Socializing for Business

After years of chasing Facebook fans and Twitter followers, many companies now stress quality over quantity. They are tracking mentions of their brand, then using the information to help the business.

SocialHere’s a little thought experiment for you. Imagine you have a friend who is a sales rep for cosmetics or vitamins or jewelry. Now imagine that every time this friend calls you, they start the conversation by telling you about their latest great offer. How long would it be before you stopped answering their calls? If they left a voicemail that talks about their latest great offer, would you return their call or even listen to the whole message?

The point is, your company’s Facebook page and Twitter profile are that friend. If all they do is shout sales messages, how long before your followers completely tune out?

“Fans and follower counts are over. Now it’s about what is social doing for you and real business objectives,” says Jan Rezab, chief executive of Socialbakers AS, a social-media metrics company based in Prague.

U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, but a Gallup poll shows “consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content. Brands assumed incorrectly that consumers would welcome them into their social lives. Then they delivered a hard sell that turned off many people.”

The purpose of your Social Network (try to stop thinking of it as Media) is to engage and interact with your followers – who are hopefully also your customers. Inform and entertain them. Pay attention to what people are posting about you. Respond to their questions and comments. And occasionally, let them know about a sale or special offer.

At House of Current, we would love to help you reshape your Social content and truly engage your audience. But instead of Tweeting to us or commenting on our Facebook page, maybe you should just contact Lisa Maloof at lmaloof@houseofcurrent.com or 404.478.4162.

Do-it-your-selfie Marketing

In the time it takes to read this sentence, 87,000 selfies* will be taken in America alone. (*We totally made that number up, but it’s probably a good guess.) After all, there are currently over 125 million images on Instagram tagged with the word ‘selfie’ –  according to WGSN.  Selfies now make up almost a third of all shots taken by people aged 18-24.

HOC-SelfieThere is a lot more to those numbers than mere popularity, according to Sarah Gervais, assistant professor of social-law psychology at the University of Nebraska.  “Rather than being bombarded with images in popular magazines, television and web pages that feed our discontent, we can look through our Instagram feed and see images of real people,” she wrote for Psychology Today.

The selfie, as a part of the visual-based social media world in which consumers now live, centers around the idea of being able to regulate what we’re exposed to and how we expose ourselves to others.

And wherever there’s exposure to be gained, marketers can’t be far behind. By October 2013, 884 brands were running selfie contests over Twitter, according to social media benchmarking company, Unmetric. Retailers in particular have seen the benefit in a tool that enables consumer interaction, all the while subtly encouraging the most organic of social sharing.
French Connection launched a campaign called #canthelpmyselfie, which invited shoppers in five of its UK stores to snap shots of themselves in the new collection – those images then appeared on large screens in the windows where people walking by (as well as those online) could vote for their favorite ‘model’ by placing their hand in front of sensors in the windows. Zappos encouraged Instagram users to use the word ‘next’ in front of their usual ‘outfit of the day’ hashtag to invite the Zappos stylist into their virtual closet. The Zappos stylist will then scroll through all public images on that account to make personalized shopping suggestions for the user.

As the numbers mentioned in the beginning of this post show, people don’t need much motivation to snap a selfie. That means you don’t need to offer a huge prize to make your selfie promo a success. Focus on interaction, fun and the gratification that comes from being part of something cool.

If you’re ready to launch your own Selfie Promo, HOC can help you create a truly engaging campaign that is sure to leave you smiling. Or if you just want tips on how to take a great selfie, we can help with that too. Simply e-mail Lisa at lmaloof@houseofcurrent.com.

Natick Loves Pinterest

As the #1 driver of traffic to retail sites, it’s easy to see why retailers love Pinterest so much. So we thought Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to drive traffic to Natick Mall’s Pinterest boards while also supporting their retailers.

We did just that by creating the “Love to Pin. Love to Win.” contest to encourage shoppers to pin the items they dreamed of receiving on Valentine’s Day. Participants were required to pin items from Natick Mall’s Pinterest boards or from the websites of Natick Mall retailers. The contest was promoted exclusively on Social Media for just 8 days, and received an impressive response. Overall, 36 Boards were created by shoppers as part of the contest. Those boards achieved a combined following of 2,129 Pinterest users, and contest participants pinned over 900 items from Natick Mall retailer websites.

We’ve held several pin-to-win promotions  for Natick Mall throughout the year, and each one has generated a similarly strong response from shoppers. If you’re ready to stick it to your competition on Pinterest, we’d be happy to help.

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