Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category

postheadericon Time Names Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year”

Mark Zuckerberg is no doubt the most powerful person in social media and the most interesting person of 2010, or at least that’s what Time magazine thinks. This year they bestowed 26 year old former Harvard student and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with the honor of being named Person of the Year. With the release of the highly successful movie “The Social Network”, which is based on Zuckerberg and his controversial journey to create the social site, and after Facebook reached its 500 million members mark this past summer, I agree with Time magazine.

I think it’s safe to say that things haven’t been the same since Zuckerberg introduced us all to Facebook, and then naturally came the beginning of a beautiful digital and social revolution. With the overwhelmingly positive and socially addictive outcome of Facebook, you still can’t help but to ask, “Where would the internet world be if we didn’t’ have Facebook, or any social media platforms for that matter”?

Six years ago Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, an addictive and socially influential social networking site from his college dorm room. Of course then it was titled “The Facebook”. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 or 7 years, you have seen and heard about Facebook when you turn on the TV, listen to the radio, open a newspaper and of course search the web. And even those of you out there that have yet to obtain an account with the most popular social media site [Must I remind you about its 500 plus million members?] to date, it’s a pretty good chance you still know all about the site and its influence on our generation.

While some of us may have their own reasons to agree or disagree with Time’s choice to make Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year”, the magazine shares with its readers their exact reason and motivation for honoring him with the title:

“For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them (something that has never been done before); for creating a new system of exchanging information that has become both indispensable and sometimes a little scary; and finally, for changing how we all live our lives in ways that are innovative and even optimistic, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year.”

With such a popular site of close to 600 million “friends” who share their life experiences and most cherished moments like births, deaths, photos, breakups and even make ups, it’s no doubt that Facebook has transitioned from a simple social site built for us to connect with others to becoming a lifestyle for so many. It is the second most visited site worldwide [Behind Google] and users spend over 700 billion minutes per month visiting the site! See what I mean by it being “addictive”?

And in case any of you were wondering just how successful Zuckerberg has become after the launch of his monster of a creation, we’ll put it to you in dollar terms, his personal fortune has soared to 6.9 billion this year and the company itself is worth $23 billion! Not too bad Mr. Zuckerberg, not too bad at all.

Do you agree with Time magazine’s decision?

postheadericon Social Media Wins During Election Season

While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter don’t actually replace traditional voting methods and polling, you can’t deny how paramount its impact can be during election season. During the political race, Americans use methods of social media to “Like” a political candidate, create a fan page, and share or update information regarding the elections. Arguably this can be seen as the modern approach to the tradition of posting a sign out on their front yard in an effort to promote and support their preferred candidate.

Social media platforms are an imperative source for getting people to get out and vote, especially for our younger generation of voters. By interacting with their members, Facebook gets involved by asking if a user has voted and for those that haven’t or need to find a location to vote there’s a tool that can inform them on the closest voting poll in their area. FourSquare also offers an application for users to share with their community of members that they’ve voted and can receive a limited edition “I Voted” badge for it. Site users can also find their nearest poll in the location finder on the “I Voted” app page. I can expect to see more of these apps created throughout the social media world and naturally, enhancements to these features will follow, once again making social media a great asset to its users.

Social media is not only great for the voters, or soon –to-be voters, but also for the candidates too. Besides the fact that you can get a feel for  the most popular candidate through social media measurements and online polls , these platforms provide a more accessible voice to a candidate’s loyal voters and those they are trying to convince. Not to mention, sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to micro-target, which means you can narrow your target audience search down to age, city and state of residence, race, etc. This can be very convenient for a political campaign when a candidate wants to target certain demographics they may be lacking support from.

A candidate can also do quick and convenient damage control through social sites after a slip-up or mishap they are afraid may make national news. Social platforms provide that outlet for politicians to try and clean up a mess and hopefully get their side of the story out there while connecting to their supporters and even those who may scrutinize. This is where they can show their true self, express themselves on a more personal level with the world, and conveniently maintain some kind of management over the public’s opinion.

Below are some Facebook stats that will give you an idea on the impact social media can have on a political campaign and even public perception.

Facebook Ratings: Election 2010

Ranking political candidates by their fan counts

Overall | Senate | House | Governors

Overall – Fans

1,458,165
Democratic Fans
51,632
Independent Fans
3,482,253
Republican Fans

Senate – Facebook Ratings

10
Democratic States
26
Republican States

House – Facebook Ratings (featured races)

64
Democratic Districts
127
Republican Districts

Governors – Facebook Ratings

13
Democratic States
23
Republican States

Top Candidates by Fan Count


Type State Candidate Fans Daily Growth
Senate AZ John McCain (R) 716,958 722(0.10%)
Governor AZ Jan Brewer (R) 345,425 554(0.16%)
Governor CA Meg Whitman (R) 207,818 1219(0.59%)
Governor TX Bill White (D) 153,391 369(0.24%)
House MN6 Michele Bachman (R) 139,603 709(0.51%)
Senate FL Marco Rubio (R) 134,822 2173(1.64%)
Senate SC Jim DeMint (R) 122,664 913(0.75%)
Senate NV Sharron Angle (R) 108,811 306(0.28%)
Governor CA Jerry Brown (D) 98,573 1248(1.28%)
Senate KY Rand Paul (R) 85,858 980(1.15%)

Source:  Facebook Ratings- Election 2010

postheadericon Could Skippable Ads Slow Down Internet Marketing?

Lately if you’ve watched one of your favorite shows online or a video on YouTube you’ll see an ad, or a few. Some of them are skippable, but some aren’t. These online ads can be great for advertisers but for the viewer maybe not so much since all we want to do is watch our program right? Light bulb! Well YouTube has come up with a new plan to provide a choice for viewers to watch a certain ad or skip the ad all together while at the same time the advertiser isn’t charged. So, worst case scenario: people skip all the ads. But what kind of an effect will this have on the advertisers? Will people really pay attention to the ads if you give them the option to view or not to view or will they just become obsolete?

This new feature is not just a feature, it has a name: True View. This system allows viewers the choice between watching an ad out of a selection of three or you can skip the ads all together. Or for longer streamed videos you can choose to watch the initial advertisement in the beginning of the video to avoid any “commercial breaks” during the stream. Now this may sound pretty cool for users considering they will have more control over what ads they watch and how many but how does this really affect the advertisers and the companies? Has anyone considered that? I mean after all we have to stick together! [Wink] If anything, hopefully this will provide motivation for marketers to think outside of the box and come up with fresh and creative ways to make viewers want to see their ads. But on the flip side advertisers will not be charged for non-viewed ads. Another positive theory is that brands may have an easier time measuring their online presence through the amount of views and behavioral trends among web users.

So this could go one of two ways, either really good or really bad. I guess only time will tell and we’ll just have to watch and see…literally.

postheadericon Facebook Marries Social Media and Email?

On the heels of the announcement that Facebook recently made about their integration with email and social media, many are wondering how effective this can be for their business. If you think about it, social media and email make up about one-third of total internet utilization, so why not join forces with each other to create a more convenient way to stay on top of both social media platforms?

This week Facebook announced the launch of their new email messaging service and I’m sure this sounds like heaven for many advertisers and marketers. According to the Facebook promo video, “…the new messaging system is designed to capture all forms of communication with a single person in one place”. So could this really mean that the time has come for Gmail to vanish? Well apparently some  theorize this and even label this new Facebook service the “Gmail Killer”. Uh Oh.

Check out the Facebook prom video here!

Now after watching that, how you do feel about this new collaboration? It seems pretty smart, possibly effective and definitely convenient. Could Facebook be on to something here? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point within the next decade we had only one endlessly accessible platform where we can communicate with each other, and maybe even without the help of a computer.  Either way, I predict that with sites like Facebook and Twitter, the next chapter in the evolution of technology will definitely be a game changer for users, marketers, and businesses around the globe. Even possibly with just one click of a button. Now that’s a thought.

postheadericon Social Media Dos and Don’ts

Social media marketing is a great recipe of interaction and opportunity mixed with convenience for both corporations and consumers. If done properly, you can have a pretty successful impact on your consumers and heighten your company’s overall effectiveness.

One of the biggest social media mistakes, and most common, that a company can make is having hundreds to thousands of fans/friends on their social networking page but never interact with any of them. It’s not so much about how popular you are, or how many fans you have, it’s a matter of how influential your company is. Like it’s been stated before, you make the most of social media marketing based on what you put out and your interactivity with your consumers. One of the best aspects of social media marketing is the access you have to connect and communicate with your target audience, potential consumers, and loyal patrons. Make sure you regularly interact with your customers and potentials so that they know that you’re reliable and genuinely interested in hearing from them. Remember, the whole point of social media marketing or networking is to be….social.

You also don’t want to have hundreds to thousands of fans/friends and a lot of them don’t even really need your services. Ultimately this will only be followed by lack of sales leads and those fans will eventually “unlike” or “unfriend” you.

Content is always a topic of discussion here and I always encourage quality and creative content that will keep your consumers intrigued. You do want them to continue visiting your page right? What better way than to convince them through direct dialogue and personal approaches? Customers can always appreciate genuine and honest messages with a mix of entertainment, if possible.

To successfully run an online social campaign you must be consistent. Not only consistent with your content and brand stances but also by simply regularly updating your social pages. There’s nothing more frustrating for a consumer than to go to a company’s profile or site only to realize they haven’t updated with any new information or promotions in months, even years. It can be pretty discouraging for that visitor and they may not consider your company when it comes to their needs. This also works in favor of your corporate site.

It’s also good to stay up to date on the latest social media enhancements and sites so that you’re not out of the loop on tools that can benefit your company’s campaign. Of course that only applies to tools that are relevant to your company and will actually work for your brand, not against it.

Something that can be easily neglected is your avatar, or profile picture. This is usually the first thing visitors see when searching for your brand and when they visit your page. It’s wise to be creative but also stay within boundaries of professionalism and relevance to your brand’s logo or motto.

Also   to analyze your consumers’ behavior and trends is a good forecast for future traffic on your site. It’s good to measure not just your company’s website performance but also your social media pages’ performance.  This is the best way to get insight on your brand’s influence and an indirect source of customer feedback from your fans and friends.

There are countless points that can be made when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing and while I’ve given you a handful, it is always good to stay on top of your online media campaign; whether it be through analytics, simply comparing your pages to other companies’, or just consistently researching new tools to accelerate your brand’s performance on the World Wide Web.  Online social media marketing can be very beneficial if used adequately for your brand and as long as it reaches the audience that needs to hear your message. Don’t forget, you are in control of what you share!

postheadericon How’s Your Image?

Let’s face it, you’re probably not the only company out there selling the same product or service and it can get pretty confusing for consumers to know which brand to run with, which is why it’s important to make the decision for them by maintaining a positive social image. Naturally when consumers are searching for a product, they want to go to the best company for the best in quality. Consumers look at which brand is the best based on a number of things but above all they will want to go to a familiar name that they feel they can trust. So the question is: Does your brand have a positive online reputation?

You may want to know why it is so important to have a positive online presence in the first place or even an online presence at all. Well, the internet is where it’s at right now, for everything. More and more businesses are jumping on the internet marketing bandwagon which creates heavier competition. You want to make sure your company is what’s in and up to date on the newest marketing technologies for your benefit. When you stamp your brand in the online marketing world you can expect higher performance, generate an increase in sales leads and even establish higher rankings within the search engines. You want to be accessible to your target consumers in any way possible so that they don’t miss out. Realistically, while traditional marketing is still effective, internet marketing has taken the lead role considering its cost friendly, convenient for both companies and consumers to interact and it’s not as time consuming when it comes to reaching a mass group. All you have to do is click a button and you can send out emails, share corporate updates for your customers, and send out special offers without the hassle of printing and delivering.

The foundation or the premise of attaining a positive online social image would be having a quality website. You should look at your corporate website as a formal introduction where your visitors can learn as much as possible about what your company offers and you want to make sure they visit again, refer you, and/or transition from a visitor to a sales lead.  Content management, performance, and appearance are important factors when a user visits a site. You should make sure your site’s appearance is clean and not cluttered with too many graphics which can cause slow loading time. Watch your content to ensure there aren’t any grammatical errors. Make sure your site’s content is creative and informative at the same time. We know reading can be boring for some so it’s definitely a plus to engage your audience with content that they can relate to and that is entertaining.

The same concept goes with social media content. Is your company socially responsible? Social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Blogs, and others alike are great outlets to provide entertaining and effective information to mass groups and target audiences. Joining sites like this alone already gain you cool points considering social networking sites are all the rave and has formally introduced us to this new generation of marketing. vlogsPlatforms like these allow a company to be as accessible as necessary to inquiring patrons and provide a home for loyal customers to visit whenever they need your services again. Content management again is significant so it’s wise to provide creativity and influence with your words. Even with video blogs, or vlogs, it’s important to have an outgoing personality and the proper knowledge to get the message across to viewers. When you incorporate social media platforms onto your website like vlogs, Facebook and Twitter plugins as well as links to your company blog, visitors will feel like a kid in a candy store almost.

By participating in forums and discussions with your consumers this will leave a positive influence. When people know that they can interact with staff members, support, or even company heads they will put more trust into your brand considering they feel like they have a voice with your business and it’s valued. I mean after all when you’re a consumer you want to feel like you’re in the best hands with whatever company you choose, right? What better way to feel secure than knowing that you can always ask a question and get a response from a representative or post a review on a company’s site.

All in all you want consumers to come to your company before going to your competition for their needs and you want to build a trusting relationship with them so that they will come back again and share their positive experience with others. By maintaining a positive online presence you can expect a boost in your brand’s overall reputation while acquiring an increase in sales and business performance. Considering all of the benefits of online marketing, how can you not take advantage of the resources? You are in control of what you share so make sure it’s worthwhile, efficacious, and entertaining. Otherwise why do it if you won’t do it right? Another plus is that you can always hire an internet marketing company to handle it for you to make sure what you share virally will only guarantee a positive image.  So I guess the real question at this point is: Why not?

postheadericon Corporate Blogging 101

It seems that everyone has a blog these days; whether the reasoning be leisure, cause related, or business driven, you can’t deny the fact that the blogosphere is growing more and more populated. With that being said, if you’re a company in hopes of creating a blog to bring in potential clientele or even to just get an idea of consumer opinions and reviews, you should consider these pointers on blogging and make sure your blog isn’t just another, well…blog. You want to make sure that blogging will benefit your company and that it’s effective to your internet marketing campaign.

Know Your Role.

So first and foremost, does your company even need a blog? Would your company benefit from blogging and will people be interested in what you have to say or even sell? These are all important questions to ask yourself when considering corporate blogging. What will you talk about and will your consumers be able to relate to what you are saying? The blogosphere is pretty versatile, so it’s pretty important to know your place in the blog world. There are plenty of competing companies out there with blogs so it’s a good thing to check out the competition to see how effective their blog site is and figure out how you can contribute to the competition.

Identify Your Audience.

Profiling your target audience and getting to know your readers is a significant step in identifying your platform in the blogosphere. Who are you talking to? What can they benefit from your writing? The whole goal of having a corporate blog is to reach out to consumers in hopes of reaching your company’s objectives. With that being said, you don’t want to compose a blog directed to just anyone, you want to reach a target market of people who will actually benefit from the products or services you’re sharing with them. This in return will provide you with relevant and concrete sales leads from consumers who actually need what you’re offering.

Interact and Engage.

One of the greatest perks from maintaining a company blog is that you actually get to interact with your site visitors. You can get a better idea of what they’re looking for, what about your blog or company they like/dislike, their reviews of your products and information you’ve posted and much more. Even creating enough buzz could result in users sharing your blog’s content with others may generate more followers and potential patrons.

Look Good and Talk the Talk.

Organizing and editing your blog’s content regularly will automatically eliminate and prevent most site performance issues. It is important to add some visuals that will attract your users because  let’s face it, some people are more visual learners and would rather watch a video or look at a diagram than to read a lot of words describing the same information. And who wouldn’t want to look at a few demonstrations of the blog’s content? Adding some videos and images can be effective and helpful, but you must ensure that your blog is not cluttered with these “accessories”. Any graphics, images, hyperlinks, and special effects to your blog should be clean and not overpowering. No one wants to visit a blog that has a slow loading time because there are images and crazy looking fonts that intimidate and sabotage their visit. This is a big turn off to any web user when trying to retrieve information about something important to them.

Make sure that whatever you write is creative, relevant and enticing. The more you ignite visitors the more likely they will return to your site, share your content with others, and provide consumer feedback. Tagging your keywords from posts and adding links can also boost a high SEO ranking, so make sure that is incorporated with blog posting as well.

Make your blog name, titles of posts and subtitles attention grabbing. With an interesting blog name you can automatically grab the attention of a user and create a differentiation between you and your competition. This notion also works with the titles of your blog posts.

Blogging can be pretty effective as long as you have all of the right tools and plan your strategy wisely. As long as people out there can benefit from reading your blog and as long as you make it worth reading, you really can’t go wrong.

postheadericon Social Media Marketing On the Rise: Measuring Your Brand Awareness

Nowadays all you hear about is Facebook this and Twitter that, but these social networking sites aren’t just for the leisurely users or the tweens and teens. Big and small businesses are starting to become hip to these same sites as well. I mean why not? It’s a great source for reaching out to thousands and even millions of people as fast as a snap of your fingers. It’s pretty amazing how useful social media can be for online advertising, marketing, and branding a company but while it is impressive, it also can be a lot of work to maintain a social media page and measure your brand awareness. There are quite a few things any company should take heed of before starting a social networking profile alone or even when hiring a professional to do it. Measuring your company’s brand awareness through social media sites is a key factor and one of the many processes for maintaining a social page.

Know Your Audience and Goal

Before anything, knowing your target audience and your company’s objectives when running a social media page is key. You should know who you’re targeting and what you are marketing to them. When you have this already set, everything else should come easier. By knowing this information, quality and relevant content you put out on your page can automatically generate sales leads from your followers and fans. As you may already know, there are plenty of social networking sites out there [Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Youtube, etc.], so it is wise to choose your social media platform based on your company’s budget, what you may need from the site, it’s relevance to your target audience, and how effective it will be for your company’s sales. Majority of social sites are free and pretty easy to set up which is pretty beneficial for company budgets but eventually you will pay with time and consistency. By consistently updating your page[s] it is very likely that you will build more fans which in return can produce different ways to measure your branding.

Know Which Social Site Works Best For You

There are different ways to measure your company’s growth rate and brand visibility based on which sites you choose to participate in. With sites like Twitter and Facebook, you can measure the amount of fans/followers on your page regularly, monitor feedback from consumers such as comments on status updates, retweets and sharing links that you post. With sites like Youtube and Blogs you can measure the amount of views for video posts, subscribers to your page, comments and content post views. All of these measurements are pretty effective when trying to create and predict trends on a normal basis and even during specials and promotions your company may offer. You can also measure your growth through sales calls and requests from fans. You can see changes in consumer needs and wants and interact with them fast and frequently.

How influential is your page?

Another great way to analyze your brand’s awareness is by measuring any influence your company has had on your fans through your measurements of trends. You can find this out by staying in the know with your followers’ loyalty, the content of their comments, and if they share your page information, updates, and images with others in a positive way.

Don’t forget about the competition!

`With social media marketing on the rise you shouldn’t forget the competition because you can also expect your competitors to be keen on this effective tool. By measuring even your competitors’ page[s] you can also use their findings as a source of measurement for your own stats. By knowing how your competitors are doing will give you a sense of where you may be ranked or should be as well as effectiveness for their brand.

So now that you know some of the basics of brand awareness through social media marketing, it can be much more complex, you should carefully weigh your options and a possible role in the social marketing world as well as planning your company’s internet marketing campaign all together. With much planning, monitoring and maintaining your social media efforts, positive measurements and a high social media marketing status can be attainable.