Top Ten Social Media Resources

Top TenWe’re pleased to share our latest “top ten” collection of social media resources – a carefully curated list featuring a valuable mix of tools and checklists, practical guides, and insights and case studies from leading industry pros.

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Top Ten Resources:

1. Facebook Marketing Goals for 2014 – Now more than ever, success in Facebook marketing takes strategic planning and execution, and a working understanding of the many tools and resources Facebook makes available. In this post, Jon Loomer does a great job in identifying, outlining and explaining 14 key Facebook marketing goals for the new year. A great resource. >> READ MORE

2. Three Questions to Answer Before Your Social Media Campaign Launch –  What is the objective of this campaign, what are my key performance indicators, what does success look like? This post from Ignite Social Media provides a valuable walkthrough of these three important questions you should ask and answer before launching any new campaign.  >> READ MORE 

3. The Social Experience: 12 Leading Brands & Visionaries Explore the Elements of Great Social Programs – Social media leads from Whole Foods, RadioShack, Caterpillar, ARAMARK, HomeAway.com, and industry pros such as Jay Baer and Ann Handley provide valuable insights in this free e-book from Social: IRL partner, Spredfast. A highly recommended download covering issues such as content marketing, building engaged communities, social customer care, and converged media strategies.  >> READ MORE

4. Ten Tips for Reputation and Crisis Management in the Digital World – In the online era, it becomes critical for businesses of any size to have a social media crisis management plan – or even better, a crisis prevention plan. In this post, Ekaterina Walter discusses some key ways to avoid social media disasters, prevent them from escalating, or even to handle things if everything goes sideways. >> READ MORE

5. Influencer Outreach and Employee Advocacy – One of Social: IRL’s most popular interviews from 2013, features our in-depth discussion with Walmart’s Senior Director of Digital Communications, Chad Mitchell. Chad shares valuable insights on creating meaningful influencer relationships and outcomes. He also discusses the power of employee advocacy and steps Walmart is embarking on to engage, activate and empower their associates.  >> READ MORE

6. Digital Transformation and Disruptive Trends: What to Watch in 2014 – As we’ve headed in to the new year we’ve been bombarded with the typical “predictions posts.” Two we would recommend come from Altimeter’s Brian Solis and Charlene Li.

In his post, Brian shares his agenda for 2014, with some key issues around social business, customer experience and digital transformation. >> READ MORE 

In her post, Charlene discusses disruptive trends she is watching in 2014, and shares thoughts on the implications for organizations and actions they should take. >> READ MORE

7. Social Pros 100th Episode  – Convince & Convert President and Youtility author Jay Baer, recently celebrated the 100th episode of his popular Social Pros podcast. This 50 minute Google Hangout features great conversation and valuable insights from Jay and special guests including Brad Walters from Lowe’s, Jessica Gioglio from Dunkin Donuts, Vanessa Sain-Dieguez from Hilton Hotels, and more. Highly recommended viewing.  >> VIEW VIDEO

8. Digital Marketing Lessons Nonprofits Can Learn from charity: water –  charity: water, a nonprofit that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, is leading the way when it comes to redefining nonprofit marketing; they are exceptional at inbound marketing, focusing on creating powerful content to inspire people to join their cause. This post from Beth Kanter’s blog shares nine valuable marketing lessons from charity: water that other nonprofits (or really any business) can take and apply in their own organization. >> READ MORE

9. Building an Audience-Centric Content Distribution Strategy  –  To fully harness the power of content distribution, brands should shift from serving internal executives with branded key messages to serving journalists, influencers and advocates with relevant information focused on the end reader. >> READ MORE

10. Monitoring and Measuring Social Media: A Practical Guide – Eight practical applications for social media monitoring are highlighted (with examples for each) in this presentation from Social: IRL partner, Sprial16. Applications include competitive intelligence, industry research, market research, lead generation, customer service, crisis management, and campaign monitoring.  >> READ MORE

Is Your Company Ready for the Next Ten Years?

Crowd Companies LogoBy now, you’ve probably heard about the collaborative economy, but may not understand exactly what it is, why it matters to your business, how it’s already disrupting established business models, or how and why your business will need to evolve in order to remain relevant.

In his recent Le Web Paris keynote, Crowd Companies founder and Silicon Valley Analyst Jeremiah Owyang, addressed each of those very questions, and explained why the collaborative economy is the natural evolution of social – from sharing media to sharing goods, services, money, space and resources. We highly recommend you take the time to watch the video of Jeremiah’s keynote embedded below and then ask yourself the question – is your company ready for the next ten years?

In February 2014, Social: IRL and Jeremiah Owyang will co-host The Resilient Summit, a two-day conference exploring key issues surrounding the collaborative economy. The summit will take place in Kansas City, with attendees registered from across the United States as well as Canada and Europe.  We invite you to join us for a unique opportunity to gain insights on this critical topic from Jeremiah and other industry leaders, and to go beyond typical keynote presentations to a highly engaged conversation focused on asking and answering some of the most difficult questions, and together developing actionable insights.

Announcing the Resilient Summit: Exploring the Collaborative Economy as the Next Phase of Social Business

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 12.45.37 PMIn the first phase of social, we shared media. With the growth of social and mobile and affordability and accessibility of technology such as 3D printing, we are moving in to the next phase of social where people don’t just share media – they share goods, services, money, space and resources. The crowd is starting to become like a company: self-financing, self-designing products, self-manufcaturing, self-selling to each other – bypassing inefficient corporations in the process.

Corporations must use these same tools and strategies to maintain relevancy.  Just like we did in social business, to match customers launching blogs, video, and social networking accounts, we saw corporations apply the same strategies to engage in the same channels.  Taking a cue from the first phase of sharing, we’re already seeing over 60 corporations that have moved into the collaborative economy. Significant new mindsets and business investments will be required to satisfy this market change.

For companies that do this, they achieve Resiliency:  They’re agile, innovative, connected, empowering others, built to last, and profitable.

In April 2011, attendees from both coasts and 11 states converged in Kansas City for the Social Business Summit hosted by Social: IRL and Jeremiah Owyang. Join Social: IRL and Jeremiah Owyang once again as we reconvene in February 2014, to evolve the conversation to the next phase of social business with the inaugural Resilient Summit.

Hosted in the heart of the nation in Kansas City, we’ll be joined by a diverse group of national brands and the agencies that work with them, regional and local businesses, startups, cities and individuals, plus leaders from the maker and sharing movements. Together we will explore our role in the new collaborative economy and will ask and answer the question: what role to companies play if people get what they need from each other?

Learn more about the event and secure your registration now, by visiting the event website.

 

Seven Key Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Guest post by Jeannette Arrowood, Senior Account Manager with Social: IRL sponsor, Expion.

Keeping your arms around everything that’s going on with social media and in digital could be a full-time job. Thankfully, Mary Meeker has been putting out an epic deck for the last 2 years called “Internet Trends,” and she’s taken it on as her full-time job to summarize for the rest of us where digital and social are going.

Mary Meeker is an important name to know in the world of startups and digital: not only is she a partner at an influential venture capital firm, but she’s been involved since the days of funding Netscape, back in the dark ages of the early 90’s. Last year’s “Internet Trends” deck was quite accurate, so we expect her collaboration with Liang Wu to be on point for the upcoming year, as well.

We took the time to flip through this year’s 117-page deck and pull out the tidbits that we found the most interesting. We’ve got the highlights broken out below.

 

Photos, Video, Sound, and Data

It’s been all about uploading photos to social for the last year and change—see Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr, Facebook photo albums, etc. Video uploads are a swiftly rising tide that cannot be ignored—see YouTube, Vine, Cinemagram and Dropcam. Sound is also a growing trend—SoundCloud and Tencent WeChat are two of the leaders that should be mentioned. But the really interesting trend to pay attention to is the way that data is being shared and examined.

Have you heard of Waze? It’s a mobile navigation application that crowdsources user data to provide its users with real-time traffic information. Think of all the ways data compilation and sharing is changing our lives. From traffic updates to changing the way we stay healthy—UP by Jawbone, FitBit, and the Nike+ Fuelband, the use of personal data to better understand your surroundings is going to be huge.

Wearable Technology

All of those products that help you to stay healthy listed above are a part of an emerging trend often referred to simply as “wearable tech.” That is, technology that you can wear. It’s been all about mobile technology and the smartphone, but now we’ll be seeing that technology turned into something you can wear. Google Glass and Apple’s rumoured smart watch will be just the beginning (Samsung is reportedly getting in on this game, too!). As mobile traffic on the web continues to explode (because people LOVE their smart phones), and as tablet traffic grows even more quickly, we’re likely teed up to see that same data be consumed via wearable technology.

Short-Term Sharing

Short-term sharing is a trend that has mostly been driven by a mobile app called Snapchat. Snapchat users send more than 150M images every day. And remember Poke? The Facebook copycat of Snapchat? They weren’t nuts to develop that app—Snapchat sees more uploads than Instagram.

Who’s Using Which Social Media Channels?

Facebook is leading the pack, in terms of number of users, but Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest have all seen some big gains in the user department—and that’s not just those who are “on” the networks. That data comes from those who self-report which social media channels they actually use.

If you know of anyone thinking of stepping away from Facebook because of reports that “no one’s on Facebook anymore …” stop those people in their tracks. So far, mobile usage on Facebook is up so much, that it’s making up for any decline of usage on the desktop.

Expion Guest Post Photo 1

The US Shares Things Online … But Not That Much

In comparison to other countries, the US falls on the lower end of the range in terms of how often we share on social. Who reports that they share “everything” or “most things” online? Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, and China. Those areas of the world might become increasingly important to those who work in social.

Expion Guest Post Photo 2

China, China, China

China’s mobile access to the internet has surpassed desktop access, and, if you think about it, this totally makes sense. It’s cheaper and easier to access the web via a mobile device than it is to make a larger investment in a more expensive laptop or desktop computer.

QR Code scanning in China is up 4 times year over year—this no doubt can be traced back to the popularity of accessing the web via mobile in China.  You can even follow the UK Embassy’s Weibo Account by scanning a QR code outside the Embassy’s building in Beijing.

China is also using social differently from the rest of the world because the services available there are a little different from others (you can’t access social channels like Facebook in China). Tencent has been around for 15+ years—that’s 6 years longer than Facebook, and they’ve got almost double the revenue. One of their services—Tencent WeChat lets users connect to friends and family via voice, text and pictures. But WeChat also provides a way for users to scan merchant QR codes to opt-in to receive special promotions and coupons. This is a seemingly dead-simple way to link the in-store experience with the online and mobile experience.  Those merchants can then sell to consumers via WeChat, send offers and coupons and provide customer service all through WeChat.

Sina Weibo, another Chinese social media channel, has helped to drive government response to important public issues and provided users with a way to organize during emergencies. Users of the service generate photos, answer polls, talk to each other, repost information and make suggestions to collaborate and drive change.

Groupon’s Not Dead Yet … Maybe

This was a total surprise thrown into the beginning of the deck … Groupon’s, reportedly, not dead. Despite being the butt of jokes of consistently delivering disappointment on the stock market, “its first quarter revenues rose 7.5% to a better than expected $601 million.” And their transactions on mobile are up from less than 15% two years ago. They do 45% of their sales from mobile, anyway, but maybe they shouldn’t be written off entirely. We’ll have to wait and see if mobile turns Groupon into a comeback kid.

Bottom Line

People are really into aggregating data about themselves. No surprise there that navel gazing remains a popular pastime, but wearable tech changes the game in terms of what you can do with that knowledge.

China is a force to be reckoned with based solely on the number of users that are on social networks, but those users are spending more time on the internet and on mobile than users in the US (who are watching more TV and listening to … the radio?).

It’s also clear from the section of the deck that examines immigration in the US and the spiking shortage of highly-skilled workers that we should all be sure our children are studying computer science and upping their game in the development department if we want them to be gainfully employed in the next 30 years.

jeannette headshotJeannette Arrowood is a social media industry veteran who has worked as a Community Manager, Social Media Strategist and Digital Marketing Consultant. She loves the internet, hosting videos, content curation and trendspotting. She recently returned to Raleigh from Brooklyn and joined Expion as a Senior Account Manager. Over the years, Jeannette has worked with a number of large brands including Mondelez International, Kraft, MTV, AT&T, and Hilton, and she currently works with some of the world’s largest digital agencies to optimize their use of Expion’s social media management software.