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Social media is helping to forge a new era in business transparency and engagement, creating both new challenges and opportunities. Gone are the days when companies could rely on carefully crafted press releases or flashy ad campaigns to communicate with their customers, often in an attempt to convince people that their products are the best in the field. In the age of social media, the rules have changed radically, and people today demand a more honest and direct relationship with the companies with which they do business.
Below are the top four broad shifts that social media is causing in business
1. From “Trying to Sell” to “Making Connections”
In order to change the context of customer relationships from trying to sell to seeking to engage and connect with customers, companies need to use various means, including sites like Facebook and Twitter, to socially interact with people. The most popular brands in social media tend to post less about their products or services and more about things that help their customers get to know the people and personality of a company.
2. From “Large Campaigns” to “Small Acts”
With sites like Facebook and Twitter, we all essentially have our own broadcasting network, and businesses are beginning to see that rather than spending millions of dollars on traditional ad campaigns, small acts can be more valuable because people will inevitably share such experiences through the social web.In the past, if we had a very bad or very good experience with a company, it could take days or weeks to tell all of our friends and relatives about it. Today, in a matter of minutes, we can let all our friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter know about what happened. When every customer experience can be easily and widely broadcast, small issues become super important.
3. From “Controlling Our Image” to “Being Ourselves”
Of course companies need to have employee policies, and there is such a thing as bad press, but look at the most popular companies in the era of social media, and you’ll generally find the ones that give their employees freedom to be themselves in online spaces. The goal should no longer be to create a very controlled and polished image that everyone in a company tries to reinforce, but rather to give employees the means necessary to be human beings that can put a friendly face on the corporation.
4. From “Hard to Reach” to “Available Everywhere”
To engage with customers, it is no longer enough to have an email address and customer service number on one’s website. Today, people want to interact with and engage businesses via their chosen means of communication, whether that is Twitter, Facebook, discussion forums, or a feedback site likeGet Satisfaction.
Source : Mashable
The notion of getting into social media might seem overwhelming for any small business.Spending time upfront before the launch to create a plan with goals that include how to translate that social media presence into dollars will go a long way towards achieving success.
Nine percent of small and medium-sized businesses use Twitter to market their businesses, And 32 percent of those businesses said they plan to include social media in their marketing plans in the next 12 months by using a page on a social site such as Facebook,Twitter Or lined In.
Here are some tips to help avoid panic when thinking about launching a presence on social media platforms.
The first thing to realize is social media is not for every business. “Understanding that is going to take a lot of the panic out for small business owners,” he said.
Falls recommended small business owners familiarize themselves with social media tools, look at who the target audience is to see where they are and then figure out how to engage these people and reach them. He said that as small business owners do this, they will be able to determine what their goals are with using social media.
He stressed having a clear call to action with anything in marketing. Social media is no exception. “You can still engage with people, provide valuable content and give them a call to action,” he said.
2.Take small steps with goals in the mind:
Building a loyal customer base using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter doesn’t happen overnight. At the same time, this approach might not be the ideal tactic for a small business that needs to move fast. Understand what your small business can get out of social media. For example, is it to sell products or build relationships with customers?
Falls said that deciding on taking small steps depends on how fast a business owner needs to see results. However, he stressed that social media is about building relationships and that takes time.
“I think the smart thing to do as a business owner is to have a plan with clear goals and objectives,” he said. “Social media is much more about building lifetime relationships with customers.”
3.Be Flexible:Striking a good mix with social networks can mean trying more than one strategy because there isn’t a magic formula for success. Falls advised being flexible not only about the tools you use but about where your audience is.
4.Be Willing to put some time into it:
Set up a social media presence and then check in regularly, but don’t feel it’s necessary to sit on Facebook and Twitter all day.
Falls suggested small business owners set up their social media pages so they can get notifications sent to their smartphones from these channels. But the more time you invest in using social media, the more you’ll get out of it.
One of the best ways to drive engagement and build word of mouth traffic about your brand is to run a contest via social media channels. Not only does it engage consumers with your brand in a fun and exciting way, it results in a treasure-trove of customer information, preferences, and feedback you can then mine to improve your business. And, best of all, launching an online contest can be very inexpensive.
However, there is a subtle art to social contests. Your brand needs to appear neither too “cheesy” nor too “salesy,” and you must deliver a prize that people really want. This can be a standard product or gift card, or a “notoriety” prize, such as publishing a winner’s video. What’s more, the contest itself has to be fun and easy to participate in. Few prizes are worth doing something extremely boring, monotonous, or complicated.
Here are five specific strategies you can follow to launch and manage a social contest, and leverage it to deliver real business value:
1.Define the marketing goal:Every contest you launch should meet a specific marketing goal. Do you want to drive awareness of a new product or service? Collect a list of customers interested in a specific product segment? Encourage new participants to use your company’s social networking channels? There are many valid reasons to launch a contest, but it’s important to know ahead of time what you’re trying to accomplish.
Here’s the fun part: Creating your contest. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the type of contests you can launch. Here are a few ideas:
– A video contest inviting users to create a new commercial for one of your products
– A user-generated content contest that awards the best ‘personal experience stories’
– A photo contest related to your product or service
– A product invention contest with a large cash prize.
3.Leverage Social Channels: The best part about online contests is how easy it is to take them viral, encourage participation, and link them into your social marketing activities. Promote your contest via Facebook, Twitter, your company blog, and all other social channels, as well as via traditional marketing channels such as print, e-mail, and in-store signage.
4.Finish the Contest: Everyone loves a winner, so make sure you don’t let your contest drag on too long. A typical social contest runs about four weeks –- longer.hen the winner is chosen, do a PR push to publicize their win. Of course, use Facebook and Twitter to promote the winner like mad. Go back to your social media tracking software and find out which people and social sites are talking most about the winner, then post comments on those networks to drive even more interest in the winner.
5.Measure the Contest:Of course launching a contest wasn’t just for fun, it was to achieve a specific marketing goal. So after the contest is done, you need to measure the impact it had on brand engagement, clickthrough to your site, conversion, and bottom-line sales. Again, you can use your social media tracking tool to measure all of these success metrics. Find out whether your contest drove as much traffic to your site as you had hoped, and whether this traffic resulted in conversion.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen social media galvanize thousands over politics, create as many industries as it has destroyed, and offer an abundance of visual and audio entertainment.Below are some areas in which social media has had lasting, and arguably permanent effects on the ways in which we live.
It stands to reason that children who read and write more are better at reading and writing. And writing blog posts, status updates, text messages, instant messages, and the like all motivate children to read and write.By conducting a survey on 3000 children they observed a correlation between children’s engagement with social media and their literacy. Simply put, social media has helped children become more literate.
It describes the way in which social media allows you to “… keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.”
Consider the many communications technologies through history — the telephone, carrier pigeons, smoke signals — they are all fairly inconvenient and labor intensive.Communication through social network has become so convenient that it’s actually become ambient around us. It surrounds us wherever we want it, not necessarily when it wants us. We dip into it whenever we like.
Marketing and advertising is transforming itself from an industry reliant on mass market channels to one which must embrace the power of the consumer and (attempt to) engage in conversations. The traditional approach of wide reach and repetitive messaging is now being replaced by many much smaller, niche and people-centric activities. Advertising isn’t dying, it’s merely changing form. We now have more power and more choice.
News as Cultural Currency:
We’re no longer lazy consumers of passive messages. Instead we’re active participants. We now get news through the network we’ve created, and the news we pass to one another says something about us. It tells others what we’re interested in and what’s important to us.
Social media has become a phenomenon for fans of all kinds. Until recently, how else would you be able to connect with your sports hero or favorite actor? The Internet provides endless possibilities to those who attempt to use it. Here are five reasons why every sports fan should be on social media.
1.Give Yourself a Voice:First and foremost, social media gives every fan a voice. Before social media existed, aside from trying to yell at a player from the stands during a ball game or mailing a letter to their publicist, there really wasn’t a way to reach out to professional athletes. Now, fans can reach out to their favorite athletes via outlets such asUStream, Twitter and Facebook.
2.Stats,Score & News:Forget the days of watching TV and waiting for the evening news to come on. The best place to get up-to-the-minute information is social media. Die-hard fans who really want to be in the know can now follow various Twitter accounts – @ESPN, for example – to get the latest scores, stats, breaking news, as well as up to the minute information on their favorite teams.
3.See Life off the court & Field:Ever wonder what your favorite athlete likes to do in their spare time? Social media outlets and personal websites allow you to do just that. You can visit an athlete’s website or check out their Twitter posts and learn many things you didn’t know.
4.Get Uncencored Access:Athletes have a certain protocol to follow when they speak to the media, but when they are speaking through social media, you get a chance to get unfiltered information straight from their mouths.
5.Be a #1 Fan:In sports, fans are very important — there’s more to home field advantage than just playing on a familiar field or court; it’s also about playing in front of your true fans and feeding off their energy. This is why most athletes make an effort to reach out to the public and show their appreciation through social media. The fans themselves often create online groups/clubs/networks that other fans can sign-up for so they can share their common bond and talk with others who have the same interests. These fans often interact with each other and share stories about their favorite athlete.
Finally, all of those e-mail notifications you get fromFacebook might become useful, as it appears that the social network is testing functionality that lets you reply to status updates (and conversations you’re involved with via others’ updates) via e-mail.
n addition to being a useful functionality, this is actually a fairly significant strategic move by Facebook, as essentially they’ve decided to sacrifice pageviews (by not forcing you to log in to comment) for conversation. In the long-term, that’s probably a smart decision.
The feature is straightforward. Anytime you get a notification e-mail about a comment on a status update, a photo or a wall post, you can simply reply via e-mail and the post will show up on Facebook. The social network is able to filter out unrelated text like your e-mail signature.
Facebook is testing out a new feature that lets you identify strangers who attempt to friend you, according to a report published today by the Inside Facebook blog.
Ever encountered someone who just can’t take the hint, “I don’t know you, so, no, I do not want to be your friend,” and attempts to friend you over and over again despite numerous rejections? Or have you been spammed by a fake Facebook profile whose friendship you carelessly accepted?
Well, Facebook has the remedy for all of these ills: A new function called “Mark You Don’t Know.” Now, after choosing “ignore” when you receive a friend request, Facebook gives you the option to report said person as a stranger. Check out the screenshots below.
The Simulcam and Fusion 3D camera inventions were not the only technologies that made James Cameron’s Sci-Fi epic Avatar a massive box office success. While smaller films have used social media to spread the word guerrilla-style, no other major blockbuster has employed a full-on social web marketing assault quite like Avatar.
The results in its case were a $232 million opening weekend, a total of one billion dollars in revenue by year’s end, and the rank of #2 highest grossing film of all time. Cameron’s $500 million act of hubris has paid off. Here’s an outline of the social media movesAvatar’s team made to achieve success.
The writing is on the wall. Facebook is the world’s largest social network, and for the first time ever it was the most trafficked web site on Christmas day in the United States. If anyone is poised to make a big move in the location-space in the new year its Facebook.
Facebook is already encouraging members to be more open. They made a bold and controversial move to alter the default settings around status updates in the hopes of making more Facebook updates public and searchable.
In the same spirit of openness, Facebook would certainly profit by implementing opt-in location-aware status updates. Knowing where your Facebook friends are grabbing a cup of coffee or catching a flick is a just as important, if not more so, than knowing that they’re doing it. So in much the same way that Foursquare shows you check-ins from friends and people checked in at venues, Facebook could provide context around status updates in the wild, but on a much grander scale
Vitamin Water decided to let Facebook users create a new flavor we had no idea that the final product would pay homage to Facebook in so many ways. The new flavor, announced today, is called “Connect” (as in Facebook Connect?) and even carries the Facebook logo on the bottle label.
Ultimately, Facebooker Sarah from Illinois was awarded the grand prize — a nice cash sum totaling $5,000 — for her role in designing the new Connect flavor.
You can expect to see the Facebook-branded variety of Vitamin Water, which is “a tasty black cherry-lime flavor made with caffeine and 8 key nutrients,” on shelves come March of this year.
Here’s the full message posted to Vitamin Water’s Facebook Page: “Unlike the never-ending debate over whether it’s rock-paper-scissors or paper-rock-scissors, based on your votes and your designs, the latest flavor of vitaminwater has FINALLY been decided… introducing the black cherry-lime flavored vitaminwater named… connect! check out this new package- flavor & ingredients, name & label design- all inspired by you- our fans. it’s got 8 key nutrients plus caffeine. thanks for all your help- especially to the grand prize winner Sarah from Illinois and the four other finalist http://budurl.com/q27w. vitaminwater connect will be available in stores nationwide in march this year- so until then, stay hydrated- and keep your eyes here for news, updates and special offers for connect, including a possible sneak tasting opportunity. and btw… it’s rochambeau!”