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Hi guys

I’ve just been on the Social Media International Master class that was facilitated by Associate Professor Tracy Tuten from the University of East Carolina. I will post some of my side notes from the lecture and I will be looking into finding out more about social bookmarking sites and will be downloading Evernote today.

The Introductory video is helpful, check it out at http://www.evernote.com/about/video/#zHom6bgqg9Y|1|1

Come back soon to check out more of my posts.

Mel
XXX

Hi guys

Go check out Erik Qualman’s latest video on the social media revolution;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SuNx0UrnEo

Regards

MelXXX

500 billion minutes are spent on Facebook every month.

Over 40 million tweets are tweeted per day.

24 hours-worth of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.

In the face of all that, it’s obvious that social media is huge – and is an unavoidable part of any comprehensive marketing strategy (Corporate Social Media Europe, 2010).

 “Social media is not only growing, it’s absolutely here to stay, according to Erik Qualman, author of the best-selling book, Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business” (Murphy 2010).

The following is a summary of the report that I completed for the course and the full report can be read on my “Interesting reads” box on the right hand side.

1. How do you measure social media ROI?

When you begin to step into the socail media space you will need to start off by measuring your current levels of social media activity and following so that once you start engaging in socail media you can monitor the changes to your base after social media.

These are the important metrics that you as a marketer need to track on social media:

  1. Social media leads – track web traffic and sources of traffic
  2. Engagement duration – how much time are they spending interacting with your social media profiles and what are they interacting with?
  3. Bounce rate – Are vivitors coming to your social media sites and leaving quickly? You will need to find out why. Look at your landing page
  4. Membership increase and active network size – are the number of fans and followers increasing? And is there interaction with your content?
  5. Activity ratio – How active is your company’s collective social network? Compare the ratio of active members vs total members, and chart this over time.
  6. Conversions – You want social network members to convert: into subscriptions, sales (direct or through affiliates), Facebook application use, or whatever other offerings you have in your overall sales funnel and that can somehow be directly or indirectly monetized.
  7. Brand mentions in social media – So, you have a highly active social network and members are talking about your company or the company’s brands. Measure and track both positive and negative mentions, and their quantities.
  8. Loyalty – Are social members interacting in the network repeatedly, sharing content and links, mentioning your brands, evangelizing? How many members re-share? How often do they re-share?
  9. Virality – Social members might be sharing Twitter tweets and Facebook updates relevant to your company, but is this info being re-shared by their networks? How soon afterwards are they re-sharing?
  10. Blog interaction – are your followers commenting and interacting on your blog?

View full article »

Analytics can be used on your blog to know how many people visited your blog and from where they came, also which posts are more popular.

The following stats are available on Google Analytics and its free!

  • visits
  • pageviews
  • bounce rate
  • average time on site
  • new visits
  • where the traffic is coming from – either direct traffic or referring sites like from a search engine.

This blog post will take you through how to set up Google Analytics on your blog as well as the process I followed to get Analytics on WordPress.

Step #1 – Setup a Google Analytics Account

You will need to start by creating a Google account. Then go to Google Analytics and sign up. Click on the “Sign Up” button and proceed to the next step which will ask you for your general information. Website URL, Account Name, Country, and Time Zone. Follow the sign up process and then when you get to a page that has ‘Tracking instructions” on it that is very important. That screen has the code you will need to copy and paste into your blog. Go ahead and click into the box and it will automatically highlight the entire block of code for you. Now you need to copy that code and paste it into notepad or into a MS Word document. Save it as you’ll need to use it later.

Selecting the code to paste in your blog
Selecting the code to paste in your blog

  View full article »

On Wednesday the 20th Christians threatened to boycott Woolworths, after it announced that it will be removing religious magazines from its shelves. Last week Woolworths announced that it will be removing low selling magazines from its shelves. The retailer also told media that it usually reviews it s merchandise on a regular basis. Woolworths informed the magazine editors in a letter saying: “Woolworths has taken a business decision to no longer stock any religious magazines, with immediate effect.”

I think the Woolworths should not have made this PR announcement, as many retailers remove, add and change products on their shelves. I guess their PR department thought, this might be a sensitive issue, let’s be transparent. But because they gave it a religious or it happened to be religious magazines, it would be a sensitive topic as any religious topic becomes.

Answering a customer’s question on the Woolworths Facebook page, a spokesperson of the chain simply said that Woolworths had reviewed their whole magazine catalogue and rationalised it.
Woolworths CEO, Simon Susman, told Beeld that it was against the store’s policy to sell religious and political magazines.”We are currently reviewing all magazines sold by Woolworths. We will continue to remove magazines from our shelves that aren’t popular with clients.

Following the announcement an outcry came from Churches and Christian radio stations, TV programmes and magazines to boycott Woolworths. An open letter was sent to the Woolworths CEO, from Dr Isak Burger, president of the Apostolic Faith Mission of SA, where Burger said he was “shocked that a store of Woolworths’ reputation would resort to religious discrimination and perceived animosity towards the largest faith group in the country.” He encouraged other Christians within his influence to support a nationwide boycott of all Woolworths stores until the “unfair policy” was reversed. The decision by Woolworths received a large number of comments on its Facebook fan page.
View full article »

Coming from a telecommunications company I have to give my 2 cents worth on the current campaigns happening in this space.

You cant miss the teaser campaign that is currently running with the black and white ads and billboards with the signature pink dot…not saying much…just Heita! It was announced on a few websites such as TechCentral that the Heita campaign is Telkom Mobile. http://www.techcentral.co.za/heita-telkom-mobile-gets-a-name/17726/ 

The Twitter sphere has also been a buzz with talk about what is Heita all about. Check out the website www.heita.co.za that has been registered by the attorneys Adams & Adams which provides some more clues on what the campaign. You can provide your email address to receive information about the launch.

Below is a screenshot of the teaser campaign website.  This was quite a good move as the teaser campaign would generate a lot of questions and they would drive online prospects here.
Heita website

Heita website

It will be interesting competition, if any, we’ll have to see 🙂 for the 4 mobile operators. If Telkom’s internet speed is anything to go by, then we might not have to be that worried… but let’s wait and see their offering. last week Thursday all was revealed at an event at Lanseria airport about SA’s 4th mobile operator, that is set to shake up the telecoms industry. Only prepaid offerings have been lauched for now, postpaid offerings are said to launch in November. Consumers will be able to buy 8ta SIMs from Monday. Karel Pienaar, MD of MTN SA, said he gives Telkom “two thumbs up” for its new mobile offering. “It will only be good for the consumer and keep us on our toes.”  TechCentral. Read more at: http://www.techcentral.co.za/heita-8ta-is-sas-fourth-mobile-operator/18058/Heita

View full article »

Email Marketing

Message in a bottle

Ok, so this week we had to sign up on an email sending platform such as Constant Contact and create an email/newsletter to drive traffic to this blog.

Signing up on Constant Contact was simple, the process is smooth and they make it quite easy. The one thing I did not like was the newsletter templates; they restrict you too much by putting images on the templates according to a theme. So I had to choose a template that was generic in theme. I liked the links to the social media sites and the spam check. My email did not go into people’s junk mail folder, so that was good, but somehow the recipient’s name did not appear on the header, just the generic word ‘Greetings’ L so I have to check that again when I load the list of email addresses I’m sure I have to put people’s name’s first .

So I built my list, it came to about 33 names those were people at my work, friends and people at our agency. In a real marketing campaign you can build opt -in lists by getting customers/prospects to subscribe to your newsletter on your website, complete a form at an event, etc. You will need to offer incentives as most people would not want to receive too many monthly emails from companies. Another option is to get customers/prospects to refer a friend once they have taken up an offer or gave their details on your website.

SPAM and delivery

It often happens that legitimate emails are being blocked or moved to the Junk folder by ISPs. Whatever the cause of the email blocking is, you can take it under your control and adjust your email program to overcome the ISP email blocking challenges in your future campaigns. After you understand why ISPs block some emails and how to avoid the problems, you will be able to improve your email deliverability and increase your email open rate.

Sending your first email to a new base is tricky as you will need to validate those emails as you may get quite a high bounce rate. A hard bounce is an email that comes back undelivered due to the fact that there is a server problem. A soft bounce is an undelivered email due to an incorrect address or that the person’s mailbox is full. The delivery rate on my email was good as it was people’s emails that I knew. One way for marketers to validate email addresses are to have a double opt-in as best practice to check for misspelt email addresses. This is done by sending an email to the address and the customer needs to click on a link in that email to validate it.

SPAM is emails that are unsolicited and sent in bulk. Spam averages 78% of all e-mails sent. My email also did not land up in people’s junk mail folder as the amount of ‘spammy’ looking content in my email was low to none. View full article »

What is a Brand?

The unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, used in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind (brand positioning). Thus brands help consumers make a decision in crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value. The legal name for a brand is trademark and, when it identifies or represents a firm, it is called a brand name (Business dictionary, 2010)

 “Any brand is a set of perceptions and images that represent a company, product or service. While many people refer to a brand as a logo, tag line or audio jingle, a brand is actually much larger. A brand is the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced “(Persuasive Brands, 2010)

Brands enable a buyer to easily identify the offering of a particular company.

David Ogilvy’s definition of a brand is; the intangible sum of a products attributes; its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it is advertised.

 Is Arsenal football club a brand? Is Jozi a brand? Are you a brand?

From the definitions above we can deduce that Arsenal football club, Jozi and you yourself are brands. People have an emotional connection with a brand such as Arsenal and the brand promises the fans a certain experience when they go to watch a game.

 Jozi, the Hip-Hop group are also a brand as they provide a consistent performance that fans can expect every time they watch them or listen to their music. From the way they sound to their clothes, Jozi is a brand.

 People can be brands as we can see from popular stars like Paris Hilton. People brand themselves by the actions they do consistently over time, you then create an expectation for others around you and they then know how to interact with you and how will most likely react.

Brands can be thought of as having an emotional and performance dimension. How do marketers build brands?

Marketers build brands over time through;

  • Consistent messages or communication through advertisements,
  • Recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues,
  • Interactions with a company and its representatives,
  • Real life experiences of using a product or service

References:

Business dictionary, 2010: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/brand.html#ixzz1050Rms2o

Persuasive brands, 2010: www.persuasivebrands.com

This blog is being completed as part of the requirements of the Digital Marketing academy.

Online Brands Organically Grown

 The first class of the digital marketing strategy course gave me an “ah ha” moment about a video I was shown a few weeks ago by Joel Barker called “The Business of Paradigms”. He discovered the concept of paradigms. After having listened to Kevin Kelly’s video’s on how he believes the future will change because of the Internet and how the internet /”Cloud”/World Wide Web will change the way we live and work. I realised that we are entering another paradigm shift. A paradigm shift is a change in your thinking or people’s perception of their world. Paradigm shifts are hard for most people because they are not open to changing the way they think about certain things or do not want to change their thinking. Examples of paradigm shifts are the introduction of the television, the car, the cell phone, etc.

Companies and marketers will need to understand this paradigm shift as it is changing the way we have to market to our customers because of New Media. Companies that are ahead of this wave of technology change and adopt it into their business practices will see more success at the end when everyone adopts the new way. Examples of such paradigm shifts being a success for companies are when Nokia took up digital cell phones and left Motorola lagging behind.

Traditional media is no longer the only ways to market to your customers as those mediums are fragmented and frankly, people don’t care and don’t have the time to listen to what you have to say if it’s not important to them at that point in time. People have more choices now and less time. New Media allows customers to get information about the idea you trying to sell to them from many more sources than before. That’s why marketers can’t ignore New Media anymore because they just won’t see the ROI like they used to with traditional marketing mediums.

All the new digital devices such as Smartphone’s, Ipad’s and laptops make this choice making much easier as customers have a wealth of information at their fingertips.

Every business you can imagine is jumping on the social media bandwagon, but do they even know how to utilise it properly to meet their objectives? When it comes to New Media/Digital marketing theory, we do not have those fundamental principles like we have with traditional marketing written by Kotler and the likes.

Regards

Mel XXX

This blog is being completed as part of the requirements of the Digital Marketing academy.

Web3.0 - key trends

An Interesting read: Influence: The new currency of Web 3.0

http://memeburn.com/2010/10/influence-the-new-currency-of-web-3-0/email/

This Blog Will…

… document my learnings on the Digital Marketing Strategy course I am currently attending. I will post my thoughts /comments / views on how New Media is impacting Marketing.

Please feel free to comment and share your views with me. Do post links to interesting reads or videos that might be useful.

Thanks

Mel