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Google Search – Is Your Website Mobilegeddon Ready?

By | Blog, Comment, ecommerce, Mobile, Research, SEO, tools | No Comments

Google Algorithm Update

Come 21st of April, Google will roll out its new “Mobile Friendly” algorithm update which will preference search results for web sites that are mobile friendly.

For your websites, this simply means you’ll get left out in mobile search results unless your website is deemed by Google bots to be mobile friendly.

But wait!

How should you know if my site is ready for mobilegeddon? Fortunately Google, being Google, has already foreseen the outcry of website owners if they opted to bring their algorithm guessing game to such an important update so they’ve actually rolled out more than enough tools to help you prepare for this big day.

Without further delay, here are the tools and information you’ll need to be able to do a self-diagnosis of your site in preparation for mobilegeddon:

  1. Mobile-Friendly Test – just simply put in your website URL and hit analyze and you’ll know within seconds if your site is up to speed. Hopefully you’ll get a result like so:Mobile-Friendly Test
  2. Google Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Report – This is another tool that will help webmasters identify elements of your website that does not fit Google’s mobile friendly standards, because it could be that some NOT ALL your pages have problems. Errors here should be addressed if you want to keep up on mobile search results.Here’s an example result for good measure:Mobile Usability
  3. Mobile Friendly Guidelines – In the case you’ll find yourself in the undesirable side of this update, after using the previously mentioned tools, fret not as here’s all you need to be able to get back in the good light of Google mobile search results.

Remember, this is not just about penalties but also about rewards. A more mobile friendly web site will be rewarded as much as a non-mobile site is penalised.

And as always, if you need help in keeping up with all these changes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us any time.

Tips on Leveraging Social Proof to Get Subscribers & Customers

By | Blog, Research, Social Media | No Comments

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When was the last time you gave away your email address online? Was there any reluctance in handing it over?

Most internet users tend to protect their email addresses in fear of receiving too many promotional emails they’re not really interested in. Obviously, this is a problem for marketers who want to use email subscribers to grow their business.

But what if there was a way to beat this natural fear?

We believe the answer is social proof.

Social Proof in a Nutshell

Social proof is defined as a psychological phenomenon where people follow the actions of others in order to conform. In other words, it’s people doing things they see other people are doing.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a study aimed at understanding the effects of social proof in consumer behaviour. In it, researchers sought to find out whether social proof was a more powerful motivator than saving money or protecting the environment. They tested four different messages to convince respondents to use electric fans over air conditioning.

The first message told the customer they could save up to $54 a month on electricity.

The second message told the customer they could help save the environment by eliminating up to 262 pounds in greenhouse gases.

The third message tried to convince customers by reminding them saving energy was being social responsible.

The fourth message told customers that 77 percent of their neighbours were using fans to save energy.

As you may have guessed, the fourth message, the one that appealed to positive social proof, was most effective. In this instance, positive social proof proved to be more convincing than saving money, saving the environment, and being social responsible.

How do you use social proof in email marketing?

It’s doesn’t take much, to be honest; just use a simple reinterpretation of the examples by the study above.

1. Show proof of subscriber numbers

Showing the number of subscribers to your email list lets potential customers know that it’s common behaviour for other people to sign up, and more importantly, that it’s relatively safe. Simply adding a subscriber count mechanism to your opt-in forms allows you to tap into the desire of readers to do what others are doing, thus driving email subscribes.

You can also make your calls to action more relatable. Statements like, “Be part of a network of sales professionals 15,000 strong and growing receiving our weekly newsletter,” speaks to a reader’s impulse to join in on the action and see what he is missing out on.

2. Use testimonials from influential figures

If you’re lucky enough to have connections with influencers in your industry, then by all means, do everything you can to get a testimonial from them about your email list. These figures act as endorsers, reassuring readers that “Hey, you should sign up too!”

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. People want to look up to industry influencers because they want to achieve the same success.

How do you use social proof to increase email conversions?

With your email list already built thanks to social proof, you can then move to the next step: conversions. Fortunately, social proof can work here too, and again, all it takes is a little tweaking of the examples mentioned previously.

1. Show off your number of customers

Again, people want a sense of security knowing that other customers have already bought your product or paid for your service. When sending a product-related email encouraging people to purchase, include how many people have bought the same product or service and you’re bound to drive conversions.

The key here is to trigger a fear in missing out in an offer that others have signed up for or purchased. Part of it is curiosity, but a greater part of it is knowing that something, your product, must be worth paying for since many people have done so.

2. Highlight reviews

Reviews are perhaps the most influential factor in shaping a purchase decision, so you definitely want to leverage positive reviews of your products. Include positive, concise, but brief reviews of your products/services in newsletters, and you’re  guaranteed to see an increase in conversions sooner or later.

A Warning

Of course, all of these tips boil down to transparency. If you make things up just to leverage the advantages of social proof, you run the risk of things blowing up in your face, and your reputation forever tainted.

3 Tips on Getting Website Product Descriptions Right

By | Blog, ecommerce, Research, SEO, Web Design, Web Store | No Comments


product description matters

E-commerce solutions like PARts B2 provide detailed product descriptions and details from the supplier using a database 

The basic tenet of e-commerce: Help the customer find your product and get what they want. If a potential customer can’t find your product, you obviously won’t get a sale.

However, connecting with relevant product pages is just the initial phase of the purchase process. And while it’s true that many sites have made improvements to their navigation and information architectures, many product pages on e-commerce sites are still in need crucial improvements.

Enform’s clients already know that product pages should do more than just have a product image, a generic description, and an option to add to the cart. Instead, the page should sell the product, convincing users that the product on the page is exactly what they’re looking for.

Yet as simple as that sounds, many pages fail to do this.

Product pages are especially important since they fill the gap of the traditional shopping experience, where users are normally able to touch the product, examine its packaging, and test or fit it before the purchase. Online, users can only go by what they see on the product production.

Multiple e-commerce studies by web usability experts the Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) show that as much 20% of all observed task failures, or times when users abandoned or failed to make a purchase, were caused by poorly written or incomplete product information.

NN/g recommends the following tips for website product pages.

 

  1. Pages Should Answer Customers’ Questions

NN/g’s research specifically indicates that many users simply couldn’t find enough information to make an informed purchase decision. Now, there’s no way to guarantee that your product pages will answer all questions by potential customers, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for the bare minimum either.

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The J. Peterman Company is a company known for using lengthy, verbose stories for product descriptions, in their print catalogs as well as online.  They also follow their more eloquent prose with standard facts about the item for sale, such as “pointed collar,” “shell buttons at center front,” “1-inch grosgrain ribbon (antique white) at neckline and left front placket,” and “adjustable cuffs.”

 

Besides the most obvious features of the product, shoppers also want to know the smaller details on products they’re eyeing, and that can be anything from accents on clothes; furniture dimensions; product care information; size of toys; storage recommendations for edibles, to whether or not a hotel has a heated outdoor pool working all year.

Where many sites get it wrong is in their focus on basic information, or sometimes even the wrong information.

 

  1. Go Straight to the Point

Just because we told you not to settle for basic information, doesn’t mean you should input long-winded descriptions of your products. There’s a difference between a complete product description, and a wordy one. Users want information that describes the product, not incessant please to buy. One or two calls to action will suffice, don’t go too overboard with the marketing messages.

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Forever21’s brief description covered key details about the product, its construction, and how a customer could wear the item. This was followed by a bulleted list of product details, including fabric, measurements and care which is quite a good example of going straight to the point.

 

Users often skim through text when browsing and reading online, and are more likely to read at the beginning of the text than the end. Given the importance of the first few lines of your product description, don’t waste it on text that doesn’t help the user.

Another great way of conveying the specifics of a product is to use product photos. NN/g’s found out that large and detailed images are a tremendous help to users wanting to know more about a product. Unfortunately, many sites settle for small images that fail to show sufficient product details.

 

  1. Make Comparisons Easy

Several online shoppers view the ability to compare multiple products as a crucial factor in shaping their purchase decisions. It’s imperative that you offer a facility to help users decide which of several products is best for them in a smooth and easy manner.

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Pottery Barn listed information about dressers in a consistent and descriptive way. Two bedside-tables descriptions began with brief overviews, and then bulleted lists that provided comparable details about the products, listed in the same order for each. Each listed dimensions, followed by materials, features, finish information, and hardware details.

 

It also helps if you can reduce the need for comparisons by making your product line simple if your catalogue allows for it. For those that can’t, such as e-commerce sites that carry multiple vendors, some help with tools is needed.

Many e-commerce sites already have tools that enable shoppers to compare products side by side. Some of these are effective, others not so much. According to NN/g, the key here is to offer comparable information in an easy to compare manner between similar products. It also pays to be consistent in the volume of information featured for every product; customers don’t like seeing plenty of information on one product, and hardly any on another.

Overall, remember that many customers are actually looking for a reason or confirmation to buy your product or transact, try not to disappoint.

Facebook, the kids are moving out

By | Blog, Facebook, Research, Social Media, Uncategorized, Webpage Monitoring | No Comments

SWEDEN-FACEBOOK-DATA-CENTER-SERVERS

Social media is a finicky business—just ask MySpace.

Just a few months after being acquired by News Corporation in 2006, MySpace somehow lost its ‘cool factor’, turning from a once thriving social network where teenagers shared music, videos, and photos in ways only teenagers could fathom, to the online version of a ghost town.

MySpace losing its reputation as the cool place to be on the Internet can be partly attributed to the rise of Facebook, which has grown to have a base of 1.2 billion active users as of September 2013. But even the social media giant may not be so safe, with a recent blog post casting doubts on the company’s perception among youths, potentially leading to a similar exodus of users.

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Speculations like these are important because Facebook has for the most part, enjoyed the bullish patronage of investors. Since going public, the company’s share price has soared to more than double in 2013, ending the year above $54. It’s a clear indication of how the market just loves to gobble up social media stocks, and it shows their belief that Facebook’s users won’t tire of the site.

Enter Daniel Miller

Stirring up the pot is an article on the academic research site, The Conversation. Published by Daniel Miller, professor of material culture at University College London, the article describes how young users are reportedly turning away from Facebook in large numbers, going as far as to say the social network “is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried.” Miller notes that most teenagers now prefer to use photo-sharing and messaging mobile apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat—places where parents aren’t around.

Miller drew his conclusions on Facebook’s waning popularity with young Internet users after conducting a survey among 16- to 18-year olds in Britain, part of an EU-funded report on social networks.

Critics responded to the article, pointing out that Miller’s small sample of just 40 students was far too small to extrapolate such a sweeping conclusion from. In response, Miller published a follow-up article to defend his findings, revealing that he had based his conclusions on a wider set of discussions. He also pointed out that a journalist had written his original post, which explains its alarmist tone—something he vowed would be fixed in the future.

Facebook’s safe, or is it?

So as it turns out, Facebook isn’t quite facing a MySpace moment. Still, the social network can’t afford to rest easy, which might partly explain the acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion. As is common with big networks, Facebook has drawn huge numbers of older users, as shown by this chart below from Pew Research Centre.

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It’s also worth mentioning that Facebook CFO David Ebersman  admitted that daily usage of Facebook by younger teens had decreased. It doesn’t help that the social network has a growing reputation of being inhabited by parents, the bane of most youngsters.

But saying there’s a mass defection happening would be irresponsible. It is true, however, that teens now use a wide range of social networks for different purposes, this according to Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American Life project. They’ve observed that ‘safer’ content is posted on Facebook, while more intimate posts (read risqué) are uploaded to networks not penetrated by parents as of yet—it’s an observation echoed by Professor Miller.

The teens may not be leaving in droves, but Facebook knows all too well the dangers of being casted as ‘uncool,’ as evidenced by their recent attempt to acquire Snapchat.

 

Are Facebook Pages Still Worth It In 2014?

By | Blog, Facebook, Research, Social Media, tools, Uncategorized, Webpage Monitoring | No Comments

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From occupying a dominant position just a few years ago, Facebook’s fan (business) pages have seen their ‘fan reach’ sink to an alarming low, leading to speculation of their impending demise. If you maintain your own business page, fan reach is defined as the percentage of your fans that see your post after its published on Facebook.

Fan reach falls drastically

From 2009 to 2010, Facebook’s fan reach on its business pages was at 20+ percent, with many pages enjoying record impression results. Since then, page administrators have seen severe drops in their fan reach, so much so that even with significant growth, it would take at least 2 years to recover. Here’s a brief timeline on the problem put together by Just Ask Kim.

  • 2 years ago: Fan reach falls to 16 percent, a reduction but not enough to worry about
  • 1 year ago: Fan reach falls yet again to 14 percent
  • 8 months ago: Fan reach drops to 12 percent
  • 4 months to present: Fan reach has dropped to an all time low of 9 percent, with several pages reporting lower impressions

Of course, the numbers above are simplifications meant to make the downward trend understandable. But, in any case, several marketers have been forced to rethink their strategies, in particular, just how much time and effort they should spend on their FB pages with the start of 2014.

Not all pages are equal

Facebook-paid-advertising

Yet despite the fatalistic attitudes of many online and social media marketers, a subset of Facebook pages have actually been spared from this shortfall in fan reach. Marketers who have allocated a stable budget for Facebook advertising and creating effective ads have not been affected as significantly. While fan reach has fallen across the board, the effects are less consequential because they have a funnel that capitalizes on their ad strategy.

In other words, those paying for ads on Facebook aren’t feeling the decrease in fan reach as much as the people relying on ‘free’ reach are.

 Cough up the money

Similar to how Google had shifted its attention to its paid advertisement system, Facebook is slowly making a compelling case for page owners to cough up the cash and protect themselves from dwindling fan reach. And if your plan is to do it on a long-term basis, you’ll have to come up with a strategy that funnels money out of your leads.

Facebook fan pages have gone from being a free way to market your brand on the world’s largest social network, to joining the ranks of paid media. Facebook is of course, well within its right to do this— and are using this to maximize their revenue.

It’s now up to marketers to respond to this paradigm shift.

No budget? Here’s what you can do.

Facebook-EdgeRank-Formula

Just Ask Kim has taken the liberty of outlining some measures you can take to improve your fan reach without having spend one cent.

  • Study the EdgeRank formula to figure out how Facebook rewards pages with more reach and what they ignore.
  • Use your fan list to your advantage. Use posts that encourage discussions among your fans to show signs of engagement on your page, which in turns increases EdgeRank, thereby letting more fans see your posts.

Do note that if you choose not to invest Facebook’s business pages for your brand, you’ll have to do more research and work. In any case, we here at Enform can help you achieve better results with your social media presence.

 

Majority of Email Opens Take Place on Mobile Devices Studies Show

By | Automailer, Blog, ecommerce, Mobile, Research, Web Design, Web Store, Webpage Monitoring | No Comments

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Over the last year we have seen multiple studies from firms like Experian Marketing Services and Yesmail showing an interesting and important trend: the number of people opening their emails on mobile devices continues to rise, with 50 percent or more email opens occurring on the mobile platform.

As the year comes to an end, yet another study by Return Path, yields similar findings. Their research shows that in December 2013, 51 percent of email opens happened on some kind of mobile device. The study also marks the first time ever that Return Path has observed mobile email opens getting a majority of the platform share.

Most notably, the highest percentage (62 percent) of mobile email opens occurred over Christmas, likely caused by the deluge of holiday greetings and shopping transactions made by consumers. Perhaps

Similar Findings by IBM: Online Shopping

tablet

Further supporting this, IBM also reported having 48 percent of all online shopping traffic coming from mobile devices on Christmas day. Results are up by 28.3 percent compared to Christmas Day in 2012, while also surpassing the traffic share of last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping blitzes. Mobile also accounted for 29 percent of all online sales on Christmas Day for IBM, showing a significant increase of 40 percent compared to last year.

Other noteworthy findings by IBM include a clear pattern—and a continuing trend—indicating more purchases happen on tablet devices, with browsing occurring predominantly on smartphones. IBM’s research shows smartphones account for more traffic compared to tablets, at 28.5 percent and 18.1 percent respectively, but account for only half as many sales, at 9.3 percent and 19.4 percent respectively.

More Shopping Traffic on iOS than Android

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Another interesting find by IBM is how iOS devices reportedly drove more than twice as much shopping traffic, compared to Android devices on Christmas Day, at 32.6 percent versus 14.8. Return Path also showed a similar disparity, this time on the email front. The market research firm found that 86 percent of mobile opens happened on an iOS device on Christmas day—58 percent of opens occurred on an iPhone, 28 percent on an iPad.

A similar study by Movable Ink also found a major imbalance between emails opened on Android and iOS mobile devices.

More Findings

It also comes as no big surprise that Return Path found that the majority of email messages on mobile devices were opened on weekends and holidays, while emails opened on traditional desktop computers spiked during Mondays. In other words, mobile opens happened when people were away from work, and desktop opens while at work.

For Internet service providers (ISPs) and email service clients in the United States, vast increases in email opens occurred on Gmail in December, which Return Path correlated to a recent change Google made to display images, which are now enabled by default.

If anything, these findings show what we’ve been telling our clients throughout the previous year, that is, not to forget to design emails for the mobile format. Mobile email opens are no longer just a trend—they’re here to stay, and will only continue to grow.

Grow your brand on Instagram

By | Instagram, Research, Social Media | No Comments

Marketing Opportunities on Instagram

At Enform, one of the most frequent questions we get from users revolves around the possibilities of using the popular photo and video sharing social network, Instagram, as a marketing tool.

Instagram is a free mobile app available on both iOS and Android (and soon Windows Phone) that allows users to take photos and videos and share them with their followers. The service is quick, easy, and fun to use, with users being able to choose from 20 image filters that they can apply to their photos, giving them a “vintage” look, reminiscent of the old 1:1 Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images.

In 2011, Instagram added hashtags to promote the discoverability of photographs and link users with each other. It’s through hashtags and @mentions where marketers and businesses can take advantage of the platform.

One of the main reasons why marketers should consider Instagram as a marketing platform lies in its mobility. With more and more users now owning a mobile device of some sort, web usage behaviors have unsurprisingly changed, with mobile apps now getting more usage. In fact, one study shows that 40 percent of web users respond better to visual content like image and video than plain text.

Instagram, when used correctly, offers a great way to communicated with your audience whom you can build trust and credibility with; it’s a social network that allows you to show people what your business is up to in a dead simple manner.

 

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Ken Block’ss Instagram (@Kblock43), with 350K+ followers, it is one of the most popular in the automotive scene.

 

Simplicity

Taking good photos and videos isn’t easy, but Instagram allows amateurs to create beautiful and expressive photographs and videos with tools that make the process quick and simple. Gone are the days of artistic images created solely with Photoshop—Instagrams filter presets are now the way to go.

From the view of business and marketing, when an image of video grabs your attention, you can choose to like that post and/or click the account to follow it, getting updates from the account on your feed. All you need to do for your audience to do that is tell a good enough story through your visual content.

Hashtags

Just like Twitter, Instagram allows for hashtags, which can be used along with image or video posts.  The hashtags you use to describe your content are the means in which people can find or follow you.  Think of them as keywords associated with your brand or product.

Playing on Emotions

Think of Instagram as a ‘roided up version of Twitter. The microblogging concept is still there, but instead of just 140 characters, you get to market your brand and products with the use of imagery. And while many in the B2B may instantly think “product photos!” remember that it shouldn’t be just about the products you sell. Instagram is all about tapping into the feelings of people with images, whether it’s  photos of sunsets, nature, oceans, food, or whatever else is visually pleasing.

Sure, corporate adoption of Instagram may not be overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get started with the platform anyway.

Increasing Car Sales with New Methods and Technology

By | Announcements, Automotive, Industry, Research | No Comments

virtual showroom car sales

Automotive Industry Moving Towards Car Showroom Updates with New Technology

According to a 2013 Australian automotive industry survey, 32 per cent of car showroom operators plan to increase their sales by over 50 per cent through 2020 with the use of new technologies like virtual showrooms, social media, e-commerce, and other online communications tools.

The car salesperson is no doubt a fixture in any car showroom setting scenario around the world, but even he/she will eventually feel the pinch of technology and how it always manages to change the status quo.

The survey, conducted by Australian Automobile Dealers Association (AADA) and commissioned to Moore Stephens Automotive, also found out that well over 60 percent of car dealerships have less than 30 per cent of sales coming from online transactions.

According to Moore Stephens Automotive head, Brett Fowler, the continuous growth in online sales should force the automotive industry to adapt multi-channel online communications to drive online transactions. He adds that the shift is simply in line with the measures other retail sectors are currently utilising.

The survey also found that respondents identified the increase in online retail activity as being a crucial factor that will affect not only existing advertising and marketing campaigns, but also the very concept of investing in a traditional ‘brick and mortar’ showroom. In fact, as much as , 79 per cent of respondents saw the value in having a virtual automobile showroom.

While the survey shows that there is certainly a lot of interest in virtual showrooms and how they can be used to generate sales over the next seven years, the pressure is on dealerships and franchisors to make the virtual store functional and financially viable enough to replace the brick and mortar premises. And then of course, is the prevailing notion that customers, while using the Internet to find product information, still want to do the usual test drive.

Fowler understands this, pointing out that many automotive retailers and customers still see personal interaction as a key factor in the process of purchasing a vehicle. However, he pointed out that online sales and communication can only enhance the relationship and dealer. He adds that customers don’t just use the Internet and the retailer’s website to find more information about their desired automobile, it’s also a way for them to review the retailer’s services, such as parts, servicing, financing, etc.

Ultimately, the purpose of developing an Internet presence is not just to facilitate online transactions, but to deliver a better product experience. With customers getting more information about a product before visiting the retailer, they are more likely than ever to spend less time  negotiating with car salespersons.

These changes should by no means be limited to car showrooms. Automobile parts vendors should take note of the obvious lessons from this trend. As more consumers choose to do their business online, it pays to provide customers with easy and accessible ways to communicate and make transactions with their respective businesses. Failing to do so means missing out on an opportunity to increase revenue.

 

 

Social Media Generates Intense Interest. Will it be Profitable in 2013?

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According to a 2012 study by Econsultancy, social media engagement proved to be the most exciting digital opportunities for marketers during the previous year. The study, which saw 54 percent of respondents—consisting of company marketers and agents—considered social media as the online marketing opportunity they’re most passionate about, rating it ahead of three digital opportunities.

These include:

  • Mobile optimisation at 38 percent
  • Content optimisation at 37 percent
  • Conversion rate optimisation at 31 percent
  • Brand/viral marketing at 27 percent
  • Video marketing at 24 percent

Social Media Considered a Top Priority

Surveyed marketers also noted that for the year 2012, social media marketing would be included in their top three priorities. In fact, social media engagement, along with content optimisation, topped the list at 39 percent. This was followed by:

  • Brand/viral marketing at 32 percent
  • Mobile optimisation at 29 percent
  • Content marketing at 29 percent

Passion Not Translating to Revenue

The same survey however, shows that while social media marketing is a high priority and engaging point of discussion, marketers still can’t figure out how to make it effective when it comes to generating revenue. Among the companies and agencies who participated in the survey, close to half admitted that while social media has added new goals and programs to their marketing schemes, it hasn’t generated much revenue to support new hires.

However, if used correctly, social media can provide a platform for business growth and networking at a convenience. The use of blogs and social networks, for instance, Facebook and Twitter, companies can market a new product or offers directly to their intended market. But, it is imperative that any message sent via social media needs to convey a strong and meaningful message or else it will be seen as ‘junk’ and become irrelevant.

What Will the New Year Hold?

With 2013 upon us, we at Enform believe that the time is ripe for social media to finally become a real income-generating platform for companies looking to expand their online presence. We earlier reported a disparity between the goals of brand marketers and what consumers wanted from brands, and we think the two camps will finally see eye to eye this year.

 

Brand Relationship: How Consumers Respond to Social Network Marketing Messages

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When was the last time you ‘Liked’ a brand’s Facebook post on your News Feed or followed a brand on Twitter?

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A recent survey conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Pitney Bowes Software delved into how consumers respond to social media marketing messages from the brands they follow. The study shows that while close to half of consumers welcome messages from their followed brands, the response is eliminated when terminating the ‘follow’ or ‘like’ relationship—only 18 percent of online consumers welcome social media marketing messages from brands they don’t like or follow.

On the other hand, 1 in every 5 consumers who knowingly follow a brand, find their social media marketing messages irritating. This figure jumps to 40 percent in people who don’t follow the brand.

The study, titled “Social Media: Contrasting the Marketing and Consumer Perspectives,” involved 300 respondents composed of senior marketing executives working in business to consumer companies in the US, Australia, Germany, France, and the UK, along with 3,000 consumers from similar markets.

Discrepancies

What struck us the most here at Enform is the disconnect between what brands are doing with social media messages and what consumers want. By comparing how marketers use social media messaging for marketing purposes with what consumers like, Bourne’s study uncovers a number of discrepancies.

For instance, the study reveals that 36 percent of consumers are interested in messages about upcoming sales and promos, but only 9 percent of social media marketers report to creating such messages. Meanwhile, 36 percent of consumers expressed interested in receiving messages about new services and products, but only 19 percent of marketers have created such messages.

Marketers apparently use social media messaging as a means of interacting directly with customers, but only 15 percent of those surveyed report to seeing value in this, preferring instead to getting messages about discounts and bargain coupons.

Another discrepancy the study found is how 24 percent of marketers see newsletters as crucial in generating consumer interest, even though only 9 percent of consumers like receiving them.

Social Media Still Not Supreme

When it comes to brand interaction, only 19 percent of consumers admitted to using social media to contact companies online. Instead, 67 percent of users report to using email, followed by 31 percent who call companies, and 30 percent contacting the company through their official website. Of course, these preferences may change over time.

Given these results, we, at Enform believe that a change in strategy as far as social media messages shouldn’t hurt. These results however, do not mean that the best way to use social media, is to inundate customer base with spam; the best approach is, always send something of value to your customers.