Tool of the month: Buffer
If you're using a content marketing strategy with your social media channels, you'll recognize the problem that our tool of the month solves. You've learned to find fantastic material to share that you know your network and market will enjoy and respond to. But how do you share it without spamming your followers by posting everything you have at once? For a Facebook Page to have more than one or two new items a day, or for a Twitter timeline to suddenly get 12 new tweets will raise a flag for your followers and fans. Many will stop following you, or even "unlike" your Fan Page. Buffer has the answer: add your accounts, start adding posts, and Buffer takes care of the rest, "automagically" posting your content to the channels of your choice on a schedule so that it's spread out over time. You can even customize the schedule for each one of your streams. Buffer has analytics, too, so you can see how the content you share is received by your network.
Google Consumer Surveys tracks shoppers' holiday behavior
A cornucopia of holiday-related research is being conducted using the Google Consumer Surveys online research platform. The surveys collect information from a representative sample of Internet users in the U.S. Subjects include Purchase Timing, Shopper Behavior, and Holiday Meals; product categories surveyed include apparel, gift cards, and male grooming. Sample question: How important is free shipping when you're buying clothes online? Interestingly, the Northeast scored this significantly higher than the West Coast.
Remarketing: hot new trend
Browser cookies work by sending a small piece of data from a website and storing it in the viewer's web browser. Remarketing (also called retargeting) works by using the cookie data to serve ads only to people who have visited a website but have not made a purchase (some 98 percent of visitors). Because these visitors have already spent time on the website, marketers know that they are familiar with your product and at least somewhat interested in it. Remarketing is an effective and inexpensive way to reach them. Other customer interactions, such as opening an email, can also be used for remarketing.
Newsflash: email marketing still works!
Tried and true, email marketing is still one of the most effective tools in the marketer's kit. Low cost, easy to implement, and one of the best ways to proactively stay in touch with current customers, email marketing is still a winner. This infographic shows how to figure the ROI on newsletters and will help you understand what techniques are effective and why they work.
Gen Y in the spotlight
A study of Generation Y consumers (born between 1980 and 1995) from public relations giant Edelman looks at purchase decision influence, brand engagement and recognition, and how the global recession has affected these consumers. The global median age is now 28, so there are about a billion people in this group. Some takeaways: 1) financial stability is very important to this group; 2) they're very involved with the brands they use and engage with, and 3) they feel that they influence their friends. The study found that only 3 percent of Gen Y think that all advertising is boring. Smart brands know that this group expects their ads to be fun and entertaining.
Research: how people look at "stuff" on Pinterest
Above all, Pinterest is visual. Eye Track Shop, a platform for eye tracking studies, conducted a study of 600 participants to record their eye movements as they viewed top Pinterest category and brand pages. The results are recorded as "heatmaps," which use colors to show the amount of time that subjects looked at different areas on a web page (red is the most looked at, yellow less, blue the least, and grey areas have no fixations). Results include the following: top and center work best on Pinterest pages, and people tend to look at pictures of peoples' faces more than at objects. The article concludes with five great tips for effective Pinterest use.
Facebook: a PR powerhouse?
Companies with exciting news to share with customers, shareholders, and suppliers are finding their Facebook Fan Pages great places to share it. Add pictures and video, and you have a way to communicate directly with the people who are most interested in your brand and most motivated to share your good news with their friends. Here are three case studies of brands with Facebook PR success stories.
The Internet: the most important communication revolution since 1439?
No, the first one wasn't CB radio. Blogger David Meerman Scott, author of the marketing classic, The News Rules of Marketing and PR, takes the long view of the Internet, calling it the most important revolution in communications since the printing press. In only 17 years, the Internet has changed our world from top to bottom - and there's a lot more to come.
Twitter ads and promoted Tweets: 4 tips to boost success
With more than 175 million members and billions of tweets per day, Twitter is a very busy place. It can be a very good place to be for some kinds of businesses - it varies a lot from industry to industry, and requires some testing and analysis to determine its suitability for your particular business. If it works for you, consider using these four ideas for using Twitter advertising as a part of your social media strategy.
Yahoo: most popular searches in 2012
For an interesting and informative look at what the world is searching for, search no farther than this list from Yahoo, summarizing the top searches on the site in more than 50 categories. Most popular searches for a few sample categories include: "How To" (#1, How to make a diaper cake); News Topics (#1, 2012 Election; #2, Death of Whitney Houston); Job Searches (#1, Work from Home Jobs); and Scandals (#1, Kate Middleton photo scandal; #2, Jackson Family Fight). For marketers interested in what mobile consumers are looking for, the report also breaks out the top searches on Yahoo Mobile.
Daniel Lieberman is the founder of Daniel Lieberman Digital ("I speak Geek - You don't need to."). Based in Shelburne Falls, Mass., he helps companies, organizations, and individuals learn to use the Internet to communicate, market, and brand themselves using the most up-to-date tools and techniques. Contact him at 413-489-1818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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