Just as you were getting comfortable with web analytics, here comes Social Media!, presenting a new set of opportunities and a new set of confusion.
The overriding goal still is to integrate Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and any other social media tools into your marketing mix. However, following last year's overwhelm of social media as the latest and greatest, companies are now taking a more sober look at its ROI. That means finding ways to measure it, a new search for meaningful metrics.
As we settle into 2010, here's a look at some trends, tips, and topics likely to dominate the use of social media as a business tool in the coming year, along with links to websites, blogs, and a free e-book on making social media "operational" - all intended to help you find your own way to putting social media to work for you.
Note: Blogs change daily, and items referenced below will likely be pushed downscreen, so scroll your way to our recommendations, read what's new (and try not to waste too much time ping-ponging your way through the many dozens of links contained on these sites). We've put in the initial research to get you started, so go for it!
Posted by Tim Trefren, Feb. 2, 2010
By Tim Trefren, co-founder of Mixpanel, a real-time analytics service that helps companies understand how users behave with web applications. Trefen says that to measure social media, companies must go beyond pageview tracking. He focuses on three points:
Posted by David Meerman Scott, November 18, 2009
This well-respected social media marketing blogger (and author of BusinessWeek best-seller The New Rules of Marketing & PR uses a video he shot for GM using a video application from Visible Gains, a vendor that provides software and tools to help businesses produce interactive online content. Meerman writes:
"The VisibleGains application makes it easy to include links and offers as part of the video experience. Best of all, the links at the bottom of the video player to the Twitter feeds and blogs of me and the GM people speaking in the interviews are non-intrusive and can be ignored if you're not interested."
David Wilson, founder and chief strategist at Braveheart Design, a web design and SEO company, is the man behind the curtain at the Social Media Optimization blog ("Merging of Traditional Media, SEM and Social Marketing"). He provides short, statistics-filled blogs for business readers. Recent samples include:
What Your Followers Want, January 27, 2010
"Companies 'brag' all the time about the number of followers or friends that they have on Facebook or Twitter. But what motivates someone to friend or follow a company?"
Successful Twitter Marketing Strategies, January 18, 2010
"Most marketers are using Twitter to simply drive more traffic to their web site. The most common tactics are direct linking to web pages or promotional pages."
Successful Facebook Marketing Tactics, January 13, 2010
"One thing quite apparent is that tactics that work for the B2B market will not necessarily work for those marketers who are targeting the B2C market."
Social Media Marketing Becoming More Strategic, January 3, 2010
"A new report from Marketing Sherpa called the "2010 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report" shows the importance of social media marketing now from a strategic perspective."
The website Small Business Trends makes a specialty of presenting pieces focusing on trends and "number" stories (5 Tips, 10 Ways, 50 Companies, etc.). Speaking of numbers, we've chosen three for a "sneak preview." The site has an archive of trends pieces, or just visit and do your own prospecting.
Posted by Paul Rosenfeld, Dec. 30, 2009
Rosenfeld is the CEO and co-founder of Fanminder, a subscription-based, marketing service that helps small businesses send text messages to their fans. He writes:
"Marketing to consumers' cellphones has long been viewed as something of a holy grail by businesses - prized but always beyond reach. Recently however, new mobile technologies have gone mainstream, making the elusive goal of an always-on connection with customers firmly within reach of even the smallest business."
Posted by Lisa Barone, December 31, 2009
Barone is co-founder and chief branding officer at Outspoken Media, an Internet marketing company that specializes in providing clients with online reputation management, social media services, and other Internet services. She makes the case that the number of people using their mobile devices to access the web has risen dramatically and will continue as cellphones and related mobile technology (think iPad?) become more powerful and ubiquitous. Providing the information your customers want in a format optimized for these devices is the way to go for brands targeting the on-the-go demographic. She writes:
"Mobile searchers are typically people on a mission. They're looking for an address or a phone number because they're lost. They want a menu. They want hours or need a map to see which points of interest you're near. Your mobile site should be set up to immediately address these questions so that you can take advantage of these targeted searchers."
Posted By Shashi Bellamkonda, January 4, 2010
Bellamkonda is director of social media at Network Solutions, an award-winning small- business online tools provider. He provides a refresher course in the basics of what makes a website work in terms of achieving your business goals, and looks at what's ahead in 2010. Topics and tips include: update frequently; low-cost ways to boost traffic; flashy out, practical in; the importance of web analytics; using widgets and apps; adding interactivity; etc. He writes:
"2010 will be the year of both the website owner and website visitor. Businesses will rediscover the marketing power of their websites. Users with an extensive choice of information on the Internet will give their blessings to simply designed sites with easy-to- find information. Search engines will bless sites that are updated more frequently with ranking blessing. Social media integration will help websites spread their information far and wide and savvy website owners will use analytics to continuously tweak their websites based on visitor behavior. Entry pages, bounce rate, click paths will become easier lingo to follow and use for business purposes."
Shepherded into a free online eBook by veteran brand strategist and conversation agent Valeria Maltoni, these 10 contributors provide a diverse collection of perspectives on making social media "operational" in 2010. (And you don't even have to sign in and provide personal info to download it!) Writes Maltoni:
"I asked 10 professionals who are walking the talk to give us some coordinates for marketing in 2010. More than prediction, their advice indicates direction. This will be the year marketing becomes operational again."
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