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Latest Social Media News & Articles

How Social Media Cuts through the Noise

2014-29-May-Marching-Band.jpgWhile most companies spend a lot of time and energy celebrating the success or agonizing over the failures of their direct sales forces, much of that energy is misspent. Studies show that the indirect channel — resellers, VARs, distributors, consultants and partners of all stripes — accounts for 70 percent of sales worldwide — but channel programs are seldom showered with the attention that direct sales teams get.

Cisco CMO Reveals Her Pain Points

2014 May 20 Blair Christie Cisco 320 centr tm.jpgAbout 15 years ago, Blair Christie made one of those life-changing decisions. She gave up her notion of seeking her fortune on Wall Street to become the investor relations director for Cisco, helping to guide Wall Street's expectations for the networking powerhouse.

This week, amid the hullabaloo of the sprawling Cisco Live conference — it takes up all three halls in San Francisco's Moscone Center plus an adjacent high-rise hotel — Christie said she's oh-so glad she found the way to San Jose, where she now serves Cisco as chief marketing officer.

Stepping aside from the hoopla from the conference, she shared an inside look at her marketing strategies with CMSWire. We were particularly interested in which tools the mammoth B2B tech vendor uses to market itself globally, but also asked her about her mobile and social strategies, and about her biggest "pain points" as a CMO. 

So You Want to Host a Video Conference for 100?

Video conferencing has picked up steam as a key business tool, with users choosing between Microsoft's Skype and Lync, Google's Chromebox, Cisco's WebEx and others. Mountain View, Calif.-based Blue Jeans Network is now upping the ante, going from 25 simultaneous users for its cloud-based, multi-platform service to 100.

Face It: Effective Marketing is All Digital #WDS2

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If you're still dragging your feet on digital technologies, it's time to stop. As Newcastle Beer brand director Quinn Kilbury said yesterday, "Everything you do has to be about digital. In fact, 100 percent of our marketing budget goes to digital."

Kilbury was one of more than two dozen speakers who took the stage at the all day Westchester Digital Summit in metro New York City. Held at the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains, N.Y., the event brought several hundred senior marketing professionals together to brainstorm the best ways to create a strong social and digital presence.

From building your brand's online reputation to capitalizing on social media to connect with everyone from customers to competitors, marketers have more options than ever before. And while that may be intimidating, it's also a fact of life — and any company that fails to embrace it is doomed to fail, the speakers consistently warned.

Got Social? Great: Now Manage the Risks

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Power brings responsibility, and social media power means that companies have a responsibility to manage the accompanying risks and obligations. A new Forrester Wave report profiles the leading vendors for those tasks.

The Forrester Wave: Social Risk and Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014 report [fee charged] points to the growing number of ways that social media presents issues for organizations.

There's reputational and information security risks for every company, and companies in regulated fields, like financial services or healthcare, have regulatory and compliance matters that require not only monitoring and management but also archiving.

Please Stop Tweeting #mute

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If you long for the sounds of silence, even on social media, then Twitter's new mute button may be for you. Of course, an account feature that allows users to shush a user — or a brand — creates some new marketing challenges. But back to that in a minute.

How to Sweeten Customer Experience [Infographic]

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Good customer service once meant saying "please" and "thank you" and addressing each person who approached the sales counter by name. But that was before the Internet made e-commerce a fact of life and social media gave every ever-so-slightly annoyed customer the capacity to ruin your brand in 140 characters — or less.

When it comes to obtaining and retaining customers, remembering what you learned in kindergarten really isn't enough anymore. Now it hinges on the effective use of social media and other Internet-based resources, a fact confirmed by a new study from Consero Group, a Bethesda, Md.-based company that specializes in planning and hosting industry-specific conferences.

What's more, Chief Customer Experience Officers will continue to need a variety of new tools and processes to manage the smart consumer effectively and retain customers in a competitive marketplace, Consero CEO Paul Mandell told CMSWire.

For Marketers, 'Most Popular' Social Media Doesn't = 'Most Satisfying'

The most popular social media tactics are also among the least satisfying. That's one of the findings in a new report from Forrester Research.

DNN Finds Marketing Tools Easy to Use, Hard to Integrate

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Marketing automation. Social media monitoring. Customer relationship management (CRM). These tools are essential for most businesses, but a new report from content management system/community software vendor DNN notes that mid-sized companies struggle to put them together.

The report, "Marketing Got Complicated: A Look Inside the Marketing Department at Mid-Size Companies," was conducted in conjunction with Lawless Research. It surveyed 300 marketing decision makers at companies with 50 to 5,000 employees. On average, marketers at these companies reported that they are responsible for six marketing functions, with the top ones being market strategy, online marketing, customer retention, brand management and social media marketing. 

3 Ways Social Media is Changing Online Content

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Online content helps businesses and brands achieve business objectives. Until relatively recently, that content was centered around websites. But how has the growth of social media changed the equation?

Ryan Skinner, senior analyst for content marketing at Forrester Research, told CMSWire that one of the biggest changes from social media is "the idea of content as conversation." He cited New York University professor of media Clay Shirky, who has noted that the ability to communicate broadly has shifted from "an instrument of power" to "an instrument for everyone."

5 Minutes with Vala Afshar

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Ask three marketing executives to define "social business" and you'll get three different views.

One may see the potential of using the big data of social media to enhance the customer experience. Another explains how collaborative social tools like Yammer enhance productivity. Some may see social business as a way to enhance brand. And they all may be right in the context of their own experience.

One thing upon which they would probably all agree upon is that we're just beginning to understand social business. To help shed light on the topic, we contacted Vala Afshar, co-author of The Pursuit of Social Business Success.

Mondelez VP Offers Food for Thought on Empowering Customers

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Mondelēz International may not be a household name yet, but its brands are. Think belVita Breakfast Biscuits, Cheese Nips, Chips Ahoy! Cookies, Chiclets chewing gum — and the seasonally appropriate Cadbury Creme Egg.

As vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelēz, Bonin Bough knows them all. But he knows even more about mobile, social and using both to reach and empower customers. He's been described as a leader of the digital marketing revolution —"integrating mobile and social into all marketing campaigns and embarking on the next wave of social – empowering consumers to socially endorse products they love."

At Mondelēz — better known as Kraft Foods until a separation from its parent company in 2012 — he's responsible for leading and developing partnerships and omnichannel customer experiences that span all forms of media. (In case you wondered, monde means "world" in several languages and delez an alternative to "delicious.")

A magazine fanatic and Lego advocate, Bough is Twitter champ, with more than 14 thousand followers. He co-authored the 2010 book Perspectives on Social Media Marketing and has been recognized as one of business' hottest rising stars on lists complied by Fortune, Fast Company, Ebony and The Internationalist.

We're Still Playing at Work - and IT Admins are Still Unhappy

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Knock me over with a feather: A new survey shows a lot of people waste time at the office doing all sorts of things they shouldn't … including playing games, browsing social networks and looking for new jobs. 

Last month, TeamViewer, a provider of remote control and online meeting software, asked 300 IT administrators to list some common behaviors of office workers and explain how those behaviors have affected both IT administration and the company’s bottom line.

The only thing surprising about the resulting IT Admin Behavioral Study is that the company described the results as surprising — and the fact that only 92 percent of IT admins report troublesome habits among office workers using company computers. Are the other 8 percent of IT admins ignorant or just naïve?

Twitter Gets Its Grip on Gnip

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Twitter has just announced that it is buying social data harvester Gnip, but it hasn’t explained how it intends to make money on the back of the deal.

Neither has it explained how Gnip will sit with Twitter once the deal has closed, nor indeed, what is likely to happen in the future.

Maybe it’s a bit premature to be looking for answers to questions like those given that the deal was only announced this morning, but details about how this will unfold over the coming months are so scanty that you’d almost think Twitter doesn’t really know how it is going to incorporate Gnip into the fold. It hasn’t even disclosed how much it paid.

Is Dropbox's Condoleezza Problem Gone?

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It was supposed to be a feel-good week for Dropbox. CEO Drew Houston unveiled a handsome stack of new, well-received products. Then he invited Condoleezza Rice to serve on his board.

We’ll get to that problem in a second, first a recap of the other Dropbox announcements.

It was with great delight last Wednesday that Houston introduced Carousel, a place in the Cloud where you could store the pictures and videos of your life and access them from any device. The user experience is not only delightful, but it also has some interesting filters and features which, in comparison, make Instagram less cool.

Why Can't Lawyers Learn to Use Hashtags?

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Lawyers have a lot to learn about digital content and social media. A second study confirms US law firms haven't grasped the potential of digital and social technologies, as CMSWire reported two months ago.

The new study by Living Ratings (.pdf), a London-based firm that analyzes how financial, professional services, property and technology firms are using digital communications, found most American law firms are struggling with technologies.

It essentially confirms the findings of the earlier report by consulting firm Good2BSocial and Above the Law, which concluded US law firms are beginning to dabble in social technologies, but the practice is still limited and "ineffective."

Can Twitter's New Profile Help Brands?

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In another step towards becoming more Facebook-like, micro-blogging network Twitter has revamped its profile page. How will the change affect Twitter-oriented marketing?

To see some examples of the new profile, check out the pages for US first lady Michelle Obama, actors Kerry Washington, Channing Tatum or Zac Efron or even CMSWire editor Noreen Seebacher (shown at left).

 In a post on its company blog, Twitter designer David Bellona wrote this week that the new profile layout "will be easier (and, we think, more fun) to express yourself through a new and improved web profile."

Technology that Puts the Worker Before the Work

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Forget all the talk of technologies to enhance the customer experience and measure customer success. None of that is going to work unless employees succeed in their jobs. The right employees.

Just like almost every part of society that's transitioning from the pre-web era to the digital, mobile society we're becoming, human resources (HR) managers are caught in the middle — a fact that became clear today at Achievers' Aspire conference in San Francisco, where speaker after speaker shared lessons learned along the digital highway.

"The rise of the web changed the way we find work," said Razor Suleman, who founded the employee engagement software vendor a dozen years ago. "Who goes to the newspaper to find work anymore?"

LinkedIn Asks: How Good is Your Content?

LinkedIn is stepping up its focus on content. After releasing a site-wide Publishing Platform last month, the professional social networking site will be launching a Content Marketing Score and a way to measure trending content. 

Lithium has Klout, Wants to be #SeriousAboutCustomers

Lithium Technologies today confirmed what everyone seemed to know already — and acknowledged it has bought Klout. Lithium is reportedly paying almost $200 million in cash and private stock for the social media ranking influencer — twice as much as speculated during the past month.

Speaking at a late-to-start press conference — Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of the social customer service company, declined to confirm the value of the deal. However, he noted, "If Lithium is paying $200 million for Klout, then it is a very valuable company and I'm happy about that."

Tarkoff described the acquisition as a significant extension to its platform that will offer consumers and brands better ways to engage online. "We're adding the relationship piece into the CRM world," he said. "Together, we could be something incredibly disruptive to CRM."

Lithium is also adding Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Klout, to the leadership team. He will become general manager and senior vice president of Lithium's Klout business, Tarkoff said.