Posts Tagged ‘Brian Solis’
Given the widespread adoption of social media marketing practices, the “if” and “when” questions seemed to have now been resolved by most midsized and larger companies (and a lot of small companies as well).
However, as the posts and articles highlighted below show, plenty of questions remain, such as how much should we budget for social media? What’s the best process for developing a social media marketing plan? How should we staff for this and train current employees to contribute? How do we demonstrate the ROI of social efforts?
Find the answers to those questions and many more here in almost three dozen of the best social media tips, how-to guides, lists and reports of 2012 so far.
Social Media Marketing Tips, Tactics & Techniques
Dr. Seuss’ 7 social media lessons by Ragan’s PR Daily
The delightful Heidi Cohen presents seven social media marketing tips in Dr. Seuss style, among them “‘Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.’ Be yourself on social media platforms and reveal your true essence…Show who you are with your avatar and profiles. Include information that proves you’re human.”
9 social media hacks you need to embrace now by iMedia Connection
Astutely noting that “Social media isn’t inexpensive, it’s just different expensive. To do it well requires a tremendous time commitment, and regardless of what your life and lifestyle entails, the time you spend on social comes with an opportunity cost price tag,” Jay Baer offers six tips for getting more done in social media in less time, such as listening to podcasts while commuting or working out, and utilizing tools like Buffer and If This Then That.
Five Types of Social Media Influencers by Intelegia
Raymond Morin presents both Klout’s 12-type matrix of social influencer types as well as Lisa Barone’s simpler model of five types, including the networker (“one who has the biggest contact list and found on all platforms. He or she who knows everybody and everybody knows him or her”) and the sharer (“one who distributes information to the bloggers to journalists through the specialized webzines. He or she usually amplifies messages”).
“Businesses are interacting with consumers to socialize rather than learn about customer expectations to in turn, deliver tangible value, improve product experiences, and invest in long-term relationships,” writes Brian Solis, who then details an experiment by Andrew Blakeley in which he spent a week as a “social consumer.” Blakeley concluded that “the online experience for consumers was undefined or uncharted, leaving consumers to fend for themselves to find relevance within the engagement without any reinforcement to brand value or story.” Don’t be one of those brands.
What Marketing Questions Are Worth Asking in Social Media Listening? by MarketingProfs
David Rabjohns says that the top five questions Fortune 500 companies are asking about social media are:
- • Where are people talking about my brand?
- • How should I change my messaging?
- • How much buzz do I have vs. competition/trend?
- • How do they feel about us vs. the competition?
- • Quantify the biggest brand topics.
Why Now Is The Time To Build Your Personal Brand by B2B Marketing Insider
You want loyalty? Get a dog. Michael Brenner notes how recession, downsizing, the end of pensions and other developments (the accelerating pace of technological change) have made the implicit employment “contract” that existed for much of the last century obsolete, and offers four tips for building a brand that will enhance your professional success and influence.
29 Social Media Leaps of Faith by Heidi Cohen
Heidi lists 29 helpful “leaps of faith to help you build your social media presence and activity,” such as building your social media tribe, introducing your connections to each other (where is may be mutually beneficial), and guest blogging.
3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy by Social Media Examiner
Amy Porterfield outlines a “three-step plan designed to help you develop an effective, streamlined road map for social media success,” beginning with an assessment of where you are at today and working through ongoing monitoring, measurement and continual improvement.
How to create and edit articles for Wikipedia by Web Ink Now
***** 5 STARS
Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites on the web, so getting exposure there is incredibly valuable. But the site is not of course, and shouldn’t be, a marketing tool. Content needs to be informational and neutral in tone. David Meerman Scott explains how to properly write for Wikipedia here.
How to Train Employees to Manage Social Media [infographic] by WordPress Hosting SEO
This infographic explains why existing employees may make the best social media managers, how to divide employees into different training groups most appropriate to their skills, and recommendations for handling personal social media use at work.
How To Write Your Social Media Plan in 8 Steps by Social Media Today
Mike Thimmesch lays out an eight-step process for drafting a social media plan, starting with painting “The Picture of The Big Opportunity of Social Media” and finishing with an urgent call to action (“While similar to how you started your plan, you want to finish with some more strident points that create a sense of urgency”).
7 tips to take social to the next level by iMedia Connection
Erick Mott walks through the definitions of and process of creating owned, paid and earned media followed by seven tips for developing and implementing a social plan, among them “Staff up your social media roles with a distributed workforce that can collaborate and perform in real time. Plot where your organization is, which will help inform strategy and budget and hopefully help you secure what you need for the next phase.”
21 Tips to Balance Social Media Addiction, Tweets, Life and Real Work! by The Marketing Nut
Pam Moore supplies 21 tips for keeping the “social” in social media marketing, developing “a plan that includes objectives, goals, and knowing your audience” without spending excessive time (though noting that sometimes such activity will necessarily take longer than you expect). Among her tips: “Use time blocks. If you struggle with controlling your time enjoyed (or wasted) on social media then set time blocks for engaging, writing blog posts and other tactics.”
Tom Treanor shares 14 “secrets” to building relationships with industry influencers, though he acknowledges the simple truth that “Networking is 98% about being a nice person and having good manners.”
What exactly is a social graph? by Biznology
Writing that “one thing I don’t like (about social media) is that technical people like to make up new fancy words to describe what they make, even if no one knows what they mean,” Mike Moran explains in plain words what a social graph is and what its limitations are.
Social Media Metrics and ROI
101 Examples of Social Business ROI by Dachis Group
Despite the fact that “quantified results in social business and brands willing to stand behind them are difficult to find,” Peter Kim manages to compile a list of more than 100 real-life examples of social media ROI, such as Blendtec (“Viral videos increased company sales +700%”) and Epson (“Reviews drove 98% higher revenue per visitor for Epson”).
The Social Media Metrics That Truly Matter by iMedia Connection
Kent Lewis proposes a matrix model for identifying and monitoring meaningful metrics for your company, based on which platforms are most relevant to your target audience, your objectives and goals for each, and important secondary KPIs to consider.
The Real Secret To The ROI Of Social Media by Social Media Today
Koka Sexton explains why “The real ROI of social media is the moment you realize that you can’t stop the spreading of your content even if you tried. It would be like trying to unpull a trigger…ROI is most importantly the cultivation of relationships and capturing the positive word of mouth recommendations from your community. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
CMOs Say Social Media Spending Will Surge 46% in the Next Year by Mack Collier
Mack reports that although spending on social media marketing is set for another year of strong growth, many companies still struggle to measure or prove the ROI, because, in Mack’s words, “shockingly, most customers don’t want to be marketing mouthpieces for brands.” Therefore, transferring traditional value measures from other media won’t work in social networks; that doesn’t mean ROI can’t be measured, it just can’t be measured using the same criteria.
Social Media Facts and Stats
Companies Struggle To Manage Social Media by MediaPost
Mark Walsh reports the findings of an Altimeter Groups study showing that “global corporations are now struggling to manage an average of 178 business-related social media accounts, spanning Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Foursquare, among others…Social media has often been harnessed haphazardly for marketing, sales, customer support and product development. While 70% of businesses said social media efforts met company objectives, only 43% had a formal strategy to address how social will meet specific business goals…(social media management is) exacerbated at a scale CMS didn’t have to deal with (as large) companies typically oversee 39 Twitter accounts, 32 blogs, 30 Facebook pages and 29 LinkedIn accounts.”
Social Media Jobs Salary Guide by Onward Search
Promising “a comprehensive look at the best US job markets, the most in-demand social media jobs, and the corresponding salary ranges for each profession,” this informative infographic reveals findings such as that Minneapolis ranks #13 in number of social media job postings (New York is #1), the highest salaries are generally paid in San Jose, and the most common position is content writer.
Reporting that “77% (of consumers) are more likely or much more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media to clearly define company values and leadership principles (and) 94% say C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image,” according to a recent Brandfog survey, Rhonda Hurwitz advises senior C-level executives to learn social media tools instead of over-delegating.
Search and Social
Using Social Buttons to Enhance Search Engine Optimization by Practical eCommerce
It’s no secret that social signals are playing an increasing role in search engine rankings, but Jill Kocher provides additional detail behind the trend and recommendations for how to capitalize on it.
Social Media Tools
New technologies to manage social by iMedia Connection
Josh Dreller lists almost 200 tools for every aspect of social media marketing from managing multiple social networks, managing Twitter and searching social networks to apps for social analytics, media relations and video/photo sharing.
YouTube Tips & Tactics
Set Up Your YouTube Channel for SEO Success by The YouMoz Blog
Pointing out that “YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine,” Joel Chudleigh steps through the process of optimizing a YouTube channel for usability and findability, from properly setting up your profile and editing your channel to sharing videos through social networks and measuring results.
B2B And A Resistance To Video Marketing by B2Bbloggers
Observing that “B2B companies have long resisted video as a means of marketing, but that medium is gradually becoming more accepted,” Chris Peterson provides half a dozen valuable tips for technical optimization as well as four practical suggestions for producing effective, non-cheesy b2b videos.
Pinterest Tactics & Techniques
Why Pinterest Should Be of Interest to Brands by MarketingProfs
Amanda DiSilvestro explains how Pinerest works, how to get started with it, and four ways that brands can benefit from the visual social sharing site, including “Visibility and SEO: Every image that is pinned will include a link back to the website where it originated. This helps to spread the word about your company and what your company can offer” (in addition to building links, though these are now no-follow).
Sage Lewis first explains why optimizing for Pinterest is important (e.g., to ” take up greater search engine results pages real estate) then provides 10 optimization tips such as posting original images, giving them search-friendly file names and using keywords in your description.
Claiming that Pinterest is “not ‘just another social media site. This one is different. Pinterest is doing a great job of driving traffic, leads, and sales,” Jesica Meher outlines six benefits of Pinterest, from generating inbound links to integration with existing Twitter and Facebook accounts.
103 Resources For Becoming a Pinterest Expert by KISSmetrics
Zach Bulygo shares more than 100 tips for capitalizing on Pinterest, helpfully arranged in categories like Background and Basics, How-To Articles, Lessons to Learn, Marketing with Pinterest, and Similar Sites.
Why I’ve Resisted Pinterest by MediaPost
The brilliant Ryan DeShazer likely speaks for more marketers than he knows in this thoughtful essay outlining his personal and professional reasons for not yet jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. Among his personal reasons: “#1 – My guy friends would make fun of me. I’m serious. You will never catch me at a dinner party commenting that, ‘I just pinned the most incredible thing today.’ #2 – This smells like social scrapbooking. I don’t scrapbook. My mother does.”
Tumblr and Google+ Tips & Tactics
How to (Properly) Use Tumblr to Market Your Brand by Search Engine Journal
The prolific Debbie Hemley showcases 10 major brands (including ESPN, Wired magazine, Starbucks, Pepsi and Android) that stand out from the crowd on Google+ and what makes each brand page remarkable.
If you’ve been following the Best-of-2010 series here, you’ve seen collections of some of the best articles and blog posts from last year in neatly organized categories including market research, cool social media and web tools, social media marketing guides and tips, WordPress hacks, Twitter marketing techniques and resources, guides to effective email marketing, content marketing, local SEO and more.
In this penultimate best-of-last-year post you’ll find a compendium of interesting, informative and valuable but difficult-to-categorize marketing-related articles and blog posts from 2010. The pieces presented here range from an extensive list of marketing cliches to avoid and tips to shorten the B2B buying cycle to guidance on branding, presentation skills, freelancing, job hunting and more.
Next week will feature the must-see Best-of-2010 season finale post here, then it’s on to new ideas and putting 2010 in the rearview mirror. Enjoy!
B2B Marketing Tips, Insights and Resources
Looking for inspiration for an original B2B marketing campaign? You won’t find it here! What you will find however are an extensive and insightful list of 101 over-used ideas to avoid, from the lightbulb (bright idea! Not.) and the baton pass to the mountain climber, the Post-It note and of course the ubiquitous handshake.
27 Marketing Lessons B2B Marketers Should Know by HubSpot Blog
Kipp Bodnar shares more than two dozen marketing lessons gleaned from the MarketingProfs B2B Forum event, among them: repackage expensive content (such as white paper content) into different formats—blog posts, webinars, bylined articles—to get the most out of your investment. Marketers are now publishers, and almost all content can be optimized for search. And one of my favorites, “Social media thought leadership is built by empowering employees to talk about your company and industry.”
The Business of B2B Social Media by Brian Solis
Brian Solis reports that social media is that area getting the biggest increase in B2B marketing budgets, explains why B2B vendors are embracing social media, and identifies which social networks are viewed as most effective in the business world.
5 Steps To Shorten The B2B Buying Cycle by Search Engine Land
Kerry Spellman shows how customer understanding, keyword research and content tailored to each stage of the buying decision process can be used together to shorten the buying cycle and bring revenue in the door more quickly.
Just how connected are the world’s top 5 IT services companies? by Earnest about B2B
If you work for a small to midsized company and are concerned that your company hasn’t quite perfected its use of social media yet—relax. Many large companies haven’t either. This post compares the social media activities of IBM, Fujitsu, HP, CSC and Accenture. While most are active to some degree on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogging, none exhibit a truly consistent, integrated social media presence. Efforts of the big five seem most mature in video, not surprising considering that as this post points out, “47% of IT professionals watch videos to research technology solutions on YouTube.”
The Top 7 Organizations & Events Every Agency Marketer Should Know by Business.com’s B2B Online Marketing Blog
Details on five associations that can help online marketers keep current as well as possibly connect with future clients, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Business Marketing Association (BMA), and local interactive marketing association chapters.
Is Traditional B2B Marketing Dead? by Everything Technology Marketing
Presenting “an overview of the key dimensions of B2B marketing that I see changing…very dimension (including balance of power, audience focus and presence) has significant implications on the way we plan, organize, and execute B2B marketing going forward,” Holger Schulze contends that in the new world of B2B marketing, buyers have the power; messages must be more focused than ever before; a vendor’s primary marketing presence is digital; and key marketing skills have shifted from creative to analytical, among other changes.
Social Media for B2B Technology Companies by MarketPlane
In this Slideshare presentation, Ronnie Ray and Alison O’Brien share stats on B2B use of social media, show how to align different social media tools with marketing objectives, review several B2B social media success stories, and outline a phased approach to building a social media strategy.
5 Must Watch B2B Videos by Modern B2B Blogs
Maria Pergolino highlights five entertaining and informative videos for B2B marketers on the state of the Internet, social media, changes in business buyer behavior and B2B branding.
A Simple B2B Marketing Framework by Everything Technology Marketing
Another noteworthy post from Holger Schulze, again focused on the B2B marketing process but from a different angle. Building upon the Pragmatic Marketing framework and the RocketWatcher framework, Holger presents his own elegant 4-layer model, with marketing knowledge at the base and progressing through business strategy and tools & content to the marketing tactics layer at the top.
Seven Ways to Convert Online Contacts Into Sales by Entrepreneur Magazine
Starr Hall outline seven “marketing strategies you should add to your daily practice to set yourself apart and turn your online communities into profitable business transactions…these activities will increase the ROI for your online efforts without looking or sounding sales pitchy.” Her recommendations include sharing your knowledge and expertise willingly and generously online, build your “social proof” (testimonials and recommendations), and don’t ask for the business too soon—but don’t shy away from asking for it at the proper time.
The 10 Best Infographics for Internet Marketing Pros by Marketing Pilgrim
***** 5 Stars
Opening this post by writing “Look, we both know that this is linkbait—a top ten list combined with infographics, c’mon!—but you have to admit, it’s worth bookmarking or tweeting. Right?,” Andy Beal proceeds to deliver just that: a list of infographics worth bookmarketing and passing along, sharing 10 outstanding infographics for marketers, covering topics ranging from the history of search to Google’s failed social media forays to the CMO’s guide to the social media landscape.
Presentation skills: 5 secrets of the pros by iMedia Connection
Judging by some of the presentations I’ve seen recently, a lot of people need to read this post. Bronwyn Saglimbeni highlights several techniques for making presentations more dynamic and useful, such as focusing on the needs of your audience, involving them in the discussion, and fearlessly being yourself.
The English here isn’t perfect (“Today we are helping Freelancers for maintain design tasks using famous tools and resources for make better performance even track work”), but the list of online tools for freelancers and consultants is outstanding, ranging from time tracking tools like Slim Timer and timepost2 to apps for SEO, social media management, accounting, promotion and design.
5 ways to turn company slide decks into marketing weapons by iMedia Connnection
Heidi Jackman explains how to use social tools to make any live or web-based presentation more interactive and engaging for the audience. For example, before the presentation, “Online community tools like MeetUp and Ning, as well Twitter hashtags or a dedicated Facebook page, allow you to spread the word about your upcoming presentation.” During the presentation, invite feedback through Twitter (though Heidi acknowledges this can also potentially lead to “disaster if the audience begins posting negative or inappropriate comments while you are speaking”), and after the event, get additional mileage out of the presentation by posting it to YouTube, Slideshare and your company’s Facebook page.
Job Hunting and Careers
Cut Your Job Search Time in Half by CBS MoneyWatch
Eilene Zimmerman offers five tips for standing out from other candidates in today’s tough job climate, such as using social media and phone calls to conduct research on the company through customers and former employees.
Top 100 Niche Job Sites by New Grad Life
While the big job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder offer volume and convenience, they are also highly competitive; recruiters and HR managers may receive hundreds or even thousands of resumes for a particular position, making it extremely challenging to make yours stand out. Chad Bauer recommends an alternative—or rather 100 of them—niche job sites. This outstanding compilation lists niche sites for career opportunities in fields like accounting, advertising, banking, design, engineering, health care, higher education, IT, pharmaceuticals, public relations and more.
7 Ways to Find a Job Using Social Media by U Stand Out
Noting that “employers are looking for their next all-stars on social media channels,” HubSpot’s Diana Freedman shares tips for using social media to help find your next career opportunity, such as following individuals from a company you’d like to work on Twitter, watching their posts for news of job openings, and leaving insightful comments on the company blog.
Philip Zimbardo: The Secret Powers of Time by RSAnimate
This time-lapsed video presentation on differing perceptions of time is difficult to categorize, but fascinating. Factors like where you live, what religious beliefs you hold and how stable your family life has been all contribute to your perception of time, e.g. living in the moment vs. being future-oriented.
Sometimes it’s essential to step back from everyday marketing tactics to ask the bigger questions: not just “how do we get more people to `like’ us on Facebook?” or “what apps should we be adding to our Facebook page?” but: why do we even have a corporate Facebook page? What are our key objectives for social media marketing? What conceptual models are we basing our marketing assumptions and practices on, and what new models should we be thinking about? Which emerging trends do we need to keep an eye on? Do we really understand why our customers buy from us? As we shift resources from traditional outbound marketing to inbound attraction marketing, how should we (re)organize to support that? As we rely more on all of our employees (not just marketing and PR) to represent our company through social media, how do we train and motivate them to do so effectively?
While you won’t find much in the way of “tips and tricks” in this post, you will find guidance on answers to these big-picture marketing questions and more here in some the best marketing strategy guides and insights of the past year.
5 principles of breakthrough success in the “Relationship Era” by iMedia Connection
Doug Levy contends that marketing has passed into its third major era—as we’ve moved from the primacy of product information through consumer persuasion to a new focus on sustainable relationships—and lays out five principles for success in this new realm.
Big Ed’s Top 10 B2B Marketing Trends For 2010 by Marketing-Gimbal
C. Edward Brice pretty much nailed the significant b2b marketing developments for 2010 (e.g. mass adoption of social media, but no clear way to measure ROI from it) in this predictive post. Was he prescient or just playing it safe? You decide.
2010: Social Network Advertising and Marketing Outlook by Brian Solis
Citing research from eMarketer, Brian Solis documents the continuing shift from interruption-based advertising to earned media engagement as the primary mode of marketing, as well as shifts within the social media landscape (e.g. from MySpace to Facebook). Remember when Facebook had “only” 350 million users? Yeah, that was one year ago.
Why Content is King No More… by Webfadds
Scott Frangos believes that content is no longer the “king” in online marketing strategy, but rather is now more like the “queen” with social media connection—your ability to share content and interact with readers—now playing the role of king.
The 3 Reasons That Motivate B2B Buyers to Buy by The Marketing Melange
Mike Frichol notes the disconnect between b2b technology vendor messages focused on features, innovation, technology leadership or competitive advantages and the three factors that actually motivate b2b buyers to make a purchase.
3 must-have marketing tools for small businesses by iMedia Connection
Eric Groves explains why low-cost, easy-to-use email marketing, online survey and social networking tools are essential marketing components for smaller companies.
“Sales organisations are reporting extended sales cycles, declining win rates, and that a growing number of apparently promising opportunities are ending in ‘no decision.’ At the same time, they observe that their prospects’ budgets appear to be shrinking, that more players are involved in the decision making process, and that their buyers are exhibiting increasingly risk-averse behavior.” What’s a sales executive to do? Bob Apollo suggests a three-phase plan to re-architect the sales and marketing process to better reflect today’s business buying process.
The Truth About Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing by Kuno Creative
John McTigue presents four reasons why both inbound and outbound tactics should be included in any b2b marketing strategy. For example: “unless you already have a well-known brand, it can take many months to build up a loyal following (in social media)…blending targeted outbound marketing into social media marketing campaigns can accelerate awareness and growth.”
According to Holger Schulze, “major shifts are taking place in B2B marketing…buyers and decision makers don’t want to get interrupted by a product promo email or a cold call that likely doesn’t come at the exact time they have a specific problem the caller can help with. And today’s customers are busier than ever. They want to be able to engage with a vendor when they are ready and actively seek out advice, often very late in the buying cycle, and have the vendor guide them through a complex buying and problem solving process.” He offers five steps, from understanding your buyers to investing in marketing automation systems to address this new reality.
Best Practices Produce Mediocre Results by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
In this must-read strategy guide for 2011, the brilliant Rob Rose argues that “We follow ‘best practices’ because they’re safe. These are maps for us to follow to get the same results as those that went before us. In short, they are the marketing equivalent of sitting down at the restaurant and saying ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’” Making the case for valuing bold experimentation over the tried-and-true, he concludes: “We need to blow some shit up.”
In this must-read strategy guide for 2011, Rob Rose takes a hard look at “best practices” and concludes that “We need to blow some shit up.”
Framework and Matrix: The Five Ways Companies Organize for Social Business by Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang
Jeremiah–the only social media guru popular enough to achieve single-name status–presents five models of organization for social business (Organic, Centralized, Coordinated, Dandelion, and Honeycomb), along with the advantages and drawbacks of each, then asks executives to identify where their organization is today, and where they’d like it to be.
4 ROI Myths by Digital Tonto
Greg Satell identifies the four most damaging ways in which companies try to measure marketing ROI, then suggests an alternative approach that is more complex but also more comprehensive.
Abracadabra Moments, the Opening Line You Should Never Use, and 10 More Ways to Sell Ideas by Fast Company
***** 5 Stars
Sam Harrison offers eight smart tips for selling your ideas to any audience, among them: truly collaborating with your clients (team, co-workers, customers or whomever), one opening line to never use and ditching the handouts—”people follow handouts about as well as cats follow tour guides.”
Marketing ROI Should RIP by iMedia Connection
Another outstanding piece from Rob Rose, this one demonstrating why software tools and marketing tactics, important as they are, don’t deliver value in and of themselves—it’s the marketing people and processes that make these things work (or not). Accountability, yes, but ROI is hard to apply to marketing investments. “Have you EVER gone back after purchasing a piece of software and calculated whether or not you generated more money from that tool than what you spent on it? No, of course not.”
10 tiny signs of great leadership by My Venture Pad
***** 5 Stars
This very concise (<250 words) post should be required reading, and re-reading, for every executive. Les McKeown briefly yet brilliantly contrasts the attributes of great leaders with those of “tiny” leaders, e.g., “(great leaders) want to find the smartest person in the room. Tiny leaders want to be the smartest person in the room.”
Crucial Components for B2B Social Media Success by acSellerant
Bob Leonard details 14 key factors for developing an effective b2b social media plan, among them: include input from sales, develop target personas, have a realistic content development plan, and build in analytics.
Are B2B Marketers Missing the Point? by Marketing Interactions
Ardath Albee reacts to MarketingSherpa research indicating that a third or more of b2b marketers assign basic lead management processes like having systems in place for lead scoring and nurturing non-sales-ready leads to the “back burner.” It’s crucial, she writes, for marketing to align its processes with sales to agree on the definition of a “sales ready” lead and hand leads back and forth based on where the prospect is in their buying cycle.
8 marketing blunders to avoid by iMedia Connection
Jim Nichols delightfully details marketing blunders to avoid, richly illustrated with graphics and examples, such as trying to outcool Apple, vowing to make up for it in volume, and marketing on attributes versus benefits.
The Best TED Talks To Make Use Of Social Media by MakeUseOf
Angela Alcorn presents 10 of the best TED videos from leading thinkers in social media, including Seth Godin on “Tribes,” James Surowiecki on social media news gathering and the wisdom of crowds, Matt Ridley (“When Ideas Have Sex”), and Gordon Brown (yes, as in the former British Prime Minister).
B2B marketing without creative has no punch by The Social CMO Blog
Defining “creative” broadly, Billy Mitchell asks and answers a series of questions that demonstrate the importance of creativity in b2b marketing processes, that it is most definitely not simply “fluff,” and concludes with 10 ways to inject creativity into b2b marketing programs.
Remember, Sometimes The Choir Can Use Some Preachin by iMedia Connction
One more from Rob Rose, this time reminding marketers that one of their most important audiences is the coworkers inside the organization: “Employees want to be motivated—and they desperately want to be on your side.” Just as with external marketing campaigns, it’s imperative do things like speaking the right language for your audience (even if your topic is the same, it’s important to use different words when talking about marketing with the IT group than with finance types), setting goals, and measuring results.
15 Inspirational Quotes About B2B Marketing by Modern B2B Blogs
Maria Pergolino shares a thoughtful collection of quotes from leaders like Valeria Maltoni (“Your writing doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s for other businesses. Businesses have people who read stuff.”) and Dave Jung: (“While an awareness of the customer’s use of your product is important, repeating what they already know obscures the real information they want. And that’s what B2B marketing thrives on … information.”).
The four engines of B2B marketing success by Reputation to Revenue
Rob Leavitt maps out and explains the four key “engines” that drive b2b marketing: content, relationships, lead development, and solutions development (combining products and services to produce “higher value solutions that respond more specifically to individual customer needs”).
Four takeaways from Marketing Sherpa’s B2B Summit by Marketing in a Downturn
Lawrence Mitchell shares lessons learned at MarketingSherpa’s October event about optimizing the marketing funnel, scoring and nurturing leads, and using advanced analytics to increase the ROI of marketing activities.
Six Secrets of Breakthrough Companies by The Six Disciplines Blog
Skip Reardon reports the key findings of Keith McFarland, a former Inc. 500 CEO who spent years researching thousands of private companies and interviewing their leaders in an attempt to identify the secrets of “breaking through.” Among the findings, which should come as no surprise but apparently do to a disturbing number of corporate executives today: Happy employees make successful companies. Money doesn’t solve everything. And “stick to the knitting” doesn’t always work; change matters.
Pam Moore advises businesses to avoid RAMMIES—”Random acts of marketing…that are not integrated, funded or properly planned.” She explains why they are bad, how to spot them, and how to deal with them (Step 1: “Get the RAMMIE planned, funded, measured and integrated. If this isn’t possible, then KILL IT!”)
Lead generation: Real-time, data-driven B2B marketing and sales by MarketingSherpa Blog
David Meerman Scott contends that marketers need to adopt real-time platforms and practices for lead generation, much like Wall Street traders have done in the financial markets. He explains how such systems can work and what marketers can do today to get started down this road.
The unique benefits of 5 marketing platforms by iMedia Connection
Gordon Plutsky describes how to use five marketing platforms–website, email, custom content, social media and mobile–in tandem to create an effective and comprehensive marketing media channel.
7 Steps to Creating a Sure-Fire Marketing System by American Express OPEN Forum
Contrary to the beliefs of business owners mystified by the “voodoo” of marketing, frequent best-of contributor John Jantsch argues that “marketing is not only a system, it may be the most important system in any business.” He then lays out a series of steps that lead to a “simple, effective and affordable approach to systematic marketing.”
7 Little Words That Sum Up the Entire Marketing Machine by Duct Tape Marketing
Following up on the post above, John Jantsch contends that “Marketing is essentially getting someone that has a need to know, like and trust you…the entire practice of marketing (can be) summed up in seven little words that make up what I call The Marketing Hourglass,” illustrated in this helpful diagram.
10 Marketing Blunders Many Small Businesses Still Make! by Masterful Marketing
Debra Murphy advises small business owners to avoid common pitfalls as they plan for 2011, among them not clearly defining the target market; delivering inconsistent marketing messages; and focusing too much on internal messages (OUR company, OUR capabilities) rather than on solving problems in the customers’ world.
50 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Nettuts+
Carl Heaton provides more than four dozen tips for building traffic to your website, ranging from the obvious (write fresh and catchy content, listen to your visitors, submit your site to online directories) to the obscure (send seasonal e-cards, sponsor a college project, or “Hide a Konami Code Easter Egg”).
David Edelman and Brian Salsberg write that “While traditional ‘paid’ media—such as television and radio commercials, print advertisements and roadside billboards—still play a major role, companies today can exploit many alternative forms of media,” and advise marketers to think in terms of paid, earned and owned media.
If 2009 was the year many marketers puzzled over, poked at and pondered incorporating social media into their marketing mix, 2010 was the year of diving in. Adoption soared. According to a HubSpot study, 71% of marketers viewed Twitter as a useful marketing tool last year, up from just 39% in 2009. Facebook added more than 200 million users last year, and Twitter more than doubled in size, adding 115 million. 85% of Inc. 500 companies now call social media “very” or “somewhat” important to their marketing or business strategy.
With that rapid adoption came a great deal of learning. Mistakes were made. Myths emerged and (some) were busted. ROI remains a contentious issue, but in at least a few areas best practices began to emerge.
Now that social media has advanced from the “should we do it?” to the “how do we do it better?” stage, many new questions arise. How does the traditional notion of a corporate website need to change to embrace social median norms and capabilities? How should you integrate social media with other marketing tactics like email? How can you “train” your CEO to use social media productively? What’s the difference between a “like” and a “share?” Should social media be under the overall purvue of marketing or PR? What will be the “next” big issues in social media marketing?
Discover the answers to these questions and more here in 55 of the best guides to social media strategies, tactics, tools and statistics of the past year.
Social Media Tips, Tactics and Techniques
How are marketers really using social media? by iMedia Connection
Dan Neely discusses which social networking sites get the most attention from marketers (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, no surprises there), how marketers can best use social media for branding and business development, and concerns about the use of social media in brand planning. Most valuable is his dissection of the best way to use the popular social sites, YouTube and blogging in an integrated manner that capitalizes on the strengths of each platform.
How to Use Your Blog to Drive Social Sales by Social Media Examiner
“The ultimate goal for many businesses is profit, not engagements, retweets or Facebook likes,” as Nathan Hangen points out, so he offers a four-step plan to making a blog into an effective, non-pushy sales tool.
The Social Media Marketing List: 45 things you should be doing but probably aren’t by Conversation Marketing
In the inimitable words of Ian Lurie, “When discussing social media marketing, lots of folks, including me, say things like ‘be authentic’ and wave our hands around. That makes you want to kick me in the coccyx, I’m sure. So, here’s a list of 45 specific things you should be doing,” including learning (at least a bit of) HTML, using bit.ly, retweeting someone else at least twice per day, and my favorite: “Don’t track ROI. You can’t track return on investment from social media. Not directly, anyway. Don’t set that expectation, and smash it anywhere it shows up. Social media marketing is about building a reputation that you can trade on to boost other marketing efforts.”
A formula for finding social media fans by iMedia Connection
Making the observation that “Every brand Facebook page or Twitter account begins with an audience of zero, unlike every medium that’s come before it where access to a given channel brought you a defined audience size and type. In the new world of owned media, you start at the beginning with nothing. The early agenda is to earn your way into a trusted relationship,” Bob Wheatley explains how to build social media marketing programs around what your audience cares about, not your corporate messaging.
Gina Gotthilf proposes “6 questions to ask in determining if your website welcomes interaction,” such as whether or not your content is sharable, dynamic, and open to reader input.
How to Use Social Media for B2B Marketing by Inc. Magazine
J.J. McCorvey explains how to integrate targeting, monitoring, content sharing and analytics into a coordinated b2b social media marketing program.
10 Social Media Tips And Pointers For Start Ups by Simply Zesty
For those fed up with the hype and “shiny sparkly” type enthusiasm often exhibited in posts about social media, Niall Harbison provides a breath of fresh air: brutal honestly about both the benefits (you have incredible freedom, it complements other forms of marketing, helping other people really works) and the limitations (it’s not a quick win, your friends aren’t your customers, it’s easy to spend too much time there) to be mindful of in using social media for small business marketing.
Learn to leverage the social-search connection by iMedia Connection
Liza Hausman explains how feeds, traditional search and social network search can work together and steps through “four ‘musts’ of on-site social optimization” for organizations.
Which Profile Aspects Should Be Emphasized on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? by Served Fresh Media
Chris Tompkins suggests tailoring the style of your profiles in the big 3 social networks much as you’d dress differently for various types of business events.
How to: Use B2B Social Media for Lead Generation by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Adam Singer identifies situations where social media marketing doesn’t make sense (e.g. you have a tiny customer base and they are all in top-secret military installations) and what groundwork needs to be laid before embracing social media in your marketing practices, then delves into how to use content for lead generation and integrate social with other marketing activities like email.
So, Your CEO Wants to Tweet! 7 Steps To Avoid Disaster by iMedia Connection
If your non-social-media-savvy CEO decides it’s time to get active, Rob Rose outlines seven steps to set up your new “engager-in-chief” so that he or she has the best chance at success, staring with understanding the “why” and easing into it and ending with making sure someone is listening and measuring activity around the CEO’s accounts.
Aliza Sherman supplies an outstanding list of “basic ways you can use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for specific business activities. No bells, no whistles, just business.” Among them: asking questions, getting answers, building your brand, and driving targeted traffic to your website.
In the wild days before Google acquired YouTube, users would routinely create and upload videos using any music tracks they had about. The squealing of the music industry and desire of Google to add some respectability to the video-sharing site put an end to that. In this post, Peter VanRysdam helpfully outlines four free-to-reasonably-priced sources for legal music soundtracks. You won’t get Black Eyed Peas or Nickelback, but you won’t run afoul of YouTube’s censors either.
6 social sharing best practices for driving traffic by iMedia Connection
Liza Hausman (again) explains the difference between a “like” and a “share” (and why both are important), why it’s important to enable users to easily share content beyond just the largest social networks, and how to use social sharing to build relationships.
4 experts on how to turn social media into sales by Social Media Today
J.D. Lasica share insights from Becky Brown of Intel, Michael Brito of Edelman and others on how to generate revenue through social media. The specifics are different in each case, but “listening” and “trust” are recurring themes.
Getting Started Social Media Advertising on Facebook, YouTube & LinkedIn by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Frequent “best of” contributor Lee Odden provides a great explanation of how ads work on three of the most popular social media venues, the pros and cons of each platform, and best practices for creating and targeting ads on each site.
Social Media Strategy Guides
The Difference Between Doing Social Vs. Being Social by Social Media Today
Vanessa DiMauro contends that “Most companies start doing social within their marketing and sales departments to drive traffic to their site and raise awareness about their products or services…However, being social means building competencies across the organization that encourage, support and institutionalize the use of social tools by a broad cross-section of employees and other stakeholders.” She shows how to identify and emulate organizations that are “truly social.”
Jonas Klit Nielsen advises marketers and business executives to ask critical questions about objectives, targeting, internal resources, synergies with other efforts and more before embarking on a social media strategy.
Do You Want To Succeed At Soc Media Or Soc Media Marketing? by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Forrester senior analyst Augie Ray distinguishes social media marketing success (creating online buzz, having lots of Facebook fams) from true social media success (delivering on brand promises, fostering genuine, even fanatical advocates online and off).
9 Ways to Sell Social Media to the Boss by Social Media Examiner
It’s not just small businesses that question the value of social media. Ekaterina Walter quotes Doug Frisbie, Toyota National Marketing Manager, as saying, “The price of inactivity is greater than the risks of anything we’d be doing in social media.” She explores why some executives seek to avoid social media and presents nine tactics to demonstrating its value to the higher-ups.
Does social media belong in PR or marketing divisions? by iMedia Connection
Ben Cathers answers this question with an unequivocal…it depends. He demonstrates how staring with your company’s primary objectives for social media will determine how your efforts should be structured.
Top 10 Responses To Use When Dealing With Social Media Naysayers by PR at Sunrise
Andrew Worob provides an excellent, thoughtful list of responses to common social media objections such as “we don’t have the resources,” can’t justify the costs, or executives don’t believe their audience is using social media.
5 strategies for a captivating social media conversation by iMedia Connection
Peter Platt quotes Emily Post—from 1922—to illustrate that market conversations are nothing new, it’s just that social media now amplifies and accelerates the spread of such communications. He offers five tips to help “get your brand into the social space without becoming a bore.”
The 6 Next Most Important Social Media Issues by BlogNotions
Now that social networks have global reach, account for a significant percentage of time spent online, and are increasingly being adopted as core marketing channels, Danny Flamberg says the next steps are about differentiation, quality, and accurately valuing brand advocates.
Is social media making you anti-social? by iMedia Connection
David Grossman offers six tips for building trust in social media communities, among them: be approachable and friendly, be respectful of others’ ideas and perspectives, and make sure your social media words align with your real-world company values and actions.
Why Banning Social Media Often Backfires by Mashable
Greg Ferenstein cites a range of examples and research to show that banning access to social media sites—whether in schools, companies or done by national governments—is ineffective and ofter counterproductive.
Are social media professionals unfairly constrained by organisations? by Governing People
***** 5 Stars
Craig Thomler astutely asks why many organizations that give their accountants, customer service reps, graphic designers and other employees specialized software to perform their jobs still block access to sites like Twitter and Facebook that marketers need to use to communicate with prospects, customers and industry influencers.
The 8 Steps of B2B Social Media Marketing by EngageSciences
Richard Jones details an 8-step process of “web and social nurturing that complement and extend email centric concepts of lead nurturing to drive better lead generation.” The process starts with segmenting and targeting and ends with conversion—no suprises there—but interesting incorporates social proof, monitoring and harvesting “positive posts and tweets about your company and products and merg(ing) them with your marketing content, on multiple display units across your websites and Facebook. Use your community to help you promote your products…Customer advocacy drives sales.”
How to prepare for social media’s big shift by iMedia Connection
Philippe Guegan declares that social media is now officially “well beyond a passing marketing fad,” and therefore “marketers need to start thinking, behaving, and organizing themselves as content producers who treat engage consumers as audiences.” He outlines five key differences between the old world of advertising / paid media and the new earned media realm.
How to Introduce Social Media to Your Business by Social Media Today
Writing that “too many businesses still need to wake up and realize that social media is not ‘one of these Internet fads’ that will disappear,” Danny Brown recommends clearly defining your audience, objectives and tools among the first tasks for developing a cohesive business social media strategy.
Social Media…Not as Free as it Seems? by Green Buzz Agency
Social media marketing can be very cost-effective, but Victoria Ipri reminds us that it’s not free, spelling out the multiple area of costs to consider, such as implementation (copyrighting, image rights, project management), engagement (testing time and tools), and analysis (reputation management tools and tasks).
Erica Swallow reports on research from social media guru Jeremiah Owyang summarized into seven key tips for building a successful, strategic social media program including being proactive rather than reactive (“You cannot wait for the company to catch up to you. You have to go to the business units and tell them what is required to participate in your company’s social media program before they ask you for a Facebook Page.”), organizing for success, and deploying scalable social media programs (“when you take your best customers and you give them a platform and let them do the work for you, and you don’t pay them—those are scalable programs”).
The 5 components of a complete social media program by iMedia Connection
Adam Kleinberg places strategic planning, customer insights and integrated programs among other components in the core of a comprehensive social media program.
The 3 Pillars of Social Media Readiness by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 Stars
Michael Brito believes that most brands “get it” when it comes to social media listening, engagement and transparency—but “there’s an underlying challenge that’s not being addressed as it should be,” the transition to becoming a social business, which is elegantly defined here.
Only Stupid Answers: What Is Social Media by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Andrew Ettinger searches for a common definition of “social media” and concludes that “Social Media lacks a singular definition—one on which we can all agree…Ultimately, each company will need to create their own Social Media taxonomy; one size does not fit all.”
Social Media Metrics and ROI
6 Key Metrics for a Social Media Measurement Dashboard [Best of SEW 2010 #4] by Search Engine Watch
Nathan Linnell says companies need a true social media measurement dashboard in order to really understand their progress toward achieving objectives in social media, and specifies six key metrics that dashboard should track.
Measuring the Impact of Social Media by Adotas
Jim Wehmann predicts that social media measurement will move from inconsistent, ad hoc measures to more sophisticated approaches as the tools and techniques mature, as happened in the early days of the web with email and website analytics.
The Maturation of Social Media ROI by Mashable
Brian Solis reports that most marketers still aren’t measuring the ROI of their social media marketing efforts even though such analysis is increasingly expected, and predicts that CMOs will increasingly attempt to tie social media marketing programs to revenue, conversions and average order value. Nevertheless, the social media ROI debate is not over.
Vital statistics for B2B marketers – The case study by Earnest
***** 5 Stars
In June 2010, Earnest produced an outstanding video about social media use in b2b marketing (highlighted in this post). A few months later, they wrote this case study about the experience, detailing their initial objectives, the production, how the video was promoted, the results, and lessons learned from the project.
8 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Measuring by Social Media Examiner
Nichole Kelly details eight key social metrics that in her words, “you may not be measuring, but should be,” such as comparing conversion metrics for your social media connections vs. a control group of non-social media users, growth rate over time, retention rates and customer saves.
Mark Schaefer cites several examples of how companies are offering perks to customers based on their social media influence, as measured in various ways such as Klout scores. He predicts, only half tongue-in-cheek, that “within a 12 to 18 months, you will be able to use new augmented reality technology to scan a room of people with your smartphone and get a numerical social rating for every person in sight.” This scenario is, as he notes, creepy—but also potentially very lucrative for businesses.
FOUND the ROI of Social Media for B2B Marketers! by Buzz Marketing for Technology
Paul Dunay believes “there is one place that delivers a strong ROI in Social Media and if you follow my advice not only will you conquer social media but you will delight your customers in the process!” And that place is…
10 ways to measure social media for business by Socialmedia.biz
Writing that “tracking a few well-chosen metrics…can contribute to the bottom line,” J.D. Lasica (again) details 10 key social media metrics that can be tied to business performance including customer engagement (e.g., number of retweets on Twitter, number of comments per blog post), brand sentiment and customer retention.
50 Ways to Measure Success in Social Media by B2C Marketing Insider
Garrett Ira recommends 50 potential metrics for measuring social media success (though, as he notes, you don’t need to use all of them), categorized into website/blog measures (e.g. average time spent per visit, bounce rate), email, Facebook, Twitter, other networks, and ROI metrics.
Social Media Tools
50 Social Sites That Every Business Needs a Presence on by Focus
***** 5 Stars
Social media is about more than just the “Big 4″ sites as illustrated by this post listing a wider range of sites where a business social media presence is important, categorized into social bookmarking, professional networking, niche social media (e.g. Tweako for gadgets, Sphinn for online marketers), general social media, and job sites.
22 Social Media Marketing Management Tools by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
12 Social Media Monitoring Tools Reviewed by Six Revisions
Jason Schubring first defines some of the key terms used in social media monitoring (e.g., influence, sentiment, volume) then reviews a dozen social media monitoring tools ranging from Google Alerts and Twitter Advanced Search to more powerful offerings like HootSuite and Scout Labs.
Online Database of Social Media Policies by Social Media Governance
Need to write a social media policy but not sure where to start? Need some inspiration? Check out these 164 examples from companies and organizations that have put guidelines in place to help their employees use social media wisely and productively in the workplace.
Social Media Facts, Stats and Figures
MIT Study Suggests Social Networks Influence Behavior by MediaPost Online Media Daily
10 Outstanding Social Media Infographics by NowSourcing
Brian Wallace shares a series of infographics showing information like social media use by country, the age distribution on various social networks, a timeline of social media sites, and uses for social media at various levels in the corporate hierarchy.
Riding the rising tide of social media investment by iMedia Connection
Gordon Plutsky reports on recent research showing that, of companies embracing social media for inbound marketing, 90% are doing the job internally, with an increasing number making social media management a dedicated role rather than just another task for already harried marketing staff. Almost two-thirds of responding companies are blogging and half are on YouTube, but less than 60% are measuring results.
Twitter is adding 300,000 new users per day, and 80% of Twitter use is on mobile devices. 22% of all online time is now spent on social networks. 210 billion email messages are sent each day, which is more than the annual volume of postal mail letters in the U.S. And lots more.
Social Media Trends
Citing AOL, MySpace and Friendster as cautionary tales, guest author Jay Pinkert warns that Facebook and Twitter, despite their tremendous current popularity, aren’t invincible. Privacy and usability issues, among others, could damage the leaders and allow upstarts to unseat them. Jay advises marketers to keep an eye on the landscape for new entrants and test new platforms as they emerge.
Six Social Media Trends for 2011 by Harvard Business Review
David Armano, who did pretty well at predicting some key trends (such as the explosion of mobile social media use) in 2010, reveals his predictions for the coming year on issues like social media integration within enterprises, further developments in tablet and mobile computing, Google’s new social media strategy and more.
For anyone in marketing or PR being asked to make “data-driven” decisions “based on the numbers” (and doesn’t that include pretty much everyone in marketing and PR these days?), the sources below provide a vast wealth of data, statistics and research results, as well as a bit of interesting social media trivia.
How are consumers and b2b decision makers using social media in their buying processes? Which social media platforms are most effective at influencing buyer behavior? How do the audiences differ across various social networks? How do social media marketing strategies in small businesses differ from those in larger enterprises? Although social media has been the hottest topic in marketing this year, what other tactics are critical to adopt, maintain or expand?
Discover the answers to all of these questions and more here in more than 40 of the best resources for social media and marketing stats, facts and research of the past year.
Social Media Facts and Stats
10 Interesting Social Media Statistics by Jeff Bullas
Social media networks and blogs consume nearly 25% of people’s time online. The number of people who are visiting social media sites has increased by 24% over the last year. The average visitor spends 66% more time on these sites than they did a year ago. Facebook is the world’s most visited social media brand with 54% of the worlds internet population visiting the brand. And much more.
Americans spent nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs in 2010, up from 15.8 percent just a year earlier—a 43 percent increase. 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities: social networking, playing games and emailing. Mobile internet activity is different, however, with the dominant share of time (42%) spent on email, and just 11% on social media.
20+ mind-blowing social media statistics revisited by Econsultancy
More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook. 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog, and 38% of them post brand or product reviews. At its current rate, Twitter will process almost 10 billion tweets in 2010.
Social Marketing Lifts Organic Conversions by MarketingSherpa
***** 5 Stars
Still don’t think social media is important for marketing your business? According to MarketingSherpa research, marketers working in social media report an average 27% conversion rate for organic search traffic, while those not using social media reported a 17% rate. Adam T. Sutton concludes, “Clearly, SEO is more effective at attracting attention and ultimately converting people. However, social media is more likely to increase positive thinking around a product and brand.”
How much are you worth? Find out in this report. The median salary for a social media marketer in the Minneapolis area is $63,179, just a shade below the national average of $64,000. However, that figure rises if you work for a company generating at least $10 million in annual revenue, or you’re in management (in which case it’s $109,000). Salaries are lower in certain regions (e.g. Houston—but consider there’s no income tax in Texas) and highest, shock of shocks, in Silicon Valley where the median social media marketer’s salary is nearly $78,000.
Facebook, Twitter Growing As Video Referral Sources by MediaPost Online Media Daily
How should you expect to promote that cool new video? Well, about two-thirds (64%) of the traffic from third-party sites to video sources currently comes from Google, followed by Yahoo (11.9%), Facebook (4.3%), Bing (2.6%), and Twitter at 1.2%. However, Facebook and Twitter send the most-engaged traffic as measured by average viewing spent time per visitor.
Are Twitter Followers Better Than Facebook Fans? by eMarketer
Yes—sort of. According to an ExactTarget survey, Twitter users who follow a brand are more than twice as likely as Facebook users who “like” a brand to say they are more likely to purchase from the brand after becoming a social media follower. And a third of Twitter followers say they are more apt to make a recommendation about brands they follow, compared with 24% of email subscribers and 21% of Facebook fans. However, marketers need to keep in mind that Twitter’s user base, particularly active Tweeters, is much smaller.
Social Media 3Q Update: Who Uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & MySpace? by Social Media Today
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continued to add users in the second half of 2010, albeit at a slower pace than in previous quarters. Facebook reaches 57% of the U.S. population, and the average visit length is 23 minutes (versus 13 minutes for Twitter and 10 minutes on LinkedIn). The fastest-growing demographic group on Facebook is no longer women over 55 years old–it’s now users under 18. Young adults (but not teens) are fueling growth on Twitter.
Roundup of the Top Internet and Social Media Statistics by Awareness Community
A goldmine of social media trivia, e.g.: Classmates.com has the oldest demographic of any major social network. Twitter has the fifth oldest. 75% of small businesses in the U.S. have a company page on at least one social networking site (but only 39% blog and just 26% tweet). 35% of bloggers are professional journalists. 5% of Americans had heard of Twitter in 2008; that figure rose to 87% last year. 80% of Twitter use is on mobile devices.
Social Media Gender Roles Follow Traditional Offline Trends by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Recent research from the University of Texas suggests that many of the actions people take on Facebook follow traditional psychological and physiological gender roles. For example, women (63%) are more likely than men (56%) to post comments and likes to their profile, suggesting that women show a greater tendency to engage in personal communication. Women are also more likely than men to share pictures. The types of photos women post most frequently are described in the study as “affectionate,” such as pictures of family gatherings or friends hanging out and having a good time. Men, on the other hand, generally post photos that reflect hobbies and landscapes. Men are also more likely to post videos as opposed to still images, oriented toward pop culture, sports, entertainment or politics.
The State of the Blogosphere 2010 by Brian Solis
Frequent best-of contributor Brian Solis shares stats from Technorati showing that nearly half of all bloggers are U.S.-based, with another 29% in Europe. Bloggers are social and outspoken; the two most common motivations given for blogging are “to meet and connect with like-minded people” and “to speak my mind on areas of interest.” The largest share of bloggers have been at it for 2-4 years, though 35% of corporate bloggers have been blogging for 6+ years. Nearly half of all bloggers use WordPress, and roughly three-quarters promote their posts via Twitter.
6% of Adult Americans Use Twitter by Roy Wells
Roy Wells reports on research from the The Pew Internet & American Life Project detailing Twitter use in America. 8% of all Internet users are on Twitter, but the group is skewed more toward women (10%) than men (75), the young (18-29 year olds are most heavily represented) and urban. 62% of respondents said they post updates related to their work life, activities or interests, with 12% doing so on a daily basis.
Who Really Uses Twitter, and How? by Pamorama
Pam Dyer puts her own unique spin on the Pew Twitter report, noting that 55% of these Twitter users share links to news stories, with one in eight doing this at least once per day. 53% retweet material posted by others, while 52% send direct messages to other users.
The title is a tad misleading; while younger Internet users (aged 18-33) are blogging somewhat less than in 2006 and gravitating to Facebook, there has been an uptick in blogging among those 33 and older, and blog readership is up among all age groups. Not surprisingly, email and search are the most common online activities among all age groups.
The Difference Between Friends, Fans and Followers by Brian Solis
Brian Solis contends that “The future of business is tied to how the 3F’s (friends, fans and followers) convert into the 4A’s, action, advisor, affinity, and advocacy, regardless of network.” And which tool works best for that? When asked if they were more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a subscriber, fan or follower, 37% of Twitter users said “yes” (strongly agreed), versus 17% of Facebook users and 27% of email subscribers. Asked if they would recommend a brand based on their social media connection to it, 33% of Twitter users responded affirmatively versus 24% of email subscribers and just 21% of Facebook users.
A Year in Numbers: Top 10 Marketing Charts and Research Articles of 2010 by MarketingProfs
Noting that social media was the hottest topic on MarketingProfs last year, featured prominently in 7 of 10 articles, Ann Handley share some key stats, for example: if you’re going to market on Facebook, be prepared to offer special deals. 40% of Facebook users said their motivation for liking a brand there was “to receive discounts and promotions,” 36% said it was to get a freebie (sample, coupon, trial etc.), and 30% said it was to get updates on upcoming sales. Email open rates continue to decline from 14% in the second half of 2007 to just 11.2% in the latter half of 2010. Among small companies, 39% used Facebook for corporate purposes while 31% had a company Twitter account; those figures were 63% and 47%, respectively, in large companies. Less than 30% of respondents in either group said their company maintains a blog.
Social Media Use in Big Companies
Social Media Facts & Figures for B2B Sales by Inside View
You’ll learn from this fascinating infographic that Forrester Research estimates that $716 million was spent on social media marketing in 2010, and the figure will reach $3.1 billion by 2014. At that point, social media will be a bigger channel than email or mobile, though still far smaller than search or display advertising. Among the global Forture 100 companies, 65% use Twitter, 54% are on Facebook and half post videos to YouTube. 79% of the Fortune 100 use at least one of these social media sites, and 20% use all of them.
Fortune 500 Social Media Use: Twitter Overtakes Facebook by MarketingProfs
60% of Fortune 500 companies now maintain an active Twitter account, up from 35% a year ago. Meanwhile, 56% of those enterprises have a Facebook profile.
Social Media Use in Small Companies
How social sharing is working for SMBs by iMedia Connection
Simon Grabowski reports that the data should persuade even small businesses to “get social” with their email and other marketing tactics. 57.5 percent of internet users, or 127 million people, will use a social network at least once a month in 2010; that figure is projected to rise to two-thirds by 2014. According to MarketingSherpa, 49 percent of Twitter users said they made an online purchase because of an email, compared to 33 percent of all email users. And email messages that include at least one social sharing option generate a more than 30 percent higher click-through rate (CTR) than emails with no social sharing options.
54% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) were using social media to promote their businesses as of September 2010, double the number using these sites in December 2009. And it’s working for them: 60% credit social media with positively impacting their businesses, 46% said their company’s brand awareness has increased and 36% have attracted new business as a result of their social media efforts. LinkedIn is the most popular site, with 73% of small businesses using it, followed by Facebook at 64%, and Twitter, used by 63% of respondents.
Study: Social Media Affects SMB Purchasing Decisions by HubSpot Blog
Younger buyers rely more heavily than their older counterparts on social media as key influence in SMB purchasing decisions–but not by all that much. Just over 50% of buyers under 40 use social media, versus 35% for more senior buyers. Regardless of age group, personal recommendations from company or industry colleagues are rated the most influential information source, while retail websites are least relied upon.
Websites and email are far and away the highest-priority marketing tactics for small businesses; 93% of respondents to a Constant Contact survey last fall identified their website as one of their “most important marketing tools” while 92% said the same for email. Just 63% put social media marketing on the list, though that was up from 51% in a similar survey done in early 2010. In larger businesses, 95% said websites and social media were among their most important tools, with 82% also putting social media in that category.
B2B Marketing and Social Media
The B2B Marketer’s “New Normal”: How to Use Social Media to Generate Leads by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
In this must-read post for anyone in B2B marketing, Courtney Wiley reports that “the B2B buying process is fundamentally changing.” 93% of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process and 37% post questions on social networking sites when looking for suggestions. In response, B2B spending on social media is expected to rise 67% over the next three years, with digital and online marketing spending predicted to increase 64%. Nine out of ten B2B buyers say that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find vendors. As for specific tactics, “43% of B2B marketers prefer Twitter when it comes to social media marketing; 32% leverage LinkedIn to generate leads; 16% engage customers on Facebook, and 8% rely on blogs…100% of large and enterprise B2B firms realize the most value with Twitter as their #1 lead-gen tool.”
28 Awesome B2B Social Media Statistics by Social Media B2B
More than half (53.5%) of marketers currently use social media as part of their marketing strategy, up from 45% in 2009. However, B2B marketers are less active on social media than their B2C counterparts, with only 32% engaging on a daily basis compared to 52% on the B2C side. 36% of B2B executives report that there was low executive interest in social media in their company, compared with only 9% of B2C marketers who say the same. Nearly half of the B2B marketers using social media view LinkedIn as an effective channel, while only one in three say the same of Facebook.
17 Compelling And Highly Usable B2B Marketing Statistics by Modern B2B Blogs
B2B advertising spending on social media is forecasted to grow at an annualized rate of 21% through 2013. Odd as it sounds, the majority of B2B marketing budgets are still spent on off-line marketing tactics. 86% of B2B firms are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C outfits. And 93% of business buyers believe all companies should have a social media presence. However, 54% of CIOs prohibit the use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook while at work. Seems like a bit of a disconnect.
B2B vendors still on the fence about social media need to take the plunge. J-P De Clerck reports here on research showing that “Three quarters of…buyers use a social media channel at some point in the information cycle…LinkedIn is used by 58% (!) of the respondents to find information or to talk to colleagues about solutions in the context of a purchase. Blogs represent 50%, Facebook 47% and even Twitter scores 41%.”
Old Spice and Skittles aside, online marketing isn’t just for B2C types as this post makes clear. For example: 84% of C-level executives find search very valuable in making business decisions. 83% of B2B buyers research online before making a purchase. There are 1.5 million business-oriented queries on YouTube every week. YouTube reaches 36% of all business decision makers (more than 10 times the figure for Forbes.com).
It’s Budget Season – B2B Marketing Budget Trends for 2011 by Everything Technology Marketing
After slashing marketing budgets by 8% on average in 2009, B2B technology marketers increased spending nearly 4% in 2010. According to IDC, “tech companies will allocate 19.3% of their total marketing budget to digital, up from 12.6% last year (2009). Within digital marketing, the largest share of the budget will go toward company websites (26.7%), followed by display ads (21.0%), email marketing (18.6%), search ads (13.6%), search engine optimization (7.6%), digital events (7.1%) and social networks (5.4%).”
2010 LinkedIn Marketing Stats That Matter For B2B by SmartBug Media
What’s the most important social network for B2B marketers? Brittany Brouse reports that “43% of employees at the largest companies in the US (think Gap, Microsoft and Google) report using LinkedIn for professional reasons. Only 11% say the same about Facebook and only 3% say the same about Twitter…100% of Fortune 500 companies have executives using LinkedIn. 50% of LinkedIn’s users are decision makers in their companies. 41% of people using LinkedIn for marketing have generated business with it.” Not convinced yet? There’s more.
PJA Social Media Index: Wave VI by Toolbox.com
***** 5 Stars
That title may be a snooze, but this study contains an incredible wealth of data on the use of social media by HR, IT and finance professionals. As a technology marketer, I’m particularly interested in the responses from the IT group. Among the findings: It professionals spend, on average, almost six hours per week consuming social media content, versus roughly four hours with editorial content and less than three-and-a-half hours on vendor content. More than 55% of IT professionals say they “use social media to make better decisions based on insights from like-minded professionals.” More than 53% say that either their company doesn’t have a social media policy or they are unsure if one exists.
B2B Social Media Marketing –Is it relevant? by CustomerThink
For those B2B executives who still “refuse to see the value social media can add to their marketing programs,” Merlin Francis has a few—actually quite a few—compelling facts to share, among them: 90% of B2B technology buyers view online video. 80% read blogs. 69% are active in social networks. In response, 60% of B2B marketers increased their spending on social media efforts last year, and there is growing acknowledgment that hard social media ROI isn’t everything; the top reasons cited for using social media marketing include demonstrating though leadership, generating greater awareness, and engaging customers.
Social Media Driving Sales Worldwide by MarketingProfs
Nearly half of sales professionals worldwide, and almost two-thirds of top performing sales people, say that “social media is integral to their success,” according to research from OgilvyOne. 25% of U.S. sales pros are on Facebook, while 20% are on LinkedIn and 8% Twitter. Most disturbing: while almost half of sales people say that they would like their companies to train them on using social media for sales, less than 10% actually get such training.
Marketing Strategy & Tactics
Marketers Put More Lead Gen Budgets Online by eMarketer
Marketing budgets continue to shift more from offline to online tactics. 68% of companies increased budgets for website development and content in 2010, making this the top area for increased marketing expenditures. The next three targets for increased investment were email marketing (54%), new media (e.g., blogs and mobile marketing—52%) and SEO (51%). Conversely, telemarketing and direct mail saw the biggest declines in spending.
Paid Search Gaining Respect, But Not Enough by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Pay per click (PPC) advertising is viewed as highly effective for generating leads, sales and website traffic. However, only about one out of five marketers in a recent MarketingSherpa survey said that PPC was helpful in generating offline sales, and even fewer believe it improves product reputation.
Searching For Online Leads And Where To Find Them by MediaPost Search Blog
55% of companies who use paid search increased their budgets in this area in 2010, up from 53% who did so in 2009. Just 22% decreased spending on PPC ads. Other findings Laurie Sullivan pulls from the eConsultancy study: “After natural search campaigns, email marketing is the second most widely used online lead generation method…Between 70% and 81% of companies generate leads online with the intention of converting them offline. Only 21% of advertisers surveyed say they work with specialist online lead generation companies, suggesting that this is still an emerging sector which hasn’t fully matured.”
Search Marketers Tap Social to Boost SEO by eMarketer
***** 5 Stars
71% of respondents to an SEOmoz survey (likely a somewhat more sophisticated group than average) say they are using social media as part of their SEO strategy. 53% are using blogging to help achieve SEO goals. The most popular SEO activities however were using Google Webmaster Tools to identify SEO issues and performing keyword research. Among the most interesting findings in the report, however, were those who failed to learn from the experience of others: 32% said they were adding rel=”nofollow” tags to internal links, while 21% were removing them, having realized how little effect this has on SEO. Also, 14% of respondents admitted they were buying links from other sites, while 12% were sending reconsideration requests to Google—likely after being banned for buying links.
Does Google Instant Generate Query Shares? by MediaPost Search Blog
Google’s share of the U.S. search market increased from 65.4% in August to 66.1% in September, just after Google Instant was launched. The effect of the annoying new feature has been a notable shift from organic results to paid; prior to the launch of Instant, clicks ran 82% to 18% for organic compared to paid search clicks. After the launch, the shares were 78% to 22%. Total U.S. search volume rose 16% from 2009 to 2010.
How Google Instant Changes Behavior by MediaPost Search Blog
Same topic and source as the post above, but with a different set of stats. Google Instant is bad for long-tail searches, but good overall for AdWords advertisers: overall impressions for paid search ads have increased by more than 9%, while clicks are up more than 5%. “Searchers search and click more as a result of Google Instant.” Furthermore, average cost-per-click rates have declined by 3%.
The smart but oblivious Rand Fishkin explores, though statistics, the relative business value of SEO vs. social media. When asked how discover new online products, a large majority of consumers chose search engines over social media sites. Even in the 18-24 year-old age group, where the gap was at its narrowest, search beat social 42% to 24%. Search traffic also converts better. But as Rand concludes, this isn’t an either/or proposition: both traffic sources have value.
11 Mind-Blowing Mobile Marketing Infographics by HubSpot Blog
59% of Americans connect to the Internet wirelessly (this includes laptops). MorganStanley predicts there will be more mobile than desktop Internet users by 2014. 75% of U.S. teenagers own cell phones. 72% of them text on their phones. 54% send a text at least once per day. Find all of these stats and more in this collection of cool and useful infographics about the mobile web market.
Other Downright Interesting Stuff
A big collection of awesome infographics, covering topics ranging from Twitter user types and the top earners in world football (soccer) to an explanation of how 3D technology works and the global popularity of World of Warcraft.
Best of 2010: Social Media Stats & Year in Review by Social Media Group
Leona Hobbs shares some interesting insights in her roundup of social media stats from last year, such as: Facebook is unsuprisingly the number one tool for sharing content, according to social sharing service AddThis, but the second-most popular tool? Email. Then Twitter. “Facebook” is also the most commonly used term in search.