Gaia Group PR Blog

Three Ways Your Brand Should Use Vine

vine

by Lindsay Buchanan, Associate

Given that two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2017, and mobile makes up more than more than 25 percent of YouTube’s global watch time, many brands are making the wise decision to create more web video content.

Vine is winning the brand war in many ways. Five tweets per second contain a Vine link. A branded Vine video is four-times more likely to be seen than a regular branded video. Although Instagram has 10 times the users that Vine does (130 million and 10 million, respectively), Vine’s users are extremely vocal. Additionally, Vine’s influence stretches beyond the app itself.

Vine video compilations are among the most watched videos on YouTube. Even if people are not Vine users, they are more than likely watching the top videos via YouTube, Twitter, or blog site embeds. Additionally, Luce Performance Group found that Vine videos from brands got .0206 percent average engagement rate and an average of 20 retweets, while Instagram videos got .0111 percent average engagement rate and an average of 7 retweets.

Here are a few ways your brand can jump on the Vine bandwagon:

Partner with Vine Influencers

There are many users on Vine, but there are a few who truly stand out. There are some breakout “Vine stars” whose videos receive thousands of re-Vines and comments every day. Brands to build partnerships with these influential Vine users in order to create more brand awareness and gain more followers. Ask influencers to create a video on their account using a campaign hashtag, or ask them to direct a series of videos on your Vine account. By working with these Vine “celebrities,” you can greatly expand your brand’s reach and influence.

Cross-Promote

Like with any social strategy, cross-promotion is key when drawing attention to your brand’s Vine videos. Make sure that you share content across all social channels. Share videos on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Get the rest of your organization involved, too. The more that eyes are on your content, the faster it will spread.

Extend Campaign Key Messages

Use Vine to promote your brand’s key messages. Consider Vine as an extension of your integrated communications plan; it should not be your entire strategy. Social media marketing only works effectively when it’s part of a carefully crafted communications plan. The best branded Vine videos are ones that are obviously, carefully planned. Social is a tool, not a tactic; make sure you consult a communications professional to make sure all of your brand messages, social or otherwise, are created thoughtfully and strategically.

Curious about Vine vs. Instagram? Here are some resources to help:


Four PR Lessons from Disney Movies

by Lindsay Buchanan, Associate

Early on in childhood, Disney taught us many life lessons. We learned that a dream is a wish your heart makes and that sometimes you’ve just gotta say “Hakuna Matata.” However, we didn’t know that some of the lessons from our favorite Disney films also inadvertently taught us a lot about PR.

Be timely. [Cinderella]

cinderella losing her shoe on stairs

Good ol’ Cindy learned this lesson the hard way: always be on time. Don’t miss your opportunity to deliver relevant news about your clients. Moreover, don’t try to sell old information; that’s a losing battle in today’s digital, 24-hour news cycle. Keep up with current events, and tie in client news in order to add value and interest to your stories and press releases.

Be transparent. [Pinocchio]

pnoch

Just as Pinnochio’s fibs kept him from becoming  a “real boy,” a lack of transparency could keep your company from becoming the” real deal.” As we’ve seen in the press lately, non-disclosed information can make a company look like they have something to hide faster than you can say “Gepetto’s Workshop. ” Divulge any potentially problematic information up front in order to avoid colossal embarrassment later. If your organization has particular trouble in this department, prepare crisis communications drafts so you’ll be prepared if trouble strikes.

Rely on your network. [Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs]

Seven Dwarfs

Snow White would have been nothing without her friends, and neither would you. Nobody gets to where they are by themselves. As a professional, your whole life is about connecting with others on a personal level. That includes your network. Your personal contacts are just important as your professional ones. Get out and meet people in all industries – join a professional organization. Build meaningful relationships with journalists and digital influencers: one tip or conversation could turn into a career-long relationship. Let your brand precede you. Always be genuine, professional, and reliable. But most of all, be compassionate. Never take the power of kindness for granted.

Be brave. [Merida from Brave]

brave

At Gaia Group, we love to encourage our clients to forge new paths. Think outside of the box: it’s okay to have good, new ideas! Innovation is what sets you apart from your competition. If an idea doesn’t scare you a little, it’s not big enough. Don’t limit your ideas just because you think something will be difficult to implement. Dream big, and the execution will come. That’s what you have us for.

Lindsay Buchanan is an Associate and Digital Strategist at Gaia Group. You can catch up with her on her style blog, Southern Belle Stylista, or on Twitter.


“PR Is Dead,” and Other Lessons from PRSA iCon

by Lindsay Buchanan, Associate

Last weekend’s 2013 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International Conference in Philadelphia was full of lessons and forecasts from the industry’s greatest minds. The crown jewel of the weekend’s lineup of presentations delivered by industry superstars was the keynote speech from Brian Solis of Altimeter Group. Brian is a well-known and longstanding thought leader in the PR industry. Here are just three of the many insights Mr. Solis shared with the crowd about “The Future of PR” and are practice that Gaia Group and others in our industry put into practice and also serve as reminders of where we are headed.

1. Selfish Social is a Major Branding Blunder.

Solis urged professionals to put the “social” in social media, NOT the “me.” Some companies jump on social media, and they only use it to push out marketing messages. In reality, it is not advisable to market “at” people, but rather to draw them into a digital experience. The “experience cycle” involves the relationship between user, consumer and brand experience.

In this interconnected digital world we’re actually kind of antisocial, said Solis. Our digital feeds should be about creating an experiential environment where followers become brand ambassadors, not about shoving a product or service into our follower’s line of sight. Followers should feel like they are a part of your brand lifestyle. The brand journalism movement adds promise, and that all digital content should consider the consumer and her likes and dislikes.

2. Communicators Need to Communicate (With Each Other).

Winning social campaigns start at home. Successful social strategy requires communication between all of an organization’s departments. Transparency allows communicators to unify messaging and create a meaningful, workable strategy that keeps all internal parties involved. He talked about the journey that consumers have to take with organizations, whether it’s through a website, press release, an app or Facebook page.

Brian Solis described the “journey” of creating competent content as “a mess.”

“The people who own mobile don’t talk to people who own the website. The people who own the website don’t talk to the people who are running Facebook,” Solis said. This disconnect creates multiple brands and multiple voices for one company. It is up to PR practitioners to redefine that “journey,” integrate it, and, thus, change content for the better.

3. PR is Dead.

At least in the traditional sense. Public relations is no longer just about writing press releases, pitching stories, and planning events. The Future of PR is all about creating experiences, either online or in person.

Public relations now sits at the intersection of brand experience, user experience and customer experience.

4. Communications Professionals Should Avoid “Kodak Moments”

It’s important to know when to adapt. If you fail to adjust your strategy to account for new information, digital innovation, or new ways of thought, you may have a “Kodak moment.”

Brian Solis said that the old definition of the “Kodak moment” was co-opted by society as the “Instagram moment.” Kodak didn’t change their business model at a time when digital and consumer experience were exploding in their industry. They had all the technology and patents to create that experience, but they didn’t. Brian Solis defines the “new Kodak moment” as the moment you failed to realize that your organization needs to change.

“In order to change and innovate, we have to see what we don’t do right,” said Solis. Communicators are responsible for assessing their strategy, assessing their organization’s industry, and deciding how to influence a shift in consumer perception.

Lindsay Buchanan is an Associate and Digital Strategist at Gaia Group. You can catch up with her on her style blog, Southern Belle Stylista, or on Twitter 


Client News: Energy Storage and the Future of Solar

We love to help clients make news and there is nothing better than a discussion in a widely read outlet like the New York Times. This article on solar power energy storage pieces together the issue surrounding the capture of energy and how utilities are harnessing the power of the sun after hours. The Solar Electric Power Association stepped up to support is utility members in this discussion.


Need a Social Media Reality Check?

Susan’s Social Corner: Your Social Media Reality Check

By Susan Shuckra

Using social media is practically a prerequisite for most B2B and B2C companies. Whether it’s a combination of using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or others, you’re probably leveraging one or more platforms on a daily basis.  So how to you create more “meaningful” online relationships with the little time you have to post or tweet to ensure maximize impact for your business? Here are some tips to help guide you towards establishing a loyal following through on any social media platform:

Do…

  • Create an open dialogue. Are you listening to your audience? This is your opportunity to find out exactly what your customers say about you and what they want. Bottom line:  Interacting on Facebook is more than just pushing out posts.
  • Commit the time and resources. Social media is not a quick process. Look at the people in your offline social circles—those you hold closest. How long have you known them? How much time have you spent together? All of this time bonds strong relationships.  Bottom line: You need more than 10 minutes twice a week.
  • Respond (and sooner rather than later).  If you get a comment, respond quickly. Bottom line: Responding quickly shows that you’re engaged and listening to your online community.
  • Create your own content. It’s ok share good content and information, but put your own spin on it. Bottom line: People want to hear what you have to say not what you found on the internet.

Don’t…

  • Come across like a broken record. It’s important to have some diversity in your posts/tweets. Don’t say the same thing over and over. Say something new and different to gain the interest and respect of your followers. It’s ok to be opinionated. Bottom line: Share content that inspires you, infuriates you, or makes you laugh.
  • Just sell your stuff.  Social networks are not direct sales tools. Use them as a place to develop a community of people who are interested in your brand and what it has to say. Bottom line: We all  have to make ends meet but try to focus less on pushing your products/services and more on creating and sharing interesting content.
  • Be inconsistent. It is not good practice to update your online status twice in a two-hour period, and then only once the next week. Be consistent so your audience knows what to expect. Bottom line: Take the time you need to interact, listen to your community and hare good content.
  • Ignore negative comments.  See negative comments and feedback as an opportunity to reinforce your message. Bottom line: Ignoring comments only makes you seem like you’re hiding something. Be transparent in your comments.

Social media for business is about getting people to like, know and trust you. The more you communicate and have a two-way dialogue, the more you will humanize your brand and grow your a reputation within your niche.

Interested in more tips?  Drop me a line to receive our quick guide on “How to Use Social Media to Drive Awareness, Grow Business, and Generate Revenue” at susan@gaiapr.com

 


Gaia Group Supports #DC #Socent Tech and Innovation

We are pleased to provide pro bono services to a few organizations this year including the William James Foundation.  The Foundation’s mission and community closely aligns with ours in that they, “discover, invest in, connect, & educate impact entrepreneurs who are building companies that are making our world a better place.”  We look forward to attending the 10th Annual Gathering and Business Competition event next week at Arent Fox in Washington, D.C. which will determine this year’s competition winner. Gaia Group will work with the competition winner to map out marketing and PR for their new venture.


Client Spotlight: Washington Business Journal and Soccer

If you are a soccer fan (not hooligan!) and ever wondered what the sport does to give back, then look no further.  The U.S. Soccer Foundation has provided over $57 million in grants since it’s inception following the 94′ World Cup.  These grants go to promote the game of soccer in under-resourced communities throughout the country.  At the helm of the organization is a CEO fueled by the love of the game, mentoring and nurturing future generations.  We are proud to work with the Foundation to shine a spotlight on this important mission. Read more here!


15 Pearls of Wisdom from David Ogilvy, the Godfather of #Advertising

A re-post from Hubspot. Fifty year old advice that still seems fresh today.  Worth a few minutes to page through and consider.  One our favorites: “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”


Bellyaching, Bad Writing and Bland Ideas are…

…the three things we don’t do and the reason you’ll like working with us.


Branding in Real Terms – Repositioning After Komen

As reported this week by the New York Times and scores of outlets around the country, the Susan B. Komen Foundation is scaling back on races in 2014.  In real terms, this means that thousands of women will be unable to walk in cities close to home and millions of dollars will potentially be withheld from critical cancer research.

We can all speculate on the exact reason for the cancellations, but most are pretty certain that it all stems from the backlash on Planned Parenthood and politics.  While other blogs and media write about how Komen can revive its foundering brand, we are looking at the competition.  Here are some tips for other non-profits considering filling the gap:

  • Develop a strong leadership platform for spokespeople. While Nancy Brinker continues to be vilified, it’s a real opportunity for other organizations to find a strong leadership voice.
  • If Planned Parenthood and free mammograms are the issues that impacted Komen’s brand, then partnerships with organization’s doing this work are a must.  If not in a partnership form, then consider increasing awareness around services under this umbrella.
  • Increase online advertising in underserved markets for 2014 – it’s where participants, major funders and individual donors reside.  The markets are hurting right now, so filling the gaps with potential options is critical in 2013.  There’s nothing like a Facebook ad that says “join us!”

We all want more research dollars to flow to curing this disease.  Let’s face it – all of us know someone personally impacted.  Moving forward is critical and that means repositioning brands to meet the demand. You go ladies!