Guest Post: Increase Your Social Media Engagement with These Proven Strategies

How-to-Create-a-Brand-Identity-Using-Social-Media-04

There is no question that social media has earned its spot in every business’ digital marketing strategy. The rise of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have forever shaped the way users express themselves online.

Nowadays, almost every business has some type of social media account. 83% of fortune 500 companies have a presence on Twitter and over 3 million companies have LinkedIn profiles. However, simply having a social media account and posting content is not enough. What makes the difference between good brands and great brands on social is not only the quality of content, but also the level of interaction and engagement they devote to their audience. Are you replying back to users who comment on your photos? Do you regularly like trending posts within your industry? Have you developed an online personality for your brand?

Follow these guaranteed strategies and you’ll be well on your way to connecting with your target audience and increasing engagement on all of your social media platforms.

Facebook

4 million likes are generated by Facebook users every minute.

Liking is one of the most important aspects of social media. So hop on the bandwagon and click the thumbs up button! It’s important to like something when you see that it pertains to your business because you’re not only engaging with your industry, but you’re also connecting with accounts who share similar interests. Over time, social media platforms will start to see patterns in the content you’re liking and expose you to more related items. The great thing about Facebook is that if you have a particular reaction to a post, you can choose that instead of just thumbs up. Choose the laughing emoji when something is funny or the angry face when you’re upset. The important thing is when you react to a post, you begin to get filtered into a particular niche. What you discover in that niche is other users who belong there as well.

Those users are your target audience. So be friendly and say hi! Put a huge emphasis on liking content in your social media marketing strategy. Give users a like on their posts and explore what you have in common. These users will start to recognize your name and become familiar with your online presence. With one click and some curiosity, they could end up on your page! Don’t be stingy with likes, spread the love and watch it return back to you.

Instagram

Instagram generates over 3.5 billion likes a day and its usage has doubled in the last two years.

Much like Facebook, the way you’re able to connect with people through Instagram is by liking photos. Some users will exercise proper etiquette and like one of your photos in return for your like, but other times it just might not happen. That’s okay though, there’s no limit on the amount of posts you can like, so go ahead and double tap on posts that are relevant to your industry!

YouTube

100 million people take social action on YouTube every week in the form of likes, shares, or comments.

Commenting is just as important as liking for the same reason that you get to interact with your target audience and engage in your community. The difference with a comment versus a like is that you have the opportunity to communicate your unique perspective on a topic.

You can answer questions on trending posts, offer insight, or type something reactionary. This will help increase your engagement because users can actually see what you’re thinking.  They can go off on your ideas or like your comment in agreement with what you’ve said. Comments provide another opportunity for users to engage with your brand. Be social and leave a comment!

Twitter

500 million Tweets are sent every day, which translates, to 6,000 Tweets a second.

Twitter is all about the short and the sweet. Essentially, Twitter is a string of comments. The way you get your brand to increase engagement on Twitter is by participating in the never-ending dialogue. You can do this by liking, commenting, and most importantly, retweeting.

Twitter is a little different from other social platforms because it has a higher frequency of posts. According to Neil Patel (social media marketing maven and co-founder of KISSmetrics) the optimal amount to post on Twitter to increase engagement is 1 – 5 posts a day. Plan your posts beforehand or retweet other authorities within your industry. Keep up with the pace of Twitter so users can recognize your effort.

LinkedIn

The 14 most popular posts on LinkedIn are all about advice in the workplace.

LinkedIn is the platform business professionals go to in order to apply for an internship, look for a job, or expand the range of their professional network. What users are looking for on LinkedIn is the means to gain a better standing in their career. This can be in the form of acquiring a job or the knowledge to gain better skills. Your posts on LinkedIn should be about interesting water cooler topics professionals can read in their downtime. It’s perfectly acceptable to be on LinkedIn during work, so keep your content related to the workplace if you want to see engagement from this audience!

A Quick Recap

Social media marketing is genuinely about being social on the screen. If your brand is

participating in the social aspect of each platform, you will begin to see engagement rise because your account is active. It’s important to keep that part of social media in mind because it shows your followers you understand how to use their media! Let’s Recap:

  • Facebook – Like posts that are related to your industry
  • Instagram – Double tap appropriate photos in your niche
  • YouTube – Provide insight, leave a comment
  • Twitter – Keep up with the pace of tweets
  • LinkedIn – Make it about the workplace

 

About Author:

therese

Therese Palmere is a passionate content writer at Aumcore. Aumcore is a New York based digital marketing agency offering solutions from creative social media campaigns to SEO and web design driven by results.

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Guest Post: How Digital Technology Is Transforming Customer Data Collection

Digital business is increasing the potential monetary value of data, but most companies aren’t leveraging this valuable resource. Smart devices, mobile technology and social media are increasing the volume and variety of customer data available at an accelerated rate, turning data brokering into a multibillion dollar business while simultaneously making data more affordable than ever. General information about consumers is now available for about $0.50 per 1,000 people, estimates the Financial Times. Read on for the trends that are transforming data collection and the tools that smart companies are using to turn data into profit.

Internet of Things

One of the biggest technology trends is the increasing presence of smart electronic devices, a trend known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier stages of the Internet were centered around personal computers and then mobile phones, and now the Internet of Things includes all sorts of smart devices, from smart houses to smart TVs to smart cars, watches and clothes.

All these devices collect data that is centered around the consumers who use these devices. This enables businesses to organize their market research and advertising efforts around the totality of data as well as individual uses, a trend known as marketing personalization. The Internet of Things means that the data collected can conceivably be used to personalize ads they see in their car, at work and while shopping.

Location-Based Data

The Internet of Things forms a digital mesh that enables consumers and their data to be pinpointed by location. Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 are GPS-enabled, allowing marketers to collect data on their location and deliver personalized messages that appeal to customers at specific locations.

One of the emerging applications of this is beacon marketing, which identifies when customers are entering stores to deliver customized coupons, discounts and other special offers. For instance, Hillshire Brands saw a 36 percent increase in brand awareness and a 20 percent increase in purchase intent by using beacon technology.

Context-Sensitive Data

Data collection is becoming more context-sensitive. For instance, a webpage that displays well on a desktop screen needs to adjust to be viewable on a smaller mobile device screen. This means that the site needs to collect context-sensitive data about the viewer’s device and screen size.

Another context-sensitive use of data is retargeted advertising, when information gathered on one device follows users as they use other devices. For instance, Yahoo recently added a feature to its Gemini ad marketplace that enables advertisers to send retargeted ads to customers on websites, apps and Yahoo interest categories based on their browsing behavior.

Social Media Data

One of the most important data collection sources is social media. CMS Wire reports that 90 percent of the data available today was collected over the past two years and 80 percent of it came from social media use.

Social sites are seeking to capitalize on this, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube all introducing buy button features last year. In 2016, social media brand engagement and buying will drive data collection, predicts Brandwatch.

 

About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

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Social Cloud Customer Service Has Dismantled the Old Marketing Funnel

Old Marketing Funnel Days: In the days before social media, marketers would target key customers and go through an awareness, desire, interest and then action (buying) process; essentially the old marketing function. The marketer would start with a large number of customers at the top of this so called “funnel” and as the customers in the “funnel” were approached, there would become fewer customers, narrowing down to those with the desire, interest and ending up with enough customers that would eventually take action and buy whatever was being offered.

The Way a Company Manages Their Social Media Can Destroy the “Old” Marketing Funnel. Today, we know that social media plays a significant role in the purchase decisions of potential buyers. That’s why the way a company manages their social media can turn consumers from brand advocates to troublesome trolls. And there’s an invisibility of social media that has completely destroyed the marketing funnel.

How Does Social Media #Fail Affect the “Old” Marketing Funnel? What do I mean by this? Let’s say I am a customer who is having issues and I post #fail and the brand’s name. And then let’s say there are 1, or 10 or 100 or 1,000 people who might have been interested in becoming aware of that company’s products and services. But because they saw my #fail, they make a mental note and a decision, unbeknownst to the brand, to never buy from that company. They saw the company didn’t have that customer back when they had a question or need help. And this is essentially why Social Cloud Customer Service is the New Marketing. How customers get treated in Customer Service and when they share that affects the future purchasing power of that pool of customers who might have been interested.

Customers Opt Out Without The Brand Even Knowing They’ve Lost a Customer Because those customers opted out, they will never be in the companies “old” marketing funnel. They may have had the potential to become part of a targeted segment that could have gone through the various stages of awareness, desire, interest and then action. However, because those customers saw the #fail post, they will never be a potential customers. Essentially the pool of customers that company might have drawn upon is now much smaller.

Loosing Customers You Didn’t Know You Lost. The company many not realize they lost those customers. They make still send out marketing messages. But it’s every likely that those customers who made mental note of how another customer was treated, will never respond to any marketing messages and never buy from that brand. And that’s what I mean about the customers disappearing or becoming invisible to a brand. They are no longer available to be marketed to. They will just ignore the marketing messages because they saw when I tried to get help, the company didn’t reach out in social media and try to help. And this is the invisibility that is affecting many companies and they don’t even realize that by poorly managing their social media, they have shrunk their customer base.

Managing Your Social Media Well Can Be a Customer Attractor. On the other hand, let’s say there is a customer who complains in social media and the company is paying attention. They are monitoring, listening and respond quickly and resolve the issue. 1 or 10 or 100 or 1,000 customers will have seen this and as a result, they make mental note of it. They might not be in the market for what the company is offering at that exact moment, but when they are and they have to choose a brand, they are going to choose a brand that has their back or a company that they have seen take care of another customer’s issue quickly and meet the customer expectations.

Not Responding To #Fail Is No Way To  Manage Your Current and Future Customers. The failure to meet or exceed those expectations can drive away new and existing customers. This is why I think the old “marketing funnel” has really been dismantled. With more and more companies turning to social media to communicate with consumers, it’s important to manage the channels in a way that builds brand loyalty and converts users into advocates. Today’s consumers turn to social media when they have a question about their purchase. The way your company manages customer service via social media can build brand loyalty & turn users into advocates.

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You can get the full infographic from IntelliResponse here.

Where do you stand? Are you monitoring, listening and responding? Or are you not even paying attention to social media?

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst

Constellation Research, Covering Customer-Facing Applications that Create Awesome Customer Experiences

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Making Social Customer Care Great Marketing

Social Customer Care

Social Customer Care, simply put, has become an expectation amongst consumers. Social Customer Care is one of the most important aspects of the customer experience. Telling your community that you’re accessible on social channels delivers a strong message. Your community and supporters are online, and it is fundamentally changing how and where constituents look for support, and how they engage with you today. 

 1-9-90 Rule: Social Customer Care Is Ruled by the Lurkers

I remember when I was first on Twitter back in 2008. It seemed like a great place for customers to express their frustration. But I could see where organizations might not see the real ROI. Part of the reason is of the 1-9-90 rule. That’s a rule that is really an approximation and it goes like this: about 1% of population post in social networks, 9% respond and about 90 lurk (read, but don’t post.) Of course the ratios change for different industries, but the take-a-way is that most people read, they don’t post.

 Social Customer Care Does Matter

This lower posting (10%) rate might lead many organizations to think they are not very many people are on social networks. However, what I learned in speaking to many consumers and even B2B business buyers is that people do look and they do read. And they form an opinion of a company based on what they see. They may not post, but they do make a decision or form an opinion about a company and how it treats it’s customers. So in actuality, that 10% that post is like the tip of the iceberg, where the affect is really on the 90%. So that’s why, for organizations of any size, listening to constituents online not only presents the opportunity to uncover and address complaints and issues, but also the opportunity to learn, improve, and engage your audience in new ways to strengthen – or build new – relationships over time.

My Personal Experience With Social Customer Care and An Airline

I remember one time when I was trying to fly to London to give a speech on customer service. The plane I was supposed to take had mechanical issues and was not going to take off for a long time. If I took that flight, I would miss my speaking slot. I saw another flight that was leaving within 30 minutes to London and went to the gate to see if I could get on that flight. They said no, even though there were seats.

I then tweeted to the airline for help. They responded within 30 seconds. They asked me to Direct Message them with the issue. Low and be hold, within 5 minutes on was on that flight that the gate attendants said I could not get on. I went up to the gate attendant’s and showed them that I was on the flight they had denied me access to. They said, “How did you get on?” I said Twitter. And they were really surprised.

Realizing that gate attendants have rules and regulations they have to follow, I got why perhaps they couldn’t get me on. But I was also amazed that a tweet could over rule either the regulation or the stubbornness of those gate attendants. And I can tell you that, that experience definitely left me with a strong opinion about that airline. And it was a positive one — because when I really needed them to come through for me, they did. And it happened through social media! (And yes I made it to my speech on time! And this episode with Twitter was a large topic of conversation at that conference…)

 Come Hear More About Social Customer Care and Marketing

In June, I will be leading a panel where you dan learn how HP, Alex & Ani and Honeywell not only provide exceptional service to their customers through social channels, but how they capitalize on these interactions as a marketing opportunity. It’s at the Salesforce Connections Conference in NYC. If you are skeptical about social customer service and how it affects the brand and can actually work to your advantage as positive Marketing, please join us!

My Recommendations on Social Customer Care:

1. Start by listening using either free or paid social listening tools

2. Determine if your brand is being talked about: It could be, no one is talking about you; it could be they are and it’s negative or positive; you’ll also want to monitor your competitors to see if people are talking about them and what’s being said.

3. Once you see if anyone is talking about your company in social networks, and whether it’s positive or negative or neutral, you can then create the beginnings of a social media customer care / marketing strategy. But it all starts with listening first. You have to know if you are part of the conversation online or not.

4. If no one is talking about your brand online, then that’s when you have to figure out a strategy to begin the conversation. If the sentiment is negative, then you have to figure out why and what you can do about it. Sometimes it maybe a product defect or poor service. Those are within a brand’s control to fix. And if it’s positive, then a strategy to keep that conversation alive and positive is also required.

Social Networking is Not for the Faint of Heart.

It’s a ton of work, it’s not free and requires strategy, processes, people and technology. And the ROI is very high. Here’s some videos that will give you more info on the business return on social customer care:

• How To Measure Social Customer Care

• How Social Customer Experience and Social Media Benefit the Entire Company

* How To Build a Business Case for Social Customer Care

What’s your point of view on social customer care and how it can affect marketing and brand reputation?

@drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences and Keep Brand Promises
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Lithium Launches Study: Americans Torn Between Good Internet and Sex: Are Our Values Out of Wack?

Lithium Launches Inaugural Customer Expectations Survey. This study shows how online experiences are essential to American life.  Americans evenly split on whether to give up good sex or good Internet if forced to choose.

My POV: Are you kidding me? What happened to being human? Have we lost our way? Or is this the right way to go? The studies show that multi-tasking actually makes your brain overworked and foggy. Yet every single day we – I – do it. And this study is showing how we are valuing being connected online versus doing something that is so essential as part of basic life as we know the human experience. I’ve been part of the digital world for a long time, joining LinkedIn and YouTube in about 2006. I have been writing about the online customer experience for years. So I am as guilty and responsible as anyone as part of this evolution. But I wonder for my own personal life as well as those of my friends, family and colleagues — if we have gone too far and whether we are over connected?

There’s really no going back, but perhaps there is a balance. We got here, now. And so what are the next steps and where will this all take us? I think balance is key. But who decides what that balance is. If online customer experiences were more effective and efficient, perhaps we’d have more time to do basic human things- like relax, talk to people in person, enjoy a good afternoon at the pool, go on vacation and not look at email… But we have to be mindful about our choices. We have to wake-up and look at our lives and choices. And then make very, very important decisions as consumers / customers. We – customers – need to vote with our feet – and only buy from companies that provided a shared-value customer experience – which is being talked about at #LiNc conference #LiNc2014. That means an experience that provides value for both the customer and the company.

I know what you are thinking. Natalie, you’ve been writing about that very thing for 20 years. I guess I need to keep writing about it until more and more companies actually deliver on it. 

Brands needs to be aware that consumers are getting weary. How can they make the experience better so that they become a preferred destination and provider? If the customer gets too tired and weary, they won’t buy. They will put it off. So its never been more important to look at the online customer experience as a key to whether customers choose your business to interact with – and that will determine the customer lifetime value. And brands need to make sure that whatever PR and Marketing is promising, that Customer Service can deliver it. That is what Customer Experience is – that full customer lifecycle – that should be driving a continuos circle, repeated over and over and over… awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, loyalty, advocacy and referral and repeat continuously… 

The technology is now there that can deliver more than we have ever been able to provide. But does your company have the skills and human capital and leadership to deliver great next generation customer experiences? Here’s more on the study. I think you will find the results fascinating…

THE STUDY

The study has data from a survey conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll in April among over 2,100 American adults who are online that sheds light on how the Internet may be changing the country’s expectations and behaviors. The survey covered a broad spectrum of online behaviors and attitudes, exposing what Americans want from their online experiences and the brands with which they do business online.

Some key findings of the study:

    • Americans overwhelmingly rely on the Web to research big purchases
      • 81% use an online source to research a big purchase
      • Two in three Americans (67%) use 2 or more online sources for their research
      • Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) of 18-34 year olds use 6 or more sources!
    • Two-thirds of Americans (67%) tend to call an “800” or toll free number for help as a last resort
    • Consumers are going online to request help on a product or service—and want responses fast
      • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) have ever requested help online
      • Two-thirds (66%) expect a same-day response to their online request
      • 43% expect a response within an hour
      • 14% expect a response in a lightning fast five minutes or less
    • People may be more likely to go online to praise than complain
      • 61% of Americans disagree that they are more likely to go online to complain about a product or service than to praise it
      • But younger Americans seem to complain at higher rates than older Americans
        • 35-44 year olds are more likely than those age 45+ to go online to complain than to praise (46% vs. 35%, respectively)
    • Americans give Internet a fundamental place in their lives–and are fairly evenly split on whether to give up good sex or good Internet if forced to choose
      • 48% of Americans would give up good sex; 52% would give up good Internet
      • But age and gender seem to play a role in how Americans responded to this question
        • 57% of US women would give up good sex versus only 40% of US men who would do so
      • 57% of US women would give up good sex versus only 40% of US men who would do so

Lithium has created an infographic that summarizes the key findings from this survey. The infographic is available for download here.

This Lithium Customer Expectations Survey from Nielsen reflects similar research findings Lithium uncovered in a Millward Brown study last October regarding customer expectations unique to their Twitter experiences. A summary of that study is available online athttp://www.lithium.com/company/news-room/press-releases/2013/consumers-will-punish-brands-that-fail-to-respond-on-twitter-quickly

Connect with me on Twitter at @DrNatalie and let me know what you think!
Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st

Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton

 

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The TOP 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter: A Study by @DrNatalie & Big Data Cruncher InfiniGraph.com

Wondering what brands are the most engaged on Twitter? We wondered too. This New York Times article explores engagement and Twitter.

I also wondered what drives engagement on Twitter and I began my own study by looking at the top 100 brands who had the most Twitter followers. Then using the InfiniGraph.com platform, we added those brands into platform which did the big data crunching. InfiniGraph is different than social media monitoring. It is a interest graph platform.

Mashable has a ton of articles on how social networks like Twitter are trying new things to increase engagement. Here’s a recap article about the study and the actual engagement of the brands we evaluated on Forbes by Mark Fidelman.

Top 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter

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There’s certainly lots of definitions of engagement. Here’s a great article by Jay Baer who interviewed David Armano on how brands need to create a iterative strategy around engagement- micro-interactions & incremental customer experience victories. The LA Times has many articles on how brands are using social media and networking. Jon Swartz writes about the abundance of platforms for customers to engage on, hinting that perhaps more is not the answer. Maybe really understanding what engagement means is a beginning. In this case, the InfiniGraph Engagement Platform looked at Twitter engagement as measured by RT’s, clicks and @ replies.

Study of the 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter was written about on Mashable and it provides a very nice overview of the study’s results.  The details and the results of the study are in this report found here:

Graph of the Brands with the Highest Engagement @DrNatalie

Here’s the of the top 25 most engaged brands on Twitter:

1.  Notebook of Love2. Disneywords3. ESPN4. Funny Facts5. PlayStation6. Disney7. Chelsea Football Club8. BBC Breaking News9. NASA10. CNN Breaking News11.  Instagram12.  YouTube13. Facebook14. NBA15. Arsenal16. The Onion17. Disney Pixar18. FunnyorDie.com19. CNN20. National Geographic21. UNICEF22. Dropbox23. MTV24. WWE25. Chanel

Here’s more details on how the study was conducted:

1. We looked at the brands with the most Twitter followers and created a list of 100 of the most followed brands for the month of February 2013

2. We used InfiniGraph.com to crunch all the “BIG” Data in this report

3. See the Engagement Analysis and Platform powered by InfiniGraph

4. The 100 brands with the most followers were put into the InfiniGraph Platform for the time period of 02/2013 to 03/2013

5. The InfiniGraph Platform took the information about each brand and gathered the data you see in this report:

      • The volume of posts

      • The level of engagement

      • The content that is shared by each brand

      • What days / times during the day it is shared and

      • Compares and ranks it

6. Then the InfiniGraph system creates the graphs you see in this report.

If you are wondering how your brand’s engagement compares to your competitors, you can find out by following these steps:

  • Search on your own brand at: http://smo.infinigraph.com

  • Or click on the industry analysis on the right

  • If your brand is not in the system, request that it’s added

  • Then select the brands you want to compare to your brand and run the report in InfiniGraph

  • Study the results of the comparison

  • Compare how much you post vs the level of engagement

  • Study the other brand’s engagement capabilities and tactics

  • And make changes to your strategy and tactics

The study I did was commission by Nestivity and Evolve Capital. And in full disclosure, I work with InfiniGraph and I am proud to be on InfiniGraph’s Advisory Board.

 

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Game Based Marketing: Interview at NMX – The Social Network Show

This week, I interview an up and coming game base marketing company at NMX and we talk all things gamification.

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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Let’s Talk SEO: Bill Belew Interview – The Social Network Show

Continuing The Social Network Show series, this week I interview Bill Belew, Professional Blogger and Educator, and we sit down to discuss Google and Search Engine Optimization.

Bill Belew is a professional blogger whose primary source of income is from his network of blogs. Bill sells advertising. He also gets many requests to speak and consult with clients on inbound and content marketing. Bill has now attracted 105, 120,000,000 (120 million) page views across his set of blogs. That is not a typo.

In addition to being an expert blogger, Bill is a professional educator (university professor for the past 30 years) who loves to teach.

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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Forces That Drove Social Media Initiatives Before ROI

There are a number of forces that drive a brand’s involvement in social media. Some brands had executives ask, “So what are we doing about Facebook and Twitter?” Often times the leadership wasn’t sure what they wanted, but they knew their competitors were doing something, so they had to join the party. This meant that there wasn’t any real business analysis; it just happened because the boss said so.

Then there are the companies that had to react to planned social media PR disasters. The immediate, negative public attention drove the decisions—so the need for a short-term business case or to calculate the ROI was averted by knowing an untamed disaster could cost much more. But once the disaster has been averted, these types of brands are looking beyond crisis management to justify their expenditures in social media. Here are some examples:

Domino’s Pizza Employee’s Handling of Food

Domino’s Pizza employees posted a video of poor food handling on YouTube. The video quickly went viral on social media channels and was seen by millions of people. The story was picked up by major media outlets. This hurt Domino’s reputation and sales decreased significantly after the crisis.

The Gap Logo Change

The Gap launched a new logo. The social media response was negative, fast and furious. After less than two weeks the Gap changes back to the old logo. The company is then roundly criticized for being indecisive and out of touch.

United Airplanes Breaks Guitars

Dave Carroll’s guitar was damaged on a United Airlines flight. Dave posted a YouTube video about his bad customer service experience with United Airlines. That resulted in the media picking up the story. The media, the CNN’s Situation Room with Wolfe Blizter reported on it.

Some brands are proactive and coordinated about social media, meaning they actively pursued social media as a part of their cultural DNA. Brands like Zappos, Intuit, iRobot and American Express fall into the category of proactive types of early adopters and innovators culture. They didn’t have the business case, but forged new ground in social media regardless. When the leaders of Zappos started the company, they didn’t have money for marketing and sales. They adopted social media proactively because the leadership based the growth of the company on great Customer Service. The leadership intuitively knew that social media could be used to gain customer and press advocacy. They used positive word of mouth to go from $0 to $1 billion company in ten years. But this is not the norm.

Others had people who, without permission or budgets, lead the charge for social media as individuals. In this case, most of the company had not bought into social media. Brands like Comcast and Jet Blue had individual employees- innovators and early adopters, who took it upon themselves to initiate social media programs. These types of people did so before they got permission from upper management or a formal budget.

Why This Is Important To You:

Consider if your brand is more on the proactive or reactive side of social media. This will help you understand what the driving forces are within your organization and within individual functional departments. Realizing that some groups are approaching social media without measurement and others are dead set on it, can help you traverse the political waters and lead your organization to better social media outcomes.

Also note that there are interdepartmental struggles for who should lead the social customer interactions. Each department, whether it’s PR, Marketing or Customer Service all have good reasons why they might feel they should lead an organization’s social media initiatives. The truth is that all departments have key roles to play in this burgeoning field. Try to foster a collaborative point of view on working with other departments. It may not be easy at first, but it does affect the customer experience. Here’s a video on how social media benefits the whole company, which could be the beginning of a discussion around a collaborative approach:

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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Interview: Is Social Media ROI Really About Resisting Change? With Sean O’Driscoll!

As companies try to measure the value of social media, there is also often resistance to try these new customer channels. Sean asks, “Is the conversation about social media ROI really about the ROI? Or is it about resisting making changes to your business?”

 

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