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25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Facebook Ads

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Facebooks Ads

Facebook ads is a way to “buy fans/likes” in a very targeted way. You can advertise on the Facebook sidebar, or you can promote one of your updates so more people see it. Either way, Facebook ads are a great way to build your brand if you have a little money in the budget. I wrote about my Facebook ad buying experiences here.

At NMX 2013, Amy Porterfield presented the session “How to Get Started with Facebook Ads: 3 Easy Ad Strategies to Attract Quality Traffic, Grow Your Leads & Increase Profits.” Today, I wanted to dig even deeper into this topic to see what others are saying about buying Facebook ads. If you’re interested in purchasing ads for your content or business, take a gander at their advice first.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week

jennifer beese Every Type of Facebook Advertising and How to Use Them by Jennifer Beese

If you’re a newbie in the world of Facebook advertising, this post from Jennifer at Sprout Insights is the place to start. In the post, she goes over the six main types of ads you can consider buying on Facebook and whether or not each option is the best one for your needs. When you’re new to Facebook ads, the terminology can mix you up a bit, but Jennifer included pictures of each type of ad so you know exactly what she’s talking about.

Check out the full post, and be sure to check out her personal blog and follow Jennifer on Twitter at @bottlethecrazy.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 3 Tips to Make Your Facebook Ads Stand Out From the Herd by Noran El-Shinnawy (@noranshinnawy)
  2. 5 Facebook Ad Tips to Maximize Your Facebook Campaigns by Andrea Vahl (@andreavahl)
  3. 5 Tips for Facebook Advertising by Gillian Singletary
  4. 6 Tips You Never Know about Facebook Ads by Sam Scholfield (@StuffedWeb)
  5. 7 Tips for Better Facebook Ad Performance [Report] by Miranda Miller (@MirandaM_EComm)
  6. 7 Tips to Create Facebook Ads That Convert by Amy Porterfield (@amyporterfield)
  7. 8 Tips for Effective Facebook Advertising by Jennifer Fong (@jenfongspeaks)
  8. 9 Tips for Choosing An Effective Facebook Ad Image by Chelsea (@shortstacklab)
  9. 10 Facebook Advertising Tips For Brilliant Marketers by Nick O’Neill
  10. 10 Quick Steps to Creating a Facebook Ad Campaign by Jonathan Blum and Alex Dalenberg
  11. 11 Tips for a Better Facebook Ad Campaign by Shaad Hamid (@shaadhamid)
  12. 15 Tips For A Successful Facebook Ads Program by Adam Riff (@MediaWhizInc)
  13. A Deep Dive into Facebooks Advertising by Fred Perrotta (@FredPerrotta)
  14. Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking: How to Create an Offsite Pixel by Jon Loomer (@jonloomer)
  15. Facebook Ads: How to Get 1 Cent CPC (and why you might not want to) by Moment Garden
  16. Facebook Ads, You’re Holding It Wrong by Jason Keath (@JasonKeath)
  17. Facebook Advertising for Dummies Cheat Sheet by Paul Dunay, Richard Krueger, and Joel Elad
  18. How I Optimize Facebook Ad Campaigns In 15 Minutes Per Day by Dennis Yu (@dennisyu)
  19. How To Cheat Your Way To Eyecatching Facebook Ads by Stephen Croome (@firstconversion)
  20. How to Use Facebook Ads: An Introduction by Ben Pickering (@bpicks)
  21. Six Things Nonprofits Should Know About Facebook Ads by Taryn Degnan (@tarynidana)
  22. Three Expert Tips for Better Facebook Advertising by Rich Brooks (@therichbrooks)
  23. Want to create better Facebook ads? Start here by Brad McCarty (@bradmccarty)
  24. Why Facebook Ads are Undervalued & How Advertisers Can Take Advantage by Will Lin (@PPCAssociates)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Facebook ads? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Keyword Research

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Does Your Business Facebook Page Really Matter?

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facebook page Online marketers often put a lot of emphasis on Facebook pages for small businesses. More and more often, I see restaurants, bars, retailers, and other businesses posting signs alerting customers of their Facebook page. And some of these Facebook pages are really good; they’re filled with interesting updates, announcements, pictures, coupons, and more.

So what?

You can’t take your Facebook likes to the bank. So, I have to wonder: Do business Facebook pages really matter? Or are they just taking up time that could be spent on actually building your business?

Like Conversion

I see people boasting about how much engagement they get on their Facebook pages. Engagement is great, because it means that your customers are interested in what you’re saying and they enjoy your brand. But if those likes are directly correlating to sales, does it really matter?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How many people found out about my product/service because Facebook?
  • How many of my fans are actually buying from me?
  • How many of my fans are repeat customers?

More importantly, you should ask yourself: How many of my customers are ONLY customers because of your actions on Facebook? If people would have purchased from you anyway, Facebook doesn’t really matter, even if they are engaged with what you’re posting.

Determining this is the tricky part, since often Facebook fans are people who were already customers or thinking about becoming customers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Poll your customers. One restaurant in my community, Dishes of India, includes a short survey card with every single bill so they can learn about their customers and find out how much you enjoyed your meal (they also ask you to give your email address for their mailing list, which is really smart). You could easily ask “How did you hear about us” on this kind of survey card.
  • Do a promotion with a coupon that you distribute across all your channels (email, print flyers, social media) including Facebook. Later, do a similar promotion where you don’t offer the coupon Facebook, but still distribute across your other channels. Of course, there are other variables here as well, but this can at least give you an idea of how much Facebook helps you make sales.
  • If you’re a local business (i.e. people buy in person, not online), measure your local fans. Are people liking you because they like your products or service? Or are they liking you because you post funny pictures and interesting quotes? If you’re a restaurant owner in Idaho, it doesn’t do you a lot of good if half of your fan base live outside of the United States.

Brand Advocacy

Understanding the benefits of Facebook for your business is tricky, because sometimes it isn’t just about sales. It’s also about letting your fans work for you as a “street team” of sorts.

Street teams began as a way for record labels to promote music in a really inexpensive way. Often in return for little more than a t-shirt and tickets to the next show, street teams distribute flyers and serve as brand advocates for the band in question, doing all they can to promote their music. They do this not for the money, but because they love the music.

On Facebook, that fan who never makes a single purchase can still be extremely valuable if they introduce your brand to 50 people who do make purchases. Or, depending on what you’re selling, even if they introduce your brand to one person, a single purchase could mean a lot of money in your pocket.

The benefits of brand advocacy are really hard to measure. Again, polling can help you determine how people found out about you, but it isn’t an exact science.

Updates that Matter

If you’re going to be on Facebook, the key is to post updates that really matter. That way, you know that likes and shares from your audience are really benefiting your brand. What kind of updates matter?

  • Announcements about Your Company
  • Event information
  • Success stories
  • Pictures Showcasing Your Products and Services
  • Testimonials
  • Blog Posts
  • Fan Photos
  • Coupons and Sales Information

Essentially, the type of updates that matter are about your company. Funny pictures, cartoons, quotes, etc. don’t matter as much because they don’t really relate to your business.

That doesn’t mean that you should never share that hilarious meme photo you came across. It just means that you shouldn’t measure your success by how many people share or like this image. When people share a coupon or a picture from your latest event, it matters a lot more.

So Does Your Business Really Need Facebook?

Yes. Probably.

It really depends on your business. Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense. But if your target audience uses Facebook, you should at least give it a try. Measure your results and remember that raw like and share numbers don’t matter as much as conversion matters.

At the very least, be there so you can listen. If someone talks about your business online, you want to be there to answer them, whether that means responding to a complaint or thanking them for praises. Sometimes, social media is less about finding new customers and more about taking care of the ones you already have.

Do you think Facebook really matters for small businesses? Should all businesses be active there? Leave a comment below!

5 Creative Solutions for Twitter Embeds on WordPress

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When WordPress came out with the ability to embed Tweets on posts and pages, a few of us thought, “cool.” It’s so easy. Just click on “Expand”, then on “Details,” which will open up the single tweet. Then just copy and paste the URL. And there you are: a sweet, instantly embedded tweet, like this:

 

But after the excitement wore down, we struggled to find a really good use of it, and it seemed that the feature would become just another WordPress function.

With that said, let’s wrap our brains around 5 ways to get creative with embedded tweets.

1. The Rambling Testimonial Problem

Sometimes your clients’ testimonials can seem too formal, too long or lacking in authenticity while the real ones —short, to the point and fun— are ‘hidden in unexpected places.

The Solution: Mix it up by embedding a few real-time tweets on your site’s pages along with your others. If someone brags about your services, workshops or products in a tweet, be ready to capture it before it whooshes by.

2. The Boring Review Problem

Sometimes reviews of products or services feel canned to your readers, lacking in freshness, spontaneity and personality. They are just plain boring.

The Solution: I see fantastic, personal, in-the-moment tweets about restaurants, hotels and other products and services come through my stream all the time. If you see a tweet about you or your business, take it for what it is and consider using it because it’ll make a powerful statement.

3. The Dull Fact Problem

Sometimes facts you want to present in a blog post or web page are intriguing and other times they are dull.

The Solution: If someone shares a fact on Twitter,  someone with a name and a face, well, that makes it more interesting. Of course, you should verify that it is indeed true, but think about livening up your article or post with it.

4. The Self-Important About Page Problem

Let’s face it. An about page can easily become the ramblings of an egomaniac. Whether you write in the first person or third person, you are talking about yourself and attempting to show the world that you can solve their problems. It can make you feel icky, writing so much about yourself.

The Solution: Sometimes someone shares something unique about you on Twitter and in fewer than 140 characters, the have captured the essence of you. It’s great because it provides social proof. It isn’t just you saying things about yourself. A few tweets from other people on your about page offer that unique, outside perspective.

5. The I’m-Talking-to-Myself Problem

 Your blog can feel like one huge echo chamber  if it’s always just you.

The Solution: Bringing in new voices to supplement your post or story is a great way to create a conversational setting. By scattering tweets here and there from people who have something to say about your topic in real time can add an in-the-moment feel. Another benefit of embedding your tweets is that if a reader finds the per on interesting, they can click and follow them on Twitter, right from your blog.

What other ways can you see embedded tweets being used to make your content more powerful?

Measuring the Performance of Your Facebook Page

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You have invested the time, effort and money into making a Facebook page for your business. Is your business reaping the rewards from this?  I love Facebook and write about Facebook Ads and engagement all the time.  It is easy to tell with one look if you have a lot of activity on your business’s Facebook page, but is that activity actually doing anything good for your company or is it actually harming business?

Today we will show you how to analyze your Facebook page’s performance and find the answers to these questions, so you can find out what is working and what isn’t.

Social Media Engagement

Measuring the social media engagement on your Facebook page is a good starting point to determine your page’s performance. However, it can only tell you so much. Measuring the number of fans, page views, comments, tab views and etc. that your page has by using tools such as Facebook Insights will tell you how many people are looking at your business, but it does not tell you how many people are actually purchasing your services or products.

That being said, it is still a good source of information to see if your social media efforts are being seen. You probably will notice peaks of activity in these stats. Some peaks will be due to holiday seasons, but some peaks may be due to promotions you have been running. By looking at these peaks, you can tell which social media efforts have been most effective.

Social Influence

Having activity on your Facebook page is one thing, but is it all good PR? It’s important to measure the type of activity you are getting. The saying “there is no such thing as bad press” does not apply to your Facebook page. Negative comments on your page or about your business elsewhere on the web can have a detrimental impact on your business.

On the other hand, positive comments can increase your customer base. Use tools such as Klout, PeerIndex, and Kred to measure your social influence. The statistics these sites can give you will enable you to determine if you need to make adjustments to your Facebook page and/or business practices.

Performance

Now that you know how much activity your Facebook page has and whether it is positive or negative, you need to determine how that data is actually affecting your bottom line. A good social media presence is great, but if it does not actually translate into increased revenue for your business, then your social media impact is little more than an ego boost. Measure the performance of specific links to see if your social media posts are resulting in sales.

Google Analytics can be a great tool to do this with. It can tell you how many hits on your website are actually coming from your Facebook page, and which links they are coming from. Using this data, you can determine which Facebook posts have been most effective.

Free Tools

It may be true that you have to spend money to make money, but not when it comes to measuring the performance of your Facebook page. There are professional services that can help you, but there is still a lot that you can do by yourself. To do this, take advantage of one or more of the free tools out there, which we have listed below:

  • Hootsuite measures and monitors your social media engagement
  • Bit.ly measures the click-throughs on your links
  • Social Mention tracks mention of your business and its competitors on the web
  • Serps Rank checker – This is only a 30 day free trial but will help you to get everything you need!

So now you know the performance of your Facebook page and what efforts have been fruitful. Hopefully, you are getting the results you want. If not, it is never too late to make changes.

NMX Joins Food Network and Mashable for a Pinterest Hangout [Video]

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I’ve been running the NMX Pinterest account for about a year now, and have had a deep passion for this social network since the day I started using it. I even wrote a 100-page ebook about Pinterest, teaching you how to get started using this platform to market your content.

So, when I was invited by our friends at The Shorty Awards to take part in a Google+ Hangout all about Pinterest, I was more than excited to talk about the topic. I joined members of the social media team from Mashable and Food Network to chat about how we use this network: our mistakes, our successes, and our advice on how others can use Pinterest better.

Check out the archive of this Hangout if you missed it:

Pinterest is a topic we will continue to cover here at NMX as it keeps growing. In addition to our ebook, you can find latest blog posts about Pinterest here, and NMX University Premium members have access to Debba Haupert’s 2013 NMX session all about Pinterest, which you don’t want to miss if you’re interested in learning how to be more repinnable.

Building Your Business with Twitter: Dino Dogan Interviews UFC’s Dana White

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At NMX 2013, Dino Dogan from Triberr sat down to talk with UFC President Dana White about Twitter, the possibility of the UFC going public, and more. Dino is a true fight fan with a passion for new media, so he was the perfect person to interview Dana! Check out the video here:

Thanks, Dino, for a great interview with Dana! Dana also sat down with NMX’s Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin to talk more about how the UFC is using social media, so if you missed that interview, you can see it now here.

Dino was one of our NMX 2013 speakers, and his session was packed. You know things are good when it’s still standing room only at the end of the presentation! For this week only, Dino’s session is 100% free on NMX University, the home of our 2013 virtual ticket. Don’t miss out; check out Dino speak about Insane Loyalty today!

Building Your Business with Twitter Transcript

Dino Dogan (0:08):  Hello everybody, my name is Dino, founder of Triberr, and I’m sitting here with Dana White.  We’re broadcasting this from Vegas for BlogRoll.com.  And, it’s an absolute pleasure for me to sit here with the president and the face of the UFC.  And the way UFC has been using social media is absolutely bleeding edge and very fascinating.  And we’re going to talk to Dana to get some insights into how he uses social media.

(0:41)So, Dana, thank you for being here.  Excellent keynote earlier.  I want you to make a business case for Twitter.  How do you use Twitter to actually lead your business?

Dana White (0:55):  The way that I personally use Twitter is I speak directly to the fans.  I talk to the fans one on one.  You know, I’m not speaking for the company, as the company, it’s me.  You’re talking to me personally.  And that’s the way that I like to do it, but what Twitter does for me, as far as the night of a fight, right, which is different from anything we’ve ever done in the history of the company is, you always have problems.  Things are always going to go wrong.  You know, I’ve had situations where people’s seats were blocked by a camera or pay-per-view goes down in Indiana, a laundry list of things that I wouldn’t have known until Monday.  But because of Twitter, I can handle it that night, get everything taken care of, make sure that everybody has a good experience.  That’s my job that night, is to make sure that everybody that bought a ticket or stayed home to buy the pay-per-view or watch it on free TV is having the best experience they can possibly have.  So, I love that.  That’s one of the million aspects I love about Twitter and social media.

Dino (1:58):  Yeah.  And you can respond to situations, to the crisis in real time.

Dana (2:01):   Yep.

Dino (2:02): Yeah, that’s amazing.  You’re out there.  You’re doing it yourself.  You almost take pride in saying that you’re bypassing the PR department; the filter that’s created between you the person and the audience.  And there’s certain inherent danger in that.  And, clearly, you embrace the danger.  And the benefit of it outweighs the danger.  But, you’re out there, you have 400 fighters doing what you do, representing the brand.  And just tell us a little bit about the crises that you’ve encountered.  How many of them have you encountered?  How exaggerated is the danger of getting out there?

Dana (2:46):  Yeah, it’s very exaggerated.  I mean, yes, we’ve had a couple…I have 400 plus guys tweeting every day.  I tweet every day.  You know, you’re going to have some problems here and there.  The biggest problem that we’ve ever had is guys trying to be funny.  Telling jokes and, basically, I tell these guys, use common sense when tweeting.  You’re not a comedian.  Leave the jokes to your friends, in your inner circle.  Don’t tweet jokes.  But, really, we’ve really had no problems.  There’s going to be some stupid stuff here and there but, at the end of the day, people need to relax.

Dino (3:22): Right.  It’s a tweet.

Dana (3:23): It’s a tweet.  It’s a tweet, relax.

Dino (3:27): Get over it.  That’s terrific.  A lot of people want to know.  UFC is a giant franchise.  You guys are just going gangbusters.  You’re on this incredible upslide.  Are you going to go IPO?

 

Dana (3:43): I never say “never”, but I’d have to say never.  I don’t think we…I don’t think so.  I don’t think we’d do it.  I haven’t seen too many great experiences with going public.  And I just don’t think this is one of those businesses that we could really run the way that we wanted to if we’re not…The thing that I’ve always said since day one, too, about going public is, nobody believed in this thing.  When we first bought it, started to build it, nobody believed in it.

Dino (4:13):  I just want to say that I did.

Dana (4:14):  Well, I’m talking about the business world, right?  Now, all of a sudden, I’m going to take advice from these guys, you know, on Wall Street who never believed in it in the first place?

Dino (4:23):  Right

Dana (4:24): I don’t see it.  Not while I’m here, anyway.

Dino (4:25):  Gotcha. Terrific.  Anderson Silva/Georges St. Pierre fight.  I know you’re working on it.  This year?  Could it happen this year?

Dana (4:34):  Yeah, it could.  You know, obviously, everybody knows that GSP wants to fight Diaz right now.  That fight’s going to happen.  And after that fight, should Georges St. Pierre beat Diaz…yeah.  I want to make the fight.  I mean, everybody thought it was going to happen after Georges’ fight with Condit.  The kid had, you know, almost two years off with a knee injury, rehabilitating.  And he wants another fight first, so, we’ll see what happens.

Dino (4:58): Fair enough.  You have your employees actively engaged in social media.  And, I know this is not a fair stereotype, but if a general population was to imagine the worst type of person to represent your brand, that would be a fighter.  Because they’re perceived as brutes, which they’re not.

Dana (5:23):  Right.

Dino (5:23):  I know this.  But, there’s…you have a lot of your employees actively engaged, getting out there, representing your brand and there’s a certain amount of training that they have to go through in order to…just to know what tools to use, how to use them and how to represent themselves.  Like you said, don’t try to be funny, you’re not a comedian, right.  So, tell us a little bit about the training that these guys go through for social media.

Dana (5:50):  Yeah.  It’s not as hard as you would think.  Not only do I have, you know, 400 plus fighters.  But when you say my employees, my actual employees inside the company are all on Twitter too.  And, you know, obviously you’ve got to educate them on how to use Twitter, how to do this, how to do that as far as using social media goes.  And then is all about using common sense.  And I’m very lucky in that I’m not dealing with stupid people here.  Yes, we have 400 plus fighters.  Most of these guys are college educated.  You know, very smart guys.  Guys who, not only are the representing the UFC and the sport, but they represent themselves and their own brands and their own business.  For instance, like Anderson Silva.  Anderson Silva has 3 million followers on Twitter.    When he’s done fighting and he moves on to the next chapter of his life, those 3 million fans are going to go with him into the next chapter.  So, he’s not just representing us and the sport, he’s representing himself, you know, and his family and whatever he decides to do when fighting is over.

Dino (6:51): Right, yeah.  I have a theory about Anderson Silva.  Is he really a robot?

Dana (6:56):  I think he might be.  I’ve wondered that myself too.  He’s an amazing, incredible athlete.

Dino (7:03):  Mind blowing.

Dana (7:04):  Yeah, he really is.  Doesn’t get the credit he deserves, in my opinion.

Dino (7:07):  Yeah, he is just incredible.  Dana, this was a dream come true.  Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

Dana (7:15):  My pleasure.

Dino (7:16):  And it’s great to see you here in Vegas at BlogWorld.

Dana (7:18):  Thanks, brother.

Dino (7:19):  NMX!  Thank you, guys.

Breaking Through the Noise: Focusing on Relationships

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Twitter users publish more than half a billion tweets per day and Facebook is now integrated with more than 9 million apps and websites. With all of this online volume, it may seem like competing for your consumer’s attention is foolish. However, how much of that volume is from brands and people simply pushing out information without listening? Even though we are communicating with our consumers via a platform that takes away face-to-face communication, we need to be able to engage with them in a meaningful way.

That is exactly what Ford did with the second phase of its Random Acts of Fusion Campaign (or #backatyou).

Simple is better.

Through consumer feedback and program performance, we learned that our first phase of the Random Acts of Fusion program was too complex. With Ryan Seacrest, Joel McHale and Kate Micucci, we set out to surprise and delight fans with opportunities big and small. It included charitable aspects, vehicle giveaways and more, and we created a documentary around it.

However, most people did not discover this program until its completion. There was just too much noise online for us to make a different. In order to cut through all the noise online our message had to be concise and clear. We had to focus on relationships in addition to paid media and content.

People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Ford’s #backatyou campaign is taking consumer interaction to the next level. Instead of only rewarding select influencers, we are listening when people talk about Fusion and Ford Motor Company and engaging with our consumers directly instead of via a powerful gang of influencers and celebrities. When someone tweets a compliment, we tweet them back, offering a reward for their nice words.

What kind of reward? We’ve setup a multitude:  gift cards, lunch dates with Ford engineers via online hangouts, date nights in a Ford Fusion, and we even hired Reggie Watts to remix certain comments about the Fusion.

We are using #backatyou to celebrate our fans and take the time to say “thank you” to the people who are taking the time to pay attention to us. Ford believes that because they’re taking the time to speak on our behalf they deserve to be rewarded. They are helping us break through the noise, and we are ever so grateful.

Disclosure: This post is from NMX sponsor Ford.

Which Brand Won the “Social Bowl”? [Infographic]

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Regardless of whether you were happy or sad (or indifferent) about the outcome of the Super Bowl this weekend, one thing is certain: like every year, several brands battled it out in the commercials.

Pre-game, SHIFT took a look at some of the biggest brands out there to see who would win the “Social Bowl” this year. Check out the game:

Do you agree with this assessment? Is Coca-Cola really the “winner” when it comes to social media? Let us know with a comment below!

(Thanks to SHIFT for providing this infographic.)

Occupy Conan: A New Level of Community Interaction for Television or a Lame Stunt?

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When we talk about video and new media, we’re usually talking about web series. But I think we would be wrong to ignore the ways traditional television shows and networks are also finding new and interesting ways to connect with their online audiences.

So, last night when I was channel surfing and happened upon the very beginning of Conan, I knew I had to blog about their “Occupy Conan” show today.

For “Occupy Conan,” the producers posted an entire episode of the show online and asked users to submit videos of their favorite parts, being as creative as possible. They then stitched together the video submissions in small blips to recreate the entire episode. Submissions included clay-mation, live action with green screens, puppets, videos from celebrities like Tina Fey and Joel McHale, and even an homage to Stick Stickly. At some parts, they showed the real show in a split-screen action, but most of the time they simply showed the user submissions.

Through the entire episode, Conan himself was live-blogging from the duel-screen app, available for download on his website.

Here are a few of my thoughts on this show:

The Good

  • This was an amazing idea to build community by making them part of the content creation process.

As many online content creators know, video is hard. Although many fell into the so-bad-they-are-good, some of the submissions were amazing in terms of quality. When someone spends that much time creating content for you, it really solidifies their fandom. Even people who didn’t create videos get the warm fuzzy feeling because the submissions are from “us” – the Team Coco community.

  • It encouraged people to watch the entire show.

If you were one of the people who submitted a video, you definitely watched the entire show to see if clips of yours were used. However, I certainly didn’t submit a video, but I still watched the entire show. Why? Several of the clips were really goofy. I wanted to see what they’d show next!

  • Pattern interrupts are good.

“Occupy Conan” was really different. I’m usually a “sometimes I catch it while flipping” Conan viewer, but this was so weird that I had to watch. Late shows are all pretty similar, so even though an entirely fan-created show was definitely a risky idea, doing something different is a breath of fresh air.

  • It was great promotion for their social sync app.

I bet a lot of new people checked out the duel screen app in order to see what Conan was live blogging. After every commercial break, he had a short clip promoting the app and talking about what they were doing.

  • If they do it again, it will likely be even better.

Now that people have seen one, I bet the next time, people will create even cooler stuff to submit. It’s a contest of sorts, since there’s only so much airtime and they can’t show everything. The bar has been set.

  • The episode is sure to get press attention.

Whenever you do something weird, you get attention from the press. I’m sure Conan will be heavily discussed over the next few days, and whether people liked the show or hated it, starting a conversation online, especially where people can debate, is definitely a major way to promote your show while spending no advertising dollars.

  • They used social media to keep the experience live.

Not only did Conan live blog the episode, but they also took the conversation to social media. The episode had its own hashtag, which was mentioned several times, giving fans a way to interact on Twitter. Creating an episode-specific or even just show-specific hashtag is something I think more shows need to be doing. Chris Hardwick announces a hashtag during each episode of The Talking Dead, for example, and it is a great way for fans to interact with one another.

The Bad

  • They didn’t receive that many submissions.

At the start of the show, they said they received “hundreds” of submissions. Now, to you or I, getting hundreds of video submissions might seem amazing, but Conan averaged 1.1 million viewers per episode in 2012, according to Nielson. That’s a huge community, so to receive only “hundreds” of submissions makes me think that that they didn’t advertise enough, didn’t give people much time, didn’t explain the directions well enough, or had some other problems. They should have gotten thousands, not hundreds.

  • This isn’t something they can do often.

It was a good idea, but it’s not something they can do every week. Once a year, if ratings were good enough, is pretty much as often as they can do something like this without it losing its appeal. So, although an interesting idea, it’s not one with a lot of mileage.

  • This was likely an expensive episode for TBS.

One of the appeals of late night talk shows is that they are relatively inexpensive to produce. Sure, you have to pay the host, but the set doesn’t change from week to week, and guests are there to promote stuff, not get paid. This show, however, undoubtedly took a long time to create because people had to sort through submissions and edit them together. Time is money, so I’m sure this wasn’t a cheap endeavor.

  • They missed an opportunity to credit fans.

As far as I know, there were no prizes for people whose clips were used. However, they missed an amazing opportunity to give a little prize of credit and encourage even more social media action. With each clip, they could have put the creator’s Twitter handle somewhere small on screen so that people could Tweet at and follow their favorites.

The Ugly

  • There were butts.

Not every submission was a winner, and I’m sad they showed that one. If you saw the episode, you know which one I mean. Talk about ugly.

My final verdict is that this was a great idea, despite having some problems. Did you see the show? What did you think of it? What would you add to my good/bad/ugly list? Was it great strategy for competing with web TV or a silly publicity stunt? What have you seen other shows doing to be more interactive? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Image Credit: John J. Kruzel/American Forces Press Service

Dana White Shares Social Media Success Secrets at NMX

Author:

I have to admit: when I heard that Dana White would be keynoting at NMX 2013, my initial thought was, “Who?”

Our co-founders, Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin, were extremely excited, both being huge UFC fans. But as someone who is not into UFC or other fighting sports, the name was not familiar to me. It is now, in a huge way.

With over 2.3 million fans on Twitter and a complete sports empire built on social media, anyone in the social space would be shooting themselves in the foot not to listen to what this guy has to say. After his keynote at NMX, Dana sat down with Rick and Dave to talk about Twitter and dish out a little general social media advice to anyone smart enough to listen. How did he grow his personal following and his business using social media? Check out what he has to say:

You can see Dana’s full keynote at NMX University, where you’ll also find access to more keynotes from our 2013 event, bonus interviews with other speakers, and more.

Social Media Success Secrets with Dana White Transcript

Rick Calvert (0:05): We are backstage in the green room, here with Dana White.  Dana I know…

Dave Cynkin (0:10: At New Media Expo!

Rick (0:11): At New Media Expo.  And I know you get this, I mean, as Dino said earlier, was talking to you.  I don’t get star struck either.  I’m freaking star stuck, man.

Dana White (0:21 🙂 Thank you.  I’m honored.

Rick (0:23):  I mean, we’re huge fight fans.  Thank you so much for coming to the show, we really appreciate it.

Dana (0:26):  Pleasure.

Rick (0:27):  You said something in the keynote that you love Twitter.  Why do you love Twitter so much?

Dana (0:33):  I love Twitter because, first of all, it give me the ability to cut out all the middle men.  Meaning the media or whoever it might be.  And I can talk directly to our fans or whoever wants to talk to me.  You know, you’d be surprised how many, you know, how many amazing things that I’ve done, you know, real time with our business through Twitter.

Rick (0:56):  By the way, is this the strangest place ever don an interview before?

Dana (0:59): No, actually it’s not.  Funny you should ask.

Rick (1:01): What is the strangest place?

Dana (1:02):  I’ve literally done one…I did this interview one time in the bathroom at the Hard Rock.  Because the guy liked the tile in there, so we did it in the bathroom.

Rick (1:11): And were people coming in and?

Dana (1:12):  Yeah, people were walking by us and, whatever.

Rick (1:16): Very good.  So, Google+, you haven’t used Google+ yourself, but I was talking to your content guy earlier, and I know you said you weren’t using Instagram.  But as an organization, you’ve got people on almost every social channel.

Dana (1:28):  Every platform.  Every platform or social media that has ever been created, we’ve been on and we’re engaged in some way.  But me, personally, Twitter is for me.  It just works a lot easier for me.  Twitter is…Twitter is what I’m into.

Rick (1:43):  Do you think it’s important to pick one platform and just kind of live there?  Or can you do two or three different things good?

Dana (1:49):  I think you can do two of three things good if you’re really into it.  I’m really into Twitter.  It’s easy for me, it’s fast, it’s simple.  You know, it’s what works for me.  And that’s the thing.  When I talk about social media, whether your thing is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever it might be.  Whatever works for you, you absolutely 100% should do it and figure out what does work for you and what works for your business or your brand or whatever it is you’re into.

Dave (2:19):  What about control?  I mean, you, I don’t want to say let things get out of control, but most companies are so shielded and so guarded about what they say.  They don’t let people from their company speak without following a specific legal policy.  And you let it fly, and it’s great because everybody…all these fans feel like they’re like you, and you’re like them.  You’re just another fan.

Dana (2:37): It’s what’s made us unique and makes us different than every other sport.  You know, I’ve been the way that I’ve been day one, since we started this company.  And it has allowed me more slack than some of these other guys have or will ever have.  But I think that it’s…The way that I run the business, the way that I interact with the fans and the way that the UFC does things.  I think it’s the future. I think you have to be this way, you have to be.  The younger generations, they live on social media.  This is where these kids live.  They live on the Internet. They live on YouTube, the Internet, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all these others.  That’s where they live.  If you don’t go meet these people and engage with them where they live…I don’t know.  It’s not good for the future of your business.

Rick (3:31): So, one of the questions I was going to ask is if you think the UFC is particularly positioned, you know, in the world that you’re in makes social media easier for you?  And, say, maybe a Fortune 100 company, maybe Ford, can’t be as transparent as you because their business is different than yours.  Or do you think they should be just as transparent as you?

Dana (3:50):  No, it’s not about being as transparent as me but, I don’t care if you’re Ford or Microsoft or whoever.  You should live where your fans are.  You have to get in there at some point and live where your fans live.  You have to be there.  Or your customers, or whatever you want to call them.  You don’t have to be like me.  I would never recommend going out and acting like me on Twitter or any other place because that might not work for you.  But it worked for me.

Rick (4:18):  And, when I hear you talk about the UFC, and you said you’ve been a fight fan since you were a kid.  We were talking about that a little bit before.  Do you feel like you have a responsibility to fight fans?  Not just UFC fans, but fight fans in general with the way you guys direct the UFC and where you’re taking it.

Dana (4:35):  I think so, yeah.  You know, at the end of the day, the way that I Iook at the business and the way that I look at my job and what I do is; I’m asking you to stay home on Saturday night and sometimes put down 45, 50 bucks, watch these fights.  And, yeah, I think that it’s my job to give you the fights that you want to see.  To give you as much access to the UFC as we possibly can.  That’s another thing that we’re really big on, is giving the fans as much access as they can possibly have.  Looking behind the curtain, getting behind the scenes.  And really making them feel like a part.  Because I remember being a kid and what a huge fight fan I was.  And, for me, and I keep talking all this stuff that shows how old I really am, it’s like, all I had was the newspaper.  Every Sunday, they would come out on the back page and it was all boxing.  It’s the only thing I read.  I wouldn’t read any other part of the newspaper except that boxing section.  And I remember how engaged I was, how…I just couldn’t consume enough information about the fights.  And I told you guys earlier, I knew everybody, man.  The guy over here that rang the bell.  I knew the guy who, you know, the cutmen.  I knew everybody.  And that’s what’s really, you know, the way that the UFC was built and designed is that fans who are really, you know, into it…everybody is interactive.  You can interact with everybody from the octagon girls to the cutmen, the referees, I mean everybody.

Dave (6:07):  You know, the fighters, the businesses, now, that came to this conference that are learning from you.  Is there anybody that you see using social media, where you watch what they do and you say, “That’s really a good idea, I didn’t think of that,” and you learn from them?  Is there anybody that you kind of…?

Dana (6:22):  You know, I follow a lot of different people on there and everybody has their own unique style of tweeting.  And, you know, putting out whatever message it might be.  I can’t stand people who keep constantly tweeting ads.  Or always pitching or selling or doing something like that.  It drives me crazy.  I block those people.  And I don’t block many people.  I like people…I follow people that are real.  I like people who talk real.  I like people who are interesting, and will tweet interesting things.  But I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anybody that was like, “Wow, this guy has really got it on lock down.  I gotta do what this guy is doing.”  And not to sound like a cocky idiot, but a lot of people follow what we do and start, you know, doing the stuff that we do on Twitter.

Rick (7:15):  It sounds like you’ve learned some things what not to do by seeing what other people do.

Dana (7:19):  Yeah, and that’s…I’ve done that my whole life.  I look at what people do that I don’t like and making sure that I don’t do that.

Rick (7:27):  You mentioned that about boxing earlier, you don’t want to be like them.

Dana (7:28):  Yeah, that was our model.  Is to do the exact opposite of what those guys have done over the last 35-40 years.

Rick (7:34):  So, you guys do this amazing job engaging with your fans in social media and giving us access to things that we wouldn’t get in other places.  How’s the culture inside the UFC?  Do you guys use, you said earlier, if anybody wants to know what’s going on with the company who works there, watch your Twitter feed.  You guys talk to each other on Twitter?  You send direct message to people in the company?

Dana (7:55): Yeah, I’ll see people in my company that pop up on my Twitter and say stuff.  You know, we do things, you know…we let the fans see a lot of personal stuff through Twitter.  At our Christmas party, we were Tweeting, you know, pictures of, you know, we had the Red Hot Chili Peppers play at our Christmas party.  And people were sending out pictures of that.  I was on stage drunk; I saw a few of those pictures out there.  There were a lot of things going on.  So we let people in.  We let them deep in.  And that’s part of the fun of being a fan of the UFC.  There’s nothing that we don’t let people see.  We let them see everything.  We let them see behind the curtain.

Dave (8:34):  You know, something that you mentioned today; you don’t like it when the athletes think they’re comedians and make mistakes.  And I’ve seen those things and…

Dana (8:42):  I’ve made mistakes too.

Dave (8:43:  I just going to ask.  You’ve done a lot of great things.  What you done anything that you thought, “Wow, that was a real mistake,” and what did you do about it online?

Dana (8:52):  Yeah, I mean, you know, to say that I’ve never tweeted anything stupid would be stupid.  I have tweeted some dumb things myself.  That’s always my philosophy.  When somebody does something wrong, the world freaks out.  Like, “Oh my God, how could this happen?”  Because we’re human beings.  And we’re all going to make mistakes, and we’re all going to do stupid stuff sometimes.  Everybody’s had that tweet that they wish they could reel back.  But, you know, once it goes, it is what it is and, there’s, you know, you have to deal with it here and there.

Rick (9:24):  Own up to is, accept it.

Dana (9:25):  Yeah, it is what it is.  It’s going to happen.  It’s going to happen.  If you consistently keep tweeting stupid stuff, then it’s a whole different level.  You know.  Then we’ve got to talk.

Rick (9:38):  Dana, thank you so much for all the time.  We’re honored to have you with us.

Dana (9:41):  Pleasure, thanks for having me.  I appreciate it.

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