Skip to content

Archive for

31
May

As Social Media Continuously Advances, Don’t Get Left in the Dust

Many people moan and complain when told that once again Facebook will be changing their look. It seems like as soon as you get used to the new features, they go ahead and change it again. Instead of being grumbly, why don’t you think about why Facebook and other social media applications are constantly changing things up. They must do it for a reason. They don’t do it to mess with you and then laugh about it afterwards. Everything has a purpose, and I will explain to you their reasoning.
30
May

Why Foursquare Is Important For Your Business

Foursquare is one of the latest social media networking sites available to mobile phone users and also one of the most valuable resources that a business jumping on the social media bandwagon can have. Foursquare allows users to check-in to the locations and venues they visit during the day and share this information with friends and their networks. Now why is this important for your business?

Simple. There is no better way of spreading the word about your business than word-of-mouth.

Read more »

29
May

The Best Social Media Application For You


You might think that in order to reach your marketing goals you should be using every single social media application to your advantage. This is not necessarily what you should be doing. Choosing a social media outlet should take a large amount of consideration. You need to choose your application based on what you want to do. If you go full steam ahead and spend all of your time marketing on various different social media sites, you could waste a lot of time and money.
28
May

Philanthropy and the Social Media Savvy Company

Traditionally the expectation of corporations to have a responsibility towards its employees and community has been focused around “doing the right thing” and creating considerable change.  Within the business sector, this act of giving back is commonly referred to “Corporate Social Responsibility”. With a myriad of companies still recovering from unstable economic circumstances, many companies are withdrawing their previous yearly contributions.

Read more »

25
May

Let’s Add So.cl to the Pile of Social Networking Sites

Microsoft has been working on an experimental research project under the radar. They have been putting together a new social networking site called So.cl (pronounced “social”), made for the purpose of learning through sharing pictures and information based on certain interests. They wanted to combine searching for topics with social networking. At first this application was only available to a small amount of chosen universities. Last Sunday, May 24th, 2012 Microsoft released So.cl to the general public.

Users can login through either their Facebook or Windows Live account. Unlike other integrated programs, So.cl does not automatically post your activity to Facebook. If you want to share with everyone what you are up to on So.cl, you can click the “Share with Facebook” button.

Features
The main feature of So.cl is the way you search. The search is powered by Bing and you can share your favourite results with other users who are following you or who are searching for the same information. These results can be images, videos or web pages.

A really cool feature that So.cl offers is the video party. It has been made extremely easy to share videos. Users can put together a list of videos that they searched for, which they can then view together with their friends or other added users. You have access to any other video list that other users have made.

The So.cl bookmarklet allows you to share web pages easily to So.cl while browsing the web. When you come across a page that you want to share, click on the “Share on So.cl” button. If you know what the Pinterest Pin It button is, it is along the same lines.

What does this mean for other social networking sites like Facebook?
Alike Twitter, WordPress and Linkedin, So.cl can be integrated with Facebook. So.cl seems different enough that it doesn’t look like it will pose a threat to other social networking applications. It’s most similar to Facebook in the fact that you can post pictures and videos for your friends to see. It’s different though because it’s more focused on sharing and learning about architecture, science and other subjects, over talking to your friends about weekend plans or sharing funny youtube videos.

Do we really need another social networking site?
Most of you will either eye roll, facepalm, or both when you hear that there is yet another social networking site that is being released. I know, I had a little eye rolling action going on myself. I still don’t know whether or not this new site will be helpful or not. If students want to share pictures, videos and web pages, they can certainly do so on Facebook. If they don’t want to mix work and play, they can make their own Facebook group with their school contacts.

There are a couple good things about So.cl though. You can meet people with similar interests and people who are researching the same things a lot easier. There is a bigger reach of like-minded people interested in learning. You don’t need to go through the process of weeding out the people who want to watch funny Youtube videos.

So let’s give So.cl a chance. Don’t come to any conclusions before you try it out. Let’s just see what happens and maybe it will continue to change and grow to become the social networking site we’ve never had.

Until next time,
Amanda
24
May

It’s All About Loyalty (that is, consumer loyalty, baby!)

Okay, so you’ve finally got that stubborn consumer or competitor’s loyal customer to jump over to your side and they’ve finally made the purchase! You’ve officially caught the eye of your intended consumer so obviously the hard part is done, right?

Wrong.

Unfortunately, what marketers often appear to overlook is the fact that while you may have captured the interest of your target group, you need to hold that attention, which is much easier said than done. What every business wants is a person who comes back again and again and goes from a one-time buyer to a loyal customer. Without a doubt, the easiest way to do this with positive ROI every time is through intelligent marketing through social media.

Image

The goal of keeping a customer interested is best achieved through creating quality, interesting content that provides incentives for repeat purchases. This can be done through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or any way that your customers can keep updated with all of the latest news from your company. It’s important the content you post to these sites provide not only quality information, but that this info is up to date and fresh to make the customer want to be informed.

Such things can be done through several ways:

1) Make the customer feel special. Offer coupons or discounts that only followers of your social media account can use. If you make them feel like they’re part of an exclusive club, you make them feel like they personally matter to your company.

2) Use your channel to provide customer service so that consumers have to go through your site to find the answers to any questions they may have. Not only will that up your traffic, but also the chances of their eye being caught on a passing deal or incentive they wouldn’t have otherwise seen creates an opportunity for them to stay interested.

3) Instead of starting a marketing campaign for a new product on the general public, focus first on the customers you’ve already reached. Who better to want to buy your next product than the very people who have previously had a connection to your brand and were happy with their previous purchase! The more product a person buys from you, the greater their loyalty becomes and the more they’ll come running back for more.

MavenSocial employs these tenants in our social media campaigns, and in building social CRM’s for our clients (read more about Social CRM’s here).  When building a loyalty program, we ensure that the loyalty customers feel and understand that they are an integral part of the company’s pulse, while encouraging them to share other offers with their friends.  There is nothing like the personalized touch of a friend-to-friend brand share.  Loyalty members become the company’s brand advocates, and continue to do so because we first treat them so well (and continue to).

Image

It’s all about attracting, and holding your loyalty member’s attention.  If you can achieve that, you’ve found the secret sauce, and here at MavenSocial, we believe we have,


And with that,

Sarah

23
May

Businesses and Social Media Influencers Working Together

Who are social media influencers and more importantly, what do they have to do with business?  With the Age of Social Media, as with others, industry jargon abounds.  Take note: social media influencers are not simply an industry phrase, they are changing the way that companies market and sell themselves, and thus their products.

A social media influencer is an individual (usually a blogger) that has a large social following online. With such a wide reach, this person has the ability to influence many followers by altering their feelings and decisions. Companies or other individuals that want to sell a product or service may be interested in utilizing the influencer to help get their name or product not only recognized, but also gain positive industry and brand reputation.

What do you think when you see the Taco Bell Chihuahua? Fun-loving, quirky, and overall memorable (“Yo quiero taco bell?”), that brand association did not come naturally – it was intentional and repeated, like a chant.  Social media and its influencers provide positive brand association and notoriety, but for far less than a nationwide television campaign.

In the past, traditional marketing only allowed for a one way message, from the business to the consumer. Now, with the new ways of digital marketing a message that is passed from the business to the consumer, will be spread to many other individuals through an influencer.

The other big change from traditional marketing to digital marketing is that companies can now hear the voice of the consumer. A social media influencer has the potential to influence the decision a company makes. They not only speak to the people but they can also act as the voice of the people. If a television show plot is not speaking to it’s watchers, and they are complaining  about it online, the producers have the ability to tweak the show to better fit the watcher’s expectations. If a new flavour of  Coca Cola (Coke) comes out and Ontarians dislike the flavour, Coke can decide not to sell that flavour in Ontario.

MavenSocial identifies and tracks these influencers.  With our analytics dashboard, we are able to see who is the top influencer for each campaign we run.  This allows us to engage these influencers throughout the campaign, and long afterward.  Engagement does not stagnate after a campaign finishes, rather it lives on through the people who chat about it online, in the grocery store, or at your work baseball game.  MavenSocial maps and engages these influencers for the brands benefit.

An influencer can be found  through review websites, blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Companies need to take note of what these influencers and followers are saying because social media is changing the way customers do business. If they don’t pay attention, they run the risk of losing customers to competition.

A company can also have a voice online. They can have an individual write on their behalf online to talk about and answer any questions about their service or product. This person can also be labelled as an influencer. This works quite well for electronics companies. If people have a question with, let’s say, a dslr camera, the individual speaking on the company’s behalf can answer any questions or suggest solutions to any problems. The two way communication back and forth between customers and companies has never been this advanced.

Take the opportunity to become influential online. If you are a blogger, use your influence to help businesses make important decisions. If you are a business, work with a blogger to get your name, product or services out in the open.

Until next time,
Amanda

22
May

The Importance of Worldliness

I recently read an article by Seth Godin on Worldliness that really challenged my way of thinking about both business and marketing and life as a whole. Godin states that “intelligence is the combination of knowing a lot about a little while you also know a little about a lot.” By this he acknowledges the difficulty in becoming an expert in any field or aspect of life but that the constant aspiration towards such heights is incredibly important.
ImageHe goes on to explain that by becoming an expert in even just one topic area, the knowledge of how a system works inside and out is incredibly meaningful towards the approach to the surrounding world. This being said, it can become quite apparent to the observer how much more difficult it is to become an expert in any said field. There is an infinite amount of information on any said topic and new findings and theories are constantly needing to be explored and learned.
This way of thinking can be overwhelming and yet so vital in the approach to business and life combined. As jobs become more specialized and industries become more focused, becoming an expert in your scope of work is not only a great benefit to your work capacity, but essential for you to grow and become an innovative member of your team. But in the same respect, knowledge is always progressing; in new sectors such as the ever-growing social media market, the potentials at this point for marketing and profit through such new and unfamiliar territory is still to be determined.
Creative approaches from both those who know a lot and know a little about everything are equally as important when creating a distinct game plan for tackling these new landscapes. You can’t be the know-it-all and you can’t know nothing, but knowing a little about the things that matter are going to be the characteristics that allow development and create consistently favourable outcomes.

And with that,
Sarah

21
May

The Power of Social CRM & Why You Need it Now!

If you don’t call your grandma on her birthday, you won’t be getting any Christmas presents. If you haven’t talked to your friends in 5 years, they won’t come to your party. If your girlfriend likes mojitos and you give her a long island iced tea, she won’t be very impressed. Maintain your relationships! Understand your customer’s needs! Customer Relationship Management, also known as CRM, is the management of a company’s interactions with potential clients and customers. The purpose of efficiently managing the company’s interactions is to capture and keep new client relationships, retain current relationships, bring back former clients and reduce costs.
This not only benefits the company but the client as well. The clients will start to get products and services more tailored to their needs. You can be linked to customers, but if you don’t maintain those relationships, and you don’t fully understand their wants and needs, then those customers will be lost to you. If you know what a certain customer likes and dislikes, you can offer them products and services very specific to their lifestyle.

These are the many benefits to CRM:
* better quality and efficiency
* a decrease in overall costs
* decision support
* enterprise ability
* customer attentions
* increase profitability
* improved planning
* improved product development

Another aspect of a Social CRM is Customer Service Analysis, also known as CSA, is the gathering of customer data and their relationship with the company. The purpose is to improve sales, better the service and/or lower costs. There are many different aspects of CSA depending on what you are looking for.

Complemented by CSA, Customer segmentation grouping is dividing customers into those most and least likely to repurchase a product. A profitability analysis finds out which customers bring in the most profit over a certain amount of time. Personalization is marketing to customers based on the individual data collected about them. Event Monitoring is knowing what dollar amount the customer has reached with his or her purchases. What-If scenarios are how likely a customer that bought one product will purchase one similiar to it. Predictive modelling is choosing the right product plan based on what we already know about the customers.

While these information and database collection tools are commonplace in many marketing firms, what is different about Social CRM is that it is online and utilizes social media.

Offline CRM tools are applicable in an online forum, such as online questionnaires and contests, and social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Social media forums are are great way to collect demographic information. One can determine whether a person is male or female, their age group, interests, lifestyle, whether or not they have kids…the list goes on and on. These things hugely impact the decisions a company makes.

If there are a lot of coffee drinkers in Waterloo let’s put a Tim Hortons in that area. If there are a huge amount of males in Brampton, let’s decide not to put in several shoe stores targeted to women. An elderly couple with no kids would not get any use out of the backyard playsets you are trying to market, so don’t waste your time and money trying to contact them.

So the point I’m trying to make is… call your grandma on her birthday and you will get Christmas presents. Just kidding (kinda).

Make sure you maintain a good customer relationship through Social CRM. That way you can have better and more productive customer relations in regards to sales and service. You will also be able to keep a lower inventory and a faster delivery which lowers cost and allows for more competitive pricing.

Until next time,
Amanda

18
May

Pin Me My Interests, Pinterest – for the Whole World to See

Social media is taking over the world. Okay, well maybe not the whole world, but an important chunk of it is now being taken over by this relatively new and increasingly important industry. Through the use of social media, the power of relationships between businesses and consumers are becoming invaluable as a way of marketing products and brands towards their potential customers. Through sharing and retweeting, the marketing goal for many companies is how their loyal customers will influence friends and family to also become interested in their products and have incentive to buy.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place for companies to gain demographic information from their market.

The fatal flaw in this way of thinking is that the company is assuming that if I buy their product, for example a tent for camping, that the people around me are also going to want this type of item and others like it. The problem is, I’m the only person in my group of friends that enjoys camping and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get my (happily) city-dwelling friends to come out for a fun weekend in the great outdoors. So my realm of influence is rather small, as I don’t have anyone to share these particular interests with. However, what if there was a way that I could connect with other people who share my love of camping and still be involved in other mutual interests with my current friends group?

Enter in Pinterest.

Since its inception two years ago, Pinterest has become the fastest growing website in history, allowing its users to create virtual pin boards filled with pictures of products and photography representing their interests, hobbies and inspirations through uploads of their own favourite product pictures or repins from other users who share the same common interests.

This represents a gold mine for the potential marketer because now instead of having only reached little old me from my sale, they now have all of my fellow camping fanatics following my pinboards closely; chances are, with more than 80% of pins being repins, they will definitely rack up more interest through sharing than through any other social media site. Not only are major corporations starting to take notice, it is now predicted that in five years time 40% of social media based revenue will come from Pinterest users. Currently, Pinterest users are already 10% more likely to buy something they have pinned on their boards, and are 10% more likely to spend more to get that item.

Last week Kotex launched a Mother’s day campaign in which they found and reviewed the pins of fifty inspirational women, then had the most pinned brand send the woman a virtual gift. If the woman repinned the gift she ended up getting the real gift in the mail as a reward. The reward for the brand who sent the gift? Almost all of the women who received their gift acknowledged it not only through Pinterest, but through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, creating 2,200 social interactions in total. Now that is what I call intelligent and innovative marketing.
And with that,
Sarah