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Social Media, Social Engagement News & Guidance

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."

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.

Dstillery's Andrew Pancer: How to Build Smart Marketing Campaigns

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Holding a BS in Business Administration from Washington University and an MBA from NYU, Andrew Pancer has been around the block a few times. In fact, when he joined Media6Degrees back in 2008, he had already compiled a considerably impressive resume.

During his tenure at About.com, Pancer tripled profits and brought revenues to more than $100 million dollars. He would later go on to serve as the vice president of digital development at the New York Times, where he began working with the kind of technologies he’s currently fleshing out at Dstillery.

Pancer sat down with CMSWire’s Bill Sobel to talk a little bit about his own professional journey, brand value and the advertising strategies he’s helping pioneer as the COO of Dstillery.

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. 

Future Talk: Blab Updates Tool to Predict Online Conversations

2014-21-April-tomorrow.jpgPredicting the future is no longer limited to seers, mothers and the US National Security Agency (NSA). Now anyone — or any company — can forecast what people will be talking about tomorrow, according to a Seattle-based start-up that specializes in "predictive social intelligence."

The company, which released the second iteration of its product today, doesn't rely on magical premonitions, intuition or manipulations. Instead, Blab applies "proprietary technology and big data processing to contextualize and predict tomorrow’s online conversations today."

It's sort of like having a crystal ball, only with less worry about shattered glass. Or something like that.

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."

5 Minutes with Vala Afshar

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Ask three marketing executives to define "social business" and you'll get three different views.

One may see the potential of using the big data of social media to enhance the customer experience. Another explains how collaborative social tools like Yammer enhance productivity. Some may see social business as a way to enhance brand. And they all may be right in the context of their own experience.

One thing upon which they would probably all agree upon is that we're just beginning to understand social business. To help shed light on the topic, we contacted Vala Afshar, co-author of The Pursuit of Social Business Success.

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