Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media

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The seven deadly sins: just the mention of the term stirs up feelings of guilt and an urge to right your wrongs. This goes for social media too! When it comes to social media, there are countless examples of individuals and companies making all sorts of mistakes and not using social networks to their full potential. So let’s strike a little fear into your hearts here and show you how the seven deadly sins can have a damning effect on your social media efforts.

1. Gluttony

You are a social media glutton if you try to be everywhere at once. You feel the need to create an account on every social network in existence, regardless of whether or not the network is appropriate for your specific goals.

If you do not know what your social media goals are, start by asking the following questions. Does your target audience use the social network? Do you produce content that the social network can showcase appropriately? What results are you looking to see from being on the social network (i.e. leads, website traffic, exposure, etc.)? Answer these questions for each social network before actually creating your account.

2. Sloth

If you created a social media account and then left it dormant, shame on you! Or perhaps you post some great content to your social media account on a regular basis: great! But what about engaging your audience? Facilitating conversations with your followers?

If you leave your social media accounts inactive or fail to respond to social media interactions, then you are guilty of social media sloth. Sloth is a sure way to have your followers lose interest in you or to give them the impression that you do not care about them as customers or as an audience.

3. Greed

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to gain more followers? Will you pay, lie, cheat, maybe even rent out your firstborn to get your follower counts into the 10K range? If so, then you are guilty of social media greed.

The number of followers on your social media accounts is an important metric in terms of the growth and success of your efforts. Your main focus, however, should remain on producing quality content, nurturing relationships and building a community online.

4. Wrath

Have people criticized or complained about your services via social media? If so, don’t respond in haste. You most definitely should respond, but you have to make sure your response is tactful and not attacking in any way. If your response is mean-spirited or fails to address the complaint, then you are guilty of social media wrath.

Don’t think it’s a bad thing to take your time to calm down and contemplate any criticism on social media. It lets personal offense simmer down so you can see things from the complainer’s perspective. Even if you think responding is futile, according to Kissmetrics 22% of social media complainers welcomed the interaction that resulted from their complaining and later posted a positive response.

5. Lust

If your business is struggling to market itself effectively, you may think that social media will help you out. In fact, you may believe that social media will be the golden ticket to instant success, fame and profits. If your mouth waters at the perceived magic of social media to solve all your marketing problems, then you are guilty of the social media sin of lust.

The truth is social media is a tool that takes time and effort. It’s part of a larger, long-term marketing strategy. Social media is definitely not a quick fix or a panacea for broken or inadequate marketing strategies.

6. Envy

Do you look at others’ social media accounts, large followings and constantly shared content and get an overwhelming desire to be just like them? Then you are guilty of social media envy. No two companies, individuals or organizations are exactly the same, so don’t feel envious just because your competitor is performing a particular way on social media. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors on social media to look for opportunities to grow and gain inspiration, it’s not a good idea to copy your competitors under the illusion that you’ll achieve the same results.

7. Pride

Yes, you (hopefully) control your social media accounts. Yes, social media is a tool that can help promote your brand. But no, your social media content cannot be all about you. If so, then you are guilty of the social media sin of pride. If you talk about you, your business or your product all the time or even most of the time, it bores your audience and puts yet another nail in your social media coffin. Instead, mix it up. Remember the 4-1-1 rule: for every self-serving message you post (i.e. promoting an article you wrote or an event you’re hosting), you should share one message from another user and four pieces of others’ original content.

[Source: DashBurst]

Icons of the Web: the top million web sites for 2013

Icons of the Web from the open source Nmap Security Scanner Project (http://nmap.org)is an update to the hugely popular project from 2010. This update brings all new data, a n updated interactive viewer and printed posters available for sale through Kickstarter for a limited time (until January 17th!)

Icons of the Web

[Source: Icons of the Web]

State of Social Media 2013

What a wild year it’s been. You could say that 2013 was the year of social media and you’d be correct. What was once a novelty for people bored and surfing on the ‘net has risen to be an industry in and of itself that companies large and small have embraced around the world as a powerful cornerstone of their marketing initiatives.In case you got lost in the details of 2013, we’ve laid out all the notable moments of the year, month by month, in this handy infographic.What was the most notable social media moment in your life in 2013? Let us know in the comments.

[Source: infographicpromotion]

Majority of Consumers Happy to Share Mobile Location Data with Trusted Brands

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mBlox, the leader in mobile business to person engagement, today announced new findings from a survey conducted by Millward Brown Digital in eight countries that show consumers welcome location-based engagement with companies via mobile devices. Plus, the findings reveal 59% of global respondents prefer SMS and push campaigns over other forms of mobile marketing, including video advertising, banner or standard display ads, and email.

The survey revealed 80% of respondents would share location data with brands in order to receive SMS or push messages. However, while consumers indicated they are open to receiving these messages, most prefer opportunities with known or favorite brands and want to ensure the messages contain relevant marketing opportunities, alerts and notices that they have opted-in to receive.

When asked why they would share location data with a company:

47 percent would do so in order to receive relevant offers or discount coupons

45 percent would do so in order to receive information they have requested

36 percent would do so in order to help them solve customer service issues

24 percent would do so in order to check-in or post on social networking sites

Also according to the survey, 58 percent of global respondents say they would send a text message to a company to request more information, and 54 percent of global respondents say they would send a text message to a company to enter a competition. Given that only 1 in 5 marketers sent an SMS message last year according to Chief Marketer, the survey results indicate that SMS messages are an effective mobile engagement tactic preferred by people but underutilized by marketers.

“These findings show that mobile marketers have a tremendous opportunity to utilize mobile messaging as a preferred channel for highly personalized, micro-targeted marketing campaigns,” said Michael Becker, mobile evangelist and Marketing Development for North America, Somo, a full-service mobile solutions company. “They also show that marketers should use the channel with care, that trust and message value are critical to consumers, and that marketers must strategically utilize consumer preference, behavior and location data in their design to ensure effectiveness.”

The findings have important implications for marketers. According to The Guardian, over four billion people send text messages, which means SMS has more users than Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined. Additionally, recent data from the IDG Global Solutions 2013 Mobile Survey reveals that 83 percent of global survey respondents own or use a mobile device, and 56 percent of smartphone and 73 percent of tablet owners or users have made a purchase using their mobile device. Mobile gives marketers access a large global reach and has a high-propensity to encourage purchases, and SMS and push marketing better engages people in a way that is consistent with their preferences.

“As the Millward Brown Digital survey shows, the majority of people today find value in targeted, relevant SMS and push messages sent by a company,” said mBlox CEO Tom Cotney. “When consumers are telling you they want to, if not expect to, be contacted just by downloading an app, it would be foolish not to take advantage of that. If you’re a marketer, why wouldn’t you engage people via the channel and methods they prefer?”

Additional findings from the survey include:

68 percent of global respondents and 66 percent of U.S. respondents find SMS or push messages sent to them from a company to be valuable

57 percent of global respondents and 60 percent of U.S. respondents find SMS and push messages more likely to persuade them to make a purchase than other forms of marketing on a mobile device, including advertising commercials or video advertising, banner or standard display advertising, and email marketing messages

75 percent of global respondents and 75 percent of U.S. respondents are likely to read or engage with SMS and push marketing messages, such as location-triggered coupons, updates or deals relevant to the mobile apps downloaded

Methodology:

Millward Brown Digital surveyed a collective 1,572 mobile users over the age of 18 who had downloaded an app in the past 12 months in the following countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. The research was fielded between July 16, 2013 and July 24, 2013.

[Source: mBlox]

The Conversation Prism v4.0

What’s different from 3.0?

Well, version 4.0 brings about some of the most significant changes since the beginning. In this round, we moved away from the flower-like motif to simplify and focus the landscape. With all of the changes in social media, it would have been easier to expand the lens. Instead, we narrowed the view to focus on those that are on a path to mainstream understanding or acceptance.

The result was the removal of 122 services while only adding 111.

This introduces an opportunity for a series of industry or vertical-specific Prisms to be introduced so stay tuned.

ConversationPrism_2880x1800

[Source: The Conversation Prism]

Is Social Media Bad For Your Mobile Phone?

If you have a smartphone, then the chances are you’ve used social media on your mobile at one point or another. It’s great to be connected all the time, but what are the negative effects of social media on your mobile? We’ve developed an infographic to find out the answer…

Key Facts

  • 47% of people use social media from their mobiles
  • 340 million Facebook app users on iPhone and Android
  • After Nov 2012 release of the Facebook app, mobile signal used by the app rocketed by 600% despite their membership only increasing by 4%
  • The Facebook app requests 24% of its data volume from YouTube, 16.5% from Twitter, and 15.8% from Tumblr
  • Mobile data usage is expected to increase 2000% by 2017
  • The cost per megabyte of mobile data has decreased from $0.46 to $0.03 in the last five years
  • Uploading 1 photo a day to Twitter costs $0.195
  • Viewing 10 photos a day on Twitter costs $0.15
  • Annual cost of using Twitter on your mobile: $125.93
  • Annual cost of using YouTube on your mobile: $438
  • Annual cost of using Facebook on your mobile: $470
  • Annual cost of using Pandora on your mobile: $657
  • Driving whilst social networking on your mobile makes you four times more likely to crash
  • Smartphones slow your driving reaction times to 38% (compared to 21% for Cannabis and 12.5% for Alcohol)
  • For every 1 million new mobile subscribers there is a 19% rise in distracted driving fatalities
  • 45% of people feel agitated when they can’t access their social networks
  • 60% of people feel the need to switch off their phones to have a break
  • 66% of people have trouble sleeping after using social media
  • 25% of people have relationship problems because of online fights
  • Regular mobile users experience withdrawal symptoms similar to that of drug addicts
  • 64% of people have accepted a friend request from a stranger
  • 73% use a geo-tracking application on their mobile
  • 41% are extremely concerned about letting potential burglars know when they’re away
  • The Android app uses 75% of its energy to serve ads and uploading user data

[Source: liGo]

Influence vs Advocacy: Which Rules The Digital Kingdom

In the world of social marketing, digital influence is akin to saying holy water. It is sacred, mysterious, and purportedly carries with it healing properties. Influencers speak and the world stops to listen. Almost as prestigious in the new world of conversational marketing is the word advocacy. Advocates are the disciples of brands. They are customers or fans and they live to join branded communities and also go out of their way to tell everyone they know why the brand is so special.

I am exaggerating, of course. What is not an exaggeration, however, is the importance marketers place on influencers and advocates without understanding the role each can play in word of mouth or engagement programs. If you were to spend any time in a conference room full of brands, agencies or social software vendors, you would quickly realize that the words influence and advocacy would be used interchangeably.

What’s the difference between influence and advocacy? The differences are quite notable but the answers aren’t often sought.

Influencers are individuals who’ve earned authority on any given topic and have built a community or series of communities around their body of ideas or work. They have the capacity to cause an effect on the character, actions or behavior of someone or something.

Advocates are champions (and/or enthusiastic customers) who align with or embody the tenets or the mission of a thing (in this case a brand) or a cause. Advocates may or may not carry influence individually. When advocates unite, the concerted group can wield influence.

On the subject of influence, Technorati recently released its 2013 Digital Influence Report. In it, I discovered some interesting stats about the various ways that brands are approaching influence.

Influencers become part of the mix

For years, I’ve studied the art and science of digital influence, especially what it is, what it isn’t, and how it works (and can work for you.) As a long time blogger, I found it fascinating that “influencers” are most active on blogs with the likes of Facebook and Twitter supporting their efforts according to Technorati.

Their efforts don’t go unnoticed. Not only are they building audiences and communities, brands are actively seeking to work with them. Technorati learned that 65% of brands participate in influencer targeting as part of its digital marketing mix.

I was equally fascinated by how brands measured the elements of “influence.” In an interesting twist of cyber fate, brands appeared to calculate influence, or at least the semblance of it, using a myriad of popularity-based metrics rather than studying impact or the capacity to cause effect or change behavior. Ironically however, Likes, followers, friends, audience size, and views ranked higher in terms of weight than those very platforms designed to measure “influence,” i.e. Klout, Peer Index, Kred and even Technorati Authority.

Is it quantity or quality? In this case, when it comes to influence, less can be more. Similar to an influence studyI conducted a few years ago with Vocus, Technorati Media found that most brands, in this case 54%, believe that individuals or groups that boast concentrated communities carry greater influence. Please repeat, influence is not popularity and popularity is not influence.

Influence is relative, however, if it can’t be attributed to cause and effect.  Technorati learned something quite profound. When it comes to decision-making, consumers turned to blogs in droves when making a purchase. Blogs were found to be the third most influential digital resource at 31% behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%).

When it comes to services most used, blogs ranked in the top 5, ahead of noteworthy destinations and networks such as Twitter, news sites, Pinterest and even brand sites. YouTube and Facebook respectively ranked as the first and second most used online services.

Which online services are most trusted by consumers? Technorati’s study revealed that news sites are by far the most trusted followed by Facebook. YouTube and blogs also made the top 5.

The report overall makes it clear that brands will miss important consumer touch points if they do not employ either new media influencer and/or advocacy programs as part of the greater marketing mix.  As consumers research products to make informed decisions, published experiences and impressions in social networks and blogs become the peer-driven digital equivalent to Consumer Reports.

3 strategies for cultivating advocacy programs

To succeed here requires distinct strategies aimed at cultivating influence and advocacy programs over time.

1) Identify, learn, brief, and support influencers based on what’s important to them, not what’s just important to you. It’s important to build relationships before you need them.

2) Recognize advocates and what it is they love about the brand. Develop online and social programs that allow them to connect with other consumers where touch points and decision-making intersect.

3) Reward advocates for asking and answering questions and for sharing experiences and passions.

Genuine influence and advocacy initiatives will only help your customers discover your value in key moments of truth. How are you using advocates and influencers in your overall strategy?

[Source: AT&T Networking Exchange Blog]