Archive for March, 2011

Some Captivating Social Media Stats – Now & Then!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Social media has come of age. There was a time when only a scant few would use social media tools to market their products or services, and even then after much deliberation and little expectations…but, boy have things changed!

Nowadays any marketing executive worth his salt knows that success in marketing cannot be achieved if the power of social media is not harnessed. After all, hard data does not lie. Let’s take a look at how the social media environment has changed in the last one year…just to get an idea of exactly how fast it is growing every single day.

A year back social networking platform Twitter had about 75m user accounts. Since then, the microblogging service has added 100 million more users, and has, according to some reports, even facilitated revolutions.

In early 2010 or so, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook had about 350 million users who were actively using the service. Then, towards the end of 2010 there was a lot of hoopla when it touched the 500 million user mark. But today even that number seems paltry, as Facebook proudly boasts of an astonishing 640 million active users worldwide.

We all know that Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular social networking platforms to be used, but let’s not discount the social media platform of choice for professionals – LinkedIn! Last year, LinkedIn claimed to have 50 million users worldwide. Cue to 2011 and the service grew by a full 100 percent. That’s right…presently LinkedIn has over 100 million professionals, business executives, corporate agents, and so forth connecting with each other through this social networking service.

Another social platform that has seen incredible rise in popularity over the last one year is the popular image sharing website Flickr. This online community which is extensively used by bloggers to embed and share photographs, images, illustrations, etc claimed that it hosts more than 4 billion images in 2010. Presently the number seems to have grown by almost 25% and in December 2010, the number of images hosted by this website has touched 5 billion.

That’s all for now, but we’ll be back soon with more interesting tidbits from the world of social media!

Is Your Company Facebook Page Effective?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

By the way…can anybody give us the present number of Facebook users? Oh! Everybody’s busy browsing through the Internet to dig out the stats. Hold on…here it is. As of the end of the 8th week of 2011, there are an estimated 642.5 million Facebook users worldwide. Reportedly, Facebook hit the 600-million mark in early January 2011.

Facebook allows business owners to set up company pages to promote their products and services. However, we noticed that companies often set up a page by slapping on their company logo, some basic information and not much else. Needless to say, these are not very effective in engaging with people because there is very little thought behind them. Often, this is because entrepreneurs or marketers don’t really know what makes a Facebook page effective. So today we have some suggestions that will help business owners create a useful and engaging company page on Facebook.

Regular wall posts: Keep posting updates on your wall, informing the visitors about your products and services. Constant engagement is crucial here. Your wall also serves as a platform for your customers to express their views and opinions. So, you need to respond to their queries and feedback. All these efforts will enhance customer interaction and help you establish strong relationships with your clients.

Keep uploading photos: When Facebook gives you the option to put your photos on social media…why not use the facility? There are several brands – big and small, which keep putting up pictures of their products, groups of satisfied customers, well-furnished office premises, and so on. Additionally tagging customers to those photos makes them feel special and closer to the company.

Create a few custom page apps: Hire the services of experienced app developers, and create some customized page apps for your profile. Some unique online games, quizzes, and other interactive features can be used to direct more traffic to your page.

Hopefully these tips will help you convert Facebook users to your fans, and fans to customers. Good luck!

LinkedIn Is an Interesting Way of Achieving Success on Social Media

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Presently, scores of businesses all across the globe are using different social networking sites to achieve commercial success. While big and powerful corporate enterprises are hiring the services of renowned digital marketers…small businesses are busy educating themselves with the dos and don’ts of social media marketing. Under such circumstances, it’s crucial that these SMEs understand the various aspects of social media marketing, realize how it can work wonders for them, and finally make a splash!

We have talked about Facebook frequently in our blog…but today we want to discuss another equally powerful social media platform…LinkedIn. For newcomers to the world of social media, LinkedIn is a social media service that focuses on professional connectivity rather than personal ones. LinkedIn is the perfect place to strengthen your existing connections and improve client interaction. Moreover, through this social networking site you can also gain information about your immediate competitors in the market, which can give you an edge over them.

Now, let’s see how a business can become successful on LinkedIn, even when minimal efforts are employed:

• Treat the LinkedIn profile exactly the way you treat your business website. Keep it clean, free of grammatical and logical errors, and of course, stay active with regular posts and updates.

• Since you would be using LinkedIn for business purposes, we firmly believe that you must use a professional photo for the profile. A close up snap with a smile is more than enough…don’t put a full body shot of yourself with your wife and kids, and your new Chevy in the background. This would be completely unprofessional!

• Once you are familiar with LinkedIn, create a group (we would recommend that you keep it open) and make sure that you moderate it regularly…keeping it interesting and interactive.

Stay tuned to our blog and you would get more tips and ideas on how to use different social networking sites for business purposes!

How Can B2B Marketers Brandish Blogs To Boost Business

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

The whole wide of the web is teeming with blogs—Technorati has indexed 133,000,000 blogs since 2002 and according to Universal McCann, 77% of all Internet users read blogs regularly. But more than this influx of blogs on the Internet, what has got businesses interested is the fact that Technorati found out from their survey that out of 7,000 bloggers from 24 countries, 47.1% are influenced to buy a product or enlist a service after they have read about it in a blog. These are staggering statistics and only go on to reiterate the potential of blogs as marketing tools.

So how can B2B marketers brandish blogs to their marketing advantage? Here are some nifty tips:

  • Make your blogs the voice of your employees. Encourage your employees to blog about the company—the products and services—and also share their views and express their opinions. Enhance your repertoire of blogs by requesting contributions from employees from varied business groups as well, like sales, marketing, Research and Development, and support. This will ensure that your blogs are never short on the uniqueness front—of perspective, content, and insight.
  • Create riveting blogs. The popularity of a blog depends on how interesting it is to the readers. Let not your blogs assume the tone of a press release or a promotion copy and harp solely on the products and services that your business offers. Rather ask your employees to think of blogs as platforms to express their views and opinions. Encourage them to leave a slice of their unique personalities on their writings; there is nothing like a human touch to liven up things.
  • Allow readers to comments. The immense popularity of the various social networking sites has stemmed from the fact that these podiums facilitate high levels of interaction and engagement between the users. So, to incorporate this feature of engagement in your blogs, allow readers to post comments.  This will also allow your blog to become a topic of conversation.
  • Invite expert contributors. Analysts, executives, columnists, and technologists—these are the people with insider’s knowledge of the industry. Invite them to contribute blogs and you can be sure that their write-ups on emerging trends, comments on a raging debate, and perspectives on industry-relevant events will attract new readers and also enhance your credibility in the eyes of existing customers.

The above-mentioned tips will surely help B2B business owners harness the power of blogs to market their business.

A Facebook “Like” and Beyond

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Catching up on the neighborhood gossip when out for a morning jog around the park; raising a storm over a hot cuppa at the local coffee shop; or meeting up with old friends over a frothing mug at the pub while returning home from work—this is how people met in days not too long ago. But now the new meeting places are the social networking sites. And with more than 700 status updates now being posted every second, Facebook is a bustling bazaar. It is thus not surprising that marketers are playing out their strategies on Facebook.

The ubiquitous “like” on Facebook is as important to a business owner as closing a deal. But nowadays, businesses are thinking beyond the “like” and striving to devise ploys to engage and mobilize their audiences and excite and incite them to act in the real world. Profit-making motives are not the sole motivating factors behind these initiatives; in fact, businesses are mostly driven by their desire to connect with their existing customers in a humane way.

The following are some instances where business owners have engaged and mobilized their Facebook followers in ingenious ways and spurred them to action:

  • Kohl’s engages local communities to restore schools. As part of the 10th anniversary plans for their “Kohl’s Care” for Kids program, Kohl’s decided to convene their millions of followers scattered across various geographical communities for a cause—raise USD 10 million for 20 deserving schools. They mobilized not only students but also parents and schools to support their program and vote for the school they would love to see prosper.

This immensely popular drive had astounding results—the Kohl’s vote bank drew about 12 million votes and the fan page was flooded with about 400 posts every day.

  • Kraft mobilizes fans to fight hunger. Kraft came up with a novel idea to egg their Facebook fans for a noble cause. Their “Fight Hunger Facebook Game” tapped onto a popular theme—football—to raise awareness about hunger and get millions involved in the cause to fight the menace. As more and more people got hooked to the game, Kraft donated more and more meals to Feeding America.

This drive has seen Kraft donating about 220,000 meals. The numbers are increasing by the day!

  • Skittles gets together fans to fund education. Skittles launched their “Scholarship the Rainbow” drive where every “like” on their fan page generated some amount of money that went on to fund a student’s stint at the bowling college. The drive ultimately garnered USD 10,000, from a staggering 150,000 likes.

These instances only go on to prove that businesses perceive Facebook and also other social networking media as much more than mere marketing tools. In fact, they have readily recognized the human face of Facebook and its immense potential in mobilizing people for a cause.