1) Multivariate testing and site optimization will cross the chasm and
Mark Walsh, Tuesday, August 3, 2010, 6:28 PM
Social media ranks roughly in the middle of different marketing tactics adopted by companies to reach existing or potential customers internationally. For instance, 45% have set up social media fan pages, compared to 69% creating localized Web sites, the most common approach for tapping into overseas markets. (Only 30% had tried paid media on social sites.)
Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web
Social media has democratized influence, forever changing the way businesses communicate with customers and the way customers affect the decisions of their peers. With platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, anyone can now find and connect with others who share similar interests, challenges, and beliefs-creating communities that shape and steer the perception of brands. Without engagement in these communities, we miss major opportunities to shape our marketing messages.
However, use of the tools does not guarantee that people will listen. Engagement is shaped by the interpretation of its intentions. In order for social media to mutually benefit you and your customers, you must engage them in meaningful and advantageous conversations, empowering them as true participants in your marketing and service efforts.
With Engage! as your guide, you can effectively compete in this new era of digital Darwinism while engendering the support of online champions. Social and participatory media significantly contribute to the success of every modern business, and with this book, you will find out how to:
SUMMARY: Search engines are starting to index the content users create on social media sites – and marketers are taking advantage.
In part two of this Special Report, we’ve compiled seven tactics marketers are using to reap SEO benefits from their social marketing activities. Includes advice for:
o Optimizing social media profiles
o Conducting keyword research
o Generating inbound links
o Coordinating your search and social teams
SUMMARY: Social media exerts a growing influence on search engine results pages, and marketers who have integrated social media in their SEO strategies are already seeing the benefits. Early movers are attracting more inbound links and claiming more page-one real estate.
We’re diving into the details of social/SEO integration in this two-part Special Report. This installment features five key trends marketers must understand when integrating SEO and social marketing. Includes data from our 2010 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report and examples from marketers.
Don't let your brand be a social outcast.
Brand identity can’t afford to be lost in today’s intricate, fragmented and always-on marketplace. It demands social savvy we call “Social*ID” to coordinate communications across the breadth and depth of a brand’s social media engagement, no matter how fledgling or far-flung. This includes using traditional as well as new media or what we call “inline.” Those brands that embrace this holistic approach will reap the rewards of consumer loyalty, engagement and dialogue. Those that don’t will be the new social outcasts.
The Future Trends of CRM
Customer relationship management is important, period. And, much like everything else on the Web and in business, there's a need to change it as we continue to utilize social tools like Twitter and Facebook for communication.
Real-time Isn't Fast Enough
That's such a crazy thing to say, but it's true. Johnson & Johnson responded to negative feedback about an ad within 24 hours after it appeared on Twitter, but it was too late. Owyang's solution for being faster than real-time? First, have an advocacy program. An unpaid army of supporters—like Microsoft MVPs—is an excellent way to keep your reputation afloat.
Secondly, get a social CRM system. Social CRM systems connect the Web with existing CRM systems, enabling brands to better manage their relationships and anticipate customer needs. With the rise of these systems, Owyang says being able to actually predict customer behavior is an upcoming reality.
"Social CRM represents a continuing journey by organizations to deliver the right customer experience at the right time," he said. "It's not just about technologies. It's not just about business processes. It's fundamentally how to and where to reengage with customers in both social channels and the traditional world."
By Michael Bush Published: April 14, 2010
Jim Farley, group VP-global marketing at Ford Motor Co., told attendees at Advertising Age's Digital Conference today that it was actually the best thing for automotive marketing, especially on the digital front.
"I can tell a story in 15 seconds now on TV, but I want customers to tell our story," Mr. Farley said. "That's what digital has shown us: how to earn credibility among consumers." Mr. Farley said the company is also rethinking the way it approaches media planning.
Mr. Farley said it also completely changes the company's relationship with its media partners as well as the creative process. He said if an agency wants to partner with Ford, it needs to think differently because the car maker launches products in a different manner.
"We shrank the company to make it grow, and to do that we transitioned our marketing, especially in the digital space," he said. "One out of every four dollars we spend is on digital, but we totally transformed how that money is being spent. We spend it mid-funnel. We're transitioning most of our digital spend to convincing consumers they should put Ford on their shopping lists. And the evidence shows we have made some great strides, and we are starting to see consumer sentiment change. We have a long way to go, but the quality sentiment is changing."
Consumer-based word-of-mouth (WOM) information is viewed as the most reliable source of information about brands on social networking sites: 38% of social networking users say posts from other consumers are most credible, followed by posts from brands themselves (32%), according to a survey from InSites Consulting.
***Matt Silverman | Mar. 22, 2010, 11:15 AM
If you've already searched for some Fan Page inspiration and taken up the task of building a custom landing page for your business's Facebook presence, you may now be in the market for some features that will further engage fans of your brand.
A nice feature of the modern social web is that it's modular. You can plug in and customize pre-made pieces of software (often created by other users or companies), and mix and match what works best for you without a lot of technical know-how. Facebook works the same way with apps.
Many Facebook apps are built for casual use, like the social games and quizzes you may see your friends using in their personal feeds. But there are quite a few apps that are ideal for a business
There are now hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide using social networks, blogs, microblogs, online forums and video-sharing sites, and marketers have followed them there. Social media marketing has gone from experimental to must-have, and that increases the importance of adopting an integrated social strategy.
Your opportunity is to approach the web in a strategic manner through the development of a digital marketing/social media roadmap. This is the approach we take at TopRank Online Marketing to help clients navigate to success.
As with any marketing plan, you need to start by identifying/researching audiences, then defining objectives and developing a strategy. Only after these first steps should you get into tools and tactics and ultimately move on to metrics/KPI measurement (and at that point, you’ll know what your objective metric is and what other numbers feed it).
Social media, blogs and search engine optimization more cost-effective for lead gen
Pull marketing tactics such as search, blog and social media generate cheaper leads than more traditional outbound efforts, according to data from inbound online marketing platform HubSpot.
The “2010 State of Inbound Marketing” report indicates that spending on lead generation is 60% less among companies that devote at least one-half of their budget to inbound marketing, compared with companies spending at least one-half of lead generation dollars on outbound tactics.
The average cost per lead from inbound marketing was also significantly less.
In both 2009 and 2010, companies in North America tended to rate all the inbound tactics studied as below average in cost per lead. Respondents rated direct mail most cost-effective among outbound strategies. Still, only 37% said it generated leads for less than average.
The emergence and increasing usage of social media and other Web 2.0 tools has dramatically altered how companies interact with their customers. For instance, buying advice, product information and technical help is increasingly being disseminated from consumers to other consumers, in some cases without involvement or oversight by the provider. Clearly, this shift presents both opportunities and risks to companies.
To derive greater value from these new communication channels, companies should adopt a “social CRM” strategy. Such a strategy will help them touch customers at many more points and much earlier in the buying process, often at lower cost than that of more traditional marketing, sales and customer service channels.
To do so, companies should embrace the social media channels being used by their customers; identify and engage with the “superusers” who supply product expertise to other customers; and harness the power of advanced analytics to provide broad insights on customer needs, wants and behaviors. Perhaps most importantly, companies must remember that social media and Web 2.0 will not work for all customer needs and segments, even though they can significantly alter the role played by more traditional contact channels.
In short, social CRM presents many opportunities to build a distinctive capability that can serve as a building block of high performance: a method to potentially connect more tightly with customers at lower cost and in a way that provides a real differentiation from competitors.
Tips for attracting ecstatic followers who will spread your brand gospel.
Why go to the trouble of creating networks of passionate consumers? Well, partly because your consumer will insist you do. Engaging directly with them is the new normal. The ubiquity of social-networking tools has created an expectation of accessibility not just from friends and colleagues but from companies too. We're now in a culture that celebrates and enables constant contact and responsiveness from everyone, like it or not.
But the real reason to go beyond conventional broadcast media, and even beyond constant engagement to the Holy Grail of community, is to create commitment in an environment that predisposes people to capriciousness.
In commodity markets, or ones where leapfrogging product innovation is the norm (most), anything that can create stickiness--and its sibling, word-of-mouth--should be embraced. And high-functioning communities of any kind tend to create commitment and recruitment.
By MAHESH MURTHY
One thing I learned from my days in traditional advertising is that a brand doesn't exist on shelves—it exists in the hearts and minds of people. Your brand is the sum total of perceptions about your product in the heads of your relevant audience.
Apple has generated strong buzz for its coming iPad without advertising.
If that's true, then online media are the most important place for your brand image to be established, defended and grown. This is where your offering comes face-to-face with your audience and where its responses can be measured, shaped and—if need be—countered in real time. This is where perceptions can be built, person by person.
***John Bell on 02/08/2010 05:19
We manage databases of influencers for particular subject areas and clients that are 500 influencers strong. We know them all in one way or another. We respect their authority and their interests. And we only want to engage them for things that make sense to them (and our client). We want to respect their time and expertise.
We segment our influencers in absolute categories and in categories that are specific to a particular client project. Ever try engaging Food bloggers over a frozen food? You quickly realize that there are many segments of food bloggers. Some will put convenience on the front burner and be receptive. Others would just as soon burn you at the stake for ignoring their "pure" interests in food and presuming that they would ever engage with an FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) product like frozen peas or prepared meals.
I have spoken about our approach toSocial Influencer Relationship Management (Social IRM) which is really the grown-up management of our influencer relationships for their benefit and the brands we work with.
Brands That Continually Throw to Consumers Will Win Come Monday Morning and Beyond
Social CRM Platforms: Both the most nascent and promising area for brands this year is in the emerging space of social CRM platforms, where customers rather than just company employees, provide support. Best Buy has made the most visible move here with Twelpforce. Consumers are encouraged to simply tweet tech-related questions to @Twelpforce for support from hundreds of its "Blue Shirts." Another interesting player here is GetSatisfaction, which powers companies like Dopplr, Mint.com, Nike and Microsoft among others. GetSatisfaction builds customer support communities that connects customers with their peers and a brand's employees for help. Integration with Salesforce.com's AppExchange bodes for bigger thing ahead.
from MarketingProfs, Published on February 1, 2010
Although companies know they need a marketing message that stands out in the marketplace, 62% of executives rate their company's message as average to poor and only 38% say their company has a differentiated story, according to a survey from Corporate Visions. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.
Slides: Four Social Media Trends for Business in 2010 by Jeremiah OwyangCategories: Web Strategy Posted on January 22nd, 2010
Companies Must Approach Social Programs In A Coordinated Effort
Many companies are enthralled by the opportunity to use social technologies to connect with customers, yet many lack a plan or coordinated effort. Additionally, things are going to get more difficult as they don’t realize that as consumers and employees rapidly adopt these tools the level of complexity increases across the organization. While it’s easy to get caught up on the specific new technologies that are constantly emerging, companies should focused on business trends and themes in 2010. In particular, companies must develop a business strategy based on customer understanding, put the baseline resources in place to get your company ready, deliver a holistic experience to customers –and build advocacy programs and anticipate customer need.
Published on January 21, 2010 from MarketingProfsTwo-thirds (66%) of marketing professionals plan to invest in social media over the next 12 months and 40% will shift more than one-fifth of their traditional direct marketing budget toward digital, interactive, or social channels, according to a new survey from Alterian.
Together, earned and paid media are far more effective when the programs are humanized. The difference between social network advertising and marketing and traditional online campaigns are the ecosystems where engagement is fostered. Social networks are “social” and therefore respect and empathy are the minimum antes necessary to potentially earn attention, a precious commodity in Social Media. Without a genuine intent to offer value, trust is elusive. It’s the difference between shouting “at” people and speaking “with” someone.
Before you’re a marketer or advertiser, you’re a consumer. Bring that perspective to the marketing table…
In 2010, Social Media will rapidly escalate from novelty or perceived necessity to an integrated and strategic business communications, service, and information community and ecosystem. Our experiences and education will foster growth and propel us through each stage of the Social Media Marketing evolution.
As MarketingSherpa observes, “2010 is the year where social media marketers gain the experience required to advance from novice to competent practitioner capable of achieving social marketing objectives and proving ROI.”
It’s a powerful prediction and it’s one that I also believe. This is your year to excel, teach, and create your own destiny.
***Social Media All-Stars
By Erik Qualman, ClickZ, Jan 13, 2010 Sponsored by Online Marketing Summit
New Chart: What’s Motivating the Social Relationship Between Consumers and Companies? from marketingsherpa.com
Social Media Group released a comprehensive Social Media Request for Proposal (SMRFP) template to make things easier for companies looking for the right social media partner. The questions cover company background, strategy, reputation management, measurement, monitoring and more. The template asks many tough questions, but a competent social media partner should be able to answer most of them.
Questions on SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORIN:
***Harnessing Active Brand Advocates JANUARY 11, 2010
Web spurs offline word-of-mouthA survey conducted by Synovate for word-of-mouth ad network PostRelease investigated just how likely Internet users are to do that.
***Online Forum Users Are Influential Consumers
Published on January 8, 2010
Consumers who contribute to online forums are overwhelmingly more engaged in "influential" activities–– both online and offline––than people who don't use forums, according to a study by PostRelease and Synovate.
One in five Americans surveyed contribute to forums, the study found.
Online forum contributors are 3.5 times more likely to proactively recommend a particular purchase to someone else, 3.5 times more likely to share links about new products, and 4 times more likely to post online ratings and reviews, the study found; they are also almost twice as likely to share advice––offline and in person––based on information they've read online.
Moreover, those who contribute to online forums are 10 times more likely than non-contributors to publish a blog and are 9 times more likely to take an active role in organizing an offline event or meet-up for a group that originally met online, PostRelease said.
***What’s Working for Social Media Marketers? JANUARY 5, 2010
A look at effectiveness
A September 2009 MarketingProfs survey of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers found that the marketing tactics most often used on social sites are not necessarily the best ones.
The most common marketing tactic used on Facebook was attempting to drive traffic to corporate materials through status updates, followed by friending customers.
But the most effective tactic for consumer-oriented companies was creating a Facebook application, which was done by less than one-quarter of total respondents. Both B2B and B2C companies also reported surveys of their fans as effective; fan surveys were the third-most-common tactic attempted.
Social Networks Share Data, Spreading Social Influence. A key trend across the technology vendor space in 2009 is that social networks are connecting with
Survey: Most CMOs To Boost Social Media Budgets In 2010 (And It Had Better Pay Off) by Mark Walsh, Yesterday, 5:59 PM
This year, only 36% of companies tracked the impact of social media on conversions, and only 22% on revenue. But next year, 81% of CMOs expect social media investments to account for 10% of sales.
***Social Network Ad Spending
"Social Network Ad Spending: 2010 Outlook," click here.
Facebook's current strong performance is propping up the entire business of paid social-network advertising in the U.S. EMarketer estimates that U.S. marketers will spend more than $1.2 billion to advertise on online social networks in 2009, increasing to $1.3 billion in 2010 and $1.4 billion in 2011. That translates to 3.9% growth in 2009, 7.1% in 2010 and 7.7% in 2011. Much of the growth is coming from Facebook, which has a worldwide user base of 350 million. While Facebook has grown, MySpace has fallen off, both in traffic and revenues.
From eMarketer's report:
***Five Web Analytics Predictions For 2010 December 15, 2009
Alex Yoder, CEO of web analytics provider, Webtrends. He believes in the 2010, we’ll see an increase in adoption of digital marketing, optimization, and real-time analytics, driven by the increased use of social media and mobile applications. He offers the following 5 predictions for 2010:
become an imperative for online businesses and marketing departments of any reasonable size.
2) 2010 will be the year that integration of online with other enterprise
data will take off. Consumers are demanding that companies they engage
with take into account their cross-channel behavior during interaction
3) Interactive marketing will continue to gain adoption in 2010, as we’ll
see email marketing, web analytics, and traditional campaign management
vendors race to become the owners of the “hub” for interactive marketing
4) 2010 will define the principals for social marketing and lay the
foundation for the next decade of marketing. As people recognize that
media is still media, and that social is about behavior, the social
behavior theory will emerge. Social search will heat up among top search
players, thus the nature of SEO will give way to SSO and enterprise social
platforms will hit a tipping point.
5) Mobile applications continued to grow throughout 2009 and will explode in
2010 and 2011. In 2010, Apple will continue to grow as their exclusivity
with AT&T expires next year and Android will accelerate exponentially as
more droid phones will be brought into the market and developers will surge
at the openness of the platform.
Seven Predictions for 2010 from eMarketer’s CEO DECEMBER 14, 2009
1. During 2010, as US ad budgets crack open just a little, look for an accelerated migration of ad dollars from traditional to digital media.
2. Even post-recession, aggregate media dollars will fail to return to former levels.
3. While media dollars have imploded, media consumption will continue to explode.
4. Advertising will support less and less of the load for content and entertainment.
5. Advertising on social networks will never attract a large share of marketers’ ad dollars.
Marketers are more interested in genuine engagement with consumers on social platforms, and less in opportunities to flood them with banner ads.
The spending emphasis is on internal staffing, and building structures and systems for two-way, real-time communications with consumers—and not so much on deploying ads. Social marketing works best when it’s earned, not paid for. It’s a matter of leveraging the inherent trust consumers have in each other.
6. Marketers will be increasingly willing to trade off reach for deeper engagement.
7. The classic interruption/disruption model of advertising, whereby marketers insert unwanted, usually irrelevant ads as a price the consumer must pay to view desired content, will erode, if not fade away.
***Social Media Checklist for Small and Medium Size Businesses
By Heidi Cohen, ClickZ, Dec 14, 2009
***Social Initiatives: B2B vs. B2C DECEMBER 4, 2009
B2Bs less experienced but more active
The “2009 B2B Social Media Benchmarking Study” found that those B2B companies already using social media were much more active in the space than their B2C counterparts, especially when it came to microblogging, participating in discussions on third-party sites, blogging and monitoring company mentions on various social media. B2Cs were ahead in a few areas: social media advertising, user ratings and reviews, and online communities for customers and prospects.
Not only were B2B firms more likely overall to maintain a social network profile, they were managing profiles across more social sites and were significantly more likely to be present on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. B2C companies won the day at Facebook and MySpace.
B2B social media users were more active in measuring most social success metrics as well. Although B2C companies were slightly more likely than B2B firms to use revenues to gauge their efforts, more B2Bs were looking at Web traffic, brand awareness, and prospect lead quality and volume. Web traffic was the top metric for both types of company, however.
Six in 10 B2B respondents used Twitter search to monitor mentions of their company or brand, compared with just 35% of B2Cs. The difference in usage of Google Alerts was slightly smaller, at 59% of B2Bs versus 40% of B2Cs. Consumer-oriented firms were most likely to keep tabs on mentions via Google search, at 61%, just edging out B2B companies, 60% of which googled themselves for this purpose.
***Showing CPGs How to Socialize DECEMBER 3, 2009
CPGs can use social media to humanize their brand and create loyalty simply by being available when consumers have a problem, question or compliment. Among all forms of social media, social networks draw the most attention from CPG marketers. That is due, in part, to their sizable user base. CPG companies are mass marketers, even as they use social media to reach individual consumers. Branded fan pages are a common first step.
While some Facebook fan pages for CPG products are hugely popular, it can be hard for, say, everyday cleaning products to garner as much brand loyalist love as is shown by the millions of Coca-Cola drinkers who broadcast their fandom on the social network. The key is to connect with consumers in an authentic way that makes sense based on the brand values they’ve been familiar with for years.
***Social Media Marketers Declare Success DECEMBER 2, 2009
The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has followed up on its 2007 and 2008 studies of social media usage by the Inc. 500. Adoption and awareness continue to trend upward, with 91% of firms using at least one social media tool in 2009 and three-quarters describing themselves as “very familiar” with social networking.
Social networking and blogging have seen the most growth in adoption, while other technologies have flattened or even declined in use, including wikis and online video. Twitter usage, of course, has caught on quickly—more than one-half of businesses reported tweeting in 2009. This was the first year respondents were polled about Twitter.
Respondents overwhelmingly believed it was. The companies polled were mostly measuring hits, comments, leads or sales as primary indicators.
Companies were also monitoring mentions of their brands in the social media space, at 68% this year. That figure was climbing steadily, up from 60% in 2008 and 50% in 2007.
In Building Communities, Marketers Can Learn From Cults
Douglas Atkin, 02.21.10, 11:59 PM EST, forbes.com
Social CRM: The New Frontier of Marketing, Sales and Service
Report from Accenture, 2/2010
Mashable: the world's largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Media news.
MarketingSherpa: Very practical marketing case studies and know-how.
Clickz: News and expert advice for digital marketers.
Emarketer: Research and Analysis on Digital Marketing and Media.
Mediaweek: Old media meets new media.
Adweek: From print to online advertising trends.
Brandweek: Online Marketing | Branding
Business Marketing Association
Starbucks Gets Its Business Brewing Again With Social Media
How the Company Turned Around Sales by Finding 'Intersection Between Digital and Physical'
By Emily Bryson York Published: February 22, 2010
The 7 Secrets to Ford’s Social Media Marketing Success
2010 February 18, by jeffbullas