Tag Archives: social media

My Facebook to Twitter Blunder, Exposed

If there is one thing all of us here at Cosmetic Social Media are, it’s that we are honest. And when we make a blunder, even when it is unintentional, we want to let you know so you won’t make it too.

THE BLUNDER:

This morning, I went into my Twitter feed on Hootsuite and noticed a message in my personal account. Twitter user @eddieanne alerted me to the fact that something wonky was happening in my twitter feed – it was seemingly replicating messages our of Facebook. If you are on the receiving end of identical tweets flooding your feed all at once, it can be really annoying. Thankfully she took the time to tell me or I may not have noticed this glitch in the Facebook to Twitter auto feed.

 As you can see in this screen capture, there were multiple tweets with exactly the same language, but with different URL’s attached linking back to the post. So what was the issue? Was it a random social media technical difficulty (common) or something more?

THE CAUSE:

What actually caused this was the upload of a photo album to my profile. I was on my iPhone and created an album for the Fish Tacos for Firefighters event that I had volunteered with the night before. You can select up to 30 photos at a time to go into a particular album. This was my second upload of 30 photos and I gave the description “More photos” to the group of them.

What Facebook did was to treat all 30 photos as their own unique individual post, which, in a way they are because each photo has its own URL.  BUT the photos only show up in your Facebook feed as one post – namely, that you added photos to a photo album. Because of the unique URL assigned by Facebook to each photo, this triggered 30 separate tweets to got out to Twitter.  I thought it would treat the whole album as one post – thus one tweet. Wrong.

LESSONS LEARNED:

* Be careful when hooking up your Facebook  to Twitter feed. Either temporarily disable this function before uploading a group of photos, or turn it off completely and post to Twitter manually every time.

* If you see something weird going on, be like @eddieanne and let the person know. It’s nice twitter etiquette to bring it to their attention!

SIDE NOTE:

There are a lot of people who don’t believe it’s good practice to auto post from Facebook to Twitter. I, however, think it’s okay for this reason: In an ideal world, sure, re-craft every post to be the perfect tweet. But if you are posting one to three times a day on Facebook, those few Facebook post tweets are really not going to negatively impact your Twitter profile. As long as you are taking the time to be in Twitter for the vast majority of your Twitter engagement, then I don’t see using the auto-post feature as a problem.

That being said, make sure that you DO NOT have your Twitter posts auto-feeding into Facebook. Since Twitter is a fast-paced social platform, you are going to have many, many more tweets/posts per day. If you had all of this activity auto-posting into the slower, more leisurely pace of Facebook, you’ll most likely get hidden from the news feed by your friends and fans. In other words, people would “hide” your updates, or un-follow you entirely, due to frequent 140 character messages from you flooding their News Feed.

 

 

 

Contests: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

We run across a LOT of contests in our day-to-day travels around the web and social media platforms.

THE GOODContests are a terrific way to build up your audience with new fans and encourage engagement among your current fans. They get people excited – after all, who doesn’t love to win something?! So, do we love contests? Absolutely! … But what we really love are good contests. Read on for some tips…

THE BAD: We see some of the same mistakes being made over and over again. If you have not thoroughly thought out and tested your contest, more than likely you will have one (or more) of the following errors:

  • Incongruity With Goal: What is your goal? Make sure your contest will help get to your goal. For example, if you want to gain followers and get some traction on your new Pinterest account, then a Pin-to-Win contest is a great choice. However, if you are trying to drive traffic to your new blog and get more blog subscribers, a Pin-to-Win, although fun, will not be aligned with your goal.
  • Unclear Instructions: Ask this: Is it easy for the entrant to understand the entire entry process? When you have worked a long time on developing  your contest, it seems perfectly obvious to you about how to enter. BUT to that first time reader, it might not be so easy to understand. So get someone who has no idea about your contest and have them walk (click) through each step and give you feedback.
  • No Start and Stop Date: This might seem obvious, but surprisingly there are many contests where there is no end date listed. How likely would you be to enter a contest where there is no clear statement of when or if the prize winner will be determined?
  • Mis-Matched Themes: For instance– a contest from a Med Spa to win a free facial that asks people to share a photo of their favorite pair of blue jeans. It just makes no sense. Especially if your business has nothing to do with fashion. Try to think of an over-arching theme and use it to the fullest. One example we saw recently was a Pin-to-Win contest to launch Sarah Jessica Parker’s (#SJP) new shoe line in Nordstrom. It was called “A Day in Her Shoes” and they asked people to pick shoes from the new collection, pin them on a dedicated board, and then show on an interactive Pinterest map where they might wear said pair of shoes. Now that’s great theme execution! It got people to check out her line of shoes, consider where they might wear them, and interact with the brand both on Pinterest and on the Nordstrom website (where, coincidentally, you can buy that pretty pair of #SJP Mary Janes you just pinned).
  • Work-to-Prize Ratio is Out of Whack: If your prize is $5 Starbucks gift card, don’t ask the contestants to write a 500 word essay on why they love your business, make them give you all of their contact info, sign a bunch of disclosures, upload the essay to a special site, and get their friends to vote on their story for the next three weeks. It’s just too much work for too little of a pay-off.  But, if your prize is round-trip airfare to Hawaii, then yes, asking for a little elbow grease from the contestant is certainly understandable. And believe us, they will do a lot for a good prize!
  • Clunky Interface: A frictionless user experience is an important key to a successful promotion. Make sure you are using an interface that works well on the customer-facing side, but also give you great data on the backside. We have used quite a few of the top apps over the years (Wildfire by Google, WooBox, Northsocial by Vocus, Votigo, Rafflecopter, etc.) and are happy to make a recommendation in this area.
  • Mobile Incompatibility, Spelling Errors, and Broken Links, oh my: Please, do a spell check and make sure more than one person tests the links. And that goes for testing using multiple browsers and using both desktop and mobile! If your contest is not compatible on a mobile device, it will not be successful. Period. Most of the good (paid) apps mentioned above will work on a mobile device.

THE UGLY: The above items are pretty bad. But here are a few more items that are huge no-no’s:

  • Contest Rules, Terms and Conditions: You have to take a bit of time and make sure that your contest meets federal, state, and local laws. A good place to check and make sure you are not doing something illegal is the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission oversees contests and protects consumers – check out  http://www.ftc.gov. Also we found this helpful article from the Small Business Administration (SBA) on how to keep yourself out of trouble: click here. Make sure your terms and conditions are thorough. One great way to see if yours are up to snuff is to take a look at what other big brands are doing. Look at their terms and conditions and use as a framework as you draft yours. Finally, make sure you run your contest rules, terms and conditions by your attorney to be extra sure you are covered in case someone has a complaint.
  • Branding: If you want people to follow and interact with your business, you have to make them proud to do so. This is where branding comes in. Does your contest look and feel like your business? Have you taken the time to have a beautiful and coherent graphic design applied? And most importantly in the era of social media – will they be proud to share your contest with their friends? Only promotions that have a professional look and feel are the ones that get passed along on a viral level.
Questions? We are always happy to help. And if you are thinking of running a contest and would like some assistance, we are more than ready to be of service. (877) 401-5485 or info@cosmeticsocialmedia.com.

 

Leave No Stone Unturned… There Might Be LinkedIn Gold Hiding Below

If you are like many small businesses, you might not have LinkedIn on your daily radar. But with over 187 million unique monthly visitors and 2 new members being added every second*, it might be high time to think about the hidden opportunities that exist on this premier networking platform. And with competition at an all-time high, you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.**

Questions to ask yourself:

Have I updated my personal profile in the last 3 months? 

We recommend looking at it at least quarterly – set it as a recurring event in your Outlook, Gmail, or other calendar. LinkedIn

Have I set up my business page?

This can take some time to do properly (trust us, we have just been working on our page). But it will be well worth your time.

You’ll show up in search results much more frequently and prospective patients can learn all about what your practice offers without ever having to leave the LinkedIn environment.

Studies show that keeping people on the platform they started (versus sending them to your website in a link) in results in longer times spent interacting with your content.

Am I regularly posting updates to my business page, similarly to Facebook and my other social networks? 

Chances are, you aren’t.Years ago LinkedIn’s platform was very limited socially. It was viewed as a living breathing online resume and place to job hunt, but little else.  However, in the past few years they have made a concerted effort to step it up and make the platform a very valuable place to spend your time.

So why not share your great content?

Consider going over to the site a few times per week to share a post (maybe a few from your professional profile and a few from your company page). It all helps in showing the health and vibrancy of your practice to prospective patients (and the search engines love it too).

P.S. Don’t have time to get in there and perform your own routine maintenance check? We’re here to help. Just give us a shout and we’ll take care of it for you.

 

*LinkedIn Stats Source: ExpandedRamblings.com

*The origin of the phrase, “Leave no stone unturned” is interesting. According to WikiAnswers, it “alludes to an ancient Greek legend about a general who buried a large treasure in his tent when he was defeated in battle. Those seeking the treasure consulted the Oracle of Delphi, who advised them to move every stone. The present form dates from the mid-1500s. The actual man who wrote ‘Leave no stone unturned’ was Euripides, an ancient Greek playwright.” Who knew?!

Social Media Marketing World in Sunny San Diego (Our Hometown!)

What better excuse do you need to come visit us, right?

Benefits:

  • it’s our hometown – and you know you miss us
  • we’ve got SUN – nearly always
  • we’ve got FUN – Courtney and I will make it so
  • Aaaand we’ve got the 2nd Annual Social Media Marketing World conference
  • Save $450 when you register by this Friday – October 25th!

Just check out this sweet video…

(if you can’t see it, ‘refresh’ your browser)

Okay… now for the deets (ask your kids)

Join 60+ Social Media Experts at Largest Social Media Marketing Conference

March 26, 27, 28, 2014


Social Media Marketing World 2014 is a conference designed to help you master social media marketing (brought to you by Social Media Examiner). Join Chris Brogan (co-author of The Impact Equation), Mari Smith (co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day)Michael Hyatt (author of Platform)Jay Baer (author of Youtility)John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing), Amy Porterfield (co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies)Mark Schaefer (author of Tao of Twitter)Michael Stelzner(author of Launch)Steve Farber (author of The Radical Leap), Laura Fitton (co-author of Twitter for Dummies), Lee Odden (author of Optimize)Joe Pulizzi (author of Epic Content Marketing)Simon Mainwaring (author of We First)Cliff RavenscraftPat FlynnMarcus Sheridan –just to name a few.

Go here to learn more: http://Ez.com/smmw14

Customers Won’t Be Ignored: Why Relationship Marketing Should be a Key Focus for Your Cosmetic Practice

I came across this quote from Peter Shankman, which I think is quite apropos to the way customers are behaving and how businesses need to shift their thinking. He says, “The last ten years were about social media. The next 20 years will be about customer service.”

Customers won’t be ignored. They have tools at their disposal that give them immediate access to brands and businesses. But who is listening to this empowered consumer?

Is your practice prepared to handle what Brian Solis calls “Generation C” (the connected consumer) for whom sharing experiences with others is key? Relationship marketing – what we feel is the next iteration of social media – requires more than a mere presence by your practice.

Throwing up a fan page on Facebook and Google+ and hooking up your blog to auto-post some impersonal message is not enough (and we contend it never was, but that’s just us). This kind of automation of content is not personal, it is not engaging, and the viewer can’t even tell if it’s relevant to her, so why should she bother clicking to read more?

Signing people up for your newsletter is not enough either. Look at what Peter does when you sign up for his newsletter:

By inviting you to connect with him personally over a cup of coffee, Peter is setting the bar much higher than most – and with good reason. Relationship marketing is where it’s at. Savvy businesses who understand that expectations are higher than ever are busy building deeper connections to their consumers that are next to impossible to break.

Social platforms have become a key means by which consumers (and patients) communicate with brands and each other. Rather than thinking about your social media expenditure as “marketing”, think of it as an patient retention tool.

Remember when nobody thought the fax machine would ever take off? “Why would I EVER need to get a piece of paper to someone immediately?!” But they became the norm instead of a “nice to have”. Think of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the rest as your new norm.

BIG News on Facebook Contests: Apps No Longer Required

Yaay, Yaay Hooray! This is huge so take four minutes and read…

Today Facebook announced that it will no longer be a requirement to utilize a third party app to run a contest. {{Cue the music for a Happy Dance!}}

This is excellent news for you because now your practice can do a “Fan of the Week” or other small promotion so much easier!

In Facebook’s blog post, which you can read here, they said you can now collect entries on your page via:

  • commenting on a post
  • posting on the page
  • messaging the page
  • “liking” a post
Also they clarified what is permitted with regards to “tagging” in contests. You are not allowed to ask fans to tag themselves in a picture as the means of entry into the contest.

Now here is an important note: a Facebook contest still must be run on a business (fan) page – not on a personal profile. So for you physicians out there who use a Facebook profile, instead of a business page, as a means to communicate to your friends and fans, you cannot run a contest. Contests must occur on a company/business page.

Apps are still great tools for larger or higher profile contests. This is because of their capability for obtaining (and holding) contestant data for you to use in follow-up communications and promotions. Apps also have the graphic capabilities to make your contest or promotion look extremely professional. We would never recommending forgoing the use of apps completely, but certainly for the occasional “15th comment wins” sort of contest, these new, looser Facebook rules are a welcome change!

Click here for a downloadable PDF from Facebook with all of their promotion guidelines and keep it handy.

 

Is Your Social Media Company Marketing Themselves on Your Dime?

Every day we here at Cosmetic Social Media see both good and bad examples of social media strategy. Today we’re sharing what we consider to be an abomination: taking a client’s money to promote one’s own agency.

To illustrate what we mean, let’s take a global brand like Audi. Here is a photo from Audi’s Facebook page. Notice that BBDO (Audi’s ad agency) has not put any mention of themselves anywhere in the photo. Which is right… why would Audi want to spend their marketing budget to promote BBDO?  BBDO has their own ad budget.

Click to enlarge

Okay… now let’s say you are Dr. Marty McHiggnebottom with a cosmetic practice in White Plains, NY and you hire ABC Social to manage your social media presence. They tell you they are “experts” in the field, and since it’s all Greek to you, you figure they must be experts, or why else would they say it? Plus, they seem professional and trustworthy. But, did you know, Dr. McHiggenbottom, that ABC Social is using your posts to do a little free PR for themselves on your dime? After all, you are paying them some a fee to administer your Facebook page, right? So shouldn’t the posts be all about you and your target audience (or at least nothing about them!)?

Unfortunately, this is a social media FAIL that we see on a daily basis. And without drawing attention to the offending party, we’ll blur out their name, (as well as that of their poor unsuspecting client), just show you an example:

Click to enlarge

Now, we want to point out a few things here:

  1. Even if the social media company took the picture themselves, they still should not use the client’s post as an opportunity for free advertising. Giving attribution to a photographer is one thing. Putting your company name on stock imagery for your own benefit is quite another.
  2. As much as we would like to say this is an isolated incidence, it is only one example of MANY we have found in the last week alone.
  3. A reputable social media company understands, and more importantly uses best social media practices, and knows to put the client (not themselves) first.

Remember the old adage, “Caveat Emptor”, (let the buyer beware)? Well… it has never been truer than right now in the social media space. Do your homework. Ask questions. Vet their work.

Questions? Just ask! Comments? Feel free to add them below!

by Monique Ramsey, Founder and Social Media Horticulturalist of Cosmetic Social Media

Vegas Cosmetic Surgery Meeting Presentations are Ready

Greetings social butterflies!

You can now view or download our presentations from the Vegas Cosmetic Surgery 2013 Meeting!  Please feel free to contact us if you need clarification on anything. We are always happy to help!

NOTE: With the exceptions of brief quotations – with proper accreditation – no part of these presentations may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any manner whatsoever without written permission from Cosmetic Social Media, the authors. We are happy to have you use these for your own personal use within your practice, but please refrain from changing, dismantling, plagiarizing, or reselling these presentations. Thank you. 🙂

And with that out of the way… here you go…

Here is our Social Media MBA presentation from Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Presentation #2 from Friday, June 29, 2013

Presentation #1 from Friday, June 29, 2013

Gettin’ Jiggy with JPGs and More

Okay, the title is a bit weird, but how often do you find yourself trying to decipher the code of images? Between jpgs, pngs, and gifs, it’s enough to make your acronym-o-phobic! (Is that a word? If not, it should be.) And then there are vectors and rasters?! Oh my heavens.

BUT – images are an extremely important part of your online presence, and you need to use them to your best advantage. So we’ve found just the thing for you… a beautiful little infographic to help you! Check it out!

Beginner by stedas.

(Click here for original full size image and source)

The Empowered Customer Speaks (and you’d better be listening)

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock (and it’s okay if you have, as long as you come out…), consumers have changed. Your patients have changed. How they interact with the people, businesses, and brands in their life has changed too. And if you don’t switch gears, learn what makes them tick, and adjust your communications with them, you’ll be unable to compete.

This is not just an idle threat. It’s actually happening right now. Take JCPenny, for instance.

Today JCPenny launched a new TV ad campaign on YouTube and Facebook apologizing to their customers *(scroll down for video). They fired the CEO, brought back his predecessor, and have promised to put more promotions back in place. These are very significant changes ~ and all because the consumer outcry was deafening (translation: a 4 billion dollar loss).*

In Brian Solis’s new book, What’s the Future of Business?: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences, he discusses how to understand the new customer and create rich experiences for them so you can be proactive, rather than reactive. So you can avoid what he calls “Digital Darwinism”.  JCPenny is certainly having to be RE-active – considering their huge loss of customers and revenue. But they are being PRO-active in that at least they have started to listen, admit their mistakes (transparency), and change their business model (adapt).

How much time do you spend worrying about negative reviews, tweets, Facebook posts, or the thousands of other ways your patients can communicate to the masses online? Instead of spending your time, energy, and money in a defensive posture, or worse – burying your head in the sand hoping you won’t be the next victim, why not learn about this new connected consumer (your patient)?

The new empowered consumer “participates in their world” via technology. Brian describes them as “always on, sharing real world experiences as they happen with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Socialcam”.

And the coveted “word of mouth” referral source is still just as important. But think bigger. Social media allows word of mouth to be broadcast to tens, hundreds, or thousands of friends and followers, all with a swift keystroke.

So… are you creating relationships with your patients? Do you know what they really want? Do you know how they behave? Brian suggests (as do we) that you “invest in defining not only a positive experience, but also a wonderfully shareable experience.”

But you can’t create the best experience if you don’t know what they want in the first place. It would be like operating on a patient and having the consultation afterwards. It sounds absurd, but that’s truly what we’re talking about.  And JCPenny has just figured out that they should do the consult BEFORE surgery to have the best outcome. They listened, learned, engaged, and adapted.

I highly recommend you pick up Brian’s book because he does an incredible job of articulating who your new connected patient base is (he calls them “Generation C”) and how the landscape for businesses will be forever changed. As he says… #InnovateOrDie

*Click for today’s complete story in Forbes