Social Community Management Tips: Tried. Tested. Shared.

Community Management

Post by @itsmeltuvell What’s the ULTIMATE goal for brands and social marketers? If you didn’t answer that with “a loyal, engaged community,” you might be missing out on a huge opportunity through your community management strategy. We’ve had our head in the game for 5 years (or 35 if you agree that social years are like dog years), so here are a few of our tried, tested, and true tips for rocking social community management.

1. Stay relevant. If you’re still marketing to your followers on Myspace, then we got problems. Building brand advocates and influencer’s starts with taking advantage of the conversations that are already happening online. There are so many opportunities & platforms to jump into conversations and engage with your audience using social – they’re talking to you, and you need to be where they are.

2. Get creative. Here’s an example of excellent listening and engaging that proves a little goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you interact and engage with your audience and let your personality shine through.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.11.05 PM 3. Don’t “set it and forget it.” Social never sleeps, and a recent study shows that 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within one hour. If you schedule your posts in advance, that doesn’t exempt you from keeping your finger on the pulse and monitoring the conversation. It’s still moving, even if you’re not.

4. Read before engaging. One mistaken hit of the favorite button could land you in hot water. Although someone might tweet that you’ve made a “Top 10 List,” it could be a list of the top 10 worst brands ever in existence. Do you really want to be favoring that type of content?

5. Address the negative head-on. If you delete or hide a negative comment, it looks like you have something to hide, and likely someone will call you out, creating a bigger issue. Lean into the discomfort and own it. Your audience will appreciate you more for it.

6. Make sure to acknowledge the positive, too. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in the social world.

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7. Remember the “Golden Rule” (of social media, that is). Not familiar? Let’s review: delivering value when, where, and how your audience wants to receive it. Know your target audience so you can provide them your unique value offering with each post.

8. Be human. Getting too technical or being overly salesy can turn your audience off because it comes across as impersonal. Like we always say: Humans > Logos.

Have more tips to add to this list? Share them with us on Twitter.

World Cup Brand-Off

Post by @AlanaGolob

The World Cup may not begin until Thursday, but the showdown to win over football (soccer) fans around the world is well underway. The competition is fierce and brands are pushing the boundaries this year by essentially creating high production short films for their commercial spots. It’s not a surprise that brands are going all out, given that more than 3.2 billion people watched the live coverage of the 2010 World Cup, which was a 32% increase from 2006. It’s been entertaining, to say the least, to witness the heated competition between brands as they fight for viewership. Here’s a snapshot of the brand front-runners thus far. Although their products appear throughout each video, you forget you’re watching a commercial because you’re drawn to the compelling content – something each of these brands did so brilliantly.

Nike: “Last Game” 

With no surprise Nike came out of the gate strong in May with their “Winner Stays” video featuring Renaldo. Well, they are back and even stronger with their new five minute completely animated film, “The Last Game” that is already approaching 1 million YouTube views in the first 24-hrs.

Beats by Dre: “The Game Before The Game”

One of the most impressive campaigns (with more than 7.2 million views) I’ve ever seen is the campaign by Beats. It was visually stunning with Rio as the backdrop, included cameos from celebs/personalities, like Serena Williams and Nicki Minaj and beautifully showcased different pre-game rituals from people around the world. Well done, Beats, and thank you for the goosebumps.

Adidas: “House Match” 

“House Match” took the more humorous (and shorter) approach featuring current and past stars including, David Beckham who match-up against each other in Beckham’s home – which includes the destruction of his stocked trophy case. The video has already accrued more than 10 million views on YouTube since it was published on June 6th.

How do all these campaigns translate to social? It’s simple. Social has been the driving force for these campaigns leading up to the World Cup. With ad buys, athlete support, media coverage, and most importantly, outstanding content – these campaigns are making a huge splash amongst soccer and non-soccer fans.

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Here’s a quick glance at World Cup conversation volume thus far and how it continues to increase as we approach the end of the week.

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If you haven’t watched the new #WorldCup on Twitter video published by Twitter, I would recommend it. “Love every second.”

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ just days away, I look forward to what each of these brands have in-store for football fans around the world.

Back to Social Basics: Surprise and Delight.

Post by @ChelseaHartling

When you think of a brand that just nails it on social, what comes to mind? For us at Digital Royalty, one of the things we really tune into are the brands that do a great job of listening and connecting with their audience. Your engagement factor is often times what sets you apart from the rest, not to mention the fact that it’s also one of the best ways to build brand loyalists. Taking the time to build genuine connections is an underrated component that brands sometimes overlook in their social content strategy.

Embassy Suites recently saw a guest tag them on Instagram in a pretty funny post. His faithful Embassy Suites pen bit the dust after two years of consistent daily usage – anyone who has a trusty pen knows that the struggle is real. He took a photo and tagged the brand in a witty display of satirical devastation:

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It would have been so easy to overlook something like this, especially for a big brand. The differentiating factor here, is that Embassy Suites saw an opportunity to connect with this person through a surprise and delight, so they sent him a personalized note with a box of brand new pens. The result? One happy camper who took to the social space to sing Embassy’s praises.

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These are the types of situations that give brands the opportunity to go back to the basics of social. Something so simple like this helps build brand loyalists and makes a big brand like Embassy Suites stand out in the sea of sameness. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from our long list of marketing ploys and remember what social communication is all about: listening, engaging, and making genuine connections with your audience.

Reminder: social media, isn’t media at all – it’s simply communication, and truthfully, this type of engagement speaks volumes.

An Open Letter to the Twitter Mute Button

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Are you there, Twitter? It’s me, @chelseahartling.

Have I told you lately that you’re one of my favorite social platforms? I mean, I loved you before hardly anyone even knew about you, and besides Facebook you’re the longest social relationship I’ve ever been in.  You’ve given me an outlet to use my voice, and you constantly give me fast access to current events and up to the minute information on what’s happening all over the entire globe. In a generation where social media is the great equalizer, there’s no one like you.

My recent affinity for you comes in the form of your new Mute button. I think it’s brilliant. We all have friends or family that we follow on Twitter who annoy the living daylight out of us – but what can you do? You can’t unfollow your brother for tweeting too much about his love for a sports team you disdain. You can’t tell your best friend to shut up because her relentless tweets with cryptic Marilyn Monroe quotes overlaid on top of sunset pictures are driving you up a wall. You just have to take a deep breath and silently scroll past these posts without making a scene in order to preserve friendship and family ties. It’s a hard knock life for a Twitter addict.

But then you come to the rescue with a Mute button. Finally, a solution for all those people who constantly post deep and cheesy song lyrics, traumatically ruin TV finales, or #OnlySpeakInHashtags, without having to cut ties or offend people you actually enjoy in real life. It just seems so logical to me.

Some people wonder how the Mute button might affect brands. How will they continue to quantify reach if they get muted, or worse, not even know how many people have muted them? As long as you’re continuing to implement the golden rule of social media (providing value when, where, and how your audience wants to receive it) you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Of course, promoted tweets won’t be affected by the Mute button, so brands will continue to have to pull out their wallets if they want to ensure their most important content is being seen – but that’s becoming a norm across most platforms that we’re just going to have to come to terms with (looking at you, Facebook). #MakeItRain

The feature is still brand new, but I’m excited to see the potential of how it progresses. Maybe one day we’ll have the option to Mute for just a set amount of time (how great would it be to mute those people who live tweet TV shows or sports games you have to watch on a delay, just for one day?). Hopefully some day soon we’ll also have access to some analytics around this so brands and community managers can transform their content strategies to provide even more value to their followers. We’re only just scratching the surface with this update, and I truly believe it has the potential to change and redefine the space as we know it. Exciting!

In short, dear Twitter, props to you for having the guts to give the people what they want: a useful feature that will encourage others to use their online voices for good. #Winning.

Jump high-five,
@Chelseahartling

PS. Check out Amy Jo Martin’s recent interview with Fox News TV on how brands can avoid being muted, here.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift

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We love our moms and we know you do too. BUT, don’t you sometimes wish you could put your mom’s social media usage on timeout? Us too. We’ve seen everything from accidental Facebook shares, to tweets that should be @replies. Hashtags? Don’t even bother! So, in honor of Mother’s Day and to show how much we care about all the wonderful mothers in our lives, Digital Royalty University is offering a helping hand.

For the next two days, you can give your mom free social media classes! Just add your selected courses to your cart (after you shop here) and on the checkout screen enter the code “helpmymom“. The price will drop to $0. It’s our way of saying thank you!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hey Graduates! How Does Your Personal Brand Look?

Post by Sara Farr

This week Digital Royalty’s very own Nate Ludens gave priceless advice to a group of advertising and PR students at UNLV. It was similar to the speech he gave to my class last year, which helped to translate my dream of working with social media from merely dreams to a reality. As a college student, and soon to be graduate, hearing from an industry professional is very valuable way to see a different perspective from some of the things you have learned in class and from textbooks.

As graduation season is upon us, it is important to work on (be aware of) your personal brand before diving into the sea of job applications. From Nate’s presentation, here are 7 important tips to help graduates establish a strong personal brand while preparing to join the work force.

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1. Never burn a bridge.

No matter what happens, how you feel at the time, try to be cool because you never know where that person is going to end up. Keep in touch, too, because at the end of the day, your reputation is a huge part of your personal brand.

2. Google Yourself. Future employers probably will.

Be aware of everything that you currently use and it’s appearance to the public: Facebook, any blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. People may Google you before you even get the chance to hand them your resume. Your online reputation is often your first impression, so make sure it’s a good one.

3. Create a blog or use Tumblr to show / reflect a portfolio of your work.

The content and layout are completely flexible and controlled by you – not Facebook, for example. It can be a great tool for showing future employers examples of work that you have completed – and linking to it, if it’s still online.

4. Learn to grab a screen shot.

Get this app: JING by Techsmith.com. It’s free, and it’s great, takes screenshots to the next level. Screenshot your work just in case it gets edited or un-published down the line.

5. Make your resume a PDF.

A PDF is consistent and able to be read on anything.  Just say NO to Word, Pages, and Publisher resumes.

6. Follow the company you’re interested in on social networks.

“What’s easier than that?” Nate says. “It shows you’re paying attention, in even the smallest way.” You may get valuable insights into the company’s culture, or just a great conversation starter for those awkward silences in job interviews or waiting rooms.

7. Hustle. Show that you’re hungry.

Come early, and stay late. It makes the difference because it illustrates your work ethic. Employers want to hire people who can think on the fly and solve problems. If you’re late or leave early, you can miss out on opportunities.

[edit: Digital Royalty University's Personal Branding course is currently half-priced - only $20 for an hour of detailed case studies and direction for anyone building their online reputation.]

Help My Mom!

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We love our moms and we know you do too. BUT, don’t you sometimes wish you could put your mom’s social media usage on timeout? Us too. We’ve seen everything from accidental Facebook shares, to tweets that should be @replies. Hashtags? Don’t even bother! So, in honor of Mother’s Day and to show how much we care about all the wonderful mothers in our lives, Digital Royalty University is offering a helping hand through our “Help My Mom!” campaign.

We’re awarding three lucky moms a personal online session with a Digital Royalty University instructor to help them get their social media presence dialed in. Additionally, we will be selecting 30 additional moms to participate in an upcoming Digital Royalty University live social communications webinar and thanks to our friends at FlowerShop.com, those 30 mom’s will also receive a $30 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com.

So, how can you nominate your mom? Use our hashtag, #RoyalHelp on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and include an example, a quick sentence, or if you’re really brave, a screenshot of a funny social media blunder your mom has made or you can nominate through the following form:

Whether it’s to help with understanding the difference between a public tweet or an @Reply, how to use Google Hangouts or FaceTime, or just some best practices on what to post and what not to post on Facebook (emphasis on what NOT to post), your mom will go through the same social communication training exercises that we’ve put Digital Royalty University graduates through for the past five years. Included with the one-on-one session is a Team Renegades toolkit: a Digital Royalty t-shirt, an autographed copy of The New York Times Bestseller Renegades Write The Rulescomplimentary access to the suite of our online social communication classes and a $100 gift voucher for a flower arrangement from FlowerShop.com. 

Incase you’re looking for some examples of social media blunders, here’s a few for you:

Help My Mom Learn Social Media

The winners will be selected and announced on Thursday, May 8. Lastly, we’re hooking you all up with a 50%-off promotion code for our Digital Royalty University classes and a $15 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com so that you can give the gift of education (and pretty flowers) to your mom this Mother’s Day. Use the code “HelpMyMom” at checkout on Digital Royalty University and FlowerShop.com to redeem. Offer expires on May 11.

Together we can turn your mom from a social newbie into a social rockstar.

#RoyalHelp 

The Government is Listening… and That’s a Good Thing

Post by Nate Ludens

It stands to reason that the biggest and oldest organizations adapt the slowest. Sometimes it’s a matter of scale, sometimes tradition, sometimes all that’s missing is effort. Government, for example, has layers of bureaucracy that can sometimes grind things to a halt – or at least a slow crawl. I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Last summer, Digital Royalty partnered with the City of Las Vegas Government to deliver social media best-practices training for their key communicators, among other items related to social communications. What they’ve done since has been fun to be a part of.

In a recent interview for KCLV Channel 2 in Las Vegas, I answered some questions about social media skepticism in general and the role of social in government. The segment shares some of their recent progress in the social space. For example, @CityOfLasVegas is leveraging live social chats to discuss hot topics, and utilizing online polls by Wedgies for helping to get real-time feedback, among other Las Vegas tech startups.

Government’s role isn’t necessarily changing, but communication tools sure are. So while Americans express concern over the NSA overstepping their bounds by allegedly reading our email or listening in on private conversations, this government entity is excelling – moving at the speed of their community. They’re sharing important safety, policy and meeting information real-time, and listening to those who want to be heard, when they want to be heard.

“If we’re going to be an effective government, we have to be able to communicate with people in the way they want.” David Riggleman, Las Vegas Communication Director told the Review-Journal’s Kristy Totten in a recent interview.

What do you think? If government sectors can shift the way they communicate real-time, shouldn’t any company be able to kick those Innovation Allergies and do the same?

 

Instagrammers: The New Generation of Bloggers

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Post by @AlanaGolob

Remember MTV’s reality show The Hills? Yep, I admittedly have seen every single episode. For those of you who aren’t approaching your “30-something” birthday in a few days, it was a hit show where the main character Lauren Conrad “LC” had an internship with Teen Vogue. Smart move by Teen Vogue back in 2007 to amplify their reach/awareness and attract the teen audience that watched the show (or twenty-somethings like myself). Well, Teen Vogue strikes again with an innovating partnership to target teen fans and provide added value for the publication’s advertisers.

Just recently, Teen Vogue announced their new Instalist campaign that has selected 10 “bloggers” and influential younger personalities who are given a $1,500 prize package which includes a shopping spree featuring their top advertisers, DKNY, 7 For All Mankind among others. They will be asked to host events and participate in a live Instagram fashion show on Feb. 19. The sponsorship also includes digital and print components.

There’s also an open application to become the next member of the Instalist on the Teen Vogue website. According to their official rules, the Instagrammer will be selected based on the following criteria: “Instagram feed social influence and engagement (20%), creativity of photos (30%), sense of style (20%), appropriateness for Teen Vogue’s fashion look and aesthetic (20%) and quality of the photo (10%).”

The key components that make this campaign brilliant are the following:

  • Expanded reach: The combined and total reach of all the personalities extended exceeds 1.6 million Instagram followers, which is nearly double the current reach of the Teen Vogue account. By leveraging the influence of these Instagrammers Teen Vogue has nearly doubled their reach and have expanded into other audiences.
  • Added value to advertisers: Each Instagrammer will be given a shopping spree which will include the clothing items of their advertisers. This is a win-win for Teen Vogue and for the brands advertising. They are able to organically integrate their product and reach a new audience (times 10), beyond a traditional ad buy.
  • Unique experience for teens: These teens are given the opportunity to make a statement for themselves both online and print through Teen Vogues promotion. See how personal online brands are important, even for teens? That’s why we created a dRU Parent/Teen class. It looks as if one of the featured Instagrammers has knocked her personal brand out of the park with more than 400,000 followers at 14.
  • Data acquisition: By opening up the submission process to anyone who wants to apply that is over the age of 13, they are also acquiring new email addresses which leads to more subscriptions. #Winning.
  • Cross-promotional campaign: The Instagrammer photos won’t solely live on Instagram, they will be promoted on the Teen Vogue website, in print and digital campaigns throughout the year. Keeping Teen Vogue’s content fresh and organic.

Nice work on seeing an opportunity and capitalizing, Teen Vogue. Excited to see how this plays out for the publication.

Super Bowl Social MVPs

Post by @MereMcCaskill

Social communications was a game changer this year for Super Bowl XLVIII. Admittedly I’m not your Chevy driving, Budweiser drinking kinda girl, but even Ellen DeGeneres as Goldilocks and David Beckham naked in the city didn’t do it for me.

With an early Seahawks’ lead, the online conversation became much more entertaining than the blowout that was unfolding on our screens. Here’s a shout out to the brands that scored more touchdowns than Peyton Manning and kept a blowout enjoyable.

@JCPenneyWell, they had me fooled. I was convinced their community manager had a toggle fail and community managers across the globe would be glad it wasn’t them today. Instead their seemingly drunken tweets turned into a brilliant scheme that only happens when you throw the playbook out the window. Once they let us in on their trick everyone wanted in on the fun including Good Morning America. It was a well-played content strategy, JCPenney. Now if they had only given mittens away! Oh, wait… they thought of that, too. Kudos.

@DoritosDoritos kept it witty the entire game. They photo bombed the kickoff with a giant human Dorito chip and set a world record while doing it. They offered JCPenney Doritos to sober up and made origami from Dorito bags when the game got boring. Their words, not mine. Doritos is the perfect example of a brand that heavily promoted their product, but didn’t annoy us while doing it. Some of their content was thought-out and some crafted on a whim. It’s the mix of strategy, wit and relevance that made me a fan.

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@DiGiornoPizzaNormally, I would unfollow an account that types in all caps, but I could not get enough of DiGiornio last night. Personally, I favorited almost every one of their tweets. I appreciate a brand that talks like the rest of the human race. At Digital Royalty, we preach how important it is that a brand’s fan or followers feel like they’re interacting with humans, not logos. DiGiornio nailed it. If DiGiornio was a person, I wanted to be at his/her Super Bowl party. Talk about humanizing a brand! Huge brands that aren’t afraid to come out of their corporate shell and have fun with the rest of us are always the game MVP. And can I just say… #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT.

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@TheMuppetsWitty at just the right time. (In reference to GoDaddy commercial) Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 12.03.14 PM

@AudiAudi took a different approach this year. They started pre gaming early on Snapchat with the Onion and sent funny, creative Snapchats to anyone who added them. I loved that they utilized another social platform other than Twitter, especially since it can sometimes become oversaturated with big events. Their Snapchats were about as unexpected and bizarre as Joe Namath’s coat, but that’s what made them so great.

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@PepsiOur last shout out goes to Pepsi, who like Audi, used a different social platform in a big way. They recruited popular Vine personalities like Logan Paul and Marcus Johns to create Pepsi halftime teasers using the GetHyped hashtag. Vine is an often forgotten about platform and Pepsi did an excellent job of covering all bases and all demographics.

Brands are learning they don’t necessarily have to pay to play in order to get some attention but they do have to be willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The people behind the logos, who hold the key(board)s, have to be empowered to react quickly to opportunities and speak on behalf of the brand. If they don’t have the authority to do so, the time will come and go. This space is alive, it’s moving real time. There’s no time to email your boss who then emails their boss to get a tweet approved. By that time, Oreo has already scooped you.