- Online Marketing
I found another great article on business insider, and it speaks directly to post of the past.
Not long ago I wrote an article on the use of social media among CEOs and how many often talk the social media talk on behalf of their brands/companies but very few actually walk the social media walk for their own personal use.
Today comes results of a survey conducted by Bazaarvoice of 100 members of The CMO Club. Now while I realize the sample size is small (100) it is worth nothing that 56.1% of the brands represented have more than $1 billion in annual revenue while another 36% have $100-999 million in annual revenue, and just 7.9% have annual revenue of $0-100 million.
As for the impact CMOs believe social media has on sales:
While I’m not sure why the folks behind this survey/white paper decided to “water down” the confidence quotient, if you will, by inserting the word “somewhat” in the subhead in the chart above, especially when they did not use the word in the headline – but regardless the fact that so many of the CMOs surveyed identified social media as having such a profound impact on sales, as well as brand awareness and loyalty speaks volumes.
It speaks volumes in that CMOs, perhaps unlike their fellow C-suite residents (CEOs), realize that social media is here to stay – yes there are those still on “it’s a fad” bandwagon, and that it can have a significant impact the things that matter most, AKA the bottom line and brand loyalty.
It would also appear that CMOs realize that social media is a direct reflection on the world around them – the world where consumers live, work and play. While not crazy about the use of the word “somewhat” again, the graph below shows that a large number of CMOs surveyed believe that social media is effective for identifying discernible trends among consumers with the word “discernible” being the operative word for sure.
The promise of social media marketing often goes unfulfilled. The objective is to create a dialogue with customers, generate traffic to specific websites and/or to generate interest in your offerings. Very often, the key to success is to share adroitly branded and highly relevant content with users who, in turn, pass your content to like-minded people they’re connected to. Your effectiveness at social media marketing can be measured by the demonstrable monetization of your efforts.
The reason so many companies and professionals fall short here is not because social media marketing lacks power. On the contrary, it can be amazingly effective. The reason for a lack of success is quite often:
(1) A lack of understanding of the interplay between the target audiences, of the need to add value and of how to maximize the power of the various social media platforms.
(2) Lack of ability to effectively implement this troika.
Putting the second reason aside, we’re left with needing to know what select audiences are looking for and being able to deliver accordingly. What regularly sets the stage for disappointment is the failure to provide high-caliber content that wows the target audiences.
A core objective of social media marketing — or of a thought leadership campaign, for that matter — is to gain “mindshare.” You want to be top-of-mind when potential clients or customers are interested in products or services you can deliver. You want to provide content your preferred audiences find so appealing and beneficial that they’re motivated to pass it on.
Social media marketers are often most successful when they are exceptional content creators. Being able to develop proprietary customized high-caliber content is commonly the most effective way to develop a solid position as an authority in a particular area. There’s certainly a cost to developing this level of proprietary content. If you lack the abilities or resources to develop your own astounding intellectual content, a reasonable alternative is curating third-party content. By bringing together relatively new ideas and adding some transformative or explanatory and creative elements, you can also position yourself as a leading reputable authority.
Wikipedia: Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. →
Twitter has grown to over 500 million users and is expected to see ad revenues grow as well. Making most of its money from advertising, Twitter is expected to post ad revenues of $259.9 million this year, according to researcher eMarketer.
Twitter advertising is different from most of the online advertising options out there, with elements of cost-per-click, display, and social media ads all wrapped up in 140 characters or less.
Like other social ads, advertisers can form a relationship with consumers directly where they can engage with and share marketing messages.
Ads become part of the discovery process on Twitter with ads appearing in content and integrated into the users experience. They appear to be more relevant since they are shown partially based similarity of the followers the accounts have in common.
A unique feature to Twitter ads is that users can engage on multiple levels with the ads. For example, users can click on links, @reply to the ad message, retweet to share with followers, or favorite it in their public list. All of these social options are a nice bonus and differentiate it within the online advertising landscape.
Twitter ads are best for a few common marketing objectives, including:
Twitter has three ad products. Let’s look at each.
The Promoted Account is featured in Twitter search results and within the Who To Follow section. Promoted Accounts are suggested to a users based on their public list of who they follow.
When an advertiser promotes an account, Twitter identifies accounts that are similar to the advertiser’s account. Twitter may recommend the advertiser’s Promoted Account to users who follow those similar accounts. Similarity is determined by a variety of factors, including the followers that accounts share.
Promoted Tweets appear directly in the timeline among non-paid tweets. Twitter regularly analyzes the engagement rate of the advertisers tweets to identify five of the most engaging to create an ad to serve to users automatically.
While a specific tweet can’t be selected, it’s possible to remove the tweets that you don’t want to promote. Also, replies and retweets will not be considered for promotion.
Promoted trends are featured next to the users timeline on twitter.com among the organic Twitter trends and are tailored for users based on location and who they follow.
Ads appear at the top of the trending topics list. These ads also appear on Twitter for iPhone, Twitter for Android, and Tweetdeck. Promoted Trends are currently in beta with a small selection of advertisers.
Targeting ads is not complicated as Twitter’s algorithm automatically selects which tweets to promote and which users will see them. Geo-targeting to country and DMA level is possible, as is mobile platforms.
Budgets and bid settings on Twitter are nothing new to online advertising. Budgets are set at the promoted product (ad) level.
DALLAS, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Social media technologies have re-shaped how we interact. But do they help salespeople sell?
Not according to the results of two surveys presented at the 2012 annual convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association in Oklahoma, City. The surveys, reported by behavioral scientists, Trelitha R. Bryant and George W. Dudley at Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas, were presented April 13, 2012. Bryant and Dudley asked 4,768 salespeople (67% men, 33% women, average age 40) in more than 1,000 U.S. companies which form of client communication is most helpful for generating new sales. The salespeople were surveyed as part of a standard assessment protocol for sales professionals which included the Sales Preference Questionnaire (SPQ*GOLD®), a psychological test used worldwide to detect emotional discomfort associated with prospecting for new business. Almost 70% (+/-1%) said established forms of communication (face-to-face and telephone contact) were most helpful generating new sales. Only 10% (+/-.14%) claimed email was most effective and less than 10% said other forms of computer-mediated communication were most effective. Results were not age-related.
“Further analyses uncovered another relationship,” Dudley said. “Salespeople claiming social media is most effective might be struggling with sales call reluctance®, an emotional impediment to production characterized by apprehension, conflict, hesitation or avoidance specifically associated with sales prospecting. They had elevated prospecting distress scores on eleven of the twelve forms of sales call reluctance measured by the test.”
To confirm their results, the research team conducted a follow-up study of 1,512 additional salespeople (64%male; 36% female, average age 40). The outcome was essentially the same (68% said conventional, 2.8% computer-mediated). “The second study confirmed what we learned in the first,” Bryant said, “including the link with sales call reluctance. Computer-mediated social media may help find a date, keep tabs on old friends or support a political campaign. But most salespeople don’t think it’s as helpful as conventional person-to-person contact for generating new sales.”
For doctors trying to reach their patients online, using Google+ can provide surprising marketing benefits that help them be more “findable” on the web. Consider that 44 percent of all internet users search online to find information about health professionals, and suddenly the importance for doctors of having a good online presence should be more clear.
In this article I’ll discuss three reasons why I think that, if you participate in Google+, the newest social network, you can improve the chances your name will come up when prospective patients search for something you’ve written about. If you’re not a doctor but you do know that many prospective clients use the web as a way to find you and your competitors, this article will also be relevant to you.
1. Rise in the Rankings
First, participating in Google+ gives doctors an advantage because content you share on Google+ has an “edge” against other stories. That’s right — Google (the search engine) likes stories that’ve gotten shared or +1’d on Google+ better.
For example, if a doctor writes a post about back pain and shares it via Google+, Google may favor this post in search results for topics related to back pain over comparable results not linked to a Google+ user. That’s important — because the higher up your content appears in search results, the more likely it is someone will visit your site.
2. Amplify Your Web Activity
Second, benefits of participating in Google+ grow as your network grows. Fellow blogger and search marketing expert Brian Whalley elaborates on what this means:
“[As you build up] a large following on Google+, content you’ve shared with your followers will also show up in those followers’ relevant Google.com searches, keeping your business top of mind and increasing its visibility among existing followers across multiple channels.”
3. Stand Out From the Crowd
Third, Google+ helps you stand out in search results because of the social data (such as your headshot, a link to your Google+ profile, and/or the number of people who have +1’d your article) included along with your content as another perk of participating. Social data will make people trust your content and make a searcher more likely to click it.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Facebook is working on a revamped search engine that users may prefer over Google.
ZoomFacebook already has a search engine. It’s that white search field at the top of the site most of us typically use to find other members. Yet it’s seemingly capable of searching for basically anything thanks to Microsoft’s Bing, producing results within the Facebook blue-and-white environment. It’s a crude tool, and functional to a degree, but it’s no Google to say the least.
Will that change? Probably not in a Google sense, but Facebook hired on former Google engineer Lars Rasmussen to turn Facebook’s search around. Originally he co-founded mapping software company Where 2 Technologies, sold it to Google in 2004, and then helped create Google Maps.
After that, Rasmussen created Google Wave with his brother Jens (who still resides at Google) which soon came to an end thanks to a lack of consumer interest. He jumped off the Google bandwagon and landed in Facebook’s arms in 2010 after a personal pitch from Zuckerberg himself.
Now unnamed sources claim that he’s currently leading a team of about two dozen engineers to overhaul Facebook’s search engine. The goal, as reported by Bloomberg Businessweek, is to help users “better sift through the volume of content that members create on the site, such as status updates, and the articles, videos, and other information across the Web that people ‘like’ using Facebook’s omnipresent thumbs-up button.”
There’s no intention of taking Google head on, but as indicated, Facebook is taking a different route to search. A better search engine would mean that Facebook users wouldn’t have to leave its pages at all, or open a different tab and use Google. It would also open the door for Facebook to sell relevant, profitable keyword ads alongside results, just like Google and Microsoft.
“Search is the best form of monetization on the Web by far, and they are leaving that on the table,” says Doug Leeds, chief executive officer of search engine Ask.com. “From a business perspective, you have to think about going into search.”
Remember all that fuss over Google not being able to access Facebook information? This may be why. Instead of crawling across the entire Web and ranking each page, Facebook’s engine would instead crawl through its immense database of user input, from “liking” the best articles, rating recipes, to pointing out shopping deals. Rather than looking outward, Facebook’s search would look inward, relying on user input.
Gil Elbaz, CEO of data-crunching startup Factual and co-creator of the business that became AdSense, sees a treasure trove in Facebook’s pool of user data. “Over time, this will let them build a powerful structured search engine,” he told the paper.
What do businesses mean when they say they do “social video”? Is it just about creating an interesting video and distributing it on YouTube and other social networks? Or is there more to it? Let’s explore what makes a video for business truly social, the special relationship between social video and search marketing, and tips for search marketers on starting to use social video in business today.
To best describe social video marketing, we first need to consider what it means to be social in business in today’s market. We recently moved from a sales culture built around one-way content and top-down advertising to a search culture where consumers find information and solutions relevant to their needs via computers. Now we are evolving more into a social culture built around sharing with our peers and a sense of community with brands themselves.
Social tools and technologies have helped us mature in how we choose to engage with other people online. Those who reap the biggest business rewards choose to participate in social media rather than stand on the sidelines. YouTube and other video hosting and sharing sites — along with blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Yelp, etc. — have empowered brands and consumers to better interact with each other and build meaningful relationships based on dialogue, service, and feedback.
Social is simply about how we choose to engage with other people, and it has forced many brands to start respecting their customers as online equals. From this comes a definition of social video as the blending of video with human relationships for the co-creation of value.
Social video marketing (SVM) is the use of tools and technologies that support social activity around a given video — by businesses for business purposes. This can be done with video content creation, distribution, and sharing tools such as blogs, social networks, and support communities.
As Wikipedia’s page on social video marketing aptly states: “In a successful social video marketing campaign, the content, distribution strategy and consumer self expression tools combine to allow an individual to ‘add their voice’ or co-create value to a piece of content — then further propagating it out to their social circles.”
Social video marketing has helped many brands improve their quality of customer service. Whether it’s responding to audience/consumer questions (such as Google Webmaster Central’s YouTube channel or CrutchfieldElectronics.com), or even reserving a consumer video platform (such as Zappo’s YouTube channel exclusively for consumer feedback, or EXPOTV.com for brokering video reviews of brand-name products), what we are witnessing is a shift to a co-dependent relationship between brands and consumers.
Video with social media has greatly increased the power that consumers have, requiring brands to treat them as equals in the business relationship — sharing each other’s content, ideas, and support toward building and growing an actual community. All of which can be summarized in the easy-to-remember 3 Cs formula for social video marketing today of Content + Conversations + Community.
“Social has become a huge driving force now — not only for SEO, but for video,” says Mark Robertson, founder of ReelSEO. “Take for example, YouTube. It’s the second largest search engine, which people are searching non-stop on, and heavily indexed in in Google’s own search results (along with an increasing number of popular video sharing sites). Now, in order to rank well on YouTube, it’s important to describe your video properly, to have a good title. But more than that, it’s about making sure that there are comments going up, people are sharing that video, and that there are a lot of thumbs up,” says Mark. It also means responding to any negative comments quickly and completely. In short, engagement is key.
Social video marketing is not only about distributing video content to video destination platforms like YouTube (which we would argue is a social network). Social networks, which are starting to drive a lot more traffic to video, also need to be considered. These include destinations like Facebook, Twitter, and of course, blogs.
“Basically, social video marketing is about marketing a message through video, in the best way that you possibly can. In order to do that you need to disseminate your message to the largest audience (and most targeted audience) that you possibly can.” says Mark. “Video marketing is just that, and video SEO is one component of that. It turns out that while SEO is still a very strong component of video marketing, social is quickly becoming just as strong of a component.” Mark continues.
Here’s more proof of how SEO and social are coming closer together. Last December, SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin reported on Google and Bing confirming that Twitter and Facebook both influence SEO. This involves Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets” influencing ranking in organic search. Videos on Facebook and Twitter are also being indexed by search engines and appear prominently in search results, which speaks volumes to the great impact of sharing video across social media. For that reason alone, search marketers need to be involved in social video if they expect to stay relevant in this business in the long term.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
A great infographic from mashable
More than 66% of adults are connected to one or more social media platforms, but who exactly are these people?
The infographic below, created by Online MBA, breaks down the demographics, including education level, income, age and gender of social media users, along with other miscellaneous facts.
Some sites’ users are more demographically alike than others. One thing is the same for most social sites — college students, or those who have completed some college, represent the majority on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg and Reddit. Among Facebook users, 57% have completed some college, and 24% have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Although, people 45 and older make up 46% of Facebook users.
Today I read a great article on social media examiner, and off the cuff I didn’t think the implementation of timeline on a business profile would have that dramatic of an impact. After looking at the changes in the article, I had to rethink my logic process. Take a look at the article below. The link to the complete article is at the bottom.
Facebook pages are changing. And that means your business strategy will need to change.
In fact, Facebook has made many new changes that will impact anyone with a Facebook page.
These changes emerged from Facebook’s fMC 2012 Conference.
The overall message was that Facebook is looking at pages as a “mission control” point (which is where the MC comes from in the conference title).
Here is an overview of the changes and how brands can take advantage of some of the new features.
Obviously one of the biggest changes that we all knew was coming was the cover photo. No more photo strip across the top. You now have one large image to showcase your page. This image must be a minimum of 399 pixels across to be used as the cover photo. But you can have a photo cover designed to take advantage of the extra space you get. The cover photo maximum dimensions are 850 pixels by 315 pixels.
One of the biggest restrictions is the fact that you can’t have any calls to action in your cover photo. You can’t tell people to like or share your page or have any contact information at all, including your web address, phone number or mailing address. Get the full details about cover photos here. These restrictions will require some creativity in drawing attention to your business without some of the methods that have been used in the profile pictures recently.
The profile picture size has been changed to 180 pixels by 180 pixels. It appears next to every post in the news feed as a 30 pixel by 30 pixel picture. The profile picture is best used for your logo or other eye-catching picture without a lot of words.
One of Facebook’s mantras during the conference was the way we tell stories with Facebook. To help you tell your stories, the pictures and videos are now larger and more eye-catching.
You can also highlight a story (by clicking the star icon in the upper right of a post) so that it spans all the way across the Timeline as shown in this Lexus post with a video.
You can also pin the story to the top of your Timeline for up to a week. To do this, click the pencil icon in the upper right of the post and select Pin to Top.
Another thing you can add to make your Timeline more interesting is Milestones. You can tell people about big events in the life of your brand or company.
All you need to do is click on the line that runs down the middle of your Timeline and select Milestone. Then you can fill out the information as shown.
Because the posts from your fans are in a separate area, your Timeline is now more focused on your story.
People may be spending more time reading your Timeline rather than just coming to your page to ask a question. The more visually engaging you can make your Timeline, the better.
One of the biggest changes is the removal of the default landing tab.
Applications are still available and if you have created a custom welcome tab or added any other special application, it hasn’t disappeared.
You now have 12 applications you can showcase and only the four applications that you move to the top row will appear prominently. You cannot change the position of the photos, so technically you only have three applications that you have control over in that top row .
To move your apps around, first click the down arrow next to your top row of apps to display all of your apps. Next, click the pencil icon in the upper right corner of the app. Then select the app that you would like to swap positions with. As mentioned, you cannot change the position of the Photos app.
Many people are lamenting the disappearance of the default landing tab, but the new app buttons give us an opportunity to be creative. You can change the photo that appears for the app and you can rename the app to give a call to action as shown on Holdren Design’s page.
To change your app photo, again display all of your apps with the down arrow button next to the top row of apps and click on the pencil icon. Scroll down to the Edit Setting selection and from there you can add a custom tab image.
This week, Facebook announced a major change to how brands – including small businesses – can use Facebook to share their stories on the site. Facebook Timeline has been rolled out to individual user profiles, but now, businesses will also have the new look on their pages. As of this week, businesses can turn on Timeline; otherwise the changes will be automatically rolled out to all pages on March 30. But before you turn on Timeline, it’s important to understand all the changes that are coming.
So, what does Facebook Timeline for brand pages mean? We tuned into Facebook’s recent live marketing event on what’s new with Facebook for brands, so here’s a rundown of some of the major changes you’ll see.
Updated Layout, Experience, & Page Content Types
The first thing you’ll notice when visiting a business page using Timeline is the new look and feel, characterized by the use of two images featured prominently at the top of the page. There is also a new layout for business information and page apps, a new interface for content posted to the page, and new types of content that can appear on your business Timeline.
Here’s an overview of these elements.
Cover Image – This is a large, banner-style photo that is prominently featured at the top of your page. This 851 x 315 pixel image is intended to set the visual tone and identity of your page and should showcase the life of your brand. For example, a cupcake shop might show a colorful photo of a display of cakes or pastries in this image. One thing to keep in mind with the cover image is that you cannot add promotional text such as offer information, business hours or locations, or other calls to action. This type of content should be displayed in the “about” section of your page or in a status update.
Profile Photo – This image is a small, square image that is basically the profile photo for your page. This photo will show up as your business image when fans see content posted in their feeds. Facebook recommends to use your brand logo within the profile picture, and to keep it simple. This image will be displayed as small as 30×30 pixels in some portions of the site.
Updated About Section & Placement – The “About” section has a new placement below the cover image rather than in a sidebar. This will showcase a business description for brands or the address and contact information for local businesses. It links to a more in-depth About page containing more details about your business.
Page App Placement & Changes – Next to the “About” section is a place to feature different page apps your business may be using. This is also where the number of “likes” a page has is displayed. A local business can use page apps like maps, videos, events, and offer landing tabs to promote content that’s not displayed directly on the Timeline. Four app modules are featured on the page, along with a dropdown so users can easily navigate to other apps.
Another change related to apps is that you can no longer select a tab or app to be the default landing page whenever a Facebook user visits your page through the site. However, you can still link visitors to your apps or landing pages from places like your website, emails, or even from Facebook ads.
Timeline Content Layout – The content posted to your page also has a new look and feel that’s similar to the Timeline look that has rolled out to user profiles. The layout is two columns of content that are divided by a line, combined with the ability to outline historical content in the format of milestones, like company founding, product launches, and other interesting company information. A floating timeline shortcut allows users to navigate easily to prior years to learn more about your business and see old Facebook activity from your brand.
Content Types – Now, the content shown on your page Timeline will also be different from the previous iteration of a brand’s wall. The default setting for content shown on your Timeline includes your page’s posts as well as posts from page fans and random users (those who have not “liked” your page but mention your business in a post). Plus, your page will pull in content about your business that has been posted to user’s Timelines, not just posts added directly to your own Timeline. Brands do have the ability to adjust this default setting under the “manage permission” option and can select an option that only allows posts from the brand and its fans to show up on the Timeline until the post has been reviewed by an admin.
Friend Activity Feature – There’s a new place where “friend activity” is showcased on your page. Previously, this was a sub-tab, but it’s now front and center, just below the About section of your page. This feature will show visitors to your page the activity their Facebook friends have taken with your brand, such as likes, check-ins, and other brand-related content activities.
New Content Labeling & Feature Options
In addition to these look and feel changes, there are also some changes with how Facebook admins can interact with and feature content on their Timeline.
Pinned Content - A page admin can now pin a native post to the top of their page so that fans can see the featured content above the fold for up to seven days, or until new content is pinned. Only one post at a time can be pinned at the top of the page, and the pinned content is marked with an orange flag.
Allowed Content – Page admins will be able to mark content posted by users to the page as “allowed” content, allowing it to appear on the brand’s Timeline.
Starred Content – You’ll also be able to mark content as “starred,” which will feature that prominently on the page in a double-wide layout, bringingit more attention on your page Timeline.
Back-dated & Milestone Content – Now, brands will be able to back date content in order to post items to the history of your brand’s Timeline, along with the ability to designate some types of content as “milestones” which will be featured prominently in the Timeline interface.
New Private Messaging Option Between Fans and Brands
Another new feature Facebook is launching with Timeline is the ability for fans to reach out to your business privately through a message that your brand can respond to privately. This enables a user to initiate a private exchange with a brand for a variety of purposes. Messages may only be initiated by users or fans, not from the business; however, this opens up a new opportunity for customer help, inquiry, and support.
New Admin Panel & Reports
In addition to these changes, the admin panel and reports for Facebook page administrators is also changing. This feature will aggregate all the data about your page and its performance together and is also where you will be able to access messages from your fans. This panel will feature details about users who like or tag your brand in a post in addition to the new “likes” your page has received so you can easily look at who your new users are. Also, the Facebook Insights information will all be available from this admin panel.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →