Author Archives: Renilde De Wit

About Renilde De Wit

Renilde De Wit is a partner of i-SCOOP and specializes in community and content management. She has experience as an online publisher and was nominated for a Junior Online Publisher Award for one of her first websites in 2001. You can follow her on Twitter here or connect with her on Google Plus.

HootSuite welcomes Seesmic users

HootSuite Acquires Seesmic and Goes for Corporate Gold

Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur

HootSuite Acquires Seesmic: Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur

HootSuite acquires Seesmic. It’s probably the news of the day in social media land. There are several reasons to assume HootSuite is going for the corporate user.

HootSuite started out as one of the many social media management tools many years ago. However, the company has been continuously innovating and adding new features, making it increasingly more interesting than several other social media management tools with similar and even higher price points.

HootSuite recently integrated a bunch of new productivity social apps to its app directory, including SocialBro, GoPollGo, NeedTagger and Videolicious.

And so today news hits HootSuite acquires Seesmic. Continue reading

Twitter Launches New Embedded Twitter Timelines

Setting up the embedded Twitter timeline source - click to enlarge

Setting up the embedded Twitter timeline source – click to enlarge

Twitter today launched an embedded Twitter timelines widget feature. You have different options to pick the content (tweets and tweeted pictures) you want to show and of course there are some settings regarding look and feel.

The embedded Twitter timelines widget can be created from within your Twitter account if you’re not a developer (information for developers here). The new feature allows you to display tweets from a user’s timeline, favorites and list. You can also enter a hashtag for which you want the tweets to show.
When the widget is created, you get a few lines of HTML and script code you can simply enter wherever you want.

Embedded Twitter widgets: interaction where it matters

The interesting thing is that interaction happens from within the blog, webpage or homepage you embed it on. That’s a first and probably not a last. Such features can make it easier to let the interaction happen where it matters most for many of us: on our home bases on the Web. Continue reading

Should businesses ignore Facebook for B2B marketing?

The first social network that comes to mind when thinking about B2B social media marketing is obviously LinkedIn. However, what about Facebook? Is it suitable for business-to-business? Of course it all depends on your market, goals and target groups. An overview and an infographic.

Business buyers are people and they also use Facebook. Although Facebook is generally less used in the buying process than blogs and LinkedIn, it certainly shouldn’t be ignored.

While many strictly distinguish between Facebook as the ‘consumer environment’ and LinkedIn as the B2B place-to-be, in many countries and demographics Facebook is so popular that professionals use it both for personal and business reasons. They simply know how to distinguish between friends, family and professional contacts.

Furthermore, there is a new generation of B2B buyers: the social ones. They are more used to social platforms and can be compared with the ‘connected consumer’. Continue reading

Viral Video: Using a Ballerina for B2B marketing

Viral video Volvo trucksA viral video is a not something you can order at your local agency. You can create a video and design for virality but in the end, it’s the audience that decides if it goes viral or not. It all depends on the content of the video and what it triggers, often more than on the quality. The most successful videos are home videos, the humorous ones or the ones that touch emotions (which doesn’t always mean a tear or a smile as is too often the case).

Ingredients for a viral video are simple: make it unique, something so special people want to share it with their friends.

From a B2B perspective, however, it’s not always easy to come up with a good idea for viral marketing success. Or so it seems… Continue reading

How to improve personal branding? Get yourself ranked in Google!

So you want to be perceived as an expert, the one person people should turn to when they have a difficult question? You want to get more speaker opportunities; you want to sell your first eBook? Time to start with your personal branding campaign. It’s a no-brainer that you should blog, however don’t forget your presence on social media.

Google ranks personal social profiles quite well, so make sure you are there for personal branding reasons. However, which network should you choose? Which is the most important one?

According to data summarized in the personal branding infographic of BrandYourself below, the major player is Linkedin. Not really surprising as it is currently the most important business and work related social network and community. Continue reading

Display Advertising on Facebook versus Google: Who Wins?

Although Facebook and Google are very different platforms, they have common revenue streams: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising whereby contextual relevance, targeting and sharing are essential. With Google AdWords display advertising and text ads, you can achieve a good ROI but what about Facebook?

Facebook has been testing several methods and formats lately, although not with big success. So it seems. The discussions on the effectiveness of Facebook ads have received lots of attention with many different opinions and quite some hype.

Wordstream, a Search Engine Marketing agency, earlier this year collected some data on the display advertising and overall reach and efficiency of Facebook and Google and presented them in a (rather loaded) comparative infographic. Continue reading

Six Quick Tips to Get Blogging Ideas

You want to share your knowledge and be a regular blogger? You write but run out of inspiration now and then? You want to get some ideas to blog about fast? You want to write about topics that are interesting for readers but don’t know where to start? Check out the following six quick and easy tips to get it done.

1. Use Google Alerts to inform you about latest industry news

With Google Alerts you can easily track news and find interesting new content about topics that inspire you. Don’t create too many alerts; focus on three main search terms. Alerts can be delivered into your mailbox or sent as a feed. Continue reading

Western Europe to See Smartphone Usage Double by 2015

Western Europe to See Smartphone Usage Double by 2015

According to a new report from eMarketer, mobile web usage in Western Europe will double by 2015. There have certainly been a number of predictions the past few months hailing huge growth in the smartphone market around the world and the UK, France German, Italy and Spain are another fertile growth market according to eMarketer. Smartphone usage is booming.

According to eMarketer’s estimates, 58 million of the EU-5 population will access the internet from a mobile device this year. That’s a pretty large number and as those people fall in love with mobile access, they’ll spread the word to many others.

Western Europe to See Smartphone Usage Double by 2015

The report also states that Europeans in general are already fairly accepting of mobile marketing efforts. It claims consumers in Europe already have a willingness to interact with brands and have an appetite for perks such as coupons and special offer alerts. Continue reading

digital earth

Six Tips for Viral Marketing Success

Viral marketing is one of the most applied methods in online marketing. The arrival of social media and the integration with other interactive marketing methods like email marketing and video, gives every campaign the potential to rapidly spread across the world wide web.

Viral marketing has similarities with word-of-mouth and referral marketing, but is not quite the same. With viral marketing the focus lies more on wide spreading. In the first place, a viral marketing campaign’s success depends on the willingness of people to share the story. Continue reading

being social and open versus being closed and not social

Don’t Do Social, Be Social

A fundamental rule among many arts, especially writing is that you must be willing to share yourself to some degree. In order to connect with your audience, you have to open up to allow for those connections. This doesn’t come at all easy to everyone or even most, but it comes much harder to corporations and marketers.

Social media consultant, Jay Baer blogged recently about business must be ready to “Open the Kimono” and give people a glimpse of your corporate culture.

It’s so obvious but still so difficult for many.

“Just showing up to the party and treating social media like something else for you to check off your corporate to-do list doesn’t humanize your company. It doesn’t create kinship. It doesn’t drive purchase intent.” – Jay Baer

As Jay points out, you don’t just ‘do’ social you have to ‘be’ social! Let that thought percolate a bit. It’s not about the tools or the agencies or the stats. It’s about having a culture in your company which IS social. This means more open communication both internally and externally. This requires you to loosen the tie just a bit and lighten up. But most of all it means that you realize a business or a brand is defined by the people working for it and the people buying from it. And people are social (among many other things).

Opening up: start blogging

We have to stop being information hoarders and start being content producers and sharers. No one is suggesting you give away the ‘11 herbs and spices’, but ask yourself if your definition of a corporate secret (as opposed to consumer education) is valid.

Blog. Just do it! And if your blog is nothing but shameless self promotion then just don’t do it. Obviously people expect to talk about your products or services, but focus the bulk of your content on educating people.

It’s OK to mention your company family picnic. It’s OK to have some corporate personality. You just have to know how much information is too much information. As for taboo subjects, the basic rule of thumb would be to avoid the same kind of topics you do at any social function.

You likely already have someone in mind within your company who has the good judgment and innate social skills to handle the responsibility. In fact, unless your corporate culture is a disaster, I can assure you the talent is there. Nurture this talent and form a core of social people within your corporate culture to help lead the way.

Oh and link the really good corporate culture stuff on your blog to your recruiting section, it can’t hurt.

Orginally posted here.

Three Easy Tips To Build Long-Term Social Media Relationships

On social media there are quite some marketers  that rush to provide a solution to problems that exist in the now. They sometimes end up succeeding, social media marketing can be used for short-term purposes (for instance some forms of direct marketing, traffic building and even lead gen).

However, social media marketing, just like all forms of marketing, is mainly about long-term relationships: building relevant interactions with prospects and customers that lead to a two-way increase of value and loyalty. Continue reading

viral peer to peer marketing concept

Five Anti-Tips to Succeed in Viral Marketing

Viral marketingDespite all the viral marketing success stories, there is still an embarrassing number of amateur mistakes made in the average viral marketing campaign. From plans falling apart to downright terrible marketing messages, newbie viral marketers tend to walk along a risky path. While success is still waiting at the end, there are several no-nos that are there to catch up marketers along the way.

In this post you will find five anti-tips that will help you in better planning and executing a successful viral marketing campaign.

1. Launch everything in a day

The most successful viral marketing campaigns do not release all of their information over the course of a day, but slowly develop consciousness amongst their audience.

Rather than trying to catch people off-guard with an exciting new product or event, build up to your product or service release strategically, crafting public influence and attention the entire time. This way, you will not catch people by surprise, but hit them with an enthusiastic and powerful message.

2. Make it too obvious

There is a fine line between edgy and clear, and when viral marketing campaigns try too hard to be ‘authentic,’ they quickly become transparent and clearly fake.

If you are trying to launch a viral marketing campaign with an edge of authenticity, try not to make things too obvious to your audience. Leave some questions unanswered, and get people curious and talking rather than certain and silent.

3. Go in without a backup plan

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie could have been a major viral marketing success, but instead it turned into a major PR meltdown and a could-be bomb threat in Boston.

Rather than thinking of the worst possible circumstances, these viral marketers went in without any idea of the situation. Plan for the worst and always have a backup plan, so that even if your marketing campaign fails initially, you have got something else to fall back on.

4. Neglect the power of word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth drives viral marketing campaigns. Without great word-of-mouth marketing, a potentially great viral marketing campaign can quickly fizzle out and die.

Create something that your audience loves and you’ll be showered with attention and business exposure; create something that people dislike, and you are in for a rainstorm of negative PR.

5. Treat all animals equal

All animals are equal but some animals… OK, citing George Orwell here is maybe not the best idea. But you get the picture. Although I like to think everyone deserves the same attention, space, freedom and whatever, viral marketing is business. As much as it may sound slightly discriminatory, it is unwise to give everyone the same level of access into your viral marketing campaigns.

If you have got access to influential people, why not give them extra information to help your marketing campaign become a success.

What do you think?

social network and media computer concept

Generating Social Traffic in Three Simple Steps

The process of using social networking sites to increase traffic is known as onsite social optimization, in others words: where social – partially – meets search engine optimization. Earlier this year, Gigya published a report called “Social is the Next Search”. Discover some key takeaways to grow social traffic. An online business that employs different strategies, such as live chats, to drive social participation by users on its website is said to be on the right track to make its onsite social optimization process a success. Continue reading

social media networking strategy concept

Quick Guide to Indirect Sales Increases via Social Media Marketing

Best practices dictate that you “give to get,” or encourage listening and participation in your social media programs, which has been proven to be a hallmark of successful internet marketing and branding programs. In this post you find the necessary guidelines to get your social media marketing campaign on tracks with a focus on indirect sales effects and long-term value.

Audience participation occurs when you give value to customers before expecting anything in return. Social Media Marketing and Optimization (SMO) is not “sales” as you know it. Rather, it enables your company to increase its sales as a result of employing social media indirectly and in a non-causal way.

Getting the people, goals and intentions right

A social media network is not built overnight; it requires both time and resources for success. Forecast your labor hours and determine why, who, what, when, how and where beforehand. When planning your social media campaign, remember that one best practice is to provide the optimized scalability required for fostering an environment of success.

You must also carefully consider your Human Resources needs and be sure not to take on unjustified headcount with a nascent social media monitoring program. Instead, prepare job descriptions for the roles for which you anticipate a need, so that you will be able to hit the ground running when it’s time to search for new personnel.

Keep your intentions transparent and your identity solid, or you risk alienating the very audiences with whom you are trying to connect. The commercial messages appropriate for your environment should be the product of your objectives, strategy, and the homework you’ve done on your community. What the people within that community want and need is the guideline for all actions.

Demonstrate the transparency of your intentions by stating the purpose of your branding program: “This Facebook page dedicated to Brand XYZ helps consumers make better choices about Topic XYZ.” To get the most out of social media marketing, you have to embrace the fact that the participation you get from campaigns is meant to provide the type of value that expedites sales, not necessarily to increases them directly.

Encouraging chaos and creativity

You do not control the message, and you must understand this firmly to create a successful social media campaign. Old habits are hard to shake, and we tend to want to compartmentalize social media participation as we do advertising, where the messaging is controlled as a matter of course. When people find information or media on the social web, they inevitably contort, pulverize, and re-imagine it as it fits their individual interests. As a brand, you must first and foremost protect your identity, copyright and individual property above all, but instead of feeling pressure to control the message, skillful marketers encourage the chaos and creativity.

You need to welcome participation and feedback and share in the creation of your social media campaign. Companies will bring brand evangelists and other opportunities to encourage participation into the mix as audience comfort and confidence levels rise with social web participation.

Look at more than increasing sales and direct marketing

Successful internet marketers seek out and develop relationships and communities within online social communities to engender audience buy-in to and provide invaluable feedback about their brand.

Direct marketing is generally the first weapon drawn from the arsenal of social media efforts, and it is generally viewed as a cause-and-effect relationship, in which Action A results in Outcome B, is not always the case.

Marketing on social media has much more to do with public relations than it does with direct marketing. Instead of a direct causal relationship, social media marketing provides Resource A, which results in Action B, which in turn influences Outcome C.

To fully see the entire social media landscape, you must look at more than increasing sales. Watch as social interactions occur and the buzz about your product builds, and the incredibly creative methods your audience uses to spread your message.

community and networking concept

Four Essential Community Building and Engagement Tips

The world of social media has presented some unique opportunities not just to marketers, but to community organizers and communicators. While ‘community’ is becoming the online business world’s hottest buzzword, building a community is not limited to people with a product to market — it can be a remarkable opportunity for entrepreneurs who are still deciding on a product, non-profit groups looking to unite passionate people, and of course, marketers looking to connect with a wide audience.

These four methods will help you build a community (or more precise: nurture and engage it since a community often exists without you knowing it), connect with your users, and create social media ‘permission marketing’ assets:

1. Bundle your best content with your community.

It is hard to predict what will ‘tip’ and what won’t in the online world. The best strategy for ensuring that community can gather around your best content is to always provide a platform for it to grow. That could mean a Ning forum for your most popular blog posts, a Twitter account feeding out your recent articles and presentations, or a community forum with a thread for every blog post.

2. Comments are a thin attachment, so find something thicker

Blog comments have often been considered a good indicator of connection and value. If you racked up a lot of comments, you were connecting with people and your blog was valuable. The problem is that blog comments are not a particularly deep connection. Instead of merely taking comments, link to your forum or Ning community at the bottom of every post, and encourage readers to join the community.

3. Offer unique content to your community

Got a podcast? Take suggestions from your community members for episodes, and offer unique content and special features to them. A little goes a long way when it is exclusive, and you will find that your community really values being offered something that nobody else gets to see. Offering content like this is great for two reasons; you get ideas and inspiration from your community, and you tighten your bond with them by offering something unique. Besides, you do not have to be a creative person to offer unique content — if you are a merchant, offer unique offers and promotions.

4. Actively participate and keep in touch with your members

Some of the most impressive and important online communities were built by people or companies that truly interacted with their customers and fans. Even if they are not huge names in business or entertainment, they kept in touch with people, built their recognition and created a friendly relationship with their fan base. Imagine if Steve Jobs participated in Apple forums — the draw of a big name would power a community and cause some massive publicity. If you can actively communicate with your community, do it.

Nobody is too big to keep in touch with customers and fans, and when you embrace your community you will see their word-of-mouth marketing efforts increase.