Tag Archive - facebook

Engage or Get Out – Don’t waste your time with Social Media

So you have a Facebook page? Great! And a twitter account? Bravo! Even posted a couple of photos, maybe uploaded a video? Good for you. What?? You say you even have a blog? You’ve posted an article or two and have comments enabled? Wow, great job! You’re on your way. Now just stick in there for a few more months, or even years, and you’ll be headed in the right direction!

Today, as I wander around the internet, I see more and more blue and white icons showing up on winery websites as I poke about online. Little reminders that businesses are getting online and “engaging” the consumer. Yet today I want to call Bulls***!

Social media is “social”

Seriously, you do not get points for putting an icon on your website. You do not get credit for being ‘engaged’ because you have a Facebook page. Most of all, you do not get benefits from just pretending to play the game. Social media is about being a social being. I know it’s hard to believe but it is. It’s not just a marketing tool, it’s a way of living. It’s a change in how you think about your consumer. It’s a conversation that actually takes place online, with real people. It’s a conversation that also tends to jump offline into the real world from time to time.

If you want to use Twitter/Facebook, or even start a blog, be ready to change what you’re doing. Don’t come to me and ask “How do we keep doing what we’re doing but at the same time appear more social” because the answer is YOU CAN’T!

If you really want to use Twitter to build your brand, start asking people questions, start engaging your followers, start playing the game. Don’t bother putting up a twitter logo unless you’re going to answer anyone who sends you a tweet! It’s not worth your time, and in the end it will just make you look bad.

If you can’t respond to people who ask you questions on Twitter, or engage in conversations in your blog’s comments, the humans that use these tools will notice, and then they will ignore you. If you don’t want to engage, stick to traditional marketing. It still works, and it can work well. Stick to that, and stay there till you are ready to commit, or ready to hire someone to do it on your behalf.

Just remember that while you can still get away without the “social web” today, those days are numbered, plus the cost of catching up to others later on is getting higher. Social media engagement is at its core an investment of sweat equity. There are no silver bullets. The sooner you start, the easier it will be.  The longer you wait, the sillier you’re going to look.

Get going! Follow me: @ryanopaz – And if you don’t know how to, well then you have a lot to learn.

Ryan

Image via: Daddy Design

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A gift for the best of 2011

It is the time of year for giving gifts. If you think of Christmas gifts, you might imagine a box, lovingly wrapped in paper, with a bow on the top. You might, if you are like me, imagine a well crafted (but last minute) email with a voucher attached, but gifts come in many forms.

“Dear Blogger, Thanks!”

English: Danboard holding a Christmas gift.

Image via Wikipedia

One under-appreciated gift is a simple “thank you” to a person, friend or stranger, who has done something for you that you have gained from.

You’ve probably guessed that, since I am writing on this site, I mean the wine writers and wine enthusiasts that spend hours each week writing articles, blog posts, tweets, status updates and more, to spread a knowledge, appreciation and access to wine.

Most of those who benefit from this activity, especially online, do not have to pay anything for this benefit.

Unfortunately, because it is free, its actual value is not appreciated by everyone. We are used to there being experts available at the end of a Google Search or on Twitter and Facebook who can answer our questions or suggest what wines to bring to our friends’ dinner parties.

“You are the best!”

So this year there is an extra thing you can do for your favourite wine content creator. A simple “thank you” will do wonders, but what greater compliment to a writer, videographer or photographer could there be than their fans nominating their content as “possibly the best in the world”?

The second edition of the Born Digital Wine Awards (BDWA) is now taking submissions for entries, and we would love to share YOUR favourites along with great content from all over the wine world. What’s more, your favourite could win the originator €1000 in the process.

Please, revisit your favourite content and encourage the author to submit their content to the BDWA.

The BDWA only accepts submissions from the originators of that content, but your comments on your favourite sites, blogs & networks, or send tweets, emails or private messages will let them know what you think of their content and encourage them to participate in the awards.

We all benefit in the end from better content and a greater sense of community.

Thank you!

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1 picture might not be enough in today’s fast paced world

A picture is worth a 1000 words, or so the saying goes. Personally, I’m starting to think this idea is outdated in today’s world and even more so in relation to the photos you post online. Today, with every gadget and gizmo in your pocket having the capability to snap a photo, upload it and share it in real time, we the online surfers of this world, are constantly being assaulted with images that are at times brilliant and often quite forgettable.

I was considering this the other day when staring at a rooftop as I walked to my metro stop. The rooftop was nothing very special, but it created a nice negative space when presented against the deep blue sky. By itself, on a wall in a frame with a nice touch of sepia or black and white, the image might have been perfect to complement a room or become a talking point in a conversation. It was then that I realized that the same image when presented online, might at its best get a retweet or two, or maybe a stray comment on flickr, but would more likely stream past in a flurry like one unique snowflake tumbling to earth lost in the blizzard of others content.

Marketing your brand can be quite similar, and I think that to better understand what it takes to make your snowflake stand out you need to understand how to make that rooftop photo more relevant. What the photo of the rooftop was missing is a story. Something that links one idea to another. 1 photo in a post on a blog is nothing. Most likely you can give me any photo you take and I’ll find 300 just like it. But if you give that 1 photo context, and a relation to an idea you could keep me interested for a longer length of time.

Taking the rooftop photo example, imagine if I created an album of rooftops from around my town of Terrassa? Or images of the building who’s roof caught my attention? Weaving these images with small bursts of focused text in a post begins to give me a reason to stick around and keep reading.

Same thing goes for branding. One mailing, one website(by itself), one Twitter account, these are not going to do anything to further your brand. They provide no value by themselves. It’s only when you link them or use them to create layers, of stories, ideas, or contexts, that the real magic begins. If you havea winery with 200years of history, that is one layer, and while in some cases that layer can have influence it does have a expiration date and it really is not that unique in the world of wine. What about the story of today, or yesterday. What other stories are you forgetting to tell?

Think about what your “slideshow” is in relation to your brand. If you do you’ll be giving the consumer something to talk about.

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Do you speak my language?

I noticed a really interesting new tool on Facebook today, and I’m not often impressed by Facebook at the moment.

Translate This link on Facebook
Before
Translated Facebook Status Update BingAfter

Amusing automatic translation on Facebook

It appears that when a Page (not a User Profile) posts an update to their wall, readers will see an option appearing below offering a translation.

[I'm not entirely sure how it decides this, but presumably it checks the language of the text and compares it to the default on the machine you are using.]

Most importantly ALL Pages have been opted IN automatically (typical Facebook!) so you are using this already if you have a Page active and you should therefore know about it.

When this was launched a month ago it was only for a few languages (Korean, Japanese, Russian, Taiwanese and Chinese-Hong Kong), but as of very recently (today?) it seems to work for Italian, Spanish & Portuguese into English, so I assume a lot more languages are now available.

It even appears to work in the comments to be able to continue the discussion.

Benefits of using a Page

Making your content available to users who may potentially be interested, but who do not speak the language you prefer to write in, means that a great deal of interesting wine content can now spread around the world.

The big question will be the quality. The post I saw this morning was from Spanish to English and was perfectly adequate, but others have reported that the tool (supplied by Bing in this case) is not particularly effective. Interestingly, there is an option for users to install a Translation App which allows you to submit a modified translation. The Page Admin then, presumably, gets the option to approve and select the best translation, however when I tested it this morning, this process seems a bit complex and will need some refining.

I expect the quality of translations will improve over time. Mechanical translations have been available for some time, but often meant browser plugins or copy & pasting text. Now admins can use the tool to publish content quickly, so it could mean a lot more content is suddenly available.

Just one more reason that brands, wineries and businesses should remember to use a Page for their communications and NOT a fake user Profile page. You have been warned!

 

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The Perfect Wine “App”

Day 18: Most Used AppsOne of my favorite podcasts is NPR‘s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Wait Wait is a weekly new’s quiz show, based out of Chicago, that invites various guests to answer a series of satirical questions.

This past week, Ev Williams of Twitter was invited onto the show as a guest, and he echoed a comment I happened to make recently when talking to a friend about wine apps for mobile. People often complain about the mundane tweets that happen on twitter, with a occasional traffic update or news item. What’s interesting is that this worked to train the users to use twitter to communicate. If you had built an app  for these “traffic updates”, people wouldn’t use it since it was not part of the way they communicated. They’d forget it’s there and therefore, not tell everyone what’s happening on the freeway.

From the Show: It turns out it has a lot of different facets, because while there’s many people doing stupid narcissistic things, that gets you to use it(twitter) on a regular basis and it gets you familiar with it. But then when you see an accident, you’re trained to tweet that you’ve just seen an accident, and suddenly that’s a useful piece of information. Whereas, if we told you that this was a program only for reporting accidents, you’d never think of it. – Ev Williams

When my friend asked, “what is the best wine app”, my response was, bluntly, that they all sucked.

I might want to clarify and say that they all suck for 99% of the population of wine drinkers. The current wine apps are all what I call “destination apps”, meaning you need to make them your destination for information you need. The truth is that we need apps that are not destinations, but rather locations were we hang out. I mentioned to him that if you want to make a wine app that works, try making a “life app” that includes wine.

For me it comes down to a few apps that already exist. Evernote: a place where I share all my wine notes and store information that I find online. I use it everyday and would feel as though I was missing an arm if I didn’t have it at the ready. It’s a tool that I use for organizing my life, and wine is one aspect of my life (shocking I know, I do enjoy other things too!). Then you have the other arm of social: Twitter, Facebook and to a growing extent Google+, all of which are places where I share my life with friends and family. Since wine is a social lubricant, it only goes to show how natural it is to talk about the various wines I’m enjoying.

I don’t want to get too detailed, but I do want to offer up a challenge to wine app creators. What we need is a lifestyle app that builds wine into its core, or an app that allows for conversations, categorizations, or amplifications of things other than wine. Do this and you’ll have an app that normal folk can relate to. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for specialist apps, each discipline needs these, but they are not going to grow an audience much bigger than the niche they are built for.

Till soon,

Ryan Opaz

Read the full transcript of Ev Williams on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me 

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