Will Businesses Heed The Warning From Progressive's Social Media Fail?

If you haven't seen by now, Progressive has a problem and their public relations efforts have only served to make it worse. Here's the story from the Wall Street Journal: Progressive Corp. was trying to save $75,000. Instead, it unleashed a flurry of social-media rage against the company...  The car insurer found itself in the middle of an online firestorm last week after a blogger named Matt Fisher took to his Tumblr page to complain about the way Progressive treated his family as they sought to collect on his deceased sister’s insurance policy. Fisher’s story went viral, and four days later, Progressive agreed to settle with the family for an undisclosed sum. Whatever the settlement amount, the total cost of the incident will be much higher, with a tally that will include those people who made good on their Twitter threats to switch their insurance away from Progressive, as well as those who won’t consider Progressive for their insurance in the future. This is exactly what is meant by the statement that customers using social media have the power to influence millions where they used to be able to tell just ten. It all started with a blog post that Fisher posted. This is the latest unfortunate example of the ability for stories to go viral in an instant leaving your traditional marketing and public relations efforts in the dust. Follow me below the fold for more of the social media outrage.   Continue reading

When should I post this?

I can't tell you the number of times I have been asked when the best time of day to post, tweet or email. The digital agency Raka is cited in this post at Ragan Communications regarding the best time to tweet: If brands want their followers to click links shared in tweets (referred to as “click throughs”), they should post to Twitter early in the afternoon—1 p.m. to 3 p.m.—Monday through Thursday, according to a study by link shortening service Bitly. The study also stressed the two worst times to tweet for click throughs: After 8 p.m. any day of the week and after 3 p.m. on Friday.  You can see the infographic they put together below:

Facebook Post Targeting is Big News For Businesses, Organizations and Campaigns

This is pretty significant.  When I used to manage campaigns and now as a consultant, you focus efforst and apply targeting to ensure your message is being delivered to the most receptive potential resource because you had limited resources.  Rather than taking a shot in the dark, you targeted your efforts in hopes of maximizing your results. Facebook has now taken steps to make that possible in your social media efforts: Community managers can now create and serve content that will appear in the individual Newsfeeds of a more narrowly-selected subset of its fan base. New targeting options include gender, relationship status, education, workplace, language and geography.   With Facebook’s former language and geo targeting, targeted posts only appeared to people who fell within that range of the target, and no one else was allowed to see the post. Now, targeted posts can be seen by all users on the Page in the Timeline (so don’t go overboard with too many posts at once), but only reach targeted users in their own Newsfeed. They tell us what it really means: This update gives marketers the ability to boost social engagement by crafting more detailed and sophisticated content calendars that are tailored to the nuances of their brand’s audience. With more sophisticated content strategies will come greater engagement, as marketers will be hyper-relevant to the behaviors and preferences of various consumer groups. It will be interesting to see how digital marketers incorporate this new feature into their strategy. Facebook says that it is just beginning to roll out the enhanced post targeting, so we'll have to see what they come up with next while figuring out how to best utilize this option.

Telling Your Story By Telling Stories

I really enjoyed this section of the 5 steps for social media successes by Jeff Bullasabout telling your story by telling stories: Stories resonate and help us relate to others. We remember vivid details of stories told when we were kids. The most influential speakers tell memorable stories that stir multiple emotions. The most successful advertising campaigns use storytelling to make a lasting impact. The best media coverage is created by compelling stories. When crafting your Social Media Messaging, you might find that a story you think is no big deal will be enjoyed by your audience. Build your company’s brand by telling multiple stories that become your key message points, convey your real story and create the image you deserve. Tell your company’s story in a way that focuses on your key target audiences. Make it about them and their wants and needs. Instead of neglecting your Social Media Messaging with copy that might be ignored, tell interesting, real life stories that people will want to read and hear. Then, Social Media can be your conduit to tell your story. They give plenty of good advice, but you should ask yourself whether you are telling stories. The point is, content is still king and the way you tell your story will help determine the success or failure of any social media marketing plans.

Are You Giving Reporters What They Want

Ragan Comunications had an interesting posthighlighting a recent survey providing some numbers to back up the feeling that reporters want more than just a press release when being pitched a story by your business, organization or campaign: An infographic from the PRESSfeed 2012 Online Newsroom Survey highlights some large discrepancies between what journalists want from press releases and what PR pros think they want. For example, 75 percent of journalists say they want access to video in a press release, but only 43 percent of PR pros think videos are important to journalists. Even fewer (32 percent) have a video gallery in their newsroom. Also, adding images, graphics and video to a press release can increase views by as much as 77 percent, but more than half (54 percent) of PR pros don't have the resources to produce them. Those are some pretty staggering statistics, but that last note is even more interesting. PR pros will need to adjust to the changing times and provide reporters what they are looking for in order to get the cover they way. From the chart below, it looks like they have alot of work to do in order to understand what today's journalists are looking for.