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

Internal Dashboard, Social Media

Digital content is replicating at an exponential rate, and cutting through the clutter is becoming more and more challenging everyday. With 100,00 tweets, 571 new websites created, 347 new blog posts and 48 hours of YouTube videos being uploaded EVERY MINUTE, the era of big data has arrived. Trying to cut through the noise and discover the best content pertinent to your business and industry can be an overwhelmingly daunting task.

By implementing an internal dashboard as part of your social media marketing strategy, it allows you to easily surface the most relevant content as well as curate and share the best of that content to your own social networks with just one click.

An internal dashboard can be one of many things: social media command center, corporate social media hub, social media monitoring dashboard or a content curation station. Whatever its function, there are optimal business and marketing benefits that come with using a visual monitoring tool.

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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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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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Nowadays, an event can’t be planned without strategic communication blueprints for social media, content and engagement. When planning an event, the goal should be not only for attendees to walk away enlightened, but energized as well.

So, how can you ensure they’ll leave invigorated?

Social media is a valuable and powerful tool in helping to power and energize events. And with its increasing popularity, social media is being used in different ways to fit the needs of different events.

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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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The Postano team spent its weekend rocking their faces off at PDXPopNow, a local music festival that took place at RefugePDX in Southeast Portland. Once the team got their media badges and projection screens were set up, they were busy listening to live jams and nerding out with real-time social media displays showing all the greatest user-generated content with the #pdxpopnow hashtag.

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Every year, Fast Company celebrates and recognizes the 100 most creative people in business. And this year, we decided to recognize those 100 outstanding creative business innovators by creating a Postano aggregating a majority of their Twitter feeds (or at least the feeds for those awesome enough to be on Twitter).

Instead of individually following 100 different Twitter-handles for business guru buzz, Postano offers an instant visualization of everything these daringly creative Tweeters are sharing with the Twitterverse.