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A Celebrity’s Guide to Rockstar Social Media

LE-AA429_SOCIAL_P_20151012122858When it comes to social media, nobody gets it like celebrities. They consistently put out content that caters to their fans, and reinforcing their brand and strengthening their relationship with their fans. Your business could benefit greatly from social media by learning from the stars and how they keep their followings engaged. Here are a few common practices you could employ to boost your company’s social media:

  • Acknowledge Your Customers: Taylor Swift is well known for getting back to her fans, so much so that several sites have appeared to compile her replies to her audience. Get your customers excited to interact with you by demonstrating that you care about their concerns online and replying to both positive and negative feedback.
  • Don’t Be Too Commercial: Though it may seem contradictory, promoting your brand through social media isn’t about telling them to buy your product, it’s about making a narrative as to why they should buy your product. Your Instagram followers prefer to see a “behind the scenes” sneak peak over a “buy now” banner.
  • Create a Narrative: When Beyonce was in the tabloids in regards to troubles in her marriage, she did not try to dispel the rumors by confronting the publications. Instead, she posted happy pictures with her husband Jay Z, and in time the rumors went away. Instead of arguing with bogus reviews, show your customers the quality of your food by showing quality photos of your food to demonstrate that the rumors are false.

All in all, good social media takes time and strategy. Developing quality content to engage your audience can be a challenge on its own, but ultimately will provide a rewarding opportunity to build an authentic connection that will foster lifelong relationships with your customers.

Read the full article here in The Wall Street Journal.

Sales Meets Big Data

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New software tools are taking sales into the 21st century by bringing big data into the picture. By analyzing things like the opening of emails and success rates of phone calls, these big data startups can identify the best time of day to reach a CEO or when it’s best to reply to an email. Here are a few of the tools that are available through these startups:

  • Salesforce IQ: Salesforce’s latest software is an aid to sales people, as “it proffers tips on how to interact with specific customers and nudges salespeople when, for example, they haven’t spoken lately to a client they tend to contact regularly.”
  • ClearSlide: This software “alerts salespeople when a potential client reads a pitch email, so they can follow up just when the prospect may be most receptive. It also tells them whether a prospect lingered on the message once they’ve opened it…”
  • The Full Picture: Many departments are already employing plenty of software, sometimes “more than a dozen digital aids. One analyzes records of millions of transactions stored in sales databases to serve up lists of potential customers, ranking them in order of their likelihood to buy. If a prospect doesn’t pick up, another program, at the click of a mouse, leaves a voice-mail message from a prerecorded template. When a salesperson closes a deal, a third program triggers a morale-boosting gong sound.

Salespeople need to step up their game as business are increasingly looking to take out the middle man in transactions. Many positions will be vanishing within the next five years, and as such salespeople need to increase their efficiency by using software aids to keep a leg up on the competition. Ensure your sales team is doing its best by looking into the options above and seeing what works best for your company.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal here.

Google vs Apple: Tech Giants Duke it Out to Serve You Better

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With Google and Apple in a perpetual war to provide you with their tech goods, what is even worth paying attention to anymore? Will any of their new products or features really save you time? Here are a few new features the tech giants have announced, and how they may prove useful to your business and personal life:

Apple:

  • Siri Spotlight: “Suggests people to contact based on future meetings or nearby businesses. It will also find gas stations once you’re near the rental-car office,” as it gathers data on your patterns and behaviors to better serve you.
  • Traffic: Apple will phone tap traffic signals to let you know the most optimal time to be leaving your meeting in order to make it to your next endeavor before getting caught in the traffic or rain.
  • Privacy: Apple’s devices will know a lot about you, but Apple won’t as personal data will never leave your device.

Google:

  • Google Now: Have content from emails and messages instantly become entries on your calendar. Receive an email to meet a certain deadline? Set a reminder with just a single tap.
  • User Data: While Google doesn’t sell your info, it does use it to target to your for paying advertisers. If this makes you uncomfortable, you many want to opt out.
  • Invasive, but Helpful: Google is counting on using your data to best serve you and save you time. But how much it peeks into your data may be off-putting to certain users.

Overall, both giants are looking to save you time and money, but ultimately it may come down to how much of your privacy you are willing to give up in order to receive the best service. Is the convenience worth giving all your information over to Big Brother? That is for you to decide.

Click here for the full article in The Wall Street Journal

Social Media: a Tool for Relationships or Merely a Substitute?

As cell phones and social media continue to place themselves at the center of our social lives, we wonder what effect its importance has on the quality of our social life. Is the pressure to answer every tritone and whistle distracting us from meaningful human interaction? Or is maintaining contact with otherwise long-lost friends through Facebook leading to longer-lasting friendships?

Here are some of the arguments for and against social media as presented by The Wall Street Journal:

Social Media is Detrimental to Society:

  • We spend too much time on social media to build real connections: “We spend so much time maintaining superficial connections online that we aren’t dedicating enough time or effort to cultivating deeper real-life relationships.”
  • We are on our phones even when we’re not talking: “Worse, we don’t even need a beep or vibration to distract us anymore. In one study of more than 1,100 teens and adults, my fellow researchers and I found that the vast majority of smartphone users under 35 checked in with their electronic devices many times a day and mostly without receiving an external alert.”
  • Empathy is lost in emoticons: “In one study we found that while empathy can be dispensed in the virtual world, it is only one-sixth as effective in making the recipient feel socially supported compared with empathy proffered in the real world. A hug feels six times more supportive than an emoji.”

Social Media is a Tool We Use to Maintain Relationships:

We’re doing a good job of staying in touch: “Social ties that we once would have abandoned as we left high school, changed jobs and moved from one neighborhood to another now persist online.”

  • Seemingly trivial messages communicate much more than you think: “It is tempting to dismiss as trivial many messages exchanged online. But together, the small sips that come from the steady contact of social media can add up to a big gulp of information about the activities, interests and opinions of the people we connect with. They communicate mutual awareness and closeness along with information that we wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

Are we moving to an ever more interconnected society or one that will soon forget how to interact with one another? Is your social presence going to be more valuable than what you present in person? What is sure is that the way we relate to one another is changing and adapting to the way people now connect will be key to success in your business.

Click here for the full article on The Wall Street Journal

Marketo and LinkedIn Team Up to Offer Personalized Ads

14257556613_4cfd6d3aa7_oMarketo, a digital marketing automation software company, has struck a deal with LinkedIn to use its metrics and database to target ads specifically to LinkedIn, allowing marketers to better hone in on their target market. With GE as its first customer, it is looking forward to engaging consumers with a brand in a more professional context which was previously unavailable. Here are some key points from the article:

  • LinkedIn and Marketo are partnering up: “Marketo brings to the partnership software that automates digital marketing across the Web, email and social and mobile channels. That’s being integrated with LinkedIn’s new ‘Lead Accelerator’ product, which helps marketers deliver more relevant ads by combining data about what part of the brand’s website the person browsed with demographic information from the person’s profile on the LinkedIn professional networking site.”
  • How is this different from LinkedIn’s previous advertising? “The integration essentially bridges paid advertising on LinkedIn with the digital marketing that Marketo is known for and helps advertisers tell a consistent story across those channels, said Marketo Chief Executive Phil Fernandez.”
  • Consumers respond to ads that are consistent through multiple devices: “‘Consumers are expecting relationships to follow them around as they move through all those places,’ Mr. Fernandez said in an interview. ‘We move around devices and apps without thinking about it, but what brands are saying to us doesn’t.’”
  • This advertising strategy adapts for consumers who may take several paths when researching a purchase: “There are multiple paths a customer might take to research and make a purchase decision, including a combination of online channels and offline interactions, like conversations with an actual salesperson, said Andy Markowitz, general manager for GE’s Performance Marketing Labs.”
  • Marketo will not stop with LinkedIn: “For Marketo, the LinkedIn partnership is the latest in a series of deals that aims to help marketers create continuous conversations with customers across digital channels. The company recently reached a deal to integrate its software with Google AdWords and Google Analytics products as well as Facebook’s custom audiences.  Marketo this week is also rolling out new products to help marketers reach customers across all major digital channels through a single software platform.”

LinkedIn and Marketo are sure to make waves with this new service, and will open the possibility of advertising B2B product and services through social media. There is no denying that personalized ads are the future of advertising, and with Marketo and LinkedIn becoming bigger players in the game, we can expect many more changes to come.

For the full article on The Wall Street Journal, click here.

Give Me Back My Online Privacy

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With online privacy becoming more and more scarce every day, people are fighting back to keep their online activity as private as possible. Read the full article via the Wall Street Journal.

“The fears about privacy are widespread. According to the Pew Research Center, half of Americans—up from 33% in 2009—are concerned about the wealth of personal data on the Internet.”

 

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