How does social media in the U.S. help brand building?

Social media is pervasive in the U.S. and is becoming increasingly integrated into the entire media landscape. From a consumer point of view, people use social networks in a few primary ways:

Connection: Facebook is far and away the most popular social platform; as it’s grown over the last 8 years, Facebook has gone from connecting college classmates to being the central social network. Facebook’s wide reach means many people are becoming more selective about what they share, and have higher standards for what they consider relevant or interesting on the platform.

Nicheworks: More active social users are turning to what we call “nicheworks” that have a more specialized interest or functionality and smaller circle of sharing. Sometimes this means sharing similar information, but more in-depth or with a different audience (for example, professional information on LinkedIn). Other platforms, like Instagram or Pinterest, are focused more on image sharing where users upload and post content based on certain topics – like recipes, crafts, travel, or other hobbies and interests.

Discovery & Sharing: Twitter is the most open information platform and has become a cascade of data consisting of personal updates, news and politics, and TV. But it also tends to be the sharing platform of choice for users of nicheworks: when those users create or find something cool, they share it more broadly on Twitter. As Twitter has grown both as a “pure-play” social medium and as a distributor for many smaller networks’ updates, it’s become a microcosm of what’s happening across nearly all of social – and traditional – media.

What do consumers think about brands using social media to reach them? What challenges do brands face in the U.S. when using social media?

Consumers are tolerant of brands but tend to be somewhat transactional in terms of what they want in exchange for their “likes” – they want something back for their attention. Ultimately, almost no one voluntarily wants to interact with ads, so it’s up to brands to change their messaging strategies to offer something genuinely interactive and interesting. This also means brands must have a much stronger arsenal of content at the ready, and they need to be limber and experimental in how they deploy it.

Succesfull iPad Marketing Streategies

Just 22% of the top 50 retailers in the country have an iPad app. Yet the iPad is the fastest-growing consumer computing device on the planet. Why haven’t brands embraced it as quickly as they have the iPhone?

Clearly, brands have been slow to launch apps for this device – and other tablets – for a combination of reasons. Many marketers have already sunk millions into creating iPhone apps and assume these apps will works just fine on the iPad. Sometimes, this strategy works. After all, some apps offer an almost identical experience on the iPhone as the iPad. But to really get maximum marketing impact, brands do need to create iPad-specific apps that take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and tap into the unique frame of mind of an iPad user.

There are some hurdles to overcome, like where to start, and whether a brand should go with a native app, a web-based app, or a hybrid app? The short answer is that a lot of this depends on the company. But there are some basic best practices to keep in mind when coming up with how to market your business on the iPad. Here are five tips.

1. Content is King, Context is Queen

People are only interested in the things they are interested in. This means marketers should use the iPad to reach target audiences based on their specific interests. The first step is to not create a one-size-fits-all app and then flood app users with tons of irrelevant content. Instead, plan for user segmentation so the content you deliver to individual users appeals to their interests, needs, and wants. It’s the same segmentation methodology brands are using for email marketing, just applied into the iTunes distribution model. Aside from letting users choose what type of content they want to view, always give them ways to revise their selections.

2. Invest in the Right User Experience

You can create fantastic content, but if users have a bad app experience, they won’t continue to launch the app. That’s why it’s critical to invest in UX testing as you develop iPad apps. Take a look at how Flipboard created a great user experience for content aggregation, or how an iPad app like Collarbone displays content and photography.

3. Focus on the Long Term

An iPad app is like a baby: It needs constant care and feeding. You can’t launch it and forget it. Invest in maintenance, content updates, testing, and optimization. The best way to ensure your iPad publishing app gains and maintain users is to create an editorial team much like magazines do. Hire writers, photographers, videographers, editors, and other creative types to constantly focus on it. They can be freelancers or contractors, or in-house, but everyone must meet regular deadlines. And there will always be iOS updates, so ensure you continue to optimize your app in that way as well.

4. Open the Door to Adjacency

Consumers may love your brand, but they also love other brands. Think about other, non-competitive companies also in your category. These partners can help enlarge the audience for your app if you keep them close. iPad publishing apps are a great potential advertising platform for partner brands. For example, if you develop a monthly iPad magazine full of branded content, let adjacent brands advertise within your iPad magazine to generate increased partnerships and/or ad revenue.

5. Get Your App Found

Consumers don’t just stumble upon apps. You know you’ll have to promote your iPad app. The question is how best to do it among your target audience. One of the best ways to promote apps is through links in paid advertising. For example, tag or promote the brand’s iPad app in print, TV, and display ads. But brands can also gain an audience for their app by promoting it through in-store signage and kiosks, search engine marketing, and social media. The North Face experiences a spike in downloads for their Snow Report and Trailhead apps each time they are featured in a print ad.

The iPad may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for marketers. Brands that can win hearts and minds on the tablet will be ready for the major shift away from the laptop and PC that’s sure to happen in the next decade.

Why Readers Lose Interest in Your Email Marketing [Infographic]

Marketers spend so much time creating content, building landing pages, and generating leads. As they should!

With a boatload of leads, you can also send a boatload of amazing email marketing messages to nurture those leads into customers.

Problem is, the enthusiasm your email subscribers once felt can dwindle. And sometimes, no matter how amazing your email marketing is, some recipients will stop clicking, stop opening, and eventually unsubscribe.

Internet Week @NYC, Facebook, Pete Cashmore and John Battelle

After having a busy week in NYC, I just found some time to wrote about  the last trending events and sessions from Internet Week. My first impression sounds a bit disappointing. It was my first time to attend IWNY so I was expecting a bit more international event and participants. It was more local and the companies which exhibited were more based in USA. Keynote sessions were quite attaractive when I compare with panel sessions. Since the venue was not quite available for panel sessions during the exhibition, the participants had difficulty to hear and concentrate to the session.


I tried to join most of the sessions and some of them were quite tutorial such as ‘ How to measure content? How to go viral, video sharing and so on. For sure, none of them ( panel speakers) didnt give us any magic formula or tips which lead us to success on internet. What I wanted to share was more about the future of the Internet. I was quite impressed by John Battelle’s (  keynote with IWNY managing director. He directly said that, Facebook is not the future of Internet. He claimed that future of internet shouldnt be driven by platforms, must be driven by consumers. Consumers should have right to choose whatever they would  like to see in their wall ( social ads, display ads..etc) On the other hand, he also claimed that, companies are no longer interested with Facebook ads. Most of the companies think that it doesnt bring ROI and they cant reach their targeted consumers on Facebook. The new generation do not prefer to see social ads on their wall. They would like to have everything for free. So, this sound a new risk for Facebook revenues.

Consequently, with the high drop of Facebook shares after second day on New York Stock Exchange, it is clear that Facebook will dominate and lead social networking sites with the number of 900 million users. The question is how Facebook marketing will help companies to grow more together? Lets see together..Stay tuned!


Campaign Tracking: A Vital Analytics Tool for Marketers

A vital component in understanding the performance of any digital marketing campaign is having proper campaign tracking in place. Without it, it’s very difficult – if not impossible – to collect accurate campaign data that will allow for analysis and optimization to occur. What is Campaign Tracking?

Campaign tracking are a series of parameters that are appended to a link that points to a given website. The parameters are then associated with each visitor who clicks the link. This allows the website to track the user behavior related to any combination of the parameters.

Unless the parameters are utilized correctly, the data that is collected by the web analytics tool may not provide the insights that were expected due to an inability to accurately analyze the data. For the purpose of understanding how parameters are applied, I ll use Google Analytics as an example.

Google Analytics has five parameters that can be used to form a campaign tracked URL. They are: Source: The website or other referrer where the click is coming from. Medium: The type of link that was clicked. (e.g. ppc, social, email, organic, etc.). Term:  The keyword that the user searched for. Content: The version of the ad that was clicked on. Campaign: The name of the campaign that is associated with the click.

Each of these parameters gives a bit of information about how the visitor got to the website. When the parameters are put together, a clear picture emerges. When the data is then aggregated across many visits, great insights can be gathered about how any combination of parameters impacts business objectives.

A full campaign URL would look something like this: Why is Campaign Tracking Important?

Without campaign tracking, it’s nearly impossible to accurately track campaigns. If campaigns aren’t being accurately tracked, there is no way to know if a campaign is successful or if it is wasting money.

For example, if a company runs a Facebook ad campaign that drives visitors to their website, they would want to know the impact that the campaign had on their defined business objectives. To do this, the company needs to be able to segment the paid Facebook traffic that comes to their site via the campaign from all other Facebook referred traffic.

Similarly, the company may want to segment visitors from Facebook who were referred through links that they themselves posted on the wall of their companies Facebook page or even visitors who came to the site via a Facebook app that the company created.

Without campaign tracking, all visitors who are referred from Facebook get lumped into the same bucket. Only through the use of campaign tracking can the company truly understand the impact that each Facebook initiative has on the business. Issues with Non Standardized Campaign Parameters

Beginning to use campaign tracking across the entire organization will provide significantly better data, but there is often a major problem with how campaign parameters are used throughout an organization.

The problem arises when different people use different variations of the same parameter. This can be illustrated using the same Facebook example. The person who is in charge of the Facebook ad campaign may use “Facebook” as the Source in the campaign tracking. The person who engages with fans on the company’s wall may use “facebook” as the Source and the person who added the links in the company’s Facebook app may have used “” as the Source.

The result is that each of the sources that were defined in the campaign tracking will now show up separately in the referral source report in Google Analytics. This makes for messy tracking and an inability to easily aggregate across all the Facebook initiatives.

How to Get Clean Campaign Data?

The solution is to standardize the parameters that are available for use in campaign tracked URLs. This, however, can be difficult unless you have a tool to manage the parameters that can be used in a campaign tracked URL.

You could attempt to create one using Excel or even through Google Docs, but that may not be a viable solution to use across an organization. There’s also a new free campaign URL tracking tool from Social Snap that allows companies to standardize URL parameters along with a number of other features to help improve the management of campaigns and the accuracy of the resulting data.

What is your social media strategy ?

#understand  #design  #refine

Businesses are trying to keep up with customers on social media. Whilst we can learn from public mistakes made by big brands like Toyota and McDonald’s we must remember that we’re all still learning. The Social Media MBA will help you understand social media using newly discovered techniques and advanced topics.

Editor Christer Holloman and a selection of global thought leaders guide you through a set of tools to understand, design and refine your strategy.

This book has sections including creativity, branded content and ROI as well as a range of case studies from large corporates such as Dell, Kodak, GlaxoSmithKline and Philips which show how they have applied their social media strategy within certain budgets and whether their campaigns proved to be successful.