Companies that haven’t been leveraging the opportunities of the digital world need to start doing it NOW! Sure, you can keep on posting to your Facebook wall and tweeting about something no one will ever read, EVER. But is that going to be lucrative for your business in the long term? Were you aware that a person who follows your brand are 51% more likely to purchase your product and 60% more likely to refer them to friends? I can’t tell you how many companies I’ve studied during the past 6 months that have stuck to the same old postings on Facebook and have literally seen their fans drop off the digital planet. Do these companies just not care or were they just oblivious to the fact of how important this was and is? It’s evident that some are starting to care because I have seen countless postings for digital strategist jobs in the last two months. Those that invested in the beginning are reaping the benefits and those that haven’t are scrambling to catch up. Bottom line, brands are investing in it, Brands like Nike always have, even without a clear inclination of where it was going to take them. Although it seemed like the Wild West 12 to 18 months ago or even as little as 4 months ago (Pinterest) it’s continuing to evolve and you can either be the leader amongst your competitors or the follower.
I’m going to run you through some of the recent changes for brands that want to continue to grow and build relationships with their customers. Here we go!
Facebook rolls out their new timeline for brands on the 30th of this month. However, there are some brands (Coca Cola, Ben n Jerrys, Starbucks) that have lead the pack to let everyone know it’s the new standard. Some of the changes are brands ability to showcase their identities more effectively with a larger header and the ability to reply privately to customers. Is this going to be the new CRM platform? Better get your team up to speed. Community Managers should already have a good idea as to how to communicate with happy and disgruntled customers. This feature makes it more personal. Sadly, there is no more default page, which at one point was very important factor in growing a strong fan base. Some brands used this page as a means to get you to follow their company by having you follow them before you could see their content. For many of them, (cough-Skittles), it worked. Another great opportunity is clearly the timeline – it’s a great way to showcase milestones and historical significance of the company. The last notable feature is a new integrated analytics platform which will allow you to adjust your content and maximize your social efforts.
Don’t think that Facebook is selling out with this new roll out, sure they have Brands interests in mind, and people may complain – but it’s important to understand timeline is built for people first and foremost and secondly with the Brands in mind. As Facebook pushes towards the 1 billion user mark this summer, I wonder how they are going to celebrate. Sprinkles cupcakes and a keg of La Fin du Monde? And for those non drinkers, maybe a preview of the new $8 Starbucks smoothies?
Twitter is releasing some new features in the near future in addition to the brand pages. This could mean a piece of that scrumptious Facebook ad revenue pie. Right now, there is not much pull for Twitter users to go directly to a brand page, since you can already see it in your feed, but with the roll out of promotions, sweeps and some e-commerce this could prove enticing enough to get users to interact. If the brands goal is for users to interact with them digitally then my suggestion is jump on the band wagon, it will undoubtedly round out the brands user experience offerings. On a side note, I’ve been shocked at how well FAB (app for iPhone) has been doing, the UX is extremely friendly and simply put, it’s awesome. But what’s even more surprising is their mobile visitors are twice as more likely to buy then their web visitors. Cha-Ching! Look to see more companies take this format for their e-commerce solutions. Companies like KarmaLoop and the like should take note, because this is one company that is doing it right. Although it’s not exactly like the layout of Pinterest, it’s similar with the whole sectioned box motif.
What’s so Pinteresting is last Friday they rolled out their branded pages. It’s already proving lucrative for driving customers to businesses, especially for the 97% woman user base. It’s driving an increase of 600% for some companies and they’ve received nearly over $30 million in funding over the past year. A unique use and what can prove to have some serious potential is using Pinterest for events. You know how you can see what’s trending on a Twitter feed? Well, what about actually seeing it visually? That’s what Mashable and Austin360 did for SXSW. It should be a fun summer for food and music festivals using Pinterest and I’m looking forward to some interesting photos from Burning Man and Lollapalooza… Jeremy Cabalona just did an awesome info graph on why brands need to get involved and instead of me pawning his facts in word format here is the link. Could this be the End of Twitter?
Lastly, I wanted to point out this cool campaign idea I read about in the Washington Post. Crate and Barrel, Room and Board, and the Container store took part in a scavenger hunt for the “socially savvy.” In a partnership with @HouseBeautiful you had to follow their Facebook page and Twitter to find out where they hid Pink chairs in Chicago, green chairs in DC and blue chairs in New York. Once you found the chairs you could twitpic it to win the chairs. Pretty simple right? Darn effective if you ask me.
I’ve saved the best for last..
My favorite Ipad Apps of 2012 in no specific order….
Spotify (Listen to BrokeMogul- he picked the music for Entourage and of course my playlist PagJam)
Pulse News (all 5 pages filled, boom)
Streak for Cash
BattleNations (think Command&Conquer gamer addiction)
NPR MUSIC (new artist spotlight, you can stream new albums)
DI RADIO (House or chill channel for running or jamming)
Draw Free (I play it with my sister)
WordPress (how do you think I correct all of my grammatical errors after I push my posts live?)
Weather.com (Added to home screen from Safari)
Google Trends (I added this to home screen from Safari)
LogMeIn (logged into my computer to get a file only once, but boy was it worth it)
It’s an exciting time. Congrats to my cousin and fellow PagJammer Michael Paglino for accepting a new job offer in Chicagoland.
Joe D. Paglino