Well we’re 3 weeks in to the new year already and most of us are just digging out from the holidays. Time for a quick check-up on how those new year resolutions are going. I’m not talking about your goal of losing 20 lbs or spending more time with the family. Those are great for sure. I’m talking about the business resolutions you made related to your company web presence. Remember those? If you didn’t set any, it’s ok. It’s never too late to start! It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You don’t have to go from no social media to diving right in to Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. You don’t have to re-design your company website, create a mobile version, and starting blogging twice per week. As Jeff Olsen points out in the Slight Edge, it’s the little things done consistently day after day that add up to make a difference. Think about what you can do, little bits at a time, to help your business. For me, it was to spend a half hour a day engaging in our primary social media plaftorms (Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter). The key is to be consistent day after day. Think about it and let us know what you come up with!Read More
While this concept of “one design serves all” sounds great there are still challenges to overcome. Some have already pointed out several issues that need to be addressed before it can scale perfectly from handheld to desktop. For one desktop-optimized images are often too heavy for mobile connections, and mobile-optimized images are too low quality for desktop viewers.
The solution being put forth is a design technique called “Context-Aware Images“. The goal of this technique is to deliver optimized, contextual image sizes for responsive layouts that utilize different image sizes at different resolutions. Ideally, this approach will allow developers to start with mobile-optimized images in their HTML and specify a larger size to be used for users with larger screen resolutions without having to request both image sizes. The scaled images appear to change fluidly with the help of updated developer tools and coding languages, allowing designs to look sharp in every context. Responsive web designing is remarkably different from traditional designing in terms of technical and creative issues, and a careful use of this can do wonders while designing.Read More
As more and more devices continues to expand, the variety of screen sizes, resolutions, and capabilities of all devices, including mobile phones and tablets is becoming more and more diverse. Handling this in the past depended upon putting together multiple versions of the site for different platforms. You would build to the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of people are on desktops or laptops using IE so there’s your main site. 80% of mobile users are using an iPhone or Droid. So you come up with different stylesheets or in some cases even entirely different websites to reach the largest groups and hope the ones left out are still served ok. Well when you do that the costs for design and development costs go way up and you have duplicate content to maintain.
It’s now becoming possible to make sure your site offers the same high level experience for whatever device your audience is using. Responsive Web Design is a means of designing websites so that they adapt to the many possible devices people are viewing them on with the ultimate goal of building a single website that provides the same user experience on any device. This approach allows your site to seamlessly adjust and fit the screen its viewed on.
How? Well we’ll start to look in to that next.Read More
Responsive Web Design has recently become a hot topic. It’s a means of designing websites so that they adapt to the many possible devices people are viewing them on. Desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and all the different browsers within each of those. Even though the concept is fairly new widespread adoption is forthecoming and the concept is quickly being accepted as industry standard. We’ll spend some time looking this over and discussing it with you over the next few weeks and will release some samples along the way. Today I saw that the latest statistic for mobile web users is 1.2 billion spanning the globe. Just another reason why Responsive Web Design is going to be so important!Read More
Initially social networks had an image problem with some CEO’s and executives thinking Facebook was for teenagers to post the weekend’s party photos and Twitter was for narcisstic attention seekers with a limited vocabulary.
There was also an initial perception that because the platforms were free to use that participating was cheap and easy. Experience has shown otherwise.
Social media, blogging and digital content creation are resource intensive and doing it right takes time and money.
Tools and time saving apps are emerging to help companies to be more efficient and able to manage, control and monitor social media. These functions and features are also being integrated into Enterprise class software solutions.
Social media has grown up and is now accepted as mainstream by companies including the Fortune Global 100. These companies include Ford, Walmart and BP.
Facebook , Twitter, Google+, YouTube and the fast emerging Pinterest have all been embraced by the top companies as they find ways to leverage their brands globally.
Burson-Marsteller first launched a study in 2010 that looked closely at how companies were adapting to this new media. Here are their 2012 findings
5 Insights into Global Social Media
In 2010 the Fortune 100 were participating on social media but not to the extent they are now. The social networks were used for broadcasting but there was limited engagement. In 2012 they are having constant conversations with their customers and followers and creating vast amounts of digital content.
What are the top 5 findings from their latest research?
1. Twitter is more than 50% of the Conversations
Corporations, Brands and organisations have realized that social media spreads stories in real time and at high velocity. In 2012 the Fortune Global 100 are mentioned 10.4 million times per month with Twitter transmitting 5.6 million of those conversations. This represents a growth in Twitter conversations of over 700% in just 2 years.
Gone are the days when PR companies were clipping media mentions from newspapers and magazines and posting them to the corporation via snail mail.
2. YouTube is a Serious Media Channel
In just one year YouTube use has increased by 39 percent. It is no longer considered a channel for just entertainment but also education and positioning and branding. Corporate YouTube channels are averaging over 2 million views. This growth in conversations and views by customers is making it compulsory for companies to participate on social networks. The social networks are proving to be a great source of free media attention that is not paid but earned.
3. Engagement is the Norm
Organisations are not just broadcasting but engaging with their customers and prospects. On Twitter 79 percent of companies are engaging via retweeting and @mentions. On Facebook 70 percent of brands are are responding to comments on their walls and timelines.
4. Multiple Accounts are Common
The average number of multiple social media accounts has soared since 2010. The number of average Twitter accounts is now over ten (up from four since 2010) and over 8 YouTube channels (up from 1.6 in 2010). This is because companies have realized that they need to target audiences by geography, topic and service. The larger organisations now have both the tools and the resources allocated.
5. Companies are Rapidly Adapting to New Platforms
In the last twelve months Google+ and Pinterest have entered the social networking ecosystem. Companies have quickly embraced these channels with nearly 50 perecent of the Fortune Global 100 on Google+ brand pages and 25 percent on Pinterest.
Infographic source: Burson-MarstellerRead More
Who is the average Pinterest user?
Earlier this year, we were looking at some basic demographics to learn more about who was using Pinterest. At the time we mentioned that the majority of its users were women (only 20% are men), that the biggest age group is between 25 to 44, 60% have some college and that the largest percentage of household income is between $25 to $75k.
This Infographic showcases the behavior of Pinterest users in how they consume products, how they connect through media and their lifestyle.
There are some surprising facts here, for example the mobile devices used to visit Pinterest, iPhone is only in 4th place with a 5.31% share. Or the fact that 52.56% do not upload images to website via mobile devices.
But there are other fun facts that also help you identify and learn more about your target market like the TV networks they watch, most popular outdoor activities, credit card of preference and others.
The point here is that you, as an entrepreneur or marketer look at this information as a way to learn more about the network and hopefully make a decision if you should allocate more time and energy to reach your prospect.
Enjoy the Infographic…
Infographic courtesy of ModeaRead More
Just a few weeks ago we were reading about how Pinterest monthly visitor growth was slowing down.
According to ComScore, Pinterest went from 11.7 million unique visitors in January to 17.8 in February and 18.7 in March. Pretty impressive numbers if you ask me…
When we discussed user growth and low engagement on Google+last week, I said that although we tend to look at user growth and monthly visitors to measure success on social networks, there are other metrics that are more important.
And that’s why I like this infographic. Sure, Pinterest is now the #3 most popular social network in the US over LinkedIn and that is also pretty impressive. As a traffic generator, Pinterest is the new StumbleUpon. I don’t know about you but for SocialMouths it has been in the top 10 referral traffic sources for the last 3 months.
But this is about something even more important, driving actual sales. Social Commerce is something the other social networks are still trying to figure out, including Facebook.
This infographic is mostly based on data Shopify has collected based on their system. We’ll get passed information like the 145% growth in daily users since January this year and how referral traffic is higher than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. I want you to focus on how Pinterest generates sales.
Here are some important points:
- Pins with price tags get 36% more likes than those without it
- Pinterest contributed with 17% of social media driven revenue in Q1 2012, up 16% from Q2 2011
- Buyers coming from Pinterest are spending 10% more than the ones coming from other networks
- Brands are growing faster than on Twitter
- On Shopify, the average order coming from Pinterest is $80, higher than any other site including Google, Amazon and Facebook, which has an average of $40
And here is what I take away from this:
- How are people perceiving you? For the average social media user, Facebook is a network to socialize with friends and family. That is why brands are not as successful as everybody thinks. Pinterest is perceived as a recommendation engine
- The Instagram purchase was a surprise, I thought everything pointed at Pinterest. But I’m pretty sure it is the next one and it will go for 2 billion (that’s what my crystal ball is saying)
- As a small business, there is absolutely no reason for you not to be on it. Just the referral traffic is reason enough but if you start driving some sales, that will be really good
Here is your infografic. Enjoy!
Mobile marketing is changing the way marketers, brands, agencies and consumers think about marketing. Smart phones have changed the dynamic forever.
No matter whether marketers care about social media, local marketing, email marketing, e-commerce, phone calls or web traffic—mobile marketing is changing them all.
If you don’t believe that mobile is changing marketing forever…you’re wrong.
Hopefully a few of these stats will open your eyes.
- There are 7 billion people on Earth. 5.1 billion own a cell phone. 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (Mobile Marketing Association Asia, 2011)
- It takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email. It takes 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message. (CTIA.org, 2011)
- Mobile coupons get 10 times the redemption rate of traditional coupons. (Mobile Marketer, 2012)
- 91% of all smart phone users have their phone within arm’s reach 24/7 – (Morgan Stanley, 2012)
- 44% of Facebook’s 900 million monthly users access Facebook on their phones. These people are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users (Facebook, 2012)
- Mobile marketing will account for 15.2% of global online ad spend by 2016. (Berg Insight, 2012)
- It takes 26 hours for the average person to report a lost wallet. It takes 68 minutes for them to report a lost phone. (Unisys, 2012)
- 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. 70% of online searches result in action in one month. (Mobile Marketer, 2012)
- 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase. (Search Engine Land, 2012)
- 61% of local searches on a mobile phone result in a phone call. (Google, 2012)
- 52% of all mobile ads result in a phone call. (xAd, 2012)
Why You Should Care
Mobile marketing gives marketers access to a captive audience in a hyper-targeted way. It produces more immediate responses, and a higher response rate, than any other marketing method ever seen before. The mobile marketing tsunami is changing the dynamic of every element of marketing.
Everything will be touched.
Marketing executives need to start prioritizing mobile marketing in their budget right now. That doesn’t mean devoting 1% of a budget to mobile. It means devoting significant resources to developing mobile properties and mobile presence. The mobile rules for PPC, SEO and optimization are different. This may require hiring new staff or an outside firm.
To start conservatively, consider a mobile landing page or a mobile text-back campaign. Or, if you want to be more aggressive, you could develop a website or an app.
Marketers should view mobile with excitement. There is an opportunity in the mobile marketing world that is almost too great to imagine. Consumers respond to mobile marketing in a staggering way. Response rates to mobile marketing are unparalleled in any marketing channel of which I’m aware.
Trust me, get out in front of this wave of mobile marketing or you will be swept away by it.
Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint. Their new product, LogMyCalls, represents the next generation of intelligent call tracking and marketing automation.
Prior to joining ContactPoint, Jason served as the Senior Vice President of Sony International, where he led the creation and international expansion of Sony’s mobile business line from London.
Jason has spoken on marketing topics at SES New York, SES Toronto, Ad Tech, Digital Hollywood, Nokia World, The Microsoft Partners Conference, CTIA and elsewhere. Jason holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
I currently have the fortune to experience two different fronts of digital marketing. Under Plural, I work with brands and, with SocialMouths I mostly jam with small business, personal brands, and bloggers.
One of the reasons I absolutely love this setup is that they are two different worlds in how the social web is approached, how it’s handled and how success is measured.
So I’m here to tell you that, despite the ridiculous budgets and unlimited resources, small business has a huuuge advantage over brands when it come to social media.
Here are my thoughts:
Strategy. Or Not?
This is a touchy subject, I’m sure you’ve seen tens or hundreds of blog posts about the importance of having a strategy in place. Listen to what I’m about to say here: An entrepreneur does not need to elaborate a huge document to handle social media marketing. You need the necessary product and industry knowledge and you need to have the sensibility on how to use the social networks.
Having a set of goals in place and knowing what you are aiming to achieve with your daily activities is enough for an entrepreneur to dive in and adjust as needed.
When it comes to big brands, that’s a whole different story. The requirements to manage social media presence are different. You now have to consider the involvement of employees and even outsourced efforts. We’re talking about heavy documentation here on how to represent the brand, the language, the tone, how to respond to problems and inquiries and even how to handle a crisis, when things are escalated to higher ground.
A brand without this type of documentation is just an invitation to media disaster. One of the beauties of open voice channels is that the consumer can take your brand down in a few hours. If policies and processes are not in place, guess what…
There is a huge gap here. Brands that are successful on social media have implemented communication channels for specific needs like customer service or promotions but they fail at reaching true engagement. Even in those areas most brands fail to reach their full potential. We have lately seen how Social Commerce and Social Customer Service are not performing as well as we expected.
Brands are far from becoming human and getting the user engaged for real. It’s simple, the average social media user is not online to interact with their bank in a conversational manner. They will take advantage of your special deal or rant about bad experiences but that’s it.
When it comes to small business, it’s easy for an individual to become the voice of the company, a personal brand that builds trust around a product or service with a human touch. This person becomes a resource of good advice, a problem solver that people feel comfortable interacting with. In fact, they’re responsible for huge part of the company’s success online.
I have a couple of examples of these individuals that do an amazing job representing a product and making it human: Leo Widrich from Buffer and Oli Gardner for Unbounce. These guys are not hired community managers, they’re co-founders of the respective companies, part of the key team, but they are also the face and voice, producing content, listening and interacting in the frontline and building community.
These guys are perfect examples of how a small business can be human online and reach true engagement.
Another advantage of small business over brands is the possibility of ensuring satisfaction. Guys like Oli and Leo are approached with questions and issues on a daily basis (I know I bug them from time to time).
Small businesses are able to do this on a smaller scale and on a personal level.
@LeoWid Hey Leo, Pinterest button not picking up images on Digg Digg, any thoughts?
There are a few brands that are able to focus on satisfaction and do an excellent job on quick responses and providing solutions. Directv comes to mind. But I’m sure you’ve seen more brands handling customer service in a very poor way. Imagine how a customer with a problem feels when arriving to an endless Twitter stream of apologies…
I have contacted Time Warner Cable via Twitter for massive interruptions to my Internet service and after not getting a solution over the phone, to sadly have no response.
If you are an entrepreneur that is naturally involved in social media marketing, chances are you don’t label daily activities such as brand monitoring, content creation and curation, front-end interaction, etc. But you are performing them. Something similar happens when a small business has designated two or three people to handle things, there is a small setup with basic agreements on who does what.
The other advantage is how quick a small operation can make an unexpected turn or have a reaction without the bureaucracy that comes along with corporate land. Small business can focus on honesty and satisfaction while a brand will often take the damage control approach, usually with a bit of delay.
But when it comes to the enterprise, management can get pretty complex. We talked about the need of having a strategy in place and even though employees are familiar with how to handle themselves, there is still a lot of management needed. Those daily activities become departments that at some point need to come together to measure things.
Which brings us to the next point…
Another controversial topic indeed. We often read about the complexity of figuring out return on investment. Think about it, a national fast food franchise runs a TV campaign, how do you measure if it resulted in an increased amount of sales. They do, they have systems in place that provide a clue when the needle moves in certain markets. Nothing is ever exact.
How is social media ROI measured? often times brands focus on shiny numbers like Likes and Followers. Numbers that are definitely part of social media measurement but not how the bottom line is affected. The fun part is when the CEO asks: “So now, how do we turn all those likes into actual sales?”
How is all that tied up to measure sales and profits?
Measuring ROI for global brands is still a puzzle.
Now don’t get me wrong, figuring this out can also be complicated for small business. But does it need to be?
What if you create your own formula to determine ROI? Let’s see…
In my previous business I used to run tons of advertising on different media vehicles. I used to measure the lead cost and sale cost to determine my magic number, I knew exactly what magazine ad or TV spot was working or not. In actual profit, not just percentages.
Cost per time spent. Not media.
When it comes to marketing in the social web, you do not have costs for media (unless you run Facebook ads or something like that) but you do have time spent. Either by your team or yourself. Can you measure that? Of course you can, you don’t need massive data to figure out that if you’re spending 4 hours a day to get only a couple of sales a week, things are not working that well… unless you sell cars.
A simple tracking spreadsheet can tell you if your time is being well spent.
When you have a new client, do you ask him where he found you? Sometimes it’s obvious, you know you established contact on Twitter or Facebook, sometimes it’s not that easy, for example if this relationship started a while back. But the point is that by manually tracking this kind of information, you can easily get an idea of what channels are giving you better results and where to spend more of your time and energy.
I can easily tell you without looking at any numbers that 80% of my relationships turned into clients come from Twitter, even tough I generate more traffic more Facebook. That is enough for me to know I need to be present there but it also indicates that I could improve things on other networks as well.
Of course no system is perfect, my point here is that for a small business things are easier to establish and track, with a simple custom approach that fits your company needs you can get a better idea of your performance.
You, as an entrepreneur, might not have the budget and resources big brands have but I can guarantee you, the average digital citizen will interact with you before interacting with a brand and that right there, gives you a huge advantage.
The social web levels the field, if you are there to deliver what a brand can’t, you might just be able to create great opportunities. People like doing business with people.
Dive in with a short set of goals, be human, focus on satisfaction, manage your efforts and track your results in a simple way.Read More
As Facebook thunders toward its IPO, the 33 banks tasked with underwriting the offering have been desperately trying to determine how much the social networking website is actually worth. While it is closing in on 900 million users, its rate of growth has slowed and its current advertising model seems to be hitting a snag. Ultimately, the question arises: is Facebook overpriced — or is it undervalued?
At the IPO price of $38 that was announced Thursday evening, Facebook is priced at the top of the $34-$38 range announced at its filing. That pegs the company’s total value at an opening-day record of $104 billion — and it will have roughly $16 billion more in its coffers come Friday morning. Put another way, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg now has enough cash on hand to buy 16 more Instagrams.
But How Much Is It Really Worth?
Even before the stock went on the market, most experts agreed that Facebook was overvalued: As ABC News recently reported, in a survey of 124 portfolio managers and analysts, only 8% said that the stock’s value would increase over the next six months.
At the heart of the stellar valuation lie questions about Facebook’s actual ability to make money, an issue that was brought into sharp focus earlier this week when General Motors announced plans to withdraw its $10 million advertising buy from the site. While badly timed for the Facebook crew, this decision wasn’t that surprising. As numerous experts — including our own — have noted, the click-through rate on Facebook ads averages a dismal 0.051%, or roughly one click per 2,000 viewers. In other words, as dozens of other websites have already discovered, customers respond poorly to online advertising, and prefer to shop via sites they find on their own.
What many observers seem to have missed, however, is that even as it was pulling its Facebook ads, GM was redoubling its use of Facebook itself. Between its various brands, factories, distributorships and dealerships, the company has hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook fan pages. And, as the automaker announced on Wednesday, it has no intention of abandoning Facebook:
Just wanted to let our millions of Facebook fans know, we’re still here, and we ‘like’ you back! We may not be advertising on Facebook at the moment but we’ll still be talking with you all daily. If anything, we will be providing more content across our many GM Facebook pages – including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac – to keep the dialogue going.
For critics of Facebook’s current ad strategy, it’s worth noting — as some analysts have argued — that there is nothing keeping the company from charging corporations to establish pages on the site. At this point, a Facebook presence is a cornerstone of almost any social media strategy, and any company, local business, movie, or band that hopes to reach consumers is pretty much required to create a fan page.
Moving Beyond Ads to a Real Business Model
Charging for corporate pages, while unusual, wouldn’t be unprecedented — in many ways, the strategy would be an online equivalent of the model employed by the phone company. Just as the yellow pages are free to customers but subsidized by paid ads, Facebook would be free to individual users but subsidized by businesses. Indeed, as some Internet marketers have noted, creating engaging and eye-catching Facebook pages is already a lucrative business.
The phone company metaphor also fits in comfortably with Mark Zuckerberg’s statements about Facebook. As the founder noted in his IPO prospectus letter, “Facebook was not originally created to be a company … We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.” Or, as NYU professor and Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd succinctly put it, “From day one, Mark Zuckerberg wanted Facebook to become a social utility. He succeeded. Facebook is now a utility for many.” Perhaps the model for Facebook’s valuation shouldn’t be Yelp or Groupon, but rather AT&T or Con Edison.
Although Facebook hasn’t announced any plans to charge for its fan pages, it is in a unique position to monetize social media. If — when — it chooses to charge for access to its hundreds of millions of users, questions about the site’s financial position will be rendered completely moot.