Posts tagged social media

The Ice Bucket Challenge and 6 Things Every Viral Moment Has

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been one of the hottest topics on the Internet over the past month, with videos of all sorts of people hoisting buckets of ice water over their heads and dousing themselves in the name of charity. 

The challenge has also raised jaw-dropping amounts of money in a short period of time for ALS research. It’s reported that the ALS Foundation raised $10.3 million in a single day, thanks to the popularity of the challenge.

So how does something so simple become something so viral and raise awareness and funds?

1. A low barrier of entry. What do you need to make a challenge? A bucket, ice, water, a smartphone to capture the video, and two minutes of your time.

Too often attempts at virality fail because they’re too complicated or too expensive. The goal is to get as many people as possible involved, so barrier of entry to participate has to be low.

2. A touch of urgency. According to the rules of the Challenge, you have 24 hours to accept the challenge, or you “have” to pay the ALS Foundation $100. Putting a limited window of time ensures that people won’t put off the challenge.

3. Built in viral mechanism. The ALS Challenge is a bit different than most viral campaigns, because you’re publicly challenging three other friends to participate. Also, it’s not an invitation; it’s a dare. There’s a lot more energy behind someone publicly saying “I dare you!” instead of “Try this!”

Read on for three more components of viral campaigns on OPEN Forum.

Instagram: the Sales Tool You’re Not Using

"Despite its widespread popularity, many small businesses aren’t utilizing Instagram to its fullest business potential," writes OPEN Forum contributor Angela Stringfellow. "Retailers post just 7.2 percent of their products on social commerce sites.”

Take advantage of the site’s influence and boost your brand’s value with this tip from Shari Theresia, co-owner of Los Angeles-based event staffing company Toast & Flute:

“To start, I researched and followed Los Angeles-based companies and people who I thought could recommend us to their clientele or would be interested in our services themselves. This included wedding and event planners, caterers, florists, event rental companies and event design companies. I was active on their Instagram accounts, liking their photos and getting on their radar.”

Read on for two more ways you can drive sales through Instagram.

Having an engaged Twitter following can be a great resource for a company looking to attract new customers, build brand awareness, and more. But how does one exactly go about doing that?
1. Post regularly, and keep it conversational. Most of what you share should be informative, useful or inspiring—and it should be sent out several times a week. Occasionally you can add personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information about your business. You’ll hold your followers’ attention if they feel that they’re getting information they couldn’t get elsewhere.
2. Include photos when appropriate. Images are some of the most shared content on social networks. You need to post more than just text to keep your followers interested.
3. Share content from others. Sharing content isn’t just about retweeting posts you find interesting, though that’s definitely a big part of it. You can tweet links to online articles, videos and websites. Position yourself as a source for information relevant to your industry, not just as someone who only posts about his or her own business.
Read on for eight more tips on how to build a strong Twitter following.

Having an engaged Twitter following can be a great resource for a company looking to attract new customers, build brand awareness, and more. But how does one exactly go about doing that?

1. Post regularly, and keep it conversational. Most of what you share should be informative, useful or inspiring—and it should be sent out several times a week. Occasionally you can add personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information about your business. You’ll hold your followers’ attention if they feel that they’re getting information they couldn’t get elsewhere.

2. Include photos when appropriate. Images are some of the most shared content on social networks. You need to post more than just text to keep your followers interested.

3. Share content from others. Sharing content isn’t just about retweeting posts you find interesting, though that’s definitely a big part of it. You can tweet links to online articles, videos and websites. Position yourself as a source for information relevant to your industry, not just as someone who only posts about his or her own business.

Read on for eight more tips on how to build a strong Twitter following.

Small business owners have had beef with online customer review site Yelp for years, with some saying the site filters reviews so the worst comments rise to the top. But research has found that the service has done some good in making “shop local” a lot easier for consumers:

… The revenues of Seattle restaurants between 2003 (pre-Yelp) and 2009 (post Yelp’s introduction), which found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating raised a restaurant’s revenues by 5 to 9 percent.

Read more on OPEN Forum.

Small business owners have had beef with online customer review site Yelp for years, with some saying the site filters reviews so the worst comments rise to the top. But research has found that the service has done some good in making “shop local” a lot easier for consumers:

… The revenues of Seattle restaurants between 2003 (pre-Yelp) and 2009 (post Yelp’s introduction), which found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating raised a restaurant’s revenues by 5 to 9 percent.

Read more on OPEN Forum.

How to Avoid the FTC’s Bad Side on Pinterest

A contest might sound like a great idea for a social media campaign, but if you don’t follow the rules, you may find the FTC knocking on your door, just like the marketing team at Cole Haan did when it launched a Pinterest contest to its followers.

These are the four things brands should consider when launching a contest on social media, particularly if that platform is Pinterest:

  1. Pinning may constitute an endorsement of a product or organization. 

  2. Entry into a sweepstakes or contest requires disclosure.

  3. Understand the terms and services of the social networks—all of them—before launching a contest. 

  4. The FTC is closely scrutinizing the business use of social media.

Read “4 Things You Must Know Before Running a Social Media Contest" on OPEN Forum.

Twitter is unveiling 15 new ad products in the next six months, but one may have already leaked.

Twitter is unveiling 15 new ad products in the next six months, but one may have already leaked.

Pinterest, the site that made inspiration boards cool again, is making an advertising play with its newest feature.

Pinterest, the site that made inspiration boards cool again, is making an advertising play with its newest feature.

Almost 75% of small business owners feel confident in their social media abilities. But, c’mon. There’s always room for improvement. Take advantage of tips like these on OPEN Forum:

7. Avoid syndicated messages. While you can use tools that allow you to write one message and have it appear on a variety of social media outlets, you risk losing the sincerity behind the message. You can use similar language as you promote your offer on different sites; just be sure to change up the words while reflecting the tone of each network.

Almost 75% of small business owners feel confident in their social media abilities. But, c’mon. There’s always room for improvement. Take advantage of tips like these on OPEN Forum:

7. Avoid syndicated messages. While you can use tools that allow you to write one message and have it appear on a variety of social media outlets, you risk losing the sincerity behind the message. You can use similar language as you promote your offer on different sites; just be sure to change up the words while reflecting the tone of each network.

Zappos is known for upending business-as-usual with its unorthodox but effective ways of keeping customers and employees happy. Recently the fashion e-tailer is changing the way businesses think about hiring. In order to be considered for a job with the company, you have to “friend” them first on their social-media network, Zappos Insider.

Zappos is known for upending business-as-usual with its unorthodox but effective ways of keeping customers and employees happy. Recently the fashion e-tailer is changing the way businesses think about hiring. In order to be considered for a job with the company, you have to “friend” them first on their social-media network, Zappos Insider.

Science May Have Cracked the Code to the Perfect Tweet

We know why this tweet was so record-breakingly popular. But what makes an average Twitter user’s post shareable? Researchers from Google and Cornell University landed on a few answers after comparing two tweets sent by the same user, about the same topic, but with different wording:

  • They asked to be retweeted. A solid piece of advice works on social media as well: If you want something, ask for it! Tweets where users made “explicit requests for sharing” were shared more than the tweets that didn’t. Within that, some retweet signifiers were stronger than others. “RT,” “retweet,” “spread” and “please” were more effective than “pls” and “plz” for getting followers to retweet. 

For more insight (and links to the cool tools they made) visit OPEN Forum.