Does Social Media Rule Publishing? #Yes.

The emergence of social media has had a tremendous impact of how digital news is produced, consumed, and specifically around how the journalists behind the stories are pressured to re approach and modify their craft.  This month, Edlelman Media Network teamed up with two start ups NewsWhip and Much Rack and surveyed 250 working journalistsrevealing that more than three-quarters of them feel increased pressure to get their stories shared on social media.

This research revealed that:

  • More than 75 percent of journalists say they feel more pressure now to think about their story’s potential to get shared on social platforms.
  • To make their stories more shareable, journalists are infusing their stories with five key ingredients: video/images, brevity, localization, more use of human voice and a proximity to trending topics.
  • Nearly 3/4 of journalists are now creating original video content to accompany their stories. However, very few journalists (13%) are relying on sourcing consumer-generated video and only 3 percent are using corporate video.
  • Journalists see five key trends impacting their profession this year: more mobile friendly content, faster turnaround times, more original video, smaller newsroom staff and social media growing in influence.

Employers are becoming increasingly dependent on social media for traffic.  In September 2013 Shareaholic reported the eight biggest social referrers drove 16.4 percent of traffic to publishers’ sites, and a year later, that number had nearly doubled, to 29.5 percent.  As the study revealed, journalists are now feeling the pressure to write “sharable & digestible” stories surrounding topics which are already trending and focusing on ways to develop headlines which demand attention.

Journalists are also being called upon to leverage their individual social media profiles and adjust how they approach their stories to aide in getting the stories the most possible shares across social media.  82% of survey respondents said they use images to make stories more searchable (click to tweet).

It’s a fact that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visually based (click to tweet), and the human brains processes images 60,000 times faster than text, a stat which I often share when discussing leveraging visual content within social media.

It’s no surprise the facts revealed within the study, and how social media has redefined journalism and publishing.  As social media continues to become more prevalent many traditional media companies continue to struggle to keep up. Employers are becoming increasingly dependent on social media or traffic, and roles such as mine are here to help journalists, and the rest of the business stay up to speed with trends in social media.  I think the study shares some great stats,  and raises a great issue faced by journalists. What do you think? Please leave me a comment or tweet me your thoughts.

The Social Domino Effect

According to new research from the University of California in San Diego sharing an uplifting quote or status update on Facebook or other social media platforms can be contagious.

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Emotions expressed online both positive and negative can be contagious. Researchers reviewed the emotional content of 1 billion Facebook posts and found that the language used can influence the words your friends choose, creating what’s known as a “social multiplier.”

And researchers found that positive emotions spread more than negative ones. Make sure to think for a moment before you craft your next Facebook update, since it’s contagious after all!

Four Critical #SocialMedia Mistakes to Avoid

Social media can be of a great benefit to a brand, however it can be detrimental if not handled property.  Still many companies are flocking to social media platforms for the one simple reason: not incorporating social media into their marketing strategy would be a loss to connect with potential customers while strengthening bonds with existing customers.  As social media has become the most popular online activity, companies need to be careful and mindful of how they’re using social media to avoid simple mistakes which can lead to the demise of customer engagement across their social media platforms.  Here are four critical social media mistakes for brands to avoid:

1) Using social media for selling, not conversing or engaging: Social Media is a place to build a personality and enhance a deeper relationship with your audience.  Social media users often don’t respond well to a hard sell.  Make sure your social media is a channel for starting a conversation, and engaging with your audience.  Building up trust and a repertoire is crucial and from there the only thing you need to sell your customers on is that you’re going to include them in the conversation.

2) Avoiding Controversy and Complaints: Let’s face it, social media is the perfect channel to vent and let our frustrations out.  Mistakes happen and as a brand you need to own up to them and let your customers know what you’re going to do to ensure they won’t be repeated.  Ignoring complaints shows you’re going to do your own thing, and that as a brand you are backing away.  Own your mistakes and man up! Make sure you have a plan in place for worst-case scenarios, and a social media disaster, it can’t hurt to be prepared!

3) #Getting #Hashtag #Happy on #SocialMedia: Using hashtags is a handy and effective tool, however sometimes they need to be used in moderation.  Using too many hashtags within a tweet or an Instagram post can come off too pushy. We’re already limited to 140 characters on Twitter so utilizing an image and text should speak volumes and stand alone, with a hashtag as a supporting entity.  Hashtags are fantastic for running promotions and enhancing searchability, however when used too often they can limit your ability to really amplify your message. 

4) Lacking a Strategy with Clear Business Objectives: If you’ve ever read my blog you’ll understand that i’m a firm believer in understanding that what you decide to do is JUST as important as deciding what you’re not going to do.  Make sure your brand has clear objectives set for utilizing social media, with a strategy for each social channel to help you achieve your goals.  Creating a strategy should include having distinct and measurable goals, thinking through your brand’s voice, and planning out a content calendar with clear goals in mind.   Setting a strategy and agreeing upon clear business objectives are the first two step’s in social media success.  

Social Media is About Reach and Engagement, see past the Dollar-Value Returns — Here’s What Marketers Should Measure Instead

A fantastic article published by John Heggestuen in Business Insider reinforces the idea that Social Media Marketing isn’t always about the dollar value returns, but should be focused toward new metrics that evaluate social media strategies in terms of audience-building, brand awareness, and customer relations. It’s important to have clearly defined business objectives and realistic expectations before launching a social media strategy, and the points below really emphasize the larger picture of what marketers should be measuring.

The recent Business Insider report, In-Depth Research On What Matters In Digital reviews how social media strategies are involving:

  • The decline of ROI metrics: Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media dropped from 17% to 9%, according to the February 2013 CMO survey. The percentage tracking conversion rates also dropped, from 25% to 21%.
  • Even as the vogue for ROI indicators fades, social media budgets are ballooning. On average, top marketers expect to devote 9% of their budgets to social media spend in 2014, and 16% by 2018, according to the same survey.
  • Exceptions: Of course there are exceptions to the move away from ROI. Some social commerce applications and direct response campaigns will achieve measurable results on Facebook, or other social networks. And the end of the ROI-fever definitely doesn’t mean that all metrics can be thrown out the window.
  • The metrics to watch are audience reach, engagement, and sentiment. On Facebook, it’s always important to remember that due to algorithmic filtering, brand or business posts will only be seen by an average 16% of their fans.
  • Facebook shares are particularly valuable, because normal users’ posts are seen in a relatively high percentage of friends’ news feeds (compared to posts by brand pages); between 29 and 35% according to one study.
  • Improving the most common metrics: Insights, Facebook’s built-in analytics tool, offers great basic data for measuring reach and engagement. We show you how to transform those numbers into richer and more valuable metrics.
  • Post reach is the most fundamental indicator of reach on Facebook, but it’s important to track it relative to number of page fans and enrich it with complementary indicators. We show you how, and include screenshots.

The report also emphasizes the importance of reach and engagement as well as other benefits of social media below.  It’s a great report to reinforce that in order to embrace social media you must see past the immediate revenue and dollar value returns, and see the larger picture!

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Please leave a comment below, or tweet me @Marissapick with feedback, enjoy!

Meet Mike, Your Customer in 2015 (Infographic)

Meet Mike, Your Customer in 2015 (Infographic)

Always connected, opinionated and sharing it, requires immediacy, and so much more. This is Mike, and he’s your customer in 2015. With 34% of people turning to social media to air their feelings about a company, you better know what your consumers/followers are saying, and monitor and respond.

Some great stats in the infographic above. Tweet me @MarissaPick or share your comments below.

My guest appearance on FIR #B2B Show #6 with @pgillin & @allanschoenberg

This week I had the honor of joining Paul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg for their FIR B2B Show #6 titled Marketers Struggle With Reinvention.

Paul and Allan discussed the latest in B2B and Social Media News covering:

1) Recent research from Demand Metric reinforcing the importance of lead generation as just 9% of B2B marketers say they are highly effective at generating leads..

2) A study from IBM which discusses that although CMOs believe that advanced analytics play a significant role in helping them reach their goals, most feel their organizations are not in a position to leverage data to its full extent to gain a deeper understanding of the customer.

3) A new research study of 350 business buyers by the CMO Council and Netline finds that third-party sources heavily influence B2B buying decisions. That’s not surprising, but what’s depressing is that only 9% said vendors are trusted sources of content. “Marketing executives unanimously agreed that a solid content strategy is imperative for building awareness it requires them to position themselves as trusted experts in their field,” the report concludes.

During this podcast we discussed the numerous channels we use at my company Euromoney Institutional Investor to leverage social media across our publishing and events businesses, as well as the power we’ve found through paid advertising on Facebook, and the importance of word of mouth marketing. Click the link below to listen to FIR B2B Show #6 “Marketers Struggle With Reinvention.”

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Leave me a comment below or tweet me @MarissaPick to share your feedback with this FIR Podcast.

My #1 Piece of #SocialMedia Advice for Ongoing Success

My colleague Anna Lee has built her blog “small thoughts, big ideas” around short and simple posts, with great takeaways.  I’ve modeled this post similarly, and would like to share my opinion regarding the single most important thing you should do before launching any social media campaign.

CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES.

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Defining and setting objectives for your social media campaign may be the most important step in creating a solid plan. Here’s a few simple ways to help you develop objectives:

1) What do you want to accomplish? i.e. lead generation, additional traffic from social media, brand visibility… 

2) What does success in social media look like? i.e. revenue, larger following, customer service & satisfaction

3) How are you going to measure ROI and success from social media? i.e. customer feedback, sales figures

Asking these three simple questions can help to clarify your objectives and get everyone on the same page.  Remember to put the pieces together and communicate with your team, clients, or managers to solve the puzzle of what social media success within your business looks like. There’s no one simple answer, and this is a question you need to periodically ask and assess to ensure the ongoing performance of your social media efforts.

Do you agree? What’s your #1 piece of social media advice? Tweet me @MarissaPick, or leave a comment below :)