I love Andy Cohen.
For anyone who isn’t a reality TV junkie like me, he’s the Executive Vice President of Development and Talent at the Bravo network. He also hosts the Real Housewives reunion shows and Bravo’s late night show Watch What Happens Live.
Basically, he’s who I can thank for bringing level-ten drama and hilarity into my living room every night.
I could go on and on about the reasons why he’s so great, but I’ll spare you the countdown of my favorite WWHL moments and focus only on what’s relevant here: Andy Cohen has an exceptional ability to use social media to connect with his audience, build his brand, and generate buzz for the network.
As the Social Media Manager at WebiMax, I have a deep appreciation for the way he integrates his fans into all of his television episodes. Here’s a list of 5 social media tips that any brand or marketer can learn from Andy Cohen.
5. Be Approachable
Part of what makes Andy so successful on his late night TV show and in the social media world is that he’s as relatable in the WWHL Clubhouse as he is in his Facebook posts and tweets. He even takes Instagram “selfies” from his dressing room and shares them on Twitter:
When it comes to social media marketing, brands should make an effort to be personable. It’s this approachability that encourages the user engagement that is so important to a successful campaign. Humanize your business – put faces to the names of your execs; let their personalities shine.
4. Reward Your Fans
Andy Cohen is always rewarding his fans: he sends signed copies of his book to those who call into his show and he even invites super-fans to be guest bartenders in the Clubhouse through a video contest called “Raise the Bar.”
Turning enthusiastic fans into brand advocates who tweet and blog about your products or services is a smart way to get more value from social media marketing efforts. Rewarding these engaged customers for their loyalty will help you create a powerful marketing force that will generate sales for you. First, find out what these fans want the most and find a way to indulge those cravings.
3. Be Consistent
Every episode of WWHL has a formula: every night there’s a secret drinking game word; Andy announces his “mazel” and “jackhole” of the day; he has “game time!” with his guests; viewers call in with their questions for Andy or whoever is in the Clubhouse that night; and Andy takes a poll in which viewers vote on an answer to a question that usually has to do with the most recent drama on any of Bravo’s reality shows and announces the results at the end of the episode:
As an avid viewer, not only do I look forward to each one of these components of his show, but now I expect them. Consistency is a basic marketing concept that should be applied to your social media posts in order to create a sense of reliability that people respond to. The first 100 times I saw one of these polls on WWHL I didn’t bother to vote, but now I find myself wanting to chime in every once in a while – a perfect example of how consistent messages and methods boost engagement.
The key is to also be persistent. Just because you don’t get a ton of user engagement right away doesn’t mean people aren’t seeing your messages or relating to them. Being consistent and persistent with your content and strategies is an effective way to get the most out of your social media marketing.
2. Engage, Engage, Engage
In addition to the WWHL poll questions, Andy Cohen is constantly soliciting questions from his fans for his guests via Facebook and Twitter. Then he chooses the best questions to ask during his live show which makes the viewing experience interactive:
He built his persona by interacting with fans on Twitter and commenting on his show’s online forums, so Andy Cohen is a pro when it comes to engaging with fans. Integrating these tactics into WWHL and his Real Housewives reunion shows by reading viewer questions accomplishes two things: it allows viewers to participate in the shows they love, and it rewards those who take the time to enter their questions.
Social media marketers take note – fostering action and engagement by talking with your audience instead of AT them is most effective. Interacting with fans and followers by asking what they think, feel, and need encourages them to treat your brand like a true friend and ultimately encourages behaviors that help promote the brand.
1. Listen to Your Audience
A few months ago, Andy Cohen invited Jill Zarin, a former Real Housewives of New York cast member, to the Clubhouse for a special episode of WWHL to discuss how the decision was made by Bravo to fire her from the show. Andy explained,
We were looking to shake the show up. The viewers were the ones that, to us, dictated that they wanted something to change. That last reunion, I think you would agree, was incredibly toxic for everyone involved and when it was over the viewers and then the producers and then Bravo said ‘What can we do to change it?’
Notice how Andy listed the viewers first in the series of people who contributed to the decision to fire Jill and some of her cast mates. Because Andy Cohen is so engaged with the Bravo audience, he is in tune with what they want. And, he’s prepared to give it to them, as he proved when he awkwardly dismissed Jill from her role on the show.
Listening to your audience and giving them what they want is the most important part of social media marketing. Hearing what your customers have to say about your brand is only one part of the process; putting those opinions into action is the step that takes engagement and user feedback to the next level.
How do you achieve social media marketing success? Is there anything you think I’ve left off this list? Do you love Andy Cohen as much as I do? Share your thoughts by leaving me a comment.
It’s a mistake that both SEO firms and users see time and time again. As more small business owners decide to market their company properties through social media, they end up blundering through the process with little results to show for their efforts. So the best and brightest minds of the faltering business scratch their collective heads. What are we doing wrong? Why aren’t people following us? Why aren’t they sharing our posts?
The fact is most businesses inevitably find themselves operating almost identically to every other company out there. Although every marketing consultant will try to tell you that Facebook can be a goldmine for conversion rates (and it certainly can), many people are disillusioned by the standard sales pitch. While any social media user can become the potential patron of a business, posting content that focuses exclusively on selling goods or services only serves to turn away would-be followers.
So how does a business actually manage to improve itself on Facebook or Google+ without relying on conventional sales tactics? The answer lies in being able to build up fans for one’s listing, as well as finding ways to engage users and motivating them to share your content. Being effective on social media begins by soft selling your brand and getting people to trust you in a variety of ways.
Keeping the Tone Casual and Entertaining
Although a company will want to maintain an air of professionalism when creating content to be shared on a social network, that doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffy about how it’s properties are being presented. Social media users react quite strongly to feed updates and shared images that are as every bit as interesting as they are informative. It only makes sense that people click on those links that are most relevant to them, and so a company should be doing what it can to take advantage of this.
There are multiple methods which can be employed when trying to find content which appeals to one’s potential demographic. Major news magazines and feature-based writing is always a good draw, especially when the sources of these pieces are well-recognized outlets. Video is also an incredibly popular means by which to grab users’ attentions. There are also multiple other forms of media that SMB owners can use in as well, such as regular podcasts from the company or Q&As.
Encouraging Users to Keep Coming Back
In the business world, no one wants to feel like they’re just a customer. Part of the joy of social media comes from being able to build up connections with people and groups you may never see for yourself. This is something that every company will want to keep in mind when posting. Should a business’ update or posted content receive comments from users, then a representative should do what he or she can to reply to posts and keep that momentum going.
If a user begins to feel that his or her presence means something to a business, a certain level of trust is earned that will prove invaluable in converting followers into future clientele. This level of trust also improves the impact of those overt sales pitch-related posts that a business may make from time to time. Simply put, a user who has grown accustomed to dealing with a company will be far more likely to click on posted links for time-sensitive bargains, upcoming promotional events and any other revenue-centric activity.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to enlist the aid of experience social media companies so as to streamline these efforts. Should readers have any additional questions, I can be contacted at email@example.com.
The current prevalence of social networks in our daily lives is not to be underestimated. Although some sites such as Facebook have been showing a generally downward growth trend as of late, the medium that we refer to as “social media” is stronger now than it’s ever been before. With nearly a billion users to be found between Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, it’s clear that there is no end in sight for social networking. This, of course, bodes well for social media companies that handle business marketing. What may surprise many readers, however, is how the constant growth of social media may continue to cement the relevance of SEO as a whole.
Just last week, a report was released by Social Media Examiner that delved into the activities of over 3,800 social media marketing companies (SMM) the world over. As these social network-focused internet marketing firms answered the annual site survey in droves, everyone got a chance to see the breakdown of their efforts. Although one might assume that SMMs focus most of their efforts on PPC campaigning, it turns out that less than half do so and instead favor SEO in their campaigns.
Really it’s the SMM preference of SEO-related activities over pay per click advertising and event marketing that is a real attention getter. Out of the nearly 4,000 social media company representatives polled, 65% of them admit to relying on search engine optimization over a mere 38% who claim they use PPC ads. In an additional inquiry, the polled companies were asked if they intend to use more SEO or PPC services in the future. 68% of the surveyed marketing firms stated that they will be using more SEO methods through the year, while a significantly lower 43% intend to redouble their PPC efforts.
Social Media Marketers both Need and Want SEO
In spite of the recent concerns being voiced by key members of the industry, social media companies certainly have a great deal of confidence in the future of SEO. With Google’s massive Panda overhaul being released shortly, it’s a reassuring thing to see that online advertising firms haven’t lost faith in the current state of internet marketing. For all the doomsayers and alarmists currently speaking out against Google, some small business owners may be tempted to ignore organic link building in favor of paid advertisements. It’s reports such as the one published by Social Media Examiner that offer concrete truths in uncertain times.
The results of the survey show that the biggest social media marketing firms realize that search engine optimization is here to stay. While Google Head of Webspam Matt Cutts has warned the SEO community against sites using “heavy SEO,” the fact remains that smartly designed optimization efforts will continue to prove beneficial for business owners of every shape and size. While any SEO company worth its weight knows that less is more, what also matters is how the work is implemented. For social media companies, that means creating quality content for both networks and destination pages. It’s because of reliance like this that SEO will be along for years to come.
Has your company recently opened a Pinterest account as a new initiative within its SEO marketing strategy? Despite the newness of the social media site, there are already several tools that are available on the market for conducting analytics on the widespread usage of Pinterest.
Leading the pack of useful tools is the service provided by a startup called Pinerly. This new company is in the process of developing a comprehensive offering of tools for analytics, specifically designed for use on Pinterest accounts. Although it is currently in the beta phase, Pinerly has already amassed a user base of 35,000. Its users include many different individuals and companies, and even some major brands.
If you were thinking of getting your hand on this new tool, feel free to sign up for the waiting list on the website. Have you already received access to Pinerly? Then take a look at a recent article on Mashable that offers thirteen incredibly useful tips, complete with images, on how to navigate and best utilize the various features on Pinerly.
So what are some highlights of Pinerly’s features? They are:
• You can create pin campaigns in a variety of ways on Pinerly, and track them easily. Generate pins from within Pinerly itself. Or, create pins from the external link of a website. You can even upload a file from your computer to create the right pin for your campaign.
• After creating a pin, you can add a link and a description, then choose the Pinterest board you would like to attach the pin to, while on your Pinerly dashboard. And then, simply pin it.
• Once you acknowledge to Pinerly that you are done pinning, the service starts tracking your campaign immediately. It will present the data to you in a nice chart that is easy to read. It will also provide a list of statistics, broken down for easy analysis.
Pinerly takes the process of conducting marketing campaigns on Pinterest to a whole new level. There is no better way to enhance your existing set of SEO strategies. Check out Pinerly today, to learn more about how it can benefit your business’s marketing initiatives
The introduction of Facebook Timeline for brands officially brought to light a very important aspect of marketing through social media: brands must be humanized. In other words, a brand must communicate with its social media audience on a direct personal level. This can provide dividends of benefit for companies, because it increases the trust that customers place in them, which in turn produces positive results in profits.
For the SEO marketer seeking to learn more about, a recent article on Mashable provides some very helpful tips and insights. Read below for some great tips on how a company can effectively humanize its brand on social media channels.
1. Realize that social networks are wholly egalitarian, meaning that there is no individual, company or organization receiving more importance than others. Imbue this thinking into your interactions with customers.
2. Humanize your brand. Create a great working environment that will prompt employees to naturally share stories of their company and brand with the world through their social networks. This organically creates buzz on social media.
3. Keep executives or tops of companies away from managing the company’s main social media accounts. The best people for the job are those who interact the most directly with customers.
4. Provide customers with access to parts of your business. For example, if your company holds an event, have someone live-tweet what takes place as it happens.
5. Treat your customers as your own business partners. Or, have them serve as the face of your company. Think of companies like Dove and Levi’s who have used customers in advertisement for their products.
6. Reach out to key individuals with special products and promos. Satisfying them will help spread the positive word about your company.
7. If your company makes a mistake, own up to it. This will definitely cultivate more trust in your brand.
8. Give fans some work to do. For example, arrange for them to run an online forum or event.
9. Show that your brand is open to debate. Post blogs about relevant topics that can spark conversation.
10. Be present, involved, and engaged with not only customers, but the rest of the social media world. People will only pay attention if you are doing and saying something.
Humanizing your brand has become the norm for marketing on social media. Start considering how your company can start doing so on its own social networks.
As I discussed in my last post, Twitter is quickly becoming an essential tool in SEO marketing campaigns. A new service, Chirpify, only serves to validate that, and takes the advertising – and selling – of a business’s products or services to the next level.
Previously titled Sell Simp.ly, Chirpify is a service that facilitates commerce between businesses and customers via Twitter. It is not simply a way by which businesses can advertise their products, and gain visibility for them. With Chirpify, a business tweets about a product or service for sale or donation, and a customer who is interested in the product simply tweets “buy”, “pay”, or “donate” back to the business’s Twitter account – and a transaction is made.
So how exactly does Chirpify work? The service actually links to a user’s Paypal account to carry out the transactions. This further ensures the safety, efficiency, and viability of it. In effect, buying a product from a business is as easy as a single Tweet. This action has a high appeal for both consumers and businesses, and Chirpify is already garnering a great deal of attention by being featured on TechCrunch and Mashable, among other tech news websites.
When it comes to your own company’s SEO campaign, would you consider using Chirpify? You might want to wait a bit to see how effective this service turns out to be for other businesses, before you try it for your own. As with any service offered by a startup, there are likely to be some initial kinks that will need to be sorted out, and which can only happen through the actual use of it.
However, Chirpify has the potential to contain a great deal of SEO value. Just consider this scenario: you send a carefully-crafted, SEO-enhanced Tweet selling a product to your followers, but which ends up attracting anyone on Twitter who is searching for that particular product. Suddenly, you have many new additions to your customer base on Twitter. When you think about it, it’s incredible to even say that you have a customer base on Twitter….Chirpify can make this a reality for your business.
As already mentioned, it’s best to take some time to truly evaluate this service before allowing your business to jump on the Chirpify train. But it’s quite likely that Chirpify could be the newest great addition to your SEO campaign.