Interesting Infographics #2 : Build With Social Media



Utilising social media to build and grow a business is now one of the most powerful ways that a small business can develop and control its own growth to become bigger. Social media can be utilised by almost every part of a business starting from the bottom right up to the top level senior positions (as demonstrated by the info graphic). The main point to take from this image is that the assumption that social media use is solely limited to the marketing department is now a redundant view, with social media becoming a bigger part of modern life this graphic shows that business must become more social in every aspect of their operations.

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CEO Social Media to Social Customer Relations


CEO Social Media

According to an IBM 2010 case study Getting close to customers is a top priority for CEO’s. Many of today’s businesses are working valiantly to maintain or implement social media programs that address their business needs and requirements. In order for businesses to be successful on implementing such systems, customers must be presented with some form of value for their attention, time and most importantly their data.

The first point to consider is the speed at which social media has exploded and is being adopted by consumers and businesses. In 2010 it was reported that there were more than 500 million active Facebook users, also in 2010 Twitter hit the 10 billion tweet mark. This staggering record by Twitter was then outshone later on in the same year in July 2010 by which time the tweet record had doubled.

It is clear to see that social media is an active platform where many regular and potential customers are congregating and this is where businesses must act, what if all of your target market and potential customer where all in once location at once? This in a nutshell is social media. Social platforms therefore hold enormous potential for companies to form and build relationships with their consumers and get closer to understanding each individual better. By doing this businesses are able to facilitate an increase in revenue , reduction of costs and improvements that increase efficiency. This information has clearly impacted the industry with many businesses quickly acting in constructing social media initiatives to reap these benefits.

“Our social tools are not an improvement to modern society, they are a challenge to it.”
― Clay Shirky

CRM is Now Social!

The main issue presented by social media in customer relationships stems from the traditional approach to customer relationship management (CRM), the traditional approach typically focuses on extracting the best value from each customer with the business being in control. With social media, companies face a different challenge in maintaing relationships in that the business is no longer in control of the relationship. Instead customers and their networks are now driving the conversation between business and consumer. This power of the customer is far greater than that of the business and has the ability to out do and out perform the strongest marketing strategy and sales efforts with unprecedented immediacy.

Companies must therefore embrace this new approach and update their strategy by adopting new elements of CRM, this recognises that instead of the business managing customers the role now shifts to facilitate the experience and opinions that customer present.

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Interesting Infographics #1


Interesting Infographics #1 Business Activity On Social Media

Welcome to the first in the series of Interesting Infographics, this series of posts I will aim to provide a different Infographic highlighting different areas and aspects of social media and business.

Interpreting Infographics

The average person spends over 6.2 hours on social networks per month, this culminates to the average person spending over 22.5% of their time utilising a social platform. This vast amount of time spent clicking,tweeting and surfing is a large resource of user attention that business may be to act upon. This point is further emphasised by the second main part of the above infographic showing the level of social commerce, which over the past year has grown and is predicted by 2015 to rapidly expand to a level equivalent to $30 BILLION. This large-scale of activity will enable business to tap into new revenue streams by being able to reach new customer bases through their use of social media platforms. However the presence of multiple large corporations is often unwelcomed by the online communities that use these sites with 87% of Fortune 100 companies in the us and 100% of FTSE 100 companies in the UK utilising a social media presence. The argument for this use is that by allowing businesses and corporations onto these social platforms customers will be able to reap the benefits of better customer service and better businesses – customer interaction. In both cases the most popular platform for businesses to utilise is Twitter with over 2.7 million followers of FTSE 100 corporate accounts it is clear to suggest that some social users accept the and welcome businesses to be on social media sites.

In contrast to the larger businesses smaller to medium size businesses often struggle in this area due to mainly lack of understanding and also in some cases due to the size of their customer base. This area is where the use of a social media can provide a smaller business a platform from which to springboard in order to compete with those who operate on a larger scale. An interesting environment is now arising as more and more small businesses aim to increase their use of social platforms and this year alone has seen an 80% increase by small and mid size businesses adopting a fresh new approach to social media use.

This means that the social environment currently dominated by larger corporations will soon be undergoing a change as more and more smaller often local businesses uptake social media and begin to fully utilise these platforms to complement their business objectives and needs.

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Media Myths #1ROI & Social Media


Media Myths Busted!

With social media being a fairly new platform for business to operate in, there are many skeptics that actively frown upon it’s use by many businesses. Over the next few weeks I aim to help bust many of these common myths surrounding social media and business use.

#1 You Can’t Measure Return On Investment In Social Media

For many this will be the first myth they encounter when trying to sell the concept of social media. However this can also be the first myth that is busted!

Why it’s perpetuated: Many social media experts know how to use social networks to socialise, but they have little to no marketing expertise meaning they don’t know how to turn all that socialising into cash flow. This can also be the same situation with small business owners. The idea that social media is to socialise and therefore not for business, however this view is now being changed with many companies now capitalising on their use for business purposes.

Myth Busted!

So how do you turn something social into a platform that can be utilised by business?

Action plan: Three basic steps:

  1. track where your users are coming from; How did they get here? Who recommended them? Why did they choose you?
  2. identify the actions they took on your site (making purchases, viewing a post, or just browsing , whatever); The message here it to understand what your site is mainly being used for, thus helping you tailor to enhance the end user experience.
  3. calculate the value of that activity; using tools such as google analytics or other analytical software in order to be provided with insights upon which ROI can be constructed. Setting KPI’s for which to measure success ( daily views, amount of sales through website etc.)

It is clear to conclude social media can be utilised to provide actionable data that businesses can interpret in order to justify  a platforms use.

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Small Businesses & Social Media = £££


 “Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.” ― Brian Solis

Small businesses and social media can be an award winning formula, however many small to mid size businesses often neglect it’s use or use social platforms ineffectively.

It goes to say without question social media is a marketing force that is to be reckoned with. It is also something many of us now incorporate daily into our life, the way social media has dominated our experiences online and offline over the past few years has been incredible. It is now almost near impossible to go to any website or see any TV commercial without a twitter name or Facebook name being displayed, however some are still reluctant to buy into social media.

This thinking can be considered “old fashioned” with many businesses simply believing social media is just a craze that business will eventually tire of, however with Twitter operating with approximately 500 million+ users and Facebook greatest of them all with a staggering 1.1 billion users, it is easy to say social media is here for the long run and for businesses it will soon become the case of adapt or die.

Some compelling statistics prove the face that social media is becoming the new TV advert by it’s ability to reach thousands instantly.

Tweetable Statistics;

1.Asking questions on Facebook drives interaction up by 10 to 20 percent. (Source: Buffer)

2. The 55-64 age group is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter — at 79% since 2012. (Source:Jeff Bullas

3. 74% of Americans are unfamiliar with the concept of checking in to a location via mobile device. (Source: Convince & Convert

4. Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. (Source: HubSpot) 

5. One out of every seven minutes spent online is on Facebook. (Source: Media Bistro

6. 23% of Facebook’s users check their account five or more times every day. (Source: The Social Habit

7. 71% of social media users say they’re more likely to purchase from a brand they are connected with. (Source: AllTwitter

8. Those with a college degree are less likely than those with some college to use social networks. (Source: Huffington Post) 

9. There are 575 likes and 81 comments by Instagram users every second. (Source: Digital Buzz Blog)

10. 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (Source: AllTwitter

A compelling argument by all accounts, convinced yet? If not read some of these related articles.

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Is That Mine? Take Ownership!


#3 Take Ownership Of Your Brand

“If design isn’t profitable, then it’s art.” – Henrik Fiskar

The importance of taking ownership of your brand on social media is one of high importance. Taking ownership on many of the major social networks may prove to be difficult and businesses must understand that this may not be possible, depending on your company name and similarly named organisations.

Most businesses will understand the power of branding and what their brand is worth in shorthand a strong brand helps customers to recognise your company without thinking. After you’ve claimed your space, remember to incorporate elements of your brand into your profile.

This is quite possibly the main piece of advice any business embarking on a social media journey should follow make it yours! – this leads onto rule number 4

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Know Your Customer!


“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter F. Drucker

#2 Know Your Customer!

As with advertising and marketing the second rule of utilising social media is to understand and know your audience.

When deciding upon the use of social platforms a business MUST consider it’s target audience, the business needs to understand whom it wishes to engage and then work from there. In order to fully understand customers and the chosen target audience a business must decide upon and implement a set of marketing metrics in order to gain a developed understanding.

  • Understand your target market’s point of view and activities. Think demographics, psychographics and past purchases, as well as interests and priorities.
  • Consider influencers, buyers and end users. Most purchase decisions, including consumer purchases, are made with input from more than one person.
  • Know where your audience engages on social media. Not everyone is on Facebook.
  • Consider your audience’s social media behavior. Does your market lurk, share or create social media content? What incentives will make them act?

The more you know your audience, the easier it will be to engage with them on social media and get the results you’re looking for.

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Simple Social Strategy = Success


Social media is a great tool for businesses to implement and use, however one of the biggest hurdles many businesses face when making use of social networks is how to make use of a tool that is mainly for personal use have a corporate spin? The answer is to decide upon and implement a social media strategy.

In order to implement an effective strategy the business firstly has to follow rule one of social media use.

#1 Determine your business objective for using social media

This may sound simple and many would argue would be the first step many businesses would take when trying to decide upon social strategy however for many businesses both small and large this is the step that many struggle on. This first rule is quite possibly the only rule that underpins and can determine the success of an organisations social success.

Clear direction = Clear results

In order to make the use of social media worthwhile the decision must first be made to understand the 3 W’s.

WHY are we using social media?

WHAT are we using social media for?

WHEN are we expected to see results?

By first answering the above W’s a business will gain a sense of direction in which to proceed with the use of social media. This gives more information to decision makers to aid in the creation of the next step in setting clear,concrete and measurable objectives.

An example of some objectives set by small businesses are as follows ;

  • Build your brand by getting people to recognize your name and associate it with your product.
  • Attract new customers by driving traffic to your social media page or company website.
  • Support sales by answering prospects’ questions and showing them how to use your products or services.
  • Engage with your fans by giving customers a reason to talk about your brand and encourage others to purchase from you.

By setting specific objectives, you establish markers for your business. This helps define your social media metrics and will make effective social media marketing easier for you to do.

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Social media in business is a pressing topic that is continually changing. Many business small to large are now encouraging employees to become more open with their use of social media, this contradicts the previous ideology of employees should not use social media for fear of bringing their employer into disrepute. After all an employee still represents the company they work for even after hours, the interesting point here is that businesses are beginning to embrace the change and become more accessible and open with their use of social platforms.

In the new information society businesses must begin to embrace this new approach to interfacing with customers in order to provide a breakdown in communication barriers between customers and businesses. With employees and many businesses making use of social media the process of opening up and embracing connection is becoming a battle that is now moving forward to be won.

Social media in business is a pressing topic

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Building Brand Loyalty Using Social Media

Ever felt like your customers simply come in once and then walk away never to return? For many businesses this a pressing issue, this problem stems right from small to midsize business right through to large corporations and public companies. The issue is that of BRAND LOYALTY, the problem is how can a business effectively build a relationship and develop a customer rapport effectively in order to establish a consistent client to business relationship.

In modern society many companies are actively encouraged to develop an online presence, the approach is either through the use of social media or by the development of a intuitive website. For many business small and large this is where the problem begins. How do I connect with my customers effectively through the use of media my customers actively use?

The answer is to use social media in an effective way that ties in with the strategy and objectives a business has. Through the use of social media consultants multiple companies are now making effective use of social media to gain a wider online presence and help maintain certain aspects of their customer experience.

Examples of how businesses can use social media are as follows;

  • Narrow your focus to responding to customer complaints, as Comcast does on Twitter.
  • Build brand loyalty, as Bisnow does with e-newsletters, as Skittles does on Facebook, and as the Wine Library does with its podcasts.
  • Issue blog posts and tweets instead of news releases, as Google does with its blog, and as its now-former CEO did with Twitter.
  • Re-purpose your existing content, and thus enlarge your audience, as The New York Times does with Twitter, as the FBI does with Scribd, and as Dell does with SlideShare.
  • Manage your reputation, as countless companies do — or try to do — withWikipedia.
  • Conduct crisis communications, as Johnson & Johnson does with its blog.
  • Hold contests to improve your algorithms, as Netflix did with the Netflix Prize.
  • Crowdsource your challenges, as the U.S. Army did with its field manuals.
  • Demonstrate thought leadership, as recruiter Lindsay Olson does with her blog.
  • Research free advertising opportunities, as Allstate does on YouTube.
  • Showcase your wares, as Zappos does with its blog, and boost your sales, as Dell does on Twitter.
  • Recruit employees, as Booz Allen does on LinkedIn.

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