Tag Archives: Engagement

How NOT to do marketing communications

Oh dear, or dear.  An email which annoyed me in the first sentence.  This poorly formatted email is about ad tech London, the conference for the online marketing and advertising community….

ad:tech is the only event in Europe to focus entirely on digital media & marketing.  I expect that the outbound comms would be up to the standard for a digital marketing conference.

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A few minutes later another email arrives.  They do know my name after all…

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Fundamental rules of engagement:

    • Get the recipients name right. Put SOMETHING in the merge field.  Even, Sir/Madam would have been better than Example First Name…
    • Test the newsletter. Send it out to different email accounts you have set up.  Check formatting across HTML and text.
    • Test sending the newsletter again. Send it to a group of people in the office before you send it out to a huge mailing list.
    • Check it reads well in different email clients.  Not everyone is running Outlook
    • Check, Check and check again. There is no excuse for being sloppy – especially if digital communications is your specialist business area. 

I was going to attend the event – and I even considered applying to speak at the event.  My skills and knowledge complement the existing speaker line-up rather nicely.

But not now.  One sloppy slip-up has changed the way I perceive the event.  And I’m not sure I’ll even attend now.  But I do wonder how many ‘Example First Name’ attendees will be there…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Reasons to implement your Engagement strategy

Does your online strategy show how much you care about your customers?  Do you engage regularly with your audience, giving them value from your interactions with them? In this connected world, can you afford not to communicate with your customers?  Do you know what your ROI on your social activities is?  Do you even measure your ROI?

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There are some staggering numbers of people online these days, and there’s also an expectation that brands will have good workable social strategies.  Take a look at these facts:

  • Over 2 billion people online are now.  There are only 7 billion people in the world.  Lots of them are still too young to read.  You can engage with 28.5% of the entire population of the world 
  • There are 1 billion accounts on Facebook.  If you have a Facebook page, potentially huge numbers of your fans can see it.  Starbucks has 30 million fans, Coca Cola has 41 million fans and lady Gaga has 50 million fans.
  • 85% of customers expect that businesses should be active in social media.  Where is your social brand?
  • Business is built on relationships.  Are you passionate about your customers>  Does your online engagement and social activity demonstrate how much you care about your customers? Customers believe that 80% of brands are not passionate about their customers
  • Do you blog?  If you do, you’ll get about 55% more visitors to your web site ad 67% more leads than if you don’t blog.  Demonstrate your credibility.  Blog regularly, be credible.  Keep up the conversation. Put blogging at the heart of your content marketing strategy
  • 77% of customers will read status updates from the brand.  They probably wont comment – but at least they are listening to you.
  • 17% of your fans will comment on your messaging.  Perhaps they will share your story amongst their friends.  That is if you are communicating with them in the first instance.
  • 51% of Facebook fans say that they are likely to buy from you if you have a Facebook page.
  • 68% of subscribers to your email newsletter are likely to buy your services.  You need to have a strong call to action to encourage them to purchase
  • Brands don’t always have a good listening strategy.  30% of customer questions and feedback do not get replied to. 
  • On Twitter the listening strategy is poor.  over 71% of complaints on Twitter are not responded to.  implement a listening framework across channels and respond to feedback, good and bad.
  • 43% of social media users talk to brands, but brands don’t listen to their social customers

Further information and facts can be found in the infographic from BitRebels.  Avoid this at your peril.  Engage or be left behind commercially.  You need to have an engagement strategy and make it work with your audience and customers.

 

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: Keoni Cabral

 

Weak tie connections link to new business

My Facebook Network is an app that visualises how your Facebook friends are connected to one another.  Here’s mine:

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The graph is interesting in two ways.

The white lines in the graph indicate the people that are connected to most other people in my Facebook friends group. They’re my ex-colleagues from Microsoft so it’s natural that they will be connected to lots of other friends in my network.

But it’s the friends, marked in red that are the most interesting people in my graph.  These people are my weak ties.  And weak ties matter.

Your weak ties are your link to new networks and new opportunities

My weak ties are connected to me, but, more importantly they are connected to other networks that could become important to me. They are my connection to my local networks, my diving buddies, my friends from my work with women in technology and my techy geeks

My book reinforces the need to maintain relationships with your influencers and how weak ties can help you do this.  Maintaining connections, no matter how strong can link you to other networks to benefit you and your business.  If you use Facebook for your business connections then its good to understand your social graph, but LinkedIn also has the ability to map your business social graph with its InMaps feature.

Knowing your social graph is just the start of discovering how best you can use your new networks.  Managing your relationships with these key connections to your influencers in these external networks takes an investment of time and effort.  Your online influence has a huge effect on engagement and relationships

Making them reap appropriate rewards is entirely down to you…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Deeper social engagement: Beneful advertising for dogs

In their efforts to reach more and more customers marketers are using new ways to engage us.  Our pets.

Purina has released an advert for Purina Beneful.  Here’s the link to the original advert on YouTube.  This advert is different as it’s embedded with sounds at a frequency only dogs can hear.   Take a look at the reaction from this dog watching the commercial

The theory is that you engage with your dog, and your dog is engaging with the TV, therefore you’re much more likely to become aware of the adverts too.

And it certainly seems to work.  Dogs around the world are responding not only to the original TV advert, but also to the YouTube videos of dogs responding to the advert. Here’s a dog that drops it’s ball when the TV advert starts, Alsatians respond together, and a pug gets really interested in a laptop playing the Beneful video

Nestle explained how they created the Beneful video with sounds that dogs like:

    • The first is a ‘squeak’ which is similar to the sound dogs’ toys make. Both dogs and people can hear this.
    • The next sound is a high frequency tone, similar to a dog whistle, which humans can barely hear.
    • And the third sound is a soft, high-pitched ‘ping’ which can be heard by dogs and people.

…and judging by the reaction of the dogs in the follow up videos – it does seem to get their attention – and the attention of their owners.    From a social media perspective, getting deeper engagement with your audience is something that brands strive to achieve, and by exploiting the bond that we have with our animals you can ensure deeper audience engagement with the brand.  It’s certainly a great way to further deepen the connection to the brand.

I’m not sure that cats could actually be bothered to engage with the TV to the level that dogs do – although they do seem to enjoy the ipad for cats game.

Thanks goodness not so many cats have thumbs… yet…

 

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

5 ways to better engage your customers

I often get asked about how to get more engagement on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  After all, it’s what I do for a living.  The challenge that most companies have is trying to get their customers to talk to them.  They expect far more engagement than they are getting.  But companies don’t tend to engage.

They  use social media as a way of broadcasting their message.

They don’t reach out and engage with their customers, they broadcast to them.  Brands have campaigns to run, launch calendars and social schedules to adhere to.  They don’t have time to reach out and proactively chat to their online audience.  They broadcast and wait for a response. So how do you get better engagement for your brand? Here are a few ideas…

Talk to your customers.  First.  Reach out, don’t wait to respond.   Your customers would love it if you proactively joined in the conversation

Use the tools to find out who is talking about your brand and join in the conversation.  when I say join in the conversation I mean: Leave a comment on someone’s blog, initiate a Twitter conversation, comment on a YouTube video, vote for something on a web page.  The link with track back to your brand.

Don’t spend all your time talking exclusively about the brand.  The Cravendale social media campaign using subliminal messaging to raise awareness of milk.  They don’t even use the brand name Cravendale, preferring to communicate through the Bertrum Thumbcat alias.  This makes you more curious to find out what is happening to the ‘purrsonality’ each day.image

Don’t expect too much from your Facebook engagement and ROI efforts.  Remember not many people ‘actively’ engage

Don’t worry if engagement doesn’t appear immediately.  Like all relationships, they take time to develop and grow.  But you’ll reap the rewards if you’re patient and your group of brand evangelists will grow.

What are your tips for better brand engagement?  Is there anything I’ve missed out?

Eileen Brown is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Online peer influence and its effect on engagement

Image credit: Flickr

imageMarketers try to work out how social interaction and its effect on uses and consumers behaviour and spend lots of time trying to thrash through their social analytics and metrics to try to find the cause of this behaviour.

How does one peer influence another?  How do we capitalise on peer influence and use it to our advantage?  how do we make a campaign go viral?

If you think about all of the digital traces, we’re leaving every day. Think of the amount of data we’re leaving as our digital fingerprint.  Digital traces all waiting to be analysed.  we’re signalling our behaviour on a world wide scale.  Every status we like on Facebook, Every link we share on Twitter leaves a trace of our desires, wants, needs and moods.  Its an amazing digital map of how we behave online. 

Imagine if there was a program that was able to mine all of this data. and understand who influences us in our lives.  To understand how peer influence works.  An influencer to one person might not necessarily be an influencer to another person.  how do we capture this data and more importantly, how do we use this to our advantage

Identifying the cause of the peer effect is difficult.  What influences me at the moment might not necessarily influence me in a few months time.  The latest fad now, might be old hat in a few months. How do I grow and more importantly maintain my list of influencers?  how do I get them to influence their friends?  Influencing the influencers doesn’t necessarily cause them to influence others.  How do I get my message to spread effectively?

Identifying what causes peer influence is difficult.

European Starlings in the evenings flock together and cause amazing patterns in the sky, giving weight to the adage that birds of a feather flock together.  This could also be said of the theory that having fat friends is more likely to make you fat.   We tend to identify more strongly with people like us.  We love those who are like ourselves.  We identify with them.

Is social commerce more engaging that commerce alone?  Consumers shop for, and are persuaded what to buy by the influence of their friends.  How does this work?

    • Friends buy something (depending on the type of consumer they are)
    • They talk to their friends and influence them to purchase
    • Their friends talk to their friends and they buy. 

This last point is an example of 3rd tier influence.  And this 3rd tier has the potential to become viral depending on how influential you are, the product itself, its topicality, its usefulness, or its unexpectedness.  Your initial purchase has got the potential to go viral.  Think about Crocs shoes.  Think about those key rings that chirped when you whistled.  The unexpected can go viral. 

So how do you get your message out so that it does take advantage of the peer influence effect?  Should you use a passive broadcast or an active broadcast.

    • Active broadcasts are more personalised:  They resonate with the strong ties in your network.  The fact that the message resonates is similar to the birds flocking together analogy. We like this because we are similar to you. 
    • Active broadcasts encourage reciprocity: I have personally recommended this to you. You are more likely to recommend this to someone else because you trust me
    • Personalised broadcasts are more persuasive:  I trust this information because its from one of my trusted advisors.
    • Active broadcasts creates sustained engagement: this is because you have personally recommended this to a friend
    • Passive broadcasts are less persuasive: But passive broadcasts can potentially reach more people due to their less targeted approach

 

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Image credit:  Aral, Sinan and Walker, Dylan, Creating Social Contagion Through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks (November 30, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1564856

Facebook is an amazing place to study peer influence and the knowledge it has about users likes, loves, shares and behaviour is something that Google can never hope to achieve even with its +1 button.  You can analyse peer influence in your own Facebook social graph.  Share a link and note the people who forward different types of links to their networks.  You’ll notice that there are different types of people who are influenced.

According to Sinan Aral at MIT peoples relationship status also determines their susceptibility to being influenced:

    • Single people are 20% more likely to be influenced
    • People ‘in a relationship’ are 50% more likely to be influenced
    • People who are ‘Engaged’ are 60% more susceptible to influence
    • People who are ‘Married’ are 13% more susceptible to influence
    • People who state their relationship is ‘it’s complicated’ are 90% more susceptible

You’ve also got to think of the cost of spamming people and weighing this up against the effects on long term engagement when you consider influence.  If you want your campaign to go viral, there are more things to think about than just a cool video or interesting graphics.  Adding a feature to make it go viral, may just be the additional feature you need.  O2 in the UK managed this with their singing squirrel which appeared in other O2 videos but achieved far more hits virally without any mention of the brand.

Perhaps its just luck after all… Smile

 

 

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.