Future Implications

Social Media (SM) is an ever evolving dynamic medium between a contributor and a receiver. Hence, there needs to be a good blend of evidence based strategies and tactics to keep it functioning smoothly. If not, an organization is set for a bumpy ride. These challenges affect Social Media Bigwigs such as Facebook and Twitter too.

I think the first part of this question, “the social media landscape is continually changing”, is a huge implication for brands. With the social media landscape always changing, it can be very hard to keep up with the trends and very easy to fall behind. What seemed to be “in” then, isn’t “in” now. What I thought was cool, my 13 year old son thought was outdated. “Facebook, no one use that mom,” is what my son told me when I asked him for his Facebook page. Instagram, SnapChat, and Kik is what the millennials use now. Facebook has been able to keep up with the millennials and the latest trends. “Go live” and the meme’s has become very popular for Facebook and has allowed the company to stay in the game.

The beginning of 2014 predicted the death of Facebook. However, towards the end of the year, Facebook recorded:

  • An impressive revenue of 12.47 billion
  • An increase of 58% from 2013
  • Income from operations for 2014 recorded at $4.99 billion
  • The Net income for 2014 was $2.94 billion
  •  Daily active users were 890 million on average for December 2014, an 18% increase from 2013.

How to Lead Change Mangement

Social media will begin helping companies improve inter-office communications. Although thus far, social media has largely been limited to marketing and community building functions, social media is poised to become an office productivity tool, allowing employees to communicate and collaborate via instant messaging, wikis, virtual work groups and centralized message boards. E-mail is becoming obsolete, and even human resources departments are using social media already to communicate with job applicants and streamline the application process. LinkedIn and Twitter are the new ways to recruit and find top talent. Employees are more likely to refer a candidate to the company using social media. Sales teams have begun using social media to communicate with and track customers through the sales funnel (Holmes, 2012)

 

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

Viral marketing is an idea that spreads and that while it is spreading actually helps market your business or cause. Seth Godin’s Blog Going viral isn’t luck or chance. Going viral is simply triggered from content, practical value, and social currency. People share things on social media they think makes them look good. Special moments, memorable events, and once in a life time trips are what most people love to share on social media. One of the most efficient ways to make consumers talk about a company’s product/service is to make them feel like insiders or create something remarkable that makes them look clever for sharing. Coke did a great job with the “Share a Coke” campaign that went viral on social media. Consumers were excited to have their name on a bottle of coke and made purchases just to feel included on social media.

Top Five Characteristics of a Viral Campaign

Exposing the Truth:

Consumers like to see results. Before and after weight loss pictures and teeth whitening pictures seem to be one of the most popular viral pictures and videos on social media. Staying fit and looking good usually sparks the interest in most consumers. Weight loss, teeth whitening, and waist shaper companies are spreading all around social media. Organizations are paying celebrities and Instagram models top dollar to advertise their product on social media. When someone popular or famous is wearing or using a product on social media, consumers tend to buy in and feel that the results are real.

Fitness Training Programs

Something Consumers can Relate To:

When the content of videos appeal to a wider audience, the likelihood is much greater that someone is going to share the video throughout their social networks. It is important to remember that people want to be able to relate to what they are buying or find a use for the product/service. When companies post share or videos of real life consumers using their products and/or services, other consumers tend to feel included and understand where he/she is coming from.

Interactive:

Some brands utilized the interactive capabilities of YouTube to gain viral success. Doritos allowed consumers to upload self made commercials promoting the chips. The winner was given 1 million dollars but the interactive audience help increase sales for Doritos because of participation. Hell Pizza painted an accurate picture of the inevitable 2012 apocalypse in their series where the viewer has to help a delivery man deliver a pizza to a woman trapped on top of a shipping crate surrounded by zombies.

Right Place, Right Time:

Being unpredictable is hard when going viral but it yields the best return. When someone behind the camera hit record and the other person doesn’t know they re being recorded, it comes off to be more genuine. Travis Rudolph (FSU WR) video of him sitting with an autistic boy name Bo went viral when a school police officer sent a picture of Travis and Bo eating lunch together. Bo’s mother was so excited to have someone eating lunch with her son, she posted the picture and a comment on social media saying thank you. Although Travis was just being himself and being very genuine, people across the nation was excited to see positive news on social media about an athlete. It’s rare for a brand to take advantage of situations like this because the situations themselves are rare and inherently unpredictable but a simple nice gesture went a long way and now Bo will be famous for the rest of his life.

Something New:

Creativity is key when producing a video in hopes of viral marketing success. Doing something out of the ordinary and keeping it unique is key when wanting something to go viral. Creating content that is unique makes consumers compelled to share it.

 

 

Differentiation

T-Mobile’s Finally Good Enough to Put Pressure on Verizon

 

After years of being somewhat reliable in cities and pretty much nonexistent in rural areas, the carrier has crossed a major threshold. T-Mobile customers saw an LTE signal 81 percent of the the time in the fourth quarter of last year, just a bit less than what AT&T delivered. Yes, both still lag behind Verizon (87 percent), but it’s a level of saturation that lets them claim nationwide reliability Brian Barrett.

Verizon and T-Mobile both have started using social media to gain customer’s insights. Both companies have went away from proving their results from social media to how they are dealing with customer’s issues and complaints via social media. Everyone is familiar with both Verizon and T-Mobile’s tweets to customers following up on complaints and their marketing campaigns that runs on the sidebars of Facebook and Twitter.

T-Mobile and Verizon’s PR team has been able to build meaningful relationships with customers, media and bloggers. They have both produced countless situations where the PR team’s efforts have turned dissatisfied customers into happy customers. As a direct result of relationship building through social media, many bloggers and social media followers who received the opportunity to demo devices purchased those devices due to their great experience with Verizon products and its network. T-Mobile answers questions and comments  within an hour of a post/tweet going live. T-Mobile has landed the top spot in Socialbakers’ quarterly responsiveness reports multiple times for response rates that get amazingly close to 100% across channels.

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verizon-wireless-gamification

Although both companies have done a great job using social media to its benefit, Verizon has surpassed T-Mobile by increasing their social media traffic by 30% because of glamification. Gamification is the concept of using of game-like techniques to increase engagement with non-game activities. A common example of this is unlocking badges in Foursquare for visiting new locations. Verizon has used social media to differentiate the company from companies like T-Mobile by offering different blogging sites and hubs for consumers to communicate on.  Verizon Wireless had already begun creating Verizon Insider, a hub for the company’s events, contests, sponsorship, and social initiatives. With help from gamification provider Gigya, Verizon was able to reward customers with badges for engaging with the site Sprout Blog.

Verizon seems to be spending billions on its latest ad campaign telling you to ‘Never Settle.’ T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS) couldn’t agree more. So, today the Un-carrier launched the Never Settle Trial, exclusively for Verizon customers, so they can give the Un-carrier a try with no risk or extra out-of-pocket expense. T-Mobile kicked off a new campaign of its own laying out the facts and all the ways wireless users should never settle … like settling for an old carrier that penalizes you for using too much data, locks you into a two-year contract, makes you pay to leave, makes you wait to upgrade your phone, overcharges you outside the country or repossesses your unused data every month T-Mobile Agrees. Never Settle… for Verizon.

 

 

 

 

I Tweet, You Tweet, We All Tweet

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Is Your Tweet Trending?

Almost everyone uses Twitter or at least they have heard about it. It is the “hot” social media network that consumers and businesses use to communicate with one another across the world. Using Twitter can have so many perks and benefits if it is used the right way. Personalizing retweets, sharing popular information/trending topics, and talking to your followers are are different ways to get your tweets notice.

Personalize Retweets

Consumers tweet out blogs and post they’ve read day after day. The path of least resistance is to click the Tweet This! button on the post. Those widgets are usually pre-populated with the title of the article, the link and the handle of the website or author. When a company retweets blogs and post that are trending, the traffic to their websites increases.

Trending Topics

When looking for a trending topic or searching for a popular post, it is important to use hashtags. Hashjacking or trendjacking is a method of using popular hashtags. The easy way to find trending topics on your Twitter page is to scroll down on the left side of your profile. Twitter updates the hottest topics and discussions simultaneously. Some best practices when posting and retweeting trending topics is to tailor a hot topic to your current tweet and ensure the location is added. This works best for organizations because it gives them the ability to post products that are trending in different markets.

Talk is Cheap

Communicating with your followers is crucial for a successful Twitter page. Knowing when to respond and how to respond is what separates most businesses from others. Sometimes responding to other organization’s followers is also beneficial when a consumer has complaints. Don’t wait around for someone to tweet you before you reach out. Spend some time looking at your own stream and start a conversation around a topic someone else is tweeting about. Listening is key. Hear and listen to what your followers are saying.

Tactics for Success

Successful blogging is a lot of work. Depending on what success means to you and your company, it can involve any number of people—marketers and product managers are just the beginning. A blog is your opportunity to showcase your company’s culture and personality while shedding some light on the products you offer (Moz).

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What Does the Blogosphere Look like?

  • There are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the US alone. (source)
  • In one survey, almost 87% of bloggers had been actively blogging for at least two years. (source)
  • 57% of bloggers report having more than one blog. (source)
  • 35% of businesses blog at least once every month. (source)
  • 60% of bloggers report to be men. (source)
  • Nearly 2/3 of influencers earn revenue from blogging, but 80% of them report earning less than $10,000 per year. (source)

Do you agree that reposting “hot topics” will help drive traffic? Share why (or why not!) in the comments!

Your Brand is now Social…What’s Next?

Companies have taken advantage of free advertising for decades because “Word of Mouth”. Now that social media has become the new face for marketing, many organizations are jumping on board. Most companies in every industry are using social media to help create their brand. Retailers, private sectors, telecom companies, and many others utilizes social media to help sell their brand and market their products and/or services. Even politicians have taken a stand on social media to help increase votes and get their word across. With all of the benefits and opportunities of a brand going social, there are risk and challenges that are associated with a brand going social.

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“In recent years, social media has emerged as a powerful new marketing tool. It continues to be an integral part of marketing strategies across various industries, but as it is still relatively new, the learning curve is steep. As social media and social media marketing evolves, knowledge of the field is gained by marketing professionals largely through trial and error” (Donne Torr).

Business owners are using different social marketing strategies to help grow their business and gain new customers. If an organization is not on board with the new way of marketing, chances are, they are being left behind. Being in the know or the “trending” topic is another way to gauge a spectators attention. It is important for companies to have a social appearance while creating a social brand. What you should know:

  • Plan your post and Tweets
  • Engage your audience with the latest updates
  • Know your competition
  • Follow-up with your audience…they want to know they are being heard 

Continue reading “Your Brand is now Social…What’s Next?”

Comcast takes Advantage of Social Media

Social media strategies is the key to increasing customer’s engagement levels, insight, and to drive sales. Social media is changing the way that organizations like Comcast, interact with prospects and customers. New opportunities are available for those bold enough to grab them, and new challenges await those who do. Comcast has been very successful at driving revenue and creating a presence in social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are the top social media sites Comcast uses to market business. By following Comcast on these social media sites, a consumer has the ability to get information about the company, products, events, and the latest about everything Comcast has to offer.

Comcast Business on Linkedin
Follow us on LinkedIn for information about our company, products, events, and customers.
Comcast Business on Google Plus
Follow us on Google+ for videos, photos, news, and helpful content about Comcast Business.
Comcast Business on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter for all the latest about everything Comcast Business.
Comcast Business on Facebook
Like us on Facebook to celebrate customer successes and learn about local happenings

“Comcast is bulking up its presence on Twitter and Facebook as it tries to repair the damage done by a string of very public customer service catastrophes.”

The company is now hiring 40 new “social care specialists” to respond to customers over social media, adding to its existing social staff of 20. They’ll be able to help with everything from scheduling appointments to troubleshooting Internet problems and setting up DVRs (Social Media). Comcast has been known for bad customer service and has spent millions of dollars trying to turn that status around. Customers are able to use social media to write reviews of their experience and post comments about how they were treated.

Although consumers still have the option to call Comcast customer service department, the company wanted to be sure that customers also had the option to go online and make complaints. Many businesses may think giving customers access to post negative things about their experience is a bad idea but, studies have shown that it actually works in reverse. Social media for Comcast started as mentions dealing with escalation cases and customers giving Comcast one last chance to make things right. Now, escalations have decreased and the majority of the customers are using social channels as a method to reach out to sign up and upgrade their service. Consumers are happy to know that their voices are being heard and that their is someone recognizing their complaint and trying to do something about it. As the numbers of customers reaching out on social media continue to increase, Comcast continues to work harder to improve their customer service.

Comcast Improves Standings by using Social Media

Comcast recognized the value of engaging with customers through social media early on and became an industry leader in the social environment. Lithium’s solution has provided the scalable and seamless agent-to-agent and agent-to-customer workflow needed to enhance social care support strategy. Comcast has been using Lithium for all social care engagement for over two years, which has allowed the company to really amplify the in-channel customer experience. Lithium Social Web has enabled us to use social data to drive change in the organization (Social Media Tools).

Comcast uses other tools such as Crimson Hexagon to calculate their NPS (Net Promoter Score) to help improve customer service. Comcast begin using NPS in 2015 to help improve customer satisfaction and retain their customer base. Although the company is well below the score they want to be at, their has been improvement quarterly. When customer satisfaction increases, revenue increases. The NPS consist of a handful of survey questions asking about the consumer’s experience. The most important question asked on the survey is, “Will you recommend Comcast to a friend or family?” Since 2015 when Comcast begin using the NPS, the impact on customer service has improve.

 

Social Media Showdown

Social media has taken over the world. It’s the new way we communicate and the quickest way we learn about what is happening in our communities and around the world. Social media has allowed organizations to grow their brand by properly utilizing social media tools. Some of the most popular social media tools are Hootsuite and SocialBro. Both of these tools helps business owners promote and grow their business on Facebook and Twitter.

Hootsuite is an enterprise level social media management tool used by over 10 million professionals. They can help you schedule and analyze your social media marketing campaign” (Jenkins).  Hootsuite also works with organizations helping them create content for their social networks. As a marketing professional it takes time to properly promote and grow a business on social media. Hootsuite is a more convenient tool because it saves time by automatically posting and scheduling content for business customers. It also allows businesses the ability to stay close to their consumers because the business can monitor every conversation across their social networks.

Hootsuite - example of social media management tools

SocialBro (Audiense) is another social media tool used by businesses to help advertise on Twitter. “SocialBro is a Twitter marketing tool. SocialBro helps you with all of your Twitter needs from scheduling content, to reports, to creating ads on Twitter” (Jenkins). It’s a great tool for businesses to get to know their audience and enables brands and agencies to use social as a strategic marketing channel to drive real business value.

SocialBro - example of social media management tools

Facebook and Twitter are one of the most popular social media tools used around the world. Who’s trending (going viral) on Facebook or what famous person “tweeted” about their lives is what we thrive for. Choosing the right social media management tools for your business requires you to have a good understanding of what your needs are. Hootsuite and SocialBro works well with both social media sites. SocialBro is a part of the “Twitter Official Partner Program “to help attract large volumes of consumers.

References:
Jenkins, M. (2016). 17 Best Social Media Management Tools. Retrieved September 04, 2016, from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2016/03/01/17-best-social-media-management-tools/