Future Implications For Social Media

 

As Social Media continues to evolve, marketers must also find ways to adjust to changes within that space. New platforms continue to emerge, they continue to innovate to remain competitive, and consumers themselves are driving changes across social media. While there is no way to know for sure how social media will continue to evolve, based on current trends we can assume that the following aspects of social media will continue to drive change in the space.

Data

As companies continue to find value in consumer data, business will seek more of it. Social media is a great source for consumer data which encourages businesses to participate across social platforms. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram each offer social analytics via their platforms, which suggests they too have noticed the demand for more insights into social activity. Insights also help businesses provide better experiences for their consumers across social platforms. Data analytics also helps marketers measure the success of their marketing efforts across social, which will continue to be vital as companies continue to invest more in social media.

Video

Video consumption is expected to surpass 85% by 2019. Video is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand forms of marketing. Its popularity is in large part due to how engaging the medium is especially across social media. Many companies are investing in video because they recognize its value when trying to connect with potential consumers. For example, “video ads now account for more than 35% of all ad spending online.”

Paid Advertising

The top social media platforms already offer companies advertising solutions, which many advertisers are already taking advantage of to promote their businesses. Facebook alone is estimated to take in more than two-thirds of social media revenue which demonstrates the value advertisers see in social media advertising. Advertisers are also investing more in Twitter and Instagram.

Customer Service

Socia media has enabled companies to improve customer service. Many consumers share complaints and concerns with brands via social media, demonstrating the importance of social media as it relates to customer service. As consumers continue to vent and engage with brands across social companies will have to find ways to meet consumers expectations. According to a poll conducted by eMarketer “50% of those polled said they would never buy from a brand again if it responded poorly to their complaint,” which highlights the importance of brands ensuring customer service is an integral part of their social management plan.

The truth is that technology and human behavior via technology continue to influence the future of social media. The social aspect of the medium suggests that the changes with industry are indeed influenced by human behavior and users engaged with the various platforms. As technology evolves and companies innovate, consumers also have ways of effect change across social media.

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

Viral campaigns are a marketers dream but there is no guarantee a campaign will indeed go viral. When campaigns go viral they reflect positively on the brand and the teams. In marketing, the fundamental goal is to ensure that your message is amplified by reaching as many people as possible, especially within the intended target market. When a campaign goes viral it often goes well beyond the target market and benefits the brand.

Top 5 Characteristics

Emotion

Marketing that taps into the emotions of its audience helps increase the likelihood of a campaign going viral because viewers are more compelled to share ads they connect with emotionally.

Heineken’s Worlds Apart Ad went viral because it was relevant to current events which have stirred up negative emotions and this ad tried to calm tensions by providing a possible solution.

Unique

Campaigns that are truly unique, that are the first of their kind often have the potential to go viral because they catch the consumers attention. If unique enough consumers are then compelled to share with friends and across social media which helps the campaign go viral.

Beyoncé’s Lemonade album was released in a unique way with little promotion before its release. Mysterious posts and messages across social drove fans to speculate increasing social chatter. Beyonce then announced the release of her album t the end of the HBO special, which surprised everyone. The mystery a before the HBO special drove chatter before the release while news of the album’s release and the special went viral after its release increasing awareness for the album which resulted in more sales.

Personalization

Personalization is a popular element in viral campaigns, likely because it allows the audience to connect with the brand on a personal level by incorporating some aspect of themselves with the brand’s image. Campaigns that allow for personalization also spark the creation of user generated content (UGC) which help expedite virality.

The Coca Cola’s Share A Coke Campaign encouraged viewers to share a coke with friends and family which generated a great deal of social buzz.

The Straight Outta Compton campaign also had a personalization element that helped it spread across social. As part of the movie’s promotional efforts users were given an opportunity to create their own memes featuring their own hometown.

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Source: The Hollywood Reporter

 

User-Generated Content

Campaigns that encourage viewers to create and share content [images, video or memes] are able to get consumers to share their message via branded graphics that they customize and pass along. The sharing of consumer-generated content increases awareness for brands via consumer created content.

Starbucks challenged fans to decorate white cups and share their designs across social using the #WhiteCupContet hashtag. Consumer-generated content increased awareness for Starbucks and keeps their consumer engaged with the brand.

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Source: Yotpo.com

 

 

OfficeMax’s ElfYourself.com allows visititors to the webpae an opportunity to elf themselves to spark some holiday cheer. This campaign

 

Call To Action

A call to action that asks viewers to share content, engage or asks viewers to share for additional participants are the kinds of calls to action that help keep a campaign active.

The #IceBucketChallenge support the ALS Association is the most notable viral campaign that encouraged continuous participation via nominations. However, considering the fact that this challenge was created to benefit a charity, it important to keep in mind that results might vary for non-charitable campaigns

 

 

Differentiation: HomeAway vs. Airbnb

Travel today is more popular and accessible than ever before. The Internet and digital media offer a plethora of resources to facilitate travel to any destination in the world. Travel today is significantly easier than it was in 2008 when I took my first trip abroad.
My first travel experience alone was for study abroad in Italy and the thought of being so far away from family and friends, in a place I knew little about and didn’t speak the language was both terrifying and exhilarating. During my month in Italy, I was home sick most days and fighting the flu almost the entire month (January is cold and dreary avoid it if you can). Despite being homesick and physically sick, I knew I had to make the best of the once in a lifetime experience, and for that, I turned to sightseeing, freshly baked bread, pasta, and gelato.

While my program organized travel arrangement and places for students to stay in Florence, all the students had to figure out how to do everything else including, how to navigate the city, speak the language, find affordable places to eat, figure out where to book travel arrangements to other cities, etc.
Fast forward to today and travel abroad is a breeze find a great deal on a flight and place to stay, and do research online or across social to create a list of great places to eat and things to do. Mobile devices, the internet, and social media have changed the way we travel, it is easier to do and people are more empowered to embark on trips that may have previously seemed daunting.

Airbnb vs. HomeAway

 

One important aspect of travel is where to stay, and many companies have entered the market thanks to the Internet and digital/social media. Two companies that have revolutionized the hospitality industry are Airbnb and HomeAway, conventional hotels are no longer the only option when looking for a place to stay when traveling.

Continue reading “Differentiation: HomeAway vs. Airbnb”

The Power Of Social Listening

What is Social Listening?

It is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand or industry online.

Many of today’s top companies and brands use social listening to better understand their consumer, their industry, consumer opinion about their business, and even consumer opinion about the competition. Social listening can be done in various ways, the simplest form of social listening a business can engage in is by simply monitoring their social media accounts.

A business might also decide to utilize one of the various tools available in the market to parse through and organize the vast amounts of social chatter. Some popular free services for social listening include Hootsuite, and  Tweetdeck. There are also, platforms such as Crimson Hexagon, Brandwatch, and TrackMaven, which offer businesses advanced features for reporting and analyzing social chatter. However, more advanced social listening tools such as Crimson Hexagon, Brandwatch and TrackMaven are usually used by large businesses and corporation that can afford to pay the often times hefty user fees. It is also important to note that advanced social listening tools do more than simply organize social chatter they can provide advanced reporting that quantifies and conveniently parse through data to provide key stats and insights that might be relevant to business owners. Social listening reporting could include qualitative and quantitative data such as total social buzz/posts, sentiment, top hashtags, top authors or even total impressions for specified queries.

Social Listening + Social Analytics 

“Social listening has become an integral part of the entire customer lifecycle” but it is only a piece of the social intelligence puzzle. Social listening combined with digital and social analytics offers businesses a deeper understanding of their brand across digital media, enabling businesses to act on key insights derived from social listening and social intelligence. Businesses that can quickly react to consumer questions and concerns are able to build strong relationships with their customers. They are also able to innovate and evolve by using feedback from consumers to improve products and services, also getting ahead of possible competitors. Businesses engaging in social listening must act on insights drawn from consumer chatter and digital/social analytics in order to truly reap the rewards of social listening. Continue reading “The Power Of Social Listening”

IS CRM Another Just Another Acronym?

What is CRM?

The acronym itself stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM employs people, technology, tools, processes, and activities to increase customer retention and a firm’s profitability.

My experience with the acronym always made me think Salesforce, it is the leader in CRM software, but I’ve honestly had no interest in figuring out what it is. There is something about the name it could be because of the word Sales. Also, the idea of companies using software to manage their relationship with consumers seemed so impersonal, which is ironic considering what its meant to do.

It wasn’t until recently that I found myself researching CRM for an assignment and it occurred to me that while I have never used Salesforce as a marketer, I have been involved in various CRM related activities both as a marketer and consumer, I guess it can be done without Salesforce.

CRM TODAY

Avery, Fournier & Wittenbraker note that companies are improving their CRM strategies thanks to the availability of new tools that can help companies better understand consumer data which can help companies find ways to connect with customers and personalize content and experiences for their customers. However, they also note that while companies are better equipped with advanced tools and greater access to data, they “lack relational intelligence” (Ouch!), companies fail to realize how many different types of relationships a customer can have with a company.

CRM IS MORE THAN SOFTWARE

“CRM is not a Software” – Mayur Gupta, VP of Global Innovation and Marketing at Spotify  Continue reading “IS CRM Another Just Another Acronym?”

The Hispanic Consumer, Out Of The Shadows

It is impossible for U.S. industries to ignore the “power and influence” of the Hispanic consumer, almost 57 million according to Nielsen. The same report by Nielsen noted that between 2010 and 2015 Hispanics made up 50% of growth in the U.S. population and it is expected to double by 2060 according to estimates by the U.S. census.

This has undoubtedly had an impact on how companies approach marketing, the U.S. Hispanic population once considered a “niche” market now represents more than $1.9 trillion a year in consumer spending. While some advertisers still wonder whether or not investing in the Hispanic market is worth it, those that do are considered to be “progressive and innovative” given the purchasing power of Hispanic consumers and their projected growth. Market research to target sub-segments isn’t always feasible but is important for marketers to understand that there are a variety of cultural nuances within the Hispanic market and depending on the marketer’s objectives it is important to consider this fact, we are not all the same. A great way for marketers to tackle this challenge is by focusing on the cultural similarities between the sub-segments, which should be not be assumed but instead based on actual research to ensure campaigns resonate with multiple sub-segments within the Hispanic market.

HISPANIC MILLENNIALS

According to Nielsen, Hispanics alone make up almost a quarter of the Millennial population in the U.S. (75 million), and with millennials being the second largest age cohort in the country, marketers are tasked with finding ways to reach them. A notable characteristic of Hispanics and other multicultural millennials is that they are “ambicultural,” meaning they’re able to hold on to their family’s culture which is very important to them while also adapting to other cultures. Nielsen specifically noted that multicultural millennials (Hispanics included), have a notable influence on cultural trends due to their comfort with other cultures and they are making multicultural, mainstream. Therefore, it is imperative for marketers and their clients to recognize the importance of the Hispanic/multicultural consumer, especially millennials given their influence on culture. Continue reading “The Hispanic Consumer, Out Of The Shadows”

What’s The Deal With Influencer Marketing?

“Audiences do not connect with logos – they connect with humans.” – Kelly Ehlers 

There is no doubt that digital communications and social media have helped drive the constant exchange of opinion that occurs between consumers. Consumers can quickly search and review a product or service thanks to the abundance of information consumers share across the web. Marketers no longer have the last word, they can no longer use a push strategy to market their products and services, consumers now tell marketers what they want and how they should be reached, forcing them to implement pull strategies to reach consumers.

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketer has increased in popularity and has become a part of the marketing mix for many brands. A survey by Bloglovin, highlighted just how marketers feel about Influencer marketing, many feel it helps create awareness across social media (71%), it helps them reach a more targeted audience (67%), and they like that it generates original content for them (61%).

Continue reading “What’s The Deal With Influencer Marketing?”