Archive | April, 2013

Find the Value of your Facebook Friends!

29 Apr

The payoff for brands that know how to use social media is no flash in the pan. According to a recent study, each Facebook like your brand page gets is worth $174.17 to your brand — a 28 percent increase since 2010.

The research, conducted by social intelligence company Syncapse, studied more than 2,000 Facebook users who had liked a brand, taking into account such factors as product spending, loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value acquisition cost and brand affinity to determine the value of a Facebook fan.

Facebook fans spend more money not only on the brands they fan ($116 more per year than nonfans), but also within the brand’s sector — 43 percent more, despite not having a higher income than nonfans, the study found.

Those fans are also 18 percent more satisfied with their brands than nonfriends, and 11 percent more likely to continue using the brand than nonfriends.

Following the old maxim that 20 percent of customers represent 80 percent of revenues (also known as the Pareto principle), the study suggests that the better you can isolate key customer segments, the more relevant your messaging can be to drive loyalty and grow revenues through targeted offers.

Brand managers should aim to interact with customers on Facebook to understand what they’re passionate about, solicit their input and enable a feeling of ownership, the study advises.

There are two reasons brand managers should curry this crowd. Facebook users who like your brand are much more active in social media and are vocal about what they like and what they don’t. They like to share good brand experiences, promotions and discounts, but are also likely to share a bad brand experience.

Your brand’s Facebook users are your evangelists. The study recommends prioritizing your social media marketing investment to make sure they’re happy: Ensure they feel appreciated and nurtured, and find ways to talk about your brand and share their opinion.

“The increase in average fan value is driven by fans’ tendencies to be superconsumers,” the report said. “Not only do they tend to be brand users first, they spend more, engage more, advocate more and are more loyal. The significant and increasing value of a Facebook brand fan affirms past social marketing investment and mandates deeper commitment and accountability in the future.”

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How To Get Social Media Wrong After A Tragedy!

22 Apr

There are many ways to be insincere, but a surefire method if you want to destroy any shred of goodwill toward others you’ve just expressed on social media? Follow it up with a pitch for your business. Unfortunately, as in past tragedies, some brands still don’t understand that when something like the bombings in Boston happen, it’s time to zip it up.

The latest hullabaloo over social media gone wrong bubbled up after foodie site Epicurious sent out a couple of Tweets expressing sadness over the bombings at Monday’s Boston Marathon, which killed three and injured many more. According to CBS News, the site Tweeted on Tuesday:

“Boston, our hearts are with you. Here’s a bowl of breakfast energy we could all use to start today.”

Okay, so not really awful, just, bad timing, perhaps? But it followed up with:

“In honor of Boston and New England, may we suggest: whole-grain cranberry scones!”

Sigh, head shake, tsk tsk and tut tut. Just stop after the first part, the condolence part, next time.

Twitter users responded by alerting Epicurious that if you’re not adding anything valuable to the conversation, just keep your mouth shut. Trending keywords are so tempting, we know, but use them for good, not raking in business or promoting your brand.

Epicurious has since apologized on Twitter and erased the offending tweets.

We’ve said it many times, and we’ll say it again: Business and awful, upsetting events that result in the loss of human life just do not mix. It’s better to stay away from Twitter than try to join the conversation and twist it to your own purpose. Your customers will like you more if you’re not trying to cash in on a tragedy, promise.

7 Great Tools to Make your Social Media Marketing Effortless!

15 Apr

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, LinkedIn — the list of leading social networks businesses and brands must suddenly pay attention to goes on and on. Needless to say, it can be a daunting task to keep track of the social media marketing world when it comes to your business. Before you get overwhelmed, know that there are a number of handy online tools, software programs and apps out there that can not only help you save time, but also simplify your social presence. While many great options exist to choose from, to save time, we’ve narrowed the list down to seven of our favorite tools that any corporate enterprise should be using.

1. TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application that helps you manage Twitter and Facebook accounts all in one place. If you are big on interaction (shares, retweets, etc.) this is a great way to scroll across and see what’s going on, find out where your business was mentioned in conversation, and respond to several accounts at once. TweetDeck is ideal for people who manage multiple social media accounts, however no in-depth analytics are currently provided with this service.

2. HootSuite is a social media management system that also allows the user to manage multiple networks at once. It currently supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, WordPress, Mixi and even MySpace. HootSuite has a great scheduling system that allows you to pre-program an infinite amount of posts for future sharing, a huge time saver. Users can also look at the scheduler page to see what posts they’ve scheduled for the future, and HootSuite also keeps track of all-important analytics.

3. AddThis is a social bookmarking service that can be integrated into a website with the use of a widget. Once this widget is added, website visitors can then bookmark an item using Facebook, Google Bookmarks, Pinterest and Twitter. Capable of boosting shares and user pass-along, it’s a handy way to promote specific pieces of content, sites or initiatives.

4. Instagram is a free photo sharing platform that allows users to take featured photos and apply visual filters that can transform the look and feel of the image. Easy sharing support makes it simple to post these photos on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, which provides professional with a unique way to personalize social media content. Popular with the technorati, it’s a surprisingly practical and handy way to add a little sparkle to any snapshot.

5. PinReach is a Pinterest tool that helps you view activity, measure impact and gauge success on your Pinterest pages. This analytics tool is the leading Pinterest solution for small businesses, according to MoneyandRisk.com. Its two main purposes are to assess Pinterest marketing engagement and to identify new marketing and sales leads. Consider it a handy go-to for those who are frequent users of the popular image-based social network.

6. Storify is a social media service that combines multiple parts of a story into one cohesive whole. Or, in plain English, if you have a topic that is trending or being discussed across different social media accounts, you can curate pieces from each account and compile them all in one spot, creating a more easily read and followed narrative timeline. Users can reorder the pieces, add text and massage previous posts to create one larger piece. This can be used as a marketing tool for current customers or to woo new clients.

7. YouTube’s Audience Rentention Report. SocialMediaExaminer.com lists this as the single most important social media marketing tool to come around in a long time. Noting that many videos are carefully tailored to maximize search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, time watched by viewers, and prompt specific reactions, this solution helps you see which audience your clips are reaching, monitor audience habits, and strategize accordingly. Video production and distribution cost companies countless millions every year: Using such targeting tools, you can more effectively aim your marketing muscle where it counts.

Social media marketing not as easy as ‘just do it”

8 Apr

When it comes to social marketing, is your business just doing it or doing it right? “Just Do It” is a one-in-a-million advertising slogan that has great marketing legs for a sports brand. In fact, the “Just Do It” campaign increased Nike’s share of the domestic sport-shoe business from 18 percent to 43 percent between 1988 and 1998. It is about as simple as it gets to communicate a call-to-action of “go”! It’s easy to understand and simple to communicate. Get out there and do “it”. Do something, do anything. Do whatever “it” is that gets you off the couch and moving.

Unfortunately, when it comes to beginning a business social media campaign, many businesses think the same “just do it” message also applies. It doesn’t. The reality is that for many businesses, social media activities are rarely adding-up to more than a series of completed tasks and simply “doing.” While you can’t break the internet, you can damage a brand and waste a lot of time and money on social media without a plan.

According to a recent survey of top U.S. marketing leadership, social media spending by marketers is expected to skyrocket from the 5 percent current spend to nearly a quarter of the marketing budget in the next five years. Certainly, well before spending rises to 25 percent of a marketing budget, the expenditure is worthy of spending time charting a strategic course.

Being strategic requires businesses to be deliberate, innovative, focused, and less reactive in their social media practices. Businesses need to regard social media communications as an integral component of, and not separate from, overall communications and business practices. If the goal is to build sustainable and effective social media relationships, it is essential that social media be woven into the communications processes and business systems. A comprehensive assessment of existing web-based activity, also known as a digital audit, is the foundation of a strategic, integrated digital strategy.

A digital audit shouldn’t be confused with reporting analytics of a single social media platform where likes, shares and visits are reported on a dashboard for measurement and review. Instead, an audit asks overall business questions about your social engagements:

  • What are your business goals? How can tools and social technology help?
  • What are your digital business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)?
  • What are your digital assets and are they working together?
  • How do competitive and best practices compare with yours?

These questions determine what is working well, what is not, what might work better if adjustments are made, and what needs to be added. Armed with these answers, organizations can build a social media strategic plan that includes engagement objectives, targeted social media channels, and an editorial calendar. These businesses will be ready to competitively participate and not tempted to “just do it.”

Google Launches “Full Value Of Mobile” Calculator To Help Businesses Measure Online And Offline Impact Of Mobile Marketing

1 Apr

The market for mobile advertising is forecast to reach $11.4 billion this year on the back of explosive growth in smartphones and tablets, but companies like Google, currently the world leader in mobile advertising, are all too aware of a big issue that could trouble the industry longer-term: there aren’t enough tools out there for businesses to measure how effective their campaigns are relative to actual sales. So the search giant is taking the bull by the horns and rolling out a new service to combat that: a calculator, called the Full Value of Mobile, that helps businesses that use Google’s mobile advertising services — specifically using AdWords — to measure how their mobile marketing translates into actual business, both online and offline.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Google’s calculator is launching on the same day that local listings service Yelp is releasing its own estimating tool for small businesses to measure the impact that Yelp is having on their business. It’s like the old saying about buses.

Google has already made some efforts in this space, for example by extending AdWords analytics into mobile, but with more work to be done to improve measurement tools, most marketers still account only for sales happening on a mobile site and aren’t seeing the full picture.

The calculator, provides simple equations and benchmarks that speak to different aspects of a mobile marketing campaign. For example, how many people phone you as a result of an ad (using Google’s automatic dialling feature); and what impact is a cross-device campaign having versus one across a single platform? The metrics, in a sense, bring into context the many features that Google has been building out for the platform, and provide a way for businesses to better access those analytics. This is important for small businesses in particular, who may not have the budgets for larger campaigns and teams of people to do this work for them.

Google claims that the set-up for using the new calculator takes only about 30 minutes, and other metrics that are revealed include total value, value per click, and ROI for a campaign. You’ll also see how cost-effective your mobile CPAs are.