Month: October, 2012

22 Oct

How Adopting a “Pay-to-Play” Strategy Could Be Trouble for Facebook & Others

Mike Koehler Featured, social media 0 Comments

Since their inception, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter have faced a common challenge: how to generate revenue. With the basic service being free for users, these companies have been forced to look at other ways to monetize themselves other than charging for advertising or job postings.

Last year, Twitter launched the “Promote” option which allowed brands and users to pay to promote a tweet so it was seen by more than just their followers, but it”s effectiveness is questionable.  And of course what one platform does, the others follow (assuming it MUST be a good idea), so earlier this year Facebook also launched their “Promote” function. Herein lies the problem. When Twitter launched their promote feature, it wasn”t at the expense of other tweets being seen.

It has become evident recently that Facebook is “throttling” user posts. In layman”s terms, you may post a status update on your personal or business page, but oftentimes it isn”t being seen by your friends, subscribers or followers. Why would they do this you ask? Answer: Money. You see, if you want your status updates to be seen by the masses, you may have to reach for your credit card.  Facebook is looking to generate Nei, pa nettet vil du ogsa kunne prove deg pa spilleautomater der du kan velge a ha fullt av linjer i spill under hverandre pa et eneste spinn! Dette forandrer alt til ekstreme grader, og nar du legger til ekstra vinnersjanser i formen av wild- og scatter-symboler, gratis spinn – for ikke a glemme bonusspinn! Vel, da har du en stor opplevelse i vente. revenue by forcing companies, brands or small businesses to pay to have their messages seen.

In some ways it”s a smart strategy. Many industry experts have suggested that Facebook wants to chip way at Google”s online dominance using whatever techniques it can. If that is their goal, this may be a brilliant move. Most companies, from small mom & pop restaurants to large brands, are using Facebook (for free) to promote their business. If Facebook can convince those businesses to “promote” their posts (read: advertise), it could reduce the amount of Google Adwords dollars those companies spend, shifting the ad dollars to Facebook from Google.

A similar scenario is playing out with the newly launched social media platform Pheed.  The idea of Pheed is simple: combine all the great things about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr (among others) into a single platform. The kicker? Celebs, Musicians, and other famous folks can charge a premium ranging from $1.99 to $34.99 for users to see their exclusive content. Would you pay to see exclusive content from ColdPlay or Kim Kardashian? I know I wouldn”t, but the hope of Pheed is that many will.

These pay-to-play strategies are popping up all over the social media landscape, which seem to be creating a divide among users. For individuals or businesses who can afford to pay to promote their message, there”s no issue. But for the rest of us who don”t have a large advertising budget or can”t justify spending $2.99 to see what crazy antics Charlie Sheen is pulling today, are we left out in the cold? Are small businesses, mom-and-pop stores and the average causal user being shoved out of some social media platforms? Something to think about.

 

 

02 Oct

5 Tips to Hiring the Right Social Media Agency

Mike Koehler Featured, social media Tags: , , , 0 Comments

Today”s savvy business owners understand the power of social media marketing and the impact it can have on the bottom line, but they lack the time to dedicate to managing their social media networks. For this reason, many companies are now turning to third parties to manage their social media. The question is, how do you choose the right social media firm for your business?

Here are 5 tips to finding the right agency:

What is their core competency?
You wouldn”t hire a hourly bookkeeper to help you navigate corporate taxes, would you? The same principle applies to hiring a social media agency. Many web development companies are now offering social media management as an extension of their web development package, but chances are, they don”t have true marketing or SEO knowledge which is vital. Look for a social media firm that emphasizes content creation, search engine optimization and marketing as part of their core strengths.

Research the Firms Own Social Media Presence
Before you hire any social media agency, check their Twitter account, Facebook page, LinkedIn page and other social media platforms. If they claim to be an authority on social media, they should be leveraging this expertise on their own behalf. If they don”t have an account on social media, they aren”t the right choice. Period.

Get to know the business
Any firm who isn”t interested in getting to know your business intimately should be a red flag. Outsourced firms should research the business Angels Camp and know important details about company strategy, goals, community involvement and ongoing marketing initiatives. In addition, the firm you are considering should be willing to get to know your staff  as well as key customers if possible. This will help give your social media agency a broader view of your organization.

Quality over Quantity
The goal of social media isn”t about gaining thousands of followers on Twitter or likes on Facebook (although we all strive to achieve that!)  The ultimate goal is to build a community.  If you have thousands of followers, but no interaction with any of them, there is no real value to those connections. Engaging with your online community is the key to building a solid and quality social media presence. Make sure your social media agency has the same philosophy. And if you hear the words “We Buy followers or likes”, RUN. FAST.

Don”t Forget References
Firms that have been offering social media consulting, training or management services for longer than a couple of months will be glad to provide references. Ask for 2 or 3 references of clients the firm has worked with for at least 3 months. Make sure to check their social media accounts to see how well the firm has built the community for their clients.

It is estimated that 32% of marketers will outsource some form of social media marketing in 2012, but ensuring you are hiring the right social media agency is key. The tips I outlined above can help ensure your choice is the best choice.