Author Archives: Stephanie Brown

The Perfect Social Media Post

2e6709dWondering what qualities make the perfect post? Last week, I was lucky enough to attend Inbound, Hubspot’s annual marketing conference, and all the speakers taught me the best tactics for social media success.

First, find people who love your brand and love them back – this is how you make someone advocate for you.

In order to be successful, your content needs to:

  • Be valuable: provide information, assistance, entertainment or analysis.
  • Be one of a kind: think of what your company can offer that no one else can.
  • Be warm and personable: make them believe you are a friend.

Specific tactics you can use:

  • Be brief: use an active voice, and bulleted and numbered lists to make it easier to read.
  • Add visuals: every single post should have a picture or video – you’ll get 75% more traction and be pinned more often.
  • Embrace hashtags: on Facebook and Twitter use one or two. On Instagram, you can use as many as you want, but separate them into comments.
  • Schedule and spread out: use Tweetdeck, Buffer, or Sprout Social.
  • Use advantageous timing: retweets spike everyday around 4-5PM.
  • Link placement: when you are adding a link, place it 25% of the way through the text for maximum click rate.

There are certain habits brands have to change now, and into the future. Brands need to stop intruding in issues where they don’t belong (learn from Digiorno pizza!). They need to learn that intrusive, interruptive and self-centered marketing no longer works. Finally, brands need to learn that they will ultimately need to lose all control and embrace social media. Need to prove social media is valuable? Try it out, test response, and track public opinion. That’ll show ‘em.

All the data in this blog post come from talks by Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Dan Zarrella, and Rand Fishkin.

How To Make A Difference in the World Through PR

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As we are getting closer and closer to graduation, people are talking about their plans and dreams for the future. Some people say they just want to make a positive change in the world. I am one of those people. It surprises some people when I tell them I’m majoring in public relations. PR people are still battling the negative stereotypes of “Flacks” and “Spin Doctors” created by corrupt businessmen long ago. What people don’t know, is that you can still work for a large corporation and do good in the world. One of the coolest ways to do this is through working in corporate social responsibility.

PRNews just released their 2014 CSR Awards and some really cool campaigns are featured. The winner was AT&T and FleishmanHillard’s campaign “It Can Wait: The Power of a Movement.” The team created a video about texting and driving through the eyes of a smart phone. Not only was the video a new concept and provocative, it was released at maximal times for exposure to target bloggers who would be likely to embed the video on their sites.

The Mary Kay “Don’t Look Away” campaign received an honorable mention which promotes a Love Is Respect texting service to provide advice to girls and women in abusive relationships.

Jet Blue is recognized for partnering with Random House for their “Soar with Reading” campaign to encourage kids’ imaginations and donate books to kids in need.

Public relations people work to plan and promote these campaigns, spreading a positive image of their client while making a positive impact on the world at the same time.

But working in CSR or for a nonprofit are not the only ways to help the world through public relations.  Helping a business relate to its consumers and provide them service and care in a transparent way is still helpful. But if you are looking for a grander, more direct way to help, know that there are ways you can do that within the communication field.

5 Social Media Habits Brands Should Break

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Whenever I find a brand I really like, I look them up on Twitter. Connecting with a brand on Twitter is the best way to find out about new deals, products and the overall style of the company.

However, no matter how much I love a brand, it pains me when they do (or don’t do) certain things on Twitter. The following are five social media habits brands should break if they want to keep their followers. These may sound like no-brainers, but you’d be surprised how many brands don’t know about these social media no-nos.

1. Connecting Facebook and Twitter.

This social media tactic is lazy and it is most definitely not effective for several reasons. In the first place, if you are cross posting all of your content, why in the world would anyone follow you on both platforms? Secondly, and more importantly, you should not be posting the same types of things on Facebook as you are on Twitter.  If you’re interested, you can see some of the differences in uses here.

2.  Scheduling Tweets way in advance, or using automated replies without checking up on them.

Hootsuite and other scheduling apps are incredibly useful tools for anyone doing digital marketing for a brand. However, we live in a world where circumstances change in an instant. For example, a man opened fire on a Colorado movie theater. A couple of hours later, an account associated with the NRA tweeted, “Good morning, shooters! Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” Obviously, the NRA received major backlash for this careless tweet. The same applies to automatic replies – you can’t expect what you say will be appropriate every time. Although time consuming, it will be worth it for you to check up on what you’ve scheduled.

 3. Ignoring unhappy customers.

People can post whatever they want on social media.  Remember the saying the customer is always right? It is true in every circumstance. Don’t ignore a negative post, apologize! If the customer is really offended and it’s within your budget,  offer them a coupon or another solution to make it right. The offended customer may turn their opinion around and publicly announce how a company has treated them. Never miss an opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

 4. Not communicating with other brands.

Sure, we may not want to draw attention to our rivals, but tagging other brands is a great way to spread your name even more.  People will see your conversation and want to join in.

5. Not offering deals.

This depends from brand to brand but a great way to keep followers is to reward them! For example, the burger chain BurgerFi just opened on our BU campus and offered a free custard to anyone who instagramed their meal, tweeted or checked in at the new location. Word of the restaurant spread fast and BurgerFi continues to be packed – not an easy feat on a college campus that already has a few burger places.