Succumb to a Virus: Being Trendy

The trendiest thing to do these days is to trend (Mashable’s list is excellent). Being viral is all the rage, especially on Twitter where you can see under “tailored trends” what is trending your own city.

Trends guarantee that people are talking about your product, service, or organization, but are those conversations lasting? The same question goes for the disgruntled CEO who wants to see 5,000 more likes by 2 PM – are those likes going to increase your profits?

Before you decide that you want to aim for trending, ask yourself whether or not trending is going to enhance your brand. Chances are, your focus may be better suited for a promoted tweet, sending out a viral video to your coworkers to share, or launching a moderately aggressive Facebook ads campaign.

So let’s say your idea is worth trending. What should you do?

1. Leverage Connections

Any good PR person knows that blind, cold calls just make you look desperate. Do you know the media connection you’re contacting? Do you already know 10 industry peers who though might not be the chief editor for Vogue, but if banded together, could spread your content like wildfire?

You have to think, who do I know that will support me the most? What about LinkedIn? That dumb girl on Twitter?

2. Email

Have a big database? Or a bunch of awesome peers ready to jump in for you? Over-advertise that hashtag. Write a creative copy for the subject line.

Focus on that one thing you want to promote and provide a clear, centered idea of what you want the recipient to do (but in a sneaky way).

3. Paid Media

There is nothing wrong with promoted tweets/accounts and Facebook ads. Drive those clicks! Link to what you want them to read!!! Just make sure those share buttons are there.

Have you gone back to add new copy into your YouTube videos lately and enabled your account for ads?

4. Earned Media

Let people tweet a pre-written tweet or share a pre-written post when they push “like”. Give them the words, make their job easier. (… share buttons …)

5. Talk About it Yourself

That’s pretty straightforward. Use your personal accounts!

6. Throw an Event

Make it personal. Wait, scratch that. Give them a memory. Don’t have just an online presence, be the guy next to you at the bar. Show off that QR code tattoo. Have that hashtag on a billboard. Encourage social media participation at the event (tweet that you are at the event for a free drink, etc…)

I hope that some of these tips help. If you have any other ideas or questions, please let me know in the comments!

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Social Media: Its Own Corporate Department?

The social media team can find themselves within Public Relations, Marketing, Sales, or Customer Service. Or, he or she may exist as their own department.

So what is really the best choice? No one knows.

There are convincing arguments for Public Relations or Marketing. 

But you still won’t be too convinced. Is it an ambitious sales force or a self-medicating talking head?

Well why not both?

It is my opinion that the social media team should exist as its own department cross-checked and brought into discussions by PR and Marketing.

Social media specializes in its own venue. Do not try and pigeon-hole it into another department for you may water it down, especially if it’s a relatively new part of your company.Image

While you can certainly see a bit of a management/coordination effort here, that should NOT scare you off from maximizing it as a golden tool for eCommerce, messaging, branding, promotions, or whatsoever things.

Social Media is a company content hub. It needs to grab from all sources and play equal with all the others. It needs to thrive on the ability to be a chameleon and be a part of another department.

It needs to deeply integrate itself within your company. Let it grow from within, and after 6 months, if you still think it needs to be a part of another wing, then have the discussion again.

What do you all think? Do you see social media the same way or as one or another?