Across 4 commercial sectors studied by McKinsey & Company, results show that Social Media could potentially contribute between $900 billion - $1.3 trillion in annual value. Whether you're running a lucrative global enterprise or just a standard, run-of-the-mill pickle factory, this is one piece of the pie that no one can afford to miss out on. Records show over half of customer-facing Fortune 500 companies suffer from social shyness, so much so that 55%of these organizations do not even possess a Twitter handle. But what are these non-humanized corporations missing out on in rejecting social media and a social media strategy? Oh I don't know, perhaps visitors, leads, customers, $1.3 trillion? Let's dig a little deeper.
The Birth of The Social Business
A relatively recent term, according to Michael Brito, author of Smart Business, Social Business, 2008 saw the birth of businesses starting to humanize their operations. This saw the tearing down of organizational silos between internal teams in order to effectively engage in 2-way conversations with customers. Building upon social platforms like Facebook and Twitter in the early-mid 2000's, early adopters began to actively engage with social customers on a daily basis. These social customers are nothing new; they have been sharing their thoughts, opinions and criticisms of your brand to friends and family alike for centuries. This century, however, is different. These voiced opinions are amplified today on the web, such that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It is therefore imperative to recognize that the beauty of your beloved brand's reputation is in the eye of your social beholder.
Author's Note: Dane approached me with a desire to write a blog post about a number of topics. Because he called himself a social media specialist, I asked him to create a post that explained what he did on a typical day. Here's what he wrote...
7:30 AM. I'm lying in bed with my iPhone, rubbing my eyes and checking e-mails and push notifications like crazy. There's nothing that can't wait – no urgent e-mails from a client, no aggressive tweets from an angry customer and no questions on Facebook that require an immediate answer. That's good, that means I can get dressed and head towards the office.
On the way out, I pick up my HyperJuice in case my phone runs out of battery on the journey.
I get to the office at 8:45, and I immediately log in to my computer and boot up Google Chrome. It takes a good 45 minutes to catch up with all of the non-emergency interactions that have racked up since I left the office the previous evening.
First, I check Facebook, scanning each of my pages for new notifications. We make it a rule to always write back (in fact, we have a mural on our wall to remind us), and so everything other than a 'like' gets a response. People with questions or complaints are prompted to send a message to the page with further information so that we can follow up with them.
Here is the mural from Dane Cobain.
Source: Dane Cobain.
While a wide variety of professionals will define content marketing in different ways, no one who actually gets it would deny the central idea is to provide valuable insights and answers. Therefore when the conversation becomes about finding powerful content ideas and the drill-down process begins, more often than not, you'll hear:
• Identify your customers' pain points
• Answer the questions potential customers have
You'll get no argument from me. This is indeed the formula for success.
How do you discover what questions to answer?
Even marketers need a little time off! A finely crafted inbound strategy allows you to sit back, enjoy the pool, and let interested leads find you (while you take all the credit). It's not easy to optimize your inbound marketing though – so here are a few helpful resources put together by our friends at Marketo that make it a snap to get great quality leads through tactics like SEO, PPC, and social.
1. The Inbound Marketers Guide to SEO and PPC: Discover how to fine tune your SEO and PPC efforts to ensure that interested buyers find you instead of your competitors.
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2. The Inbound Marketing Cheat Sheet: This cheat sheet summarizes the most critical tips and tricks you need to optimize your inbound efforts, plus offers insight on how measure success from your inbound channels.
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Google+, on paper anyway, is the world's second largest social network after Facebook. And while Facebook's user-ship now tops one billion, G+'s remains considerably lower than that at around 500 million.
Certainly this number is nothing to balk at, but it's undoubtedly true that a great many of Google+'s 500 million users have accounts merely because they were issued them after they signed up for another Google service like Gmail or YouTube.
But that said, there are indications that engagement amongst Google+'s user-base is growing.
Of the site's 500 million+ current users it's estimated that about 359 million members are actually active on the site, representing a 27% increase from just three months ago.
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