With the explosion of social media usage around the globe, social media websites have become a paramount platform for businesses to connect with customers, prospects, employees and candidates alike. So we asked several branding and marketing experts: Does outsourcing social media make sense for businesses?
On Saturday, Jan. 29, Sidetrek Productions presented a one-day conference in Vancouver on real world social media strategies and implementation. The speaker line-up included representatives from some of the biggest players in social media in Vancouver, the country and the world.
Following is our recap of the highlights.
Social media empowers consumers to be recognized by marketers as human again, their voices amplified through an expanding array of platforms in the transparent online marketplace. Businesses are learning the value of this increasing amount of unsolicited market data, as well as the power of engaging their customers in conversation. As a result, products and services are being tailored to customers more efficiently, and businesses are able to respond quicker to issues and concerns.
How are these changes affecting web design? In order to fully leverage the benefits of this new relationship between business and consumer, websites must be designed with and for the ‘social Web’, affecting aesthetics, functionality, and the development process itself.
One of the most important steps to take before speaking to your customers through your web copy is learning what they want, and what opinions they have about you and your competition.
But what if you don’t have the budget to pay for expensive research data or conduct focus groups? Targeted market surveys can cost up to $10,000 to reach a sample of just 1,000 people.
The advent of social media over the past decade has resulted in more and more people voluntarily sharing the valuable information market researchers pay for on sites like Facebook and Twitter. eMarketer predicts that the number of Twitter users alone will skyrocket this year to over 18 million, and March 4, 2010 marked the 10 billionth Twitter status update. That’s 10 billion times people have posted information online for all to see about what they are doing, thinking, and buying.
In the business realm, it’s been said formal learning fulfills 20 per cent of learning needs, while informal learning handles the other 80 per cent. Well, in the past, informal learning was turning to ask your colleague a question. Today, the rise of Web 2.0 technologies and social media brings the means to expand informal learning to the company scale, suggests Forrester Research’s Claire Schooley.
“As an information and knowledge management pro, the time is right to harness informal learning approaches like targeted job-related content, internal YouTube-type video clips, and employee-generated wikis,” reports Schooley.
Forrester indicates some forward-looking companies, such as BT (formerly British Telecom), Intel, and Nike, are making informal learning part of their learning programs, and are reaping rewards.
The recession has put major pressure on marketers to deliver results, and many are responding by increasing investments on social marketing. The reason?
Social media provides relatively inexpensive tools that can quickly get marketing messages out through interactive discussion and rapid word of mouth.
But how does a business go about making social applications a permanent part of its marketing efforts?
Plan for Success
According to James Wallace of Kontent Creative, a Vancouver design studio and web development group that helps clients tap into the social media realm, there needs to be a cohesive company strategy in place for social media interaction.
As Web 2.0 pulls the rug out from under news distribution monopolies, its interactive element will likely tune in millions more online users.
Not only are more people using the Internet each year (currently 1.17 billion globally, up 225 per cent from 2000), people are naturally drawn by its increasingly interactive nature. The opportunity to participate, even if not acted on, is engaging in itself.
Indeed, Web 2.0 allows users to discuss and influence precisely what’s near and dear to their hearts.
When writing effective web copy, understanding the psychology of how people read and process information is key. Our content strategists know this through client work and various content studies, including one with Yale University where we ‘primed’ survey respondents with words used in the intro.
Are website footers necessary? Absolutely! However, while the elements found at the bottom of web pages help deliver positive online experiences, they’re often neglected and underutilized. Here are tips on how you can establish a winning website footer to better serve visitors and maximize your success online.