Tag Archives: social media for business

Social media in business is spreading like hotcakes!

I love to read fresh local stats that show how advertising budgets are being spent and looking for the trends in the data. I know it sounds a little nerdy but I have always been interested in how businesses are communicating to their audiences and have seen over the last few years, huge changes.

The lastest stats from the Neilsen-Community Engine 2011 Social Media Business Benchmarking Study have found that more Australian businesses are allocating money to social media to foster customer relationships. In fact the study revealed that 43% of the businesses that participated are using social media to build a relationship with customers and stakeholders. The report also stated that 72% of businesses participating in social media in 2010 allocated 10% or more of their marketing budget to social media.

The way we communicate our products and services is changing so fast it is exciting! I have noticed the way our customers engage us and buy from us is changing. I say this is due to the amount of information that they have at their fingertips, no longer can a business sell on price alone as there will always be someone to undercut them.  I believe social media plays an important role in the promotion of a business and is the reason it is being adapted so rapidly. It is an opportunity to share brand personality, introduce key team members, engage with customers and gleam an insight into customer behaviors that can not be found out any other way.

Social media is an incredible medium for communication and an exciting medium to use in a marketing mix.

Yours in social media

Belinda

Behind the brand: SpareTicket.com.au

Ever wondered what really goes on in agencies when they create brands? There’s a lot of brainstorming, cups of coffee, drawing and scribbling – all in the name of idea generation! It’s hard work, but a lot of fun. At Brio Group, we recently brought the SpareTicket.com.au brand to life. Everything from the branding through to website, social media, marketing collateral and advertising kits.

To discover more about the steps, how we work, and hear an insight behind the creative and strategic minds of some of the Brio crew, check out our YouTube clip. We hope you enjoy!

To see the brand in action, visit the SpareTicket.com.au website.

Yours in branding,

Julia

Report: How Australian consumers and businesses use social media

Social media is joining more and more Australian business’s marketing plans, a new report reveals. To date large companies have seen the benefits of engaging in social media, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, to develop a more direct and open relationship with their audience. Meanwhile, 14% of small business and 25% of medium businesses currently use social media, and according to figures an uptake in these markets is expected over the next year. This anticipated rise in social media for business use is indicative of business owners and marketers recognsing the benefits of social media and the significant amount of time consumers now spend online (about 5 hours a week on Facebook).

Facebook trumps other social networking sites:

The Sensis report, which explores how Australian consumers and businesses use social media, also revealed that Facebook is the number 1 choice for consumers and businesses. Facebook captures 97% of social networking users and 60% of all internet users.

What consumers want:

This report is a helpful tool for marketers to gain an insight into the consumer’s behaviour within the social sphere. Not surprisingly, when asked what consumers wanted from businesses and brands they followed, discounts was the most commonly sought after item. Giveaways, invitations to events and general product information were also sought by a sizeabe proportion of followers.

Below are some key takeaways from the report:

To access the report in full, click here.

Yours in social media for business,

Julia

Why social networking for business cannot be overlooked

Social media is becoming a mainstream business tool for companies. Did you know that more than a quarter of Australian businesses have a Facebook Page? Consumers and businesses are more connected than ever before.

By giving your company a social personality, you’re opening up to your consumers in new, engaging ways. Great for brand awareness, brand affiliation and also real business results. Did you know that 40% of Australian businesses gain new customers through social media?

Your audience is already there, ready and waiting. Where are you?

Brio Group specialises in helping companies achieve results through social media for business. We love it so much, we created a presentation that’s full of interesting facts and stats – it’s your must-have social media for business 101.

Yours in social networking,
Julia

Can you really trust your Google search or Facebook feed?

When you “google” something you get the same results as everyone else don’t you? When you post something on Facebook, it has an equal chance of appearing in all of your friends’ news feed right? Wrong!

You may not be aware of it, but developers, particularly those who develop social media sites and search engines, are writing sophisticated algorithms to filter content to make it more relevant to you. Have you noticed that Facebook profiles and pages you view or comment on, or photos of friends you “like”, seem to appear more often than others in your news feed? That’s right, content is being filtered in terms of popularity and relevance to you. But what if you wanted to broaden your mind and find out what’s going on in those less “popular” profiles and pages? Well you have to seek them out, which takes time and effort that many of us are not willing to spare. While these algorithms are designed to filter out the irrelevant information they are sometimes blocking out important information that we might want to hear about.

This interesting TED talk we watched on Monday by Eli Pariser brought up some interesting points about the unintended consequences of these algorithms: we get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

While Facebook is a great source of entertainment and information its quickly becoming a bit of a popularity contest: the pressure for brands to gain exposure by gaining the most comments or “likes” is building and seriously increasing the need for exciting and engaging content. We might not like it, and might prefer a more democratic way, but it’s a jungle out there and only the most engaging brands will survive. At Brio Group we can help you create engaging content for your branded Facebook page and help you claw your way to the top of the news feed.

Filtered content is not the only thing you need to be aware of – the online ads you see are also highly targeted to your interests and online behavior which I’ll be talking about in my next blog post about Facebook Ads and DSPs. So stay tuned!

Yours in information,
Janet

Budweiser pool ball

Just when you thought you had seen all the combinations possible for sports, think again. Budweiser have invented their own nightclub sport known as Pool Ball.

This is a clever marketing stunt by Budweiser who has been very active of late with their viral marketing campaigns. The idea of the “sport” is to combine football (soccer for us Aussies!) with pool, a pub classic. The playing field installed in the bar shown in the video below is a 7 metre long Astroturfed pool table complete with soccer balls that have been painted to represent a full set of billiard balls.

Check out the video below:

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/zLZUMNR_okc[/briotube]

As marketers of alcoholic beverages, companies need to be quite careful and highly targeted and strategic in their social media marketing efforts given the worldwide differences in legal drinking ages and the company’s social responsibility to prohibit their advertising being viewed by minors.

I think this video is one of the better viral videos I have seen for quite some time, it’s use of popular sports to promote their product is well executed and very entertaining.

Where can I play?

Yours in clever viral videos,

Trish

PR Disaster of the Year Winner: Vodafone!

Last year BP’s oil spill took the cake, but this year it’s looking like Vodafone is a clear front runner in the PR Disaster of the Year Award. Vodafone is quickly becoming one of the most hated brands with its embarrassing lack of coverage, voicemail & SMS delays, billing issues and poor customer service. Vodafone customers are suing in a class action lawsuit spurred on by Adam Brimo, the founder of Vodafail.com and Sydney law firm PiperAlderman. Thousands of Vodafone customer horror stories can be found on the Vodafail.com website which reeks of a similar PR disaster Dell Hell that unravelled a few years back where disgruntled customers used internet forums and social media to band together and make a stand against crappy service.

It appears (and this is such a big social media no no) that it seems Vodafone dealers and staffers have been trying to defend the telco on Vodafail.com without identifying themselves – says Brimo who’s analysed the IP addresses of the contributors. Even worse, their tone has been “quite aggressive” says Brimo and basically argue that “it’s the customer’s fault and that all of our complaints are about tiny problems”. Their attitude is “if we don’t like it, we should just leave” and judging by the complaints on Facebook I witnessed this Easter long weekend it seems that people are leaving Vodafone in droves (over 22,000 thousand customers have approached PiperAlderman). Brimo, has even had legal threats from the telco and had the site’s logo removed from Facebook due to “copyright infringement” – a move he believes was sparked by a complaint from Vodafone.

Vodafone’s inability to provide SMS text messaging to its customers on the 24th of April (a full 24 hour day), led them to offer customers a half-day (that’s only 12 hours) of free SMS messaging to compensate but with many of its customers on caps that include free SMS anyway, this offer on the first of May seems a slap in the face to customers who are feeling utterly “Vodaboned” as ITWire puts it.

In terms of customer service and social media Vodafone are making some huge mistakes and seem like they’re on a one way path to self-destruction. They could really learn some lessons from Dell in the way they handle complaints and adopt some transparency in the forums they engage in. Every company has problems and will inevitably receive customer complaints but it’s the way they deal with them that matters.

Are you a Vodafone customer? What are your experiences? Will Vodafone survive this PR mess? Unless we see some big changes soon I’m not so sure they will!

Yours in PR disasters,
Janet

Choose your words carefully – they could change your world

Words have more power than people give them credit for. In fact writers often scroll through hundreds of words before finding the perfect one, the one word that encapsulates their message completely and correctly.

It’s no surprise then, that effective cut-through communication relies on the mutual understanding of those words and their intended meaning by both sides in the communication equation – sender and receiver. We often forgot that with the rise of social media it’s not enough to simply send your message out into the world; it needs to be understood quickly so it can be processed and acted upon even quicker.

I saw a video recently of a homeless man on the street, his sign saying “PLEASE HELP, I’M BLIND”. He had a few people stopping by and giving money, but nothing that would greatly ease his suffering. He had the right message, but the wrong words to create action in his audience.  His message wasn’t cutting through all the other market place noise.

The clip continues as a professional woman comes into shot. She pauses, picks up his sign. You see her hastily writing something, but you’re unsure what. The homeless man touches her shoes as she puts the sign back into position beside him. The scene changes and more donations are being given to help, the homeless man scrambling to capture all coins in his tin. The professional woman returns after some time and the homeless man recognises her by her shoes, which he’s felt again. He asks with genuine sincerity and appreciation, what did she do to his sign and her reply? “I wrote the same, with different words”.

She used the right words, in the right context to create cut-through communication and connection between sender and receiver, and the effect in this demonstration was profound. Imagine if all your communication was received this way.

Brio Group can help you find the right words to achieve cut-through communication in the busiest of marketplaces. We also offer helpful hints on writing better Press Releases, creating copy for your ads and understanding the rapidly growing business benefits of social media.

Yours in 355 specifically chosen words,

Sheri

Sharing is caring: how social media can transform your business

A majority of brands understand the importance of communicating their message clearly to their audience, however the most successful brands are also very aware that as social media continues to bring people together – creating a global village – it’s increasingly important to engage in clear, open, two-way communication.

With this in mind I’d like to introduce Gary Vaynerchuk, who is a perfect example of how engaging consumers (or simply those who share your passions) can lead to brand success.

In 2006, Gary Vaynerchuk created WineLibrary.com, and as part of that The Thunder Show was born – which is part wine advice, part sport commentary and all exuberant personality and passion. He also began searching for ways to engage with people who shared his passions, but  this was all outside of his role running a million dollar wine business. What set him apart was that instead of simply communicating to his audiences, he engaged with them by answering questions and providing instant information. These people in turn began following his online programs, comments and posts, all without prompting by Gary.

So what did he do differently to gain this organic following? Gary cared. He cared enough to cultivate relationships the old fashioned way – by listening, responding and not plugging his services to get something back. He communicated in a real and meaningful way – not simply dictating information to yield a sales result.

Through sharing his passion, Gary has morphed into a social media guru, dispersing priceless advice on the significance of online engagement and more importantly the power of The Thank You Economy. Now, I could explain what it’s all about, but part of Gary’s brilliance is the passion he exudes when discussing the topic.

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/2UkiM3OaHxw[/briotube]

Viewer advisory: This program contains explicit language

Yours in social media for business,

Sheri

Before I die…

I’ve always driven past billboards/ads/posters and eagerly scanned their content for some form of inspiration to bring to my day. But it seems that beer advertisements with half-naked models, realestate billboards with cheesy agents and towering fast food burgers just aren’t cutting it for me. I can’t help but feel like big businesses have lost the ability to communicate to and understand how the everyday man/woman ticks.

Then I came across this project by Candy Chang in New Orleans. Her public art project invites passers by to chalk their own ending to the sentence: “Before I die I want to…” on a disused building in her neighbourhood. The public are invited to share their most intimate or crazy aspirations, inspiring fellow pedestrians to chalk up.

The opportunity to fully voice your opinion uncensored creates a huge opportunity to be completely honest and think deeply about your answer. This got me wondering that, with all the leaps and bounds in social media, are big brands really connecting with their customers and getting honest feedback? The disconnection with using faceless technology to communicate still creates a barrier. What would happen if companies started using such ‘in-your-face’ approaches as this public art project? Would there be a more honest approach with feedback if both parties are face to face and therefore more accountable for their words? I would personally love to walk into a store or management office and write up on their wall my review of their service (a bit extreme maybe, but boy would I feel like I was being heard!).

It could be a reminder to the bosses on the top floors that the decisions they make effect people, the environment and communities, not just dollars and annual figures. Maybe a utopic idea, what do you think?

Yours in thought,
Tara