Beacons, Cascades and R(0)s how to improve the performance on your social media messaging
In 1803 the threat to the security came from Napoleon. In order to mobilise defence forces in the event of an invasion from France, a system of communication beacons was established. In the event of an invasion, men guarding each beacon, keeping watch with a telescope, would light their own beacon as soon as the adjacent beacon fired up. It is one of the first examples of message relay system. Efficient but slow, with social media we can move a whole lot faster, especially when it’s raining! The principal remains the same but speeds have increased a lot!
A Cascade Communication Process, ensures decisions and messages of great significance are communicated to as many people as possible, at every level, in a given population using the chain of command. Cascade communication, a top down process, drives clarity and alignment.
In Coloroll as we developed the business, our workforce grew from 500 to over 10,000 in ten years. We used “Team Briefing” to ensure the messages were relayed throughout the workforce. It was and is a great way to communicate and spread messages quickly. With social media we can move a whole lot faster but the principal remains the same.
In Social media we are able to capitalize on the inherent speed of process to relay messages quickly. We can spread the message using Beacon and Cascade techniques. We can also accelerate the rate of propagation by improving the R(0) capacity of the message. So what do we mean by R(0)s?
In epidemiology, the basic reproduction number is denoted as R(0) say “r nought”. The R(0) of an infection can be thought of as the number of cases one case generates, on average, over the course of its infectious period.
This metric helps determine the speed at which an infectious disease can spread through a population. Generally, the larger the value of R(0) …R(1) … R(2) … R(n), the harder it is to control the epidemic and the more quickly the disease or virus will spread. So with social media, the larger the R(0) viral value of the message, the greater the potential for faster and more widespread communication.
Beacons? Cascades? R(0)s? understanding the concepts will take your Social Media strategy to the next level. Here are some of the ways you can develop the Beacons, Cascades and R(0) concept to enhance your Twitter communication strategy.
1 Create your own beacons …
Identify people who will RT for you and further on your tweets without prompting. Within pro-manchester we now have almost 200,000 followers across our major product groups. Our managers are our beacons.
2 Establish Cascades …
Develop a chain of people who forward your tweet on to other people automatically. In pro-manchester, managers and members form part of our cascade network.
3 Enhance the R(0) value …
Create content with interest to others. Create content with great viral value. It’s like word of mouth marketing with speed enhancement.
4 Use Hashtags, Handles and Hooks …
Hook up to the Twitterers with a large number of followers. Include their handles in your message or RT where appropriate. They will then spread the message to their highly engaged followers. Include hashtags to maintain conversations and themes. Hashtags, Handles and Hooks!
5 Keep your Tweets short …
140 characters is not a lot to play with and asking for increased brevity may be a challenge! By leaving approx. 15 – 20 characters spare, you are allowing potential Beacons and Cascades to include a comment in a Re Tweet. It’s easy to click the RT button. People still like to comment on the message they are passing on. Space allows them to do this.
6 Mention the right people …
Including key people in your tweets will help the message picked. For example, if you are at an event, use the Twitter handle of other attendees and presenters. Choose the right people. Those with an active Twitter presence and a large following, will allow you to cascade your message amongst their following.
Communication is a two way process. Make sure you reciprocate. RT their tweets and interact with them on a continuous basis, not just when you need help cascading.
7 Don’t ask for the RT …
Asking for a RT looks desperate. If your content is good, people will RT. If your content is relevant, people will RT. Telling someone ‘You should RT this because it is interesting to you’ will have the opposite effect. Let your readers decide for themselves if it is interesting – and do your best to make sure your content is of interest!
8 Be prepared …
Prepare a list of people who will be your Beacon, help you Cascade or accelerate the R(0). Take this list with you to events, networking functions, meetings – you can then tweet quickly and easily, propagating breaking news as it happens – not five minutes later when you have finally managed to trawl Google and find the right person’s Twitter handle. Use the event # as well. You will certainly be RT'd.
9 RT the stars …
Identify the Twitter stars and thought leaders in your areas of interest. Identify, the ones with the larger following. RT some their recent work. Include them in a Tweet if this is of particular interest to them.
10 Create Conversations …
Create conversations. You want people to spread your messages to create debate, conversations and engagement. This will only happen if you invite people to join you. We talk of the 3Es - engage, equip empower. Engage your followers in the conversation, equip them with the key information to engage in the debate, empower them lots of different ways to talk and share ideas.
So with all your social media messaging, stop and think! Am I considering all the Beacons and Cascades available to me. How can I enhance the R(0) value of my message. Just how good is my content, how viral could it be!
I hope this helps. Mike, We have been developing our strategy for some time now. Beacons, Cascades and R(0)s ten ways to improve the performance of your social media messaging.
I will be in touch next week with another letter in the series ... Using Social Media to boost your profile and your business ...
Letters to a friend on Social Media, Dimensions of Strategy from John Ashcroft and Company, Economics, Strategy and Social Media, experience worth sharing.
Letters to a friend on social media - Much More Multi Media - Why you must include lots of video in your content marketing strategy. We call it our 4Ms strategy - Much More Multi Media.
Since YouTube launched in 2005, video has fast become the star of the content marketing world. Video is changing the way audiences engage with brands. Apps such as Vine, Periscope and Meerkat enable anyone to create proprietary videos on a budget. Even small businesses can get in on the act.
It’s a trend that’s set to continue. Developers and platforms are finding more and more ways to help brands put video at the heart of their content marketing. Video will account for almost 70% of all consumer web traffic by 2017. If you haven't yet bought into the potential of multi-media, now’s the time to start.
Here are five reasons why you should be using video …
1 The reach is enormous …
YouTube has more than 1 billion users, with the number of hours people watch on YouTube each month up 50% year on year. In fact, after Google and Facebook, YouTube reaches more people than any other site. With mobile usage set to surpass desktop for the first time this year, and mobile revenue on YouTube up over 100%, marketers are seizing the opportunity to connect with their audiences. We like Youtube but also host with Vimeo. Lot’s of choice to create awareness for your brand…
2 It’s so sharable …
Consumers are 39% more likely to share content if it’s delivered via video. Easy to digest and instantly engaging. If you want to go viral, go video. Shareability is,one of the key success drivers in any content marketing campaign, but your video is unlikely to become contagious through sheer good luck.
Creating great videos requires a sound strategy. Determine your audience and content strategy. What is it, that is most likely to trigger a response and the desire to share.
People have a variety of reasons for sharing content with their online networks, and understanding these motivations is key to achieving the largest possible audience for your campaign.
3 It helps you and your brand to connect …
With emotion playing a huge role in how B2C and B2B buyers operate, today's marketers need to appeal to the head and the heart. Perhaps more than any other marketing channel, video helps us to elicit an emotional response. The right kind of music track makes all the difference. For our music tracks, we like Music Bakery and Audio Jungle. Picking the right track, need not be expensive!
The more your content inspires and engages, the more likely you audience will be to take meaningful action. Just don’t forget to add a strategic call to action to help them along.
4 You don’t need a big brand budget …
According to our latest research, marketers are set to boost global online video spend by 22% this year. However, while brands are increasingly willing to spend more on video (particularly if targeting millennials), video marketing no longer requires a big brand budget.
Previously out of the reach of most small businesses, reduced production costs and a range of easily accessible video editing apps, allows brands of all sizes to create business relevant videos.
Perhaps just as compelling, savvy brands can also turn to their customers to create content for them. Consider Snapchat’s ‘Our Story’ for example. Used during major public events, “Our Story” splices curated, public images and videos with branded sponsorship to leverage the power of crowd-sourced content. However, the use of customer-generated content doesn’t have to be the province of big advertisers, and the general premise can be adopted by even the smallest of brands.
Just look at the success of Go Pro. A brand built on the contributions of clients. That’s great viral marketing.
5 It’s is here to stay …
Over the last year, almost every major social network has increased the prominence of visual content. With many going head-to-head when it comes to securing dominance in the video marketing space, almost all are showing preferential treatment to content hosted directly on their respective platforms.
Video marketing is evolving. Consider Twitter’s purchase of live streaming app Periscope for example. Allowing people to broadcast live video from their smartphones, Periscope (and its competitor Meerkat) have been dominating conversation about the future of video. With live-steaming offering businesses the potential to build rapport and engage customers on an unprecedented scale, Periscope’s phenomenal marketing, promotional and PR potential is only starting to become apparent.
Finally Software. What software should you use? We use Apple Final Cut for our major edits. A number of simple set ups are also available. We like Vine, Snapchat, Hykoo and two great Adobe products, Adobe Slate and Adobe Voice.
I hope this helps, I will be in touch next week with another letter in the Series ... Using Social Media to boost your profile and your business,
Letters to a friend on social media - fingerprints, footprints and photographs
Laying a trail across the net ...
To develop a social media profile, you need to lay a drag trail across the Internet. You need to leave as many imprints as you can, in many different places and on many different platforms. You have to make it easy for the search bots to find you.
Walking a country trail, the mantra is - take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints. Developing a social media profile - We need to leave as many fingerprints, footprints, photographs, videos, blog posts and much more, in as many places as we can across the net!
How do we do that? Here are a six key guidelines we use in our business to develop a fingerprint strategy.
1 Platforms - decide on the platforms to be used as part of the strategy, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr, Prezi or Slideshare or some of the short video options like Meerkat and Periscope. B2B may use Linkedin and Twitter predominantly. B2C may find Facebook, Google+ and Twitter more productive. In the past we have focused on LinkedIn and Twitter and now having some great results with Facebook Pages and Facebook Advertising in addition. Make your choice, limited to begin with ...
2 Keywords - determine your keyword strategy. Don't use too many. I use three. Identify the key words or phrases you wish to associate with your "product" or "brand". Ensure the keyword rhythm and phrasing is identical on each platform.
A fingerprint is unique to the individual. So too, should be the key word strategy. Unique but appearing in many different places, frequently. A simple message stated with intense frequency, the key to communication ...
3 "Product" or "Brand" Think of your self and your business as a product or brand. What is the "Image" you wish to present in your CAP Strategy. You have no choice - you will have an image, whether you want one or not. You do have a choice as to what that image will be ... handled properly.
4 Content - use many different formats to generate and propagate content. Blog posts, articles, e books, white books, photos, and videos. The same content can be reworked into a supporting platform. For example, use the blog post to generate a slide presentation, then publish on slideshare. Connect Slideshare to your LinkedIn profile. Use the slideshare presentation to generate an ebook. Use the ebook to develop a “lure” for your landing pages and email list strategy. Rework the idea for content into many different formats. A TEAM effort, saving Time Energy And Money. One product, many assets many platforms.
5 Propagate - propagate the content using our unique Beacons, Cascades and R(0) strategy. Use Twitter to spread the message across the net using hashtags and handles to assist the propagation process. If we can increase the R(0) from zero to R(5), the messages are relayed at a faster rate. Word of mouth has always been a powerful communication option. World of e, is faster and more expansive. We will speak more on beacons, cascades and R(O)s in a later letter.
6 What's your MO, develop a method, mode of code of practice in laying the trail across the net. Be consistent, make it easy for the search bots to get on the trail. Establish a checklist for posting new content, use it and stick with it, every time you post on your blog.
Laying a trail across the Internet, we need to leave as many imprints as we can to make it easy for the search bots to find the trail. Sometimes we easily forget the steps we have taken in the past. You do not want to end up heading in the wrong direction on your social media trail Neither do the search engines. Develop a routine and a system ... and stick with it.
I hope this helps. Fingerprints, Footprints and Photographs - laying a trail across the internet. I will be in touch next week with another letter in the series ... Using Social Media to boost your profile and you business ...
Dimensions of Strategy, from John Ashcroft and Company, Economics, Strategy and Social Media - experience worth sharing!
As promised here is the first letter in the series on how to use social media to give your profile and business a boost - the ten things you must do now to establish your social media profile ...
1. Be famous for thirty seconds. Establish what you want to be known for. What is it that makes YOU unique? Figure out your thirty-second elevator pitch and make sure it's no more than 50-100 words! Once done, modify and use this across all your social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.). And don’t forget your website and email footer. A simple message stated with intense frequency is the key to communication.
2. Create a keyword strategy. Identify three keywords or phrases that encapsulate your thirty-second pitch. Consider what you do, and the phrases people are likely to use when searching for your products/services/brand. Make sure these appear across all your social media profiles and promotional channels. Pay particular attention to your LinkedIn profile, making sure your keywords frequently appear in the summary and profile section.
3. Get yourself a good photograph. If you're creating a social media profile a good profile shot is essential. Make sure the lighting is right. A selfie in a dark room just won't cut it! If necessary get one done professionally on a day you feel good! To keep consistency of branding, ensure the same photo appears (in some form) on all of your social media platforms.
4. Establish a mailing list strategy. Your contact list is one of your main social media assets. Start as you mean to go on and select a mailing list product such as Dotmailer or MailChimp to help you manage and maximise this. Build your list from you contact files, LinkedIn and more. It's also worth considering the aesthetics of any mailers as well as the content. Make sure this echoes your social media profiles.
5. Become a blogger. A cost-effective marketing and communications tool blogs give you a voice. And, when used in conjunction with other marketing channels that voice can be heard. Combine the power of blogging, social and email to tell people what you are up to and what your new business is all about. However, make sure to be consistent with the frequency and issue of these blogs. Would monthly, bi-monthly or weekly work best for you? As a rule, people want to know what you are up to so weekly works well. But don’t overdo it. Become an email inbox habit. Later I’ll send you a letter with some top tips for bloggers. You write well, in reports, prose and poetry - out those skills to good use.
6. Build your content authority. You have so much to offer, now is the time to get writing and share this with your audience. However, if you are going to be deploying content to help boost sales, it's vital to add a little strategy to the process. Figure out what you want to produce (blog posts, e-books articles) and what you want this to do for your business. Don't have time to create content yourself? Brief someone to write it for you! Or take down your ideas and translate into a blog.
7. One asset, nay products, many platforms. As well as sharing your content across different platforms, use your assets in as many ways as you can. A blog post can be used to create tweets, a LinkedIn post or a Facebook update. An email can form the basis of a Slideshare presentation or an ebook. One asset can become many products distributed over many platforms.
8. Leave your mark. Make sure your fingerprints, footprints and photographs are widely distributed across all your social media platforms. You want to make it easy for people (and Google!) to find you. A simple message, shared with intense frequency using the same graphics across many platforms aids search.
9. Accept we are all copywriters now. Make sure you know how to write (or have someone who can help you to write):
· Headlines that hook
· Paragraphs the punch
· Content that kills
10. Understand the importance of beacons, cascades and R(0)s. These, along with #hashtags, hooks, lists lures and landing pages (not to mention the development of a comprehensive LinkedIn and Twitter strategy) will help develop your social media following. More on this in the next letter!
For now, concentrate on the basics. Get it up, and then get it right. The great thing about social media is that it doesn’t have to be perfect at the start. You can polish as you go!
friend of mine recently set up his own business. He asked for some tips on
using Twitter. Here’s the letter
(well an email actually).