After a recent trip to Walt Disney World with friends, my childhood love for princess dresses and romance came rushing back to me. Though many of these films are older than I am (I’m only 22!), the lessons we can learn from them are timeless.
As someone who leverages social media on behalf of my company and clients, I have been able to take a few lessons from Disney and apply them as best practices for a successful social presence and strategy.
- Always be prompt. Social media posts should always be timely and relevant. If you are late posting important news, you will seem both disconnected and uninteresting to your audience.
As the economic recovery continues, many companies are focusing on innovation to grow their businesses. Innovation serves as the benchmark at companies like Apple, but the ideal of becoming an innovative organization seems be shrouded in mystery.
Innovation is not meant to be only for a select few organizations. In the book The Innovator’s DNA published by Harvard Business Review Press, the authors outline the following characteristics that managers can focus on to generate innovation:
Aaah … January. The holidays are over, the weather is dreary and people are making resolutions. What about you? Vowing to lose weight, quit smoking, work out more? While you’re at it, maybe it’s time to gauge the health of your intranet site. Maybe you’re due for a redesign or need some help increasing engagement and readership. We at Domus can provide a few hints and suggestions to get you started.
Let’s start with the aesthetics. The layout, look and “feel” of the site are just the shell. The navigation and design are equally as important – eye-catching, visually interesting graphics and images and easy-to-use links are the first elements that the user notices. But your intranet needs more substance in order to survive and thrive … you need to remember that it’s more than just a pretty face. Add some brain to the beauty!
At one time or another you’ve met someone that you instantly liked. You laughed at what they said, agreed with their opinions and were eager to see them again. And no, it wasn’t a date. It was a conversation where you just clicked with the other person. That person had charisma, and most likely, you aren’t the first person they made that type of connection with.
Great leaders often have that same penchant for connecting with another person. And because of this, they’re quite successful. But how can this observation help you and your company? Assuming your company is engaging in social media, you actually have the opportunity to be charismatic in each and every conversation. Virtually.
Facebook released its financial results for the third quarter. Some of the most interesting observations are:
- Facebook Q3 bested Wall Street expectations with $1.26 billion revenue in Q3.
- Facebook has reached a gargantuan number of 1.01 billion monthly active users as of end of September 2012. This is an increase of 26% year-over-year.
- Facebook’s revenue from advertising was $1.09 billion. This represents 86% of total revenue and a 36% increase from Q3 in 2011.
- The biggest thing that stood out in Facebook’s Q3 results is the shift of the world’s largest social network to mobile. A total of 604 million mobile monthly active users were reached at the end of September, which is almost 60% of the monthly active users and marks a fantastic 61% increase year-over-year. Moreover, 14% of Facebook’s generated advertising revenue now comes from mobile.
In 2008, Steve Jobs was quoted in Fortune magazine saying that “Apple is a $30 billion company yet we’ve got less than 30 major products. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.” In addition, in a Wall Street Journal interview, current Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about what he learned from Jobs. Cook responded, “Focus is key … that you can only do so many things great, and cast aside everything else.”
Recently, Cook has been quoted as saying, “We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history.” These new products include Apple Maps, the iPad mini and the MacBook Pro with Retina display, as well as updates to hits like the iPhone and iPod lineup. In addition, Apple is rumored to be developing a radio service as well as a TV product.
With the success of Apple based on its category-creating innovations like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, companies are focusing more heavily on developing their own innovations. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reported the following statistics on the growth of innovation:
- A search of annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows companies mentioned some form of the word “innovation” 33,528 times last year, which was a 64% increase from five years before that.
- More than 250 books with “innovation” in the title have been published in the last three months, most of them dealing with business, according to a search of Amazon.com
- Four in 10 executives say their company now has a chief innovation officer, according to a recent study of the phenomenon released last month by Capgemini Consulting.
Your brand’s social actions are just as important as its social content. Now don’t get me wrong, content is a driving force behind a successful social media campaign. But there is a lot to be said about a brand’s social interactions in addition to the information that it proactively publishes.
Does your company have a protocol for how to respond to negative user comments on your brand’s social media pages? How about positive posts? If your answer is yes, then you’re off to a good start. If your answer is no, then we have a little bit of work to do. The point of having a social media campaign is to have SOCIAL interaction with other users. So when users like your Facebook content or Retweet certain Twitter Tweets, there should be some additional form of followup. It could be as simple as a thank you; or perhaps a Retweet of their content. Conversely, if your brand receives negative comments or an influx of customer service queries, these comments should be addressed publicly in order for others to know that your brand is hearing their demands and is there to provide support. (continue reading…)
Common misconceptions about PR – the practice and the professionals
I remember when I was studying Public Relations (PR) back in the day, or when I subsequently first started my career in PR. I’d be in some sort of social situation and the inevitable question would come up: “What do you do for a living?”
My response, I came to discover, was usually a conversation killer: “I’m in Public Relations.” …not because I’m a dull conversationalist, mind you, but because it seemed that nobody outside the industry actually knew what Public Relations, as a profession, really was. (continue reading…)
On May 16th, The Wall Street Journal reported that General Motors would stop advertising on Facebook since the auto maker felt that advertising didn’t have a major impact on auto purchases. GM’s CMO Joel Ewanick said that “GM is definitely reassessing our advertising on Facebook, although the content is effective and important.”
In a meeting during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June, Mr. Ewanick and Facebook’s Head of Sales Carolyn Everson discussed that Facebook would be willing to provide GM with better data on how its ads could be more effective at producing auto sales, but GM said that it would only return to Facebook advertising if Facebook could better prove the effectiveness of its advertising. (continue reading…)