In the Office

Weekly Wrap-Up #129

Check out this week’s wrap up to find out what the latest studies are saying and how brands are getting ahead.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #128

From American Apparel to the CIA, it’s been a week of social media controversies. Get all the details in the latest edition of the weekly wrap-up.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #126

Take a glimpse into the future of advertising and catch up on your industry news with the latest edition of the weekly wrap-up.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #120

From Hilton to Snapchat, it’s been a week full of apologies and announcements. Get all the details in the latest edition of the weekly wrap-up.
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Some Cool Internet Stats and Trends

Ah, the internet. Most people can’t live without it.

As we enter into a new year, we looked back at how the Internet has changed and found some interesting, even shocking stats and trends.

- The Internet requires approximately 50 million horsepower in electricity. (Source: About.com)

- China represents 46% of the global internet usage. And, Facebook being banned in China? (Source: Staff.com infographic)

- In 1999: 38 million people had broadband internet. TODAY: 1.2 billion have it on their mobile phones.

- 85 percent people in the world have internet access and the rate of growth for mobile is 530+ Million – 5% year over year (Source: SocialMediaToday)

- More people have a mobile subscription service than access to safe drinking water and electricity. (Source: Business Insider)

- The average post from a Facebook brand page only reaches 16% of fans. (Source: The Next Web)

- 14.3 trillion webpages are live on the internet (Source: Worldwidewebsize.com)

- The Internet share of advertising is expected to rise to 31% by 2016. (Source: Advertising Age)

- More than 8.7 billion machines are currently connected to the Internet. (About.com)

Weekly Wrap-Up #92

Enjoy this week’s wrap-up, including Facebook’s recent lawsuit decision, Twitter’s newest content feature and the surprising social media platform that provides the best customer reviews. Happy Friday!

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Weekly Wrap-Up #91

It’s been another busy week in the social media and technology worlds. From LinkedIn’s announcement to expand its platform on two fronts, to Facebook and Google’s respective initiatives to increase global Internet access – you don’t want to fall behind on these newsworthy highlights. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

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Are Tradeshows Paying You Back?

Tradeshows. Most marketers have a love-hate relationship with them. Often times a company needs to participate to show industry engagement and support. On the other hand they are expensive and a true time suck.

If you are required to attend a show, how can you take advantage of the opportunity beyond “working the show floor”?  Tradeshows have the potential to offer huge payoffs – in a variety of ways. Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking about maximizing your next tradeshow experience:

1. Attend Seminars
Take the opportunity to scan the program offerings and identify those that could help your brand. Take notes and share your insights with your teams. Find a key point and use your own knowledge to develop a company blog post or tweet. Connect with the presenter to build new relationships. There is everything to be gained from building your industry knowledge and contact list.

2. Be Personable
Tradeshows are all about making connections—with the partners, with media, with customers—know your audience and reach out to them. If someone you want to meet with is too busy to stop by, offer to come to them. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, every chance you get to put a face behind your brand is worth the time investment and will pay dividends for future opportunities.

3. Be Critical
Take a look around. How are visitors interacting with your company’s booth; what catches their attention? Are visitors or media greeted? Take notes on how things can be improved. Notice how other companies are presenting themselves and get ideas from their approaches. For example: giveways. Is a company providing a promotional item just to get people to stop by or are they using the giveaway to further their customer or knowledge base? One booth I recently visited at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market required each person to fill out a short questionnaire about their purchasing behavior on an iPad before collecting a high-end pair of socks. And it worked—there was a line to fill out the survey!

 

If You Build It, They May Not Come

Wondering why customers aren’t flocking to your company’s blog, Facebook page or Twitter profile? Why should they? What are you giving them?

Social EngagmentAs Stanford Smith points out in his blog post What the $200 Million Tweet Can Teach You About Personal Influence, if we have a social media presence, we have influence. But, we must understand our influence – no matter how large or small – and harness it by being relevant.

This means all of your company’s on-and-offline efforts must be strategic and consistent – reaching your potential customers with smart, diverse and interesting messages.  This is a basic branding concept, and it strongly applies to social engagement, because every person connected to your organization is part of your brand – whether you like it or not.

If you’re working to grow your company’s influence online, here are some important steps to building a loyal and engaging audience:

  • Seek & Find – Do your due diligence and know where your audience engages online. To manage a profile on any platform takes time and resources. Don’t waste them by going down an empty rabbit hole. If you sell a technology product and your customers are men ages 28 – 50 in IT, then Pinterest
    probably isn’t the place for you. And, be sure to look outside the top five social networks – many organizations are creating their own communities. While they may be small, if that’s where your audience is you should be there too.
  • Content Is King – Think quality, not quantity. Delivering educational and engaging content is key. And, it should all connect via a hub – much like a web. Maybe this is your website, a blog, or online community.  Write blog posts. Tweet about them. Post them to Facebook and reference them on forums and in blog comments. Be transparent. And don’t just promote your own musings. Rather, offer a mix of your own content and content created by other experts. Make it fun and keep it quick.
  • Listen – Your customers have something to say. It’s likely relevant to your business. Listen to them. Glean relevant insights from them, then interact. Remember, social media is a two-way communication vehicle its important to engage with your users with a human touch.
  • Bring Old School to The New School – Don’t forget traditional advertising and communications tactics. They can deliver your message to a broader audience and help build your company’s relevance.

How is your company building influence online? Is this part of your 2013 planning? Share your thoughts with us below. 

 

Looking Ahead to 2013

As each year draws to a close, we as communicators naturally start to reflect on the news we saw unfold, the trends that came to fruition and how these all impact our daily lives. More importantly, we try to look ahead, identify emerging trends and brace ourselves for change and evolution.

2012 was packed with events and advancements that will add color to marketing history: the U.S. Presidential election, the Lance Armstrong scandal, the continued growth of mobile apps, Facebook’s IPO and subsequent stock plummeting  — just to name a few. Mainstream media had its hands full covering all of the above. But 2012 was really no different than any other year. No year will ever be dull when it comes to news and technological advancements with far-reaching implications.

What will 2013 bring? We’ll see many of the same trends that emerged in 2012 really take shape in the New Year. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see an increase in the use of visuals to communicate with one another. Even with all the existing technology that makes work and life more efficient, we still long for the human touch. Visual images draw us in and force us to feel a deeper connection. For this reason, we’ll start to see more business applications of Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and infographics to reach a broader audience. These new visual communications tools are enabling modern society to more easily digest, interpret and act on information.

In 2013, mobile will continue to impact the way marketers think about messaging and consumption. The concept of “social, local, mobile” (SoLoMo) has demonstrated how consumers want to consume content. As marketers continue to take their websites and apps mobile, their content must address all three dimensions in order to meet users’ needs and desires.

In 2011, eMarketer predicted that U.S. online video ad spend would grow 52.1 percent to $2.16 billion in 2011, before reaching $7.11 billion in 2015. Without a doubt, YouTube and other video channels will play a major role in brand communications. Often underestimated, video – when used properly – can be highly engaging, drive brand loyalty and keep customers coming back for more. Marketers should explore ways to leverage video, even with limited budgets.

What other trends do you expect to emerge? How will your company use new social media, mobile or video applications to reach existing and new audiences? We’d love to hear!