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Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

I’ve been discouraged in recent months to find that in the wider business world there is still an enormous resistance to embracing newer communications tools such as blogs, microblogs and social networks as part of a fully-integrated marketing strategy. I watch as public relations and marketing departments all but ignore the social media marketing vendors they bring in. I see print ads still going into newspapers failing to mention that the company or organization are now on Facebook or Twitter. I hear PSAs and radio ads failing to mention these new consumer touch points in addition to a web site.

If social media tools can enhance our various forms of more traditional marketing — including traditional web sites and email marketing — why do the social media presences we build get ignored and are rarely integrated into other forms of marketing communications?

There is only so much a social media marketing consultant who has been hired as an outside vendor can do to remind and encourage clients to mention and leverage social media tools. To have a better impact on marketing best practices, we need to first identify why there is so much resistance to a set of tools and a fresh, more interactive and engaging way of communicating with consumers.

Here are some thoughts as to why social media marketing is hard for some to understand and embrace: (more…)

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Social media normally refers to a category of websites where content is created by the participation of the users of that website for the remaining community. In short, we can say that social media websites are basically tools to share the information among their users. It gives its users a chance to interact with other users.

Human beings are social animals and they always love to interact with others discussing their hobbies, interests and personal lives. These tendencies gave birth to lot of social media websites like Digg, Facebook, StumbleUpon, etc. and produced new channels of traffic which webmasters can use easily to drive some good traffic to their websites and generate some leads. Due to huge advantages of social media it’s become an important part of a successful SEO campaign. You can’t do good SEO without including social media in to it.

How Social Media Websites can help you:

  • The biggest advantage of using Social media is that it helps you to create various bridges.
  • New traffic can reach your website easily and reduce dependency on search engines to an extent (if run successfully).
  • This one is not a secret… Social bookmarking websites help in getting backlinks for your website. It can help you in your SEO Campaigns.
  • It helps you to interact with your target audience easily. You can find your target audience quickly on social media websites and can see what about they are talking about, their needs, happenings in your industry, etc .
  • It helps in establishing yourself as a brand and can help you in reputation management.
  • As popular social media sites are getting good rankings in search engines you can use them to promote your website. It’s very effective if you have a new website with no links then try to create a page on social media website. It’s much easier to get it ranked as compared to a new website.

Social Media websites are very important for a successful SEO campaign, therefore you should not ignore its importance. It’s a subject worth consideration and if planned wisely and implemented successfully, it can show you wonderful results.

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Social media has become somewhat of a buzzword nowadays.  From corporate marketing strategies to presidential election, the awesomeness of social media power seems to have spread to every corner of our society.   However, there is one thing that most social media users might have neglected, which is to use social media to do social good.  Here I will list seven tips of how I use social media for the purpose of social good.

1. Tweeting/blogging for news.

Twitter is the new breed of social media which exists as a micro-blogging tool. Twitter has the potential to broadcast news fast, on time, and in a mass scale.  One recent example was related to the Iranian election.  Twitter users are even faster than CNN journalists to deliver timely news.  The hashtag #CNNfail has been adopted by Twitter users to indicate a lack of news coverage from the mainstream news media.

Another example is the 7.8 earthquake in China back in May, 2008.  Twitter was very fast in delivering the news.  If you had tried to search for the word “Earthquake” in Twitter Search, you could literally see hundreds of updates within minutes.

In addition, some bloggers have been actively blogging about the earthquake and therefore raised tons of awareness.  According to a post from ReadWriteWeb, Forrester Analyst Jeremiah Owyang used his blog as a platform to inspire people to donate money to the Red Cross.  He took a trip to China personally, and then posted all the photos he took about the earthquake in China on his blogs.  This has allowed his audience to see how badly some people were affected by the earthquake.  His initiative through social media has significantly made a difference.

2. Building tribes.

Seth Godin’s book “Tribes” illustrates how important it is to leverage modern technology, namely social media and Internet, to build your own followers. It has come to my realization that this type of network not only can provide religious, social, and spiritual supports for the “tribe” members, it will also become the fundamental bonding power for our entire society.

For example, if you had a Facebook group or a fan page that attracts environmental fans, it would be easy to assemble a global army of like-minded people in this particular field, without concerns of geographical barriers.  The bigger the group gets, the more advocates there are, and the more it will benefit the society.  In essence, this “tribe” mentality now has spread to every corner of the society.  Instead of resisting and fighting it, we ought to all embrace this hugely powerful tool to do social good.

3. Empowering others.

Personally, I like to transform my inner beliefs into quotes and then distribute them in my community.  Besides being able to influence and inspire others, this kind of behavior reinforces my own faith by simply sharing something I deem as valuable and useful.  After all, social media is all about “Sharing.”  Instead of saying something trivial that others don’t even care, why not transform your beliefs into something tangible that others can benefit from?

Now granted, not everyone will understand your initial attempt and appreciate your good deeds.  This happens in almost every situation of life.  But it’s important to stay consistent in what you do so you can influence those who do want to be helped.  So be patient.  One post at a time.  Eventually, consistency and commitment will make a difference.  I like to call this “Personal Development Training Made Easier.”

4.  Facebook “Cause” Application

As I am writing this post, the Facebook “Cause” application has about 24 ½ million monthly active users. Causes is one of the most popular Facebook apps.  The official definition, according to Facebook, goes like this – Causes empowers anyone with a good idea or passion for change to impact the world. Using our platform, individuals mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social and political movements. It includes categories such as Animals, Education, Environment, and more.

This app allows Facebook users to create a cause and link it to a registered non-profit organization in the US or Canada.  In general, this app has been a very useful fundraising tool for a lot of charities.  It also has drastically raised people’s awareness about some pressing issues in the world.

5.  Blogging for a Cause

This summer (6/1 through 8/28), Mashable launched the first large scale online charitable campaign called “Summer of Social Good.”  The goal was to raise funds strictly online through the power of Social Media and the Internet.  Throughout the previous weeks, this program had made some major progress by featuring inspiring tales from real people, encouraging people to participate in this program by offering incentives.  Mashable also listed examples on how some charities use social media to raise money.

Another example involves a site called “Make The Difference Network”  founded by Actress Jessica Biel and her family.  As social media continues to evolve, more and more websites and blogs will feature this type of content.

6.  Social Bookmarking for Better Efficiency

Social bookmarking sites allow Internet users to organize and manage bookmarks of web pages by tags.  Sites like DiggStumbleUpon, and Delicious have become more and more popular because it allows better user efficiency.  Take Digg for example, the Digg voting system allows people to vote for submitted stories.  The functions are called digging and burying .

With social bookmarking websites, I could simply browse through the category I am interested in, and sort stories by popularity.  Now, I am not saying that those popular stories are exactly the ones you are looking for.  But social bookmarking sites do provide a viable reference point.  In general, this type of service can save tremendous amount of time for its users.  Therefore, it fulfills our “social good” purpose.

7.  The revolution continues….

Social media is taking on a major role of leading the trend of our society. Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg in his college dorm on February 4th, 2004.  Then there is Twitter, which was publicly launched into a full version in July 2006.  What’s next?

For every trend, there are early adopters, the majority and the laggards.  Luckily, social media has the awesome power to lead our thinking as human beings.  This, in a large scale, is good for our society, because the society is jumping curves.  Instead of evolving on the same curve, the society revolutionizes with the most popular social media trends.   Eventually, this phenomenon can lead to frequent update of newer technology that allows for better effectiveness/efficiency and change the world.

So how do you use social media for social good in your daily life?  You can let us know by commenting this post.

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In a post at the Viral Garden blog, Mack Collier discusses why so many companies struggle to launch and maintain active online communities. To find success, you’ll need more than a message board and good intentions, he says. Here’s some of his advice:

  • Communities grow and thrive when you offer members something of value. “[They] do not form around the idea of being monetized,” he says. “Want to make money off your community? Fine, but you can’t monetize something that doesn’t exist.”
  • They don’t materialize out of thin air. “One of the biggest myths about online community building is ‘if you build it, they will come,'” says Collier. He suggests reaching out to your target audience and explaining why they’ll benefit from participation.
  • They benefit from the enthusiastic support of key participants. Some members will take a natural lead—identify these evangelists and show your appreciation. “Empower them to promote your community to others,” he says. “Showcase their contributions. And above all else, say thank you.”

Don’t take anything for granted, and have a clear purpose. “[B]efore you start your online community-building effort,” advises Collier, “think about where you are, and where you want to be. Is the goal to make money, or is the goal to create a group of happy people?”

Source: Viral Garden. Click here for the full post.

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Children’s TV show Sesame Street have a nice line in spoofs – from Mad Men to err, the iPod advert.

Maybe they’re trying to teach kids to be advertising-savvy, or maybe they just liked the colours and bouncy music. Anyway this is Big Bird with a “D” a music device that resembles the Apple product in more ways than one.

Watch it! It’s pretty cute.

The only danger is getting sucked into the Sesame Street Youtube Channel – the Elmo and Michelle Obama clip is a bit of a winner and don’t get me started on the Happy/Sad cookie episode..

I’m guessing Apple doesn’t mind – they’d look pretty bad taking issue with the company behind that towel-haired cutie Elmo. And it’s hardly Apple’s most recent advertising campaign.

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Some managers think marketing is a necessary evil. Some of my former CEOs thought marketing was the root of all evil. Or maybe they were just referring to me.

The problem is they just don’t get it. Finance = bean counters. HR = people stuff. Sales = customers = revenues. That they get. But marketing? Not a clue.

And you know what? I don’t blame them. When I look at what passes for marketing out there, I’d be nervous about funding it too. I mean, what do you get for all that money? How do you know if it’s working or not?

And branding, that’s even worse. It doesn’t help that the name conjures up images of branding cattle, or somebody being branded a criminal. How about that, branding has a branding problem. Ironic, isn’t it? If you don’t get the irony, you really need to read this.

Here’s how it works. Your company and its products and services have associated attributes that affect customer buying decisions, employee morale, and investor confidence. They also affect your company’s market share, profit margins, and bottom line. Branding strategy enables your company to measure and change the perception and affect of those attributes. It’s really important. No kidding.

Here are five things every manager needs to know about branding strategy.

1. Customers experience thoughts and feelings when they consider your company’s product or service. It’s the same thing with potential employees and investors. It’s called brand reputation or perception and it exists whether you do anything about it or not. (Be aware, these are my definitions. Some differentiate on symantics; I don’t.)

2. Brand reputation is a function of experience with your company and its products. It’s the sum total of many things, including product features, quality and reliability, customer service, even executive presentations. It goes way beyond marketing, PR, ad campaigns, and websites.

3. Branding strategy is not a one-off; it’s a component of your overall corporate strategy. Hopefully that begins with some sort of strategic planning process that defines your company’s vision, goals, and key strategies. Branding strategy is integrated and aligned with those.

4. Contrary to what the name implies, branding strategy is not about names per se. It’s about using certain tools to achieve strategic and operating goals. For example, branding can be used to position similar or the same products in different market segments, typically at different pricing levels. That means changing perception without changing the product -a neat trick.

5. There are a myriad of decisions and tradeoffs involved in developing the right branding strategy for a company and its products and services. There is method to the madness. For example, a product line’s goals, market requirements, and value proposition will lead to a unique branding strategy. At least it should.

Marketing is a tricky discipline. Science, art form, or both, it’s critical to your company’s success.

David Packard, of Hewlett-Packard, once said, “Marketing is too important to leave to the marketing department.” The more you understand and participate in your company’s marketing strategy, the better the odds of success.

I’d like to leave you with my favorite quote on branding by Bob Pittman, President of AOL back in the day: “Coca Cola does not win the taste test. Microsoft does not have the best operating system. Brands win.”

Happy branding, or whatever you want to call it.

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