Tag Archives: social media marketing for public affairs

8 reasons why your company should be on Twitter

Companies are increasingly using the internet as a means by which to communicate with key audiences.  And as Ed Adler (@eadler12recently outlined in PRWeek, Twitter may be the best place for corporate executives to begin online engagement.

Importantly, as Adler notes, as a result of the rapid acceleration of internet adoption by consumers around the world, corporate executives “leave them[selves] and their companies at an increasing disadvantage” if they don’t adopt a considered online presence.

Social media usage greater than traditional media

Adler cited statistics which reflect that “by 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. Today, 71% of Millennials check social media sites at least once a day. Twitter has more than 316 million active users, LinkedIn boasts 400 million members, and the population of Facebook (1.5 billion monthly users) is larger than that of China. The number of users is more than 150 times the combined daily circulation of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Forbes, and Fortune.”

Twitter, Adler notes, provides companies with a superb means by which to:

  1. Deliver news;
  2. Manage crises;  
  3. Identify influencers;
  4. Raise awareness;
  5. Generate recognition;  
  6. Increase loyalty;
  7. Engage employees; and
  8. Control the narrative.

Twitter is unique among social media channels

Adler noted in particular that Twitter has the unique quality among social channels of serving as a stand-alone real time news platform where “industry influencers can truly change company positioning with just 140 characters”  He noted how “Goldman Sachs… no longer distribute[s] press releases on the wire, but [instead] use[s] Twitter to release its results.”

Social Media usage is seeing 25% year-on-year annual growth

He concluded by noting that social media usage is growing 25% year-over-year across all age groups (citing ComScore) — making it an essential component for the communications strategy of any company and its senior management going forward.

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“Long form content” among digital trends of Davos 2016

Long form content is among 5 digital trends of Davos 2016, according to Marcia Newbert (@EdelmanDC), writing in Edleman Digital Blog.

As Newbert explained, each January, “the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, attracts more than 2,500 of the world’s top business leaders, academics, celebrities, activists, media and political elite to an otherwise sleepy ski town in the foothills of the Swiss Alps…The theme of this year’s [meeting, which took place between Jan 20-23, was] the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new era that builds and extends the impact of digitization. So it’s fitting then, that even more so than last year, the impact of digital channels can be felt on the ground.”

Those 5 trends, as Newbert detailed, are:  1. A Growing number of digital channels; 2. An Explosion of Davos social conversation; 3. The Widespread adoption of multimedia content; 4 The staying power of long-form content, and 5. An uptick in paid amplification.

Explaining the long form content trend in particular, Newbert wrote: “The World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog published more than 70 blog posts from their staff and WEF attendees on Tuesday alone. Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group; Mark Tercek, President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy; and Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay* used their LinkedIn Influencer platforms to share their thoughts on the emerging trends in their respective industries. Other organizations like The Girls’ Lounge are using Medium to share their long-form essays about Davos.”

Corporate content marketing efforts are increasing

So while Davos’ digital trends reflect a deepening and diversification among digital and content marketing trends – “69 percent of companies are [now] growing their content” marketing efforts — as Travis Wright (@teedubya), Chief marketing technologist for CCP Global outlined in Inc. this week. “Modern marketers are devoting an increasing amount of resources towards creating great content and efforts to boost awareness rather than continue to invest in ads”, Wright detailed.

Based on Davos’ digital trends from 2016, therefore, long form content ought to be among the practices companies consider keeping at the forefront of their increasing content marketing efforts.

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Business Insider sale: Implications for corporate and professional services publishing

Corporate and professional services firms can learn something from the recent acquisition of online digital news magazine Business Insider (@businessinsider) by European publishing company Axel Springer (@axelspringer_EN):  Online publishing is something you should be embracing.

Last month, Julia Greenberg @julia_greenberg), reporting for Wired, outlined how Business Insider has just been purchased for $442 Million dollars – $200 Million more than what the Washington Post sold for in 2013.  And while Business Insider was able to rapidly scale itself thanks to $60 Million dollars in funding since its founding in 2007 — a corporate or professional services blog or online magazine could grow a substantial global audience with a comparatively tiny investment.

Seek to emulate the success of Business Insider

A blog, a managing editor, and a commitment to publish about subjects of importance to key potential clients and business partners might be all that’s needed to create a mini-Business Insider.  Imagine from that small investment what kind of audience might be built — and customers that might be won.  Since 2007, as Greenberg outlined, Business Insider’s audience has grown to 76 million unique monthly visitors.  A small fraction of this audience is likely to markedly increase knowledge of and custom for, a business that publishes online.

The importance of publishing in a digital age

As Stephanie Sammons has outlined in WiredAdvisor:  More business are realizing “that they need to be self-publishing to attract and retain clients in the digital age.”  “You may think of yourself as being influential,” she writes, “but if you’re not blogging in the digital age, you’re likely not going to be influencing anyone online.”

And while many professional services firms and corporations are still mulling over whether to take the plunge and establish basic publishing efforts, Business Insider’s acquirer Axel Springer is marching forward into new online niches.  For example, as Greenberg reports, they’re “also invested in digital news startups…and [a] news reader app.”

Create your own mini-Business Insider

A Business Insider valuation which exceeded that of the Washington Post sends a very clear message about the importance of online publishing:  Good all-digital publications can in a short time exceed the titans of the old-media era.  And since anyone can adopt online publishing at a relatively low-cost:  Why not, if you’re a professional services firm or corporation – create a mini-Business Insider and gain a wider, global audience and  generate more business as a result?

Corporations and professional services firms don’t need to out-do Business Insider in the publishing business to achieve online success.  But they can emulate its success on a much smaller scale and reap the rewards that online publishing offers.

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Delegating social media: No easy task

Approximately 40% of the world’s population is connected to the internet, the growth of which you can view live here.  “In 1995, it was less than 1%.  The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013.  The first billion was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014”, according to the same source.  Back in 2004, an article in Entrepreneur magazine outlined why any business needs to be online.  Trends since then reflect in exponential terms why this is much more true today – and will increasingly be so.

Businesses need a sophisticated online presence

The question of whether your business should be online is clear.  However, the options for the form that presence would take are becoming more numerous and complex.  Given the rapid increase in the size of the internet audience and the multiplicity of potential social channels that might be deployed and utilized, businesses must become aware of all their online options to upgrade existing efforts or to begin new ones.

Any company considering an online presence will likely be asking itself:

  • What method should we use to promote ourselves online – a website, blog or more?
  • Which social media channels should be employed? YouTube, Twitter, WeChat, Weibo, Facebook, LinkedIn to name but a few.
  • What sort of content should be used?  Written? Visual? Audio?
  • How can and should new content be researched? Analyzing competitor data? Analyzing macroeconomic trends and applying them to ideal potential customers? Then how do we translate it into easily digestible “social” posts or broadcasts or videos?  Again, to name a few options.
  • And ultimately, to whom should you entrust your strategy, content production and social media management?

Why is the delegation of social media management important?

The public presence of your company on live, global, interactive (ie social) media — A 24/7 news cycle for business — is very important for seizing commercial opportunity.  But it can also be dangerous as social media is by definition public.  You will face danger if you’re not very careful in how you manage these very public channels.  For more information about those dangers, read GrantThornton’s paper on Social Media Risks and Rewards.  But delegating that social media management is not an easy task, as a recent article by Jonathan Gebauer (@jogebauer) explains.

What’s required of a social media manager?

The essence of Gebauer’s article is that social media management must be undertaken by someone with the maturity, gravitas, knowledge and skill set required to help your company navigate the pitfalls of social media while advancing your interests of engaging your ideal audience creatively and effectively everyday. Day in day out.   In particular, Gebauer points to the following attributes he see’s essential for a social media manager:

  • “A fair understanding [gleaned in a short period of time] of what defines your company and your company values”
  • The ability to “apply what you want to achieve and your company’s specific identity” to your social media efforts.
  • The ability to “work with advanced information that you probably can’t give [him or her] at the beginning.”

All these and more, I would argue, are imperative for the social media manager to be effective in an increasingly complex, global arena.

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5 reasons to establish a corporate blog

Edward Gerwin, Jr. recently outlined in UPS’ Longitudes blog how the internet is affording more opportunity to companies seeking to expand globally.   But importantly, with approximately 3 billion people connected to the internet — the opportunities for those who would seek to challenge companies already in existence — are also expanding.

Any company in existence today, therefore, should carefully assess what options it might have to expand its customer base and fend off potential new competitors.  A recent article in PR Daily by John P. David is instructive about what a corporate blog can do to help a company achieve competitive advantage in a digital age:

  1. Highlighting a company’s human resources to key audiences– Companies will have numerous human resources that will be of unique appeal to key audiences. From the CEO and senior management team to company staff at all other levels.  Highlighting their unique stories will help create trust and confidence in the company.  By creating a dynamic, online presence via a corporate blog – a company becomes more accessible and more responsive to customer opinion and desires.
  2. Articulating the company’s vision to a larger audience— A corporate blog opens a wider path of communication among both external and internal audiences. Importantly, some audiences may be more critical than others.  A blog can be used to explain the company’s plans, highlight accomplishments and build trust among potential partners, customers, investors, employees and industry press.  This direct and proprietary broadcast channel can be a powerful corporate communications tool.
  3. Underscoring and reiterating the company’s value– All companies have a vision, but they don’t often articulate that vision. A corporate blog helps differentiate a company from competitors and explain how it is always seeking to be an industry-leading organization.  Importantly, a well-written corporate blog can become uniquely appealing to key industry media.  This can help pave the way to earning valuable interviews and profiles in media channels key to bolstering corporate image and reputation.
  4. Creating a reliable communications channel between the company and itscustomers – A company blog which builds a following among key audiences also builds trust and goodwill at the same time. This can be particularly useful when a company is faced with the need to explain bad news, including challenges to revenue or a sudden crisis.  This communications channel allows a company to recover more quickly from adversity.
  5. Solidifying the company’s brand— A corporate brand in an interconnected world can contribute significant value to overall revenue goals. A corporate blog can build brand recognition in new markets and solidify it in traditional markets.  Any company that isn’t utilizing digital channels to solidify brand recognition is missing out on a valuable opportunity the digital marketing age offers.

One company blog worth emulating

One example of a company employing a blog effectively is United Parcel Service (UPS) — whose blog UPS Longitudes — was cited earlier in the post. UPS Longitudes regularly highlights corporate executive opinion on the markets and trends of most importance to UPS key audiences.  Any company seeking to expand a local or international client base — or compete with those aspiring to take market share from it — would be wise to emulate this and other similar company blogs.

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