Social Strategies for 2014: How Top Brands Manage, Measure and Budget for Success
As social media continues to grow, attracting larger and larger audiences worldwide, marketers are working to figure out how to use the medium to best advantage. Companies are embracing the social marketing revolution for the benefits it offers: brand engagement, 24/7 access to consumer sentiment and the ability to push content to loyal customers and drive sales, among others.
Start preparing your social media attack for 2014 now
Darin's note: This information is based upon a brand new white paper that Ad Age put out for free access if you are willing to register with them (also free). The white paper contains all the background data and research that the following conclusions are based upon. If you'd like the white paper, click on the title above the quote or on the image.
Mines the big data behind social media in 2013 in order to make predications for marketing and branding in 2014, using Ad Age's access to powerful data and research tools. Notes that, after reviewing all the data closely, strategies for next year begin to emerge. The conclusions in forecasting the new year are:
Many companies should consider getting outside help with this to maintain a competitive edge. Social media is no longer a part-time enterprise, but a 24/7 full-time occupation. You will see social media marketing departments and outsourcing increase tremendously in 2014. Marketers need to adapt
- Marketers must ramp up their social media strategies to be competitive, and they need the newest technologies to efficiently govern and pull data from complex campaigns that use multiple social networks and involve more than one department in the organization.
- Social media now represents one of the cores of a brands' marketing strategy, no longer a side note or auxiliary resource.
- In order to be competitive in the marketplace, organizations must expand staffing and management for social media, as the needs will be larger in the coming year.
, utilizing new technology to get beyond the surface "likes" and "follows" to gain more data to empower their marketing. The technology needs to dig deeper into what's happening in a company's social media.
In this sense, many company's will be playing catch up in 2014 if they do not fully prepare immediately. Interested? Click the title or image to read on. Source is AdAge.com You might also enjoy:
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9 Steps to Creating Good Content for Your Brand [INFOGRAPHIC]
Content marketing is a key element of today’s marketing landscape. It’s vital to create and share valuable free content in order to attract customers and turn them into repeat buyers and brand evangelists.
Mines the content marketing strategy that produces material connected the the products you sell, educating and promoting at the same time in order to develop a trusting relationship.
Notes that the steps that should be taken in this process of producing brand content engagement include:
- Locating solid sources of content from various places including books and web resource. Keep track of these awesome sources so that you can use them again.
- Performing a lot of reading and research to help find content and to expand your knowledge base in your topic areas. Influencer know the material pertaining to their subject. Read daily.
- In your reading you will encounter pieces that you connect with but are maybe not ready to write about. Collect these for writing later.
- Regular writing and editorial meetings will help align all team members on the same page so that your content heads in a consistent direction. Brainstorm together topic and title ideas.
- The writing is not going to get accomplished if you and your employees do not have deadlines to motivate them. Ensure that everyone abides by the deadlines.
- Once you have met with colleagues, read, taken notes, and refined ideas, it is time to write. Make the writing engaging by starting with an anecdote or story to illustrate your point. Focus on solving issues and problems for your readers.
- Your great content will be worthless if the writing is tainted with mistakes. Read and re-read closely to ensure that all is technically correct. Get other readers to help you check this.
- Continue reading in your niche area.
- These steps are created so that you can repeat them over, continuing to create solid content.
Interested? Click the title or image to read on. Source is Social Media Today.com You might also enjoy:
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Research: The Emotions that Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral
We’re all well aware of the fact that marketing is shifting from a landscape where marketers can utilize mass media to speak at consumers, to one where marketers are simply part of the crowd themselves. The bullhorn of radio, television, print and other one-way interruptive marketing approaches are quickly losing efficacy. So how do you get your brand noticed?
Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski
The secret of social virusesA virus spreads and infects easily.
Mines the mayhem of traditional marketing strategies which are mere noise in the market place, in order to investigate what makes current marketing content go viral. Notes that the ideal may be to publish more rocking content, but some businesses have the problem that their content does not attract a mass following. Viral marketing has sufficient positive results that one should investigate and figure out how to make content go viral. The advantages include:
- Cutting through the advertising and media noise in the marketplace
- Generating enormous exposure of your brand for free
- Creating optimum levels of social and community engagement through "sharing, and brand interaction" which elevates brand recognition to new levels
- Maximizing organic search traffic
- Advancing engagement between your brand and the public
Because of these huge gains, it's important to understand which human emotions drive content to the viral level.
The emotions and the ways to target them are simplified into 3 lessons:
- Lesson 1 - Generate a minimum level of viral power by writing a gripping title, engaging strong "emotional drivers" that cause people to feel and share, and constructing content that hits the ideal emotions in the consumer. These emotions are captured in the image below, with the most important showing the highest level of heat.
Anticipation, surprise, trust, and joy resonate most powerfully with viewers.
- Lesson 2 - Link your brand to a message that targets these key emotions. Consider closely how your brand is connected to other topics that resonant with your target audience. Finding related topics will help those whose brand does not immediately generate viral content.
- Lesson 3: Keep in mind the good of the public. There is a lot of viral content that does nothing to empower or improve the community, but your brand will do much better if it rises above other viral content in this regard.
In sum, to grab the interest of people you have to create content that values
the time of consumers and targets
the appropriate emotional investment. Interested? Click the title or image to read on. Source is Blogs.HBR.org You might also enjoy:
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Google+ Update Aims To Raise The Profile Of Web Writers
Google+ launched two new features it said will help writers and other publishers get more attention on Google News and search.
Google + update to help writers.
Mines the TechCrunch Disrupt conference announcement by Google that Google+ is adding new features for Wordpress and Typepad users. Notes that while the new features are for Wordpress and Typepad users, they are looking to expand to other platforms: About.com, WikiHow, SkillPages, and Examiner.com. The changes include:
- Google+ Sign-In feature will create a connection between posts and the author's Google+ account. The author and her information will be listed in Google News and search, increasing visibility.
- As with Twitter and Facebook, Google+ will now allow webpages to embed public updates in blog posts and other websites. Other visitors can track the original update, accessing the +1 and comment features. This will tie conversation streams together, wherever the tool is embedded.
Both advancements are substantial, but users outside of Wordpress and Typepad are wondering
how long they will be left out. Interested? Click the title or image to read on. Source is ReadWrite.com You might also enjoy:
Before you leave, let us know how important you feel G+ is within big 4 of social media.
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7 Marketing Trends You Should Not Ignore
Marketing has been democratised. The capability to use marketing tools and technology without having to beg or pay for attention is unprecedented. It’s a time where you can now build your own crowd to market and sell to without paying the mass media gate keepers.
Changing technology evolves marketing.
Mines the changes and trends that social media and technology force upon marketing, with company's having to adapt to survive. Notes that such changes in marketing have never been so monumental because the revolution is on multiple fronts: software, hardware platforms multimedia and multi-networks. Marketing adapts as quickly as the technology, and the most successful stay ahead of the curve.
Among the most significant current trends are:
Interested? Click the title or image to read on. Source is JeffBullas.com You might also enjoy:
- The heightened role of content marketing. Content marketing is vast, moving a brand across blogs, social media, and other venues. This kind of marketing is most effective, but it is also labor and intensive.
- The shifting of platforms to mobile marketing. The overwhelming increase in use of smart phones and tablets has forced marketers to adapt to distributing content on small as well as large screens. Many websites are reporting rapid increases in mobile traffic up to 30 -40%.
- The integration of all forms of digital marketing. Both content and social media are supremely important, and to be effective they need to be integrated company wide rather than housed in the marketing department.
- Scaling marketing through social media. Maintaining a social presence is complex and many are using marketing professionals to help them navigate and optimize. The ideal is to have one tool to handle the complexities including integration.
- Marketing continuously through social media and content. Google recognizes and approves of frequent activity and publication. If you are not found continuously, more than likely you won't be found at all.
- Personalized marketing approaches as opposed to mass messages of old. Sites are becoming more savvy at using big data to tailor messages for individual consumers. This trend will grow quickly as big data analysis becomes faster and easier.
- Visual marketing in the form of photos, videos, slideshows, and infographics. Not only is visual marketing expanding but is diversifying. Pinterest, Vine, and Instagram are among the disruptive visual technology employed in marketing, cutting into the Youtube market.
Before you leave, let us know how you see marketing currently shifting and changing.
Customers Expect SOCIAL in Your Social Media Leadership
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by an Italian newspaper regarding online marketing and social media best practices. Since most of our readers probably missed that one, I figured I’d share my answers here.
Today, customers expect social media.
Mines the nature of entrepreneurialism, marketing, and social media, basing his discussion on his bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy, with no grad school. He emphasizes the fact that grad school isn't necessary for everyone. Notes that he has been CEO three times and like all tenacious entrepreneur's has had successes and failures. The secret is to learn and adapt quickly, trying never to make the same mistake twice, and the #1 rule is to have fun with what you are doing. If your approach to social media is to advertise and broadcast, your approach will fail because your prospects today are looking to engage, interact, and learn to trust. Overt marketing will be ignored as suspect. Potential clients want to have back and forth conversations and relationships. If you don't engage them in conversation, they will find it in your competitors. The connections you make with clients will bring a sale once a relationship of trust has been established. Social media is fragmenting, and consumers are following. More often than not, potential clients are on one or more of the big 4 platforms, but probably on Pinterest, Friendster, or Pinterest as well.
On these multiple platforms, customers should find you talking, teaching, showing, adding value,
and demonstrating that there is a real person behind the helm. With this goal in mind, essential to your success will be:
- Pinpoint your corporate values and ethics, and align your social media work with them. A mission statement is essential.
- Practice open, transparent leadership throughout your whole organization or social will not function.
- Be sure to line up numbers one and two with your overarching corporate strategy and plan.
- Tone down social media in the marketing department, and make the shift to integration throughout all the departments in the company.
- Pick up a Chief Social Strategist to work with all departments, striving to make this integration work. The value is worth the cost.
- Do not forget blogging. Blogs are one of your most powerful social media tools. Who are you writing to in your blog? It should be your target audience, with their specific needs and wants in mind. If not, you are attracting people, but not clients.
Click the title or image to read on. Source
is SwitchandShift.com You might also enjoy:
Before you leave, let us know what items we have missed in calculating a social media strategy.
Why Things Catch On: The Science of Why People Share
Do you want to understand the science behind why people share? During this fascinating interview I explore these very concepts. To learn the reasons why people widely share content, I interview Jonah Berger for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.
Social media gone viral.
Mines the case study of Jonah Berger's book Contagious: Why Things Catch On Berger is a scholar who was motivated by Gladwell's Tipping Point, to discover why, scientifically, people share in social media. Notes that Jonah became interested in what made ideas go viral because of the knowledge that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. He bases his science of why things go viral on his background in hard sciences like math, chemistry, computer and material science. So he intended to apply hard science to the social science of media sharing because in reading Gladwell's book he noticed that little research had been done.
He started with the idea that some content performs at a much higher level, and it's not
because of luck, nor is it merely random. After 10 years of research, Berger's team discovered principles that psychologically motivate sharing:
- Social currency: people like to feel that they are special in receiving an item, an email, or even an idea that others do not. But, the people only gain social leverage if others know they have it. So, sharing with family and friends demonstrates that they received something special and unique.
- Triggers: certain words, smells, sights, and sounds cause people to think of related products. So, the smell of peanut butter might make you purchase some jelly. Or the sound of French music might motivate you to buy French wine.
- Stories: people are moved by and remember stories, so building a brand story makes people more likely to share it. Story is the medium humans use to share information with one another. Compose a good story, and people will share it.
- Emotion: consumers are powerfully persuaded by their feelings, and by tapping into to the right ones, through story, advertisements, videos, newsletters, etc., you make the content more sharable. The emotion does not always have to be a positive one either: anger, used correctly, becomes a powerful motivator for people to share.
- Practical value: consumers are persuaded powerfully by the practicality of a product: ease of use, efficiency, time saving, headache alleviating. If the product is potently practical, people will share it.
All of these motivators operate on the psychological level of consumers, and they are almost always unaware
of what has influenced their impulse to share. Marketers, however, knowing these principles, can supercharge word of mouth advertising. Interested?
Click the title or image to read on.
Source is SocialMediaExaminer.com You might also enjoy:
Before you leave, let us know how you see these motivators used by advertisers. Does the knowledge of this make you rethink whether to purchase and share?
4 Reasons Why Google+ is a Killer B2B Social Media Platform
Most of our B2B clients have staked a claim on Google+, but they don’t invest in it. Why? Because they consider it a ghost town. They say Google+ is irrelevant. They invest in Facebook and Twitter and (more and more) in LinkedIn.
4 Simple Reasons You Need Google Plus.
Mines the current trend that has brought Google Plus to second place behind Facebook in social media, and why you should be using Google in blogging and marketing.Notes that The Global Web Index places Google Plus at number two of the big 4 social media platforms, with 343 million users.The circles that organize who you follow allows you to group people and businesses according to kind or any criteria. This allows for more effective target marketing, as you can share different messages with different people.
It's no secret that Google Plus performs at the highest level in organic searches, providing higher ranking for your targeted messages and keywords. Google freely admits this, and Chairman Eric Schmidt says "The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance."
Google has a clear vision for the long-term and plans to integrate all of its different apps and tools into interconnected, massive social networks. It will inevitably dominate social media in addition to search, in an integrated manner.Interested? Click the title or image to read on.Source is SocialMediaB2B.comYou might also enjoy:Let's see what you think: Do you use Google Plus, and if so how? Are you a Google hater?
Online Visibility – Is There a Fast Path to Building Your Presence on the Web?
Not surprisingly, when clients sign on to mentor with me, they’re often looking for a fast path to building online visibility.
Is it possible to supercharge your site quickly?
Mines the impulse you feel to draw in tremendous traffic quickly, and suggests that this is achievable if you bear in mind that it requires extra effort to attain extraordinary results. Generally persistence over the long term brings success.Notes that going beyond the ordinary must include increasing your content output daily, but many different mediums make this task interesting. Content includes many activities other than writing blog posts, including: audio and video, creation of unique images including infographics, updates on social platforms, slide casts and presentations, chats, Google Plus hangouts, and webinars.To increase content output start with producing blog posts (in various media) more often. To establish authority and web presence focus on your website's keywords and locate and follow both your target audience and influencers.Influencers within your field, can be a huge asset even if they might be competitors because they tend to follow those who seek them out and can increase your visibility quickly.
For SEO and ranking, you must now be active with a Google Plus profile, and you can also get involved in communities there that focus on your key words.
You will find power in using videos and webinars or teleseminars
as they provide unique content that readers are generally interested in, oftentimes more so than traditional blog posts.
If you can work it into your budget, spend a little bit of money on Facebook to promote your page, website, and specific posts
. Focusing the ad on site promotions is an excellent idea to engage longterm followers and clients.
Choose among these ideas the ones that suit you the best and focus on them consistently
. This is the key to success, and you can achieve it quickly.Interested? Click the title or image to read on.Source is DeniseWakeman.comYou might also enjoy:
What strategies do you currently use to draw in traffic? What have I missed here?