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Are You Speaking The Same Language Your Audience Is?

Social Media IntegrationThe concept of providing a unified message is fairly simple, yet it seems that many companies are still failing to grasp the idea.  Integrating social media across marketing and communication plans so that everyone is on the same page just makes sense, so it’s a wonder why more companies don’t do it.  For example, your PR department doesn’t speak one way to customers and your marketing department another, do they?  No, they send out the same type of message that speaks to what your company stands for.

So, the question remains: why would you look at social marketing any differently?  For that, I don’t have an answer because I don’t understand the logic behind dual-identities, but I do have some very good reasons why you shouldn’t look at the Internet as a separate entity that is completely different and unique from the rest of your company and/or message.

 

Integration is the Key to Solidarity Integrating Social Media

In a nutshell, your target audience needs to be getting a universal message from your company that is saying the same thing across the boards.  Whatever it is that your company stands for or why you’re better than the competition or why they need your product or service; it doesn’t matter what the message is, just that everyone is on the same page.  Whether the client is browsing your webpage, interacting on Facebook, looking at print media, talking on the phone with one of your representatives or sitting directly across from you in your office: the message needs to be constant.

 

The only way that a company can do this is by integrating their marketing message to present a united front.  But what does this mean, exactly?

 

PR, Communications and Marketing: Working Together?

Working TogetherPrecisely the question you should be asking.  The easiest way to go about this is by thinking about the way that customers search for your particular services or products online and why we all build our websites around these searches.  You see, the Internet is a unique marketing tool that taps directly into a target audience or specific niche automatically, as long as you know how to use it.  This happens because it lets the customer find you (which is why social media and online marketing are so cost effective, coincidentally).

 

By optimizing our websites to allow our target audiences to find us, we’re basically acknowledging that there is a specific language out there that our customers and clients are speaking and seeking; why we don’t speak back to them in that same language is beyond me.

 

For example, let’s say that your company provides great hotel deals for last minute travelers.  Now, people searching for cheaper prices for hotels aren’t going to Google, “great hotel deals for last minute travelers.”  No!  More than likely, they’ll use search terms such as:

  • Cheap hotels Las Vegas
  • Budget hotels
  • Hotel deals New York City

 

Or, they’ll type something similar.  So, looking at that example, it’s baffling why some travel companies still use media messages such as: “When people cancel their hotel rooms at the last minute, you can book those vacancies for less money.”

 

What they should be doing is speaking to the language (and in the language) of the potential client with marketing messages such as:

  • Get cheap hotel rooms in Las Vegas quick by liking our page.
  • Our email newsletter brings you weekly updates on budget hotels all across the country.
  • We have the best hotel deals in New York City right on our website.

 

You can see how potential clients searching the keywords above would relate to the corresponding taglines below and CTAs would turn more conversions.  This correlates directly to real life marketing as well.

 

Getting On The Same Page

So, how can you go about doing this?  It’s rather simple, really.  You only need to know the keywords and phrases that your target audience is using to find you on social media and then integrate them into your marketing message.  This helps bridge the gap between what people want and what you’ve got to offer them: your product or service.  This is an invaluable research tool that costs nothing to use and works every time.

 

To find out which keyword or phrase your audience is using to find your site, simply talk to your web guys, they’ll be able to give you a Google Analytics report that will detail every term anyone has ever searched to find you.  Then, put them to good use!

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October 12th, 2012 by admin

Brand Monitoring Tips For Social Media That Will Make Your Operation Cost-Effective

Now that companies are beginning to settle into the fact that social media is here to stay, some are starting to move past the introductory phase and really get into the meat of the marketing.  There are many detailed strategies which you can implement on social media once you understand how, and now that we’ve reached this stage, it’s smartfor you to take a look at how we can simplify this process.

 

Social Media Marketing Strategy

 

In order to do this, we must first look at just what it takes to measure our successes in social media so that we may readjust and implement new strategies that aren’t doing so well on the fly.  And it just so happens that this is the part that so many companies struggle with: collecting the data that’s out there for a proper analysis.  To get started with this, the primary component of a marketing analysis on social media is comprised of comprehending the relationships between your brand and your target audience and guiding this relationship’s growth.

 

The reason so many struggle here is because they don’t know that there are social media toolswhich are built primarily for these types of analytics, so even if you have the desire and the time, youmay not know where to begin.  Here are some tips that break it down into easy-to-follow steps so that you can start to get a grasp of your brand’s social relationship to its customers.

 

1—Monitor Social Media Data

Monitor Social Media DataUsing monitoring data statistics from social media allows you to comprehend all the talk that is going on about your brand on channels which you don’t control.  For example, talk happens on social media every day, it’d be useless to monitor it all.  But with monitoring data tools for social media, you’re able to keep an ear to the ground about the conversations people are having online which are related to your brand. 

 

Then, you can take this data to analyze both the engagement type and individual type who are talking about you, further sharpening your target audience.  By understanding the demographics better, you can hone in on them, making your marketing more cost efficient and effective.

 

2—Facebook API Facebook API

Facebook Insights brings you some great information that is very useful, but it’s not enough when it comes to understanding how your brand relates with people.  For that, you have to go to the individual analysis provided by Graph API which allows you to access and store all the information about your brand’s current demographics.  From here, you can build a database that monitors your audience’s reactions and engagements, charting them alongside campaigns to see which are more or less successful than others.   Plus, you will gain a firmer grasp of what Facebook relationships your brand has built on an individual level, rather than just the aggregate metrics on Insights.

 

3—Twitter API

Twitter APIIn the same vein, Twitter API allows you to build and store a database that allows you to instantly refer back to when you first start monitoring it.  The metrics you store will allow you to access them and compare your current engagements with previous ones and measure their successes and failures against each other.  Here, you’ll get valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t for your particular audience on Twitter; for each company it’s a little different.

 

Measuring re-tweets, follows and how many re-tweets are from followers and non-followers, you can see how to draw new leads in, who your current leads are and what are the best marketing strategies for the two groups, both separately and together.  Once again, this increases your knowledge about your target audience, allowing you to further hone in on them and become increasingly cost-effective.

 

4—Putting It All Together Putting It All Together

Finally, making a meta-study of these three sources will allow you to compare and adjust your current campaigns against previous ones, streamlining costs and optimizing efficacy.  When you can do this, you’ve finally started to take the social media bull by its horns.  Using this valuable set of data, you can begin to profile the types of individuals you need to cater to, finding an all-inclusive view of just what you’re dealing with when it comes to your target audience.

 

From there, the next steps are to prioritize, cultivate and build relationships with each category of individuals, eventually integrating them into your CRM and email systems to get the whole picture.  Integration may not be the easiest thing to pull off, but when you do, the social media engine purrs like a kitten.

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October 8th, 2012 by admin

Sending the Right Social Signals on Your Website

Social Media SignalsAs the list of social media sites continues to grow each day, the suddenly emerging picture of your entire online presence as one giant portfolio that is all interconnected is becoming quite clear.  Unfortunately, many companies haven’t quite grasped this yet and are still viewing each outlet as a separate entity which exists entirely on its own.  But this is the Internet, a place for connecting, as social media marketing gurus keep reminding us, so it only makes sense that you’ll want your online outlets to all be connected.

 

And yet it baffles the mind how many companies neglect something this simple, especially when it’s such a quick and easy fix.  With most companies spending large sums on website design, it shows they understand that every facet of a website is so important because it represents the face of your company, from footer to header; every individual pixel counts.   Still, they fail to grasp that by simply placing social media buttons on your site, you can show potential clients that you’re far more than just a website; you’re a living, breathing entity that has connections all over the Internet and that you are socially advanced over your competition.

 

Getting Social With It

 

With many companies having Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn Groups, it’s a wonder why they don’t provide the links and make it simple for their leads to find them.  Creating these links not only increases the presence in the mind of your potential clients, but also actually boosts your online presence by creating those ever-important backlinks.

 

And because a lot of companies have different teams from the marketing department that head up each of these social outlets (which shouldn’t be the case as integration is key all around), chances are each of these separate outlets have different types of information on them.  Most likely you’ll have intriguing thoughts on Facebook posts which inspire interaction to get a better EdgeRanking and your Twitter feed will be abuzz with news…but why would you segregate all that great lead-building information from your customers, making it hard to find?

 

This is why you need to place social media buttons directly onto your website.  These social signals will give you instant credibility with consumers, showing them a multi-faceted side to your company and helping you to stand out in a sea of mediocrity.  It will also let users know that people like your product and that they are following and talking about your brand or message which is always a consumer confidence builder.

 

Ways to Implement Social Signals

 

There are a few ways you can go about this, so see which one fits your company’s website style as well as your client’s preferences the best.  Remember that you want to direct their attention to the social sites, but not distract from the overall message on your website; the client is already there, you don’t want to lead them away from the purchase, just to reinforce the conversion.

  • The Navigation Section:  Some companies like to place their social media buttons right in the
  • main navigation box so that customers see it right away.
  • A Specific Section:  Another way to go about this is to create a specific box, section or area that is at the header or footer of every page of the website.
  • The Sharing Tool:  You can also add a “Sharing Tool” box that lets users easily share your content on their own social outlets.  This can be stable or move with the scroll, though some users find that distracting.
  • Social Commenting Plug-In:  Many sites have a plug-in where users can comment directly on your website via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.  This is great for instant feedback and sharing as well as engaging with your audience.
  • Twitter Stream:  If your site has a fan base that uses Twitter, keeping a stream directly on your site is a great way for people to stay connected and attract visitors to join the conversation, knowing that their posts will load right onto your site.

 

Taking Precautions

 

Still, heed the above warning with any of these ideas for social media buttons on your website.  You want them to enrich the users’ visiting experience, not get in the way of your conversions or message.  They should be subtle, yet visible enhancers that increase your content’s chances of going viral.

 

Finally, don’t link to the social pages if you aren’t updating them; bad social buttons do more harm than no social buttons at all.

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October 3rd, 2012 by admin

Top 5 Sites Promoting the Spirit of the FIFA World Cup 2010

kaka I ain’t no soccer fan and I’ve never watched the World Cup, but this time, I felt an urge to watch it live on television, the result being no fights for the remote! For the first time, I feel the spirit of the football world cup, not because of an instant awakening, but because it’s all around – newspapers, television, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube everywhere!  Even in the online world, it’s almost impossible to stay away from the spirit of the FIFA World Cup 2010! Here are some examples of how a few websites are spreading the joy of the FIFA World Cup 2010 and how they have benefitted from it too.

1.   Oleole.com
OleoFireShot capture #096 - 'Football News, Blogs, Live Scores,  Results, Transfers, and Fantasy Football - OleOle' - www_oleole_comle.com has managed to bring the football community closer on the web. It was created in 2006 and has stayed active to witness and hold discussions on all major football Cups. The World Cup section offers live scores, travel info, and interesting facts about the game and matches. More than anything else, you have an ultimate community for football lovers to hold discussions which is full of football-driven content. You can join fan clubs for Football Leagues, podcasts, wallpapers, blogs and videos about football.

2.   Southafrica.info

We have seen South Africa tourism steer towards the World Cup as their new tourism mantra. World Cup 2010 is expected to be a turning point for South Africa in terms of tourism and development. Southafrica.info, a site which gives information for investors, tourists, citizens and South Africans abroad, has an exclusive page for the World Cup – www.southafrica.info/2010/. It includes an SA 2010 Fan kit which gives information about African culture and football, informative articles, match schedule and news about the World Cup.

SA

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June 22nd, 2010 by admin

Apple vs. Google: The Battle Royale

stevericApple hates Google. Who would have thunk it! The one-time bosom-buddies, who even joked about merging the companies and naming it AppleGoo, have now turned not merely rivals, but enemies engaged in a fierce battle for supremacy. If you are about to compare this to the battle of wills and copyrights that Apple and Microsoft engaged in for years, you’d better stop, because you’d be way off the mark. Apple, it seems, is waging a very personal war on Google.

Apple (read, Steve Jobs) believe that Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who served on their board of directors for a number of years, has not merely betrayed their trust by venturing into the mobile technology business arena, but that he may even have drawn ‘inspiration’ for their future products from the many iPhone discussions he was part of. (Surely, Steve couldn’t be accusing the Google CEO of corporate espionage? Or could he?)

The growing rift between Apple and Google was first suspected in August of 2009, when they mutually decided that Eric Schmidt would give up his position in Apple’s board of directors, because his continued presence on the board would undoubtedly lead to conflicts of interest as Google was encroaching on more of Apple’s core business areas with Android technology and Chrome OS. (Not to put thoughts in anyone’s head, but does Google’s advancements in these core areas coincide with Schmidt’s stay at Apple?)

Things went steadily downhill after that.

The rift (only) grew wider when in November 2009 Google acquired AdMob, a leading mobile advertising platform that Apple had its eye on. Google apparently paid a premium of 25% just to keep Apple from going after it. Jeeze, Google, competitive, much?
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March 23rd, 2010 by bhavya

Buzzing About Google Buzz

GBuzz

The other shoe has dropped. Google has officially made a foray into the realm of social networks. (No, now is not a good time to bring up Wave, which Sergey insists is a success – yeah, whatever you say, Sergey.) On 9 February 2010, they unveiled Google Buzz – “a Google approach to sharing”. And apparently, the only solution for the problem of ‘oversharing’ of social expressions on the web. It is but the natural course of events, considering Google’s we-need-to-have-a-finger-in-every-pie attitude. And web domination is not (quite) web domination without a social networking tool.

Coming back to the topic at hand, what exactly is Buzz? From what I can see, it is a robust, not to mention ambitious, email application masquerading as a social networking platform, which also doubles as an aggregator – of status updates, images, videos and links – all in the name of social curation.

Now, how does it work? In a clever move that almost makes up for the mess that is Wave, Google has released Buzz directly into Gmail. So, the next time you log in to your account (this is when I interrupt myself  to say that only Gmail users get to use Buzz), you may just find yourself with a spanking new Google Buzz account. No need to sign up anew, no installation of any kind required. Just click on the Buzz tab beneath the Inbox tab and you can get Buzzing. As Google reports on their official Buzz page, they are still in the process of rolling out this service, and it may take a couple of more days before it is active in all Gmail accounts.

Buzz

When Buzz is active in your account, you’ll be taken to such a page when you log in.

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February 11th, 2010 by bhavya

Disappearing Networks And Other Facebook Phenomena

Over the past few months, some important changes have been underway at Facebook. facebookSome are already noticeable when one visits the site, but there are others yet to become apparent. If you have no idea what I am talking about, come a little closer, I’ll tell you, “Facebook’s ditching its regional networks!” (I know, it’s no scoop, but did you really see that coming? If you subscribe to the Facebook blog, you probably did.)

My reaction to this revelation, though, is largely that of indifference, it doesn’t affect me one way or another. Probably because my activities on Facebook have never been network based, I have always taken care to set my privacy settings at ‘Only Friends’, which ensures that only the people on my friend list have access to my profile and the contents. And to be honest, except for the fact that it could possibly indicate the geographical location of a user, I’ve found the concept of regional network rather useless. In my defense, even Facebook admits (sort of) that these networks turned out to be pretty useless, apparently only 50 percent of the users ever joined regional networks.

Facebook first mentioned of a change in status quo in their 03 June post on their blog:

“…To make the site easier to understand, we’re taking the first step towards removing these regional networks…since they did not adequately reflect a world where people choose exactly the audience with whom they wish to share…made sense for those who wanted to be more open when Facebook was small, but they lost their utility as the site became global…”

In addition to frequently publishing posts regarding the matter on their blog, over the months, they have also maintained an active discussion thread for users to comment, air views and give suggestions.

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December 9th, 2009 by bhavya