Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Optimising social media marketing

The success of any social media marketing campaign is determined by how well optimised it is. Optimisation in this context refers to the process of fine-tuning the elements of a campaign in order to achieve business goals.

The most important part of a social media marketing campaign is strategy. This is the plan of action or roadmap that will be followed to achieve the set goals. A good strategy produces good results and a bad one leads to failure.

In order to be effective, the strategy should focus on specific objectives like building brand awareness, increasing sales or enhancing customer loyalty. A focused campaign is easier to execute, manage and measure.

Once the strategy is in place, it becomes easy to optimise the social media marketing campaign. However, it is important to note that the marketing efforts should be monitored using reliable tools that are either part of the social networking platform or external.

Marketers should monitor their customers’ conversations and behaviour online. This extends to studying their competitors as well. Critical intelligence is gathered in this way and it can be used to sharpen the company’s social media strategy.

By tracking their customers’ online behaviour, marketers are able to understand which platforms they prefer, the times when the majority are active on them and they kind of content they love most.
Each customer segment has its own platform preferences. For example some customers like videos and spend lot of their time watching online videos on platforms like Youtube or Vimeo. It makes sense therefore that the most effective way to connect with them is via video marketing.

It is also important for marketers to understand that visual content is very effective in social media marketing. Creative and compelling visuals are highly shareable, induce virality and lead to word of mouth marketing.

Another critical success factor that needs optimisation is the frequency of posting and the times to do it. Marketers should endeavour to post content when most of their customers are online in order to increase the reach of their posts.

If the posting frequency is too high, it results in spamming. Ultimately, customers will start to ignore the messages. Conversely, infrequent postings minimise a brand’s share of voice. The visibility of the posts will be drowned by those competitors who have excellent campaigns.

Companies engaged in social media marketing should open up the ownership of social media strategy. It must not be owned by one department in the company alone. Everyone within a company should be involved.

Companies should endeavour to be truly social and not just be good at social media. A social company communicates in a personalised way with its customers and believes in creating dynamic relationships with them.

Social media marketing processes need to be optimised if brands are to achieve their business goals. Brands should track and monitor social chatter and use the metrics to fine tune their marketing initiatives. Visual content is key and should be created and posted on the relevant platforms.

Once this is done, then using social networking platforms for business becomes effective.

Use of #tag and @ in social media

Social media is a specialised field that has its own unique jargon and symbols. These symbols have sometimes confused the new users.

Fortunately, these social media symbols are easy to master. Understanding their meaning simplifies usage and discoverability of content.

Two prominent symbols that are used on most social media platforms like Twitter and Yookos are the hashtag (#) and the mention (@).

The Hashtag
The hashtag is defined as “a word preceded by a # mark”. It is inserted before a keyword in a post that turns the word into a clickable link. An example of a hashtag is #Yookos.

The hashtag was first proposed by Chris Messina, a former Google employee in 2007. It is now being increasingly used by both businesses and individuals on many social networking platforms.

Whenever a user adds a hashtag to a word, the social network indexes it immediately. Keywords with similar Hashtags are then grouped together in the social networking site’s database.

 When a user clicks on a hashtag, they will be taken to a page that contains all the posts with the identical hashtag.

Therefore, it is apparent that hashtags simplify the process of searching for and discovering content on social networking platforms.

A hashtag that is repeated by many users becomes a trending topic. This is sweet music indeed. When a topic achieves the trending status, it is displayed prominently for other users to locate it easily.
Businesses and content providers benefit from the strategic usage of hashtags in their posts. They can either create their own hashtags for their social media for business campaigns. A classic example is #thankyoumom campaign by Procter and Gamble.

  • The results of that campaign produced the following results for P&G:
  • Most successful campaign in P&G’s 175 year history delivering $200MM+ incremental sales (USA) and record-setting ROI results
  • Portfolio linkage increased 11%
  • Familiarity, Favorability and Trust swelled by 22%, 13% and 10% respectively
  • Advertising recall was +38% higher than other US sponsors
  • Post-Olympics Equity was 8% higher than Pre-Olympics
  • 33.6 Billion earned media impressions
  • 17 Million YouTube views globally
  • Social buzz for P&G’s 3 largest brands increased on average by +66%

Businesses can alternatively ride on the popularity of a hashtag that is related to their brand or product. For example, at the peak of the coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial in South Africa, the #OscarTrial dominated and became a trending topic. A certain university advertised its law degree programme and inserted #OscarTrial hashtag into its post.

This gave the post a great visibility from the millions of users who were following the trial. However, a word of caution. Riding on other hashtags is risky business and relevancy must be established first.
Additionally, social networking platform users must avoid being too spammy with the hashtags. Two or three are sufficient in a post.

Hashtags can also be included in the profile information of a user. This will enable the user’s profile to show up when that hashtag is searched for.

On the other hand the @ symbol in social networking is for mentioning or tagging users in the posts. The @ symbol is put before the profile name and when it is inserted into a post, the user is alerted.
This is a clever way of involving influencers in a conversation online.
The hashtag and @ symbols are very important in social conversations and they can be used on many social networking platforms. They allow content to be searchable and enable other users to be involved in the conversations.

Benefits of being on social media and fetching business through it

Social media platforms are a very powerful driver of business success. The brands who are not using these social tools are only doing so at their own peril.

The benefits of using social media for business are immense.  However, mastering social media requires effort and diligent application of strategic thinking. Those who understand its concepts and processes reap huge benefits.

Social media marketing
Social media marketing is the most popular benefit that social platforms bring to businesses. Brands can use channels like Facebook, Twitter and Yookos to build their brands, establish a good reputation, increase their sales and engage with their customers more strongly.

The brands can use social media for content marketing purposes. Whilst content is the fire, social media is the petrol that make it spread widely. Video marketing is also covered under this umbrella. Research has shown that video marketing is the future of social media for business.

Social media platforms enable businesses to achieve their marketing objectives at a fraction of the cost in comparison to the other forms of advertising.

Audience Insights
Brands can get insights into the preferences and demographics from their social media footprints. Social networking sites gather a lot of important data and behavioural metrics of the users. This is useful intelligence that enables brands to understand their customers better and sharpen their targeted marketing.

Customer intelligence is an important business asset that is now being given the same importance as human resources and capital. The reason is simple. Deep knowledge of the customers enables businesses to supply them with the products that match the exact specifications of their requirements.

Customer Service
Social media is all about conversations between companies and their customers. Customers are using social networking platforms to register their dissatisfaction with a product and also to make general enquiries.

Social media platforms thus enable businesses to surfaces challenges faced by their customers and to address them accordingly. This creates a win-win scenario where the voice of the customer is heard whilst businesses can do a lot of damage before the situation gets out of control.

Polls and Surveys
Social media platforms enable companies to conduct polls and surveys. These are very important since businesses can learn a lot from poll results. Information gathered from polls and surveys can be used to improve the quality of a product or service delivery.

Social media is an indispensable component for any business in any industry vertical. The social networking tools level the playing field that equalise small and big business. The social media uses outlined above facilitate customer acquisition and foster long term loyalty.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Introducing Yookos 4 Business

Yookos 4 Business is an initiative designed to equip business owners and entrepreneurs all over the world to use the Yookos platform to expand awareness and influence of their product or service. 

Yookos offers users a free business page complete with social interaction tools and fully customizable design as well the opportunity to advertise their product or service to a global audience of potential prospects. 

The Yookos 4 business community is a place for business users to be informed about all things pertaining to business and Yookos, network with like minded individuals and also expand awareness of their brand on a global arena as well as being inspired to continue to take giant strides towards success.

To compliment this initiative there is the Yookos 4 business community. The online community has various features including an online business directory , a networking space , tutorial videos ,inspiration corner as well as all the information required to get in touch with our Yookos 4 business consultants.

We have a team of skilled and experienced consultants globally who will guide and facilitate business users in how to get the most out of Yookos and also provide any services they may need in using Yookos for their business from social media content management to graphic design.

Signed up businesses who do not possess the technical ability to set up a business page will support from the Yookos team. This support includes the customization of the page to reflect a brand’s corporate look and graphic design. Content marketing, especially visual content, is key to the success of the social campaigns and the Yookos pages have the capacity to prominently display photos and videos.

Yookos' content sharing features will enable the marketing messages of a business to be shared widely across the social web.

Additionally, brands that do not have the capacity or time to create content can take advantage of the content creation service that is offered under the Yookos For Business initiative. The Yookos content specialists have an in-depth knowledge of creating compelling and highly engaging content that delivers on the business goals.

The content created will give businesses’ enhanced visibility on the search engines like Google and Yahoo as well improve the conversion of leads to customers. The internet is about discovery and customers rely on it “zero moment of truth”. ZMOT is the ciritical stage where they will be looking for information about a service or a product.

Indeed, the Yookos 4 Business package tailor-made for success as it offers businesses a comprehensive out of the box solution.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Enhancing business through video promotion

Video marketing is increasing in its relevancy and value as the most effective content marketing tool. No wonder why marketers from brands across the world have included it in their digital marketing mix.

The factors that have led to the ascendancy of video as a marketing tool are numerous. The following statistics justify its popularity with marketers:

·        Videos enjoy a wide audience reach. Youtube alone has over 1 billion unique visitors each month.
  •       Viewers watch more than 4 billion hours of video every month on Youtube.
  •       About 92% of online video viewers share exciting ones with their friends.
  •            52% of consumers revealed that videos influence their online purchase decisions.
  •           It is projected that video will account for 69% of all internet traffic in 2017.
  •            The virality potential of videos is high. For example 3 VW marketing videos had a combined viewership of 155 million.
  •             If one picture paints a 1000 words then 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
  •            72% of marketers agree that video has a better conversion rate than any other content format.

Why is video marketing important?

The above statistics confirm that videos widen the reach of a marketing message and enhances a company’s engagement with its customers. These are very critical business success factors.

The videos can be uploaded onto the company’s website or external hosting platforms like Youtube, Vimeo and Yookos. A video that sits on a company’s website increases the time that users stay on the site and also helps in its ranking from an SEO perspective.

Distributing the video onto external platforms improves the visibility of the brand and builds its reputation.

The importance of strategy

However, a key determinant of a video’s popularity and effectiveness is the extent to which its creators match their audience’s passion points with creative and compelling content. 

Video marketing seeks to satisfy the informational and entertainment needs of the targeted audience whilst meeting business goals at the same time.

Just like with any other marketing campaign, strategy is key to success. According to one expert “first define a strategically relevant and powerful content territory for your brand. 

This should like at the intersection of your audience’s passion and your value proposition. What unique content can your brand bring to your consumers to earn their loyalty?”

What are the elements of a good video marketing strategy?

A result-oriented video marketing strategy should include the following elements:

·        Business goals: The video marketing campaign should help in the achievement of the company’s goals.

·        Target audience: This should be clearly defined and its psychographics factored in the creation of the video. This will improve the chances of emotional connectivity.

·        Promotional strategy: How will be the video be promoted both online and offline.

·        Video must match business goals: What are the business goals of the video? Is it educational, brand awareness, downloads of an app or purely informational?

Lack of a clear strategy leads to the failure of a campaign or a viral video that has no direction.

A properly executed video marketing campaign will ultimately lead to:

  •         High brand awareness
  •         Improved brand reputation
  •         Increased conversions
  •        Greater sales
  •         Enhanced product knowledge

Marketers should incorporate video in their digital marketing mix as it is the best marketing tool. The results of effective video marketing campaigns speak for themselves.