An important step for a brand that has a social media strategy, and wants to avoid crises, is to ensure that employees understand how to use those tools.
This Infographic by Mindflash demonstrates that 76% of companies do not have a clearly defined social media policy.
Social media consultants can be an expensive addition to your business. But in this day and age, no company can operate without a sound social plan.
Your best social media team might actually be your current workforce. But how can you find your company’s natural social media rock stars and get your entire team on board with your goals?
The Infographic breaks down how your team members will likely react to the need for social media training. For example, some of your employees may already have popular social media channels in their personal lives, while others may be opposed to your business’ push online.
Keep in mind that your team probably represents a wide range of social media experience. This will help you know how to identify the different groups and understand how to best get them ready to implement your strategy.
The team at Awareness surveyed 469 marketers from wide varieties of industries, company sizes and levels of social marketing expertise. Respondents came from a cross-section of executives, managers and those who support the social marketing functions within their organizations.
Don't get left behind, follow these 7 Steps to Brilliant B2B Marketing! Many Business-to-business (B2B) companies are already successfully getting great r. Marketing topic(s):Digital strategy development.
Smart Insights created an Infographic showing the latest research on how companies are using inbound marketing and digital marketing with advice on key issues to think through at each step which are relevant to all involved in inbound and content marketing.
The results across different studies show that while many companies are delivering brilliant results, many could do more.
Are you leveraging social media? While the social mediums aren’t entirely new anymore, opportunity for business are only just beginning to surface. Ongoing research and social media statistics are showing us that the way in which people are using social media to communicate and more importantly, make buying decisions is evolving.
This Infographic opens your eyes to some interesting facts about social media, with information from socialnomics.com.
New research from Econsultancy and Adobe found that two-thirds of businesses (67%) agree that social media is integral to their marketing mix, while 66% say social is integral to their overall business strategy.
The survey of 650 marketing professionals also found that 64% of businesses use social for brand awareness, 44% for marketing campaigns and a quarter (25%) for customer service.
This Infographic includes some of the other interesting findings from the research.
Infographic showing the basics of the Inbound Marketing Implementation Process.
Understanding the power of Inbound Marketing to significantly grow your business is simple; what’s more complicated is understanding the process of attracting visitors to your site and turning them into qualified leads:
What steps do you need to take to get started?
What has to be done each day to keep the process moving?
How do you interact with and manage prospects?
While the execution of Inbound Marketing varies somewhat by client, prospect, industry, etc., the Weidert Group created an Infographic can be used to understand:
What work is foundational
What work is ongoing
What your prospects will experience moving through the sales funnel
If you need to step back and get a full overview of Inbound Marketing – what it is, why it works, what steps you need to take to get started – download Weidert Group’s
A new survey finds SMBs have a divergent view of social media influence; those after large followings are more likely to find it helpful.
An Industry Study Of SMBs And Social Media or How SMBs Leverage Social Media
Vocus have published a brand new study, with partner John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, “Overall sentiment in this study is right on target and it’s a very positive message. What I’ve been noticing more and more is there’s finally this acceptance that social media not only isn’t going away, it’s an essential element of the marketing mix and the real challenge now is to figure out how to integrate it into the total online and offline marketing presence.”
The Challenges SMBs Face?
#Overcoming the perception that social media is free.
#Multiple tool sets for managing social media.
#Addressing customer concerns in a public forum.
These are all themes found in the study.
The Good News?
SMBs are using social media, they are finding it helpful, and they are focused on business outcomes as a means of measuring their progress.
Key Findings Include:
Social media is helpful: 87% of SMBs say social media has been somewhat helpful or helped a great deal; 10% said it had no effect.
Perception of influence varies: 40% of SMBs prefer a smaller but highly engaged audience; 27% would prefer a huge following with little engagement.
Healthy share of marketing efforts: 77% of SMBs indicate social media accounts for 25% or more of their total marketing efforts.
Sharing is common use: The most common use of social media is to share information 91%; only 46% see social media as a place to handle customer service issues.
Doubling up on duties: 73% of SMBs have added social media to the existing duties of a marketing person.
Spending set to rise: 84% of SMBs plan to increase their use of social media at least a little in the future.
The other trend suggested there are growing pains in social media that line up nicely with the size of a business. The smallest firms seemed to get by and benefit from a guerrilla approach, while much larger firms had appointed full time staff and consultants.
The firms in between, those in the $10-20 million range, found social media less helpful as they struggled to integrate it into marketing more formally.
There is a strategy lesson in this data just waiting for consulting firms to exploit.
Path to influence
One of the most fascinating findings of the study was the divergent views of online influence.
For example, 40% of SMBs prefer a smaller but highly engaged audience, while 27% would prefer a huge following with little engagement.
What’s important to note is the 27% that prefer a large following are also more likely to report social media has been very helpful to their efforts.
This is the dawn of Generation-C, where “C” represents a connected society based on interests and behavior.
Gen C is not an age group, it’s a lifestyle. While social networks are the fabric of online relationships, it is how technology affects every day activity.
What’s most important for you to understand is that Gen C is different. In some ways, they’re different from you and me. They put the “me” in social media. They’re always on. They rely on the shared experiences of strangers to guide their actions. And, they know that other Gen-C’ers rely upon their shared experiences to find resolution.
What does this mean for you?
As you think through you businesses objectives and strategies to realize them over the next year, think about the customer experience for Gen-C. Walk in their shoes. Learn how they connect and communicate. Discover how they discover. Uncover their preferences and expectations, and more importantly, what they value.
Opportunity is abundant; you just need to step outside of the comfort zone in the relentless pursuit of engaging, creating remarkable experiences and delivering value.
Now is the time to recognize how your customer landscape is shifting and to what extent traditional and connected consumers discover and make decisions differently.
Business owners know it’s important to engage with our customers and prospects online — but there’s an opportunity cost.
It seems like new social networks are appearing every other week, so it’s important to choose wisely.
So which social networks are worth your time?
The SM2 Social Media team helps businesses find and understand the online interactions that impact their business and have ranked the Top 9 Social Networks for Small and Medium-sized Businesses based on:
Reach: How Many Members
Quality of Interaction (from a business perspective)
Fun (our highly-scientific and proprietary research)
That’s the question being asked as more and more businesses are investing in increasing amounts of social media marketing.
With no standard means of measurement, there’s a wide variety of goals and metrics used to define the ROI of social strategies.
Fortunately, this enlightening Infographic, developed by MDG Advertising, helps clear up the confusion by outlining the objectives, benefits and factors that affect the success of social media marketing.
Fewer links are shared on LinkedIn than on Twitter and Facebook, but there’s a much higher positive correlation of shares to inbound links.
Dan Zarrella, HubSpot social media scientist, recently conducted a study of link sharing and SERP (search engine results page) correlation on the top three social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — to determine which platform improves search engine results the most. Surprise, it’s LinkedIn!
Zarrella compiled a database of 25,000+ URLs that had been shared at least once on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The URLs were all at least one month old and had a minimum of one incoming link.
The Study found that, while Facebook and Twitter users share the most links to content, the number of links directed at that content is higher per share via LinkedIn.
This is important because receiving more shares creates a snowball effect. Each time your content is seen and shared, you receive an inbound link. The more links your article has, the higher the authority rank it is given by search engines. This results in higher search engine placement and, along with it, more site traffic.
For best results, develop a strategy for LinkedIn that includes posting links to your relevant content.
In this slideshow, HubSpot Founder Dharmesh Shah and SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin show a graph of these results, as well as some key findings from HubSpot’s Report:
More than 10% of executives said they would not engage to defend their online reputation & 33% stated their CEO doesn't care about online reputation
Zeno Group's 2012 Digital Readiness Survey revealed a striking truth: Businesses are burned out on social media and a substantial number of executives fail to consider their social media online reputation, an area of valuable customer views and insights, when making business decisions. In fact, more than one-third of executives surveyed stated that the CEO of their company does not care or cares little about the company’s online reputation in social media.
Generally, the survey found that smaller businesses (those with fewer than 10,000 employees) and business-to-business (B2B) companies were less likely to engage with their customers via social media.
Here’s what Zeno found:
B2B companies lag their B2C counterparts – their CEOs are less likely to consider social media in decision-making, they are slower to engage in a crisis, and they are twice as likely to refuse to engage online audiences at all.
The bigger the company, the more likely that the CEO will consider social media in their decision-making. In fact, 43% of smaller firms said their executives rarely or never consider social media reputation.
Smaller does not necessarily mean more nimble in social media. A fast response to an online crisis is more likely in larger companies
There is still much opportunity to introduce the concept of social media reputation into the C-suite. Too many organizations missing opportunities, either to advance their reputations or defend them.
By engaging non-customer stakeholders that are active online - such as industry analysts, investors and academics, among others – business can turn these groups into not only advocates and amplifiers during good times, but also trusted voices who can bring credibility to a company’s response in a time of crisis.
As social media evolves, marketers realize that a social presence is no longer an option, but a necessity. Many have noticed a disconnect, however, between consumer reach provided by social media and actual, quantifiable customer acquisition and return on investment.
Recent research by The Incyte Group provides unprecedented insight into four major consumer segments that are researching your brand online and more importantly the best ways you can reach them.
The implications of the findings are not a one size fits all solution for social engagement.
Rather, the research provides insight into four consumer segments that can have a major impact on your social strategy if you understand what motivates them.
Engagement marketing refers to the marketing strategy of directly involving the customers in a relationship with the brand.
For small and medium businesses, engagement marketing is especially important, as so much of their business comes from repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals.
The new book, written by Constant Contact CEO Gail F. Goodman, centres around the Engagement Marketing Cycle, a three-step approach to driving word-of-mouth referrals and turning them into socially visible, public endorsements that bring new customers to a SME’s door:
What is the EngagementMarketingCycle? It's 3 steps to help you get repeat business.
The steps are:
1. Provide a WOW! Experience - When a customer walks into your business, make that an experience one they'll remember.
2. Entice people to keep in touch - Keep the experience going even after they've left your business.
3. Engage people through content that inspires sharing - Once you've created the relationship, make sure you nurture it.
“SMEs are customer-centric by their very nature and many see the majority of their revenue come from repeat sales. For them, Engagement Marketing is simply growing the 99% of their business that comes from repeat sales and word-of-mouth referrals – and when done properly, this can be a huge source of new customers.” Tamsin Fox-Davies
Based on her book this Infographic explains why engagement marketing is important, and how social media tools can make it easier.
Social business design – adopting the use of social technology, flattening corporate structure and shifting towards less siloed operational models – helps organizations achieve business objectives as the marketplace becomes more...
Mark Smiciklas believes in "the idea that organizations adopting the use of social technology, flattening their corporate structure and making the shift towards less siloed communication and operational models will be in a better position to achieve their business objectives as the marketplace becomes more digitally connected."
A new genre of social producers are taking aim at developing content strategies that are not only consumable, they’re shareable, actionable and act as catalysts or sparks for relevant conversations
Social media is only social when it’s shared and when it sparks conversations
In these times of transition and there is no one content strategy that reaches everyone equally
These are times of context and segmentation based on psychographics not demographics
"If social media is about creating and sharing experiences through conversations and content, start first with the experiences and conversations you wish to rouse.
As you think about your content strategy for social networks, do so from the perspective of a social producer. While the social effect is certainly a goal, the social effect is also the result of social design.
In the end, people are going to talk, so give them something to talk about!"
The following Infographic, based on a study from RichRelevance , looked at 689 million shopping sessions on “leading U.S. retail sites” between January 1 and August 31, comparing Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, in terms of the shopping traffic they drive to retail sites:
•Facebook dominates as a source of traffic: Shoppers who click-through from Facebook account for the overwhelming majority of shopping sessions at nearly 86% (85.8%), followed by Pinterest (11.3%) and Twitter (2.9%). • Shoppers who started at Facebook browse more – and buy more often: Shoppers who enter retail sites from Facebook tend to stay longer (nearly seven pages per visit vs. nearly three for Twitter and just over four from Pinterest) and purchase somewhat more frequently (conversion rates of 2.63%) than Pinterest (.93%) or Twitter (1.09%). • Pinterest drives larger orders – nearly double that of other social channels: While shoppers who come to retail sites from Facebook and Twitter purchase more often, Pinterest users spend dramatically more than either ($168.83 average order value vs. $94.70 for Facebook and $70.84 for Twitter).
New media has changed the way we interact and communicate.To understand and adapt to these changes, "social media experts" popped up to help organization's evolve their marketing communications accordingly.
#1: Creating Too Many Social Networks
Marketing Pilgrim recently reported that the "the average large company has 178 corporate-owned social media accounts".
Who's going to manage all of these?
Corrective Strategy #1: Invest MORE resources in to LESS tactics
In online marketing, identify the top performing channels and invest more into them.
If you want to grow visitors to your blog, then produce one exceptional blog post each week.
If you want to grow your email list or database, then make that your primary call-to-action (and don't even bother promoting your Twitter or Facebook accounts). If your customer demographic doesn't really match Pinterest, or if your competition is already dominating it, then don't even bother using it.
#2: Relying on Others to Share for You
it doesn't matter how many social media buttons you plaster on your site. You can't sit around and wait for others to do the work for you.
New or smaller organizations can't rely on lucky "word-of-mouth" to significantly impact your bottom line.
Corrective Strategy #2: Drive visitors to specific points of conversion
Your activities should more focused and deliberate
Don't just refer people to your homepage or Facebook Timeline. Direct them from a specific marketing channel to a matching landing page, tab or update.
And increase performance by aligning an appropriate offer that this target segment cares deeply about.
#3: Focusing Too Much on Easy, Ineffective Tactics
Engagement is a vital step in the marketing process
Position yourself so people want to come find you.
But how do you do that?
Corrective Strategy #3: Focus on business development, not just community management
if you want to grow, then you need to focus on business development and create partnerships with other entities.
The goal of online business development is to use these new tools and technologies to create partnerships with important people and organizations.
it takes more time to develop trust and figure out how to help each other properly. So you won't see quick, fast returns.
But the long-term ROI is much higher.
And will contribute more to your overall business growth than a Twitter chat or blog comment ever will
"Hands down, pricing your services as a freelancer is tough. So tough that no one has really mastered it. There isn't really a secret formula to pricing your services just right, no magical tricks that will help you land awesome clients, and no one way to price your services so that you can guarantee that you will be rolling in the dough.".
Amber Leigh Turner wants to help other freelancers succeed, because when freelancers succeed individually, they can succeed as a group.
Every single freelancer’s situation is different
Based on your unique situation specifics: family responsibilities, current bills, experience, where you live, education level, types of clients, etc., here are some tips that you should use most if not all of the methods to help come up with your pricing:
1. Look at current job ads
Divide the average salary by the hours calculation to get an average hourly rate.
A good starting point but leaves out some information, such as business expenses (overheads) and health insurance that are usually taken care of by an employer.
2. Chat with other freelancers in your field
rates are usually set for the location, and your location may be different.
3. Use freelancing rate calculators and apps
These often do not take into consideration certain factors such as experience and current clients.
The best piece of advice in regards to figuring out whether your hourly rate is good for the marketplace (and if you need to raise your rate) is “If you don’t have a few quality clients turning you down based on price, then you aren’t charging enough.”
6. You are your best judge
Go with your gut. Only you will know, with experience and time, if your hourly rate works for your situation and your specific needs as a freelancer.
7. After you have an “hourly” rate, decide if you should charge per hour or per project
Most freelancers are now switching to project-based pricing, where they take into account how long it takes them to do a project along with other specifics such as client needs, materials cost, and taxes then present the client with a flat figure for a specific project.
8. Remember everyone’s situation is different
The best way is to take averages of what others in similar situations are charging.
Earned media is on the rise as marketers scrutinize the effectiveness of traditional paid media.
Marketing plans have always juggled some form of paid media (buying an ad), owned media (building a web site or store), and earned media (coverage in press or word of mouth). But the lines have blurred between these three forms of media. Some ad agencies have started hiring Earned Media Directors. Some PR agencies have started placing media buys.
The best paid media generates earned media .Tom Fishburne found this media chart useful, as it shows the integrated commingling of Paid, Owned, and Earned Media.
The net result of this blurring is that we have to earn ALL of our media more.
Social business technologies and initiatives are becoming more important to business and must continue to show business value.
Organizations today are starting to realize measurable business value from their social business initiatives. However, most firms have yet to measure the return on investment of their social business investments, according to a recent survey by Mzinga, Teradata Aster, and The Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
According to the study, organizations today are primarily using social technologies for the following:
64% for marketing initiatives
47% for customer support
39% for employee collaboration
27% for sales
The data points suggest that social business technologies and initiatives are becoming more important to business in general and it’s only a matter of time that they be considered normal business practices.
Forty-nine percent of those surveyed for the Infographic said, “Yes, I’ve attained measurable business value through the use of social technologies. But I haven’t used it to its full potential yet.”
According to a Report produced by Royal Pingdom, Internet 2011 in numbers, there were more than 2.2bn email users in 2011 and 3.4bn email accounts, this figure growing by 500m. According to Radicati, this number is expected to grow to 4.1bn by the end of 2015.
There is always a tendency when new technologies come along to throw out the old in favour of the new. Email is often seen as out of date and its value diminished by the exciting opportunities that social media appears to open up.
Of course it’s essential to build in emerging channels to our marketing strategies to keep us in contact with our growing audiences but as its true that marketing cannot rely on digital alone, so it is that we need to ensure we are maximising all channels we have at our disposal. And while social is a constantly changing environment, email remains a core feature in our everyday lives and has proved its effectively time and time again.
While social media can be great for raising a brand’s profile, most consumers still respond better to offers made in an email. In this sense, social media is the tool that acts to warm up the audience with email coming in to close the deal.