Tag Archives: social media
New customers are the lifeblood of companies. Or are they? Lately, marketers have been spending more time on current customers — revamping what customer service means, investing more in customer relationship management (CRM) systems and building teams to improve communication with customers.
In this age of social connectivity, customer loyalty has become more valuable than ever. Consumers share stories of their interactions with businesses on social media, meaning that word-of-mouth marketing is especially valuable.
Since customer loyalty can be critical to making a sale, ask yourself what you’re doing to cultivate it. When was the last time you spent money or resources on making your customers feel appreciated? Many might argue that a focus on customer appreciation isn’t just a best practice — it could mean the difference between failure and survival in today’s word-of-mouth driven economy.
Here are five ways you can take customer loyalty up a notch:
1. Improve your ‘Thank You.’
Most of us have a Web page or email that thanks our customers for converting, whether that means joining the community, purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. But chances are good that the “thank you” could use some work. Because the thank you page or email is seen by every single one of your customers, you should ask: Does it put your best foot forward?
Rather than merely using that page to confirm an action, why not add some useful resources, follow-up steps or company contact information? Other ideas for improvement include lacing in a promotion to instigate immediate action or simply making the message more visually enticing.
2. Optimize your feedback channels.
Feedback comes in many forms, but chances are you’re getting customer responses you aren’t even using. While many companies tap into what their customer service department is hearing, they are less likely to proactively survey their website visitors or to analyze their cancellation and return forms. That’s a shame because these are all opportunities to get more information on what customers need.
When you take the time to improve your feedback channels, you are telling your audience, “We care about what you think.” This reminder can help build loyalty and help you answer concerns in a timelier manner, reducing customer loss and building trust.
3. Go beyond cancellations as a performance indicator.
While you need to know how many of your customers are cancelling, it is a reactive performance indicator. In addition to monitoring your customers loss, you can gauge loyalty by watching your company’s “net promoter score,” frequency of customer interactions with your business and the length of time between customer visits. By tracking how engaged customers are and how likely they are to recommend your company, you can get a more complete measure of their loyalty.
4. Assign someone to manage it.
Tracking and improving customer loyalty can be a challenge if no one specific is managing it. Good candidates for this responsibility often come from customer service, marketing, operations or product teams. The key qualifications are the ability to work well with others and a belief in the value of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
Whoever you choose should understand that customer loyalty may touch a number of departments at your company, but it deserves its own champion for maximum success.
5. Evangelize the gains and losses.
While customer loyalty should have a dedicated advocate, it is a company-wide effort. Unfortunately, customer loyalty scores rarely get touted as much as revenue and profits. Why is that? Many companies see customer loyalty as something beyond their control, that it is the natural result of the websites they build and products and services they sell. But companies have a number of opportunities to build trust and loyalty by making their interactions with customers the best they can be.
To show the importance of these interactions to customer retention, you can share with the rest of the company the results of your loyalty measurements, whether good or bad. This makes it a company-wide priority, and only then are you really taking customer loyalty to the next level.
As brands focus efforts on keeping up with broadcasting trends across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, many are neglecting a tried and true marketing tactic that could propel them even further: narrowcasting.
Narrowcasting marks an emerging trend by which consumers are sharing content with smaller, more selective audiences. In contrast to broadcasting, narrowcasting is about tailoring information to better compel the recipients. It’s a competitive alternative, as evidenced by this infographic from Mogreet. While broadcasting gets a brand’s message out to a massive group of people, when it comes to who is actually reading and engaging with the content, the numbers are staggeringly low.
For example, 84% of Facebook news feed stories aren’t viewed, 71% of tweets get ignored and 88% of emails go unopened. Meanwhile, 98% of text messages are opened, and therefore, companies that market through SMS/MMS have a far truer reach.
Do these statistics surprise you? If you’re a broadcaster, does this graphic make you want to give narrowcasting a try? Share with us in the comments.
Browse through all the relevant infographics we’ve come across that deal with mobile marketing, digital marketing, mobile technology and social media.
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Many people have asked me what I think about advertising on Facebook.
Is it effective? How does it compare with Google AdWords? Will it track my ROI?
Well, for starters there are over 800 million people on Facebook that you could potentially reach with your ad. That’s impressive.
Aside from that, Facebook allows advertisers to choose the audience they want to reach by filtering by location, age and interests. It offers the ability to test different image and text-based formats for the ad to see which gets the best response. You can also set a daily budget and adjust it at any time, so you have complete control over how much you spend on ads on a daily basis.
On top of all these features, Facebook just recently announced they are rolling out some new changes to Facebook Ads, giving marketers more opportunities for targeting and tracking results.
Coming soon, Facebook advertisers will be able to see what actions consumers take after seeing their ad on the social networking site. Before, Facebook Ads only permitted optimization for clicks, Page Likes, app installs and check-ins, but now marketers will be able to see whether the particular ad elicited the desired behavior (ie. visiting the website, making a purchase, redeeming offers, posting a comment, etc.)
Also with the new changes, advertisers will be able to target their ads to the people who are most likely to take the desired action. Eventually, Facebook will be able to tell which people are most likely to purchase online, share links, redeem coupons,etc., and then target their ads to those people.
Why is this new data so important? Measurement is EVERYTHING!
One thing about this kind of advertising is that you really need to pay attention to the metrics to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ad dollars, or else you can end up losing a lot of money.
You need to be analyzing how many impressions and clicks you’re getting and the conversion rates. You should also alter the messaging of your ads a few times to see what works best—which ad gets the most clicks? Which gets the most conversions?
So, what’s my answer? It all comes down to your goals.
Do your research and find out the average cost-per-click, the targeting options, tracking abilities for Facebook Ads and its competitors. See which one makes sense for your business.
Facebook Ads can definitely be a good idea. Just be sure to keep an eye on your results to ensure you’re getting the most out of your ad dollars.
The early stages of mobility in the workplace were fairly simple: A couple top executives had private cellphones with numbers that only the most important people could reach. The wall between the C-suite and the rest of enterprises began to erode with the rise of the BlackBerry, as mobile email became pervasive through the entire corporate structure. But we’re still waiting for the next step.
What is that next step? Look no further than what technologists refer to as SoMoClo (social, mobile, cloud, or the dreadful “mocial”). While enterprises may have been the first to push and adopt the cloud, consumers have done likewise with the rise of social computing. And everybody is mobile.
The infographic below shows “three generations” of mobile phones in the workplace and ponders what could come next.
The first generation is fairly simple. BlackBerries in the workplace dominated from about 1999 (from the CEO’s office) until 2007 (when the original iPhone was released).
In 2012, BlackBerries are no longer the de facto phone you find in office settings, and not many people still carry two cellphones in their bags, one for work, one for personal use. The norm now is one phone – and it can do just about everything.
That includes getting in touch with everybody you might know at any time. On a cellphone these days, work contacts mingle with private contacts. You might have Mork (your favorite sales rep) listed on your contacts list next to Mindy (your stepmother). Twitter lets people broadcast thoughts and connect with people everywhere. Facebook, often the bane of the enterprise, is one of the biggest ways to connect with friends, family and co-workers (and share embarrassing photos of them).
The consumer world of social mobility has bled into the enterprise world of social mobility, and many companies do not like that. Sometimes messages are innocent like, “Bill, you will be at the meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m., right?” Other times they can be damaging to the company; “Bill here is the confidential slideshow for the meeting at 9 a.m.”
The sender may not have meant to share private company data for the world to see, but we all know instances where that happens. The infographic indicates that 1% of workers have posted some type of confidential business material. That may not seem like a lot, but imagine if a prescription medication gave 1% of everyone who took it a stroke. The Food and Drug Administration would pull it off the shelves in a heartbeat, and the lawyers would have a field day.
The infographic – from Salesforce Rypple - predicts a third generation to follow today’s consumer-centric mobile workplace, and is a good way to start a dialogue about how social mobility will progress in the enterprise.
But it concentrates on services like Rypple, Chatter and Jive, (the former two owned by Salesforce with Jive one of the company’s partner services) which makes it a bit self-serving. There are plenty of other enterprise social clients – including Yammer (which just acquired oneDrum to compete with Jive), Jabber and a host of unified communications clients from Cisco, Telligent, SocialText, NewsGator as well as entrants from Microsoft, SAP and IBM. These are the shapes that SoMoClo has taken in the enterprise.
The question: are these enterprise clients really the future of mobile social in the workplace? Or are today’s consumer services now too popular and too pervasive to be supplanted? As we have seen with the Bring Your Own Device revolution, workers do not like having tools they do not like shoved down their throats. To succeed, enterprise clients will have to be as powerful and comfortable as the best consumer services.
Check out the infographic and let us know what you think about the future of enterprise social communication in the comments.
Facebook deployed its changes to Pages at the end of March, transitioning all Fan/Business Pages to a timeline format.
Aside from dealing with the frustration of having to adapt—yet again—to Facebook’s changes, many business owners are wondering how the new timeline will benefit the online presence of their business.
Here’s the lowdown on some of the new features:
Timeline Cover Photo
- The new banner-like cover photo for the Facebook Timeline is big—big enough to make the business’ Page stand out.
- Facebook mandates that cover photos do not include price or purchase information, contact information, references to the “Like” or “Share” button or call to actions.
- Brands can add up to 21 apps to their Timeline and are able to choose four to showcase on the Page.
- Businesses are able to customize the name and photo that appears for each application (except the built-in apps like Photos, Likes, etc).
- Only four apps show up at once, so users visiting Pages must click an arrow to show the rest of the applications on the Page.
- Designating an app as a landing Page is no longer available—the timeline will automatically be the default when users visit the Page.
- Brands can highlight important posts by pinning a post to the top of their timeline.
- Only one post can be pinned at a time.
- Pinned posts only last for seven days and then return to their normal spot on the timeline.
- Brands can also highlight content in the timeline, allowing you to stretch an image or post across the entire timeline, making it more visually appealing.
So, there you have it. The new timeline format seems like it will be a beneficial change for Brands on Facebook. Sure, there are some features that will take getting used to. But love it or hate it, the timeline is here to stay. That is, until Zuckerberg rolls out the next round of changes.
If you’re looking for new marketing tactics for your business, you’ve probably already considered using text message marketing and/or social marketing.
Thanks to the recent “mobile boom”, SMS has become the most ubiquitous form of communication, so it’s no wonder why more and more businesses are turning to text messaging to reach their target market.
Twitter has also become a popular form of marketing communication as it allows brands to send messages to other users, who can can then “follow” the brands to receive updates about them.
I came across an infographic comparing Twitter and text messaging as marketing tools, which is what got me thinking about the pros and cons of the two. Here’s what I wanted to share with you:
- Global Internet penetration is over 30% of the world’s population.
- There are over 100 million active accounts on Twitter.
- Brands can check up on customers and competition and stay up-to-date on what people are saying about your business online.
- Brands can tweet sales, promotions, special offers, etc.
- It doesn’t cost anything for brands to sign up.
- ROI and other results can be hard to measure on Twitter.
- With Twitter, there are no available segmentation or targeting options. Each post will go to anyone who has followed you—you have no control over your database of followers.
- One-to-many communication = lack of personalization.
- 90% of the world offers 2G coverage.
- There are 4.2 billion SMS enabled mobile devices in the world.
- 95% of messages are read by your subscribers in the first 15 minutes.
- Marketers can deliver relevant information to a specific audience.
- SMS allows brands to put together text-based contests, sweepstakes, mobile coupons, etc.
- With text messaging, brands can segment out their database to target specific audiences.
- SMS is PROVEN to increase loyalty and customer retention.
- One-on-one communication: personalized user experience.
- Measurable results.
- Brands have to entice customers to opt-in to receive text messages, and sometimes customers regard the messages as spam.
- Creating unique, valuable call-to-actions through text messaging requires time and creative energy.
- Brands have to pay a mobile marketing company or short-code provider to send out messages to their subscriber database.
It’s obvious that both channels are important to growing your business.
With text messaging, you are fostering a one-on-one relationship with your customers. Even though your brand’s text message may go out to thousands of subscribers, it still makes each person feel that one-on-one connection when they receive the text message on their own phone. Also, because of the reach of SMS, you know the message will be read. Tweets, on the other hand, can get lost among the thousands of others in the Tweet feed.
However, if you are deciding between using either one form or the other, instead think about using them together. Both tools should be incorporated into your brand’s marketing strategy, as it is important to develop your database in as many channels as possible.
Each channel has its own advantages and disadvantages, but the more ways to communicate with your target markets the better!
This year, marketers got it right—well, at least some.
Each year on Super Bowl Sunday, marketers have access to the eyes and ears of about 100 million people who are watching the game and anxiously waiting for the next jaw-dropping commercial. But for $3.5 million, they better make that 30-second time slot count.
InMobi released its Super Bowl XLVI Mobile Consumption Survey, which reinforced why marketers should have included some mobile component into their marketing mix.
- Nearly 40% of respondents used mobile devices in response to TV ads.
- 45% estimated that they spent 30 minutes or more on their mobile devices during the game.
- Twice as many respondents used their mobile devices during the first half of the game than the second half.
In addition, Altimeter noted several trends regarding how brands integrated mobile and social in this year’s Super Bowl advertisements:
- 11% of Super Bowl ads included emerging media technology (Shazam, Text Messages, Mobile Apps, QR Codes)
- 16% included social media calls-to-actions (Facebook, Twitter, Hashtags)
- 32% did not include ANY online references.
So which brands got the bang for their buck?
Several brands created successful interactive apps to accompany their commercials, including Best Buy, Toyota, Pepsi and Bud Light. The brands partnered with Shazam, an audio tagging application, and were able to link the Super Bowl ads with songs, giveaways and other content.
In addition, Chevrolet’s Chevy Game Time app gave users the opportunity to win prizes by answering trivia questions and polls.
Aside from mobile, many brands included social calls-to-action in their Super Bowl ads. In 2011, Nielsen found that Super Bowl ads that included social media tags that directed viewers to a link on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube were more 33 percent more memorable for viewers.
This year, hashtags were a common theme in many of the commercials. For example Audi’s anti-vampire ad included #solongvampires at the end, Bud Light Platinum included #makeitplatinum, and Hulu included #mushymush. The hashtags were used to get people tweeting about the brands, and it worked.
Links to Facebook were also included in the ads, of which many replaced traditional web links. Pepsi Max and General Electric among others included the URL of their Facebook Page at the end of their ad to drive consumers to the social networking site.
Also, GoDaddy experimented with a QR code at the end of one of their advertisements, which generated the best mobile website traffic ever for the company.
Each of these calls-to-actions was intended to drive consumers to a place where they can interact with the brand and create a dialogue. Some marketers really hit the mark this year and developed well-executed mobile marketing campaigns. Others, however, fell short.
Marketers and brands must understand the power of mobile and social in this day and age. We are a more technologically engaged, connected group of fans. People aren’t just rooting for their favorite teams while sitting on the couch eating chicken wings—they’re tweeting, conversing on other social networking sites and interacting with apps.
Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest television advertising event of the year. So marketers, don’t just throw a Hail Mary pass at developing a successful Super Bowl ad. Check the playbook, and create worthwhile ads by incorporating mobile and social—elements that are known to enhance the user experience.
Social network game developer, Zynga, is rolling out their own version of loyalty marketing, rewarding users for interacting with advertisers in various ways.
Zynga, aiming to expand its advertising revenue without annoying users, is quietly experimenting with “reward advertising” on CityVille that lets players earn energy by interacting with a sponsor.
Sponsors for the program, which rolled out in December, include Coca-Cola, MasterCard and the DVD release of the 20th Century Fox film What’s Your Number?. When players got to a point in CityVille where they needed more energy, some had the option of “interacting” with the advertisers in various ways. In the case of the film, players were required to watch the trailer. MasterCard gave users a short survey.
Players were exposed to the ads when they ran low on energy, in which case they’d see a window like this:
The idea of using in-game rewards as a prize for being exposed to advertising isn’t new. Facebook rolled out a program last May that rewarded users with Facebook Credits for watching ads in games from Zynga, among others. The Facebook program appears to have been limited, though.
Zynga, which only makes a fraction of its revenue from advertising (most come from purchases of virtual goods), seems to have had more success with reward advertising and is planning to include roll it out to FarmVille and Empire & Allies in coming weeks. Zynga’s other forms of advertising include banner ads and branded integration.
For instance, a June program gave FarmVille players coveted “Double Mastery” points on crops and trees harvested within seven days when they place a Capital One Visigoth statue on their farms.
A study by Wildfire Interactive found that social media tracking and measurement tools help companies determine benefits and value as well as promote client retention.
In a survey of more than 700 marketers worldwide, 88% of respondents told Wildfire Interactive, a social media marketing software company, that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social media also benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs.
Charles Schwab is one company that sees the benefits of engaging in dialogue with customers via social media.
“It has opened up this whole public communications channel, where we can get great feedback,” said Lindsay Tiles, director of corporate public relations at Charles Schwab, in a December 2011 interview with eMarketer. “We’re trying to get people out of the mindset that social media is just for pushing your messages out. It is about communicating, but it’s also about listening.”
While marketers look at the overall benefits of social media, they are also drilling deeper to determine the value of Facebook fans in particular. Among respondents to Wildfire’s survey, 44% said Facebook fans are valuable because they help with new customer recruitment. Additionally, 18% said Facebook fans have higher conversion rates and another 18% noted that they make more frequent purchases.
While these softer metrics are proving valuable for marketers, there is still room to prove solid return on investment and other business results. Of those surveyed, 24% said they measure the ROI of social media by looking at increases in revenue. Additionally, 38% said they count increased “likes,” comments and interactions on Facebook.
Marketers know how social media can influence and add value to a company, but by bringing these specific metrics and benefits to the forefront, they will be better able to prove the importance of this channel going forward.