Helping Clients Become Social Savvy

I originally drafted this blog post for my company blog. I thought it could work well with this blog so I repurposed it. Please note that this post does vary from the original that will be posted on my company blog soon. I will post a link to that blog when it goes live.

As more and more organizations entire the social space and start adding various channels to their repertoire, we as marketers are often asked by our clients to help them implement new channels into their overall social media strategy. In some cases we are also asked which channels would be best for our clients to use, even though the concept of the channel may not necessary align with the type of content that the client intends to share.

Either way, when we working with our clients, it’s important to employ several steps to give each and every client the best possible chance for success when exploring new opportunities in the social sphere.

While each client is vastly different than the next, its important to use essentially the same strategy to help your clients succeed in social media. How should one go about this? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Baseline Landscape Research: Especially in niche markets such as government clients, it’s important to look at how other organizations (or brands) in that same niche are using social networks. Are they only tweeting once a day? What content are they posting when they do? How will this benefit or affect our attempts at social dissemination? These are all important questions to ask and to look at when assessing the social landscape for your clients.
  2. Identify Channels: You should work with your clients to help pinpoint which channels are right for their organization. Not all channels are created equal and content that was successful on one channel may not be so on others. Not only should you help your brand identify which channels are optimal, we will also address the best content to share and how YOUR brand can best use these channels for success.
  3. Educate Clients: Social media is ever changing and if your organization has never attempted to become social savvy before, we understand how daunting it can be. You should educate your brands employees on how to use various social channels, what the best message for each channel is, what all the funny looking symbols are, what words like “impressions” and “reach” really mean.
  4. How YOU can help: You should assist your client in developing an editorial calendar that will help you with an overall marketing message. Voice and Style guides can be created to help brands stay consistent on all social channels and to help you educate employees.
  5. The Power of Data! The best thing of all is that all of these social networks have measurable insights, that your organization can use to track & compare impact. Defining which metrics are the most important for the organization to track is key, and you can help define the best way to use these metrics in an overall marketing strategy. Data can help figure out which messages were the most successful and which platforms were able to spread that message the best. In this day in age, Data is important to any social savvy organization.

In general, it is a safe to say that implementing any social media tools in to your overall strategy requires some research and education. You should take great care in developing recommendations for your clients based on best practices, research, and data. After all, no one should go into social media without a plan.

 

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The World Cup Has Gone Social

You can spot social media’s integration into sports everywhere. Mississippi State changed their football end zone to #HAILSTATE, and professional lacrosse players have Twitter handles on their jerseys instead of their names. Additionally, finding a professional athlete in any sport without a Twitter handle is few and far between. Many major sporting events even have their own hashtags so you can keep track of what’s going on over multiple days of competition.

According to this infographic, 83% of sports fans will check sports social media sites while watching the game on TV and 63% will even browse sports social media sites while they are at the actual game. What does this mean? This means that incorporating a social media strategy into sports is imperative to increasing viewership and putting bodies in seats at games, and for brands, it increases the power to engage and influence consumers second by second.

The World Cup is not any different. During the World Cup in 2014, 74% of World Cup Viewers used social media during the games. In an effort to seize real-time opportunities and become part of the social conversation during the World Cup, marketers connected with their consumers through hashtags, branded newsrooms, which prompted consumers to share ads across their networks.

The following “Social Side of the World Cup” infographic shows that, from a poll of over 850 men and women, 74.2% of viewers thought they would be on social media during the World Cup. After the games, 42% of viewers thought they’d be posting about their favorite ads and 52% are assumed they’d follow a brand.

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So what is the Women’s World Cup doing differently? To start, they’ve integrated Snap Chat into the mix. Well, at least MLS has integrated in to its use of watching the American Women go to the final game. Major League Soccer hopes that by using Snap Chat, it will give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the tournaments final match.

According to an article in AdWeek, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular networks that women are using to keep track of the competition at the Women’s World Cup. Twitter users plan to tweet during the games, and 76 percent will do so to interact with other fans. 64 percent will tweet to support their team, and 49 percent will tweet to feel connected to the game.

So how do you think the Women’s World Cup will prevail in terms of social media?

Do you think the final game of the United States vs. Japan will bring in more or less social conversation than any other game?

Emerging Media in Government: Why Social Media is part of the Open Government Directive

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For too long, the American people thought of the Federal Government as being full of secrets and conspiracy, where information was locked up and many people didn’t know where to find answers to simple questions. On his first day in office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government which ushered in a new era of open and accountable government which was meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government.

One of the key things that has to do with emerging media is the part where this initiative was to help The Administration empower the public through greater openness and new technologies to influence the decisions that affect their lives.

In 2009, the White House issued an Open Government Directive requiring federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration.

If there is any sector that needs to take advantage of emerging media, it is the Federal Government. As more government agencies are increasing their use of social media and emerging media to engage with citizens, share information and deliver services and advisories more quickly and effectively as ever, it is their responsibility to ensure these services are accessible to all citizens.

The Federal Government as well as local governments has successfully started implementing social media in a variety of ways, and the following infographic shows some great examples.

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Not only can Government Institutions use social media, but government employees can as well. The infographic below shows some of the social media trends in Government.

Social Media Trends

Another thing to think about is that Uncle Sam is spending a ton of money each year to pay for social media related services and to fund grants for research in the habits of users in the social world. Why is the Government spending so much money on social media? The answer isn’t exactly clear but it does appear that many Federal agencies are spending a lot of money to boost their image and, at least in the CDC’s example, track outbreaks and see if Twitter helps people quit smoking better.

The truth is that it would be a huge disservice to themselves and to the American public if the Federal Government wasn’t invested into emerging media. As citizens start to spend more and more of their time online, it makes perfect sense for the Government to go where the people are.

What are your thoughts on the Government’s “Open Government” directive?

Do you think the Federal Government is doing a good job at implementing emerging media in to their messaging? What is your best example of a Government agency using emerging media?

Metrics That Matter

As marketers, we have access to more metrics than ever before, which is why its important for us to track the metrics that matter. The metrics that “matter” will vary from organization or agency, but having the discussion before you jump in to implementing is important.

How will you know if you have a successful campaign if you have no idea what you are measuring?

In this blog post, I am going to discuss some of the more important metrics to consider.

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One way to look at metrics is by categorizing them in to three groups, according to the simplified flow of any digital marketing campaign. These groups of metrics are: Traffic Generation metrics, Conversion Metrics, and Revenue Metrics.

Traffic Generation Metrics include overall site traffic, traffic referral sources (did web traffic come directly to the site or did it come from an outside source such as Twitter?), Mobile Traffic (how many visitors are using mobile devices to access your site?), Click Through Rate, and Cost Per Click (this value depends on how popular your chosen keywords are).

Conversion Metrics look at converting website traffic into business leads, and include cost per lead, bounce rate, average page views per visit, average time on site, and rate of return visitors. Basically, any metric that shows exactly how long a visitor visited your site and what they did while they were there.

Revenue Metrics will tell you if a particular campaign is profitable or not so you can make adjustments on how you can improve your content for better engagement, higher conversion and bigger revenues. This is where that fun term “ROI” comes in to play. Revenue metrics are often the ultimate arbitrator of success, but estimations of lead quality by marketing or sales are only approximations.

Calculating the ROI of individual marketing programs is a little tricky because it’s not always feasible to accurately measure the contribution each marketing or sales touchpoint contributed to winning a new customer.

With any marketing campaign, it’s time to start making use of the analytics technology that’s available to us and start looking at how each channel is influencing the other. Knowing which ads represent influencers, introducers, or closers, is absolutely critical to understanding how the aforementioned metrics are working in concert with your overall marketing strategy. Each channel has their own unique metrics that are important to track so defining how you track each individual channels is important to consider as well.

What metrics do you think are important to track?

What is the most important metrics you would suggest that a new marketer track?

Show Me Your Snaps: SnapChat as a Marketing Tool

snapchat-for-business-snapchat-for-marketingAt this point in time, you may have heard about Snapchat, the mobile app that allows users to share videos and pictures that “self destruct” after a set period of time. You also may have also heard about many controversies or pictures leaks courtesy of the same app.

So why are we even considering the platform as a marketing tool? Many brands are joining the snap-revolution and creating some fairly successful campaigns. Snapchat has gone from the being a simple photo and video-sharing platform that marketers can no longer ignore. The average age demographic of the Snapchat user falls between 13 and 25, and since they represent the consumer of tomorrow, brands have decided that that is where they need to be.

snapchat-infographicUtilizing this app to connect with the consumer can be tricky especially since Snapchat puts a limit on how long videos and photos are available on the app.

So how do you reach your audience and make creative engaging content? Some things to consider when creating your Snapchat marketing campaign:

  • Understand Your Audience
  • Embrace the Time Limit
  • Get Going with Video
  • Portray your personality

That’s great and all but what can you actually put on Snapchat that would interest your customers? Thank you HubSpot for providing a few ideas:

  1. Provide a product sneak peek
  2. Send a custom coupon
  3. Release behind-the-scenes footage
  4. Engage event attendees with insider info

Now we have some ideas as how to use Snapchat in our own marketing campaigns, lets look two brands that have used Snapchat Quite successfully.

Example 1: Audi Partners with The Onion to Snapchat the Superbowl Live

During Superbowl XLVIII, Audi partnered Snapchat and The Onion to raise awareness with Millennials. Humorous photos and captions were created to be in line with the typical behavior of people – or their pets – exhibited during the game.

Example 2: World Wildlife Fund’s #LastSelfie Snapchat Campaign Raises Awareness About Endangered Species

Inspired by the disappearing nature of content on Snapchat, the World Wildlife Fund in Denmark and Turkey launched the #LastSelfie campaign. The #LastSelfie Snaps were meant to symbolize the diminishing population of different endangered species.

As you can see, there is a lot that Snapchat can do to complement your marketing efforts. It will be interesting to see how this app gets utilized more and more in the future.

For a very comprehensive and easy to read guide to get you started on how to use Snapchat, I highly recommend checking out this article that was featured on Marketing Land.

Obviously there are some privacy concerns with Snapchat. Do you think that there are easy ways for marketers to dilute those concerns?

Are there any other creative uses of Snapchat that you can think of that were not already covered?

Wearable Technology and Healthcare

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We are all familiar with wearable technology pieces such as Google Glass, the Apple iWatch, and of course the FitBits and other step counter technologies of the world. In fact, health and fitness wearables are one of the leading categories in terms of consumer interest. Some data even suggests that employers and insurers could kickstart a trend of footing the bill for some of these devices for their employes.

Research has shown that the top three pieces of information consumer’s want from wearables are health related. Take a look at some additional stats:

  • 77% want wearables to help them exercise better.
  • 75% want wearables to collect and track medical information.
  • 81% of millenials want technology to tell them about their exercise.
  • 71% of millenials want to know about dietary and medication information.

Here’s something to think about, what if private health insurance companies followed the car insurance example, by monitoring your health and adjusted your insurance premium accordingly? Think of this as the Progressive Snapshot of health. Many of the new wearable technologies come packed with sensors that can track where you’ve been, how much exercise and activity you have done, and in some cases how stressed you are. Add the ability to monitor your activity to online diet tracking and you have your self a portal for health insurance companies to see just how healthy (or not) you are.

The next generations of products like Fitbit or Jawbone are already preparing to play a much bigger role in how individual and group health insurances costs are decided. Today, 1 in 10 American adults own a fitness tracker and these devices will become more widespread alongside an explosion of sensors that can track and monitor your every move from breathing and heart rate to how quickly you can metabolize your food. Some employers are opting to monitor data being generated by fitness trackers (to the extent they can see it in the dashboard) and are holding their insured staff accountable and rewarding them through corporate wellness programs.

This increase in health monitoring would obviously put fitness wearables in to a very gray area on privacy, and as one of the other IMC students pointed out in a blog post, there is a blurry line between health education and targeted marketing in healthcare already.

Many people see wearable health trackers being the wave of the future with health insurance. Individual health premiums typically go up annually as we get older and as people are deemed more costly to the system. Wearable devices could help create more insightful profiles for people as sensors pick up details like heart rate and stress levels.

Health technology wearables offer many potential benefits; however, there is a thin line when it comes to employee and health insurance activity tracking. Do think that employers will cross the line with this technology?

What do you think are the implications of wearable tech being plugged into health insurance?

What are some positive and negatives ways in which wearable tech could infiltrate the health care system?

Taking emerging media in to the classroom

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Teachers today face the problem trying to keep students engaged in the classroom. That added on to the fact that consumers are becoming more reliant on emerging media to do their every day jobs, means that incorporating these technologies in to the classroom will have a positive impact on students.

Many of the media and technologies are new to society and being used by marketers, are also being used by teachers for their lessons. It certainly is an exciting time to be involved with learning and technology.

According to Saint Xavier University, the following are some of the new technologies that will affect both teaching and learning:

  1. Cloud Computing: The immediate benefits of cloud computing are reduced infrastructure and IT costs, increased accessibility, increased collaboration, and allows the flexibility in the customization of products for brand and audience. Cloud computing infrastructures can be used in both business and education with ease. Cloud computer is changing education in a variety of ways.
  1. Mobile Technology: Not only is mobile technology becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives, there are an increasing number of educators that see the potential in mobile devices as learning devices.
  1. Gaming: Using game-based learning scenarios allows for experimentation, the exploration of identities, and in some cases as well, failure. All of which are in a safe environment. Gamification involves implementing methods used in the development of games, but applying them to a real world scenario.
  1. Open Content: Wikipedia is the first example of the open content concept but now there are many textbooks and educational resources being created for education that use the same idea. Open content succeeds because of a powerful community.
  1. Learning Analytics: Learning based analytics can be used to improve our understanding of teaching and learning. Similar to using Google Analytics for business reasons, you can track what works, how it works, and the general flow through web-based environments.

So what does any of this have to do with marketing? The reason I wanted to talk about emerging media and technology in education is because I keep drawing parallels between that and emerging media and technology in marketing. We as marketers keep looking to mobile, gaming, and analytics to help us with new marketing initiatives, why can’t we use the same technologies to further education as well?

Do you see a similarity between new media in education vs. marketing?

What other pieces of new media do you think could get easily translated in to education?