19 Social Media Marketing Facts You Need To Know

Every now and then you come across some stats that tell a story better than any how to article ever could. These fast facts will arm you for those corporate arguments that generally start with “why are you spending time on social media” and end with the boss asking for “what’s the ROI?”

  1. $8.3 billion will be spent only on social media advertising in the upcoming year.
  2. Integration of social media with retail businesses will increase the number of people who share products on their personal profiles for up to 60%.
  3. 96% – 89% – 84% The percentage of social media advertisers that measure fans, traffic and mentions.
  4. Almost 46% of the people who want to buy a product will check out the social media page of the company or product they’re trying to buy.
  5. 67% – 78% marks the increase of companies that have specialized social media teams compared to 2012 stats.
  6. 66% internet marketers believe that social media affects their business, but only 9% of them actually know how to measure this impact in their revenue statement.
  7. The total amount of social media marketing budgets will increase its value by 100% over the span of five years from now.
  8. Consumer comments are important because the customers is on the first place after all, but only 20% of those comments get a response and the average time that companies spend in figuring out that response is 11 hours.
  9. 17% of bloggers and internet marketeers plan to improve their podcast or introduce them to their online business.
  10. B2B entities need to improve their social media exposure because 85% of buyers in this sector think that these companies should present their info pack on the social grid.
  11. Facebook stands as the number one influencer when it comes to online purchases in the US. Over 47% of American say that they check the validity of the product on Facebook.
  12. Facebook has a usage rate of over 94% in the B2C sector when it comes to social media platforms.
  13. Two thirds of the marketers that are active on Facebook claim how they’ve gained new customers using paid advertising.
  14. The same number stands for a post engagement in its first 5 hours after publishing.
  15. On the other hand only 34% of marketeers use Twitter to create a list of leads.
  16. 28% of the retweets you see on tweeter happen due to the fact that many marketeers include the “please RT” phrase in their posts.
  17. Google+ is a lonely rider on the Internet, but this is due to change because 19% of online marketeers plan to increase their activity on this social platform.
  18. 40% – 70% – 67% is the number of marketeers that use, want to learn more, plan to increase their activities on Google+.
  19. Users still spend four times more time on Tumblr and Pinterist rather than on Twitter

The original post was written by Aleksandar Spasevski and can be found at 19 Social Media Marketing Facts You Haven’t Known About.

Good Selling!

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Using Content Marketing to Drive Sales

Content Marketing Is Driving Brand ConversationsSocial media offers brands a set of inexpensive tools that can quickly get marketing messages out through interactive discussion and rapid word of mouth and, properly managed, can deliver measurable results.

You can use content marketing to create conversations around topics and social channels related to the need for your products.

Use a two-pronged approach to creating awareness and driving interest and sales

To do this successfully, you need to take advantage of both a top down and a bottom up approach to social media.

  • Your top down strategy is to create broad awareness and credibility among experts and consumers
  • Your bottom up goal is to drive consumer awareness and engagement through grassroots and in-market activities

How to spark and drive sustainable conversation and recommendation

Social media platforms for your content marketingHere’s how to spark and drive sustainable conversation and recommendation through social media:

  • LISTEN:  Track and identify key trends, stories, posts and influencers
  • DEVELOP:  Build content that makes it easier for consumers to share and recommend your brand
  • ENGAGE:  Work together with consumer influencers to drive discussion, posts, reviews, give feedback, conduct contests and share recommendations with others
  • OPTIMIZE:  Ensure both new and existing content is tagged to make brand discussions easily searchable and sharable
  • PROTECT:  Establish a protocol for responding to negative word-of-mouth and mitigating damage from competitors and brand detractors
  • MEASURE:  Build-in metric that demonstrate the impact of engagement at each point in the Conversation Engine

The most important step in building your social media foundation is creating a “sharable story”

Sharable story is like an elevator pitchA shareable story is basically an elevator pitch story with messaging that connects your key points together in everyday, natural language.

The sharable story shapes all engagement to ensure the story you want to tell is infused into all of your conversations.

Become the leading expert, resource, authority and trusted partner in your space

Next, you need to engage leading industry eminents across all relevant vertical channels. Find and engage those individuals who can influence people to consider your category and become interested in your brand.

Screen influencers using rigorous criteria to ensure identifying only the leaders:

  1. Reputation
  2. Reach
  3. Visibility
  4. Accessibility

Remember, these influencers are going to give you credibility so focus on engaging the right online influencers.

Track & identify key trends, stories, posts and influencers

Track & identify key trends, stories, posts and influencersThrough either subscription-based tools or through publicly available free tools, develop a daily monitoring routine to identify opportunities, influencers, and key trends.

Create conversations around topics and social channels related to the need for your products

Social media platforms for your content marketing

Now you are ready to activate your online social media channels. You want to create conversations around topics and social channels related to the need for your products.

Consider doing this in stages so you don’t overwhelm your team or confuse consumers by creating online content but not having the time or energy to keep it fresh and current. A possible phased approach is to launch on Facebook and Twitter initially.

Once you have Facebook and Twitter up and running smoothly, and the team is comfortable managing and posting content, it’s time to expand to additional channels like Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google+, etc.

These channels allow you to broaden your content and create additional content that your created and control to help further enrich the consumer education process and provide opportunities to link into your customer websites with rich content.

Your goal is to drive fans and followers with these two sites. Remember, these sites require you to engage regularly. That means you need to manage and moderate daily, especially since you will quickly find consumers using these sites to post customer service, quality or warranty issues.

Don’t worry if there are negative comments. Ultimately your goal is to bury these comments under an avalanche of helpful tips and advice on where and how to buy your brand. It’s this kind of news that will ultimately shape your brand conversations.

Focus on building assets that make the benefits of owning your brand shareable and portable

This will allow you to leverage the full capabilities of online multimedia sharing sites to maximize visibility and reach.

  • Action Words Bullhorn Megaphone Motivation MissionCreate checklists for occasions or life events that should include your brand
  • Build video demonstrations and distribute to YouTube and beyond through services such as TubeMogul
  • Build photo libraries that illustrate specific benefits of safe ownership and distribute to publicly indexed networks like Pinterest, Flickr and Instagram
  • Encourage consumer-generated testimonials (stories, videos, photos) – leveraging the capabilities of Facebook and Pinterest for running sweepstakes and contests

A good way to draw consumers to your social media sites is to host contests. It’s a straight forward way to build followers of your brand and ultimately to have them “opt-in” to being open to receiving email offers from you for new products, services or promotions.

Create and share content regularly that engages consumers and encourages them to share, recommend and, ultimately, buy

The final step is to measuring the impact of your online social media efforts.  A great way to do that is with a measure call an Earned Digital Engagement or EDE.   Earned Digital Engagements are the metric you can use to measure the direct impact of your online social media efforts, independent of natural conversation.

Using an EDE methodology, you’re able to provide a comparable measure of the number of people reached online, but this form of measurement also accounts for their action.  The EDE measures the number of people reached through a brand’s social media efforts across channels – from blogs to Facebook to Twitter and YouTube and Flickr.

An earned engagement consists of the number of people influenced by an interaction with your brand that results in a:

  • Post
  • Tweet
  • Photo
  • Video
  • Or public Facebook engagement

Forrester Research said it best: “…interactive marketers must move beyond experimentation by making social applications a permanent part of marketing, measuring and demonstrating their value, and integrating them into marketing efforts.”

10 Product Marketing Blogs You Need to Read

10 Product Marketing Blogs You Need to ReadFind insight and benefit from the thought-provoking blogs of these product marketing experts.  Each tackles the problems and issues that we all face as product marketers from their unique perspectives.  My top 10 list, in no particular order, includes:

  1. Shardul Mehta – Street Smart Product Manager
  2. Jeff Lash – How To Be A Good Product Manager
  3. Marlon Davis – Connecting.Some.Dots
  4. Ben Rees – Focus Product Marketing
  5. Cindy Alvarez – The Experience is the Product
  6. Stewart Rogers – Strategic Product Manager
  7. Chris Cummings – Product Management Meets Pop Culture
  8. Nils Davis – Wait, I Know This One
  9. Teresa Torres – Product Talk
  10. Rob Berman – Rob Berman’s Blog

There is a brief profile on each blog along with a link to their site.  In addition to a screen shot of the site, I’ve provided few words usually edited right from their own About section.  In most cases, I’ve also included their Twitter address.

A note on why these 10 blogs.  I tried to focus on blogs that were written by individuals and not blogs from groups or companies.  There are some great blogs that fall into this latter category, including:

Shardul Mehta…Street Smart Product Manager − The down-to-earth realities of what it takes to be a product ninja every day

Street Smart Product ManagerShardul Mehta is a simple product guy whose passion for great products is only exceeded by his love for chicken curry.

Here’s what you can expect to find on his blog:

  1. Tangible, actionable advice that you can execute on immediately. This is based on things I’ve seen work and not work. Writing about this actually sounds easier than it is.
  2. Thought provokers. Posts that push the envelope in thinking about how to conceive, validate, build and launch products. Hopefully, they will elicit discussion, debate, which can only help strengthen our field.

Find him on Twitter at @shardulmehta

Jeff Lash…How To Be A Good Product Manager

How to be a Good Product ManagerThis is a blog that provides resources and tips on good product management practices. While it focuses more on managing technical and online products, most of the concepts are appropriate for broader product management purposes.

In most cases, Jeff came up with ideas for the postings based on a “good” product management experience, and then I tried to think of the exact opposite approach that would be a “bad” thing to do. Other times they are based on examples, case studies, or others’ experiences. “Bad” examples should not be interpreted to be based on product managers I have worked with in the past or with whom I am currently working. (Hopefully, though, they are not representative of product managers I will work with in the future!)

Find him on Twitter at @jefflash.

Marlon Davis…Connecting.Some.Dots

Connecting Some DotsA blog on Product Management and Marketing Experiences, Connecting.Some.Dots was created to share Marlon’s experiences with other product managers who are working with technology and its application in order to introduce new and innovative products into the market and to sustain their success.

Visit Marlon’s LinkedIn profile to comment on his blog posts.

Ben Rees…Focus Product Marketing – A blog about product marketing, mostly for software companies

Focus Product MarketingBen Rees comes from a Product Management background but then moved over to the dark side of Product Marketing – which is the subject of this blog.

Find him on Twitter at @benjrees.

Cindy Alvarez…The Experience is the Product

The Experience is the ProductCindy Alvarez is a product manager who turns understanding the customer into competitive advantage.

Her philosophy is it’s all about the experience. She’s excited by companies who “get it” – that consumers don’t separate user experience from features and benefits of a product when they decide whether or not to use and recommend it.

But “the experience” isn’t just about consumers – it’s a dedication to ongoing improvement in how you work together and communicate and empower your teams. Everyone has to know where we’re going in order to get there.

That requires effective communication and a shared vision across multiple teams who often don’t “speak the same language”. She evangelize a product experience-driven development process.

Find her on Twitter at @cindyalvarez.

Stewart Rogers…Strategic Product Manager

Strategic Product ManagerStewart is a promoter, evangelist and recognized thought leader of product management best practices. He is an experienced product management professional with over 10 years in online and technology product management.

Find him on Twitter @stewartrogers.

Chris Cummings…Product Management Meets Pop Culture

Product Management Meets Pop CultureProduct Management Meets Pop Culture is Chris’ attempt to give something back to the community that helped shape him as a product management professional.  Why the pop culture?

Because most people “get” pop culture, and most people don’t really understand the role of “Product Manager” … but a good PM can mean the difference between a product achieving its goals or missing the mark.

Chris developed this site — using movies, comics, and other pop culture ephemera — to illustrate product management ideas that anyone can start using immediately, and to encourage discussion of best practices that we can all benefit from.

Follow him on Twitter @chriscummings01.

Nils Davis…Wait, I Know This One

Wait, I Know This OneOn his blog Nils hopes to share some insights and experience he’s gained over 20 years of practicing and studying software product management. He has both a less sanguine view of product management plus a more extravagant view of its meaning. He’s most interested in the specific challenges that arise because product management is a complex domain and discipline.

Product management is not like other disciplines – management, sales, marketing, development, etc. And he doesn’t put much store in techniques that are meant to address those merely complicated domains (e.g., project management), because they don’t work well in the face of the complexity of product management. In short, he doesn’t think a machine is going to take over our job any time soon! In the product management world we constantly struggle to understand how products are successful, and why some are not successful despite the best efforts of our colleagues, while others succeed despite “doing everything wrong.”

You can also follow him on Twitter @nilsie.

Teresa Torres…Product Talk

Product TalkTeresa is a product consultant and coach who works with early-stage companies helping them translate their big ideas into great products. Her focus is on helping product managers be better at what they do by sharing knowledge, building know-how, and refining practice. You can read more about the goal of her blog in her first post, Turning Big Ideas Into Great Products.

You can follow her in Twitter @ttorres

Rob Berman…Rob Berman’s Blog − Propelling Marketing Ideas

Rob Berman's BlogRob helps companies grow their revenue and profits.  He created this blog to share his experiences and to engage in conversation.  In particular, he leverages his experiences as a marketer, product developer and product manager who consistently brings new products to market, manages existing lines of business, drives communications and achieves financial targets.

Follow him on Twitter at @rcberman.