What the NFL Can Learn from the NBA On Social Media

About a week ago, I, along with millions of other people, were treated by the NBA's official Facebook account with a behind-the-scenes look at reigning MVP Stephen Curry taking shots before the game.

 

 

Not only was I able to indulge in this pull-back-the-curtain moment, but I was able to control my view, too! Fans pay thousands of dollars, and arrive hours before tip-off, to see a player of Curry's caliber practice and here I have a front-row seat for free!

 

The NBA just gets it. Most importantly, they know how to connect with milennials. The NBA has the youngest audience among all American sports leagues with the average fan being 37-years-old. The NFL fan by comparison is 47-years-old, while the MLB fan is 51.

 

Reaching out through the right platforms is also key for the NBA, who is a major employer of Snapchat and Vine to peddle out clips:

 

"A cursory search on Vine shows that just under 100,000 videos have been posted with the tag NBA, while fewer than 50,000 have been posted with the tag NFL, and fewer than 15,ooo with the tag MLB."

 

They also connect through fashion, as explained by ESPN's Darren Rovell:

 

"Young basketball stars today are ingrained in culture and fashions and life in a way that the stars from other sports here are not," said Darren Rovell, who covers the business of sports for ESPN. "People talk about Russell Westbrook's glasses and Dwyane Wade's shoes. When you look at the numbers in terms of most Twitter and Instagram followers, the NBA blows other sports away."

It's no wonder why the NBA is even being predicted to overtake the NFL, in terms of popularity. They have a message they want to convey and they won't allow copyright restrictions from spreading that message globally.

 

If the fans want NBA all the time on any outlet, why not give it to them? Why deprive fans of your product when all they want is more of it? It would be like making a great sandwich and only offering tiny bites when you can easily just give each of your fans a whole sandwich.

 

Thus, you get awesome controllable videos like the one above featuring Curry.

 

As an avid NBA fan, there's nothing that can appeal to me more than even more basketball on top of the basketball I already watch.

 

The NBA is extremely gracious in its content availability, far more than any other league. They see widespread use of game clips by the media and fans of the game not as copyright infringement, but as an opportunity to spread its influence. This runs contrary to the vice-like grip the NFL and MLB have on clips of their games, which are generally kept close to the chest.

 

The NFL, in fact, is so strict that it actually issued a cap on the amount of video clips its teams can provide on Facebook or Twitter during games. As a result, you get clips mocking the practice like this one:

 

 

The NFL has since walked back on its policy to fine teams for using game clips. Nevertheless, it goes to show just how little the league values social media as an outlet to create a larger following for its sport.

 

Just compare their Twitter followings. Despite the NFL being the country's biggest sport, it has 4 million less followers than the NBA. The MLB and NHL lag far behind with 6.68 million and 5.51 million followers, respectively. This isn't due simply to demographics, but to the NBA having a liberal clip-sharing policy.

 

The difference is even more substantial on YouTube, the ultimate catchall for video clips. While the MLB and NHL both flounder with less than a million subscribers, and the NFL musters only 1.8 million, the NBA boasts a staggering 7.4 million followers.

 

Plus, I can find channels that exclusively make videos using NBA content. For example, the channel 'FreeDawkins' regularly creates individual player highlights from games night in and night out. So while I was busy watching the Miami Heat, I can wait a few hours and check out 'Dawkins' for highlight videos of other players who played that night:

 

 

While 'FreeDawkins' has had their channel shut down before (They were originally just known by 'Dawkins'), the NBA isn't cracking down on it heavily. No such channels exist for the NFL, MLB or NHL. It would be impossible to find an independent account that would exclusively give me highlights of a certain player I want to see.

 

The NBA embraces its the participation of their fans and their love for the sport. It's the country's fastest growing sport because it ran full steam ahead into the social media era populated by milennials who want their highlights and info fast and concise. They didn't purposely restrict their presence as other leagues did.

 

And maybe the NFL is comfortable with their standing, despite losing viewers. It's not surprising from the league that issues penalties and fines for players that want to celebrate touchdowns or any other accomplishment. Their outlook has long been an authoritarian one with widespread control of its players' actions and now the potential media outlets it's product can be promoted on.

 

There isn't a better time for the NFL to start embracing social media, either. Like the NBA, the NFL is facing a shortage of recognizable names that even the most casual viewer can identify. Basketball has already lost Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, and will soon lose the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony likely within the next five years.

 

So rather than wait it out, it builds up the personalities, aura, and names of its new league faces (Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Karl Anthony-Towns, etc.) through outlets such as YouTube, Snapchat, and Vine.

 

The NFL is facing a similar issue. Peyton Manning has retired. Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton's teams are in shambles. Tom Brady is 39 years old. Ben Roethlisberger is considering retirement. Household names that casual viewers can easily identify are disappearing. While there are studs like Odell Beckham, Jr. and Ezekiel Elliott that will keep interest in the individual, it's a stark difference from the likes of Brady or Manning that anybody could recognize.

 

This would be the perfect time for the NFL to allow independent viewers of the game to create channels to showcase these players. If I wanted to tell a friend about a rising star in the NBA, for instance, I can easily find highlight video after highlight video of games that show just how skilled that player is. You may not know a rookie like Karl Anthony-Towns, but you might want to know more after watching this well put together highlight video of a 47-point outing:

 

 

It would be difficult to do the same with the NFL. I would have to go directly to their YouTube channel and hope they're as detailed in their highlights as a channel like 'Dawkins' is with NBA games.

 

In fact, I did the same with the NFL, searching for rookie Ezekiel Elliott's best game, and found one highlight video. If you're surprised it was made by the official NFL account, you haven't been paying attention. That video has 111,000 views.

 

The video posted above has 74,000 views, but take note that Towns is playing in Minnesota, while Elliott plays in Dallas, and isn't hyped up by mainstream outlets like ESPN nearly as much.

 

The onus of building up player personalities and legends is squarely on the shoulders of the NFL, while the NBA raises few qualms on allowing its fans to distribute its product without proper licensing. As a result you get channels like 'Dawkins', which has nearly half of the subscribers the NFL has on YouTube.

 

And that's after having their channel taken down on a number of occasions.

 

But this isn't to say the NFL is completely tone deaf because they do put out quality content. Here's a video by the Seahawks using a 360 cam to showcase their players running out of the tunnel:

 

 

So the NFL and its teams has embraced some features of the social media era. But will it ever loosen the reins it has on its product, or will it allow its game to be seen a wider scale?

 

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.


Making the Case for Social Media

There’s no debating it: Social media, and the digital medium as a whole, has emerged as a substitute to traditional advertising practices for brands of all sizes.

 

Add in the growing number of those cutting the cord and you have even more incentive to advertise predominantly online.

 

Almost all major brands have realized this, resulting in portions of their marketing budgets from common mediums, such as television and radio, being deviated to build a social media presence.

 

Smaller brands have also taken advantage of the medium’s cost-effective advertising, but have seen their reach taper off in recent years due to heavy spending from larger brands:

 

"The State of Retailing Online 2016, an annual study conducted by NRF and Forrester Research, found that 92 percent of retailers are investing in social media marketing to some degree and looking for ways to update content to stay on trends.

About 55 percent of retailers surveyed also said they are increasing their online merchandising budgets, a portion of which is clearly earmarked for social media activities that engage consumers to promote two way interactions."

 

Regardless, social media’s ubiquitous platform provides small and medium-sized businesses with exposure they would have never dreamed of. In a survey of over 7,500 local businesses that purchased local ads in 2016, Borell, the organization behind the survey, found that "local businesses have ramped up their use of social media to help drive business and generate new customers."

 

As much as it seems that every person you know has a social media account, you may be surprised to learn that social media is only gaining users. While Twitter is pulling up the rear with only a 3.15% increase between the 3rd quarters of 2015 and ’16, Facebook experienced a 13.6% increase in the same period and LinkedIn a 15.2% increase.

 

Instagram witnessed a 20% increase between September 2015 and June 2016. All of this may seem like a boom, but it also muddies up the landscape because there are so many platforms to post on. It’s up to the brand to do the research on where the audience is.

 

Unsurprisingly, "Facebook was the number one choice for local advertisers with 96% responding they have  Facebook page. Twitter was a distant second at 51%, and LinkedIn came in at 41%."

 

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-12-47-55-pm

 

It can be daunting to a newbie. You need to ask yourself a few questions before stepping up to the task:

 

Which social media platform is best for me work on?

 

How much money should I invest?

 

What type of posts should I make?

 

How often should I post?

 

The greatest issue with starting out on social media is the idea that it’s easy. Failure and frustration is a common characteristic among new businesses starting out on social media because they believe it’s as simple as making a sales-y pitch, attaching an image, and sending the post out.

 

It doesn’t work like that, at least not anymore. Strategies need to be put in place. Budgets need to be created. Research into best practices needs to be done. Basically, an entire comprehensive rundown of your social media plans should be resolved before you even begin posting.

 

Now, does this mean you should keep a rigid schedule? No. While you should have prepared copy to pitch your product, you should also have a free-flowing schedule that allows for transparency into your business.

 

Or, to make things even easier, a brand can simply hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in social media strategy, copywriting, implementation, and moderation.

 

Social media is simply too valuable a resource to waste. Without the proper funds and research invested, an inexperienced brand is doomed.

 

Experts in the field are a necessity; an expert at crafting concise copy that delivers an impactful message, an expert at graphic design that can create appealing images; an expert at website design that can make a landing page that converts; an expert at moderation that knows just what to say to disgruntled commenters; and an expert at SEO that can identify the right keywords, among others.

 

It takes a village to raise a brand on social media. Going at it alone and without the tools and people necessary to help it succeed are only going to hamper your efforts.

 

Interested in raising your social media standing or looking to start out? Visit our Facebook for more info, email us at ask@one12th.io or visit: https://one12th.io/contact-modern/


The Twitter Saga of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

If the election were to be decided based on their overall Twitter klout and influence, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump—I’m using his own words here—would schlong Hillary Clinton.

 

The gap between the two is YUGE. Even though Trump has a four-year head-start, joining March 2009 while Hillary’s Twitter wasn’t activated until April 2013, the engagement generated remains overwhelmingly in the Republican challenger’s favor.

 

Trump holds a 13 million follower to 10.2 million follower edge over Clinton. He’s also posted over 20,000 more times (33,900 to be exact to Hillary’s 9,715), but has also only followed 41 people, while Clinton follows 758.

 

Trump’s Twitter success shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

 

Even before his nomination, Trump was a polarizing figure on Twitter, drawing heaps of attention for his politically charged, often ignorant, brain droppings about Barack Obama’s policies. You couldn’t help but be enthralled as the reality show billionaire lamented about the dangers of wind power and a global warming hoax perpetrated by China.

 

Now that he has the validation of the people, winning the GOP nomination and now moving onto something much bigger, his rhetoric is as dangerous, yet restrained, as ever.

 

And the people love it.

 

From both sides, they can’t get enough of it. This election isn’t a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s a choice between Donald Trump and not Donald Trump. Clinton and her lack of charisma, as well as her burgeoning history of rampant corruption in and out of politics, has only garnered attention through FBI investigations, Spirit Cooking, and leaked emails. Trump, meanwhile, has been a prominent daily figure throughout mainstream media.

 

Hillary’s campaign even seems to admit it, judging by the primarily negative ads focused on Trump leading up to the election.

 

The enthusiasm around her is minimal, while the energy around her opponent is staggering. Despite boasting a net worth as much as any former President, Trump has taken on the role of a Populist candidate, connecting with the American people and deriding the same Wall Street fat-cats, bankers, and politicians he used to rub elbows with.

 

Just think of Bernie Sanders, only on the other side of the spectrum.

 

Populist candidates speak to the disenfranchised and those who either felt they have no voice or have lost it altogether. Trump’s version of it is largely cultural and shrouds itself in the type of flag-waving, America-first Nationalism that so many GOP voters feel is being threatened by politicians who, they claim, send precious jobs overseas, ignore problems at home, and focus more on policing the world.

 

Here’s a good explanation from a Newsweek article on the subject:

 

“The disconnect between party elites and their populist constituencies is, instead, of a piece with a mounting sense that all the institutions presiding over our shaky mood of consensus—from the financial sector to the higher-education establishment to the mainstream media – are crumbling….You don’t have to sign on with the Trump and Sanders crusaders in all their particulars to see that in today’s money-driven, elite-dominated political scene, more and more ordinary voters feel legitimately left out – and fed up.”

 

Trump’s nomination has basically reinvented the GOP. “This is how populism has come to double as a synonym for modern cultural conservatism. Historian Richard Hofstadter famously branded the Gilded Age agrarian uprising as a precursor to McCarthyism: an outpouring of economic resentments that gave aggrieved farmers license to scapegoat any and all available elites – Jewish bankers, British titans of industry, American robber barons – for their declining cultural influence.”

 

Immigration, in case you haven’t been paying attention, has also been part of this scapegoating, with Trump “tapping into the protectionist outlook of America’s older labor movement, which historically supports restrictions on immigration because of its downward pull on wages.”

 

So despite all of his flaws and inexperience, Trump has carved himself out not just a following, but a movement. Speak on whatever you may think of him, the fact that he’s come this far in the race to run the country, and essentially the world, is a clear response to a broken system that the people no longer believe in.

 

And, no, it’s not because 40% of the country is racist/sexist/insert dismissive epithet here. It’s because 40% of the country feels they have a candidate that can shake up a do-nothing government and lessen its focus on globalism.

 

Whether or not you enjoy living under a broken system should decide where your vote goes, but I digress.

 

All of the points mentioned above speak to why Trump has absolutely crushed Clinton, in terms of influence on Twitter. He’s a wild card that has divided the people between a ‘He’s absolutely right’ and ‘He’s absolutely wrong’ margin, but he’s also ramped up the energy on both sides.

 

The reactions are the result of frustration bubbling over and those content with the status quo that has emerged.

 

Think of the mood of citizens and their reaction to a ruling political party as a pendulum. When it starts to swing too far right for too long, the people demand it to be more left. When it starts to swing too far left for too long, the people demand it to be more right. The ravenous responses from both sides over the past few months are coming from those who thought left-leaning policies for eight years were either God’s gift or Satan’s special delivery.

 

Trump’s candid responses, with the addition of overwhelming negative coverage from media outlets, have only stoked the flames of approval and contempt for his run. Who knew that openly and constantly comparing a candidate to some of history’s greatest monsters would attract unhinged supporters and opponents?

 

It shows on Twitter, how simple posts from Trump can garner twice the retweets and likes of almost all of Clinton’s tweets. Funny, too, when you consider that no one else runs Donald’s Twitter but him, while Clinton’s is run by a team of staffers that sends proposed tweets through a hierarchy of decision-makers before reaching posted status.

 

According to the numbers from November alone, Hillary’s team of staffers and celebrity endorsements are no match for Trump.

 

Beyonce, Katy Perry, LeBron James, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, James Taylor, Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, Shonda Rhimes, Will Ferrell, Joe Biden, Jen Carlos, Representative John Lewis, Big Sean and Mark Cuban have all been name-dropped (Remember: this is just 7 days in November) directly by Hillary’s account.

 

A tweet featuring a picture of Beyonce with the copy “I’m with her!” along with her ‘@’ received 26,000 retweets. Trump has seven tweets that have received more retweets, none with the help of one of the world’s most recognized celebrities.

 

Trump’s most engaged with tweet in November reads “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” with no picture. This tweet received 53,000 retweets and 110,000 likes.

 

Trump, once again, effectively proves that it’s the message that matters most to the people, rather than endorsements from beautiful, talented millionaires who are disconnected from the daily realities of their fans. Clinton’s team has yet to realize this, as they continue to recruit celebrities of every race and gender to put on free shows and get mentioned in her tweets.

 

Two of Hillary’s five best tweets are celebrity endorsements. Two others are a reply to a Trump tweet and a negative ad against Trump. Only one of the top five is focused on Clinton, and it’s a summary of her entire life. In fact, if you go through most of Hillary’s top tweets they’re all either endorsements or celeb-focused.

 

Here’s a rundown of the top 15:

 

#6: Trump criticism

 

#7: Pandering to Cubs’ fans on World Series win

 

#8: Trump criticism

 

#9: Another smarmy reply to a Trump tweet

 

#10: Trump criticism

 

#11: Trump criticism

 

#12: Michelle Obama endorsement

 

#13: Pleading for RT’s

 

#14: Trump criticism

 

#15: Trump criticism

 

Trump is guilty of much of the same. While his top tweet is his campaign slogan, the next two tweets are heavy on ‘Crooked Hillary’ mentions. Let’s take a look at the top 15 after the top 3:

 

#4: Asking to vote for Trump

 

#5: Prayers to cops who were shot

 

#6: Clinton criticism

 

#7: Clinton criticism

 

#8: Clinton criticism

 

#9: Clinton criticism

 

#10: Clinton criticism

 

#11: Clinton criticism

 

#12: Clinton criticism

 

#13: Thanks to Reno for a rally

 

#14: Campaign slogan

 

#15: Citing polls where he’s leading

 

Criticism of each other has been the norm, since neither really has anything good to say about themselves; one is a corrupt globalist, while the other is an inexperienced gasbag.

 

After going through each November tweet, we found that Trump has a 1.83 ratio of content between himself and Clinton. Hillary’s is slightly higher at 1.94. So when it comes to disparaging their opponent, both look to be in prime form, although Hillary seems to be relying far more heavily on her opponent and endorsements to move the dial.

 

Most surprising in my research was the frequency of tweets of each candidate. Here I was led to believe that Trump was a tweeting maniac who would shipwreck his campaign in one of his flurries. Little did I know that he only sent out (not including retweets) 68 tweets.

 

In the same amount of time, Hillary (and her team) sent out 171 tweets.

 

This next telling stat isn’t because of the heavy frequency of Clinton’s tweets (over 24 per day), but because of whom the candidates are themselves. Clinton hardly projects charisma and enthusiasm, while her opponent’s campaign relies heavily on both factors, adding in a healthy dose of polarizing language that pits supporters and opponents on opposite sides.

 

So it should be no surprise that an average Hillary tweet over the course of November received 3,742 retweets and 8,559 likes, while an average Trump tweet garnered an average of 13,641 retweets and 32,838 likes.

 

All those staffers supporting Hillary’s Twitter account, yet it takes one old man with a penchant for making America great again to generate nearly four times the amount of retweets and likes on an average tweet.

 

Some may argue that Twitter’s main demographics are more likely to lean towards Trump, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

According to a 2015 study, the highest percentage of adults that use Twitter are in the 18-29-age bracket.

 

Twitter is also made up mostly of people who live in urban areas, graduated college, and makes over $50,000. This doesn’t sound like the average Trump supporter you were thinking of I bet.

 

But don’t allow their performance on Twitter to influence you, even though one candidate comes across as a dud in desperate need of celebrity endorsements and her opponent’s rhetoric for any sort of traction.

 

Instead, do independent research, study each candidate’s policies, consider the ramifications and consequences of their actions in an international setting, and look into what traditional media doesn’t tell you.

 

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Happy voting!


Mythbusters: 10 Social Media Myths Busted

Brace yourselves. We're about to alter your mindset on what running a social media account is all about.

 

Are you strapped in? Good. Let's get started.

 

1 . More Impressions are a Good Thing!

 

No, no they are not. Sure you're getting more people to see your page, but they may not care at all because of how you're targeting them.

 

If you run an account for weddings and you target men and women of all ages, you're going to get more impressions but you're also going to dilute your click-through rate. Basically, you're wasting money on targeting people who never had an interest in your product in the first place.

 

Focus your targeting on who is most likely to buy your product, therefore your results look better and your engagement is higher

 

2. If I'm Getting Likes, My Page is Doing Great!

 

With all of the insights and reporting material we have at our disposal, surface stats like post likes are hardly a reliable gauge as to how your page is performing.

 

For example, one of the pages we run received hundreds of likes on the regular, but when I did a deeper dive, I noticed that the link clicks were low in comparison. Because I looked further into the issue, I adjusted my content strategy, and posts are now receiving far more link clicks.

 

Had I just looked at the surface stats, I would have assumed my posts were performing well above my expectations. Those numbers may be appealing for outsiders, but, as the insider, you need to see if there's more to it.

 

3. I Can Engage with Commenters with Automated Messages

 

I've been seeing this more often and I don't like it.

 

People want to talk to a human when they're dealing with customer service. If they want the same "We apologize for the inconvenience" message, then they'd call the company itself and deal with pushing buttons and waiting just to talk to someone.

 

Social media is meant to eliminate the disconnect between the customer and the brand. If somebody is writing the posts and setting the targeting criteria, then surely there is somebody who can also moderate comments.

 

This is your opportunity to establish a stronger relationship with your fanbase and institute greater loyalty to your brand. Don't waste it by being another extension of an already disconnected customer service.

 

4. I Don't Have to Invest that Much Money in My Posts

 

This isn't the early days of social media where a small investment (or even no investment at all) will vault your page to a dizzying reach. With so many companies now throwing their hat into the ring and allocating more money to social media, the competition has become too great for small and medium-sized businesses.

 

Fortunately, it still doesn't take that much money--Usually around $5--to get a reach over 1,000 people.

 

However, it will be interesting to see how this changes over time as social media becomes more and more of a ground for advertising campaign efforts from the world's most powerful businesses.

 

5. Buying Fans/Followers Will Make My Page Look Better!

 

This is related to the second point where we busted the myth that it's better to have more impressions. While showing off to potential new fans that you already have a solid foundation of fans, it's going to look suspicious when your page with 25,000 Likes is only getting 4 engagements on every post.

 

And why would you sow distrust before your new fans even have the chance to get to know you? If you’re misleading and feigning positive results through your social media page, it’s more than likely that your potential customers would believe the same of your business practices.

 

It’s easy to get exposed too, especially with Facebook cracking down on pages guilty of buying fake fans, as well as the literal sweatshops that create all of these fake pages.

 

Rather than spending, and essentially wasting, your money on fake fans, why not invest that money in a marketing agency that would build organic growth through legal, reputable means?

 

6. I Don't Have to Immediately Respond to my Fans 

 

Thanks to the advent of social media advertising, the gulf between buyer and seller has never been smaller. This development has essentially made it impossible to exonerate a brand from answering its customers, because of the consequences of a comment going unanswered.

 

There’s nothing preventing a disgruntled customer from going on your official page and leaving a nasty comment about the service or product you provided not living up to their expectations. This is a pivotal point in the buyer-seller relationship, because you can either a) address the comment and attempt to resolve it, or b) ignore and hope it goes away.

 

And maybe they will go away. Or maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll keep posting about your lack of concern. Maybe they’ll start commenting on every post you make, putting it out there for everyone to see. Maybe other people will see it and they’ll have a poor impression of how you treat your customers.

 

Maybe they’ll share it to their personal Facebook for their friends and family to see. Maybe the complaint you refused to comment on was so bad that it goes viral and gets shared hundreds of times. Maybe it eventually ends up in the hands of a news network that condemns your business as a company that doesn’t care about its customers for thousands to see.

 

All because you couldn’t even bother to respond to that person’s complaint.

 

Outrage culture has led to many people looking at themselves as crusaders of justice. One wrong move against a person who’s that incensed could mean the closing of your doors for good.

 

So in the future, just answer your customers. Even if they’re not satisfied with your response, the fact that you tried can at least show that you care.

 

7. The Type of Posts I Make Don't Matter

 

I can attest to this from personal experience.

 

An account we ran here was generating a heavy amount of surface engagement, in terms of reactions, likes and shares, but when we went to look at the amount of clicks it received, they were virtually nonexistent. Clearly, our message wasn’t getting across as we intended.

 

Making the posts so well that hundreds of people would like and comment on them was encouraging, but what was the point if we weren’t converting? All we had to show for our efforts were some nice social media numbers.

 

So we decided to switch up the type of posts we make. Rather than just making posts that featured copy leading to a link and an image, we made posts that would have copy, a headline, and a description.

 

Although this limited what type of image we could use, there was a clearer direction in what we wanted our audience to do: Click through to the next page.

 

The result? While there was a clear decrease in overall engagements, there was a HUGE, immediate uptick in link clicks!

 

Feel free to experiment with the types of posts you make. It’s highly likely that you’re not going to nail it at first, so have some fun with it and try new, innovative ideas that could give you the results you’re looking for.

 

8. I Need to Join All the Social Media Networks

 

No, you only need to post on the platforms you feel would be most responsive to the product or service you are offering.

 

Identifying your audience is critical to the success of your brand, especially when it comes down to where you’re going to post. For example, if you have a millennial audience, you’re more likely to advertise and post on outlets like Snapchat and Instagram, as opposed to somewhere like Google + or LinkedIn.

 

Say you’re more B2B. Are you going to want to target high-level executives through Snapchat, where 60% of users are between 13-24 years old? Or are you going to target LinkedIn, where 27% of users are between 30-49 and 24% are between 50 and 64?

 

A lot of brands, even the bigger ones, will try to advertise through new channels where the audience is unlikely to be receptive. It’s a waste of time, money and effort that could be invested in platforms where the audience is established and known

 

9. I'll Just Ignore or Delete Negative Feedback

 

 

This goes back to the aforementioned point about not acknowledging comments left by disgruntled customers.

 

In case it needs further reiteration, though, allow me to remind you that neglecting and tuning out the concerns of your audience is poor business. But you didn’t need me to tell you that, right? You know that in the real world if you just ignore a customer’s complaints, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

 

Every comment should be addressed and every customer should feel valued. Deleting a post might make the post go away, but the anger and resentment from the commenter is still there. It’s unhealthy, and could spread to other customers that feel you would treat them in a similar way if they were not happy with your service or product.

 

10. I'm Not Going to Waste Time Looking at Stats

 

Then you’re going to have a bad time running your social media page.

 

Almost every social media outlet has an extensive platform for tracking metrics, far beyond the scope of surface engagements, such as likes, comments and shares. Those types of metrics only tell a story that your fans can see. What they can’t see are the stats that should be most important to you.

 

You know, stats like link clicks. As I mentioned before about the type of posts to use, your other metrics could be suffering if you’re focusing solely on one aspect that may have little to do with the success of your brand’s online influence.

 

Before you launch into posting or advertising, make sure to pinpoint the metric you think would generate what you’re most likely to gain, whether it be awareness, a product launch, engagement, or conversions.

 

A wealth of important metrics and stats are at your disposal. Use them! Social media is an investment that should be treated similarly to if you were going to run advertisements on the radio, on TV, or on a billboard.

 

We here at One Twelfth are heavy employers of metrics as indicators of success and they’ve yet to let us down. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you avoid these 10 pitfalls.


What Twitter's 140 Character Update Means for Marketers

As if people didn't have enough to say on Twitter already.

 

Earlier this week, Twitter made one of its biggest updates to its platform by allowing users to go beyond the strict 140-character limit implemented upon its inception. It certainly isn't the first effort Twitter has put forth to boost its steadily dropping quarterly profit, but it may just be the most drastic.

 

After all, this isn't a simple add-on. This is an overhaul of its original principles. The 140 character limit was meant to limit thoughts to a sentence or two, meant to rival the rambling hodgepodges diatribes of Facebook users. Sure you could just post tweet after tweet on the same topic, but those limitations forced thoughts to be concise, sharp and direct.

 

There was a lot more impact when you had to force yourself to eliminate superfluous words and irrelevant thoughts. Now users can return to their Facebook roots, interjecting what should be a succinct thought with flowery language better left for Stephen King.

 

Technically, all tweets are still 140 characters. But now you can fully utilize the 140 characters without attributing some of those characters to @names in replies, media attachments (photos, videos, gifs), polls, and quoted tweets.

 

While the quality of the tweets might suffer, in terms of their pithy influence, it does allow for clearer explanations when replying to messages. Users now have more room to be formal, like saying 'Thank you' to the user, and transparent in their reasoning behind tweets that may need more than 140 characters to fully get a point across.

 

This is big for marketers who want to engage and establish stronger ties with its fanbase, but it may not nearly be as significant as being allowed to post visuals without them adding to the count.

 

Speaking from personal experience here, that character count was a real issue when creating post. You were usually including a link, a visual, and sometimes a hashtag on top of it. Add it all up and you have enough room for 90 characters at best. Some products can be marketed and described in so few of characters, but there are many exceptions.

 

For example, adding a link and a visual to a tweet that absolutely had to include the term 'Distributed Capture' was as frustrating as you would think. And don't even get me started on having to sacrifice proper grammar for the sake of a good tweet. Maybe that's how copywriters so often get corrupted.

 

Now that visuals don't account for the limit, however, marketers are free to employ photos that average a 35% boost in retweets or videos that average a 28% boost in retweets.

 

Marketers are now free to place stunning visual images and videos in every tweet they please, so long as they adhere to the extended-but-not-really 140 character limit.

 

Not only that, but they're free to engage in better conversations with more details. When you're explaining yourself to a customer, as a brand, you don't want to be vague or be forced to withhold any details that may be of benefit to the customer. Now you can be thorough and, if it's a technical issue, even attach screenshots, videos and instructional images depicting how to resolve whatever issue the customer may be having.

 

Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, explains:

 

"Generally, we want to make sure we're encouraging a whole lot more conversations on Twitter. This is the most notable change we've made in recent times around conversation in particular, and around giving people the full expressiveness of the 140 characters. I'm excited to see even more dialogue because of this."

 

However, and this is for the marketers, just because you are given an extra few characters to work with it doesn't mean you should compromise the quality of your tweets. Being succinct and concise is key to winning on social media, even on Twitter where the copy is short as it is. You still want to be short in your approach, but clear in your message.

 

It's perfectly fine to add a few more details, but not so much that it will compromise the quality of the tweet and include words and phrases that didn't need to be there prior to the update.

 

Instead, use this opportunity to discover new ways to utilize images, videos, gifs and polls with your tweets. This update presents an opening for all brands to try new approaches in their strategy and to further the trend towards Twitter, and social media in general, leaning more on its visual content.

 

If more brands do end up leaning on visual content because of this development, more investment in digital marketing budgets will follow, since brands will be competing through higher quality videos to get their message across.

 

But that shouldn't discourage smaller brands and agencies from refining their strategies. You may not be able to compete with the bigger brands, in terms of quality videos, but you can still match them with .gifs, images, polls, and innovative copywriting behind every post.

 

What do you think of Twitter's update? Are you planning on refining your strategy because of it? Tell us on our Facebook!


5 NFL Teams Who are Crushing it on Twitter

Nowhere but Twitter can you see professional sports teams fight it out amongst each other on a digital playing field.

 

This isn't Twitter's only purpose for these teams, and brands in general, though. They also use it to make fun of themselves, show how in-touch they are with pop culture, brag and boast, engage with critics, promote charity work, stage contests, encourage polling, and provide game, franchise and injury updates.

 

Twitter serves as the greatest bridge between consumer and brand because of how easy it is to interact and engage. As opposed to Facebook or LinkedIn where post frequency should be kept to a minimum, Twitter's constantly streaming timeline allows accounts to get away with posting multiple times per day, which leaves room for a multitude of post types.

 

Not all teams are alike, though, in the way they utilize Twitter. Some are more active than others. Some are more restrained. Some are more professional and formal. Regardless of the method they choose, the key to success on this platform is to be engaging and to have as much fun as possible.

 

Twitter is a bastion for capitalizing on trends; even the very same trends that derive from Twitter!

 

But today, in honor of the start of the 2016 NFL season, we celebrate the 5 NFL teams on Twitter who have given us a little more entertainment at no charge at all.

 

 1. Carolina Panthers: @Panthers

 

Consistently funny and creative, the Carolina Panthers’ Twitter account took full advantage of its sudden fame last year before a doomed Super Bowl run.

 

They have tweets embedded in pop culture:

 

 

Criticizing members of pop culture:

 

 

and utilizing pop culture:

 

 

Like the great Muhammad Ali said, it’s not bragging if you can back it up.

 

2. Atlanta Falcons: @AtlantaFalcons

 

 

My favorite kind of pro sports Twitter account is one that interacts with fans and rivals, especially when they’re as funny as this. The Falcons’ Twitter account is consistently hilarious and does not shy away from any criticism.

 

Atlanta sports in general seem to have this disposition to roast any and everyone who crosses them. Look at how ruthless the Atlanta Hawks are:

 

 

This method of engagement isn’t just fun for outsiders, it makes fans proud to be a follower of that team. Sure your team is mired in mediocrity and tweets more about losing than winning, but it can at least hold its own in Twitter beefs and that’s what really matters, right?

 

3. Arizona Cardinals: @AzCardinals

 

How can you have fun when you can’t make fun of yourself? The Arizona Cardinals, following their 49-15 playoff loss to the Panthers, had a little fun at its own expense:

 

 

That received nearly 50,000 retweets! These are the benefits of having fun with a professional team’s account. Don’t just ignore the obvious blowout and recite the final score. You’re supposed to be a representative of the team and its fans, so act in kind.

 

Overall, the Cardinals’ account is playful, light-hearted, and definitely worth of a follow for NFL fans.

 

4. Miami Dolphins: @MiamiDolphins 

 

There’s some regency bias here, but, if you’ve been following them, you have to be extremely impressed with how well their account has been handled throughout the renovation process of their stadium.

 

For months, followers have received daily updates, via captivating images and progress reports, on the renovation’s process. In the dog days of summer, where the middle of the baseball season is the only sport on, the Dolphins’ Twitter account was a nice change of pace.

 

There was also a live feed of the build, accessed by signing into their mobile app, and periodic tweets from the team’s President:

 

https://twitter.com/TomGarfinkel/status/719520959175204864?lang=en

 

Here was the final result, unveiled in mid-August:

 

 

While the account itself is fairly generic, it’s the fans that steal the show. Dolphin fans have become so desensitized to the team’s losing, mediocre ways that they’ve become self-deprecating. The mentions during and following a loss are always a source of entertainment:

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.12.55 PM

 

5. Birds of the NFL: @Seahawks, @Eagles, @Ravens

 

You'll have to click on the timestamp for the full thread. This string of tweets between four NFL teams whose mascot is a bird. This is why Twitter was invented:

 


Rio Olympics Recap: What People Talked About Most

The torch has been extinguished and, just like that, another Olympics has come and gone. You’ll have to wait another two years for the Winter Olympics, or, like everyone else, you’ll wait four years for Tokyo 2020.

 

For now, we only have the games’ memories and their stats to remind us of its service as an usher of solidarity and athletic achievement.

 

Memories aren’t the lone takeaway from this year’s Olympics. What we’ve also learned, and will likely be heavily utilized for future events, is how valuable of a resource social media can be beyond its surface. I’m not just talking about things as simple as statuses, but social media as a platform for live streaming and exclusive content.

 

Social media’s versatility as a community platform continues to grow with each massive event. Let’s use Facebook as an example. Its video highlights allow it to act as a news network, while live, 360 videos make it stand out as its own broadcaster. It continues to maintain a strong sense of community, while still pushing exclusivity.

 

Judging by social media’s success this year, it’ll be really interesting to see how much it evolves by 2020.

 

Facebook

 

People who spoke of Facebook’s demise have been greatly misled. Not only did it outperform every other social media outlet, they broke records and “achieved a new record of views and clicks for its own coverage of the Rio Olympics 2016.”

 

1.5 billion interactions took place from August 5th-21st, with 277 million people participating in the worldwide conversation. Although there’s no “apples-to-apples comparison from the previous summer games in London”, its 116 million posts and comments would lead one to believe the 2012 games were severely outperformed.

 

A lot to that has to do with the notable leap from 955 million monthly active users to a staggering 1.81 billion users today. But a jump in active users is far from the one reason why Facebook crushed their Olympics coverage. Here’s a few factors cited by Mashable:

 

  • More Exclusive Content
  • Live Videos
  • Video Highlights
  • 360 Videos from the Ground in Rio

 

Their case for winning social media at the Olympics was exemplified no better than Michael Phelps forgoing NBC and choosing Facebook to announce his retirement. That video has received 3.9 million views and counting. However, there may have been incentive behind this:

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Phelps is one of 140 video creators Facebook pays to create live video on the social network.”

 

But Phelps wasn’t alone in his Facebook success. Notable athletes like Jamaican track star Usain Bolt and Brazilian soccer star Neymar earned their fair share of attention, but it was someone on the outside looking in that earned top honors, in terms of the most engaged post:

 

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-4-30-41-pm

 

That post was made by Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who chose to forgo the Olympics. His popularity plus Bolt’s created a perfect storm of activity, with fans of his, of Bolt, and of the Olympics overlapping and converging on his congratulatory post.

 

Twitter

 

Twitter made searching the top moments for the Rio Olympics easily accessible to anyone who cared to view. If you were to search, you would know that “187 million tweets were sent about the Games and in total, this led to 75 billion impressions of Tweets about the Rio 2016 Olympics games."

 

Twitter has always served as the best platform for random brain droppings. It’s the most serviceable social media outlet to be a part of a larger community and for random, incessant thoughts to be made without repercussions. If you were to make 30 Facebook statuses during the course of a game, it’s likely you’re going to get un-liked or un-followed by a bunch of friends.

 

If you do the same on Twitter, however, you may find yourself part of a larger conversation. You may actually discover new communities to be a part of that also shares in your interest of live tweeting.

 

About a week ago, I wrote about the insane amount of attention Michael Phelps’ received due to this being his last Olympics. While I was right about him being the most mentioned athlete (Usain Bolt was 2nd and Neymar was 3rd), none of his races were a top 3 moment, in terms of Tweets per minute.

 

That honor, twice, belongs to Neymar’s key goals en route to Brazil’s thrilling 2-1 victory over Germany. His regulation goal off a free kick was the third most tweeted moment, while his penalty kick to seal the game took first prize. Usain Bolt’s Gold Medal-winning 100M run came a close 2nd.

 

There are few key factors involved here. This was Brazil’s chance to, shockingly, win its first ever Gold Medal in soccer, as well as their first chance to redeem themselves after their devastating 7-1 World Cup loss to Germany. It’s safe to say many people tuned in solely to see how Brazil would react AGAIN to another humiliating loss that has become considered one of the country’s greatest tragedies.

 

Despite this, soccer finished 2nd in the most mentioned events. The top honor went to swimming, while third went to track and field.

 

Surprisingly, there’s been no sight of gymnastics anywhere. That could be due to the collision course that took place between Brazil and Germany. It was expected that Phelps and Bolt would steal all the headlines, but nobody expected those two teams to meet so soon after the 2014 World Cup.

 

But not all is lost for gymnastics, namely for the U.S. squad that dominated and specifically for Simon Biles who was the biggest winner of them all. She took home 4 Gold Medals, a Bronze, and the most retweeted athlete tweet:

 

 

Second belonged to the Japanese men’s gymnastic team celebrating their Gold, while third went to Bolt rightfully boasting about his unreal career achievements. Out of the top 10 most retweeted athlete tweets, Biles actually had four of them (#1, #4, #7, and #10). Bolt was a close second with three (#3, #6, and #8).

 

Argentinian tennis star and Silver Medalist Juan del Potro took two spots (#6 and #8). How intriguing that 9 out of the top 10 most retweeted athlete tweets were made by only three athletes.

 

Nine of those tweets had to do with winning, whether it was by the tweeter or a congratulatory tweet to another athlete. The only outlier was actually the top tweet of them all, a short video of Zac Efron sneaking a kiss on Biles, who had previously admitted to crushing hard on the movie star.

 

So the formula to success is obviously:

 

Star Athlete + Winning = Good

 

Star Athlete + Movie Star – Winning = Great

 

Now that you have the equation, it’s time to start planning for 2020! I’m sure there will be no limit to the amount of Mario-infused branding tweets.

 

Most Talked About Athlete

 

In terms of volume, the nod goes to Phelps. In terms of peak, however, the tallest platform belongs to Bolt, whose 100M Gold Medal run on August 15th featured the most times a single athlete was mentioned.

 

screen-shot-2016-08-23-at-2-53-38-pm
Phelps (Red), Bolt (Blue), Neymar (Yellow)

Phelps peak was August 10th on the night he won the 200M butterfly over South African rival Chad Le Clos.

 

What I found most interesting with these stats was the interest by region. Clearly, Phelps dominated North America, including Central America, but almost everywhere else in the world was talking about Bolt:

screen-shot-2016-08-23-at-3-06-59-pm

 

As an American who is constantly bombarded with Phelps propaganda, it's interesting to see how the rest of the world views him and the sport of swimming in general. While here it's pushed as the premiere event of the Olympics, almost everywhere else in the world doesn't look at it that way.

 

All of Europe was interested in Bolt, with the outliers being Portugal by a close margin, and Hungary, whose interest in Phelps was likely because of interest in Hungarian swimmer, Laszlo Cseh.

 

Surprisingly, Australia, who had a huge showing in the pool, displayed far more interest in Bolt than Phelps.

 

Only one country showed a majority interest in Neymar over Phelps and Bolt. We’ll let you guess which country that could possibly be.

 

Ryan Lochte, in green, also earned some attention, albeit for all the wrong reasons:

 

screen-shot-2016-08-23-at-3-40-13-pm


15 Social Media Mistakes That Can Damage Your Brand

Achieving social media success can be difficult. Failing at social media, on the other hand, is extremely easy.

 

Social media success is achieved through understanding what your audience wants and pressing the right buttons and saying the right things that convince them to interact and engage with your brand.

 

Social media failure is achieved through so many different avenues that we had to devote a blog of 15 different examples to address it and how to avoid it.

 

Paying Attention to Surface Stats

 

Your audience see the amount of likes, comments and shares a Facebook post gets or the amount of retweets and likes a tweet gets, but you have the tools to see well beyond that.

 

With Facebook Insights alone, you can see how many clicks, both link and photo, a post gets. Go a little further and use Facebook Business Manager and the amount of metrics at your fingertips are borderline limitless.

 

Say you post a video for an advertisement. Did you know metrics are available not only to see how many views that video receives, but to see how long users were watching it? You can actually see the percentage of the video users watched before clicking away.

 

Facebook, Google and Twitter all have extremely advanced analytic platforms that enable account managers to discover what works and what doesn't. And the best part? It's all free!

 

Posting too Much

 

You want to remind your audience of all the incentives your product or service offers, but you can't overdo it. By posting too much you clutter up news feeds and annoy your fans to the point of not only hiding your posts, but unliking or unfollowing, as well.

 

Posting too Little

 

Post too little, however, and you run the risk of having your audience forget you even exist!

 

Not Engaging with Customers

 

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Besides being able to consistently get your brand's name out there, the greatest incentive of owning a social media page is the connection you can make with your customers.

 

Unlike the past where customer service was just a one-on-one conversation, social media is essentially a one-on-the entire internet conversation. When a user leaves a comment on a post or on your page, everybody can see it, including those negative comments that are the bane of every social media manager's existence.

 

Comments, good or bad (but especially bad), need to be addressed, otherwise you're showing your audience that you don't care about their comments or are trying to purposely avoid them. That may not be your intention, but it's what your audience sees.

 

Take the time to address the comments, questions and concerns of your fans.

 

Using Poor Images

 

Shutterstock has plenty of clear (although sometimes way too stock photo-y) pictures to choose from with a subscription, as do many other stock image sites, such as istockphoto and BigStockPhoto.

 

Using an image that's either resized incorrectly, poorly photoshopped, blurry or irrelevant to the content damages the integrity of your brand's social media standing. It's unappealing to your audience and will definitely have as much of an affect on any potential new customers.

 

Just imagine going to a brand's website and seeing it's poorly designed. Would you navigate through it or stray away from the eyesore that it is?

 

Irrelevant Posting

 

Your audience liked your page because of your brand. They don't want to see viral videos or dank memes you thought were funny. They have other avenues they can go down for that sort of entertainment.

 

Stick to what's relevant and post content that's meaningful to your audience, who made a conscious decision to like your page because they're dedicated and loyal to your brand.

 

tumblr_nahsprklfb1qmwidzo2_500

 

Poor Grammar

 

It's a bad look on your brand that you don't even have the attention to detail to correct any grammatical errors in what usually is a succinct piece of copy.

 

It's grating and disrupts your reader's flow when they stumble upon a misspelled word or error in syntax. If they're that interested in what you have to say, they'll go over and try to read it again, but the damage has already been done and their brand-focused mindset has already been broken.

 

But the worst part of all of it? It's easily avoidable. With every piece of copy you create, take the time to read it and re-read it over again. Every writer initially makes errors because they're more focused on creating content. Once you finish creating the copy, put on your editor cap and correct any mistakes you may have made.

 

Not Doing your Research

 

Nobody likes getting called out for being wrong, so here's two ways to avoid being wrong on social media:

 

  1. Don't say it if you're not sure.
  2. Do your research to make sure you're right

 

If you're worried that a commenter is going to comment with "Well, actually.....", then refrain from making the post without doing the research into the content to confirm it.

 

No/Poor Communication with Client

 

One of the greatest reasons for the failing of an account on social media is the lack of communication between the account manager and the client.

 

If you're a digital marketing agency and not an in-house social media copywriter, communication between you and the client is especially important. There need to be weekly updates of possible themes going forward, content the client wants to produce, and images from the client at the worksite to provide the writer with transparency for the reader.

 

Otherwise, one day the client is going to be disappointed with the results of your page because you're not producing the content they want you to produce. Had there been a direct line of communication between both parties, there wouldn't be any disappointment because the client likely would have reviewed the content and themes before it had been posted.

 

Not Planning your Posts

 

Whenever you have to rush something, it's almost certain you're going to overlook small details that are going to compromise the final product.

 

The same applies to creating your social media content. Here's a tip that I personally use: Create the next month's worth of content in the week leading up to it. That way you have enough time to create general content, as well as specific content for holidays you can identify.

 

You're not going to be able to plan every post because of the opportunities presented by trending hashtags. But control what you can, otherwise you're going to be rushing, and inevitably, negatively affecting the quality of your posts.

 

Not Having a Clear Tone and Voice

 

As the social media manager, you give your brand a consistent voice in the digital world. Get to know your audience, the brand's past, the copy on its website and the overall message it's projecting.

 

Consistency is key when applying a personality to your brand. If you want your brand to have a serious tone, then maintain it. The same applies if you want a tone that's playful or has a tinge of both.

 

Stay on message and stay on point.

 

Pandering to Milennials

 

Accounts that try to use memes or popular catchphrases from Twitter to get their message across, I have a message directly from the milennial you are targeting:

 

Memes are not funny when brands use them.

We know what you're doing.

You are making us cringe.

 

giphy-22

 

It's just a lame, transparent attempt to pander to the younger generation that speaks in memes. Sure some kids will fall for it and you'll get your retweets and like, but at the cost of your dignity and the plentiful replies calling you out on it? It's just not worth it.

 

Focusing Only on Sales

 

Not every post has to be a sales pitch. In fact, some of your best posts, especially in terms of engagement, will be posts that pose a question to your fans.

 

Ask your fans about what they like about your product, if they have a specific product they like, how long they've been a fan of your product, etc. I remember doing a post like this for a big client that's been selling two-way radios for decades and receiving a ton of comments when asked what their first two-way radio was.

 

Not only is it a great way to generate engagement, it's an extremely effective way to crowdsource and know a little more about your audience.

 

Trying to do too Much

 

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Don't dilute your product because you're trying to expand your reach. Spending too much time trying to make things work on a channel where your product isn't receiving much attention can negatively affect the work you're posting on a channel where success is a constant.

 

Some channels just aren't effective platforms for certain products. If you're highly technical and promoting mainly business services, LinkedIn would be your preferred outlet as opposed to a channel more focused on engagement like Twitter.

 

Not Knowing your Audience

 

You'll usually be able to pinpoint the demographic of your audience just from the type of product or service you're selling, but it's still valuable to the direction of your content to get a complete picture.

 

If you use Facebook, this information is available simply by going into your Insights and going to 'People'. From there, you'll have easy access to the age, gender and location of your audience.

 

Sure we could have guessed that the majority of our audience would have been women in the age group where most couples get married, but isn't it reassuring to know that the information is at your disposal?

 

This information, like most of the metrics that can indicate paths to success and failure, is all available, often for free.

 

Use it and avoid the mistakes that have plagued many community managers of years' past.


3 Examples of when Social Media Completely Backfired

Social media is not as easy as it may seem. Sometimes the painfully obvious doesn't hit you until it's too late.

 

In the cases of these three social media accounts, it was way, way too late.

 

#AskJameis

 

A few weeks ago, the Florida State University PR department had the bright idea to setup a Twitter Q&A with their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Jameis Winston.

 

What could go wrong? A popular quarterback that just won both of college football's most prestigious awards (He also led his team to a National Championship victory) with a bombastic, outgoing personality sounds like a PR dream.

 

What Florida State seemed to forget was that Winston had been caught up in some rather embarrassing controversies, including stealing crab legs from Publix and being accused of a rape that may have been swept under the rug.

 

Naturally, the questions turned out to be tweets such as this one:

 

and this one:

 

and this one, too:

 

Before you prompt a Twitter campaign like this: Stop. Think. Remember the subject of the questions stole crab legs and was accused of rape.

 

Nestle

 

I am going to post the comment sections of three consecutive posts from Nestle. Brace yourselves.

 

One:

 

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-30-15-am

 

Two:

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-30-29-am

 

Three:

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-31-12-am

 

Maybe it's time for Nestle to hang it up, rather than having their comment sections blasted with accusations of using GMO's, saying water "should not be a public right", and even slave labor.

 

Oh, I missed the comments about slave labor. Well, here they are. In all of their glory, with no community manager to delete or answer them:

 

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-36-19-am

 

Want to read more? Just go ahead and check out Nestle's review section!

 

JP Morgan does a Twitter Q&A

 

Jameis Winston still has plenty of fans from Florida State to ask him legitimate questions. JP Morgan? Not so much.

 

Tweets like this one should have advised the community manager immediately that not only was this a bad idea, but that they should start looking for work elsewhere:

 

And it gets worse. So, so much worse:

 

JP Morgan's response was predictable:

 

It took them three hours and thousands of angry tweets directed at them to conceive that this was a bad idea.

 

You have to feel for the social media managers of companies such as JP Morgan and Nestle. It's not their fault they work for companies that take away people's homes and take water from a drought-plagued region.

 

Some companies just shouldn't be on social media.


How to Approach Social Media in 2016

The time to start planning out your social media plans for 2016 begins right now!

 

Social media success doesn't have to take long. It only takes one campaign with enough funds, incentives for its audience and creativity to vault your small or medium-sized business's account from a middling page with a few hundred fans to a booming page with thousands.

 

Of course, there is some give to the take. As stated before, you're going to have to spend some money, so organic content won't cut it anymore. If you're serious about establishing your position on social media, then get serious and devote some of your marketing budget to implementing a quality campaign.

 

You can handle that part. Meanwhile, we handled all of the research that's meant to help you, dear loyal reader, set up the foundation for 2016 and to build from there.

 

1. Have a Platform for Research 

 

If you're not complementing your content with research, then I regret to inform you that you're doing digital marketing all wrong.

 

Using an analytical platform that allows you to implement your campaign for further insight and research is imperative to improvements that can be made in the future. Without statistical evidence, you're left on an island as to what direction you go next either during the duration or the completion of a campaign.

 

Eye tests won't tell the whole story. Simply looking at the amount of likes, comments or shares barely even scratches the surface when there are countless other metrics used to measure campaign success and failure. You can have a bunch of likes or retweets, but it won't matter if nobody is clicking on what you're selling, which you can easily find through click-through rate (CTR) as a part of the platforms that are specifically designed to help you.

 

Google AdWords is an excellent example of this. Not only does it allow you to launch a campaign on one of the most popular search engines, processing more than 40,000 search queries every second on average, but it also allows you to monitor each individual post, or campaign as a whole, through statistical analysis.

 

2. Get in Touch with the Key Demographics

 

"The North American Consumer Payments Survey....also found that Millenials and respondents with household incomes of at least $150,000 lead the charge, with 13% of milennials and 19% of high-income consumers using digital currencies. Retailers will have to adapt to the preferences of these two demographic groups that often lead trends."

While that quote focuses on preferred payment methods (which we'll address later), it's also indicative of who we should be paying attention to as digital marketers.

 

Naturally, there are going to be exceptions. If you run an account geared towards arthritis pain relief, you're probably going to want to appeal to an older demographic. For the majority of accounts, however, you will likely need to create content that's geared towards the all-too-important milennial demographic.

 

Media and companies bow down and listen closely to what the young, impressionable generation desires, which is why you see a number of obnoxious Twitter accounts (Looking at you, Burger King and Denny's) using terms like "on fleek" or "squad" as a part of their flavor-of-the-month phrases to appeal to the kids.

 

Struggling to speak in their vernacular like you're a musty politician wanting to "kick-it" and "hang-out" (I literally used quotes with my fingers as I wrote those) is a strategy that you fortunately don't have to employ. There are other ways to reach that key audience without alienating the older portion of your audience or using dank memes that will result in commenters telling you to deactivate your account or calling you out on your transparent pandering.

 

Their results are hollow, either retweeted by high schoolers who speak in memes or anybody else that realizes the obvious marketing ploy Burger King is trying to pull.

 

Trust me, the younger generation isn't as dumb as Burger King and Denny's want you to think. There are ways to speak to them without trying too hard to seem "hip" (There go the quotes again).

 

3. Versatility in your Content

 

Posting on social media isn't nearly what it used to be. We are far from the era where you can post organic content, reach thousands, and get excellent results, sometimes without even paying a cent. Because of the growth of social media, especially as an advertising platform, bigger companies have made it impossible for any sort of organic content to thrive.

 

There's just too much money being thrown into marketing departments towards social media now. Because either larger marketing agencies, or in-house agencies for large companies, are investing more of their budget into developing campaigns, a lot of money is now being thrown into social media, which is diverting more attention towards paid media, rather than organic as it was previously.

 

So, how do you compete if you're a smaller company? By researching and locating the popular trends that users are paying attention to, which you can, once again, discover through statistical analysis and research.

 

For you, you're going to have to spend money. It's inevitable now. Social media is now on the same advertising plane as television, radio, and print. You pay to advertise there, so you're going to have to pay to advertise on social media.

 

The easiest way to generate attention to your account will be through giveaways, discounts and offers. A majority of your followers are following you solely because they're interested in your next sale, so keep them loyal and hungry for your products or services by staging a giveaway.

 

You could even have fun with the giveaway. Don't just make it a "Comment here and you're automatically entered". Make it a 'Caption Contest' or a 'Fill-in-the-Blank' contest that will entice your audience into engaging. This strategy creates a greater sense of community, boosts your engagement numbers, and is guaranteed to bring in new eyes.

 

If you have the funds, though, make a shift towards videos, which have quickly become one of the most widely-used mediums for promotion:

 

"Facebook revealed that the number of videos posted to the platform per person in the U.S. has increased by 94 percent over the last year."

If you're going to employ this strategy, you have to go all-out, less you accidentally create the next viral sensation that has more people laughing at it than with it. Spend the money on a quality camera, spend the time to write out a quality script, and spend the patience on making something creative that's going to be attention-grabbing.

 

I highly recommend Samsung's Facebook page for video inspiration. They do an excellent job at making short, creative videos that usually focus on one feature at a time of a product they're selling.

 

4. Discover New Social Media Accounts

 

While milennials say Facebook is making a comeback, it's evident that there are other platforms out there that are bursting at the seams. Twitter is becoming more engaging and universal by adding polls and hearts for likes instead of stars for favorites, LinkedIn is becoming more user-friendly for analytics and blog posting, and Instagram is starting to adjust to being an advertising platform.

 

But there are two platforms in particular that I wrote about a few months back that are also establishing their footing among some of the current top social media platforms.

 

One of those is Periscope, a video-based platform that allows users to live-stream where they are to anyone who wants to watch. The basis for Periscope preys on the curiosity of others, who wish to receive an insider look behind-the-scenes of daily activities we're interested in.

 

In the first ten days of its launch, Periscope had already acquired 1 million users.

 

Periscope's potential is limitless and could affect the way we take in events. At the moment, it's just a behind-the-scenes incentive, but it has the potential to be used as a live, streaming platform to watch concerts or sporting events. It wouldn't surprise me at all if attendees are one day banned from using it at those events, and the platform is put in the hands of those associated with the event to give an extra inside look.

 

The other platform is Pinterest, or what should it be known as: Your Company's Best Friend.

 

Because what Pinterest does that no other platform allows is essentially free advertising. Without even having to setup a website, you can put your entire product line on your Pinterest page, even using Pin-boards to categorize and separate them, and organize all of it so that the user never even has to leave the page.

 

They can find everything they want just by looking at your Pinterest page, which is absolutely and completely free to set up.

 

And the best part? There is no social media platform that bounces more users to your company's website than Pinterest:

 

"Pinterest users were bouncing from Pinterest to company websites at a rate almost seven times higher than they were in 2011. In fact, the Shareaholic study reports that 5% of all traffic to the 300,000 websites came from Pinterest."

 

And the even better part? It's growing:

 

"The number of Pinterest users more than doubled in the second half in 2014...in the last six months of 2014, active users increased by 111%, and members increased by 57%."

 

My advice is to start taking advantage of this now, before Pinterest finds a way to monetize this for their gain, instead of it being all for you.

 

5. Creative New Ways of Payment (Loyalty Programs)

 

Over the past few weeks, I've been doing research and writing blogs into the new-age phenomenon known as mobile payments.

 

Stick around for this lesson because mobile payments aren't going to fade. In fact, if the countless hours of research into it indicate anything, it's that mobile payments are going to become advanced to the point that your smartphone will replace paper and plastic currency.

 

Retail, and this applies to social media, is all about the customer experience and making everything more accessible so that their process between discovery of the product and payment of the product is streamlined. Obviously, there needs to be an incentive for the customer, besides receiving the product.

 

This is where loyalty reward programs come into the picture. These incentives, such as frequent flyer miles or 'Buy 12 burritos and your 13th is free', have been around for awhile, but only now is it becoming technologically advanced to the point that it provides instant gratification to the customer.

 

Considering social media is focusing more on becoming a platform for advertising, you need to make the adjustment to making your page more user-friendly when it comes to making a purchase. Facebook already has features such as a 'Call-to-Action' button that directs your straight to the company page, as well as an 'Offers' tab, but there needs to be more in it for the user.

 

Enhancing the customer experience allows you to create greater engagement and have them coming back for more, in order to continue redeeming their loyalty rewards.

 

Before the ball drops for 2016, start considering ways to improve your followers and fans' experience straight from your social media page. Create an incentive, such as referring to our social media page gives you a 5% discount, that will leave users no choice but to return to your social media page for further deals.