Social Media… not just a fad.

Social network sites are growing popularity every day. Businesses can no longer ignore this social media trend. Instead, we should embrace these opportunities as affordable marketing tools for both online and offline businesses.

 

 

Here are some important ways that social media can benefit your business:

  • Create and maintain awareness of your brand
  • Drive qualified traffic to your website
  • Nurture qualified leads
  • Increase your online presence – thus increasing the number of times your brand will appear in search results
  • Monitor online conversations about your brand so that you can manage your reputation quickly and efficiently
  • Learn about your competitors and their activities
  • Publicise your new innovations, awards and business successes
  • Find new business partners, vendors, suppliers and business opportunities
  • Build trust and credibility because it’s an open and transparent communication channel
  • Increase your position as a thought leader with articles and commentary
  • Increase your search engine rankings – social media generates back links and site traffic
  • Support other paid marketing and advertising activities, online or offline
  • Identify customer’s needs, wants and issues and communicate directly with them as to how your products or services can address these
  • Provide a complimentary customer support platform due to the ease of use and real-time updates
  • Find and recruit new staff

Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.

Yours in Social Media,
Tanya.

Google helps brand marketers with new online measuring tools

For me, one of the most exciting parts of an online advertising campaign is being able to track the success of the campaign using online measuring tools.

Last week Google introduced the first two parts of what they are calling Brand Activate: Active View and Active GRP. With the introduction of these tools which produce better metrics, Google is hoping marketers will feel more comfortable allocating more of their money to online advertising.

I predict these tools will be perfect for a narrow audience as you will be able to understand how your targets are responding in realtime and adjust accordingly. These tools would have been a perfect for our recent sperm donor campaign due to the multiple parameters that contribute to a man being a good fit for the program.   Here is a little more about the tools:

Active View is going to significantly enhance a marketers understanding of how successful their online ads are. As Brian Zeug, Industry Director at Google says, brand marketers want to understand what they receive for the money they have invested.  Google Active will not only report on if the ad has been served, it will capture has the ad been viewed (as defined by the 3MS’s proposed standard, this is a display ad that is at least 50% viewable on the screen for at least one second). What I like the most about this solution is that marketers will only have to pay for viewed impressions.

Active GRP is taking the offline measurement of GRP (Gross rating point) used by the television industry (which reports on how many people saw the ads) and transitioning GRP for use in online ads.  This new metric will let marketers know who saw the ad, what they thought about the ad and what did they do? What is great about this is that the report is in real time so marketers can make changes and see results instantly.

A further explanation of this initiative is provided in the video above.

Yours in the better measurement of online advertising campaigns.

Belinda

Social Media to the rescue

With so many of us now connected to multiple social media platforms, we are all aware what a powerful marketing tool social media can be. We are now also beginning to realise ways in which we can harness its power to help people.

Social media was a primary source of communication following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In disaster situations, after survival, there is a human need to connect. Conventional telephone lines often go down, or are overwhelmed, whilst internet connections are still active and usable. Thus people found they could use networks like twitter or facebook to send warnings, relay and receive information and news updates, ask for help and let friends and family know they were safe.

As a result, many international organisations are now implementing social strategies into emergency management plans. A great example is American Red Cross who have recently partnered with Dell to build a Digital Operations Center. During emergency and disaster situations, the center will analyse and use social conversation to make decisions and organise relief efforts.

One of social media’s greatest strengths is in the ease and speed that information can be disseminated. There is great potential for Government, council and humanitarian organisations to use it to connect with and build resilient communities.

Yours in realising potential,
Andrea

Leveraging Mirror Neurons in Sales and Marketing

I love learning new things and was excited to be introduced by a client to Marco Iacoboni and his book Mirroring People. This was my first introduction into Mirror Neurons.

What are Mirror Neurons?, well quite simply as Wikipedia have put it ‘A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.  Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behaviour of the other, as though the observer were itself acting”.

To give you more of an insight I have found this video with Alan Alda which is part of The Human Spark series to give a great basic understanding of what Mirror Neurons are.

Click here to watch the video.

 

What has really excited me is how we can build on this idea in the sales and marketing we do. Mirror Neurons it has been found form the basis for empathy, social behaviour and even language and go a long way to explain how and why we react with certain emotions when interacting with someone or something.

As marketers we can leverage on this idea by telling a visual story about the product or service we are selling.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Isn’t it exciting to have a present at Christmas that you are unwrapping. By unwrapping that present in front of someone they too are experiencing the excitement with you. In a marketing sense if we can show an action happening, the person watching has a sense they are performing that action along with you.

We have all seen those beer ads where the bottle is opened and a refreshing sip taken. We hear the cap popping off and then some drinking sounds followed by an ‘ahhhhh’. As observers we are experiencing a sympathetic reaction from Mirror Neurons because we have performed the same action many times ourselves. We relate to it and we remember it. We want one.

As Marco Iacoboni says “Psychological studies started with the idea that a solitary mind looks at the world in a detached way. Mirror neurons tell us we’re literally in the minds of other people.”

As marketers it is critical to be thinking about the visual branding content we are producing to be sure we can leverage the idea of mirror neurons as much as we can.

Yours in Neuroscience Marketing,

Belinda

CMO’s Guide to Social Media Sites

The social-media landscape has grown since last year with an additional 5 more communities/platforms added and a quite a few of  them are already booming. So, which social media tools and channels will work best for your business?

This years largest growing community is Pintrest, which reached 10 million monthly visitors in less time than Facebook or Twitter did. It’s demographics include mostly women and it is quite popular in the Midwest. The concept behind Pintrest is that members can post images of whatever is of interest to them. From there, followers can then ‘like’, or ‘repin’ those images, which is then pushed out to their followers. Pintrest is a bit different as it offers a way to reach a group that is not usually considered a part of the ‘digerati’ and can be most useful for brand exposure and driving traffic to your site if your material gets ‘pinned’ by others.

This year, Google launched Google+, which offers some unique ways to interact, including Circles and Hangouts (group video chats) which make customer communication a breeze. Unlike Facebook ‘Likes’, positive ratings on Google+ can influence your brand’s search ranking. This channel has become a “must have” for social marketers, as it has more than 90 million users (though, there are questions about how active they are).

Three other communities that have recently been added to the social media pool are  SlideShare, Quora and Instagram.

SlideShare is similar to YouTube for slide shows. It is a great way to promote your brand / products and communicate with customers, however it is pretty much a one way conversation at this stage.

Quora was founded by two former Facebooker’s and is based on questions for community members to answer. It’s an ideal place to share your expertise as it is a perfect addition to your content marketing efforts.

Instagram is an iPhone app that lets you take photo’s of your products or services, apply interesting effects and share them, which can also be pushed out to your Facebook page and Twitter.

Is it time for you to re-evaluate which social media tools could work for you? Gone are the days where having a Facebook page is the only option. There is a continuing amount of other channels that have different capabilities and purpose, and used together can connect with a massive amount of people. For an analysis of which social medial tools are the latest and greatest, CMO have, for the third consecutive year, turned to 97th Floor, an SEO and Social Media Firm for their perspective of the different social media channels and ones that could definitely be worth your time.

You can view 97th Floors take on 10 Social Network Choices on 2012 CMO’s Guide To The Social Landscape.

Yours in Social Media

Angie Rapisarda

Memorable approach for a Serious Medical Issue

Rethink Breast Cancer uses a very funny online advertisement to promote a free app that helps woman check their breasts regularly for early signs of breast cancer.

Aimed at a younger female audience, in an effort to prevent breast cancer, the ad uses humour and hot guys to firstly grab attention before going onto explain the importance of regular “TLC” – Touch your breasts, Look for changes, Check with your doctor.

The use of the app in this campaign, cleverly named “Your Man Reminder”, is ingenious as once downloaded (and it has been downloaded over 70,000 times) the women can start to interact with it regularly. You have a choice of one of six men to talk you through how to do a self examination and then they encourage you with regular reminders to re-check your breasts. (I couldn’t download the app quick enough after viewing the video).

This is just another example of where online promotion can be such a powerful medium to engage with a targeted audience and then interact with them regularly with an important message.

Rethink Breast Cancer’s video promotion of the app was recently named one of TED’s 10 Ads Worth Spreading.

Yours in the exciting world of online promotion,

Belinda

Origin Energy Sustainability Drive Campaign

Origin Energy Sustainable Drive

Early last year Origin Energy released a campaign called – Sustainability Drive Campaign.

The reasons for the campaign were simple; with the growing demand for energy, climate change became an issue and Australians started noticing their energy bills begin to rise.

People started to notice who their energy provider was and what they were offering. If they didn’t like what they saw, they began to shop around.

Origin Energy was already Australia’s leading ‘green’ energy provider, and they wanted to keep this lead on the other service providers. They needed to continue to ensure their customers that they could keep up with the growing energy demand, remain as green as possible and still be affordable.

So, they launched the Sustainability Drive. It was a national competition involving 80 homes in 4 streets across Australia and the aim was to encourage them to become more energy efficient, in order to reduce their energy bills, as well as share in up to $1M worth of sustainable technology.

All they had to do to be in the running was to get together with up to 20 of their neighbours and explain why they would all like to win. They could use text, images and video to push their reasons.

Origin communicated well online and they reached the masses. 8,950 individual streets entered and the competition received 45,000 nominations.

As we know, social media is proving daily to be a powerful tool. It can be beneficial to anyone’s business, no matter the size and industry. If you are smart and think about what gets people excited and involved, and how that can then relate to your business and product, the results, as seen above can be pretty amazing.

Origin Energy are obviously a large organisation with what I am assuming is a pretty great marketing budget. You don’t need to run a campaign at the same scale as they did. Get stuck into social media, make your customers do the work for you by talking about you via their social networks. If all you have to do to get people involved and happy to talk about your services and products is to give away something that is already in your  product offering, then that sounds like a good idea to me.

 

Yours with loads of energy,

Justine

 

 

You’ve been seen

The images below show a really creative idea of giving the young people of Lebanon what they want. What first appears as advertising for sunglasses, is actually more complex.

A current trend in Lebanon is that young people want to be seen, so to speak, when they go out. They want to be noticed, they want attention and a nightclub called Riviera Privé in Beirut, has given them exactly what they want, while successfully setting themselves up as one of the hottest places in town, to be ‘seen’.

These are massive vinyl stickers placed in the bathrooms of Beirut’s trendy spots to draw attention to Riviera Privé. It is an exclusive beach, pool and bar and lounge area in one of Lebanon’s most famous hotels, the Riviera Hotel.

Bathroom AdvertisingBathroom Advertising 2Bathroom Advertising 3

This is a great example of doing something different and creative to grab peoples attention and get them talking. What do you think?

Yours in advertising,
Dawn

Two new social sites to boost your customer engagment.

Pintrest

Is a new comer on the social media scene and its popularity is rising fast. With more than 11.7 unique visitors per month, it is only second to Facebook for providing referral traffic and the amazing thing is, that it is still on the rise.

Pintrest is a pinboard style image site that allows users to group images by topic or theme. Big name brands are now creating innovative ways to use this new social media power player and use it to their advantage.

Check out this great video over at l2 think tank, and see how your business can use the social media marketing power of Pintrest.

You never know, you might be one of the tens of thousands of people that just can’t stop ‘pinning’.

Instagram

Instagram is another up and comer in the social media realm, and continues to rapidly grow, with a user base of over 15 million. Leading companies such as Starbucks, Red Bull, Tiffany & Co. are starting to see the benefits that these platforms can have for their brands.

Don’t be turned off and think that these new platforms are only for the major players. They’re not. Social media is a great way to improve customer engagement, increase brand awareness and generate referral traffic to your businesses website.

Lead the way and start engaging your customers in new and innovative ways.

Yours in pinning,

Nick