What do 469 marketers from a wide variety of industries and company sizes, plus a range of social marketing expertise have to say about the state of social marketing? As we look ahead to 2013, where will marketers invest their resources? Where will they look to expand their presence and offering? What will they name as their top challenge?
Take a peek at our infographic below and read the full survey results in our free paper The State of Social Marketing Reports: 7 Major Findings & In-Depth Analysis.
Our screen lives may be overtaking our time spent in meatspace, but we approach digital media with brains honed for hunting and gathering in the savannahs. Maybe that's why Pinterest is so satisfying - and why more online merchants are incorporating hunting/gathering of products on their sites.
Facebook is testing Collections, basically a new ad unit that lets brands merchandise items by grouping them according to themes and adding copy. Collections appear in the brand's timeline, such as Pottery Barn's Thanksgiving Essentials collection, posted on Wednesday.
Fans can like an item and comment on it within their own timelines. But if they want to buy, copy includes links to featured items on the Pottery Barn website.
8thBridge is another company that aims to help online retailers latch onto pin-style sharing. On Wednesday, it released Graphite 2, a social commerce technology that includes Curation & Discovery, a feature that lets consumers organize the things they like on the brand's website by creating boards or collections of items that go together. These collections are shared on the user's Facebook timeline, and into the ticker and newsfeeds of their friends.
DebShops.com, an 8thBridge customer, beta tested this and other new features. In the first two weeks of the beta test, more than 2,000 items were curated, according to Jon Kubo, chief product officer for 8thBridge.
Most brands only have a basic understanding of who their Facebook fans are. They can see gender, age and location breakdowns through Facebook's Insights tool, but they're hard-pressed to find out much else, particularly their other interests. Coca-Cola knows its fans like the soda brand, but what about the TV show it sponsors, American Idol?
A number of social marketing firms like Wildfire, SocialCode and Relevvant have created workarounds—typically asking users to give a brand permission to access their interest graph when they sign up for the brand's Facebook app—but marketers are limited to that subset of their fans. Well, most marketers are limited.
It turns out that Facebook has been internally allowing a select number of marketers to see their fans' other affinities, such as their favorite brands, bands or TV shows, according to sources with knowledge of the tool. This new brand affinity tool would theoretically enable a company like Macy's see the most popular TV shows among its Facebook fans—which could inform media planning.
Another use case: a brand like Ford could see its fans' favorite bands, which might help with sponsorship decisions or even what songs might end up in future Ford TV ads.
Shopping is a social experience. Regardless of what we're buying, we're constantly looking for guidance from our friends and peers. Early on, Amazon took advantage of this and pioneered the first generation of social commerce by giving us the tools to rate and discusses products. Other retailers soon followed, and social commerce became a competitive necessity for all online retailers.
Since then, little has changed. Facebook came along and was quickly hailed as the big game changer, but its first attempts with Facebook stores failed. People were not buying products at the scale that retailers expected, and most of them dropped their F-commerce initiatives within the first year.
Press forward to today, and Facebook has just rolled out the "want" button on some very select merchants, including Pottery Barn, Fab.com, Neiman Marcus, and Victoria's Secret, as well as a few others. The concept behind the "want" button is fairly simple. Facebook users will be able to click the "want" button on partner sites and send selected products to their "want list," which is visible to the users' friends.
Shareaholic has been keeping on top of Pinterest data this year due to all the hype about the buzzing social network late in 2011. The data is based on 200,000 publishers across Shareaholic's network.
The recent results for 'Share of visits -June' which Shareaholic have released show that Pinterest referral traffic has increased by 40% from January, when it accounted for only .85% to June now standing at 1.19% of traffic, beating Google referrals (see definition), Twitter, Bing and StumbleUpon.
Email marketers should now be thinking of creative ways to integrate their email campaigns with Pinterest. Some marketers are integrating Pinterest buttons into their messages linking their Pinterest profile, but is doing so truly sufficient?
Infographics are relatively new; new enough for the word "infographic" not to be recognized by my spellchecker. As with all things "new" on the interwebs their comes a near obsessive, cult-like following that insists that this phenomenal new thing will be the massive change to overtake the online world and alter the way we computer forever. So here's a very blatant attempt at trying to capture some of that traffic.
If you've been reading our blogs (and I know you have) you've been seeing our infographics cropping up. They're amazing aren't they? You're jealous aren't you? Well prepare to kick your infographic jealousy to the curb my dear reader for I am about to teach you to create your own infographics in five (relatively) easy steps.
Before we get started you're going to want an infographic creator of some sort. We us an online application called www.piktochart.com (no, we're not affiliates - we're just good folks that pass on good information when we're happy with a good company). This isn't the only tool available for the task but, so far, it's our favorite.
I'm assuming for the sake of our exercise that you already have the "idea" for your infographic or are capable of conjuring one up when the time comes. I assume this because teaching people how to generate ideas is a far more lengthy process than five steps and an endeavour I'm not interested in undertaking.
Step 1: Breaking it up