GETTING PAST “HYPE CYCLE” MEANS SOCIAL MEDIA IS HERE TO STAY: The “Hype Cycle’ (below) occurs because of “inflated expectations.” Although after that, there is the stage of “disillusionment.” Then, it goes to “enlightenment,” and “productivity.”
ROI: #1 question 4,000 marketers ask every year is “How to measure Social Media ROI.” Now, we can get down to business (source: Social Media Examiner).
LISTEN RATHER THAN “‘LIKE’ US ON FACEBOOK”: With social network growth plateauing, there’s more opportunity in listening to fans and followers than spending all that time saying “‘Like’ Us on Facebook.”
ENGAGE MORE OFTEN: If growth is slowing, this frees up time to engage. It will probably produce bigger benefits.
MAKE RELATIONSHIPS MATTER: There’ll be more advantages than ever to having conversations, not monologues, with consumers, and building stronger relationships.
PRACTICE MARKETING INTEGRATION: Instead of looking at social media as a singular solution, now we can practice putting social media into the integrated marketing mix. Social media, mobile and traditional media work better when they work together. Here are some case studies to prove it.
CREATE RICHER CONSUMER EXPERIENCES: Marketers can spend more time learning about the new technologies in video, mobile, apps and promotions, as well as regular updates and improvements from the social networks themselves, to give consumers a richer social brand experience.
STILL GROWING: Although growth appears to be slowing, it’s still growing and faster than many traditional media channels (which are declining).
COMING OF AGE: Similar channels like email marketing and digital marketing have gone through the “Hype Cycle” as well and proven their longevity. I expect the same to occur for social media. How about you?
I’m glad we’re through the “Hype Cycle” of social media and ready to focus on benefits like ROI, better engagement, stronger relationships and marketing integration. For a FREE eBook that shows Social Media ROI is not that daunting of a task, download 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media Marketing ROI.
Do these signs prove social media has peaked to you? Is it a relief? Would you like to tell me why?
“Big Data” is shorthand for the collection of large amounts of data from places like web-browsing data trails, social network communications, sensor and surveillance data that is searched for patterns, new revelations and insights. It’s a catchy term that implies major transformation.
Companies like Amazon, Cisco, Google and IBM are examples of leaders in Big Data. Although most companies aren’t like them, it is clear many will follow their lead because:
91% of marketing leaders believe successful brands use customer data to drive business decisions (source: BRITE/NYAMA)
90% of the world’s total data has been created just within the past two years (source: IBM)
87% agree capturing and sharing the right data is important to effectively measuring ROI in their own company (BRITE/NYAMA)
75% of companies say they will increase investments in Big Data within the next year (source: Avanade)
But it’s not the data, it’s what you do with it. Before your company jumps into Big Data, here are 20 questions you should be asking.
HOW DOES THE DATA MAKE THE DECISIONS BETTER?
What are the decisions you want the data to help you make?
What can’t you do today that Big Data could help you do?
What issues does it clarify to move the business forward?
How do results inform or compel action in the organization?
What is the Return on Investment (ROI)?
WHAT IS INVOLVED TO IMPLEMENT?
What skills, technologies, and existing data development practices do you have in place that could help kick-start a Big Data effort?
Where does the data come from and what are the best methods available to collect the data?
What determines whether the business should “green light” a Big Data investment?
HOW DOES IT MAKE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES BETTER – BECAUSE CUSTOMERS SHOULD BENEFIT TOO?
Who are your customers? What are their needs? How do they drive the business?
What combination of factors produce the best results for your customer?
How does the data help you understand how to motivate a mass audience and also satisfy individual needs?
Can the data predict how customers react to a future event based on their reaction to a similar event in the past?
Are there locations, geography, time of year or time of day when the best results for your customers are likely to occur?
IS YOUR ORGANIZATION READY?
Can your company manage the changes brought by Big Data?
What values matter most to the organization, and what marriage of data, algorithms and change get us there?
Is the set of metrics that you’re measuring within the security posture of an organization?
Is there a right set of metrics? Are the current set of tools providing vision with the best possible clarity?
Are you working with the right model? How do you know? How do you improve it if it is or make changes if it’s not?
These question are to help you see the potential Big Data has on your business as well as your company’s values and culture. Since it’s also going to require a big investment of money, time and talent, it’s worth it to be asking the big questions before you begin.
Do these questions help? Is your company ready for Big Data?
Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems. Often used in training and human resources, the application of Gamification improves learning, task completion, data quality and Return on Investment.
Although the term, Gamification, was coined in 2002 by Nick Pelling, it didn’t gain widespread usage until 2010, With the rise of social networking, the social and reward aspects of games were incorporated into software. Social sharing increased usage and took interest to a new level and today:
50% of companies that seek funding for consumer software applications mention game design in their presentations
70% of the top 2,000 global organizations, will use “gamified” applications for marketing, employee performance, training, and health care by 2014
Still, 80% of current gamified applications fail, primarily because business objectives are not defined at the outset (source: Gartner)
To give you an idea of objectives to shoot for, here are 21 companies who use Gamification and get better business results.
AETNA: adopted Mindbloom’s Life Game platform to help customers and employees adopt healthy life habits. Members visited 4X per week and average engagement was 14 minutes, 41 seconds per visit. It helped users better manage specific physical conditions and monitor areas correlated to health outcomes (souce: Deloitte Review)
AUTODESK: raised trial usage by 40% and conversion rates by 15% (source: Huffington Post)
BADGEVILLE: customers experienced 20% to more than 200% increases in user behavior, with some customers seeing as high as 500% lift in key objectives (source: Tech Republic)
CISCO: used gaming strategies to enhance its virtual global sales meeting and call center company and reduced call time by 15% and improved sales between 8% and 12% (source: Deloitte Review)
DELOITTE: training programs using Gamification took 50% less time to complete and kept more student involved than ever before (source: Huffington Post)
DEVHUB: a place for Web developers, added gaming feedback and watched in awe as the percentage of users who finished their sites shot up from 10% to 80% (source: Forbes)
EMC2 increased the amount of feedback it received by 41% (source: Society for Human Resource Management)
ENGINE YARD: increased the response rate for its customer service representatives by 40 percent after posting response-time leaders for employees to see (source: Society for Human Resource Management)
EXTRACO BANK: raised their customer acquisition by 700% (source: Huffington Post)
JOIZ: a Swiss television network, increased sharing by 100% and social referral traffic by 54% with social infrastructure and gamification technology (source: Gigya)
LAWLEY INSURANCE: ran a 2-week contest to clean up its sales pipeline and, during that time, generated the same number of activities as had been created in the prior 7.5 months (source: Level Eleven)
MARKETO: layered Badgeville games on their community and 67% more engagement, 51% more active members and 10% more engagements per member (source: Badgeville)
NEXTJUMP: used gamification to get 67% of their employees into the gym (source: Huffington Post).
NIKE: used gamified feedback to drive over 5,000,000 to beat their personal fitness goals every day of the year (source: Huffington Post)
POPCHIPS: has seen its sales rise 40% this year and its 2012 sales could top $100 million. Popchips are using games as a way to personalize mobile advertising and overcome user resistance to ads on their smartphones and tablet computers (Souce: USA Today)
PLAYBOY: in its Miss Social game, saw 85% of users play more than once, 50% return the following month and a 60% increase in monthly revenue (source: TNS Brand Equity Center)
RECYCLE BANK and OPOWERL increased recycling by 20% and reduced carbon emissions, helping to save the planet with gamified designs.
SPOTIFY and LIVING SOCIAL: replaced annual reviews with a mobile, gamified solution — over 90% of employees participated voluntarily (source: Huffington Post)
USA NETWORK: saw a 130% jump in page views and a 40% increase in return visits with the Club Psych game (source: Entrepreneur)
VERIZON: users spend over 30% more time on-site with social login games versus a regular site login, The site experienced more than 15% more page views (source: Entrepreneur)
Gamification is not a project…it’s a business channel that gets invested for the long-term. Companies that understand are the ones likely to see the results they are looking for.
Do these case studies prove Gamification can get better business results for your company?
90% of all purchases begin online (source: IBM). This happens because it’s easy for us to type the keywords for what we need into the query box of a search engine.
If a Library of Congress existed for keywords, it would be Google Trends. It’s the largest catalog of keywords in the world. Google Trends stores, charts and trends every keyword since Google began monitoring them. Google Trends also identifies similar keywords and shows the location where they are searched most often. It’s probably one of the most valuable business building tools available, online or offline.
How does it help grow any business? Here’s how in 8 simple steps.
THINK LIKE YOUR CUSTOMERS: Go to Google Trends and begin by typing the keywords you want trended. It’s similar to how you would normally use a query box. You can even get results for multiple keywords at once by separating them with comma. But now you’ll see the world from your customer’s perspective and what they need.
SEE WHAT’S ON THEIR MIND: You’re taken to a simple but very well laid out dashboard. It indexes those keywords to show how consumer search has trended over time. It charts: 1) How it has changed, 2) What are similar keywords they are also searching, 3) Where is the most activity coming from. You can even customize the time period (4). Let’s look at each of these four areas with specific examples.
BEST MEET THEIR UNMET NEEDS: It looks like it’s a good time to be in the wedding business from the chart above; that is, if you sell wedding dresses. If you’re a wedding planner, not so much. This should send a signal to any wedding planner to include the selection of a wedding dress as part of their planning process.
KNOW WHEN DEMAND IS GREATEST: My mother-in-law wrote a cookbook. It’s called Savoring the Hamptons. It’s a labor of love but a challenging time to be selling a cookbook. However, during the holiday season, demand jumps. In fact, it doubles. One reason, as the letters indicate on each peak, is that’s when the “Best Cookbooks” articles for a particular year come out. Google Trends even explains the changes for you. This shows when to be applying resources.
UNDERSTAND CONSUMERS VALUES: It seems, for people who are looking for cookbooks, making it simple and easy to understand is important. This is because as many people who are searching for “cookbooks” are also searching for “101 cookbooks.”
IDENTIFIES WHERE THERE IS THE MOST DEMAND: In the lower left corner of the dashboard, you can click on any country and, the darker the color, the greater the search activity for a particular keyword. For cookbooks, the greatest number of searches occur in Maine, Montana and the state of Washington. It’s a good thing my mother-in-law’s cookbook is available online.
DISCOVER COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES: In the top-left part of the dashboard, you can customize and change the time frame. I charted the last 90 days activity for Amazon, Walmart and Best Best. I was surprised to find that searches for all three peak on Sunday. It may be a day of rest for some, but, with this knowledge, it’s an opportunity to steal share from the competition.
SEE THE ABSOLUTE NUMBER OF SEARCHES: Google Trends works by indexing keywords. If you want to see the exact number (and some people do), just go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
There are a range of businesses listed in these examples because there is no business that can’t benefit from the use of Google Trends. We use it to help guide the business direction of our clients from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups. Maybe we can help you on the use of Google Trends for your business? Do these 8 steps help you to see how Google Trends can help your business grow?
Return on investment (ROI) is the final word on success for a business. It shows real gains and proves how well the business is being managed.
A company has to put a process in place to get to an ROI. Maybe that’s why, “How do I measure social media return on investment,” is the #1 question over 3800+ marketers ask in the Social Media Examiner Annual Survey every year.
The journey to find ROI doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you have a plan. To help out with one, here are 7 steps to demystify Social Media ROI.
DEFINE DESIRED RESULTS: When you start, know where you want to be by the end. If you are going to to make investments, why wouldn’t you want to define the return. Articulate desired results by stating the gain expected within a specific time frame (e.g. 2x sales in a year, 50% increase in profits over 18 months, 500 new leads in six month). As Laurence Peter said. “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.
KNOW WHO TO ATTRACT: For every business, there is a wide disparity between best and worst customers. Know who you are going to spend time and money pursuing and who is not worth the effort. This “segmentation” of your audience is a requirement for any business.
FIND OUT HOW THEY FIND YOU: Are the people you want to attract also the one who are finding you? There are a number of ways to know. The best one is to look at the Google Analytics for your website and see from Traffic Sources the percent of people coming from social media and specific social networks. Look at Time Spent, Page Views and Bounce Rate. You can see engagement by social network – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. You can look and compare against Likes, Followers, Comments, Shares and Re-Tweet from your social media information. If it helps, here is a list of social media monitoring tools to consider.
CHOOSE THE ACTION YOU WANT THEM TO TAKE: To turn consumer behaviors into revenue, you have to identify an action that translates to sales at some point down the line. Of course, the action of buying a product is the most direct action. But, register, subscribe or download are equally good actions, especially if your business has a longer purchase cycle. This provide leads and is true to a proven relationship principle: People like to do business with people they know.
IDENTIFY THE MEASUREMENTS THAT MATTER: An actionable scorecard keeps your strategy on track. It lets you know if you’re overachieve or under deliver on your goal so you can take action along the way. These are Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). They are selected measurements that provide visibility into the performance of a business. They are the handful of metrics you select because they important enough to track, trend and take action on a regular basis (e.g. monthly or quarterly). This video from Erica Olsen of mystrategicplan.com explains how to set up the road map for keeping your business strategy on track, the “KPI Dashboard.”
DECIDE ON THE MONEY AND TIME HAS TO BE SPENT: You’ve defined where you want to go. You have key metrics in place to keep going down the right path. Now, it’s time to decide how much time and money this is going to take. In social media, time is generally as important, if not more, than money so account for both.
SEE HOW INVESTMENTS INFLUENCE KEY METRICS: You’re able now to evaluate and understand the relationship between investments (money and time) on returns (key metrics) over time. You have an actionable plan to measure the key metrics against the investments and look for influencing factors and insights. You can see what’s producing gains and take action to achieve even better results. To calculate the ROI at the end of the time frame you’ve established, the formula is:
Let’s take an example. A business invests $100,000 at the beginning of the year in social media and related staff. At the end of the year, the gain in sales is $150,000. The ROI is: $150,000-$100,000 = $50,000/$100,000 X 100 = 50% return on the investment or a 1.5-to-1 ROI.
But you’ve built an asset even greater than a single ROI number. You understand what makes it work and can do it again. That wasn’t difficult to do? Was it?
If you want examples of companies that have proved ROI in social media, my eBook, 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media Marketing ROI, is complimentary and available on the sidebar of this website with just a click. If these principles are of value to you and you’d like these slides, here they are. If this process was helpful and you’d like “hands-on” training or a customized solution for your business, just get in touch with me or leave a comment here.
Do these 7 steps demystify Social Media ROI for you?