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September 14 2010

20:29

Social Media Helps Drive Traffic, Engagement at NewsHour

When the PBS NewsHour relaunched both on-air and
online in December, a new homepage was unveiled, a news blog was born and a new
correspondent joined the team. But another big change unfolded behind the
scenes as well: The addition of a social media desk assistant (myself) dedicated to
fostering an online community and better distributing PBS NewsHour content
digitally. In just a few months, the PBS NewsHour has pushed social media sites
into the top 10 referrers to our website, and they will eventually leave organic search results on Bing and Yahoo in the dust.


Beyond the numbers is a shift in newsroom attitudes toward social media. When I first arrived, Twitter was only tolerated as an online trend. It has since expanded into something that most of our on-air correspondents -- Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Margaret Warner, Hari Sreenivasan, David Chalian, among others -- and many behind-the-scenes staff use on a regular basis. They gather information, track breaking news, crowdsource questions and share details that couldn't quite make it into the broadcast's in-depth analysis of the day's happenings. 

   

Twitter

Breaking News

By focusing on breaking news that suits our audience, we've covered subjects that have become a "Trending Topics" on Twitter several times. While the short-term value is a spike in traffic for our content on the subject, the longer-term value is exposure to new audiences. We retain on
average 150-200 new followers during each event (in addition to our usual addition of about 250 to 300 followers on weekdays). While the return on investment remains lower than that of Facebook, the exposure -- and the immediate clickthroughs -- do bring in new unique visitors. We are working to determine precisely how many visitors we are retaining.

Last week, another oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Given that one of our major traffic drivers for the past four months has been BP's Horizon oil
disaster
, we immediately tweeted the news, credited to @ap. That tweet was retweeted at least 155 times over the course of the day, including more than 100 within the first hour. The followup article, which was posted within 45 minutes of the news and updated throughout the day, received 541 clickthroughs on its aggregate bit.ly link and, per that site, was retweeted more than 100 times. It also generated at least 39 comments on Facebook. According to our Google Analytics, the page was viewed 1504 times with 233 referrals from Twitter compared to only seven hits from Google News. The
biggest referrer? Facebook, with 270 hits.

facebook_referrals_versus_yahoo!,_bing (2).png 



Why it matters: In addition to exposure to new audiences, it gives us a demonstrable way of measuring the return on investment for our web content that, in turn can shape the way we structure our emerging, web-conscious newsroom, and the bridge between our traditional broadcast practices and the "early adopter" status online that some of our team members maintain. 



Features Designed for Social Media


By comparison, consider a piece that was designed for the web and meant to spread rapidly online. Our arts team, @NewsHourArtBeat, interviewed musician Andrew Bird, whose fan base is largely online-oriented. Bird himself retweeted the link, as did 97 other Twitter entities. The story (published Sept. 2) has seen more than 8,000 individual page views on an otherwise slow weekend
for web traffic. A throw from the broadcast on Monday night, plus a well-timed tweet during the show added another 55 clicks to the main bit.ly link. 


Why it matters: We're pushing content before an audience that is aware of -- but not involved with -- our brand, while maintaining the editorial standards that have supported the show over the past 34 years. While web traffic is never the whole reason we do a
piece -- we've come to recognize that content needs an impetus to spread, and to matter to our viewers, new and old.
 

Social Media Use for Reporting

In addition to the shift toward pushing content into the social media space, we're also drawing on social media as a source by pulling content into our pieces and using Twitter especially to gain insight into events and places that we can't physically cover. As Sreenivasan has said, Twitter has become an "immersive sonar" of sorts, enabling us to monitor multiple sources and streams of information simultaneously.

While it is more work to verify sources, it's easier to see trends, directions and questions around a topic that readers and consumers are likely going to want answers to. This enables us to reach and expand our audience more effectively over the long-term. 



#Blagojevich


Across the newsroom, PBS NewsHour reporters and correspondents -- including Sreenivasan -- had Tweetdeck and HootSuite running in the background awaiting news of a verdict in the former Illinois governor's corruption trial.

As news broke of Blagojevich's conviction on one count, it was precariously near air time. Twitter beat out the AP for reporting facts from the scene, which we could then cross-check against primary sources. It also helped us uncover live-streams from Chicago media that the newsroom watched until our own broadcast went live.



#Prop8



As news of the Proposition 8 verdict broke in California, the newsroom turned to Twitter, sourcing a copy of the judge's verdict before the court's official document was posted on PACER. We supplied it to our on-air team before the broadcast, informing their discussion of the subject as much as possible, in addition to republishing it via DocumentCloud on our own website.



Engagement on Facebook



We've come to depend on -- and ask questions of -- our ever-faithful Facebook audience. When I started engaging the community on our page, we had about 5,000 fans and an RSS feed was used to add content to the page. Today, we have more than 15,000 fans and, according to Facebook's Insights toolset, we have in excess of 5,000 active users on the page every day, and an average of about 50 new "likes" per day.

According to those same statistics, about 13,000 of our fans were active on our page in the past month. On Sept. 3, for example, 15 minutes before our regular political analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks were due into the studio, I posted to our Facebook page a request for topics for the online-only segment they tape every week. Within 10 minutes, I had several substantive questions. The video of Brooks, Shields and Sreenivasan answering those questions (and two more from Twitter) was posted later that evening, and we have since thanked each of the contributors personally for sharing.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now that social media has an established presence at the PBS NewsHour, we're examining how we can further embrace it both as a way to push our content -- via targeted advertising and search engine optimization, etc. -- and to pull people in by encouraging correspondents and staff members to use social media as a resource for stories, ideas and audience development.

So far, we've started to run Facebook advertising campaigns with incredibly small budgets ($10 to 15 per day) and very high returns (between .05-.078 percent conversion). Combined with a recent PBS
Facebook push, we've seen a jump from 14,900 fans (on a Friday) to 15,448 (on the following Wednesday). We spent, on average, $.63 per new fan. This represents a turning point. We will continue our organic efforts -- consistent posting, integrating other fan pages' into our content shares, targeted distribution, etc. -- in addition to our new paid endeavor.


Our ultimate goal is to maintain our incredibly high (87 percent) interaction rate as we grow our fan page to 30,000 fans and beyond. Ultimately, we expect Facebook's utility to keep up with market trends -- and rival the ROI of Google search in our quest for relevant, engaged users. 

Outside of the numbers that prove our success, our users' appreciation of our efforts has become something that we look for and appreciate as a team.

Our brand, one of the oldest and most respected in television, has morphed from a group that had an erratic and undefined presence on the Internet to one that has become a place to test new ideas and reach into new parts of the media space, in addition to being a hub of the traditional in-depth reporting and analysis.

What do you think of our efforts at NewsHour? How do you think they could be improved? Share your thoughts in the comments.

@KateGardiner (kategardiner.com)
is the PBS NewsHour's first-ever social media desk assistant and a
recent graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of
Journalism. She frequently consults on social media development for
media companies.


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July 08 2010

20:51

The Influencer Project Showcases 60 Speakers in 60 Minutes

news21 small.jpg

Education content on MediaShift is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

The world is flooded with multi-day web marketing conferences and other educational opportunities aimed at teaching people how to use social media. But this week the shortest social media conference ever lined up 60 thought leaders to speak for 60 seconds each.


The Influencer Project was streamed live on Tuesday, and each speaker was given the opportunity to tell listeners the most important thing they should do to grow their influence within the next 60 days. Headliners included Guy Kawasaki; online wine critic and co-founder of Vaynermedia, Gary Vaynerchuk, who I interviewed for my last post on social media training; Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger.com,; Mike Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com; Marshall Kirkpatrick, the vice president of content development and lead writer at ReadWriteWeb.com; and many others.

Some of the advice included tips on how to get yourself interviewed in order to build your brand, discussing what you truly know, and focusing on a niche in order to dominate it. Guy Kawasaki advised people to repeat their tweets in order drive clickthrough rates throughout the day. Marshall Kirkpatrick discussed getting involved early in the news cycle. Stelzner told people how to open up a Facebook fan page.

Michael-Stelzner1.jpg

"Facebook has extended their feature capabilities to third parties," Stelzner said. "You could put stuff on your website, like your blog, and it allows people to click a button that reads 'Like,' and all of a sudden on their Facebook personal page there will be a link back to your blog."

That link will be spread to that person's list of friends on Facebook. Such exposure has helped Social Media Examiner's Facebook page get "Liked" by over 9,000 people. (Stelzner only launched the page in February of this year).

He has also written about how he has leveraged Social Media Examiner's Facebook page to grow its community.

The Power of Story

Brian Clark of Copyblogger argued that people need to know how to tell their story. And they also need to learn from other people's experiences.

"We need to learn from what worked in old media," he said. "Don't ridicule it or think that they're out of touch because sooner than you think the big guys are going to figure all this stuff out and they're going to be dominating social media."

Brian-Clark1.jpg

People respond to narrative content, according to Clark. He argued that media producers, meaning everybody with an Internet connection, need to have a solid understanding of human psychology and what can influence us. He has built his blog to over 100,000 RSS subscribers by employing narrative pieces, and he'll soon be expanding to offer multimedia.

"We have this incredible technology to build websites, to do video, to do audio," he said. "You've got to really pay attention to quality and production values even while you bring a more personal and authentic touch that this social media thing is for."

Enterprise brands only see the use of social media as one part of their complete media marketing campaign. Large corporate brands employ radio, TV, and billboards, which Clark says is now all social because people will keep documenting their experiences with marketing messages on the Internet. However, he contends that smaller publishers, such as bloggers, can use social media to grow their businesses to the level where they can also communicate through mass media channels.

"It's not like mass media," Clark stated. "You don't have to reach the whole world, but you could still reach enough people to build a good business."

Attracting Speakers: A Case Study in Influence

Sam Rosen is the CEO of ThoughtLead, the online media and marketing company that organized the event. His use of social platforms to recruit speakers and help market the Influencer Project serves as a mini case study of how media companies can succeed in a digital environment.

samsmweb.jpg

Rosen worked with people in his organization's sphere of influence to help reach out to other people, thereby expanding his reach and attracting the participation of those from outside his immediate sphere. He invited up-and-coming marketers who are just starting to build their digital influence and then had them reach out to people that were influential to them and to whom they had a connection. As a result, more and more influential people signed on to speak. By communicating that this first batch of influencers were speaking, Rosen was able to attract even more influential people.

"The more speakers we got, the more other speakers were like, 'I have to participate in that, so and so is in that, I've got to be up there too,' " he stated. "It started to create a peer environment."

Liz Strauss, who runs SobCon, was enthralled with the idea. Strauss already featured a number of Rosen's targeted speakers at her event. So she had Rosen choose which speakers he wanted to speak at the Influencer Project. She emailed those speakers. Her influence helped attract additional speakers.

"In some cases we couldn't convince them to do it, but when the people who they considered to be influential and who they trusted said, 'You have to do it,' one person became the source of multiple contacts and a couple of those are really big names," Rosen explained. "We added those names to a roster used to attract bigger names."

Getting the 60th Speaker

Having some of the most influential names in the social media marketing space allowed him to also attract sponsors and media partners. He also had some speakers email their subscribers to let them know about the event. Email recipients had a link with an auto-populated tweet which allowed them to communicate that they were going to listen to the event. Then on Thursday, July 1, 2010, they sent out an email announcing their contest.

"We sent out an email that said, 'Will you be the 60th speaker?'" Rosen said. "'Tell us your thoughts about what it means to build digital influence, and we'll choose the best tweets.'"

They had their speakers send out the same email to their lists, too. People began to tweet what they thought was the best way to increase digital influence using the hashtag #influencer. There were a few hundred tweets posted using the hashtag. As a result Rosen says that most of the 3,500 registrants came from Twitter; 750 people viewed the podcast. They expect over a thousand more to read the PDF with the transcript of the event and listen to the MP3 recording. They have a similar marketing plan in store working with their existing media partners and speakers.

However, regardless of how efficient they are tactically, Rosen argued that content producers should have a good understanding of how to format a message so it can be easily shared by people. A lot of that came by coming up with a format for a conference never launched before to create what he calls an "idea virus."

"Repetition, upending convention, taking something we have an idea about already that means something to us then flipping it on its head," Rosen explained. "And then describing it in a way that's really catchy and in a way that people can pass on to others."

Neal Rodriguez vlogs on social media marketing tactics he has employed to his and his clients' monetary benefit on nealrodriguez.com. Subscribe to Neal's feed to stay abreast of his updates.

news21 small.jpg

Education content on MediaShift is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

June 10 2010

19:14

Want Your Self-Published Book in Stores? Weigh the Options

The rise of online book retailers means that self-publishers have better access to customers than ever. But many authors still want to be on bookstore shelves. The good news is that you don't really need traditional distribution to get into bookstores.

The Databases

logo_bowkerlink_220x103.gifWith your ISBN and bar code from Bowker in hand (read my previous post that told you how to get control of your own ISBN), it's time to register your title and your contact information in their Books In Print and Global Books In Print databases. Registering with BowkerLink is the first step to enabling the industry to discover your book, and it's free.

Ingram is the largest book wholesaler and distributor in the world and if your book is not listed in their ipage ordering system, it's simply invisible to booksellers. You must have 10 titles a year to be accepted into their program, but this article shows you three ways to get in through the back door.:

  1. Create a relationship with a traditional distributor whose titles are listed with Ingram, and send them an inventory of offset-print books.
  2. Print your book on-demand with the Ingram-owned company Lightning Source, and you're automatically in.
  3. Use a self-publishing services company to list your book with Ingram.

No matter whom you distribute with, a 55 percent discount is standard. (You can offer less, but expect few takers.) When calculating your profit margin, factor in printing, shipping, postage, returns and start-up costs like editing and design -- all the costs of doing business. Don't forget ongoing costs like marketing and publicity, giveaways, promotion and accounting. Direct sales is certainly more lucrative than traditional distribution and you give that up when you sign an exclusive distribution deal. So why bother?

Traditional Print Book Distribution

In traditional distribution you (the publisher) prints a large number of books with an offset printer. The books are sent to a distributor who wants to sell mass quantities of your book to wholesalers and retailers.

Unfortunately, your book isn't really sold until it's bought by a consumer, so when -- not if -- your books are returned (a sad fact about the industry), the distributor then returns them to you.

distributors.jpgThe well-respected Independent Publishers Group has a new branch called Small Press United (SPU) and, if you're one of the fewer than 20 percent accepted into their program, they will present your book to resellers next to offerings from the mainstream press. Also consider Publishers Group West (PGW) and Baker & Taylor (B&T), the most important distributor to the library market.

Big distribution companies have not been eager to work with self-publishers, but that's changing. Still, it's easiest to get in through membership in the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) or the Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN). Both are worthwhile organizations for self-publishers thanks to their seminars, advice, discounts, and community.

But don't rule out a smaller distributor who specializes in your niche or genre, especially if you need help with design, editing, e-book conversion, and other tasks in order to publish your book. They may be more dedicated and more effective in providing you with personalized service over the years. As with the self-publishing services companies, you pay these distributors; but since they must maintain a good reputation with booksellers, they carefully vet their authors. Check out IPBA's Distributor/Wholesaler Directory and this list of Top Independent Book Distributors to start.

The downside? You relinquish the opportunity to sell your print book and your e-book direct to the consumer. Measure that benefit against the potential benefits of having hired a sales force, paired with your ongoing promotion efforts, to make your decision to go this route.

POD Distribution With Lightning Source

ls_logo.jpg

The newer print-on-demand distribution model works like this: If a brick-and-mortar bookstore customer asks for your book, the bookseller finds it in the ipage Ingram database and places an order. Lightning Source prints it and sends it to the store, where the customer picks it up.

These days, customers are more likely to order from an online reseller, which cuts out the middle step. In this model, the customer orders a book from the online reseller, who sends the request to Lightning Source, who mails the book directly to the customer on the reseller's behalf.

Along with many other advantages, there are fewer returns because booksellers don't have to order several and wait to see if they sell. You don't have to worry about returns with print-on-demand.

POD Distribution With a Self-Publishing Firm

lulucswc.jpgEven the most basic, do-it-yourself self-publishing services companies -- think Lulu, CreateSpace and Wordclay -- offer services that includes an Ingram database listing for your book in your publishing company name. But since booksellers are definitely not flocking to what they consider the vanity presses in order to stock their shelves, make sure the publishing house name on the spine is your own. (See my previous article, The Pitfalls of Using Self-Publishing Book Packages.) They may -- invisibly to you and the customer -- use Lightning Source or another POD subcontractor to print and send it, which is fine, but realize you're paying a little more for this service.

A Middle Path

Before you seek out traditional distribution, you might ask yourself if you really need it. Many authors are more easily served by direct sales and POD distribution of print and e-books. Think of these options, for example:

  1. Using your website for direct sales via an online store.
  2. Back-of-room sales at personal appearances.
  3. Consignment deals with local booksellers and retailers in your niche.
  4. Using Lightning Source for both printed books and PDF-formatted e-books sold to stores and online retailers in U.S., Canada and Europe.
  5. Using Smashwords and Scribd for e-book sales in many formats for many e-readers (See my previous article for details on How to Pair Scribd and Smashwords for an Ideal E-book Strategy.)

You may be one of the many authors who missed the news that you can get into the Ingram database by printing on-demand with Lightning Source, or the newer news that self-publishing services companies now include this in their packages, too. (Yes, do keep looking for even newer news in this quickly evolving industry.) But do not miss the fact that you are responsible for the marketing and promotion that will create a buzz and sell your book.

The defining fact about traditional distributors is that they vet their work, whereas POD services companies will print and distribute almost anything. A traditional distributor will have opinions. Their reputation is on the line and they want to work with like-minded independent publishers dedicated to success. You should consider them a partner. Until then, an on-demand distribution solution should suffice.

Carla King is a publishing and social media strategist and co-author of the Self-Publishing Boot Camp Workbook, which grew out of experiences leading workshops for prospective self-publishers. She has self-published non-fiction travel and how-to books since 1994. Her series of dispatches from motorcycle misadventures around the world are available as print books, e-books and on her website.

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June 08 2010

20:40

How 6 Big Summer Films Are Using Facebook For Marketing

Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man, believes in "better living through technology." Most marketers would argue that better marketing is enabled by technology as well. One of the primary game-changers today is Facebook and studios are learning how to engage audiences online to spur a better box office.

Movie marketers understand the impact that reaching their desired audiences on Facebook can have on driving awareness and interest in a film. For them, the power of Facebook is its ability to quickly build a community and customer relationships, generate real-time conversation and feedback, create promotions that reach relevant users, and accelerate content-sharing across the web and mobile devices. (Also, see my previous post, Movie Apps Get Social as Studios Integrate Facebook Connect.)

According to Facebook, more than 25 billion pieces of content -- such as links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos -- are shared each month. Millions of these comments and posts are movie-related. Facebook is rocket fuel for word-of-mouth and studios are experimenting with how to best engage users in order to convert those who "Like" a movie to someone who purchases a ticket. With the arrival of the summer movie season, I decided to take a closer look at the Facebook pages for six studio movies and see which one, if any, was Buzz Lightyears ahead with Facebook engagement.

Iron Man photos1.jpg

Iron Man 2 | 1,360,503 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall (landing tab) | Info | Photos | Boxes | Video

Studio: Marvel, Paramount Pictures | 28,201 Likes

Release date: May 7

Iron Man 2 has made more than $290 million at the U.S. box office, according to Box Office Mojo. More than a million people are fans of the franchise on Facebook. While the Facebook page is nothing to marvel at when it comes to creativity outside of the core Facebook tabs, there are seven international pages (Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the U.K.) for "Iron Man 2" which is a testament to the global interest in the superhero. The U.S. page provides the essential photos and videos, but lacks the charisma of Tony Stark or the appeal of Pepper Potts. Alternatively, the Facebook page for Stark Expo, which includes a letter from Stark about his commitment to technological wonders, is a clever mechanism to get fans engaged with an event that occurs within the film.

When more than two thousand people respond to a simple question, such as "Did you see Iron Man 2 yesterday?," a Facebook page can be a weapon of mass conversation.

SexandtheCity2.jpg

Sex and The City 2 | 1,967,023 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall (landing tab) | Info | PREMIERE | Photos | Video | MORE FUN

Studio: Warner Bros | 62,308 Likes

Release date: May 27

Fittingly, the glossiest Facebook movie profile belongs to "Sex and The City 2." The "MORE FUN" tab on the page opens up a world of content, including a character quiz, an interactive trailer, a Girls Night Out planner, an iGoogle theme, a local hotspot guide and perhaps most importantly, one-click access to Carrie Bradshaw's closet.

While it's not clear how many SATC2 fans glammed up their Google page, the more than 30 official international pages reveal that the movie is a global phenomenon.

A Team movie.jpg

The A Team | 36,197 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | A-Team (landing tab) | Video | Photos | Discussions

Studio: 20th Century FOX

Release date: June 11

With a team member named "Face," the "The A-Team" is a natural fit on the A-list of social networking sites. While the page provides good mix of behind-the-scenes videos, character profiles and promotional news, it also should reflect the rogue nature of "The A-Team" and give fans a sense of adventure.

The page does link to a "Drive The A-Team Van" YouTube channel, where fans can drive the van in Google Earth to unlock videos. This is an innovative use of Google Earth that isn't easy to discover on the movie's Facebook page. The van is arguably the movie's most recognizable character and the opportunity to get behind the wheel of it -- even in a virtual scenario -- is a fun engagement vehicle that should be showcased on the page.

Toy Story 3 FB Tickets.jpg

Toy Story 3 | 791,581 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | Video Game | Fan Board | Tickets (landing tab)

Studio: Disney Pixar | 1,347,406 Likes

Release date: June 18

Disney Pixar movies have an advantage when it comes to Facebook movie marketing, due to the large Facebook communities for both Disney (more than 3.5 million Likes) and Disney Pixar (more than 1 million Likes). Four "Toy Story 3" characters even have their own Facebook pages (Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Buttercup and Lotso) that have larger communities than many summer movies. Disney Pixar also recently launched its Disney Tickets Together Facebook app, so now Facebook users can buy movie tickets without leaving Facebook. The combination of multiple Facebook pages sharing content and promotions with millions of passionate fans allows the box office for Disney Pixar films to, as Woody would say, "reach for the sky."

Twilight saga facebook1.jpg

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse | 6,154,389 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | Eclipse (landing tab) | New Moon | Discussions | Video

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Release date: June 30

Summit Entertainment is not one of the major six movie studios, but it is coming off a Best Picture Oscar for "The Hurt Locker" and big box office receipts for the "Twilight" franchise have the studio howling at the moon. "Twilight" also enjoys one of the largest audiences for any movie on Facebook thanks to the many community-created fan pages and groups dedicated to the movies and characters (e.g. Team Jacob or Team Edward).

But how effective is the Facebook page for "Eclipse" in engaging fans? Let's look at a typical day in "Eclipse" engagement. On May 12, the page shared eight pieces of content, which generated 60,000 Likes and comments. Much like the immortal characters in the movie, "Twilight" fans have an insatiable thirst for content. And for Facebook users who visit the page, the landing "Eclipse" tab does what all movie pages should do (but often don't) -- link directly to sites where tickets may be purchased online. And only a beloved franchise with ravenous fans could boldly ask viewers to organize a viewing party in their area. Twilight eclipses the rest when it comes to fan engagement and mirrors the massive built-in audience for Disney's "Toy Story" franchise.

Despicable Me FB.jpg

Despicable Me | 22,822 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | Win a Minion (landing tab) | Games | Minion Mail | Ringtones

Studio: Universal Pictures | 18,736 Likes

Release date: July 9

The Minions featured in the new animated film "Despicable Me" hope to rival the popularity of Woody or Buzz Lightyear. They have their own Facebook page with more than 68,000 Likes, or three times the number of the movie's page. "We're concentrating on building two Facebook communities for the film -- one focused on the film and one on the Minion characters from the film," said Doug Neil, senior vice president of digital marketing at Universal Pictures. "We want to engage our target audience with video clips, trailers, images, games, news stories, activities, etc., that help to drive awareness and interest in the film."

Regarding content that these communities find most compelling, Neil said that, "Video content -- trailers, clips, custom animations, etc. -- drive the most engagement and response. There has a been a lot of interest in the Minion Mail cards that have been themed to holidays and milestone events."

There are varying degrees of experimentation and community-building strategies being deployed on Facebook, but if movie marketers can agree on one thing, it might be the belief that there's nothing despicable about an engaged audience of minions with a positive message to share in their personal networks.

*****

Share your favorite movie page on Facebook in the comments below.

Nick Mendoza is the director of digital communications at Zeno Group. He advises consumer, entertainment and web companies on digital and social media engagement. He dreamstreams and is the film correspondent for MediaShift. Follow him on Twitter @NickMendoza.

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May 26 2010

05:51

How 6 Big Summer Films Are Using Facebook For Marketing

Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man, believes in "better living through technology." Most marketers would argue that better marketing is enabled by technology as well. One of the primary game-changers today is Facebook and studios are learning how to engage audiences online to spur a better box office.

Movie marketers understand the impact that reaching their desired audiences on Facebook can have on driving awareness and interest in a film. For them, the power of Facebook is its ability to quickly build a community and customer relationships, generate real-time conversation and feedback, create promotions that reach relevant users, and accelerate content-sharing across the web and mobile devices. (Also, see my previous post, Movie Apps Get Social as Studios Integrate Facebook Connect.)

According to Facebook, more than 25 billion pieces of content -- such as links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos -- are shared each month. Millions of these comments and posts are movie-related. Facebook is rocket fuel for word-of-mouth and studios are experimenting with how to best engage users in order to convert those who "Like" a movie to someone who purchases a ticket. With the arrival of the summer movie season, I decided to take a closer look at the Facebook pages for six studio movies and see which one, if any, was Buzz Lightyears ahead with Facebook engagement.

Iron Man photos1.jpg

Iron Man 2 | 1,360,503 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall (landing tab) | Info | Photos | Boxes | Video

Studio: Marvel, Paramount Pictures | 28,201 Likes

Release date: May 7

Iron Man 2 has made more than $290 million at the U.S. box office, according to Box Office Mojo. More than a million people are fans of the franchise on Facebook. While the Facebook page is nothing to marvel at when it comes to creativity outside of the core Facebook tabs, there are seven international pages (Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the U.K.) for "Iron Man 2" which is a testament to the global interest in the superhero. The U.S. page provides the essential photos and videos, but lacks the charisma of Tony Stark or the appeal of Pepper Potts. Alternatively, the Facebook page for Stark Expo, which includes a letter from Stark about his commitment to technological wonders, is a clever mechanism to get fans engaged with an event that occurs within the film.

When more than two thousand people respond to a simple question, such as "Did you see Iron Man 2 yesterday?," a Facebook page can be a weapon of mass conversation.

SexandtheCity2.jpg

Sex and The City 2 | 1,967,023 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall (landing tab) | Info | PREMIERE | Photos | Video | MORE FUN

Studio: Warner Bros | 62,308 Likes

Release date: May 27

Fittingly, the glossiest Facebook movie profile belongs to "Sex and The City 2." The "MORE FUN" tab on the page opens up a world of content, including a character quiz, an interactive trailer, a Girls Night Out planner, an iGoogle theme, a local hotspot guide and perhaps most importantly, one-click access to Carrie Bradshaw's closet.

While it's not clear how many SATC2 fans glammed up their Google page, the more than 30 official international pages reveal that the movie is a global phenomenon.

A Team movie.jpg

The A Team | 36,197 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | A-Team (landing tab) | Video | Photos | Discussions

Studio: 20th Century FOX

Release date: June 11

With a team member named "Face," the "The A-Team" is a natural fit on the A-list of social networking sites. While the page provides good mix of behind-the-scenes videos, character profiles and promotional news, it also should reflect the rogue nature of "The A-Team" and give fans a sense of adventure.

The page does link to a "Drive The A-Team Van" YouTube channel, where fans can drive the van in Google Earth to unlock videos. This is an innovative use of Google Earth that isn't easy to discover on the movie's Facebook page. The van is arguably the movie's most recognizable character and the opportunity to get behind the wheel of it -- even in a virtual scenario -- is a fun engagement vehicle that should be showcased on the page.

Toy Story 3 FB Tickets.jpg

Toy Story 3 | 791,581 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | Video Game | Fan Board | Tickets (landing tab)

Studio: Disney Pixar | 1,347,406 Likes

Release date: June 18

Disney Pixar movies have an advantage when it comes to Facebook movie marketing, due to the large Facebook communities for both Disney (more than 3.5 million Likes) and Disney Pixar (more than 1 million Likes). Four "Toy Story 3" characters even have their own Facebook pages (Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Buttercup and Lotso) that have larger communities than many summer movies. Disney Pixar also recently launched its Disney Tickets Together Facebook app, so now Facebook users can buy movie tickets without leaving Facebook. The combination of multiple Facebook pages sharing content and promotions with millions of passionate fans allows the box office for Disney Pixar films to, as Woody would say, "reach for the sky."

Twilight saga facebook1.jpg

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse | 6,154,389 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | Eclipse (landing tab) | New Moon | Discussions | Video

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Release date: June 30

Summit Entertainment is not one of the major six movie studios, but it is coming off a Best Picture Oscar for "The Hurt Locker" and big box office receipts for the "Twilight" franchise have the studio howling at the moon. "Twilight" also enjoys one of the largest audiences for any movie on Facebook thanks to the many community-created fan pages and groups dedicated to the movies and characters (e.g. Team Jacob or Team Edward).

But how effective is the Facebook page for "Eclipse" in engaging fans? Let's look at a typical day in "Eclipse" engagement. On May 12, the page shared eight pieces of content, which generated 60,000 Likes and comments. Much like the immortal characters in the movie, "Twilight" fans have an insatiable thirst for content. And for Facebook users who visit the page, the landing "Eclipse" tab does what all movie pages should do (but often don't) -- link directly to sites where tickets may be purchased online. And only a beloved franchise with ravenous fans could boldly ask viewers to organize a viewing party in their area. Twilight eclipses the rest when it comes to fan engagement and mirrors the massive built-in audience for Disney's "Toy Story" franchise.

Despicable Me FB.jpg

Despicable Me | 22,822 Likes
Top Tabs: Wall | Info | Win a Minion (landing tab) | Games | Minion Mail | Ringtones

Studio: Universal Pictures | 18,736 Likes

Release date: July 9

The Minions featured in the new animated film "Despicable Me" hope to rival the popularity of Woody or Buzz Lightyear. They have their own Facebook page with more than 68,000 Likes, or three times the number of the movie's page. "We're concentrating on building two Facebook communities for the film -- one focused on the film and one on the Minion characters from the film," said Doug Neil, senior vice president of digital marketing at Universal Pictures. "We want to engage our target audience with video clips, trailers, images, games, news stories, activities, etc., that help to drive awareness and interest in the film."

Regarding content that these communities find most compelling, Neil said that, "Video content -- trailers, clips, custom animations, etc. -- drive the most engagement and response. There has a been a lot of interest in the Minion Mail cards that have been themed to holidays and milestone events."

There are varying degrees of experimentation and community-building strategies being deployed on Facebook, but if movie marketers can agree on one thing, it might be the belief that there's nothing despicable about an engaged audience of minions with a positive message to share in their personal networks.

*****

Share your favorite movie page on Facebook in the comments below.

Nick Mendoza is the director of digital communications at Zeno Group. He advises consumer, entertainment and web companies on digital and social media engagement. He dreamstreams and is the film correspondent for MediaShift. Follow him on Twitter @NickMendoza.

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May 12 2010

22:59

5Across: Athletes on Social Media

Back in the day, the only coverage of a sporting event came from the accredited media. But now, you can find out more from fans in the seats taking pictures and posting to blogs -- or from the athletes themselves who are getting hooked on Twitter and Facebook status updates. In fact, Major League Baseball has warned players it is watching what they tweet, and the Manchester United soccer team took over social media accounts from their players.

There is an obvious shift in power, with athletes trying to find their own voice on social media, and fans getting to have their say online. Where does that leave traditional sports journalists? Having to adapt, both by monitoring social media for more news (and missteps from athletes), and using it to keep in touch with readers. We convened a special roundtable discussion and party for 5Across to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the show, with special guest Olympic athletes Natalie Coughlin and Donny Robinson. We talked about the shifting landscape for sports media, the balancing act for athletes sharing personal details with fans, and the faux pas that happen when you give a star a global megaphone.

5Across: Athletes on Social Media

athletestwitterfinal.mp4

>>> Subscribe to 5Across video podcast <<<

>>> Subscribe to 5Across via iTunes <<<

Guest Biographies

Andrew Braccia was one of the initial investors and currently sits on the board of SB Nation, the largest and fastest growing network of fan-centric online sports communities. He joined the investment firm Accel Partners in 2007 bringing with him a decade of experience at Yahoo. His primary areas of investment interest include consumer Internet and software businesses with a focus on web search, digital media, online gaming and online advertising.


Natalie Coughlin is an Olympic swimmer who has won 11 medals in the 2004 and 2008 Games -- winning a medal in every event she has competed in. She is the first woman to win back to back gold medals in the 100 meter backstroke. She was a judge on "Iron Chef" and competed in the show "Dancing with the Stars." You can follow her on Twitter @NatalieCoughlin or become her fan on Facebook.



Award-winning columnist Ann Killion has been following the world of sports for more than two decades. She worked for many years at the San Jose Mercury News and is now a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated and Comcast Bay Area Sports Net. She is also communications director of Vivo Girls Sports, a social network for girls who like sports. You can follow her on Twitter @annkillion or read her blog here.



Hannah Patrick works at Sports Media Challenge where she focuses on training, consulting, and media analysis for major sports celebrity clients such as Shaquille O'Neal, Danica Patrick, and MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden. She also championed SMC's efforts with the innovative social media segment for SportsCenter's Blog Buzz segment. Hannah develops new media strategies for a wide-range of clients including the Big Ten Network, Conference USA, and ESPN Regional Television.

Donny Robinson is a professional BMX bike racer, having won a bronze medal in the 2008 Games, and a World Championship in 2009. He was the first man to win world titles in all four BMX classes. He lives in Napa, Calif., and you can follow him on Twitter @DonnyRobinson.

If you'd prefer to watch sections of the show rather than the entire show, I've broken them down by topic below.

Personal Details

Best Practices

The Numbers Game

Athletes Behaving Badly

Democratization of Media

Credits

Mark Glaser, executive producer and host
Darcy Cohan, producer

Charlotte Buchen, camera

Julie Caine, audio

Location: Vega Project & Kennerly Architecture office space in San Francisco

Special thanks to: PBS and the Knight Foundation

Music by AJ the DJ

*****

vegaproject-pbs-mediashift.png

What do you think? Do you follow athletes on social media, and which ones do you think do it best? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

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April 02 2010

18:32

Why The iPad Is A Hit (And Why I Won't Buy One Yet)

Even before any consumers had received Apple's iPad, it was being proclaimed a hit. I didn't find that surprising, because from the beginning there were signs this day was coming. Here are a few:

  1. There was a business and tech press feeding frenzy since before the initial announcement of the impending device. The announcement had the same kind of shoulder-to-shoulder gaggles, breathless blog posts, videos shot by reporters from their handheld cameras and tweets that I saw for Kindle announcements running up to unveilings by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a couple of which I attended.
  2. The knowing skepticism and whining was similar to what greeted the iPhone, pointing out faults (the lack of a camera, a phone, some kinds of connectivity and the ability to view objects produced in Flash) but missing the larger points that make people love Apple devices: the sleekness, the game-changing nature of the way they bring an "experience" into one's hands, that it's one step closer to the Holy Grail of that one thing you can easily carry that does it all (sound, pictures, books, editing, connectivity) with the form factor, shape and colors that Apple seems to get so right. (Here's a love poem from USA Today's tech reviewer, if you need convincing.)
  3. Apple's typical buzz-creating genius in the staging of the rollout. There were rumors that may or may not have been leaked that some sort of whiz-bang thing was coming, shifting rumors about dates and times, word spread to reporters to save a date for an announcement, negotiations with publishers (some of whom talk to the press), the big unveiling with CEO Steve Jobs at the center.
  4. There were rumblings of book and magazine publishers and other media companies scrambling to learn about the platform and build new apps for it.
  5. It was seen as a challenge to the Kindle -- something I feel is sorely needed -- and that Apple is the one that can do it.
  6. Apple these days doesn't so much invent truly new things as bring a clarity that makes their version of them vastly more pleasing than any that have come before. The iPhone wasn't the first smartphone, any more than the iPod was the first music- or hand-held video player. They were just the ones that combined great technical acumen with design beauty. The iPad fits the pattern.
  7. They created low- to high-priced versions of the machine. You can have it at the lower price, but you really want the one that costs more.
  8. They overcame the need to buy a two-year contract, by allowing people to subscribe to 3G connection plans on an as-needed monthly basis (though it is with AT&T).

The Drawbacks

Still, I won't be buying an iPad right now, even though I won a bet with my friend and colleague Brian Reich that the iPad would be a hit.

For one thing, the iPad will be missing important features incorporated into later versions. There have been complaints over the device's lack of openness and the fact that people will have to buy new versions of software they already own for their computers to make certain documents work.

There will be more tittering about the lack of a camera, and other things the device is missing -- so far, we know it has no USB port, the battery is not replaceable, and the other deficiencies noted above. Apple will, predictably, do a lot to make the next version(s) better and address at least some of the most loudly expressed concerns. It will also, no doubt, anger others who have bought the early version of the iPad and be told that they'll have to pay again to get a newer one with more features. (A Kindle spokesperson once shrugged and told me that, well, I could just sell my old one on Amazon, and apply that money toward a new Kindle.)

Meanwhile, there's speculation that Apple is manipulating their production run in order to create the appearance that demand outstrips supply. It's been reported, too, that some stores are being sent limited quantities which means, no doubt, lines and a few scrums, all causing more predictably breathless coverage and further spurring demand.

Whatever the device's shortcomings or Apple's market manipulations, though, you can believe that anyone seen gliding their fingers across the screen of their iPad will garner longing glances from those around them.

And I knew I'd won the bet when Brian decided to help our friends at We Media with their event that will explore how the iPad is going to change the media world as we know it.

Also, be sure to vote in our poll about how the iPad will change the media industry:




Fill in the blank: The iPad will ______ the media industry.poll

Dorian Benkoil is consulting sales manager, and has devised marketing strategy for MediaShift. He is SVP at Teeming Media, a strategic media consultancy focused on helping digital media content identify and meet business objectives. He has devised strategies, business models and training programs for websites, social media, blog networks, events companies, startups, publications and TV shows. He Tweets at @dbenk.

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February 02 2010

20:24

Email is Far From Dead

For years, the digerati have been declaring the end of email as a useful tool.

Back in 2003, experts said RSS feeds would spell the death of the inbox. In 2007, Wired and CNET said younger generations were using IM, Facebook and MySpace instead of email. More recently, PC Magazine's John Dvorak proclaimed "9 Reasons E-mail is Dead," and The Wall Street Journal told us "Why Email No Longer Rules."

The prognosticators point to the annoyances of spam; the difficulties of getting mass messages through corporate firewalls (and of having them stripped of HTML or graphics); and the fact that overflowing inboxes are causing people to pay less attention to email.

It's true that media companies -- and isn't every company now a media company? -- need to pay attention to important social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. But they shouldn't underestimate the power of a well-crafted subject line that lands in front of an email subscriber.

Let me give some examples from my own experience, and also provide some data to help bolster my case that email is alive and well.

Don't Underestimate the Email Newsletter

A business associate recently suggested we not devote too much energy to a client's email strategy because people are "overloaded with email." But within four weeks of launch, more than five percent of the client's website visitors had signed up to receive email communications. The list continues to grow at a fast clip, and I consider the people on it to be among of the site's most loyal following.

Another recent example came when a representative from a potential sponsor for MediaShift expressed interest in banner ads, but told me they were really keen to learn about opportunities in our email newsletter. They found email to be the most effective means of communicating, according to the representative.

"Email is probably the single most effective marketing communications platform available
to publishers today, especially since it already has a high penetration level," Chris Sturk, managing editor for the publishing consultancy Mequoda Group, said via email.

For a publisher, email ads, which by law require a user's permission and are thus more targeted than many other advertising formats, tend to garner a much higher fee on a per-user basis than web ads. They also allow for a level of design and linguistic craft that can be impossible to achieve on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

I have consistently seen spikes in traffic to websites in the hours and days after email newsletters are sent out. Email allows you to keep messages on your servers, and not have to trust the security and delivery of the social network you're sending them through. You can use the data related to open rates (the percentage of those receiving an email who actually open it), clickthroughs from links and bouncebacks (when an email address is no longer valid, for example), and not have to be as concerned with whether your information is secure. Users' privacy can be better protected with email, as well.

"In business communication with customers, oftentimes a private channel is desired, especially when pertaining to the exchange of money," Sturk said. "Email has this privacy, while social media is mainly public."

The aggregate numbers, too, show that email is not in decline. The Journal story cited data that found the number of email users grew 21 percent, to 276.9 million people, across the U.S, several European countries, Australia and Brazil from August 2008 to August 2009. Sturk said delivery rates and open rates, meanwhile, remain relatively stable.

Social Networks Make Email More Efficient

emailVs.jpg

True, Twitter and Facebook and some social bookmarking and sharing sites are climbing up the rankings when it comes to referring traffic to websites. But surveys conducted by the marketing research company Marketing Sherpa find that users of social media consider them venues for personal communication, while 75 percent prefer that companies communicate with them via email.

Social media users, in fact, may use email more heavily than others, according to Marketing Sherpa editor Sean Donahue. "Just look at LinkedIn or Facebook -- how do you set up an account?" he said. "With an email address. How do you receive your notifications from those services? Through your email."

Social networks, as well as other tools like wikis and document sharing services, may also have made emailing more efficient. Collaborators can now more easily find out a project's status and access documents as needed without having to send and receive emails for every update.

Email may not have the buzz, but it still has a lot of power. If you're in the communication business, you ignore it at your peril. Email should still be in your mix if you're looking to reach your users in a way that makes them comfortable, lets them communicate with you, and also brings you business benefits.

Dorian Benkoil is the sales manager at MediaShift and SVP at Teeming Media, a strategic media consultancy focused on helping digital media content identify and meet business objectives. He has devised strategies, business models and training programs for websites, social media, blog networks, events companies, startups, publications and TV shows. He hosts the TV program "Naked Media: The Business of Media, Uncovered" (NakedMedia.org), blogs at MediaFlect.com and http://dorianbenkoil.tumblr.com/, and Tweets @dbenk.

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January 13 2010

00:46

How WSJ Uses Social Media from Behind a Pay Wall

We're not even a month into 2010 and The Economist has already declared it to be "The year of the pay wall."

"There are plenty of examples of paid content thriving even when free alternatives are available," according to the magazine. "Punters are happy to pay for multichannel television even though commercial broadcast television is free. Such alternatives thrive because they offer desirable content. One considerable advantage to building a pay wall is that it forces newspapers to think hard about what their customers (as opposed to their advertisers) might really want."

That's a positive spin on pay walls. But a recent Ipsos/PHD survey found that 55 percent of consumers "would be very or extremely unlikely to pay for online newspaper or magazine content."

The Wall Street Journal is cited as an example of the right way to build and maintain a pay wall. Owner Rupert Murdoch, who acquired the paper after it built its wall, has said that people are willing to pay for content in newspapers, and thus people will be willing to pay for content online.



Murdoch called Google, Microsoft, and Ask.com "people which simply pick up everything and run with it and steal our stories." (Though the paper does allow some Google-referred users to read some WSJ articles for free.) But the paper still wants to see its content linked and cited via social media. And it wants to be part of the conversations taking place on Facebook, Twitter and other places. But how can it engage with social media when it locks its journalism behind a pay wall?



Alan-Murray.jpg

In an interview, Journal deputy managing editor Alan Murray said the paper doesn't want to rely on one source of traffic, meaning Google. He also noted that three of the major social media platforms -- Facebook, Digg, and Twitter -- are among WSJ's top 20 referrers. Thirty percent comes from Yahoo and Google.


"We have a strong brand," Murray said. "Half of our traffic comes through the front door."



Murray said social media is at present a comparatively small source of traffic. But he also spoke of its potential to drive readers who could eventually become paid subscribers.

Examples of WSJ's Social Media Activities

Though it can't promote and share the content created and then locked down on its website, the paper has worked to incorporate social media. Last year, Murray interviewed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during a "Digg Dialogg." Geithner answered questions submitted and voted on by Digg users.

Murray also created a Future of News Twitter List, a "list of top tweeters discussing the future of news." Murray said he uses Twitter Lists to recommend the best Twitter sources within a particular niche, and added that some of those sources are Journal staff members. That helps promote the Journal's work because the staffers often talk about and link to their work on Twitter.


The Wall Street Journal was also one of the first organizations to use the Loomia Facebook App to show users which WSJ stories were read by their friends. (They eventually took it down because of performance issues.) Murray disclosed that the paper is in the process of closing a new partnership with Facebook, though he won't reveal details.



He also said the WSJ is developing social applications in-house. These will include widgets to highlight related and contextual content, in addition to its iPhone and BlackBerry apps.



Of course, all this content promoted through social media is meant to get readers to buy an online subscription to WSJ.com. Murray said that the Journal's business model of providing free peripheral content to sell its "core business in financial coverage" is the future of news.

Newsday's Pay Wall Goes Up, Traffic Drops

The WSJ has had years to develop a strategy to promote and share its content from behind the pay wall. If this is indeed the "year of the pay wall," many other organizations are going to have to learn to do the same.

After New York's Newsday locked most of its content behind a paywall, its web traffic dropped by 21 percent. On top of that, longtime Newsday columnist, Saul Friedman, resigned over the decision to charge. One of the reasons he cited for his resignation was that a pay wall would prevent him from sending his column to people who don't subscribe to Newsday.

newsdayfacebook.jpg

An editor wasn't made available to comment on Newsday's strategy in an interview, but its website prominently promotes the paper's presence on major social media platforms. Newsday currently runs a Facebook fan page with over 800 fans, and the publication also maintains a Facebook profile for Newsday founder Alicia Patterson, called Alicia P. Newsday. Newsday's Twitter account is followed by over 600 users.

When asked about its strategy for social media promotion from behind the pay wall, a Newsday spokesperson replied by email to note that a "share" button, which allows visitors to submit content to various social sites, is available above each story.

The question, however, is who'll be clicking on that button now that the content is locked down?

Neal Rodriguez is a social media consultant who features some of the smartest mashups on the web and interviews some of the brightest minds operating online. Neal writes for the Huffington Post. Neal helps drive influxes of traffic to some of the biggest web properties on the planet while pulling his son's Hot Wheels off his keyboard in Queens, New York.

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November 19 2009

22:41

5Across: Social Media Marketing 101

There's a new series of demands being made in company meetings everywhere: "What is our social media strategy? What are we doing on Facebook and Twitter? I want followers and fans, and I want them now!"

But before companies large and small -- as well as non-profits and charities -- jump into social media, they need to take a deep breath and think about it. What are their goals? What kind of return on investment will they get? Even though it's free to set up fan pages and feeds, there's a time investment that may or may not pay off.

On this episode of 5Across, I convened a group of social media marketers and publicists who've had success (and mishaps) in creating campaigns on these platforms. They've worked with non-profits, helped street food vendors, gotten authors on Twitter, and spread viral videos on YouTube. Hear their advice on doing social media marketing right, learn how to avoid common pitfalls, and find out how to manage the expectations of clients who want popular social media channels, but don't know why.

5Across: Social Media Marketing

Guest Biographies

Cheryl Contee is a partner and co-founder of the social media consultancy Fission Strategy, where she specializes in online advocacy, engagement, and communications. Prior to Fission Strategy, Cheryl was vice president at Fleishman-Hillard San Francisco and acted as lead digital strategist for the West Coast. She also helped launch 40 multi-lingual websites for Discovery Communications. Cheryl serves on the board of Netroots Nation and chairs the board for CommonGoods.net. She writes as Jill Tubman for the award-winning black political blog JackAndJillPolitics.com, which she founded in 2006.

Jeff Pester is the founder of Text Capital, a developer of custom content delivery applications for social media platforms. He is also the creator and curator of @socialmedia411, with over 60,000 followers. He has substantial experience with broadcast-oriented Twitter accounts in the media/entertainment vertical. Jeff also provides strategic advice to other corporate and non-profit organizations interested in identifying best uses of the Twitter platform.

Laura Pexton is the publicist for Peachpit. She manages public relations and social media for the Berkeley-based publisher of books and videos on graphic and web design, photography, digital video, all things Mac-related, and more. She has developed multiple strategies for increasing visibility, brand loyalty, and warm fuzzy feelings among readers. Prior to Peachpit, Laura's background includes communications and marketing experience for a range of industries, including professional sports (L.A. Dodgers), non-profit, and education.

Brian Solis is recognized as a thought leader in social media. Solis has influenced the effects of new media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and traditional media. He is principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning new media PR agency in Silicon Valley, and has led interactive and social programs for Fortune 500 companies, notable celebrities, and Web 2.0 startups. Brian's blog, PR 2.0, can be found here.

Caleb Zigas is director of operations at La Cocina, a non-profit that helps female food entrepreneurs. Zigas runs the popular @StreetFoodSF Twitter feed covering street food vendors in San Francisco. He began working in kitchens in his hometown of Wash­ington, D.C. and has been working with the food industry ever since. With a degree in glob­alization, Caleb interned at Pro Mujer, in El Alto, Bolivia, working with microentrepreneurs in the country's fastest growing city.

If you'd prefer to watch sections of the show rather than the entire show, I've broken them down by topic below.

Social Media Marketing 101

Celebrity High Jinks

Non-Profits and The Little Guy

Digital Divide?

Beyond Twitter

Fallacies of Social Media

Credits

Mark Glaser, executive producer and host
Charlotte Buchen, camera

Julie Caine, audio

Location: Vega Project & Kennerly Architecture office space in San Francisco

Special thanks to: PBS and The Knight Foundation

Music by AJ the DJ

*****

vega project card.jpg

What do you think? What has worked for you in marketing using social media? What lessons have you learned? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

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