Archive for the ‘Awareness’ Category

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In our latest white paper, Actionable Social Analytics: From Social Media Metrics to Business Insights we unveiled the Social Analytics Framework for Marketing and Sales Effectiveness. Use this framework to determine KPI’s according to marketing objective.

Actionable Social Marketing Analytics

Social Media MarketingAs we embark on 2012, the team at Awareness, Inc. consulted with the best and the brightest in marketing, strategy, technology, business and social media marketing to help us identify the top news, analysis and trends resources for social marketing and social technology.  Our industry is among the most dynamic, with many voices reporting, analyzing and advising on social technology, social media developments, successes, and best practices. To help you navigate the active social news space, we compiled this Ultimate Guide to the Top Marketing, Technology and Social Media Resources.  This guide aggregates resources quoted by leading strategists such as David Meerman Scott, Brian Solis, Erik Qualman, Jason Falls, and Jay Bear, top analysts and influencers Jeremiah Owyang, Debi Kleiman, Laura Fitton, David Berkowitz, brand leaders such as Ekaterina Walter, Michael Pace, and Pam Johnston, and agency visionaries Steve Rubel, Mike Troiano, and Jonas Klit Nielsen in our free report on 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions, to name just a few.  The Ultimate News Resource Guide also contains the collective input from over 300 marketers from a cross-section of industries, company sizes and levels of social marketing experience (we recently polled these marketers for our upcoming annual report on the State of Social Media Marketing to be published in mid January) and asked them about their top information resources and their sources of inspiration.

Here it is – the 55 Top Marketing, Technology and Social Media Marketing News, Analysis and Trends Resources in alphabetical order:

1.   AdAge @adage

2.   AgencySpy @agencyspy

3.   All Things Digital @allthingsd 

4.   Altimeter Group @altimetergroup

5.   Around the Net in Online Media

6.   Around the Net @aroundthedotnet

7.   Awareness, Inc. @awarenessinc

8.   Big Think @bigthink

9.   BoingBoing @BoingBoing

10.  Brian Solis’ Blog @briansolis

11.  Bull Dog Daily Reporter @BulldogReporter

12.  Business Insider @SAI

13.  Chris Brogan’s Blog @chrisbrogan

14.  Convince & Convert @jaybaer

15.  Customer Collective @yourcustomers

16.  Darwin Awareness Engine Blog @darwineco

17.  Direct Marketing Association @DMASocialMedia

18.  Editors and Publishers @EditorPublisher

19.  eMarketer @eMarketer

20.  Exploring Social Media @JasonFalls

21.  FastCompany @FastCompany

22.  Forrester @Forrester

23.  Gartner @Gartner_inc

24.  Harvard Business Review @HarvardBiz

25.  Jeremiah Oywang  @jowyang

26.  Lifehacker @lifehacker

27.  Mari Smith @MariSmith

28.  MarketingProfs @MarketingProfs

29.  MarketingSherpa @MarketingSherpa

30.  Mashable  @mashsocialmedia

31.  Media Post @MediaPost

32.  MediaGazer @mediagazer

33.  Newsmap @Newsmap

34.  Pulse @pulsepad

35.  ReadWriteWeb @RWW 

36.  Robert Scroble @Scobleizer

37.  SmartBlog on Social Media @SBoSM

38.  SmartBrief on Social Media @SmartBrief

39.  Social Commerce Today @marsattacks

40.  Social Media & Marketing Daily

41.  Social Media Examiner @smexaminer

42.  Social Media Times @socialtimes

43.  Social Media Today @socialmedia2day

44.  SocialMediaMakerting.com @socialROI

45.  Socialnomics @equalman

46.  Summify @summify

47.  TechCrunch.com @techcrunch

48.  Techmeme @Techmeme

49.  The Next Web @TheNextWeb

50.  Trendsmap @Trendsmap

51.  Venture Beat @VentureBeat

52.  WSJ Media Marketing @WSJMedia

53.  WSJ Tech @WSJTech

54.  Wired @wired

55.  Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) @womma

Besides these top resources, today’s marketers heavily rely on their Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds to get to the top news and developments in our industry.  You can follow these Twitter lists to easily get the latest from some of the top experts, and from our top resources, listed here. If you are looking for the top CMOs using Twitter, then look no further than this list of Top CMOs on Twitter.  You can also read about how CMOs are engaging with Twitter. And one final Twitter tip – if you want to know when your top journalists are tweeting about your brand or relevant industry terms, use this new handy tool from Muck Rack.

And as David Meerman Scott reminds us, some marketers also get their insights from their peers – they make it a conscious effort to attend industry events and conferences where they get first -hands insights from their colleagues on what works and what’s in store next.

Don’t be shy – let us know if we missed some of your favorite resources. Experts and marketing leaders you follow not on this list? You have our word – we will update this top list based on your feedback. You can also download our free report 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions, containing insights and predictions from 34 business strategy and marketing experts. Connect with us on Twitter #AwarenessSMM on Facebook at Social Media Marketing Best Practices and Social Media Marketing Mavens Pages or LinkedIn at the Social Media Marketing Mavens Group.

Photo Credit: webtreats  154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons Used Under a Creative Commons License

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The Social Marketing Roadmap

View more presentations from Mike Lewis

I originally published this post on ReadWriteWeb on August 2, 2011

on Brands have evolved from asking “Should we be on social media?” to “How can we improve our social media activities?” At the same, they want to understand “what is the value of social media?“  That simple question of value transcends company size, industry and focus.

Three months ago, Awareness set out to answer the question of uncovering the value in social marketing by conducting research and meeting with social media practitioners and experts alike. During the interview process, we asked the group to tell us what advice they would provide Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) as they set out to design, manage and measure their social marketing strategy.  Here are their insights:

    1. Have a plan!Jason Falls, principal of Social Media Explorer:
      “Go into social with a plan. Social channels are like other marketing channels – treat them with the same diligence. Don’t just test the waters – commit to social. It is the way of the future.  Test and iterate. Integrate social with your marketing and business initiatives – social marketing cannot exist in a vacuum.”
    2. Passion is contagious – David Berkowitz, senior director of Emerging Media and Innovation for 360i
      “Don’t think of social only as a way to drive leads and sales.  Social is about passion – Oreo has over 22 million fans because the brand has given voice to the passion of its consumers.”
    3. Focus, test and learnPaul Gillin, author ofSocial Marketing to the Business Customer
      “Focus on a limited number of tools initially and build your portfolio where you see tangible traction.  Develop a center of social marketing expertise to avoid repeating the same mistakes other brands have made.  Consider hiring social marketing experts to help you develop that expertise.”
    4. Think like a publisherDavid Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR
      “In the world of social, companies need to think like publishers. The first thing that companies need to do is understand where they rank in search engine results. Smart companies know what their prospective customers are searching on. They then create social content – blogposts, YouTube videos, webinars, etc. that leverages key words to improve search engine rankings.”
    5. Integrate social into your businessNathaniel Perez, head of social experience at SapientNitro
      “If your level of maturity with social marketing is low, rely on agencies and consultants to help you succeed. You will need carefully integrated content, processes, and governance in order to succeed. Social is not media-centric, it is customer-centric. Once you have gained experience, work towards integrating social deeper within your business. Plan your resources around the following key functional areas: research and insight, engagement and community building, media planning and integration, and data and analytics.”
    6. Understand your goals and tie into existing business processes – Andrew Patterson, manager of new media at MLB Advanced Media
      “Start with understanding your goals with social. Where and how you want to participate is a business decision. Look at your industry and beyond for best practices.  Choose a social media publishing and monitoring platform that serves your specific needs. Social requires full integration with your current analytics systems – make sure you partner with your vendors for success.”
    7. Budget and prioritizeJeremiah Owyang, industry analyst with Altimeter Group
      “Allocate your social marketing budget based on your level of social marketing maturity. In our February 2011: How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets, Altimeter reported that the average social media annual budget in 2010 was $833,000, but that figure fluctuated based on annual revenue and social marketing program maturity. Use industry benchmarks to allocate your budget.”
    8. Commit to social long termJonas Nielsen, co-founder and managing partner of Mindjumpers
      “Go in for the long haul, and don’t put social in the hands of junior brand managers.  Social is one of the one important channels of the future – your own media that will position you to spend less resources over time – for marketing, customer service, and product development.”
    9. Start by focusing on existing customersErik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Businesså
      “The best companies understand social touches every aspect of their business. Start with answering why you want to run social programs and what success looks like.  Remember: only a portion of your social efforts can be tracked directly down to sales.  Most of social is relationship-based – it is a longer-term investment in your brand. Focus with your existing customers – they will spread the word for you. Welcome to the world of mouth.”

What do you think?  Do you agree with the experts?  What would you add to their list?

The complete results of the study are available in the recently released eBook: “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing” and attend the Social Marketing Funnel Webinar on August 18th @ 2PM ET

In 2004 I launched my first corporate blog.  At the time I was running sales and marketing for a small software company and was focused on demand generation through ‘traditional channels’ like email, banner ads, direct mail, etc.  I still remember the reaction I got from the team when I told them we would be launching a new blog.  To quote a line from one of favorite movies, A Christmas Story, ‘they looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.’

Fast-forward to 2006.  That blog had grown to become an integral part our marketing mix and was directly responsible for a high percentage of our inbound leads.  We learned quickly that those ‘blog leads’ were typically higher quality leads than those that we generated from other vehicles.  The company had evolved from viewing the blog as something we were ‘experimenting with’ to a critical component of our brand.  It positioned us as thought leaders and allowed us to tell our story in a way that attracted buyers and nurture relationships with our prospects and customers.

I was reminded of my first blog story several times while developing the content for the eBook we released this morning, “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing”. Although social media is no longer seen as a fad, many companies still struggle with how to participate in it and generate meaningful results.  While companies’ social media understanding has evolved from ‘should we be on social media? ‘ to ‘How can we improve our social media activities?‘, brands still grapple with the key question of  the value of social media. That simple question of value transcends company size, industry and focus.

Our team at Awareness realized that while social is still evolving as an industry, we don’t simply need new processes, how-to’s and a set of measures – our industry needs a new decision framework.  A framework that offers companies a scalable way to think about and participate in social, allocate resources, and measure the impact to their bottom line.

The Social Marketing Funnel sits atop and alongside the traditional sales and marketing funnel and serves as a way to nurture buyers throughout their lifecycle. By utilizing and understanding the Social Marketing Funnel, brands are able to identify demand before buyers enter the traditional sales funnel.  They are also able to better manage their relationship with buyers throughout the buying process and customer lifecycle.

Social Marketing Funnel

The research also uncovered a series of metrics and key performance indicators companies can use to track their overall progress and better understand the value of social media including:

  • Social Reach Velocity: gauging a brand’s ability to attract new social profiles across social media platforms over time.
  • Social Reach-to-Traditional Lead Ratio: measuring a brand’s ability to move social profiles into your traditional marketing funnel.
  • Social Profile-to-Sales Ratio: tracking social profiles that turn into customers over time.
  • Content-to-Contact Ratio: understanding the impact of content on generating new contacts and inquiries.
  • Share of Social Conversations: measuring a brand’s ability to dominate social conversations.

I’d like to personally thank all the individuals who participated in this research for their time, their insight and their overall willingness to help with this project including David Meerman Scott, Jason Falls, Jeremiah Owyang, Nathaniel Perez, Erik Qualman, David Berkowitz, Paul Gillin, Christine Major, Jonas Nielsen, Justin Holmerud, and Andrew Patterson.

We hope you enjoy the findings of this book and we are looking forward to your feedback and comments.

This morning Awareness announced a new module for the Social Marketing Hub called the Social Intelligence Dashboard.  The new module is a single solution for measuring all social and non-social marketing activities through one interface.

Why is the Social Intelligence Dashboard both cool and valuable?

Marketers are exposed on a daily basis to an overwhelming amount of data – both from social channels and from traditional marketing tools like marketing automation platforms, email systems, web analytics tools, CRM systems and more. The challenge is how to sift through all this data and figure out what it all means.  This tsunami of data has left many marketers and wondering, ‘what is the value of social media?

This new module gives marketers the ability to create their own reports and dashboards by combining data from multiple sources like Salesforce.com, Omniture and Google Analytics – into one interface providing the details they need to go beyond the standard social media measures like number fans or followers to metrics that provide insights into their social marketing programs.

Deeper Social Intelligence

The Hub absolutely provided some of the insights available in the social intelligence dashboard before.  The big difference the Social Intelligence Dashboard provides is flexibility.  It provides a simple interface to create new reports and dashboards based on business needs and allows you to tie in non-social data to get a clearer picture of your overall social activity.

The new interface allows you to modify out of the box reports while providing the ability to create new one through a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Social Intelligence Dashboard

It also gives users the ability to access, export and manipulate the raw data which provides the ultimate flexibility for brands who want to use a separate 3rd party business intelligence tool to get to the core of their social media activities.

One other cool feature is the amount of export options.  Each report contained with the dashboard can be exported to Excel, Powerpoint, PDF or CSV giving marketers the flexibility to format the data any way they see fit.

Why I’m excited about it?

I’m not only one of the people that sell the Hub, but I am also a user.  I’m excited because in the time we have been utilizing the Social Intelligence Dashbaord – throughout the beta process and beyond – we have already been able to uncover insights that have changed some of our social media activities and how we market our products and brand.  This like really understanding our conversion from social channels to our sales pipeline, who are our influencers and understanding content performance across each channel over time have provided new insight on how we market.  I’m mostly excited to see the impact it will have on all our customers.

Want more details?

You can check out this video and also stop by our social intelligence dashboard demo webinar this Thursday at 3PM.