Blog posts tagged with 'Social Media'

Media Marketing Tools

New social media marketing tools seem to pop up every day, so here’s some help sorting the best from the rest:

1. Mention: Google Alerts for the social web. Mention helps you monitor your brand’s presence on social networks, forums, blogs and more. It also includes social features that allow you to respond to mentions of your brand and to share industry news that you find.

2. Buffer: Social media publishing plus powerful analytics. Buffer is a powerful social media tool that lets you schedule your updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and

3. Feedly: Content discovery. Finding great content to share with your audience is easy with Feedly. Not only can you subscribe to RSS feeds to keep on top of industry blogs and news sites, you can also use Feedly to discover new content related to your topics of interest.

4. Twitter Counter: Track Twitter progress. It can be easy to lose track of how your Twitter account is growing; that’s where Twitter Counter comes in. It’s a free service that tracks changes in your follower count and predicts future growth over time.

5. Zapier: Link favorite social services. Zapier connects the services you use independently. For example, if your team uses HipChat to keep in touch, you can use Zapier to set up automatic notifications inside HipChat rooms for Tweets, MailChimp campaigns or new RSS items.

6. Bottlenose: Intelligence for social networks. Bottlenose features a real-time search engine that queries all public information from social networks and groups and displays it in algorithmic order of importance. The result is a stream of content ranked by most to least important.

7. Followerwonk: Follower analysis for Twitter. Although you can use a tool like Twitter Counter to watch the growth of the number of your Twitter followers, you may need to analyze your followers more carefully. Followerwonk breaks down your followers into demographics so you can understand them better.

8. Quintly: Social analytics for brands. Quintly is a powerful tool for in-depth social media analytics, helping you track your business’s social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Quintly also has benchmarking features that help you understand how your performance compares to that of competitors and to industry averages.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Choosing The Best Analytic Platform For You

For every hand there is a glove. Think about that statement…

The problem is, all the other glove-sellers are constantly trying to get you to buy their gloves instead, and other people keep recommending a whole load of other gloves that just don’t fit you at all.

This pained analogy is a “weak” attempt at describing how difficult it can be in selecting the right kind of analytics software for your own organization.

To start with, there are social media analytics, social media measurement, social listening, social media monitoring and countless millions of other terminologies to keep track of, and each will come with a wide range of competencies and feature sets. Each will claim to be the best on their own website too, of course.

So what I’m going to do is give you a simple outline to follow when searching for an analytic tracking platform.

Create a shortlist

Clever marketers and other departments seeking specific platforms for analyzing social media will begin by outlining what they actually want to do. They may outline some desirable objectives, like:

  • I want to keep track of how many followers we have
  • I want to understand which pieces of content are performing best
  • I want to better manage and schedule our brand’s social media posts
  • I want to listen to what customers are saying about my marketplace
  • I want to keep track of influential mentions in the media of my brand

There could be many thousands of other, similar, statements too.

However, once it’s clear what you’re actually wanting from your software then you can begin the process of earnest, full-on research.

Do some thorough research

Look up independent reports. Search for comparison documents. Go on sites like G2 Crowd to see what customers are saying about certain software. Go on sites like Glassdoor to see what employees are saying about it. Try to source materials that don’t champion a specific tool – remember that your requirements are unique and only you can be the judge of the best platform for you.

Rather than elevate one tool in particular above all others, aim at showcasing the capabilities of complete platform.

The final stage is the most important…demoing. Request demos of every tool that looks like it might be able to meet your objectives. Give the seemingly slightly weaker ones a chance to impress in action. Stress-test them.

Push them to their limits. Try to envisage why they might not be the right choice. Take the salesperson out of the equation and line up the actual products against each other.

Ask the vendor to set you up with a trial so you can test it yourself. Get demos and trials of the front runners and make a decision based on personal experience, not just whichever has the flashiest advert or what appears highest in rankings.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

10 Social Media Facts That Will Make You Rethink Your Marketing Strategy

Social Media is changing faster than ever, as if that wasn’t something everyone already knew!

If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are ten that might make you rethink the way you’re approaching social media.

1. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket.

Those are impressive numbers against the prevailing idea that social media is ‘just for teenagers.’ It certainly points to the importance of having a solid social media strategy if these age brackets fit into your target demographic.

2. 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’

Not only does Facebook have millions of users who don’t access it from a desktop or laptop, but mobile use generates 30% of Facebook’s ad revenue as well. This is a 7% increase from the end of 2012 already.

3. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network

Did you think TV was the best way to reach the masses? Well if you’re after 18–34 year olds in the U.S., you’ll have more luck reaching them through YouTube. Of course, one video won’t necessarily reach more viewers than a cable network could, but utilizing a platform with such a wide user base makes a lot of sense.

4. Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, continues to grow every second. From groups to blogs to job listings, this platform is a rich source of information and conversation for professionals who want to connect to others in their industry.

5.) Almost half of online customers expect brands to provide customer service on Facebook, but only 23% provide it

Here is something most of us struggle with: To provide great customer service on Facebook. I’m not sure why, but it’s always proven to be trickier than Twitter or email.

6. LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook

Although LinkedIn is gathering new users at a fast rate, the number of active users is lower than most of the biggest social networks around. So more people are signing up, but they’re not participating. This means you’re probably not going to have as good a response with participatory content on LinkedIn, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter.

7. 93% of marketers use social media for business

Only 7% of marketers say they don’t use social media for their business. That means there are lots of people out there getting involved and managing a social media strategy. It’s becoming more common to include social media as part of an overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was the outlier that no one wanted to spend time or money on.

8. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them

It’s pretty clear that mobile is a growing space that we need to pay attention to. And we’ve all heard the cliché of smartphone owners who don’t want to let go of their phones, even for five minutes.

9. Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger

Blogging is clearly a big focus for marketers who want to take advantage of social media and content marketing. This is great, because blogging for your business has lots of advantages: you can control your company blog, you can set the tone and use it to market your product, share company news or provide interesting information for your customers. 

10. 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings

We’ve seen a lot of news about social media companies and privacy. Facebook itself has been in the news several times over privacy issues, Instagram users recently got in a skirmish over changing their terms of service, and the recent NSA news has seen people become more conscious of their privacy online.

Your social media strategy really comes down to what your goals are, and who your target customers are, but it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the trends happening across the web. Hopefully these stats will help you to identify trends that will affect your strategy and adjust accordingly.

For the full article or a more in-depth analysis of each point made, click HERE!

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Boosting Customer Service Through Social Media

With social media firmly established as the most popular web activity amongst mainstream users, consumers now make their purchasing decisions in a dramatically different way to how they did just a few years ago.

Consumers share, advise, review, complain and compliment brands regarding their customer experiences across the web and social media sites for all to see.

But what does online customer service proficiency entail?

Here’s my take on what I believe are the six best practices for preparing your organization to develop robust online customer service interactions through social media!

1. Monitor customer comments

Developing an excellent customer service approach depends on how well you monitor all online conversations about your brand. Choosing a social media monitoring platform that best suits your needs is essential.

2. Prepare to respond to customer comments

Once you understand where and when your customers mention your brand, you need to develop an appropriate response plan by defining what you’ll respond to and when you’ll respond.

3. Integrate and alert

Many companies lack the resources to have a large amount of dedicated staff logged into a social media monitoring tool awaiting mentions that require their attention. To address this, advanced social media monitoring tools offer email-alert systems to accompany their main user dashboards.

4. Analyze sentiment to streamline operations

Advanced social media monitoring tools enable you to automate the segmentation of social media comments and inquiries by sentiment

5. Manage the three most common complaint categories

How you respond to customers online depends greatly on your company’s culture and guidelines for external communications and customer support through other channels.

Specific complaints – that relate to a particular experience and usually give some detail and context. Such straight-forward complaints have a high probability of resolution, so they often take priority.

General complaints - expressions of general negativity towards a company can be tricky to manage. The ultimate goal, in this situation, should be responding and steering the conversation to a private session to minimize negative publicity.

Trolling/spamming mentions – exist to attract attention or disrupt conversations. Try to ignore those and have a real strategic or customer-centric reason for responding to content online.

6. Use online customer service as a revenue generator

Social media has become a key portal for customer service requests. People are turning to social media en masse, particularly to Twitter, to contact customer service teams with their queries.

Do pay attention to those requests as they usually offer lots of details for you to mine the opportunity to win over customers.

Additionally, the way you deal with leads on social can strongly impact your overall customer service reputation. Be quick, nice and helpful, and most importantly show you care. Going the extra mile will definitely pay off as people will start noticing your responsiveness, and this will impact customer retention and revenue.

A professional, efficient customer service team has the potential to turn complainers into loyal customers.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Hassle Free Social Media Practices

Social media occupies our everyday lives, providing opportunities and distractions in equal measures. How can our audiences use social media to save time and stay connected while reducing the time social media takes up?

Everything we create and post online should be social. In addition to the thousands of news and gossip articles published every day, we have even more content to engage with than ever, as there are several responses left by users and followers, which can be controversial and amusing.

Ordinary people and those who are more prominent don’t seem to hold back. For me, comments left on an article can provide as much, if not more, entertainment than the original article itself. 

If you think about it, it is the subjective nature of news content that sparks discussions either on the publication’s own Web site or off the back of their social media posts. This is where a user’s activity will be seen by followers — people who are more likely to respond to someone they are connected with and further engage in the discussion.

Newspaper and magazine editors are “content editors.” They ensure that everything they publish is easy to find, has embedded links, is shareable, and looks great across multiple platforms and devices.

This means that a wider skill set is needed for success, which has called for new talent within organizations, regardless of the size.

After all, with the print medium declining year after year, there is a need to safeguard businesses by reaching new audiences and having a strategy to get eyeballs on the content and, over time, increasing the number of followers and interactions with content.

You can probably gather from this post that, while social media can extend audience reach and interaction from personal and business points of view, it can be very time-consuming and tricky to stay front-of-mind and relevant. This is true whether you are running a national newspaper or a cafe in a little town across the country.

To make this easier, here are five hassle-free social media tips that will save you time:

  1. Use RSS feeds that connect to Twitter and Facebook so that each time you post on your blog or Web site, the content appears on your social networks straight away.
  2. Set up Facebook and Instagram links and statuses so they are automatically tweeted.
  3. Upload your Instagram photos to an album on Facebook so your fans and friends can see what you’re up to.
  4. Welcome new members and followers. This is especially good for small groups.
  5. Finally, ensure you activate all social networks by syncing them to different devices.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Preferred Communication For Customer Deals & Promotions

Consumers prefer to receive marketing messages, special offers, and coupons from brands via email more than any other communication channel, according to a recent report from Message Systems.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted in September 2014 from 500 adult Internet users in the United States.

Half of respondents say they do not want to receive any marketing communications at all from brands.

A quarter say they prefer to be contacted by email, the most popular communication channel by far.

Some 9% like text messages and 7% are fans of snail mail. Just 5% of respondents say social media is their preferred way of being contacted with marketing messages and offers.

Which form of communication do you prefer brands to contact you regarding special deals or promotions?

For non-emergency customer service issues, email again is the most liked channel, with 32% of respondents saying that is how they prefer to initiate interactions.

How do you prefer to initiate communication in a non-emergency customer service related issue?

Phone conversations are the next most popular channel for non-emergency customer service issues (29% prefer), followed by online chat (9%) and social media (7%)

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology