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Social Media Trends Update

According to Forbes, there were 7 Social Media trend predictions made just before 2014… and they’ve taken the time to analyze how accurate they were in predicting how companies are marketing their brands so far this year.

Prediction 1:  Investment in Social Media will become a Necessity, not a Luxury.
Yes, this seems true… and quite obvious. The importance for brands to engage with its customers online ,through Facebook, Twitter, et al, is increasingly critical as more consumers spend their “free” time on those channels and not with traditional media (print and television). And while 92% of businesses say that social media is important to their business, the challenges become showing ROI for the marketing investment to the board and having talented staff to engage and maximize the online conversation.

Prediction 2:  Google+ will become a major factor.
Umm, not so much. Yes, 61% of businesses are planning on increasing their Google+ activities, however changes in the platform are making it difficult to be cost-effective in communicating effectively with targets when brands must first establish Author Rank and authority for content.

Prediction 3:  Image-centric Networks will see huge success.
Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram are seeing steady increases in number of uses and activity on their platforms. Brands continue to find creative ways of engaging their customers and as a result both the companies and Social Media have found success.

Prediction 4: The rise of Micro-video.
Brands that use micro-video platforms, like Vine and Instagram video, can stand out by simplifying their message. While both platforms are currently hot with uses, Instagram is definitely providing a greater return on content engagement.

Prediction 5:  Foursquare will decline sharply.
In an effort to re-invigorate the dying platform, Foursquare recently split its app into two: The original Foursquare, and its new app, Swarm. Swarm allows users to easily find friends without the need to “check-in” and giving recommendations based on personalized usage and searching.

Prediction 6:  Myspace will grow.
While the once popular platform is still around and loved on the music scene, the slow increase in visitors is not much compare to the activity on Facebook, Twitter and even Google+… expect more changes as they try to remain competitive.

Prediction 7:  LinkedIn will become a major player for B2B business growth.
Yes, LinkedIn is the primary network for businesses, particularly B2B. Company page usage increased from 24% to 57% so far this year. Amazingly I think this trend is only going to grow as more B2B brands and professionals use the network.

What trends are you seeing? Has anything surprised you about consumer social media usage?

 

 

 

GOL! McDonald’s Viral Success

Getting into the spirit, McDonald’s latest video series to promote the World Cup has consumers not only in the spirit of the game, but also playing it.

Love this latest viral hit…

 

A Lesson in On-Demand Marketing

This really great article on LinkedIn by David Edelman, focuses on what businesses should learn from Apple. Not only has Apple lead major changes in how to brand a product or service, but now its entering the digital marketing arena and shifting to On-Demand Marketing.

So what is On-demand Marketing? It’s all about being actively responsive to your customers (and potential customers) based on four trends in consumer expectations:

1. NOW: Interacting anywhere at any time.

2. CAN I: Doing things they’ve never been able to do before.

3. FOR ME: Having truly personalized experiences.

4. SIMPLY: Having all interactions to be easy.

This world of marketing is about moving from “always-on” to “always-relevant,” from “marketing at customers” to “marketing as a service.” So for marketing to become relevant and a real service that means having a very clear sense of the consumer decision journey…

Consider these three levels of analysis:

Telescope – A clear view of the broad and long-term trends in the market, category, and brand. Digital tracking provides constant feedback on consumer habits, needs and wants. Betting understanding consumer challenges and improving them could help design better experiences.

Binoculars – A complete, integrated picture of where they spend their money, which interactions actually happen and what these outcomes are. These types of analytic data would help connect brands with customers and allow brands to make personal suggestions, share educational material or create crowd-sourced suggestion contests. All ways to strengthen the emotional engagement from brand fans.

Microscope – Technology and analytics to create services, messages and offering that are relevant to the individual. research shows that this level of personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spending and lift sales 10% or more.

It will be interesting to see how Apple uses these methods to develop its marketing with a more digital, interactive and analytical approach while maintaining its creativity.

Newspaper Ads Continue Decline in 2013

Picture 3According to the Newspaper Association of America, total newspaper revenues including advertising and circulation, fell 2.5% from $38.6 billion in 2012 to $37.5 billion in 2013. Annual comparisons are now the only benchmark for measuring the newspaper industry’s performance, as the NAA stopped reporting quarterly figures at the end of 2014.

While is no surprise that newspaper advertising continues to decline, its interesting that all of the revenue change doesn’t go directly to digital. The losses were slightly offset by 1.5% increase to $3.42 billion in digital advertising and 2.4% increase to $1/4 billion in direct marketing.

The article on Media Post, also sites that Pure-play digital ad revenues increase 14% while mobile ad revenues rose 77% – yet mobile still contributes less than 1% of total ad revenues. Other sources including digital agency and marketing services also increased 5% to $3.5 billion.

In fact newspapers’ digital ad revenues are growing at a much slower rate than Internet advertising overall, which jumped 17% from 2012-2013.

Sadly, total newspaper ad revenues have declined every year since 2006 and with the adaptation of major city papers cutting back daily distribution and increasing digital ad opportunities, I expect more negative change in the future for traditional print media.

 

Creating B2B Viral Video Success

How do you demonstrate a machine’s agility? Why playing a giant game of Jenga(R) of course… or so Caterpillar thought anyways and it has turned into a huge viral video success. While the details of most B2B ad messages are technical and not very innovative, Caterpillar shows us that any business can have a little fun in their marketing.

Wouldn’t it be fun to try this?!

And there’s a behind the scenes video bonus in this AdAge article.

 

Maximizing the Power of Employee Chatter

Many companies know that employees make the best advocates when building a company’s image – what they may know be doing is using that to their advantage online.

social_networkingNew digital ad technology and software is helping plug workers into marketing strategies according to top ad industry experts. For example, LinkedIn introduced a new metric that scores how well content performs on the site – the Content Marketing Score – among other recent changes for business profile pages. From an AdWeek article, employees are now key to increasing this score, the more they post the better the content fares because shared content has the best chance of being seen on the platform, and gauges how well their messaging is faring compared to rivals.

Other factors in the CMS include how often a brand posts and its reach and engagement. As LinkedIn moves beyond 200 million users, the company is making numerous changes for business that could also mean major changes in social media message strategy. Not only do businesses need to redesign their LinkedIn profiles into portfolio pages, but now they need to reconsider how to use their employees’ profiles to benefit the company bottom line as well.

“It’s just good to keep folks inside a company engaged with what the brand is producing,” Percolate CEO Noah Brier said. “Ideally, if the brand is producing interesting content, it is a point of pride and also keeps them informed.”

Do you agree with LinkedIn business changes? How do you think the Content Marketing Score will affect message strategy across social platforms?