Don’t Think Your Customer Is On Facebook? Think Again.

US Facebook Users Who Like Brands On Facebook By Age 2010 2011

Most marketing folks have heard from clients at some point – “I don’t think my customer is on Facebook.” Now, sometimes this is certainly true, and we will be the first folks to tell you that you shouldn’t “do Facebook” just because everyone else is – you know, that whole “if your friends jumped off a bridge” principle. We’re much more likely to preach you the gospel of strategizing an integrated campaign than throw some social media buzzwords at you.

But just because a platform is trendy doesn’t mean your target audience isn’t there. To continue your mother’s analogy, if your customer jumps off a bridge, it’s a good idea to go see what’s down there. And research is showing that more and more people that you wouldn’t typical expect – like the over 55 crowd – are on Facebook. And they aren’t just there to look at pictures of their grandkids; they are engaging with brands.

This is a pretty recent development – as of April, the percentage of 55+ Facebook users who have “liked” brands onUS Facebook Users Who Like Brands On Facebook By Age 2010 2011 Facebook had almost doubled in the past six months. Match that up with another study that says the fastest growing demographic for Facebook is those over 50, and it’s clear that Facebook isn’t just for whippersnappers anymore.

What does that mean for brands? Well, first of all, you can’t assume your target audience isn’t into social networking anymore, because research shows that nearly everyone is. But beyond that, with the reach of who your Facebook efforts can touch increasing rapidly, it’s important to tailor what your page offers to what your audience wants. While younger folks may want interactive apps and lots of discounts and perks, older and more affluent social media users are more interested in keeping informed about companies they are loyal to.

No matter how well you know your target audience, they can always surprise you. Technology has made it easier and faster than ever for folks to adopt and acclimate to different media, so what was true six months ago could be obsolete now. Instead of making assumptions about your customer, keep up with them. That way, when they jump off that bridge, you are there waiting for them.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Stationery Is Slick

If there’s anyone you’d expect to hear from through the web rather than snail mail, it would be Mark Zuckerberg. Yet some lucky folks might just see an old-school letter in the mail box from none other than Zucks himself soon – and quite a letter it is. Ben Barry, a graphic designer at Facebook, recently blogged photos of the stationery he designed for the Facebook czar – check it out!

I gotta admit I would love to get one of those grey envelopes myself. Barry said Zuckerberg wanted something “a little more personal and special” for responding to Facebook lovers sharing their stories, and this certainly hits the mark (hehe). I love to hear that arguably the biggest name in social media believes some occasions still call for a old-fashioned letter… at least until he figures out how to make a Facebook message look this slick.

What do you think of Zuck’s stationery?

Push-n-Pull Q&A: Social Media and Non-Profits

Been hankerin’ for some social media chit-chat? It’s your lucky day! Check out the second installment of our social media Q&A series. This great question from Katie is about using the social web for non-profits.



It’s not too late to ask more questions! Tweet us with the hashtag #PnPQandA and we might just vlog our thoughts about it.

First TV, Now Web 2.0: Oprah Winfrey Keeps Innovating

Last night, I watched the very last episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. As a life-long Oprah devotee, I felt like I was losing my best friend. I am not ashamed to admit that I sobbed to my bewildered husband as she left the stage a final time: “I’m just going to miss her so much!”

Of course, while her talk show will be gone, Oprah will not be far from us. In fact, I think she might be closer to us than ever before. Throughout her show’s 25th season, Oprah’s team has been leveraging the web to engage her devoted fans on a new level.

What’s notable isn’t that Oprah uses Twitter or Facebook – that’s par for the course these days. It’s the #OprahLiveTweets where she @replies regular fans talking about her shows on OWN, her new network. It’s the TwitVids from her home office, reading glasses and all, to prove, yes, it really is her tweeting. It’s the YouTube videos she creates, sometimes while on the treadmill, answering fans’ questions. And it’s the fact that she spent much of her last show talking back to viewers who had used social networks to reach out to her. Oprah’s understanding of the potential and power of social media engagement shows exactly why she is one of our culture’s most seminal figures.

Whether or not you’re an Oprah groupie like me, you can’t deny that she has transformed the medium of television and it’s influence over the past 25 years. But beyond the show, Oprah continues to be an innovator. Whether it’s TV, a magazine or the web, Oprah finds new ways to connect with more authenticity and relevance.

In her final show, Oprah said, “Your real job in life is to figure out what your calling is and get about the business of doing it.” It’s clear that Oprah’s taken whatever means necessary to get about her business – inspiring her followers. Are you?

A Social Media Love Story, Starring The Four Seasons

I love finding social media love stories. It warms my heart to hear about a brand and a customer making a sincere connection through the web and starting a beautiful relationship of mutual advocacy forever and ever, Amen.

Here’s my new favorite story: Thomas travels a lot for work. Thomas tweets Four Seasons. Four Seasons tweets Thomas back. Four Seasons also leaves a handwritten note in Thomas’ hotel room.

Thomas Marzano Four Seasons

Thomas thinks this is very cool. Thomas tweets about how much he loves his room’s sweet bathroom. Four Seasons sends Thomas a bottle of bath salts and another handwritten note.

Thomas Marzano Four Seasons

Thomas is completely impressed and blogs about his experience, even suggesting Four Seasons to his readers. The whole thing goes viral, and Thomas and Four Seasons live happily ever after.

This story isn’t just warm and fuzzy – it offers tons of lessons for those of us who manage social media for brands. Here’s a few of ‘em:

They recognized that social doesn’t just mean digital. When businesses first discovered the potential of web 2.0, engaging with customers online  made an impression. Now, online interaction is becoming expected. Four Seasons cut through the din on Twitter and made a lasting impression by going offline. They took the time to write a note and send a personalized gift – something that is even more appreciated these days when a tweet is a dime a dozen.

They met him where he was at – maximizing the WOM. Four Seasons seamlessly integrated Thomas’ Twitter experience with his real life experience at the hotel – offering him restaurant reservations and special requests via Twitter, for example.  I’m sure it’s easier for the Palo Alto hotel to do that stuff offline — but meeting Thomas where he was at sent a clear message that Four Seasons is all about their guests’ comfort. The bonus is that when Thomas tweets a request and Four Seasons meets it publicly, the word-of-mouth potential is exponentially greater than if it had taken place over the phone.

They built a relationship with an influencer. While I am sure Four Seasons goes above and beyond for all their guests, it’s fair to assume that some strategy came into the picture with why Thomas Marzano got the red carpet treatment. The guy has over 16,000 Twitter followers and is a prolific blogger. He’s influential in a circle of professionals who probably also travel for work often. His awesome experience made him an ambassador for their brand right in the midst of their target audience.

As Thomas said in his blog post, “People talk to people, not brands.” Really catering to the needs of a consumer and making them feel special is half the battle to creating a memorable experience that they’ll share. Influencer marketing works, and is most successful when you simply practice good business, and mean it.

Facebook Moderation Isn’t Just About Customer Service

How To Deal With Negative Facebook Posts

Just last week, we tweeted a pretty sweet blog post from AllFacebook about “How To Manage A Facebook Wall In Any Situation.” It was chock full of great tips boiled down from BuddyMedia’s Facebook moderation 101 report. Some of my favorites: Address each poster by name. Use language that reinforces positive feelings about your brand. Don’t be afraid to apologize and be honest.

But there’s one bone I have to pick that I’ve been mulling over. It’s a piece of advice I’ve heard time and time again in the social media realm that I just plain don’t agree with – “Reply as quickly as possible to complaints posted on your wall.”

Now, don’t get me wrong – I definitely think there are times when you should swoop in ASAP. If there’s a question that needs answered by your brand, then of course. Or if this is a “problem child” who needs special attention, obviously.

How To Deal With Negative Facebook Posts But I guess I get a bit touchy when people start treating social media efforts like it’s just a branch of customer service. Customer service skills come in super handy when you’re wearing a community manager hat – I’ve already told you about that. But that’s not always the answer.

I get it. It’s easy to panic when there’s a mean ol’ post on your Facebook wall. It’s understandable, because negative sentiment about your brand online can be detrimental. But can we expand our tactics for creating a more positive community about and for your brand beyond rapid-fire responses?

If your business views Facebook as a platform to create and amplify advocates of your brand, the end goal should not be to squash every gripe, but to empower advocates to counteract the grumblings, too. That way, advocates feel valued, complainers feel like they got genuine feedback rather than PR mumbo jumbo, and the whole community is functioning as just that – a community, not a public 1-800 number.

What’s your take on Facebook moderation?

The Doctor Is In: Social Media Questions Answered!

A little while back, we asked you, our dear readers, to throw your burning social media marketing questions our way. Boy, did you deliver! We got some great questions. Now, it’s time for answers – starting with a question from Katrishia. Check out what Jocelyn and Danielle have to say:

Stay tuned for more vlogs where we talk about what you want us to talk about! And if you have a question for us, tweet us with the hashtag #PnPQandA.

The Doctor Is In: Social Media Q&A

We’ve all had burning questions. While Jocelyn and I love to give advice, we’re not really qualified to help you with your relationship problems or etiquette dilemmas – but we do know a thing or two about word-of-mouth marketing and social media.

So if you’ve ever had a burning question about advertising in the digital age (and really, who hasn’t?) it’s your lucky day. Soon, we’ll be vlogging our take on what you’ve been wondering about.

So let us know what you want to hear us talk about – and we’re game to talk about (almost) anything! Tweet at @adsattca using the hashtag #PnPQandA, or post your question as a comment on this blog post. Oh, and you can email us too. Keep an eye out for our vlog sometime soon!

Red Cross Turns Twitter Mistake Into Social Media Success

Red Cross Twitter Mistake

My name is Danielle, and I have tweeted from the wrong account before.

When The American Red Cross sent out an errant status on Twitter last week, all of us social media folks could relate to that cringe-worthy moment. When you’re multitasking with a third-party client like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, it’s easy to get your wires crossed. Can any of us say we’ve tweeted something as hilariously inappropriate and screen-grab worthy as the Red Cross, though?

Here’s where the Red Cross proved themselves not only smart about social media but brilliant when it comes to PR. Right away, they addressed the “oops” honestly and with a sense of humor:

Then, as soon as things were gaining momentum and Dogfish Head Brewery joined in on the fun, they wrote a blog post that was once again down-to-earth and funny while staying on The Red Cross message of being sympathetic to others and doing good.

The truth is, a well-respected, long-standing organization like the Red Cross honestly doesn’t need to spin into crisis mode over something like this. They could have deleted it, ignored it and it probably would have gone away after getting passed around online for a little while. And that’s what most would do. Instead, they took the opportunity to level with their audience, show that they can have a sense of humor and basically school us all on online PR. And now instead of laughing at their expense, we’re praising them for their savvy and using them as an example.

The lesson I learned here? Any brand can (and should) be down-to-earth. People have a much lower tolerance for insincerity online than in other media, and will tune out if you aren’t authentic. That can be hard to grasp for organizations who are used to a more corporate approach to PR, but the Red Cross has clearly mastered it. Even if you value maintaining a corporate tone, you should never be too buttoned up to admit your mistakes and laugh at yourself. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of “going social” in the first place.

Don’t Get Too Busy To Keep Up On Awesome

BUSY is a word that I seem to say at work every day. “Dude, I’m so busy.” “Seriously, I am going to be really busy this week.” “Sorry, I’m too busy.” “Tell them I’m busy.” “Busy, busy, busy…” “Wanna get busy?” Okay, not the last one, but you get the idea. Busyness permeates everything we do and trust me, I’m not complainin’, because it usually means I’m getting to do some cool work.

Don't get too busy to keep up on awesome. Still, inevitably I get so busy doing all that cool stuff that I get into too much of a routine, cranking out the urgent tasks at hand and solving all the unexpected problems that come our way. Routine is great for folks whose job is to put the same wheel on the same spoke over and over. Get it down pat and you are a productivity machine. But for us in Push-n-Pull, we’ve got to be creative, innovative, forward-thinking. With the pace of the digital marketing industry quickening more each day, we’ll get left behind if we’re not.

I’ll admit, sometimes I will let cobwebs gather on my Google Reader when I am just too busy to keep up with what’s going on in the industry. While one of things I love the most about my work is that it is always new and exciting, when you have a pile of specific tasks to be completed, mulling over ideas that are less tangible and pressing can seem almost indulgent.

But social media strategy isn’t like riding a bike. If I leave exploring the innovation of others and inspiring some of my own for another day, sooner or later the web 2.0 know-how that guides what I do day in and day out is going to get painfully outdated. My value as an online marketer is measured as much, if not more than, by my understanding and interpretation of the ever-changing digital realm as it is by my ability to complete my tasks.

The irony of this post, of course, is that the very thing I’m doing right now – blogging – is one of the indulgent things that it never seems like I have time to do. How meta. But while its easy to start drowning in all the bright shiny Next Big Things, it’s really about getting back to the basics of social media: Communication. Conversation. Finding new, effective ways of getting cozy with people where they like to hang out online and then saying, “Hey, here’s an idea…”