Creating Brand Engagement

Fifteen years ago, buying books or shoes on-line seemed novel. Seemingly overnight, though, e-commerce and traditional commerce merged. So it’s easy to forget that e-commerce is a recent innovation. Human behaviour has changed, from browsing to buying, from surfing to selling until finally, there was no more “on-line business.” Only business.
A similar shift is unfolding now with social technology. Social media’s leaps in the past five years only hints at what social technology will do over the next five. This is the beginning of a new genre of business, one that presents an opportunity to earn customers by becoming relevant to their needs and aspirations.

IT’S YOUR COLLEAGUES AND YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Social technology is about more than engaging fans and attracting “likes.” It’s about empowering your customers and partners to engage with your brand, to build relationships that will help build your brand. It’s about building communities within your workforce where colleagues create and share ideas.

Leaders in every industry have begun taking advantage of social technology, erasing distinctions between “social business” and business. Human behaviour is changing again.
Increasingly, your customers and employees expect you to integrate social into your core business processes. Any business that isn’t social by design won’t stay in business.

A SOCIAL WORKFORCE IS A PRODUCTIVE WORKFORCE.

We are social animals, even at work. With 1.5 billion of us using social networks, you don’t need to convince your workforce of social’s value you just need to create a culture that guides and supports the application of social to your work processes.
Picture a company that doesn’t follow the flow of a strict organisational chart, but thrives as a network of communities. What if your employees could spot gaps in their expertise and quickly identify the best colleagues or candidates to fill them? Or if your staff could instantly crowd source and share their knowledge across departments, across languages, across oceans?

These aren’t idle fantasies. For example, a cement giant that faced some familiar issues above, was aware that its corporate knowledge had become globally spread. Vulnerable to file
deletion, career changes or retirement. Employees are now  building a network of communities around shared skills and projects, helping the company launch its first global brand
in just a third of the time it had anticipated.

TURNING CUSTOMERS INTO ADVOCATES.
It’s only taken social media half a decade to alter consumer behaviour. Social inputs like reviews and comments could drive up to a third of consumer spending, and it’s estimated that, by 2022, social technology will enable four out of every five customer transactions. With consumers so empowered, it’s crucial for your entire workforce to use social technology to help delight customers. Your brand’s success will depend on its ability to match what it promises with what it delivers.

What if you could harness the Web into an infinite focus group. Applying social listening to on-line discussions, your company can creatively and nimbly respond to consumer sentiment. In fact, social conversation on sustainability has inspired one company to introduce greener packaging. And by incorporating social into on-line experiences to reach new audience segments, they turned customers into advocates.

ITS NO LONGER BUSINESS AS USUAL.

Investing in becoming a social business—in helping your work-force deliver an exceptional customer experience—has never been more urgent.
A 5% decrease in customer attrition can boost profits by up to 95%. And finding new customers can cost up to  five times as much as keeping the ones you have.
Becoming a social business goes beyond building a social network. It demands capturing and analysing the vast amount of data that the network creates. Harnessing that data can remove boundaries inside and outside your company. Before you know it, there will be no more “social business” Only Business.

 

Where do you want to take your business? What are the questions you want answered?

skills and projects, helping Cemex
launch its first global brand
in just a third of the time it had anticipated.
Smarter workforce solutions help
companies attract employees, enable them to develop their skills
faster and show them how
delighting customers can improve
business performance. After outdoor retailer Cabela’s used smarter workforce technology to
rally its employees around a
formalized brand culture, its stores
with more engaged employees realized significantly higher sales
per labor hour. That’s the promise
of a smarter workforce.
TURNING CUSTOMERS INTO ADVOCATES.
It’s only taken social media half a decade to alter consumer
behavior. Social inputs like reviews
and comments could drive up
to a third of consumer spending, and it’s estimated that, by 2022, social technology will enable four out of every five customer transactions.
With consumers so empowered, it’s crucial for your entire workforce to use social technology
that faced some familiar issues. Its
corporate knowledge had been
spread all over—vulnerable to file
deletion or one engineer’s
retirement. But since 2009, IBM
solutions for social business have
helped product-development teams in 50 countries trade ideas and insights in real time. And employees have built a network of communities around shared
as a network of communities. What if your employees could spot gaps in their expertise and quickly identify the best colleagues or candidates to fill them? Or if your staff could instantly crowdsource
and share their knowledge across
departments, across languages,
across oceans?
Those aren’t idle fantasies for Cemex, a $15 billion cement giant
It’s easy to forget that e-commerce
is a recent innovation. Fifteen years ago, buying books or shoes online seemed novel. Seemingly overnight, though, e-commerce and traditional commerce merged.
Human behavior changed—from
browsing to buying, from surfing
to selling—until finally, there
was no more “online business.” Only business.
A similar shift is unfolding now
with social technology. Social media’s leaps in the past five years
only hint at what social technology
will do over the next five.
IT’S YOUR COLLEAGUES.
AND YOUR CUSTOMERS.
Social technology is about more than engaging fans and attracting
“likes.” It’s about building
communities within your workforce where colleagues create and share ideas. And it’s about
empowering your customers and
partners to help build your brand.
On a smarter planet, leaders in
every industry have begun taking
advantage of social technology, erasing distinctions between “social business” and business. And
human behavior is changing again.
Increasingly, your customers and employees expect you—and your
competitors—to integrate social into your core business processes.
Any business that isn’t social by design won’t stay in business.
A SOCIAL WORKFORCE
IS A SMARTER WORKFORCE.
We humans are social animals, even at work. With 1.5 billion of
us using social networks, you don’t
need to convince your workforce
of social’s value—you just need to create a culture that guides and
supports the application of social to your work processes.
Picture a company that doesn’t follow the flow of a strict
organizational chart, but thrives
to help delight customers. Your brand’s success will depend on its
ability to match what it promises
with what it delivers.
In 2010, the Italian poultry leader
Amadori Group used IBM
solutions for social business to interpret the Web as an infinite focus group. Applying social
listening to online discussions, the
company can creatively and nimbly
respond to consumer sentiment.
In fact, social conversation on
sustainability has inspired Amadori
to introduce greener packaging. And by incorporating social into online experiences to reach new audience segments, Amadori can turn customers into advocates.
THERE’S NO BUSINESS
BUT SOCIAL BUSINESS.
Investing in becoming a social
business—in helping your work-force deliver an exceptional customer experience—has never been more urgent. A 5% decrease
in customer attrition can boost profits by up to 95%. And finding
new customers can cost up to five times as much as keeping the
ones you have.*
Becoming a social business goes beyond building a social network.
It demands capturing and analyzing
the vast amount of data that the network creates. Harnessing that data can remove boundaries
inside and outside your company.
And before you know it, there will be no more “social business.”
Only business. To learn more, visit
us at ibm.com/social-business
“LIKING” ISN’T LEADING.
The social-technology industry,
worth $600 million in 2010, will grow tenfold by 2016 to $6.4 billion.
Could you use an extra day of productivity from your staff each week?
Social technology can increase efficiency by as much as 25%.
THE RISE OF
SOCIAL BUSINESS.
By 2014, nearly four out of five
companies plan to invest in social technology
to foster internal collaboration and to
listen to customers.
LET’S BUILD A SMARTER PLANET.
*Frederick F. Reichheld, The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996).
IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. © International Business Machines Corporation 2012.

Twitter Facts

Twitter attracts one million new users per day. (Jeff Bullas)

Of Twitter’s 165 million users, half access Twitter on mobile devices at least occasionally. (HubSpot)

53% of Twitter users have been a member for less than a year, compared to just 19% for Facebook. (Convince & Convert)

76% of Twitter users are active tweeters, up from 47% in 2010. (Convince & Convert)

Want to get retweeted more often? Research shows that keywords which increase the likelihood of retweeting include “please,” “thank you,” “Twitter,” “social media” and “you.” Words to avoid include “lol,” gonna,” “hey,” “tired,” “work” and “bored.” (iMedia Connection)

Twitter users now post 340 million tweets per day, or roughly a billion tweets every three days. (Digital Buzz Blog)

Read more at business2community.com

Engaged vs Disengaged Employees… and What to Do About It

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. According to Scarlett Surveys, “Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work”. Thus engagement is distinctively different from employee satisfaction, motivation and organisational culture.

Get Social Selling ROI in 2012

I have been in sales before I even left college, my first sales job was selling ice cream on a bike and then I moved to being an estate agent role, we were loved in those days. Twenty years later I am still in sales and still enjoy it. Sales is not a dirty word.

Selling on social media does not exclude the idea of having some fun, of which I do, and no, success is not as easy as being engaging and having personality.

The global economy and financial markets are about to collapse, jobs are scarce, and consumer spending remains weak. Enter the promise of social media. We’re nearly five years into the social media revolution, but most businesses are agonising, not revolutionising. If you are one of them you’re not alone. Yet despite what all the experts and research companies keep telling us, there are proven cases of social media usage generating a direct and measurable return on investment (ROI) for businesses. What’s their secret? They’re defining ROI as S-A-L-E-S generated from social media marketing, not engagement. And you can, too.

The Problem is Engagement

Want to remain in your current job forever or watch your business struggle to profit? Keep on engaging passively, without defining a worthwhile outcome. The truth is there are two schools of thought on how to use social media to generate ROI:

  1. Social media is a better way to influence, not sell. Hence, we work to create “brand preference” through repetition (reach and frequency) and engagement.
  2. Social media is a better way to create and capture demand, leading to a sale. Logically, this involves using relevant calls to action and direct response tactics when it is appropriate.

Whether a customer’s need is in early stages (latent) or advanced, social media can help bring sales to fruition faster because it is inherently interactive. The trick is to avoid wasting time influencing people (in hopes of earning purchases) and begin designing to sell.

For instance, ask yourself, “Are we developing ways to help customers’ understand their problems, goals or needs more clearly?” Take this simple step to assess your own perspective. Continue to explore your own, personal context by recalling a time in your life when you became more clear on what it is you really needed after doing some research. Consider how you suddenly felt better equipped to navigate toward answers, products, and services that met your needs. This is how social media can shine for your business.

The Solution is Simple: Sell

Executive leaders say marketers over-focus on the latest trends, “because they believe they represent the new marketing frontiers. However, they can rarely demonstrate how these trends will help them generate more business for the company. Marketers state their top marketing challenge is “acquiring a large number of new customers.” Next is “increasing retention rates and revenues from current customers,” followed by “increasing the quality and quantity of leads for field sales forces.”

If these are the challenges, then what are the goals? More importantly what does this say about fixing the problem?

Want to stand out from this crowd and demonstrate tangible ROI? Get back to basics. Sell!

Get Started Today

Here is a simple technique to create social ROI:

  1. Defining sales as the goal, not engagement
  2. Earning insights on customers’ pains or goals using tools like Facebook and blogs
  3. Answering very basic, common questions in ways that drive more discussion about that pain or goal to reveal and sometimes nurture purchase intent.

Remember: when customers understand their problems more clearly, they’re more equipped (and willing) to be gently escorted toward the answers they need—your products and services. They’re more prone to see a purchase as a pain reliever or means to achieve a goal.

“Our approach to getting going—attracting local customers and netting leads with our blog—was simple,” says River Pools and Spas chief marketer, Marcus Sheridan, who says this is a great way to get started right now.

“We’re successful at generating leads because we wrote down every question that’s ever been asked to us by customers. We didn’t care how generic or broad the questions were. These quickly became the titles of blog posts that continue to pay sales dividends over time when matched with calls to action for tools that solve even more problems.” Sheridan, like others using this technique, is leveraging how customers use search engines in early buying stages.

Join the Social Media Evolution

“It’s all about the relationship.” Phooey. It has always been about the relationship, trust (“social currency”), and listening. These concepts aren’t new. Let’s stop pretending that they are and earn the respect of CEOs again.

Yes, the reason most businesses aren’t achieving sales with social media has a lot to do with all the hype. Most of us are reacting to social media, getting sidetracked by the excitement of a false revolution rather than focusing on evolution.

The rush to “just do” social media has served to redefine our goals away from sales and toward tactics like retweets, friends, fans, and likes. I say false revolution because I see so few examples of social-media-revolutionized businesses and because those who are innovating and thriving are evolving, not reinventing.

Have you designed your 2012 social media strategy to sell by focusing on translating customers’ needs into problems they need to have solved? If so, when giving solutions, do you compel customers to take action in ways that give insight and allow you to nurture need to fruition?

Don’t Confuse Audience with Influence

The biggest issue is that we tend to confuse audience with influence. Having a lot of Twitter followers doesn’t give you the power to drive action, it gives you the power to drive awareness. Those are different abilities with unequal degrees of usefulness, just like the power to fly (Superman) is better than the power to swim fast and talk to fish (Aquaman).

The Cost of Social Media

The Real cost of Social Media

With social media at the height of its popularity, advertisers and companies find it an easy and trendy means of expand their marketing horizons. While many companies may be fooled by the free cost to open a social media account, many fail to consider the expense that goes into running a social media campaign. Do the benefits really outweigh the costs?

How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shift of out generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – Seth Godin

Cost

The true cost of a social media campaign depends on the size and reach of the campaign itself. These are some factors to consider:

  • Staff costs – Once cost often overlooked is the cost of your marketer’s salary. Without a dedicated social media campaign manager you will need to work out the amount of time your other employees will spend maintaining the social media site. Community managers are also need to answer customer inquiries and to maintain a spam-free zone for your clients and customers.
  • Advertising – The biggest myth about social media is : “if you build it they will come.” Merely setting up a Facebook page or a twitter account will not guarantee any ROI. It is necessary to add your own advertising to the mix. This can include targeted adds on the platform, adding follow buttons, share buttons on your companies website or email advertisements.
  • External Fees – If your campaign is not in-house, do you out source all parts of your social media campaign? If thats is the case then you will need to figure out the breakdown in billing and how you will be charged. Since different agencies have different rates for different strategies, you’ll need to work out if this is a continuous cost and whether it affects you return value.
  • Other – While many basic tools for social media are free, more in depth tools, such as tracking, require some escalated cost. Any other technical and creative costs may also be assumed. What happens if you are highly successful? Do you have the backing and budget to expand?

Estimated Cost
Below is a breakdown of what a fallout social media campaign may cost in a year. The amounts are estimates released by Danny Brown, CEO of Bonsai Interactive.

Benefits

Considering the potential cost if a target social media campaign, are the benefits really worth the effort and money?

In a recent survey, marketing executives where asked what they felt were the main benefits of marketing through social media. Not surprisingly, only half the respondents felt that ‘low cost’ was a benefit.

So what is the economic potential of fans on Facebook. Syncapse took a look at twenty brands – here are the results:


On average, fans spent an additional $71 on products for which they are fans of, compared to those that are not fans on Facebook.

Twitter has also provided some great case studies.  Take DellOutlet, they sought to expand their brand awareness heavily through twitter. Soon after their  pages where launched thay had generated over $3m worth of business from followers who clicked on links for purchases.

Sometimes the ability of social media is the ability to create a central forum fopr new consumers. Take the case of the Old Spice brand, a new commercial was launched which generated alot of media attention. The Twitter and Facebook pages became a rallying point for these new adopters.

2700% Increase of Twitter followers – 800% Increase in Facebook followers – 300% Increase in traffice to their website

So do the benefits out weight the costs? Tell me how you get on or if you like give me call and lets chat.

Show me the MONEY

If You Build It, Will They Come?
It is hard work as of late, convincing individuals that blogging needs to be part of their digital personal brand strategy.
Especially those that have amassed valuable knowledge over the years and even those with great ideas and opinions.
Some tend to believe that all they need to have is a static presence, say hello on Twitter or Facebook once in awhile, occasionally add connections to their network and they are set to attract clients.
The “build it and they will come,” theory.
Lets be honest, this method doesn’t work and those that are venturing into this arena can back me up.  There is no “one size fits all,” path to success.
It’s about creating relationships and you have to drive traffic. BUT it is not only traffic that is important. Unlike traditional media where today’s news is tomorrows fish and chip wrapper, the world of the Internet has staying power. So every entry into the online world leaves a digital footprint about you that can be found.
Magnetism  & Four-Letter Words
Streetwise professionals would probably also agree that publishing blog articles is like magnetising your target audience to you.  When the blog is quiet, the traffic to your blog slows or stops.
Lets take a look at some benefits:
•    Gives the writer credibility.
•    Focuses on the author’s ideas and expertise.
•    Establishes credibility in the author’s niche.
•    Attracts the reader to the author & the author’s additional content.

How awesome, right?
Who wouldn’t want that?
Ever met a salesperson that didn’t like the spotlight or to talk more about themselves?
Even so, when I say the word, “blog,”  it’s like I’ve said a four-letter word.
BLOG.

The definition of this word has also changed; with the advent of 140 character micro-blogs i.e. Twitter, the use of video blogs i.e. YouTube, picture blogs i.e. Flickr. Penning a few words can lead to engagement however the richer the content the richer the engagement.
Walking the talk
So, for some time, I’ve been pondering how I could get more people interested in blogging.  A little more exciting…more “sexy,” if you will.
It would have to be, or I’d lose my audience.
In this case:

•    Executives.
•    SME’s
•    Sales Professionals.

Individuals, that clients will make decisions about, in 2012 and future.
These days, the Internet is a haven of nifty new media.  A place where we read, play games, buy, sell, trade, socialise, and more…
Building a boat
Back to my challenge – To making blogging more attractive and enticing.  As a parent, my instincts are to put a fun slant on it.
Much like how we convince our children to take their medicine with the song, “A spoon full of sugar.”  Or inspire others to remember something with a groovy acronym.
Finding the Hot Button
So, playing to what gets people enthused I realised this is the sweet spot…the hot button.  I should find a way for them to get just as excited about their blog as they might be about “MONEY“.
The acronym…
M – More
O – Opportunity
N – Needs
E – Engagement
from
Y – You
MONEY
More Opportunity Needs Engagement from You
Oh yes, Show me the money!
What sales person wouldn’t get excited about that?  Information about themselves – about their purpose – rippling across the Internet where their target audience is hanging out!
Can you imagine what could happen with this slightly changed perspective?

So…
Pen is mightier than the sword


The 2015 roadmap will be tough.  Battles between competitors are intense, at a time when our clients need answers and solutions.
Dell are changing customer engagement with mighty mileage from social media.  From a marketing, brand and personal standpoint, a blog should be the hub of your social media and digital presence.
Technology is already changing who wins and how.
Employees  – regardless of time served, status, or experience – NEED to stop snarling their nose at penning a few words once in awhile, and start realising the benefits.
For them, and their clients.


MONEY
More Opportunity Needs Engagement from You