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Social Media, Social Engagement News & Guidance

Jim Lundy: Driving Value from Social Business Networks

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It's been years since companies began adding in-house social networks to enhance collaboration among employees. Now it's time to get real business value out of them.

Until recently, many companies have struggled to get their employees to supplement their email and IMs by engaging in conversations with geographically-dispersed coworkers. Even more elusive was finding measurable value in their status updates.

That's about to change, according to Jim Lundy, CEO and lead analyst for Aragon Research, who has spent nearly three decades looking into social business strategies, talent management and related fields. During that time, Lundy spent 12 years at Gartner Research, where he formed and led its collaboration and social software team. 

What CX Experts Learned This Week #OOW14

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After 300 sessions revolving around the customer experience at Oracle OpenWorld, a panel of senior practitioners today tried to summarize what they learned about social media, marketing and sales.

There were funny moments during the conference, such as when Oracle's social team learned that #OOW is the hashtag for out-of-wedlock -- not to be confused with #OOW14, the show's official handle.

But there were also serious discoveries, such as how quickly companies are shifting to customer-centric thinking and why B2C companies are adopting B2B tactics.

ROI Is the Wrong Tool to Justify Social Investments

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Social media and social networking have become core business tools in the business world. Every major brand has some level of social media account or social engagement with its customers at this point, but the question remains how to measure the value associated with social media and social networking. To do this, companies look for a Social Return on Investment but get hung up in the process. Why does this happen? 

Sounds of Silence Hamper CEOs on Social

Maybe they’re stuck in their ways, busy or just plain shy. Whatever the reason, there’s not much tweeting going on at the top.

A new survey shows that Fortune 500 CEOs aren’t using Twitter and nearly 70 percent shun all five major social media networks. And the decision may be costing them.

Can B2B Firms Really Get Anything Out of Social?

customer experience, Can B2B Organizations Really Get Anything Out of Social?

B2B and social media. Ok, we know. If you're in B2B marketing, there's a chance you may be rolling your eyes.

Bringing back your Facebook impression stats to the CEO of a multi-billion manufacturing company probably won't get you the major holiday bonus.

But social is where potential customers can be. And social is where they get talking.

"While many B2B firms support their customers through onsite and phone support, social -- and especially online communities -- offers an opportunity for B2B to connect with their customers when they need the support and insights 24X7," said Vanessa DiMauro, CEO and managing director of Leader Networks, a research and consulting firm that helps organizations craft social business and online communities strategies. 

DiMauro's organization released a report, The Social Consumer, that included surveys sent to 927 people (90 percent of them in the US) and "highlights that engagement represents the real needs and wants of the social consumer," DiMauro told CMSWire. 

It's even helpful for B2B, she said. 

Stock Photo Agency Adds Social to Search

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Sure a picture is worth a whole lotta words. But how do you find the right picture to use in your marketing?

As anyone who has combed the archives of a stock photo site can attest, it isn't easy. 

But Dreamstime, a stock photography agency based in Brentwood, Tenn., claims it has a solution. It's factoring social media into its search function.

Discussion Point: Will We Still Use Twitter in 10 Years?

discussion-point-1.jpgTechnology tastes change quickly. Things can be hot today, gone tomorrow.

Anybody remember Pointcast? Once the software app of the moment, it was quickly tossed into the rubbish bin of technology history.

That brings us to Twitter, one of the apps du jour. It's amazing how swiftly it has penetrated into the public consciousness. We now see the tweets of public figures scrolling across TV screens during International sporting events.

Founded in 2006,  Twitter has gone public and amassed a $31 billion market cap in less than 10 years.

But will we still tweet 10 years from now? After all, it's just a text message. There's not really any rocket science here. And it's been proven that new social apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp can swoop in and grab the fickle-fancy of teens in a heartbeat.

A decade is an eon in tech terms. When you think of Moore's Law, whereby computer speed and capacity doubles every two years, it makes 10-year old technology look lame.

No app is safe in the zeitgeist of mobile culture.

Google Plus Gasps for Breath, Does Anyone Care?

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There's no mourning in cyberspace, no overt sentimental ramblings on social media — despite yet another move by Google to put its struggling social network out of its misery.

This time, Google is dropping the requirement for all new users to create a Plus account when signing up for a Google network.

Typically when Google chops a product, it triggers a storm of protests. With Plus, though, the blogosphere has been largely silent — a sure reflection of how few people care whether the network fades away.

How to Tune Up Your Tweets #INBOUND14

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Fair to say Twitter has a pretty good audience with its 271 million active monthly users who collectively send out a billion tweets every two days.

As you might suspect, research shows that tapping into Twitter really helps to drive your business.

According to Twitter statistics
• 73 percent of users feel better about an SMB after following its account and reading its Tweets
• 60 percent of users who follow SMBs have purchased something because of Twitter

But not all tweets are created equal. 

Three Tips For a Bang-Up Blog

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Looking to get the most bang for your blog?

Follow the three-step playbook created by Anum Hussain, a growth marketer for HubSpot's inbound sales division, created after staring down the daunting challenge of creating a new blog HubSpot’s sales acceleration product, Sidekick. 

It's not enough just to have a blog, she said, you've got to create the right one.

Chris Brogan: Stay Focused, Stay Social and Be Nice

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Chris Brogan is a lot of things … an author, journalist, marketing consultant, public speaker and "veteran of the social media revolution."

He's CEO of Owner Media Group, publisher of a digital business magazine called, not surprisingly, Owner. He's consulted for a host of companies, including GM, Coke, PepsiCo, Sony, Microsoft, Google and Motorola, and he's a New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, and Just Start Here 

But forget about all that for a moment. The thing it seems Brogan really wants you to know is that he's a nice guy. As he explains on his blog:

Biographies are really weird things. About pages. All that. You basically have to primp yourself up and act all pompous and important and make sure people know why you’re worth it. I’m a really approachable and nice-seeming guy. Never hesitate to introduce yourself to me when you see me out and about, okay? I'm nice. Promise."

And this nice guy finished first, too, at least on one of Forbes magazine's list of social media power influencers and Business Insider's list of people to follow on Twitter.

US Impulse Buyers Beware: Twitter Launches 'Buy' Button

Last year, Twitter revealed that followers exposed to promoted tweets buy more in stores. Now it's capitalizing on our insatiable desires for stuff with the introduction of a "buy" button.

In a blog post today, Twitter Group Product Manager Tarun Jain confirmed speculation that has been circulating since July when users started to report “Buy now” buttons in occasional tweets. Jain noted that Twitter is testing "a new way for you to discover and buy products," adding, "For a small percentage of US users (that will grow over time), some Tweets from our test partners will feature a 'Buy' button, letting you buy directly from the Tweet."

Sprinklr Makes Its Third Buy This Year

Sprinklr, a New York City provider of social media management tools, has acquired highly targeted advocacy influencer platform, Branderati. The deal marks Sprinklr's third acquisition in about six months — a continuation of what the firm calls its strategy to grow "aggressively and smartly."

In February, Sprinklr bought Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, a social analytics company, and formed the largest independent end-to-end social relationship platform in the market.

And just last month it bought TBG Digital, a company that considers itself a pioneer of corporate advertising on Facebook and Twitter. The acquisition was designed to amplify Sprinklr’s reach across social media.

Now it's bought Branderati, a company that boasts that it helps brands identify their most passionate “advocate influencers” and take those relationships to the next level to drive brand advocacy and loyalty. Ekaterina Walter, Branderati's co-founder and CMO, told CMSWire this morning that the deal capitalizes on the complimentary strengths of both companies. "As we've watched Sprinklr grow and transform to a provider of a robust, all in one platform, it became very, very obvious to us that Branderati was a key part that solution," she said.

Tweets to Treasure: Better Trend Analysis

2014-28-August-Sean Goggins and Ian Graves.jpgThere’s something intriguing about wandering anonymously through the day, going wherever you want, doing whatever you want — no questions asked, no calls from the office.

Too bad that rarely happens anymore.

Thanks to social networks like Twitter, a worldwide broadcast of your every move and mood is just 140-characters away. We've come a long way since 2008, when many of today's most tweet-happy users (myself included) complained about their fears of being followed and argued that the minutia of someone else's life isn’t interesting enough to distract their attention.

Nope, we've learned that Twitter really is the gateway to deeper, more meaningful communication — and allows people to more deeply connect, share resources, share online opportunities and collaborate.

And now researchers at the University of Missouri claim they've found a way to make Twitter even more useful for those who believe there's actually a lot of treasure in those tweets.

Should You Use LinkedIn to Build a Network or an Audience?

2014-27-August-LinkedIn-Head.jpgI’m not sure how to use LinkedIn anymore. I’m on LinkedIn all the time as a social marketer, and over the last year or so I’ve noticed some big changes to two basic aspects of how I think about LinkedIn … and they've left me scratching my head about my own approach.

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