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Social Media Marketing News & Analysis

Should You Open the Twitter DM Door?

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Man, do I hate it when I try to direct-message (DM) someone on Twitter, but can't because that person doesn't follow me.

First of all, who doesn't follow me? And secondly, why are they so privileged to not get my notes?

Alas, there's hope for me. Twitter opened that DM door this week.

Now, you can opt in and allow anyone to send you a DM. No need for them to be your follower to send them a message.

It's kinda like email -- if someone has your address, they can ping you, provided they opt in.

"We’re changing how direct messaging works so that it’s even easier for you to communicate one-to-one or with a chosen group of people, anywhere in the world," Twitter's Nhu Vuong wrote in an April 20 blog post.

I love this as a reporter. (So watch your Twitter inboxes, my trustworthy sources). 

I'm not the only one affected here. Think brands.

Are Your Execs Hindering Your Social Media Success?

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I've written often about the challenges B2B marketers face in turning the crank to generate social ROI. Specifically, how important it is to build quality social channels, set the right social media goals and create compelling content -- and how mobilizing your employees and brand advocates can help you get social traction much more quickly.

But maybe there's more to it than that.

Is Sprinklr Finally 'Satisfied' With Its Latest Acquisition?

Sprinklr put its acquisition shovel to work again.

The New York City-based provider of social media management tools scooped up San Francisco-based customer care provider Get Satisfaction today. This is Sprinklr’s fifth acquisition since the beginning of 2014 and follows a series funding valued at greater than $1 billion.

Get Satisfaction joins social community software provider Pluck, influencer advocacy company Branderati, paid social company TBG Digital and brand analytics provider Dachis Group as Sprinklr acquisitions in the past 14 months.

All told, the six-year-old provider now climbs to more than 750 employees, 850 brands and 400 clients. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rahul Sachdev, CEO of Get Satisfaction, and Jeremy Epstein, vice president of marketing for Sprinklr, caught up with CMSWire after the provider's fifth acquisition in just more than a year.

Sprinklr is accelerating its social consolidation strategy to help brands improve customer experience, they told CMSWire.

Dachis Group brought brand health data and analytics into the fold, TBG Digital enabled a paid social offering within the Sprinklr platform, and the acquisitions of Branderati, Pluck, and Get Satisfaction are bridging the gap between first- and third-party brand experiences, they explained.

If Your Social Media Marketing Tools Could Think

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If you spend several hours a week trying to determine the best day and time to post to social media, posting content and trying to make sense of the analytics afterward, you might want to listen to Brennan White.

He’s the CEO of Cortex, a new artificial intelligence tool for social media marketing that he claims can save marketers so much time, they can finally get back to the root of social media: creating content.

White believes we’ve entered into an era where marketers should demand more from their marketing tools, and use less of them.

Do You Care What People Say About Your Brand on Facebook?

Developing a targeted message for a Facebook fan page audience can be challenge. The challenge takes a new turn when a business is unaware of how positively or negatively its online activity is accepted among its fan page followers.

Facebook has made sentiment easier for business operating a fan page through the launch of a new set of fan page metrics called Topic Data.

Topic Data reveals the aggregate sentiment of fan page audiences on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities. That will help businesses gauge whether the sentiment is good or bad.

Are These Vendors the Best at Social Media Monitoring?

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Social media marketing can be a lot like email blasts. Send out something, and see if it sticks

We're still in early days here. Many digital marketing teams, especially B2B, still search for that "gotcha" in social media marketing.

"One of the difficult things about using what I call flat metrics as a barometer for success is that there isn't often an actionable next step," said Erin Robbins O’Brien, chief operating officer at San Francisco-based GinzaMetrics, which just released a social intelligence suite. 

"For instance, a tweet receiving a high volume of retweets is often not analyzed for how it worked, who it worked for -- in terms of audience segmentation/persona group -- and if it would have worked on other channels or just Twitter. This means marketers aren't able to harness the good and fix the bad as easily."

Vendors claim they make these fixes. And where there are vendors, therein lies software rankings.

G2 Crowd, the Chicago-based crowdsourcing platform that provides user-review based reports on business software, released its Grid for Social Media Monitoring today. At least 10 users must have submitted reviews/ratings on a vendor for it to be mentioned in the report. The report looks at customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and market presence (based on market share, vendor size and social impact).

How accurate are they? Like any reviews, take them with a few grains of salt.

The Online Privacy Checklist Every CMO Needs

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CMOs are charged with social media marketing and monitoring what prospects and clients are saying online, but lack the technological capacity, power and often, the desire to monitor what employees are saying online. This thinking is flawed, at best and downright dangerous, at worst. Here’s why and what needs to change.

With very few exceptions, at most companies you can be pretty certain a large number of your employees are participating online in some way. Of course they’re entitled to do what they want (on their own time), but how many of them are posting potentially damaging comments using accounts where they identify themselves as part of your organization?

Is There a Light at the End of the Social Media Marketing Tunnel?

Digital marketers love talking about social media. Executives love return on investment (ROI).

Can you truly show ROI on social media programs?

GinzaMetrics is the latest company to offer a solution officials said does this for marketers. Its new platform addition gives marketers insights on how social channels contribute to corporate goals and revenue. It also gives marketers data to better target campaigns for the right audiences.

GinzaMetrics, based in San Francisco, is not the first to do this. So why them?

"The offering is unique because it comes from a data platform that has a backbone of search and organic data that provides deeper content information, at the individual page and keyword/topic level," said Erin Robbins O’Brien, COO at GinzaMetrics.

The company today released a Social Intelligence Suite addition to its platform. This enables marketers to tie specific content, keywords and social channels to revenue and conversions for their brand, she said.

How Social Selling Helps Your Company Grow More Profitable

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Social selling will transform the way sales teams do their jobs.

At least that's what a lot of people have predicted over the past few years. They claim sales reps will use social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to identify and engage prospects — and, most importantly, close more deals.

But according to a recent survey by PeopleLinx, only 31 percent of sales reps today use social media in their selling process. And if my experience is any indication, many of these early adopters don't understand a significant point.

The fact is that social networks are best used for networking — not selling.

Shareablee's Tania Yuki: Social Media Marketing Needs Better Data

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Tania Yuki is a lawyer who "likes making things" — and what better thing to make than a company? In 2013, Yuki founded Shareablee, a social media analytics startup that provides marketing data to companies and publications.

On her LinkedIn profile, she said she "thinks a lot about audience measurement and optimizing new platforms, and how traditional advertising and marketing can adapt to (disruptive) new ways of consuming and distributing content.”

Her goal is to "help simplify this convergence thing, keep it relevant and human, and to enable people to be reached in relevant ways by content and messages that are valuable to them, irrespective of where they are spending their time."

True or False: Social Media Marketing Works

As someone who earns a living helping B2B marketers make social media work, I was surprised by a recent claim from Forrester Research. Marketers use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to engage customers and prospects, Forrester noted. But then it added: it’s not working.

That's not the case, based on my experience.

Ekaterina Walter: Success Is a Team Sport

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The most influential Renaissance man in digital marketing is quite likely a woman.

Ekaterina Walter not only has an attention-getting title — global evangelist at Sprinklr — but is also a passionate marketer, bestselling author and highly regarded international speaker.

She's also proud of her roles as a wife and mother, enjoys dancing, camping and seeing the world, and "tweets with a European accent."

After spending more than 10 years as an integrated marketer and social media leader at Intel and Accenture, she went on to become the co-founder and CMO of Branderati, which was acquired by Sprinklr earlier this year. Somewhere along the way, she found time to write two books, "Think Like Zuck" and "The Power of Visual Storytelling" and also gained recognition for her innovative thinking.

How to Use Twitter to Influence People and Make Sales

Ever wonder what top sales people tweet about? Is it all business all the time — or do they spice up the conversations with tidbits about their personal lives? What information do they share — and why?

If you're eager to know the answers to those questions and more, you can reference a new report called, appropriately enough, How Sales Leaders Engage on Twitter (registration required), a collaboration between Leadtail and Hoovers.

RIP Google Authorship: What It Means and What's Next

Back in 2012, AuthorRank was a hot topic among the SEO and inbound marketing sect.

Similar to PageRank, which aims to establish authority for domains and pages on those domains, AuthorRank was thought to be the key to measuring individual authority. Although Google never officially referred to it by that name, they patented techniques to use individual reputation as a search ranking suggested as much. Once awareness of the patent went public, the SEO industry quickly began talking about it as individual authority.

Author Authority would have made it much easier to rank people in different areas of expertise. It would reduce spam and scammy behavior, and push reputable content creators up the SERPs. What could possibly be wrong with that end result?

The excitement was nipped in the bud on Aug. 28, 2014 when, in a surprise move, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller announced via Google Plus that the Google Authorship program was coming to an abrupt ending.

Discussion Point: To Cross-Post or Not to Cross-Post on Social Channels

Discussion-Point-640x480.jpgMarketers are falling short when it comes to building real social relationships with their customers.

This from the recent Forrester report, "Social Relationship Strategies That Work," which suggests that more often than not, the carefully crafted messages they post on social media essentially go off into space. Customers either miss them or ignore them. “Top brands Facebook and Twitter posts reach only about 2 percent of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1 percent of fans and followers interact with each post,” according to the report.

It's a crowded field and businesses are looking for effective strategies to engage with customers on social media.

This means answering more detailed questions about how, when and what to post. To save time, some marketers cross-post content on social channels -- is this a good or a bad idea?

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