Social Media

Marketing Voices: 5 Reasons Small Businesses Should Budget for Social Media Marketing

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5 Reasons Small Businesses Should Budget for Social Media Marketing

In our new Marketing Voices series, we invite exciting digital marketing professionals to join the conversation. This month’s guest post is by Nick Rojas, an experienced business consultant and writer living in Los Angeles and Chicago. Nick has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years and has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch.

It’s no secret that startups, small businesses, and even one-man entrepreneurial operations all share a need to invest in digital marketing. While search engine optimization and excellent content go a long way towards creating growth, social media cannot be ignored if you want to jumpstart your business’s future and start connecting with your audience in an effective way. More

How Mitel Motivated Over 1,300 Employees to Promote Their Company Message

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social media 01

How do you promote your brand and share your company message? Most of the time, we rely on the expected channels of Twitter or the tedious effort of engaging with those top influential people in the industry, hoping that one day they’ll share your latest blog post. What many companies overlook is their most powerful marketing asset, the employees, who are right within arm’s reach. But with everyone’s busy lives, impossible schedules and over-flowing inboxes, how can you expect your employees to take the time to share your company message and become your next “brand ambassador?”

We found one company with an amazing success story behind their recently launched employee advocacy program. Here, we interview Liz Pedro who initiated Mitel’s advocacy program and saw stellar results beginning on day one. More

11 Lead Gen Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Today

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11 lead gen questions In preparation of next week’s #B2BTalks we asked our panelists what their biggest lead generation challenges are, and we’ve decided to share them with you. Take a look at these lead gen questions you should ask yourself when developing your own plan. More

Social Media Planning Tool for CMOs

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Here’s a great infographic by Adobe that shows the value each social media platform could provide when it comes to traffic generation, SEO, customer communication and brand awareness. When it comes to B2B, LinkedIn is way more important, but still there’s a lot of valuable information here.

Enjoy!

 

The CMO

by johnmnelson.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Why B2B’s Should Consider Using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

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In an effort to position itself as the leading destination for B2B content, LinkedIn started to roll out Sponsored Updates in late July. These are similar in fashion to sponsored posts on Twitter, and promoted pages on Facebook – allowing sponsored content to be pushed to specific audiences. Sure, it may get pricy for smaller B2B’s, but it would be worth the investment nonetheless.

LinkedIn takes pride in offering “content marketing in the world’s only professional feed,” and it would certainly be beneficial for B2B’s to consider using this as a part of their marketing and outreach efforts. In addition to the typical geo-targeting options, publishers can also select audiences by company, title, job function, and seniority levels. These updates could be promoted in 20 languages across 200 countries, with the potential to reach 225 million active members who regularly update their profile/feed.

Sponsored Updates will work wonders for brand awareness, and directing traffic towards press releases, job postings, and product pages on company websites. It would also increase the reach of thought-leadership pieces on company blogs, white papers and webinars. B2B’s could also strategically use Sponsored Updates for crowdsourcing purposes, and for lead generation. Targeted audiences would have access to social options to comment/like/share the post, in addition to follow the company in one click.

What do you think about Sponsored Updates? Do you think it would take off? Some big names already have their fair share of success stories. Here is the official link to get started with Sponsored Updates.

Weekend Treats for Your Morning Coffee

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Throughout the week, we here at Pravda Media Group put on our helmets, grab our picks and head down to mine some interesting articles for you. We separate pieces of coal from real diamonds. And now that the weekend is approaching, here are the best articles we posted this week to read while you’re enjoying your morning coffee.

Who doesn’t love a fun party over the weekend? Planning a party is challenging and requires a lot of thinking about the people you are inviting, what kind of food to serve, etc. In this article, Jamie Fairbairn finds many similarities between Online Marketing and throwing a party. When inviting your friends to a party, you want to reach them on their preferred channel of communication. To help you do that here are 5 mobile marketing tools to reach your customers on the go.

More

Social CRM: The Missing Link Between Awareness and Leads

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For years, the main purpose of social media campaigns was to create awareness. Companies would run campaigns on Facebook or Twitter, engage with their audience and then measure the campaign’s effect in key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs include the amount of conversations about the brand, the increase in content distribution due to the campaign, and the rise in the level of engagement with the company or brand. While in many B2C settings these goals are important, B2B companies have been looking for ways to make a more direct impact on their revenues.

The Missing Link

One of the biggest challenges in using social media for B2B marketing was connecting awareness campaigns to specific potential buyers. Let’s take a Twitter campaign, for example. A company would send out information about its product. Twitter users would favorite it or retweet it to their followers, thus affecting the amount of engagement with the company. But what if a user is a potential buyer seeking possible solutions for a problem? More

You've got to Learn to Listen: Three Ways To Increase Marketing Effectiveness

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Let’s face it. We love to hear the sound of our own voices.

When I was single, one of the best pieces of dating advice I ever got was to let the other person speak through the whole date because she will adore you by the end of it. The reason is simple: It is much easier to talk than to listen to others.

But the reality that just like in any relationship, one must listen to the other side in order to better understand them. Brands are facing the same situation on a daily basis. The holy grail of modern marketing is creating and cultivating relationships between brands and their target audience.  Therefore, listening is a key to reaching this goal

Thankfully, several companies are offering listening and monitoring platforms that makes this task easy. We’ve chosen Tra.cx due to their great team, technology, and customer service.

Conversation Distribution by Platforms via Tra.cx

But technology is not enough. It is all about what you do with it. So, with no further ado, here are some of the key ways to use listening as a strategic tool in your digital marketing toolbox:

Tweak your product and pitch – by listening to target audience conversations, we have been able to gain insight about general topics of interest. For example, when listening to online discussions of IT managers, we were able to ascertain their key concerns and challenges. This provided  valuable input to our client, as they could fine-tune their pitch and online presence.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing – one of our clients invested a lot of money in extending the warranty of their products. They saw it as a key way to differentiate themselves from their competition. A month after they launched their program we analyzed online discussions of potential buyers of their equipment, and saw that warranty was not mentioned as a key decision factor. Not only that, but we also saw that the amount of online conversations about their offering didn’t change at all after launching their extended warranty.. These findings helped our client reach a decision regarding the efficacy and value of their new marketing program.

Prioritize your marketing efforts – the digital landscape is becoming more and more fragmented. Multiple social networks, the need to combine inbound and outbound marketing methods, the ever growing pressure to reach results, and the shrinking marketing budgets pose a challenge to every decision maker. The value of Inbound marketing increases based on corporate investment. This investment grows based on the amount of platforms and campaigns a company is managing at any given time. Therefore, prioritizing and choosing which platform to focus on is extremely important. By effectively  listening to online conversations  about your market, you can easily identify the hotspots that require attention. For some, LinkedIn is the key to success. Others  prefer Facebook, and others still – heaven forbid —continue to use good old fashioned forums to discuss their buying decisions. We are using a cool Tra.cx report to quickly plan and prioritize our marketing efforts, and make sure we are handling the most important platforms for our clients.

Listening in love — and in marketing — is a key to success. It is not a one time thing, but should be part of an  ongoing process interwoven in the world of digital marketing. We gave here only a couple of examples on how to use it strategically. Stay tuned for future posts with additional case studies. And in the meantime, we would love to hear your insights.

The Links We Love

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Happy Monday, Everyone!

We hope you had a peaceful, relaxing, and enjoyable weekend.

Now, go get your coffee on,  and check out these links.  We hope you find them as interesting as we did!

First of all, our client, Babylon.com, just started a new series on their blog called “My Life in Translation”

“How many of us have found ourselves visiting or even living in a country where we can barely speak the language?  Sure, while It’s an adventure to navigate new cultural terrain without being able to communicate the way you would ordinarily in your homeland, it is certainly not without its challenges.”

Every few days, Babylon will post a new sotry.  The first two posts are dynamic and engaging, and we hope you’ll check them out:
Babylon is also celebrating International Children’s Day (November 20th!) with a cool infographic featuring fascinating facts about children from around the globe.  For instance, did you know the earliest written version of the Cinderella story comes from China in 860 CE?  And here we thought we could blame shoe fetishes on Disney or the Brothers Grimm!
We also found some interesting videos that highlight creativity that we think are worth sharing:
And, we found some terrific articles about Social Media that we found interesting and relevant:
Finally, there were two clever videos about Facebook that made us laugh out loud.  Literally.  And hopefully you’ll like them, too:
Hopefully you’ve got your caffeine buzz on by now, and are enjoying your Monday!

POST-MORTEM: How the fictitious service, Envoy, can change the way we look at death.

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“Two certainties in life exist: You are born, and you die.” With these words Max Doherty, a vaguely sinister spokesman for the fictitious service Envoy, takes viewers on a journey that messes with our paradigm of life after death.

Seriously. Check out the video. It’s like Twilight Zone meets Vanilla Sky. Only on Facebook.

 

There is something eerily convincing about this video, and not only are the social implications pretty huge, but if we take it a step further, the possibilities are almost terrifying: I’m thinking Zombie Apocalypse in cyberspace. Quick, call M. Night Shyamalan. And Max Doherty, (who in real life is visual designer Max Batt), plays his part so convincingly that I actually thought Envoy was a real service and felt a chill run up my spine.

(Ok, I also tried to search for it on Facebook.)

The overwhelming reaction here at Pravda Media after watching the video was “oh wow, creepy.” And according to Max Batt, “Creepy” is exactly what he’s going for:

“I think that reality is creepy and will get much creepier from here on out! And this is a powerful emotion that resonates with people, so it’s a way in.” Batt told me in our interview.

“Envoy started with observation,” Batt explained. “I had an acquaintance who committed suicide around the year 2008. After observing his Facebook profile after death, it became clear to me that the memorial / remembrance behavior on Facebook was very different than anything going on in the physical world. Over time, I started noticing some errors Facebook was making: saying things like ‘You haven’t talked to Brett in a while, why don’t you reconnect with him,’ when in fact, Brett was dead and could not connect with anybody. These types of social algorithms were meant for the living, but Facebook has not been able to solve the problem of compartmentalizing the dead: so the dead continue to occasionally be run through programs intended for the living and are, for a moment, in a way, reanimated. This was where I started with the Envoy project.

While Envoy could maybe someday inspire a real service, Batt notes that reproducing jargon and slang would prove challenging:

“A group of computer scientists contacted me after Envoy was released. They were super excited about it, and they were convinced the only thing within Envoy that is actually impossible, currently, is the artificial reproduction of slang. So this huge growing field of natural language processing has not yet reached the benchmark of slang reproduction, really.”

Having lost several family members and a few close friends, I feel especially moved by Envoy’s social implications. I mean, there have been so many — too many — times in the last few years when I have yearned to have some kind of contact with a loved one who had passed on. Grief is powerful, and can feed on the illusion of bits and bytes that bring about conversation in real time.

If Envoy were a real service, would I lose touch with reality? Would I forsake my in-real-life friends for the screen names of my mother or Aunt Judy?

And Batt admits that “[Envoy] probably isn’t the healthiest thing for mourners to do. But there will be services like Envoy. Dynamic mourning will materialize in one form or another, so people need to be prepared for it. So much of our lives are already digitally mediated that the physical expiration of people might gradually become less important over time.

There may be a day in our lifetimes, perhaps relatively soon, where we don’t really need to “move on” in the way we think of it today. But ask me again after I experience a profound death.

Still, Envoy is not a real service. Well, not yet, anyway. But if it were, Max Batt says he would definitely want to use it. And yeah, I think I would too.

What about you?