The Who’s What’s and Where’s of Social Media [Infographic]

One of the biggest challenges anyone or any brand has when it comes to social media is figuring where they should be spending their time. A new channel pops up every day and there isn’t enough time to put the needed amount of effort in to every channel. The key is finding a social media mix that allows you to reach the most people who may be interested in what you have to say, as often as possible.

Lucky for us Online MBA put together this infographic of some of the current demographics of some of the most popular social media channels right now. This infographic offers insight into the age, income, education and gender of each social media channel’s user base.

If you’re looking for a better way to reach the best possible audience you can find download our Essential Guide To Internet Marketing. 

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

Selective Hearing And Social Media

We’re all familiar with the term ‘selective hearing’. It essentially means you only hear what you want to hear. This means that anyone choosing to apply this concept to their lives has a sort of filter  blocking out the things that might annoy them, offend them or, even worse, bore them. This idea has been applied to every form of communication that has ever existed, and guess what???

Selective Hearing Applies To Social Media!

For the most part this isn’t literal in social media which is why I want to make a slight amendment to the term and call it “Selective Processing”. Your fans and customers are selectively choosing which messages they will process and they’re basing their decisions off more than just the content you’re providing.

There is very little original content online. What I mean by that is there will always be a similar blog post or tweet or Facebook update to yours, so your mission is to break through all of the selective processing filters people have up. Here are a few ways to do that.

1. Rely on visual obscurity  - Don’t default to generic stock photos. Make connections between your content and the visual you use but don’t be obvious about it. If you show someone what they expect to see they will skip right over you.

2. Brush up on your non-regional diction – There are a million ways to say almost anything so don’t just regurgitate a popular title to share an article. Come up with a unique combination of words to present your content in a more appealing way. Go for puns, alliteration and any other grammatical tools you can think of to really CRAFT your messages.

3. Be brutally honest -  This is a little tricky because people who don’t agree with your opinion might look right over you, or they might take the time to respond. Some people are scared about being confronted on social media but I recommend embracing a little confrontation from time to time. Maintain your civility, of course, and make solid points. Don’t ever tell someone that their opinion is wrong but don’t be afraid to stand by your opinions. These are sometimes the conversations that attract the most attention and inspire the most engagement.

Have you been breaking through all of your fans and customers selective filters? Download our complimentary Ebook on the 5 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making on Social Media and find out. 

 

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

Getting Weird With Seth Godin

I recently read a powerful book called “We Are All Weird” by best-selling author and marketing legend Seth Godin. Seth wrote this book as a manifesto for marketers around the globe, to commit to forgetting about “the mass” and to start focusing on “the weird”. In this book, Seth talks about some of the big changes to our society that have shifted us away from being “normal”, including the increased number of “rich” people who can choose to do whatever they want. He also talks about what that means for the world of marketing and media.

I was going to write out what I thought were some of the most interesting points from the book and do my best to explain them to you but…

I interviewed Seth Godin instead!

Watch the video below to get insight into some of the key concepts and ideas from the book as well as some more in depth explanations from Seth himself.

 

 For more tips and insight in maketing and social media connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Is your online marketing strategy missing something?  Click here or on the image below to download our complimentary Essential Guide To Internet Marketing to fill in the gaps. 

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

It’s Time To Socialize Your Brand

There’s not a business out there that can afford to wait any longer. Your customers are using social media and so are other influencers in your industry.

If your competitors aren’t on social media yet, they soon will be.

Your brand is what your customer expects at any touch point they have with your business. Your customer service reps, your product, the package it comes in, the ads you run, and even the executives who run your company, all represent your brand. Those expectations have already started to be developed by the decisions you’ve made so far, but now your customer doesn’t just want to hear about you, they want to talk to you.

Social media has given your customers a chance to get to know you and they can’t wait! Leading brands like Skittles and Sharpie have developed unique personalities on social media to help enhance the relationships they have with their customers and the rest of the business world isn’t far behind.  So, you know you need to be talking to your customers through social media but you have no idea what to say and, even worse, no idea how to say it. Fear not!

We have a few social media branding tips to help.

1. Define Your Brand’s Personality – Once you have a clear definition of who your brand is, you will have a better understanding of what it would say. Would it make jokes? Does it love kittens?

2. Discover Your Brand’s Interests – Let’s make it easy. You want your brand to be your customer’s most trusted confidant, so you should have similar interests to your customer’s to help strengthen the relationship. Talk about topics that are relevant and interesting to your customers and talk about them like they’re relevant and interesting to you.

3. Develop Your Brand’s Voice – The more sharing or “talking” you do, the more you will see patterns in your word choice, your phrasing, and even your punctuation appear. Your fans and customers will get used to these patterns as well so make sure you stick to them.

Once you get through these basic steps it will become second nature to communicate on behalf of your brand. It may seem like you have a second personality hiding inside of your head, it’s not insanity, it’s smart branding. There have never been more or better opportunities for you to connect with your customers on such a personal level. Your connection leads to a relationship and with that comes loyalty which is one of the most valuable assets your company can have, but the hardest to gain.

 

Click Here to get The Essential Step-By-Step Guide To Internet Marketing E-book and learn more strategies to help your brand succeed online. 

 

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

4.5 Ways To Be More Interesting | Social Media Tips

Being successful in social media depends on several things. You need to be relevant to your fans and customers. You should always be available in case they need your immediate attention, or if they feel like they need your immediate attention. You should be engaging so your fans don’t feel like they’re talking to a wall. And you should be interesting.

Being interesting isn’t as easy as it would seem. Successful brands like Skittles can be interesting by posting a question about a unicorn, but that won’t work for the majority of businesses in social media. The brands that haven’t formed a niche or style for their social voice are left teetering between “good content” and “interesting content”. Unfortunately they aren’t always the same thing.

The downside to playing it safe and providing strictly relevant information is that it really doesn’t give people a reason to be loyal to you. They MIGHT start to rely on you as a source or a curator but that doesn’t attach them to your brand. They aren’t hearing your voice they are simply seeing what you’re seeing. This is where being interesting can help. A quick witty comment on the end of a or a picture attached to a valuable status update can make all the difference in the world. Here are a few things that will help you be more interesting and as a result attach more fans to your brand.

1. Find New Sources – It’s great to have a list of places you can rely on for good and relevant information but don’t go to them too often. If you share from the same sources on a regular basis at turns you into a stepping stone instead of an interesting and valuable brand. Try to make it a goal to something NEW to share from a NEW source every day.

2. Give The World A Bit Of Attitude – People have already started to train themselves to ignore regurgitated content. The same headlines are streaming over and over again on all social media channels so it will take a little something extra to grab their attention. I suggest adding your opinion with a bit of attitude. Even if people disagree you will have obtained their attention.

3. Change It Up – You don’t have to attach a link to everything you share. Not every blog post has to be in five paragraph format. We call it social MEDIA for a reason. Find videos, pictures, infographics and quotes that are interesting and relevant to your brand and your customers/fans. All of the social media channels are becoming more media friendly so don’t be shy.

4. Throw A Curve Ball – You can still share something that has nothing to do with your business or brand. Your fans are real people who have personalities outside of their occupations. Share viral content, share feel good moments, share things that make you laugh, share incredible images, Share! Share! Share! Your brand’s personality has a human side too. If it doesn’t, it needs to get one.

4.5. Maintain Conversations – As I mentioned before, your opinions go a long way when it comes to being interesting. Find other brands or people and comment or reply to what they are sharing. Don’t leave a quick “Thanks for sharing” and call it a day. Read what they want you to read and give them some well thought out feedback. This is only half of a tip because SOCIAL media implies that you are being social but we see a lot of people out there who seem to have no interest in the social aspect of it all.

Feel free to shoot me and questions or thoughts on Twitter or post it up on our Facebook page.

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

Social Media is for EVERYONE! : Old Spice Proved It

We recently started working with Ergo Office Seating, an office chair supplier from San Jose California. Ergo supplies furniture dealers with high-end ergonomic office chairs, they don’t sell directly to the consumer. Keep that in mind. Ergo started their Facebook page and Twitter accounts from scratch. We also built them a blog and optimized their Youtube channel among other things. We made sure that Ergo’s slogan was represented across their designs, in their content and through their voice. In short, we have a well rounded brand rocking social media.

A lot of people would say that a B2B has no business spending this much time on social media. Here’s why those people are wrong.

Old Spice recently launched their 1 Man 7 Billion Gifts campaign where The Old Spice Man will be giving away 7 billion gifts from now till Christmas. Ergo Office Seating was selected to be one of the recipients based on their social media presence, voice and activity.  Old Spice Recorded this video of the Old Spice Man sending his Christmas gifts to Ergo.

Simultaneously they had a crew film the delivery of the presents to Ergo’s Offices

Old Spice also posted on Facebook to their 1,778,338 fans and followers.

They also tweeted to Ergo. Once with the video message and then again in response to Ergo’s thanks

The video itself already has over 7,000 views.

The point is: EVERYONE should be on social media. No matter what business you’re in or what you do, you have an opportunity.  This kind of exposure would normally cost you a big chunk of your marketing budget but on social media it happens for free AND they got delicious cookie cakes out of the deal!

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

It’s Not Just About The Words

Social media is mostly about the written word.  People have been successful in social media by essentially crafting their messages into socially friendly ads that encourage engagement, interaction and action, but that’s not all they have been doing.  Think about your favorite blogs or articles. What makes them stick out?  At first you might want to say that it was an article that appealed to your interests by an author you know and it was well written.  All of that does help, but I bet the photo they used to preview the article helped improve the appeal and grab your attention.

Good, if not great, writing is essential for your social media but it’s just not enough.  What you need to keep in mind is that your readers are scanning over constant streams of text in hopes of finding something that catches their eye or grabs their attention, and you can do both.  Here are a few different ideas you can use to help you pick out the perfect picture for your blog, article or status update.

1. Humor – Everyone loves a good laugh, even when the content isn’t really that funny. Read through your content for a word that really sticks out, you might find this in the actual topic or just in one of the lines you wrote. Harvey Mackay does a great job of this. Notice the connection between Spock and the word “Prosper”? His readers did too.

2. Emotion – Most writers will target an emotion to bring out in their readers.  If you have done this, try to find a photo that matches the feeling. If you can’t find a photo for the feeling you’re going for I suggest image searching Google for that emotion. Here is a screen shot for the top results of “love”.

3. Relevance – Sometimes you will find yourself taking more of a journalistic approach where you have facts to deliver and don’t want to spend much time around opinion.  These picture choices may seem obvious but always explore your options. You don’t have to use the same picture everyone else is using. Keep in mind that a picture can set the tone just as well as your word choice, here’s one I might pick if I was writing about the growth of Facebook versus an article solely about Mark Zucherberg.

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

5 Ways To Give Your Tweets More Power

You have 140 characters to grab your audiences attention, connect with them, and convince them you have something valuable to offer.  On top of all of that you still need to write in the voice of your brand and you need to be consistent in your style and content.  Who would have thought so much responsibility came with Twitter?  Well, to be the nerd that I am, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Here are 5 ways to make your tweets more powerful.

1. Show your followers something new about something they love – Even if it has nothing to do with what you are trying to offer, you will be building one more bridge that connects you to your followers. I tweet fairly often about social media, business, marketing and advertising but fairly often I tweet about some of my favorite random things like Star Wars, Batman, and music.  Guess which tweets get more engagement?

2. Spend more time on word choice – Brush up on your non-regional diction.  It is extremely easy to ignore a series of common words.  Instead of just typing the title of an article or the first words that come to your mind, take the time to craft the message.  Figure out who you want to see your tweet.  Think about what they are doing and maybe even what they are thinking about.  Change your tweet from ” 5 ways not to be bored” to ” 5 epic ways to keep yourself from falling asleep at your desk”  and you will definitely get my attention.  When you can’t find the right word turn to the always reliable Thesarus.  Click on that if you thought I was talking about a dinosaur.

3. Offer your followers tools, not just articles - Information is great, but there is no shortage of articles on the web.  Find things are either useful or different.  It doesn’t take a genius to find great articles from obvious sources like New York Times or Forbes.  Try using tools like StumbleUpon to find fresh new resources and tools, and then SHARE THEM! Your followers will love you for it.  For example: Check out http://hashtagify.me/ if you are overwhelmed by the always tricky hashtag.

4. Include others in your conversations - Too many people tweet without even leaving an opening to start a conversation.  Use tools like Twtpoll.com to get people involved.  Let your followers know that you actually value their thoughts and opinions. If you want something more simple try a fill in the blank.  Today I am going to blog about _______ (fill in the blank). People have ideas and they will love you for giving them an outlet to share them.

5. Give yourself an opinion and a voice – This may seem like an obvious one but I am seriously worried about the amount of robots/monotone people on twitter.  Whether you’re an actual person or you’re representing a brand, YOU NEED A VOICE.  People don’t want to connect with someone who doesn’t appear to have a soul.  Make jokes, show emotion, give commentary.  My favorite way to be snarky is by adding unique hashtags to the end of a tweet.  For example: @JeremyAnderberg has already seen everything I try to show him #mightbearobot…

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

Social Media For Personal Use vs. Business Use

On our weekly show yesterday, The Social Truth, we talked for a little while on the differences between using social media personally and using it for your business/brand. Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, the show was not recorded, so I thought I’d give you a short recap of what we talked about.

I’ve personally encountered a lot of people recently who have been thrust into doing their employer’s social media because 1) they are young and 2) they know a little bit more than the next person. This is all well and good, except that most people’s understanding of social media comes from how they’ve used the various networks personally.

The reality, however, is that using social media for your business or brand has a few key differences that must be taken into account. If you are using the exact same strategies (if you have a strategy at all), you are missing out on the full power of using the social world for your marketing purposes.

The highlights:

  • Content
    • Personal. Here, it’s okay to simply share the old Twitter mantra “What are you doing?”. Your family, friends and coworkers may in fact be interested simply in what you’re up to that night. And they are definitely interested in pictures of your kids, kittens and kite-flying afternoons.
    • Business. This is all about sharing content and giving value. Most of your updates will include links, or little nuggets of wisdom related to your industry. That’s why they are coming to you.
  • Networks
    • Personal. Stick with what you like. Think of it more like a hobby. Love making videos? Dive in to YouTube, and try out Twitter later on. Are you a photographer? Stick to Flickr for now, and try out YouTube later. Don’t feel obligated to be on everything.
    • Business. Have a footprint on all the channels you can reasonably handle. Obviously you don’t want to be overloaded, but you want to reach your intended audience where they are, and they probably aren’t all in one spot. We especially advocate for the Big 5: blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
  • Facebook specifically
    • Personal. You don’t have to reach out much. Here it’s okay to simply be a consumer and digest all the posts coming your way. Put smiley faces and “lols” on everything you like.
    • Business. Get familiar with applications. You can literally do just about anything within a Facebook page that you’re able to do on a standard website. If you didn’t know that, you’re already behind. Do some research and know what they do. Also be intentional about reaching out and adding comments to other pages that add value to the people reading.
  • Consistency
    • Personal. It’s not crucial that you’re posting every single day multiple times. I am one who has a love-hate relationship with social media. Yesterday, for instance, I forgot to tweet altogether, and I get paid to do social media (Yikes! Am I fired?). At the end of the day, though, my friends/family/followers will come back to me because they have a real relationship with me.
    • Business. Consistency is crucial. If you’re not posting every day, your audience is finding a similar company who is. I guarantee it. There are tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that allow you to do this if you have to be out for a few days. Make it a priority to share fresh content at least once or twice every single day.

A couple last points. You want to make sure to clean up your own social media once you become in charge of business or branded accounts. Go ahead and delete some of those old college photos, and clean up the language as well. This doesn’t mean don’t have fun, it just means be a little more aware of what you are posting and the people who might see it.

You also want to make sure you have a strategy for jumping into social media for business use. Read some books and take a look at the companies who are doing it really well. Have defined goals and ways of measuring those goals, just like you would with any other marketing or advertising strategy.

Using social media for yourself may be intuitive, but it’s almost certainly not intuitive when you are doing it for a business or brand. If you have questions or comments, drop ‘em below…or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

More Posts

3 Social Media Changes You Don’t Want to Miss

As a social media company, it is our job to stay on top of all the fancy new stuff that pops up every 10 seconds or so in our industry. Most of these changes don’t really mean much to you, our readers – they are new startups working out glitches, back-end programs that make our jobs easier, or simply new ideas that haven’t quite reached critical mass yet.

The last couple weeks, however, have brought about 3 major news items that are worth sharing. The first is the release of Google+, a social network that is Google-based and is supposed to be a new rival for Facebook. The second is a trio of information bits from Facebook regarding their chat features. And finally, YouTube is in the works of redesigning their user experience, and the early results look promising.

1) Google+

Currently in Beta Mode with limited availability, Google+ seems to be aiming at being a simpler and more user-friendly social network. Friends are organized into “circles” such as work, friends, family, acquaintances, etc. The rumor is that it will be open to the public as of July 31. They will also be rolling out business profiles sometime in the next few months.

Pros:

  • Seamlessly integrates with other Google Apps, especially chat.
  • Has built-in video chat.
  • Organizes friends better than Facebook, making it easier to find the ones you’re truly interested in following.

Cons:

  • Yet another social network to share content on.
  • Not sure yet of how it competes in the social world with the giants that are already present.
  • Has yet to integrate things like events (Google Cal?) or collaborative work (Google Docs?).


2) Facebook Chat

Facebook held a live event viewed by thousands of people online to announce their latest upgrade. The Facebook Chat feature has long been known to be a little glitchy, and not as easy-to-use as Google Chat or Skype. They seem to be trying rather hard to fix that problem. Their trio of items to note:

  • Group chat: You can now add multiple people to a single chat box, making things like weekend planning a breeze.
  • Chat sidebar: depending on your browser size, you may now have a sidebar with a listing of your friends and the ability to chat with them right there, versus just that little box in the bottom right corner.
  • Video chat: This is the biggie. Facebook has partnered with Skype to bring video calling to any of your Facebook friends.

Pros

  • Group chat seems like an awesome feature and will be easy-to-use. This will make life much more simple for a lot of people and even businesses.
  • The ability to video chat without having to download a program is huge. You now have access to all your friends, versus just those with the Skype program.
  • They capitalized on the best video technology out there (Skype) instead of trying to create their own.
  • You can leave video voicemails when your call isn’t answered.

Cons

  • You still have to download a plugin, and it may not be user-friendly for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
  • Still no group video chatting – that really would have been icing on the cake. It will likely be a paid premium feature in the future.


3) YouTube Redesign – Codename “Cosmic Panda”

This change might be my personal favorite. Virtually since its inception, the site has looked a little clunky, and not very user-friendly. All of that is about to change with this update. The overall design is slick and clean, and makes navigating much more intuitive. To activate the update for your account, visit www.youtube.com/CosmicPanda.

Pros

  • It just looks and feels so much better. That’s a big pro in our book.
  • Playlists are organized neatly on the right side and can be seen at all times.
  • Channel stats such as subscribers and views are now easily visible on the rop right.
  • You can change the video size manually, putting the viewing experience totally in your control.
  • It is easier to scroll through videos of a selected channel.

Cons

  • The “Featured Video” seems to be lost, so the video that people see when they land on your channel is likely just the most recent upload.
  • That’s about it for now! We LOVE this update!



What do YOU think of all these changes? What pros and cons have you found? What are you most excited to start using? Chime in here on the blog, or over on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

More Posts