Archive | May, 2014

Twitter Marketing Tips For Small And Medium Businesses

26 May

For the business community, twitter can double up as an important source of information on what is happening in their industry and around the world, and as a communication channel between them and their customers. Surveys show that a good number of people following small and medium businesses would prefer buying from the businesses they follow and can recommend these businesses to their friends. This simply means that it is important that you use Twitter to connect with your customers and reach out to a wider consumer base. Here are important tips you will need when marketing your business using Twitter.

1. Build A Strong Presence

At the least, you should ensure that you get out of the ‘egg’ profile and replace this preset image with a high quality representation of what your business is all about. The first step towards improving your Twitter presence is to create a profile that best describes your business. If you have a website for your business, include the URL in the description. This will contribute a great deal in increasing traffic. Keep in mind that your audience will treat your business depending on how professional it appears.

2. Follow And Get Followed

After you have completed your profile, you need to follow important people in your line of business. Through following them, you will be receiving important details about your business. If you are about photography, follow photography magazines, bloggers and other professional photographers. It is not just enough to follow important people and businesses, you need people to follow you so that you can have an audience when you need to tweet important information. Invite friends to follow you and ask them to invite their friends. If you have a customer mailing list, invite them through email and SMS to follow your Twitter handle.

3. Tweet Useful Content

It is crucial that you pay attention to the relevance and the quality of content you tweet. Whether it is a link to more information or an addition to your business, you should make sure it is something your Twitter followers will consider useful to them. It is hard work to get followers and losing them can take just one wrong tweet. Retweet other useful contents and this will lead to your followers doing the same with your tweets. It cannot be emphasized enough that you need to professionally run the Twitter account and that though you are a business, a little sense of humor can go a long way in improving your marketing.

4. Listen To Customers

In business, there is a saying that the customer is always right. There is no better way to keep track of the changes in consumer needs than to listen to what they have to say. Unlike other marketing strategies social media platforms like Twitter are two-way communication channels where consumers can air their views and grievances. Pay attention to everything the consumer says even if it is not about you. Addressing any issues and providing solutions will present you as a responsible business.

5. Identify What You Want From Twitter

Different approaches on Twitter will lead to different results. You need to define your goals clearly so as to end up with the desired results. Are you using Twitter to get more followers, leads, connect with consumers or market products? One thing that remains constant is that you need to constantly tweet useful information if you have to achieve the set goals. Make sure that whatever you are going for is in line with the followers you have. They will be receiving tweets from you and the tweets need to be something they need and can share with their friends.

 

Facebook Gives Marketers More Audience Insights

19 May

Facebook debuts a new marketing tool called Audience Insights, available within Ads Manager.

After the recent launch of its new video ad metrics, Audience Network, and Anonymous Login, Facebook has now introduced Audience Insights so that marketers can learn even more about their consumers.

The goal of Audience Insights is to help marketers figure out how to best tailor their marketing messages to reach current and potential consumers across the social network. The new tool allows marketers to acquire insights into three types of consumers: current target consumers (created in Custom Audiences), general Facebook users, and users who are connected to a particular Page or event.

With this addition to Ads Manager, “Facebook is opening their data to become one of the most comprehensive planning tools available today,” says Bryan Maleszyk, director of strategy at digital agency Isobar, commenting on the new function.

As the image above shows, marketers can now get a 360-degree view of consumers’ Facebook behavior, including demographics (age and gender, lifestyle, relationship status, work position, etc.), Page likes, location, and language, as well as Facebook usage (how often they log onto Facebook and what devices they use to log on).

In conjunction with Partner Categories, marketers can even track consumers’ purchase activities both in-store and online. “Users now have the ability to target campaigns to people on Facebook based on the products and brands they buy across both desktop and mobile.,” a Facebook representative explains to ClickZ.

So how can you get the most out of this new tool? “Marketers should (and will) start to leverage these insights in campaign planning,” says Maleszyk. “[Audience Insights] has the ability to reduce the dependency on third-party technology research firms, as well as primary qualitative and quantitative market research. Planning communications may become a lot more agile.”

At the same time, however, Maleszyk points out that if all planners use the same analytics, agencies that have their own proprietary research data and tools may have a competitive edge.

And while the aggregation of this data may bring up some privacy concerns, Facebook says Audience Insights provides all its information in an anonymous manner. The tool surfaces information that Facebook users have already posted on the social platform, along with information provided by select third-party partners.

Custom Audience and Partner Categories use data from select third parties, including Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon. However, no personal information is shared between Facebook, the third parties, and advertisers, notes the Facebook rep.

Audience Insights will roll out within Ads Manager for U.S. marketers immediately. A global rollout is expected to follow in the coming months.

Are you eager to use Facebook’s new insights tool?

5 Best Practices for B2B Social Media Marketing

12 May

As the saying goes, nothing travels faster than light and the same goes for social media. It is essential for marketers to capitalize on their social media presence in order to yield the best possible results.

Today, 72 percent of Internet users are active on social media. This clearly signifies that social media has now become widespread, mainstream and much more influential than ever. In a survey conducted by Regalix some time back, it was found that over 99 percent of marketers are now using social media marketing to acquire, build and retain their customer base. But despite that, they report that they are not reaping the kind of returns they expected.

Here are some best practices for B2B marketers, which should be kept in mind while carrying out social media marketing.

1. Timing is crucial

It is important to test your copy for different times of the day and different days of the week to find out which days and times work well for you. This process should be repeated for different social networks that you have presence on. Generally it is found that Sunday is the best day for B2B LinkedIn posts, with the best time to post being between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET or 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET (Source: Ripley PR).

2. Listen first

The best conversationalists always listen first. Listen to what your audience is talking with regards to you and your industry before deciding on the topics and tone of conversation you want to have with them.

3. Use video

Video is becoming an indispensable tactic for B2B marketers to attract and retain prospects and customers. A study from eMarketer shows that 72 percent of marketers researched a product after watching a video; 54 percent visited a vendor website and 46 percent purchased a product post-viewing a video. B2B marketers must use videos on social media sites to engage customers and advance them along their purchase journey.

4. Focus on content

With the advent of content marketing, marketers now acknowledge that content is the core behind which every other marketing tactic revolves. Marketers must focus on enriching, valuable and highly shareable content which will pull people towards the brand.

5. Measure and refine

It is crucial that you measure the performance of your social media strategy on a timely basis by looking at social media analytics. Parameters such as increase in volume of conversations, positive sentiment, number of new leads acquired etc. are crucial to understanding whether your current strategy is working for you or not. A continuous refinement is necessary for arriving at the optimum social media strategy.

Social Media in today’s era continues to be a major part of every business strategy. Numerous social networking platforms available in the present day allow businesses to interact in real-time with target audiences around the globe.


8 Brain Triggers Guaranteed To Boost Your Social Media Marketing

5 May

Once upon a time, there was a complex blob of neurons called the brain. It was a good brain, an active brain, but when the web exposed it to untold gigabytes of data and screen-based communication… Boom, the brain’s activity mushroomed at unprecedented rates.

Neuroscientists say the 2000s witnessed more understanding of how the brain works than in all of history combined.

Knowing how the brain responds to multi-platform messaging is key to unlocking social media marketing success.

How do we, social media’s guinea pigs, filter through a world’s worth of information, especially when it’s free and available in an instant?

Time and time again, we prioritize that which:

  • Acknowledges us as the emotion-driven, meaning-seeking creatures we are
  • Makes us feel good
  • Appears to be easiest

Did you know the root of all human behavior is based on either dodging pain or grasping at pleasure? With this in mind, boost online communications with these social media feel-good brain triggers.

1. Brain Gain

When it comes to gaining knowledge, our brains can’t get enough. Studies show that the brain has an instant feedback mechanism that sweetens the kitty when we solve problems and learn something new, which makes brain-gain habitual. Hook potential customers in with brand-related teasers:

  • Puzzles
  • Word games
  • Anagrams

Teasers not only get our brains’ synapses firing, they are also great attention-getters.

2. Inspire Curiosity

Want your readers to share your killer content? Open that email? Read your blog?

  • Tell them not to
  • Tempt them with a tidbit
  • Ask them a topical question that leads to the only answer: your product

Inspiring curiosity lights up the pleasure centers of our brains. Carnegie Mellon professor George Loewenstein’s Information Gap Theory illustrates this fact perfectly. When we experience a “gap” between the known and the unknown, our brains tend to fill it, like yours just did.

 

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it inspires action in wetware.

3. Tell Me Why

Our brains are always searching for answers, even when there aren’t any. Content that simply and candidly explains “the why” makes us feel good. Because humans need-to-know, when you give us a reason, we feel like we matter and respond positively, even when the reason given is arbitrary.

Consider psychologist Ellen Langer’s now famous Xerox experiment in which people waited in line for the photocopier. When a researcher asked to cut in line, an astounding 93 percent said yes because they were given the reason, “Because I have to make copies,” as opposed to only 60 percent who were told, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

If you tell us why, we’ll be more likely to stay on your site and revisit it.

4. Good News Travels Faster

In traditional media, good news is no news. But social media has generated new rules of engagement. Neuroscientists and psychologists are finding that online readers share positive, feel-good posts over tales of destruction and woe, and that includes the sharing of customer service experiences.

The same finding applies to online video. When senior research associate Karen Nelson-Field of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing studied video sharing habits, she found that a strong positive reaction is 30 percent more likely to get a share than negative responses like anger or shock.

Of special note to marketers: posts that exhilarate also make viewers better remember your brand.

5. Something New

That new car smell. A new puppy. The latest iPhone. Studies show that when you expose us to something new, our brains reward us with a booster shot of the feel-good chemical dopamine. It’s no wonder we seek out novelty. Even the word new motivates us and tickles us pink. So can newfangled uses of colors, images and words.

Our brains were built to consume originality, and that includes chomping down on innovative content. Since the web is the be-all-end-all of cutting-edge information and material goods, with every reboot and click come the hope of some new treasure and/or creative thought.

6. Intuitive Lists

We do love our lists. Our brains were built to categorize, so an article-as-numbered list feels intuitive and thoughtful. Who doesn’t love feeling as though someone has done all the prep work of reducing chunky paragraphs? Orderly, clean-lined, and finite numbered or bulleted lists:

Stand out for their simplicity

Tell us right at the front door how long we have to commit before receiving another pleasurable feeling – the one that partners with a completion

Are easy-breezy

Because our brains process information spatially, when we come upon a list we appreciate the break in our visual field. We know that sorting out data will come more easily, and that hits an emotional sweet spot.

7. Tell Tales

Storytelling tips: remember the essentialsStories are in a class of triggers all their own. They activate the subconscious, emotional area of the brain, which is where we decide to buy or not to buy.

Because stories stimulate areas in our brains that are connected with our senses, they have the magical quality of creating bodily responses, as if what we read is happening in real time.

Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, who wrote “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market,” says the subconscious brain is where 95 percent of cognition occurs. So by all means, move us by telling a riveting buzzworthy story that motivates the desired action.

8. Action Words

Discover. Explore. Share. Join. Find. Our brains assign importance to action words. What does it do with the passive ones? It tends to filter them out.

Passive words sit static on screens, but words that convey activity, movement and emotion titillate our brains, and are much more likely to engage and call us to action. So, wield action words and wield ‘em well.

Bonus Tip – Branding Video

Don’t forget to brand your video well. Nelson-Field’s study also showed that when comparing the average social video to a 30-second TV ad, social videos had significantly less branding, about a third.

As long as your video makes an emotional impact, branding won’t get in the way of sharing, even if it’s overt.

Conclusion

Instant access and exposure to online information and connections are in a boom time. Studies on the brain are also experiencing a surge. Master the art of social media marketing by incorporating these scientific brain triggers that are guaranteed to increase:

  • Predictability
  • Engagement
  • Sharing
  • Click-through rates

Are you getting that feel-good sense of completion? Are you now off to a new site? Of course you are, because you know online brain-gain is free and immediate, and always just a click away.