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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Social Media Marketing: Opportunity knocks worldwide

February 24th, 2012
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Living in the U.S., we often use social media to reach domestic customers. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were popular here first, and that sticks with us. But as social networking expands worldwide, the size of the audience we could be reaching has multiplied.

Focusing exclusively on the U.S. would ignore 80% of the people on Facebook and Twitter, according to “It’s a Social World,” a report from comScore. On LinkedIn, it would ignore more than 60% of the audience (Note: You’ll need to provide an email address to download the report. It’s worth it.)

 

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The report is full of mindboggling stats like, “social networking captures nearly 1 out of every 5 minutes spent online worldwide,” and “social networking sites now reach 82% of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users.”

If your company sells anywhere outside the U.S. (or ever hopes to), and you’re marketing through social media, then the report points to a world of opportunity. Social penetration among online audiences is above 90% in 35 of the 43 countries measured.

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Social Media Marketing: A look at 2012, part 1

February 2nd, 2012
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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a popular blog post on using social media profiles for login on third-party websites rather than the more traditional form field registration. The post featured research from Janrain, a social Web user management platform, and some additional commentary from Larry Drebes, founder and CEO of Janrain.

That topic was very specific and applies to one marketing issue — gathering data from website visitors.

Janrain’s research found that Facebook is the clear favorite for social login at 42%, followed by Google at 29% and Yahoo! at 11%.

 

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In preparation for the innovation panel Wednesday afternoon, February 8th, at next week’s MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012, I also had the chance to speak with Larry about the social channel in more general terms, and to get his take on where it is heading and what marketers should be thinking about over the next six to 12 months.

Tomorrow’s blog post will feature the thoughts of panelist Loren McDonald, Vice President Industry Relations, Silverpop.

Here is the result of my conversation with Larry:

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Social Spam: Why you should clean out your LinkedIn and Facebook communities

December 16th, 2011
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The landing tab for the MarketingSherpa group on LinkedIn is called “Discussions.” Except, it was pretty much false advertising because there wasn’t a lot of discussion happening. It was mostly social spam … blatant self-promotion.

And this self-promotion went far beyond pushing products or special offers, it was promotion of blog posts, webinars, articles, etc … not quite as bad as promotional offers or the SEO phishing we get from comments here on the MarketingSherpa blog.

But still, it prevented conversation. So, Bethany Caudell, Customer Service, MECLABS, and I sat down to discuss the right approach forward. Beth manages the MarketingSherpa LinkedIn group, along with the MarketingExperiments Optimization group on LinkedIn.

 

Social media shades of gray

When it comes to managing social media communities, there are always shades of gray as to what, exactly, is appropriate. Then, once you set ground rules, the social media platform changes on you (ah, innovation).

For example, the challenge I’m talking about here only arose because LinkedIn did away with the “News” tab in its groups, leaving members with no dedicated place to post links they thought were newsworthy. So on the one hand, I did feel for them.

On the other hand, again, all of this “news” was killing the true point of the tab – discussions.

So at the end of the day we bit the bullet, sent out a warning letter about the new change, and Beth whipped out her virtual machete and started cleaning the groups of all that social spam. I expected some negative kickback, but I was extremely surprised when the feedback was overwhelming positive (in case you have to clean house yourself one day, you can see copy for the letter I sent using that link as well).

So the question arises … how do you combat social spam? How far should marketers go as policemen and women for their LinkedIn Groups, Facebook fan pages, and the like? These social media pages, originally meant for discussion, can be easily filled with junk thanks to a self-promoting audience … or simply inappropriate content.

Below you’ll find a very basic six-step process to help with your own efforts.

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Holiday Marketing: 3 last-minute ideas to boost conversion

November 22nd, 2011
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The holiday shopping season is upon us – the proverbial golden goose for consumer marketers. I’m sure you’ve planned thoroughly throughout the year, and just have to focus on how to execute, execute, execute in these last remaining days before December 25 rolls around.

But, it’s too late to make impactful changes to your plans, right?

Right?

Well, I’ve been listening to one of those “challenge the model” books on tape (you know, the ones that tell you, “Burn the status quo! The only rules that exist are the ones we impose on ourselves!”). So, I’m understandably pretty worked up. All the same, I say we take on this beast. Let’s try to make a few last-minute shifts and move that needle.

If you can spare a minute away from your daily transactional data, let’s brainstorm a few last-minute ideas to help you get an extra bump in sales this holiday season (and I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section, as well). After all, anything’s possible. As long as you commit.

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Social Media Marketing: Analytics are free and plentiful, so use them

November 15th, 2011
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For years, the debate on social media marketing centered on ROI. Marketers asked themselves “How can we measure the impact of social media?” “What’s the ROI on Twitter?” “How do we know if LinkedIn is worthwhile?”

Thankfully, those days are behind us. Data is available from tools both paid and free. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, not every marketer has taken advantage, as you can see in the chart below from Adobe and Econsultancy, which we pulled from The Social Media Data Stacks e-book.

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Five of the six metrics listed above have a greater number of marketers saying they’re important than the number of marketers tracking them. This is like saying it’s important to eat right and exercise while eating chili cheese fries and canceling your gym membership. It just doesn’t make sense.

But don’t worry — we have you covered. Here is a list of free tools you can use to start measuring each social media metric.

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Marketing Career: How to get your next job in marketing

October 14th, 2011
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Sure, the economy is a bit uncertain. But companies are still looking for high-performing marketing professionals. I know because they post these job openings almost daily on our marketing job listings page.

In fact, I recently came across a shocking bit of data in The Wall Street Journal. From my experience, jobs in advertising and marketing tend to be the most sensitive in an uncertain economy. In a recession, most CEOs seem to cut the marketing budget as step #1 (Step #12, corporate jet).

However, according to SimplyHired, marketing managers is “where the work is,” as it’s listed as one of the occupations listed as having many openings.

I’m not personally familiar with this metric, but marketing managers is listed as having 108 job openings for every 1,000 people employed. That is much more than the “few openings” for mental-health counselors and preschool teachers, with only two openings per 1,000 employed. It’s even more than registered nurses, which I always see recruitment ads for and is widely regarded as desperately in need of more talented people (82 per 1,000).

Intuit is one such company hiring marketing professionals right now. So, I sat down with Leslie Mason, a Senior Recruiter at the computer software company, to help give you an inside scoop about what companies are looking for when they fill these plentiful marketing job openings.

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B2B Social Media: Jay Baer discusses social media ROI and Facebook likes [Video]

October 6th, 2011
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Quick checklist, B2B marketers. Do you have:

  • Customers?
  • Prospective customers?
  • Employees?
  • Competitors?
  • A story to tell?

Then, according to Jay Baer, “Congratulations, you have the raw materials for social media.” And he makes a good point. After all, some B2B marketers think of social media as more of a consumer marketing tactic, and many B2B marketers think they can’t learn anything from their B2C brethren.

But at last week’s MarketingSherpa B2B Summit in Boston, Jay made a very convincing argument for B2B social media. But he didn’t just aim to shift the audience’s paradigm; his keynote was replete with actionable advice, including ideas on how to tackle one of the most daunting tasks of all, measuring social media ROI.

He also talked about search and social going together like peanut butter and jelly. Jay gave the audience examples on how they could be a “digital dandelion,” spreading their content through the digital world like dandelion seeds on a windy day.

After his keynote (and once he was finished signing books for his marketing groupies), videographer Luke Thorpe and I cornered Jay on the expo floor and peppered him with a few questions about some of his more eye-opening ideas …

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Social Media Marketing: How to ensure Facebook doesn’t tear down your wall

September 23rd, 2011
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Photo credit: Sue Ream

Like many marketers, I am not a lawyer. So when I see terms and conditions, my eyes glaze over and I shoot an email to our excellent in-house counsel.

However, if you conduct a campaign on a third-party site, you are at the mercy of their rules.

Take Facebook, for example. According to a recent whitepaper from Bulbstorm, “Run afoul of the guidelines, and your page could be shut down by Facebook at a moment’s notice … Facebook accepts reports of violations, and no one watches your page more closely than your competitors. They’d love nothing more than to see your campaign fail. So, follow the guidelines and don’t give Brand X a reason to tattle.”

But if you’re not a lawyer, following these guidelines to the letter is easier said than done. So, to help you avoid the LSAT, I grabbed Matt Simpson, Director, Interactive & Client Services at Bulbstorm, a developer of Facebook applications, and asked him a few questions that will keep you on the sunny side of Mark Zuckerberg and his team …

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Marketing Psychology: The behavioral triggers behind success at Amazon, Groupon and FarmVille

September 8th, 2011
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I like to think of myself as a savvy consumer. I research purchases. I ask friends for suggestions. I look for deals. This has undoubtedly spared me headaches and wasted money — but it has not freed me from clever marketing.

This fact is made clear in a recent Wired article by Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University. In the piece, Ariely explains the psychological factors that help build Amazon, Facebook, Groupon and other successful companies.

We interviewed Ariely last year about his book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, and published his advice. Here are three marketing insights from his recent article in Wired:

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Strategic social media marketing advice from your peers

June 9th, 2011
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To truly gain ROI from social media marketing, you need to take a strategic approach…as you would with any other marketing discipline.

So, at 1 p.m. EDT in today’s MarketingSherpa webinar (sponsored by Facebook) – Intro to Strategic Social Media Marketing: Get your business or agency started with an ROI-based approach – I’ll be moderating an hour-long session with Todd Lebo and Zuzia Soldenhoff-Thorpe from MECLABS and Tamara Rosenbaum from Facebook, to arm you with some ideas as you embark on a strategic approach to social marketing.

But before we share our research, we asked your peers what advice they would give fellow marketers to help you transform your efforts from random acts of marketing to a strategic approach. Here are a few of our favorite responses…

Relationships are based on an open and honest conversation

The best advice I can offer is to look at social media as an extension to your Acquisition, Engagement, Retention, and Growth strategies. The majority of companies look at it as a function of PR – what about marketing, sales, and support? Isn’t a happy customer worth more than a random fan?

Don’t forget the most important part of social media: listening. Look at all the companies that pride themselves in having thousands of followers/fans but in turn only “listen” to a couple of hundred… that’s more of a monologue isn’t it? Don’t measure your success by the number of people listening to you.

Relationships are based on an open and honest conversation. Listen, and only then “talk” about things that are relevant to your audience. Do it in a timely way. Measure reactions to your conversations.

Using social media as just another channel to “get your message out” is not the way to build the dialog needed to create and nurture a close relationship with your prospects and customers.

– Roberto Lino, Skype Enterprise Global Head of Ecommerce, Skype



Research, strategize, and then get going

My top 3 tips for success in social media would be…

1. Do some research to find out where your customers are having the conversations before trying to join every single social site. Monitor what’s being said about you and your competition.

2. Go in with a strategy!!!

Who will be in charge of this effort? How many times a week will you tweet? What kinds of content will be useful for your audience?

3. Start small so you make sure you have time to keep it up. What we find is many companies have such limited resources to devote to social media marketing that time is wasted in the wrong groups, content is too weak, and schedules get too busy and the first thing to drop to the bottom of the priority list is the social stuff. Consistency is key when it comes to social media, so it’s important to find a way to keep it up.

I look forward to hearing everyone’s advice and joining the webinar!

Michelle Etherton, Creative Director, Nurture Marketing



A dissenting opinion

My advice to marketers is to not transform your efforts from random acts of marketing to a strategic approach. Social media is all about being random and experimenting. Show up. Participate. Be random.

Social media marketing differs from traditional marketing in that you don’t just set it and forget it. Successful social media marketing requires interaction. It requires actively networking, meaning you are responding to others and your status updates are more than predetermined calculated scheduled posts.

By being random, you will find new and unique ways to gain ROI. I think you take all the fun out of social media marketing if you are rigid with strategy.

Lara Nieberding, The Data Digger



Related Resources

Free webinar, Today June, 9th 1-2pm EDT — Intro to Strategic Social Media Marketing: Get your business or agency started with an ROI-based approach

Social Media Marketing: You value (and earn ROI on) what you pay for

Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook

Inbound Marketing newsletter – Free Case Studies and How To Articles from MarketingSherpa’s reporters