Sunday, 27 May 2012

Top 10 Social Media Tools To Enhance Your Business

Social Media is the fastest and most efficient way to get your company, agency, or brand out into the ether to be discovered, discussed, and developed. The market is flooded with free and paid applications; with so many options, you may not know where to begin. While we’re not experts, we’ve found a few tools in our Social Media R&D, and happily share our top 10 Best Tools to enhance and monitor your Social Media Footprint:

Klout is a tool that measures your online awareness on Facebook and Twitter using a scale of 1-100. It tracks the number of interpersonal connections, quantifies your influence, and analyzes your network’s reach. Higher scores equate to broader and more interactive reach.

Twitterfall is a real-time search tool that enables you to monitor what is being said about your brand on Twitter. It also has added features, like letting you post a longer tweet than the traditional 140 characters.

Pagelever gives you better Facebook analytics than Facebook Insights. It not only provides fast, user-friendly analysis, but actually empowers you to drive traffic and stimulate interaction.

SocialOomph is a free and paid productivity solution for Facebook and Twitter that allows automated management, publication, and integration with blog and other Social Media apps.

HootSuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to manage your social networks and measure their effectiveness. In addition to the high-powered analytics, it offers the ability to schedule messaging and collaborate across multiple Social Media outlets.

Crowdbooster is an online tool that optimizes and measures your social media marketing by providing recommendations and analytics on Facebook and Twitter. What sets Crowdbooster apart from other tools is its ability to advise whom to interact with from your audience, as well as whether your messaging and timing need development. The best part: the more you use the tool, the more personalized it becomes as it adapts to your needs.

Socialmention is a real-time search engine that monitors more than 100 Social Media tools to thoroughly explore the internet for key words and analyze them. Don’t have time for the research? Socialmention allows you to set up alerts to measure the awareness for specific keywords.

Friend or Follow tells you who is not following you back on Twitter and who you are not following back. It enables you to quickly identify networking opportunities without the hassle.

HubSpot is an all-in-one online marketing tool that helps elevate online presence. The in-bound marketing formula augments your marketing efforts by establishing a sound online presence. It covers the gamut from search optimization, making your company easier to find online, to lead generation and management, to running analyses on the effect of your marketing.

NutshellMail from Constant Contact tracks your brand’s Social Media activity across multiple applications and sends a summary to your email inbox on a schedule that you set. This empowers you to take your vacation while still ensuring your brand’s marketing position is secure. - The Best in Social Business

Homeland Security Releases Keyword List Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites

If you are thinking about tweeting about clouds, pork, exercise or even Mexico, think again. Doing so may result in a closer look by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In a story appearing earlier today on the UK’s Daily Mail website, it was reported that the DHS has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites when looking for “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.”
The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’. - The Best in Social Business

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Facebook Launches New Mobile Pages App

Over the past couple of days, Facebook has released its app for Facebook Pages Admins to monitor their page’s activity, post from their page, and monitor the page metrics. What does this tell us about Facebook? They want more activity, more stories, and more engagement from the brands using Facebook. What does this mean for the brand admins? Another excuse to obsessively monitor page analytics and post excessively. With the new app we move towards an easier brand page experience, but at the same time we give more access to the administrators to post on the brand’s behalf.
So what’s new about this app? You can only manage your page, there is no search option or other Facebook wandering options. You can choose to manage any of the Pages you are an administrator for, and share posts and photos as your brand. The app essentially allows you to do all the 
actions you would need to effectively monitor your Page, all from a simple iPhone application. Facebook has been honing its efforts on brand engagement and a mobile experience that parallels the browser product; this new app seems to be the natural progression of the two initiatives.
The app may be the right move for Facebook, but does it help or hurt the authority and page control for brands? Monitoring activity on your page and responding to the interactions of other users is one thing, but allowing mobile access to all admins to post from any location is another. It’s hard enough to find the perfect balance between spamming your fans and posting a healthy and helpful amount of content, but now the ability to post is literally at the fingertips of all Page administrators. While this could pose a over-posting problem for page owners, it also may clog the newsfeed of the users who generously like fan pages.

Based on the recent user shift to mobile, Facebook’s new app release was perfectly timed. The simplicity and ease of the app are exactly what they should be. Now all we need to figure out is if we want an app that causes more stories to an already cluttered newsfeed. The Pages app definitely integrates the brand aspect of Facebook into the mobile experience, but users need to ask themselves if ease and convenience are really the sharing aspects we need to improve. - The Best in Social Business

Monday, 21 May 2012

Marketers Use Growing Number of Tools to Spur Website Engagement

Marketers seem to have an ever-growing number of ways to drive customer engagement on brand websites. In a March 2012 online survey of US marketing professionals, trade publicationChief Marketer found that the most popular tool in digital campaigns was tried-and-true email marketing, which 78% of respondents said they used. 

Email newsletters were the No. 2 tactic (59%), followed closely by a social network presence (58%). This year, for the first time, Chief Marketer asked respondents if they hosted original video content on their sites or on aggregator sites like YouTube; one-third of respondents said they did.

At this point, these are all mainstream marketing tactics. The survey also asked marketers a separate question about which “niche” or “secondary” interactive marketing tools they used. Almost three in 10 respondents incorporated webinars—the most popular secondary feature used. And 20% said they used social apps, making it the fastest-adopted niche tool. Branded games also saw impressive growth; 13% of respondents said they used the tactic, up from 7% the previous year.

Select Marketing Tactics Used in Their Digital Campaigns According to US Marketers, March 2012 (% of respondents)

As they worked to include a growing number of mainstream and niche digital tactics in their campaigns, marketers also focused on improving their organic search presence. The most popular method was to add Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons to sites, with just over two-thirds of respondents having used this approach. In addition, almost half of marketers said they were increasing the amount of new content being uploaded to their sites, underscoring how important a robust set of owned media is becoming for brands in the digital space.

Methods Used by US Marketers to Improve Organic Search Rankings in 2012 (% of respondents)

The majority of marketers, 65%, said their digital display ad budgets would either grow or stay the same in 2012, when compared with the previous year. Further, of those who said their budgets were growing, 59% said they wanted to increase visibility on social media and mobile platforms. eMarketer projects that display ad spending will hit $15.4 billion in the US this year, climbing to $26.7 billion by 2016.

Corporate subscribers have access to all eMarketer analyst reports, articles, data and more. Join the over 750 companies already benefiting from eMarketer’s approach. - The Best in Social Business - The Best in Social Business

Sunday, 20 May 2012

New Facebook Offers For Businesses

Facebook just released new posting functionality for offers that will help businesses post deals to their Timeline for fans to redeem.   Currently the functionality being released is to a limited number of Facebook Business Pages, but will eventually be available to select types of businesses.  We have seen this option become available for clients with Local Business Pages and it is currently free to use.  Facebook has created a help section to guide administrators and fans through the offer process, and tips for creating successful offers.   Here is a preview of how to set up a Facebook Offer, and the types of options available.
To create a new Facebook Offer, Page Administrators will simply select the offer option (if available) from the post dropdown box:
Each offer contains fields for a Headline, Thumbnail Image, Number of claims, Expiration date,  and Terms and Conditions:
  • Headline text: 90 characters
  • Terms and conditions text: 900 characters
  • Offer image size: 90 x 90 pixels, non-square images will be cropped to a square
You can also select who the target audience is for the Offer:
Once published, fans will then be able to see your Facebook Offer in their newsfeed and on the company’s Timeline.  By selecting “Get Offer” a prompt will appear letting them know the offer has been sent to the email address associated with their Facebook account.
Facebook recommends tracking offers with an internal sales/redemption code, purchasing a sponsored story to promote it, making sure the staff is educated and aware of the offer details, and creating deals that have a high perceived value to encourage sharing activity. - The Best in Social Business

Social Networking Security in the Workplace

At any given moment today, on-the-clock employees are updating their social media status, reading feeds and networking on business media sites. Moments can stretch to minutes: A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that 60 percent of social media users spend at least 30 minutes a day on these sites while at work.

Social networking has become the preferred channel of communication, and while companies initially resisted on-the-job use of social media, many now embrace it as good for business. They understand that enterprise social media tools can spark collaboration among co-workers, strengthen employee productivity and improve communications. Public social networking sites may help an organization attract customers and employees, improve customer service and manage its brand image.

The inherent risks of social networking, however, can be very bad for business. Chief among them: Social media can be a very effective on- ramp for malware attacks. Other threats include network breaches, intellectual property theft, leakage of sensitive business information and hijacking of Websites and social media accounts.
Containing these risks requires a security strategy that fuses policies governing the use of social media with technology that monitors and protects the corporate network. It is essential to reinforce policies and technology with thorough and continuous employee training on acceptable use of social media.
A first step in creating a social media security strategy is classification of business data so that employees understand precisely what is -- and is not -- sensitive information. This process also should specifically delineate who is authorized to access corporate content and how that information can be used.

Policies will vary by employee role and by social media site. For instance, a worker may be permitted to include employer affiliation and job title on a public profile on a business media site, but not on a personal one; HR staff may be allowed to provide more company information because doing so is essential to recruiting.
Remember that hackers now target mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs. Businesses should specify whether employees are permitted to access social networking sites from these devices and which apps may be used to do so.
Once policies are established, it may be necessary to reinforce them with a carefully considered combination of network monitoring and data protection technologies. In some cases, these technologies may already be in place as part of standard IT security measures. If so, they should be configured to include social networking controls.

The Challenges of Changing Employee Behavior
With social media, even a carefully planned mix of policies and technology may not be wholly effective. That's because you cannot stop employees from posting data on social media when they go home at night; people will do what they want, regardless of corporate policy. What can you do? Implement a rigorous and continuous employee education program on acceptable use of social media.
A business should proactively train employees and be very clear about what it considers proper use of company information. Be specific: Tell them what they can and cannot say on social networking sites about the company. Employees should understand that posting corporate data is absolutely forbidden -- unless it is expressly encouraged.

Tailor the education program to meet the security knowledge level of your employees. The risks of malware, data loss and other threats should be described in very real scenarios that explain impacts to the individual and the business. Show employees how to recognize current scams used in social media attacks and how to identify a phishing Website. Training should demonstrate how these threats propagate on social media and how they can be downloaded to a user's computer or mobile device and then infiltrate the enterprise network. Emphasize that this knowledge will be as useful at home as it is in the workplace.
Education should not be exclusively technical, however. For many employees, sharing via social media has become so reflexive that they may not realize how information innocently posted on a social network can harm a business. Workers also should understand that when they identify themselves as an employee they are representing the company to the digital world.

Finally, fully explain the consequences of failure to follow company policies on use of social media. Be very clear: Jobs are at risk for those who violate the corporate code of conduct for privacy, client confidentiality and intellectual property.

Read more: - The Best in Social Business

London 2012 Reveals Social Media Plans

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has launched the free Official London 2012 Join In app.
  • London 2012 launches the Official Join In app
The essential companion to the London 2012 Games, the app will help London 2012 fans and spectators share their Games experience on social media. The Official London 2012 Join In app can be downloaded now from
Key features of the app include comprehensive event listings for thousands of exciting events across London and the UK; and spectator information and interactive maps, news and photos - all integrated with Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare. The app also features a detailed Olympic Torch Relay route, including a Torch tracker, Torchbearer details and information on evening celebrations - invaluable as the Olympic Flame arrives in the UK.
The companion app, the Official London 2012 Results app, will be released in June, providing all the latest news, schedules and results, allowing users to keep up-to-date with the latest action live across all Olympic sports and Paralympic sports. This app will also be free.
The Official London 2012 Join in app and Official London 2012 Results app are part of a family of digital tools that will be released during the summer, including:
  •          The IOC’s Olympic Athlete’s Hub ( launched in April, a directory of verified athlete social media accounts, with rewards for active fans and exclusive content.
  •          The London 2012 Games-time website,, which will be the ultimate authority on the Games with comprehensive, unbiased provision of results and Games information. The site is fully accessible, including content in British Sign Language and easyread formats.
  •          Enhanced London 2012 presences on Facebook and Twitter, including many new accounts, sports and image feeds and some surprises.
  •          A Twitter-based competitive tweeting challenge.
  •          Visualisations and infographics.
  •          Official London 2012 mobile, online and social games.
Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: ‘This app is a great example of how we are bringing the Games to life for a new generation – inspiring people around the world to get involved. As the Games get closer, we encourage people everywhere to share their Olympic experience with the world, whether they have tickets for a sporting event or not’.
Notes to editors:
For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office.
Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog , follow us on Twitter or download the Offical London 2012 Join In app.
Over 800,000 people follow London 2012 on social media sites and London 2012 videos have been watched four million times on Youtube.
London 2012 anticipates traffic of over 1 billion visits to Thisat Games time.
The Official London 2012 Join In app is a free mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience. From the Olympic Torch Relay to the Olympics and Paralympics, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, plus all the cultural, city and community celebrations happening across the UK, the Official London 2012 Join In App is your essential companion.
London 2012 Games partners:
The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the London 2012 Olympic Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.
LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games-only Partner, Sainsbury’s and two domestic Tier Three Paralympic Games-only Suppliers, Otto Bock and Panasonic. The London 2012 Paralympic Games also acknowledges the support of the National Lottery.
London 2012 Press Office
+44 (0)203 2012 100 - The Best in Social Business

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Coca-Cola's New World of Marketing: Facebook + TV = Sales

When it comes to brands, there’s no more iconic a company than Coca-Cola. So for marketers looking to reach growing audiences online, it pays to know what the No. 1 soft drink company is thinking. Alison Lewis, senior vice president of marketing for Coke in North America, thinks the best campaigns are those that weave 30-second TV spots and social media together to feed on each other and get consumers more engaged.
Here’s how she described Coca-Cola’s new vision of marketing in the Facebook era, at Federated Media Publishing’s Conversational Marketing Summit in New York today, livestreamed here:
The reality is that we’re learning our way through this stuff, she says. The consumer engagement model is changing. It’s really about networks, connectivity and conversations, and the combination creates scale through those connections.
Tablets and smartphones will become the first screen, though when I can’t tell you. So you have to go to an engagement model with paid, owned, and earned media–and shared media [not just ads]. She talks about a “liquid and linked landscape.” More on that below.
We have 40 million Facebook fans, 10 million in the U.S. We want to engage that earned media before and after paid media.
Lewis then outlined a case study of Coca-Cola’s last Super Bowl ad campaign. We recognized that idea first was going to come from digital, she says. We started from digital first, then thought about the 3o-second spot. So we created a live screen integrated with a traditional advertising purchase and social media.
The stars were the iconic polar bears, watching the Super Bowl live with you while drinking Coke. We shipped different spots to NBC and literally decided real-time depending on the outcome of the game which spot to air. It had never been done before.
We placed a big bet in saying digital first. NBC had 2 million on their live screens. We had 9 million on our stream. Also 9 billion views, had to change to a larger server. It was the largest social TV event ever. 70 million pre-game impressions. So, massive, massive result, and it really taught us about engagement with television.
Old world was about placement of messages. New world is about movement of stories.
Lewis expanded on her presentation in a conversation with conference emcee and Federated Media executive chairman John Battelle:
Q: Did you measure impact on sales?

A: Absolutely. It wasn’t all the Super Bowl, but our first-quarter results in North America were very strong. The combination of the Super Bowl, the  Oscars, NASCAR.
Q: Can you invest in marketing without those huge tentpoles such as the Olympics?
A: Tentpoles are very beneficial in building a rallying you can build around. But there are ways to drive engagement without that big event. But you need that big story.
We did a Jen Aniston Smart Water viral video–talking about a viral video. The whole two-minute thing was her talking about how to make a video go viral. Within 24 hours, we had a million views and within a week, 10 million views on YouTube. Yes, it was Jen Aniston, but it wasn’t just that. It was about the cultural mindset on the Web. Well, maybe.
Q: What is the liquid link strategy? Good question!
A: Liquid is that stories have to be able to be spread. It’s thinking of the view you have that can be spread. Link is leveraging your network.
Q: Great editorial and great content comes from voice and point of view. When you take a stance, you have to be politic–such as the Coke polar bear campaign with the World Wildlife Fund that alluded global warming. Do you need to take a point of view?
A: We won’t take a point of view on that. But we take a point of view on polar-bear habitat going away because the ice is melting. That’s a fact. - The Best in Social Business