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Karen Talavera’s tips on managing your way around inbox breakups

It’s a painful moment when someone tells you “I no longer wish to be in a relationship with you.” How should you respond? Chances are you’ll choose one of the following two options. One is to try to suss out the real reasons the person wants to break up with you, then convince them to reconsider. The other is to throw in the towel.

These are the same options whether you’re talking about a romantic relationship or the kind your company has with subscribers to its e-mails. And – as I can attest to about the first sort of relationship – neither option is likely to lead to a satisfying outcome.

But a recent blog post points to a more promising response – at least when it comes to e-mail. Digital and e-mail marketing specialist Karen Talavera is right to suggest that unsubscribes are a fact of life that you shouldn’t take personally. But, she contends, there are steps you can take to minimize the number of people who ask to be removed from your firm’s e-mail list. She suggests these five:

• Offer an “opt down” as an alternative to opting out. Give subscribers the option to receive messages less often

• Provide e-mail message type selections. Let subscribers choose to limit messages from you to specific categories, such as special offers or company announcements

• Include a function for an e-mail change of address. Minimize unsubscribes from people who’ve changed their address due to a switch in e-mail account providers or from a work to a personal address, or vice versa

• Offer a choice of message formats. Encourage people who, say, find your e-mails tough to read on a mobile device to tell you which device they normally access emails on and give them a choice of HTML vs. plain text

• Communicate beyond e-mail. Offer alternative channels such as social media, catalogues or direct mail

This is a solid list that anyone who’s seeing a substantial number of unsubscribe requests should consider. But Talavera’s most important insight isn’t the specific tactics she suggests, but what underlies them: respect for your target customers. “It’s the nature of any permission-marketing channel,” she writes. “The ultimate choice and control over receiving messages rests in the hands of subscribers.”

Just because a subscriber clicks on “unsubscribe” doesn’t necessarily mean they wish to have nothing to do with your company. They may very well be happy to remain on your e-mail list provided you don’t limit their options to “you’re in or out.” The more choice and control you offer people, the more likely they are to want to maintain a relationship with your company—provided you don’t offer so many options you induce decision paralysis.

In fact, there’s an opportunity here that this article doesn’t point out. It’s still uncommon to offer a thoughtful menu of options designed to appeal to people who are still inclined to have a relationship with you, but only if it’s on their terms. If yours is one of the few firms that gets it, you’ll be well placed to win over at least some of those subscribers who initially figured “I’m outta here!”

The analogy here is with how companies handle customer complaints about their products or services. If you do so sensitively and skillfully, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up with a customer who’s more loyal to you than one who hasn’t had a complaint. In the same way, someone who had grown weary of your e-mail offerings may become a fan once they see that your company, unlike most others, is trying hard to tailor its communications to suit the recipient.

Then again, maybe your best option for minimizing unsubscribes is to fix something that Talavera never mentions: e-mail content that sucks. (Psst: here’s a good place to start.) As in a romantic relationship, suggesting to the person who says they want to break up with you that maybe you could see each other less often or switch to different shared activities together may be futile if they’ve decided they just can’t stand you any longer.

This story originally appeared in Profit

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 12:45

Fun and games go hand-in-hand, and businesses have started to harness the power of that winning combo for their own benefit. This clever pairing is officially titled gamification: The use of game mechanics in a non-game setting. These “mechanics” are put into a context for a business’s benefit and consist of rewards, incentives, challenge, and a touch of whimsy. As common sense would have it, when businesses inject elements of fun, competition, strategy and rewards into their products and processes, they win too. Take the classic example of McDonald’s and their perennially popular McDonald’s Monopoly board game. Customers buy menu items to earn playing pieces. The more playing pieces they collect, the greater their chances of winning free food, trips or a car. This game was a huge hit — customers loved it and would frequent the stores more often. Since McDonald’s fun promotion started back in 1987, a number of companies have started to see the correlation between games and business goals. Whether growing a more devoted customer base, a larger community or a deeper recruitment pool, businesses have seen benefits from gamification. Take a look:

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 01:45

Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has evolved from SMS-based status updates to one of the most popular social networks out there. The platform has more than 200 million active users, and odds are you're one of them — but are you using it to its fullest potential? How can you get the most out of your Twitter experience?

The folks at Mashable have put together 14 tips and tricks for the social network you thought you knew — how to tailor your trends and suggestions, how to add a Pocket button for easy saving, and even how to gain more followers. You'll be a Twitter pro before you know it.

1. View Activity Feed


Check out the activity feed to see how the people you follow are interacting on Twitter (besides their tweets). Click Discover > Activity to see a stream of actions by those you're following, including favorites, follows and more. It'll remind you of Facebook's News Feed, and it's a great way to discover new content and users to follow.

2. Favorite Related Tweets


It's a safe bet that most Twitter users would like more followers. To help the process, you should search for keywords that are relevant to your interests (and, if you're a journalist or other content producer, links to your content). Then, favorite tweets that mention something you like -- those tweeters may just follow you back.

3. View Verified Users' Replies


When Twitter users are verified, their replies and mentions don't show up in their default feed. Go to their profile pages and click "All" above their tweets to view more of their interactions.

4. Add and Subscribe to Lists


Making lists is an easy way to keep track of tweets when you're following a large number of people. Go to Me > Lists to categorize the users you follow in any way you want. You can also subscribe to other users' lists by going to that particular user's profile and clicking Lists, then Subscribe. In apps like TweetDeck, you can make each list a separate column.

Would you like to see someone's tweets without following them in your main feed? Add them to a list, but note: They can see the lists to which they've been added.

5. Create User Widgets


Create a user widget for your website by going to the Gear Icon > Settings > Widgets > Create New. The widget will display your tweets, and you can customize how it looks.

You can also create widgets of other users' tweets, which is handy if you'd like a publication or company's stream on your website. Go to a specific user, click the icon with a person's silhouette (next to Follow/Following) and choose "Embed this Profile."

6. Choose Themes With Themeleon


Twitter integrates its profile design settings with Themeleon, a theme designer by COLOURlovers. If you're bored with the default backgrounds and don't have any of your own photos to use, use Themeleon to find something that pops with your personality.

Go to Gear Icon > Settings > Design > "Check out Themeleon."

7. Advanced Search


Can't find what (or who) you're looking for? Try Twitter's advanced search, through which you can search for exact phrases, tweets with specific locations, sentiment (positive or negative) and more.

You can also use advanced search operators, such as "near:NYC within:15mi" or "since:2010-12-27."

8. Keyboard Shortcuts


Use more than 20 keyboard shortcuts to make your Twitter experience quicker and more efficient. Shortcuts include "G H" for returning to the homescreen, "R" for reply and "G U" to go to a specific user.

Find all of the shortcuts by going to the Gear Icon > Keyboard Shortcuts.

9. Use Pocket


Pocket, the service that allows you to save web content and read it later offline, has a unique integration with Twitter. By downloading the extension for your web browser, you can pocket pages directly from tweets. Just hover over an individual tweet and choose "Pocket."

10. Change Trends


Twitter trends help you stay updated on what people are talking about around the web. You can change the list to reflect trends in your own country or state, worldwide and even trends tailored to your interests and those you follow.

On the bottom-left of your screen, go to the Trends box and click "Change."

11. Find Friends in Email Contacts


Not sure which of your friends are tweeting? Combine Twitter with your email contacts to discover more friends and business contacts who are using the social network.

Go to Discover > Find Friends > Search your address book for friends.

12. Add Multiple Accounts in Mobile


You can tweet from multiple accounts in Twitter mobile. On your profile page, tap the button with the silhouettes, then tap the plus sign in the top-right. Enter your second username and password, and now you can toggle between the two accounts.

13. Tailor Suggestions Based on Web Browsing


Twitter can use information from your web searches to give you a more personalized experience. Click on the Gear Icon > Settings > Account > Personalization, then check "Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits."

For example, if you visit sports websites, Twitter will suggest various athletes and teams followed by other Twitter users who visit the same sites.

14. Download Twitter Archive


In late 2012, Twitter launched the option to download an archive of your tweets, starting from your very first tweet. Your tweets download as an offline HTML web file. You can search through them, see graphs of your activity and click on various dates.

Go to Gear Icon > Settings > Account > Your Twitter Archive > Request Your Archive. Note: You won't get the archive immediately, but you'll be notified when it's available for download.

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BY MATT PETRONZIO (Originally posted on Mashable)
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 03:31

From King Arthur, to Dorothy in her ruby slippers, to the unlikely hero of Professor Robert Langdon inThe Da Vinci Code, legions of characters have found themselves on the quest to uncover the unknown, the solution to the core question of their time. For marketers, the question had fundamentally always been how could an advertisement be crafted so to be so hyper-targeted to a consumer’s wants and needs that it would fundamentally seem as though it were speaking directly to the consumer in question.

And then January 2007 came and Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone – a multi-function smartphone that, through a previously unimagined user experience, enabled consumers to interact with the world around them. This was it. This was marketers’ Holy Grail. We salivated thinking of the potential that this handheld device had – one day, we dreamed that we would be able to target consumers directly outside stores with promotions on the products and services that were only footsteps away! How much more personal could we get than to actually speak to consumers based on the precise location they were in? We waited patiently. Slowly over the next years, we walked along the yellow brick road as a critical mass of consumers adopted smartphones (regardless of the platform), a number of publishers converted their desktop sites to usable mobile versions and technology advanced to allow banner ads to be delivered against an individual’s specific latitude/longitude. And then suddenly in 2012, like a perfect storm, it all started to come together as suppliers started to ping me to present how they had cracked the code and were now able to deliver hyper-local targeting.

Without hesitation, I called up a contact at an international retailer and asked whether they’d be interested in running a hyper-local test with us. Without a second thought, we found ourselves deep in the designs of a test construct whereby we were building geo-zones around 5 stores in the Greater Toronto Area. The plan was that, with the help of a market research firm, we would match consumer (demographic) interests to each of the postal codes found in the 5 geo-zones. Next, we would deliver a banner promoting savings on the correlated products outside each of the stores. For 2 weeks, we gleefully pushed millions of impressions to the webpages that smartphone users were generating in and around the retailer’s locations. The result: click-through rates that were moderately above industry benchmarks (0.57% CTR). It felt as though we had finally made it to Emerald City and ripped back the curtains to discover that The Wizard was little more than a really short AV geek.

We struggled with the results for weeks. What could have gone wrong? Did we not buy enough impressions on the mobile exchange? Was our creative not compelling enough? Was our geo-zone too small? Was our geo-zone too big?

While some truth likely lies in each of our doubts, the real problem with our initial test was that we had somehow moved away from what our original intent had been: to deliver ads that the user felt were speaking directly to him/her. The smartphone users that saw our ad already knew where the store locations were and that the products/services offered were priced at unbeatable price points. Our banners added little value to what they already knew or, frankly, against what they wanted to know at that specific time. Suddenly it all made sense. All of the hyper-local targeting suppliers who had been ringing me were going about it all wrong. By pushing brand messaging to consumers outside retail locations, they were assuming that passersby hadn’t seen the flashing branding in the storefront windows. By delivering hyper-targeted messaging within the brick-and-mortar locations, they somehow believed that the small 320×50 mobile ad would somehow deliver more punch than the flashy promotional offers that stood on the tables in front of the consumer. To truly go about mobile targeting differently and add consumer value, we needed to think differently. We needed to start targeting consumers with relevant advertising when and where they would most want and need the advertised offerings.

With this, we developed the notion of “Lifestyle Zones”: targeting audiences of consumers depending on their location but also their motivations given the time of day and their environmental surroundings.  We sent out 5 differentiated creatives that spoke to varying consumer intentions depending on weather and time. Across the board, they delivered substantially higher than the industry benchmark and our previous test. The banner that we sent to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver’s business districts that nudged consumers to go to the retailer after work to pick up the makings for their dinner that night delivered a 1.03% CTR at 4 p.m. – the exact time and environment when/where consumers were asking themselves what they would eat that night. Likewise, our ad that encouraged consumers to purchase discounted swimwear at the retailer delivered 1.85% CTRs via our hyper-targeted delivery to a small geo-zone built around Canada’s Wonderland, on the hottest day of the year. For full results of our test and our conclusions, download our whitepaper In a Customer State of Mind.

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Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 09:16

A precedent has been set. We are living in the age of participatory media. If we as content creators, producers, production companies and networks want to keep and grow our audiences, we need to stay on top of these changes and develop new ways to further turn viewers into participants.

 In a recent article for TechCrunch, VC at GRP Partners Mark Suster predicts that the future of television will be more participatory than social. Mark suggests that the shift in the industry is moving more towards participation. He uses the most recent viral YouTube meme, ‘The Harlem Shake,’ as an example of how low cost production and storage, along with increasing bandwidth, will drive people to be less passive and more involved in the creation of “television,” whether broadcast or online.

The foundation for participatory media had been established as early as 1982, when Hip-Hop ensemble Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force released a music video comprised mostly of crowdsourced footage. Producers since have integrated fan created media into their content as a way to further engage their audiences. 

In 2011, FOX’s X-Factor supplemented their live broadcast show with an online pre-show and second screen experience. As Producer and Director of the X-Factor Digital Experience, a goal we set for the show was to further build the X-Factor brand in the U.S. while engaging its audience before, during and after the live TV broadcast.

The X-Factor pre-show turned participatory, inviting its audience to Skype live with the hosts of the pre-show and judges of the TV broadcast. Live tweets from fans were read and responded to in real-time. Fans were also encouraged to vote on performance elements, such as wardrobe and song choice, further blurring the line between viewing and contributing. All of this and more was happening not on the “Main Screen,” but on secondary devices such as mobile and tablet. As a result, X-Factor Digital received the greatest social media response of any broadcast in 2011. Over 1000 hours of original content was created yielding nearly 3 billion engagements over the course of 15 weeks.

In the summer of 2011, alternative rock band Incubus took things one step further by giving fans unprecedented access, both online and on-site. IncubusHQ Live was a week long, live stream that invited fans of the band into their rehearsal space for a once in a lifetime experience. Performances, instrument clinics and Q&A’s were conducted for both fans in attendance and viewers tuning in to Various social media interfaces were introduced, including TweetBeam and Viddy, to help create a real-time, personal, global conversation between fans and the band. 

My career is full of experience turning audiences into participants using a variety of techniques and technologies. Amongst all of the participatory experiences that I’ve helped create, there is a single tie that binds: individual storytelling. No matter the means, producers must act as facilitators towards making audiences feel like they are a part of the greater context, regardless of their location or affiliation. In fact, the technology is the easy part. It’s ready and in the hands of willing audiences/creators in the form of smartphones and tablets containing the proper apps. The interest lies in how content producers use these technologies to help tell a story from an individual who contributes with a participatory point of view.

I would love to tell you more about how participatory media has played a part in my role as a storyteller. On Wednesday, March 20th at 2:40pm, I will be speaking on a panel titled Connected Content on Multi Screens and Devices at the Digital Media Summit,  moderated by Ted Cohen, Managing Partner at digital entertainment consulting firm TAG Strategic. I’ll also be presenting a case study of Incubus HQ Live on Thursday, March 21st at 11:50 AM at Canadian Music Week. This project was a real-time participatory documentary and media exhibit created in collaboration with the band. Both sessions are sure to be a lively, insightful discussion on how content creators are furthering the participatory genre. Hope to see you there!

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Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 04:35

For most people, the marriage of music and social media has been a harmonious one. Since the questionably legal early days of MP3 filesharing, the social music industry has matured tremendously, with Spotify, Pandora and iTunes among the more notable success stories.

As social music has evolved, so has social marketing. Getting people to follow, like, pin and buy a brand’s products is now integrated into every smart brand’s strategy, especially brands that target young consumers. With so much content out there, brands strive to cut through the clutter and create an immersive, engaging experience beyond a traditional, one-dimensional print ad. The smartest brands are now putting music to work as part of their social marketing strategy. Here’s how it works.

Most young people like music. And they listen to it a lot. But they are not especially brand loyal, according to a recent study from WSL Retail which found that Millennials (people roughly 18 to 34 years-old) brand hop more than their parents did. They can’t always afford to be loyal: A sale price or a coupon for a competing product is more compelling than a brand name.


Facing this challenge, brands need to figure out how to connect with young consumers in a way that is authentic, powerful, and honest. From the Rolling Stones singing about Rice Krispies to superstar endorsements with Coca-Cola and Pepsi, brands have incorporated music into their traditional advertising campaigns for decades. Now, social music marketing has enabled both brands and bands to find and connect with people in new and compelling ways. It’s not always easy to be loyal to a brand of tissue paper, or to a t-shirt, but once you love a band and its music, it’s hard to undo that.

According to data from William Chipps, author of the IEG Sponsorship report, corporate sponsorship by consumer brands incorporating music into marketing programs was expected to exceed $1.17 billion last year, nearly double what it was six years earlier.

So where are brands investing? The default used to be to sign a big deal with the hottest established artists, think Beyonce and Jay-Z, leveraging their star power to attract consumers. Today, more and more brands are turning to emerging artists so they can deliver something that speaks to the individuality of their consumers. Attaching an artist to branded content is a sure way to guarantee consumers enjoy and remember their experience, and therefore, the brand.

Further, these are the very artists who have the kind of social connectedness that brands are looking for. Emerging artists — who aren’t backed by a label — are by nature entrepreneurial, motivated and skilled at building loyal fan bases through daily communications via social channels like Twitter and Facebook.

Their collective reach is incredibly appealing, according to a study from Music Metric. That's because emerging artists are reaching hundreds of millions of fans who are already engaged and connected with them, and these very fans can activate on behalf of a brand.

So how do you make social music marketing work for your brand? Here’s what has worked for company's like Maurices, Gap, and Diesel. 

  • Push Their Buttons: an “Add This” button was part of every band page for a promotion that clothing store Maurices ran that let consumers and fans vote for a band to perform at SXSW this year. The social button led to an estimated 1.9 million social impressions, in addition to the nearly 150,000 site visits Maurices racked up during the contest.
  • Combine Online and Offline: to celebrate Gap’s 40-year anniversary and “Born to Fit” campaign, nearly 800 artists were selected to play in Gap stores throughout the country – on the same day, at the same time. The campaign was supported with a dedicated micro-site where all of the bands were featured with free music downloads. The viral buzz for the program is to have accounted for nearly 800 million media impressions.
  • Be Irreverent: when the soul of the brand is anti-establishment, the Social Music Marketing program should be, too. Diesel wanted to create a closer connection between Diesel:U:Music, a 10-year-old music support program, and its wildly successful “Be Stupid” campaign. From there came the “Stupid for Music” Cup where emerging bands battled to win prizes like recording sessions and music video production, engaging their fans to go so far as creating fake tattoos to show support. The campaign generated 3,000 pieces of fan-generated content that spread virally to support Diesel’s image of rock ‘n roll irreverence and spread the word about Diesel:U:Music.

By: Panos Panay, Founder and CEO, Sonicbids

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 04:20
This year the Digital Media Summit will be host to many extraordinary speakers, and open to everyone who has an interest in Digital Media. One person who is very well versed on the subject is one Jocelyn Chan, of Coalition, who recently took a trip to Hong Kong to attend the Social Media Matters Conference.  Here are her insights on the widely talked about one-day event. In early September I had the honour of making the massive journey from Toronto to Hong Kong, Asia’s World City, to attend Social Media Matters on behalf of Coalition Music. In its debut year, this one-day affair hosted the highest-level collective of social media, marketing and creative visionaries in business, lifestyle and music in the Asia-Pacific region. Jam packed with conversation, discussion, research and case studies surrounding the value and opportunities in social media, SMM is hands down the most intensive and expansive think-tank I have ever experienced. With so many heavyweights to mine thoughts and perspectives from, selecting just five takeaways from the conference is a challenge, but here are the top moments, comments and lessons that convinced me social media matters. 1.      “Planet Social has 1.5 billion citizens.” – Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Google Social for Brands, Google There are some staggering stats that Gopi shared during his keynote and they only further convinced me that the planet is really “thatsmall”. In this world, more people have access to a cellular phone than to clean drinking water and/or electricity. Approximately 6 billion people are only a phone call away from you. Thanks to the development of technology and access to internet in the most rural places, the boundaries of geography no longer limit who we are capable of sharing and communicating with. This is a huge deal for bands, musicians and artists alike. From the ability to share music on SoundCloud, videos on YouTube, conversation on Twitter, or photos on Instagram, the whole world can be your potential audience if you make the effort to reach out and grasp them. On the other hand, people are also using those same tools to discover music, art, communities and movements from the farthest flung places. The entire planet is one Google search, one mouse click and one tweet away from being uncovered – if you aren’t yet a citizen of Planet Social, the time is now! 2.      What can the b(r)and do for people? In the panel “Brands Going Social”, Stephen Drummond (Director of Content and Creative Excellence, Coca-Cola) and Peter Dingle (Interactive Manager, Advertising and Creative Marketing APAC, Intel) posed a series of questions regarding how brands should look to measure the effectiveness of being social. Every band and brand will be looking to accomplish something different with each campaign, but the effect that everyone hopes for always boils down to increasing engagement. And that’s not a bad thing. Bands and artists should look to have a meaningful presentation of content, and carry it through to the community of fans by actively being a part of the conversation.  Look to harness the common needs and values of your community, and use social media to help grow and involve them in your project. Interacting with your fans will only have a positive effect (that will both translate on and off line) for your b(r)and. Ask yourself what you can do for the people (fans) who want to help you and see you succeed – if you take care of your fans, they will be there for you when you need help. Don’t put the cart before the horse though, social media simply will not compensate for a bad product/song. Prioritize working on your craft and then bring it to the masses. 3.      Twitter is not just about what’s going on, it’s about people taking action. There are days where I think Twitter is the communication system where people share photos of their food and cats that nobody really want to see in the first place. Other days, I think Twitter is a great tool for spreading news and information that changes and saves lives. The impact of Twitter on society has taken a turn from what is happening in our own world to what is happening around the world. As James Kondo (Vice President, Marketing Development APAC, Twitter) began describing a handful of milestone moments for Twitter, I realized that Twitter is not just about what’s going on, it is about people taking action. During the pandemonium of the tsunami and earthquake in Japanlast year, Twitter was the only platform still in full functioning form. Users innovated the platform to get information, find safety and rescue others. A woman stranded on a rooftop was rescued by helicopter, thanks to a location-tagged tweet to her son in the UK who, in turn, called for help from the Japanese authorities.  It is an incredible story and a truly inspiring one when we think of how much other noise there is in the online world. (Side note: the Tokyo Twitter team recently launched Lifeline, a Japan-specific tool to share critical information during times of crisis For celebrity, Twitter is one of the most active platforms that you can use to engage with fans and a great place for you to share social causes and initiatives that you support. So often we just use Twitter as another way to push a ticket link or concert review, but it really has the ability to be so much more. Music has a magical way of connecting like-minded people all over the world who come from all fabrics of life and Twitter has a way of connecting all those like-minded people in conversation. When you ask yourself the question, what can the b(r)and (that’s you!) do for people, corralling your fans on Twitter to band together and support something you all believe in is a great start. 4. “Autographs can be a shallow interaction.” – Tan Chang, Artist Manager (G.E.M.) and Managing Director, Hummingbird Music Every musician dreams of emerging from a building to throngs of adoring fans waiting with a Sharpie, but what connection do you really make in a frenzied crowd at an impromptu signing? Jasper Donat (CEO, Branded and Founder, believes that “celebrity drives social”, and I couldn’t agree more. Celebrity doesn’t strictly mean A-listers and socialites. We can be celebrities because we are all the center of our own world and we can lead the social world around us. Move beyond a 3-second autograph “interaction” and make the time for conversation through social media. Terry McBride (CEO, Nettwerk Music Group) says that “music is emotion, social media is about emotion, and music is an emotional business.” Stories you tell will explain the values of your brand, your intuitions and beliefs – and tell people why they need to care. Create common ground, discuss what matters to you and, most importantly, be authentic. The process of how you develop as an artist and connect with fans will be the product you market, not your album or single. 5. “Our journey is only 1% done.” – Jayne Leung, Director of North Asia, Facebook Over the course of the day, there was one recurring theme that nearly every presenter touched upon: never stop innovating. When presenting on the future of Facebook in Asia-Pacific, Jayne spoke seven words that captured everything a person, artist, band and brand should live by, “our journey is only 1% done.” Facebook users know that the one platform consistency is the constant changes being made to both user agreements and user experience. While some argue that Facebook is currently on the way out, the developments inside the user experience are definitely shaping how social has integrated into our daily lives and values. From social advertising to the ability to purchase in-app, it’s apparent that Facebook is continually seeking out ways to innovate their product. This same philosophy also applies to music, bands and artists. Never believe that your social campaign is “complete” or you’ve done all you can do. Tan Chang suggests being open to discovery, “if you don’t put yourself out to learn, then you’ll always be behind.” Learning and understanding the importance of social is monumental so that you fully know the impact it can have on your career. And once you’ve incorporated social and the desire to innovate into your routine, you’ll find yourself developing the most engaging and creative campaigns that will place you at the head of the herd. There are so many incredible ideas and thoughts that I wasn’t able to share in this list, but the goal here isn’t to tell you what to do. It’s meant to inspire and encourage you to make the most out of what is available. Be adventurous and be brave in the social world – make it matter. Many thanks to Jasper Donat, Kelly Yau and all at Branded for their company and support, and to everyone involved with Social Media Matters for the amazing learning opportunity created here, hopefully for many more years to come. Hear insightful stories like this and so much more, this year at #DMS2013. The Digital Media Summit will take place March 19-20, 2013 at The Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre. Register now to see some of the foremost names in Digital Media, including: Cindy Gallop, Ryan Holiday, BJ Emerson and more! Register Now More
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Last Updated on Monday, 10 December 2012 07:40
Have you ever wondered what it takes to run a successful social media campaign? You know, the ones that grab a reader’s attention from the start, with videos going viral while spawning memorable Internet memes? The ones where everyone is re-tweeting a creative image or story, tagged with the brand’s logo or other identifying characteristics? Internet news site Mashable covers successful social media campaigns on a regular basis. It noted that usually the best campaigns feel like well-oiled machines. But its authors asked a crucial question – “How do you make each and every user who interacts with the brand on a handful of platforms feel like his interactions with the company are personal and unique?” Advertising Age compiled a list of the best social media campaigns from the recent past. In the list were these amazing executions:
  • Heinz developed a UK campaign based around its Facebook fans at the start of the cold and flu season. For $3, Heinz’s Facebook fans could send cans of soup to their sick friends through its social promotion. Soup was delivered to the recipients in a couple days, with the sender’s name and targeted greeting included.
  • The tiny town of Obermutten, Switzerland used social media to prop up tourism efforts. It launched a video on its fan page declaring everyone who liked the page would get their user photo added to the town’s real message board. As of October 2012, the tiny town fan page had over 45,000 likes.
  • Small Business Saturday, a campaign led by American Express, brought shoppers to local retailers on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2011. Facebook offered ad credits to participating retailers, and fans flocked to the site. The program was geared to help local retailers target customers who wanted to shop local and keep money flowing into the communities in which they operated. The promotion will happen again on November 24, 2012.
Marketing research shows awesome social media campaigns can dramatically improve profits. Millward Brown studied European companies and found more than 80 percent of high growth organizations using social media tools reported ‘a significant impact on their growth.’ And eMarketer wrote about a separate social media study: “Fully 84% of executives polled said that social media campaigns had increased effectiveness of marketing and sales efforts, while 81% said a social media presence had helped companies increase market share.” If you’re wondering how to replicate tactics and strategies behind some of the best social media campaigns around, you’ll need to study the basics first. One example involves department store retail brand, which has 800 stores worldwide as well as a significant Internet presence. There were many movable parts in its well-coordinated social media strategy. From updating images to posting videos and tweeting, Macy’s solid team of innovators managed all aspects of their excellently orchestrated campaign. Mashable noted the brand’s use of all aspects of social media at its fingertips to create relevant, compelling content that’s a perfect fit for all fans. Another list of top social media campaigns with user-generated content showed the lure of winning free travel as a big advantage. The country of Iceland ran a social media campaign in 2011 asking people to become friends with Iceland. Users sent submissions of themselves spending time in the country, with breathtaking images, high-quality video clips, and it became a terrific source of spectacular imagery for user-generated content. The pros agree: There are tips, strategies and tactics that can boost the viral potential of social media campaigns. Here are a few that can help you begin to integrate social media campaigns that build followers, drive SEO awareness and ultimately bring business to your company.

Get Your Social Media Names Secured

Right now, do this first: get your brand names or company names and register them on social media sites. Go to Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr and others and register all the names you’ll be using on social media. From product names to company initiatives, all is fair game and can help your company build substantial presence.

Check Current SEO

Use a social media marketing company to do a good audit of your website. Make sure your company’s website title and meta tags (that allow it to be searched on search engines) are optimized. Check page load speeds. The last thing you want is to drive fans to your home page if it’s not loading well.

Social Media Share Buttons

All those buttons next to your site’s blog posts and articles allow users to share content across their networks. Make sure those buttons are easily seen and work for sharing. Even casual visitors to your site might be compelled to share something or follow your brand online.

Sharing Good Content

The best way to get followers online is to create and distribute good content. What you choose to share could be humorous content, socially conscious material or just plain open and transparent communications about your company and brand. All of these work for particular companies. See what works best for your brand. Online users who see this content can learn more about your company by following you on Twitter or Facebook. Make sure your company videos are embeddable, so that interested bloggers can use them on their pages.

Building Links for Content

The best way to build up SEO presence via social media is by having consistent, great content to which other sites will link. Search engines rank web pages by the quantity and quality of the inbound links to that page. To do this right, try syndicating every new blog post via social media. You can also go deeper and build content onto social news sites, distribute press releases and write articles for sites that accept content. All these tips will help your brand gain more SEO juice and social media awareness as you build your brand. Social media can help your brand when you treat it as a integral part of your overall marketing campaign. From Erik Qualman | Socialnomics More
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Last Updated on Monday, 3 December 2012 05:23
Canadian business executive, author, consultant and speaker, specializing in business strategy, innovation, organizational transformation and the role of technology in business and society, Don Tapscott, reveals to DMS why the Four P's are dead.. With the Internet becoming ubiquitous, the Four P’s – product, price, place and promotion no longer work. The paradigm was one of control, simple and unidirectional: firms market to customers. We create products and define their features and benefits, set prices; select places to sell products and services, and promote aggressively through advertising, public relations, direct mail and other in-your-face programs. We control the message. The Internet transforms all these activities. Welcome to Marketing 2.0. From Products to Experiences Products are now mass customized, service intensive and infused with the knowledge and the individual tastes of customers. Companies must constantly innovate, and product life cycles collapse. Customers now participate in creating products. Through online communities, customers co-create products and services. Products are becoming experiences. The old industrial approaches to product definition and product marketing die. From Price to Discovery of Price  Enabled by online marketplaces, dynamic markets and dynamic pricing increasingly challenge vendor fixed pricing. In these early days of new price discovery mechanisms we question even the concept of a "price" as customers gain access to mechanisms that allow them to state what they’re willing to pay and for what. Customers will offer various prices for products depending on conditions specified. If you deliver this afternoon I'll pay A. If I can buy this quantity I'll pay B. I'll accept certain defects and pay C. If someone else will pay D, then I'll pay E. Buyers and sellers exchange more information and pricing becomes fluid. Markets, not firms will “price” products and services.  From Place to Anyplace Every modern company competes in two worlds: a physical world (marketplace) and a digital world of information (marketspace.) Companies shouldn’t worry about creating an eye-catching web site but a great online community and relationship capital. Hearts, not eyeballs, count. Within a decade, the majority of products and services in many developed countries will be sold in the marketspace. A new frontier of commerce is the marketface – the interface between the marketplace and marketspace. For example, some companies have both physical stores and online presence (clicks and bricks). Customers of can buy products online, and if they don’t like what they’ve bought they can return items to the store. From Promotion to Communication  Advertising, promotion, publicity, public relations and most other aspects of corporate communications are archaic concepts. They exploited unidirectional, one-to-many and one-size-fits-all media to communicate “messages” to faceless, powerless customers. Online communities upend control. Friction dissolves among customers and between you and your customers. Customers often have access to near perfect information about products and the power shifts towards them. They are no longer external entities, and they control the marketing mix, not you. They choose the medium and the message. Rather than receiving broadcast images, they do the casting. Rather than getting messages from earnest PR professionals, they create “public opinion” online with one another. The new Brand The Brand is also changing.  Rather than an image, promise or badge the brand is becoming more complex construct – owned by the customer.  In many cases the brand is a relationship. Marketers are losing control, and that’s a good thing. So rather than the Four P’s think of the ABCDE’s of marketing:  Anyplace, Brand, Communication, Discovery and Experiences.  More
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 06:13
B.J. Emerson, the director of Information and Social Technologies at Tasti D-Lite LLC, has given us some insight on the importance of IT's role in the Social Media world. Check it out..  There are certainly arguments that can be made for including just about any discipline in online efforts. Each department (and generation) will have their own strengths to bring to the table. Disciplines like communications, marketing and PR will naturally have much to bring but depending on the size of the organization, social initiatives can literally be birthed out of any department. There are others like legal and IT that may not come to mind initially but are critical when it comes to developing effective social media campaigns. My personal journey as a traditional Director of IT was disrupted when I emerged from the server closet one afternoon early in 2008 and was approached to discuss this new frontier. Given the size of Tasti D-Lite at the time, my background in web development and organic SEO was closest to the topic. We had recently launched a new and more interactive website, but it was time to start participating in other ways of engaging and sharing the Tasti D-Lite story online. If the brand had thrived for over 20 years by word-of-mouth, extending that conversation in the virtual realm had real potential. Looking back, my IT DNA has been permanently corrupted for the better. The more I listened to the activity around our brand, the more it permeated my mindset and part of my responsibility became imparting those valuable insights to others within the organization and ultimately to integrate it into our enterprise. A social IT person is an oxymoron in many organizations, but IT people can hold some inherent and many times hidden advantages. Here are seven reasons for getting the IT department involved in your social media efforts:
  1. From a listening perspective, they are naturals at monitoring things.  If they are good at watching over the online habits of employees, think about how good they could be at keeping an eye on customers.
  2. They understand security and privacy. Venturing into the social realm will be a hurdle for some at first, but having this mindset as a foundation can help keep an organization out of trouble.
  3. They know how to measure stuff.  Understanding the points of measurement and how to capture key data points in online campaigns is critical for determining return on investment. Those responsible for gathering vital intelligence in other areas of the business can bring a perspective and skillset that others may not have.
  4. They know how to automate and integrate systems and applications. With so many different networks and platforms, you’ll need help understanding what is possible when trying to get processes and information flowing.
  5. They have no marketing box they need to think outside of. This could be argued both ways but on today’s web, this is not a bad thing.
  6. They have a shorter learning curve when it comes to learning new technologies.
  7. At the end of the day if you can’t trust the folks in the IT department then you have bigger problems.
To be fair, some IT people belong in the server closet. They are happy there and so are we. But as you consider these skills and take a hard look inside your organization, I hope you’ll discover that just about anyone has the ability to create and curate great content and cultivate stronger relationships online. If you need more tips on how you can move the needle in your organization, check out The Tasti D-Lite Way: Social Media Marketing Lessons for Building Loyalty and a Brand Customers Crave More
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 06:05