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Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

2012: Five Social Media Trends

In Trends on June 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Can you believe half of the year is already over?!  It gets me thinking about what’s in store for 2012, in the social media realm – for business and society.

In glancing at the first page of Google search results, the following were most consistent across the board.

1. Different interaction with search engines
Relevant content from our personal networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, blog results and user reviews, will be pushed to the front of the search results of Google search, which makes them more personalized. The importance of digital-influencer marketing will increase significantly.

2. Shifting in privacy expectations
We will find it increasingly more acceptable to expose more personal details of different forms of social media. The norm will be to share your likes, dislikes, photo’s, video’s, opinions and other forms of personal information. Personalized experiences that react on the personal information, both corporate and personal, will become more accepting.

3. Decentralization of social networks
Most digital experiences will be able to leverages your available personal information from the social networks and the relationships you’ve established. The concept of a friend network will be a portable experience. An example at this moment is Facebook Connect and Google’s FriendConnect.

4. Content aggregators to the rescue
The amount of content online is growing at an exponential rate. To manage all this influx is challenging. Content aggregators will be the help from above, providing us with bitesize chunks of information, plucking it from all over the Internet. Filtering and managing content will be big business for those who can get it right and offer easy-to-use services.

5. Linking social media to reality
Openly accessible information from the social-media space will be used to enhance everyday experiences. For example: the contacts book in your phone links to Facebook and Twitter to show real-time updates on what the contact is doing before you put in the call and socially enabled CRM will change the way companies manage business relationships forever.

This list will hopefully give you in some way a prospective of the future of social media and how it will affect yourself and/or your company. The bottom line is that share of voice, point of view and community influence will be more important than brand ownership. You will have to embrace the upcoming trends, or you will be left behind.

Full article: Social Media Trends 2012 

Royal Buzz

In General, Trends on April 29, 2011 at 5:17 am

The Royal Wedding.  Since that is what everyone is buzzing about right now, especially in the U.S., figured this might be fun to share.   From Mashable:

With hours to go until the Royal Wedding, online buzz surrounding the big event has surpassed the chatter that surrounded the Egypt uprising and the Japan earthquake.

New stats gathered and analyzed by Webtrends reveal that the world simply can’t stop talking about the Royal Wedding (not that you needed us to tell you). According to the web analytics company, people have sent 911,000 tweets in the last 30 days, or just a little more than 30,000 tweets per day, which accounts for 71% of the buzz Webtrends tracked. For comparison, there were approximately 217,000 Facebook status updates and 145,000 blog posts about William and Kate’s big day.

And while you may think most of the social buzz surrounding the royal nuptials is coming from the UK, think again. Webtrends says that a whopping 65% of tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates are coming from the U.S., while 20% are coming from the UK. Canada is in third place with a mere 2.6% of social media buzz. This matches stats from Nielsen, which also says that the U.S. is the #1 source of Royal Wedding chatter.

Check out this infographic for more Royal Wedding stats:

Note: this infographic is split into two parts.

Social Media, Part of Overall Marketing Strategy

In Strategy, Trends on April 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Isn’t amazing how far we’ve come with our perceptions of social media from even 3 years ago?  At first, many companies and individuals hesitated – thinking it might just be a fad.  Now… to read that more than 90 percent of companies plan on increasing their social media budgets throughout 2011…WOW!

With more companies focusing on their online presence – it’s important to remember to keep social media part of your overall marketing strategy.  Audiences still need to ‘experience’ your brand and people in a ‘real,’ in-person way too.  What is your message and voice?  Who do you want to engage with?  What are they interested in? How will you integrate your offline and online marketing efforts?

Here’s a quick snippet from PR.com…

Atlanta, GA, April 20, 2011 –(PR.com)– More than 90 percent of companies will increase their social media marketing budgets in 2011, according to one social media guest expert on the “Commercial Real Estate Show.”

With an estimated 650 million users on Facebook and another 90 million on Twitter, companies are willing to spend more money than ever to reach key audiences through social media. Shama Kabani, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group and author of “The Zen of Social Media,” said companies that are successful with social media are integrating it into their overall marketing strategies.

“Social media is not a stand alone,” Kabani told radio show host Michael Bull. “You don’t just have a Twitter account, you don’t just have a Facebook fan page, it has to be a part of a bigger structure.”

Recruiting College Students via Social Media

In General, Strategy, Trends on April 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

Recruiters know that communicating through social media is like breathing, to the younger generation.  Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Youtube are all being used to promote and engage material.  So why not recruit college students using those sites as tools?

Here are a few suggestions to attract and interact with college students entering into the job market:

1.  Make it Personal – Let the audience know who’s behind the social media account (writing the posts).  You want college students to be able to relate to a PERSON at your company.

2. Keep it Real – Allow other employees at your company to tell why they love working there – through video!

3. Deliver Exclusivity – Show “behind the scenes” of what your company does – give the viewers a taste of what a day in the life of a (list position here) is…if that’s something you’re hiring for or someone they will be working with.  Also – share photos and videos from company gatherings/holiday parties/contests/etc.

4. Add Value – Allow students to tweet questions about your company – make it easy for them to reach someone and get an answer.  Share information about the work environment, mentoring programs, advancement opportunities within the company and how they can impact the workplace right away.

5. Stay Ahead of the Curve – Stay up to date on the latest social media trends.  Think about QR codes and specific apps that your company could utilize/create to help the recruiting process.

Check out Mashable for complete article and more suggestions.

What does the Egypt Revolution tell us about Social Media?

In Trends on February 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

Social media is a revolution – and quite powerful, especially in organizing, inciting, and informing during the revolt in Egypt this month.

During the AMP Summit Series event (Washington D.C.), political strategist, Joe Trippi and policy adviser, Amanda Terkel shared their thoughts below about the potential of social media and what makes it so powerful and unpredictable in global policies.

 

  • It replaces the need for a charismatic leader. A cause no longer needs a  champion to attract followers. Certainly, there were a number of noble and courageous protesters (and some not so noble, unfortunately), but there was no single face attached to this revolution. Social media has created the possibility of what Ben Scott calls an “aggregate leader,” where the responsibility of advancing a movement can be dispersed.
  • It’s impossible to control or shut down. The size and speed of a social network are too difficult for a government — or any kind of bureaucracy — to control, said Joe Trippi. Before social media, the seeds of a revolution could be stamped out, but now the seeds can be suddenly sprout up everywhere. The power of social media made certain that the government’s attempt to shut down Egypt’s wireless access would be seen for what it was — a last-ditch effort that could never be sustained. The costs of taking an entire country offline are too substantial, if only for the opportunity costs that arise when consumers and entrepreneurs can’t access the Internet, Scott said.
  • Its effects are “politically agnostic.” There is no overseer that watches over, or brand that is stamped on a grass-roots social network, says Scott.  The best anyone can hope for is a small say in what goes on within it.  Of course, it is still important for institutions to have their say. One of the first things the Egyptian military did after President Hosni Mubarek resigned was create a Facebook page.

Were you surprised by the influence of social media on the Egyptian revolt? Do you feel the effects of social media on social activism are understated or overstated?

Story found at:  SmartBlogs

 

Search Engines Now Paying Attention to “Likes”

In Facebook, Strategy, Trends on February 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

If you’re part of the 50% of Facebook users, signing in daily – there’s a good chance you’re “liking” some of the content you come across  (videos, updates, pictures, pages, etc.).  And of course we enjoy it when other’s like our content too – as it gives us insight into what our audience is interested in.  Well, Google realizes how powerful and relevant this social information is for search results.

As of a week ago, Google, announced they would start placing a greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy.  Same with Microsoft’s Bing.

From “our” business/marketing perspective – this makes sense and we should consider doing the same in our Facebook advertising.  Perhaps, targeting ads based on likes (what the user likes/groups/pages) over interests.

Here’s the article from Marketing Vox:

Microsoft’s Bing has followed Google’s lead last week and tweaked its search algorithm to emphasize social results. Building on a partnership it announced a few months ago with Facebook, it has introduced Liked Results, which promotes links friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Bing is extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by its algorithmic search results to all users in the US, it says in a blog post.

Last week Google announced it would start placing greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy. The reasons for both search engines’ decision to move in this direction are similar: As Bing explains “this is the first time in human history that people are leaving social traces that machines can read and learn from, and present enhanced online experiences based on those traces. As people spend more time online and integrate their offline and online worlds, they will want their friends’ social activity and their social data to help them in making better decisions.”

Liked Results will pull up any publicly liked or shared search results by a fried below the result. “For example, when I was planning a trip to Napa, I wanted to find a great bed and breakfast for my stay,” Lawrence Kim on Bing’s Social Team writes. “A traditional search result showed me a long list of web links and captions, which would take up some time to parse through individually. Fortunately, several of my friends that have been to Napa in the past have liked Churchill Manor. Using Liked Results, the Bed & Breakfast that my friends have liked gets highlighted with their pictures and names – making it easier for me to quickly refine my search and decide where I should stay.”

Changing SEO Strategies

If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. As one example, Jen Lopez, Community Manager at SEOmoz, tells of how one tweet from an unexpected source drove its page’s ranking and traffic.

Targeting By Likes

Also, as more people incorporate Likes and their equivalents into their online activities, marketers are beginning to target their campaigns accordingly. Decanted Wines, for instance, great success with using psychographic targeting based on likes, company marketing guru Jessica Fialkovich tellsMarketingVOX. “With the increasing number of ‘pages’ that are replacing interests, we are starting to phase out targeting by interest and instead focus on likes/pages that would reach the same group,” she says. According to Fialkovich, since implementing the psychographic targeting, the company has seen an increase of click through rates of 150%, increased fans of 75%, and surprisingly a decrease in click through rate cost by 30%.

2010 Social Media Lessons: Business

In General, Q&A, Strategy, Trends on January 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

It’s hard to believe that we’re into 2011 already.  As a business (and individual), it’s valuable to spend some time reflecting on what you’ve learned over the previous year.  In regards to social media, I was thinking about this – and ended up coming across an article from Lyndi Thompson at WebProNews.  She’s done a solid job of summarizing.

9 Thinks Businesses Have Learned About Social Media:

It isn’t free: Social media costs time – a lot of time. If you have someone that is customer focused, understands how to write headlines and reaches out to the right audiences, then you are starting out solid.

Be Creative: Social media isn’t sell media. Be social. Have fun engaging your community, from congratulating them on opening their new business, to commenting on their blog and attending networking events with them.

Have a Team: This isn’t a one person show. Just like customer service everyone needs to be trained and have at least a basic understanding on how to help customers, sell the product as well as assist with customer concerns.

Start with Employees: The people that know how to talk about your brand, company and culture the best are your employees. Treat them as family, acknowledge and appreciate and make them feel as they are an important part of your business. Employees are the first to share with their communities and network their experience with your company and brand.

Listen First: Enough with the megaphone blasting your message to customers and employees. Start by spending some time listening to them instead. Reach out and connect with your customers, employees and fans of your brand and make them feel that they are the center of the conversation.

Customers Turn into Marketers: Customers that feel acknowledged and appreciated are loyal, excited to help and eager to be your brand evangelists, at no charge.

Consistency Matters: Have your pixel pixie help you create a Twitter background that matches your website branding, and a Facebook logo that fits, little things that your graphic deisgner can do to enrich

Connect online then in real life: Find ways to connect offline, have an open house, attend a networking event and then share the experience with your social media communities.

Seek Guidance: Look for someone who understands the tools, language, has experience and passion working with social media to give you an hour or two to give you a tour. Learn about social media management tools, ways to monitor effectiveness, help with content strategy and ways to find your audience.

What else have you learned as a business using social media?  What could Social Buzz Media help you understand better in 2011?  :)

 

RockMelt…my new Internet Browser

In Strategy, Trends on December 30, 2010 at 5:52 am

There’s a new browser in town…  and it has been “rockin'” my online experience for the past couple of months.   :)

And, if you’re like most people, you might be thinking “oh great, another Internet browser…I was getting along just fine with my Chrome, IE or FireFox”….

Well, you’ll be happy to know that ROCKMELT allows you to blend in your social media world too, especially for the Facebook lovers.

Here are a few features:
– Facebook contacts on left side of window
– RSS feeds run down the right side
– Search bar is next to address bar at top
– “Share” button in between address and search bar
– Facebook chat is integrated right into browser
– “Favorites” are at top, under the address bar

Check out this video for the demo:

2011 Marketing Trends: Social Technology

In General, Trends on December 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Definitely agree with Dave Evans, Digital Voodoo co-founder, in regards to one of the MAIN marketing trends in 2011 will still be social technology…though, it will spread to include/involve the whole business – all departments and aspects, not just ‘marketing.’   How is your business embedding social media into various aspects of your business?

As social media has firmly established itself–whether in interest or actual practice–within the marketing and promotional disciplines that power small businesses, a burning issue has emerged: “What happens if the social web turns against me? What if one customer has a bad experience, creates a video, and that video goes viral?” The first part of the answer is found easily by searching the web or consulting any of a number of great social media books or online resources: As a small business, develop a plan to actively listen, to participate and the respond to both the positive and negative conversations that involve your product or service.

logoThat sounds simple in theory, and in many cases it is: Using Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or…whichever of the social media channels and platforms are applicable given your business objectives and customers your marketing team can craft a plan to promote and protect your brand through participation on the social web. The real challenge–and the indicator of the next big trend–arrives with the realization that you can’t directly control conversations on the social web. When they turn negative, it takes more than a response from marketing (alone) to adequately respond.

This reality is the driver of the next big trend: Leading from marketing, it’s the spread of social technology across the entire business so that the entire business acts in support of the marketing-led effort to respond to negative conversations. In my newest book, “Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement” I re-define engagement as a collaborative effort between customers, with the business drawing in employees, suppliers and partners in response to what customers are doing and saying. Customers can and do say some very nice things, but conversations can just as easily turn negative, and for many reasons: One of the most effective techniques in turning negative conversations around is involving these customers directly in the business. When customers have a say in the experience they are less likely to adopt or hold onto a negative view.

The next big trend is therefore using social technology–platforms for customer collaboration, Twitter-like messaging services connecting employees inside the organization, customer-driven support forums, communities that link suppliers, partners and customers together with each other–to improve the core customer experiences and thereby head-off or manage negative conversations, all the while boosting and amplifying the beneficial ones. The technologies involved are all themselves examples of the same sorts of underlying technologies that are now familiar to members of Facebook or LinkedIn, for example, social technologies that have been re-cast and deployed across the larger business organization toward the end goal of creating better outcomes.

Search the web for “social media business engagement” to get an idea of just how real–and just how close–this next trend is.

80% will use Social Media by 2011 But…

In Trends on December 14, 2010 at 6:35 am

Willis Wee of Penn Olson wrote the following article, “80% will use Social Media by 2011 But…”  The question remains, what businesses will make social media part of their budget, and which businesses will have a plan?  :-)

More businesses are using social media for marketing and a steady growth in adoption rate is expected. eMarketer’s predicted that 80% of the businesses (with more 100 employees) will adopt social media for marketing purposes by 2011.

That is 4 out of every 5 businesses. The forecast was based on a dozen of third party surveys accompanied by independent studies on social media trends like consumer usage and companies’ social media involvement. Currently, about three-quarters of businesses are using social media this year.

social-media-graph social-media-budget

Read Full Article (Willis Wee)…

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