Many organizations are realizing the important role that social media plays in the marketplace today and as such, have started using it as part of their marketing and advertising strategy. While large corporations may have plenty of funds to allocate towards advertising on social platforms, many companies are not seeing the expected rate of return on their hefty social advertising investments.
A lot of business managers have approached social media by marketing their organizations to consumers as a business, as opposed to just simply interacting with consumers as if they were real people. Social networks are meant to be “social”. People want people talking to them; not a faceless corp.
Some organizations have fallen into the trap of talking “at” their consumer base on social platforms in an effort to reach their bottom line, instead of talking “with” their consumer base to genuinely learn more about them. As a result, many organizations are experiencing a lack of interest and interaction, from consumers on social media despite having large followings on many social platforms.
Here are 3 steps business managers can use to begin genuine interaction with consumers to stimulate interest and interaction on social media:
1. Avoid Using Social Media Simply to get More Customers into your Sales Funnel
While every organization is in business to grow its consumer base and generate sales, business managers must realize and remember that business is not always about the bottom line. There are times when business is about setting a good example and being a leader in the marketplace. One way that organizations can lead by example and demonstrate leadership is by giving back to the very community that helps the organization generate revenues.
Businesses can interact with its consumer base across many different social platforms to generate ideas for social causes that its consumers find important and worthy of attention. When consumers see that an organization, particularly a large organization, is ready to listen to them, they are more likely to get involved with the brand socially (translation: More likes, comments, and shares!).Leave a Comment
Social media has become one of the most effective forms of communication for organizations in today’s fast-paced world. With social media, company managers are able to strengthen relationships with their current consumer base via many different social platforms. It also allows company managers to target potential consumers who are not yet familiar with the organization and develop new relationships with them.
Much like a gun, while social media can be used for a company’s good, it can be dangerous for the company itself if used wrongly. There are a number of practices and procedures that company managers can develop that will help an organization manage its social platform strategies professionally and lower the chances of potential negative effects that can jeopardize an organization’s standing. This is known as a social media policy.
Here are 3 fundamental social media basics that company managers can implement into an effective social media policy and begin practicing throughout their organization:
1. Inform all Employees of their Role within the Organization
Advising all employees of the company’s mission statement, goals, and objectives is the first step in aligning all employees together in an effort to accomplish the organization’s sole mission. When employees understand the purpose of an organization, what the organization is attempting to accomplish, and that the organization needs the help of each employee to achieve its goals, employees will begin to understand their role in the company, take pride in their position, and take the organization’s desires seriously. Employees who respect their employer, and who take the company that they work for seriously, will become more aware of their own actions and will conduct themselves in a manner that prevents their employer from being represented in a negative light in public.Leave a Comment
At the end of each year, Google, Facebook, Bing, Spotify and some of the other movers and shakers of the world as we know it today release their “best of” or “top of” lists, giving us a clear picture of what the world searched for, tweeted or downloaded in the past year. In 2014, some headlines, technology and apps connected, moved and entertained us more than others. As we look forward to making 2015 amazing, let’s not forget to reflect on the year that passed.
Facebook’s “Year in Review”
In 2014, Facebook users posted about:
1. The FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup captured the attention of Facebook users more than any other event in Facebook history. The all-time highest-scoring semifinal in the Brazil v Germany game and other standout matches drove millions of conversations.
When Ebola started to appear outside of Africa following an outbreak in March in Guinea and the neighboring countries, the world took an interest. The outbreak, which claimed thousands of lives so far, is the most widespread in history and organizations including UNICEF and International Red Cross are working together to contain and stop the zoonotic disease.
3. Robin Williams
On August 11, 2014, American actor and comedian Robin Williams passed away leaving behind a huge legacy. Fans and public figures from around the world including friend and comedian Billy Crystal paid tribute to the Academy Award winner. His death also prompted many conversations regarding mental health.
4. The Ice Bucket Challenge
Pioneered by Chris Kennedy, the Ice Bucket Challenge is campaign that went around the world between June and September this year and catapulted Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) into our lives. The movement raised more than $100 million in donations. Famous faces who embraced the challenge include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and David Beckham. Here’s a video that shows the CEO’s of Facebook, Apple, MS, Google & Amazon taking the #IceBucketChallenge. Enjoy!
5. Conflicts and Humanitarian Crises
In 2014, the world saw its fair share of conflicts and crises. From the actions of Boko Haram to ISIS attacks against civilians in Kobane to crisis in Crimea & Ukraine and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that lasted 7 weeks, Facebook users responded quickly to traumatic news. The conflict in Gaza drove the most conversations. The year 2014 also marked the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.
And just as we were bidding a happy goodbye to 2014, Taliban militants stormed an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan firing on school staff and children. 145 lives were lost including 132 school children between 8-18 years of age. Social media was flooded with messages of grief, condolence and solidarity to remember the kids who died in this ghastly terrorist attack.
6. Malaysia Airlines MH370
When Beijing-bound international passenger flight Malaysia Airlines MH370 carrying 239 people disappeared in the early hours of March 8, 2014, people around the world took notice. 9 months later, the mystery remains unsolved. On July 17, 2014, the airline again appeared in the headlines and conversations on Facebook when another flight MH 17 bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam crashed, having been shot down, near Torez in Ukraine killing 283 passengers and 15 crew members.
7. Sporting Achievements
2014 started with a bang when the Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl XLVIII. Other sporting events that trended this year besides the World Cup include the Winter Olympics, the Champions League Final and the Indian Premier League. The 48th Super Bowl, which was played on February 2, is 4th on Facebook’s “Top 10 Lists” for US topics.
Here’s a Look at Facebook’s Year in Review Video
Google’s “Year in Search 2014”
In 2014, people around the world made trillions of searches and these searches say a lot about us. We searched for:
Like on Facebook, the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the most searched sporting event not only in the past year but also in history. The top trending players were James Rodriguez, Luis Suárez and Ángel Di María. The world also searched for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in which Russia, the host nation won an impressive 33 medals and the 48th Super Bowl played in New Jersey, USA.
In 2014, people searched to make sense of headlines including facts and fiction about Ebola, the mystery and conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance of flight MH370, political and humanitarian crises around the world and global news including the trial of Oscar Pistorius and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, USA.
3. Famous Faces
Jared Leto, this year’s Academy Award winner for Actor in a Supporting Role dominated search in 2014 ahead of co-star Matthew McConaughey who won the award for Actor in a Leading Role for the same movie: Dallas Buyers Club. The World Cup also saw Colombian footballer James Rodríguez shine for the first time on the world stage. Searches for the winner of the Golden Boot grew more than any other player of the tournament. Last but not least, Conchita Wurst, born Thomas “Tom” Neuwirth became a global superstar overnight when she won the 59th Eurovision Song Contest in May earlier this year. Here’s the video of her award winning performance for the song “Rise like a Phoenix”.
4. Science & Technology
In 2014, Apple, Samsung and Nexus dominated search in the mobile technology category. Searches for certain products also spiked including ‘wearable tech’ (clothes and accessories that allow users to track and measure their movement, sleep patters and other parameters), lightweight HD cameras, remote-controlled flying vehicles (or consumer drones) and mobile apps with the purpose of helping people get or stay active. Another technology and science related topic that drove a lot of searches this year is robotic space probe Rosetta that successfully reached its destination- Comet 67P on November 12, 2014.
5. Pop Culture
And finally, let’s talk movies and shows that conquered search the past year. Between Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, it’s nothing short of a fight to the death. Both are giant shows with huge global audiences. Jon Snow of Game of Thrones was this year’s second most searched character behind The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper.
Movie wise, the highest grossing animated movie of all time and the winner of three Oscars- Frozen was 2014’s most searched movie on Google ahead of Interstellar and Divergent. Jennifer Lawrence who was 2013’s golden girl is still driving the most searches beating big names like Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio although the former stole the search headlines for a while around the time of the Brangelina wedding. The top search was for Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress by Luigi Massi of Atelier Versace. Here’s a look at Google’s Year in Search 2014 video:
Wrapping things up, 2014 was a year with challenges, triumphs and moments that affected us all. We saw new beginnings, extended frontiers of knowledge, witnessed courage and said goodbyes. As we approach 2015, let’s reflect on what we achieved in the past year and build on that to make 2015 awesome.Leave a Comment
When it comes to email marketing, many startups are so focused on gaining new subscribers that they fail to address another important matter: Retaining the ones they already have. This is counter productive because according to Marketing Metrics by author Paul W. Farris, it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than it is to brand new prospects. But how can you build true customer loyalty via email marketing? How can you get your subscribers to open your emails each time?
If you want to keep your subscribers eager to receive your email notifications and away from the unsubscribe button, you have to treat them as people and not credit cards. Most subscribers abandon ship because the list maker starts getting greedy, either spamming their emails or not delivering the value they promised. This is going to drive subscribers away. The process of building customer loyalty has a lot to do with caring about your customers and thinking about their needs.
7 Ways to Keep your Subscribers Happy
1. If you made any promises, keep them
A lot of work can go into getting people to sign up for email newsletters. If you promised them something in return- freebies or a 30-day course to help them increase their social media ROI, you need to fulfill these promises. Make sure to act before it’s too late. It takes a lot of convincing for people to sign up on lists but less than a few seconds to hit the unsubscribe button.
2. Don’t be Random
Usually, people sign up on lists for a specific reason. So don’t be random about the newsletters you send out. Be specific about your list so you can craft emails that subscribers will be eager to open each time. In essence, send out nothing that’s too “everything-under-the-sun”! Give your subscribers what they signed up for.
3. Timing is Important
When it comes to email marketing, moderation is key. With too many emails too often, you run the risk of exhausting your list; Too little too late and people may not even remember why they signed up to your list in the first place. A general rule: Keep the frequency at one email per week. Of course you are free to do some experimentation to work out the frequency that’s optimum for your niche.Leave a Comment
Posted on December 10, 2014
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks, Twitter | Leave a Comment
Over the last couple of years, we’ve all seen the importance of social media skyrocket for businesses.
- Facebook has over 1.19 billion active users monthly. This means that if Facebook were a country, it would have been the world’s third largest with 3.5x the size of the U.S population.
- 1 in 5 young adults aged between 18 and 24 use Twitter daily.
- Overall, Twitter receives an estimated traffic of 300K users per day.
- Between 2011 and 2013, LinkedIn experienced a 105% growth.
- 72% of online adults use social networking sites.
It’s safe to say that the need for businesses to get their social media marketing right is only going to get stronger over time.
Social Media Marketing 101
1. It all starts with picking the right types of social channels
Most marketers have limited time and resources to invest in social media. This makes deciding where to focus your social media energy an increasingly important decision. The thing to remember is that not all social media sites are created equal. Three things will determine which network you should sign up for.
- Your business objectives and goals
- Your customer demographic
- The type of product and/or service you offer
For example, if you run a website that sells beauty products, you will be sharing a lot of image-based content. This makes Pinterest an ideal social site. It also has a more women-skewed user base.
2. Publishing and Sharing Content
Many marketers limit their social media content to promotional updates. This won’t help you build trust or a community around your business. You need to broaden the scope a little. In addition to the occasional promotional update, try other types of updates including:
- Adjacent content. This includes content relevant to but not exactly about your business that may interest your audience.
- Joining conversations. Social media is all about interacting and communicating with people online. Take an interest in the conversations happening around you and jump in if you have something of value to add.
- Non-promotional company information. It’s always a good idea to humanize your brand on the social media sites. Let people in on what’s happening behind the scenes like if you’re doing any volunteer work or if you’re having a Christmas lunch for your employees.
- Humor is subjective and it’s not always acceptable so this type of post can be tricky. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, it’s always better to put safety first. Remember that a joke is supposed to be funny. Not awkward. Not inappropriate. And not painful.
Then of course, how often you should update your social media accounts is another important consideration. The bad news is that there is no best practice that’s set in stone. The best frequency for making updates will depend on what’s appropriate for your business, the best practices in regards to the social channels you use and your audience. You will need to experiment to know what works best for you.Leave a Comment
It’s amazing how a lot of the things that we do repeatedly can be automated. And it’s even more awesome that apart from us, marketers can benefit from that. Today we are going to talk about 10 browser extensions that were designed for social media marketers.
Buffer is a social media management tool. It allows you to share stuff you find to your friends and followers. It also allows you to schedule things to be shared for later.
Now you don’t even have to open a new tab to sign in to do that; you can just download the extension for your browser. It’s available on Chrome, Safari, Firefox here.
Sometimes we find something to share while we are on the go, but we might not want to share it right-away. This can happen when for example, you’ve just shared something else 2 minutes ago.
In those instances, Evernote Web Clipper might come in handy. This tool allows you to collect things you find on the web on the go, right from your browser window. It’s available on Chrome, Safari and Firefox here.
3. Instagram for Chrome
With a rating of 4 out of 5 stars based on 10,000+ reviews, this Chrome extension certainly deserves a mention on this post.
The Instagram for Chrome extension allows you to do almost everything that you can do in the Instagram official app, without ever leaving the browser window that you are using. Comment or like photos or browse your friends any time you want, right on the same screen. You can download it here.
4. Riffle by CrowdRiff
This nifty tool turns you into an instant Twitter-user analyst. It gives you an in-depth insight on a bunch of useful data, like the:
- Retweets to tweet ratio
- Favorites to tweet ratio
- Top hashtags
- Top mentions
- Top URLs
- Average tweets per day
- And more…
It allows you to see who is really important in the Twitter community (so basically, who you need to actually spend your time on to produce real results). Get this mini-detective for free here.
What if you could get the perfect hashtag for your tweet? A lot of people seem to fail miserably when it comes to the use of hashtags. They either use something that has been used to death or words that are a little bit too… “unique”.
Ritetag is like a hashtag-good-ometer. It tells you how well a hashtag is performing right now. It’s available on Chrome, Safari and Firefox here.Leave a Comment
Posted on November 7, 2014
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Twitter | Leave a Comment
Over time, we’ve all seen businesses, celebs and politicians fail epically at social media. When a campaign burns to the ground, there is always an underlying reason. For example:
- Humor only works on social media if you’re actually funny
- Twitter bots are dangerous
- Customers can be critical and it’s impossible to please everyone
Then there is another reason. The good old maxim “any press is good press”. But that’s unlikely in most circumstances. The social media landscape today is way too precarious for businesses to deliberately make blunders for publicity.
What You Can Learn from the Worst Social Media Mistakes in Recent Years
1. Your Facebook or Twitter Account is an Extension of You
- London Luton Airport
In March 2013, London Luton Airport was slammed for using the picture of a fatal crash in Chicago, which killed a 6-year-old boy, in a Facebook post that was meant to be amusing. The caption read:
“Because we are such a super airport….this is what we prevent you from when it snows……Weeeee :)”
The insensitive picture was removed within 90 minutes after it was posted following an outrage by Facebook users.
- American Airlines
Called the “largest, shittiest airline in the world”, American Airlines replied to a tweet by an obviously unhappy customer with “Thank you for your support! We look forward to a bright future as the #newAmerican.” The tweet has since been deleted but this just goes to show that while there are some situations where an auto-tweet is acceptable (for example when someone subscribes to your monthly newsletter), there is a danger to auto-responding to everything.
2. Don’t Tie your Business to an Unrelated Event just Because it’s Trending
Baked goods purveyor Entenmann learned the hard way that words can be a tricky thing. Following the verdict in the controversial Casey Anthony murder trial, Entenmann sent out a tweet that read:
“Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!”
Naturally, there was backlash and the inevitable apology wasn’t long in coming.
Maybe it was ignorance or maybe it was heartlessness but following the Aurora Shooting in the early hours of July 20, 2012, CelebBoutique made a massive and unforgivable social media misstep tweeting:
“#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress;)”
The company’s PR clearly did not have the time or inclination to check on why Aurora was trending and the resulting tweet was incredibly insensitive. They later followed up with an apology and an explanation about what happened.
Leave a Comment
According to iResearch data collected in April 2014, WeChat is now the #1 mobile chat application in China ahead of Sina Weibo and Qzone in terms of effective usage time. But what is WeChat? And why are major brands and businesses including Nike, Burberry and McDonald’s breaking into this app for marketing?
WeChat is an innovative mobile chat application that as of September 2013 has over 350 million registered users. The app was launched in 2011 and has been climbing the ranks of mobile applications ever since. On November 25 2012, WeChat was reported to be the top ranked iOS social networking application in 6 different countries including Hong Kong, Argentina and Thailand. The service supports voice and text messages, videos and pictures.
The popularity of WeChat has to do with a number of factors:
1. The users on WeChat are authentic. Because WeChat requires a telephone number, it’s the strictest social media platform in China.
2. Official WeChat account holders can reach their target audience directly which they can, in turn, choose to categorize based on demographic data.
3. WeChat provides an integral communication platform allowing registered users to interact with their friends and favorite brands through text, pictures, videos and voice messages.
- WeChat was launched in 2011
- As of September 2013, WeChat has over 350 million registered users with 100 million users outside of China
- Approximately 50% of WeChat users are between the ages of 25-30.
With stats like these, no wonder WeChat is one of the marketing channels businesses are successfully using to reach Chinese consumers. The challenge is to get WeChat marketing right. This includes:
- Defining the role of WeChat as an extension of your marketing strategy
- Defining your content strategy to keep your content stream fresh and interesting
- Defining your target audience to push relevant content
- Promoting your WeChat QR code
- Understanding the concept of “Throw A Bottle, Pick Up A Bottle.”
- Being personal and humorous
- Using voice messages to connect with your audience
- WeChat also has a Location Based Service (LBS) function, which allows businesses to reach clients and customers who are nearby
And while most brands are still trying to find their foothold using China’s number one social mobile app for marketing, some have already jumped on the WeChat bandwagon and are maximizing its potential as an extension of their CRM system.
5 Brands That are Getting WeChat Marketing Right
Starbucks was one of the first companies to create a WeChat account in 2012 shortly after it opened up to brands. The coffee chain’s first round of marketing activity took place between August 28 and September 30 that year and it used a simple idea: A user of the app sends an emoticon to Starbucks. Starbucks then returns a song that reflects the mood of the emoticon originally sent.
By the end of that first marketing campaign, Starbucks had amassed 62,000 fans on WeChat.Leave a Comment
Posted on October 23, 2014
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment
Do you ever wonder why some posts on Facebook go viral while others barely collect a dozen likes?
It’s not about luck if that’s what you’re thinking! A Facebook post going viral has little to do with luck and everything to do with what you post, when you post it and the words you use to send out your social message. For example, Facebook users are known to share content relating to certain topics more than others including posts about positivity, technology and health. And if you use certain words like “Facebook”, “Why” and “How” in your title, the corresponding post tends to get more likes and shares.
So with these considerations in mind, how can you maximize your overall user engagement on Facebook?
What you Need to Know about Facebook Engagement?
Worldwide, Facebook has over 1.5 billion users. Of those, 699 million people log on Facebook everyday with the average user spending 15 hours 33 minutes on the social network every month. In total, the traffic to Facebook every month amounts to 700 billion minutes.
To tap into that traffic, certain skills, stats and tips are more useful than others.
- Posts with 80 characters or less get more interaction
- The use of emoticons in posts increases comments
- Question posts get 100% more engagement comments wise
- Quotes collect 26% more likes and 19% more shares than “normal” posts
- Posts published on Thursday and Friday receive 18% more engagement. This number increases to 32% on weekends. The best time to post on Facebook is 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. to get the most shares and clicks
- Contents relating to some topics get more engagement than others. The top 5 topics include sex, positivity, learning, technology & social media and food & drink in that order
- 80% of U.S social media users prefer Facebook to the other social networks as their preferred way to connect with their favorite brands.
A 4-step Process to Increase your Facebook Engagement
1. Use the Right Social Media Tools to Inform Your Marketing Strategy
With tools like Mondovo, Hootsuite and SocialMention, you can build a brand that resonates with people. Think about it. Do you know if your social media efforts are paying off? With the right tools, you can narrow down on the social channels that are sending you the most traffic. You can listen to your audience and join relevant conversations. If you can identify your best content and most engaging posts, you can create more of what your audience wants from you.Leave a Comment
Most social marketing strategies are currently centered on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest but WhatsApp may be the next major thing. Facebook definitely thought so. The WhatsApp purchase (when Facebook dropped $19bn to acquire the IM service) left a lot of people confused. But only until it struck them that WhatsApp reached around 450 million active users since US citizens Brian Acton and Jan Koum founded it in 2009. It’s also estimated that the growth rate of the service is about 1,000,000 new users per day with a high percentage of these users residing outside the US.
If you do the math (so cost per user), it becomes pretty clear why Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp makes a lot of sense. Especially when you consider the fact that the acquisition meant that Facebook effectively got access to the user information of nearly 500,000,000 new customers.
WhatsApp for Business
With that said, WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app that prides itself on providing users with a simple, personal and real time messaging platform and having no ads, no games and no gimmicks. But marketers have found ways to leverage the popularity of WhatsApp for business.
The question is, how do you use an instant messaging service to help your business goals?
The answer is pretty simple. Think about it. In countries where text messaging is expensive or less accessible, WhatsApp is very popular. Users of the app heavily rely on it to connect with their friends and family and save on their cell phone bills. Small businesses in countries like India have leveraged this fact to communicate and engage with their clients and customers. And the new link between Facebook and WhatsApp makes this communication and marketing channel even more intuitive.
Fair enough, for marketing purposes, it’s critical that businesses maintain an active social media presence but WhatsApp… WhatsApp takes it to the next level by enabling instant messaging between businesses and prospective customers.
Even as we are talking about it right now, in some countries, businesses have started to put their WhatsApp number on billboards and their website. This is particularly true in the case of specialized businesses in India according to the Economic Times.
So essentially, while Whatsapp may not currently be a comprehensive solution when it comes to social media marketing, it’s getting there. Businesses can use WhatsApp for:
WhatsApp is obviously a powerful platform to connect with potential customers. By incorporating WhatsApp in your marketing strategy, you can open a new channel of communication between your sales team and WhatsApp users.
2. Customer Retention
With WhatsApp, you can hope for a closer and more personal relationship with your customers. The instant messaging service enables you to send out quick updates, address customer queries, follow-up on a sale and resolve complaints.1 Comment