Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Instagram Community Building - Social Media Examiner - Best Practice Podcast

Social Media Examiner is an incredible podcast. Every week Michael Stelzner interviews an expert in their field about the cutting-edge tips and tricks in their field of expertise.

This week he interviewed Sue B. Zimmerman, "The Instagram Gal".

You can listen to the podcast and read more here: Instagram Growth: How to Build a Community on Instagram.

Wait, did I say read more? Yes, absolutely because one of the phenomenal things that Michael Stelzner's Social Media Examiner podcast does is to summarize the main points of the podcast interviews. Be sure to scroll down to get all of the extremely helpful information.

And yes, of course there's the very professional and well done podcast as well.

Michael Stelzner never disappoints and always comes up with gems of new tools at the start of each podcast with his "Discovery of the Week.

But the real value of this podcast is the expert interview. Each of these interviews highlights the newest and best ways to leverage the subject matter...Instagram for this week's podcast.

For instance in this week's podcast (and related post) we learn about:

Improving Your Instagram Marketing

  • What marketers should know about Instagram
  • Promote conferences and events with Instagram
  • Create a community on Instagram
  • How marketers can use Instagram hashtags
  • How marketers can use Instagram Direct (messages)
Quite a lot of amazing practical and immediately useful info for the stellar price of...Free (yes, free!).

I can't recommend the Social Media Examiner podcast highly enough, but suffice it to say that you should definitely check it out and make it a part of your weekly podcast listening.

And if you aren't listening to podcasts regularly (which I'd also highly recommend) then at least read or scan the Social Media Examiner podcast write-up for a number of quick takeaways without listening at all.

What's your favorite social media marketing podcast?

Have questions or comments? Just let me know...

- By Karl Kasca, instructor UCLA Extension (@KarlKasca @UCLAextension)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Brand Tarnishing - One Tweet or Post Away from Infamy

“Oops.” by Marcin Wichary Yikes, we all hate when this happens! You're just going along having a great day and then, "Oops!", you DM (direct message) the entire world by mistake (instead of the individual you were DM'ing it to.

To make matters worse you're an executive and you appear to be privately (now publicly) talking about a possible acquisition for your company, Twitter.

Read more here at: Twitter exec Anthony Noto in direct message gaffe.


Ok, first we should recognize that we're all human, right?

But then again, this is an executive of a major company.

Worse yet, this could be you or me...or any of us.

It just takes one small slip and it's out in the public domain...with speculation running rampant in social media of what company the possible acquisition target might be.


Let's just all take a deep breath and wonder out loud if this might have been:

1) A legitimate mistake.

2) A terrible mistake.

3) Part of a larger strategy to get this knowledge out into the social media domain. - To crowdsource what company the social media sphere thinks Twitter should acquire. - To reveal partially reveal their hand - apparently mistakenly - to investors, parties in negotiation (or who want to be), Twitter's competitors, the World, etc.


In any case, it's an interesting situation and we'll look forward to hearing more to see how it plays out.


But for the rest of us, it just gives us pause to actually consider pausing before hitting: Tweet, Send now, Post, Share, Publish, Update status, etc.

So take a breath...before hitting that final button.

And if you're using Twitter, please be sure you're posting Direct Messages correctly:

Posting or deleting direct messages

And/or make sure you know how to use DMs correctly with whatever platform you use (Hootsuite, TweetDeck, etc.).

Thoughts? Comments? - Just let us know...

- By Karl Kasca, instructor UCLA Extension (@KarlKasca @UCLAextension)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Social Media Marketing Apologies - Uber vs Jet Blue

egg on your face! by bianca francesca
Image: egg on your face! by bianca francesca
You know you're having a bad day when you suggest an idea about a draconian-sounding "research" campaign on journalists' backgrounds at a private dinner party and then:

Uber CEO issues 13-part Twitter apology, clarifies data privacy policy

Here's an excerpt of what Kurtis Lee of the LA Times said:
The CEO of the ride-sharing company Uber offered a lengthy 13-part apology on Twitter on Tuesday as the company attempted to quell fallout over comments made by an executive who suggested targeting critical journalists.

NBC News said: Uber CEO Tweets Apology for VP Emil Michael's 'Terrible' Comments

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick took to Twitter on Tuesday to apologize for remarks made by an executive who suggested digging up dirt on journalists who write unflattering articles about the ride-sharing company. On Monday, Buzzfeed reported that Emil Michael, Uber's senior vice president for business, suggested at a private dinner that the company spend "a million dollars" to hire opposition researchers to look into the personal lives and families of journalists. His anger was particularly aimed at Sarah Lacy, editor of tech news site Pando Daily.
- You can see more analysis in the video at the NBC Tech News link above.

But all of this reminds me a little of Jet Blue's apology video after passengers were stranded for 7-hours on the tarmac: JetBlue Issues Apology Over 7 Hour Tarmac Delay.

The original video apology appears to have been taken down, but excerpts from it can be seen in the ABC News story above.

At the time, the video apology was seen to be insincere and insufficient given the suffering of Jet Blue's passengers.

Just as the initial apology by Uber's exec appears to be interpreted now.

This was the conclusion of the ABC News story at the link above:
The incident comes four years after JetBlue issued its “Customer Bill of Rights,” following a February 2007 organizational meltdown that led to the cancellation and delay of a massive number of its flights. The series of cancellations, caused by a major Valentine’s Day storm, left passengers stranded on the tarmac for 11 hours before they were allowed back into the terminal.
The fallout from the incident led consumer rights groups to push for a government- mandated airline passenger Bill of Rights to protect flyers against similar experiences.
So maybe this is the type of regulatory reaction (or action) that Uber's trying to strategically avoid with their Twitter apologies.


In any case, it all seems like "Oops!...I Did It Again".

As always, we'll wait and to see how all of this plays out in social media marketing.

What do you think? Will Uber's efforts to appease and/or re-charm the press be successful?

- By Karl Kasca, instructor UCLA Extension (@KarlKasca @UCLAextension)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Interstellar Fourth and Fifth-Dimensional Social Media Marketing

Ok, I'll be completely honest with you: I absolutely loved the movie "Interstellar" that was just released last week.

If you saw the movie that's great, but even if you didn't I think you'll find this social media marketing model interesting...
- And please don't hold this model to a strict Physics interpretation, just have fun with it.

2-Dimensional Marketing

If you think of length and width as being 2-dimensional, then all of the documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoints, graphics, etc. that we create are two-dimensional. Thus two-dimensional marketing would include any printed matter, like flyers, banners, etc. So direct marketing campaigns would essentially be 2D one-to-many marketing.
- Note: FYI, the first dimension is simply a line, which we need in order to write (or draw) fantastic content on our 2D marketing materials.

3-Dimensional Marketing

If you add heigth or width/depth to the first two dimensions then you get 3D. For our model I'd say that the third dimension is the Internet. Ok, technically I know that I'm cheating at physics here, but just go with it and see what happens.

If we upload our 2D documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoints, etc. to the Internet, that gives them the element of height which raises them to a level where they can be seen and read by many as well as the ability to be found on the Internet.

With 3D marketing you can have standalone websites and web pages.
  • FYI this breaks down for sculptures, which are 3D in real life (but 2D photos of 3D sculptures uploaded to the Internet are 3D in this rather strained model of physics and marketing).
  • It also breaks down for 3D-Printing and the "Internet of Things" or the "Internet of Everything" if this bothers you, then just add one dimension to each of the sections of this post and everything should be fine.
  • But after all we're talking about 3D Marketing here, not just 3D. :)

4-Dimensional Marketing (4D Social Media Marketing)

Time and/or gravity is the fourth dimension.* So if you add "real-time" to the fixed websites and web pages on the Internet and the power (gravity) to share them, you get social media marketing.
* Huge pardons to real physics experts here!

If you factor in the ability to share websites and web pages this opens up the possibilities for blogs and social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc.

Now we have many-to-many shared interactions. Posts, status updates, likes, reviews, comments, etc. abound in this dimension. This gives power (gravity) to our other marketing efforts. 4D SMM is word-of-mouth on steroids.

5-Dimensional Marketing (5D Social Media Marketing = Strategy)

Now if I cheat a little again (semi spoiler alert here) and go back to the movie Interstellar: At the point that Matthew McConaughey's character ends up in the 5th dimension (yikes!) then we're given the ability to be outside of 4D marketing and we can view all of social media marketing from a perspective that we can evaluate it and decide what to do with it and how to implement it.

So with this 5D ability we can map out our social media marketing strategy.

We can fold space and time creating wormholes for the best social media marketing possible, connecting as many people to our marketing efforts as possible in ways they'll be the most likely to interact with...and be engaged with.

Strategy is hugely important to launching successful social media marketing efforts or campaigns.

Without strategy we risk having our social media marketing efforts collapse into a black hole. A black hole so powerful that it will suck all of our social media efforts into it and even light won't be emitted, meaning that none of our hopefully great marketing messages will be able to get out into the world and be seen...and shared...or interacted with...with others.

This is the metaphysical marketing equivalent of "the sound of one hand clapping" or "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it really fall?"

So be sure to use strategy...and get the applause (engagement) and have your social media efforts be heard (and shared)!


Ok, enough with my "warped" version merging bad physics with marketing.

What do you think? 
- And FYI, if you 'comment' on this, you'll be using 4D social media marketing, but if you're doing this as part of your SMM strategy, then you're using 5D social media marketing for extra credit!

- By Karl Kasca, instructor UCLA Extension (@KarlKasca @UCLAextension)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Is Target Really Behind 'Alex From Target' Viral Marketing Campaign - Viral is Not a Strategy

Target.. by Mike Mozart, on Flickr
Viral is not a strategy. I can't say it any plainer than that. However, that said, viral success can and does happen.

'First' is controversial, but apparently people were first were tweeting a photo of 'Alex from Target', a young photogenic Target employee.

Then Alex's photo went viral on Twitter (#AlexFromTarget) as well as other social media sites.

Then Alex appeared on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Today I've seen several posts speculating this might actually have been staged by Target, rather than being a random sequence of happy events:
But this is all oddly reminiscent of J&J and the 'Motrin Mom' controversy way back in November 2008 (almost 6 years ago to the day):
Who is really behind the 'Alex From Target' internet social media sensation?
      Who knows? But right now, Target is denying their involvement.

So in the venerable tradition of marketing and advertising, perhaps this newest viral campaign is simply "rinse and repeat" of an older campaign?

And as I said, viral is not a strategy. You might think it is, but actually pulling it off successfully is something else completely.

But success with your social media marketing efforts...

- By Karl Kasca, instructor UCLA Extension (@KarlKasca @UCLAextension)

PS: Who do you think is behind this? Let me know...