2 in 3 Users Say Twitter Influences Purchases
June 24, 2011
June 24, 2011
In an effort to cater to small businesses, American Express has teamed with Facebook to allow its customers to trade their Membership Rewards points for Facebook ads.
This is the first time that reward points from a card will pay for advertising of any kind.
Any American Express cardholder will be able to redeem points for Facebook advertising, but the program is targeted at small businesses on the American Express OPEN Facebook Page.
Each $6,750 spent can be redeemed for $50 of Facebook advertising, according to USA Today.
June 23, 2011
A combined 55.8% of online consumers rate Facebook pages influential (32.9%), very influential (16.7%) or extremely influential (6.2%) in making purchases from the retailer or consumer goods company behind the page, according to data collected by Compete in April and May 2011. Data from the spring 2011 Online Shopper Intelligence study also indicates 27% of online consumers often visit the Facebook pages of retail and consumer goods companies in spring 2011, up a little more than 10% from 24% in spring 2010.
Jun 20, 2011 at 5:38pm ET by Danny Sullivan
Earlier this month, Twitter announced that it would be rolling out its own photo sharing service. I found this enabled for my own account last week and today got a formal message about it. So, I thought a close look at how it works might be useful.
Right now, I only see the feature through the Twitter.com website, not through the official Twitter apps I use for the iPhone, Android or the iPad. Below the tweet box on the website, there’s a camera icon that appears for those with access to it:
Click the camera icon, and you can select an image from your computer. Only one image can be added to a tweet (some Twitter applications allow tweeting multiple images).
After you’ve selected your image, a small (and hard to view) thumbnail will be shown. If you change your mind, the X button (as the first arrow points at below) can be used to remove the image. The second arrow highlights how the camera icon turns blue to alert you that you’re uploading an image:
Notice the number “120″ showing up next to the tweet button. The picture — or the URL to it — does take up some of your 140 characters of a tweet. I’ve seen it take only 19 characters before; it might take more, in some cases.
Add your tweet, push the tweet button, and you’re done. Your picture has been shared via Twitter. Here’s an example of how my first photo shared using the service looked last week:
As you can see, the picture is shown in context with my original tweet, something that Twitter purposely wanted to happen, to help keep the authorship of a photo linked to the person tweeting it.
By Maciej Fital
I came across this amazing infographic piece on Mashable recently on how much resource the airline industry is start to throw at the whole social media game. SimpliFlying recently examined how the big dogs in the airline industry shift around social media efforts and they found that they are ramping things up quite a bit.
It shows that taking an integrated vs. dedicated approach is hands down more powerful than communicating with the social media audience with just a dedicated department.
The moral of this visual story above is that social media is generating a great deal of influence for airlines. Instead of assigning a department they are blanketing an integrated approach across the company to get other silos involved in the social media communication efforts. The reality is that social media is playing a very large role when it comes to search engine marketing. The overlap between social media and all other online marketing efforts is very evident. I can see many other organizations large and small taking a similar path as this one above.
Written by: Laurie Kulikowski
According to a survey last week by Regus, a firm that provides workplace solutions such as meeting rooms and video communication studios, 47% of firms surveyed said they use the strategy to find new business, an increase of 7% from last year
“As businesses emerge from the downturn, they are increasingly reconsidering pre-recession working practices and opting for more flexible, competitive strategies,” says Sande Golgart, a regional vice president for Regus. “More and more companies are leveraging social media to increase the loyalty of existing customers and as a successful acquisition tool.”
Businesses in China and India are leaders in using social media to attract customers, according to the report, published Wednesday. Approximately 65% of Chinese firms (vs. 44% last year) and 61% of Indian companies (vs. 52%) successfully use social media to acquire customers, the report says.
Businesses in the Netherlands and Mexico round out the top four countries most acclimated to social media for business purposes. Approximately 43% of U.S. firms (vs. 35% a year earlier) use social media to gain customers, the report says, implying there is much room for growth.
Half of the U.S. firms surveyed said they used sites such as Twitter to engage customers. More than half of those companies also encourage employees to join professional social media sites such as LinkedIn(LNKD).
In the U.S., 11% more companies that used social networks to acquire customers experienced a rise in revenue in the past year vs. those that didn’t use social media, the report says.
The survey asked more than 17,000 senior managers and business owners globally about their use of business social networking.
Social networking, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, China’s Renren and Orkut in Brazil and India, is a growing part of businesses marketing strategy. This year 34% of companies devoted a marketing budget to the strategy, compared with 27% last year. And more than a third plan to devote more of their marketing budget to social media.
Six Steps to Developing a Social Media Strategy
By Ron Jones
Because social media is around us more and more, companies are starting to see the value in add it to their marketing mix. However, many are unsure where to start or how to develop a plan. By using social media correctly you can engage your audience in new ways, be more personable, develop new connections, and maintain the ones you have. Let’s consider the development of a social media strategy with these six steps:
1. Listen – Conversation Mining
Get online and listen to what is being said. What do people think about you and your brand? What are their points of views? Who are key people who influence others and which ones should you cooperate with? What are the various topics? Is the tone of the conversation heated? Do people favor one point of view over the other, or is it mixed?
Determine your audience and where they are online. Blogs are a great place to start looking. Technorati is a good tool to help you search for blogs and blog posts that have content related to your niche. Twitter and the Twitter network is another great place to gain insight in to conversations that are happening in real time. The advanced Twitter search is one of many tools that will let you isolate specific conversations and monitor them.
Once you have identified where your audience is, then listen to what they are saying. What are their issues, opinions, and needs? How does this information fit with your value proposition? Understanding this information will help you determine how to best contribute to the conversation and how best to make a contribution.
Next, find out who’s driving the conversation or those that have a strong influence. These people are called “influentials” because they possess authority, respect, or experience to shape people’s opinions. A good example is Lance Armstrong. Since I’m a cyclist, I follow what he has to say. If he endorses a product you can be sure I will check it out. Find people who influence your industry or niche and listen what they are talking about. One source to get you started on finding these influentials is to look at WeFollow, which breaks down influentials by category and lists them by number of followers.
2. Identify Goals and Objectives
You should now be in a better position to establish your goals now that you have had a chance to “listen” to your audience. Some goals might be to drive a certain amount of traffic to your website. Or you want to increase the number of followers by 15 percent in six months. Maybe you just want to extend you brand presence on the social web.
Consider not only your company goals but your audience’s goals. What are their needs and wants? You will get much further with social media marketing if you offer something of value. I see many people who are just simply promoting themselves all of the time hoping they will attract new customers or site traffic. This really doesn’t work well with social media.
Once you have given people something of value, you’ve earned the right to plug yourself a little. I recommend that you spend about 90 percent of your time providing valuable content and 10 percent promoting yourself. You will find you can build more influence and trust with the value you provide your followers.
3. Develop Your Plan and Time Your Content
Map out your approach to delivering content to your audience. Will you reach out and leverage Influentials? Will you provide free material or samples? How will it be delivered? You may have products that are environmentally friendly. Will you moderate and lead a conversation about environmental issues? There are many creative ways to approach your audience. Be innovative.
Next, develop a timeline, preferably 12 months in advance, to identify events, promotions, or product launches that you are aware of. Now identify the content ideas you want to deliver that can supplement those events. It is like developing a media plan where you are timing your efforts so they are consistent and relevant to other events your business or customers participate in. You will find that it will be much easier to manage content creation efforts and allow you to plan ahead.
Now identify the social platforms you should use to deliver your content. Is Facebook the right platform for you? Is it a combination of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? If so, you should develop a mini plan for each site and how you will consistently use each tool to accomplish your goals and objectives. Be careful not to go after too many sites too quickly. Ensure you start with one or two sites at a time and develop them so they are solid before moving on to another social media site.
4. Develop Your Content
Next, develop the content you have outlined from your timeline. This timeline will help you know what order to start building your content. This is where you really need to understand your audience and your brand. You must be highly creative and much of what you say within social media channels should sound like your brand.
Optimize your content with your targeted keywords. Armed with a solid keyword research report with relative categories, you should be able to derive some great ideas for relevant content that will resonate with your audience. This content can come in various forms. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
5. Engage – Implement Your Plan
Armed with smart objectives, a solid timeline, great content, and the right social media sites you are now ready to post your content. Engage in the conversation and express your point of view. Remember to keep to your schedule and be constituent. Have the resources on hand to respond to comments and feedback so you can keep the conversation going. This is not an “if you build it they will come” type of scenario. You have to keep at it.
6. Measuring Success
As you know, the ability to measure the effectiveness of marketing activities is imperative to any company’s marketing strategy. Social media marketing isn’t as easy to measure as other online channels but it can be done. If you identified your success metrics in step No. 2, then you’re already ahead of the game.
Depending on your success metrics you might look at content consumption. Who’s reading your content? Where are they coming from? You can also look at how much or little is being contributed and the number of visitors who are interacting with your content. Here are some variables to include in your measuring process:
Having a solid social media strategy can really help make a difference in the success of your campaigns. You will come off more polished and organized and viewed as being a real player in the social media space.
The contest is one of a string of admirably progressive social media campaigns the Manhattan-based luxury retailer has launched in recent months, including a Facebook contest to design a Fendi tote and a competition to design one of its store windows on Polyvore.
Like the Fendi design contest, the “Faces of 5F” campaign is hosted on a separate tab on the retailer’s Facebook Page, where users can submit a short questionnaire and two photos from now until June 24. Men and women over the age of 16 without modeling contracts are eligible; semi-finalists will be invited to a casting call on July 7, from which a panel of judges, including Lucky Editor in Chief Brandon Holley, will select the winners.
by Lauren Drell
Consumers follow their favorite businesses on Twitter to get an inside look at the business, to find out about new products, earn discounts and be a part of a community. Businesses have the potential to turn these fans into brand ambassadors by making their followers feel special and appreciated. Here are Six ways to reward your Twitter followers.
This is something that food trucks have also taken to — they let the fans determine where they’ll park. Convenience is king and time is money, so customers are thrilled if they merely have to step outside the office to be treated to their favorite meal on wheels.
N9NE Steakhouse in Chicago is great at responding to fans — the account tweets at patrons to ask how their meal was and to thank them for coming by. One might not expect this friendly tone and humble outreach from a high-end steakhouse, but the strategy is successful and welcoming to fans.
But what you teach your followers could also be more substantive and meaty. Wellness website Well and Good posts a lot of content about yoga, healthy lifestyles, holistic beauty and a smattering of DIY projects like, “How to turn your pickup truck into a garden.”
David Barton Gym is also good about educating — several times a week, the account tweets a fitness “truth” or “tip,” so you can get fit and be healthier even when you’re not at the gym. It almost functions as a personal trainer, and you can access these tips 24/7.
Jewelry line Dannijo has a great Twitter feed that is chock full of Instagrams with funky filters. It’s an artsy way for sisters and founders Danielle and Jodie Snyder to show what they’re wearing, what they’re doing, who they’re with and where they are. By providing a multi-dimensional view of who they are as sisters, designers, businesswomen and New York city denizens, you feel a personal connection to them.