3 Tips for Effective Social Media ContestsMashableJustin Palmer of Palmer Web Marketing has run dozens of social media contests for his clients, and gaining “likes” and “followers” is something he does with relative ease.
Are you wondering how your peers are using social media? Wondering if you should focus on Google+ or Pinterest?
Marty Smith: How are marketers using social media? More and more as it turns out. The Social Media Examiner just released its yearly state of social media marketing report with these findings:
Measurement and targeting are top areas marketers want to master: Forty percent of all social media marketers want to know how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media and find customers and prospects. Video marketing holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 76% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2012. Marketers seek to learn more about Google+: While only 40% of marketers are using Google+, 70% of marketers want to learn more about it and 67% plan on increasing Google+ activities. Top three benefits of social media marketing: The number-one benefit of social media marketing is generating more business exposure (reported 85% of marketers), followed by increasing traffic (69%) and providing marketplace insight (65%). Top five social media networks/tools for marketers: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube were the top five social media tools used by marketers, in that order. Social media marketing still takes a lot of time: The majority of marketers (59%) are using social media for 6 hours or more each week, and a third (33%) invest 11 or more hours weekly. Social media outsourcing underutilized: Only 30% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing, only a slight increase from 28% in 2011.
Google’s new suite of Social reports within their Analytics platform launches tomorrow. Among the new features, users can compare last-click to assisted conversions, see Social Visitors Flow, view select social streams in Analytics, and more.
Financial TimesSocial media: Future clients are to be found on the webFinancial TimesThe social network take-up rate of the past few years has been urgent, with brands competing for the highest number of fans as a sign of their position in the industry...
How content will drive leads from social media marketing strategy.
Now back to reality. For the rest of us, who don’t have oodles of money to waste on traditional advertising, how do we drive leads? Here are seven ways to use content and social media to drive leads for your business.
Most companies have accepted the fact that by now they ought to be engaging in social media activities in one form or another. Those who are late to the party, however, are often from highly-regulated industries such as financial services or pharmaceuticals. Despite the promise of genuine, real-time communications with customers that could greatly benefit marketing and public relations efforts, social media can present quite the challenge with regard to regulatory compliance. Organizations need to engage in social media in an intelligent way that complies with relevant industry regulations -- without completely stifling the creative, genuine nature of the medium. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it can definitely be achieved.
SOCIAL MEDIA COMPLIANCE CHALLENGES
For years, instead of leveraging social media, companies in heavily-regulated industries have either avoided it altogether or have been extremely conservative with their use of it. Instead of having a sound plan, far too many organizations are simply winging it and handling issues on a case-by-case basis. This doesn't work for even the smallest of businesses, and is therefore especially risky for those trying to maintain organizational compliance.
Why can social media be such a headache when it comes to regulatory compliance? First of all, the very nature of social media is real-time, unfiltered conversations -- an online stream of consciousness. Whether it's your employees or your customers, the idea of real-time can be terrifying for anyone concerned with adhering to internal or industry policies. For example, brokerage firms dealing with FINRA regulations need to be concerned about whether any responses their employees provide to customers in social media communities are adhering to rules about suitability and investment product recommendations.
Likewise, pharmaceutical companies engaging in social media must ensure that any conversations about a product, whether they are on Facebook or Twitter, feature the FDA required safety information. And, any public company needs to be on top of every tweet to monitor whether it complies with the SEC's public disclosure requirements. With all of this to consider, how can a company enter this world safely? Two words: policy and education.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY AND TRAINING
Every company, even those without regulations to contend with, must have a well thought-out social media policy in place that deals with both employee and customer use. What should this policy include?
Your internal social media policy should make it clear to your employees what they can and cannot do or say, and how anything they disclose in a social media community has an impact on the company. Be clear and concise to avoid overwhelming them with complex details that could be misconstrued. Your policy -- which should be documented -- should clarify who has the authority to speak on the company's behalf on social networks and the consequences that exist if any of these rules are broken.
Beyond the written component for employees, your policy needs to include embedded processes and workflows that ensure compliant social media communications. One necessary process is content moderation. For example, put controls in place that automatically review any outbound content for policy violations. Having a process like this ensures that communication can still be published in a timely manner without exposing the company to unnecessary risk.
Speaking of risk, it is also prudent to make sure your policy leverages a method to limit the number of employees who are granted admin rights to social media accounts. While you want to grant employees access to your communities, you also want a simple way to take this access away if they leave the company. Ensuring that only a select few have admin rights makes this possible. Imagine the potential for regulatory violation (and impact on your company's reputation) if a disgruntled employee accesses your corporate Twitter account.
Any company facing regulatory controls could also face an audit at any moment. Your social media policy should account for this reality by implementing technology that archives all content in a way that could quickly and adequately prepare you for an audit.
Another critical component of your policy is how it deals with participation from external stakeholders, such as vendors or customers. You need to let your communities know your company's social media policy and how you will handle responses. You must make them aware of what will and won't be tolerated on your social media pages, especially since you have regulatory requirements to consider with every comment and response. It might, therefore, take more time for your team to respond to inquiries depending on the review process and you should set expectations accordingly.
Hi there. I’m Russ Thornton. I want to share with you how I typically spend a day engaged in social media from the perspective of a busy financial advisor. Getting the Day Started 7:30 AM – This is usually when I start my day.
Social media is not just about marketing, it's about enhancing the total client experience in addition to attracting new prospects and business advocates into that unique experience. It's about being ...
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