(Special Guest Post From Tiffany Torbert from Agency Platform)
The world of online marketing has undergone some major changes in the past year. We’ve been watching as social media underdog Pinterest quickly gained ground. We’ve seen an aggressive political ad war, and watched several IPOs and acquisitions occur. So what’s on the horizon for 2013?
A recent study performed by the Fornaise Marketing group uncovered a disturbing statistic. The study found that 73% of executives are working under the assumption that marketing isn’t driving demand and revenue. This will have to change. As a result, marketing will be playing a more critical role in revenue generation in 2013.
It stands to reason that CMOs and senior executives will be allocating more resources into creating a strong inbound marketing engine in order to generate more interest, traffic, leads, and conversions. This has to happen. Here’s why:
Google Updates are Turning SEO Upside Down
In the past, search engine optimization has been about knowing the tricks of the trade. SEO is rapidly changing. Having the right H1 tag or the right keywords won’t cut it. Overall, SEO has moved further away from on-page SEO. The focus has turned to various components of off-page SEO
Search Has Become More Social
There is a huge positive trend towards the amalgamation of search and social. SEO is evolving into a process that involves creating high quality, original content that can be socially consumed and shared. This is a great development. People will have more access to relevant content and this should make the conversion process much more reliable.
Inbound Marketing Trumps SEO & Other Marketing Strategies
Let’s face it; inbound marketing has more adoption than SEO and other online marketing. Previously, SEO and marketing automation dominated the scene. Unfortunately, this “set it and forget mentality” won’t cut it now. In theory, marketing automation should have been a marketing dream. In reality, this often resulted in content spam and a nurturing process that overwhelmed users with constant marketing messages.
Inbound Marketing Tools and Validation are Widely Available
It’s become much easier to see results from marketing efforts now. We can measure almost every part of the process. There are no more hit and miss strategies. Accountability is a huge reality in revenue generation. As more widgets, gadgets, and devices enter the market, marketers will have to determine how to best use each platform. Applying old models to these new technologies just isn’t possible.
Practitioners are Seeing Results
You can’t argue with facts and figures. Now that we can see results of inbound marketing efforts more accurately, there’s little excuse and no room for fudging. We can now trace the results of every campaign.
This is wonderful and somewhat scary.
There’s no room for argument. Inbound marketing is going to be huge in 2013. There’s no way around it. Marketers will have to adapt or die in the face of this new development.
Inbound marketing is a great way to achieve more conversions and more revenue. We can be sure that we’ll be seeing more developments around this phenomenon as the year progresses.
(This article provided by Agency Platform. Agency Platform provides white Label Inbound Marketing Software that suits for inbound marketing agency that helps to stay on track, share and collaborate, work faster and close more deals. )
Facebook’s introduction of the “subscription” feature for profile pages has blurred certain lines between profile and fan pages for many individuals seeking to leverage social media to build their own personal brand and on-line presence. This is particularly true for many sales people, agents, etc. who are looking to use Facebook as a way to communicate with customers and prospects.
Facebook fan pages were originally created for brands like Coke or Walmart and expanded out to be used by celebrities, organizations, places, and many others. Many individuals who wanted to interact with fans, prospects, and customers also began to create fan pages since it was an effective way of separating their personal Facebook activity from their business or public Facebook presence. In addition, fan pages provided lower barrier to entry in that it did not require the page to “approve” each follower / fan / friend.
Facebook recently introduced their subscription feature as a lightweight way for an individual to share his updates with a larger audience. Similar to fan pages, a follower does not need approval from the page to access updates and the news feed. To many, this seems like an easy way to create a fan page like public news feed without the trouble of creating a fan page.
So, is the subscribe function right for you?
Let’s start by comparing the three options:
Unless you have 5000+ private friends, a standard Facebook profile page will most likely meet the needs for your personal Facebook activities. You can even start to segment your friends and updates (e.g. friends, family, work, etc.). While you should almost always assume that anything you post on Facebook could be made public, it’s the best way to keep your political rants, shopping and listening habits, and pictures of your kid from being easily accessible.
Some issues and thoughts with the subscribe functionality.
- Most individuals prefer to control who can view their personal updates and information. If you are using the “public” news feed on top of your personal profile to communicate with friends, you need to be continually thinking whether the post is for public or “friend” consumption.
- For those that are using it to build their personal brand, you’re missing out on all the benefits that come from a Facebook fan page – most notably reporting, targeting, and the ability to promote and advertise your page. If you DO decide at a later time to create a Fan page, you’ve now got to go through the process of trying to get your subscribers to like your new fan page.
- Some die-hards have taken the approach of managing both a subscription page AND a fan page. See Mari Smith’s Fan Page and Profile Page for an example.
- The biggest challenge this creates is the need to create yet another stream of content for your fans. Do you post the same content to both? You may already be managing your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Blog, etc. feeds. Ask yourself what the incremental value will be for yet another feed.
Finally, there is a growing group of individuals – sales people, agents, employees, customer service representatives – who are looking to Facebook as a way to communicate with prospects and customers. These people are particularly concerned with separating their work and home social streams and some may look to the subscribe functionality to meet that need. There is an argument to be made however, that the dangers to be caused by possibly overlapping personal and work newsfeeds is even greater and could end up damaging either the employee or the company they represent. Fan pages for each employee in conjunction with a well designed social media management platform (SMMP) such as One To One Global’s MessageMaker solution can provide a variety of benefits both for the employee as well as the brand or organization.
As you’re looking to leverage the power of social media, like anything else you’ll find that the tools and features available all have their respective pros and cons. Before you blindly enable a new feature within your Facebook settings, be sure you understand the privacy impacts as well as your goals and challenges with that public news feed.
Like high school, the world of social media can be cruel and quite intimidating for some people. Here are some insightful tips to help find yourself on the top of the social media scale.
Join the issues that will bond your relationship with the popular forums.
Ask yourself, “What do I want out of Social Media?”, “What activities will I benefit the most from?” If you’re a a small business, perhaps this means creating a blog allowing you to communicate with your customers/clients directly. If you are looking to network online with people who share similar interests, a niche social network like Linkedln can be the right place to start. Above anything, it is important to realize that the process of integration may not, and most likely will not, be easy. Popularity is not something you can do in your spare time or when you feel like it, not in the fiercely competitive environment that social media has proved itself to be. The conversation has already started and is well underway. It is your choice to get involved, or not. Just like the first day of school, take a deep breath and go for it.
To ensure you make the team, do your research.
Research what exactly? Your competition. A rich history of experience has guided us to discover how to formulate variables to predict the winners of elections or the outcome of opinion polls. Social media integration is no different. Researching past behavior and platforms that have proven successful can help guide you towards the next flavor of online success. To begin, get a grasp of the landscape to identify where you need to be looking. Think about the different outlets - Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the list is endless… that are most pertinent to your specific space. While the purpose of research is to inform action, it is important to only act in a capacity that inevitably proves worthy to your ultimate goal. Don’t hypothesize on what the leaders in the space would do, experience what they are doing at this moment. Just as you relate to your peers, you must relate to your competition. Get to know them. If there is any secret of success, it’s found in the ability to see things from another’s point of view. Exhibiting a healthy interest in the action of others is an essential ingredient in forming a powerful marketing effort. The average crowd proves more interested in his/her own name than in all others’ combined. But who ever strives for average?
Dress for success.
In the world of social integration, your first impression may very well be your last. Social media is no exception. Today’s norm of split-second clicks leaves no room for the face of your company to be anything short of utterly fantastic. When you run a business online, your website should, in the very least, be well-executed, eye-catching, and easy to navigate. You don’t want to be caught looking like an amateur. What makes a website dynamic? Don’t know where to start? Ask. Rarely do we consider the opportunity we miss as a result of hiding our shortcomings. Sometimes one needs the creativity and skill of a professionally-trained designer to market and promote successfully. Regardless of what your means of original conception might be, a sexy, easy-to-navigate page layout complimented by text markup will win every time against the careless, cringe-worthy sites we’ve all seen before. Instead, spend the extra effort and if need be, dig a little further into your pockets, to create a website that promotes something new and fresh. You will already be starting with the advantage.
Similarly to the shy crowd in the corner, the more introverted of online presences are often overlooked. It can be difficult to network with confidence when you are new to the social media game. If all you do is dream about the success you might one day exhibit, you will sadly most likely miss the opportunities needed to make them. You can continue to come up with endless excuses as to why this moment isn’t right, or the time is too soon to be proactive. But where will that philosophy leave you? Instead, make networking a priority, and confidence an unwavering mindset. The success of your business endeavors directly depends on the network you form with the reputation you create for yourself. Socialize with everyone! Socialize everywhere! And while at first you might have to “fake it ‘til you make it”, this mantra will one day hopefully lead to nothing short of the real deal.
Don’t lie. False guarantees will find you checked off.
While holding a greater vision for your business is valuable, it is more imperative to know your limits and grow in a healthy manner. In social media, companies canno longer be fake and get away with it. People talk, and with the expanse of communication through online forums, liars will not be successful for long. With the fear of being forgotten and ignored comes the temptation to skew or exaggerate one’s abilities. While herding followers using whatever means necessary might appear enticing in the moment, this risky tactic will no doubt lead to a devastating downfall. Worse still, you’ll have only yourself to blame. You don’t have to look very far to see how a liar will inevitably end up in the opinion of their peers. Just as in life, navigating the world of social media starts with respect.
Just as we all navigated high school at one time or another, we now find ourselves in the digital clique otherwise known as social media. If being popular is not going to lead you or your business to the utmost satisfaction then forget it and focus elsewhere — life is too short to be anything but happy. But I think we can all honestly admit being on top feels pretty dang good.
One of the things I love about my iPhone is the ability to quickly take decent quality video and share it. The iPhone does a good job at this out of the box, but there are many video sharing apps out there that provide more flexibility, ease of use, and leverage social media sites to share your creations. To help you select the best one, I’ve created a segmented list of apps based upon how they can be best used.
As part of my research in writing this article, I created a good one page table comparing the apps and their key features. If you’re interested in downloading this PDF, please CLICK HERE.
1. GOAL: Privately share with a single person or a few people.
If you take quick private videos that you want to share with only a few people (e.g. a video e-mail) or perhaps videos that haven’t been edited enough to share to a public crowd, the easiest thing to do is to use the iPhone’s e-mail client (here’s a quick Lifehacker article on how to send video if you’re new to this). You’re limited to less than a minute, but it works across almost all clients and recipients.
If you want to send the physical video file to someone (as opposed to the streaming options I’ll show below), I’ve found a few good notable apps to make things simpler and more powerful.
VideoMail (RECOMMENDED) : A great inexpensive app to fire up, create an video (or an audio or picture) message and easily send to people. It has quality and length default settings and keeps track of the people you send messages to.
MediaSend: If you’ve got multiple pictures or videos that you want to send to someone in one e-mail, MediaSend is useful.
When you send an e-mail with a physical copy of the video attached, you’re always limited to both your e-mail provider, spam filters, and your recipient’s e-mail filter. That’s why using services that store your video file on-line and stream it to your recipients is so beneficial. It’s also easier to further share or post messages if you want to at a later time.
KinKast (RECOMMENDED) : One of the best free video sharing apps out there. The UI is intuitive and very well thought out. It’s one of the few that let’s you easily record and share a video (with no file size or number of message restrictions) to an individual (as well as the social media sites). The free version only stores messages for 30 days and has ads, but it’s a must have. For $5/month you can remove the 30 day restriction and the ads.
Qik: I was one of the early users and lovers of Qik – had it running on my Palm Treo years ago. Qik has gone through many changes since then – most recently being acquired by Skype. The unique thing about Qik is its ability to share LIVE video as well as video chat (similar to Facetime). The video sharing is not as strong as Kincast’s offering – either free or paid. Qik’s free product is limited in that you can only store 25 videos of unlimited length. For $5/month, their premium service allows you to store unlimited videos. I believe that Kincast wins this battle unless you like live streaming.
Thwapr: Thwapr is another option for privately sharing hosted videos. The videos are limited to 5 minutes long, but the service is free and you can store unlimited videos. While it can share via Twitter and Facebook, it’s unique capability is that it can share via SMS (text messages) – without using your personal SMS messages. It doesn’t have an easy way to share via e-mail – one of the product’s big shortcomings. I had spoken and provided feedback on the app earlier this year to the senior management at Thwapr – great group of guys - but they seem to be currently more focused on their business offering.
2. GOAL: Share videos directly to Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube
One of the easiest ways and most common ways that people share video is to post them to Facebook or YouTube. The nice thing about both of these is that you can use privacy settings at either these sites to define who can actually view your message. For example, see this article on how to do this with YouTube. I’ll also group Twitter sharing into this section since it’s the next most established social media site and people often use it for video sharing.
To be clear, our objective is to quickly take a video and post it to one or more of these key social media sites.
Shozu (RECOMMENDED): This inexpensive app ($.99) and web based service allows you to very easily post photos, videos, and text to all your favorite sites with one click. Handles Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and MANY more. A very easy to use and flexible app.
PixelPipe: Very similar to Shozu, but their iPhone app that I have been using for a long time has mysteriously disappeared from the AppStore as of 8/2011. Supposedly, they’re coming out with something new, but there isn’t any detailed information on what they’re doing.
TwitVid: (RECOMMENDED): An excellent free app to easily post videos to both Twitter and Facebook. I wish this app would give you the link to the video it created so you could send the video via e-mail or text – but you have to go to the web site to find that iink.
qTweeter (RECOMMENDED): For those with Jailbroken iPhones, I’d recommended taking a look at qTweeter. It’s a great application that you can quickly open, write an update/tweet or record and send a video to Facebook or Twitter.
3. GOAL: Share videos to A Specific Group Of People (private or public)
Beyond Facebook, there are many applications and networks that have been specifically designed to allow you to host and share video with a group of people — often with better tracking, quality, and a video blog look and feel.
Posterous (RECOMMENDED): Posterous and Tumblr (see next) are very similar. Both allow you to create a public or a private stream/blog that includes video (as well as audio, pics, text, etc.). Between the two, I like Posterous’ UI more and the fact that you’re not limited to video length. In addition, Posterous seems to integrate better with Twitter and Facebook.
Tumblr: Very popular self-blogging site with strong video sharing capabilities. I do like that it allows a single password protected blog (instead of forcing people to sign-up to view a private stream).
SocialCam (RECOMMENDED): Next to Kincast, I think SocialCam has one of the best user interfaces for video recording and sharing. In addition to being able to host and share videos via the SocialCam site, it easily allows you to share the videos to Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr, DropBox, e-mail, and SMS. My only complaint is that it doesn’t address the need for private sharing very well – if someone is following you, they can see all your videos. With a minor change to simply allow for videos not to automatically show up in your ‘stream’ this would be great.
Vlix: A decent alternative application. While it limits you to only 60 seconds per video, the sharing options are powerful (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and it also includes some cool video editing and basic opening / closing titles for personalization. Allows for public and private video feeds as well.
Tout: Think of Tout as Twitter for video. It’s similar to Vlix, except now the videos are limited to only 15 seconds. What makes Tout interesting is that they have some celebrities using it including Jeff Probst, Mitt Romney, Dana White, and others. The 15 second limitation is interesting, but even listening to Probst’s Tout’s, he was often getting cut off mid sentence.
While I’d love to have a single app to use for all things, it really does vary. My top favorites from the list are VideoMail, Kincast, qTweeter, Posterous, and SocialCam. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Kincast. A discussion on video editing on the iPhone will have to be addressed another day!
Please download and play with them and tell me which ones are your favorites (or why you hate mine). Please also let me know if I’ve missed great ones that you use. Happy sharing!
One of the things I love about my iPhone is the ability to quickly take decent quality video and share it. The iPhone does a good job at this out of the box, but there are many video sharing apps out there that provide more flexibility, ease of use, and leveraging social media sites to share your creations. To help you select the best one, I’m writing an article for either SocialMediaToday.com or Technorati with a segmented list of the top new video apps.
As part of my research in writing this article, I created a good one page table in PDF format comparing the apps and their key features. These applications include KinKast, VideoMail, Qik, Thwapr, SocialCam, Posterous, Vlix, Tumblr, and many others. The article should be live soon, but I thought I’d go ahead and post the one pager PDF to my blog for those that have asked for it.
Please let me know if there are any additions or corrections to the table and I’ll update it.
Feel free to download the PDF by clicking this link or the image below:.
Look at your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. news feed. Does it increasingly feel like you’re sitting in multiple rooms with hundreds, if not thousands, of people yelling at you to read their update, click their link, or play their video? The content that you want to read and engage with is usually mixed in spam and unrelated content – often from the same brand or person.
Brands have many challenges to overcome when it comes to social media. They first must convince you to visit, like or follow them and then must deliver a steady stream of valuable content. Socially irrelevant content will most likely result in either a brand’s content being ignored or unliked. At worst, that investment in social media could result in damage to a brand or even a lost customer.
The simple answer to this challenge is segmentation and targeting – a concept which is far from new for marketers. (more…)
Press Release: One to One Global Launches MessageMaker Social, A Social Media Management System For Deploying Large-Scale Social Marketing0
Boston, Mass.—July 27, 2011 – One to One Global, an interactive marketing and social technology firm, today announced the availability of MessageMaker Social™, a social media management system that allows companies to fully leverage the power of social media. MessageMaker Social enables brands to publish, manage and measure highly segmented, localized and targeted content to fans and followers across many social networks.
“As we all spend more and more time on social networks and mobile devices, it is essential for companies to connect with customers through the people, brands and local voices they already know and trust,” said Chris Heitmann, managing director of One to One’s Connect division. “To do so, they need the right infrastructure to manage a large-scale social presence–one that allows them to deliver highly relevant, personalized and localized content.”
Marketers today are facing an enormous problem implementing their social media strategies. Most have learned the value of segmenting their messages across e-mail, print and broadcast but have yet to learn how to localize and segment content across social media networks and as a result are not maximizing their investment in social.
The MessageMaker Social SaaS platform allows companies to:
- ENGAGE WITH RELEVANT CONTENT – MessageMaker Social helps grow fans and followers while increasing engagement by letting marketers target content to specific social interaction points based on geographical, sales rep or product interest.
- ENSURE BRAND INTEGRITY – MessageMaker Social ensures brand compliance and consistency across all your company’s Pages and accounts, while also allowing for dynamic and personalized elements.
- UNDERSTAND ACTIVITY AND ENGAGEMENT – MessageMaker Social’s analytics and reporting capabilities facilitate greater insight into customer and employee activities and provides visibility across all social media channels helping to maximize content, campaigns and connections.
The most recent category to emerge in the social media business software industry is social media management systems (SMMS) and demand for SMMS solutions is exploding. This is due in part to many marketers realizing the need for broad and long-term social media strategies. In fact, nearly four in 10 interactive marketers have already developed a long-term plan, while another 36% plan to in the next 12 months.*
“To remain competitive, it is imperative for today’s enterprise marketers to engage in social at every stage of the customer lifecycle,” Chris added. “Successful social media marketing requires the right message, at the right time, in the right brand voice–to connect with thousands of social endpoints including employees.”
About One to One
MessageMaker Social is a web-based social media management system (SMMS) from One to One Connect, a division of One to One Global. One to One Connect has over 10 years of experience working with companies such as UPS, SunTrust, and Gap Inc., strengthening brand relationships by delivering measurable content, messages and ROI across a broad spectrum of permission marketing channels including social, email, mobile and apps.
One to One Global is an independent interactive marketing and social technology firm with offices in Boston, London, Singapore and Sao Paulo. Founded in 1997, the firm creatively employs digital, mobile and social media along with advanced research services to create meaningful connections between consumers and brands. One to One’s vision is to be the leading Human Experience marketing firm. For more information please visit www.onetooneglobal.com or follow us on Twitter @onetooneglobal53.
MessageMaker Social is a registered trademark of One to One Global, Inc.
*“Accelerating your Social Maturity” Forrester Research Inc., June 2011
Cue online righteous indignation by people with too much time on their hands. Boycott Likeable Media! Boycott Entenmann’s! How DARE they Hashtag surf across such an important topic! How could they be so stupid? The damage that will be done to Entenman’s is irreparable!
Seriously? It’s a tweet, not a tattoo. If you don’t like it, move on to the next one.
Regardless, despite the fact that the tweet was almost immediately taken down along with a twitter update, this resulted in a flood of apologies from Entenmann’s and Likeable Media.
Here’s Entenmann’s statement:
“We are saddened and disappointed that an outside agency handling our social media posted a comment on Twitter associating the Entenmann’s brand with the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. This Tweet does not reflect the values of our company, our associates or the Entenmann’s brand. We have taken immediate steps to make sure the individuals that created this post will not work on our account again. Additionally, we are taking steps to ensure that future tweets reflect our company’s values. We sincerely apologize for this incident.”
And here’s a part of the Likeable Media apology:
We apologized on behalf of the Entenmann’s brand right away, however, as the leader of Entenmann’s social media agency, I would like to personally say I’m sorry if the tweet offended anyone. The truth is, our team was leveraging the trending topics and moving so fast they neglected to see what the hashtag was related to. It was obviously insensitive, and on behalf of the entire Likeable team and our client, Entenmann’s, I’m sorry. Please know that I am working on refining our process to ensure that this does not happen again.
I personally found two things interesting about this whole story:
First, Dave Kerpen from Likeable Media (who honestly did an amazing job responding to all comments and gripes) was basically stating that this was some sort of “mistake” — like a typo that should have been caught or accidentally sending a public tweet vs. a DM. This, as opposed to saying something like, “I’m sorry if some took our tweet the wrong way, we obviously failed to echo the value of the brand and will do better in the future”.
I don’t believe this was a “mistake”. I’m confident that the person that sent this tweet out knew exactly what it was referring to and thought it was creative and clever. Would it have been sent if it required approval by Likeable senior management? By Entenmann’s marketing team? Maybe not. Good marketers should be seeking unique ways to get people excited and read our stuff. I hope that the person responsible for the tweet did not lose their job and was actually given a private “attaboy” for thinking outside the box. Twitter can be a testing ground for concepts and ideas (ideally with client’s approval) — before you spend millions on more expensive wider reaching campaigns.
Second, let’s talk results. This may actually be a case where “Even ‘bad’ press is good press”. A few months ago, there was a similar “scandal”, when Kenneth Cole tweeted, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new Spring Collection is available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo-KC”. This arguably more offensive tweet resulted in thousands of new followers in the first few hours — and a great deal of buzz.
Similarly, Entenmann’s Twitter followers were relatively flat for months and amazingly “suffered” a 35% spike in followers after this disaster. Terrible, huh?
There may actually be some people that were so horribly offended by this single tweet that they will illogically blackmail the brand.
However, I realized that all this talk about Entenmann’s made me remember how much I missed their donuts and will be going out of my way to find them the next time I’m at the grocery store. Since I’m still relatively upset since the jury couldn’t find Casey Anthony guilty, a little comfort food might help.
While I typically try not to use my blog as a “diary”, I felt it was cleansing for me to jot down a quick tribute to my dog Jada whom I painfully had to say goodbye to this past weekend after a 4–5 month battle with cancer.
It’s kind of scary, but next to my wife, parents, and my brothers, I probably spent more time with that dog than anyone else in my entire life. She was always there to play with, take a walk, or just sleep on my armpit on the couch. So, if my readers will indulge me, I wanted to provide a quick tribute list to Jada.
- For affectionately leaning against my leg so hard the first time we met that you almost knocked me over.
- For breaking down a door that first night (when we tried to put you in the basement) because you weren’t going to be left alone when you knew there were people in the house.
- For your ability to spin while holding a stick by your teeth.
- For your bloodhound like incredible hide and go seek skills.
- For accepting your fall in priority from #1 to #2 (after my marriage) and then #3 (with the entrance of my son Kyle).
- For shaking in a way that always made me feel guilty when I screamed at the computer after losing big hands when I played poker on-line.
- For putting up with our new dog, Caesar, as well as my son who both managed to sleep on you, wrestle with you, and drive you crazy in a way I know you loved
- Despite the fact that you were part pit bull, for being probably the worst watch dog that ever lived — even happily jumping in the car of the pizza delivery guy.
- For always being there with a spin and a smile regardless of whether we were gone for 1 hour or 10 days.
- For preparing me to be a father (as far as sacrifice, responsibility, and the ultimate rewards of having someone that relies 100% on you)
- And finally, for never complaining or whining– not once – as you got sicker and sicker to the point where you couldn’t walk or eat.
Rest in peace my puppy.