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Social Media Marketing

October 24, 2014 | Author:

This week we continue our series of blogs on different aspects of digital marketing strategy, by taking a look at the ever expanding world of social media.

When Mark Zuckerberg came up with the concept of “Thefacebook” ten years ago, little could he have foreseen how much social media would take off and become an integral part of the daily lives of so many people. By the end of 2013, Facebook had a staggering 1.23 billion monthly users worldwide. 170 million of these had been added during 2013.

42% of online adults use more than one social networking platform; however for those people who use only one social networking site, Facebook is usually their chosen network with around 71% of online adults being Facebook users. Facebook itself also recently published figures showing that one out of three people in both the US and the UK were visiting Facebook every day. An increasing amount of this regular traffic is accessing Facebook via mobile phones.

With this size of market available on Facebook and other social networking platforms, and the frequency of access by users, it makes sense to make full use of social marketing ideas as part of creative digital marketing. At Xcite we have recently conducted some research as to different ways that social site marketing has been used successfully to generate interest in a brand and, in turn, increase sales and profit. We will feature some of these examples in weeks to come.

The number, variety and reach of social networks is growing all the time, and these are increasingly accessed via Smartphone apps as well as computers and tablets.  To name but a few, there are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Circles, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr – and so the list goes on!

Whichever networks you choose to use, there are many different ways of using social site marketing as part of a digital marketing strategy, ranging from regular pages, posts, and blogs to exceptional campaigns as mentioned above. Let’s look specifically at five areas:

Content generation

Nowadays it seems that nothing is anywhere unless it’s everywhere!  Social media follows the old adage for trainers: “tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you’ve told them”! To keep up with the competition your social media activity needs to be constantly present and consistently interesting.

Social Monitoring

To maximise the benefit of social marketing it is vital to use Web 2 technology to its utmost and interact with customers.  It is not sufficient in itself to just keep putting out posts.  You need to invite response then respond to that response! As well as generating interest and keeping live threads going, this kind of interaction has been proven to build brand loyalty and presents a personalised face of your business.

Social Engagement

Another strand of social monitoring is social engagement.  You may not have started the conversation but you are damn well going to finish it!  Join in any conversation, any thread, and piggyback onto any campaign that’s going!  Skilful use of social engagement can ensure that your name and your brand get anywhere and everywhere without people realising quite how that has happened!

Reporting

In addition to all the above activities, social media can be used as a powerful tool to gather intelligence.  Online social networks provide a wealth of information. Every post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc contributes to an individual’s digital footprint; and every time anyone else reads or responds to the post they extend the data trail.  Data mined from social networks can be analysed to help make key business decisions.

Social Media Tools

You will be realising by now that social marketing is big business!  Along with the potential there is an ever-increasing array of social media tools to help manage the process.  Three of these are:

Hootsuite – helps you manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the dashboard;

  • SproutSocial – enables you to create an exceptional brand experience across networks and promptly reply to your customers;

  • Buffer – Buffer helps you manage multiple social media accounts at once and quickly schedule content from anywhere on the web.


In this day and age, social media as a marketing tool is something to be ignored at your peril!   For more social marketing ideas and advice about how it could be deployed effectively as part of a creative marketing campaign for your business, contact Xcite Digital today!

 

Starbucks – Tweet a Coffee Campaign

October 22, 2014 | Author:

This campaign by Starbucks enabled people to buy gift cards for their friends simply by tweeting @tweetacoffee and the friend’s Twitter ID.

In just one month the campaign generated $180,000 in sales.  Over 27,000 unique users bought nearly 37,000 gift cards (34% bought more than one card), and 32% of those purchases happened on the very first day!  In addition to the sales figures, Starbucks were delighted with the amount of information gathered about their customers during this process that will enable them to understand, identity and target future campaigns.

Some of this is due to 54,000 users that have linked Twitter IDs to their mobile phones and Starbucks customer IDs. Also, due to popular demand they have recently reintroduced @tweetacoffee, perhaps even as a permanent fixture!

Making the Most of your Website!

October 16, 2014 | Author:

We have started a series of blogs on different aspects of digital marketing strategy.  Over the next few weeks we will look at some of these in turn. Today we start with websites, as this is often the first thing that comes to mind when planning a digital marketing campaign.

When designing a website, it is essential to consider carefully the purpose(s) of that website.  This sounds obvious but can often be overlooked in the excitement of the design process!   Do you want your website to inform existing customers or attract new ones – or both? Is your website going to use Web 2.0 technology to enable two-way interaction between you and your current or existing customers?

Web 2.0 websites could involve, for example, features such as blogs, wikis, and customer login areas in your website. These aspects of creative digital marketing are all excellent in themselves but you need to ensure you have the resources to keep the information on them current and interesting.

It’s not just written content that can make it or break it for a website, putting considerable care into choosing the right layout, website fonts, colours and making use of footers can all help to make visiting your site a pleasant experience for users!

Having worked with various clients over the years on websites, we would highly recommend usability reviews before you make the decision to rebuild your site. These reviews can often help identify key areas of improvement, such as site navigation, and pick out elements that should be added to the site.

As mentioned in last week’s blog, your website also needs to be optimised to maximise its effectiveness. This means that your website needs to contain the kind of keywords that a typical user would type into a search engine if they were looking on the internet for a product or service such as yours.

It is possible to research which keywords these are likely to be and then to ensure that the content of your website contains such words at the right level of frequency. These steps will ensure that the URL of your website would be returned by a search engine and not be overlooked.

Keywords can also be built into “behind the scenes” parts of your website such as headers, descriptions and tags. This whole process is called “search engine optimisation” (SEO) and aims to ensure search engine hits for your website.

There are other strategies that you can use to increase traffic to your website. You need to ensure that your website is listed – and preferably linked to – from the websites of any and every related organisation.

There is also a lot you can do in terms of Social Media Marketing to attract traffic to your website and in next week’s blog we will explore the different ways social media can be used as part of an effective digital marketing strategy.

For further information or advice on any of the above topics why not take a look at our past blogs here!

Heinz Beanz

October 15, 2014 | Author:

In this new series we will take a weekly look at an effective example of social media being used as a catalyst for business growth. This week it’s the turn of Heinz Beans!

Heinz introduced a new Five Beanz range in the summer of 2012. The idea behind Five Beanz – also known as “My Grown Up Beanz” – was as something a bit different from the beans you grew up on.

Heinz stressed the nutritional value and versatility of the Five Beanz – haricot, red kidney, pinto, cannellini and borlotti  - and that a three tablespoon serving would provide one of your five-a-day. Apparently the best things come in fives!

Heinz used social media extensively to promote their new product. They created a Facebook quiz that asked people questions about personality traits and, based on this, analysed which of the five beans they were most like.

As an incentive, a winner from was picked every hour from each bean category and received a personalised bean. Also, everyone who invited at least 10 others to do the quiz was sent a goodie bag.

The Facebook campaign ran for two weeks and over 22,000 people took the quiz and more than 10,000 shared the app. The campaign reached 10.8 million people on Facebook and the Heinz Facebook community grew by over 30,000 people. Publicity about the campaign also reached  3 million people outside Facebook via Twitter, blogs and news sites.

The success of this campaign shows the potential power of harnessing social media to interact with customers and increase customer loyalty, particularly if there is a fun element involved.  Food for thought?!

IKEA – Facebook Showroom Campaign

October 8, 2014 | Author:

IKEA ran a successful Facebook campaign to promote the launch of its new store in Malmo, Sweden.

It set up a new Facebook profile page for the store manager Gordon Gustavsson and uploaded photos of the new showrooms. It then made effective use of the Facebook tagging tool by telling people that the first to tag their name on any item would win it.

As people tagged themselves in the photos, that then brought the promotion to the notice of all their Facebook friends via profile pages, newsfeeds and shared links. Friends then in turn began visiting the IKEA Facebook page in search of freebies, creating huge product awareness!  

The IKEA campaign reached thousands of people very quickly, using only existing Facebook tools and the time and effort of Facebook users themselves to promote the campaign.