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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Can Social Media Be a Piece of Pie?

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Peachy Keen
Peach pie may not seem that scary to you, but it was a pastry that I regarded with fear. Just as many have fears about using Twitter or Google+. I love pie and I have very high standards when it comes to the crust. I would buy frozen tart shells or make a graham cracker crust to avoid trying my hand at creating a perfect flaky crust. Until one day, laden with a bushel of perfectly ripe peaches, I knew it was time to master a lattice crust. Grabbing a few trusted cookbooks, I researched what the pros said about pie. Armed with a scale for precise measurements and a can-do attitude, I rolled up my sleeves and got flour and fat under my fingernails. The resulting pie was better than I hoped it would be and I know it tasted that much sweeter because I’d faced my fear and come out on top with a pie!
Social media can seem daunting from a distance, but once you do your preparation and get some hands on experience you’ll see it’s just a matter of getting comfortable. Plus, the rewards can be rich. With traditional advertising losing people’s attention and respect, companies need to find new ways to engage consumers and expose them to their product or service.
Break It Down
The first step is to figure out your target market and find the networks that they like to engage in. Facebook is pretty much a no brainer at this point. Everybody and their grandmother is on Facebook and a business page is free and fairly low maintenance. Linked In is another low maintenance site that connects more with the business crowd, great for business to business services!  Twitter is becoming the method of choice for connecting with brands by individuals for expertise or customer service. If you’re targeting a female audience and your product or service has a visual appeal, Pinterest is the place to be. For bricks and mortar business, Foursquare is a great way to see who your most loyal customers are and what they are sharing about your business. Now, Google+ had a lot of buzz that hasn’t converted into a whole lotta love, but maybe it’s time to take a second look at some of their new features.
 Digg It
If you’ve read the linked articles about some of the top networks and want to get more info on Social Media options check out Digg, a site that compiles articles submitted by users. The more people who “Digg” an article, the more exposure it gets. Once your research is done, and you’ve picked the best place to start, embrace the experience and get the most out of it.
Even better than a piece of cake, Social Media can be a piece of pie: Worth the effort! So, where are you going to put your peaches?

Mama Meter

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Social Media can seem like a limitless void that we toss useful information into and apparently get very little back. That is why it is so important to set goals for each media campaign and measure the results. Also, with the ever quickening pace at which new social networks are appearing great care must be taken when selecting the best channels to use when sharing the chosen message.

In honour of Mothers’ Day’s fast approach Meat of the Message will conduct a test of Facebook compared to Twitter at spreading the word about Campagnolo Restaurant’s brunch, Mothers’ Day being the biggest brunching day of the year. Campagnolo’s Facebook Page has 600 fans and the Twitter account has 2013 followers. I’ll be comparing Facebook “likes” vs. Twitter retweets (1 point each) and Facebook “shares” & comments vs. Twitter tweets and mentions (2 points each as these show greater engagement). I’ll update this post on Monday with the results.

Let the games begin and don’t forget to do something thoughtful for the Mothers in your life!

Update: Monday, May 14 2012

Well, we have a clear winner. Using Tweet Reach to assess the audience that received the tweet sent by @campagnolomain at 4:50 pm on May 10th : “Show your mama a little Itailan love for brunch, Sunday May 13, 11:30am – 2:30pm. Single stem flowers & Bar…” it showed that there were no retweets, so the reach was 2017 accounts, which is the number of followers of Campagnolo’s Twitter handle. I also searched “@Campagnolomain”, “Campagnolo brunch” and “Campagnolo” on Twitter and couldn’t find any mentions.

Facebook Insights provided a few options to measure the interaction with the status update posted on Campagnolo’s Facebook Page May 10, 2012: “Show your mama a little Itailan love for brunch, Sunday May 13, 11:30am – 2:30pm. Single stem flowers & Bar Director Giovanni’s cocktails go a long way.” Right underneath the update, it’s clear that 6 people “liked” the update and one person shared it. Insights calculates that the reach as 208 unique people who have seen the update, the number of engaged users as 12 (number of unique people who have clicked on the post, so 6 who clicked “like” and 6 who clicked elsewhere), and the virality (percentage of people who created a story from the post) at 2.88%.

To calculate points for interactions: Twitter scored a big fat zero and Facebook scored 8 points. The conclusion I would make is that bigger is not always better, with more than three times the number of followers to fans, the Facebook post garnered much more attention and interaction. Also, Facebook posts have a longer shelf life of 22-24 hours, while tweets go stale after 1 hour! So, tweet, tweet again.

Interestingly, I found out that Campagnolo’s Mothers’ Day Brunch was not nearly as successful as last years. Though looking back, a very similar Facebook update (no likes or shares) and tweet (no retweets) were sent out. There are obviously other factors affecting the popularity of Mama’s brunching at Campagnolo than social media coverage. I definitely believe that by using social media channels more effectively that the brunch could have been more successful. It’s encouraging that the Facebook fans are becoming more engaged and if only a bit more effort is spent on social media it seems that Facebook would be the place to start as Twitter needs to hear things over and over. Most Mamas can relate to that!

Best Face Forward

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I recently changed the profile picture that I use across the Social Media spectrum. Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and WordPress are now all showing the same photo. I did this to make my social media persona more consistent. So, if somebody follows me on Twitter and I re-pin one of their favourite things on Pinterest, it will help them  realize its the same person just with different online accounts. Having a clear current picture also makes it easier to place a person when you meet them in the flesh. I recently attended my first Tweet Up (a meet up for Twitter users) and I met some online acquaintances for the very first time. It was fascinating to compare their online personalities to their in person actuality . Some were shorter than I had imagined, but they were all as nice as I had hoped.

The Tweet Up was to benefit our local food bank and I think that symbolized the one thing we all had in common, caring about our community. Community is why I work at a Credit Union, it’s why my son goes to a school that we can walk to together and why we always run into our friends and neighbours at the grocery store or neighbourhood park. It’s all about connection. That’s why I want to support and encourage small independent businesses to take to the online world, to create and strengthen the real world relationship with their customers. We can’t always meet face to face, but with the Social Media tools available we can always see eye to eye.

The best way to connect online is by being your interesting self. Share what inspires you, what frustrates you and respond to others who do the same. While my picture and my persona are in sync in the online world, I find that each network reflects a slightly different image based on its role and place in the scheme of Social Media. Sometimes my Apple product enthusiast side comes through on Youtube, other times my fashion obsession comes to light on Pinterest, my daily food fix is revealed through Instagram, then my finical acumen pops up on LinkedIn, finally my Starbucks addiction is exposed by FourSquare, but the one thing that always comes through is my fascination with Social Media. I also like to think that my peculiar sense of humour and positive outlook pervades all these profiles as well.

It was a real life connection in a BCIT class that really solidified my understanding of online and offline personalities. In my Public Speaking course at the Burnaby campus a couple of years back I listened to classmate, Olivia Lovenmark, speak about her passion for blogging. She talked about her blog, Stylestruck, and the opportunities it had created for her and the people that she has connected with on Twitter. Her restaurant background and her immersion into the world of Social Media resonated with me and her willingness to put herself out there in the online world was very inspiring. As I grow my own online presence and help others to take that step, I use Olivia as an example of someone who has created a successful career, including appearing on Breakfast Television, and promoting H&M, based on putting her best face forward.

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