Tweeting at Work on the Rise, New Study Says

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We suspected it all along. You’re on Twitter when you’re supposed to be working! We are, too — but we’re Twitter marketing ninjas, so it’s allowed. As for you, well… you’re totally busted (and totally not alone). A new study reports that Twitter use at work is on the rise, while Facebook use has dropped.

Twitter is quickly becoming the new at-work time killer of choice, according to Palo Alto Networks, a computer-security appliance firm that analyzed Internet traffic at more than 2,036 organizations around the globe between November 2011 and May 2012. Facebook, according to the study, is still the most popular social network for people to use on the job, but maybe not for much longer. Facebook use fell significantly during the six-month time period from 54 percent of total at-work social networking to 37 percent. Twitter, on the other hand, jumped from 11 percent of workday social networking use to an impressive 21 percent. Pinterest and Tumblr also pulled in respectable numbers for at-work usage.

This new study seems to be on par with what social media marketing types have seen firsthand within our industry. The at-work social media user is looking for a more casual relationship with social media and one that doesn’t require all of their personal information. Knowing this, Twitter’s surge in popularity makes perfect sense, since tweeting makes it easier for users and brands alike to achieve a more casual interaction. It’ll be interesting to see how the modern employee’s relationship with social media continues to develop.

Readers, what do you think? Is social media usage at work a big no-no? Or do you think it’s inevitable, so we might as well market to them? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

The Rainbow Cookie Connection: How Oreo Rocked Facebook Marketing

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We’ve been talking a lot about the ever-changing face of Facebook marketing in these pages. But who knew one little rainbow cookie could say so much more than we ever could. On Monday, Oreo placed a photo of a gay pride version of its top-selling cookie and within hours, it’s become the summer’s most-talked-about Facebook marketing campaign.

The now-famous image featured a multi-layered Oreo with the creme centers in different colors of the rainbow. The cookie appeared above the date-June 25 and the word “pride” with the caption “Proudly support love.” If you were on Facebook on Monday, chances are you saw this image spread around the site at a lightening speed. This perfect example of Facebook marketing for business garnered a staggering 172,577 likes. But the real magic for Oreo happened in the comments section. What we social media marketing types pray for is engagement and the rainbow cookie got that and then some. An unfathomable 23,600 comments flooded the post. The image landed itself on the national news and the gay pride cookie was soon a hotbed for debate over marriage equality, the Bible and everything in between. The post was even shared over 50,000 times.

Talking heads debated if Oreo had a place getting involved in Gay Pride issues and blah blah blah. Oreo was really only doing what other brands like Coors and Absolute have done for years: Use the gay pride month of June to say “Hey LGBT people! If you love cookies, we love you back. You money spends the same.” Brands supporting gay rights (aka human rights) is a great thing. And leave it to a social media maverick like Oreo to develop Facebook-specific campaigns to get their followers talking. We say, long live brand Facebook engagement! Hooray for love! And pass the cookies.

Who Are You? Changing Your Blog Identity

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By the time most of us marketers are knee-deep in a blog content management strategy, a definite blog identity has been crafted. Just yesterday, we talked about how a blog’s greatest asset is the personality of both the business and the blogger. This identity is formed with a unique language rich in all the right keywords while staying true to our core beliefs as a brand. But what happens when this identity changes? Does our brand and our blog lose followers or will people stick with us through thick and thin?

We started thinking about matters of blog identity last week. Popular atheist blogger Leah Libresco shocked her readers when she announced she was converting to Christianity. Libresco has led lively discussions about atheism via her blog for faith and spirituality on the Patheos platform for the last two years. Libresco stared blogging about atheism and faith while she was dating a Catholic. But her well-worn image as an atheist blogger disappeared with one blog post.

“I was ready to admit that there were parts of Christianity and Catholicism that seemed like a pretty good match for the bits of my moral system that I was most sure of, while meanwhile my own philosophy was pretty kludged together and not particularly satisfactory,” she wrote last Monday when she announced her blog would now be found on the Catholicism section on Patheos.

Libresco and her blog have made national news. CNN reports her writing receives some 5,000 views a day and the number has bumped up since the announcement.

In some ways, a journey like Libresco’s is a personal one and one most corporate blog writing specialists wouldn’t have to worry about. But in others, her sudden switch is exactly the kind of thing brands face all the time. From image overhauls to mass employee turnovers, companies big and small face major changes in identity on a regular basis. A writer like Libresco would be wise to start pitching her well-read journey to book publishers turning this major change into a goldmine. For brands, changing the blog identity can also be profitable. A well-thought-out blog makeover in both content and style can bring in new readers and infuse new life in your blog.

So, readers, we’ll ask you: When do you know it’s time for a blog makeover? And has a blogger’s identity change ever turned you off as a reader? Sound off below!

Blog Like the Big Brands: JetBlue

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Many businesses are drawn to blog marketing because of its seamless and effective ability to introduce readers to a company’s core values. Within a few well-written posts, readers can really get to know how a brand ticks. A good corporate blog can talk about your company’s charitable causes, new safety campaigns and awards and accolades without being boring to read. This week, Blog Like the Big Brands turns its eyes on JetBlue.

The quirky airline is a beloved and trusted brand and its blog, BlueTales, stays true to that image while talking about things the company cares about. BlueTales isn’t filled with juicy stories of misbehaving passengers and behind-the-scenes drama. Instead, JetBlue uses its blog to paint the picture of a brand that has a good time, is always innovating for its customers and even makes time to do right for mankind.

A recent entry entitled “JetBlue Takes Time with Tots” profiled a visit to an Orlando nursery by JetBlue pilots and crew members. Other entries talk about new services, celebrity sightings, environmental efforts and employee profiles. The style of BlueTales is the chatty, friendly and informative language the brand uses in its traditional advertising and social media marketing. The blog is clearly meant as an online magazine for both employees and customers of JetBlue who want to see what the brand’s been up to.

It’s a simple format that works and one that can work for you, too. Blogging so followers get to know your brand is great place to start for nearly any size company. Blog about new employees, community involvement, favorite causes and procedure changes that will help your customers. To keep it from turning dry or clinical, infuse your posts with personality and humor like JetBlue does. There’s no need to overdo this kind of thing, but you don’t want your words to put readers to sleep, either. Just remember the majority of the big brands we talk about in these pages got to be big by having a distinct personality; that’s a trait every blogging-for-business expert can tap into.

Facebook Marketing Works. Maybe You’re Just Doing it Wrong.

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We can’t speak for you, but we’re just about exhausted by all of this “It’s the end of Facebook marketing as we know it!” talk. Sure, maybe the bubble has burst on the usefulness of Facebook advertising, and maybe the demographic of Facebook users is changing. But that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have its merits when it comes to being an incredibly effective marketing tool.

For example, no social network platform is better at simply being a social network than Facebook. With that one billion users mark right around the corner, Facebook is unbeatable when it comes to the sheer number of people brands can be in touch with. But what marketers are slowly discovering is that Facebook users don’t want a hard sell. They want a long conversation. Recently, we’ve used Facebook for different clients to reach out to their audiences. Facebook is a great place to run by new products, specials and programs while getting the input of the people who already love your company. There’s no other site that gives you instant access to consumers’ thoughts, so why not get inside their heads and use the tool in a more thoughtful way? Research continues to show that Facebook users don’t dump brands who are willing to actually talk to them. This shift back to using Like pages for brand-consumer interaction is great news for local independent businesses.

And ads, as much as they don’t work for big brands on Facebook, are truly hit and miss for the little guys. Instead, small companies can drop the intense selling tactics and talk to their loyal following. But the Catch 22 with this return to conversational social media marketing is this: Instead of blasting ads that we hope users will respond to, we now need to go back to taking the time to get to know our Facebook friends.