4 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Social Media Manager

Before joining Hootsuite, I was a full time social media manager for a number of national television stations. Businesses had already widely embraced social media, and yet I was continually asked questions that made me need to take few deep, patient breaths before answering. My fellow social media managers know them well.

These questions are rarely malicious. They merely come from a lack of understanding, something everyone is capable of improving. Here are four questions you should avoid asking your social media manager, and what you can do instead to better understand and collaborate with them.

Can you post about this right now please?

Your social media manager (hopefully) isn’t just sitting around all day posting about whatever pops into their head. What they choose to post, how they interact with followers, what they Retweet or share, the number of posts sent out each day—there is a strategic method to this madness. Everything is done with a purpose. Asking them to post something immediately and out of the blue shows a lack of understanding about the strategy and skill that they bring to the job.

Key takeaway:

For social media managers: Make sure the people in your organization know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Present your social media strategy to as many people and departments as possible to increase the visibility of your work and role in the business.

For everyone else: Loop in your social team earlier on in your project or campaign, so they can incorporate it into their overall social strategy and work on crafting high-quality social content for it. You’ll reap the benefits of social media far better that way then you will by asking for one-off posts.

Can you make this go viral?

Let’s talk about what happens when a piece of your content goes ‘viral.’ There will be a sudden spike in the number of people who read, watch, or share it, and you’ll see a nice albeit temporary boost in page views. (Yay!) Then something else will come along and inevitably push your content back down the ladder of internet irrelevancy. (Wah.)

Is aiming for this ephemeral attention the best use of time and resources? Probably not, which is why your social media manager focuses on other goals—ways that social media can help achieve overall business and marketing goals.

Key takeaway:

For social media managers: Create and share analytics reports on a regular basis that clearly show how social media positively impacts the business in ways that going viral can’t achieve.

For everyone else: Learn about the type of goals on social media that are worth chasing more than going viral. Chat with your social media manager about how they measure their success and how social media can better help your business achieve what going viral is really all about: awareness.

Why aren’t we on [insert new flashy social network here]?

I know how tempting it is to be seen as one of the first brands on a new social network. Many businesses who embraced Facebook and Twitter early on have ended up growing massive followings as a result, but the world of social media has matured to a point where new social networks rarely stick around to compete with these behemoths.

Establishing a successful presence on a social network requires a lot of planning and strategy, along with an investment of time and resources. Choosing to direct these things towards a social network that may disappear as quickly as it emerged may not be the smartest decision for the business.

Key takeaway:

For social media managers: If you see a new trend or social network emerging, use it as an opportunity to create a dialogue and proactively communicate your thoughts about it. It’s a great way for you to demonstrate your expertise.

For everyone else: If there’s a new name in the game, your social media manager has probably already heard of it. So a better question to ask them (instead of insinuating they’re not doing something they should be) is simply: “What are your thoughts on this? Have you seen many businesses using it? Is there an opportunity here for us?” It’s a lot more respectful and can lead to a much more productive conversation.

What’s the ROI of social media?

I know what you’re thinking. “If we’re expected to invest this much time and money into social media, shouldn’t we be allowed to see a return on that investment?” You totally should. And a social media manager should definitely be able to demonstrate how the business is being positively affected by social media. The problem with this question isn’t that social ROI doesn’t exist—it’s just not that simple. This blanket statement doesn’t take into account the most important part of a solid social media strategy, which is the alignment of social media activity to overarching business goals.

If one of your primary goals is increased web traffic, for example, then the value of social media can be measured by looking at the links posted on social and the number of clicks they receive, and by analyzing social referral traffic through tools such as Google Analytics.

While asking your social media manager to explain the ROI of social media as a whole isn’t a useless thing to ask, you’ll most likely get a much longer answer than you were expecting.

Key takeaway:

For social media managers: Report regularly on how social media is impacting the business. Create and share analytics reports both on a per-campaign and monthly basis. Learn more about measuring and communicating the ROI of social media and share your knowledge whenever possible.

For everyone else: Instead of asking what the ROI of social media as a whole is, ask your social media manager what their most recent success on social media has been, or how social made a positive impact on a recent campaign. Have a look at their monthly analytics reports to get a better idea of their goals and progress.

One question that your social media manager isn’t likely to mind is: “why do you use Hootsuite?” You’ll hear about how it makes their lives easier by allowing them to schedule, publish, and engage with customers across multiple social networks—all from one centralized dashboard. Learn more and get started for free.

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The post 4 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Social Media Manager appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/questions-never-ask-social-media-manager/


10 Unexpected Books to Inspire Your Career

This post was originally published on LinkedIn. 

I admit it. I’m an online ‘snack’ addict. After all, with the digital era has come an endless selection of cheap, easy and addictive pieces of online content for us to readily consume: tantalizing Buzzfeed-y headlines, irresistible top-10 lists, teaser photos of your friend’s latest tropical vacation album on Facebook, etc. These digital temptations make it all too easy to spend hours mindlessly munching on one tasty morsel after another.

When it comes to content, snacking is fun, but it shouldn’t replace full meals. We need to remember to consume long, nourishing content from time to time.

Numerous studies have proven that reading can improve brain function; some have even suggested they can make you a better person. So instead of funny cat GIFs and Instagram, dive into some of the great “long reads”—the kind of well-researched stuff that actually changes how you look at the world. Pick up a novel or read a book about a topic that can benefit you in some way, whether it’s related to your job or your passions. I personally really enjoy reading books that inspire me in my job as a business leader and entrepreneur. Here are a few of my top choices, to get you started:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Author Ben Horowitz is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, one of the top venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. So for fledgling entrepreneurs, this book is a must-read. Full of advice on building and running a startup, it’s a great mix of theory and tactic for current and future business leaders.

Delivering Happiness

Written by my friend Tony Hsieh (the guy who transformed a virtually unknown shoe retailer called Zappos into a $1.2 billion company), “Delivering Happiness” is a book about his journeys as a successful entrepreneur. It’s chock full of advice, anecdotes and interesting business ideas.

Getting Real (37 Signals)


This quick read is essentially a business manual about how to build great web products—that touches on things like design, programming, and marketing. I encourage all of my new employees to read it, for important insights into lean product development and how to make a great, successful product through sacrifice and discipline.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

My friend Chris Hadfield is one of the most courageous and inspirational people I know. In this book, he shares extraordinary stories from his life as an astronaut. He also shows us how to make the impossible a reality. I highly recommend this to anyone who dreams big and who strives to stay true to themselves.

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think

This is a great book that looks at the important and evolving role of technology in our society now, and in the future. It suggests the world as we know it today is the best it’s ever been, but nobody realizes it. It’s an eye-opening read and worth checking out.

Where the Wild Things Are

This was my favorite book as a kid but even now, I can still relate to the main character Max and his rebellious spirit. It’s a classic children’s book but also a great reminder for adults to stay imaginative.

Born to Run

“Born to Run” is the true story of author Christopher McDougall, who sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets. As thought-provoking as “Born to Run” is, it’s also inspirational. It shows us that we are more than we have been taught to believe.

Creativity Inc.

This is essentially a manual for business leaders who think and dream big. Co-written by Ed Catmull (the president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), it’s full of brilliant business lessons on how to build creative culture that benefits organizations.

The Long Walk

At the heart of “The Long Walk” is the gripping narrative of its author Slavomir Rawicz, a Polish soldier who is imprisoned by the Soviets after World War II. “The Long Walk” is about everyday human struggle, overcoming obstacles and achieving the impossible. That’s why I keep 10 copies on my desk to give away at any moment.

Ender’s Game

“Ender’s Game” is a 1985 science fiction novel set sometime in the near future, with humankind threatened by a hostile alien race. It draws you in, with dynamic, well-developed characters and an engaging and fast-paced narrative. But beyond just great storytelling, “Ender’s Game” is also a useful book for leadership inspiration. It explores larger themes of power, intelligence, free will, and perseverance.

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from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/unexpected-books-inspire-your-career/

10 Social Media Apps You Should Be Using in 2016 (But Probably Aren’t)

A few months ago, one of my best friends asked “Hey, have you ever heard of this rapper named Drake?” I had, indeed, heard of “this rapper named Drake,” a Grammy Award winner who has had 14 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart at one time—surpassing previous record-holders, The Beatles.

I could see my friend’s pain as she realized she had been living an unnecessarily Drake-free life for so long. I experience a similar feeling whenever I discover something remarkable that I myself have been living without—a life-changing smartphone app, for example.

With countless new apps being launched every day, it can be hard to keep up with which ones are worth your time, and which ones are best politely ignored. The right app can make your social media life easier, but finding these can be like finding a needle in a haystack. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of the best apps on the market.

10 Social Media Apps You Should Be Using in 2016 (But Probably Aren’t)

The Roll

You already know the importance of visuals for your social media and content marketing, and The Roll app will help you make sure your images are the best they can be. Gizmodo explains, “With the help of an AI called EyeEm Vision, The Roll analyzes your photos, rates them on a zero to 100 scale, and adds keywords for easy search (much like Google Photos). EyeEm says it’s currently using thousands of different tags, and of course the best thing about AI is that the app is always learning, so more will likely be added as more people use the app.”

The Roll has more features than I have time to write about it here. Just do yourself a favor and check it out. Your visual content will thank you.

Download The Roll for iPhone


Tuurnt is a social media app and platform following in the ephemeral footsteps of Snapchat. Giving users 24 hours to respond to photos and videos, Tuurnt turns regular visual posts into social events where participation and contribution from both known contacts and public users is encouraged. As the creators share, “Gone are the days of one-way viewing only of other people’s video. With Tuurnt, everyone can join in and create a memorable conversation using videos and images.“

Download Tuurnt for iPhone


Both storytelling and visual media are key components of any content marketing plan, and the Storehouse app allows you to marry these two in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. The app allows you to take photos and videos from your phone’s camera roll (or from Instagram, Flickr, and Dropbox) to create a shareable “story.” TechCrunch named Storehouse “The Best Mobile Application” in 2015, and declared “It features one of the best visual editing interfaces I’ve ever used and a crisp, standout presentation style.”

Download Storehouse for iPhone

Download Storehouse for Android


Yubl is a start-up based out of the United Kingdom which promises to be the “next-generation social networking and messaging platform.” Just 10 weeks after launch, Yubl became the fourth most downloaded free app in the U.K., surpassing Skype, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Periscope.

Yubl’s success can be attributed to not only the highly detailed interface, but the three main areas of the user experience. “Private” is for one-on-one or invite-only group, ‘Public’ is an open forum across the entire social network (including brands and celebrities), and ‘Explore’ is for searching and finding other users such as brands and celebrities.

Download Yubl for iPhone

Download Yubl for Android


With at least 84 percent of consumers taking advice from the recommendations of family, friends, and online users, the power of word-of-mouth marketing is obvious. Rex is an app that takes this idea in order to “be the easiest way to connect with friends to share your favorite movies, music, books, TV shows, videos, restaurants, bars, travel destinations, and anything else you like.” You can read and share recommendations with your network, save recommendations, look at what’s trending in your network, look at recommendations on a map view, and much more.  

Download Rex for iPhone


One of the most popular genres of content shared on social media is that of travel and exploration. While not primarily a social media app, Firef.ly rests on the belief that travel “experiences should be recommended, captured, and shared.”  The app helps you plan your trips, acts as a guide, encourages you to capture moments along the way, and then ‘relive’ your experiences. If you’re travel-mad, an aspirational planner, or a business in the travel and tourism industry, Firef.ly is definitely an app you’ll want to check out.

Download Firef.ly for iPhone


Is there anything more social than four people sitting around a restaurant table trying to frantically calculate how much money each person owes for the bill? To make this social interaction much more bearable, the Venmo app allows users to send and receive money free of charge, transfer to your bank, and checkout on other apps with just one touch. Forbes has called Venmo “the crown jewel of all finance apps,” so if this isn’t one of the apps you’re currently using it might be time to get rid of that cheque book and see the Venmo light.

Download Venmo for iPhone

Download Venmo for Android


If you’re overwhelmed by the number of contacts you have on your phone, or just need an easier way to manage them, the app Interact can help you out. According to their site, Interact lets you:

  • Create, delete, and manage contact groups for easy, quick communication with teams, friends, and family.
  • Edit, delete, and manage contacts much faster than with built-in iOS tools.
  • Arrange the default ordering of email, phone, and other details to fit your needs.
  • Use your contacts with a growing list of third-party apps for messaging, mapping, and other tasks previously not possible on iOS.
  • Interact supports contacts local on your device or synced with iCloud, Google, and other services.

Download Interact for iPhone


2016 is the year of video, and GoPro has developed two apps to make integrating video into your content strategy as easy as possible. While GoPro’s Splice app has highly detailed controls and video editing processes, Quik allows users to create stylized videos with just a few taps on their mobile devices. You can select from multiple videos on your camera roll in your phone, pick music, and then the app will automatically edit the video to the beat of the music. It also intuitively uses algorithms to find the best moments in each video and then adds effects over that.

Once your video is done, you can post directly to your social media accounts through Quik. The Verge highlights another innovative feature of the app, saying, “If that still sounds like too much work, Quik also scans your phone’s videos and presents you with an automatically edited highlight video every week.”

Download Quik for iPhone

Download Quik for Android


A big part of staying ahead of your social media and general social interactions is being able to access them from anywhere. While mobile is obviously great for this, there are moments where you can’t be on your phone (cough, meetings, cough). This is where Pushbullet comes in.

The app bridges the gap between your phone and computer, and, as Gizmodo explains, “automatically sends all your phone notifications over to your computer in the form of little windows. Not only that, you can take actions on them with a click. Snooze alarms, archive emails, dismiss Facebook alerts, or just mute certain types of notifications so you never see them on your computer again.”

While not a brand new app, Pushbullet has consistently been introducing new features that have established it as a must-have for most smartphone users.

Download Pushbullet for iPhone

Download Pushbullet for Android

While just a handful of the helpful apps available to make your life easier, the above tools are ones that you definitely won’t regret adding to your roster.

Use Hootsuite’s free mobile app to schedule, publish, and monitor conversations from anywhere.

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The post 10 Social Media Apps You Should Be Using in 2016 (But Probably Aren’t) appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-social-media-apps-list/

Insider’s Perspective: Risk on Social and How to Protect Your Brand

Enterprises are investing a lot in social media marketing campaigns. But the smell of blood is in the water and it’s attracting a frenzy of hackers, spammers, and scammers. According to Nexgate, two in every 10 branded Twitter accounts are unauthorized or fake, with twice as many on Facebook.

That’s scary enough to send anyone running. Now think of how legal, IT, security, compliance, and executive teams in highly regulated industries feel. We wanted to know more about the risks and benefits of social media, specifically for large-scale campaigns, and found the perfect person to answer our questions.

Ray Kruck is vice president of global partners and marketing at Proofpoint Social Media Protection, a pioneer in social media security and compliance. With more than 15 years experience in security and technology, Kruck co-founded Nexgate and led their sales team before combining forces with Proofpoint. We recently spoke with Kruck about the risks associated with large-scale social media campaigns.

Compliance and reputational risks

Compliance risks happen when a brand engages with the public, whether from a corporate side or through advocates and sales professionals. “Any touchpoint significantly expands the footprint of the brand and exposure points for compliance risks,” Kruck says.

Any brand in any industry that shares content and engages on social is at risk of damaging their reputation if they share or say the wrong thing. Examine how you vet content, train your advocates and social sellers, and monitor what’s being said about your business.

The temporal nature of campaigns amplifies the risk

“Social media campaigns tend to spike engagement, which is good because new products and services need to make a big impact in the market,” Kruck says.

Campaigns are short-lived and high intensity. Without a social media campaign policy in place, there’s a high propensity for mistakes.

“Brands often step outside of comfort zones, trying out new tools, such as Snapchat, Periscope, or Instagram, for the very first time,” he says. “Agencies and third-party providers may step in to drive engagement, so content may be sourced elsewhere or shared by untrained employees.”

Do the risks outweigh the benefits of social media campaigns?

“The opportunity for brands to leverage social certainty outweighs the risks. However, planning for potential crisis or adversity builds the social team’s resilience and creates a stronger campaign,” Kruck says. “Like training for a marathon, if you train wearing heavy shoes, then the race seems like a breeze.”

He explains that brands in regulated industries have to be very deliberate when they leverage social as a communication tool. As a result, their campaigns are well thought out, specific, and targeted. Working within best practices and policies comes naturally to these brands. “They’re the ones pushing social networks to deliver more secure, trusted, and quality products—because it’s essential to their livelihood.”

Build the guardrails for the steps to success

We’ve seen many successful social campaigns from brands in regulated industries. Kruck uses Amex as an example, as the team actively engages their social audience which leads to greater sales and customer loyalty.

“They’ve built in controls and processes to mitigate risk and keep themselves out of trouble,” he says. “The brands that plan for the storm or bad weather are the ones that enjoy the benefits of being on these powerful platforms.”

How can brands mitigate risk and drive social campaigns?

“All too often regulated businesses have a conservative and restrictive view of social—many avoid social or turn off all inbound commentary,” Kruck tells us. “This is the opposite of social.”

Brands must acknowledge the risks and integrate technology, training, and procedures to mitigate issues. “Anyone engaging on behalf of a brand should be highly trained and only use a pre-approved publishing platform, like Hootsuite,” he suggests. “ Proofpoint has several products integrated into the Hootsuite platform and together we ensure all the controls and security is in place at all times.”

These security features were essential to Avidia Bank when it launched an innovative social media campaign around its Cardless Cash product. Avidia Bank used Hootsuite and Proofpoint to launch the campaign, remain secure and compliant, and drive 13 percent more mobile app enrollments. Read our case study to find out how.

If you’d like to learn more, Kruck—along with other industry leaders—discusses the inherent risks of social media for big companies in our webinar Avidia Bank: Fueling Product Launches with Social. He’s joined by industry experts Amy McIlwain, global industry principal at Hootsuite, Katelin Cwieka, marketing specialist at Avidia Bank, and CarrieAnne Cormier, retail operations and strategy at Avidia Bank.

Watch the Webinar

Kruck will also be at the upcoming Connect via Hootsuite, Hootsuite’s online social media conference, where Proofpoint is the official compliance partner. He’ll share the virtual stage once again with Amy McIlwain, global industry principal at Hootsuite, to delve deeper into  social media compliance. The best part? Attending Connect via Hootsuite won’t cut into shrinking travel and education budgets—you can register for free and attend online.

Register Today—Free Online Conference

The post Insider’s Perspective: Risk on Social and How to Protect Your Brand appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/insiders-perspective-risk-social-protect-brand/

5 Things You Didn’t Know Were Popular on YouTube

There are few things on earth more fascinating than human beings. We run—an activity that our ancestors did to escape predators. We eat white ovals that come out of chickens. We freak out at the possibility of fainting, but make an effort to be unconscious for seven to eight hours every night. And we love watching videos of people destroying things.

There might be no online network that showcases the weird habits of human beings better than YouTube. With 300 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, there are abundant opportunities for our weird to show. And there’s a video to satisfy any curiosity or off-the-beaten-path interest one might have.

But these niche communities aren’t as niche as one might think. Unusual internet phenomena run rampant on YouTube, soaring in popularity before you can utter the word ‘viral.’ To try and understand what makes video content skyrocket in views, we took a look at some YouTube sensations you might not have known were popular, and found key lessons you can use for your own marketing strategies—weirdness encouraged, but not required.

What’s in my bag?

Key video approach: Behind-the-scenes content

This YouTube phenomenon includes popular fashion, beauty, or lifestyle vloggers showcasing the contents of their bags. While a seemingly mundane topic, there is a mammoth interest in these types of videos. As blogger Ink and Leathers explains, “I’m intrigued by the banality of the videos, of seeing strangers show me their favorite type of chewing gum, or a pen that they stole from a doctor’s office, or the scrap of fabric from that dress fitting six months ago.”

Audience members turn to these YouTube influencers for advice on shopping, beauty products, and lifestyle must-haves. And the ‘what’s in my bag?’ format provides an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the items that they recommend and use themselves. As Octoly explains, “The relationship between YouTube beauty gurus and their fans is an intimate, personal one, based on trust and transparency.”  

While an exact ‘what’s in my bag?’ format may not be a good fit for your brand, the core idea of providing a behind-the-scenes look at your business is one that you can definitely apply to your video marketing efforts. Share a YouTube video of a day in your offices, a look into the production processes of your products (if applicable), a mashup of office dog moments, interviews with employees, or any other creative way you feel you can showcase a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.

When your audience gets the chance to see not just the calm duck above water, but the rapidly paddling feet underneath, the entire perception of your brand can be positively influenced. As ClickZ says,  “Providing users with a glimpse behind the scenes not only gives them something more to explore, but lends authenticity to the content itself.”

Things being crushed

Key video approach: Use your industry expertise and resources

There are few things on YouTube more satisfying than extreme videos of dominoes being toppled. That is, until this year’s phenomenon of things being crushed by a hydraulic press became the face of video destruction. Since October 2015, Finnish YouTuber Lauri Vuohensilta has filmed videos of crushing objects for his account, Hydraulic Press Channel, which has gained 700,000 subscribers and nearly 51 million total views in just seven months.

This YouTube phenomenon started when Vuohensilta amazingly shattered a piece of seven-times folded paper under 300 bars of pressure (i.e. a lot of pressure). Since then, most of his videos have gained over 1 million views in mere days. As the owner of a factory that produces building supplies, Vuohensilta has access to countless materials he can experiment with. This love of destroying things didn’t come out of nowhere. As a child, Vuohensilta would crush things such as smaller rocks and toy cars with bigger rocks.

If you have access to a hydraulic press, the popularity of crushing objects might be one you can use for your own business, but if you’re like most people and don’t have easy access to heavy machinery there are still lessons to be learned from this YouTube sensation. Vuohensilta’s videos are a perfect recipe of creativity mixed with the materials and items he has on hand.

Think about what makes your business unique and sets it apart from other products or services in the industry. These qualities are what you can use for your YouTube content. Does the glass cleaner your company make cut through dirt amazingly? Clean the grossest, most intense messes you can think of and film it. Could you showcase the artisanal dog treats your brand sells being devoured by different dogs around the world? Demonstrate that your brand is an authority and expert in the field. Use resources you have access to, and think about all the possible ways these materials or knowledge could be showcased through video.

Contouring tutorials

Key video approach: Instructional and how-to video content

If I had a dime for every time I got sucked into the contouring video vortex, I’d be a wealthy gal. Contouring—the act of applying different shades of contrasting makeup to shape and sculpt the face—used to be a technique reserved for high fashion shows.

Thanks to YouTube, contouring has become a worldwide phenomenon. There are hundreds of thousands of videos showing contouring tips and tricks, as well as the routines of popular YouTube beauty vloggers. Even if you don’t intend to contour your face, the videos are hypnotizing to watch.

As Allure explains, “Despite the time and expense (hello—a decent sculpt-and-powder brush can run you $50), there’s a seductive quality to how attainable the whole thing feels. Anyone who’s watched the sped-up portion of a YouTube contouring video knows how deeply satisfying it is to see upside-down triangles of taupe, dun, and white turn into brighter eyes, lifted cheekbones, a shrunken chin, and a pert nose.”

While your business may not be ready to make a contouring video, you can definitely be inspired by the popularity of instructional YouTube content. As our post “A Guide to Social Video” explains, “How-to videos are among the most popular search queries on YouTube, and a great way to offer value to customers.”

Over 100 million hours of ‘how-to’ video content was watched on YouTube in 2015, up 70 percent from the previous year. Think about what your customers could learn from your brand, product, or service.

As our guide recommends, “Use how-to videos to show your customers how best to use your products, or as a brand awareness tool. For example, if you run a bicycle repair shop, creating an instructional video of how to fix a broken bike chain could be an effective way to showcase your skills and put you on the radar of local cyclists.”

Pregnancy announcements

Key video approach: Tap into viewer emotion

The main reason for creating a new human is to have a source of endless social media content, and the phenomenon of pregnancy announcement videos are just the beginning of this. I’ve definitely found myself clicking on videos with titles like “First-time grandparents pregnancy announcement!” and “Best pregnancy announcements compilation” (hey, I don’t judge your online viewing habits).

When discussing this phenomenon, Grandparents.com explains, “The unbridled passion and emotion of the moment leap through the computer screen, touching even those of us who have no idea who Jen [the mother] is — or any of the other protagonists of the myriad videos that appear on YouTube, for that matter.”

Your brand might not have a baby announcement coming up anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use emotion to tell your brand’s story. Most (if not all) purchasing decisions are driven by some sort of emotion, and “these feelings are powerful motivators and prompt your audience to take meaningful action.”

To help you tap into the power of feelings, ReelSeo provides four ways you can use emotion in your brand’s YouTube content:

  1. Tap into authentic human experience—”Tell stories that are real, that are true—that draw on genuine human experiences to tell a beautiful and inspiring story.”
  2. The power of positive thinking—”Researchers found that videos designed to produce negative emotional responses in viewers (especially anger) closed their minds from making a strategic decision, whereas videos designed to produce positive emotional responses from viewers opened their minds to making a strategic decision.”
  3. The delicate dance of logic and emotion—An emotional message shouldn’t come at the expense of actual information.
  4. Keep an eye to the future—”From their product to their brand voice to their messaging, big brands use video to make people feel optimism—not just about their brand, but about the future.”

Unboxing videos

Key video approach: Share practical brand information and highlight user-generated content

Human beings are fascinating creatures, and the YouTube phenomenon of unboxing videos truly drives this point home. Unboxing videos—where a user unwraps a product (commonly a consumer gadget, beauty product, or children’s toy) and shows it off to an online audience—have grown 57 percent in popularity since last year. As Google explains, “It would take more than seven years to watch all the videos on YouTube with “unboxing” in the title that have been uploaded so far just this year. And those videos have more than a billion views in this year alone.”

There’s something about the anticipation of seeing a product get unwrapped like a Christmas present that makes these videos so popular, with YouTube data showing that “34 percent of the views for unboxing videos related to food, electronics, toys, and beauty/fashion happen in the October to December time frame—that’s 1.5 times higher than the average volume of unboxing video views in other quarters.”

As a marketer, you can take the power of the anticipation built through unboxing videos and use it to share practical product information. With a Google Consumer Survey finding that 62 percent of people who view unboxing videos do so when researching a particular product, this genre of video is great for helping you get information out about your product in a popular format, to those who are actively searching for this type of content.

Unboxing videos are also a great way to encourage user-generated content. As our post on user-generated content explains, “Having many YouTube videos featuring your brand name in the description or the title helps increase your organization’s visibility in searches; being long-term Google property, YouTube videos are favored by the search engine in search results.” If this is a possibility for your company, send relevant YouTube users samples of your products in exchange for an unboxing video. Then, repost these videos to your own YouTube channel and other social media networks to provide exposure to these ambassadors.

There is no rhyme or reason for many of the most popular YouTube phenomena, but many learnings that can be applied to your own brand’s video efforts.

You might also like: Using Hootsuite to manage your social video content.

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The post 5 Things You Didn’t Know Were Popular on YouTube appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/5-lessons-things-didnt-know-popular-youtube/

How One Hospital is Improving Patient Care with Social Media

When it comes to customer care, Texas Children’s Hospital doesn’t stop at the nurses’ midnight rounds. We heard about the excellent social customer service they were providing and wanted the full story.

Cara Lovan, the senior social media specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital, spoke with us about how they’re making deeper personal connections and improving customer experiences with social media.

“I think a lot of organizations are beginning to rethink the traditional customer experience,” says Lovan. “As we notice more interactions on social media, we (as an organization) have to grow with them and adapt our strategies. Social media has fundamentally changed the way in which we work with customers. The insights we take from Hootsuite have the power to influence a new wave of thinking for us.”

Customer care and Texas Children’s Hospital: A social story

Texas Children’s Hospital, located in Houston, is one of the top children’s hospitals in the U.S. The hospital system has two community hospitals, a women’s hospital, over 50 pediatric practices, and five urgent care locations.

When it comes to social media, leadership’s top concern is brand and reputation management. They want to avoid a social media PR crisis and aim to resolve customer service issues as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

“We always want to present ourselves as the leading experts in children’s health and information,” says Lovan.

How One Hospital is Improving Patient Care with Social Media | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Texas Children’s Hospital.

Lovan uses social customer service to meet leadership’s objectives while working to improve the patient experience.

“We’re in an age where people are turning to social media,” says Lovan. “We want to be where our patients are and meet their expectations. When it comes to social, it’s important for us to respond to everything, both the positive and negative. We want people to know that we’re on social, listening, and ready to have an open dialogue.”

A social media management team of one

Lovan is the only person dedicated to managing social media at Texas Children’s. She manages 13 channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is responsible for driving campaigns, answering questions, resolving issues, and listening to and engaging with customers. To put it lightly, she’s busy.

Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is celebrating 4 years of miracles today. #pavilionforwomen

A photo posted by Texas Children’s Hospital (@texaschildrens) on Mar 26, 2016 at 7:07am PDT

Before Hootsuite, it would typically take her three hours every morning to manage her social channels and answer comments, complaints, and general questions.

“I never got to everything before needing to move on to other tasks for the day,” she says. “With Hootsuite, it takes me half the time to do so much more. With that extra hour and a half, I have time to strengthen relationships and engage our audience with a depth that I couldn’t before.”

Handling sensitive customer experiences with humility

Using data pulled from Hootsuite Analytics, Lovan can understand the feedback coming from patients. The majority of comments are positive, but she still needs to work with compliance and family advocacy teams to properly address feedback and understand the root of the problem.

For example, if someone sends a message about how their child is currently in surgery, “we need to pay attention to those comments and their sentiment, and respond with the utmost thoughtfulness,” she says. “This parent is probably having the worst day of his or her life. We have to be efficient in our responses, but also sensitive and human.”

Using Hootsuite keyword search streams, she sees time-sensitive messages right away. She engages with the patient and points them to a service phone number that keeps sensitive information offline and allows them to remain HIPAA compliant. She then alerts the person who manages the line of the incoming patient inquiry.
She can also ask patients to provide their phone number so that a practice manager who deals with specific cases can assist. Because Lovan works with more than 50 practice managers, she has to work quickly, collaboratively, effectively, and with a keen sense of the problem and solution—all with a bit of humility.

Great customer service can lead to lifelong advocates

“Today I had a positive comment come in that I responded to right away,” Lovan shares. “We started a conversation and now the patient’s family is writing a blog for us. We’re taking social to a deeper level of engagement, which is an exciting opportunity that I didn’t always have the time and resources to do before Hootsuite. By having this extra time, we are strengthening relationships, but most importantly, providing a better patient experience.”

Lovan uses Hootsuite to quickly see everything social media-related, all together. This allows her to strike up conversations about positive or negative experiences and dig deeper into stories.

“Our patients often become our biggest advocates and bloggers,” she tells us. “They’ll say something like, ‘Texas Children’s saved my daughter’s life,’ and we’ll reach out to hear more. This is happening more now that we can see what people are saying. Now repeat people come back with more questions because they know we answer their inquiries.”

Creating social campaigns to celebrate advocates

Most of what Texas Children’s shares focuses on babies and children, but for their Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women campaign, they wanted to show some love to the moms. The #ShareYourMoment campaign encourages moms to share an image, story, or experience of the first moment with their newborn babies. This campaign speaks specifically to the hospital’s Pavilion for Women Facebook Page, but is great visual user-generated content for Instagram. “We wanted to focus on the people who are following us and show moms that we’re listening,” Lovan explains.

Lovan monitors the #ShareYourMoment hashtag in a Hootsuite search stream to find new submissions on Facebook and Instagram. Using the Instagram integration in Hootsuite, she can schedule future content and receive reminders before publishing.

“In August of 2014 I traveled to Houston from my hometown of Kailua, Hawaii while pregnant with my twins. I relocated due to my husband’s military service and due to his service I was alone. I immediately sought care in the maternal fetal medicine clinic with Dr. Karla Wagner. She saw me through the last half of my pregnancy and encouraged a comfortable and safe birth. At 35 weeks my water broke much to my surprise as this was not my first child. My twins were born on December 20, 2014 at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and spent six days in the NICU so they could get strong enough to come home. All of the staff encouraged our bonding. While recovering from my C-section my husband was able to do skin to skin with the twins. I was immediately provided with a breast pump I had requested while the twins were being stabilized in the NICU. Our birthing experience at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is what encouraged me as a mother and also an RN to seek employment with Texas Children’s. In May of 2015 I started my new position in the emergency center!” – Alicia ‪ Want to #ShareYourMoment? Email pfwmarketing@texaschildrens.org with 2-3 photos and a brief description. All submissions reviewed. Not all guaranteed. Pavilion for Women patients only.

A photo posted by Texas Children’s Hospital (@texaschildrens) on Mar 25, 2016 at 11:59am PDT

“I love scheduling on Instagram,” she tells us. “I’m usually on-the-go and busy, and unless it’s right in front of me, I’ll forget to post. This way, my phone notifies me, I press send, and can continue on with my day.”

“My precious daughter was born three years ago on a Friday morning at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. It’s hard to find the words to describe the joy I felt when Annie first entered the world. Even in the midst of all the discomforts of labor, I wanted that moment to last forever. I had felt her and loved her for months, but now I could touch, see, smell and hear her and she was so much more than I could have ever dreamed! Annie made mewling sounds like a kitten. She fit so snuggly in my arms and just seemed content to cuddle. Her skin was so soft that I just kept rubbing it; my favorite picture from that day is of her right up under my chin and us rubbing cheeks. That’s the moment I will treasure forever.” – Ellie Want to #ShareYourMoment? Email pfwmarketing@texaschildrens.org with 2-3 photos and a brief description. All submissions reviewed. Not all guaranteed. Pavilion for Women patients only.

A photo posted by Texas Children’s Hospital (@texaschildrens) on Mar 18, 2016 at 11:28am PDT

“Since Hootsuite, we’re more engaged, getting better stories out there, and generally more aware of what our followers want to hear from us,” Lovan shares. “We used to respond within 12 to 24 hours of an inquiry. Today, if I can’t respond right away, it’s typically within two hours across any of our profiles. I can finally see what’s going on, everywhere.”

Learn more about how other customers #WinWithSocial using Hootsuite.


The post How One Hospital is Improving Patient Care with Social Media appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-one-hospital-is-improving-patient-care-with-social-media/

Social Media Crisis Management: How to Prepare and Execute a Plan

If there’s one thing that spreads faster on social media than word of a new Beyoncé album, it’s public outrage. In fact, as reported in the New York Times, “anger is the emotion that spreads the most easily over social media.” This means a small local issue has the potential to spiral into a full-blown international crisis quickly—something no brand can afford.

With the right preparation and strategy, social media can be an essential tool for identifying potential crises as they emerge, and managing them effectively in order to minimize the damage to your brand and business. Here’s how.

How to prepare for a crisis on social media

The only reason the saying “hope for the best but prepare for the worst” has become somewhat of a cliché is because it’s really good advice. After all, the worst time to be deciding how to handle a crisis on social media is in the middle of said crisis. Here are two key ways to prepare ahead of time.

Create a social media crisis management plan

Having a company-wide plan in place will empower you to act quickly and effectively when a crisis begins. Instead of wasting time debating how to handle things on social media, you’ll be empowered to take action and prevent the crisis from growing out of control.

Outline the exact steps everyone should take on social media during a crisis—from top executives to the most junior employees. Include a list of who should be contacted at each stage of a potential crisis, and provide guidelines for how all employees are expected to communicate on social media.

Your social media crisis management plan should include:

⏭ Guidelines for identifying the type and magnitude of a crisis.

⏭ Roles and responsibilities for every department.

⏭ A communication plan for internal updates.

⏭ Up-to-date contact information for critical employees.

⏭ Approval processes for messaging posted on social media.

⏭ Any pre-approved external messaging, images, or information.

⏭ A copy of the company-wide social media policy.

Run social media crisis simulations

The middle of a real crisis is the worst time to realize your plans don’t hold up. Identify a type of crisis that would have a big impact on your business and practice running through every step outlined in your plan. It will give everyone a better sense of how long it really takes to execute the plan, and help to identify any gaps or weak spots that require more attention.

Along with creating a social media crisis management plan and running drills, you should also ensure you have existing protection in place against these common social media security risks. You can also download The Five-Step Guide for Better Social Media Security for more in-depth information about safeguarding your social efforts.

How to identify a potential crisis on social media

Listen carefully

As a social media marketer or community manager with at least one eye on the internet at all times, you’ll often be the first person in your organization to notice a potential threat starting to emerge on social media.

Setting up streams in Hootsuite to monitor specific keywords or hashtags can help you stay proactive in identifying these potential crises. Here are eight things you should be monitoring to protect your brand on social:

  1. Your company name
  2. Your products and/or brands
  3. The competition
  4. Customer service inquiries
  5. Influencers
  6. The CEO
  7. Your media spokesperson or PR representatives
  8. Keywords related to your industry

Set crisis thresholds

As you identify potential issues in these conversations, you’ll need to decide whether they should simply be observed, managed with one-on-one responses, or escalated to full-blown crisis status. One way to do this is by setting thresholds for the volume and sentiment of social media mentions, and outlining the action that should be taken at each one. These thresholds should be based on the normal amount of social media activity your brand generates and the increase in volume and frequency that would indicate a crisis.

For example, let’s say you’re the social media manager for a sports apparel company that just released a big budget ad campaign. You have a search stream set up in Hootsuite tracking the campaign hashtag, and start to notice some negative Tweets about one of the television ads. You look to your thresholds to determine next steps:

  • Less than five negative mentions per hour: Continue monitoring closely. Compile a report for senior management to review at the end of the day.
  • More than five negative mentions per hour: Begin assigning messages to the public relations manager in Hootsuite.
  • More than 10 negative mentions per hour, for more than three consecutive hours: Contact the CMO on her cell phone, and begin officially rolling out the social media crisis management plan.

How to handle a crisis on social media

Act fast

Social media provides a portal for frustration and anger to escalate into mass outrage at a speed that companies must be prepared to match—but many aren’t.

In a webinar we hosted on how to manage social media in a PR crisis, Duncan Gallagher, who heads up crisis practice for the EMEA region at Edelman, noted that that 28 percent of crises spread internationally within one hour and yet, it takes an average of 21 hours before companies are able to issue meaningful external communications to defend themselves.

Not using the real-time nature of social media to your advantage is where many companies stumble in a crisis. Social media offers a public forum to immediately acknowledge the situation while you work on fine tuning more in-depth communication materials, such as getting a prepared statement released, media interviews coordinated, or information up on your website. A simple message from a company acknowledging the issue and letting people know that more information is coming soon can help contain the negative sentiment around an issue and prevent it from spiraling out of control.

Let people have their say—but don’t argue with them

You’re discussing an issue with your significant other and every time you open your mouth to voice your opinion, they ignore what you say and talk over you. You probably recognize this as the classic recipe for making a small disagreement escalate into an unnecessary all-night argument.

The same thing goes for crisis management on social media. No one wants to feel like they’re being ignored, especially when they’re frustrated. Responding only to positive comments (or worse—deleting the negative ones) is evasive, and will only add fuel to the fire.

When you do decide to respond to people directly, keep it short and avoid going back-and-forth. After your initial response offer a phone number, email address, or other means of communicating outside of social media. Even though this may not make everyone happy (some people just love to yell on the internet), you’ll at least demonstrate the company’s transparency and willingness to speak in a public forum. And as social marketing expert Jay Baer put it, “crisis management is a spectator sport.” You make a good impression on the people who matter.

Communicate internally

As important as it is to quickly send out external messaging about the crisis, communicating internally with employees is also crucial to prevent misinformation and the spread of rumors.

Make sure everyone in the organization knows exactly what they should (or should not) be saying about the crisis on social media. If you have messaging about the crisis that you want to get out as far as possible on social media, Hootsuite Amplify offers an easy way to distribute pre-approved company messaging to all employees that they can then share across their social networks.

After the storm—next steps

Once the crisis is over (but while the experience is still fresh), hold a debriefing session with everyone involved. Cover what worked, what didn’t work, and update your crisis management plan accordingly.

Here are some more Hootsuite resources about crisis management and safeguarding your social media efforts:

With Hootsuite, you can monitor what’s being said about your company on social media, giving you the opportunity to react as quickly as possible in the event of crisis—and maybe even diffuse the situation entirely. Try it free today!

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The post Social Media Crisis Management: How to Prepare and Execute a Plan appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-crisis-management/