facebook page profile, everything the company does is updating on my personal wall and to my personal email, how can I delete that?
  • Our company doesn’t want negative comments, is there anyway to choose the comments we want to post on Facebook?
  • When I was tweeting on the Twitter, I didn’t see any results. How can you make sales on the Twitter if nobody is interested?

The intent behind the questions were genuine, but I quickly came to the realization that there is a massive education effort needed regarding social media in business. If we can assume that social media is now an essential function of any business, executives will treat it as a discipline that they must understand.

This will lead to educational opportunities, as companies cannot make strategic decisions without understanding social media. Executives will see social media as function that cannot be ignored. Companies will begin building internal social media teams and it will cross multiple business functions from customer service to employee recruiting.  Any company not fluent in the language of social media will be at a significant disadvantage.

This is an opportunity for the marketing department to step up, take a leadership role in social media education and enhance its value to the entire organization.

Hopefully, we’ll never hear anybody ask about ‘tweeting on the twitter’ again.

Let us know if you think social media education will even extend to the C-suite, even if they never post, tweet or check-in. Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.




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