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10 Twitter questions answered

10 Twitter questions answered | DigiPharma | Scoop.it

Looking for ways you can use Twitter in pharma marketing? This article on the "The 10 Most Important Questions I get Asked About Twitter" can provide some insight.

Written by Jeff Bullas on his blog (click on the headline for the full article) enjoy the read.

 

Twitter is a complete mystery to a lot of people. Twitter in fact was never meant to be a social networking site according to its founders.

It was initially created as an internal messaging system in 2006 for the pod casting company Odeo in 2006 and broke through into public conciousness in 2007 after winning an award at the SXSW conference.

It has now evolved into world wide real time messaging system on steroids.

Who Uses Twitter?

Twitter is used for a wide variety of online activities by different groups and individuals including:

Journalists use it for monitoring politicians and celebritiesCompanies use it for breaking news in real timeMarketers use it to create buzz about brandsBloggers use it to promote their blogs

So why did I start using Twitter and what have I learnt since sending my first tweet? Here are my responses to questions I have been asked in interviews over the last 12 months.

The 10 Most Important Questions I get Asked About Twitter

1. When did you set up your Twitter account? Do you remember why you did it?

I set up my account in December 2008 after stumbling upon conversations about Twitter on blogs I was reading. It seemed a curiosity at the time with some potential so I started playing for a few months until I discovered its marketing power in March 2009 when I started my blog

2. Do you have your own Twitter strategy?

My strategy is quite focused

I use it primarily to promote and distribute my blog posts to a targeted audience globallyEngage and have conversations with people on Twitter both publicly and privately on the DM channelFor networking with people both online and offline

3. How should marketers use Twitter? Any tips or tricks that work for you?

Know who your targeted audience is and follow them. The secret etiquette of Twitter is that a lot of people will reciprocate and follow you back. Tools that I have found effective for doing this are Twellow.com and Tweepi.comCreate great content on your blog and tweet it to that audienceI use Twitter as a tool to automate the distribution of my archived articles from my blog. Each post is broadcast once every 6 days. Some people don’t like agree with this strategy but Twitter is a tool and I use its reach to market my blog and with 65,000 Twitter followers it is very effective marketing tool.The secret is to not only build a a large quantity of followers but also targeted quality followers.

4. Why do you think people are following you? Is it because you are popular in your field or it is more about the way you are using Twitter?

I believe the reason that people follow me is because of the content I create on my blog which I then promote by tweeting. This has now created such momentum after 2 years of concentrated effort that 3,000 to 4,000 new followers join every month.

5. What are the main lessons you are usually teaching your clients when it comes to Twitter? What are your observations – do they know how to use it successfully?

For most people Twitter is a mystery. I treat it as networking channel on steroids. The main lessons are

Know your audience and provide information that they need by listening to their feedbackGet clear on your goals for Twitter. Eg increase followers, drive traffic to my blog and create new contacts that I can meet in person that create business opportunities such as speaking engagements and consultingUnderstand it also can be a great personal branding platform in conjunction with a blog

6. Do you think that Twitter is a “magical marketing tool”? Or is it a new way of communication that we need to learn how to use?

For me it has seemed magic because I don’t know of any other tool that can get your message out so quickly. It also can seem magical because for most people it is new and exciting. In essence though it is a new way of communicating and marketing that needs to be learned with its own strange vocabulary and quirks including #Tags, DM, and @

7. Can you be influential on-line if you are not doing something substantial off-line?

Online influence can be created without being an offline somebody. There are many influential people on Twitter because they learnt the art of creating online influence. A great tool for measuring this influence is Klout.com What I am experiencing is that online influence can become significant in real life and people start seeking you out for speaking, interviews, and business opportunities.

8. Does Twitter help you to “sell” yourself and to promote your services?

The short answer is ‘Yes’ but to elaborate it opens doors to paid Keynote speaking engagements, consulting and workshops.

In combination with my blog which is my name as a domain name (jeffbullas.com), it has created a very synergistic personal branding platform. What is also important is that my Twitter handle “jeffbullas” is consistent with my blogs name. It is important to have congruent branding across multiple online properties.

9. Have you got a special Twitter story? Something that you still remember and makes you smile/laugh/cry/angry?

I remember being contacted by Scott Monty the Global Social Media Director for Ford about a positive article I had tweeted about Ford and that they had picked up with their Twitter monitoring tools. It surprised me that my little Tweet had been sifted from the ‘noise’ on the web that has led to us now becoming Twitter friends and communicating regularly via Twitter. I don’t know of any other free marketing social media tool that could have achieved the same result in that space of time.

10. Tell us what “success on Twitter” means to you?

Success on Twitter is to be able make a difference by putting educational and original content into the Twitter torrent and to influence a global audience one tweet at a time. It has continued to surprise me with its reach and immediacy.

It has contributed significantly to making my blog a success in just over 2 years with readers to jeffbullas.com now numbering over 140,000 per month in 190 countries.
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Facebook #1 Social Network In 127 Countries -

Facebook #1 Social Network In 127 Countries - | DigiPharma | Scoop.it

A great article on global social media usage. Some wonderful charts and a good breakdown for countries. A must read for any global communicator or marketer. Click on the headline for more information

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Healthcare Blogging 101: How A Blog Can Help You Engage Online

Healthcare Blogging 101: How A Blog Can Help You Engage Online | DigiPharma | Scoop.it

Great article by on Healthcare Blogging 101 by Angela Dunn @blogbrevity How to: healthcare physician hospital blog, engage online medical consumers, patients.

Click on the headline to read more.

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Ipad the first step to personalised communication?

Ipad the first step to personalised communication? | DigiPharma | Scoop.it

Ever since the ipad first appeared on the market, it has enchanted pharma. In particular, the sales force has embraced ipad as a means to engage the customers in sales calls. As an ex pharma rep and sales manager my first experience of detailing was a painful experience. The laptop took a good 5 minutes to start, battery life meant it would just about last 2 calls and the only value add to the interaction was a few KOL videos. Is an ipad sales aid just about the user experience or should it be much more?

Don’t get me wrong creating the right impression with the customer is critical for engagement, and in that respect the ipad can deliver a wonderful end product. Rather than carrying a few clinical papers a rep can carry a complete library and KOL opinion videos on each paper. As a business tool for a representative, the ipad really provides value to pharma.

The real difference detailing electronically lies with data and how it can be used to improve communication in all channels. Firstly incorporating data from CRM can allow customisation of the sales aid to give a personalised “story” that can really engage the customer. How a healthcare professional interacts with the sales aid can help profile their interests, behaviours, drivers, influence and influencers. Capturing this information can help reform your pharmaceutical marketing. Use of behaviour profiling offers pharma an opportunity to personalise communication in any channel. At the heart of behavioural profiling and multichannel marketing is CRM (now this should include a social element).

Through the use feedback loops from all communication channels customer profiling can be refined to improve the effectiveness of personalised messaging. The traditional barrier to personalised messaging is a lack of investment in systems and processes to enable effective message delivery. Pharma on the whole tends to use traditional models in relation to messaging which is normally developed using a combination of market research of target groups/segments, lists and “off the shelf” data, ending up with a series of key messages that if repeated 5 times will change that group’s behaviour. With the evolution of data management, your company can gain true personalised understanding of your customer rather than relying on a “one size fits” all approach to marketing. With the right delivery systems/channels personalised communication that can really engage and change customer behaviours.

Any pharmaceutical marketer needs to ask the question, how would you react if a sales person tried to sell you something while completely ignoring your questions and what you said? Loss of engagement reduces the likelihood of buying. If it is unacceptable for you, why should it be acceptable for your customers?

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We Are Social's Guide to Social, Digital and Mobile Around the Worl...

We Are Social's Guide to Social, Digital and Mobile Around the Worl... | DigiPharma | Scoop.it

Is digital a viable channel to my customers? With global population of 6.8 billion how much of this audience is viable to get to? According stats 52% of people live in urban locations, there is a 30% internet penetration and 22% of the world is social networking. Now for a stat that should really make you pay attention, globally there are 5.86 billion mobile subscribers globally. A whopping 86% of the global population has a mobile phone.

Some impressive figures, but marketing is all about targeting specific demographics in the populations. In North America internet penetration has reached 77%, 50% of the population use social networks and there are more mobile phones than people (please note by mobile we do not mean “smart phone”). We need to drill deeper and deeper into our data to target specific customer profiles. For healthcare brands trying to target elderly patients, if you’re customers aren’t accessing the internet for information there is a high probability that a close family member will being doing it for them.

What can we conclude from this data?

 

1. Your customer have access to digital channels

2. Mobile marketing could provide a powerful tool for your communications

3. High mobile usage means that your websites should be optimised for mobile access

4. Social media means that your customers are becoming increasingly connected

 

Used well digital, communication is powerful tool for your brand in all markets. The internet has provided your customers with instant access to a wealth of free information. They expect to find information on your products and services, and more importantly, whether you like it or not they will talk about you (positively or negatively).

Digital can be a powerful channel for any marketer in any industry sector. In isolation, it can be effective but in combination with other channels, it can be used to amplify the rest of your marketing mix.

Click on the headline for more interesting stats on digital penetration and the full regional breakdown data.

 

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Break Down Marketing Silos Now: Build Engagement With Cross-Channel Marketing : MarketingProfs Article

Break Down Marketing Silos Now: Build Engagement With Cross-Channel Marketing : MarketingProfs Article | DigiPharma | Scoop.it
Digital and social media are a channel to communicate with your customer. Like most channels, they work best when integrated seamlessly to give the customer a continuous engaging experience. From a marketing point of view, moving a customer up the “ladder of adoption” to increase usage of your product is what it is all about. Offline activities can be amplified online and online activities can drive calls to actions, we just need to understand how we can leverage our activities and embrace integration. If you want to dramatically increase your social media influence you have to think about all your actions and how you can use them to drive social media discussion and engagement.

 

Below is a great article written by Rob Pearson (click on headline for the full original). It looks at some of the steps you need to take to make integration of channels possible.

 

Marketers have a tough job! No juggler's job has ever been as tough. With 13 or so online marketing channels (and just as many offline), the job of cross-channel marketing is difficult. But creating a successful cross-channel marketing organization is possible.

Building a strategy and organization to implement cross-channel marketing usually requires changes in the following:

Marketing strategy and tacticsOrganizational structureTeam skillsIndividual channel manager skillsTechnology and tools

That list may seem overwhelming, but don't stop reading. You can minimize those barriers and build a cross-channel marketing force with greater focus, impact, and alignment.

Building a cross-channel marketing organization requires three processes:

Creating a cross-channel marketing strategy. Create an overarching marketing strategy that aligns with your company's strategic objectives.Integrating cross-channel activity. Create a single point of integration for all your online channels.Measuring a common cross-channel metric. Use of a common metric allows comparison among all channels and campaigns.

1. Create a cross-channel marketing strategy

Many marketing departments transformed their online marketing processes the same way: With each new online marketing technology, they added a new marketing manager, tactic, skill set, and channel-specific metrics. That has created marketing departments with strategies, tactics, and metrics that aren't aligned. Each channel is doing what it thinks it does best, but that may not be what's best for the company strategy.

To build a marketing strategy that aligns all channels and supports the company's strategic objectives, you must first identify your company's strategic themes. Whether you know them explicitly or not, most companies have two (and not more than three) strategic themes, which are complementary.

The following are a few common strategic themes for all organizations:

Build the brand.Be cost effective.Strive for customer intimacy.Be a leading edge innovator.Expand the franchise.Focus on the niche.

Each strategic theme requires a unique portfolio of channels and campaigns.

Marketing is a competitive battle; and as in any battle, you make the greatest impact by aligning and focusing your forces. Just as Hitler and Napoleon found out, despite their initial success, when you don't align your forces and you spread them too thinly, you lose big.

For example, if your company's strategy theme is selling leading-edge technology to teens concerned with style and social status, you need to focus on a teen style-message via Twitter, Facebook, and a "cool" website. If you are a B2B with a long sales cycle and decision process, you should create deep information assets available via webinars, LinkedIn groups, whitepapers, and forums on a deep website.

Each member of your cross-channel portfolio should reinforce the other members by contributing its own counterbalancing set of risks and rewards. Allocating channel resources according to your company's strategic themes makes it easier to decide how to set budgets. Viewing your marketing mix as a portfolio of channel and campaign resources makes it easier to allocate resources while keeping the same organizational structure, people, and skill sets.
What you must add are overarching meetings to align channels and campaigns so they reinforce each other.

But you'll still need a way to integrate all your cross-channel activity and bring together all your online marketing.

2. Integrate cross-channel activity

Having a single point of integration brings all your marketing results together in one location. The right technology for integrating cross-channel tactics will allow you to keep your current teams and skills while tracking all your online marketing results, even if they are from disparate systems.

The easiest and most effective way to do that is to bring all online marketing conversions back to the website. Make the results from email, marketing automation, social campaigns, and webinars culminate in a website conversion.

For example, each social event, webinar, and email campaign should be tied to a campaign code and landing page. To track those conversions, customize Google Analytics or use a Web content management system. Some of those systems can even track people or their businesses via specific channels and campaigns.

Even when you use a Web content management system to integrate all your results, you still face the problem of comparing results from different channels and campaigns. Some experts have estimated that it would take 47 metrics to monitor the 13 or so online marketing channels. How can you compare your channels using so many metrics? You can't. You need a newer, easier-to-use metric.

3. Measure a common cross-channel metric (engagement value)

What you need is a metric that measures how engaged visitors are, no matter which channel they use. You need something that measures engagement the same way engagement in human relationships would be measured. As human relations build, they usually go through four steps:

AttractionCommunicationTrustCommitment

The current Web analytics measure attraction. You can attract any visitor to your website, and get her to look at pages and download assets. But she still might not be engaged.

Engagement begins at the next step, when communication takes place. By definition, "communication" requires a two-way transfer of information. Downloading whitepapers doesn't count. You and your visitor must exchange information. At the lowest level, that exchange includes her website address and your newsletter. A higher level of communication—such as requesting a quote from a B2B business—might also require a higher level of trust. A quote, for example, requires both sides to share budgets, timeframes, and specifications. For a nonprofit, that higher level of communication might be receiving a donation or gaining members.

Once communication and trust build to a high-enough level, commitment will form. Commitment is the intent to create a purchase or build a long-term relationship. For a website, commitment could be shown via a request for a live demo, a request for a salesperson to call, or a sales order. For a nonprofit website, commitment might be an offer to volunteer for a task or attend a meeting.

Measure each of those transaction points on your website not with a single point, as most conversions are given, but rather with a value placed on each transaction that depends on the level of engagement. For example:

The numeric value of those points isn't important. What is important is the ratio between the values.

By tracking the accumulation of those Engagement Value Points for each marketing channel, each campaign, or each asset, you can easily identify the marketing that adds value. When you know the value attributed to each channel, you know which one produces the greatest return to the business. When you know the value attributed to each campaign, you know which campaigns, no matter the type, produced the greatest results.

Some Web content management software will even allow you to track the value attributed to specific people or all the people within the same company. That gives you insight into how engaged they are and when they might purchase.

At that point, you know the portfolio of marketing channels and campaigns needed for your company strategy. With engagement analytics, you have a common measure that lets you compare the effectiveness of different channels and campaigns. Now it's up to your creativity to put the power of that marketing machine to work.
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Choosing the right social media platforms for pharma

Choosing the right social media platforms for pharma | DigiPharma | Scoop.it
Most pharma marketers are fully aware of social media; they just struggle understanding its application to their brands. Often corporate governance and lack of senior level belief in social media hinder any uptake by brands to really engage with their customers and use social to complement their other marketing activities.

With new social media tools appearing all the time there is a challenge not only decide what each platform can do, but trying apply it to pharma marketing (the picture an amusing view of most common platforms). A year ago was a world without google+, which according to recent announcements your participation will be increasing your search engine rankings.

With the rapid evolution of social media, reviewing the social landscape regularly should be an important process to see how it could be used to optimise your brand plans. Use of social media for “the sake of it”, overall tends to be a poor investment (you might actually get lucky and engage customers), instead social should form part of your long-term brands strategic thinking. Gaining customer insights, engaging customers and empowering advocates are the key outcomes for most brand plans, and social media can provide a cost effective solution.

 

Understanding your customers online behaviours can provide you with direction on where your brand should be. I often hear “do doctors really use social media?” Sometimes pharma marketers forget that doctors are also members of the public, which participate in social platforms like any other person in society. Given their socio economic status, in fact they are more likely to have smart phone and ipads.
Creating social media “embassies” around your brand provides an opportunity that should not be overlooked. Whether you like it or not your brand is being talked about in social media, so your choice to participate can dramatically affect the influence you can have on these conversations.

 

Below are 20 social media stats that show how active social media is within society (for full article on these stats click on the headline).

 

1. One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook ( This number is calculated by dividing the planets 6.94 billion people by Facebook’s 750 million users)
2. People spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
3. Each Facebook user spends on average 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the site
4. More than 250 million people access Facebook through their mobile devices
5. More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook
6. 30 billion pieces of content is shared on Facebook each month
7. 300,000 users helped translate Facebook into 70 languages
8. People on Facebook install 20 million “Apps” every day
9. YouTube has 490 million unique users who visit every month (as of February 2011)
10. YouTube generates 92 billion page views per month (These YouTube stats don’t include videos viewed on phones and embedded in websites)
11. Users on YouTube spend a total of 2.9 billion hours per month (326,294 years)
12. Wikipedia hosts 17 million articles
13. Wikipedia authors total over 91,000 contributors
14. People upload 3,000 images to Flickr (the photo sharing social media site) every minute
15. Flickr hosts over 5 billion images
16. 190 million average Tweets per day occur on Twitter (May 2011)
17. Twitter is handling 1.6 billion queries per day
18. Twitter is adding nearly 500,000 users a day
19. Google+ has more than 25 million users
20. Google+ was the fastest social network to reach 10 million users at 16 days (Twitter took 780 days and Facebook 852 days)

 

The power of social media is not going to go away, but it will increase in importance (for customers and by association marketers). Deciding how, when and where to use social should be a critical part of your brand plan.

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Understanding Social: An Infographic of a New Business Idea - Forbes

Understanding Social: An Infographic of a New Business Idea - Forbes | DigiPharma | Scoop.it

Social business is a loaded term, and an increasingly popular one. Do you really know what it means? Do you know where the core value of a social business lies? This infographic will help.

2012 touted by many as the year of social business, but can it really have an impact your business. So where should you start? It should start with a review of people, systems and processes in all parts of your organisation to identify areas where social tools can add value or reduce costs. Understanding how different elements of your business fit together and where they collaborate should also be evaluated (even if it is not currently applied). Understanding how your business interacts with its customers, reviewing how these interactions can be enhanced via social media should also be monitored.

The biggest question I am asked regarding social business is “can it really be applied to my industry?” Even in the most tightly regulated industry, social business has the potential to improve effectiveness and reduce costs. Social business is all about optimising your company through social and therefore first take a deep look at yourself (with or without help) and then move forward.

Is everyone doing it? You may think the grass is greener on the other side, but if you take the time to water your own grass, it can be just as green.

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