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Latest Social Media News & Articles

Note to Marketers: We're Not Waiting Any More

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The other evening, I found myself impatiently waiting on the supermarket checkout line. Although I waited just a few minutes while the clerk rang up the customers ahead of me, those minutes seemed to last much longer. Why?

Other customers seemed irritated, too, shifting from side to side, peering around one another, and making small noises when one woman pulled out her wallet after the clerk told her the total. How dare she waste five seconds? Didn't she know she'd have to pay?

It all made me realize that patience is wearing thin — not just mine, but the patience of billions of Internet-empowered consumers who have grown used to instantaneous responses to such critical questions as "When will Earth be sucked into the sun?" or "What is Beyonce's shoe size?"

Separating Fact from Fiction in Social Comments

Yelp, Angie's List, Amazon — these companies and many others offer user reviews of local businesses. But the authenticity of many of those reviews is questionable, which is why an Israel-based company is offering a new service that it claims provides "honest, authentic referrals."

The company, WhoDoYou, uses machine learning and natural language processing to collect and sort public conversations — mostly from Facebook, and mostly positive recommendations — about painters, lawn services, restaurants and the like.

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

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Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year — especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

This Tiny Restaurant Knows More than You About Customer Experience

Thumbnail image for 2014-18-june-Joe's-HomemadeIf you want to learn about customer experience, forget the next overhyped, overcrowded, tech-focused conference. Just eat at Joe's in Savannah, Ga.

Joe's Homemade Café, Catering and Bakery is the best of 750 restaurants in Savannah, at least according to TripAdvisor, a travel site that offers "trusted advice from real travelers." The 510-square foot gem of a restaurant is known for its sandwiches, salads, desserts and exceptionally warm and friendly service.

And while the food is delicious, it begs a customer to ask a question: "How did this tiny space with eight employees in a city of landmarked, exotic restaurants win the hearts of more travelers than any other?"

Don Holland, shown left, who co-owns the business with Ted Paskevich, shown right, doesn't have to think long when asked. "We believe that a strong commitment and delivery of quality food and exceptional service makes us appreciated by our customers," he said.

Oh, and one other thing. "We're big believers in social media."

Acquiring Customers Amid the Social Babble #SDLInnovate

You don't need to listen to 56 billion social conversations to build your business. You just need to hear the ones that matter.

That was the landscape  Liz High, vice president for global insights and analytics at SDL, explored at her company's Innovate event in San Francisco. More specifically, the workshop was titled: "Social Intelligence: Drive Customer Acquisition While Increasing Customer Spend." 

"When you think of social media, it's the most brilliant data set in the world," said High. "The whole way we think of social media is getting to the data that matters."

What Marketers Can Learn from a Rabbi's Use of Social Media

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Think "religious leader" — and you probably do not think "social media" in the same breath.

But then you haven't met Laura Baum, a founding rabbi and the chief operating officer of OurJewishCommunity.org and a rabbi at Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Baum has created an innovative model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. She challenges assumptions about the nature of Jewish identity, community and religious ideas.

Through OurJewishCommunity.org — named by Slingshot as one of the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations — Baum works to engage Jews through social media and other technology.

You don’t have to be Jewish or even religious at all to learn from her expertise in social media. "If we can revolutionize a 3,000-year-old product, I’m pretty sure almost any product or service can be re-imagined," she said.

Measuring Social Marketing ROI: Possible or Pipe Dream?

2014-04-June-Windmills-La-Mancha.jpgPretty much any company worth their salt is engaged in using social media in some capacity for business purposes at this point. As someone who has built a solid consulting agency using social media and content marketing, I can attest to the value of it holistically.

But as with any marketing channel, return on investment comes into the conversation especially when discussing social strategies with medium and large business clients. Businesses as a whole have become metrics obsessed, and the day of saying we “have to do social media” regardless of the numbers is past (for the most part).

So how exactly does one measure social ROI? Is it even possible, or should we be evaluating its performance in some other way?

Does a Swedish Company Know the Secret of Intranet Security?

Is there room in the American market for another enterprise social intranet — especially one that could be more secure? Sweden-based Incentive Corp. thinks so.

Incentive claims its network, which can be used on-premises or within the cloud, provides data security within a suite of social collaboration tools.

"Incentive is installed behind the firewall, which means that a company can choose its level of security and privacy," CEO Rickard Hansson told CMSWire. "Incentive doesn't change where you can store documents, [but] just ensures that the communication about those documents and changes made to them remains private."

Companies "know where their data is" when using Incentive, he said, because they don't have to use a public cloud.

How to Make Your Branded Content as Likeable as a Kitten

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Think you have top-quality content? Maybe you do. But that isn't enough, according to Jonah Peretti.

"Quality helps, but quality isn't enough," the BuzzFeed  founder and CEO told more than 600 marketers at Lithium's recent LiNC conference in San Francisco. "Making shareable content is an art and a science."

And Peretti's got the numbers to prove it. At a time when most media organizations are struggling, Buzzfeed reaches 130 million people a month, putting it in the same league and MTV and CNN. And where do those people come from? The vast majority come from links on social networks.

B2B Marketing and Twitter: Strong Marriage, Legitimate ROI?

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Dag Holmboe trekked along the 26.2-mile running route from Hopkinton, Mass., to Boston for the 2014 Boston Marathon in April.

Meanwhile, Holmboe put his Twitter analytics engine to work.

Holmboe, CEO and founder of Klurig Analytics in Boston, had a deep interest in the Twitter sentiment around the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

He's done about a handful of them now, including the 2013 race when two bombs were detonated around the finish line, killing three and wounding close to 300.

Not deterred, Holmboe, 55, came back this year again and completed this year's race, finishing in three hours, 23 minutes and 42 seconds.

Meanwhile, his Twitter engine was picking up stats on the #BostonStrong and #BostonMarathon hashtags while analyzing top words, top tweeters and sentiment both positive and negative.

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."