SMBs Missing Opportunity to Integrate Email With Social

small business thumb SMBs Missing Opportunity to Integrate Email With Social

getresponse list building strategies.thumbnail SMBs Missing Opportunity to Integrate Email With SocialAlthough roughly 3 in 4 SMBs use email marketing tactics such as organic list growth and web-based sign-up forms to generate leads, just 41% include a sign-up form on their Facebook fan pages, according to a survey released in February 2012 by GetResponse. And while a majority optimize their newsletters with clear, recognizable, branded from field names and addresses, less than half include social sharing icons in their newsletters.
SMBs appear to be behind the curve in this regard: according to a survey released in February 2012 by Econsultancy, in partnership with the Email Experience Council of the DMA, 69% of US organizations are including social sharing icons in their emails, while a further 13% have a plan in place to do so.

Segmentation Also Not Widespread

getresponse smb email segmentation list hygiene.thumbnail SMBs Missing Opportunity to Integrate Email With SocialData from GetResponse’s “The State of Email Marketing in SMBs” indicates that only 42% of the SMBs surveyed segment their lists based on either subscriber personal data or subscriber actions, such as opens and clicks. List hygiene is poor, too: just 38% report removing inactive contacts, and only 36% try to re-engage them through re-activation campaigns. SMBs also seem to be ignoring the risks posed by bad addresses: only 53% use mailing systems that automatically process soft and hard bounces and take appropriate actions to the addresses.

Legal Compliance Better, Though

72% of respondents indicate that they use a confirmed opt-in email model, and 71% provide unsubscribe links in their emails. Overall, the marketers surveyed cited an average deliverability rate of about 97%, with the vast majority reporting no problems with delivery to most major client inboxes.

Largest SMBs Not as Socially Integrated

SMBs with more than 500 employees tended to report higher adoption of various list building and sign-up form optimization strategies, such as using sign-up forms to grow lists, collecting contacts offline using paper sign-up forms, and telling subscribers specifically what they will receive. However, these larger companies were far less likely than companies with 11-250 employees to run a Facebook page with a newsletter sign-up form (57% vs. 82%), indicating that they may be underestimating the power of social media integration. Similarly, they were less likely than companies with 11-250 employees or 251-500 employees to use social sharing icons.

Other Findings:

  • Most SMBs have adopted measures such as regular mailings (70%), personalization (58%), compelling subject line (68%), and stats analysis (61%).
  • 69% of respondents indicated that they have a complaint ratio below 0.2%.

For more on email and social integration, visit MarketingVox.

About the Data: The GetResponse data was collected from November 14-28, 2011 from approximately 600 respondents classified in 4 groups based on the business unit size.

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B2B Marketers Struggle With Compelling Content

B2B Marketers Struggle With Compelling Content

 

marketingprofs biggest content marketing challenges dec11.thumbnail B2B Marketers Struggle With Compelling Content

41% of B2B marketers say that producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers is their biggest content marketing challenge, representing a 14% increase from 36% of respondents in 2010, according to [download page] a December 2011 study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. Data from “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends” indicates that respondents are also grappling with two challenges that go hand in hand: producing enough content (20%), and having the budget to produce enough content (18%). A lack of buy-in from higher-ups in the company (12%), producing a variety of content (7%), and having the budget to license content (1%) are primary challenges to relatively fewer B2B marketers.

Budgets Are a Challenge, But Spending to Increase

Although 1 in 5 B2B marketers cite having sufficient content marketing budgets as their primary challenge, data from the study indicates that content marketing spending is on the rise. Although roughly 26% of marketers’ total budgets are allocated to content marketing efforts this year, the same as in 2010, this year 60% of respondents indicate they will increase spending on content marketing in 2012, compared to just 3% that say they will decrease their spending levels.

The average amount of budget spent on content marketing appears to vary significantly by company size, with a negative correlation between size and budget share. For example, companies with fewer than 10 employees spend 34% of their budgets on content marketing, whereas companies with more than 1000 employees allocate 20% of their budgets.

Meanwhile, outsourcing also appears to be on the rise: whereas in 2010 only 55% of marketers used outsourcing in some capacity, this year that proportion has risen to 62%. When seeking out the right vendors to support content marketing, marketers use a variety of resources, with the biggest increase from last year seen in the use of consultants (32% vs. 27%) and the biggest decrease found in the use of trade shows as a venue to find support (20% vs. 26%).

Brand Awareness, Customer Acquisition Lead All Goals

Brand awareness and customer acquisition are content marketers’ top goals, cited by 68% of survey respondents. Lead generation (66%) and customer retention/loyalty (61%) follow closely, with website traffic (56%), engagement (55%), and thought leadership (55%) also goals for a majority of marketers. Almost half cite sales as a goal, while just 39% report using content marketing for lead management/nurturing.

Content marketing goals appear to be fairly unrelated to overall digital marketing goals: according to a November report from Webmarketing 123, lead generation (46.4%) is by far the most important objective of digital programs for B2B marketers, outstripping sales generation (22.2%), brand awareness development (15.3%), and site traffic generation (11.1%).

Web Traffic Top Success Indicator

Although web traffic is not a top goal among content marketers, it is the leading indicator of success, cited by 58% of respondents. Sales lead quality (49%) follows, while direct sales, sales lead quantity, qualitative feedback from customers, and SEO ranking are measurement criteria to roughly 4 in 10. The least popular indicator of success is inbound links, cited by 30% of marketers.

According to the November Webmarketing123 study, the vast majority (73.9%) of B2B digital marketers use web traffic as a measurement of campaign success, ahead of lead generation (69.2%) website click-through rate (64.7%), and sales (62.5%).

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Facebook rolls out Timeline feature

Facebook thumb Facebook rolls out Timeline featureFacebook has officially started rolling out its new Timeline feature that will enable users to show off the most important moments of their lives on their profile page.

The new feature, which was unveiled in early September, will first be introduced in New Zealand before it is rolled out to other countries, the company revealed on its Facebook blog today.

Facebook said Timeline would keep important life events on profile pages while less-important posts would drop off .

"Now you can share photos of what you did last weekend, and updates about how you feel today," the company said in a previous blog post.

"But since the focus is on the most recent things you posted, more important stuff slips off the page. The photos of your graduation get replaced by updates about what you had for breakfast."

The new feature will allow users to choose which life events, such as birthdays or weddings, are permanently illustrated on their profile.

Timeline raised privacy concerns in its development stage, after it was revealed it would be visible on the Timeline when you "unfriended" certain people, social media website Mashable reports.

Facebook said this was a glitch that had since been corrected.

Story: www.ninemsn.com.au

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Bosses stalk Facebook before hiring

Facebook thumb1 Bosses stalk Facebook before hiringMore than a quarter of Australian employers use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook before hiring staff, according to new research.

Telstra’s Cyber-Safety survey found that almost half of those employers who admit to checking candidates’ social profiles have turned down applicants based on something unfavourable they’ve seen online.

The research also revealed over a third have hired staff based on a positive experience stalking someone online.

The findings serve as a reminder to Australians to consider their ‘Cyber CV’, said Telstra’s Officer of Internet Trust Safety Darren Kane.

‘According to the findings some of the biggest Cyber CV faux pas candidates make include posting inappropriate pictures (with 31 per cent of employers saying this counts against applicants) and posting discriminatory comments (37 per cent),’ Mr Kane said.

‘Given the impressions comments and images can create, Telstra recommends job seekers think twice before posting, tagging and uploading pictures and status updates this Christmas.’

He has advised job applicants to ensure any content on Facebook or Twitter that is able to be publically viewed is ‘positive and professional’.

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How Blogs Influence Purchases and Recommendations

blog thumb How Blogs Influence Purchases and RecommendationsBloggers comment on brands and post to social media, expanding reach

Bloggers, from hobbyists to professionals, often write about brands, and their growing influence should make brand representatives continually evaluate the relationships they have with these bloggers.

Most bloggers write about brands in some way or another. According to the “State of the Blogosphere 2011” report from blog directory website Technorati, 38% of all bloggers post about brands that they love or hate and 34% write product or service reviews. Professional full-time bloggers or part-time professional bloggers who write as a way to supplement their income are more likely to blog about brands than their hobbyist, corporate or entrepreneur counterparts.

134484 How Blogs Influence Purchases and Recommendations

Bloggers are increasing in their influence over readers and other bloggers. Last year’s Technorati “State of the Blogosphere” reported that 29% of bloggers are influenced by other blogs they read. This year, that number jumped to 68%.

As bloggers gain influence and write about brands, the relationships between blog writers and brand representatives are important for companies to focus on. Most bloggers have a good relationship with brand representatives. Nearly half of all bloggers (49%) characterized their interactions with such representatives as somewhat or very favorable. Only 3% said their interactions were not at all favorable. However, 40% of all bloggers said they didn’t know how to characterize their interactions with brand representatives.

134489 How Blogs Influence Purchases and Recommendations

This large group of unsure respondents could have mixed feelings about the communications they receive from these brand representatives, affecting their relationships with the reps and their brands. Of all bloggers, 17% said brand representatives had asked for things that would compromise the credibility or content standards of the blog. This is roughly the same percentage of those that said the representatives were knowledgeable about their blogs and content (14%), are genuinely interested in building a relationship (16%) and provide information that has value for readers (23%).

As bloggers continue to grow in influence, their coverage of brands and their interactions with brands’ products, services and employees will be of greater interest to companies. Brand representatives who connect with bloggers must be sure to work with these writers to keep the relationships thriving.

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Study: Half of all social media campaigns fall flat

Trash thumb Study: Half of all social media campaigns fall flatBefore you launch your next big social media campaign, you may want to ask: Is anybody really listening?

A new TNS report reveals that as many as half of all social media marketing campaigns are going unnoticed.

Matthew Froggatt, the company’s chief development officer, says in a press release that 57 percent of consumers in developed markets do not want to engage with brands in the social sphere. The number is as high as 60 percent in the U.S., while 61 percent in the U.K.

TNS’s Digital Life study drew on findings from 72,000 consumers in 60 countries. It also revealed that 54 percent of people admit that social networks are a good place to learn about products.

Fear not—there’s hope for us yet.

Froggatt has advice for social media marketers:

“The key is to understand your target audience and what they want from your brand — social networks aren’t always the right approach. If consumers in one market don’t want to be talked to, can you use an alternative online method — creating owned digital media platforms, targeted sponsorship or search campaigns — to engage in an appropriate way that will achieve business results without adding to the digital waste pile?”

Story source: www.prdaily.com

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What Encourages Facebook Engagement?

Facebook thumb What Encourages Facebook Engagement?Brands that include photos and calls to action see higher engagement rates with those posts

Companies on Facebook and other social sites are always trying to determine what to post to get fans engaged. While each brand is different, and its fans will respond to different things, there are some common threads that companies can keep in mind when planning social media posts and status updates.

Digital marketing agency Web Liquid analyzed 16 brands and more than 1,500 brand posts from March to May 2011 to see which Facebook posts saw the most engagement, such as comments and “likes.” Web Liquid found that Facebook posts with photos saw a 0.37% engagement rate, higher than posts with videos (0.31%), text only (0.27%) or links (0.15%).

133951 What Encourages Facebook Engagement?

Momentus Media, which provides marketing software for use within Facebook, came up with similar findings, even when analyzing the top 20,000 Facebook pages and between 10,000 and 250,000 posts overall. Facebook posts with photos saw a 0.21% engagement rate, while videos saw 0.11% engagement rate and links saw 0.07% engagement.

Within the text of a post, companies can encourage action by asking fans to “like” or comment on the post. Momentus Media found that Facebook status updates that contained the word “like” saw a 0.38% engagement rate and those that said “comment” saw a 0.14% engagement rate. Text updates without “like” or “comment” saw 0.11% engagement.

132605 What Encourages Facebook Engagement?

While these statistics are interesting, brands should determine which tactics work best for their Facebook page and their fans. Additionally, the upcoming changes to Facebook’s Timeline feature and brand pages will change the way consumers interact on the social network.

Facebook’s new Timeline relies heavily on photos, so it seems that posts with photos and videos will continue to perform well for brands. And as Facebook introduces more verbs beyond “like,” companies could develop interesting ways to increase engagement on their pages. By testing different types of posts and continuing to learn what spurs a reaction, marketers can keep up with what content fans prefer on their brand Facebook pages and keep engagement up.

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Most Social Shoppers Trust SocNet Reviews

Social Shopping thumb Most Social Shoppers Trust SocNet Reviews

performics social shop influence.thumbnail Most Social Shoppers Trust SocNet ReviewsA majority of social shoppers trust user reviews and recommendations on social network sites more than other sites, according to a study released in October 2011 by Performics and conducted by ROI Research. Data from the “2011 Social Shopping Study” indicates that among participants who use social networks at least occasionally during the shopping process, 58% trust the recommendations they find on social networks more than other sites. Shopping sites (57%) and deal sites (53%) follow closely as trusted sources of product recommendations. According to the study, about one in 2 social shoppers are positively influenced by favorable reviews and recommendations. This compares to roughly 45% of social shoppers adversely influenced by negative reviews.

Shopping Sites Most Important During Process

Almost three in 4 (72%) social shoppers consider shopping sites to be an important part of the purchase process, about 25% more than those who report deal sites (58%) to be an important factor. Just four in 10 (41%) find social networks to be a significant part of the shopping process.

1 in 5 Use Sites Daily to Find Deals

performics social shop daily.thumbnail Most Social Shoppers Trust SocNet ReviewsAmong active social networkers, nearly one in 5 (19%) turn to deal sites to find specials, coupons, or deals on a daily basis. Social networks (18%) and shopping sites (17%) follow closely as deal sources. While 15% of social shoppers use social networks daily to learn about new products, only one in 10 use social shopping sites on a daily basis for other key stages of the shopping process, including to research product information, read product reviews, compare products, and find product availability.

Shopping Sites Most Popular Before Purchase

Although social networks are most frequently used to learn about new products, the vast majority of social shoppers (87%) turn to shopping sites while searching for a product, while 83% use these sites right before committing to a purchase. This compares to roughly two-thirds of social shoppers who frequently use social networks or deal sites prior to purchasing a product. After the purchase, however, the focus shifts to social networks: almost six in 10 (59%) frequently share their experiences on social networks after the purchase, compared to 57% for shopping sites and 51% for deal sites.

Other Findings

  • Almost seven in 10 (69%) social shoppers visit Amazon at least once a month, making it the most popular shopping site, ahead of eBay (53%) and retailer websites (52%). Search sites fare less well: just 27% visit Google shopping on a monthly basis, followed by Yahoo shopping (23%) and Bing shopping (13%).
  • Close to half of social shoppers (47%) have a Groupon account, far more than those with a Living Social (27%) or Eversave (15%) account.

Nielsen: SocNet Users Most Trust Info from Consumers

Social network users are most likely to trust product and service information provided by other consumers, according to data released in October 2011 by NMIncite and The Nielsen Company. Sixty-three percent say consumer ratings are a preferred source for product information, while 62% say consumer reviews are a preferred source. Company websites come in a distant third, preferred by 50% of social network users for product and service information. Call center (47%) and email (45%) closely follow. Interestingly, company Facebook page (15%) and company Twitter (7%) are among the least preferred product information sources.

About the Data: The Performics survey was conducted among 1000 participants who were required to have an active social network account and use social networks at least occasionally in the shopping process. The online survey was in field from 9/27/11 to 10/4/11.

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6 in 10 Twitter Followers are Existing Customers

twitter logo thumb 6 in 10 Twitter Followers are Existing Customers6 in 10 Twitter Followers are Existing Customers

 

chadwick martin bailey top 5 reasons to follow brand twitter oct11.thumbnail 6 in 10 Twitter Followers are Existing CustomersMore than six in 10 (64%) people who follow a brand on Twitter are existing customers of the company, according to [pdf] a study released in October 2011 by Chadwick Martin Bailey. Results from “10 Quick Facts You Should Know About Consumer Behavior on Twitter” indicate about six in 10 (61%) also want to be the first to know information about the brand.

No other reason for following a brand on Twitter is shared by more than half of followers. However, almost half (48%) follow to receive discounts and promotions. Another 36% want to gain access to exclusive content and 28% want to receive content and information to share and retweet with others.

6 in 10 Followers More Likely to Recommend

 6 in 10 Twitter Followers are Existing CustomersSix in 10 Twitter brand followers are either more likely to recommend many (18%) or a few (42%) brands as a result of following them. Another three in 10 (31%) are not more likely to recommend a brand they follow on Twitter and about one in 10 (9%) don’t know.

Twitter brand followers 35-49 are much more likely to recommend many brands they follow than those younger than 35. In the 35-49 segment, 33% are likely to recommend many brands and 14% are likely to recommend a few. Although a much higher percentage of followers younger than 35 are likely to recommend a brand overall (61% compared to 47%), only 14% are likely to recommend many brands and 47% are likely to recommend a few brands.

Interestingly, 33% of brand followers in both age groups are not more likely to make brand recommendations. The differentiator comes in the percentage who don’t know: 20% for those 35-49 compared to only 7% of younger followers.

Half of Twitter Users Go Online More than Once an Hour

 6 in 10 Twitter Followers are Existing CustomersFifty percent of Twitter users go online more than once an hour, compared to 34% of Facebook users and 29% of overall online users. Facebook users are slightly more likely to go online once every couple of hours (46%) than Twitter users (40%) or overall online users (45%).

Meanwhile, 20% of overall online users go online once per day, compared to 17% of Facebook users and 7% of Twitter users. Only 5% of overall online users, and 3% of both social network users, go online two to six times per week.

Nearly Half of Twitter Users Been Tweeting Less than 1 Yr

Thirty-eight percent of Twitter users have been tweeting for six months or fewer and another 9% have been tweeting for seven to 11 months, meaning 47% have been tweeting for less than one year. Thirty-eight percent have also been tweeting for one to two years, and 15% have been tweeting for more than two years.

In addition, one-quarter of Twitter users older than 50 have been tweeting less than one month.

1/3 of Followers Interact w/More Brands This Year

Thirty-three percent of brand followers on Twitter are interacting with more brands this year, while 57% are interacting with the same number and only 11% are interacting with less. Men increased their rate of brand interaction more from the previous year (38% compared to 27% of women).

Other Findings

  • 79% of Twitter users follow fewer than 10 brands, with 36% following one or two.
  • 75% of Twitter followers have never unfollowed a brand.
  • 26% of Twitter users 18-35 follow a brand, compared to 17% of followers 35-49 and 13% of those 50 and older.
  • Half of followers say they are more likely to buy a brand after following, including 55% of men and 45% of women.

Performics: Entertainment Top Twitter Category

Entertainment is the brand category most followed/liked on both Twitter and Facebook, according to an August 2011 study from Performics and ROI Research. Data from “S-Net, The Impact of Social Media” indicates 46% of brand fans on both social networks are fans of at least one brand in the entertainment category.

While the top five brand categories are the same on both social networks, there is some variation in how the next four categories are ranked. After entertainment, Twitter users are most likely to follow brands in the restaurants, food, electronics, and apparel categories. In contrast, Facebook users are most likely to like brands in the food, restaurants, apparel, and electronics categories.

About the Data: Data was collected through a 15-minute online questionnaire of 1,491 US consumers age 18 and up fielded in January 2011.

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Social Media Is Not Killing Email

email thumb Social Media Is Not Killing EmailEmail remains the top choice for marketing communications among all age groups

 

The latest death knell for email was sounded by data in comScore’s “2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review” report, which noted a decline in time spent with web-based email among all US internet users under 55. Users ages 12 to 17, who have been most likely to drop email in favor of other online communications like social networking, had the steepest decline in usage, down 59%.

But web-based email checked at a desktop computer is only one slice of all email communications, and email represents an overwhelmingly important communications channel.

According to research from customer relationship marketing agency Merkle, 87% of internet users checked personal email daily in 2010, a number that has changed little since 2007. Among those with a separate email account for commercial email, 60% checked daily, down just 1 percentage point since 2008.

Further, social media usage is hardly taking away from email. Rather, social media users are significantly more likely than other internet users to check their email four or more times per day, and less likely to check infrequently.

125265 Social Media Is Not Killing Email

Mobile access is also encouraging email users to check more often. More than half (55%) of those surveyed who had an internet-enabled mobile phone checked their personal email using their phone, and nearly two-thirds of mobile email users checked their account at least once a day.

125266 Social Media Is Not Killing Email

There is some evidence that personal communications are shifting away from email, though. Messages from friends and family are taking up a smaller share of all time spent with email, while the share spent with commercial emails is rising. And the proportion of respondents spending at least 20 minutes per week with email from friends and family fell from 71% in 2009 to 66% in 2010.

But email is still a major method of communicating for the vast majority of internet users. Across all age groups, it was the top choice for receiving commercial communications. Most respondents preferred the phone for personal communication, but email was the most important online channel for communicating with friends and family among every age group except 18- to 29-year-olds, a demographic for whom email was tied with social networks.

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