Facebook Marketing: What You Can Learn From the Best 100 Global Brands

February 25, 2011 · Posted in Communications , Marketing & PR Tips · Comment

Question: Do you really want to use Facebook to market yourself or your brand? Answer: Yes, absolutely! BUT you want to do it right in order to engage your fans most effectively. How, you might ask? Well, you can learn from the pros…in this case, the big brands .

WONGDOODY’s Facebook Global Best Practices study

WONGDOODY , a marketing ideas agency with offices in Seattle and Los Angeles, just published their Facebook Global Best Practices study which brings to light the Facebook activities and practices of Interbrand’s 2010 Best 100 Global Brands . Thanks to WONGDOODY’s amazing research analyzing thousands and thousands of wall posts, comments and Likes over the course of one month, you can now learn how the big brands get the best out of their Facebook marketing efforts. All you have to do is read the findings of the study , internalize the advice and implement in your own Facebook communications strategy.

Here’s an appetizer on what kind of marketing goodies you can expect:

Post regularly. Big brands know that just having a Facebook fan page doesn’t do anything for your brand. WONGDOODY’s study reveals: Be active, post on your wall at least once a day. Refrain from hard sells and instead post compelling content that your fans can engage around.

Interact with your fans. The whole point of having a Facebook fan page is to be able to interact with your fans. So let them speak freely and allow them to post on your wall. Then reply to their comments, questions and concerns. WONGDOODY’s team advises: Big brands treat their loyal fans with respect - and that means they respond.

There’s more than just a Like. In their study, WONGDOODY makes clear that big brands go the extra mile to engage their fans and encourage their activity by providing contests, quizzes, polls, incite photo submissions, and much more. There are so many more opportunities for you and your own business to spur your fans into action other than just make them hit the Like button.

What kind of marketing activities have you used on Facebook? Which ones worked for you? Which ones didn’t? I’m looking forward to your comments.

Online Content Matters - How You Can Improve Yours

December 8, 2009 · Posted in Communications , Online Media · 1 Comment

I’m reading a lot about these days and how important it is to have one. SEO is another buzz words when it comes to getting your message out on the Web. Big corporations hire specialized agencies like Razorfish to strategically manage their brand online - according to the 2009 Razorfish FEED report the future will be about consumer engagement. As a matter of fact, according to the FEED report we (the consumers) already actively engage with a brand online. We want to experience a product, not just buy it.

Let’s Talk About Content

All that talk about strategics, SEO tactics, link building and social media marketing is good and important - but let’s talk about content for a second. What if you are a small sized company or a freelancer and you can’t afford an expensive digital marketing agency? What if you have to manage your social media presence on your own? Can you even succeed without expert advice? Yes, you can. The first thing you need to remember is that all these social media strategies are not working without good quality content. It all starts with good content, and we tend to forget that sometimes. To easily do we get carried away with thinking about the details whereas all we should do is concentrate on the basics. Without compelling content, the audience won’t come. Without the bait, the fish won’t bite.

Two Basic Tips to Creating Great Online Content

1. Take care of your content. If you have a website or a blog, don’t neglect it. Update your website and write new blog posts regularly. The same holds true for your social networking presence: In order to tap the full potential of your Twitter account or your Facebook page make sure to contribute regularly and engage actively. Maintaining and cultivating your content online is your first step to a better Web performance.

2. Think before you post. Before you hit the publish button for your new blog post, re-read what you’ve written. Planning on sending out a media release via one of those free online services? Take the time to proofread your release before you put it out there. You’re upset about your boss or your neighbor or your friend? Think twice before you tweet emotionally laden messages. The Web has a long memory, and you want to make sure you’re sending your best content on its journey through social media space and time.

A List of Online Resources to Help You Improve Your Content

Here are a few links that can help you with the creation of your Web content:

  • AP Stylebook Also called “the journalist’s bible”, the AP Stylebook is available via online subscription, as an iPhone app or as a classic spiral bound book.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary This free online dictionary even features so called “Ask the Editor” videos. The videos address issues regarding etymology and usage, words in the news, frequently-asked language questions and other diction related questions.
  • The Writing Docs Online Editing and Proofreading Services
  • Men with Pens help with all things website copywriting and web design.
  • Copyblogger gives copywriting tips for online marketing success.
  • mediabistro offers a variety of online and offline courses and seminars covering various genres.
  • WriteBoard is a collaborative writing software online that let’s you write, share, revise, and compare your documents.
  • Reference.com This website includes an encyclopedia, thesaurus, dictionary, and translation tool.
  • WordReference.com Online dictionary that helps translating English words into several languages
  • Big Huge Thesaurus Look up synonyms, antonyms, and rhymes, even get blog post ideas at this site.
  • Killer Flagship Content - Free EBook to Download Blogger Chris Garrett introduces the concept of Flagship Content and provides vital information to create, package and promote compelling resources that attract more attention to your blog.

Of course, there are hundreds of other great resources out there and my list is nowhere near complete. So, please if you know of any other great websites and tools that can help small companies and individuals to up their Web content quality, feel free to share your tips with us. I’m looking forward to your comments!

November 30, 2009 · Posted in Communications ·

In the first part of my Communications Series I looked at how we can communicate better by following German virtues and values. This time I want to take a closer look at the values Americans live by and see how those can possibly help improve our communication skills. I take L. Robert Kohls ‘ monograph “ The Values Americans Live By ,” written in the 1980s, as a guideline for what exactly American values are. Kohls, a former director of training for the U.S. Information Agency and the Meridian International Center in Washington, wrote this monograph to help foreign visitors to the United States avoid potential cultural pitfalls. Being a German living in Los Angeles, I am influenced by both cultures - and my communication practices have been influenced by principles that are common on either side of the Atlantic. The good thing about living in 2 cultures is that you sometimes can pick the best of both worlds and implement them in your daily life. It’s like eating pancakes for breakfast and schnitzel at lunch!

So, how can we make use of American values and virtues in our communication?

The following list of tips will show you how you can improve your communication and change your habits with a few easy tricks.

Communicate Better with a “Can Do” Attitude

Americans are known for their optimism and their belief that anything is possible - if you just put your mind to it. So why not instill some American confidence into your next conversation and communicate with a “Yes, I can” mind-set. Hey, Barack Obama won the presidency with this approach, so why shouldn’t you be more effective in your communication using the same method? Once your attitude changes towards a positive position your audience will experience a confident speaker and a genuine communicator.

Communicate Better with Equality

In America, equality is considered an important civic and social goal. Why not using the concept of equality in our communication? Communicate by applying the same manner and choice of words to any group of people or individuals. By paying respect to your listeners you will earn their respect in return.

Communicate Better with Productivity

Have you met an American who’s not busy with something? Americans are highly productive and use their time wisely to manage their different tasks, jobs, and activities. We can improve our communication skills by keeping in mind the concept of productivity. Are you maybe preparing a speech? Plan your speech not only according to your audience but according to time. Keep it short, keep it simple and fill it with helpful advice and information. Or are you writing for the Web like me? In that case, productivity can mean resourcefulness and links.

Communicate Better with Uniqueness

Americans love their individual freedom. People strive after uniqueness and individuality. In the US, it’s not only ok to have something exclusive and unique to offer - it is desirable. So, why not be unique as a communicator. I’m not saying not to follow any rules. I’m saying to follow the rules in your own distinctive way. Do you have an accent? Embrace it, instead of trying to get rid of it. Do you have a particular sense of humor? Don’t hide it. A little wit works wonders, even in business communication. All I’m saying is: Let your personality shine through the next time you’re communicating. It’s the most valuable quality you have to offer.

Communicate Better with Competition

In Germany, we have the saying “competition is good for business”. Americans take it a step further in believing that competition brings out the best in individuals and businesses. Competition can also make us better communicators. How’s that? Competition can spur us on in writing a better novel or creating a more effective marketing email than our competitor. A friendly rivalry can boost our ego and motivate us to become a better communicator - whether we’re talking, writing or communicating in pictures or sound.

Now, go out and be a better communicator - and let me know how it goes! Can you think of any other American values that would help us become better communicators? I’m looking forward to reading about them. Leave a comment or drop me an email! Until then, tschüs and bye-bye!


The Premier German-American Magazine
in the US. Quarterly. Bilingual.