We all know social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are some of the best marketing tools for a business. But what happens when tweets go wrong?

Even though you want tweets to look effortless, each one of them should be well thought-out. You want to look at a Twitter campaign from every possible angle and get the opinions of others before it goes live.

The following companies may have had the best of intentions, but their tweets will forever be known as some of the most epic social media fails.

1. AT&T uses a tragedy to sell phones

On the anniversary of 9/11, AT&T tweeted a photo of one their smartphones in front of the New York skyline, with lights representing the World Trade Center. The caption read, “Never Forget.” Americans’ have not forgotten the tragedy and they certainly do not appreciate a company exploiting that tragic event by utilizing product placement in a tweet meant to commemorate 9/11. (read more…)

We know two things about millennials: They will soon have record-breaking purchasing power, and they spend tons of time with content created by their peers, otherwise known as UGC (user-generated content).

What we didn’t know was how much time they spend with UGC and how they feel about it. That is, until now.

In January, Ipsos MediaCT, Crowdtap and the Social Media Advertising Consortium partnered to survey 839 millennial (18 to 36 years old) men and women. The study explored millennials’ media consumption habits, how they perceive information from various sources and how these same media sources impact purchasing decisions.

Here are 5 key data points that might surprise you:

1) They spend mind-blowing amounts of time with media. In aggregate, millennials spend roughly 18 hours (not mutually exclusive) with different types of media per day. This often includes viewing multiple devices at once. If this surprises you, you’re not alone, but their media adds up when they’re simultaneously checking their phones, letting their computer screen glow, listening to radio and glancing up at the TV. (read more…)

If you’re like 92 percent of people on Twitter, you don’t follow the handles of the places where your friends and family work. It’s a statistic that meant a lot to AT&T’s Senior Manager of Emerging Communications, Lee Diaz. That’s why they rolled out their internal content hub, the Social Circle, for employees to begin sharing more from AT&T in their social networks.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference in Dallas, Lee explains why they encouraged over 80,000 employees to become advocates in social media. Here are three key takeaways:

  • Your employees are already social. Lee says to earn buy-in from some leadership to getting employees involved, they had to help management see how much their employees already did in social media.
  • Disclosure is key. One of the main components of AT&T’s social advocate program was a simple hashtag, #ATTemployee. This let their employees share content from AT&T while being transparent and staying legal.
  • (read more…)

Welcome to Part 3 of my three-part series on adding personality to your online marketing strategy.

Let’s do a quick recap:

  • Part 1 introduced the idea of adding personality to marketing and hopefully convinced you it was worth trying. It also went startlingly viral and scared me a little bit.
  • Part 2 gave you concrete tips to adding personality to your content marketing strategy as well as introduced the concept of “head and shoulders” content — a term I trademarked.

Part 3 will dive into the world of social media, giving you four strategies to incorporate your own brand persona and your brand’s targeted individual into your social media communications.

Introducing personality in social media

The phrase “putting the social in social media” is one of the most tired in the world of online marketing, so I won’t use it.

That said, with the rise of social media optimization (optimizing your website, social profiles and content for social media), putting personality into social media is actually increasing in importance every day. (read more…)

Pinterest has evolved from a community of brides-to-be into a genuine means of visual communication that connects the brand to the consumer. With new features being rolled out over the past year, Pinterest is looking to help marketers gain better insights and give brands the opportunity to dig deeper into their connection with their community.

Brands such as Whole Foods, Lowe’s, and Sephora are just a few that are able to bring their stories to life and connect with their Pinterest community. One way these brands are able to do this is by inspiring and educating their following.

So today we’re looking at some best practices aimed at helping marketers showcase their brands on Pinterest.

Prep for promoted pins

These paid ads are currently only available to a small set of brands. However, if you’re an e-commerce site, start allocating a budget for promoted pins. It would be best to use these during key holiday and promotional periods. (read more…)