Tag Archives: social

From Being Social to Being Seller

September 10, 2011


Every social marketing article we read these days talks about building relations and communicating with your customers.

All is good until that communication doesn’t start converting into numbers that can impress the management.

Now, the recent trends have shown that simply harassing the customers with huge amount of messages via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is not going to help much. You need to make those customers into buyers thereby making those channels a revenue source for you.

You will hardly find any major retailer without any social media presence. But surprisingly, not many are really aware of how to actually turn those social media channels into sales channels.

Thus, a huge opportunity lies for the retail stores to get the marketing strategies right and drive sales by making these social channels into their e-commerce channels.

The key question that comes here – how can the retailers actually use these channels?

Solution – Either use sticky promotions to bring users, localize the channels (e.g. walmart, having different twitter channels for each location) and selling through Twitter and Facebook pages.

The need of the time is innovative digital strategies that help the retailers grow their revenue. You would find that people are selling Twitter followers and Facebook fans as earlier more was better. Companies boasted about the number of fans and followers that they have. But research has shown that more is not always better. It is more important to get quality followers. What is the point of having 10,000 followers when 5,000 are users who hardly check twitter, or are from outside your serving area.

When planning your communication strategy, you need to think – why would a consumer prefer your brand over others? What is it that you can offer what others cannot?

Consider a scenario of a local Macy’s store in Houston. Now, they have region specific promotions and collection. Now, if there is one Facebook profile for Macy’s brand, then how will they build relations with all the customers together. A Houston resident will not benefit from products of New York store and vice versa. The retail stores need to define strategies that can help them get closer to their consumers, build their interaction and let the consumers connect to them on a regular basis.

If you have a celebrity coming at your store to launch your new product, let the locals know about it. You will see the fans lined up to buy the first hand version.

Use Facebook and Twitter to promote your brands by the consumers itself. For e.g. launch a Facebook promotion wherein the top 5 customers who post their 5 valued purchases from your store, win a price or gift voucher. Or the best story about an experience of a customer while purchasing at your store could win a prize.

The possibilities are endless, the key is to make your customers feel valued and special. If they are becoming your FB page fans, then let them feel as fans. Give them the red carpet treatment and they surely will come back to your store and even bring their friends and family members along.

Continue reading...

Surprising Trends in Social Web Spam Attacks – Impermium Index

September 7, 2011

1 Comment

Social web spam and abuse on social media sites has been a cause of nuisance for the website owners. Social media is so open, that almost anyone can post anything about anyone, thereby posing a very high risk on brand reputation.

Impermium, a social web security company has come up with Impermium Index showing an indepth analysis on the types of severity of social web spam and abuse. According to the report, social media spam attacks are growing exponentially and simultaneously there is an increase in the sophistication to the tactics used by the spammers.

So here are the highlights of the first report, named – Summer 2011. The report is based on a large sample of almost 104 million social media transactions over a period of 100 days involving a user base of more than 90 million across 72 countries.

  • Fraudulent Online ID Signups – Fake accounts range from a low 5 percent to almost 40 percent of users. Scammers are registering accounts in huge numbers (almost millions) as they send fake friend requests, fake tweets and so on. The black market for bulk social networking accounts is also growing exponentially. This is not surprising as you can see a lot of websites selling Facebook Fans and Twitter followers for big bucks. Obviously they do not have real fans or followers, they simply create 100’s and 1000’s of fake accounts and use them.
  • Dormant Accounts are most vulnerable – Accounts that you created and have not been using much could be the next target for the spam attackers. Impermium helped one prominent social network from a coordinated attack by more than 30,000 fraudulent accounts, which got live in just 1 hour and attempted to submit more than 475,000 wall posts. But this is not just limited to dormant accounts, even the ones that are live since years could be hacked at the right moment.
  • Spam Attack Techniques are More Better and Harmful – New and new techniques of attacking the social web with spam are coming up quickly. If there is a popular brand or a news event, the spammers exploit it to spam. Scammers use the most popular or emotional news to get increased clicks. For e.g. the recent news of Osama’s death or Amy Winehouse’s death, scammers used them to deceive users into clicking malicious links.
  • Uggs was the #1 most exploited brand in the social web, followed by Gucci and Prada.
  • Surprising, the top consumer categories in the social web spam space were fashion and electronics, which were above porno scams by 3x.
  • SBU are scammers – The small businesses are getting more into social web spam. According to the report, small units like local restaurants, shuttle services, etc. which are hit by the recession, are resorting to the spam activities to make few more bucks.

It keeps getting difficult and difficult to fight the spam in the social web. The key is to be watchful and alert about what is being talked about your brand and where.

Continue reading...

Know When to Stop in Social Media

September 3, 2011


Most of the businesses have not realized the power of social media and have made their presence on at least Facebook and Twitter. But sometimes, even the digital giants get stuck as to how much more presence is required.

While  some companies prefer to have just one corporate identity, some companies want to create one identity for every branch or department. So, the key question comes, do we need multiple identities, or should we have one universal identity and merge all others into the same umbrella.

The question is pretty straightforward, but the answer is not. Depending upon the nature of your business and the types of customers, the social media strategy differs.

For some corporate houses, like JetBlue, where the point of interaction is one, it is beneficial to have a single presence. A single profile makes the customers to connect in a better way as it avoids confusions and even create a huge followers. Such a strategy helps users who have a small or medium size business.

On the other hand, companies who have a worldwide presence, and who have different branches or departments catering to different services, it makes more sense to have multiple profiles. For e.g. consider Dell who has stores all over the world. Now a store in UK cannot have similar promotions to store in USA and thus, they need different profiles, one for UK customers and one for USA customers.

If we categorize the businesses who would benefit from multiple profiles, we will broadly get the following:

  • Businesses having different departments: For e.g. Dell has a separate channels for their different departments, one for corporate Dell, one for Education Dell, one of  SMB Dell, etc. Each channel delivers content relevant to that department so as to make proper connection with the followers.
  • Different Geography and Languages: We can consider the Dell example that I had explained earlier regarding Dell having different profiles for the different regions where they operate.
  • Localized business: For e.g. Walmart who has stores in almost all the states and cities in USA. It will make more sense for them to open profiles for their localized stores to help connect with their local customers personally.

Depending upon the social media strategies, companies can have multiple profiles. The above is just few pointers for businesses, but the key is that if you do opt for multiple social media accounts, remember to maintain them. It makes no sense if you open many accounts and let me stagnate. The goal is to connect with your customers, whether you do it using single channel or multiple channels, eventually it should be accomplished.

Continue reading...

New Pepsi Social Vending Machine

May 2, 2011


Pepsi has always been very active in social media boasting millions of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. But this time they have come up with something really different – Pepsi Social Vending Machine.

This video shows the full capabilities of the digitally-connected touch screen social vending machine, which allows its users to send free drinks to their friends by entering their name, mobile number and a personalized text message. It also includes a code which can be redeemed at any PepsiCo vending machine.

Concept seems to be nice, but it lacks the real social integration. Gifting or receiving free drink comes with a lot of pre-requisites. Therefore, it seems like the incentive to spread this message via social networks is currently non that lucrative.

It would be interesting to wait and watch how this campaign goes, what do you think about it?

Continue reading...

Marketing/PR Case Study of an Eight Year Old Birthday Party

April 23, 2011


Here is an awesome video of a marketing/PR/advertising/social media case study of an eight year old girl’s birthday party. Its amazing to see where all marketing can be applied.

Continue reading...