Monthly Archives: January 2015

Get in the Game: Tips for Tweeting on Super Sunday

By: Dallas J. Short
The big game is this Sunday and just because you might not have been able to afford an ad, does not mean you have to miss out on the opportunity for exposure. This is an excellent chance to grow and strengthen relationships. Here are a few tips:

1) Don’t Force It. If sports isn’t something that usually aligns with you or your company, don’t try to be a part of the event, just to do it. You would be the equivalent to a person jumping into a conversation and talking just to hear yourself speak, while others would stare and wonder why you are even there. However, do pay attention to the pre-game, game, half-time, post-game – something could come up or happen that you could be able to tie into with sincerity. The events being talked about are by fans, this is their game and their party, respect that and be a fun guest.

2) Know the Hashtags. Pay attention and follow what is trending and how it can apply to your involvement. You want to be in-the-know and relevant.

3) No Excessive Celebration. Do not try to come up with a clever quip and then think you won the game. Save your “Gronking.” Respond to people and put value into those conversations and interactions. Make people feel involved and appreciated, because they are and should be. Don’t respond to them how Marshawn Lynch might to the media.

4) Consistency is Key. If you are going to tweet during the event, make sure you’re not flooding timelines in the first half and then radio silence in the second. Well, you should not be flooding timelines at all. You want to tweet and to talk, but you do not want to be spammy and annoying.

5) Ear to the Ground. Listening is such an important and overlooked aspect of social media. You need to know who and what people are actually talking about. You need to understand the emotion and intensity, it is not just about the message you want to get out.

6) Don’t Hit the Locker Room Too Quick. Even after the game is over, the conversation and opportunities are not. This is a large scale event and conversations will continue to develop well after the clock has expired. Engage in relevant recaps and summaries. However, do not risk being “the last guy at the party,” if it’s dying out, it is ok to move on.

This Super Bowl is going to be a great game and with millions and millions spent on television advertising; there will also be millions and millions following along on social media. This is an opportunity for you and brands to connect and engage on a more natural level and develop meaningful interactions and relationships.
As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

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5 Tips to Promote Online Events Using Social Media

By: MJ Pedone

Hosting an online event is an excellent way to call attention to your brand or company. But how do you standout so your event gets the attention and attendance it deserves?

First step, create a landing page for the event, as well as an event on Facebook and Google+. Next, if appropriate, create a signup on Eventbrite and/or other ticketing site. Then, send out invitations to your newsletter subscribers. These are basic steps for getting people to sign up, but there is much more work to be done.

Getting the word out about any live or online event is all about timing. The reality is, everybody is so busy with their everyday life and at times are overwhelmed. You need to put it in front of them in a way that seems natural and makes sense for them.

Here are 5 ways for promoting virtual events, which can be used to promote live events as well.

1. Create an Event Hashtag. And Tweet Often. I’m a big believer in event-specific hashtags. Social media is also a great way to spread the word ahead of time. An easy idea is to send out separate tweets naming each speaker with their twitter handle (but not leading with the handle, as Twitter sometimes channels them just to that person). The great thing–if the speaker is Twitter-savvy, he/she will retweet it to probably a larger group of followers than you have.

2. Plan. Prepare all social update texts and images beforehand. I recommend sending status updates at least twice a day and start these updates at least two weeks in advance. Use images while posting about your event on Social networks because pictures attract a lot more visitors than just plain text updates.

3. Be Specific and Be Social. Spend the most time finding the right audience(s) and catering the message for them. Often times, people want things to appeal to everyone … but that doesn’t work. Find groups that would be most excited about the event and get them talking about it; they’ll invite their friends and spread the word. Find clever ways of getting people to talk about the event such as asking questions, getting people to like, retweet/share, having interesting/humorous information, and so on. The more people interact, the more your message will be shared.

4. Ask for Help. One of the keys ways I have found in getting social media buzz is to get others to do the buzzing. Asking related (but non-competing) organizations to promote an event is painless and they’re often happy to do it. Just remember to return the favor since these can be valuable relationships for both companies.

5. Don’t Forget about LinkedIn. Post the event details and RSVP link (if applicable) on your company page. Ask all your colleagues and friends to like that update. Also, share that post in related groups as this will help your post get more exposure and will eventually increase the attendance. This will help you gain additional attendees.

A successful event will increase your company’s visibility while providing a valuable resource. The key to promoting an event is to be active and constantly engaging your audience. Need help with an online social media event strategy? Feel free to contact us and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Using Twitter For Business

By: MJ Pedone

So the chatter continues about social media and more specifically twitter and how it helps businesses grow. I can have this conversation for hours and my best advise is to tell people to give it a few months and leave it to the pros. Here are my twitter tips that I use to grow my business and what has been extremely helpful for me.

1. I present my company, Indra Public Relations, which is my brand, to the twitter community and make sure it has the same look and feel as my other online tools. This builds consistency and trust with your community.

2. I share photographs in my tweets as people love pictures and add video to my twitter timeline. Video is another powerful way to tell people about your business.

3. I follow other people I.e. clients, potential clients, vendors, professional organizations, competitors and other businesses of interest.

4. I post on twitter daily, reply to direct messages and share other useful information. I have conversations on topics designed to draw in potential clients and I always publish my tweets during the times where the twitter traffic is the heaviest.

5. I organize my followers into conversation lists which allows me to separate the twitter accounts I follow into groups. A list allows me to see the tweets from the list members as a separate Twitter timeline. This distinguishes them from the crowd so I can pay attention to what these people say. Everybody’s lists are based on their industry and goals but certainly a great thing to do.

6. I expand my audience with Hashtags. Most people’s Twitter experience is limited to the people they follow. It’s always a good idea to keep looking for new, fresh voices to follow to keep expanding your online conversations. Hashtags appear in tweets to identify a common topic or theme and usually something that is trending.

Although I would like to consider myself a master of twitter, I do rely on social media analytics to see how my Twitter strategies as well as my clients, have been perceived by my audience.

What are some of your strategies to build your business on twitter? Do you use any online tools to assist with this? As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

2015 Super Bowl Ads

By: Gina Mason

The Super Bowl is upon us and on Sunday, millions of Americans will tune in to watch the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the ultimate football showdown. Outside of the game, “deflate-gate” and the excessive amount of beer, pizza and chicken wings that will be consumed on this unofficial holiday, there is also another competition that will go on while the players are off the field. The battle of best Super Bowl commercial is always ultra competitive and the stakes are high, as advertisers have to capitalize on the only time of year where people actually want to watch commercials.

Over 110 million people will be watching to see which big brands will come up with the most innovative, clever or cute commercial of the year. However, it is not cheap for these brands to shine on the big stage and get international exposure. According to TIME.com, “This year, a Super Bowl ad costs roughly $4.5 million for 30 seconds of air time, up $500,000 from 2014.”

With that kind of money being shelled out for 30-second spots, viewers can expect big things from this year’s commercials. According to TIME.com, beer, cars, chips and half naked women will not dominate the themes of this year’s Super Bowl commercials. There will be a number of new brands such as Wix.com, Loctite, Mophie, Buzzfeed and The Verge that will all make their Super Bowl debut and bring some fresh campaigns and ideas to viewers. Also, ads wont be limited to TV screens. With high advertising rates, the power of viral videos and online streaming, many big brands are steering towards the digital market and using social media to get their message out there instead of paying millions for primetime spots.

To help get your head in the “commercial game” for Sunday, here are a few Super Bowl ads that came out early for your viewing pleasure:

Bud Light – Real Life Pac Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9A1NowrnGI

Dove – Real Strength Men + Care: http://youtu.be/QoqWo3SJ73c

GoDaddy – Journey Home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=X2AHrCtOHqc

Skittles – Super Bowl Tailgate with Kurt Warner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=Gj_Dqkpzv1g

Victoria’s Secret – Angels Playing Football: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84838260&feature=player_embedded&x-yt-ts=1422327029&v=S5-sx-Qgd_M

T-Mobile – Kim Kardashian and #KimsDataStash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=ZTwzsV3I3OQ

Based on the previews, which brand do you think is going to take home the title of “Best Super Bowl Commercial” this year? What do you hope to see from this year’s ads? Most importantly, what is your prediction for the big game?

I know I am looking forward to watching Tom Brady hopefully take down the Seahawks and of course, the squeal of Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial from last year. I hope you all enjoy the game and commercials on Sunday and stay safe!

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Post Networking Event Tips

By: Gina Mason

Networking events can be a great way to expand your personal Rolodex and your business. However, the key to truly getting the most out of networking events is not so much what you do at the event, but what you do after that makes a big difference. Post-event follow up is crucial to building long-lasting relationships and beneficial business connections.

Many of us are guilty of falling short on the follow up process after events and may be missing out on some great business opportunities. Even though it can be time consuming, taking a few minutes to follow up will create long-term relationships and is the key to a successful business.

Here are a few tips on how to follow up with new contacts after networking events:

Do some research
Check out your new contact’s website or do a Google search to see if they have been featured in any articles. This will give you the opportunity to get some insight on their business and see exactly what they do. Most importantly, it may give you some ideas or speaking points for when you connect with them via email.

Reach out immediately
Don’t let your new contact’s business card sit on your desk for months or only reach out to them when you need something. Send them an email within 48 hours of your networking event to remind them of who you are, what you do and recap anything you discussed. This will begin the conversation and the relationship building process.

Connect on social media
Shortly after sending the email, be sure to connect with your new contact on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. This will help you stay up-to-date on anything they are working on and may give you a perfect reason to reconnect later down the road (i.e. say Happy Birthday or congratulate them on an accomplishment).

Give first
It’s understood that in networking situations that you are going to ask people for assistance, but giving a helping hand first will prove that you are a valuable connection. Make an email introduction or refer some business to them before you ask them for something. Your new contact will appreciate the thought and will most likely return the favor.
Meet in person
Connecting face-to-face can be very powerful and will only help cultivate the business relationship by creating a rapport. Whether it’s for lunch, a drink or a cup of coffee, don’t underestimate the power of being in the same room. Not only will you be able to fill your new contact in on what you are working on, but you can also brainstorm some ideas on how to work together.
Reconnect frequently
Try to stay in touch with your new contact any way that you can. Send them a quick email to catch up or relevant article, set up another meeting or invite them to an event on a monthly basis. This will keep you on the forefront of his/her mind and will foster a lasting relationship.

I hope you found these tips to be helpful and that they will assist you in developing a strong business network. Best of luck with your next networking event!
As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Hating from the Sideline

By: Dallas J. Short
Are you a fan of a sports team or athlete? Do you follow them on them social media? There is a good chance that if you said yes to the first question then you said yes to the second question, but here’s the curveball:

Do you consistently respond or engage with them positively on social media?
While it’s easy to like, favorite or retweet, the anonymity of social media has turned the comment/response option into a breeding ground for negativity, sarcasm and quips.

Social media allows us to feel more directly connected to our teams and athletes, but this is a privilege that many take for granted. Game play critiques are one thing, we all have opinions, but there should never be an excuse for death threats, racism, involving a player’s family and other such vile hate that has become all too commonplace.

The irony is most of the negative comments are from people who buy the jerseys and tickets for the people they are insulting. Though a lot of players will say they don’t read comments or let it affect them, truth is – they do and players can struggle when heckling turns into hate.
Trust me, I understand the frustration of being a loyal sports fan – the past few years as a Miami Hurricanes / Philadelphia Phillies & 76ers haven’t been the most cheerful, to say the least. Why would I want to do anything that risks making it worse?

It comes down to this: sports are great, (now I’m going to give you a second to sit down), but they pale in importance to other things in real life. Would you tweet at your boss for a new hire you disagree with? Would you like your doctor to blast you online for unhealthy habits? How would you react if the person you cut off in traffic this morning made public death threats towards your children?

If an athlete angers you to the point where you become so upset it leads to outbursts, rants and colors your view on the game, just breathe and let it go. Seriously, it’s not that serious. Hate is such a wasted emotion – disengage and move on.

Will this change? Optimism aside, this is a growing trend that will probably continue to worsen. The downside to that, it is going to chase away the value of interaction for fan, athletes, teams and everyone involved. Sports should be our break, our getaway, our release. Have fun and remember why you love it. Think before you post and remember there are no championship rings given for being a “tough guy.”
Do you agree? Disagree? There is a comment section below here as well.

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Great Tips on How to Strategically Build Your Social Media Following

By: Gina Mason

Creating a loyal and interactive fan base is extremely important when developing a successful social media marketing strategy, but it can also be very difficult. After all, if you don’t have many followers, your messaging is not going to get far.

We often see people try to boost their following overnight by purchasing followers and while this method may look great on paper, they are wasting time and money spreading their message to fake accounts and completely missing their target audience. So how do you build a quality following organically? Well, let me start by saying that this process isn’t simple and it may take some time, but the quality vs. quantity theory applies when it comes to getting your company’s message out there.

Outside of the common tips such as “follow more people” and “be more engaging or interactive,” there are so many additional ways to increase your following and build buzz around your social media accounts and business. I recently read a fantastic article from Inc. written by Jayson Demers called, “39 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers” that I found to be extremely beneficial and useful. Here are 10 of my favorite tips from the article and I hope you find these to be as helpful as I did.

1. “Reach out to influencers: Find influencers in your niche using a tool such as Buzzsumo, and then share their content, tag or mention them, or comment on their blogs. As you build relationships, they are more likely to share your content with their followers.
2. Identify popular posts to get more shares: Getting new fans often comes down to how often your content gets shared. A tool like Fanpage Karma can help you identify the most popular posts in your niche.
3. Use relevant hashtags: Use a tool like Hashtagify.me to find relevant and trending hashtags. Use these in your posts to attract new followers who are searching for those hashtags.
4. Post viral content: Easier said than done, right? Post Planner can help by providing you with images and content that have been proven to go viral.
5. Add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your site: Go beyond simple social media icons, and use a Facebook Like Box or Twitter Embedded Timeline on your site or blog.
6. Build network-specific landing pages: Create landing pages on your site for visitors from each social network you’re on, and then link to these pages in your social media bios. This may increase your follows only marginally, but you should see an increase in traffic and conversions.
7. Use humor: Evoking emotions (positive or negative) through your posts is great for increased sharing; however, posting funny or happy content will net you more sharing overall.
8. Reshare other people’s content: Share posts, images, and tweets from other businesses, and they’ll be more likely to share yours.
9. Be relatable: Let your fans and followers know you’re a real person rather than a faceless business; this will make sharing your content with their friends feel like less of a risk.
10. Make your blog content tweetable with a click: Use a plugin such as Inline Tweet Sharer to encourage visitors to share your tweetable content.”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/39-ways-to-get-more-social-media-followers.html

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Twitter:@IndraPRGroup
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As always, if you like what you read be social and share.