Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Sharing — It’s Based On Emotions

positive_realismTo truly understand social media, we need to keep delving into the emotional underpinnings of what and why people share.

A recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison examines the outlets used by people based on the emotional content of the message.

Researchers found people were most likely to share positive events via texting and Twitter.

These mediums are easy to access via smartphones when they are happening, and are non-intrusive — recipients can reply whenever they like.

About 70% of the events that people experienced and shared were conveyed via new technologies.

Study subjects — 300 university students who kept track of their communications via a daily diary — revealed that sharing using new technologies enhanced the emotional impact of these events.

So much for the good news, literally.

When experiencing negative events, people were more likely to pick up the phone and interrupt friends or family to share.

Add this tidbit to what Facebook recently discovered in its (debatably unethical) study that found a lot of negative information in a person’s newsfeed can inspire them to be negative themselves — and on the flipside good news triggers positivity.

Again and again, positive energy is demonstrating considerable social media power.

While research keeps fine-tuning our understanding of just how emotions work online, in the meantime the message is clear: good news travels fast online.

 

 

Five Key Takeaways From San Francisco

Today’s post was written by our CEO, Jim Delaney

Social And The Customer Intimacy Imperative

The other week’s Social and the Customer Intimacy Imperative event (#SysomosCII) was a resounding success for the Sysomos team. We brought together some of the brightest minds and biggest brands, and cultivated an outstanding discussion about the next frontier of social: the intersection of data, predictive analytics and revolutionary customer experiences. I cannot thank our speakers and attendees enough for such an inspiring conversation.

The Customer Intimacy Imperative is an age-old problem, but the solution is a moving target that continues to shift as technology advances and culture evolve. The sheer amount of raw data available through social networks means that brands, large and small, MUST engage through social channels or risk devastating consequences of irrelevance and ineptness.

Whenever I’m in the company of other leaders at industry events — either as a host or a participant — I’m always amazed by how much I learn. While I could go on for days about all the kernels of wisdom that were shared last Tuesday, I’ve whittled my list down to five key takeaways from #SysomosCII:

1)     Look forward, not backward: No longer is it enough to look back to see what happened and why it happened. Customers want brands to anticipate their needs. The social web is a focus group of hundreds of millions providing insightful data that brands can use to anticipate future needs.

2)     LOTS of data: Too much data perhaps. Social is pervading the marketing team into other reaches of business. The data is driving new business models as innovative brands are leveraging social data in the decision making process. (@RMB, @chuckhemann, @znh)

3)     Analysis gap: Either in talent or technology, brands need to better understand the “social cocktail” globally in terms of differences between cultures and market segments. The skews of relevance are paramount to help determine ROI. (@RMB, @chuckhemann, @znh)

4)     Be able to take a punch: Social data is disruptive to traditional marketing. Expect questions. (@MasonNelder)

5)     Audience is a privilege: The fundamentals of marketing still apply today. We want customers to trust us and communicate with us. Respecting the customer-brand relationship will foster loyalty, and loyalty will drive revenue… ROI! (@petershankman, @jbmustin)

These takeaways barely scratch the surface of what the future of marketing might look like. But you can be sure that we’re going to see some amazing new developments in the coming months that will define that future. In the meantime, stay tuned as we continue to share insights from #SysomosCII.

Can Vine 2.0 Make Six-Second Videos Sexy?

How much information can be delivered in a six-second Vine video?

People and brands who use Vine seem to be believe it’s an ideal vehicle for quick information blasts.

To be honest, I’m not convinced.

vineEven in a world plagued by short attention spans and the need to multi-task, six seconds seems, well, really short.

As someone who hasn’t embraced Vine, it’s hard to see how six-second videos deliver much value.

Nevertheless, Vine has lots of users who will be happy about the some new developments.

1. You will now be able to watch Vine videos on a desktop computer rather than only on a mobile device.

2. Vine’s Website has some new features, including navigation options that makes watching videos easier. This includes a popular now feed.

3. A search bar that lets users to search for video content by tag, person, or location.

The refreshed Website and new features are clearly aimed at making Vine more accessible and user-friendly.

At the end of the day, however, it really comes down to how individuals and brands see Vine fitting into the digital worlds.

Many people watching online videos that last less than minutes. For many videos created by brands, the sweet spot seems to be 60 to 120 seconds. [For insight into optimal length of a marketing video, check out this The Next Web post.]

So what about six-second videos? Is there a place for micro-videos? Do they have the potential to engage, entertain or educate?

If so, what is their core value? In other words, how do Vine videos fit into someone’s personal branding or corporate marketing arsenal?

Admittedly, I’m skeptical about Vine’s potential use cases. But it could be that Vine’s distinctness could make it an interesting option for brands looking to go against the grain.

When everyone is pounding away using the same digital and social tools, doing something against the grain may be a difference maker.

What do you think? Are you a Vine fan, or believe it delivers value?

 

Working Around Social Media Vacations

It’s really hot out there. So hot, it might be time for a vacation. From work and chores. Even social media?

According to a new survey by MyLife.com, more than half of online users asked have taken or have considered taking a social media vacation. Why? they’re tired of irrelevant updates and don’t have time.

Of those surveyed, 40% had multiple social media profiles and 35% said they spent more than 31 minutes a day on social media and dealing with personal emails.

This all ties into the slow media movement: a growing chorus that advocates for less time on screens and avoiding things like responding rapidly to emails, Facebook updates and texts. People are concerned about how our rapidly changing digital universe is impacting them, and thinking about ways to unplug.

For brands looking to get marketing messages to potential or existing customers via social media, this data serves as a warning: information overload is a real threat and social media audiences, hungry as they seem to be most of the time, are closer to burnout than we would like.

Posting too often, spreading news that’s not really news, being too self absorbed and reposting without input: all these social media marketing habits can inspire followers to shut down their desktops and get their media kicks elsewhere.

To keep followers engaged and not tempted to switch you off, focus on some of the basics of social media marketing. Less is more.

Get involved in conversations and the community instead of just promoting yourself. If you can’t say anything authentic, say nothing at all. Re-read, and re-read again, every post to avoid triggering unwanted controversy.

And, hard as it may be, accept that your message is part of a busy, loud social media industry. It may not be heard by everyone. It may be heard so much by some that they’ll want to shut it off.

Keeping this in mind need not destroy your social media intentions, but it can help you craft them to be more succinct, smart, timely and respectful of your audience and just how much they want to hear.

The Now Of Social Communication [Infographic]

You’ve already heard a lot this week about the evolution of our company. Our CEO, Michael Nowlan, wrote about what this change means and our COO, Jim Delaney, wrote about how these changes reflect a changing landscape for our customers and how we’re here to help you. Well, today we thought instead of telling you more, we’d actually show you.

Below we put together an infographic that shows how certain industries and business functions have changed over the years. Things like PR, marketing, customer service and reputation management have changed significantly just in the past 10 years alone. In order to help you do these things better, we as a company had to evolve as well to grow with you.

Take a look at the infographic to see how the industry used to operate (Then) and how our Marketwired suite of products, powered by Sysomos, can help you do your job better today and make smarter decisions for the future (Now).

We’ve evolved from a wire company to a wired company and we want to help you do the same.

Social Media is One Weapon Within a Marketing Arsenal

Like anything new and shiny, many brands have fallen in love with social media.

I mean, what’s not to like: social media delivers the power and ability to quickly and easily engage, educate and entertain a global audience to build relationships, goodwill and, hopefully, sales.

At the same time, it is keep in mind that although social media is sexy and glittery, it is not the only game in town. It means brands need to recognize there is such thing as being too in love with social media.

Truth be told, social media is a single quiver in your marketing and sales arsenal. Yes, it is effective and cost-efficient but it is just one of the many tools brands can leverage to reach target audiences.

While social media dominates the spotlight, many traditional tools – TV, radio, newspapers, direct mail, billboards – are still alive and well, as well as the online advertising market, which surpassed $100-billion last year.

This is just anecdotal but there seems to be signs that some brands are scrutinizing their social media activity and what it’s delivering. It doesn’t mean they have fallen out of love with social media but, instead, are trying to figure out the right role within the overall marketing and sales portfolio.

Econsultancy wrote a blog post recently asking if brands were over-estimating the value of social media data. The focus of the post that while data provides good insight, it is important not to completely fall in love with it because there are many other factors that impact a brand’s performance and sales.

As brands take a healthy look at their social media activity, it is a reflection of how social media is maturing and evolving. There is no doubt social media delivers terrific insight, engagement and value, which is why it has become table stakes from a marketing and sales perspective.

At the same time, there is also the question of balance and resource allocation.

For brands to thrive, it is important and necessary for them to have the right amount of focus on the right channels to meet the needs of target audiences. Without a doubt, social media will be a key part of the mix but there are other tools that will happily sit alongside it.

What are your thoughts?

 

Is Sulia a Hidden Gem for Digital Marketers?

Social media is packed to the brim with places for people to spend time, connect and share stories and photos. Many of these services help people aggregate content across several services.

With the playing field so crowded and people only able to use a handful of services, you have to believe that a few quality players are going to slip through the cracks. That said, it is important for marketers and PR practitioners to leave no stone unturned.

There’s a social network that isn’t getting much press or attention, but is definitely on the upswing because it offers an interesting and more niche perspective of the world.

This mysterious player is Sulia, a subject-based social network that has intriguing potential. It’s definitely under the radar given it has less than 700 Facebook fan. Sulia makes it easy to filter and find content that are relevant to you, your brand or your cause.

In a year’s time, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sulia attracts a lot more of the social spotlight and its user base is through the roof. Of course, it already has more 10 million users so it’s not exactly the smallest fish in the pond. But, I would suggest the real audience is out there waiting for it.

For organizations, it can be a great way to easily locate opinion leaders and influencers on key subjects that are relevant to you.

Have you tried Sulia? What are your thoughts? Do you know of any other under the radar networks?

Sulia

Social Media Can Boost Traditional Marketing

Social media has definitely changed marketing, communications and advertising.

Even those still clinging to more traditional channels are coming around to the reality and power of social media.

One of its inherent truths is that social media tends to work best when it is coupled with offline tactics.

A recent example such as QR codes shows that there are ways to connect the real world with the digital.

Are there other tactics which can appease your team and bosses, and help you deliver the most comprehensive strategy possible?

The answer is yes, and some are very simple but still  often overlooked.

Here are two important ones:

Always make sure that you have the key URLs listed on your print material. Sometimes, we forget that if people see something often enough, it has the ability to stick with them next time they are online.

Use social media to generate solid sales leads. All networks can provide you with analytics and data to hone in on key sales leads. It can help a sales team become more focused and efficient.

These are just a couple reminders to include tactics to help ensure that your offline abilities are not limited, and actually helping to prop up your online initiatives.

What tactics have you used to create a common thread amongst these two vital elements of marketing and communications?

Social Media and the Holiday Shopping Battle

As everyone and their mother knows, we are in the greatest shopping period of the year from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

It’s a stretch of time of non-stop consumerism and purchasing; everyone is looking for deals and advice.

How do stores, brands and marketers win this pivotal quarter and help ensure the highest gross of profits?

The most important thing to realize is that now is the time to figure it out, before it is too late.

This is a fight that now takes place digitally, and whoever can gain the upper hand via social media will reap the most rewards.

Every major brand and store has a holiday campaign, and if social media is not front and centre, then there is a good chance it’ll be all for naught.

The greatest proof is the amount of online purchases that happen every year, and this number is intensified as we near the end of the calendar. If this is the preferred method of purchasing then you have to use social media to influence buying decisions and offer portals to buy the goods and services.

The underlying point is that you need to make the holidays your biggest sales, then you have no choice but to embrace social media and make sure it is working for you.

The big challenge facing many brands is how they rise above the digital crowd when so many rivals are also using social media. In many ways, the stakes keep on getting raised, which means brands and marketers need to be more creative, aggressive and think out of the box to capture the spotlight.

It will be interested to see which brands call pull this off and, as important, whether it will help their cash registers ring.

Any suggestions on the leading candidates?

What if Facebook Goes For the Money?

Ever since Facebook went public, there has been growing criticism and scrutiny of the biggest social media brand in the world.

Its stock has plummeted — dropping to nearly half its original value — everyone is selling shares, and no one has much good to say about the company’s strategies for mobile or anything else at all, really.

Everyone is waiting, it seems, for this powerhouse to start making money the old fashioned way. With the idea of charging consumers for its online or mobile service a huge long shot, chances are that revenue is going to inevitably come from advertising.

But until now, running ads on Facebook has been an inexpensive yet effective undertaking. With all the personal data collected by Facebook, ads can be easily targeted to a myriad of demographics.

That could change. To start generating real and more revenue, Facebook may have to start charging more for advertising.

That can mean spiked rates for click-throughs or even a charge for page impressions, which could significantly impact marketing budgets.

This could lead to a rough transition with some marketers exiting Facebook for cheaper ground. For others who have found they are getting good results on Facebook, higher costs may lead to fewer but increasingly focused campaigns.

And it may begin an upward trend in online ad rates across platforms — again, a downside for marketers, but a good thing for social media companies, online publishers, bloggers and the like.

Meanwhile, Facebook could introduce advertising spots that synch up more seamlessly with users’ news feeds. This, however, is how ads sometimes appear on the site’s mobile version, which has garnered many complaints.

If Facebook starts doing this, it will have to do it well — but it could offer an opportunity for premium ad space for big campaigns.

Another option for Facebook is following Twitter’s footsteps and begin a data-mining program to sell to third parties. For marketers, this could be a boon: finding out what certain groups are talking about and potentially buying.

Perhaps this is one of the big ideas the company is currently hinting at, but keeping under wraps.

So far, social media has been an inexpensive ride for users and for marketers. That could well change as the publicly owned Facebook moves forward. Are you ready?