Archive | May, 2013

New Research: Social Media Trends For Marketers In 2013

27 May
Social Media Examiner has just released its annual Social Media Marketing report. It reveals some interesting data about this year’s social media marketing trends.  I’d like to highlight some of the report’s most surprising and significant points. In a survey of 3,025 marketers, the study determined the following:

-The use of social bookmarking sites has plummeted from 26% of respondents in 2011 to just 10% in 2013. De.licio.us, DIGG, Friendfeed, etc., are rapidly falling in favor where marketers are concerned. (According to ebizMBA, the  most popular bookmarking sites are currently Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and StumbleUpon.)

Respondents with more than 5 years experience are far more likely to use LinkedInthan the average respondent (92% vs. 70%).

Marketers who spend more than 40 hours a week on social media are more heavily focused on Pinterest, Google, Instagram and YouTube than those who spending 6 hours a week or less on social media marketing.

Biz-to-Consumer marketers have adopted Facebook  at a greater rate than Biz-to-Biz marketers; however, the opposite is true for LinkedIn. Although Facebook is the most important social platform for a strong majority (67%) of B2C marketers, Facebook and LinkedIn are tied among B2B marketers at 29% each.

67% of marketers plan to increase their Twitter activities. This is a significant majority, but is down slightly from 69% last year and 73% in 2011. Younger marketers are much more likely to use photo sharing sites such as Instagram than their older counterparts.

-Here’s the biggest shocker, for me: the report says80% of marketers have no plans to use daily deal sites, such as Groupon or LivingSocial in the near future.

About the Data: Of the 3025 marketing participants in the study, 56% primarily target consumers and 44% target businesses. 72% of the respondents are 30-59. Females represented 62% of the survey sample. 57% are in the U.S., with the U.K. (9%) being the next-most heavily represented country.

 

Social Media Reigns Over Geolocation for Small Businesses

20 May

As a growing number of smaller companies use mobile technology, advertising trends are emerging.

Small businesses are, on an increasing basis, discovering the opportunities that are available to them over mobile and preferences regarding techniques such as geolocation, social media marketing, and others are beginning to emerge.

Recent research has shown that when it comes to smaller companies, social media marketing is preferred.

Not only is that the preference for the majority of small businesses, but they are also showing that they don’t have a strong liking for geolocation and other location based advertising. In fact, in a recent survey, 97 percent of participating small business owners said that they were already using various types of social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram for marketing purposes.

On the other hand, far fewer said that they were using geolocation based campaigns and promotions.

In fact, among the respondents to the survey, only 17 percent said that they were using geolocation strategies – for example, Foursquare – for the promotion of their business, brand, and/or products.

Even though they don’t seem to be attaching themselves to geolocation technology, they are embracing mobile – both smartphones and tablets – with a vengeance. They are consistently coming up with strategies that are friendly to these devices, such as text message marketing, optimized websites, QR codes, and others.

According to the Joel Hughes, the senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at the company that conducted the survey, Constant Contact “It’s encouraging that a majority of small businesses recognize that their customers are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to find information, look for deals and even to make purchases.”

At the same time, Hughes also pointed out that while small businesses are embracing mobile commerce and marketing, they are still learning the ropes. Therefore, he doesn’t find it that surprising that they are sticking to areas such as social media and email, where they have already experienced success, and are not yet leaping on board with geolocation, which is not nearly as familiar to them and which is untested for their companies.

Social Media Marketing #1 Rule! Don’t be Annoying!

13 May

Although social media marketing has no doubt emerged as a powerful tool for brands, it needs to be used in a careful and considered way to avoid alienating audiences.

You wouldn’t jump head-first into any other marketing strategy without giving it some thought first – and this should also be the case when it comes to social media.

One of the most essential things to bear in mind when marketing your brand using social networking sites is not to annoy your friends or followers – and here’s how.

1. Don’t over-post

It is important to help your followers remember that you are there, but don’t bombard them with unnecessary posts.

Build up your posts over time depending on the feedback you get from consumers – bear in mind that they can ‘unlike’ or ‘unfollow’ your page with just a click of a button!

2. Keep content fresh and interesting

When you post original content on your page, make sure it is of interest to your target audience, otherwise they are likely to lose interest quickly and spend their time looking at other pages.

You might want to invest in a new content strategy to create tailored posts, which will showcase your brand in a better light than regurgitated links to other websites.

3. Use feedback to your advantage

One of the benefits of social media is that you can receive timely feedback on your brand and the posts that you make – while some companies will use this to their advantages, others will see it as something to be ignored.

Don’t be afraid to interact with your followers – ignoring their points of view is unlikely to reflect well on your company and could annoy the people who are trying to get their opinions across.

6 Rules for Social Media and Content Marketing

6 May

With content marketing repeatedly being proven as one of the best ways to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined audience, it is important to know how to do it properly.

Recently, statistics show that social media sites are one of the best ways to reach audiences and attract interest from the public sphere. 

Taking this into account, it is important that content marketers know the correct way to go about publishing their content on social media sites. These simple tips will help to increase customer engagement and web traffic.

Have a goal for your content

It is important that you have a goal in mind for your content so that you know what you want to achieve from your post. For example, are you looking for leads? To nurture future prospects? Entertain people? Or just boost your ratings in Google?

Determining what outcomes you would like to achieve will help adapt your writing to fulfil this, as well as write the best content that you can.

Research your audience and your topic

As well as having a goal for your content, it is also important that you know who you are writing for. This will help you decide on the topic of your content, the material within it.

You should also investigate what else is being written for the audience you are planning to target, as this will mean you can see what the hot topic is right now. However, try to be original and bring a new angle to it.

Don’t fill it with too much jargon

There is no problem with getting a little bit technical with your content if you know your stuff, but filling your post with too much jargon will just turn most of your audience off as they may fail to grasp your key points and won’t want to spend time looking up every acronym.

Instead, make sure that you remember you are writing for humans – be a little conversational, make it entertaining. You can still get all the information you wanted in there, however you will have done this in a consumer-friendly way.

This is especially fitting for writing on social media, as users on sites such as Facebook and Twitter will only share your content if it has interested them.

Publish everywhere

It is, of course, essential that you post to the main places where your target audience consumes its content, (which you should be able to find from your industry and audience research). However, that still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post in other areas you may not have thought about.

Even if you don’t think it is necessarily relevant, posting your material in as many places as possible will definitely improve traffic and you never know, you could reach a totally new audience than you had before.

Create multi-media

Written posts are great, however in today’s world, there is so much technology available, that it seems a shame to waste it.

Why not get creative and produce a video, a podcast, an infographic, or even a slide show which people can consume quickly if they don’t have time to read a full article. Or if you want to include words, why not do both?

Turn problems into content

There are always problems within every company, however if you have managed to overcome them, why not share it with your customers and future clients.

Writing things such as case studies, or even writing a post to answer frequently asked questions will show that you care about your customers, work hard to resolve issues and aren’t afraid to admit mistakes.