Many seasoned marketers are all too eager to leave the social media marketing to younger professionals. The ever-evolving social media space can feel daunting to traditional marketers accustomed to broadcast and print marketing. But while the technology is different, the basic building blocks of marketing still hold true.

When creating a marketing campaign delivered through any media, you must…

  1. Identify your target market. In traditional marketing, we get to know the target market through quantitative or qualitative market research. With social media marketing, we can get to know the target by “listening” on the social media platform. What are customers saying about the product? About what they want? About how they use the product? Same questions, new media.
  2. Create relevant messaging. In traditional marketing, the development of the message can be a very long, intensive process. With social media marketing, the creative development cycle is usually much faster.
  3. (read more…)

Data safety is serious business, and several surveys published this year have shown that the biggest risk to data safety is your employees.

The notion that your employees hold your business’s security in their hands is a scary one. Fortunately, the surveys have also suggested that it is usually out of ignorance, rather than maliciousness, that employees compromise data.

This means that employees just need some training and motivation to implement proper data security measures. Below are several steps business leaders can take to encourage their employees to make data safety a critical part of their roles within the company.

Run a security audit to see where the weak links are

This first, essential step helps you clearly identify the weak areas in your data security. Of course, most of the weak areas will have something to do with your employees. A study by Osterman Research found that 58% of respondents said malware was unknowingly downloaded by workers browsing the Internet, and 56% blamed the malware and phishing found on workers’ personal e-mail accounts for data security breaches. (read more…)

With the online marketing revolution that’s taking place in the professional services industries, social media can’t be ignored. It’s a means to build business relationships, increase firm reputation and visibility, and generate referrals. And while many firms recognize its importance, they’re still struggling with reaping social media’s full benefits. If this rings true for your firm, take a look at our five steps to develop a social media strategy that aligns with your other marketing efforts.

1. Determine the purpose of your social media program

You need a strategy, but what it will be is dependent on your firm’s specific needs. Are you looking to develop new relationships with industry influencers or your target audiences? Will your strategy be based around promoting educational content and new ideas, or are you hoping to attract more visitors to your website? Are you trying to recruit new talent or wanting to learn more about your competitors’ position in the marketplace? (read more…)

It’s no secret that making the most of social media is integral to the marketing, branding and customer services goals of any business. For small businesses, this can be especially true. In many cases, though, worthwhile social media management is easier said than done. Sometimes, taking a look at the way larger brands utilize their social media accounts can often be insightful. Take a look at the following examples.

Oreo – Brand identity/tone

Oreo’s social media accounts have very particular and cleverly constructed personalities. By posting a combination of puns, one-liners, random facts, pictures, vines, etc., as well as information related to their product, Oreo has developed a laid back, witty, and affable online personality for their brand. Having a casual and bubbly tone of voice makes the brand more approachable and relatable to customers.

Delta Air Lines – Customer services

Delta Air Lines is well known for the use of its “face-saving” Twitter account. (read more…)

It’s no secret that viral content is a hot topic — and ongoing debate — in the marketing world. What content catches on and what doesn’t? Can a campaign go viral without major ad dollars supporting it? Is there a “formula” to increase reach?

While there’s no five-step process for creating a marketing campaign that catches like wildfire, there are a few things that brands of any size can do to increase the chances of their campaign achieving massive success:

Leverage “trend jacking”

Want people to talk about your campaign? Tie it back to something they’re already talking about. For example, the word “selfie” was mentioned 28.8 million times on Twitter last year, and it’s no surprise why. Give someone a camera, a mirror and near frictionless sharing with friends, and voila: You have a compelling experience that millions of people repeat every day. You also have the foundation for a successful user-generated photo campaign. (read more…)