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?


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.


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.


Changes in the World of News Media

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Almost everyone knows the far-reaching effects of the global recession that began in 2008, with millions of jobs lost, thousand of foreclosures and thousands more declaring bankruptcy. However, hardly anyone was privy to the state of American news media during those times of economic crisis.

After 2 consecutive years of low revenues and cutbacks, it seems that the news media industry in the United States finally saw a better year overall in 2010. Cutbacks in news agencies saw decrease during the previous year, and most sectors were beginning to approach normal levels of revenue.

Of course, there are a few notable exceptions. The newspaper industry for example, still suffers from an annual sharp decrease in revenue. But then again, the problems that plague this sector never really had anything to do with the recession anyway. As early as 2004, analysts have already predicted the demise of America’s newspapers due to the growth of the Internet—the economic crisis just exacerbated the situation.

What’s more important behind all this is the shift in journalism methods and avenues, which became more evident in the last year. The main problem is no longer about increasing an audience and carrying out experiments to generate more revenue. Instead, the challenge lies in maximizing the reach of digital media, a platform which now has an unforeseeable future due to the extremely fast pace of technology.

While the old structure of news organizations producing most of the content remains largely unchanged, it’s the way that content is delivered to consumers and advertisers that’s evolving at an unpredictable rate. Each technological advancement essentially adds a new dimension to the way news is provided to an audience; it also brings in new players who have control over how news is aggregated.

It used to be that all news organizations had to do was produce the news and rely on networks to sell the ads. As the Internet became a more mature platform to share content, aggregators such as search engine Google and social networks like Facebook and Twitter were tasked to spread the news to a large audience.

However, the combination of the Internet and cutting edge technology has made changes to the way news is consumed. As people begin to rely more on mobile media consumption, the rules of the game take an interesting turn as well. News organizations must now abide by the designs and rules of software developers and digital device manufacturers, as of the moment, both Apple and Google are leading the race, with each company coming out with their own line of mobile devices and mobile software.

This in effect has changed the way ads are created and displayed, with new players now exercising more control over revenue and audience reach. Enform can help your company take advantage of this shift. Give us a call anytime so we can discuss newer and better ways of engaging your target market.

Survey Shows In-depth Look on American Twitter Habits

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Ever wondered how many people actually use Twitter? To give you a better picture about the Twitter craze, a recent survey released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project indicates that for every 10 adults in America who use the Internet, 1 of them is a Twitter user.

The organisation’s survey reveals that 8% of adults who go online use Twitter—2% of which logon to the site on any given day. Even more interesting are the findings which show that 74% of adults now use the Internet on a regular basis, which implies that Twitter users now make up 6% of all adults in the US with similar metrics in some other countries.

Youth and young adults seem to make up most of this tweet-happy populace. According to the survey’s demographic analysis, late teens and young adults age 18 to 29 tweet at a higher rate (14%) than adults age 30 to 49 (7%). Americans aged 65 and above have the lowest tweet rate, at only 4%.

After asking respondents on the type of content they would often tweet about, it was found that 72% of Twitter users shared updates about everyday happenings and activities in their personal life. 62% of users admitted tweeting about their work and interests, with 12% doing so every day. 55% of users were more into current events, with another 54% posting humorous anecdotes and musings.

Enform believes that the survey gives you a good picture as to how Twitter plays a role in users and “usomers” everyday lives and suggests ways in which it could be used to better market products relevant to interests. The opportunities lie in successfully tying in products, brands and stories to mesh in to campaigns that replicate and distribute, the essence of effective social media marketing.

Source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/1-in-10-adult-web-users-tweets-15305/

Disc Brakes Australia working on new web site

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DBA looks at opportunities in social media through a new and expanded online presence. Here’s what DBA Steve has to say about it.

Hi there,
Its been some time since we spoke and I just wanted to say hello again and let you know what’s been happening at DBA.
The global downturn has affected everyone and most everything, particularly the car industry but our vehicles still need to be serviced. DBA sees this as an important time as people look for value and quality and we’re doing our best to make sure that we continue to deliver. 
Part of the value story is to make it easier for customers to find our product and get it when they need it. To help with that we’ve started working pretty hard on a brand new web site that should hopefully make it easier than ever to find the right DBA product. Another part of the job is making better connections with our customers and so we’re looking at the best possible ways of staying connected and keeping people up to date while still helping out on forums.
The new web site should help here too as we add blogs (yeap, I get to post more stuff), connections to popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and the option to just tune in and see what’s going on. We want to stay connected with the people using our product so I’d like to invite you to start a new connection with DBA as we get closer to the new site release date in August.  A lot of this stuff is also very new to me but I’m told its important (and very current) so here goes….
You can now follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/DBAsteve or using Twitter http://twitter.com/DBASteve/ . Of course the old fashioned email stuff still works using dbasteve@dba.com.au and we’ve still got our Contact page where you can log your details and ask us a question or register here to saty connected via our mail list and member program

http://www.dba.com.au/2006/NEWS/default.asp .

I’m told that on the new site we’ll also have a mail list function where you can subscribe to updates and even join in and comment on what you think of us and what we have to say. Connecting with our customers is a two-way thing and we would like to know to what you think and what we can do for you so please make use of that if you having something to say.
And, one of the important things you might want to say now is that you’d rather we didn’t contact you again and all you need do is click Unsubscribe here to let us know. This should send us an email and we’ll take you off the list. But if you choose to stay with us, we’ll be launching a new feedback program in a week or so leading up to the new web site launch so stay tuned for more details.
In the meantime, make sure you take a look at what’s new from DBA at  http://www.dba.com.au/2006/new_products/new_products.asp and http://www.dba.com.au/2006/EVO/default.asp or feel free to email me directly with any feedback or questions. We very much look forward to staying in touch.
All the best.
DBA Steve

Credibility or simply a fashion statement?

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British ministers get Twitter guide

That’s the heading of a recent article in The Australian newspaper, link 

Apart from the endorsement and implied credibility for what is obviously becoming one of the most important broadcast social media channels of the day, there are a number of really interesting points here… but wait. Didn’t I just say “broadcast” social media? Isn’t that a contradiction and a pseudo blasphemous statement to use about any web related media tool? Possibly, but not for me and not for this discussion… 

What I find interesting in this article is stuff like this;

 “The 20-page document, produced by Neil Williams, BIS’s head of corporate digital channels, says that departments can use Twitter to communicate better with the public and it recommends that tweets should be “human and credible”.  

 The human and credible aspect is critical in effective communication in the social media space and our clients will recognise this from our briefing and training documents. In simple terms, don’t post something in writing that you wouldn’t say to to someone verbally. Avoid ‘corporate” speak (or bureaucratic speak I guess they’re saying) and just talk to people.    

The other interesting quote is;

“Though the account will be anonymous, it is helpful to define a hypothetical ‘voice’ so that tweets from multiple sources are presented in a consistent tone,” the guide says. “The tone of our Twitter channel must therefore be in informal spoken English and written for the channel.”

Apart from supporting the first point, it also mentions the “hypothetical voice” which should also resonate with our clients. The key is that the voice needs to be representative of the company, brand or organisation and effectively becomes the voice of the brand etc. That is both good and bad news as many learn at some cost to sales or brand value. I think the web and PR industry also refer to this as the “tone” of the text or message and that consistency of tone is critical in a good web site however getting the right tone in the first place is even more important.

And before the more left-leaning amongst us start reaching for their conspiracy guides and keyboards, the upside of a company “tone” strategy in our view, is ultimately better service and accessibility for the customer…. dare we say, more human?