Summer 2012 Social Media Strategy

Today marked my last day interning at Laffey Fine Homes. I head back up to Cornell in 6 days! Time flies. But I already had my nostalgic post, so this time I’m here to share a project I worked on at Laffey.

It was an idea that my boss came up with–something both beneficial for both the company and myself. Not only does it help with building my portfolio, but it will also help my boss explain the value of Social Media to managers and high execs at Laffey, in addition to serving as a guide for future interns. While a lot of what I strategized may seem to be common sense to a social media connoisseur, some tips and tricks excited a lot of the company’s executive office. They held a meeting today to discuss it! If you’d like to see it for yourself, I uploaded it here: Laffey Fine Homes Social Media Strategy. I’d love some feedback!

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Happy August! (A Summer Recap)

With all the pictures and infographics I’ve posted lately, I figured it was time to actually write a blog post & now seems like a perfect time to do so.

Though summer’s not entirely over just yet, my internship with Collective Media ended today. I’m actually really sad that it’s over! I feel like I’ll be hopping on the LIRR tomorrow and greeting everyone in the office just like yesterday. But goodbyes are never easy, are they? I had a great summer and truly learned A LOT. Working at a small company allowed me to get to know my bosses on a much more personal level, and as an added bonus, I witnessed (and sometimes assisted) a lot of their work first hand. I found out a lot about what it takes to be an entrepreneur…especially a female entrepreneur in NYC. As an added bonus, I got to know the other interns really well and made some friendships along the way.

Earlier today I did a bit of reflecting on my work this summer and I figured Facebook was a good place to start. The Insights tool on fan pages allows you to really get a feel for all sorts of statistics. I plugged in 6/4/12 (my start date) and today’s date to do a full summary on one of our most successful clients, Body Space Fitness. BSF was just getting started in their Social Media strategy when I first walked into Collective early June. They had 207 likes and as of 5 minutes ago, they now have 909 (and this number will definitely break 1,000 by Friday) . Body Space’s media presence was left up to me, as they were one of the clients I was assigned to. I managed their Facebook page and wrote the daily posts (Wellness Wednesday tips, healthy recipes, etc) and pinned to their Pinterest as well as scheduled hundreds upon hundreds of Tweets. Of course it’s not solely my efforts that allowed their likes to skyrocket by the hundreds. Rather, I’m sure a lot of the surge has to do with a paid Facebook ad campaign (which I got to design!) and their location in bustling NYC. This being said, it was nice to see my efforts have resulted in something concrete.

Overall, in regards to my internship, I’m delighted I had this opportunity this summer but I’m even more excited about what doors it will hopefully open for my future. In a more immediate sense, I’m ready to go back to school for sophomore year. I know more about the communications major and college life in general than I did at this point last year and the fear that was once jumbled amongst my excitement is no longer present. Those collegial worries washed away with freshman year. Now I’m just ready to learn a lot more (taking a Marketing class should be interesting after two internships) and spend time with the friends I haven’t seen all summer. Though the summer is dwindling down, for the next two weeks I will still be working at Laffey. So, I will still be blogging of course. But with a lot more free time on my plate, I get to fit in some much needed R&R. I think I’ll use some of that now & cheer on the USA in the Olympics. I’ll leave you with this great image I found on Pinterest.

So what’re you waiting for?

-Olivia

Downtime at your Internship?

Although there’s always something to do at work, I know that sometimes after finishing a project (especially if it’s done faster than my bosses anticipated) I’m left with a bit of free time.

In those instances, here’s a few ideas that I’ve come up with to occupy your time effectively (inspired by Intern Queen’s article on the same topic, which I’ll include at the end of this post).

1) Browse the web: Depending on the specifics of your internship, websites may vary..but I know that as a current Social Media/Digital Marketing Intern I constantly scan http://www.Mashable.com. It’s the social media guru’s version of the New York Times. Speaking of the NYT, you might want to check up on that as well..it’s always good knowing what’s going on in the world. For PR, http://www.prdaily.com is a great start.

-Checking up on PR Firms’ Twitter accounts is always great too. They feature daily tips, inspirational quotes, useful articles and more. Plus, sometimes you’ll even find a good new website to browse!

2) Blog, blog blog!  As I’m doing right now..hehehe. It’s always great to record some of the day’s highlights, as well as the downfalls. Writing things down will help get your mental hamster ball rolling. What did you absolutely love about the day? What cool new things did you learn? Find any great photos or info graphics? Share them! Answering these questions and more are a great way to keep track of your summer internship’s highlights..as well as some of the things you didn’t like much. But that’s okay too, because the negatives can always be improved upon!

3) Ask for more work: It’s not pushy, nor is it annoying (unless, of course, your boss is in the middle of an important phone call). They love to see interns taking initiative, and the more you can get done, the better!

4) Keep Up With Social Media: Depending on whether or not your internship allows you access to the company’s Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter pages and etcetera, you may or may not be able to do this step effectively. I get the passwords for Collective Media and Laffey Fine Homes’ accounts..plus a few of our clients. When I have downtime I pin relevant things to their pinboards, find great articles to post on Facebook, and come up with new Tweets (and reply to people who’ve tweeted at us! Plus it’s always great to thank new followers & always follow back!).

Of course these are just a few of the ideas to spice up your downtime. Intern Queen has come up with her own tips for making the most out of your internship experience. Check out her ideas–the very inspiration for this post– and feel free to add a few ideas of your own to the comment box below!

Intern Queen’s Article: 3-ways-spend-down-time-your-internship

Thanks for reading..now get back to work 🙂

–Olivia

The Importance of Reconnecting

I’ve always been a firm believer of sending out those “Hey, remember me?” messages..no matter how awkward it may seem at first. And of course, you’ll have to be a little more creative than that if you’re trying to get any sort of message across.

Earlier today as I was scrolling through Twitter pages for PR Firms/Agencies to follow (and potentially places to apply for internships next summer..always thinking ahead!)…I came across a greek name that sounded so familiar. A name, much like my last name, that’s both hard to remember and hard to forget. And above all, hard to spell.

So I clicked on this Greek girl’s account and assumed that with over 5,000 followers, it belonged to just another PR Firm I’d heard of way back when. Maybe someone from my high school years above me had an internship there or something. And maybe the Twitter page went by the name of the CEO, rather than X Agency, Y Communications LLC, or Z Public Relations.

Well, the first thing I did was read her bio…still no light bulb had gone off. Once I reached the end of her terse information section I clicked the link to her webpage (MSM Public Relations) and read her “About” section. Within the first 15 seconds I had my aha moment…I shadowed this girl, Margo, when I was just a freshman in high school.

At the time, Margo wasn’t much older than I am. This was probably her first job after college. I was lucky enough to be close family friends with one of her bosses, Jacqueline Precious. She worked as the Merchandise Director at SoHo Fashion. Margo was SoHo Fashion’s publicist..which meant that she was in charge of maintaining positive PR. I remember her calling several magazines to feature SoHo’s products, in addition to contacting celebrities’ personal stylists (Vividly remember her speaking to Rihanna’s) asking them to “do lunch” so they can discuss Celeb X wearing SoHo outerwear Y in Z magazine.

Watching Margo work gave me my first exposure to PR, and I knew right then and there that I’d like to do something similar some day. Now she founded her own Public Relations Firm and is a producer for the Wendy Williams Show. Branching out to telecomm shows how versatile the industry is.

So about half an hour ago I decided to send Margo an email. While the natural progression of this post would probably lead me to saying something like “Reconnecting is so great..now she offered me an internship!” the truth is she hasn’t responded yet. I’m too impatient to wait for that…

But even so, I’ve rekindled a useful connection. I can ask her if they’re hiring for next summer later on this year or do an externship over Winter Break. She can get me in contact with other important people in the industry. It’s basically all about building connections. Reconnecting = another form of Networking.

On another note, I also reconnected with another old friend today–in the spirit of stumbling upon Margo’s new company.  At my younger sister’s graduation I ran into the elderly woman who lived next-door to my childhood home. Her granddaughter was in my sister’s class. Seeing her reminded me of another granddaughter of hers, who’s my age. When Kacie used to visit her grandma, she really came over to my house to play, up until about 3rd grade. So I found this girl on Facebook, crafted a message that would remind her of who I am in as minimally creepy of a way possible, and realized she’s a sister of the same sorority as I am, TriDelta. Funny coincidence!

Moral of the story: never be afraid to reach out to someone from the past, no matter how long ago it may feel. The worst thing that can happen is that they don’t remember you (but who would actually admit that?). At least you tried!

xox

Building Clientele and a Following

In terms of Social Media, it’s great to have posts on Facebook and Twitter that are simply fun and informative, without the ulterior motive of selling your product to a fan or follower. For Laffey Fine Homes I often put links to great restaurants on Long Island, fun things to do for the weekend (whether it be a concert or a place to bring the kids) and unique elements of the home like this one waterfall shower I found. I think my favorite topic of all is Fantasy Fridays, a theme I came up with, where I post gorgeous images of assorted travel destinations around the world.

But while all this is great and will start building up a stream of followers, sometimes, it IS important to market your product or idea…but tastefully. So, while on Sundays when I do often post a couple of our open houses, I try to keep things interesting during the rest of the week when posting one of Laffey’s listings. I’ll put a picture of the country-style kitchen or the pond in the backyard, an aerial shot of the property or a photo that accentuates the architectural elements of the home…anything that’ll catch a viewer’s eye. Photos are most important to include in all posts, because if someone’s attention is caught infinitesimally thanks to a great picture, then they’ll be more inclined to reading the post.

Fantasy Fridays: Bora Bora. This was one of our most famous posts on Laffey’s Facebook Fan Page. A picture really does speak volumes!

The easiest way to market your products is via another name with a bigger social media presence. Laffey Fine Homes has a property that was once the home of former NY Met, Carlos Beltran. I tweeted at AOL Real Estate–an account with over 1,000 followers–and they responded. My tweet was casual..something along the lines of “We love your listings! Check out one of our favorites,” with a link attached. Hopefully if they feature the listing on their Twitter, we’ll gain more followers with their help.

Waterfall Style Shower: another popular post for Laffey Fine Homes. A simple image speaks more than my words could to describe this cool feature.

Now, onto my assignment for Collective Media Group today. The goal is building clientele, rather than followers and in a city as grandiose as Manhattan, there’s two great ways of doing so:

1) Take advantage of Networking. At the office you can network with people in the elevator..those companies a floor above or below you–maybe even the other ones that share your floor–can make for a great client, and a conveniently close one at that.

2) Utilize the Web. Obviously both of these points apply to building clients in any part of the country or world, but NYC is great because a lot of the small, start-up businesses find it difficult to make a name for themselves in such a big city, so they look the the internet for help.

I’ll be utilizing the web today as I weave through Gilt City and GroupOn looking for the companies with the best deals. Then, I check out their website and Facebook Fan Page to see how active they are in Social Media and find contact information so my bosses can reach out to them personally. The worst thing that can happen is a rejection, but my philosophy is that being rejected is better than not being rejected or accepted. In other words, trying always surpasses inactivity–especially in this world.

Well, I better get to work. That’s it for now! Please feel free to like this post or follow me if you enjoy my blog..I follow back!

Thanks,

Olivia

 

For your reference:

Laffey Fine Homes Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/laffeyfinehomes

Collective Media Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CollectiveMedia

Pinterest: beyond the pretty pictures

The fastest growing social media site on the web today has proven itself as a dual procrastination-favorite-browsing site and a marketer’s heaven. At first glance, Pinterest seems like a site full of gorgeous beach pictures, precious little puppies and the occasional Pottery Barn-esque room decor.

But in all actuality, Pinterest is a billion dollar company that’s blowing up the the internet faster than much of its competition. Youtube, Reddit and Google + yield lower percentages of referral traffic and Twitter holds just .01% over Pinterest, proving this young site’s potential.

More than just those cute puppies (they ARE really cute though..) Pinterest is great for retailers looking for product exposure.  Its addictive nature leads users to discovering DIY tips, “Dream Homes” that are actually on the market with local realtors, and great recipes for all kinds of foods.

Even the 2012 Presidential Election isn’t untouched by Pinterest. Leading candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s wives have gotten in on the action, both creating pages earlier this year.

The site’s traffic is primarily driven by women by a long run, though this statistic shouldn’t deter marketers. Rather, I see it as the perfect opportunity for specific targeting. If we know the ladies are watching, products should be geared to the feminine mind. Rather than Armani posting its latest men’s suit to their typical male client, the product should be catered to a shopping wife or girlfriend..perhaps looking for a birthday gift for her significant other. Knowing how to take advantage of Pinterest’s statistics helps leverage a company’s influence on the site tremendously.

I am on Pinterest 24/7 for Laffey Fine Homes, the Long Island luxury real estate company I work for. I can attest to the “Dream Homes” being real listings aspect of the site, as it’s a truly great way to drive viewers–and potential buyers–to Laffey.com. I post pictures of the pools and kitchens, the spiral staircases and luscious green backyards, all with a click-through link back to the listing’s page. Granted, many of our viewers hail from all over the country..so it would be a cool addition if Pinterest marketers could target specific geographic regions, much like Facebook Fan Pages can.

Another Pinterest tip I learned from a webinar I stumbled upon thanks to a LinkedIn group I joined may come as a no-brainer; write captions.

It’s true…time and time again we’re told to take advantage of the 500 character limit when creating pins. Pinterest makes it mandatory to insert a comment along with every pin, but most people cheat the system and write a measly period as a placeholder. If you just take an extra 15 seconds to your posts you’ll wind up using the site to it’s full potential. Like Twitter, Pinterest lets you include popular hashtags which help pinners who aren’t following your boards to discover your content.

Mark Zuckerberg..you should’ve bought this one! Instagram is cool, but certainly doesn’t have the marketing capabilities that Pinterest does.

Anyway, I originally intended for this post to be terse (an impossibility for my loquacious mind). I do wish to include a helpful info graphic that I stumbled upon once. Ironically enough, I think I found it on Pinterest. If you’d like a larger copy I’ll be glad to email one: omp7@cornell.edu.

Enjoy!

-Olivia

What’s On Your Mind…tell us, really.

Do you know what would make the Twitterverse a lot more fun?  If celebrities actually used their accounts!  Social Media news website, Mashable, reported on 7 celebrities who they believe could truly help this cause.

Beyonce’s account has over 4.5 million followers, but she’s only tweeted once. Must’ve been a really riveting message!  I know for sure we at CMG would LOVE to see more from her!

Funny man Adam Sandler doesn’t boast the same number of followers, but we’ll give him some time though; his anonymous publicist tweeted twice that Sandler is not yet active on the account.

J.K. Rowling actually warned her followers about her eminent inactivity: “This is the real me, but you won’t hear from me often I’m afraid, as pen and paper are my priority at the moment.” Luckily for her 1.2 million followers she has a whopping 13 tweets, which is much more than her other inactive A-List celebrity friends.

Naturally, we wouldn’t expect the creator of social media rival, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to be an avid tweeter. However, we wish he would make more of an effort on the site. Atleast  he did change his twit pic. Seems like Zuckerberg is more of an observer on Twitter; following over 800 people must mean he’s intrigued by some trending topics.

Also on Mashable’s list are actress Emma Stone, NBC News anchor Brian Williams (nothing newsworthy to report?) and Apple Senior Vice President, Scott Forstall.  The irony doesn’t escape us on that last one…guess he didn’t download his own iPhone app!

So unless we can magically convince these famous folks to start tweeting, our next best option is to look before we leap. Next time we see those verified accounts pop up on “Who to Follow,” it seems like a great idea to click on their page first to ensure we’ll be getting updated tweets. If you’re interested in reading Mashable’s write up that inspired this blog, here’s the link: http://on.mash.to/MRzQK6

Happy Tweeting!

[See my original blog post published on Collective Media Group’s website here: http://bit.ly/MSmkDf ]