Hola, interwebs. Nathan, here. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jon Ostrow, Campaigns Director for the NYC based PR & Marketing firm, Cyber PR. They specialize in niche marketing techniques in the online and digital space as well as social media management & strategy. The best part is, they work just as well with the independent artist as they do the corporate brand. You can check them out over at www.cyberpr.com. → (Built By 12SM!)
Since my undertaking of social media management for 12SM, I’ve learned that there’s a lot more to it than just posting n' tweeting @ like-minded folks. Primarily through the strategies Cyber PR and team have developed, I’ve been able to dive into the intricacies and strategy behind the “like”. However, with a few gray areas still in need of clarity, I decided hit up our good friend Jon Ostrow to chat social media trends, strategies, and why he tweets about tacos so often.
(I’ll be paraphrasing some questions and responses)
Facebook has been the most difficult for me to point in a clear, focused direction. What are your thoughts on Facebook and strategies for optimal social media performance?
Finding your target audience is always the key, but that’s not always easy. Facebook’s tweaking algorithm is called “edgerank.” Any content you post is spit out by their algorithm. Edgerank tweaks content to focus on high quality content for the user rather than photos and promotions by companies.
It sends a post to a sample size of your audience, and based on how it is engaged, it will then send it again to more or fewer users. This has a drastic effect on long-term/amount of visibility of posts. But, Facebook gives you the option to pay for visibility. Our (Cyber PR) Facebook visibility, or anyone else’s, is extremely low unless we are willing to pay for it. There isn’t a way around it.
Can paying be justified?
Cyber PR is paying. The advertising mechanism looks at your page and sees how relevant it is compared to a historical perspective of your page. I recommend boosting certain posts a week that lead to other posts on other sites. The key to Facebook is to use it as a gateway to other types of content your company, artist, or brand offers. Get your demographic to go to places where you can curate content not affected by formulas. With Facebook advertising in mind, Facebook fraud is also something to be wary of.
There is this video by Video Veratasium that we blogged about at Cyber PR. Don’t take it as truth. It’s essentially claiming that FB has made it clear you have to start paying for visibility, and there are a lot of services out there that are farming "likes". So, fraud occurs when you are boosting a post, and a lot of those, "likes" you legitimately paid for are fake.
(You can check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfHeWTKjag)
So on a more practical level, how many times would you recommend posting on Facebook?
1 post or 2 posts a day tops. You get diminishing returns after that point. Sometimes 3 if they are spread out and something really important is going on. Like I said though, Facebook will continue to shrink your visibility through the day. For example, Cyber PR has around 10,000 fans, and our average posts get around 100-200 views (1-2%!). It will only go down from there.
The point: Facebook is tough, but it can be effective even with Edgerank if it is used as a gateway for other types of content.
Let’s switch gears to Twitter. I’ve had great experiences here, but I’m curious to hear what you have to say about it.
We have had much more success with Twitter as opposed to FB. Twitter is an incredible curation tool that you can use to spotlight other people’s content. Dozens of blogs curate relevant content on a daily basis. Links, photos, videos, are all available to be posted. I don’t really use it as an editorial tool – it’s more about spotlighting other peoples’ content to foster relationships with your followers.
Have you noticed any new social media trends that work well on Twitter?
Not specifically, I mean you have buzzwords and trends such as Throwback Thursday (#tbt), which can be useful for creating content that people can relate to. I’ve found that content marketing through thought leadership is key, a.k.a. offering high-quality content on a consistent basis that educates people. You become a resource that people can follow to rely on. But no, I haven’t found a huge trend that really pokes out of the mix.
What is your experience with Tumblr?
Tumblr is a huge platform with a massive music community. That being said, I never found it to be that valuable. Even brands that are doing very well on social media, such as the “Nashville” TV show don’t see a lot of results on Tumblr. I have issues with the inability to directly comment, and I don’t think the discovery aspect is very good. I think it got really big really quickly, and it hasn’t improved much since then.
Ok, last question. As far as more niche social media platforms, like Foursquare and Pinterest, do you think they much use as a marketing platform?
It depends on the service for Foursquare. It’s a good brand-builder. As an individual artist or public figure, it can be useful to get in touch with fans in particular areas. For example, if Ariel (founder of Cyber PR) checks into a coffee shop on a business trip and invites people out, anyone in that city on Foursquare experiences that immediacy with her. It’s easier to use if the artist or brand is already established.
Pinterest is an incredible branding platform. You can pin things to separate boards for every aspect of what makes your brand unique. Pinterest can define your interests. It’s a good idea to get involved with specific boards (think target demographic). 80% of users on Pinterest are women, so many photos being shared are wedding photos, clothes, and food. But, you can still find relevant content (for your brand) if you search. Overall, Pinterest is still geared toward the individual. It’s great for office ideas, home improvement, etc., so if the do-it-yourself marketing scene could get involved with Pinterest, it would be awesome.
This was really great. Thank you so much for your time!
So there you have it! If you have any questions regarding anything we discussed or just about the interview in general, hit me up. I’m happy to continue this conversation.
Until next time,
Social Media Management, 12South Marketing