Social Media MicrositesWhen it comes to building a successful branded social media campaign, there are countless creative strategies and tactics at a brand’s disposal. One strategy becoming more popular (especially with the rise of social media) is the microsite.

A brand’s main website already has a structured navigation, ecommerce actions and basic social needs, and adding an additional component for a campaign or promotion could get complicated and/or make a mess of the site. Enter microsite, stage left.

A microsite is a dedicated site that is used to highlight a brand’s product, a promotion or a campaign. It’s an exclusive place for fans and consumers to engage and interact with unique content: both brand and user-generated.

Microsites are an effective method of enhancing marketing efforts, efficiently targeting additional audiences that companies normally wouldn’t have time to reach using the traditional approach.

The most common social media campaign microsites contain user-generated content, creating context for the brand as well as credibility.

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hashtag campaign user generated content

A hashtag isn’t just a word, or combination or words- it can be a brand, a passion, a spirit or a joke. However, it is most of all a community in conversation. It’s people coming together to share excitement, pride, gripes, stories and/or loyalty for a common interest.

Why does it matter? Hashtags not only create conversations and community, but they can create context for your brand or product.

As social media continues to exponentially grow, brands are trying to find new ways to set themselves apart and engage with their audiences.

Many big name brands have initiated hashtag campaigns- some successful, others horrific and some that just fell flat. There are many crucial parts to a successful hashtag campaign, and even the tiniest slip can cause one to fail.

Sourcing user-generated content and fan content is becoming more and more popular as brands are realizing how important consumer engagement is to their economic success. User-generated content demonstrates brand loyalty and also gives other audiences context for the content and, most importantly, the product.

Integrating user-generated content from a campaign back to a brand’s website can not only increase engagement with fans potentially unaware of the campaign or not on social media; but can also extend the mileage of the brand’s hashtag campaign content. Another benefit of bringing the campaign back to a website is that it’s been known to increase time on site exponentially. Continue reading

Building Brands, Integrating User-Generated ContentWith the number of people on social networks continuing to explode (according to eMarketer, there will be 114.5 million user-generated content creators online by 2013), the opportunity for brands to leverage content created by consumers in marketing efforts will continue to grow.

Especially when backed by the evidence that millennials are more likely to both share brand experiences online and are more likely to have purchasing decisions influenced by both anonymous user-generated content and word of mouth from people they know, the importance of integrating user-generated and social content into marketing campaigns and websites is going to be paramount in the coming years.

>>See which brands are getting it right in 5 Best Social Media Campaigns with User-Generated Content

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SMM for Real Estate AgentsExperienced real estate veterans are some of the most resilient, innovative and successful social media marketers; and facing today’s down economy and increasing foreclosure numbers, real estate agents have embraced social media as an effective tool to make themselves and their properties marketable to potential clients.

Social media networks are overflowing with potential opportunities for new business- especially for the real estate industry. The real estate industry relies on, and benefits from, continuous streams of lead generation and new business prospects.

A whopping 84% of real estate professionals are using social media, and each one of them is trying harder than the next to stand out, grab your attention and be memorable. Real estate and social media aren’t like Field of Dreams: you need to build your social media presence, and maintain it by engaging and being responsive; only then will prospects and leads start trickling in.

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How Universities Are Using Social MediaTrying to capture the attention of target audiences and consumers is becoming exceptionally challenging with the rate of technological and digital growth. Social media isn’t the answer for every digital marketing conundrum; but if adapted and structured strategically, you might be able to persuade your consumer audience to stay and engage a while.

With social media being a fairly new marketing medium and rapidly changing and growing, schools are evolving their admissions campaigns and to involve innovative social media marketing components.

Universities and Social Media

In a recent University of Massachusetts study, almost 100% of universities are actively using social media and more than 49% of colleges and universities have written and enforced social media policies.

This contrasts sharply with corporate America where 62% of Fortune 500 companies have an active Twitter account and 58% have an active Facebook page. In comparison to these large corporations, universities are leading the way in developing and establishing solid social media strategies as part of their overall marketing efforts.

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Today’s society is constantly plugged-in and becoming more selective of how and where their time is spent online. As a result, companies are forced to find new ways to adapt their digital marketing strategies in order to tap into consumers’ attention span and keep them engaged.

One Solution? Gamification.

Gamification is the use of game design techniques, thinking and mechanics to enhance non-game contexts. In short, it’s the process of merging the fun of gaming with the benefits of social media.

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