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Social Media Challenges in this Technologically Advanced Era

June 19, 2012

Social media is one of the most powerful tools to reach people anytime anywhere.  No matter how exciting it is, it does have challenges in it. Although it’s not impossible to overcome those challenges, but an individual requires focus and the right strategy to apply.

No doubt that social media in this technologically advanced era is very effective in pulling the audience towards your business but only, if it is used correctly and effectively. Once the business understands the pros and cons of social media and uses it in the manner that your weakness becomes your opportunities it will for sure, takes you to the pinnacle of success. By having a complete understanding of your business in the form of opportunities, will help focusing on areas which have been missed out due to any reason. This is also known as SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). New tools and techniques are being developed within no span of time and to keep updated one needs to be vigilant about all these advancements.

There are some of the challenges which need to be encountered at an earlier stage. One should keep in mind that social media is not an easy way to achieve success and requires great amount of zeal, dedication and effort. Below are some of the challenges listed,

1.      Privacy:

Every individual’s privacy is important, no matter what; one should respect the privacy rights of others in online communications. If you are unable to adhere to this basic principle of respecting others privacy you cannot take your business very far, because people will not trust you. Hence privacy is linked to security, which is very important for online interactions.

2.      Transparency:

Due to the endless reach of social media it is important to be transparent because there is no single person with whom you cannot interact, despite of his/ her location. This type of vast exposure is not free from risks, therefore one needs to be cautious in taking every step. But if you are promising the visitors confidentiality, then it provides an opportunity to be on top of the industry when comparison is made. If we are talking about the global exposure then we might come across different types of cultures, religions and geographical boundaries, which requires a universal language to be developed, because if there is no common language then there will be communication loopholes.

3.      Integration:

It is important to integrate the social media with the main business because integrating the social aspect with the way companies are doing businesses has a great impact on the success rate.

4.      Long lasting Relationships:

Relationship needs to be developed. Communication plays an important role in building long lasting and profitable relationships. Having faith and trust also plays an important role. When the visitor has confidence on your site then, he/ she will definitely make the purchase.

Everyone needs some time to get use to of it. But once successful can overcome all the challenges. One needs to be monitoring the processes on a regular basis. It requires full devotion and dedication with creative ideas for grabbing the visitor’s attention and breaking the clutter out. Keep it in mind that this will not immediately bring the desired outcome but will eventually leads toward that path.

update: 2012/06/19

Tools of Social Media Marketing

June 19, 2012

Nowadays Social Media Marketing is booming due to the widespread use of digital media. It is the process of attracting traffic to the website through the use of social media site such as Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, and My space. It generally creates content in such a manner that users are encouraged to read it and then share it with their friends. The business messages are transferred from one user to other user as a matter of fact that they are originating from a trusted source. Therefore, word-of-mouth marketing or viral marketing takes place.

Social Media provides a larger platform which is easily accessible to any person sitting anywhere in the world having internet. These interactions and communications enhance the brand awareness and brand reputation and eventually lead to a better customer relationship management. It is used for the marketing campaigns because it is considered to be inexpensive form of marketing.

Let’s talk about one of the tool of social media management, which is “Social Analytics”. It can be an important element for becoming popular business; especially it helps in getting customer feedback and customer goodwill. Social analytics make use of the listening platforms (some of which has been developed by the organizations) to gather customer insights. Social analytics helps identifying the feelings and current trends in order to know the customer better. Whirlpool is one of the many examples who have successfully used social analytics to involve and engage customers through their feedback results.

Hence to be profitable with respect to customers every business should use the applications of social analytics. It will help the business flourish in the right direction leading towards customer retention and loyalty.

update: 2012/06/15 tags:

Social Media Monitoring Tools: I’m too busy handling the daily grunt of my business! Should I hire additional staff to respond to all the comments made about my business online?

June 19, 2012

When surfing online, you have to be asleep or dead not to notice all the social media networks that are popping out of the search engines. The social networking industry is growing so fast that vast majority of business owners are having a hard time managing their ever growing online presence. Larger companies are spending millions of dollars hiring online agencies to manage every aspect of their online reputation. Others are using their own staff or hiring new staff dedicated to online reputation management. So, to answer your question; yes and no! I say yes to hiring and dedicating a person to answer any comments made about you in social network sites, and other places or directories that your customers are leaving comments about you just to create a relationship with them. I say no to hiring a person to manage “all” your online

Social Media Monitoring

They Love Me. They Love Me Not. Social Media Monitoring.management needs which is virtually impossible for popular brands! There are agencies that have affordable online management plans that can take away the headaches of business owners managing their own online reputation. Zero360marketing.com has a brilliant social media monitoring tool that can give you an instant access to over 80 different social networks and show you every comment made about you on those sites. What sets them apart from other agencies is the price around $10 for 100 searches, and the sentiment scoring that lets you zero in on any negative comments without having to search all the social media sites or page through hundreds of pages of comments.

Please visit the Social Media Monitoring page to see all plans

update: 2011/07/27 tags:

The Key Performance Indicators that are your best friends.

June 19, 2012

Your key performance indicators will help you gauge which of your activities are stars that help you reach your goals and which are duds. Understanding your top performing activities will help you make adjustments to your marketing strategy throughout the year and life of your campaign. The most important key performance indicators that lay out the foundation of success for any online business are conversion rate, cost per action and value of your customer. Under these three categories falls your entire marketing strategy.

You cannot improve your conversion rate if you don’t have measures in place. Set benchmarks and understand what’s working and why then change or eliminate low performing activities. Activities refer to any action you have taken to create a conversion. A conversion being the rate a customer signs up for whatever you’re offering to the total number of customers visiting your site.

You can’t drive your business if you can’t measure the success of your marketing activities. It reminds me of what my grandfather used to say, “You will lose what you cannot monitor.” Set benchmarks for your metrics and follow them closely. Look at the cost of getting your message to your target market.  Is your advertising content speaking to the needs of your target market? Are your efforts capturing the quality of visitors you are targeting? What is the cost to convert your customer? And what is your customer worth in terms of monetary value? Have you calculated out the average profit of your conversions versus your cost to get them there? Have you calculated the gross profit margin of your converted customers?

By understanding what it’s costing you to drive business to your site and what the ultimate value of that cost translates to in dollars, you will be able to make alterations to improve your desired outcome as well as improve your customers’ experience.  The more you improve your customers’ experience the more business you will generate and with metrics in place you can improve your gross profit margins and total sales. Your Key Performance Indicators can provide you the information you need to gauge value and direct you to re-strategize for better performance.

http://zero360marketing.com/conversion-optimization.html

update: 2011/07/21 tags:

If your sales aren’t expanding, it may be time for a Competitive Market Analysis.

June 19, 2012

Often times business owners believe they know every aspect of their industry. In today’s marketplace where changes are occurring on a daily basis it’s not so easy anymore to stay abreast of the latest methods, developments and technological advances that will impact your business. When business stagnates and you’re stumped as to why or not sure what to do next, it may be time to consider a thorough market analysis. The Competitive Market Analysis is a comprehensive report that will give you a bird’s eye view of your industry, your competitors, any gaps or areas of potential opportunities and the ability to detect trends and see how advances in technology are affecting the marketplace. It will show you very quickly where you’re falling short and point you in the right direction to establishing a victorious, long-term plan.

If you are one year into your digital marketing campaign and sales are flat, consider re-evaluating business and your market. If you haven’t started a digital marketing campaign, consider starting first with a Competitive Market Analysis. This report will save you much time and money in the long run because it will give you key information on your industry volume and the major players and their market share.

The most valuable information will be about your competitors’ business. How do you think your marketing strategy might change if you knew the strategy of the top players in your industry? Here’s what the Competitive Market Analysis will tell you about your top 5 competitors:
Their volume of traffic
Of that traffic which is paid vs. organic
Exactly where they are advertising
Which ads are delivering the best ROI
Where are their sources of traffic coming from
What is the public sentiment
What role if any is social media having on their sales volume

Clearly you can see how this information would allow you to expand your market share and increase your revenue. Furthermore, the analysis gives you analytic reports on online searches, keyword phrases and in depth demographics that will assist you in search engine optimization and marketing. If you want to rev up your business and leave your competitors in the dust consider a Competitive Market Analysis, the most comprehensive report on your industry and your business. This all will help you in your business to market and to be well known in the internet field. Allowing you to come up in the top pages of search engines.

http://zero360marketing.com/competitive-market-analysis.html

update: 2011/07/06

How can I remove negative comments made about my company on the internet?

June 19, 2012

There has never been a more critical time to keep your online reputation in check. With Facebook having more than 750 million followers, and other social media networks growing rapidly as well, it is critical to actively monitor what is being said about you or your brand. There are many online sites that offer online reputation monitoring services, but they are usually very costly and it’s important to keep in mind that it goes way beyond just listening to the conversations. Technology is advancing every second and you must find a service that gives you real time analytics about conversations and more importantly sentiments about your brand so you can zero in on important conversations and act quickly before any damage is done to your reputation.  Companies like Zero360marketing.com have developed Social Media Monitoring Services that include:

•          Sentiment analysis

•          Help identify and engage your influencers

•          Generate leads of real buyers who are researching your products

•          Listen in on conversations about your brand and your competitors’ brands

•          Identify customer concerns before they become reputation problems

For only a few dollars, you can manage your online reputation and get the scoop on all your competitors fast and easy!

http://www.zero360marketing.com/social-media-management.html

update: 2011/06/28 | Web Analytic

So, the time has come for your company to build a social media presence. Great! Here are the initial steps to follow.

June 19, 2012

You have probably caught wind that internet sales are growing exponentially and a good portion of the sales are coming from social media sites. This year alone it is estimated that half of the 5 billion dollars that will be spent online is coming from the U.S. alone.  No company can afford to stay away from this growing trend without it affecting its bottom line. So here are some initial steps to deciding what to do.

  1. Find time to devote to understanding the online social landscape of social media starting with Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Decide where your company needs to position a smart social strategy linking your brand to your chosen audience. Make sure it’s authentic, phony campaigns are detected quickly and penalized by search engines.
  3. Determine whether you are going to build your brand presence through engagement campaigns or sales campaigns.  Look for tools on Facebook Commerce (F-Commerce) or other Social Commerce (S-Commerce) platforms.

Wherever you decide to build your brand image, you would be better served to hire a reputable company to build, engage, monitor your social media marketing campaign and manage your social media profiles. There are companies that can do this for a reasonable price.  It is well worth it as it will allow you to focus on growing your business.  First impressions count so make sure you create a memorable and unique page on Facebook and Twitter using words you that mean something to your viewer. Do not just copy and paste your website content.  Social media requires social and sharable content that is relevant to the particular platform.

If you choose not to hire a professional, there are many good books written on the topic to help you get started. Lastly, make sure to assign this role to someone in your organization well suited to the requirements necessary and be aware of the time consideration.

To read more on the subject, click on the link for a step by step plan to social branding.

http://zero360marketing.com/articles/Social-Branding-Five-steps-to-survive-and-thrive-on-the-social-web.html

update: 2011/06/21 | Social Media Marketing
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