Each week, I compose a newsletter for our team that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, social media, mobile, communications and marketing in order to keep our wider team up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in their jobs. These are those links.
If you have additional links, sources or ideas that might be helpful, I'd encourage you to add some via a comment below or tag me in Google+. And if you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links in the This Week in Social Media Magazine.
- Evangelists, fans, advocates - whatever you like to call them, it's important to get your supporters to act. Here are four keys to turning customers into brand advocates.
- How confident are you in your ability to create a strong call to action? Turns out, the power may be out of your hands, as 41% of TV viewers say they would never act on a commercial - regardless of which device they're holding while viewing.
- Social business is the concept of taking social principles and tools to help achieve business results more efficiently. Ray Wang talks with MIT Sloan Management Review about how it evolves in more socially developed businesses and how social business is changing the future of work.
- Altimeter's Charlene Li and Brian Solis have released an e-book on the topic, called The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy that focuses on vision, governance, strategy, tools, technology and leadership, among other things.
- However, a recent study from Sloan finds that social business is being delayed, largely due to factors such as lack of an overall strategy, too many competing priorities, lack of a business case or value proposition, and lack of management understanding.
- Examples from five brands that have used Instagram video include strategies such as taking fans behind the scenes, launching a product, telling the brand story, giving demos and being entertaining.
- Users can now add photos to comments to all Facebook pages globally. Be vigilant, community managers.
- While Facebook's hashtags may provide a marketing opportunity, the reality is that only 28% of people set their posts as public, which means a good deal of hashtagged conversations may never appear in the stream the way Twitter's do.
- Dissatisfied with the amount of data being consumed by the new messaging app, Unicom, a Chinese telco will be launching a WeChat subscription plan on August 8.
- Some recommendations/warnings for WeChat from a marketer.
- Sponsorships are still a growing percentage of budgets growing anywhere from 3-6% in 2013 and comprising 14% of marketing budgets. But the question of b is another question entirely.
- As content marketing continues to gain attention, what about metrics? Because it generates awareness of the brand, product or service, inspires consumers to engage, and converts them into leads or sales, there are a number of ways to measure content marketing.
- Speaking of which - we throw the term around quite a bit and even have a section for it. But what is content marketing?
- Happily, we can all agree that linkbait is not content marketing. But if you create something new, understand what your audience wants, know what options are available to you as resources, and play for the long haul, things should come together.
- PR agency Edelman has released a report on sponsored content, by Steve Rubel with a focus on the role of public relations ("The PR industry will have journalistic sensibility on what makes a good story and how it fits into the earned stream, then to decide whether it merits further promotion.").
- On his blog, CEO Richard Edelman takes a deeper dive in Sponsored Content - An Ethical Framework in which he outlines three broad principles for PR and sponsored content that align to the ethics of communications professionals: disclosure, quality and process.
- As always, Mitch Joel has some thoughtful insights on his site. In "How to become a thought leader," he addresses what it means to be a thought leader and how one might be considered as such. It's no mean feat.
- From Booz & Co.'s strategy+business site comes a piece on The Wise Leader, which determines that smart leadership (or cleverness, practical intelligence or savvyness) can be thought of as "business smart" and "functional smart" - and that the balance of the two is essential.
CommentaryGood companies are storytellers; great companies are story doers. Meaning that companies need to have a story and the story is connected to a larger drive to make the world a better place, which in turn is factored into how it treats employees, acts in public, makes products, etc., and it flows all the way to customers and partners, with financial results. In other words, it's important to tell the story but also to live it.
The recent craze of newsroom models and newsroom mentality at brands is more than just content creation. The process has to include more than just marketing rewrapped in a new catchphrase and cadence; it needs to be thought of and staffed like s journalistic operation, feeding into the pulse of what's happening at a company. The article above notes, "Successful strategies consolidate input from stakeholders across business arms, from revenue officers to philanthropy teams, analysts, researchers, and product marketers."
Digging beyond just the products offered for sale, it's an opportunity to find those hidden gems, those behind-the-scenes activities, individuals and processes that no one ever gets to see, or a focus on nebulous things like innovation, creativity and inspiration that may not be a pure product story.
In crafting a series of small narratives, the goal is to bring them together to comprise the overall brand story in a way that creates a relationship with customers. And it's up to paid, earned and owned channels to work together to create, share and promote those stories. When the loss of customers is the #2 concern for C-suite and board executives, it's an important assignment.
Image credit: h.koppdelaney (Flickr)