What Business Goals Can Social Media Serve?

Social media can serve many goals across all business functions

The changes in how people behave and buy as explained in this introduction to social media marketing are essential and show the many potential business goals and benefits of social media. Let’s take a more in-depth look. While social media programs are basically designed to improve and strengthen the efficiency of a multitude of business functions and processes, including marketing, customer loyalty, PR, CRM, business intelligence, customer service, HR and much more, they also allow you to turn these evolutions into opportunities and benefits. The exact ways you do it depend on your line of business (size, vertical industry, location and, yes, there are a few differences between B2C and B2B social media marketing), your role within the business, how current business functions are organized (and how they can be improved if at all possible with social media) and the degree in which you are able to respond and even anticipate on the main changes we mentioned before. In ths blog post … [Read more...]

Guidelines For Managers Of Twitter Group Accounts

teamwork

Although it’s important to have an overall social media policy, sometimes business also need Twitter policies, for instance if there are smaller groups of people managing a Twitter account for a specific  department, country, blog or any other group of people within the organization that need such an account. You might also want to read these tips if you (co-)manage a corporate Twitter account. In an international organization, separate Twitter account can, for instance, be created by people serving a vertical market and thus wanting to reach people on Twitter that are active in this vertical. A Twitter 'policy' provides the team that (co-)manages the account (sharing content, engaging people, identifying interesting users, looking up accounts of people they know outside Twitter, responding, etc.) the necessary confidence to get out there, identify and carve out the micro-communities they seek and engage them. In practice, the demand to create such an account often is a bottom-up … [Read more...]

Social Proof, Circles Of Trust and Your Customer

trust

The opinion of others is an important driver in the buying decision of people. It has always been so. Word-of-mouth is still predominantly an offline matter although it's really foolish to separate the online and offline dimension of peer advice in an omnichannel reality. While there are differences between the ways we buy consumer products and business solutions there are many similarities as well: we inform ourselves by taking into account the opinions of our circles of trust. As the B2B buying process is often a group decision and in specific markets, we rely more on analyst advice, it's important to make a distinction in defining these circles of trust and even look beyond the differences between B2B and B2C. It's really a matter of knowing how YOUR customers take decisions. The circles of trust and influence indeed differ. What we often call social proof also has impacts that are more emotional (social pressure, how we perceive others etc.) in steering our buying decisions … [Read more...]

Beyond the Faceless Business: Getting Your LinkedIn Profile Right

LinkedIn profile infographic by lab 42

We check out the profiles of businesses we consider working with all the time, regardless of the platform or source. More importantly, we look at the profiles of the people that provide a human face to the business.The people that ARE the business, together with the human ecosystem in which the organization operates. On LinkedIn, most people first of all check out individual LinkedIn profiles. Those of representatives and individual voices of brands, potential vendors, customers and partners. In the end, connecting and community by finding persons of interest and sharing commonalities is still the essence of social, whather it's marketing or social business. Obviously, to enable this kind of networking, connecting and community work, you need to be found and participate in the first place. You can't move beyond the stage of the faceless corporation if you don't properly present the faces - and voices - making the business more human and reachable. It's not so much about personal … [Read more...]

Social Business and Big Data: the Business Intelligence Goldmine

Social Analytics for Marketing and Sales Effectiveness Framework

Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. That’s a lot! To put this number and how it has evolved into perspective,  just this number know that we have produced more than 90% of all online data that exists in the world today within the past two years. Combined, this online data equals Big Data. And it has a lot to do with business intelligence. Being exceeding interested in the talk of Big Data, I’m inspired by the research and development of Big Data related software and applications. Especially the articles of Jeremiah Owyang and Raj De Datta regarding Big Data and Big Data Applications (BDAs) are interesting. … [Read more...]

Improving Customer Retention Using Online Customer Communities

Customer communities and other community types - source Dion Hinchcliffe on ZDNet

Online customer communities are great ways to boost customer retention and move from retention to customer loyalty or even advocacy. Customer retention is one of those business issues that generally don’t get attention until a crisis occurs. That is, the customers actually begin to leave. At this point, executive focus turns almost exclusively to the problem at hand. However, organizations need not wait until customers are jumping ship. Once this occurs, companies often find themselves scrambling in search of ways to retain those customers. Online customer communities are key to retaining customers, and strategies can be put in place well before a crisis has materialized. Socious has six great tips at their blog. … [Read more...]

Top Six Reasons Why You Should Use LinkedIn as a B2B Marketer

Linkedin recruiting

LinkedIn is by far most the important social network to reach out to business buyers and connect with professionals in general and thus one of the major platforms in B2B social media (and increasingly in content marketing). The network allows you to build relationships, establish thought leadership, generate leads, gain insights, conduct market research, improve reputation and build online communities. 1. Create awareness and improve reputation. LinkedIn is an ideal platform to increase your online presence. With more than two professionals signing up on LinkedIn every second, businesses have the opportunity to network with an increasing number of interesting contacts.  Using the different personal and group features in LinkedIn, companies and the people representing them can all improve their visibility and credibility, both as individuals and (thus) as a brand. … [Read more...]

20+ Staggering Stats Proving Why the Time to Use Social Media is Now

What happens in an Internet minute - source Intel

Businesses that don't use social media for marketing or customer service reasons now will miss out on business and, worse, actually lose business! Social business and social media are no longer an option. It’s not hype, it’s a fact and here are some good reasons why the time to use social media is now. Forrester just released some data on the growth of the online population. The numbers are impressive. Among, others due to the rapid adoption of mobile devices and the mobile Web, Internet usage will boost. Just consider these facts in case you doubt whether your business and employees should use social media and you should embrace social business (remember, go in with a plan!). … [Read more...]

HootSuite Acquires Seesmic and Goes for Corporate Gold

HootSuite welcomes Seesmic users

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. … [Read more...]

Twitter Launches New Embedded Twitter Timelines

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. … [Read more...]

Content Marketing Evolutions and the Essence of Successful Content

The three factors of successful content according to InboundWriter

Content marketing ranks high on the agenda of most marketers. Buyers increasingly seek content to inform themselves and prepare their buying journey as surveys keep showing. Succesful content needs to be optimized for your business goals and the goals of your audiences. It's the purpose of content marketing. Although there is a clear evolution towards more 'visual' forms of content, eBooks, blog posts and other written content marketing formats remain important too. The fact that search engines are still crucial sources of traffic plays a big role here. Blog post headlines are good ways to attract attention, for instance. … [Read more...]

Should businesses ignore Facebook for B2B marketing?

Facebook in B2B Marketing (vs Linkedin) Infographic

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’. … [Read more...]

Do Consumers Trust Retailers More Than Social Networks?

Trust and private data

Consumers are said to rely more on the advice of their peers and even social connections than on businesses themselves. However, this doesn't mean they trust the social networks themselves when it comes down to sharing their data. Recently, the e-tailing group and MyBuys released some findings from a survey stating that the surveyed consumers feel more comfortable sharing data with retailers than with social networks. They do so even more when sharing data improves their shopping experience. I bet the same goes for other experiences as well. Most social networks suck at dealing with consumer data and don't take into account what their users want in that regard. They dictate on how they will use these data, and it does take some time to find where to change settings or stay up-to-date with latest changes. Even as someone who follows the industry carefully, I often lose track. … [Read more...]

Display Advertising on Facebook versus Google: Who Wins?

Facebook versus Google advertising - source Wordstream

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. … [Read more...]

Social Media Risk Management: Taking Measures

Social Media Risk Management - Altimeter Group

One of the most debated topics regarding social media is risk. Fear of reputation disasters and even of simple comments still withholds many businesses to use social media. While Gartner estimates not responding via social channels can lead up to a 15% increase in churn rate for existing customers and ignoring social media is not an option anymore, many organizations remain wary. It's always good to be prepared and know what potential risks you might be facing, but it shouldn't be an excuse not to get started. Nevertheless, make sure you have a social media risk management process in place. … [Read more...]

London 2012: More Tweets in One Day than During the Whole Bejing Games

London 2012 ruled on Twitter - source BT

The London 2012 Olympics are over but more data are popping up, showing the social and digital dimension of the Games. Several media and blogs already looked at Twitter stats and other numbers but what about the peaks and the actual data traffic? In a blog post, BT shares a few numbers. As the company took care of the infrastructure, you won’t find them anywhere else. … [Read more...]

Social Media Evolutions to Watch

SocialMediaLandscape

We always have a tendency to estimate the value of something as it exists. Future potential is often ignored because we don’t follow or understand the trends enough, while the market place is constantly changing. The same goes for social media evolutions. We sometimes think that the landscape is mature and that the game is over: Facebook is the king of social networks; Twitter reigns in micro-blogging, etc. However, things change fast, very fast. Combined with a growing dissatisfaction with the policies and poor user experiences of some social platforms, new evolutions will shape the social media space. A few examples of how social platforms are evolving and what these social media evolutions imply: … [Read more...]

Real-Time Response is not a Holy Grail

London-2012-Olympics-Stadium-opening-ceremony-copyright-Pete-Tripp-iStockPhoto

They were dubbed the first social media Olympics ever. And they are. When London 2012 is over, gazillions opinion pieces will be posted with titles such as “Ten Crucial Social Media Lessons from the Olympics 2012.” In fact, it’s already happening now. I wanted to stay far away from them (whic doesn’t mean some will be probably good) but couldn’t resist after today… Social media has a few important characteristics. Two of them are the speed of real-time and the human dimension. Yep, social is indeed a people’s thing. We often herald the virtues of what we call a real-time economy. So do I, in a sense. The real-time nature of social is a gift for those who are ready to listen. … [Read more...]

To Social Media with Love

To Social Media with Love

When social media first started to grow, one couldn’t be faulted for thinking (based on traditional media history) that it would be nothing more than a self-promotional and self aggrandizing weapon of mass annoyance. One might also be forgiven for assuming that it was going to simply show us the darker side of humanity. When you consider that traditional media channels relegate the “better angels of our nature” to page 30 or the last two minutes of a newscast, you can understand that perspective. However, with all the dark side glimpses and the demons who have perched themselves on the web, social has often shown us our better natures and the staggering power of harmonic voices challenging us to do and be better. Almost everyday social media reveals (to me at least) the magic which surrounds us. … [Read more...]

Get over it! Social media doesn’t owe you a thing!

Social media respect : Get over it! Social media doesn’t owe you a thing!

As the father of identical twins, I wonder if my dad simply grew tired of repeating himself and so decided to keep his lessons simple and few in number. Whatever the reason may have been, he focused on only a handful and he drove them home at every opportunity. By all accounts my father (he’s almost 80) has led a good life and a wall of service plaques and awards attest to his community leadership and contributions. It’s is my father who more than anyone, taught me about community and how it is the core of that good life. He never expected recognition for his efforts. Oh, he got some, but he never expected it or expressed regrets when it didn’t happen. “The world doesn’t owe you a thing son, just remember that.” – Gilbert H. Ducharme … [Read more...]

Tweet Tips: 12 Ways to Tweet the Same Thing

Tweet Tips: 12 Ways to Tweet the Same Thing

Just tweeting a subject line and link from a blog (be a post by you or a post on another blog) is not always the most effective way to drive traffic to the post. If the subject line is really good, that can certainly be effective, but there are other options to get people’s attention with your tweets. Be creative with your tweets and mix it up! As with subject lines, a little originality and creativity can really make your tweets stand out. Not all of these approaches would be suitable for use by you about your own posts. As well, not all of these examples as written will suit your personal style – the categorization I’ve done should be more helpful creatively than the actual examples. You have to decide what your style is and work it for all it’s worth. Be yourself and have fun! Just consider these examples some food for thought. … [Read more...]