Tags: Twitter

Top Twitter Accounts for Email Marketing

Beyond • October 11, 2015

As you’re continuing your ongoing email marketing education, one of the best sources for gathering topline data is from heavy hitting Twitter accounts. Even just 10-15 minutes a day of browsing through top Twitter accounts can get you a brief overview of what you need to know about email campaigns. The tweets might even inspire you to strengthen your own email marketing game with new ideas, new ways of campaign and measuring success. @deliverability, also a blog-based Twitter channel, tweets about “news, rumors and commentary from the email deliverability community.” Most of their content is composed by industry leaders, though they also make it a point to pull other great reads from around the web. What I love about their tweets: highly engaging and offer a depth of content from asking questions, sharing stats, videos and photos. Blog-based @socialemail tweets on email marketing, automation, and optimizing conversion. You’ll see content from their own blog and a medley of content from around the web. What I love about their tweets: multiple daily tweets and all their tweets flow through a funnel that pushes conversion. Under Direct Marketing Association, the Email Experience Council (@theeec) is another top twitter account that’s geared toward email marketing. They’re industry focused so most of their tweets are for businesses that are results driven versus DIYers that are focused on training and catching up with the email marketing curve. What I love about their tweets: regular tweets and great curators on other top industry resources. @theeMailguide sees itself as the “ultimate resource” for email marketing that will “train email marketing NewBees to become Ninjas.” The Email Guide share articles on a variety of email marketing topics, including trends, conversion-focused copy, subject lines, analytics and best practices. What I love about their tweets: quotes and stats. The Email Guide is also really good about engaging their follows by replying to tweets and resharing purposeful content. Of course, there’s @BenchmarkEmail, which focuses 100% on email and event marketing. If you’re in retail, non-profit and event management, this is a must go-to Twitter account. An industry leader when it comes to all around marketing goodies, @MarketingSherpa offers businesses and consumer marketing professionals practical research and case studies on what’s working (and not working) in marketing today. What I love about their tweets: they mean business. You won’t find any fluff content here. The next question is: how do you use all this data? If you’re a one-man show, take the time to go through these accounts. Create your own Twitter lists and add these Twitter feeds to that list. Keep exploring. Look for other industry Twitter feeds that are able to get you the info you need. Over time, you’ll be able to craft a custom Twitter list that you can quickly access to get the info you’re looking for – and it’s much faster than a Google search. More immediately, you’ll start recognizing which Twitter feeds give you what you need. You might find that just one or two here get you what you need, which means you can have 15 minutes a day down to 5 minutes a day. What determines your favorite list might also factor in which ones engage you the most, are willing to answer your questions, and so forth. In that sense, a Twitter feed isn’t just a static side. It’s a resource of individuals who are looking to engage, ponder, and further hone their professional curiosity and network. Do you have a Twitter account you go to regularly for email marketing inspiration? Share them below!


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Why #TheDress Went Viral and How Brands Cashed In

Beyond • March 12, 2015

This week wars broke out over the color of a dress from a Scottish wedding. Some saw it was gold and white, others as blue and black. #TheDress became an instant hashtag and the subject went viral. The question I want to answer for you is, why did this post go viral and not anything that you might have done? Trigger a Response The best social shares are those that trigger a response, asking something along the lines of do you prefer “A or B,” for example. In a fast-paced world where we’re dealing with thousands of bits of information a day, we want our engagement opportunities to be quick and meaningful – and we want to have a voice. Make it easy for people to get what they want by setting it out plainly. For richer content in industries that find it tough to simplify messaging, you can steer content around statements that are going to be either strongly supported or disagreed with. Piggy-Backing off Genius Had #thedress been a post by a scientific publication or organization, it would have been brilliant. Give the people something easy to grasp on to, something to trigger a response, and then follow up with how this is scientifically explained. In fact, plenty of scientific publications did just that with the highest grossing social shares topping well over the 300k mark for one group that decided to follow up with a video explanation rather than just a textual one. Sure they may not have thought of the idea, but they successfully piggy backed off of it just the same and that’s totally fine. People, already curious about the dress, are going to want to follow up and find out why people are seeing it two different ways. And therein you have a naturally audience. The rule applies to any news item really; you may not have come up with it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run with it. Jumping in on the Conversation Kate Taylor of Entrepreneur writes a great article that gives some examples of the way brands were jumping in on the conversation. She notes that it’s not just about tweeting about the dress, but about steering the conversation so that you’re socially and trend-savvy, but still focused on your product and market. For brands, this meant picking a color combo and showing their own corresponding product. Specifically, check out the example she shows for Pizza Hut vs. Dominos. The former nails it by showing a golden white cheese pizza and going with that color scheme, while Dominos awkwardly shares a picture of pepperoni pizza and follows that up with, “…it’s actually red and white.” Awkward indeed. Dominos’ social share doesn’t work (and receives 20x fewer shares than Pizza Hut) because they weren’t on cue. We’re talking gold/white or blue/black, don’t add other colors to the mix – and by doing so you’re unnecessarily confound a very simple conversation, which was the reason it went viral in the first place. Taylor also noticed that surprisingly, companies are who affiliated with a millennial market weren’t quick to jump on this band wagon. She writes, “It\'s worth noting that the chains most frequently linked to \"millennial\" customers, including Shake Shack, Chipotle, Starbucks and Taco Bell were, as of 10:45 a.m. ET, free of tweets regarding the dress debate. The most important take away is the need for all social media strategies to have a responsive strategy to time-sensitive viral posts. You need to be able to adapt, quickly and well, in order to truly be socially engaging and on cue. As Jodi Phillips, VP of Media Strategy at BLinQ Media says it, “While viral moments can’t be planned for, retail brands should always be prepared to take advantage of these opportunities….Having a content strategy that plans for reactive right time/real-time moments is important.”


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Email Is 40 X As Effective As Facebook & Twitter Combined

Email Is 40 X As Effective As Facebook & Twitter Combined

Beyond • March 7, 2014

A recently released report by McKinsey & Company revealed that the efficacy of email over social media is actually beyond any online marketer’s dreams. The study measured US consumer acquisition growth by channel in percentage of customers acquired, and found that email has been on an absolute tear since 2010 when this performance statistic was relatively equivalent to that on Facebook and Twitter. The growth in overall percentage of customers when charted creates a linear up up up graph which sees email hit a rate of... wait for it... forty times that of Facebook and Twitter combined! Ammo to silence the most strident email critics McKinsey & Company’s latest iConsumer survey entitled E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot shows that between 2009 and 2010 email actually declined very slightly in performance against the social media powerhouses of Facebook and Twitter. However, as the mobile revolution slowly began to take hold email marketing effectiveness took off with it, leaving the top two social networks behind in its dust. One of the most fascinating aspects of this report is that some of the statistics which are revealed in the study promise to absolutely floor any professional email marketer and provide more than enough ammo to silence even the most strident critic. No growth in social networks’ customer acquisition rate in 5 years The rate which the McKinsey & Company survey claims for email marketing’s advantage over social media in the field of customer acquisition is truly nothing short of amazing. Both Facebook and Twitter have essentially shown no growth at all since way back in 2009. This flatlining betrays the fact that social media followers are essentially in “for the ride” and a decade or more of online marketers’ best efforts to forge a powerful conversion machine on the infrastructure of the social networks have had essentially no effect whatsoever. When you consider that over the past five years there hasn’t been a single blip in the customer acquisition growth percentage of the two most popular social networks in the United States, you really have to wonder if social media will ever truly become the checkout powerhouse that so many believe it already is. Credible reputation & impeccable statistical science If it were not that the McKinsey & Company’s report is backed by an extremely credible reputation and some impeccable statistical science, you might think that it’s a fudged report concocted by an email marketing promotional company. The figures it provides over and above that remarkable forty times statistic are certainly worthy of a high degree of confidence from any online brand marketer. Champagne corks popping in email marketing offices The report reinforces the commitment, trust, and belief that savvy online marketers have in email. It concludes that only 9% of all American consumers fail to check their email at least daily, leaving 91% who do. Those emails certainly get the desired job done with remarkable effectiveness as the rate at which email missives prompt conversions and checkouts is more than three times greater than that to be achieved on social networks. If that wasn’t enough to set champagne corks popping among email marketing offices all over the country, consider that not only does email trigger more purchases, but the average order value is 17 percent greater than the ones generated through social media. If we combine those two statistics we find that the bottom line effect of email on order volume and value are nearly four times that of social media. Given that many brands would swear their undying fealty to a channel which provides a 10% increase in order volume and value, the prospect of being able to commit to email’s absolutely staggering 400% advantage is nothing short of a total revelation. While the social networks have completely flatlined in the last five years, email marketing has increased annually until it has become the undeniable champion. There is no doubt that social media will continue to have a place in the quiver of any online marketer, but when it comes time to pick the one arrow that has the best chance of a bullseye, it’s always email!


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Happy New Year! Living in the Now with The Weekly Wrap

Happy New Year! Living in the Now with The Weekly Wrap

Beyond • December 30, 2011

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Chanukah or both or a happy whatever else you celebrate (like Festivus). I ate so much, you’d think I was going into hibernation this winter. If you’re looking for something to keep you entertained while running on the treadmill or to do while everyone is on vacation and off the internet, check out this edition of the Weekly Wrap. Marketing Professionals, Write Guest Posts for Benchmark Email! Do you find yourself more amusing than I find myself? Do you want to see what kind of loose pop culture references my brain will connect to one of your blog posts? Today is your lucky day. Calling all Marketing Professionals, Write Guest Posts for Benchmark Email! 4 Marketing Apps You Aren’t Using Yet (But Should Be) Unless, you’re a hipster. In which case you’ve already stopped using them and are on to something else we haven’t even heard of yet. For everyone else, check out the 4 Marketing Apps You Aren’t Using Yet (But Should Be). Twitter Launching Self-Serve Ads It always made me laugh when I was in college at Indiana and the kids from New Jersey had to learn how to fill up their cars with gas. See, in New Jersey, self-serve is illegal. I wonder if New Jersey will be allowed to participate, with Twitter Launching Self-Serve Ads. Non-Risky Business? The Failure of Funding the Better Mousetrap Well. That’s it. I read Risky Business and now I’m going to have Bob Seger - “Old Time Rock N’ Roll” stuck in my head the rest of the day. Do you want to risk the same fate and read about Non-Risky Business? The Failure of Funding the Better Mousetrap. In Russia: Twitter Bots Attempt to Silence Anti-Kremlin Tweets I can’t read this headline without thinking of the old Yakov Smirnoff joke, “In America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, Party always finds you!” See what else happens In Russia: Twitter Bots Attempt to Silence Anti-Kremlin Tweets. Post-Holiday Marketing: Email Lessons Learned from Cyber Monday What do you do when you’re sick of holiday marketing stories? Write about Post-Holiday Marketing: Email Lessons Learned from Cyber Monday. Best Idea Management Software for Small Business Man. If only idea management software existed in my brain too. I can’t always guarantee it gets to the computer, as a sufferer of Attention Deficit Disorder. Discover the Best Idea Management Software for Small Business. Support Update: View Your Subscribers’ Activity with Email History When segmenting your email lists, one way to do that is by separating your subscribers into their level of activity. How do you see their activity? Find out in our latest Support Update: View Your Subscribers’ Activity with Email History. Public Outcry over SOPA Grows & Congressional Hearing Postponed I was reminded of the power of social media last week. First my newsfeed was buzzing with everyone removing their domains from Go Daddy, due to their support of SOPA. It didn’t take long for Go Daddy to pull an about face and recant their support for SOPA. They’re not the only ones, as Public Outcry over SOPA Grows & Congressional Hearing Postponed. The Future of Small Business: 2012 Marketing Trends It’s like clockwork. Every December, publications feel the need to publish both year end lists and what to look for in the coming year. Can’t we just be in the now? Well...for now you can go read about The Future of Small Business: 2012 Marketing Trends.


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In Russia: Twitter Bots Attempt to Silence Anti-Kremlin Tweets

In Russia: Twitter Bots Attempt to Silence Anti-Kremlin Tweets

Beyond • December 23, 2011

The Kremlin has a huge dilemma on its hands, and social media is right in the center of all the controversy. Apparently it all started with the recent parliamentary elections that took place in Russia on December 4. The elections were marred in controversy, sparking accusations of fraud, ballot stuffing and other unethical voting practices. What reportedly set the anti-Kremlin party off was a YouTube video showing a poll worker, a government employee, filling out a ballot for an elderly woman. It was truly an unforgettable occurrence that further divided a nation and its people. When the Ugly Gets Uglier Following the elections, flocks of angry citizens took to the streets to voice their displeasure in what were later described as anti-Kremlin demonstrations. This led to the hundreds of people who had rallied together in Triumfalnaya Square being arrested by Russian Police, including Alexei Navalny, a renowned blogger who has never been shy when it comes to speaking out about government corruption and conspiracies. The arrests resulted in the protesters taking to Twitter to speak their minds. “#Triumfalnaya,” the hashtag created around the discussion, ended up being one of the most widely used hashtags in the history of Twitter. On December 6, thousands of users hopped on Twitter to spread messages of a pro-Kremlin nature. Or did they? Security experts believe that the more than 2,000 accounts were compromised by way of hacking and used to purposely drown out the voices of the protesters. While it is not clear whether or not the initiative was supported by the Russian government or was merely the work of pro-Kremlin activists, it turned out be to very effective at silencing the noise. The compromised Twitter accounts reportedly delivered up to 10 messages per second, using a combination of patriotic tweets and foul language to successfully block out the feed associated with the Triumfalnaya hashtag. Following the controversial election and subsequent social dilemma, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hopped on his Facebook page to explain that he had ordered an investigation into the alleged electoral violations. This, by the way, was after his Twitter account was connected to a tweet that used an obscenity filled insult to question the patriotism of the anti-Kremlin protestors. While the post was quickly deleted, it was rather unsettling considering the language that was used and where it was purported to have originated from. And although the Facebook post generated more than 13,000 comments and 4,200 likes, it did nothing to win over the protesters. Judging the response of thousands of Russian citizens, Medvedev’s attempt at damage control was too little too late. The Good and Bad of Social Media Russia is fast becoming known for its social media presence. The nation has an active online community of more than 50 million users, who engage on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Vkontakte, the site many call Russia’s version of Facebook. In addition to the Twitter bot fiasco, activists claim that the government was behind denial of service attacks that disrupted the websites of media outlets, bloggers and election spectators. Whether or not this is true, the pro-Kremlin forces were not able to take out the country’s social media channel, which turned out to be the voice that kept the coverage alive. Social media has proven to be an effective medium for communicating on a broad range of levels. In a very short amount of time, we have seen it used to help drive everything from customer service initiatives to alert systems in time of disaster. In the case of the anti-Kremlin demonstrations, it is clear to see that social media has both a good and a dark side.


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Twitter Launching Self-Serve Ads

Twitter Launching Self-Serve Ads

Beyond • December 22, 2011

Last year, Twitter fired back at critics who crucified it for its lack of a viable business model when it introduced a couple of advertising products to the world. The social media company mentioned its ambitions to offer self-serve ads earlier this year, and has finally delivered by recently rolling them out to a few lucky marketers. For brands that have been wanting to advertise on Twitter, yet haven’t due to the limitations of its existing solutions, this particular offering is a long time coming. More User-Friendly The beauty of Twitter’s new self-serve ads is all in the convenience. Before the introduction of this new offering, marketers who wanted to advertise through Promoted Tweets or another one of the company’s advertising products had to do so by going through the lengthy process of filling out paper work and speaking with a company representative over the phone. With the self serve tool, a marketer can simply pay for their ads with a credit card, and customize them via a web-based interface in a similar manner as they would with Facebook or Google AdWords. The convenience factor alone should make advertising on Twitter a more attractive idea. More Affordable Twitter initially got the ball rolling by releasing three advertising products last year. These products were Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts. While Twitter’s ad models were able to attract some major brands, the luxury price tag essentially limited it to brands with luxury budgets. Take Promoted Trends, for example. Back in the summer, several outlets reported that Twitter was charging $120,000 to $125,000 per day to run ads through Promoted Trends. With prices like this, advertising on the microblogging platform was viewed as a cost prohibitive move by the average business. From the looks of it, the new self-serve ads put Twitter advertising in easy reach of marketers by not only making it more accessible, but more affordable. According to reports, the company is allowing brands to purchase ads through Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts on the basis of cost per follower and cost per engagement respectively. Ads with Promoted Tweets are said to cost between $0.75 to $2.50 for each engagement, which in this case could include a click, retweet, favorite or @reply, while the costs for Promoted Accounts are said to range from $2.50 to $4 for each follower. A more economical pricing structure should definitely attract smaller brands who steered clear of Twitter advertising because of the costs. Another Revenue Stream for Twitter Twitter currently has roughly 2,400 advertisers. Look for that number to grow substantially if the self-serve initiative receives a positive response. The ability to bypass the conversation with a live company agent and buy spots online at a much more reasonable price will open up another revenue stream funded by the small and medium-sized businesses for whom previously, paid advertising on Twitter was not an option. Some observers are questioning whether the motive behind the new format is justifying its recently estimated $8 billion valuation to investors, but in any event, the move should help the company bring in some much needed revenue. Twitter’s self-serve ads are currently in the experimental phase and being rolled out to a small group of testers. There has been no word on when the format will officially go live. For now, all we know is that it is supposed to be made available to all advertisers over the coming weeks and months. It could be a while before everyone gets to take advantage, but the mere announcement of a new ad platform has seemed to spark a renewed interest in Twitter marketing.


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Searching for Jobs Effectively Online

Searching for Jobs Effectively Online

Beyond • November 17, 2011

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the jobless rate in the United States dropped down to 9.0% in October, which is the first time it declined since July. There has also been a lot of talk about thousands of manufacturing jobs returning from overseas. The encouraging signs are out there for the workforce to see, but try telling that to the millions of people who are currently without a job. According to a poll conducted in a joint venture by The New York Times and CBS News, 50% of jobless Americans reported feeling ashamed or embarrassed due to being out of work. More than half of respondents said they suffer from anxiety, depression or other emotional issues because they are unemployed. The study revealed some disturbing trends that indicate the nation’s unemployment woes are taking a toll beyond financial burden. Hot Job Finding Tips The huge population of unemployed consumers will tell you that securing a job in this economy is no easy feat. On the bright side, and there always is one, it is not impossible. When applied, the following tips can help the jobless find work in spite of these rough economic conditions: Get to Networking Networking has been an effective job securing tactic long before social media came along. You can be the most qualified candidate of the bunch, but as the saying goes, it’s not always what you know, but who you know. It would be great if you could rub shoulders with a few inside sources who can give you some solid information about the companies you want to work for. If not, use whatever resources are available to you. You can come up on some quality leads by simply contacting the people you know and informing them that you’re on the hunt. Turn to the Internet Even in this day and age, several people are strictly traditional with their job hunting methods. While there is certainly nothing wrong with submitting applications in person, job seekers who have the means should be tapping into the internet and its vast amount of resources. Online you can find a countless number of websites showcasing employment opportunities in fields that range from food services and real estate to manufacturing and IT. In addition to the go-to sources like Career Builder and Monster.com, Twitter, surprisingly enough, when paired with LinkedIn can be a great way to generate job conversations. But there are many more options: Plaxo, which integrates with Simply Hired, is a good place to set up a profile and begin the hunt. There’s also Jobster, which functions much like Career Builder but allows you to picture and tag skills. Facebook can be a great way to find out more about jobs you want or keep abreast of a company’s social channel, though it’s not the best place for a resume. More informally, Craigslist is a great way to find contract jobs - though finding permanent or corporate jobs amidst the anonymous and the scammers can be more difficult. MyWorkster is a network devoted to finding jobs for college graduates and alumni, so if you’re still in school or closely connected to your college or university (or even went to college or university), it’s a good place to check out. Then there’s Jobfox, which claims to specialize in connecting seekers to jobs that are the best fit for them. Have Some Flexibility Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. People are finding it extremely difficult to land work, and the seeker to availability ratio is a big part of the reason why. With so many candidates putting their name in the hat, it could literally pay to take a more flexible approach with your job search. In the current state, it may not be wise to turn down an opportunity that isn’t necessarily a dream job. Of course you don’t want to settle, but you also don’t want to miss out, either. Besides, who knows where you can go once you get your foot in the door? ”Finding a job is a job,” but often the experiences and friends you have in stepping stone jobs will lead to a more stable career in the future. Keep Your Head Up Many of the nation’s unemployed will no doubt agree that finding a job these days can be a long, grueling journey. Some people have been searching for years. You may hit a few dead ends in your search, but that is no reason to get down on yourself. What’s important is understanding that you can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. You need to keep your head up and go out there and make it happen. You will.


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How to Create QR Codes for Print & Online Advertising

Beyond • November 9, 2011

Fads come and go in pop culture, fashion and even the world of business. There always seems to be a new bandwagon for marketers to jump on, and QR codes are among the latest to come along. Are they worth the jump, or just a part of another fad that is all hype and no substance? I don’t have the answer to whether or not this is a trend that will last, but I can tell you that they have a ton of potential. What’s the Rage All About? Although QR codes are being treated as a new phenomenon in the marketing arena, they are not exactly new per se. QR actually has a history that spans over a decade in Japan, where it was originally created. The QR stands for Quick Response; the actual codes themselves are sort of like the barcodes you see stuck on items in a retail store. They can be scanned in a similar manner, but the big difference is in the wealth of information they are capable of storing. What really gives these fuzzy looking, two-dimensional codes so much potential is how they work. A person with a compatible smartphone can use their device to scan a given code and instantly access the content it contains. It may direct a smartphone user to a YouTube video, special offers and coupons, or directions to an event venue. If this thing takes off, we could start regularly seeing QR codes on automobiles, billboards and clothing items. If you look closely the next time you\'re out at the mall, you\'ll realize they\'re already in most major advertisements. Bringing QR Codes to Life So how do you actually create a QR code? There are quite a few options, with the easiest being using one of the web-based generator tools available online. QRStuff, GOQR and Maestro are just some of the applications that can be used to create QR codes with relative ease. If you have a savvy developer on your staff, you can create them by grabbing the source code from open source software projects such as the Open Source QR Code Library or PHP QR Code. This is the best option for shaping the look and feel of your creation. Incorporating QR Codes into Your Marketing Mix There are so many ways to put QR codes to work for your business. Perhaps the best thing about QR codes is the degree of flexibility that gives them so many beneficial uses. While the ideal place to send prospects may appear to be your website, there is nothing stopping you from directing them to your social hangouts. The potential for growing your following on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter is tremendous. And QR codes make the jump from online to print seamlessly. In fact, they act as a bridge between the digital and the physical. When a user sees something in their daily life that intrigues them, a quick scan with the mobile in their hand leads them straight to your landing page. Coupled with a compelling reason to join, slapping the URL to your signup form on a newspaper ad or t-shirt could definitely help attract those new subscribers you’re after. As marketing tools, the possibilities of QR codes are endless. We’re already seeing a lot in terms of how they can be used, yet realize that we haven’t even begun to start digging into the surface with this thing. With players like Google and Microsoft getting involved, the future of QR codes looks bright for sure.


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Social Media: What Comes First: The Impressions or the Profits?

Beyond • November 9, 2011

When social media came to the table in 2005, marketers flew into a frenzy trying to create monetization avenues and figure out how to take the most from the opportunity, all while developing new web presence for their business units. Budgets shifted to compensate for potential ad revenue. Full time in-house roles were created solely to oversee day-to-day Facebook and Twitter account posts. Consulting, marketing and tech firms all scrambled to create analytics able to make sense of - and justify - these new online marketing spends. It\'s been six years, and what we do know is that the state of play has undergone a serious paradigm shift. But the jury is still out on the justification: what is the actual return on investment for social media campaigns? The first issue is that analytics have lagged behind technology. Social media is still a neophyte in the marketing arena, and has been indulged in the way most youths are: the future is bright, the possibilities seem endless in such uncharted territory and experimentation has been highly encouraged. Combine that wide-eyed wonder with the meta-nature of digital goods, and the result is social media budgets feel more like monopoly money than real dollars and cents. The second problem has to do with the qualitative modes of evaluation for existing analytics: What is the return on investment for a \"Like\"? When a company creates a viral video, how does a million YouTube views translate to profits? In a space defined equally by innovation and transience, companies are unsure of their objectives: a 2010 study by Internet Retailer Magazine found that 74 percent of businesses wanted social media to drive traffic to their websites, while only 56 percent wanted to use social media to increase sales. In essence, impressions are suddenly more prized than profits in a digital environment. Not that marketers are not trying to develop more accurate methods to capture the impact of their social media campaigns. Early this year, Facebook announced a new \"People Talking About\" metric meant to quantify user behavior with hard numbers. Other metric tools, like DX Social from Data X, are aimed at teasing out the spurious relationships between social media ads and consumer engagement; and the 20-year-old customer relationship management agency Merkle has developed technology to combine a company\'s extant client information with their Facebook interactions, allowing businesses to eventually determine a recipe for successful viral campaigns. But until that time comes, they opt to continue and even increase investments in social media advertising: a recent study from EMarketer projects that 3.1 billion dollars will be spent for these campaigns in 2012. The good news? According to Adweek reporter Erin Griffin, while the formula for viral success is still in its beta stages, it is also close enough to being correct that businesses can more or less identify what it will take to create a potentially sticky campaign. It\'s also clear that no matter what else you do, volume matters - and people value bonuses over brand. Give a consumer a steady stream of coupons and offers and they will continue to patronize your Fan Page. Finally, there is a comfortable similarity between the traditional marketing funnel and that of social media, from reach to engagement, followed by action and next sharing and advocacy. But understanding what all that sharing and advocacy means in real money? We’re not talking monopoly money any more: this is a whole new game, with its own set of rules.


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State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing

State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing

Beyond • November 8, 2011

It is hard to imagine a world without social media, but at one point in time that is exactly what we were faced with. Just a few short years ago, there was no Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to fill that void of emptiness in our lives. As we all know, the digital landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation in a very short amount of time, and the social channel has been an integral part of its evolution. If you are one of the marketers who still believes this new age media is just a fad, listen up, because we have run across some research that may finally get you on the other side of the fence. Research firm Nielsen and NM Incite, a company born out of a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, recently published “State of The Media: The Social Media Report,” which focuses on research looking at how consumers interacted with brands through social media during the third quarter of 2011. According to the report, people are increasingly using this channel to not only seek out brands, but to connect with them and share the experiences they have with them as well. The collective research effort shows that 60% of consumers who use multiple internet sources to research products discovered a specific brand or business through a social media website. 53% of active social users are engaging to actually follow brands and tell others about those experiences. The vast majority said they do this by relaying their experiences through reviews. As far as what compels social media users to share brand experiences, the report cites a variety reasons. 61% said they share them to commend the company for a job well done. 58% said they do so to protect fellow consumers, while 25% give reviews to punish the brand for a job not so well done. 41% of social media users said they share reviews because of discounts, which highlights the power of incentives. Whatever the reason, the fact that consumers are so willing to share their experiences and play such an important role in the branding process should be viewed as encouraging news for marketers. Identifying High-Value Social Media Users Although social media is arguably the hottest channel going today, it is just one of several in terms of platforms brands should be paying attention to. More research headed up by Nielsen and NM Incite focused on the digital channel as a whole to produce insights into the value of the one constant in today’s internet experience - the consumer. According to the study, brands are likely to find the most valuable consumers in the following three areas: Social Media - The research by Nielsen and company shows that 51% of users were influenced by advertisements on social networking sites that display how many of their friends like or follow the brand presenting the offer. Parents were considered the most valuable overall as 64% were shown to use the social web to discover brands. Local - The rising popularity of location-based technology is also reflected in the study. 45% of consumers acting on local offers are likely to recommend the participating daily deals site to others. Interestingly, only 5% cite using the Foursquare app. Mobile - Some of the most interesting data on consumer value can be found in the mobile category. Nielsen’s research shows that 38% of Americans own a smartphone, while nearly all mobile internet users visit some type of website. In what may be surprising to some, teens were viewed as the most valuable mobile users because they are more likely to respond to ads and upgrade from the free to the paid version of an app. Consumers are plugged in firmly to the digital channel. The brands who understand how they are interacting and adapt their strategy accordingly will be the ones who benefit from that activity.


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