Mistakes that Macy’s (And MOST Others) is making with Twitter

November 3, 2009 - Leave a Response

Many of the big kids of company brands have jumped on board with social media, and most of them are making some major mistakes.  I find this both comforting and alarming all at once.  (Kind of how I feel when I watch BRAVO reality television.) 

We should be comforted that even the Big Guys are learning the ins/outs of social media, so there is time to catch up for the rest of us.  We should be alarmed that they don’t see enough value in these communication channels to seek the advice of people who can do it the right way.  Macy’s, I am here for you (and I may even be willing to work partially for shoes). Feel free to contact me on Twitter @PRGuruKim or email me at kwalshphillips@iocreative.net

Using the powerhouse brand of Macy’s Department Store, these are the most common mistakes being made on social media.

 

1.       Using “The Company” as the Voice

 

Social media is just that…social.  If thousands of people walked up the  Macy’s on Herald Square and started talking to the wall of the building, they would be seen as kookoo for Coco Puffs.  So why do corporate entities insist that you talk to the store instead of presenting a person that individuals can relate to with the brand?  By making the company the voice, it is the same thing as asking you to talk to a building.  Not okay.  Think what this would be like if they used this same tactic in their commercials.  A wall speaking to you instead of Tim Gunn?  Not cool. 

 

2.       Not Enough Supporting Tie-ins

 

When launching a social media marketing campaign, there needs to be a strategic approach to building a following.  Macy’s is offering a donation of a meal for each Twitter follower they get in support of their big star studded social media campaign of “Feeding America”. Yet they still have less than 5,000 followers. They are not using this promotion to its fullest ability.  In all PR efforts I have seen about the Feeding America event, I have yet to see the Twitter promotion mentioned.  This promo should be included in all Macy’s advertisement campaigns and PR efforts in order to build followers as soon as possible. The quicker you can grow your followers, the quicker you can begin to see a return on investment.

 

3.       The Tweets Can’t All Be About You

 

Macy’s tweets are primarily about the sales, events and promotions at the store. Someone can already receive this information if they check out the ads in the Sunday paper. Where are the other things Twitter users care about style, fashion, celebrity news, behind the scene views, etc.  I heard a great line the other week…”Tweeting should be 85% PBS and only 15% QVC.”  Macy’s, you need to work on your portion control.

 

4.       They Are Not Tweeting Often Enough

 

Macy’s is ignoring their followers  except to answer customer service complaints, so the page ends up being a lot about problems with the brand.  Get engaged with your followers.  Send an @ message when they sign up and tweet at least twice a day.  Keep your voice top of mind and of interest. 

 

Of course Macy’s is not alone in these mistakes.  Many, many, corporations are making the same errors repeatedly, as are the small guys.  Smart marketers have found a way to incorporate their brands into their Twitter accounts and develop a personal voice that carries the brand without being a secret advertisement. After all, that is the secret to social media – a conversation with someone that actually wants to listen and talk back.

 

Want to learn more?  Check out our upcoming social media seminars-

 

Getting Social Media Savvy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

9 am to Noon

(Light breakfast will be served)

Lake Worth CRA Office

29 South J Street, Unit 1

Lake Worth, FL 33460

 $249 per person

 

 

Getting Social Media Savvy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

8 am to Noon

(Light breakfast will be served)

 

The Offices of Staub & Associates

6th Avenue Professional Center

1600 6th Avenue, Suite 104

York, PA 17403

 

$249 per person

($25 discount for members of the York County Chamber of Commerce and Sandler President’s Club)

 

For more information and to register:

http://www.iocreative.net/iocSocialNetworkingRegistrationForm.pdf

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Get Noticed! By Media, That Is…

September 21, 2009 - Leave a Response

It seems as though almost every day, we are hearing about another media outlet that is closing or drastically cutting staff. Television stations, newspapers and magazines have to produce the news with less resources and less hands in the trenches. Now more than ever, it is important to follow some simple steps for your press releases in order to provide reporters with what they need most in the quickest way possible. Their jobs have gotten more difficult. It is your job to make their task of covering you as simple as possible.

Here are some tips to sending a press release that will get published:

 Know who should receive your releases. Do not send your release to info@________. Find the name of the correct person and that person’s email address and address your email accordingly.

 Brief is the word. Your release should be no longer than 250 words.

 List Who, what, when, where and why in the first sentence. If I only read your first sentence, make sure I know enough about your story so know whether or not I want to cover it.

 List contact information for one person for both day and evening/weekend. With cuts to staff and the use of freelancers, reporters are keeping some unusual hours. Help them to utilize you as a source should their tasks need to be accomplished outside of regular business hours.

 You can never send too early or too many. Find out what the publishing deadlines are for the publications you want to be seen in, and make sure they are a part of your marketing plans.

 This is not paid advertising!! Your story will not appear word-for-word as you would like or as it is listed in your press release.

 If not printed, ask why (But be nice!)

 If you get a story, say thank you in a written note. Reporters are doing a job, and just like you it feels good to be thanked occasionally for a job well done.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you in the media!

Looking for more low/no cost ways to market? Attend our Getting Social Media Savvy Seminar–
www.iocreative.net

“7 Ways to Customize Your Facebook Page to Match Your Company’s Personality”

August 19, 2009 - Leave a Response

Hello World!!!  This is my first blog EVER!   I am the newest member of the crack team of IOC, Jaime Fritchman.  I am going to flex my Web 2.0 Muscles and share different ways to customize your Facebook to match your Company’s Personality. 

Is your company Facebook page sending mixed signals, or is coming off like it has a split personality?  If so, here’s the “7 Ways to Customize Your Facebook Page to Match Your Company’s Personality”.

1)      The first and best thing to do is to add some company related pictures to your Facebook Page.  These pictures could be of your employees engaged in different company related events, and/or examples of your product(s) (For instance take a look at IOC Facebook Pictures http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=96173&id=94810011987#/pages/York-PA-Palm-Beach-FL-Central-Square-NY/Inside-Out-Creative/95365873979?ref=ts).  While some pictures are a good thing, it could turn into a vice if it is not done properly.  For example, there should be absolutely no pictures of your vacation last summer in Los Cabo. 

 

2)      The second way to customize your Facebook Page is to fill out all of the company information section, or, at least fill out topics that you are comfortable with.  The more information the better.  It will give potential clients a better feel for your company. 

 

3)      The third step to revamping your Facebook Page would be to explain some of your company goals or services offered in the text box above your “Information” section.  This gives potential clients or customers more information about your company, and creates a brand for your name.

 

4)      The next approach to giving your Facebook Page some personality is to revise your “Friends” list.  For instance, take out the friends who leave ridiculous status updates or your friend from college who hasn’t grown up and still play quarters or flip cup.  This approach will also work better in “Friend Groupings”, because it will allow you to group your friends list into clients, coworkers, event planners, etc.  This will help you find people in your friends list easier, and like I said before, you can limit their status updates.  Example – When clients or friends visit your site they will not see coworker Jen’s status update about her recent Mexican restaurant experience.

 

5)      Next, add different applications that you or your companies are interested in.  For instance, if you are Environmentally Friendly,” there is an app. for that” (Sorry for Apple’s overused saying, but it’s actually spot on when it comes to adding special interest applications).  If a potential client sees an application they find interesting on your site, or they have similar views, they may pick your company over the competitor, because they have something in common with your company.

 

6)      The sixth approach – Creating a Blidget.  A Blidget is a widget for a blog (Blog + Widget = Blidget).  Blidgets are a great way to promote your blog on other sites.  For instance, if your company does daily or monthly blogs, like we do, you may want to leverage the use of a Blidget.  Blidgets tend to create more aesthetic layouts than the standard RSS Feed.  You can create a Blidget and attach it to your Facebook Page.  Once attached, your viewers can click on the Blidget, and be linked to your blog.  If you want to set up a blidget for your own page, I highly recommend www.WidgetBox.com for this endeavor.  The site is very easy to navigate and comprehend. 

 

7)      And last but not least, a Facebook Expression.  I am going to be honest, I have never used this method, but it does sound pretty interesting.  I did some research on the expressions, and it seems that you can change your layout, status updates, etc.  This would allow your Facebook to have your company logo in the background, or pictures of products.  This approach can make a distinction between your webpage and your competitors via a more polished; more professional looking page.

 

And there you have it. The 7 Ways to Customize Your Facebook Page to Match Your Company’s Personality.  I hope this helps you out!  If it does, please let us know the details. We’d love hearing success stories and sharing them with others!

TOP SEVEN THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM BEING LOCKED OUT OF FACEBOOK

July 23, 2009 - One Response

Top Seven Things I have Learned From Being  Locked Out of Facebook

In case you haven’t been tortured by my non-stop tweets and status updates- I have been locked out of Facebook for almost a month.  It all started very innocently, I went to log in, my password didn’t work, I clicked “reset password” and never got anything back.  I have tried CONSTANTLY to contact the Facebook folks for some sort of resolution and have not been able to get ANYTHING in return.  The only way my page is ever updated is through my Tweets, which I had set up to automatically post to my account. (THANK GOODNESS!)

Today, I am choosing to look at this experience not as a frustration or pain in my side like the one I get when I pretend to be a runner, but instead as a learning experience. 

Here are the Top 7 Things I have learned since being locked out:

  1. I have no idea what is going on in my friends’/family’s life without being able to read Facebook Status updates.  I did not realize this that this was my main means of “keeping in touch” with my loved ones. Through their status updates, I learned of job promotions, engagements, births and moves across the country.  Yes, I also learned really minute details that I probably could have lived without such as information about individuals’ cats and co-workers, but I am even missing that.  I am actually CRAVING information about what you ate for breakfast.  I WANT to know!!!
  2. I was relying on Facebook updates for my news information.  I am not proud of it either, but I was.  It was through Facebook that I found out who made it to the Super Bowl, who won York’s Mayoral Primary and who was just fired, er, I mean resigned, from public office.  I have increased my official news consumption (radio, tv, print) in the absence of the updates, but I have to tell you, I don’t feel nearly as “in the know” as I once was.
  3. I have great friends who will continue to comment on my page, offer kudos, and notes of solace even though I cannot comment back.  Our Facebook realtionship has become very one-sided and they are okay with that.  Most other FB communication however has ceased to exist.  Shows again that this Web 2.0 phenomenon needs to remain an authentic two-way conversation.
  4. Spammers will still spam you even if you are never on your page.  I still get about 25 messages delivered to my email each day inviting me to try the new “Orange O Martini” or “Country Sing-A-Long.”  Way to target market people.  I mean, really…
  5. I have no idea when your birthday is if you are not one of my closest friends or family. FB kept me with this false image of myself as being into other’s lives to the point of wishing them yearly joy at the celebration of their births.  Now, I am back to being the self absorbed person I pretty much am.
  6. Photos take on less of an importance when you can’t post them.  If no one will see this picture, do I really need to put on lipstick first?  Okay, I do because of the self absorption thing, but they have lost that “public” factor (and flavor) that they once had. 
  7. Driving in heavy traffic is BORING.  No longer do I have a great red-traffic-light-diversion that helped get me through the day.  I now look around and what I see is none too pretty.  People do the most disgusting things while in their cars.  I am munching on a pack of something yummy right now, so as to not gross myself out, I am not going any further with that one.

 

And there you have it, at least for now.  Because I am still not back in, but I tried again today and have my fingers crossed. Facebook execs- if you are out there- please have some mercy on a poor soul and LET ME BACK IN!

 

Update- I first posted this blog about a month ago.  Two weeks ago, I went ahead and created a new Facebook profile www.facebook.com/PRGuruKim  and everyday, Facebook suggests that I become Friends with my old page.  Doh!

Seek Ye First the Gift of REcommendations

July 23, 2009 - Leave a Response

Seek Ye First the Gift of Recommendations

The best person to make a case of why someone should use your product or service is not you.  It  is actually another customer.  You are being paid to tell your story, while customers are not and their words bring more credibility and a higher trust factor for your potential customers.

This is another reason why Web 2.0 technologies create dynamic marketing opportunities.  They create user-friendly ways for your current contacts to promote you to their circle of influence.  The following are a list of ways to promote recommendations:

  1.  Linkedin Recommendations:  This is the simplest way to increase your credibility.  You are literally seeking a recommendation by one of your contacts that will be displayed on your profile page.  The easiest way to do this is to ask.  Pick at least four contacts that you value and ask if he or she will write you a recommendation.  Make their lives even easier by writing one for them that they may tweak before you post.  (And make sure to return the favor!)
  2. Facebook Fan Page:  Create a fan page for your company (as opposed to a separate profile) and not only can your contacts join, but they can send links to all of their friends suggesting that they contact as well.  Encourage your fans to do so by asking via the “message all” function on the Fan Page.
  3. Seek @ messages on Twitter.  Each time someone sends a reply to something you wrote, it validates the importance of your message.  Ask questions to get the conversation started.
  4. Facebook Event Pages:  Promoting an event via Facebook allows others to see who else might be coming to your soiree.  This can help your event if the guest list rocks, but hurt if only your Aunt Gertrude is coming.  Use this function only if you know the former will be the reality.
  5. Post a video on YouTube.  We interviewed some our clients to share with the rest of the world why we are so fabulous (if I do say so myself.)  Why not do the same?  As you will be able to tell if you check ours out, this does not need to be fancy pants. The more grassroots, the better.  Not only will this be a great way to promote your company, but it gives a bit of celebrity to your clients strengthening your relationship with them as well.  Check ours out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0X4URoN250&feature=channel_page
  6. Comment on others in your network.  When you give a recommendation to someone else, send an @ message on Twitter or post a reply on someone’s Facebook fan page, you promote yourself to all of that person’s contacts.  You are now associated with someone they value and you have just created warm leads. 

 

What are some other ways you use Web 2.0 technologies to share recommendations?

Addendum to Does it really matter how pretty the brochures are when you are starving?

March 17, 2009 - Leave a Response

Read the rest of this entry »

Does it really matter how pretty the brochures are when you are starving?

March 17, 2009 - Leave a Response

So, I am in a quandary.
Unfortunately as often I go into communities with a mission of creating a brand/image/marketing message, I am faced with questions outside of my scope that I cannot ignore in good conscious. I heard an interesting line tonight that screams with what I am talking about, “If you put sprinkles on sh*t, it is still sh*t.” Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Details: Day one and Two in Chambersburg

March 10, 2009 - Leave a Response

3.9.09 and 3.10.09

 

Day One and Two in Chambersburg:

 

So far I have interviewed ten people that are involved in Chambersburg Elm Street program, ranging from volunteers, to staff, to a Pastor, to someone who hasn’t volunteered yet but is interested.

  Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Details- Getting Started on the Elm Street Project

March 10, 2009 - Leave a Response

Inside Out Creative has the honor of being chosen to create a branding campaign and tool kit for Elm Street Manager across the State of Pennsylvania. 

 

What is Elm Street?

Elm Street aims to improve the situation of Pennsylvania’s urban neighborhoods while linking revitalization efforts to those in Read the rest of this entry »