Archive | July, 2011

I Shout, You Shout, We All Shout For…Reports!?!?!

It is one thing to say how successful a campaign has been, but in this day and age, success is nothing without the proof to back it up. Every little detail of a campaign should be reportable and recallable at a moment’s notice. In order to set up your business for future reporting, steps should be taken throughout the campaign to gather the needed information. During our most recent national campaign, we felt it was important to receive reports on a weekly basis. Depending on information needs, your company may decide to have reports submitted daily or twice throughout the week.

Each week, our team leads were sent an email reminding them to submit reports by our established due date. It is essential to have a firm day and time that reports are due.  Reminders may feel redundant, but a quick weekly reminder email will ensure that all employees remember to submit things on time, which can make a world of difference.

We found three different weekly reports to be extremely important in gathering the information we may need down the road.

The three reports we focused on were:

1.       Weekly Feedback Report: This report required our leads to log what locations they sampled and how many samples were distributed. Additionally, we asked them to record consumer feedback regarding the product being sampled. This proved to not only be beneficial for our internal tracking of samples distributed, but also became very beneficial to the client. Our client was very happy to see what the consumers were saying out on the streets and took the feedback to heart when making some important product modifications.

2.       Expense Report: As we provided advanced expense money to our team leads, it was absolutely necessary to track what was being spent and the current outstanding balance due to or from the lead each week. Receipts are also absolutely necessary when reconciling expenses.

To be honest, this form of reporting evolved as a learning experience. We did have one lead that came up short at the end of a campaign once things were reconciled. We were able to follow our company expense policy and deduct the balance from their last payroll, but we did learn the lesson that all expenses should be tracked in real time.

3.       Time Sheets: Weekly submissions of hours allowed us to track each team and their use of resources. It is great to have team leads that plan their own schedules, but sometimes things do slide by. Each week we made sure the leads were taking full advantage of the hours available to them to schedule, without costing the company extra in over time.

The main point of all the reports we requested was to keep our eyes on all aspects of the campaign. When running a national campaign, you cannot possibly be at each market location every day. The best you can do is request that your leads stay in constant contact and report on a regular basis. Weekly reports can help the campaign stay focused and provide all information needed to compile campaign end reports or whatever else your client may desire. Reports serve as a benchmark for success. Overall, they are a very important tool for managers to determine what areas are doing well and what needs improvement, before it is too late.

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Getting Fans to Notice Your Facebook Page Posts

Facebook Pages are a place on Facebook for businesses, just as Facebook profiles are a place for individuals. To reduce confusion between personal pages, they are sometimes called “Facebook Business Pages”, even though Facebook pages can also be used for nonprofits or other groups such as musical bands, theater groups, schools or even geographical areas.

For a business the most important aspect of a Facebook page is the ability for people to “like” the page to become fans of the business. Why is that useful? It is similar to getting someone to sign up for a business e-mail newsletter, except not being quite as strong a channel. Each business page has a “wall” on which the administrator can post things like text or images. A wall post might announce a new product that the business has launched, for example.

The newsfeed is the list of interesting items Facebook shows a user when they log in to the site. Business wall posts may appear in the news feeds of the people that liked the page, just as an e-mail newsletter might appear in a the e-mail inbox of a subscriber.

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4 Best Practices for Transitioning from Social Media to Social Business

We’ve hopped around from ‘Web 2.0‘ to ‘Social Media‘ to ‘Enterprise 2.0‘ to our current spot on the ‘Social Business‘ train, keeping all of our baggage in tow.  And that’s the problem.

If we really want to see the same kind of effectiveness in the work place that we’ve seen in the consumer space, it’s time to ditch some old habits. Here are four essential ways to make your business a social business.

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3 Ways To Use Google Plus In Your Content Marketing Efforts

If you’ve been on the web in the last few weeks, you are well aware of the buzz surrounding Google’s new social network: Google Plus.

Forward-thinking efforts of companies like Ford and Mashable jumped into early company adoption and use of the network. Though Google has announced brand pages are coming soon, it’s discouraging the use of personal Google+ profiles as branded company pages.

So what are we to do? How can content marketers like you and I apply this new social network in our everyday business practices?

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Domino’s Pizza Runs Unfiltered Customer Comments on Times Square Billboard

In an effort that may fall somewhere between brave and foolhardy, Domino’s is running an electronic ticker in Times Square displaying in real-time what consumers really think of the brand.

The campaign, which runs from Monday until August 23 will include customer comments — good, bad or neutral — on a 4,630 square-foot billboard. The comments, which are filtered for bad language and appropriateness, but not for sentiment, are culled from Domino’s Tracker, which lets you follow your order. Consumers whose comments are chosen will get a link to a video clip of their comment as it ran on the billboard.

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Why Google+ is Great for SEO

Having landed and created huge ripples in the social networking sphere, Google+ has continue to grow at a particularly rapid pace, increasing by over 10 million users in the space of a week, having now reached 20 million. There’s been a great deal written about it in comparison with Facebook and to some extent Twitter, but I’d like to draw on one of the key ways that it differs from the two; SEO.

Having done some digging with the rest of the team at PR company Punch to find out a bit more about how it works, we found that Google+ is a great source of links that can be used for SEO benefit. It’s interesting to see that Google has opted to allow links that pass page rank in contrast to the other major networks such as Facebook and Twitter which only allow links that Google’s spiders can’t follow, and I think it’s likely that this could be part of the Google+ project strategy to grow as big as the two social media giants.

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Moving Forward Beats Moving Backwards

One of our corporate goals during a recent campaign was to keep moving forward; everyday getting better, and making our teams stronger.  The idea may sound simple, but those who have participated in a campaign that spreads over multiple markets know how far from simple this concept really is.  Two areas that really made a difference in moving our teams forward were training and communication.

A high energy training session allowed us to grab the attention of our University Reps.  With a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time we relied on mid training question sessions.  This allowed for those who were falling behind to catch up before it was too late.  It also allowed for those who caught on quickly to test out their knowledge and step up to answer the questions.  Peer to peer education seems to stick more effectively compared to a normal training forum.  During training, our teams were presented with every odd situation we could think of and then some.  They were grateful for this training when a week into their campaigns a situation would arise and they knew exactly how to handle it!  Instead of phone calls of distress, we received phone calls telling us how they conquered the obstacle.  Our employees were able to move forward successfully and gain confidence at the same time.  Hands down, moving forward sure beats moving backwards.

As for those phone calls of distress…they are going to come.  When all is said and done you want them to come.  Our communication lines were open 24/7.  When calls were received at the worst possible moments, our team swallowed its pride and got to work.  A mean tone in conversation can sever those lines quickly and a cut cord of communication can be extremely hard to repair.  Reassuring team members that over communicating is better than not asking the hard questions helped move even the longest days of work forward.  Hands down, moving forward sure beats moving backwards.

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Social Media Is Morphing Into Social Business

These days, if you’re doing business, you’ve got to go social. As ‘social media’ morphs into ‘social business,’ the conversation is broadening within the enterprise. In addition to Marketing and Communications, we’re now seeing Legal, HR, Customer Services, Sales, and other departments adopt social technologies both internally and externally. The adoption curve is maturing.

The world’s leading companies are realizing that a solid grasp of social technologies and social platforms, along with the concepts of authenticity, transparency, and trust will become critical to building global brands, transforming product development, enabling real-time customer service, and fostering social collaboration with customers and key stakeholders.

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Women’s World Cup sets a Twitter world record

(CBS/What’s Trending) – The Women’s World Cup ended with a bang yesterday as the whole world tuned in to see Japan take on the U.S. It wasn’t just people watching on TV. During the game, it seemed Twitter went soccer crazy and broke the record for the average number of tweets per second.

The official @twitter account confirmed that at the end of the game the #WWC (Womens World Cup) set a new all time high of 7,196 tweets per second. This beats the previous record of 6,939 tweets sent on New Year’s Day in Japan.


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Small Business Internet Marketing Survey: Over 40% Crying For Help

Small business statistics from a newly released survey reveals more adoption and use of internet marketing by small business. But this survey also indicates a realization from business owners that their internet marketing website and small business social media efforts need to be strengthened.

“This survey suggests that small business owners know what online marketing initiatives should be done to grow their businesses. But when they get into the actual implementation of website optimization or social media, they realize they don’t know how to do it on their own,” said Gary Hennerberg, President of Hennerberg Group, Inc., an internet marketing consultant who conducted the survey on behalf of an online directory listing company.

Overall, 80% of small businesses have a website, with 50% saying they have good results. But another 30% report poor results with their websites. Twenty percent don’t have a website, but 16% plan one in the future.

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