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Why brands need to focus on the fans they have

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It’s time, social media people. The fans you don’t have no longer matter. It’s time to start paying attention to the fans you do have.

Seems like a simple concept. Seems like it should be innate. And yet there’s an ever-present pull to have more fans, more followers, and a greater number of people who sign up for your social media updates.

Perhaps it’s our natural human desire for approval. Our moms and dads didn’t give us enough love, so we’ve transferred our need for approval to fans of our brands. The more fans our brands have, the sounder we sleep.

Well, that’s just not healthy.

Many brands have been playing in the social space for years. So if your focus hasn’t already turned from finding new fans to creating a great experience for your existing fans, it’s time to reconsider your strategy.

On this site, we’ve giving you tools to launch your social media presence, to optimize your content and to grow your communities. But it’s time now to take it a step beyond all that, and finally start serving your community.

It starts with great content and special, memorable moments. As social media professionals, that’s all we have—a moment. Some studies have withered it down to 2.7 seconds. If you can’t captivate a fan in that amount of time, you’ve lost your chance at engaging him or her. That’s super depressing when you think about it. So stop thinking about it and do something.

Here’s how it’s not done: It’s not done by brands patting themselves on the back and telling fans, “We’re awesome.” Braggadocio messages found in press releases of the past die on impact in social. The best social campaigns leave the hard sell and the soft sell at home. They bring the content and add value to a person’s day.

When I was performing improv about a million years ago, I had a fantastic coach who told us, “It’s much more important to be interesting than it is to be funny.” The point was that if you’re trying to be funny, you set yourself up to fail. But if you set out to be interesting, chances are you’ll capture peoples’ attention. What happens next (once you have their attention) is what determines your greatness.

The same works for managing a brand’s presence in social media. It’s so much better to be interesting than it is to try and be funny. Or, in social media terms, it’s better to be different than it is to try the same old tricks that other brands have tried (either successfully or not). It’s easy to get stuck remember what worked, and going back to those tricks. That’s why you see so many “Like this post …” posts.

Transitioning from newspapers to social media, I thought I was entering a radically different world. I was wrong. If we do have 2.7 seconds to captivate and delight our readers in social, how is that different from a headline you find in a newspaper or on a news site? An interesting photo, as it does in publication, will always captivate your audience better than great text. But let’s not forget that lost art of good writing. Once you get past the photo and headline, the ability to write is either there or it isn’t.

Focusing on the fans you have doesn’t mean that a strategic pay-per-click campaign is redundant. In order to get eyes on your content, Facebook and Twitter have made it pretty clear that PPC is the way to go. Unless your content is out-of-this-world shareable and fantastic, it’s unlikely you’ll find much of an audience without paying to play.

But expanding your fan base should no longer be hinged on PPC. Your content must strike a chord with your audience and inspire them to take an action. That action, in turn, will net you the best kind of fan out there — the friend of your fan.

When you switch your focus from drawing in new fans to focusing on the fans you have by creating a great, shareable experience for them, you’ll start to see that the growth you’re foregoing will be made up in organic growth. And these—the people who seek out your brand in particular—are the fans you want.

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Romney, Obama and others in this week’s top PTAT gainers for political pages

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Mitt Romney is this week’s top gaining political page when it comes to the People Talking About This metric. With the upcoming presidential election, Romney and the Republican Party’s campaign team has displayed their social media prowess with an agressive social marketing effort. With 728,938 in weekly PTAT growth, Romney’s numbers easily dwarf those of President Obama with only 278,789 new engagements.

The top 10 political pages saw PTAT growth between 34,293 and 728,938 engagements. We compile this list with our PageData tool, which tracks page growth across Facebook.

# Name People Talking About Daily Growth Weekly Growth 
1    Mitt Romney 3,283,749 0 +728,938
2    Barack Obama 2,884,682 -49,735 +278,789
3    I HATE JULIA GILLARD 229,819 +28,081 +229,376
4    Veterans for Obama 153,504 +122,329 +126,476
5    ดร. ธีระชน มโนมัยพิบูลย์ 306,599 +19,358 +78,008
6    Eres mas Falso que las Pr… 81,589 +10,714 +77,357
7    African Americans for Obama 131,928 0 +67,144
8    Greg Abbott 55,328 0 +53,991
9    I Hate Nawaz Shareef (The… 84,084 -1,451 +39,039
10    Latinos for Obama 76,167 +1,334 +34,293

In last few weeks, Romney’s campaign has looked to social media as a solid way to amass supporters. We have actually covered how they are using it to their advantage especially in comparison with the incumbent president. Much of Romney’s posts receive well over 100,000 Likes, yet page Likes have not grown nearly as rapidly. As you can tell by the graph below, the page has drawn solid engagement through the week, which are usually the result of Promoted Posts and Page Post Ads. We’ve also seen the page running Sponsored Stories and Sponsored Results.

Although President Obama is behind in PTAT for his central page, three other pages in the top 10 are related to his campaign. Something that also should be noted is that First Lady Michelle Obama actually has gained more PTAT than both presidential candidates, but is under the category Public Figures rather than politicians. It’s worth noting that all of the First Lady’s recent page posts are dedicated to her husband’s reelection campaign.

As for the president’s central page, it boasts over 31 million Likes, which makes it a much larger audience to Romney’s 10 million. The PTAT of the page has actually decreased the last few days so it will be interesting to see how they look to improve this with the election less than two weeks away.

Visit PageData to see more about the top talked about pages among politicians, public figures as well as other categories.

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Today’s Marketing Cookie – Good Tidings Soon

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Today's Marketing Cookie - A messenger will soon bring good tidings.

A messenger will soon bring good tidings.

Today’s fortune came from Jeffery Hayzlett of New York, NY (and South Dakota). Jeffery opened this fortune when he started his business after leaving a Fortune 100 C-suite position and has kept it on his desk ever since. Jeffery is an entertaining and motivational ambassador for marketing – who simply asks us to be our best. He is a global business celebrity, and celebrated best-selling author. If you have the opportunity to hear Jeffery speak, you will get the uncommon truth about his advertising experiments that failed, as well as insights from some of his most triumphant marketing moments. Spending an hour with Mr. Hayzlett taught me that experience is what you get, when you don’t get what you want… and experience, when you can get it, is priceless!  I encourage you to check out his website, order his book “Running the Gauntlet“, and follow Jeffery on Twitter: @jeffreyhayzlett

Today’s Marketing Cookie is about how you are changing the world.

Today, I want to take for a magic ride in my time machine, and I want you to see the future you are creating. Just you, me, and this kid Marty McFly. Are you ready Doc? Okay good. Let’s set the flux capacitor, get this bucket of bolts up to 88 miles an hour and find that moment of truth I’ve been dreaming about.

Yes. I dream of a day when companies will tell the truth. It will be a day when they focus their attention on customer relationships, rather than on customer data. It will be a day when companies will grow because they deserve to win, because they have superior products and services, rather than because they could simply afford to acquire more shelf space. The day I dream about, is a day when the consumer will see through the marketing veil and be able to judge a book by it’s content, and not just by its cover.

Yesterday, I thought the day for my dream to come true was a long way off, but you have been working to create a new reality. You have been calling companies to the mat, pinning them down, giving them repeated charlie-horses and noogies until they give in, say, “uncle”… and you are making them tell the truth. You have been exposing them on your wall when they won’t give the right answer, you’ve been giving them ratings on Yelp when they refuse to offer help, and you’ve been adding the truth to your feeds when what you ordered didn’t taste right.

In case you were wondering, I am here to report that what you have been doing is working. Companies are learning that honesty, authenticity and sincerity really are the best policy. Because of you, big brands and small brands alike are beginning to realize that customer delightedness may require more effort, but is well worth the investment. Because of you, executives are seeing how important it is to keep their promises and exceed expectations. I thank you, and encourage you to keep up the good work.

You, my friends, are changing the universe, and this is why I wanted to take you into the future so you could see the type of world you are creating. The truth is, companies are never going to deliver anything that hasn’t been demanded by their consumers. You are demanding to be heard and companies have begun to listen. You have forced them to hear you, and you have forced them to care. You did this! The future you wanted is coming, and as today’s fortune says, “A messenger will soon bring good tidings.”

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Pinterest Debuts on ComScore’s Top 50 Websites

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ComScore released the list of the 50 most-trafficked U.S.-owned Web properties today, and Pinterest just made the cut. It’s the first time the upstart social network has made the list, but MySpace still came out ahead, securing the 47th spot.

Google websites topped the list, followed immediately by Microsoft and Yahoo sites. Facebook and AOL rounded out the top 5. Amazon and Wikipedia followed.

LinkedIn and Twitter were neck-and-neck at numbers 26 and 27, followed by Yelp at 30.

Tumblr, BitTorrent and Instagram occupied slots 42- 44.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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10 must-have traits for working in social media

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Social media is the new public relations of the marketing industry. Newbies think it’s the “exciting” marketing discipline. It is a great field, but it’s more than tweeting around the clock.

Saying you want to work in social media, so you can play on Facebook all day is like saying you want to work in PR because you like people. Good for you, but that’s just not what we do.

These are the requisite traits for success in social media. It’s not as easy as it looks. You must be:

1. Nimble

Social media is the fastest-changing industry ever. You have to religiously monitor the environment and adapt quickly to change.

2. Educated

You have to be committed to reading constantly about social media and measurement, and searching aggressively for the latest trends and best practices.

3. Dedicated

There is little to no off time in social media. It happens 24×7, so you have to be ready to respond at any time. If someone posts something negative on your Twitter stream and you don’t respond for 24 hours, good luck finding another job in social media.

4. Clever

Social media enthusiasts are quick and clever. You need to be, too, or you will come off looking like your grandma or, worse, like a corporate mouthpiece.

5. Strategic

Social media doesn’t exist in a universe by itself. It’s part of a larger, strategic marketing mix. You must see and understand the overall goals, strategies, and objectives before you can implement social media tactics.

6. Meticulously organized

You have to write, post, monitor, respond and measure for countless social media channels. You have to be organized, but not such a perfectionist that you can’t move quickly, and it’s so important to have great monitoring systems in place.

7. Playful

Some of the most successful social media folks are funny, lighthearted and don’t takes themselves too seriously. Hello, “NOT COOL, COOKIE!”

8. Analytical

Yep, that’s right. We don’t just sit around and tweet all day. We have to measure our results just like anyone else. Having science and math skills is a big plus.

9. Well-rounded

Though it’s important to be an expert in this category, it’s not good to be too focused on one skill. To truly be a valuable contributor, you need to understand the big picture of marketing.

10. Social

Yeah, that’s right, I said it: You need to be social to work in social media. Get out from behind the computer and have a few face-to-face conversations. Enjoy the life that you’re posting about.

Do you have another trait that you’d add to this list?

Carrie Peterson in the social media director at Internet Marketing Inc. in San Diego.

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Move over, ‘Orphan Annie’—Leo Burnett staging off-Broadway debut

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Every weekday, PR Daily associate editor Alan Pearcy highlights the day’s most compelling stories and amusing marginalia on the Web in this, #TheDailySpin.

While I wouldn’t go clearing room for a Tony next to all those Cannes Lions just yet, there’s a chance Leo Burnett could find itself amid the “Great White Way” soon enough. The Chicago-based advertising agency plans to open an off-Broadway play titled, “8 Million Protagonists,” in Manhattan’s East Village on Nov. 1. The play, is based on various stories crowdsourced via New York Writes Itself, a website launched by Burnett’s New York office as a way to integrate itself into the city, Jay Benjamin, chief creative officer for Leo Burnett New York, had this to say:

“Our industry is moving into content curation and creation so anywhere there is an avenue for entertainment, I feel like ad agencies and their brands should be playing.”

Well, if it’s entertaining content you want, look no further than this year’s take on last Halloween’s epic “Party Rock Anthem” house display. This time, however, it’s K-Pop sensation Psy’s “Gangnam Style” getting the haunting light show treatment.

Speaking of content, KISSmetrics’ blog suggests the nine ingredients needed to make yours great. I’m not sure I buy it, though. I don’t see bacon anywhere on the list.

Oddly enough, The New York Times ran an interesting piece on peanut butter’s new best friend: Mr. Pickle. Is the PB&P the next food marketing craze?

Meanwhile, McDonald’s has backed off from its online viral marketing to kids, having quietly altered its Happy Meal site in the face of possible regulatory action following a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission in August.

A group of parents in Encinitas, Cali., would prefer a local school back off from
teaching their kids yoga for fear that the practice’s origins detract from their personal religious beliefs. Good thing they don’t have to worry about how their children are going to work off all of those Happy Meals.

Forget the Golden Arches—as far as Republicans are concerned, it’s all about Chick-fil-A. According to the latest research from YouGov BrandIndex, the chicken chain ranked No. 4 on its list of favorite brands among backers of the GOP, making it the only restaurant to crack the top 10 among Republicans, Democrats, or Independents.

Related: Chick-fil-A: Our position was ‘mischaracterized’

If the political and fast food affiliation of your significant other concerns you, perhaps you should try one of the two newest dating sites, Blue State Date or Red State Date. The hilarious viral effort is the work of JD Beebe, who confirms that the conservative site is getting more traction.

I wonder if Ann Coulter has an account. I suppose we could just search for a profile that calls the president a “retard.” The abrasive politic pundit landed in immediate hot water after doing just that in a tweet during Monday’s third and final presidential debate. Amid the vitriol directed at Coulter is a thoughtful response from the Special Olympics, written by a 30-year-old man with Down syndrome.

Related: Obama takes round three, but is it enough to counter first debate?

But now for the real debate: Will Apple’s new iPad Mini—unveiled Tuesday—do anything to shake up the tablet market?

Is there something you think we should include in our next edition of #TheDailySpin? Tweet me @iquotesometimes with your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

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Today’s Marketing Cookie – Unusual Equipment For Success

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Today's Marketing Cookie - You have unusual equipment for success, use it...

"You have unusual equipment for success, use it properly"

Today’s fortune came from Robert Fields of Southborough, MA. Bob is the fearless founder of CommCreative. Over the past twenty-five years he has created a unique culture of respect, healthy work/life balance, and upholding the highest standard of excellence in whatever we create for our clients.

Today’s Marketing Cookie is about great marketers like you.

Most marketers are like you. They are creatively innovative spirits – all the way down to their core, they are endlessly energetic about achieving success, and charismaticly tuned for delivering happiness.  Marketers have to be this way, because without creativity, innovation, energy and charisma, companies would fall flat and cease to inspire attraction, affection and loyalty with their customers. As someone once said, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”, and I believe it’s true. 

The world needs you my friends. The strengths and personality traits of great marketers like you, however quirky they may be, are moving into the driver’s seat for some of the most successful companies in the world… both large and small. Every touch point with the customer is an opportunity for marketers like you to deliver satisfaction. Every aspect of product innovation and development is influenced by marketers like you who have the ability to understand the needs and demands of the customer. Every word and visual connected with the corporate brand image is managed by marketers like you who can serve as the voice of the company. 

Talented marketers like you have a wealth of opportunity and an exciting future ahead of you. You have the right stuff to make all the right moves. Marketers like you can turn singers into rock stars, actors and athletes into idols, services into saviors and products into gold. You are more powerful than you may realize, and I implore you to be responsible, be respectful and to always remember that, to whom much is given, much is expected. As today’s fortune says, “You have unusual equipment for success, use it properly”

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