Facebook Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

September 27, 2011

Last week, seemingly every Facebook user was in an uproar when the site underwent yet another makeover. The Wall, now used as a constant stream of new information about friends, also includes a “Publisher,” which allows users to post photos, videos, notes, links and statuses right to their profile. Users can even control the size of the content they upload in order to dictate what receives the most attention. Finally, a plethora of new tabs can be found on the site for a more organized, easy to use layout. Sounds great right?

Apparently not. The Facebook community is not a fan of change. Venturing away from what is known and comfortable seems to be quite the disadvantage for bothered users. But there is one more aspect about the new and “improved” Facebook that has small businesses jumping for joy, $10 million in free advertising.

Facebook’s Marketing Solutions” program states that it will provide small businesses with $5o each in free advertising on the site in 2012. The site claims its new objectives are to help small businesses grow by gaining more customers, building lasting connections and reaching customers’ friends.

In addition to providing free advertising, Facebook promises to help their smaller advertising partners to learn about social technology and connect directly with the social media site.  Only time will tell the success of the program, if all Facebook users do not abandon ship for Google+ first, that is.

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Creative Social Media

There is no doubt that in today’s tech-savvy world social media is absolutely essential to Public Relations campaigns. Everyday we see new and innovative ways to implement the internet for strategic publicity, but how can you make your client stand out? According toMashable.com, we can all learn a little something from the following five social media campaigns.

  1. Rayovac
    Who could forget the epic snow storm that had us trapped indoors for days on end last February? Chances are, you spent your days hiding inside, your laptop as your only companion. Rayovac knew that bad weather outside would likely increase traffic on social media sites, such as Twitter, because less people would be venturing outdoors. This lead to their strategic development of a “Virtual Snowball Fight,” in which people could change their profile pictures to the Rayovac logo hurling snowballs at friends and family. This increased their Twitter followers, becoming one of the week’s trending topics.
  2. Healthy Choice
    After extensive research, the PR people at Healthy Choice found that their target audience consisted of heavy users of social media. They promptly responded by adding an online coupon for one of their products, starting at a $.75 value. But they did not leave it at that. The more people that “liked” the coupon on Facebook, the more they would increase the coupon value. In the end, they increased their fan base enormously.
  3. Breeder’s Cup
    Breeder’s Cup was ready to increase their online presence, and what would be a better move than creating a Twitter account for one of their most popular race horses, Zinyetta. While the idea may seem a bit bogus, the horse soon developed a huge fan base, and her name, as well as Breeder’s Cup, started trending on Twitter.
  4. The BALSAMS Grand Hotel Resort
    BALSAMS developed a new and innovative campaign to draw more customers into their resorts. They called for applications for a “Resorter” who would live at the hotel for two months, totally free. They narrowed down the thousands of applications they received, and allowed internet users to vote on the final candidates. Their winner then used social media throughout his two month stay to communicate about how great the resort was. This creative campaign quickly increased reservations.
  5.  KFC
    The restaurant chain wanted to drum up extra publicity for their new scholarship. Instead of calling for essays, they agreed to give the $20,000 award based on a single Tweet. This innovative idea gained excellent publicity and online coverage for KFC.
There are endless amounts of ways to implement social media in strategic and creative ways. If done so effectively, PR practitioners can garner some excellent publicity for their clients. The original article,Five Smart Social Media Campaigns to Learn From, can be found on Mashable.com.