In November 2011, Google+ unveiled its brand pages feature to allow businesses to develop a presence on Google’s social media platform. This was an absolutely vital component for Google to implement in order to compete with other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Mashable weighed the pros and cons of the feature and polled small businesses to gather their feedback on the positive attributes and limitations of the Google+ business offering.
If you know Google Analytics, you probably look at your “Average Time on Site,” “Average Position,” etc. It is important to understand why average metrics can be misleading and to look beyond the headlines and delve into the specifics.
Today, social media marketing is everywhere, but marketers can be hugely successful by practicing another kind of social marketing. That social marketing is using marketing to solve social problems. Consider the following examples:
Wikipedia defines Public Relations as “the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its publics.” This sounds pretty simple. But for anyone who has ever worked in public relations, you know that “simple” is not how you would describe your job.
Some of the major stories throughout the past year – whether about politics, business, sports, entertainment or otherwise – share a similar theme: all have been impacted significantly by the power of social media.
Today, we find plenty of instances where clients want us to build websites that are highly dynamic in look, but not in functionality, such as animations that make the simple web pages more attractive.
The first thought that comes to mind when considering the addition of embedded videos, games, interactive graphics, etc., into a website, is the use of Adobe Flash or just “Flash” as it is more popularly known. Flash has been around since 1996, and with their popularity, various facilities and friendly plug-ins, Flash improvements have helped developers worldwide build fantastic websites. However, there are some drawbacks to these Flash improvements that have caused developers to seek new alternatives. Thankfully, a new alternative has come – HTML5. With its open source platform, easy access with mobile phones and other features, HTML5 has gained tremendous popularity in a short period of time. Interestingly, people have started comparing these two technologies, and we are seeing a great deal of discussion about Flash versus HTML5. (continue reading…)
What is Pinterest you ask? Just another social media craze? Craze – yes. Just another – not exactly. For anyone unfamiliar with Pinterest and how it works, it’s basically a virtual list of a user’s favorite things. TechCrunch calls it a “socially curated shopping catalog” and says, “…it is addictive.” And they’re right – it is.
Just yesterday, comScore reported that Pinterest had surpassed the 10 million visitors mark, attracting 11.7 million unique visitors, and has become a top 10 social media site. It received 40 times the number of visits during the week ending December 17 than it had received during any single week in the prior six months. That’s a 4,000 (FOUR THOUSAND!) percent increase, making it the fastest-growing social media site EVER.
Just a few short years ago, the effectiveness of a company’s web presence was dictated solely by the strength and prevalence of its website. But as companies across the globe have begun embracing social media, an interesting phenomenon has occurred over the past year. In some cases, company Facebook fan pages have received more unique visitors than the company’s corporate website counterpart. See the specific example from a Webtrends whitepaper titled, “The Effect of Social Networks and the Mobile Web on Website Traffic and the Inevitable Rise of Facebook Commerce”:
[Webtrends] analyzed the website traffic of Fortune 100 websites based on ‘unique visits.’ The study revealed that 68% of the top 100 companies were experiencing a negative growth in unique visits over the past year, with an average drop of 23%.
Today’s rapidly shifting marketing and media landscape means that client and agency professionals must be more integrated than ever before. We can no longer think of ourselves as marketing managers, account managers, media planners, art directors, copywriters or research managers. We are all buyers, sellers and enablers of media and must work together to achieve a successful campaign.
Here is what I have recently witnessed within the industry. The lines between public relations and social media are blurring. Account managers need to be well-versed in analyzing technical data, interpreting those results and translating those results into strategic recommendations. Media professionals need to understand the brand strategy and all of the media options available today including social, online and mobile campaigns as well as established channels like broadcast and print. Likewise, creative and production teams are learning new technology and software programs in order to keep pace as well as how to translate TV or print concepts to online and mobile. And everyone needs to have in-depth expertise within a client’s business.
Communications and media as we know them are evolving at a rapid pace. The manner in which we communicate and what is considered “media” is ever-changing. I remember public relations in the era of blast fax distribution and the pre-World Wide Web era. I realize that I’m dating myself by making these statements, but the fact remains: those of us in public relations are ever-challenged to keep abreast of “new” media and to discover ways in which to use it to our – and our employers’/clients’ – best advantage.
Take social media, for example. Consumers are increasingly relying upon social media for their information – going to a company’s Facebook page, for example, before visiting a company’s website. And consumers demonstrate their brand preferences (and loyalty) by following and liking their brands of choice on Twitter and Facebook. In fact, a recent Nielsen report states that 53% of active online adult social networkers follow a brand, that social networking and blogging now account for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet and that Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website. Pretty compelling statistics…and pretty valid reasons why public relations professionals need to include social media as part of their overall communications tactics.
Naysayers may dismiss these statistics, but I recall a similar conversation about the World Wide Web nearly 20 years ago. Enough said.
But beyond B2C communications lies the evolution of “media.” Media is ever-increasingly an online vehicle as printed media – printed news media, most especially – fades away. Writers and editors rely on social media platforms to magnify their voice and reach in the hope that it will (1) increase their reach and (2) drive traffic back to their articles/website, thereby increasing their readership and the value of their advertising.
Even what we consider “media” sometimes comes into question: are bloggers considered media, for example? In my opinion, creating online content does not a member of the media make; however, those with the forum and the voice may not be afraid to use it. So we as public relations professionals must manage these relationships just as we must consider social media platforms as media relations tools – platforms for engaging with the media and platforms for communicating with our various publics.
Does your company need assistance navigating the evolving world of social media? Do you have the tools necessary to harness the power of social media in order to communicate your messaging in a cohesive and an articulate manner? Domus does! Put our expertise in public relations and social media to work for you. Visit www.domusinc.com today and be an active part of the conversation that’s taking place in the world of social media.
For more on this topic, see “Public Relations in a Social World” posted on COMPREHENSION – PRSA’s blog: http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=3557.
Amy Whilldin is an Account Director at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-772-2805.