Tag Archives: social media for business

Benefits of social network integration for websites

Social network integration for your website is a great way to create a connected experience for your target market. Internet users have come to expect sharing functionalities on websites. Clicking a “like” button or a “share” button is easy and instant, allowing the user to share website content to their friends via social networking sites.

The Benefits for your Business
For business owners, social network integration is invaluable for your brand. When a user shares a website link to their social networking site (like Facebook or Twitter), this material is shared to their entire friends /or followers list, opening up potential for more traffic to your website. Statistics show the average Twitter and Facebook user has about 130 followers and friends respectively.

Peers prefer Peers
It’s been reported that audiences today trust the recommendations and brand feedback from their peers more than the company itself – despite companies now entering conversations online via social media. Therefore – like editorial over advertorial – a user sharing your website link to their social networks is highly valuable.

Links are highly shareable
To add further weight to why social network integration is important to your website, consider this: every 20 minutes, 1 million links are shared via Facebook.

So how to you add social media integration to your website?
There are loads of plugins you can source via Google. If you’ve some coding know-how, you can add these to your website. Alternatively, if you want a more strategic approach to your integration that compliments your digital marketing strategy, we’d recommend enlisting a professional agency.

Yours in social networking for business,

Julia

Building a brand: SpareTicket.com.au – a case study

Creating a new brand is an intensive, yet highly satisfying journey. Recently the Brio Group team had the pleasure of bringing to life SpareTicket.com.au - an online entertainment hub where Australians can buy, sell or share tickets to a whole host of events: music, theatre, sport, etc. Launched in late 2010, this relatively new brand is achieving the sort of hype any business owner can only be proud of. SpareTicket.com.au has achieved almost 1200 Facebook fans within a few months, and importantly has numerous members buying, selling and completing challenges to share tickets. In today’s blog post, I’d thought I’d share an insider’s view into the process of how we built this brand.

Background:

To create a website to buy, sell and share tickets to Australian-wide events online. Our client approached us to turn her innovative idea into reality. From sketches and strategy through to concept and creation, we enlisted each area of Brio: design, digital, advertising and PR to build a brand that had wings. Enter: SpareTicket.com.au – your ticket to adventure.

Objective:

To build a brand that has wide-spread consumer appeal in the Australian market. To create a brand concept and strategy and roll this out across every touchpoint. To consult on advertising directions and opportunities that meets client’s business plan. To offer strategic direction for online marketing opportunities to attract new audiences on a minimum advertising spend.

In meeting these objectives, it was essential to keep the core brand attributes in mind: fun, engaging and memorable. A website that is easy to use, creates happiness and connects users.

Strategic Direction:

To bring to life a brand that is hinged on happiness, we developed a concept based on a free-spirited magpie – the traditional symbol of happiness. The bird has the potential to become a mascot, an easily-identifiable icon that is SpareTicket.com.au all over: fun, lively and happy.

We wanted to build a brand that went beyond a ‘buy and sell’ website. To create market cut through we developed a ‘challenge’ option: for example, mow someone’s lawn, or be their plus one in exchange for a ticket. This angle is unique in the market, adds PR appeal and opens up the connection-building objective.

To attract the target audience and communicate in channels they’re comfortable and responsive in, we pitched a social media strategy using Facebook and Twitter. After training the client and producing content calendars and a strategy that was in line with Facebook fan engagement ads, the brand was brought to life in the social sphere – an integral part of SpareTicket.com.au’s marketing. We also integrated their Facebook presence on the website’s home page.

Results:

We successfully produced SpareTicket.com.au by its launch date: 20 December 2010. The site is easy-to-use and is equipped with functionality that allows people to seamlessly buy, sell and connect with each other. The Facebook page acheived significant growth in the first month (over 500+ fans) and we continue to monitor this new site’s buy, sell and share results.

To discover our other case studies and see how we build brands for our clients, please visit the Work page of our website.

Yours in branding,

Julia

14 updates to Facebook Pages & how this will benefit businesses

Social media for business helps businesses connect with their customers. And now Facebook has announced some exciting new design and functionality changes to Facebook Pages. The changes are intended to improve the customer’s ability to connect with a business. You’ll notice the changes allow a business’s Facebook Page to look very similar to an individual’s personal Facebook page. Customers can easier navigate business’s pages now, plus there are loads of other advantages.

Involver has published a great post outlining the new changes:

1-Photo strip above the Wall (with the most recent photos you posted or tagged) TIP: To optimize your photos size them to 96x67px in order to fit in the space provided and plan for them to be in random order.
2-Tabs move over to the left panel, in the form of a list (maximum of 6 above the fold)
3-Profile picture reduced from 200 x 600 pixels to 180 x 540
4-Blurb box that was below the Page picture moved to info tab
5-Pages can Like other Pages, not just favorite them
6-Featured Pages and Admins
7-Page category
8-Choice for Wall posts between “Everyone” and Page posts only
9-Mutual Friends and Interests section
10-Ability to interact on Facebook as your Page
11-Ability for admins to post and comment around the site under their Page’s alias
12-News feed of updates from Liked Pages
13-Pages can now feature iFrame tab applications
14-Email notifications when users post or comment

To read the full story, visit the Involver blog.

Businesses can preview these changes now. These advancements will come into full effect in about four weeks (mid March 2011).

Yours in social media news,

Julia

Using social media to build a brand

Social Media can be a powerful tool when building a brand and shouldn’t be left out of the marketing mix, in fact I believe it should be considered right from the beginning of the planning and design process. As a starting point I have put together Brio Group‘s tips on integrating social media so it can be part of your next marketing strategy.

1: Choose the right channels – it’s important to get clear on who the target market/s are that you want to attract. Make sure you research the new ways this market embrace when they are communicate. Next, list out the communication channels that are being used.

2: Be creative in your approach to using social media channels – don’t just copy what everyone else is doing on social media. There are many opportunities at the moment to stand out by using social media creatively. Consider how are you engaging with the audience, what you want them to do, how the message can be spread and how traditional media can leverage your use of social media.

3. Define your tone of voice for your brand – social media channels give you the perfect platform to define your brand’s voice in the market. Is the brand fun loving, serious and detailed, or conversational? Use social media to ‘speak’ to the target audience on a personal level.

4. Listen to your customers and engage with them – social media channels lets your brand interact with your customers so you can find out what they like most about your product, service … or even team members! Listen and respond regularly to the comments and have a contingency plan in place to deal with negative feedback. At Brio Group, we call it a Social Media Policy. This important document outlines different scenarios and how to respond to negative feedback so it can be dealt with professionally and promptly by any team member. Update your Social Media Policy regularly with any new scenarios that are experienced.

5. Don’t be pushy – the biggest mistake that we see businesses doing with social media is to just push their product or service onto their target markets (fans). That is not the purpose of social media. I always say, “people will buy from businesses they know like and trust”. Social media channels give you the perfect forum to build up this awareness, personality and trust in your brand and should not be exploited with pushy and quick sales tricks and promotions.

We recently developed a new brand and marketing strategy including website build for SpareTicket.com.au. We integrated quite a few social media components into this project with a pre-launch teaser and  launch campaign through social media channels that was supported by press releases and traditional media interviews and stories. We also set specific measurable marketing goals since the launch that we monitor weekly. The word of mouth spread of SpareTicket in the first month since launch has been phenomenal, mainly due to the power of social media. If you want to find out more about this project have a read of our case study.  If used well, your next campaign can also be a success if you harness the power of social media.

Yours in social media marketing,

Belinda

Social media for business

Social Media is fast becoming a must-have for every business moving and expanding forward in the online space. Brio Group helps clients with full social media packages and the expertise to maximise social media impact.

Businesses are fast learning their presence in social media networks is now an important part of their marketing and communication plans. To help businesses take the first steps for social media success, here we share a preview of our top 6 tips.

1) Select your Social Media Sites
You could spend weeks wading through the sea of social networking sites, only to return to the top five. Some businesses use just one, others use a mix. Select the best sites that fit your strategy, audience, and your dedication to update each site with regular, fresh content. You may like to consider: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or My Space.

2) Look, Listen and Learn
Instead of diving head first into social media, it’s best to look at what your competitors are up to and how the big guns get it right. Look at how your competitors are engaging with their followers. What information can you gather about how their audience interacts with them? Some companies fail by simply using social media as a soapbox to promote their company 100% of the time. It’s vital to remember that social media is not about blatant promotion; it’s about connecting with your audience with engaging content.

3) Social Media Strategy
Social Media is fast becoming a must-have for every business moving and expanding in the online space. Did you know that 60% of businesses who use social media do not have a strategy – simply because they don’t have time? Don’t follow their lead! Without a strategy you’re not getting the best return on your digital investment. Your strategy should align with your business’s objectives and goals, and be a living document.

4) Social Media Policy
A social media policy is your business’s internal rulebook for using social media responsibly. Your policy should feature accountabilities, responsiveness guidelines, brand reputation management plans, and a risk analysis. Your staff will refer to this guide to ensure consistent communication and timely actions and engagement. And importantly, to ensure they follow procedure to water down any negative comment fires.

5) Clever Content Creation
Content is king; it helps drive conversations and inform. Without regular content, your audience will soon forget about your brand. Therefore regular content that is carefully targeted to your audience to encourage interaction, or to spark action, is the lifeblood of your social networking page.

6) Monitor, Measure and Reporting
One of the benefits of social media is that it’s completely measureable. This is why it’s so important to establish your goals early on in the game.

If you found these tips handy and would like to explore the FREE full article, complete with helpful Brio Group expert tips, visit our website.

Yours in social media for business success,

Julia

The motivation behind consumers ‘liking’ brands on Facebook

So you’ve got a Facebook Business Page and have attracted some fans (aka ‘likes’), well done, but have you ever wondered what motivates a consumer to ‘like’ brands on Facebook? Understanding the driving factors behind your consumer clicking the ‘like’ button will help your business develop a more effective social media strategy.

A new report by ExactTarget and CoTweet has revealed the primary reasons for liking brands on Facebook were discounts and ‘social badging’. The survey of more than 1500 consumers found that 39% of Facebook users who become fans of brands do so to show their brand affiliation and support to their friends. And it’s clear that users are active in liking Facebook pages (it used to be known as becoming a ‘fan’ of a page), as according to Facebook.com the average Facebook user likes 80 pages. 

Brio Tip: Align your objectives and content around building a fan base who are passionate advocates for your brand. Why not introduce some fan-only offers or sections of your page? Example: check out how Gap has created exclusive fan-only content.

Being aware of what motivates your audience to ‘like’ your brand on Facebook allows you to tailor the right content to them. The report shows consumers are motivated to ‘like’ brands on Facebook so they can stay informed on the activities of a company, as well as receiving updates on future products and upcoming sales.

Do you ‘like’ companies on Facebook? What are your reasons for doing so?

Yours in social media,

Julia

5 reasons why custom design impacts social media success

Social networking sites have become an essential part of a business’s branding strategy and promotional campaigns. Custom designed Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages not only help your branding, but designed and built right, they can help you meet your social media goals, whether that may be lead generation or gaining more fans.

When designing for social media success, it’s all about applying user-centric design principles and understanding the limitations of each social networking site. For example, the limitations of custom branding your Twitter account graphically lie only in the background image and your profile pic, whereas on Facebook you can almost create a mini-website experience by employing FBML custom tabs, clever design and some coding. It may sound hard work, but it’s completely worth it to support your fan’s user experience.

Here we explore the 5 reasons why you should employ custom branding to your business social networking sites:

1. Social media’s ‘free’ real estate can further tell your brand story
We strongly recommend setting up a Facebook welcome page tab that carries on your brand’s look and feel, lets the audience know what they can expect by becoming a fan of your Facebook page, and include links to your company website and other social networking sites. Plus you can use this valuable space to embed a company video, an eNewsletter sign up form, or even advertise a competition to assist user engagement. Set the page to default for new users, and you’ll have a much better fan conversion rate.

2. A professional design helps sell your important first impression
Your social networking site is an extension of your brand and should communicate your brand essence: logo, company colours, and positioning statement (if necessary), it should also inject a social personality and use language the social user is familiar with. For example, by simply adding a ‘Like us now’ graphic pointing to the ‘like’ button on your Facebook welcome page tab, you’re helping to direct the user to convert to a fan. See how we’ve applied this to our Brio Group Facebook page’s welcome tab.

3. A user-centric design assists engagement
Users consume social media in different ways, some are motivated to participate and contribute, while some are more comfortable to sit back and read and listen. Before commencing design, it’s essential to get to know your target audience. Are they vocal? Opinionated? Responsive to competitions? Do they consume videos, reports or fact sheets? Design with your target audience and engagement in mind.

4. Capture leads by clever design and understanding audience expectations
Social networking sites are known to be free mediums. Generally speaking, the user is responsive to promotions that are giving away something for free, as this is their mindset when using social media. They’re not on eBay, for example, where they expect to bid and buy. They’re in a sharing, social, free environment. So with this in mind, it’s important to tailor your competitions and content in this manner. Your designs should communicate this angle and with some coding you can incorporate competition forms or free report/eNewsletter/etc sign up forms via your Facebook page, which will allow you to capture their data.

5. Holistic user experience across channels
It’s simple 101 branding knowledge, but sharing the same look and feel and messaging across all of your touchpoints builds a consistent, easily recognisable and strong brand. Your YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages should all look like they’re from the same stable. A simple, and extremely effective, tip is to integrate your social networking sites with your website and blog. The user will appreciate a holistic experience across all your channels – each offering something fresh and value-adding. And why wouldn’t they become a fan of that?

Are you a fan of a company on Facebook that does it really well – share your story!

Yours in social media,

Julia

Advertising on social networking sites

It seems that brands are popping up everywhere in paid social media advertising spots lately … brands that I’d consider either buying from, or at least aligning myself with (by ‘liking’ their Facebook page for example).

I’m interested in yoga, travel and cult TV shows like Mad Men and Dexter – and like magic, local businesses delivering messages and offers about these very interests grab my attention when I’m Facebooking. This is because social networking sites know alot about their users. Advertisers can tap into this invaluable data and target their marketing very effectively.

I’ve compiled 5 reasons why businesses should consider advertising on social networking sites:

1. Control is in your hands with self-service ads.
Self-service ads are not like online display ads. Instead, they consist of an image, brief copy, a headline, and a link. So first off, they don’t take hours to design. To set the ad you need about 20 minutes and a credit card. It’s important to first indentify your goals and expectations, and then define the reach and set a budget. I recommend selecting CPC (cost per click) ads and monitor daily to see how much of your budget you’re spending. The beauty of self-service ads is that control is at your fingertips to change your budget, copy, reach, and more to maximise your campaign and get the most clicks and conversions. To learn more, see Facebook’s Fan Engagement Ads, YouTube’s Sponsored Videos, and LinkedIn’s DirectAds.

2. Target your audience.
Advertise through Facebook and you can narrow down who you want to target by geography, age, sex, martial status, education, interests and more! This data produces an estimated reach so you can determine if your reach fits your goals and expectations. Meanwhile, LinkedIn allows you to target your reach by geography, job function and seniority, industry and company size, and gender and age.

3. Set a budget that works for you.
Set a daily budget that you’re comfortable with and remember you can adjust your budget at any time. If you’re a first time social media advertiser, why not start small and test your ad’s performance? You can choose to pay only when people click or see your ad (impressions). Plus you can cancel your ad at any time. No commitments. No stress … I like that!

4. Enjoy the benefits of word of mouth.
Every time someone interacts with your ad on Facebook, it’s shared with their friends. Their engagment, or affiliation, with your brand is spread like word of mouth – opening your business up to new audiences it currently doesn’t reach.

5. Australians are big social media consumers.
If your target audience is within Australia, you’re in luck! A 2010 Nielsen global survey revealed that Australians spend the most time on social networking sites than any other country. Did you know that Facebook users spend just under an hour a day on the site; whereas, an average YouTube user spends 2 hours and 38 minutes on the site each month?

If you found this post useful, and would like to discover more about how your business or campaign can benefit from social advertising, please contact Brio Group on 1800 8710 8710.

Have you ‘liked’ a business on Facebook, after seeing the brand’s Facebook ad? What was your experience?

Yours in social media,

Julia

‘Twitter’ has movie potential

Poor Twitter. That little bird has always been the second idea, the afterthought. Just as facebook was the first to pioneer social networking, it’s also been the first to be made into a movie.

But don’t worry Twitter fans! I know you’ve been wondering how great the Twitter movie could be… so here’s a sneak peak of the fictitious Twitter movie! Enjoy!

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/putQn89TQzc[/briotube]

Yours in social networking,
Tara