Tag Archive | "industry"

5 Ways to Leverage Social Listening to Win Over a Hyper-Targeted Audience

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The sheer number of social media posts blazing through feeds every minute can be overwhelming, but don’t let it deter you from engaging in one of the most important things modern marketers need to master: social listening.

It’s crucial to cut through the noise, sit back, and truly listen to the digital conversations taking place around you. Doing this will show you who your audience really is, make it possible to develop a campaign that delights them, and add a whole new level of responsiveness to your company.

The Advantages of Social Listening

For example, let’s say you begin tracking conversations on Twitter that include a hashtag of your company’s name. If you happen to encounter a recurring customer service issue that several customers are complaining about, not only could you quickly reply to each individual with an appropriate resolution, but you could also circulate that information throughout your company to help improve future products and steer future initiatives.

By monitoring and appropriately responding to these sentiments, you not only have a golden opportunity to reverse poor customer perceptions and actively resolve customer service issues, but you also appear more compassionate and human.

More specifically, turning an ear to online conversations can result in a few distinct marketing advantages:

  • Increased brand devotion: Through consistent online engagement with your audience, you can build a band of devoted followers. When customers and prospects feel like their voices are heard, your brand can forge an emotional attachment that translates into deep-rooted loyalty. In fact, 53 percent of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those companies.
  • Two-way, instantaneous intimacy: Social listening does more than provide insight into your true audience demographics; it’s also a two-way street. Customers have the opportunity to engage and connect with you on a more intimate level, which only further tightens the bonds of loyalty. They won’t have to wait on hold for an hour or repeatedly press 0 to hear a human voice — effective social listening swiftly and humanly responds to customer queries.
  • Valuable perspectives:When it comes down to it, your company is nothing without its customers. How could you possibly have all the answers without their feedback? Product research can only tell you so much, but by tapping into real, unfiltered customer reactions and gripes about your product, you can start to connect the dots, chart out trends, and uncover areas for improvement.
  • Areas for exploration: Customers and prospects aren’t afraid to voice their opinions about what they wish you could offer or companies that upstage your service. Pay attention to these sentiments as potential areas of growth and advancement.

How to Listen With Meaning

Think about it: No customer wants to follow a content machine. You have to strike a balance between participating in marketing-based conversations and blasting out information. When you take a “wait and react” approach rather than the typical “buzz creating” attitude that tends to drive audiences away, you’ll emit a refreshing and approachable presence.

It’s a long-term approach that will produce dividends in brand evangelism down the road, but to make your social listening efforts worthwhile, there are a few best practices to consider:

  1. Go in with an actionable game plan and goals.In the congested social world, it’s difficult to know where to start your search. By developing a clearly defined strategy, objectives, and keywords and adhering to those throughout the listening process, you can better allocate your resources and home in on the most pertinent people and information.
  1. Seek out customers, prospects, and thought leaders. Although your customers are the ultimate target, they aren’t always the ones commanding the industry conversation. It’s important to be vigilant of customers and prospects, but don’t discount the value of industry influencers who could be engaging with the same people you’re after.
  1. Start your own social conversations. If the conversation surrounding your brand is quiet, make some noise by reaching out to targeted individuals to see who bites and what feedback you can gather.
  1. Analyze the results.What does the main demographic that uses your product look like? Which influencers and brands do they revere? Which types of campaigns do they respond to best? What does this persona want more or less of from your brand? Consider all the information you learn from social listening, and launch a social-specific marketing campaign to pull even more data from leads that interact with you.
  1. Hone your marketing accordingly. Take note of the customers who speak the loudest and the most often. You can create personas and personalities based on the overarching type of person who follows your brand to better pinpoint your target market. Armed with their perceptions, suggestions, and attitudes toward your brand and offering, you can optimize your campaigns to appeal directly to this audience.

Listening to both the good and bad conversations around your brand can illuminate your product’s impact and reveal rich details about those who have taken notice of your brand or used your product.

But the brand that yells the loudest won’t win over the hearts and ears of those who matter most to it. Let your audience do the talking, and you’ll walk away with the information you need to craft a message that customers and prospects want to hear.

Brandon Houston is the CEO of Switch Video, a video animation company that produces simple videos that “explain what you do” in an engaging and compelling format. He welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Twitter.

Photo credit: meolog / VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

#SmallBizSat Squeezed Out on Twitter by Black Friday, Cyber Monday

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Some of the biggest shopping days in the American market are coming up soon, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers discuss deals on Twitter.

However, the conversation on Twitter around Small Business Saturday has been minimal compared to those two.

Brandwatch tracked the Twitter mentions around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday over the past two weeks. They’ve seen more than 189,000 mentions of Black Friday and nearly 9,300 mentions of Cyber Monday, but only about 4,500 mentions of Small Business Saturday.

But what are people talking about most? Naturally, electronics have dominated the conversation on Twitter.


While both men and women are talking about electronics on Twitter, Brandwatch data shows that the gender breakdown on the clothing conversations skews female.

image017Brandwatch found that the clothing deal many women are talking about on Twitter comes from Victoria’s Secret, which has dominated the brand-based conversation these past two weeks.

Brandwatch elaborated in an email to SocialTimes:

At Brandwatch, we’ve been tracking dozens of the top brands participating in Thanksgiving weekend holiday sales events from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday and all the deals in between turkey feasting. One brand has set themselves apart from all others in their industry, and outside of their industry, and that’s Victoria’s Secret.

With well over 6,000 mentions in the last month specifically related to their Black Friday deal (a whopping 90% off) Victoria’s Secret is that she’s slashing prices beyond anything shoppers had hoped for and Twitter is intending to take her up on her offer.

The usual heavy-hitter electronics brands including Playstation (2,000), Apple (1,500) and Xbox (1,400), have received a fraction of the mentions as VS has.


While Amazon has been the most discussed retailer over the past two weeks (34 percent of the mentions tracked), Best Buy and Walmart have seen spikes:


Readers: Do you use Twitter to learn about holiday shopping deals?

11 Tips On How to Drive Sales With Content (Infographic)

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Marketers can sometimes obsess over engagement, while lead generation and increases in sales are ignored as metrics. An infographic from Clearvoice provides 11 tips for keeping your content marketing focused on the ultimate goal.

When creating content, it’s important not to simply focus on top of the funnel messaging. As critical as awareness and interest campaigns are, creating content for each phase in the customer journey is equally valuable. For example, including testimonials informs potential customers during the consideration phase of the funnel, and expanding on popular posts can provide details for customers in the evaluation phase.

Promoting content effectively allows it to reach more potential customers. Consider using niche marketing to reach the audience most likely to convert, forge content partnerships with others in your industry to take advantage of audience overlap, and leverage industry experts to promote your content to yet another engaged audience.

The job of content marketing does not end once it’s reached the audience. To increase the chances of conversions, include call to action messages, and use your blog or website to offer potential customers value to encourage signups or purchases. Retargeting is also very useful during this phase, as customers seeing retargeted ads are 70 percent more likely to buy your product or service.

And finally, don’t forget to actually close deals. Clearvoice notes that 35 to 50 percent of sales go to the companies that respond to customer queries first, but it’s important to use this communication to open a dialog, and not to just send another marketing message. Nurture qualified leads not yet ready to purchase, and you could see long term returns increase.

For more advice, check out the infographic below.


Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Survey: 36 Percent of Marketers Concerned About Ad Fraud, Unsure How it Happens

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Bot traffic is a serious problem for publishers and platforms alike. Publishers have difficulty verifying that their ad dollars are actually bring in worthwhile ROI, and networks are working hard to try and push out the fraud cutting into their bottom line.

A survey of industry professionals from eZanga, a provider or ad fraud prevention tools, and content marketing firm Emerging Insider, examines how top industry professionals feel about fraud, and how they’re reacting to it.

When asking these professionals which aspects of media quality were most important, ad fraud was among the top three concerns, following targeting and transparency. 36.67 percent of survey respondents said they were concerned by fraud, but said they were unaware how or if it was occurring during their efforts. Only 10 percent weren’t concerned at all by fraud.

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When working with vendors and forming partnerships, their level of investment concerning fraud was ranked as a ‘very important’ factor by 30 percent of respondents. An additional 30 percent said it was important but not a deciding factor, and 26.67 percent said it was at least somewhat important.

The two biggest fraud mechanisms encountered by ad campaigns were ad re-targeting, and lead conversion fraud. Additionally, 23.33 percent of respondents knew they had been a victim of fraud, but were unaware of how they had been affected, which seems to be a chronic problem in the industry.

Twenty percent of respondents didn’t know if they had lost money because of fraud, or if they had been victims of fraud at all. Another 20 percent were aware they were victims, but could not determine how much money the fraud had cost them. Yet another 20 percent suspected that they had lost between $5,000 and $10,000.

When it comes to tools that combat fraud, professionals aren’t particularly happy with what is available. Less than 10 percent fully agreed that detection and prevention software offered appropriate security for their campaigns, despite the fact that 66 percent of respondents use one or more vendors to supply them with solutions.

Readers: How often have you experienced ad fraud?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Merge VR Goggles Bring VR Experiences to iOS, Android

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Merge VR has officially launched its Merge VR Goggles for mobile devices, giving users another option for experiencing virtual reality on their smartphones. The headset is compatible with most iOS and Android smartphones from the last two years, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but does not support larger phablet devices.

The Merge VR Goggles are made of flexible foam, and feature one wrap-around head strap and an optional top head strap for additional comfort. The headset offers adjustable lenses and anti-fog ventilation channels, as well as audio ports and a pop-out window for accessing the device’s camera during augmented reality experiences.

The Merge VR Goggles will work with the existing virtual reality apps already released on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. In addition, the Merge Start website presents users with curated virtual reality content across multiple topics, including games, 360 degree video, music and ‘experiences.’

Finally, the headset features two input buttons, giving users access to new abilities while they experience VR content. For instance, users may be able to run and jump at the same time.

Franklyn Lyons, CEO and founder of Merge VR, told SocialTimes:

I think mobile VR is becoming more easily accessible with a broader spectrum of experiences and uses that appeal to more and more people—not only in the entertainment and gaming spaces, but also educational and creative applications. I definitely see this industry as a whole on an upward trajectory that won’t be slowing down any time soon! It’s really exciting to be at the forefront of that.

The Merge VR Goggles are now available to purchase for $99. The headset will be on sale for $79 during a one-day Black Friday sale on November 27.

An additional Merge VR Controller will be released early next year. The motion controller will work alongside the Merge VR Goggles, and will introduce additional control options in supported apps.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

5 Tips for Engaging With Influencers on Twitter

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Do you know which members of your audience are the most influential? Are you engaging with them on a regular basis?

Influencer marketing is part of the new wave of digital marketing, and it’s a key ingredient in the secret sauce of so many successful brands using Twitter. In fact, a full 75 percent of marketers say they use some form of influencer marketing – so if you haven’t added it to your bag of tricks, now’s the time.

Here are five tips that you can use to kickstart, or improve, your influencer marketing on Twitter.

1. Be great at identifying them.

If you are spending time and energy engaging with the wrong influencers, you won’t see much success from your campaign.

Use Twitter search to identify those who regularly tweet about your industry, product or even competitors. Create a spreadsheet or private Twitter list of their usernames, and continue to monitor them regularly.

There are also third-party tools available that can give you more a nuanced understanding of who the best influencers to engage with are, using data points like their demographics, buying intent and behavior online.

2. Engage with them on their turf.

So you’ve found a handful of Twitter influencers. Great! Now it’s time to figure out how to reach out to them.

It’s a good idea to start the conversation on Twitter, and show that you are listening to them by retweeting, commenting and otherwise engaging. Often, after a few days weeks of effort, you’ll find that you’re on their radar and now they are doing the same to you.

Don’t reach out via email, Facebook or another channel until you’ve developed that relationship on Twitter – it can be a bit creepy. However, after a few back-and-forth exchanges, it’s fine to ask if you can email them to discuss an opportunity to work together.

3. Incentivize them.

There is some debate about whether it’s right to pay influencers to endorse your brand, but realistically, people rarely do anything for free. If you are hoping that they will tweet about your brand on Twitter, you’ve got to offer them something in return.

This “something” doesn’t have to be monetary. You can give them the opportunity to write for your blog, which will earn them exposure; give them a free sample of your product to try; or connect them to other influential people in their industry. Just be sure that the relationship goes both ways.

4. Make it easy for them.

If you’re asking an influencer to tweet about your product, you want to make things as easy as possible for them. Instead of requesting a tweet (with no instructions, CTA, or goals), consider writing a few sample tweets and emailing them over, with a note that they can use these tweets and edit them however they like. This way, the influencer won’t have to put in a ton of extra effort, and you will get the exact messaging you want.

5. Get buy-in from your team.

Unless you’re a one-man-shop, you are not an island. Make sure that everyone on your team – at least everyone who contributes to your marketing efforts – understands why you are focusing on building relationships with influencers. Here’s some fodder you can share to convince them it’s worthwhile: 5 Benefits of Building Relationships With Twitter Influencers

What kind of results are you seeing from your influencer marketing efforts on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image via stevendepolo/Flickr)

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

The Culling Of The Herd

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POCIT: 7 Black Engineers You Need To Know

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Ashley Nelson-Hornstein

25 Tips to Double Your Twitter Followers

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It can be frustrating to tweet, day in and day out, and watch your followers number not budge an inch. Sure, you might get two new followers one day, lose three the next, and gain another one the next. But if the trend isn’t upwards, your Twitter marketing likely isn’t doing what it’s supposed to.

Since the average Twitter user has a bit over 200 follower, it’s not that difficult to double this number quickly. But if you’re sitting pretty at 1,000, 5,000 or more, you can use these tactics below to double your followers too – it just might take a little longer.

Here are 25 tips to double your Twitter followers:

The basics

  1. Refresh your bio (or fill it out for the first time, if you haven’t done that yet).
  2. Update your profile picture.
  3. Change your cover photo semi-frequently to showcase your employees, workspace or product.
  4. Tweet more frequently. Several times a day if you can.
  5. Reply to anyone who @mentions or @replies to you on Twitter.
  6. Follow anyone who follows you (as long as they are relevant to your reason for being on Twitter).
  7. Use more images in your tweets (which you can do even if your product is ugly).
  8. Retweet tweets from thought leaders and influencers in your industry.
  9. Ask for retweets.
  10. Set and work towards SMART Twitter marketing goals.
  11. Advanced tactics

  12. Use hashtags in your tweets to get them more reach and exposure.
  13. Pin important/interesting/engaging tweets to the top of your profile.
  14. Use Twitter lists to listen to your customers, industry or competitors.
  15. Schedule your tweets using a service like HootSuite or Buffer.
  16. Review your Twitter analytics dashboard to see what types of tweets got the most engagement and create more tweets that are similar.
  17. Network with thought leaders and influencers in your industry by replying to their tweets and striking up a conversation.
  18. Use tools to discover great new content to share.
  19. Use Twitter’s analytics to create better, more engaging content to attract more followers.
  20. Use Twitter search to find new, relevant accounts to follow in the hope that they will follow you back.
  21. Let everyone in your other networks know that you have a Twitter account. Post your Twitter handle to Facebook, LinkedIn, in your email signature, on your in-store signage, etc.
  22. Live tweet during events, and use the appropriate event hashtag.
  23. Time your tweets so that you are tweeting when your target audience is online.
  24. Bonus tips

  25. Purchase Twitter’s promoted account ad product to get your account in front of targeted follower.
  26. Join the conversation happening in your local community. This is especially useful for small, local businesses looking to gain more local customers.
  27. Host a Twitter chat. This can be time-consuming, but it will also put your account front-and-center as a thought leader in your industry.

(Growth image via Shutterstock)

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

What The Growth Of Virtual Reality Will Mean For Brands

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December 2015
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