Bethany

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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 

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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:

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)…

Entrepreneurs = GENIUS

In General on November 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

Entrepreneurs = Genius.

That’s the equation lesson for this week… Global Entrepreneurship Week.  Now, before we get started on the reasons why Entrepreneurs are genius, you have to understand why entrepreneurship is important – especially to the United States.

Did you know that Entrepreneurs/Small Businesses drive the U.S. economy by providing jobs for over half the nation’s private workforce?  The Office of Advocacy funded data and research shows that small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all firms, they create more than half of the private non-farm gross domestic product, and they create 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs.

Pretty phenomenal, huh?  And today is designated as National Entrepreneurship DAY!   Plus, what makes it extra special (and relevant) to Kansas City is that the Kauffman Foundation is the U.S. organization behind the Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The President of the United States and his Administration have sent a strong signal in support of the entrepreneurs who power the national economy. They announced November 19th as National Entrepreneurs’ Day in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week. The effort to claim the day was spearheaded by the Grasshopper Entrepreneur Movement. The Kauffman Foundation is the U.S. organization behind Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs from Nov. 15 to 21. (kauffman.org)

Get this, last week  Fast Company wrote that Kansas City was one of the BEST places for a STARTUP, to boot.

The willingness of entrepreneurs who have been successful to come to the table and help people at the very earliest stages when there is nothing in it for them is also unique. They embrace the idea that helping entrepreneurs is good for everyone in the world really, but certainly in a regional ecosystem, is more pervasive and widely held here than almost any other city on the planet. Part of that is because so many of those entrepreneurs were helped along the way.

Beginning in February, entrepreneurs will descend upon KC’s version of a startup incubator: Kauffman Labs, which is paying entrepreneurs for up to six months while they build out their startups!

Okay…enough on how awesome Kansas City is for entrepreneurs…on to why Entrepreneurs are like Einstein…GENIUS.

(Entrepreneur Magazine)

So, there ya have it.  If you know are an Entrepreneur… Keep up the great work!  And if you know anyone who is, tell them “Happy Entrepreneur Day!”

(Here’s another great article to read about Entrepreneur Week/Day: Hail the Entrepreneurs)

 

 

Social Media Case Studies

In Strategy, Trends on November 5, 2010 at 6:30 am

To be successful, we study those who have demonstrated success.  Same principle applies to social media…so here we are, checking out some of the top companies that have proven social media strategies that work.  :-)

The following list of case studies came from a recent edition of SocialMedia.org’s Big List.

AT&T is partnering with game startup SCVNGR to launch a social game-based reward program with goofy challenges that let users win points for redemption at the carrier’s stores. >> MediaPost

With a heavy use of social media, Groupon’s recent Gap offer proved to be its most successful yet. The campaign utilized Twitter’s “Earlybird Offers” special of the day and Gap’s Facebook “Likers” to relay the offer. >> ClickZ

Using special bracelets that transmit RFID signals, Coca-Cola is integrating Facebook’s “Like” feature in real life. >> AdLand

As a part of Quaker Oats’ new campaign, “Does your breakfast make you amazing?” they’re teaming up with the co-host of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Bob Harper to engage Facebook fans in a dialogue about their breakfast. >> Brandweek

Carnival Cruise Lines is the first in the cruise industry to launch a Facebook application that allows users to engage their social network in their vacation planning when shopping for cruises. >> MediaPost

NASA is using their blog to feature a contest to choose the playlist for their wake up anthems during their next voyage. >> NASA Blog

The Boston Celtics’ Senior Director of Sales and Marketing Operations, Matt Griffin, discusses the success of the Celtics Facebook application game in growing their e-mail database. >> DMNews

Puma’s new social ad campaign features a 60 second spot and a microsite that blends both Puma-created content and user-generated content. >> Puma

Ford’s unconventional virtual unveiling of the 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook resulted in a larger increase of customer engagement than other automakers’ top Super Bowl ads. >> MediaPost

Monique Kumpis, Hyundai’s Experiential Marketing Manager, discusses how Hyundai’s “Uncensored” testimonial campaign is rooted in social media. >> ClickZ

What’s your social media success story?

Check out the following Kansas City area businesses:
435 South Magazine
The Studio 56
Gail’s Harley-Davidson
TCOY Wellness
Lockton Companies
American Red Cross – KC
Hallmark
Scooter’s Coffeehouse
Big Brothers Big Sisters
FruitToWellness
(Launching Soon!)

Marketing Lessons from Halloween

In General on November 1, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Everything you need to know about marketing…you already learned yesterday, on Halloween.

Okay, it might sound a little strange…just “read” me out.

On Saturday night, a few friends and I were chatting about Halloween…and before we knew it, we were all sharing ideas on what would make it fun for the kids….AND adults!  Which then lead to a conversation about Halloween as a kid…and sure enough, we all remember “certain” houses that gave the BEST treats, as well as the LAME ones too.  Oh and the costumes we chose to wear (or were forced to wear), haha!

Anyway…today I was thinking of how marketing fits into Halloween.  Let’s look at the 4 C’s vs. the 4 P’s of Marketing:

  1. Consumer Wants & Needs (vs. Product) – Knowing our audience, it’s safe to say that they want an exciting, tasty treat…and it’s those BIG candy bars that typically get kids excited (or glow sticks, which is a better compromise with parents on “tooth-brush”).
  2. Cost to Satisfy (vs. Price) – Our audience hasn’t earned enough allowance yet to afford much, and some are just learning to walk.  So, free is the cost…just as long as they dressed up and ask for the treat.
  3. Convenience to buy/ask (vs. Place) – A well lit house within the “consumer’s” neighborhood would be ideal.
  4. Communication (vs. Promotion) –  The kids will be your promotion.  Word of mouth starts at a young age, haha…and kids don’t talk…THEY SHOUT!  (Several kids ran from our house shouting “Look!  They gave me the BIG kind!”)

Also – check out these other lessons that can be learned from the holiday:

From Michael Stelzner, Halloween Marketing Lessons :

  • If you want someone knocking on your door, turn on the light.
  • Be prepared to give something away.
  • Engage visitors, and they will love you.

From Paul Williams, of MarketingProfs:

  • When it comes to Haunted Houses, the more attention to detail you put into it, the better and more believable the experience is for guests. The same applies to your business. Pay attention to delivering quality at every customer touchpoint, and the more they’ll believe you’re a great brand.
  • The best scary movies have music to build suspense and fear. What soundtrack plays at your business?
  • If your plan is to scare kids on your front porch, you’ll have much better success if you keep your mask on and stay in character. Same thing applies to front-line employees, while customers are present, they need to stay in character as the “friendly, happy, sweet salesperson.”
  • Being “friendly, happy, and sweet” isn’t enough. Employees need to be genuine. Just like Halloween candy, too much artificial sweet will upset stomachs.
  • Every day is Halloween at your business. Characters of all shapes and sizes (some scary) come to your door looking for treats. If you don’t deliver, the trick is they won’t return.

Social Buzz Media, other highlights:

  • Know your audience, know their taste…and be prepared to deliver the tastiest content that gets raved about (and maybe shared, haha).  Some of my friends’ neighbors turned their front yard into a place for kids to play games, while the adults enjoyed a cider & helped kids toast marshmallows over the fire.
  • Take an interest in your audience & compliment them on their personal branding (attire).
  • Give people an option, but not too many: i.e.  TRICK or TREAT?  LOL

Can you think of any other marketing lessons you learned from Halloween?  :-)

Going Viral the Neuro Way…

In Strategy, Trends, Video on September 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

Psychology and the study of human potential are two topics that FASCINATE me.  Recently, I was reading a study done by OTOInsights, which looked at user-created content (video & flash animation) from a neuromarketing standpoint.  And as we all know, video is a hot trend in the social media world.  Videos create that connection for a user to a brand or person.

However, the intriguing part…why do some videos go viral, while most do not?   Well, this study gauged the emotional engagement of viewers and then compared the data to actual content ratings (see chart).

Here is a summary of the major findings from OTOInsights:

1. Traditional evaluation methods are insufficient for explaining and interpreting emotional response to digital media.

2. Setting expectations prior to content viewership encourages positive ratings and engagement.

3. Viewers encourage and respond positively to emotional content.

4. Empathy and appeal are key strategies for promoting positive emotional response and engagement.

Based on these findings, the report suggests the following steps to better optimize content:

1. Measure for emotion and engagement during the media’s development to help predict viewer response on release.

2. Carefully craft metadata to promote the media while also setting accurate expectations of its content and style.

3. Provide emotionally rich content but ensure emotionally satisfying conclusions are possible.

4. Empathize with viewer’s personal histories or appeal to the interests and culture of their micro-community to promote positive response and engagement.

For the full report – OTOInsights UGC Report

 

Applying Coach Wooden’s Principles to Social Networking

In General, Strategy on June 12, 2010 at 5:36 am

Coach John Wooden.  Wow, what an incredible man who truly touched people’s lives.  :)

The former UCLA basketball coach and Basketball Hall of Fame member (both as Player & Coach) recently passed away on June 4th at the age of 99.  He will be most remembered for his humanity, the life lessons he shared, and the legacy he left behind.   

Coach Wooden was a wise man who shared the list of  “Seven Things to Do (in life),” which his father gave him when he was young.  Mr. Wooden had told John, “Son, try to live up to these things.”  

We should do our best to do the same in life.  And, these principles happen to fit smoothly into the social networking setting…where it’s all about relationships.

1.  Be True to Yourself – Be the best you, rather than a second-rate version of someone else.  Now, more than ever, it is crucial to your career success to be transparent and authentic online.  Various social networking tools allow you share your knowledge, passions, experience, and personality with others…which accelerates relationships, as well as the buying cycle (know, like, trust, try, buy, refer). 

Tips for being true to yourself, from Coach Wooden:
-Be self aware
-Understand your values
-Be honest with yourself

2. Help Others – Yes!  We’ve all heard “give to receive” and “what goes around comes around.”  And truly, giving is the most ‘selfish’ thing you can do because of how much will come back.  Helping others is exactly what your mission is online (offline too).  

Ways to help others online:
– Share valuable content & tips
– Answer questions
– Connecting others to the right people
– Give aways (free ebooks)
– Refer & promote others 

3. Make Each Day Your Masterpiece – Time is so precious.  To make every day your best day, it is best to plan your days, deciding what’s important, and doing everything to the best of your ability.  Coach warned “never mistake activity for achievement.” 

Ways to create a Masterpiece day, online:
– Plan how much time & what activities (be mindful)
– Share your best content
– Leave meaningful comments
– (see #2)

4. Drink deeply from good books – Absolutely!  Leaders are readers, and readers are leaders, right?  Well, social media allows you to read LOTS of information.  Watch what links/articles people are sharing & read those.  Set up your Google Alerts to get notified when any keyword/phrase gets mentioned in the news, blogs, discussions, etc.  (like a free research assistant).  You can also read LOTS of free e-books & regular books online.

5. Make friendship a fine art – Your family and friends are the key to success in life, and do require work.  Yes, this principle fits like a glove with what social networking (LinkedIn & Facebook especially) is about – communicating with people & building/growing relationships.  Coach Wooden said, “Friendship comes from mutual esteem, respect & devotion.  A sincere liking for all.”   We are all in the H2H business…Human to Human.  Value people.

6. Build a shelter against a rainy day –  Mr. Wooden was talking about the shelter being your health, finances, emotional well-being, and family/friends.  Of course, family & friends would be the top shelter priority.  In the online world, it’s important to have a strong network, so if a rainy day comes (job loss or someone talks negatively about you or your company), you have a group of people who will help and/or defend you (or hand you an umbrella, hehe). 

7.  Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day –  Personally, I’m all about this one!  And, social media wise…guidance can be found within your network & in forming new relationships.  Just post a question on LinkedIn, or in a status update, and within a day you’ll have plenty of advice and tips on that question. 

Finally, we are all so blessed – considering that you obviously have a computer, know how to use it, can read, etc.  And BIGGER yet…I feel blessed with the people who have come into my life via social networking sites.  Amazing how just one person/connection can change your life.  :)  Everyone has had one of those “life changing” people in their life.

Thanks, Coach Wooden. 

“Stay faithful, finish strong.”

Company TWEETS itself to $6.5 million in sales – What!?!

In Strategy, Trends, Twitter on December 11, 2009 at 6:45 am

Ahh, the sound of birds chirping, all the way to the BANK!  Hope your company has a 2010 social media plan … and is open to employees “tweeting”  while they work…

Dell Tweets Itself $6.5 Million in Sales

(CMS Wire) Who says Twitter is a waste of time while you’re at work? At Dell, they aren’t saying this after the company said they earned US$ 6.5 million on sales of computers on Twitter. The US computer manufacturer uses Twitter to reach out to perspective customers by offering promotions and deals on computers, accessories, software and more.

As noted by Bloomberg, Dell’s number of followers on Twitter has risen 23% over the last quarter and now is hovering around 1.5 million followers. How does Dell do it? The company has around 100 employees sending out tweets across 35 different Twitter accounts, by business segments.

While the US$ 6.5 million is only a small fraction of the US$ 61.1 billion in overall sales last year, using Twitter to generate revenue in the millions is a step forward for social media marketing and shows the outreach potential of the “social web”.

Entrepreneurs: 10 Social Networking Sites

In General, Strategy on November 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

In light of Global Entrepreneur’s Week, and the Entrepreneur’s Expo in Kansas City this weekend…here are the Top 10 Social Networking Sites for Entrepreneurs (from Mashable). Each are great resources and offer guidance to those wanting to start and/or grow their business.

1.  Entrepreneur Connect:  Started by Entrepreneur Media (which creates Entrepreneur Magazine), this social site focuses on entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to share ideas.

2.  PartnerUp:  When you’re searching for people and resources for specific business opportunities, this is a great site.   Includes a directory for small-mid sized businesses to promote services.

3.  StartupNation:  Entrepreneurs will be better prepared for business decisions after hanging out at this site.  SUPER content – articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts!

4.  LinkedIn:  Brand yourself as an expert, find partners, start a group, network… join “On Startups” group (over 54,000 members)

5.  Biznik:  This isn’t another “LinkedIn” -Freelancers, CEOs, and the self-employed are on here.  This is a place to share ideas.

6.  Perfect Business:  Talk about meeting people! – serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries hang out here.  Plus there are videos to learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center!

7.  Go BIG Network:  Find funding sources, service providers and more.  (Great for job seekers)

8.  Cofoundr:  Made up of idea makers, entrepreneurs, programmers, web designers, investors, freelancers and executives.  Primary focus of  this strictly private network is to start a new web venture.  (Must have college or work email address to join)

9.  The Funded:  Here entrepreneurs  research, rate and review funding sources – which helps in finding good investors.

10.  Young Entrepreneur:  The site for young, interested entrepreneurs to learn more about a range of topics regarding business & entrepreneurship.

BONUS: The Rise To The Top –  This is a personal favorite of mine.  David Garland (super guy!) is the founder and host of  the #1 Show For Young-And-Young At Heart Entrepreneurs. In 2010, they are launching a brand new 5-day-a-week web show with tips, tricks and resources for entrepreneurs to build killer businesses and market them like champions.