Tag Archives: social media

10 Ways to Use Vine’s Six Second Video App in B2B

We’ve heard all the buzz about Twitter purchasing Vine, the six second video social networking platform, which is fast becoming Twitter’s raising star. So, you’re probably thinking what all the fuss about Vine is. Well, that’s exactly what people thought back in 2006 when Twitter emerged on the social landscape. In fact in this ever fast changing world content has to be delivered quickly and succinctly, and this is where the Vine App, a six second social video sharing app plays to this need perfectly. Here are few ideas on how you can utilise Vine:

  1. Develop a short brand video, showcasing your brand values and strap line.
  2. Create a brief customer reference video including a selection of your customers’ logos.
  3. Photo animation of customers with your products.
  4. Create a recruitment video with employees saying your strap line, then closing with a careers URL.
  5. Film a short six second infomercial on your organisation’s statistics.
  6. Whilst attending conferences, exhibitions and trade shows create a feel for the events with a short video.
  7. Shoot brief testimonials from your customers, partners and resellers.
  8. Short product demos can be shot plus use the #demo hashtag when uploading.
  9. Short how to guides plus use the #howto hashtag when uploading.
  10. Product launches can be unveiled in a six second video.

There are so many other opportunities for creating short videos. You are only limited by your own imagination, so what are you waiting for?! Please share your ideas in the comments box; I’d love to see these.

You can find my Vine videos by searching for me “Zoe Sands” or via my Twitter account @Zoe9.

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Vine App Explained and Tips

In this ever fast changing world content has to be delivered quickly and succinctly, the Vine App, a six second social video sharing app plays to this need perfectly. You don’t need to be the next Spielberg or Tarantino to create your short video clip on a continuous loop. All you need to do is point, shoot and upload, it couldn’t be easier. To help you get started the following explains how to use the Vine App, plus I have included a few tips:

  1.  “Home” shows; your timeline of videos you have created, Editor’s Picks, videos you have like and videos from people you are following.
  2. Make sure you use the appropriate #hashtag. You can find the most popular #hashtags by going to “Explore”. You can also search for people too.
  3. The “Activity” section details your videos, people who have started following you and who has liked your recent Vine posts.
  4. Make sure your Twitter profile is completed, as this data will be pulled across to your Vine “Profile”. If you don’t have a Twitter profile, then register for an account today.

Vine App Tips

  1. Keep your videos fun and simply. Don’t over complicate your shoot, remember you only have six seconds to get your message across.
  2. Check for lighting and hold your device steady, this will help make the video look more professional. Unless you are looking to create a six second “Blair Witch Project” masterpiece.
  3. Press the screen for six seconds to create a continuous video. To create a stop motion video tap the screen every time you want to move your static item until you have completed the motion. Once you are happy with your results press “next”.
  4. Add a caption for your video, be descriptive and add appropriate #hashtags.
  5. Add a location for your video, note this is powered by Foursquare.
  6. Upload your video and share on the Vine App, Twitter and Facebook to maximise exposure.
  7. Finally, promote your Vine video multiple times on your social profiles to increase views and likes.

You can find my Vine videos by searching for me “Zoe Sands” or via my Twitter account @Zoe9.

Vine is simply, so what’s stopping you from getting started?!

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How essential it is that B2B businesses get social media and become a social business?

On my quest for social media knowledge and learning I continue to attend lots of social media events, most recently SMWF Europe. After attending many sessions it sprung to mind that although there is still a lot of buzz around social media, most businesses are not truly utilising this channel. I hope that the following piece on social business may resonate with you to take action within your organisation and start your own social business journey.

Social media to become a ubiquitous business tool

Just as email has become a ubiquitous business tool so will social media in the coming years, therefore it is imperative that businesses take notice of social media. When I first started my digital career at Hyundai back in 1997, I was the only person within the organisation that had an email account and access to the Internet. Gradually over time more people were provided with an email account and Internet access and nowadays it’s expected you would have access or you cease to be efficient and effective in your work. This may seen completely alien for those who are generation Y, but this was the case in the late 90s early 00s. To some extent social media is seeing this restrictive access within organisations, where only certain people in certain business functions are encouraged, or in fact provided, with access to use social channels in their every day work.  Without full social media access for all employees within an organisation you can’t expect to develop a social business.

Today we see a lot of organisations blocking the use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter within the corporate network. This dictatorial attitude only forces employees to use other methods of accessing these sites bypassing the secure corporate network and accessing social media via their own tablets or mobile devices. It is far better for an organisation to instil social media best practice and governance than it is to demonise social media and drive employees off the network.

Social business a possibility

Businesses need to realise that being social is not about your organisation having a social media presence just for the brand, but that it means empowering employees to use social media in their every day roles to influence, engage and join in conversations about business needs and opportunities. This is what leads to a social business. There are very few businesses that can truly say they are a “social business”; the businesses that spring to mind that are truly social are those who have built their businesses on social technologies; for example Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to mention a few. If businesses choose to always do what they have always done, then they can only ever expect to get the same results. Businesses should ultimately look to achieve being a social business within three to five years. The first step would be to look at social media as a new communication channel, which opens up new opportunities for businesses. Gone are the days where marketing is used in the traditional sense, and classed as a cost centre function. Marketing now needs to prove itself and show return on investment, a contribution to the bottom line and add value to sales pipeline. Social marketing allows for greater engagement in the buyers journey along with assisting the humanisation of brands. Next step is empowering your employees to be your brand advocates and utilise the social channels in their everyday work. Finally encourage your customers to actively be social with you and engage and leverage your content for their benefit.

Plenty of research has taken place over the years that says people don’t form relationships with brands, they form relationships with people. Social media accelerates the formation and depth of relationships by enabling quicker communication and sharing amongst their individual networks. If your employees are not allowed to use the social channels in their every day work then they are limiting their marketing effectiveness in this fast changing social world. So, what are you waiting for? Make a plan to pilot social media within your organisation. Enjoy and good luck!

I spoke about this at the recent IDM Knowledge & Networking event “Meet the socially skilled business marketer” on 19 April 2012 in London.

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The 3rd B2B Barometer® Report reveals new confidence amongst B2B marketers

The third in a series of market surveys carried out by B2B specialist research agency Circle Research and supported by ABBA and the Institute of Direct Marketing, has revealed exciting, positive changes in the market over a six month period. The B2B Barometer provides a factual marketing perspective on how B2B companies are reacting to changes in the market.

The latest B2B Barometer survey of around 120 B2B Marketers and Agencies (FREE to download at www.b2bbarometer.co.uk) shows that optimism is building in the B2B sector, with the majority of agencies and marketers revealing rising revenues and improved future growth prospects. In addition 41% of the client marketing professionals reported larger marketing budgets for the next year, but 59% of the agencies surveyed reported a decline in the quality of enquiries and 30% of the agency sample actually experienced declining revenue. It has provided a true measure of what is happening to business markets and will certainly help both clients and agencies make future decisions based on real peer-to-peer information.

Debbie Williams, Chair of the IDM B2B Council, said, “The B2B market place is a real barometer of what’s happening in business. it is often very difficult for companies and agencies to keep pace with the latest market trends and this series of surveys has proven to be a valuable measure for B2B agencies and marketers. Some very interesting facts about social media and its relevance have been unearthed. I am delighted to be associated with this unique and ongoing survey programme.

Social media is declining
Just 28% of B2B marketing respondents actually had a strategy in place for Social Media. Many of the remaining group are beginning to question its relevance to the B2B sector. However, 86% still insist that spending on social media will increase over the next twelve months. An interesting fact is that 70% of client side organisations still have no social media strategy in place, which is a 7% increase from the last B2B Barometer survey in December 2009. A key issue for client marketers would appear to be the measurement of results, with 79% of those polled indicating that no actual measurement of social media activities was taking place, though 64% of the group believed it was possible!
Key factors for B2B Marketers and agencies
Many of the professionals surveyed were anxious to increase two way communication with their clients, and build on customer relationships. It was believed that email marketing could be a more effective tool in relationship marketing.

Data raised its head yet again as a critical factor and all those surveyed were in agreement that accuracy and quality in data were critical factors in B2B Marketing.

Measurement was again highlighted as a critical area for attention. Suggestions indicated that more integrated systems and better sales force alignment was required to make ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) more effective. Only 43% of client side respondents actually measured ROMI and the metrics used were the ‘easiest’ to gather rather than those which would have the greatest benefit for the business.
An executive summary of findings has been published at http://www.b2bbarometer.co.uk. To find out more about B2B marketing budgets, key trends and insights into the social media phenomenon – including how project fees are calculated and how the impact on reputation is managed please visit www.b2bbarometer.co.uk The new report will be available shortly in PDF format for FREE download direct from the site. Copies of the original benchmark study and the second survey are also
available for download.

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5 Tips for getting more Eyeballs on your Tweets

Here’s a list of five really helpful tips for getting the best return on your tweets and most reach:
  1. Timing: Research has shown that Tuesday is the most popular day for Twitter activity, accounting for 15.7% of total activity; followed by Wednesday (15.6%) and Friday (14.5%). During the day, the most Twitter activity appears between 11am to 3pm (EST)/6pm to 12 midnight (BST), which makes sense covering the US working day and evening activity for Europe. So, try to scheduling your tweets and identify when you are experiencing the most interaction, that is responses and retweets of your messaging.
  2. Repeat – Parroting: The vast majority of people on Twitter do not see every tweet from everyone they are following. They might check their tweet stream once or twice a day and rarely look back in time. Brands should not be afraid to re-share something that has already been tweeted. Try rewording the messaging and scheduling the same message at different times over two week period. You may find that you need to extend the timeframe for re-sharing important news items. Think about when B2C brands recall products, huge media buys with repeat messaging are often booked to gain as much reach as possible. Scheduling one tweet won’t get your message out, but don’t spam people with hundreads of variations of the same message, as they will unfollow your tweets. As long as you don’t repeatedly tweet the same message and over again, you won’t be viewed as spam. Remember you need to balance the frequency of the messaging.
  3. Keyword choice: Choose your words carefully and write your tweets with search optimisation in mind. However, try not to keyword stuff your messaging so it clearly looks like you are trying to gain a listing with the major search engines. Note that the most retweetable word is “you”. Other frequently used keywords are; Twitter, Google, Apple, Microsoft not surprising as these are firmly householder brands. Be sure to share how your tweet can help your followers directly – for example, special offers, legal notices, product launches, news and events. Note that “how tos”, “best practices” and “top 10 lists” get shared often and terms like “5, 10 or top” indicate that lists are popular.  Make sure your tweet has trending keywords or includes topical information that is relevant to your business that will help it be discovered for someone who is searching for interesting tweets.
  4. Linking: The study found that the presence of a link in a tweet increases the chance of being retweeted – 57% of retweets include links, which sends the reader on for further explanation and more added value. There are a number of shortening URL providers, the most popular link shorterning tool is bit.ly, which can be used on it own or simply integrated into your preferred Twitter application. Shortening links add in terms of reporting and identify who has helped influence the spread of your messaging.
  5. Succint: If you want it shared don’t use the full 140 character limit in Twitter, keep it to around 120 characters or less to make it easy for retweeting. Otherwise your readers have to rewrite your tweets to retweet out to their networks. Short and Sweet is preferrable. Another tip to keep your character useage down for those retweeting your message is to have a shorter username this helps retweeting too, for example, my main Twitter ID is: @zoe9

Hope you found these tips of some use and benefit. Please add any of your hints and tips you would like to share in the comments box below.

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2010 Social Media Map

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IDM Content Marketing Experiment: B2B Social Media Opportunities and Threats

The IDM is currently running a content marketing experiment today, there’s quite a few articles written by thought leading B2B marketers on a range of subjects. Check out John Bottom’s article on B2B social media opportunbities and threats. Here’s my thoughts on the B2B social media research conducted:

“Great synopsis regarding the future of social media from some senior B2B marketers. For me the main opportunity is social media opens up a new two way communication channel with customers, prospects, brand enthusiasts and influencers that transcend all parts of the business from marketing to sales to customer service. Although, I do think the main threat to social media is where it should live within an organisation, what function should take charge of social media? PR, Marketing, Customer Service, Legal etc? Whilst this is still undecided organisations are often running many diverse social media strategies or should I say social media tactics, which aren’t in sync with the brand messaging and goals and are often fragmented diluting the effort put into social media to create engagement.”

What do you think the B2B social media opportubities and threats are? Post your comments on my blog or on the main IDM page.

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Top 10 B2B Social Media Tips

I recently presented a B2B Social Media case study at a recent B2B Marketing training workshop on “Create the best social media strategy for your business” during the session I shared my top 10 B2B social media tips with the delegates. So, here’s a summary taken from my own experience of running integrated B2B social media campaigns:

  1. Understand – in order to truly understand social media you need to be actively participating in the medium. As digital marketers you should be able to market and create your own personal brand presence within the major social networking sites. Being active in social media will help you understand the opportunities and limitations of social media.
  2. Purpose – before rushing full steam ahead with a social media strategy, stop and think about your purpose. Are you using social media for awareness, brand engagement, research, crowd sourcing ideas, listening to customers or watching your competitors? You need to be clear on your objective before starting out.
  3. Research – so you now understand social media and have your purpose identified, you now need to identify your audience and where they are. Please don’t start with technology first, as you will fail. Your audience may not be active in Facebook or Twitter, your top influencers may be in a niche social network or discussion forum. Hence you need research to identify this. I would recommend that you spend at least 4 weeks in this stage of your social media planning.
  4. Resource – social media campaigns won’t succeed unless you invest in resource, to be successful you need to allocate resource to execute the campaign either by allocating someone internally to manage your social media or commissioning an agency to develop and create your campaigns.
  5. Sponsor – for social media to succeed within an organisation there needs to be an executive sponsor who really understands the benefits of social media and drives through social media organisational change without this you won’t get the organisation to commit to social media.
  6. Plan – make sure you create a social media plan before starting your social media campaign, including how your are going to measure and monitoring the campaign. Your measurement goal and social media monitoring software should be in place and tested before the inital pilot project is launched.
  7. Pilot – start off with a social media pilot; initiate a small project once successful then plan out a more advanced social media strategy. Always allocate about 20% of your project time to pilot new techniques as you find them so that your social media presence evolves over time.
  8. Test, test and more testing – it is so important to test and refine your social media campaigns, don’t just let your campaign run on its own, continue to test and make adjustments to obtain the best results.
  9. Integrated – don’t run your social media as separate campaigns, to get the best out of your campaign integrate with your other digital outputs.
  10. Investment – contrary to what most people believe social media is not FREE. Yes, it is free to open an account on most social networks, but in order to create engagement you need to invest in appropriate content creation for your target audience, for example, video, premium content, competitions, games etc.

If you found these tips really useful and wnat to hear more I’ll be presenting some of my B2B social media case studies and offering advice at the forthingc B2B Marketing Magazine’s seminar: Create the best social media strategy for your business.

For my latest digital finds and thoughts, why not follow me: @zoe9?

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My Top 10 Twitter Apps

Further to my first TwitCam test broadcast yesterday, here’s a list of my top 10 Twitter apps, which I think you will find useful:

1. Desktop App –TweetDeck, Twhirl and Seesmic use these apps to manage your Twitter feed effectively
2. Mobile App – TweetDeck, Twitterrific use these to tweet on the move from your mobile device
3. TwitPic – share pictures and photographs in Twitter with single sign on
4. Qik – share mobile videos in Twitter with single sign on
5. TwitCam – live video streaming in Twitter with single sign on
6. FriendorFollow – manage your followers and accounts you are following with single sign on
7. Twitter Search – access the latest news and events through realtime search on Twitter
8. TwitPoll – engage and manage live interaction with your followers by using polls and surveys
9. CoTweet – manage Twitter accounts easily with multiple users and accounts
10. TweetScan – monitors various microblogging platforms for a small fee

Hope you find my tips useful, if you use my top 10 list please add a link to my WordPress page, many thanks.

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