5 Social Media Tactics to Use Now

Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

Social media can be a grind. The options are always changing and new content is always needed. The effort can help you reach and exceed business goals, so stick with it.
By working smarter and not harder, you can use these five tips to make sure your social media strategy makes sense for the resources you have, engages your audience, and effectively markets your business.

Know the Basics to Soar with Social Media MarketingKnow your target audience/customer.

If you haven’t defined who the target audience is for your products or services, stop everything. You need to know who you are talking to for any social media effort to be effective.

You don’t have to go through a massive branding or research project to define your audience. Get insight from these sources:

  • Details about current customers. Who are they? What do they like about your brand? What else do they like?
  • Google Analytics and social media data. Where do people spend their time with you? What do they react to most?
  • Pew research and other national data. What do the people who fit your target audience do online?

Create multiple touch points.

People rarely act on something based on their first contact with a brand or product. They need to hear about something several times. They need to learn more.

Keep this in mind with your social media. You can’t post about something once and expect to get the results you want. You need to talk about the same thing several times, in different ways and across several channels.

Repurpose content.

Use your content over and over. That blog post can generate several social media posts. The script of a video can likewise turn into text posts of several lengths. Use images as part of content and alone.

Find ways to extend the life of every piece of content you have by using it in a variety of contexts.

Track results.

There’s no harm in trying new things. There is harm in repeatedly doing things that don’t impact your goals, or worse, work against your goals.

Track everything you do with an eye on your intended goal. Do more of the things that move you in the right direction. Stop spending time and other resources on tactics that aren’t working.

Pay attention to the competition.

Always stay on top of what related brands are doing. Pay attention to what they post as well as how people react. You’ll get ideas for things you can do and also tips on what to stay away from.

You can look at their social profiles and see:

  • How often they post
  • What days of the week and times of the day they post
  • How large their follower bases are
  • What specific types of organic, sponsored, and ad content they post
  • Which types of posts get the most engagement

Take note of the patterns that emerge and use that Intel to inform you social media efforts.




Ronn Torossian On Navigating Social Media Misinformation

 

Your Social Media Posts-5 Things Recruiters Look For

 

Many companies and PR agencies tend to pride themselves on the strong relationships they’ve developed with news outlets and journalists, as well as on their very specialized knowledge about all publications that cover topics relevant to a company’s industry niche. However, outside of the media landscape, the sheer number of news, as well as news-like publishers can be overwhelming to many people. There are hundreds of thousands of websites as well as audio, video, and print outlets, and many of them tend to spread misinformation or polarizing political content with their audiences. 

Those types of stories and content present plenty of issues as well as opportunities for companies, and knowing more about the publications themselves is what can help businesses navigate the path of risks and rewards in our current media landscape. 

Bad Press

Until recently, bad press was defined as any sort of negative coverage on a company in a reputable outlet that exposes some legitimate issues about a business. While the company might perceive that media coverage as unfair or unwanted, it was still grounded in legitimate concerns from the public, and PR agencies have been handling these types of situations for decades. 

However, these days, bad press also includes politicized attacks from all types of outlets, even outlets that solely exist to generate outrage and polarization with the public. Additionally, those types of attacks from outlets can even be created by initiatives that a company is proud of, and fully supports. An example of this is a recent story from a right-wing publication that condemned the restaurant chain Pizza Hut by attacking the company’s initiatives that support education. While the story circled several publications with low reliability, it wasn’t actually covered in any sort of reputable outlets. As a result, a small number of people developed an unwarranted dislike and dismissal of the brand solely based on misinformation. 

Leading Opportunities

While biased news stories and misinformation can clearly damage a company’s brand as well as society at large, these issues can also create positive opportunities for those same companies to lead cultural changes and innovate. One of the things that companies can do in such situations is actively support good journalism and not fund junk news outlets. While trust in media outlets is at an all-time low, which leads to both reputable publications and individual journalists suffering as a result, companies can still step in and change that. 

The first step in navigating those types of situations is for companies to identify reputable publishers and make a commitment to only spend their advertising budgets with those outlets. Additionally, there have been a number of initiatives in the last few years that have focused attention on the topic of good journalism outlets at both national and local levels, as well as their importance to society overall.


Ronn Torossian - How PR Firms Can Lead by Example with Diversity and InclusionAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR firm.




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If you’re interested in maximizing social media and more, a graduate certificate in Digital Communications is your next move.

 

 

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Leading Blockchain Incubator Announces Post Dex Offering for Social Media Platform

CommPRO Editorial Staff

Blockchain incubator Starter announced it will host a scheduled Post Dex Offering (PDO) in January, 2022 for VersoView, the engage-to-earn social media platform. In a strategic move, the PDO will accomodate for a reliable and impregnable way for projects and token developers to raise capital while benefiting the project and its allegiant investors.

VersoView is an engagement and rewards platform hosting branded DeFi ecosystems featuring proprietary publishing applications combining AI technology with blockchain integration into a single product. Within the platform, brands, businesses, educational partners and publishers may host, engage, provide content and rewards to their core communities via branded ecosystem Social Tokens.

The Post Dex Offering serves as a multi-faceted product offering consisting of decentralized hybrid fundraising, strategic staking and liquidity mining solutions all designed to strategically align the objectives of a project and its community. Post DEX offerings facilitate the emission of new tokens, while simultaneously offering investors an opportunity to capitalize on the staking and liquidity mining pool with very advantageous yields while getting involved in already launched projects such as VersoView.

“Post Dex Offerings offer an exciting opportunity for blockchain projects to expand and escalate the project’s growth through their next stage of development. It’s exciting to be partnering with VersoView for this opportunity to help them expand their existing community and raise the capital needed as they prepare VersoView for Open Beta and the public launch of their platform in Q1 2022,” said Suvi Rinkinen, COO of Starter International. “We look forward to catalyzing our user participation to further expand the global DeFi space with additional PDO offerings.”

VersoView will provide a user-friendly publishing experience with a one-click process to convert printed materials into generating revenue. The AI-driven OpenView system seamlessly formats across a range of mobile and web platforms ensuring a beautiful consumer experience.

Currently, the VersoView platform is in closed beta in partnership with Garuda Indonesia and the largest privately owned bank in Asia is currently utilizing the platform. VersoView is in the process of migrating their native $VVT token to Polygon in conjunction with the PDO and plans to launch VersoView 1.0 open beta in Q1 of 2022. Already, HAIN and many other publishers and businesses have chosen VersoView as their platform of choice ahead of the PDO and public launch with more news to follow.

Starter’s community has provided hassle-free funding to many well known IDO launches and now adds PDO offerings to its list.

Source: Blockchain Wire




Audit Your Social Media Efforts

Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

Conducting a social media audit helps you assess how well your current social media strategy works for you. A plan enacted last year, last month or even last week may not be as effective as you hoped. You need to pay attention so you can adjust for greatest success.

Know the Basics to Soar with Social Media MarketingEvaluate Current Efforts

To begin your audit, look at what you’ve already accomplished. Ask yourself:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • Who’s connecting with you on social?
  • Which social media sites does your target market use?
  • How does your social media presence compare to that of your competitors?

Also look at the metrics you are tracking that relate to your goals and objectives. Look for patterns that reveal what’s working, what’s missing the mark, and what has changed over time.

Once you gather all this information in one place, you’ll have a good insight into how to improve your results.

Check Your Channels

Your audit should give you a clear picture of the impact of each of your social accounts. If the impact of an account isn’t clear, think about whether it’s worth keeping. It may be a valuable account that just needs a strategic redirection, or it may be an outdated account that’s no longer worth your while.

Also explore any new or emerging channels. Do they have potential to impact your goals?

Ask yourself :

  1. Is my audience here?
  2. If so, how are they using this platform?
  3. Can I use this account to help achieve meaningful business goals?

Asking these tough questions now will help keep your social media strategy on track as you grow your social presence.

Tackle Impostors

During your audit process, you may discover accounts that you and your business don’t own that use your business name or the names of your products.

Impostor accounts can be harmful to your brand, so be sure to report them. Also be sure that your social accounts are verified by following the steps for each channel. This helps people separate real sites from fake sites.




Häagen-Dazs’ New Social Media Campaign

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

The ice cream giant Häagen-Dazs has started a brand new social media contest in Germany that aims to encourage consumers to turn their side gigs into full-fledged careers. The company’s campaign is targeting the younger generation of consumers, titled Generation Z, with the latest addition to its campaign being run by a creative agency named Space. This is an agency that helps artists, performers, as well as business owners  reach their true potential. Meanwhile, the new platform from Häagen-Dazs was created by Forsman & Bodenfors, while it was released back in June 2020. 

The contestants in the Häagen-Dazs competition are looking to win business mentoring, billboard ads, as well as a bursary of $3,500. Additionally, this contest is being promoted through both paid social and influencer efforts, which drives users to a microsite where they’re asked to describe their passion projects in about 100 words, and to upload a video. 

The winners of the contests will enter the judging phase, which is organized by the marketing agency PromoVeritas. Each one of the contestants will get to work on their business plan with a mentor while also being paired with one of Häagen-Dazs’ own flavors such as Vanilla Caramel Brownie, Salted Caramel, and many others. 

According to the brand manager for Häagen-Dazs, Henriette Pagels, the main goal of the campaign is to help business leaders and creatives achieve their dreams. She said that the company is looking to turn people’s passions into real opportunities that will help them do what they really love and turn those opportunities into long-term and sustainable careers. 

The campaign first started back when the brand started celebrating its 60th anniversary and created another campaign to thank consumers for their support over the last six decades. For the anniversary, Häagen-Dazs created another campaign , which asked consumers to share their most creative ideas for ice cream flavors, which are inspired by their love of the brand’s own ice cream. 

The company is well known for the passion that it puts into creating the perfect flavors with the best ingredients, and all participants had to do  was comment on the brand’s Instagram post with their flavor idea. The winners with the most creative flavors received a grand prize of 15 handmade cartons of the fantasy flavor as well as a year’s worth of the company’s ice cream and branded merchandise. 

Each of these campaigns proved to be  a great way for consumers to connect with brands while enjoying their creativity or passion projects.


Ronn TorossianAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.




PART ONE: A Conversation with Jason Miller, CEO of the Social Media Company GETTR, on Issues of Free Speech and Social Media Censorship

 

In our inaugural episodes of season two, we begin with a two-part interview with Jason Miller. Jason is an American communications strategist, political advisor and CEO of GETTR, a conservative social network alternative to Twitter. Jason is, perhaps, best known as the chief spokesman for the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign and transition of former President Trump. In this episode we will discuss GETTR and the issues of free speech, social media censorship, and the digital town square. In part two, we will discuss the 2020 presidential election, The Big Lie, and the events of January 6th

Guest

Jason MillerJason Miller

CEO, GETTR 

Former Senior Advisor, Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America Contributor, Newsmax TV 

Jason Miller launched free speech social media platform GETTR on July 4th, 2021, and under his  leadership the platform reached 1M users in only three days – the fastest growth for a social  media platform of all time. GETTR now has more than 2M users globally, with a motto of “Free  Speech, Independent Thought and Superior Technology,” and a promise to never deplatform or  censor anyone for their political beliefs. GETTR’s tremendous growth has been fueled by an  international desire to oppose cancel culture and declare independence from the Big Tech  oligarchs in Silicon Valley, as well as an unparalleled guerrilla marketing campaign. 

The importance of GETTR’s emergence as a cancel-free platform was highlighted at the end of  Mr. Miller’s September 2021 trip to participate in CPAC Brazil. As he attempted to fly home to  the United States, Mr. Miller and his traveling party were detained for three hours and  questioned about the purpose of their visit, on orders from a politically minded Justice of  Brazil’s Supreme Court. Though they were not accused of any wrongdoing and eventually  released, the episode proved that enemies of freedom are everywhere: First they try to take  your freedom of expression, then they try to take your freedom itself.  

Before launching GETTR, Mr. Miller served as Senior Advisor to Donald J. Trump, 45th President  of the United States of America, where he quarterbacked President Trump’s successful 2021  Impeachment Defense Team, and before that he served as Senior Advisor to President Trump’s  2020 campaign and Senior Communications Advisor to President Trump’s 2016 campaign. Mr.  Miller also served as Communications Director for the Trump Transition Team. 

In addition to his earlier work managing campaigns for U.S. House, U.S. Senate and Governor,  as well as serving as a Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill, Mr. Miller has more than two decades of  corporate communications, public relations and policy expertise advising clients on how to deal  with the intersection of politics, policy, financial markets and the media. Mr. Miller has also  provided extensive high-profile litigation communications support. 

Mr. Miller currently serves as a Contributor for Newsmax TV, offering political analysis and  insights for the Make America Great Again movement, the 2022 mid-term elections and policy  debates in Washington, D.C. 

A native of Seattle, Washington, Mr. Miller is a graduate of The George Washington University.  He lives with his wife and two daughters in suburban Washington, D.C. You can learn more  about GETTR at gettr.com, and you can follow Mr. Miller on GETTR at @JasonMillerinDC.

Host

Michael Zeldin

Michael Zeldin is a well-known and highly-regarded TV and radio analyst/commentator.

He has covered many high-profile matters, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, the Gore v. Bush court challenges, Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation of interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump impeachment proceedings.

In 2019, Michael was a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught a study group on Independent Investigations of Presidents.

Previously, Michael was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as Deputy Independent/ Independent Counsel, investigating allegations of tampering with presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s passport files, and as Deputy Chief Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force, investigating the handling of the American hostage situation in Iran.

Michael is a prolific writer and has published Op-ed pieces for CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hill, The Washington Times, and The Washington Post.




TikTok Challenges Rev Up Social Media Engagement Effort

TikTok Challenges Rev Up Social Media Engagement Effort

 

Cisco turned to the fast-paced platform to share #LoveWhereYouWork stories from intern ambassadors.

John Cowan, Editor, Ragan Communications

Cisco’s social media audience consists of two personas: current employees and potential candidates. It has a variety of social media strategies to engage both audiences, but wanted to activate its virtual summer interns to become content creators on TikTok in a pilot program. The goal was simple: to create #WeAreCisco advocates through motivating them to be a part of something new and exclusive, while allowing them to be creative.

Pilot program was first of its kind 

The pilot program—the first of its kind at Cisco—activated interns to share their #LoveWhereYouWork story through a variety of TikTok “challenges” that the #WeAreCisco team issued weekly throughout the summer. To reach the active TikTok audience, Cisco worked with its university recruiting team to identify interns who might be interested in participating, then created an initial group of intern ambassadors and employee ambassadors (to highlight how the intern experience was integrated into the employee experience) and introduced them to the program using Webex Teams technology.

Continue reading here…




Can a VPN Keep You Anonymous on Social Media?

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are rapidly becoming an essential part of the modern online security toolkit. With so many communications professionals spending more of their time online on social media than anywhere else, protecting themselves and their data has become an increasing priority.

What Is a VPN?

If your personal online security is slightly outdated, you might be wondering what a VPN is and how it can help you maintain privacy and data security when you’re online.

At the most basic level, a VPN helps protect you by creating a private network connection that sits on top of your regular service provider. This provider might be your home internet company, your cell phone provider, or a public Wi-Fi network.

It acts as a buffer on top of an existing connection. So while your standard internet connection provides access to the internet, a VPN creates a separate tunnel on top of that, which is difficult for hackers and other malicious actors to access.

However, like any other kind of tunnel, it has a start and end point, which is particularly pertinent when assessing whether a VPN can protect your anonymity on social media.

Your Shared Information

Some social media networks encourage users to use their real names and personal information. The likes of Facebook go further than most to ensure that’s the case. The company took steps to shut down 1.3 billion fake accounts in the last quarter of 2020. Any account that doesn’t represent a real person or business runs the risk of suffering the same fate.

A VPN won’t protect your anonymity in terms of the information you willingly provide. While your connection to the site in question is secure, the data you send, and they collect is considered to have left the tunnel once it lands on their servers.

Naturally, they also have access to anything you do on the site, such as likes, comments, and pictures. Those actions are considered to have taken place on their platform, something over which your VPN has no jurisdiction.

Masking Your Location

One area in which a VPN can help on social media is preventing your site of choice from being able to tell where you are. Most websites collect the IP addresses of visitors and often associate them with specific accounts in their databases.

Even if you don’t specifically change your location, a VPN will ensure that your apparent IP address and location differ from your real one. That’s because the final step in connecting to a website comes from another server in the network. So wherever that’s located, that’s where you’ll appear to be.

This disguise can come in handy on social networks that don’t require too much authenticity from users, like Twitter and Reddit.

Ensuring Anonymity Across Social Networks

A VPN is a crucial tool if you want to remain anonymous online. It takes care of the technical side of masking your location and ensuring that nobody else can access data you send and receive while it’s in transit.

However, true anonymity hinges on the data you choose to share and the actions you decide to take. It involves creating a throwaway account with no personally identifiable information as a start. This kind of account means a different name and preferably an email account you don’t use for anything else. For complete peace of mind, it’s worth using the same VPN access point when creating and accessing that email account as when using your associated social media profiles.

As alluded to above, robust algorithms are constantly on the lookout for these kinds of fake accounts. As such, you can’t expect them to remain online for long. However, if you want to contact someone privately or give a source the chance to contact you without attracting further attention, accounts don’t need to last all that long.

Naturally, consistency is vital if you decide to adopt this approach. There’s little point in creating a social account using a VPN if you plan to access it without one in the future. Larger social networks collect access data every time you log in, and if you decide to enter an account without VPN protection, your anonymity is compromised immediately.

More Anonymous Options

It goes without saying that in the comms industry, the main reason to go to these lengths is for secure, private communication. However, if your goal is indeed to speak to people privately and anonymously, social media might not be the right tool for the job.

Signal and Telegram might be better for these purposes. Even Facebook’s own WhatsApp is a superior choice thanks to end-to-end encryption, although some privacy activists have their own concerns.

Nevertheless, if you want to access social networks to use their features and tools or participate in broader discussions, a VPN is a crucial part of your toolkit. They enable a balance between personalization and security if you want a degree of control over what you share and with whom. For true anonymity, you’ll need to go a step further with inauthentic accounts.

Of course, you might decide you want complete anonymity and don’t need to do anything in particular on social media. Some require an account just to browse, and a throwaway account is sufficient. Otherwise, the safest option may be not to go on social media in the first place!


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Should Social Media Influence Have an Age Limit?

 

Dr. David Hagenbuch, Ethicist and Professor of Marketing, Messiah University, Author of Honorable Influence, Founder of MindfulMarketing.org  

“Act your age”—It’s a demand that flustered parents make of tantrum-throwing teens and that embarrassed teens make of youth-seeking parents.  Obeying social norms like ones for age-appropriate behavior can be helpful for everyone, so why are some older people acting like social media influencers?

Influencer marketing has become “the fastest-growing online marketing channel” as countless companies have realized that ordinary people with sizable social media followings can be extremely effective at building their brands.

From 2016 to 2020, revenue from influencer marketing leapt from $1.7 billion to $9.7 billion, and it’s expected to rise even more, to $13.8 billion in 2021.  Helping to drive this growth was the 2019 addition of over 240 new influencer marketing platforms and agencies, which enjoyed a whopping $6.50 in sales for every $1 spent.

Who exactly are these influencers?  The top three in terms of social media followers are Ariana Grande (429 million), Justin Bieber (455 million), and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo (517 million), whose recent removal of two bottles of Coca-Cola from a table at a European Championship press conference allegedly caused the beverage brand’s share price to plunge 1.6%.

However, the vast majority of influencers aren’t A-list celebrities whose actions affect stock prices; rather, they’re people who are persuasive in their areas of expertise and are regarded highly by their admirers.  A few of these influencers who have the highest numbers of followers are:

Highly successful influencers undoubtedly share many traits such as strong communication skills and great credibility.  Another is age:  Most of the top influencers listed above, as well as others on HubSpot’s list, appear to be Gen Ys or Gen Zs.  Very few if any have grey hair or wrinkles.

Supporting this observation, a Google search for “old influencers” produces a telling People also ask question: “Are there any influencers over 40?”  The fact that this question is so common suggests that many doubt anyone past age 39 can have meaningful social media impact.

The widespread preference for youthful promoters makes a recent headline in The Drum seem almost ridiculous: “The rise of the 50+ influencer.”  Really?  Encountering a community of half-century and up social media spokespeople seems about as likely as seeing senior citizen sprinters at the upcoming Olympics.

We all know that as we age, our physical and mental capabilities decline, as does our pop culture relevance.  Who wants to hear music suggestions or take fashion tips from a 75-year-old?  Apparently, some people do, and increasingly those “some” number in the hundreds of thousands and even millions.

MediaKix has identified the “Top 10 Elderly Influencers Dominating Instagram,” a list that includes these well-seasoned spokespeople :

  • Baddliewinkle – 3.5 million followers:  Helen Winkle’s unique brand attracts sponsors such as Smirnoff, Missguided, and Stash.  Her tagline, “Stealing your man since 1928,” suggests she’s in her 90s.
  • Iris Apfel – 1.6 million followers:  At the age of 97, Apfel is leveraging her extensive background as an interior designer to help build brands that include Vogue, Christie’s, and Hunter Douglas.
  • Accidental Icon – 743,000 followers:  Lyn Slater is a veteran professor who started a fashion blog in 2014 and is now collaborating with brands like Maison Margiela, Perricone MD, and Oribe.

How are people who are old enough to be great grandparents becoming social media stars?  In The Drum article referenced above, author Adam Whyte suggests that pandemic lockdowns kept many people at home and online more often, giving them extra time to be content creators and consumers.

Whyte is probably right that COVID helped speed the trend of older influencers; however, it’s likely one that was evolving anyway.  Although they were not early adopters of social media, it was inevitable that at least some baby boomers and Gen Xers would grow into influencer roles given their sheer numbers (about 70 million and 65 million, respectively), their increasing use of Facebook, Instagram, etc., and their growing comfort with technology.

However, there’s an even more deep-rooted reason why the emergence of older influencers makes sense:  Even though American culture doesn’t always show it, people do still appreciate age and experience.

This point hit home for me earlier this spring as I interviewed prospective college students for a special scholarship program.  One of the questions we asked applicants was, “Who has been the most influential person in your life?”  Virtually every person I interviewed identified someone older than them, e.g., a parent, grandparent, coach, or teacher.

If asked the same question, most of us would likely share similar responses.  We’ve all appreciated learning from people who have done or seen things we haven’t, often because they’d lived longer.

So, does valuing age mean that older influencers will eventually take over social media influence?  Probably not.  Age has a strong positive correlation with meaningful influence, but it’s not the cause.  People of all ages have valuable talents and experiences they can share.

So many people have positively influenced me over my life that it’s difficult for me to identify just one; however, among them have been several individuals who were younger than me.  Ironically, some were my students—one who comes to mind is a young man who despite having a significant physical disability, always exhibited an extremely positive outlook no matter how challenging the circumstances.  The fact that he and others were younger than me didn’t matter.  What did matter was that I could learn from them.

A person’s influence isn’t as much a function of their age as it is of the type of person they are, what they’re good at, and how effective they are at sharing with others.  A potentially helpful way of thinking about these three things is a paradigm I wrote about in an article a few years ago for the American Marketing Association.  I called the model “The three C’s of personal branding,” which are:

  • Competencies: Everyone has unique talents, but people often need to invest time in developing them so that their knowledge and skills can improve to the point that they become useful to others.
  • Character: Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  This truth aptly supports the notion those who influence us most aren’t just those who are smart or talented; rather, they are people who are kind and genuine.
  • Communication:  Individuals of upstanding character who have valuable competencies won’t be very influential unless they effectively communicate with others.  To reach people beyond those with whom they interact each day, influencers need to use some type of mass media, which usually means becoming proficient communicating via today’s most pervasive form of communication—social media.

That fact that the number of older marketing influencers is increasing shouldn’t be surprising.  They’ve lived longer, which means many have more to share; however, longevity alone is not what makes someone influential.  Individuals of any age who are competent, caring, and good communicators are likely to be successful influencers and practitioners of “Mindful Marketing.”


About the Author: Dr. David Hagenbuch, Ethicist and Professor of Marketing, Messiah University, Author of Honorable Influence, Founder of MindfulMarketing.org 




Ragan’s Social Media Conference

Live Event: September 8 – 10 @ Disney World

Trends and takeaways to capture attention, power engagement and strengthen your brand across major social media platforms and apps

Have you ever looked at a brand’s viral post, tweet, photo or video post and wondered how it created so much conversation?

While there’s no quick strategy to “go viral,” learning how you can powerfully engage with your audience by offering them content that earns followers and creates customers is the best way to ensure you get there sooner rather than later.

At this conference, you’ll learn secrets for creating and effectively telling the stories that drive clicks, takeaways for leading and being part of inclusive, timely conversations across your social media channels and best practices for implementing the most innovative, forward-thinking strategies to engage audiences in new ways.

#RaganDisney

Attend information-packed sessions and inspirational keynotes on the magical grounds of Disney World.

September 8: Opening reception, 6:30-8 p.m.

September 9-10:

  • Track 1: Social Media Strategies for Improving Sales, Revenue, Privacy and more
  • Track 2: Social Media Strategies for the Future of Communications and Marketing

VIEW FULL AGENDA




Stop Wasting Time and Resources on These Social Media Tactics

Know the Basics to Soar with Social Media Marketing - Jill KurtzJill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

You may feel like you are on top of it because you have integrated social media into your marketing and communication. But using outdated tactics may be ruining your impact.

Social media is constantly evolving. Tactics that worked in the past are no longer effective. Worse, they may work against your efforts to engage online.

Stop wasting time and resources on these social media tactics:

Don’t focus on follower numbers.

The quantity of people who follow you is not nearly as important as the quality. You are not in a competition to gain the most followers. Your focus should be on connecting with the right people.

Do follow the people you want to be connected with. Hopefully, they will reciprocate.

Then, spend your energies on providing great content. Couple that with engaging with your followers – liking their comments, sharing their content, answering their questions, etc.

Now you are on the right track to building the right community rather than focusing on numbers.

Don’t automate.

It’s so tempting to set up auto responses. It’s also completely counter to why people connect with you on social media!

Your social community wants and expects personal contact. Automated responses at best don’t give people the connection they crave. At worst, they make them walk away.

Automated, generic messages are a big turn-off. They signal that your only concern is getting people into a pipeline rather than creating a real connection and relationship.

Don’t hashtag and link excessively.

Unfortunately, too many brands still think that the best way to get the most out of a post is to stuff it full of links to their products or services and hashtags.

Link to what you want to sell! Use hashtags to get more eyeballs! Neither is really your best approach. Hashtags and links actually make posts harder to read and understand, completely defeating your reason for posting on social in the first place.

Further, many social platforms are now down-ranking posts that link off that platform, decreasing your organic reach. For example, a Facebook post that has a link to your website, will not be shown to as many people as a post with no link. That’s also works against the whole reason for posting.

Your social approach needs to evolve.

Don’t get complacent on social media. Platforms change rules and algorithms all the time. People’s expectations also change. Your social media strategy needs to keep pace.




Social.Network: a Decentralized Platform Designed to Transform the Future of Social Media

CommPRO Editorial Staff

Social Technologies announced the key generation event for the social.network will go live on April 22nd (World Earth Day), to begin the first phase of its decentralized social networking protocol launch. The protocol aims to solve dilemmas currently faced by for-profit social media companies, and their billions of users. The decentralized blockchain powering the social.network application aims to put ownership and control of global social networks in the hands of its users.

Every account created during the key generation event will be used to kickstart the protocol, and be used in a decentralized identity system with P2P recovery, allowing individuals to own their data and assets under self-custodial accounts on its distributed ledger. Profits generated from the platform’s usage will initially be distributed to fund the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, and as the network is further decentralized, sustainable funding decisions will be under the control of the users.

The social.network enables all content to be created as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its Polkadot compatible blockchain. Additionally, users on the platform can easily create communities structured as DAOs, which enables them to raise funding from a decentralized global treasury system. As social tokens become more popular, this will become the popular model of valuing these decentralized communities. The Social.Network is disintermediating the current monopolistic organizations that extract profit from users and their content, and fosters direct connections between followers, brands, charities, and individuals. And instead of the centralized corporation, in its place is a decentralized protocol that doesn’t extract value, but instead allows the individual participants to realize the monetary value that they’re contributing to any given network and vote on where it should be allocated.

“The mass migration away from centralized social networks should have happened after Cambridge Analytica showed us the power these companies have over our global governance, economic, and social systems. I guess these companies got even better at distracting us, because we live in an exponentially crazier world now.

Centralized social networks have a broken optimization function that is destroying society, for shareholder returns. We need a new social networking architecture that is sustainable for generations to come, and leads to better outcomes for humanity,” said Social Technologies CTO, Sukhveer Sanghera. “Our goal is to be the solution.”

The ambitious goal of the social.network is to build a new systemic governance, economic, and social system that utilizes modern DeFi protocols, on chain governance, and social networking platforms to demonstrate a viable alternative to a failing system. NET, the native token of the Social.Network, runs on a permissionless, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, drastically reducing the energy requirements of securing transactions while also removing a central authority. The issuance of NET is predetermined and distributed to NET stakers following an open-source, verifiable algorithm, and additional NET can be earned by staking existing tokens or creating a social token community that becomes backed by the global treasury, and earning weekly airdrops for contributing to the global goals.

The first phase of the launch will be the initial Key Generation Event which is scheduled to go live on World Earth Day, April 22, 2021. During this event, interested users will be able to create a self-sovereign identity on the platform by following the steps on the social.network landing page, including selecting a group of friends that will be part of the user’s Social Recovery protocol, a key recovery system unique to the social.network enabling a peer-to-peer web of trust to protect accounts from malicious actors.

Source: Blockchain Wire




Social Media Marketing Quick Tips

Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

How do you feel about your social media marketing? Are you feeling on top of it all or way behind? Here’s an overview of what you need to do. Cover these basics and you are in a good position to accomplish your marketing goals on social.

Be on the “Right” Social Channels

The right places to be are the places where your target customer or audience hangs out. There’s no need to be on Pinterest, for example, if the people you want to reach don’t spend any time there.

How do you decide? Pew Internet does great research into who is where on a national basis. Their social media research will give you a good sense of where your target audience is likely to be.

Do some local fact checking. Ask the people you want to engage with. Where are they on social? How often do they use it? What do they like and not like to see?

Bottom line is the right place(s) to be are the platforms that make the most sense based on your industry and audience.

Provide Accurate Profile Information

Once you pick your places to be, you may immediately start thinking about what you will post. That’s not the next step. Completing your profile is the next most important step.

Fill out your profile completely. Add images. Complete all the information fields. Not only does this make your profile look more professional and credible, but this step makes your business easier to find.

Make sure to revisit your profile regularly to make sure it is still complete and accurate. Business details change. And, all of the social channels add options to the basic profile all the time.

Always use all the options to link to your website and other social channels from each profile. The more interconnected you make your online presence, the better.

Post Interesting Content

You need to post content on a regular basis to have any impact on social media. The frequency depends on your type of business and the expectations of the people you want to reach. The content should be a mix of what you want to say and what your audience cares about.

All of your content should support your business goals and reflect your subject matter expertise. Write your content in a conversational way. Social media is a social place – write like you would speak in a face-to-face conversation.

Make Connections

You need to be seen to be effective. Follow fellow businesses, brands and prospects.

Following others shows that you’re an active participant in the social space. Social is all about creating connections and relationships. If you just want to share your latest sales pitch and don’t want to interact, that’s what ads are for.

Follow competitors, industry leaders, customers, and prospects, to see how others operate on social media. Most networks offer follower suggestions to get you started and keep your network growing.

Know Who Is Talking About You and Get Involved

Have a way to monitor for mentions of you and your brand. Timeliness is very important, especially when it comes to customer service.

Most platforms have a search function. You can also use tools like Hootsuite, Mention and Sprout Social to find mentions.

Respond to both positive and negative mentions. It is important to not let inaccurate information go uncorrected. Fans and detractors alike will appreciate knowing you take the time to react to their postings.

Promote your Social Channels

Help people find you on social. The more connections you have, the more impact your efforts there will have.

Some places you can hype up your profiles include:

  • Signage in your store
  • Website links
  • Email signature
  • Email newsletter
  • Business cards
  • Paid ads



How 2021 Social Media Trends Can Be Capitalized on in PR

 

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

In 2020, the public relations and marketing industry underwent a dramatic shift in practices along with the rest of the world. Being an industry that is less impacted by the need to telecommute or shift to virtual offices didn’t make the PR business immune to the impacts of COVID-19. 2020 proved for most industries to be a year of necessary transformation. The shift of many companies to online and virtual work coincided with the resurgence of social media. As people move their lives online to accommodate the necessary health and safety measures; families, businesses, and friends need a way to connect in an authentic way. Trends in social media indicate the need for brands to shift how they do business.

Introduction of “Social Commerce”

The combination of social media scrolling and online shopping has been named “social commerce” and has become a vital way for consumers to find, explore, and buy from new brands. As new online retailers begin to emerge, brands must be able to leverage both any paid content that can be used and organic content that may come sporadically from consumers themselves. Exploring marketing with social commerce in mind allows a marketing expert to drive attention to a brand while expanding the campaign reach far beyond anything that could be achieved without social media. Platforms such as Paypal and Shopify that allow people to run a business-friendly account open more doors for social media and social commerce to play a role in the recovering economy. Harnessing the energy of social commerce allows brands to discover an entirely new group of customers.

The Rise of Video Content

As Alexei Orlov of MTM says, “In 2020, the market for video content boomed. As people were forced to stay home, entertainment became more and more vital to keeping people occupied. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels saw a dramatic increase in the number of users and hours watched.” 

The trend isn’t expected to slow in 2021, as a statement by Zenith Media predicts that the average user will spend 100 minutes a day on video content. In the marketing and PR worlds, this provides ample opportunities to create real results with video advertisements. This is a prime moment to focus attention on creating quality video content that speaks about more than the cost of a brand, while also highlighting the brand’s mission and how the brand looks to help the global community. Expanding the number of platforms (video in particular) that a consumer may find a brand or product is also a great way to further the reach of a brand.

Pay Attention to Changing Consumer Values

As things continue to change and be reevaluated in the coming months, one thing that brands, PR teams, and marketing execs need to pay attention to is what the consumer values in a brand. Many millennials’ goals in consuming a product is not only to benefit from the product, but also to have the product benefit someone else in some way. Brands that are able to offer back to their communities, or to the global community, in some way are receiving a great deal of attention, particularly now with the entire world going through such an unprecedented time. Brands that are fair trade, organic, donate to charity, or provide some structure, product, or other aid to a community are more likely to be well received than a company that does not offer anything back to their community. With the pandemic and lockdown changing so much of daily life, there has also been a shift in the products or values that a consumer will support. Brands that support women who are in domestic violence situations, charities for children’s education, and global healthcare initiatives are being shared online by consumers across social media platforms.


About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of leading PR agency 5WPR.




Social Media Marketing Fundamentals

Your Social Media Posts-5 Things Recruiters Look For

 

Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

I’m doing a lot of reading and thinking about where social media marketing is headed. I offer these thoughts for your consideration.

Trust matters.

We’ve had headlines and even congressional testimony about security and privacy issues, and even fake news on social media. People no longer blindly trust that everyone they engage with online is legit and worthy of their trust.

To be successful, brands must earn trust. You need to be transparent in everything you do. You need to protect the privacy of the people who engage with you.

Be a strong and consistent brand.

Related to the trust issue, people will pay more attention to the sources of information. Brands they know (and trust) will win out over brands with no recognition.

Make this the year that you have a consistent brand and messaging online. Give yourself a strong identity that people will know and understand.

Tell your story.

Social media platforms are moving away from the concept of sharing news and toward telling stories. That’s because stories are what people read and understand. Humans have always been storytellers – stories around the campfire are now replaced with stories told to your social media tribe online.

Connect with people personally.

Everyone wants individualized attention. Marketers that take a personalized approach will be the most successful. Use tools that allow you to target your messages to very specific needs and interests.

Your audience is not a group of the same people. It is a collection of individuals. Success will depend on your ability to tap into differences and not just similarities.




Tips for Using Inclusive Design on Social Media

Information distributed through social media is only as effective as the number of people who view it, and inaccessible content excludes a large segment of readers and viewers.

 

 

Nichelle Roberts, Communication Coordinator, Siren Communications

If you’re like me, you probably joined TikTok at the start of the pandemic. I was reluctant at first, not wanting to spend more time than necessary on another social media platform, but after 24 hours I was hooked.

While visual content provides a fun and expressive outlet for people. The experience isn’t the same for everyone. For a large portion of the population, some kinds of content is inaccessible. According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability.

On TikTok, it’s common to see closed captioning, a crucial element for the inclusion of people with hearing impairments, and communicators should consider close captioning and other inclusive design practices on social media to benefit as many people as possible. If the effort is made to make content accessible, then more people can enjoy it. 

Continue reading here…




How to Ensure ROI for Social Media

Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

The two biggest myths about social media is that it is free and that you can’t really measure impact or return on investment. Both are not true. Smart marketers can make worthwhile social media investments.

Social media is not free. It takes time to develop and implement your strategy. Increasingly, you need to pay to get your content seen.

Every business is right to ask if the investment is worthwhile. The only way to know if you are getting a return on your investment for social media, is to set goals and measure success. That’s easy to understand, but deciding what to measure to get meaningful insight can be a challenge.

Metrics let you show the impact of your efforts, allocate resources, track progress and optimize for continued success.

Define the Right Measures of Success
Defining the right metrics starts with having a digital strategy. There, you define your goals. The right metrics measure progress toward your goals.

There are three general types of metrics to consider:

Business-Level Metrics

Business-level metrics speak to the goals of your organization. Here you show how your digital efforts are contributing to the big-picture goals of your brand. Generally, business-level metrics are data that show financial returns like profit and savings.

Examples: Market share, revenue, brand equity, brand awareness, share of voice, customer lifetime value, and brand affinity

Performance Metrics
Performance metrics, also called key performance indicators (KPIs), measure performance against the goals in your digital strategy. This data provides direct measures against the defined goal(s). These metrics generally have set time frames.

Examples: Sales, reach, engagement, engaged users, clicks, traffic, quality traffic, audience growth, leads, mentions, earned impressions, and conversions

Optimization Metrics
Optimization metrics provide insights on how to improve your social media and other digital efforts. This data is collected to show what’s working and what’s not, so that you can fine-tune your online activities.

Examples: Click through rate, cost per click, conversion rate, engagement rate, engagement per post, reach per post, retention rate, and growth rate

Take Time to Assess
With measures defined, determining your ROI on social media becomes easy. Set aside time once a quarter to track your performance. Although you may be active on social media every day, it takes time to see the impact of the effort. You want to understand the trends in your data.

Listen to your data. Make changes as needed. Capitalize on what is working well.




5WPR CEO On Consulting Service Prospecting on Social Media

Your Social Media Posts-5 Things Recruiters Look For

When the California gold rush was booming in the mid-1800s and people flocked there from all parts of the country, famed American philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau had this comment, “…they go prospecting farther and farther away from the true lead, and are most unfortunate when they think themselves most successful.” 

Much the same could be said today in terms of finding customer leads. Yet today, with many people still quarantined or working remotely from home, direct mail envelopes are even thicker than before. A 2017 Gallup poll suggested that direct mail was far from dead with a 1,300% ROI. So why prospect on social media? 

Prospecting on social media meets consumers where they frequent and, when done right, in areas and on topics they’re interested in. With an engaging sales funnel, conversations can begin and trust developed with potential customers. Here are five steps that can help. 

Step one is to Identify and know one’s USP or unique selling proposition is key to creating a message that reverberates with customers. Who is the main target audience, and what’s the USP that will motivate them to respond? What additional value might be added that is better than the competition is another issue to be addressed. Determining and even polling potential customers about their pain points can be valuable in crafting a message that resonates. 

As Alexei Orlov of MTM has said, “To create interest, demand, and ultimately a contract, generating awareness or step two is paramount. But what’s equally important is the right awareness. Showcasing expertise and results sets the company apart from its competitors.” 

There are numerous ways to do this. One is to blog and write guest posts in publications frequented by potential clients. Another is through LinkedIn articles while establishing relationships with industry publications. Doing interviews is also immensely powerful. 

Identify and join Facebook groups that cater to the company’s target audience. This is step three. Creating learning units and engaging with followers instills confidence and establishes credibility. Consider the most time-consuming option, which is to publish a book or eBook that addresses client pain points. While this entails a lot more work, there is a lot of built-in credibilities that go along with that, and the accompanying publicity about its release will generate much awareness. 

Identifying client pain points and running short, individual videos on Facebook is step four and will also generate interest and feedback. Cross-promote the other platforms and posts to maximize coverage. 

Step five calls for reloading some of those same videos on YouTube and retargeting those same prospects the company is pursuing. And to make it special, consider adding something for free like a free chapter from that eBook if one was written or helpful checklists or worksheets. The added value can help create some reciprocity. 

All set? Before trying to schedule everyone who seems interested, it’s important to recognize the difference between window shoppers, freebie seekers, and genuine potential clients. The process can be aided by building an application process in the booking system and doing something as basic as checking out the person seeking a consultation. Having prospects complete a short questionnaire beforehand that includes a question about being in a position to invest in their firm’s development is not only fair but also practical.


Ronn Torossian - How PR Firms Can Lead by Example with Diversity and InclusionAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is a Public Relations executive.




Girl Scouts Respond to Social Media Bonfire

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR 

There was a time in America when a group that staunchly supports empowering women and girls celebrating a woman being appointed to the Supreme Court would have been a no-brainer. That time, for some, is “not right now” or, perhaps, “not all women.” Here’s what happened and how the Girl Scouts of America Public Relations team responded. 

The Girl Scouts of America posted the following message on their social media platforms: “Congratulations Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the 5th woman appointed to the Supreme Court since its inception,” along with an image of all the current and former female members of SCOTUS. 

Some replied and retweeted with encouragement. Many others, however, came down on the GSA with both hiking boots. The general theme of these critics was that the new Court Appointee, Barrett, “doesn’t represent women well enough” or “in a way that the GSA should celebrate.” Comments similar to this one poured in: “I was a GS for years. I didn’t see your tweet but it’s a pathetic joke to equate all these women in SCOTUS… Time to find a new source of cookies.” 

Others even offered unsolicited PR advice, tweeting: “I’m a social media manager and my advice to your social media managers is read the room next time. You owe every GS an apology… There are many ways to uplift and empower girls… This was not it…” 

This particular message got some pushback from fans of the GS tweet. One poster who got a lot of attention countering the criticism said, “These are young girls who are learning how to participate in civil society, becoming their own people, and explore their own ideas and beliefs… Not pawns in your political bickering…” 

This went on for the better part of the day with both “sides” offering full throated support or condemnation. Then, eventually, the Girl Scouts offered their own response: 

“Girls Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We are neither red nor blue, but Girl Scout GREEN. We are here to lift up girls and women. If you would like to debate partisan politics, keep scrolling.” 

That tone and content served to stoke the fires. Some saw it as an honest, appropriate response. Others saw it as “aggressive” or “combative.” So, the arguing continued, leading GSA to offer yet another response: 

“Earlier today, we shared a post highlighting the five women who have been appointed to the Supreme Court. It was quickly viewed as a political and partisan statement, which was not our intent. We have removed the post.” 

Critics declared victory, while continuing to criticize. Meanwhile, fans of the original tweet, who had been defending the Girl Scouts the entire time, felt betrayed. One fan offered this response: “This was a celebratory tweet for girls and women, leadership and success… I’m disappointed with the Girl Scouts for caving and deleting…” 

In the end, it appears that the Girl Scouts of America’s PR team determined that they had indeed failed to adequately or accurately “read the room.” They surely meant well, but that wasn’t conveyed in a way that many in the audience were ready to accept. Fair or not, right or not, that was vigorously debated. The truism stands: No matter the intent, you need to read the room well and tweak the message accordingly.


About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading US PR agency.