Recognizing the Impact of Social Media

via Twitter.com

More than 327,000 tweets per minute.  More than 4.2 million likes on Facebook.  More than 800,000 retweets.

It beat the previous photo share record holders of  Mark Zuckerberg’s wedding photo and a glass of beer tribute to a fallen soldier.

http://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/266031293945503744/photo/1

(Special note: While the photo was posted election night, it was actually taken three months ago on the campaign trail.)

The impact of social media in today’s world is significant as the “four more years” photo was posted to Facebook and Twitter before a mass email was sent and even before the crowd was addressed in Chicago.

Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to recognize the impact of social media and the juggernaut it continues be.  How do you capture lightening in a bottle like this?  It happens at the intersection of timing and emotion.  It’s organic.  Social media is how the world is communicating.

Next time you have something big to share – how will you do it?

MLB Continues Building Social Media Buzz During World Series

Baseball bat hitting ball in slow motion: MLB's social media efforts: Twitter, Trends, CampaignsGame 1 of the World Series generated the second-most social media comments in postseason history, according to MLB.com. Mentions of Pablo Sandoval (“The Panda”) accounted for 20 percent of the 813,000 Facebook and Twitter comments, thanks to the athlete’s historic three-homer night. No count yet on how many mentions the infamous Barry Manilow reference from FOX announcer Tim McCarver received.

Social chatter during sporting events is expected to increase, as the number of sports fans who use social media to follow leagues, teams and players has almost doubled since 2011.

This postseason has been very successful for the MLB’s social media efforts, having generated twice as many social media comments by Oct. 10 as it did during the entire 2011 division series. This could be in part to the MLB’s expanded online presence and digital campaigns. Nearly every team now has its own Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr account, as well as check-in services.

In an effort to make its fans feel more engaged (and in turn get more buzz about baseball), the MLB has run online campaigns such as #MLBmembersonly, #FlyWitness and Pictober (#postseason). One of the most successful social programs is the MLB Fan Cave – a physical venue that hosts athletes and other celebrities whose interviews, antics and musical performances are shared online.

If the Giants’ and Tigers’ social networks and online buzz were analyzed to predict an outcome of the World Series, the winner would be the San Francisco Giants. According to Sysomos, the Detroit Tigers’ social mentions are at about only 2.3 million, compared to the Giants’ 2.75 million, which account for 54 percent of the conversation. The Bay Bombers also have a larger social following (as of Oct. 26, 2012, 9 a.m.):

Detroit Tigers
• Facebook: 1,118,742 likes
• Twitter: 183,242 followers

San Francisco Giants
• Facebook: 1,586,853 likes
• Twitter: 340,691 followers

No matter who comes away with the Commissioner’s Trophy, it’s apparent the MLB is winning with many of its fans when it comes to social media. The platforms are changing the way not only the MLB connects with fans, but players, too. Athletes talk directly with their fans, respond to their questions, encourage engagement and even retweet followers’ messages – which is as good as an autograph for many people nowadays.

If you want to find out if your favorite athlete is on Twitter, check out Tweeting-Athletes.com.

Twitter Wins During Presidential Debate

The first presidential debate took place last night at the University of Denver between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.  It’s no secret that Twitter users “tweet in” for current events, and last night’s showing proved no different with more than 10 million tweets during the 90-minute debate, making it the most tweeted about event in American political history.

On its blog last night, Twitter released a minute-by-minute chart displaying high and low messaging points during key moments of the debate.

Twitter Blog: Presidential Debate Breaks Records, October 2012

Via Blog.Twitter.com

The night’s most tweeted about subjects included the performance of debate moderator John Lehrer and Big Bird. The Twitter Government account, @gov, tweeted that the phrase “Big Bird” had generated about 17,000 tweets per minute.

With every current event, there is always a PR lesson to be learned.  The iconic home appliance brand KitchenAid discovered this quickly last night after an irresponsible tweet was sent from the company’s official account. The brand issued an apology soon after via Twitter and later to media.

With Twitter’s crisis communication moments and the constant stream of conversation, outlets like Politico seem to think that Twitter jumped the shark last night with the inability to follow comments due to the overwhelming volume of tweets sent. Of course some would disagree, as Twitter continues to prove that watching live and current events with the Twitter community has become a part of the culture for many.

Blogger Outreach Part Two and Reviewers Retreat Takeaways

Welcome to Reviewer's Retreat 2012 at Great Wolf Lodge, Presented by Pampers

Reviewer’s Retreat 2012: Product Review Conference

As mentioned in our last post on blogger outreach, blogs have grown to much more than what they started out to be. Not only have they increased in number and scope, but the line between blog and website has blurred (i.e., trying to count the similarities between The Huffington Post and USA Today‘s online version could give anyone a headache).

People turn to blogs to seek recommendations. Companies who wish to reach out to bloggers should do their homework to figure out which bloggers would be a good fit for their brand. When looking for the best blogs for your campaign, numbers aren’t necessarily everything. A high number of unique visitors doesn’t always translate to reader trust and loyalty in the blogger’s recommendations.

To enhance our understanding of bloggers who actively partner with brands, DVL attended Reviewer’s Retreat. Hosted by Cecelia Mecca of Cool Baby Kid and Bridgette Duplantis of The Not-So-Blog, the event brought bloggers together to discuss issues facing those who conduct product reviews. It also welcomed a few company and agency representatives to grow relationships between bloggers and brands.

DVL’s social media manager met and greeted bloggers we’ve worked with in the past and engaged with others we hope to work with in the future.  Check out some of our top Twitter takeaways from the event and DVL tips regarding blogger relationships, social media usage and event highlights:

BLOGGER RELATIONSHIPS

Bloggers are busy. If one campaign didn’t pique their interest, try again until you know for sure they’re uninterested.

Be strategic about who you pitch.

Don’t be afraid to ask bloggers questions, either. Keep the dialogue going even after the campaign has ended.

Appointing official brand ambassadors can be a great “next step” in blogger relationships – as long as they’re the right fit.

Exactly. Don’t just have a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account to spew content. Listen to what your followers are saying and then react accordingly.

ALL-AROUND SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS

There must be effort on your side to foster the relationships with your consumers.

Check with them on how best to communicate.

In person, people want to be looked in the eye. Create an atmosphere online and with your responses that makes them feel the same thing in the digital world.

You don’t *have* to be on every social network. Do an audit to see what will/does work best for you.

A great tip that translates to branding as well. Make sure your brand stands out from others in the social media sphere.

Planning and branding for the future: Always think ahead. Not just about why this post/message/tweet works now, but how does it fit in the overall brand and planned strategy.

More of a personal tip – be careful what you choose to share online of family and friends.

Include text on “pinnable” images to better stand out.

Tweet cleverly – and make sure each tweet has enough room for others to retweet you.

A great wrap-up post from the Pinterest session.

Natural lighting is typically best.

RANDOM #REVRET12 HIGHLIGHTS

The pre-event excitement was evident!

All attendees received a swag bag of partnering brands’ products.

“President’s address” from the retreat’s founders.

Interacting online is fun, but nothing beats meeting face to face.

Thank you for having us!

Wishing @BridgetteLA and @CoolBabyKid a successful event in 2013!

Check out the official Reviewer’s Retreat 2012 Pinterest board and listing of attendees’ wrap-up blog posts.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Wears Hoodie to IPO Meeting: What’s *Your* Style Statement?

As Mark Zuckerberg turns 28 and gears up for Facebook’s initial public offering, he is also making headlines for another reason – his hoodie.

The Facebook co-creator and chief executive caused quite an uproar last week when he donned a hooded sweatshirt to meet with potential investors on Wall Street. News and opinions about the now infamous hoodie spread like wildfire, and it even has its own Twitter handle. Some say it was a lack of respect, a mark of immaturity, an act of rebellion. Others say it was sign of strength for the Facebook brand, a steadfast statement of individuality, a testimony to youthful self-confidence.

Zuckerberg hasn’t made a public statement about his fashion choice, and I am sure he won’t, but you have to believe that the billionaire knew exactly what he was doing when he got dressed that morning.

Branding matters, and that rings true for both companies and individuals. The way you present yourself can have a profound impact on the message you are trying to communicate. Make sure your personal appearance matches the image you want to project regardless of if it’s one of rebellion or one of respect.

After all, there is a lot of truth to the statement “image is everything.”

Top Twitter Takeaways from UT’s Social Media Week

Leading up to Social Slam 2012, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, School of Advertising and Public Relations hosted Social Media Week. This two-day event featured presentations, panels and interactive sessions with social media experts from companies like Scripps Network Interactive, Cox Enterprises, McCormick & Company, Inc., and Dell(home of the splendid Social Media Command Center).

The digital world is growing and re-shaping public relations, marketing and advertising – not to mention communications in general. A new report cites 39 percent of Americans spend more time socializing online than they do offline.

An event that would typically cost hundreds for professionals to attend, UTK provided this learning experience geared toward students to teach best business social media practices.

Thanks to the beauty of Twitter and the hashtag (#), those not in attendance could still absorb great information. Search #UTSMW  on Twitter to view tweets related to the event. Many of the sessions are available online to view at Ustream, but if you don’t have 8+ hours to watch every session, don’t worry…DVL has compiled our top 15 Twitter takeaways below:

Twitter: Go where the people are and build your message there. #utsmw -@UTSMW

You can’t always expect your entire audience to be seeking you out.

Twitter: Listen. Engage. Act. You have to do all three, and you have to do them in order. #UTSMW

Find out who’s talking and what they’re saying. Interact with content that they’ll care about. Use feedback to better serve them.

Twitter: Not every social media platform is appropriate for every audience. @kgranju #UTSMW

Believe it or not…not every business “has to be on Facebook.”

Twitter: Purposeful Edutainment: don't tweet just for the sake of doing so. "It's about conversation." -@adamcb #utsmw

Have a plan and strategy in place.

Twitter: "@elizhendrickson @adamcb says new SM metric is "PTA" (People Talking About it), not impressions. #utsmw" Don't collect fans, engage fans! -@camimonet

Don’t focus on the number of “Likes,” but the quality of engagement.

Twitter: Social media has expanded customer service even further. Sorry businesses, you cacn't escape. #utsmw -@utsmw

Showing them you care – in real-time – can go a long way.

Twitter: Final word: Social media lets companies get past "the velvet rope" and reach clients they might not have been able to otherwise. #utsmw -@utsmw

Discover a whole new world of engaging with customers and clients.

Twitter: EdgeRank is how Facebook has figured out who your close friends are (and why you no longer see "that girl from high school"'s posts). #utsmw -@utsmw

Facebook’s algorithm decides which posts you get to see in your news feed – and where they show up.

Big underestimation... Twitter: Facebook contests can be surprisingly complicated to run. A "like" is not equal to a vote. #utsmw -@utsmw

Facebook has strict rules about how you can conduct contests, giveaways and sweepstakes on its platform.

Twitter: Now in a psychology class where it is impolite to Tweet during speakers/presentations #feelingdefensive of #UTSMW -@CaitlinBradley

Remember, not everyone was born with a smart phone in hand…

Twitter: Great quote! "For this generation, a retweet from an athlete is like an autograph" @tomsatkowiak #utsmw

From the “Social Media Use of UT Athletics and Policies for Student Athletes” session

Twitter and College Sports: Top twitter football page is Michigan w 86,000 followers. They put a hash tag on their field to raise awareness. UT is 20th w/ 21,000 #UTSMW -@ErinWhiteside

Michigan’s “Big House” is the largest college football stadium.

Twitter and College Sports: On a side note, if you're aching to see that Pat Summit tribute again, here it is, courtesy of @Vol_Sports's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYqHMcn_Fbw #utsmw -@UTSMW

Had to share this touching tribute to Pat Summitt, “Chances,” from the UT Athletic Department:

And just for fun…

Twitter: This is hilarious! Thanks #UTSMW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUs7iG1mNjI -@Holly_Kane

Katie Couric to NBC “Today” show producer, circa 1994: “Can you explain what Internet is?”

Zig While Others Zag – Willie Nelson & Chipotle

In today’s cluttered world of traditional and social media, getting your message out – and heard – is the challenge we face in this business of public relations. To accomplish your goals, I’m convinced you have to “zig” while others “zag.”

And that’s where Willie Nelson comes in. Willie, known for his commitment to social causes, is also known for his willingness to tackle pretty much any musical challenge (let’s face it, who does a duet with Bob Dylan or records an album of 1930s standards?).

So, when Chipotle Mexican Grill launched a campaign to promote their commitment to sustainable farming, they turned to Willie who covered Coldplay’s “The Scientist” as the soundtrack for their “Back to the Start” short film. Willie Nelson sings Coldplay?

Well, it worked.

The film ran as a commercial during the recent Grammy Awards and Twitter was abuzz that night with fans tweeting that Willie did Coldplay better than Coldplay. Earned media impressions about the Chipotle and Willie pairing have to be in the tens of millions (and all with Chipotle’s key messages about sustainable farming). And the film has enjoyed more than 6.1 million views on YouTube.

The song has been so popular that it’s included on Willie’s highly acclaimed forthcoming album, “Heroes,” out in May that will surely include additional media coverage of the song and cause.

Perfect song. Perfect singer. They zigged instead of zagged.