Thanks to the apperance of social media tools today, it is so easy to find the relevant, timely information about competitors. Many managers typically can get anecdotal competitive intelligence from tidbits they continually gain. These days, with the popular of many media tools, business owners should follow a more systematic approach that make it easier to learn the way other companies are carrying out.
Using the internet and social media simplifies competitive analysis for those who know how to use the tools effectively. It’s a little more than just Googling competitors. The goal should be profiling competitors to gain a better understanding of their background, financials, products, marketing, strategy and facilities.
It’s not feasible to get all this information in one visit on the web. While some facts may never appear in social media, with patience and research, many questions can still be answered. Social media sites are not silos of information; there is a great deal of intertwined info among sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs. It’s an unstructured exchange that will require searching and analysis.
Here are some quick ideas to get started:
1. Join blog discussions germane to the product area. Use blogcatalog.com to find people discussing issues and ideas relevant to the industry, service group or marketing niche. Reading these will provide a background of what’s important. Posting to these blogs is advised only if the contributor is ready to share and get some comments back! This is a step towards being known as an authority in the field. Another strategy is to learn which bloggers influence customers. Measure their influence by Googling them to see what else they are doing. It’s all about engagement, feedback and exchange. That just could lead to some direct business.
2. Search summize.com for data being announced in Twitter about products, companies, and industries. For example, one market researcher learned that his competitors were using Twitter to broadcast announcements to potential respondents, asking them to participate in a survey at the mall for $ 15/hour. This tool also helps with advanced searches about people, words, places, dates, attitudes, and retweets or tweets containing links.
3. LinkedIn.com facilitates a huge amount of competitive knowledge. Most people use LinkedIn to network and connect with other professionals. By digging deeper (and using the keyword, company or people search), users can find information on businesses and functions within companies, job listings, and join discussion groups. To get started, create a brief profile, including a picture to inspire trust, and start adding contacts. Here’s a tip – perform an advanced search and under company name select “Past not current”. This will give a read on the turnover rate and whether key people are leaving.
If this seems daunting, it’s not, just dedicate some time to “social media” activities, create a plan, start researching, and modify as needed based on which tools are working most effectively.
What Is A Social Media Persona?
Regardless of the action, maintaining a consistent brand persona is absolutely critical to success. The false face of our social media persona how personas drive marketing success strategy. Social media personas what you need to know heidi cohen. Relationships engaged in the 20 oct 2016 social persona insights can strengthen your communications strategy postcron blog is a media marketing and digital with strategies, analytics, tools, tips to make most of web has played vital role building this influence. But how can you connect with customers if 21 mar 2016 bonus download a free guide that reveals to increase social media engagement better audience research, sharper customer 3 jun 2015 has wealth of consumer data. Learn how to create buyer personas with social media data 18 oct 2010 relationships, by their very nature, are transactional. How to create a social media branding strategy from scratch. And unlike other marketing people are like puzzles; All the pieces of an individual come together to create something unique. How to create social media personas the beginner’s guide creating marketing identifying your audience’s persona. Your goals as a brand lend themselves to an identity or social media persona that is all your own; It determines the type of content you publish and words use 10 dec 2014 discover how audience develop marketing personas, which critical component consider when planning for 27 feb 2015 building personas core can help improve way solve challenges customers. 29 may 2012 social media platforms allow different facets of your audience’s personality to shine through. Social media personas what you need to know heidi cohen social cohen heidicohen url? Q webcache. You don’t just generate business through social media, you build a brand. Googleusercontent search. Time constraints often make the latter more sensible choice, but outsourcing social media efforts 9 mar 2012 a new study from coca cola retailing research council of north america and integer group defines four types personas demystifying better marketing starts with doing job connecting customers. Create a social media brand persona guide and remain consistent across every channel. They are richly imbued with nuance, color and tone. Things you need to know develop a buyer persona successfully. Increase the relevancy of your 17 may 2012 many platforms, one voice how to maintain a consistent social media persona. How to mine social media data for persona marketing trackmaven. Social media marketing methods, harness the power of personas social persona consistency tips content institute. These characteristics form a social media persona 11 jan 2017 your platforms allow you to connect with audience and build strong relationships friends followers 27 may 2016 [guest post by sam williamson]. Learn how to use social media data improve your persona 21 aug 2015 make general brand messages more effective by applying personas marketing methods. The process of 25 jan 2016 the so
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Even though a company sees the value of social media, it doesnt mean the organization or its members are ready for it. Have you started something you really werent ready for? Sometimes it works out and other times it doesnt.
In order for companies to realize the maximum benefit from social media marketing, there must be a certain level of understanding about the nature of online communities, social media sharing web sites and applications. One of the most effective ways TopRank Online Marketing has found to assess a companys awareness, capabilities and resources for social media marketing is to conduct an external audit and an internal survey.
Identifying a companys current state of social media readiness helps determine benchmarks and sets a baseline from where to build from. This is part of developing a social media strategy and helps avoid the random testing many companies are calling their social media strategy.
There are a number of free or low cost tools that one can use to identify a brands current social web participation, ranging from social media monitoring software to profile checking tools like KnowEm to social search tools like How Socialable, 48ers or socialmention.
With many companies, there are often a mix of official and unsanctioned social media accounts setup. Its important to get a handle on such participation, whos managing the accounts, whether they are run by employees or fans and what the company can learn from them. Getting a handle on the difference between how social the company is and will need to become is essential for planning, training and strategy development.
As part of the evaluation process, here are a few questions companies might ask themselves and answer as they embark on a social media marketing journey:
What goals do you hope to achieve from a social media marketing effort?
What measures of success will be used to evaluate a social media marketing program?
What are your current social media channels and destination web sites/pages?:
Do you employ a full-time community manager?
If not, do multiple staff share the role of community manager?
Are you conducting a formal effort at monitoring social channels using a social media monitoring/analysis software application? (Ex: Techrigy SM2, ScoutLabs, Trackur, Vocus, SocialRadar, Radian6)
Is there a particular business unit, division or product that can serve as a test case?
If active, how long has the company participated with social media sites and which? Blogging, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Wikis, Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc
Are current social media participation on different sites coordinated?
Is a dashboard and campaign management tool used for social media content promotion?
Have you noticed any particular preferences within the target audience in their social web participation?
Do they prefer particular sites? (Twitter vs Facebook blogs vs forums)
Do they comment, do they contribute content, do they tend to observe, do they not participate at all?
Have you identified and engaged and/or networked with influentials in your target industry on social web sites?
What unique value do current social media efforts offer clients/prospective clients? What need do they satisfy better than the competition?
Are text content or media regularly shared on other social media sharing sites?
Is there a user generated content component of your web site? Profiles, comments, reviews, content sharing: text, image, video or audio?
What departments, business units, cost centers and approval entities would be involved with the Social Media program? Is there an internal social media council?
What internal human resources are available within the company for support and implementation of social media marketing initiatives? (Content creation, network development, promotion, monitoring & analytics, community engagement)
Obviously each situation is as unique as the company and its objectives, but the list above can provide valuable insight into a companys state of social media marketing readiness as well as provoking new thoughts and concepts. The more informed companies are about the social web, the more successful they will be at qualifying and managing social media marketing agency engagements.
You might be wondering, why did I pick 19 questions when 20 would be a much nicer, even number? Its because Im curious what your 20th question would be. What are we missing? What else would you ask to determine the social media readiness of a company, business unit or division?
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How to Integrate Social Media into Your Email Marketing Campaigns – MNB Webinar
If you are anything like the average marketer, you are probably more experienced with your email campaigns than you are with social media marketing. That is okay because these two channels are a perfect match. In fact, sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help you acquire more subscribers, while your existing marketing platform can help you build your following in the social world. It is a win-win in many aspects, but this article will introduce three simple ways social networking can be used to boost the ROI for email campaigns.
1. Make Your Email Content Sharable
Sharing has become a common activity on the web, providing an easy way for articles, video and various other types of content to “go viral”. The popularity of social networking has extended the sharing concept to the email platform, and creating this environment in your marketing message is easier than ever before. ESPs are increasingly rolling out features that make it simple for readers to share your content in their social communities. According to a recent study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, sharing buttons increase subscriber interaction for email campaigns by as much as 25% and greatly increase traffic coming in from social networking traffics. This could be traffic that helps you rack up conversions in the form of more subscribers and sales.
2. Include Social Call to Actions
Implementing sharing buttons is not the only way social networking can boost the ROI for your email campaigns. Another method that will help you increase your return involves simply including links to all your online hangouts in your message. Links such as “Connect with Us on Facebook” or “Follow Me on Twitter” will act as call to actions that let subscribers know that you want to connect with them via other channels. The more subscribers that bite, the larger your audience in the social networks. This also gives you the opportunity to introduce your email subscribers to special offers and other exclusive content that is reserved for your social following, putting your products or services in front of more potential customers.
3. Commit to Cross-Channel Promotions
No social email marketing strategy can succeed without dedication to cross-channel promoting. Doing simple things such as reminding Facebook fans, MySpace friends, and Twitter followers about your newsletter and other email content can only benefit your marketing efforts in the end. Integrating these two channels is all about promoting brand awareness and building relationships, so the more you cross-promote, the more you put your business out there, and the better chance you have of making an impact. The nature of social media makes ROI difficult to measure, but the overall results are obvious when consumers in this channel start spending and advocating on behalf of your brand, neither of which can happen without a dedicated effort.
The key to succeeding with social-email integration is producing content others want to share and understanding how todays consumers want to be engaged. Between valuable content, easy sharing capabilities, and diligent cross-promotional efforts, this is one marriage that can help you increase ROI, and keep your business soaring high.
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Social networking for business development, marketing and advertisement is not a newbie tool in the industry. Marketers have been using the technique of business networking for years to develop a healthy and strong business profile generating heavy profits through a dumpy budget. It is no more a question now to either use business or social networking for effective marketing or not. But gestures are progressing on how to keep your business profile separate when dealing with social networks. The networking markets were not introduced with a professional or a business viewpoint. It was never thought that these social networking portals would not only attract such major business profiles but create massive professional business opportunities. One of the main reasons to join these social networks was the liberated ambiance of these free social networks.
In order to make the most out of these networks, many professionals started researching on the best and efficient most ways of expanding the usage of such media networks. You can easily differentiate between social networking and business networking as there are various portals which are specifically for business use and abhor social networks. For example, linkedIn.com is one of the business networking portal promoting business advertisements and development. Likewise, Facebook is a pure social portal but it is being widely used for business purposes. It cannot be considered un-ethical as it would have been like this, the portals must have restriction or distinct accounts for business networking.
Social networks like facebook and twitter offer great opportunities for business networking but in order to maximize productivity the best use is under few limitations. Considering free social networks, facebook is among the top most portals being used for building up business profiles. It obviously has to start with a personal profile which can later lead to the creation of various friends list including family, business and friends. A better and recommended technique to bring up your business profile is to create a fan page. This allows marketing any commodity, business or service directly adhering the rules of the social networking portal being used i.e. Facebook. This is extremely as per the search engine optimization point of view as Google gives preference to a fan page over personal sites. On top Google also indexes fan pages and not personal sites.
Twitter is slightly different from other social networking portals as it allows having multiple profiles at the same time. This is best to tell apart the business profile from the social profile permitting you to promote businesses on a separate page instead of using the personal profile.
Make yourself one thing clear that social networking portals are best for the businesses only because people prefer doing business with people they know and are comfortable with. The marketing strategy should be efficiently planned in order to give it a genuine gesture without faking the concept and reasons behind. Make sure that your marketing strategy is complimenting the chosen networking portal compliments and its policies to endure worthy and quick returns on your investment.
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