How To Present Data?

Ever since more people have started to use social media, companies get a lot and a lot of Data about customers’ behaviors across social media. We called this as a revolution of Big Data. Marketers are required to translate this data to information that are relevant to serve their purposes. One way to do this is by constructing a simple Dashboard, allowing marketers to keep them in track of what information needed to achieve their objectives so that they can have relevant information for their decision making process.

First, marketers need to analyze the current market situation, and define their goals or objectives. Then, they need to define the measurement or key performance indicators (KPIs) by translating those objectives into identifiable metrics, such as, the number of new visitors or the number of page, or video views. After getting all the raw data, marketers need to analyze and organize data into a dashboard. Here are the dashboard template and the sample dashboard we discussed in class.

Finally, marketers are required to present the data and provide recommendations to their client or their CEO who will have the final word in making the decision. However, giving the dashboard itself is not enough for making decisions.

According to Avinash Kaushik, there are four required elements in presenting “the action dashboard”.

  1. Present the graphic, showing the trend for the metric.
  2. Pinpoint what are the key trends and insights
  3. Present your recommendations. Do not let your client or CEO to interpret the data by their selves.
  4. Mentioned on the impact on the company and customers if the given recommendations will not be implemented, emphasizing the importance of taking the recommendations.

Implementing all these steps allow marketers to focus on their goals and gain relevant information, which will help them to make the right decisions.

Mobile Marketing Strategy is a Must!

Forbes listed Mobile Marketing as one of The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014. In fact according to ITU, 6.8 billion out of 7.1 billion people on the planet subscribe to mobile-cellular. Marketers should understand and leverage this opportunity in order to engage more with their both current and potential customers by providing quicker service, since the minds and behaviours of consumers are changing.

As the way of communication has changed from one-way communication to two-way communication, customers are expecting a faster response from the brands to their questions and problems. In fact, most social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, are available in mobile app, allowing customers to post question and problem, and to share information or opinion in a more real-time way. Customers also expect that they are able to find any desired information and service on any communication device at their moment of need.

One simple way to overcome this change is to have a mobile-friendly website. It is believed that 95% of mobile users use their devices for local search, and 9 out of 10 mobile phone searches result in a purchase or visit. A Mobile-friendly website can be said to be a website that load fast and easy to navigate. In other words, mobile users do not need to scroll all over the page in order to view the whole information. In my opinion, here, the 7Cs Customer Interface can also come to play in a role to evaluate whether the website is mobile-friendly or not.

Another way to answer to this change is to have mobile applications. Although only 17% (1.2 billion out of 6.8 billion people) of mobile-cellular subscribers use mobile Apps, having a mobile app allows company to build relationship with customers who are outside the reach of traditional marketing. Not only mobile app meets the needs of customers to get response and view information fast, but it also provides convenience and makes the customers’ life easier by providing speed and utility.

However, keep in mind that having the mobile app itself is not enough. Companies are required to evaluate their capabilities and correspond their strategy with the quality and experience that they provide.

Look Starbucks, the No. 1 socially engaged company, for an example. Starbucks delivers highly frequent experiences that are highly positive to its consumers. It is best practice for companies who provide frequent experience and positive quality to expand their relationships with their customers. Thus, Starbucks had started to launch its mobile app since 2010 in the US. The app allows consumers to pay with its phone, check their rewards history, and find the nearest stores. The app is a success. It has 100,000 downloads/week, and 7 million active users. They process 3 million mobile payments in a week.

In short, both your social media and mobile marketing plan need to be strategically aligned with your business objectives and capabilities.

 

Sources:

Marketing Strategy For The Mobile Mind Shift: Apr 19, 2013, Melissa Parrish, Forrester Research

https://itunews.itu.int/En/3741-Mobile-subscriptions-near-the-78209billion-markbrDoes-almost-everyone-have-a-phone.note.aspx

http://socialmediatoday.com/1672466/mobile-apps-how-many-people-use-apps

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229299

Google+: Managing Business Page

Working for my group project client, Tangoo, our group decided to touch on Google+ and Google AdWords. In charge of Tangoo’s Google+ business page, I researched on how setting up Google+ business page can increase both awareness and engagement. Here are some tips in managing your Google+ business page:

1)   Set up a Google+ Business Page

Having a Google+ business page will allow your customers to find your company in Google search. Google+ page will appear in the right hand side of the search page.

2)   Spread the words

After setting up Google+ business page, you are required to spread the words that your business is in Google+, since your updates or posts cannot be seen by people who have not follow your page. This can be done by having the Google+ Badge button in your website home page. You can also have the +1 button. In fact, it is best practices to have the +1 button in every of your blog posts. Not only it will allow people to share the posts publicly, but also it will increase transparency because people can see how many people had actually “like” your posts.

3)   Segment your customers to different Circles

In Google+, you can have more than one circle, allowing businesses to segment their customers into certain groups. For example, you can segment your followers to regular customers and VIPs. Segmenting your customers allows you to easily target your posts specifically by choosing on which circle you want to post your updates to.

4)   Join community

Google+ also allow your business to join community that related to your business. After joining a community, you can start to engage by answering some questions, and posting your thoughts, and eventually you can become a thought leader in the industry. In addition, you can also understand more about your audience and gain some insights for your products or services. Carefully monitoring the community will eventually give your business the opportunities to share posts or articles from your website, driving traffic to your website.

5)   Integrate social media channels to one and another

It is best practice to have all your social media channels to integrate with one and another. Thus, it is best for your business to put your other social media channels’ links in the Google+ business page, driving traffic towards your other channels, and allowing other people to have better understanding of your business.

Do you have another tips on managing Google+ for businesses? Please leave them in the comment box below…

Virgin America is Taking Social Media to The Next Level! (PART 2: Instagram Video Contest #VXsafetydance)

Not only Virgin America used Branded Viral Video to promote and engage with their customers, but they also encourage customers to engage back with Virgin America. In doing this, Virgin America chose to have User Generated Video Contest.

Having user generated video contest helps companies to listen and understand better their target audience, allows companies to engage more with customers, and eventually they will have stronger community.

As you can see from the Video that I posted in my previous blog (Virgin America Part 1), there is a hashtag #VXsafetydance in the title of the video. The main purpose of this hashtag is for the Dance Audition that held for finding customers who dance to be featured in the next flight-safety guide video. People who upload a video in Instagram to enter the contest are required to use that hashtag. Another benefits of having the hashtag are to spread the words about this event, which allows potential customers to be interested in joining the contest, and to make this event searchable.

This video contest also helps Virgin America to energize their customers. In this contest, other people are allowed to vote whether the videos uploaded is impressing or not. Thus, it gives participants strong motivation to share and promote their entries, making the video itself and the contest to be viral.

One thing that I like from this contest is that Virgin America integrated their social media channels to one and another. They posted the flight-safety guide video in their YouTube channel, while demanding contest participants to upload their dance videos in Instagram with the #VXsafetydance hashtag, and encouraging participants and other customers to vote the entries in their website. Thus, by doing so, it will increase traffic to their website and increase the search engine ranking, since there will be a lot of people search and mention about this flight-safety guide video and the contest.

 I think Virgin America has done a great job in advertising and promoting their campaign, and utilizing most of their social media channels by integrating them. What about your thoughts in this campaign? Do you think the video and the contest are successful or not?

Sources:

User-Generated Video Contests: July 7, 2009, Nate Elliott, Forrester Research

http://www.slideshare.net/affsum/8d-howtouseconteststogetusergeneratedcontent

Virgin America is Taking Social Media to The Next Level! (PART 1: Branded Viral Video)

Virgin America is taking social media to the next level. Recently, the brand has found a way to keep its travellers aware of the flight-safety guide using a video. The video was a great success, and received 4 million views in just a few days.

So how this flight-safety guide video went viral in just a few days?

The video is unique. Since 2007, Virgin America has started to make flight-safety guide through a funny animation video, and has became the first company in airline industry who used branded viral video. Being the first among the others benefits Virgin America to be the leader or the benchmark of branded viral video in the airline industry. Thus, making Virgin America a tougher competitor.

It is also an interesting, entertaining, and fun way to inform passengers about the flight safety guide by using catchy music and presenting cool dance moves in the video while informing the flight safety guide through the lyrics. From Hip Hop genre to Pop genre to Broadway genre all are in the video.

Not only it is interesting, but the video is also engaging. As you can see through the video, Virgin America is not really targeting the video to specific audience. It is clearly that they are trying to target this video to every customer, from children to elders. Through this visual video, Virgin America is trying to engage to all this diverse age groups. To engage more, Virgin America also use humour in some scene of the video. In fact, being funny or humourous is the most successful creative strategy for viral videos.

According to one of the Forrester report, celebrity might not be the main cause of videos going viral. However, in this Virgin America case, I believe that using famous or known artists had helped the video to go viral. The first time I knew this video is not from the official Virgin America YouTube channel. Instead, I knew this video from Todrick Hall’s YouTube channel. He used to be in American Idol show. You can also spot most of the Step Up casts dancing in the video.

Having to analyze the video attributes carefully, it is not surprising that this flight-safety guide video from Virgin American can go viral just in a few days. Although most travellers know the safety guide, Virgin America is making this “boring” guide into an interesting video, triggering people want to share this video to their friends.

Sources:

Viral Video Creative That Works: Aug 9, 2010, Nate Elliott, Forrester Research

http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1220046/viral-review-skys-limit-virgin-americas-safety-dance-video

http://ryan-jenkins.com/2013/11/01/3-simple-reasons-why-virgin-americas-viral-video-is-a-next-generation-success/

http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/11564/why-people-share-on-social-media

When It Comes To Bullying, Social Media Can Be A Double-Edged Sword

It is true that by using social media, organizations that against bullying can reach and educate more people (especially teens) about bullying and its impacts in a shorter length of time. Not only organizations can reach more people, but they also can advertise their campaigns cheaper compared to other types of advertisement channels. Rather than printing a thousand of flyers, organizations can post one video in YouTube, and they can reach more people with that one video.

We also know that people have the freedom to express their opinions in the online world, and they have the choice whether to reveal their real identity or being an anonymous user. However, this has lead to what we called as Cyber-bullying on both personal and business front. In the recent news, “Two girls [was] charged after [a] 12-year-old, who was bullied, killed herself”. It is also believed that “[the girl] Brag[ed] on Facebook After Alleged Bullying Victim Commits Suicide”.

Yes! Organizations can use social media to educate teens about bullying; however, teens can also use social media in order to bully other teens. In fact, according to this article, “Cyberbullying is often a lot worse than bullying in the real world because the bullies can easily hide behind the anonymity offered by the Internet.”

So, how to manage social media bullying?

  • Use your creativity to find an inventive way of laughing the attackers
  • For businesses, it is important to monitor what your customers are saying about you, and respond the negative comments. Acknowledge your mistakes if necessary. Therefore, other customers will see that you care about them. To do so, we are required to apply the Social Media Triage, where we need to identify whether we should respond or not.

So, what do you think of cyber-bullying? Which side of the sword you think will outweigh the other?

Woe To The Company That Ignores Social Media

Browsing through The Globe and Mail website, I found this article posted. It is about “How Luxury Hotels Mine Social Media In The Name of Comfort”. When I read this article, somehow, I felt that things they mentioned in the article about how to mine social media don’t apply only to the hospitality industry. Since social media channels help company to interact and engage with their customers in real-time and more people are using social media, I believe that mining social media also applies to every business.

So, how to mine social media?

As listed by McKinsey & Company, there are four specific functions of social media. They are Monitoring, Responding, Amplifying, and Leading.

In the case of those luxury hotels mentioned in the article, they have a 24/7 monitoring system in order to track what their guests are saying about the hotel and their services in website reviews, such as TripAdvisor and Travelocity. It is believed that “online reputation can dictate the rise and fall of revenue per available room”. “It also cites statistics that 92 per cent of Internet users read product reviews”. In addition, they had orders to respond to complaints within four hours.

In my opinion, it’s important to apply all the McKinsey Principals in your business, since it affects your consumers’ decision whether to buy or not to buy your products or services. Companies are expected to monitor and understand their customers, and to respond their customers’ questions and problems fast. It is also important for the company to encourage their customers to spread the words, and lead them to discover new ideas and aware of the brands.

In the article, Daniel Edward Craig, a Vancouver consultancy, mentioned:

“The power has shifted, and we’ve lost control of our reputation, but there is a lot we can do to regain that control.”

I agree with what Daniel said in the article. In my opinion, one thing we can do to regain the control as marketers is to know how to utilize the power of social media in order to take part in the consumers’ decision journey, and to influence their decisions.

Don’t Lose Your Job Because of That “One” Post

Nowadays, there are more people using the social media, and many companies has started to use social media to interact and engage more with their customers. Thus, the boundary between professional and personal lives has started to become blurred and unclear. In our COMM 202 – Career Fundamentals course, we always have been reminded to maintain our reputation and be professional in both offline and online world.

As an employee, you are representing your company. With current technology, people are able to access your profile through social media. It is required to be sure not to have posts or pictures that will defame your company’s reputation. Moreover, things you posted in Facebook or Twitter are visible to everyone around your network, including your colleagues and employers.

This fact applies not only to employees, but also to people who are currently looking for a job. You will see that many companies have started to use social media to search more about their applicants. They wanted to see whether those applicants fit in to their company.

So, how to manage your online profile?

  • Always try to Google yourself and see what others will found when they are searching about you
  • Personalize the privacy setting
  • Un-tag yourself from any unnecessary posts or pictures
  • Think twice before you post or share
  • BE PROFESSIONAL

Are there any other tips that you can give? Just leave a comment below…

Make Sure Your Content is Right

When I read an article from Social Media Today by Anita Loomba, I felt that this article relates to my previous post. So, I decided to write about this article and add some ideas that relate to my previous post.

To have a right content in your social media, you need to have a defined goal or objective. But, how to come up with a right goal? As I mentioned in my previous post, you need to understand your customer first. By knowing and understanding your buyer, it will be easy to understand what information do your buyers actually seek. Once you understand all that, I believe you will be able to set a clear goal that will also tie to your business objective.

Anita is also pointing out that without a good teamwork and communication within all content creators, it would be hard to set a specific goal for your content. So, in order to have a consistent content, you are required to have a good collaboration with each department. An inconsistent content will definitely lead both your exiting and potential customers to confusion, and eventually result in customer loss.

As I said, to establish a good and interesting content, you need to understand your customers. To do so, you need to interact and engage with your customers. In other words, you are required to consistently monitor and listen to your customers, and then create and tailor your content to specifically target your readers.

In addition, Anita also mentioned that it is important to explore different channels to market your content. I agree with her. I also believe that understanding each available channel and how your customers use them will help you to tailor your content.

It is just a fun video we watched in class, showing how you will lose customers by not listening and understanding them.

Indeed, Content is King!

In terms of a website, many of you might have heard a statement, saying that “Content is King.” Some people might disagree, while others might agree with this statement. As for me, I definitely agree with this statement. Indeed, Content is King!

 

People who disagree might argue that people will judge and decide whether to trust your website based on its look and feel in just a few seconds (it is just right before people even read your content). Well, it’s true that you do need a good layout and design for your website. In fact, context is one of the 7Cs of Customer Interface. However, I would like to argue that without an interesting and engaging content, people will not stay long, revisit the website, and even share it. In other words, you need to make your customers come to you through content marketing.

So, Content Marketing: How to Attract People With Content? Recently, I listened to a podcast from Social Media Examiner, where Michael Stelzner (Founder of Social Media Examiner) was interviewing Joe Pulizzi (Founder of Content Marketing Institute) regarding this topic.

First, we need to understand who is our buyer. Then, know what is our objective and what is the outcome for the buyer. Knowing and understanding your buyer will definitely help you to understand what information do your buyers seek. Therefore, this will help you to “create a conversation through social that will not only make an impact on [the buyers’] lives, but also tie into your business.”

By “[providing] valuable, relevant and compelling content, and [delivering] it consistently”, people will see you more as a trusted source, and eventually sales will increase.

In short, it is important to understand and know who do you target your content or ads to. Herbert Bayard Swope (1882 – 1958), U.S. journalist, once said that:

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure – which is: Try to please everybody”

Moreover, we also heard that Google had launched a new algorithm called Hummingbird. Well, I believe that this new algorithm will definitely bring more people to an agreement that “Content is King”, since the algorithm is based on semantic search. In other words, it will focus more on the meaning of the whole sentence or content, instead of matching some particular words.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?