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Social Media, Social Engagement News & Guidance

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

Connecting with Bill Sobel

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.

Dig into Your Data to Delight Your Customers #SDLInnovate

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When preaching the gospel of customer experience management, it helps if a CEO has transformed his own company as Mark Lancaster has changed SDL.

Lancaster opened his company's conference in San Francisco today -- the third in a series of five global events -- with a sermon on the importance of analyzing data to better understand and serve customers.

He began by noting he led SDL's own  "reinvention" in that area last year, building a company that now competes with a suite of products in analytics, social, documentation, campaign management, e-commerce, web, mobile and other areas.

Yep, Brands Talk Like 5th Graders on Facebook

A majority of Facebook posts by brands -- 67.3 percent of them, to be exact -- are written at an elementary school level — with 1st grade being the grade level most frequently targeted. That's the not so surprising results of a study by Track Maven, a competitive intelligence company.

Grade level is determined using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which analyzes passages and rates them on a scale from 0 to 100 according to difficulty. Passages suitable for 11-year-olds —  most of what is apparently on Facebook — score between 90 and 100. 

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.

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.

Lithium CMO: Klout is a Game Changer for Brands

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Since Lithium acquired Klout in late March, there's been considerable speculation about just what it would do with it. Now we know.

The San Francisco-based social customer experience platform announced two new products at its LiNC conference — Pop-up Communities and Klout for Products.

Whether the products will have the "disruptive" impact predicted by CEO Rob Tarkoff remains to be seen. Perhaps more important is how they reflect a maturing role of social networks in building relationships between companies, products and customers.

CMSWire interviewed Lithium CMO Katy Keim on the third and final day of the conference to get her perspective on the new products and other topics.

Pinterest Boosts Offerings for Marketing Tech Firms

Continuing its effort to turn its platform into a revenue generating service, Pinterest is enhancing its API platform to give marketing companies more insight. 

TechCrunch reported today that Pinterest is preparing to announce a new initiative that will allow businesses to gain a better understanding of Pinterest trends, along with the improved API platform. The new service is currently offered to a limited number of marketing technology firms, including Salesforce, HootSuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate and Tailwind.

The API is Pinterest's first effort to allow third parties to build over its services. The company will continue to offer its free analytics service.

By giving companies a more comprehensive understanding of Pinterest trends -- which images are most popular, which are driving the most traffic and which have been shared, or "repinned," the most -- Pinterest thinks companies could design more effective marketing campaigns and facilitate greater customer engagement.

Go Digital - In 6 Easy Steps

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Finally, someone has stood up and said it. Digital business is not about IT,  applications, software, the cloud or even — as much as it pains us to say it — information management.

Digital business is a mindset. A different way of thinking about business. It includes all the above elements, but it is more than the sum of those parts. According to new research from Gartner, digital business is the new enterprise lingua franca, with digital expertise spread across the entire organization.

Carsten Wierwille: Improving CX Through Better Design

Connecting with Bill SobelCarsten Wierwille is the kind of guy who tweets that his autocorrect turns "happiness" into a "happy mess" — and that the early bird gets caught by the bird.

He sees things a bit differently, as he should: he's vice president and general manager at frog, a global product strategy and design firm.

He manages frog's operation in the US, aligning creative passion with client goals. He has more than 15 years of experience in digital design, technology and innovation strategy, and has worked extensively with clients in a variety of industries including automotive, financial services, telecommunications and media.

B2B Marketing Needs Durable Systems of Engagement

2014-19-May-No-Sales.jpgAnyone looking to sell IT technology business-to-business (B2B) has it pretty hard these days. Decision-making processes have become more complex and more people have a say.

A recent Text100 study reported (registration required) that on average, six people (in Germany, seven) with very different functions are involved with purchasing decisions. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed said that once the decision had been made, the purchase still had to be signed off by the board. At the information gathering stage, decision-makers use numerous offline and online channels to do their research. This stage now lasts longer and more resources go into preparing and justifying decisions.

The study, which surveyed 1,900 people from around the world, asked questions about the influences that affect B2B decision-makers as they consider purchasing IT solutions.

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.

IBM Marketing VP Adds Color to Big Blue [Video]

2014-16-May-colorful-socksThere was a time when most IBMers wore uniforms of pin-striped suits, white button-down shirts, rep ties and wing-tipped shoes. Now there's a lot more color — in speech and dress, thanks to the leadership of executives like Tami Cannizzaro.

Cannizzaro is a vice president of marketing in the industry solutions division at Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM. She embraces social media, thinks of herself as a brand advocate and credits her employees for being smart enough to share appropriate information about themselves and their company.

"I always hear people say 'I don't have time for social media.' What I tell members of my team is that I prefer then to be active advocates for our brand, making sure they are aware of what's happening in the industry, rather than answer their 200 emails from internal type activity."

"It's really important, especially for large brands, to use social media to be active and keep their hands on the pulse of what's happening, especially in marketing. As a marketer, the landscape is changing very, very quickly. It's important to stay fresh and really understand how to use social, because it's a very powerful tool."

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