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Social Media Marketing News & Analysis

Transforming Social ROI From a Myth Into Reality

Transform Social Marketing ROI From a Myth Into RealityHere’s a question I still get way too often: “What’s the ROI of social media?” It’s usually a B2B marketer that’s doing the asking, someone seemingly resigned to spending valuable time and resources on social media without really understanding why. Or it's a marketer that totally gets the value of investing in the company blog, Twitter profile and LinkedIn groups but still needs help convincing their “old-school” CMO or CFO that investing in social media is worth it. 

Aren’t we marketers now experts at calculating the return on all our online marketing initiatives? Why is social media such a tough nut to crack?

Connecting: Dave Kerpen, the Most Influential Guy You Never Met

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It must be nice to be more important than Bill Gates … not to mention Jack Welch, Mark Cuban, and Barack Obama. That's the enviable position that Dave Kerpen is in, at least according to LinkedIn.

Kerpen, an entrepreneur and author, earned recognition as the No. 1 LinkedIn Influencer of all time last summer, ahead of all those other guys. He had the most popular article on LinkedIn at the time — "11 Simple Concepts Become A Better Leader," which had been viewed 1.8 million times and "liked" by 21,000 people.

But that was eight months ago. Today that post has been viewed nearly 2.6 million times and "liked" by 25,500 people.

It's a lofty position for a really down to earth guy. Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software product for small businesses, and the chairman and former CEO of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm that has had triple digit revenue growth for four consecutive years. He's also a New York Times bestselling author of three books and an international keynote speaker.

CIOs Take the Lead with Social Media

A common theme emerged from the conversations I had while attending SXSW: How do I get into social media data so I can do more? More precision. More insight. More and better analytics. Both senior business executives and senior IT execs expressed this same concern.

The Hierarchy of Social Marketing Interaction

The Hierarchy of Social Marketing InteractionSocial marketing has become an integral part of the marketing portfolio ... at least in theory. One of the biggest challenges social marketing faces is the remaining confusion on which metrics are truly important for marketing success and which are more decorative in nature.

Connecting: Sprinklr's Social Nerd Talks Digital Tech

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Two years ago, Esteban Contreras sold most of his earthly possessions on Craigslist, walked away from a city he loved – New York – and moved to Canada. He happily resettled about 30 minutes from Vancouver, British Columbia but stayed connected with his adopted hometown by by advising and working with NYC based Sprinklr, a provider of social media management tools.

We told you about Sprinklr last month when it bought Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, a social analytics company, and formed the largest independent end-to-end social relationship platform in the market. Contreras is director of strategy at Sprinklr.

He's a native of Guatemala, but he has little concern for geography — and said he's "glad we live in a day and age in which it is possible to work from virtually anywhere."

And he's probably just as glad we live in an age when it's possible for one person to do so many interesting things. Before moving to Canada, Contreras was the first social media marketing manager at Samsung USA.

He's also the author of the book "Social State," founder of Social Nerdia Consulting, which focuses on the convergence of technology, marketing and social, and an advisor to multiple tech startups.

Searching for Value in Social Media Marketing

When the computing and connectedness industry began its meteoric rise in the 1990s, IT vendors and users alike scrambled for new ways to utilize the growing capabilities provided by the internet and broadband communications. Among the most attractive of these was Customer Relationship Management (CRM). 

Around since the early 1990s, CRM initially focused on the relationship between vendors and their known customer base. It evolved from a one-way gathering of customer information to a two-way relationship in which the vendor could give back to customers in the form of discounts, gifts and special offers. While this growing interaction between vendor and buyer had some of the characteristics of today’s real time marketing world, it was limited by technology to a relatively small share of the overall buying public. That has changed as the world of connectedness has virtually taken over the world of commerce.

Forget Likes, These Are the 3 Facebook Metrics to Watch

Forget Likes, Here Are the 3 Facebook Metrics You Should WatchMarketers nowadays are data driven numbers people. I get it. I consider myself a numbers guy, too. That said, when it comes to Facebook, I think a lot of marketers have it all wrong. The Facebook metric marketers tend to focus on -- a page’s Like count -- does not matter as much as marketers and business owners think it does.

Robert Scoble: The Scobleizer Talks Life, Work and Technology

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelRobert Scoble — aka The Scobleizer — works at Rackspace, where he's building a community for people fanatical about the Internet called building43. But that just scratches the surface. Scoble has been making a name for himself on the Internet for a while now.

"There’s a really excellent about page over on Wikipedia about me. I didn’t write a single word about it, but I do watch to make sure it’s accurate," he told me.

So let's start there. He's best known for his (late great) blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. It earned him a mention in the Economist in 2005, which noted Scoble had become

a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience."

RadiumOne CMO Eric Bader: Focus on Customer Relationships

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Eric Bader made company history last summer when he became the first CMO at San Francisco-based RadiumOne, a firm that builds software to automate media buying. Bader has been around the advertising block, so to speak. He's a veteran of adland, a community weblog and advertising archive, and has worked at Ogilvy & Mather, MediaVest, BrandinHand and Initiative, where he was chief strategy officer from 2010 to 2012.

But that's not all, folks: He's also CEO and founder of a startup called Mobilize, which creates, hosts and manages mobile applications and web sites for various customer interactions — from merchandising and transactions to CRM, loyalty programs, in-store and shopper marketing and promotions, social marketing and events.  

But his main task now, according to a story in AdWeek last summer, is to explain RadiumOne's "value proposition in a crowded marketplace of startups that claim to be able to spin social data into gold for marketers."

Connecting: Content is the Secret of Marketing Success

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Stephanie Frasco loves few things more than social media. But content is one of them. “Content Is King," she stated enthusiastically. "It's everything … The key to attracting the right customers, the best tool for building relationships with prospects, the most powerful way to convert prospects into sales, the No. 1 way to improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, online and off.

"Yup."

Frasco, a social media marketing consultant, is vice president at Los Angeles based Convert With Content. In the past 7 years, she has worked with clients worldwide to help them maximize their efforts from social networking and blogging. 

Through a rather tongue-in-cheek blog called Socially Stephanie, she offers advice like this to B2B businesses:

I want you to absolutely think about blogging within LinkedIn's new publishing platform. Yes, this is hot off the presses. LinkedIn's publishing platform is now open to the public. The possibility of getting in front of LinkedIn's 200 million plus users is exhilarating, but you have to do it right. Create unique content for LinkedIn. Look at it as a guest blogging platform and not a syndication network. Duplicate content doesn't bode well with the Google gods. I know that I'll be spending investing some good ol' blogging sweat equity there, and you should too."

Oracle Bites On BlueKai in #Martech M&A Feast

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Oracle Corp. appears to have an insatiable need for acquisitions, with a focus on anything involving marketing technology (now known in the Twittersphere as "#martech"). Its latest deal is BlueKai, an acquisition announced this morning. Although terms of the deal were not released, it is estimated in the $350 million to $400 million range.

The buy will help Oracle to personalize marketing programs and the customer experience. Omar Tawakol, CEO, BlueKai, said his company's products "convert fragmented and disparate marketing data into high-performance results for companies.”

BlueKai claims to maintain a database of 700 million consumer profiles and has more than 300 customers across multiple industries. The company boasts that its Data Management Platform (DMP) keeps the customer and audience data in the cloud to target marketing campaigns and deliver better results. 

In short, BlueKai is one of the largest providers of data that help provide those super-targeted ads you see in your browser that might seem a little creepy because they happen to coincide with what you've been searching for lately.

Connecting: How to Build an Unforgettable Brand

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Julie Cottineau doesn't mince words. "My business is branding. I teach you how to improve yours," she said. Cottineau is the founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build their brands and leverage them as actionable business assets.

Before BrandTwist, she was vice president of brand at Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, overseeing branding strategy for new and established Virgin companies in North America. She also served as executive director of consumer branding at Interbrand and was a vice president and management supervisor at Grey Worldwide in both the US and France. She has been an adjunct professor of integrated marketing communications at Columbia and Cornell universities and is a frequent commentator on brand strategy and innovation.

Connecting: Discover, Curate and Share the Best Content

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New York City-based Rallyverse has been described as the next generation in social media networking. The company helps marketers discover, curate and share content in owned and paid social media.

More specifically, it monitors trending conversations across the social web and recommends the most relevant content for marketers in real time — creating ready-to-publish status updates, tweets and social ads in a simple, visual interface.

Joe Doran is the company's co-founder and CEO. He's a seasoned senior executive with 15 years of experience managing interactive media, advertising and social media solutions in high growth companies like Microsoft and General Mills.

Sprinklr Buys Dachis Group to Boost Technology, Talent

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Two powerhouses in the social management space are joining to form the largest independent end-to-end social relationship platform in the market. Sprinklr, a New York City provider of social media management tools, is buying Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, a social analytics company, the companies announced today.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Jeff Dachis, founder and CEO of Dachis Group, told CMSWire this morning that "everyone is happy with the outcome."

Andrew Jones, an analyst at Altimeter Group who focuses on social media management and cross-channel customer engagement, said the deal "makes sense." The companies are "very complementary," he explained, "not only in terms of technology but in terms of the talent at Dachis Group. Dachis has roots as a consultancy, which Sprinklr will be able to leverage in its business."

By acquiring Dachis, Sprinklr adds industry leading brand analytics and content optimization to a platform Forrester Research already rates as “the most powerful technology on the market.”

Connecting: Marketers Need to Talk Less, Listen More and Stop 'Selling'

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Wendi Caplan-Carroll understands the power of digital marketing. She has more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing marketing strategies for businesses and organizations in a variety of industries. She speaks regularly about ways small businesses can benefit from tools like email and social media marketing.

Since 2008, she has worked at Constant Contact, a provider of on-demand engagement marketing tools, including e-mail marketing, social media marketing, event marketing and online survey products. In late 2012, she was promoted from senior regional development director for the New York metro area to an area director with responsibility for a multi-state area across the Northeastern US.

More than half a million small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use Constant Contact's online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business and referrals.

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