Posts Tagged ‘social media’

postheadericon Online Shopping Outdoes Itself This Holiday Season

Black Friday has come and gone and the holiday season is almost done all together, so many wonder exactly how well did online business perform? Statistics have rolled in answering just the question and more. It’s evident that the internet, and social media specifically, have played a major role in the way web users communicate and shop, so how much of an impact did these methods actually make on this year’s holiday season compared to last year? Apparently this year online patrons increased business revenue by 16 percent compared to last year, by opting to research and shop online as opposed to in-store. In fact according to Coremetrics online, shoppers spent more this year with the average order total at $190.80 compared to last year’s $170.19 average transaction amount. That’s a pretty nice increase! PayPal even analyzed consumer spending during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday and analyzed another big increase of overall 27% online spending compared to 2009.

This chart exemplifies which brands had a bigger buzz on Twitter and had high performances during Black Friday. Retail stores like Walmart and Apple performed exceptionally, taking the forefront in the running for brand activity during the holiday season. Even online charitable contributions increased from 2009 by 45% according to PayPal reports.

With the results of Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day sales and purchases one can only imagine how the years to come will outdo these current numbers. Is that people are getting hip to the idea of convenience and accessibility now. There was once a time where no one even knew how and where to begin with online shopping but with the help of social media and mobile advertising people is starting to get wiser and realize that this is the beginning of a new generation of consumer behavior and interaction. So now instead of trying to survive the hustle and bustle of getting up early just to be at your favorite store before everyone else, you can sleep in, enjoy your day without the hassle. The click of a mouse on your computer or a button on your phone, retail therapy will be so much sweeter.

postheadericon Can Celebrities Raise Awareness Through Social Media Campaigns?

We use social media on a daily basis for means of communication and sharing our thoughts, feelings, and happenings; but another good way to use social media  is by spreading a positive global message. Recently for World Aids Day numerous celebrities did that exact thing. In hopes of bringing awareness to the global aids crisis, celebrities like Alicia Keys, Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian, Lady GaGa and so many more took a vow of social media silence, in an effort to raise funds for the “Keep a Child Alive” organization. They promised not to reappear to their social networking accounts until the goal of $1 million was reached.

Alicia Keys co-founded the ‘Keep a Child Alive” charity and orchestrated the marketing campaign in an effort to bring awareness to the impact of aids in the world and our children while focusing on getting treatment and care to patients. In an effort to draw attention to the campaign, she assembled a team of A-List Hollywood elites to begin their “digital death” on World Aids Day and even released controversial promo pictures of the stars posing in coffins symbolizing their “digital death” in hopes of raising awareness and money for the cause. They encouraged their fans to buy back their favorite celeb’s digital life by making a donation via text.

I, for one, thought this was a pretty good social marketing strategy considering the influence these celebrities have on their fans and even general public opinion. It was a creative approach to reaching the public and persuading them to donate money to the charity, especially since fans look forward to reading real time tweets and status updates from their favorite artist or entertainer regularly. I know I do. So why did such a cool and creative campaign fail at getting their donations within their goal time frame?

Unfortunately there was still something missing to boost the campaign’s momentum because it has been looked at as a failure. Although they raised the $1 million goal, it didn’t come easy or as fast as everyone predicted.  The target goal was expected to be achieved within a day or two but after five days and only $300,000 donated, there was worry.  Finally, billionaire and philanthropist Stewart Rahr matched the public’s fundraised donation of $500 thousand which helped the organization reach its $1 million mark.

There has been debate about what exactly caused the campaign to fail; it’s been speculated that the initial minimum donation amount of $10 may have been too high for fans which prompted the amount to be reduced down to $1. Another theory is that instead of taking a vow of digital silence, they should have talked more informatively about the cause and donated some of their own money to generate their goal by their 1-2 day deadline.

Regardless of how long it took, the purpose of the campaign was to digitally raise their goal of $1 million in an effort to continue aiding those who are infected with the aids virus and they accomplished just that. The effort was very commendable and I’m sure a great learning experience for Ms. Keys and the Keep a Child Alive charity.

I guess the questions isn’t so much, “Can celebrities raise awareness through social media” but the real question is “How”? What do you think about the “Digital Death” campaign? What could celebrities have done differently with social media to raise more money in a shorter span of time?

postheadericon 2011 Internet Marketing Trend Watch

So the year is already almost over, and whew, how fast it came and went right? At the end of the year it’s only natural for people to become motivated and inspired to do things differently in the New Year that’s vastly approaching, and that even includes business marketing strategies. 2011 seems pretty promising with new digital marketing trends for brands to adopt in an effort to increase their performance and of course ultimately their ROI. Why don’t we just take a peek into some of the predicted trends that could possibly take over and maybe even change the way we use the internet to advertise, sell, and purchase?

  • The whole “engaging with your customers” revolution has begun, and I love that this is going to be more sought after by businesses. I’ve always been able to appreciate a company who actually shows interest in their customers and don’t just only see dollar signs. You can expect to see companies reaching out to consumers whether it is through social media, follow up phone calls and cards. When it comes down to it, it really does make a difference on whether your customer will remain loyal to your company or not. Often times consumers can become emotionally attached to a brand, and as we’ve mentioned before customers look for [other than the product and service quality] reliability and honesty when choosing a business to represent their needs.
  • Expect to also see an increase in mobile device use for advertising, email marketing, purchasing and many other web marketing tactics. We’ve already seen a glimpse into the evolution of the mobile phone with their apps for everything you can think of, but with accessibility to the World Wide Web and social media through your device, it’s only made it somewhat easier for companies to come up with new and innovative ways to market their target audiences on the go. This is not only smart but convenient.
  • Micro-blogging and blogging isn’t dead yet especially with sites like Facebook and Twitter who will continue to rule over every other social site, I’m sure. I think we can confirm now more than ever that social media isn’t going anywhere, so I’m expecting to see more social platforms develop and groundbreaking enhancements for how we use these social networks and how effective they can be from a business perspective. I do hope to see more companies [especially smaller ones] to join the social media world that already haven’t. These sources are not only outlets that will help company heads the opportunity to interact and engage with their customers but it’s also a creative outlet for businesses to win over consumers and promote their brand’s identity through their own management.
  • Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing will only continue to take over the web with new search improvements to make our search life more convenient and beneficial. In a constant battle to top each other and win over users, we can expect some changes that will probably merge with social media so that web users will eventually only need to go to one site to get their social fix and do some retail research all at the same time. Not to mention optimization of performance, conversion rates, and search engines with the integration of various online tools.
  • Prepare to also see a change in buying trends, consumers will research and shop online a whole lot more, especially during the holiday seasons. People are starting to realize that it’s no point in waking up at dawn just to be at a store to hopefully get the product you want. While it helps to physically be in front of that product or meet face to face with a consultant, new online approaches to these same factors have made it simpler and a lot more tempting to just sit in the comfort of your own home, on your own time and shop without long lines, traffic and to avoid stepping out in inclement weather conditions even. Just the click of a mouse will soon be able to handle everyone’s shopping desires. Imagine that!

While these are only a handful of trends, these are perhaps the heavy hitters and most important of the laundry list. It’s inevitable that there will be many digital marketing changes so it’s safe to say that we should expect more companies to jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits of the endless opportunities the internet world has to offer for both the company and the consumer. I foresee a whole lot more convenience, creativity, and effort in the digital marketing realm. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to see what happens next!

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 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 Internet Marketing Shouldn’t Be Boring, Right?

When you think of internet marketing or any type of marketing you automatically think of the words tedious and boring, right? Well who says marketing should be boring? I mean the tedious aspect is pretty inevitable but that doesn’t mean it should be so blah. In fact I think the internet is what has made marketing, in general, fun especially in this new era of the digital world that is being lead by the success of social media and networking. Let’s not forget the realization that there are multiple companies out there selling the same products and are after the same objectives. You want consumers to be able to differentiate your brand from your competitors because honestly competition has become steeper thanks to the budget friendly and convenient opportunities provided by viral marketing. So how can we make internet marketing hip with these viral tools we’ve been introduced to in this generation? Well there are a few tweaks to your marketing campaign that can make it a little more appetizing to the eyes of your consumers and may spark an interest in your business rather than your competitors’.

The top reasons users venture the World Wide Web is to research, shop, network, sell products, and of course entertainment.  We all know that social media is the biggest player in the marketing game but it’s not as effective if you don’t utilize it to your benefit and the right way. When I say the right way I mean in a way that will keep your fans, potential consumers and loyal customers intrigued. We always stress quality content anytime social media is mentioned but it is pretty essential if you expect a successful online campaign.

Fun and exciting updates that will benefit your consumers and entertain them is key. After all anyone can broadcast information about their products, including your competition, so that’s why it’s significant to do it in a way that will not only provide your fans with information but will also connect to them and will also relate to them on even a personal level. By producing creative brand advertisements that pertain a message regarding something serious or entertaining that your customers can relate to is a sure win. Universal issues like economic status and natural disasters that effect masses of people show that you aren’t just trying to sell them something but that you are genuine about your message. Incorporating humor or attractive visuals are what also make ads fun and entertaining. By incorporating pictures, graphs, diagrams and videos, you’ll grab the attention of your visual learners and give them something to look forward to, other than words on a page. This works especially when it comes to blogging considering you’re not limited to a certain amount of characters like Facebook and Twitter.

Another way to make content building creative and fun is with Voice Recognition Software. Sometimes you may find yourself with writers block and staring at your blank document without an idea as to how you will get the right words on the page. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about something than it is to write it. With Voice Recognition Software you can record your ideas by simply talking about them, it’s a conversational tone which can be more effective when it comes to connecting with your audience. Not to mention it’s a much faster way to spew out content for your post. An hour or two of blog posting can be condensed down to 20 minutes just like that!

You can also try video blogging, also known as vlogging. This gives your viewers a sense of security when they can put a face to the brand; it also reaches them on a personal level and can be fun for whoever is doing the vlogging since you’re connecting with your audience. Who doesn’t like to not just talk but show their excitement about new products and specials while convincing users to come to trust your brand over the others.  Personally, when a sales rep or anyone who is trying to sell me something is exemplifies their enthusiasm about the product through their voice and expressions it becomes contagious and more than likely will generate a sales lead.

YouTube is a prime example of vlogging and how impactful it can become. You can post videos to your company blogs and of course generate interaction from your fans. Having a great voice and knowing how to present information on video blogs is also something to keep in mind, because again you want to keep your visitors interested in your business just like with any other platform so you will need someone who is passionate and isn’t shy in order to get the message across creatively and adequately.

Providing an outlet for customer feedback is a great way to interact with your customers and make it fun for both parties.  When consumers feel like they have a voice on a certain platform that is relevant to their lifestyle they will definitely use it.  This will also give your audience something to look forward to and can be fulfilling for you, especially if you’re actually interacting with them through forums and discussion boards. Mobile marketing is becoming more and more popular as carriers are making it easier to conduct it. Before you know it you will be able to see ads throughout various features and apps on mobile devices, which is pretty cool. You will grab the attention of the recipient no matter where they are and it’s convenient for them to take advantage of your offer whether they initially needed it or if it’s because you reminded them [wink].  It’s like advertising on the go. This is probably more fun for the advertisers and more convenient for the consumers if anything.

Internet marketing and marketing overall doesn’t have to be such a “snore-fest” as long as you are taking the right approach to these new digital tools that we’ve been seeing everywhere. If there’s only one thing you remember, it’s creative content building. You can never go wrong by producing quality content that is both entertaining and informative. Research your platform options and what is relevant to what your brand stands for and that’s a good recipe for a successful internet marketing campaign.

postheadericon The Crystal Ball of Internet Marketing

What Does the Future of Internet Marketing Hold?

It’s no secret that internet marketing has proved victorious over traditional marketing and has increased brand awareness for businesses. But what does the future hold for business internet marketing campaigns? We know it’s prevalent now but will it always be this way and how?

With the creation of budget friendly online marketing tools such as Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click, Social Media, etc., it’s no surprise that companies are jumping on the bandwagon and taking their marketing campaigns viral. Not only has internet marketing provided a relief in the financial pockets of CEOs all over, the digital world has offered a more effective and convenient way to reach out to mass consumers without breaking a sweat. No longer will we live in the Stone Age of traditional marketing but instead we should expect to see enhancements of what we’ve already gotten a sample of, from the digital marketing world.

Social Media has definitely paved the way for the future of web interactivity amongst users.  With sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs you can’t deny that they, amongst other social sites, have set the bar for what the future may hold not only for consumers and web users but for businesses as well. Now, I usually don’t like to use the word never, but in this case; marketing campaigns will never be the same again.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Blogs can only make us anticipate so many different possibilities for how social media could advance, but for the benefits of marketing and advertising is another story. I’m guessing we can see more direct connectivity between company websites and their social media pages, when I say that I mean we just may start to see websites and social pages collaborate into one site.  Can you picture that? Imagine having a company site where you have members, fans, or followers and they can interact with the company and each other through comments, likes, links, videos and other methods of sharing. You’ll only need to visit one site to get their facebook, twitter, blog, website all at one time. Pretty cool huh?  With sites like these and future advancements, brand awareness and social image will more than likely be easier to develop and maintain. It’ll be much easier to keep track of client requests and reviews while also offering feedback more conveniently.

Perhaps another form of progression in the marketing world would be mobile advertising and marketing. We’re seeing mobile devices advance more and more and it’s pretty exciting to think about. Mobile devices will not only be just a tool for communication but also a source for marketing, shopping, and sharing. Consumers can just go to their hand-held device whenever they want to search for a business, product, video, etc. Newsletters and email marketing could also excel their performance through mobility considering people are continuously connecting their email to their mobile phones so that they don’t miss out on anything when they’re on the go. Now imagine ads and such within those applications. Not to mention mobile phone service providers will continue to find ways to make phones more user friendly which both consumers and marketers can benefit from.

Search engines will also face big changes, I predict. Searching, just like mobile devices, will become more user friendly, faster, and cleaner. All in all search, will be a lot more convenient for web users. For instance, Yahoo recently has enhanced an image search and applied a pane module that allows users to flip through different types of information regarding what they’re searching for. Basically users get a preview of all forms of social marketing that site or subject matter has to offer all at one time. I can only imagine how much improvement we can expect to see with enhancements like this with major search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing. Perhaps we can see a preview to a website regarding our keywords in the search engines? That would be pretty cool! Or maybe even a voice activated search where you don’t even have to type anything, just use your voice to guide your search through your mobile phone and computer. We also can’t rule out a possibility of a new search engine debuting sometime within the next decade. Even one more powerful and popular than Google?! Yikes!

So as we see there are some pretty key elements when it comes to predicting the future of internet marketing. Social media has definitely set the tone for the expansion of marketing possibilities and will be the leader for future advancements when it comes to corporate marketing campaigns. Who would’ve thought business could be so hip? We should not forget though, that word of mouth will never die out. It’s the best form of marketing there is, or at least that’s what I think. You can never go wrong from having positive buzz about your company and sharing will only become more popular as we see the web make it much easier to accomplish that. With all of the possibilities out there in the digital world,  it’s inevitable for business competition to become much more stiff, and I can only see internet marketing working for, rather than against, your company’s campaign. I think it’s pretty safe to say that internet marketing isn’t going anywhere, in fact, it’s moving faster than ever and it’s future is looking better than ever.

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.