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Twitter Buys Indian Mobile Marketing Startup

Time

Zipdial allows people without internet connection to get advertisements and promotions on their cellphones

Twitter is buying an India-based mobile marketing startup for an undisclosed sum, as it seeks to attract users in the developing world.

The Bangalore-based ZipDial allows consumers interested in a company’s services to dial its number and hang up before connecting. The company then sends them free text messages, app notifications and voice calls containing advertisements. The so-called “missed call” marketing means users aren’t charged for the service, because their initial call never connects.

Twitter will use ZipDial to reach consumers who aren’t connected to the Internet. ZipDial’s campaigns have reached nearly 60 million users, the Wall Street Journal reports, and could be used to reach users in Indonesia and Brazil. The company has 56 employees.

Consumers in countries like India, Brazil and Indonesia with developing Internet infrastructures are key markets for Twitter, and 77% of the social network’s 284 million monthly active users are outside the United States.

“By coming together with ZipDial, we’ll help more people around the world enjoy great and relevant Twitter experiences on their mobile phones,” Twitter said in a statement.

Read more…

Storytelling in the Age of Social News Consumption

Edelman 2015 Forecast

Social media is having a dramatic, perhaps outsized impact on how digital news is produced, distributed, consumed and ultimately monetized. As mobile and social technologies reach critical mass, it is fueling a footrace to create highly shareable, yet informative news stories that generate traffic. More critically this is changing how journalists approach their craft.

To address this dynamic further, Katie Scrivano and the Edelman Media Network (a team of earned media specialists) teamed with two start-ups, NewsWhip and Muck Rack to study U.S. social news consumption.

Working with NewsWhip, we identified the 50 overall most-shared, English-language articles, and in six key topics – general news, food and beverage, energy, health, technology and finance. Edelman Berland then analyzed each story to identify significant commonalities. This helped shaped a survey of more than 250 working journalists that Edelman conducted in collaboration with Muck Rack.

This research revealed that:

  • More than 75 percent of journalists say they feel more pressure now to think about their story’s potential to get shared on social platforms.
  • To make their stories more shareable, journalists are infusing their stories with five key ingredients: video/images, brevity, localization, more use of human voice and a proximity to trending topics.
  • Nearly 3/4 of journalists are now creating original video content to accompany their stories. However, very few journalists (13 percent) are relying on sourcing consumer-generated video and only 3 percent are using corporate video.
  • Journalists see five key trends impacting their profession this year: more mobile friendly content, faster turnaround times, more original video, smaller newsroom staff and social media growing in influence.

Continue reading… 

 

Top Tips for Improving Your Business Through Social Selling

IDG Connect

 Top Tips for Improving Your Business Through Social Selling

Dale Roberts is VP of Professional Services at Artesian, the innovative developer of social intelligence software. He is also a keynote speaker, blogger and author of Decisions Sourcing: Organisational Decision Making for the Agile and Social Enterprise. Prior to joining Artesian, Dale worked with some of the largest European and US businesses to build analytic and performance management solutions in his role as European Services Director for market leader Cognos, now part of IBM.

Dale discusses his top tips for embracing social selling and explains why smart businesses are putting social insight at the heart of their sales strategies.

We are in the middle of an online and social revolution that has not only changed the way we buy a holiday or book air travel but how we buy for businesses too. Figures show that three quarters of business buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. The wave of cultural change is being felt beyond consumers as business buyers connect on professional social platforms and check rating sites when considering a wide range of purchases from electronic goods or employer liability insurance to exhibition space.

The pace of change is dramatic, with typical business buyers opting to delay their first engagement with a seller until they are 57%[1] through their purchasing decision. What this means is that more than half of the sales process has now disappeared, taking with it the influence and control that professional sellers previously had.

Businesses must recognise this change and implement social strategies within their sales and marketing departments to transform the way they engage with customers.  To make this effective, sellers have to adopt new habits and the following tips will help them to stand out with the new connected buyer:

# 1 Spend your day more effectively

According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, sellers spend only 39% of their time carrying out role specific tasks, eg. selling. Other activities, such as reading and answering emails, searching for information and internal collaboration are pulling them away and whilst email is a valuable communications tool it can also slow progress towards closing a sale.  Sales people and managers can start by assessing how much time they are giving to direct communication and research and restructure their day to focus at least 60% of their day on selling.

#2 Use social tools to support sales effectiveness

Gathering information is a necessary activity, but it’s possible that too much time is being spent on this and not very effectively. Traditional sales intelligence focused on data about people and businesses is limited. Sellers must have access to topical, timely and, if possible, behavioural information, most usefully derived from user-generated content, social media and/or news. If customers are using social networks, sellers should be connected too, so they can communicate with them in the space they occupy and build credibility. Buyers are also more likely to engage with someone they recognise through social networks.

#3 Refine your social listening

The Internet is immeasurable and Google searching or casual browsing for relevant information is not only time-consuming, it is also like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. Social intelligence tools are designed to sharpen this process so sellers receive insight that they can use effectively, whether that’s product announcements or managerial shifts, legislation or the impact of political change. The tools tap into social and user-generated content in real-time, and deliver it instantly so that sales people can leverage it to engage with buyers intelligently and at the right moment.

Read all 5 tips… 

28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

Social Media Examiner

Are you wondering what 2015 might look like for social media marketing?

If the changes in 2014 are an indicator, there will be a lot more changes in 2015.

To get a grip on what the near future may look like, we tapped the knowledge of 28 social media pros.

Here’s what they had to say.

And if you’re curious, here were the 2014 predictions.

#1: Video Becomes the Content of Choice

Let’s look closer. In August 2014, Facebook surpassed YouTube in the number of video views via desktop according to comScore. It’s important to note that YouTube still has more views across all devices. As of September 2014, Facebook attracted a billion video views per day, a roughly 30-fold increase since July.In 2015, video will dominate as the social media content format of choice. Further, regular video segments, like podcasts and blog posts, will come into their own as a form of content that drives social engagement and other marketing goals.

ck heidi cohen facebook vs youtube views e1417584970525 28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

Based on SocialBakers’ data, video posting moved away from YouTube towards Facebook in 2014. While these results still show YouTube ahead, the trend favors Facebook.

ck heidi cohen video posts e1417585191341 28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

Also, Facebook videos receive significantly more shares than YouTube. This makes sense because sharing and engagement are at the heart of Facebook interactions.

ck heidi cohen share of interactions e1417585315119 28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

YouTube is the best-performing social media platform to drive trackable sales,according to AOL’s Convertro research.  It’s the first, last or only platform touched.

Continue reading… 

Infographic: What Marketers Talked About Most in 2014 CRM, analytics and lots of mobile

Adweek

According to data from Salesforce, 86 percent of top marketers say building a holistic marketing approach is a top priority, but only 29 percent of companies say they actually have the structure in place.

The data point is one of several findings compiled from the ad-tech vendor this year. In terms of tactics: email, social media and mobile continue to grow for brands.

But despite the growing interest in mobile marketing, only 51 percent of survey participants said they expect mobile to have a return on investment. Thirty percent of marketers use location-based technology, and 47 percent have an app.

Meanwhile, 68 percent of marketers polled said email is a key piece of their strategies. But a sizable chunk of marketers aren’t just blasting out emails—64 percent of respondents said their companies send out 1 million or fewer emails per year.

So, what keeps CMOs up at night? Per Salesforce’s findings, that includes data and analytics; new customer service roles; and lining up a company’s internal functions.

Check out Salesforce’s infographic below. (Click to expand for improved readability.)

salesforce infographic 01 2014 Infographic: What Marketers Talked About Most in 2014 CRM, analytics and lots of mobile

7 ways to use social media to attract holiday shoppers

CITEworld

Marketing and social media experts share their tips on how to use social media to get people talking about – and buying – your products this holiday season.

How can social media help businesses drive traffic to their ecommerce or bricks-and-mortar sites this holiday season? CIO.com posed that question to dozens of marketers and social media experts. Following are their top seven strategies for how to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to engage customers and get them – and their friends – to check out (and hopefully buy) your holiday offerings.

1. Use a festive cover photo on your Facebook page (Twitter, too). “One of the best pieces of real estate to leverage [this holiday season] is your Facebook cover photo,” says Melissa Ward, managing partner, NewWard Development, which provides social media and Internet marketing and website design help. “Change your Facebook cover photo to [something that you are promoting this holiday season] and be sure to include a link to the URL in the description.”

When choosing a holiday cover image, “consider seasonal photos that will connect emotionally with your audience, highlighting both your brand and message,” says Jay Hawkinson, senior vice president, Emerging Products, SIM Partners, which provides digital marketing solutions. Just remember to “be subtle and discerning with holiday colors and themes, and avoid being garish.”
2. Create holiday-related boards on Pinterest. “Create gift idea boards on Pinterest with gifts from all around the Web and a few of your own products thrown into the mix,” say Michelle Friedman, director of Marketing, Medical Scrubs Collection. “Add Pin It buttons to product pages on your site and feature ‘most pinned items’ on your home page.” And “make sure that your Pinterest pins feature well photographed, [attractive] images” that will appeal to holiday shoppers.

3. Create a fun holiday YouTube video and include a hidden offer code. “Create a fun [holiday] video with a hidden offer code,” for, say, 10 or 20 percent off a purchase, or free shipping or a free gift, suggests Juan Velasquez, marketing specialist, DoItWiser, a provider of toner cartridges and green office supplies. Just be sure to “let people know there is a discount code hidden somewhere in the video to encourage active viewing and sharing” – and include a link to a dedicated landing page in the description.

4. Use holiday-related hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. On both Twitter and Instagram, “be sure to research and use appropriate holiday hashtags, e.g., #HoHoHo and #Christmas2014, with your posts,” says Michelle Garrett, owner, Garrett Public Relations. “Experiment to see what works best. And include a dedicated URL to track those who click through.”

Other popular holiday Twitter and Instagram hashtags include #holidayshopping, #christmasgifts, #stockingstuffer and #wishlist.

5. Blog or post about holiday-related topics of interest to your audience. “Write blog posts that tie into the holidays,” suggests Garrett.

For example, you could “provide advice on what to wear and/or bring to family parties or corporate events or [provide suggestions on] gift giving,” says Adam Forrest, senior director, Americas Marketing, Demandware, a scalable commerce platform for enterprise retail.

Continue reading… 

Top 10 tech stories of 2014

ITWorld

Backlash! Disrupting the disruptors

Blowing up entrenched business models and picking up the profits that spill onto the floor is a time-honored tradition in tech, these days known by the cliche of the moment, “disruption.” This year everyone was trying to push back against those upstarts, whether by buying them like Facebook did, reorganizing to compete with them like HP and Microsoft have done, or just plain going out against them guns blazing, as it seemed that every city and taxi company did with Uber.

European courts fought the disruptive effect Google search has had on our very sense of the historical record. But meanwhile, legions of net neutrality supporters in the US spoke up to save the Internet’s core value of disruption against the oligopoly of a handful of communications carriers.

Here are our picks for the top stories of a very, well, disruptive year….

The types of stories and comments that promote comment-section engagement

American Press Institute

Want more comments? Look at how you write articles on your site. Articles that describe why they matter to specific groups of people generate more comments than articles that don’t describe how they affect people or that focus on just one person.

Want to boost interaction among commenters? Try encouraging commenters to respond to each other by name.

These are some of the insights from two recently-published scholarly articles on engagement and interaction in comment sections.

Comment sections are a controversial subject. Some news organizations have begun to eschew comments altogether, including Reuters’ and the technology siteRe/code, arguing that much of that discussion now occurs on social media.

But community conversation has become an important part of news, and organizations interested in increasing the volume of comments and generating more interaction between commenters can draw inspiration from the new findings.

More comments appear on articles with several key attributes, according to research by University of Zurich doctoral student Patrick Weber. News about events that have a clear beginning and end, for example, yields more comments than news about ongoing situations. This result suggests that an article describing a jobs bill being passed would receive more comments than an article about ongoing debate about the same bill.

Weber’s analysis of 1,000 articles from three German newspapers also identifies articles that attract fewercomments: Among those he found are international stories and stories that focus more on facts than analysis.

News organizations also can encourage discussion among commenters. Research by University of Mainz students Marc Ziegele and Timo Breiner and their professor Oliver Quiring examines which comments are most likely to inspire a reaction from other commenters. They analyze 1,580 comments left in response to political stories from two different German news organizations.

Personalized comments that directly address another commenter are more likely to get a response, Ziegele and his colleagues find. So are comments that pose a question.

One finding that may be less surprising is that controversial comments increase the chances that others will respond. But one finding may not be so expected: Short comments — those with 10 or fewer words — are far less likely to prompt a response.

Comments leading others to respond

Controversial comments were 1.7 times as likely as uncontroversial comments to stimulate feedback

Odds of stimulating feedbackComments at the beginning of athreadComments asking a questionControversial commentsPersonalized commentsVery short comments00.511.522.53

Data Source: Marc Ziegele, Timo Breiner & Oliver Quiring. (2014). What creates interactivity in online news discussions? An exploratory analysis of discussion factors in user comments on news items. Journal of Communication. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12123

American Press Institute

Website design, the researchers find, affects commenting and interaction, too. Weber concludes that prominently featured articles garner more comments. The University of Mainz team discovers that comments at the top of a commenting thread receive more responses than other comments.

It is important to note that these studies demonstrate correlation, not causation. By identifying factors that correlate with more engagement and interaction, however, they provide a solid starting point for news organizations interested in testing factors that could produce a robust conversation.

News organizations can use these findings to examine whether the following factors affect comments on their sites:

 

 

BuzzFeed says social rules and it is bigger than most TV networks

Gigaom

Although it is still relatively new as far as media entities go, BuzzFeed has become one of the leading new-media players, thanks in large part to its command of the social web, an ability to craft viral content and a large fan base among millennials. True to form, the company has created a visually-rich index of factsabout its size and reach — numbers which help explain how it was able to raise $50 million in a recent financing round.

As a caveat, it’s worth noting that the presentation is clearly designed to be a sales pitch for the company’s native advertising efforts, and so there are no links to or discussion of any of the data used to compile the charts. Most of the figures come courtesy of the site’s Google Analytics data, or from firms like Nielsen and comScore.

One of the core principles behind BuzzFeed is that social sharing is more important than search, so it’s no surprise that the main driver of traffic (which is estimated to be about 150 million unique visitors per month) is social — in fact, the company says that its social traffic is five times larger than its search traffic.

 BuzzFeed says social rules and it is bigger than most TV networks

Although social has grown to become one of the leading sources of traffic to most web content, the advertising industry still hasn’t quite caught up to this development, as shown by a BuzzFeed graph courtesy of eMarketer and Shareaholic — which says that social accounts for 30 percent of referral traffic but only 14 percent of advertising budgets.

 BuzzFeed says social rules and it is bigger than most TV networks

The other major shift in content consumption is mobile, and according to BuzzFeed the two are interconnected, in the sense that a majority of the site’s social traffic comes from mobile, and its share rates on mobile are twice as high as they are from its desktop users.

Global Social Case Study: C Level Spain LinkedIn Group

DIRECTIVOS DE ESPANA C LEVEL EXECUTIVES LINKEDIN GROUP
ENHANCED COMMUNITY THREADING – SPAIN

GOAL:

IBM NEEDED TO GET 300 ATTENDEES WITHIN ONE WEEK OF THEIR DIRECTIVOS DE ESPANA EVENT

EXECUTION:

IDG SENT EMAIL PROMOTIONS LINKING TO THE DIRECTIVOS DE ESPANA LINKEDIN GROUP AND POSTED POLLS/QUESTIONS TO THE GROUP WEEKLY TO DRIVE ENGAGEMENT

RESULTS:

Screen Shot 2014 11 18 at 6.23.25 PM Global Social Case Study: C Level Spain LinkedIn Group

For more about Enhanced Community Threading….