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Integrating Social Media with Other Marketing Platforms

The verdict is in: “The benefits of integrating social media with other marketing tactics far exceed the benefits of utilizing social media alone.”

This is the findings of a market research study by respected market research firm, Marketing Sherpa (@marketingsherpa). Marketing Sherpa set out to answer a question that seems almost too complicated to answer:

“We wanted to find out how many organizations were integrating social media with online marketing tactics, offline marketing tactics or both.”

That’s a tall order considering the myriad of marketing programs (off and online) that an entrepreneur has to choose from. With social media being the media darling and being touted as the new and improved marketing savior of the future, many entrepreneurs launching their first startups might be wondering: “Is social media marketing all my business needs to effectively reach my target customer?”

Based on the chart created from the data gathered by Marketing Sherpa, the answer is clearly “no”. A marketing effort that is taylored to your company’s needs, includes social media and various other methods to engage consumers and that is flexible yeilds the best results. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone — consumers don’t simply reside on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn. They are everywhere (watching tv, communicating with mobile devices, and yes, some of them still read newspapers).

The numbers are telling. A whopping 52% of entrepreneurs polled said they use an integrated marketing approach for their businesses that includes social media, online and offline marketing tactics while only 16% of respondents say they don’t integrate social media with other marketing tactics. The reason integrated marketing works better is explained by Marketing Sherpa – simply put:

“Integration… enables marketers to track results that justify the business value of social marketing. For example, B2B marketers can identify and track the movement of prospects through the pipeline from initial social media engagement to lead capture and qualification, to sales conversion.”

What’s your approach to marketing your business? If you’re not using the more integrated marketing campaign that relies on both social media and other marketing avenues, you might be setting your business up for a marketing dead-end.

Read more details on the report here.

Social media is not a magic pill. Incorporating other marketing initiatives is crucial.

They’re Heeere – Twitter Unleashes Army of Zombie Advertisers on Users!

"Gives us tweets!"

Grab the kids and your pets and run for the hills! The advertisers are coming! The advertisers are coming!

Today Twitter will unveil the details of a new advertising program called Promoted Tweets that will allow advertisers to purchase key words for premium visibility whenever you search for keywords in Twitter (linking you directly to their ads).

Are we about to be besieged with ads that (while vaguely relevant to your search query) will, none-the-less, be intrusive and an annoyance? Will big-brand advertisers suck the life’s-blood out of the Twitter-User experience?

According to the New York Times (@nytimes), the ads will give companies the opportunity to be injected directly into the real-time conversation of Twitter (which, presently, is very difficult to do). Though the exact details of the new monetization won’t be revealed until later today, the New York Times has been given a preview of the new platform:

“When a Twitter user searches for a word an advertiser bought, the promoted message will show up at the top of the results, even if it was written much earlier. The posts say they are promoted by the company in small type, and when someone rolls over a promoted post with a cursor, it turns yellow.

The ads will also be a way for companies to enter the conversation when it turns negative. Several companies have created tools to measure sentiment on Twitter, but until now, businesses can do little with that information. Even if they write a post in response, it also quickly gets lost in a sea of complaints.”

Twitter - ready to get down to business and rake in the cashola.

The new platform will literally measure how relevant a topic is and the number of retweets (clicks) on a particular keyword to generate what they call a “resonance score”. If a keyword/topic drops beneath a certain resonance score, the advertiser will no longer have to pay for the post and Tweeters will not see the ads.

Similar to CPMs, companies will initially pay per thousand people who click on promoted posts. As the program grows and Twitter collects data on user-engagement with the ads, they will change the ad rates accordingly.

Here’s another (even more frightening) reason to “run for the hills”: shortly after the launch of this phase of their new monetization, Twitter will actually begin to show ads within your tweet stream (and tweets) whether you perform a search for a key word or not. Can you say, “Yikes!”

A few of the big brands who have already eagerly signed on include Best Buy, Virgin America, Starbucks and Bravo. But what does all of this mean for the small businesses and startups?

But the big question is: Can you, as an internet entrepreneur, benefit from this?

Dick Costolo (Chief Operating Officer, Twitter – @dickc) thinks everyone will have a shot at advertising/marketing gold with this new platform:

“The idea behind Promoted Tweets is that we want to enhance the communications that companies are already having with customers on Twitter.”

Anamitra Banerji (@anamitra), who manages commercial products at Twitter, assures us that Twitter will:

“be able to increase awareness in that instance when the iron is most malleable.”

But with the competition for keywords being what they are, it seems small businesses might be left in the cold. Other advertising platforms from other companies have also launched similar ad strategies including Assetize.com and SponsoredTweets.com (both allow advertisers to sponsor your tweets).

I remain cautiously optimistic. Nobody likes ads (least of all social media users), but as an internet marketer I understand their place and relevance (and let’s be honest, anything beats Facebook‘s Beacon disaster two years ago).

What do you guys think? Will the Twitter community embrace this new advertising platform, or pack the kids and pets and run for the hills?

Read the original NY Times post here.

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