Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

What Makes a Social Media Outlet Stick?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 by Amy Power

As publicists at a top Dallas PR firm, we know social media is no longer a trend. Social media is here to stay, but does that mean every social media platform is made to last? We’ve seen social media outlets come and go- Hater, Hey Tell, Chatroulette to name a few- but what makes certain outlets survive? Facebook will celebrate its 10th birthday in February 2014, but certain social sites only lasts a few months. Here are three critical characteristics a social media platform must have in order to survive:

  1. It must fulfill a need. That’s a simple premise that applies to every new product. New social media won’t stick if there’s no reason people need it. Eventually, the novelty of the new medium will wear off, and it will get lost on the third screen of your iPhone home page. Which social media apps and platforms have fulfilled a need well? Whatsapp identified the need for people to internationally SMS (for free, too!), Twitter identified the need for a source for breaking/real-time news, and Skype identified the need for reliable, international video chatting. HeyTell on the other hand, didn’t have staying power. HeyTell, an app that came and went, allowed people to send voice messages. Although it was interesting and different, the novelty wore off and users realized it was essentially the same thing as voicemail.
  2. It adapts as people change. The social media graveyard is filled with apps or programs that failed to adapt to the changing environment as quickly as its users. Facebook is the prime example of adaptation. Facebook changes its interface and capabilities before its users can ever get bored, therefore keeping both its novelty and functionality. Facebook “Bumper Stickers” are a thing of the past, while the introduction of Facebook Chat combined instant messaging with social networking. Facebook saw its audience splitting their time on social media between networking and instant messaging, so it adapted and combined the two. AOL Instant Messenger was no longer needed, and rather than adapt and offer a new service, AOL’s Instant Messenger simply fizzled out. One of Facebook’s keys to success is its resilience. It doesn’t retain old ideas that aren’t working anymore and fear change- it adjusts to constantly bring new ideas that fit its audience’s ever-changing needs.
  3. It adapts as people change. The social media graveyard is filled with apps or programs that failed to adapt to the changing environment as quickly as its users. Facebook is the prime example of adaptation. Facebook changes its interface and capabilities before its users can ever get bored, therefore keeping both its novelty and functionality. Facebook “Bumper Stickers” are a thing of the past, while the introduction of Facebook Chat combined instant messaging with social networking. Facebook saw its audience splitting their time on social media between networking and instant messaging, so it adapted and combined the two. AOL Instant Messenger was no longer needed, and rather than adapt and offer a new service, AOL’s Instant Messenger simply fizzled out. One of Facebook’s keys to success is its resilience. It doesn’t retain old ideas that aren’t working anymore and fear change- it adjusts to constantly bring new ideas that fit its audience’s ever-changing needs.

Will newer social media platforms like SnapChat, Tinder and Vine stand the test of time? Do they meet the three characteristics discussed above? What is your go-to social media platform?

Photo credits: flickr.com (via Creative Commons)

Five Apps “On the Go” People Can’t Live Without

Thursday, October 31st, 2013 by Amy Power

With each passing year and new invention, our generation becomes increasingly more mobile. We’re constantly on the go and more connected than ever. As a top Dallas PR firm, we know being knowledgeable and connected are the keys to success. The team at Power Public Relations compiled a list of the best apps to maximize your productivity and convenience.

The best part of this list? It will cost you less than $5 to download all of these apps and make your phone just as “on the go” as you are. As business savvy people, we know that’s a good investment.

The Week: As Dallas publicists, we have to stay on top of both Dallas and national news. Unlike other news apps, “The Week” mobile app is an easy to navigate news source. It features articles in a list format, allowing you to see the most recent articles and not get bogged down in old news. My favorite part? The “10 Things You Need to Know” article that comes out every morning. If you don’t have a lot of time to read different articles, “10 Things” features a quick description of each major story. You can subscribe to have “10 Things” emailed to you each morning as well. (Free)

Venmo: Never have cash? Don’t have time to run to the ATM before going out to lunch? Venmo makes sharing the tab exponentially easier, as you can transfer money right from your bank account to another user’s account. Sign-up, link your Venmo account to your bank account and never worry about paying someone back that inconvenient $8.50 ever again. (Free)

TurboScan: Unfortunately, scanners aren’t as on-the-go as we are. TurboScan takes care of all your scanning needs, no matter your location. With this app, we can easily scan media clips and email it to clients while we are on the go. Never worry about working those pesky copy machines again. ($1.99)

Uber: This app has gotten a lot of press in the last few months as the Dallas City Council tried to shut down the service in September. Uber, who markets itself as “everyone’s private driver,” lets you order a car via mobile app and a car is sent to your location. You can track your car’s location via maps and Uber will text you when your car has arrived. It’s more luxurious than riding in a cab, and arriving at an event in a black Town Car or Escalade is a little more tasteful than a yellow cab. Uber is the definition of convenient- you don’t even need to have cash or a credit card on hand. Uber charges the credit card on your account and emails you the receipt. Roll up to your next event in style and don’t worry about parking. (Free)

Teux Deux: We all have a lot to do. From work meetings to picking up that holiday gift, it’s easy to let something fall through the cracks. Teux Deux, an app available for both the iPhone and your computer, creates easy to read lists. From “To Do” to “Groceries” to a wishful “Someday” list, Teux Deux keeps you organized and on task.  When you’ve finished a task, check it off and watch the task turn gray. Sign up for a Teux Deux account ($3/month or $24/year) and commit to staying more organized.

Features That Make Google+ Hashtags Unique

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 by Amy Power

The hashtag craze continues! Starting on Twitter, this social media tool has grown to nearly every social media platform available, and for good reason. The hashtag has enabled brands to better engage, campaign and monitor their social media platforms, which has increased their overall reach and understanding of potential customers.

Brands are able to utilize Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Facebook and Google+ hashtags in similar ways, but Google+ hashtags offers slightly different features.

The fundamental social strategies  of hashtags are still the same no matter which platform you are using. You can read our blog post explaining how to effectively use hashtags on your brand’s social media page for more ideas on incorporating them into your social strategy.

One great and different feature about Google+ hashtags is known as “relevant hashtags.” This feature pulls words from your post that are similar to other popular hashtags and automatically links hashtags to your post. For example, in the post above, we were talking about blogs; Google+ automatically hashtagged “social media” for us. Relevant hashtags will show up on the right side of your post in blue and hashtags in your post will appear grey. Both types of hashtags are clickable and will flip you through related content. Only your first three hashtags will show up on the right, so use them wisely. (Though using more than three hashtags in a post is probably overdoing it!)

If we click one of the relevant hashtags, we are taken through related posts, as shown in the picture above. Google+ will show you three to five posts related to the hashtag. The last page of related posts will show you other related hashtags you can explore. As you can see, Google+ relates social media to marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on. These quick tools allow brands to easily search through related content without having to leave the page of the initial hashtag.

Brands are also able to traditionally search for a hashtag in the search bar. This will pull up all posts that have used that hashtag or posts that have been marked by a relevant hashtag. You are able to search through the content with that hashtag by “best of” or “most recent.” Google+ will also pull up people and pages that are relevant to the hashtag you searched.

Google+ allows for more customizable searches, which helps brands to find more related content, users and information relevant to their page. What do you think—does Google+ have the most user-friendly hashtag feature?

4 Facebook House Rules to Avoid a Social Media Meltdown

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 by Amy Power

Did you know that 80 percent of social media users prefer using Facebook to connect with a brand? Engaging with fans via Facebook could make or break your business so social media marketing should sound like a no brainer. But what happens when users stop playing fair? From irate customers posting obscenities to fans spamming comment threads, we have seen it all.

Having a list of house rules for your brand’s Facebook page can serve as guidelines for fans and set expectations for the community. Each company should tailor their house rules to fit their company values and mission, but here are 4 tips that should be at the core of your Facebook house rules.

1.   Encourage clean and respectful posts

While deleting Facebook posts is social media suicide, there is an exception. Your fans have the right to feel comfortable and safe when interacting on your Facebook page. Let your fans know any inappropriate or offensive post that does not meet Facebook’s Terms of Use will be deleted.

2.   Welcome feedback and concerns

Let your fans know that all feedback, questions and concerns are welcomed on your Facebook page. Give them the peace of mind that you will respond in a timely manner and will not hide or delete their post for any reason other than the previously mentioned exception.

3.   Reply to every post if possible

Fans want to interact on a company’s Facebook page, so pr agencies should try to reply to every post. If you’re a smaller organization you may not be able to monitor the page during nights and weekends. Let your fans know your off hours, but reassure them that you will respond as soon as you can.

4.   Be upbeat

Let’s face it no one likes rules, so it’s good to keep them “short and sweet.” As a publicist, that is one of our mantras. Try not to come off sounding like a legal document or a lecture in your house rules. Your fans are just people trying to interact with your brand, so keep it conversational and don’t sound too bossy.

Still need some inspiration for writing house rules? Check out Coca-Cola, Intel and Oreo’s Facebook pages to see how some of the top brands are setting guidelines for their fans.

4 Big Ideas For Your Pinterest Strategy

Monday, April 8th, 2013 by Amy Power

Recently Pinterest announced that the site would soon launch a redesigned layout with bigger pictures and enhanced search tools. The website, now worth $2.5 billion, also released business-friendly tools including web analytics.

This morning our team sat down and discussed four ideas to apply to our client’s Pinterest strategies.

Pinterest is now the 3rd largest social network in the U.S. and in 2012 Pinterest users spent 1,255,225,000 minutes on the site; it is certainly not a platform that marketers can overlook.

While at SXSW in Austin, one of our team members learned more about Whole Foods Market’s Pinterest strategy. For Whole Foods a Pinterest follower is 15% more powerful than a Twitter follower and Pinterest has become one of their main places for web traffic. Whole Foods currently has 115,313 followers. They are doing something right!

1. Pinterest is like free online publicity for a company:

Whole Foods hasn’t spent a dime on their Pinterest account. Pinterest may be one of the best pr websites for a company, and with new analytic tools marketers can be even smarter about their content strategy.

2. Create a Pinterest presence that is supportive of your customer’s lifestyle:

Whole Foods doesn’t just pin images and articles concerning their products. They’ve thought about what their customers like and what their day-to-day life entails. Whole Foods has 46 boards on Pinterest from “Eat Your Veggies” to “Our Favorite Books.” Their most popular board is “Quest Pinner: Whole Foods” which has 174,305 followers. The board also allows Etsy, a popular shopping site to add pins.

3. It’s not all about you:

Don’t just constantly pin images of products your company sells, pin things that the customer might also be interested in. If your client is a high-end car dealership, don’t just pin cars, pin luxury vacations as well.

For example, Whole Food’s suggests that for every 1 thing of your own, pin 5 other pins from other places.

4. Measure progress:

Top public relations firms need to know how far a pin is reaching and what is and isn’t working. When Pinterest first launched, marketers were struggling to measure ROI. But with third party tools like Google Analytics and PinLeague or Pinterest’s new web analytics, there is more data than ever before to help inform an effective content strategy. For instance, PinLeague can track growth, monitor competitors, identify brand advocates and integrate with Google Analytics.

We’re excited to see what the future holds for one of the youngest and fastest growing social networks. Be sure to connect with Power PR on Twitter, Google Plus and of course, Pinterest for more social media news and strategies.

Power PR To Speak at Fashion Group International Event

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 by Amy Power

Join us tonight at this month’s Fashion Group International (FGI) networking event. Amy will be moderating a panel discussion on Digital Branding. Kate, our director of client services, will be on the panel with Maxine Trowbridge from Pink Memo and Sabrina Dee from Black Book Ink. We will be talking social media and digital strategy and answering any questions.

To attend the event, register here. And be sure to follow us @PowerPR on Twitter as we live tweet from the event and stay tuned on Facebook for photos. Hope to see you there!

Three Ways to Harness the Power of YouTube

Monday, March 25th, 2013 by Amy Power

It used to be that to reach their audience brands had to have large television budgets and a professional recording staff, but YouTube has done away with that model. In fact the platform attracts 800 million viewers per month. Here are three ways you can use YouTube to benefit your brand and complement your social media strategy.

Answer questions. In any industry there are questions that need to be answered; taking the time to answer customer questions not only humanizes you, but it also helps build credibility. Whether you’re a Dallas publicist, a pool business out of Virginia, or a marketing and lifestyle expert like Marie Forleo, you have information worth sharing.

Marie TV: Should I Name My Business My Name or Something Else

You should note that the quality of production is not as important as the quality of information you are sharing  – notice how Forleo’s first videos were done from the comfort of her living room.

The Home Depot: How to Tile a Bathroom Floor

How-to videos. Have you ever tried building something and been completely frustrated by the instructions? Your customers likely feel the same. Think of procedures that could be puzzling to your target audience and create a 2-5 minute videos walking customers through the process. Companies like Home Depot and IKEA are already using YouTube as part of their social media marketing.

Testimonials. Customer testimonials are also a great way to build credibility. Bring in customer for a short interview or encourage them to share their videos with you via social media. You can later favorite their testimonial through your business’ YouTube channel.

Have you experimented with YouTube in the past? Is it part of your top three social resolutions for 2013? Drop us a line; we’d love to hear from you!

Publicist & Social Media Manager

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 by Amy Power

We are seeking two full-time employees, and we want to know why you are a great fit for our organization. Do you like to write in 140 characters? Are you intrigued by headlines? Do you know how to tell a story? We are seeking a publicist and social media manager with amazing reporter-like skills, marketing and PR experience, and big ideas.

The right candidate for this position has 2-5 years of full time, agency experience managing client accounts and proof of secured media placements. In other words, you pitched it … you placed it. You also have experience tweeting, posting and managing social media for brands.

Strong writing and communication skills are required and social media experience is expected. Leading applicants are self-starters with an enthusiastic attitude who can work well independently and in team environments.

In this position you will be responsible for leading and supporting a variety of client accounts. Client support includes writing (press releases, advisories, white papers, social media content), media relations, interview coordination, marketing support, client reporting and the ability to execute flawlessly.

If you fit the above criteria and are interested in working with us, please submit your resume and applicable writing samples to Kate Johnson at kate@powerpublicrelations.com.

Please do not apply unless you meet the exact criteria outlined above.

Top 3 Social Resolutions for 2013

Monday, January 7th, 2013 by Amy Power

Every year as January rolls around millions of Americans vow to stop something, pick something up or a combination of the two for their New Year’s Resolutions. As we think of goals and themes for our personal lives this year, we are also applying them to work. As social media strategists, we thought of the following “Social Resolutions” community managers could apply to their social strategy.

Be more active

Everyone strives to be healthier and more balanced in the New Year and the same can be true for your social communities. This is a great time to evaluate where you are, how far you have come, and where you are going. What social channels are you underutilizing? Are there new networks you should experiment with? Social media management is constantly evolving with new social features, new tools and tricks, new metrics, etc. Just look at the pending rebirth of Myspace or the recent growth of community sites like Quora or Instagram monitoring tool, Statigram.

Keep track of your progress

As people set their yearly goals, the ones with the highest chance for success will be those that are tracked and measured. How are you doing this with your communities? You should already be measuring ongoing community growth through the number of qualified fans, amount of engagement or an increase in positive sentiment, but be sure you are recording other metrics like when your community is most responsive. Generally, what topics do they like to talk about? What kinds of content do they like to share? And if you are running any kind of contest or app, make sure you have tools in place to measure its success and engagement.

Get organized

Our Dallas PR agency always strives to say organized (see more of the top characteristics of a PR professional in a recent blog post), and your social media communities should be no exception. When you are creating content, developing promotions or handling social media responses, being organized is crucial to executing a successful and stress-free campaign. We develop creative briefs with agreed upon message points, assets, timelines and budgets. We also outline our goals for the campaign, and then create editorial calendars for the content across one (or several) social networks. At the end of a promotion or campaign, we can easily go back through our plans and accurately record results, successes and future opportunities we may have identified.

Do you have any Social Resolutions? What are your community goals for 2013?