Facebook Fan Page Weekly Stats Updates are Awesome for Reporting

Yesterday, I received my second email with statistics updates on the Facebook Fan Pages I administer. I love these emails; they make reporting so easy!

The weekly reports detail the amount of Facebook Fans a Fan Page gains, the amount of wall posts on the Fan Page and the total amount of visitors to the Page per week. The best part of the weekly reports is that it aggregates into one email all of the Facebook Pages I administer.

Facebook Fan Page reports make reporting for clients much easier and more time efficient. Social media reporting can be extremely time consuming and tedious, but these updates are very helpful in moving the process along. It would be great if Twitter started sending weekly reports of RTs, mentions and amount of tweets in a week, don’t you think? LinkedIn should send out weekly reports to managers of Events and Groups too.

What do you think? Is Facebook missing anything in these weekly reports? Give us your feedback!

Journalists and Social Media

As PR professionals, we’re constantly looking for ways to connect with reporters and to secure placement for our company and clients in the most relevant publications. It can be difficult (that’s why we have jobs), but the following study gives us some interesting results that could potentially help us do our jobs more efficiently.

Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research last month released a study titled, “Media in the Wired World.” The research team surveyed U.S. journalists regarding their social media use and the study found some interesting results:

  • Almost 70% of journalists are using social networking sites, which is a 28% increase since the 2008 study
  • 48% are using Twitter or other microblogging sites and tools, a 25% increase since 2008
  • 66% of the surveyed journalists are using blogs
  • 25% of those surveyed are using podcasts
  • 48% of journalists are using online video
  • Over 90% of journalists agree that new media and communications tools and technologies are enhancing journalism to some extent

According to the study, reporters are embracing social media and are active on various social networking sites. This is great for us because we can build relationships with reporters and connect with them in real-time. Here at 451, we use Twitter and LinkedIn to follow media contacts. Both tools are useful to see what reporters are writing about, and to watch for potential opportunities to pitch our company and/or our clients.

Do you connect with reporters and journalists through social networking sites? Have some success stories to share? Let us know!

How to Use the Answers Feature on LinkedIn for Business Development

If you’re on LinkedIn, you should use the Answers feature for business development by showcasing your knowledge through answering users’ questions in your area of expertise. You can build brand reputation and position your company as a leader in your industry by utilizing the Answers section.

The LinkedIn Answers section is a great tool to gain brand visibility. In this section people post questions about various business-related topics. People looking for information or advice, ask questions that are organized into categories such as Finance, Management, Marketing and Sales and other topics related to business operations.

To get the most out of the Answers feature, you should check relevant pages regularly for questions you can answer with your specific expertise. On LinkedIn, it’s important to give valuable insight in order to receive recognition and positive return. The more thoughtful insights you can offer, the more trustworthy you and your brand will become. Your company will become a trusted leader in your space and prospective clients will look to your company for their business needs.

If one of your answers is selected as a “Best Answer” or “Good Answer” by the person who posted the question, the recognition will show up on your profile. Users who were awarded the most “Best Answers” in a particular category show up in a prominent list on that category’s home page. This is a great way to gain visibility on LinkedIn and demonstrate expertise.

LinkedIn is a useful social networking tool for attracting prospects and building a trusted brand identity. The more value you can add to a conversation, the more likely it is that you will be remembered and people will want to use your services. It’s important to be honest and helpful on LinkedIn; the business will follow.

451 Marketing’s LinkedIn Series: How to Create a LinkedIn Event

Do you have a conference, seminar, webinar or other business event coming up? Do you want to make sure the right people hear about it and, more importantly, attend? LinkedIn Events present an effective and easy way to generate awareness for your upcoming sessions and ensure you are promoting the information to prospects.

linkedin

So how do you create an event and make sure your prospects attend? We’ll tell you…

Step 1: Visit the Events page from the LinkedIn homepage and click on “Add an Event.”

Step 2: Next you will see a page with a detailed event form to complete. Start filling it out!

  • Be sure to create an accurate and compelling title for the event. You want to engage your audience a leave them with a good first impression.
  • Fill in the additional details.
  • Include information on where the event will take place as users like to search by location.
  • Confirm that you are the event organizer so that you can edit the event at any time.

Step 3: Click on “Add More Details.”

  • Do not skip this part! This is important because the drop-down menu will offer you more ways to promote and describe the event. The different options help you generate awareness among prospective clients.

Step 4: Add a detailed description.

  • Describe your event in detail. You want members of your audience who view the event page to understand what you’ll be addressing at the event and why it’s important for them to attend.

Step 5: Next, choose an event type and industry.

  • This is important for prospects that search by event categories (industry verticals, webinar vs. seminar, etc.).

Step 6: Add keywords.

  • The keywords reflect when and where your event will pop up in searches. Add relevant tags and make sure that the keywords you choose to use are terms your prospects typically search for on LinkedIn. You may use up to 20 keywords.

Step 7:  Next, fill in who should attend the event.

  • Include the typical titles of the individuals you would like to attend from a  prospective company, as well as titles of people who would be generally interested in the content.

Step 8: You’re almost done! Click Preview and make sure the info is correct.

Step 9: Publish the event.

  • You can edit at any time.

Now you’re ready to start planning your next event on LinkedIn. What are your  experiences with LinkedIn events? Share them with us!

Social Media Business Tactics: Do you Shadow?

By @ajgerritson

When I was 11 years old, I remember moving into a new neighborhood with my family during the summer. I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t know where the other kids would meet and play and it was kind of a daunting experience (although, an 11 year old would never say the word “daunting” – maybe, replace with “scary”).

Back then it was the age of “just make sure you come home before the street lights come on” and sex offenders didn’t seem to be hanging on every corner of Main St, USA. So, as almost anyone else would do, I grabbed my gun-metal Huffy with the cool stickers and just rode around until I found where some kids were playing.

Kids_Playing_Baseball

I remember walking over to the kids and how I hoped they would let me play wiffle ball. At first, they told me that they had enough players and that “they didn’t need anyone else.”  Instinctively (even then) I knew they thought of me as an outsider, someone they didn’t trust. So, I sat there, watched them play and shagged foul balls for them when they shanked them down the make-shift third base line.

Eventually, one of the kids had to leave and so they asked me if I wanted to play. Hazaah!

There is a lesson here to be learned for social media and selling. Yes, I said selling. A term that makes people cringe when they see it put in the context of social media.

Before I go any further, I should be clear that traditional selling has no place in social media. The companies that succeed through using the medium are those that provide meaningful interactions, valuable content, and genuine contributions to the social community. With that being said, I believe you are effectively selling yourself and your company every time you engage with others in a genuine conversation online (again, not spamming – we all have no time or patience for that) and/or providing real value to someone else or the community. For example, when you refer someone to a competitor, or a vendor that is completely unrelated to your business, you have effectively sold yourself as credible to the information recipient (Chris Brogan would refer to this as a “Trust Agent” move).

So one might ask, “How does this apply to me growing my business?”

Fair enough question. Let’s first think about what we know.

  • Traditional selling doesn’t work online. To be effective you need to be an expert, a resource and genuine.
  • Not everyone online is a potential customer of yours, so you don’t want to spend all of your time talking to everyone.
  • Technology has afforded us the ability to track the activities of those that may be prospects or existing customers.

With only so much time in the day, you need to spend your time  effectively. One way to do this is by focusing some of your social media efforts on shadowing your prospective customers. By “shadowing” I mean being involved in all of the conversations your prospects are having online, when they are having them, while being an expert who is genuinely part of the conversation (think back to me shagging balls for the neighborhood kids).

So how would you start shadowing? First, you need people to shadow. There are many ways to develop a list of these people. This list could include existing prospects that you are pitching, people with the right positions at the companies you would like to work with, anything really. Next, you are going to set up a monitoring system for these people across the different social networks. This could be as simple as setting up real-time Google alerts to track their comments on Blogs, monitoring their Twitter handles on whatever Twitter client you are using, and subscribing to any content they might publish.

Since many business people are using LinkedIn today, I would strongly advise using this platform to shadow as well. To do so, I would start by connecting with the person directly and monitoring their status updates daily (I prefer using Google Reader for this). If you do not have a direct connection with this person, you still can follow this person’s discussions across groups. (FYI, LinkedIn rolled out this new feature in November, and has made shadowing non-direct connections a lot easier. More information about this process, visit this link: http://blog.linkedin.com/2009/11/06/ian-mccarthy-look-whos-following-you-across-groups-on-linkedin/

Finally, you just have to monitor and join the conversation consistently in a meaningful way. Again, be an expert, be genuine and be a resource.

If you practice shadowing, good things will happen.