Which email platform to choose…

There are plenty of options on the table for brands to choose from, the issue often brands are choosing the wrong one.

MailChimp

Time and time again brands are sold email platforms that can do everything you haven’t even thought of yet, and whilst this sounds great in a sales pitch brands need to stop and ask themselves;

‘What do I need this platform to do?’

The answer is simple here is what your email client should be able to do;

  • Send emails as you build them
  • Send triggered emails
  • Report on emails
  • Send A/B subject line or click through emails automatically and not manually
  • Send to segments that you have created
  • Store data in a secure place.
  • Segments created should be updated automatically and not need to be done manually prior to sending

Now you may want this email platform to also hold transactional/behavioural data so you can send relevant communications that are either triggered or built and sent as you need. This is a simple task that all platforms should be able to handle. The key with this is integrating your sales data (in store and online) with your email platform. Done through API calls.

If your email platform cannot do the above but can change your tire on your car then you’ve been sold a lemon.

Personally the best email platform I have used and would recommend all to use is MailChimp. It does all of the above, is super user friendly and allows for a lot of API calls to get the right data you need in. Not only that but for price they’re by far the most affordable on the market.

Email clients like, Exact Target (SalesForce), Traction, Impact Data etc are all great, however for me, they’re out of date, not user friendly and require far more work and resources  ($) than MailChimp.

Love to know what email clients you’re using and how you rate them?

Twitter, brands you’re doing it all wrong

I often head to brand pages on Twitter and I see so many big brands getting it wrong.

It’s not all about me, me, me. The quicker brands realise this the better their Twitter presence will be.

Brands need to understand that negative tweets are not such a bad thing. Accept that they’re happening and then work out how to respond. Every negative tweet needs to be acknowledged and resolved. I see negative comments as an opportunity, turn this users negative brand experience into something positive. Do that and you’ll have them tweeting even more about how well you handled the situation.

Not all tweets are negative there’s plenty of positive tweets that you’re missing out on as well. Listen, acknowledge and respond.

If your brand twitter page is not littered with @replies then you’re doing it wrong. That illustrates to me that they’re not listening or responding to anyone and that you’re missing out on plenty of opportunities.

They’re are some brands doing it right, the ones I have most recently came across that are is;

*Both pages need to be updated to the new layout, that aside the listening and responding is great. Take note people!

SportsGirl Twitter Example

Grill'd Twitter Example

 

What your Community Manager should be doing each day.

Community Brand Managers

Brands understand that social media plays a huge role in the overall success of their company. However time and time again brands are putting inexperienced students at the helm.

This either shows great trust or sheer stupidity. If I was running a brand, their social media person would need to have some serious experience and show a solid understanding of digital communications. This is why we consistently see brands with a major a dose of #socialmediafail

Below is a day-to-day guide of what your social media team should be doing in all the channels your brand has an active account in.

Listen, acknowledge and respond

  1. Listen as soon as you get into the office and respond to all direct mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  2. Listen as soon as you get into the office and respond to all indirect mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  3. Before Lunch listen and respond to  all direct mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  4. Before Lunch listen and respond to  all indirect mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  5. Before you go home listen and respond to  all direct mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  6. Before you go home listen and respond to  all indirect mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
Learn more about Listening and Responding

Create content

  1. In all channels you’re active in you should be posting at least once a day. That means 7 times per week.
    – Content should either be content the brand has created or content that has been found and shared.
KPI
If you’re wondering what Facebook and Instagram KPI’s should be, read them here.

 

Social is all about brand awareness and so don’t expect it to generate online revenue. I feel due to it’s lack of instant online revenue, brands don’t pay as much respect to this medium as they should (hence hiring junior social media teams). Remember in social, your message is disrupting their day, they’re not on Facebook to buy, they’re not on Instagram to buy etc. However, Google users are searching for a solution so return from CPC should be expected.

 

Bonus Tip

Your social media team should be listening in channels they’re not active in.
Example: If your brand is not active on Twitter, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be listening in this channel.

I recommend listening in all non active channels at least once a day. This will help with gauging overall brand sentiment as well as highlight brand opportunities.

 

Sharks are on Twitter!

That’s right! Sharks in Australia have signed up to Twitter and are tweeting out their location!

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According to the west Australian government, almost 400 sharks have been fitted with acoustic transmitters that monitor a shark’s location. When the shark comes within half a mile to shore, the monitor triggers a tweet sent via the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter feed.

By no means does this signal an end to shark attacks in Australia, but we like the digital smarts behind this social media integrated prevention.

What are your thoughts on this use of Twitter to provide information to the public?

Facebook Ads – What Works?

For my current brands running Facebook Ads, to me it’s really a waste of money, read why I think so here.

BUT if you’ve been living under a rock (new to Facebook) or your Facebook page just hasn’t quite taken off the way you imagined it would, it’s because of a few key factors:

  1. Your content isn’t executed correctly – read what works here.
  2. Your community isn’t on Facebook
  3. You’re running ads but the wrong ones
  4. You’re not running Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads what works?

It’s simple, Facebook users are more impressed with what they’re friends are engaging with than any other Facebook ad you’ll create. Understanding that, the Facebook ads that work are ‘Sponsored Likes’.

Facebook Page Likes

Example: When your friends like a brand page, their activity will be seen in your NewsFeed. Seeing your friend that you have high EdgeRank with, will more often than not intrigue you enough to see what they have liked. This generally turns into more page likes.

Facebook Page Like Example

Remember you can choose up to 6 images when setting up the ads. This will help when optimising your ads, removing the ads that are not performing and adding more budget to the ones that are.

I think brands shouldn’t pay more than $0.50 per page like. If you’re paying more than this you need to ask yourself, is this the right medium for you? Can your money and resources be better spent elsewhere?

Should you be promoting your Facebook posts?

The short answer is YES, the long answer is to follow.

Facebook still has the majority of eyeballs and for getting a paid message out there it’s still one of the most effective ways to communicate a mass message. Facebook slashed it’s reach which caused page content to be dramatically effected as organic reach is now lost. Understanding this, Facebook has given one trump card to pages which is in the way of promoted posts.

Promoted posts will always get reach, the kicker is you need to pay for it. Asking me to tell you what your promoted budget should be, is impossible to answer as it will differ with each brand and their community size.

Posts you should be promoting are;

  • New Product Launches
  • Offers
  • Sales
  • Events

They’re all content that requires more eyeballs for those specific campaigns to have a chance of being successful

Next Level Promoted Posts 

Instead of promoting to your community and they’re friends, I suggest targeting this even further to users that are more known to you. You can achieve this through Custom Audience and Look-alike Audience.

Targeting this content will make sure it’s not only relevant but also timely and gives communicators the chance to create bespoke content.

Promoted Post Images

A classic mistake from brands is they try and pile in a heap of text into their image, this is a big NO NO from Facebook and they will not allow your post to be promoted.

Facebook want marketers to be clever about what they post and how it’s executed. There’s a simple guide that you must follow, your image must not have more than 20% text. Facebook have supplied a ‘grid tool’ to help you understand what’s allowed and what is not.

Grid Tool

You cannot have more than 5 boxes of text, if more than 5 your post will not be promoted.

As you can see below, this post only takes up 5 squares so this can be promoted.

Witchery Promoted Post Example

This image takes up more than 5 boxes and will not be promoted.

Witchery Facebook Promoted Post Example Fail

Promoted Post Copy

Once you have your image sorted you then need to think about your post copy. Make the post work for you, I would suggest making the post copy, short and engaging. Asking questions or having a strong call to action is advised. The more people that engage with this post the more people that will see this post.

Also if you include the word ‘Facebook’ in your post copy this will not be promoted. Facebook don’t want to be associated with your post so do not use them in your post copy. If you’re promoting anything that’s for 18+ (example, alcohol), this will not be promoted either.

Bonus Tip

I advise letting the post be posted without promoting it right away. This will make the post work as hard as it can organically. Then after a couple of hours put some budget behind it to promote it to those that it didn’t reach the first time around. That way your not paying for reach that you would get organically.

Facebook Video Advertising Is Coming To Australia.

For Facebook users this news is horrifying however in all seriousness it will not affect any Facebook users experience. In fact if anything it may add some value to their NewsFeed.

User are used to seeing videos automatically play for quite sometime now, cleverly launched earlier by Facebook to make the seamless transition of introducing Facebook Video Ads.

Facebook tells us that since introducing videos that play automatically in users NewsFeed, video consumption has increased by 10%. This is great as for years videos on Facebook have been a big let down for engagement and reach. To this day I still feel brand videos are a hard sell for consumers unless they’re first shared by users.

Facebook Video Ads

Like your current friend videos that you see in your NewsFeed, they play without sound, to get the sound you must first click on the video. Facebook Video Ads works with similar thinking. The kicker is, when a user clicks on the video ad it plays in full screen mode with volume. At the end of the video, a carousel featuring two additional videos will appear, making it easy to discover more content from the same marketer.

These video ads last for 15 seconds, the same as Instagram videos which is great for brands as the video they create for Facebook can then be used on Instagram without extra editing.

On mobile devices, all videos that begin playing as they appear on the screen will have been downloaded in advance when the device was connected to WiFi — meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you’re not connected to WiFi at the time of playback.

Conclusion:

Video ads are not for every brand but could be a great way to express content on offers, new product launches and events. Currently this is only available to a handful of advertisers so it won’t be widespread usage for now. I’m looking forward to seeing these and testing these out.

There are strict rules and guidelines for these videos that Facebook have in place, ensuring that all video ads meet their code of use. I think it will take a couple of months before we start to see video ads being used here in Australia.

Once available I’ll be sure to do a piece around effectiveness, costs and return on investment.

Read More:

Watch the video from Facebook.

Great article for further reading from The Sunday Morning Herald – Digital Life.