• Duo Consulting
    Michael Silverman on October 15, 2014

    4 Reasons Drupal Is the Best Social CMS

    It turns out Drupal and Social Media are a match made in heaven. Because of Drupal’s system of modules, integration with external websites can be as easy as installing a module that fits your site’s needs. And once these modules are installed, you will have a central place to manage profile information and plug-in modules, such as follow and share buttons.
  • marin-software
    Brenda Ton on October 25, 2014

    Why Cross-Channel Retargeting Drives 200% More Clicks

    To help enterprise advertisers optimize their growing retargeting programs, Marin Software surveyed 233 digital marketers of leading brands and agencies to produce an 18 page report covering important trends, benchmarks, and best practices for cross-channel retargeting success.
  • Welcome to another Social Media Today webinar as part of the Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of How Social Data Powers Customer Experience.

    This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of How Social Data Powers Customer Experience. We assembled a panel of experts to give us their perspective on this topic: Adam Oberweiser, the Associate Manager of Consumer Affairs at The Clorox Company; Seth Grimes, a Data Analytics Strategist for Alta Plana Corporation; and Fabrice Martin, the Vice President of Product Marketing for Clarabridge. This webinar was also sponsored by Clarabridge.

    Seth got us started with a discussion on why text analytics is an essential technology in pursuit of the customer experience. He showed some stats from a market study they did which is available for free at altaplana.com/TA2014. This study has run for the last three years and shows some significant growth in the amount and number of different textual sources that companies are analyzing now.

    Fabrice took over after Seth to give us some real world stories of how social media has powered the customer experience.  My favorite example was a back to school twitter exchange with a frantic mom looking for a white shirt for her son. Several retailers saw the tweet and responded with a number of options for her. What I really liked about this example was the very clear ROI from this one tweet – who says there no ROI in social media!

    Adam then finished off the presentations with a deep dive on how The Clorox Company has used social data to power its customer experience. He talked about his team’s 3 objectives: Listen, Engage, and Influence. He focused on the Engage part for the balance of his presentation and how they find “meaningful” conversations across all the social media sources that track. Out of 250,000 social posts for Clorox they use NLP to identify the posts they want to engage in and its working!

    Now, if you have ever been on a Social Media Today webinar before, you know they are very “participant-driven” and we love to ask your questions of our panelists. Some of the questions we covered in this webinar were: How many social media sources should a company be analyzing? What’s the future of Image Analytics? What do you do with bad information?

    If that piqued your interest, you will want to hear the replay of this webinar or review the slides from this webinar. Otherwise we hope you will join us on another Social Media Today webinar! The next one is on Unleash Your Advocates: Nestlé Purina Shares the Secrets to Training Employee Advocates; sign up for it or view the schedule of upcoming webinars here.

    Also to follow the play-by-play Twitter action, just read the following Storify: 

    Working on a recent project, I took note of a number of interesting scenarios when it came to the cross-promotion of Twitter accounts on websites. This article summarizes the top 4 errors noted in the cross-promotion of Twitter accounts.

    This past month I began working with a client who asked me to create a Twitter list of relevant users. The list, as provided by the client, included the business’ website, a good starting point in search of Twitter accounts.

    However, it was not as cut-and-dry as first thought. During the research period I noticed a number of interesting scenarios when it came to the cross-promotion of Twitter accounts on websites.

    These are the top 4 Twitter cross-promotion errors:

    1. No Social Media Link

    There were many websites that did not include links to the Twitter account; however, a Twitter search revealed an active and engaging account. In this instance, it could potentially be a missed opportunity to engage with their audience.

    If your business is on Twitter, or any other social media platform, it is recommended to include a link to that social media site via your website. This link will ensure that visitors to your website have the opportunity to connect with you on the social media account of their choosing, be it Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

    Another scenario that I noticed was websites that included a graphic that read: “Find us on Facebook” or “Find us on Twitter.” I dislike these statements. It is not a treasure hunt to locate you on social media. You would never include: “Find us on the Internet” or “Find us in the phone book.” People are busy. If you do not include the link, you will lose the opportunity to engage.

    2. Burying It on your Website

    In many instances businesses included links to their social media profiles, but the links were hidden at the bottom of the page, in a corner, in size 6pt font. This made it tough to find. It is essential to include the links to your social media profiles in a highly visible location on your website. While there are varying opinions from website designers, social links should be included either in the top banner or the contact page. There are also applications that allow social media icons to be visible on all pages. Again, it is not a treasure hunt; display your business’ social media accounts.

    3. Wrong Link

    While several businesses made the attempt to include a link to their Twitter and Facebook pages, in many cases the link was wrong. More often than not, the link would bring users to the main page (twitter.com), rather than the business’ account. Sometimes the Twitter link would bring users to a completely unrelated Twitter user. Take a moment to visit your website, and click on the links to ensure they are connected to your business’ account. Take note of any social media links that need updating and make that change.

    4. Wrong Logo

    I was shocked to find the number of businesses using old versions of the Twitter logo, including the square ‘t’ and the originally cartoon Larry bird. When your business is displaying its Twitter account on your website, there are usage guidelines from Twitter to which your business needs to adhere.  Not sure if you’re using the right version of the logo, visit Twitter’s Brand Asset page for details and to download the most up-to-date logo. 

    Take a moment to visit your business’ website and check to ensure that all social media accounts, are prominently and accurately displayed. This action will ensure that you gain more fans and followers, as well as increase engagement. 

    YouTube has been promoting a “3H” video brand strategy and revealed a content pattern that seemed to be the most successful in building an engaged audience for the long-term. Can this idea be applied to a business of ANY size? Even an individual blogger? Let’s look at the 3H content pattern and how it relates to audience-building.

    Everybody wants their content to go viral.

    But if you have ever been lucky enough to have something rise up the charts for a day or two, you will attest to the fact that after a short spike in traffic, viral content rarely has a long-term effect on your business.

    Instead, you need something more robust, more consistent, to build a real business around your content and YouTube revealed a plan that just might be the answer.

    YouTube has been promoting a “3H” video brand strategy and revealed a content pattern that seemed to be the most successful in building an engaged audience for the long-term. The more I have thought about this and studied it, the more I think it is right; I am starting to build this idea into some of my classes.

    Can this idea be applied to a business of ANY size? Even an individual blogger?

    Let’s look at the 3 H content pattern and how it relates to audience-building.

    1. Hygiene Content

    It’s kind of a weird designation, but this is the content that serves the daily health of your audience. This is content that gets people involved and helps them connect to you and your company when they need you most. This is the content that might most likely turn up in organic search results, so it is great for building awareness.

    In our book Born to Blog, Stanford Smith and I call this your “bread and butter” content. For my audience, this might be how-to articles like “25 ideas for your social media network strategy.”

    Here is a great example from a big brand like Home Depot.

    home depot example

    In this content series, the company teaches techniques that will help a customer use its products better.

    Hygiene content usually serves a short-term purpose, answers an immediate problem.

    2. Hub content

    So Hygiene content might get somebody to your site and Hub content is meant to keep them there. This could be a series of articles about a more in-depth topic or perhaps a serialized story that makes people want to stay on your site.

    In my world, this would be “evergreen” content that people seem to love and read month after month. My Hub content offers insights into how I view the world, opinions on marketing and strategy, and perhaps even something provocative that creates a discussion.

    Every time I create a great piece of Hub content I see a lift in subscriptions. This is timeless content that builds interest and even loyalty. An example of this would be A Rant: In Praise of the Unremarkable, which had more than 250 comments and still receives steady page views a year after I wrote it.

    In this Hub example from Adidas, young rock climber Sacha DiGiulian tells her story and sets a record for the most difficult rock climb (Grade 9A) achieved by a woman. By the end of this video she is ripping bandages off her hands to make it up the last segment and achieve her dream. It is a gripping drama that can easily lead you down the rabbit hole to spend more time with this brand and its athletes.

    sasha digiulian

    Hub content like this video creates connection and is the most important type of content for building subscribers … and building subscribers builds your business.

    Hero Content

    Hero content is something brilliant, dramatic, and bold that transcends the normal day-to-day Internet offerings. This is the content that goes viral and demands attention.

    Perhaps the most famous example from 2014 is the “Winner Stays” video from Nike. The video playfully captures the schoolyard fantasy of young soccer players who morph into their favorite global stars. Launched before the World Cup, the video has received more than 95 million views:

    Can a little guy like me produce Hero Content? Certainly not on the scale of Nike, but occasionally I write a post that gets more than 3,000 social shares and exceeds 10,000 page views. Perhaps that is “heroic” in our little world of digital marketing? In 2014 here are three different pieces of content that did heroically well:

    Content Shock – Nearly 5,000 shares. More than 30,000 views. Over 600 blog posts have linked back to this one blog post with commentary on the ideas I presented. Despite the rampage from this post, it resulted in no distinguishable increase in blog subscriptions. In fact, it was a rather normal month. But it did establish my voice on the blogosphere.

    6 Questions to Drive Your Social Media Strategy — I think this Slideshare presentation has been viewed more than any other content I have created — 73,000 views, may of them from people who had never heard of me before.

    Social Media Explained – Released in March, this has already emerged as the best-selling social media book of 2014. That’s heroic, right?

    But did all these views make a difference to my business? Did Nike’s video sell more athletic gear?

    Nike KNEW it was creating Hero Content when it spent millions on its video. I don’t have those resources and can’t predict when something will take off, but whether you are a small company or a large one, your goals are the same — create awareness and relationships that lead to loyalty.

    Content marketing is a long-term game. All of this effort adds up to a general increase in awareness, and more important, authority, over time. This is how I build my business. There is no shortcut.

    So the “3 H’s” seem to make sense. Each type of content plays a role. And you need a balance. I think bloggers who fall into the trap of creating nothing but how-to hygiene content, for example, never rise above to get people coming back or creating a voice of authority.

    That’s my take on it any way. What are your thoughts?

    Disclosures: Adidas is a client. Book links are affiliate links.

    Illustration courtesy of Flickr CC and Faisal Hamadah

    Google loves change probably more than any other company in the world and that’s noticeable in their algorithms, especially Panda and more specifically, a new iteration in the form of Panda 4.1. With this new update, it has been reported by BrightEdge that brands saw an astounding 90% loss in their organic search footprint when Panda 4.1 hit the web late September.

    Google loves change probably more than any other company in the world and that’s noticeable in their algorithms, especially Panda and more specifically, a new iteration in the form of Panda 4.1. With this new update, it has been reported by BrightEdge that brands saw an astounding 90% loss in their organic search footprint when Panda 4.1 hit the web late September. So, what does Panda 4.1 mean to your content marketing strategy? Keep reading.

    Whats new?

    It is hard to find exactly what Google’s secrets are behind their algorithms however, here are a few things you need to know about Panda 4.1.

    • Panda targets duplicated content

    • Will help small businesses do better in Google search results

    • Panda targets sites with a general lack of content

    • Panda targets machine generated content

    Who has been impacted?

    With the new Panda 4.1, Affiliate, Informational, Local Business Sites, Government and Educational websites have all been affected (some for the good, some for the bad).

    How Panda 4.1 changes your content performance strategy

    Here are a few points you need to consider with Google’s new Panda 4.1 algorithm.

    1. Quality

    To be able to successfully generate high traffic to your website, you need high quality web pages and to achieve this, you need to evaluate your site against some of Panda’s expectations in Google search quality guide.

    1. User Experience

    User experience is so important to Google and you need to make sure you are putting your customer first. Using Google Analytics will help you decide on your next steps to improve your website but you also need to create a strategic approach that will benefit what the user wants.

    1. Page Optimisation

    Every single page on your website needs to be optimised in an extensive way which will include action points for each page ranked on importance. To do this, you will need an SEO experts help.

    How do you feel about Panda 4.1?

    Mobile apps for musicians provide the opportunity to sell music via iTunes, promote exclusive tracks, share videos, build a social media presence, send event notifications, start a fan loyalty program, create a mobile store, hold contests, engage with fans, and much more.

    Media consumption on mobile devices is on the rise. By 2015, one-third of mobile users in America will regularly listen to music on their smart phones. Music and video already account for more than half the $30 billion mobile content market. Your fans expect the ultimate mobile experience in audio and video music, whether streamed or downloaded. Mobile consumers of music is a huge market, and mobile apps for musicians enable you to tap into various marketing opportunities, and literally be in the palm of your fans’ hands.

    Mobile apps for musicians provide the opportunity to sell music via iTunes, promote exclusive tracks, share videos, build a social media presence, send event notifications, start a fan loyalty program, create a mobile store, hold contests, engage with fans, and much more.

    The YouTube Creator Studio app is a one-of-a-kind app that allows musicians to manage their YouTube channels using mobile devices.  As a musician, you can interact with your fans and monitor channel performance on the go.

    Broadcast your events live to your audience with LiveStream. The technology is device-agnostic and allows musicians to reach out to their fans via Android,Apple smartphones, or television. You can stream concerts or a behind-the-scenes videos, and even chat with your audience during the stream.

    Bands and musicians are among the most followed and networked users on Facebook and Twitter. There are a number of mobile apps available for these sites. Tweet Lanes and Twidere are two free apps for twitter that have garnered good reviews. Use these to connect with your audience on Twitter. Tweet for a Track is a web application you can use to promote your music. Tweet the link to your song, and readers who retweet or share it on Facebook can download the song..

    Facebook is easily the single largest platform for musicians.  Many bands and artists run extremely popular pages on Facebook, for example Shakira, Eminem, and Justin Beiber. BandPage is the most popular service used by musicians seeking to connect with their fans  and market their music. The BandPage app allows you to post tour dates, videos, photos, and more to your Facebook page. You can also earn royalties through BandPage for the music that is played on your Facebook page.

    Bandsintown Concerts is an app that lists upcoming concerts. The app allows musicians to reach out to their audience and provide information. It also links with Facebook and Twitter. Musicians can use Bandsintown Concerts to establish and connect with a local fan base.

    There are online resources you can use to create custom apps and market your music. The challenge is in getting prospective fans to download the app. You could offer incentives such as discounts on your online music, loyalty programs, giveaways, and discounts on concert tickets.

    Musicians can create, promote, and sell music on their mobile devices using the right apps which can also be used to reach a wide audience through implementing an effective mobile marketing plan.