The Abbi Agency is in the middle of collecting data on the life of UGC. If you are a marketer, contribute your personal experience with UGC and tell us about campaigns you’ve worked with. Two survey respondents will be randomly selected to win $100 Visa gift cards.

Across the Internet marketers are writing about the gospel of the good acronym, UGC (user-generated content). It makes sense — people are snapping a whopping 150 new photos on their smartphones every month, and 46 percent of the population is sharing these photos on social platforms as original content — why not harness all this creative consumer energy to promote your brand?

Meanwhile, diverse audiences are swarming every social platform. Empty nesters ages 55+ lead the pack of new Facebook users. And don’t discount Gen Z — most of this population has already earned their social wings. A group that has grown up surrounded by technology, Gen Z kids have the tools to adapt quickly to changes and trends, and the will to blast their thoughts out and change the world. (read more…)

LinkedIn may be king of business-to-business social media, but don’t rule out Pinterest. The pinning site most commonly associated with consumer purchases and planning for events such as weddings is increasingly becoming a useful space for B2B brands, Pinterest Head of Brand Strategy Kevin Knight said during a presentation at BMA15 on Thursday.

“B2B brands are part of the way people live on Pinterest,” Knight said, which he clarified is less a social network than a tool for self-exploration. Brands interested in Pinterest should focus less on increasing their followers and more on creating content that others will share, he advised.

One-third of all millennials in the U.S. are active on Pinterest, and many of them are using it to not just plan consumer purchases but to pin tips associated with running a small businesses or writing more compelling blog posts. Content created by brands comprises 67% of all pins, according to Knight. (read more…)

Rapid changes are occurring in the business-to-business space, and one of the takeaways at this week’s BMA15 conference is how marketers can – rather, must – adapt.

The Chicago event by the Business Marketing Association, a division of the Association of National Advertisers, has brought together hundreds of companies from around the U.S. and countries from Japan to Saudi Arabia. The industries represented vary greatly, from transportation and publishing to health care and software solutions.

But there is one common thread for all attendees: Changes are afoot, thanks to two trends in the B2B space.

Technology, for one, is rapidly evolving and mobile is playing an increasingly important role in how B2B buyers make purchasing decisions. In fact, 42% of B2B searches on Google now happen through a mobile device, according to Google’s Jim Lecinski. And on LinkedIn – the primary B2B social network – half of unique visiting members are mobile visitors, added Russell Glass, head of products for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. (read more…)

Customer loyalty is very hard to gain in an era where countless businesses are offering the same products and services to the same audience. Customers have lots of choices, and as soon as they find the “supposedly” next best thing, they take their money, family and friends with them. Instead of just building a customer loyalty program, focus on building WOW customer experience and the loyalty will follow.

A WOW customer experience is when a business is really great at providing their customers with amazing products and also genuinely provides excellent service. When a customer experiences both components simultaneously and consistently, it activates an emotion that creates loyalty and trust, which turns that customer into a walking word-of-mouth marketer for your business. Now imagine having 100 or 500 customers just like that. You now start to build a tribe of supporters for your business.

In reality, not all businesses are built like that. (read more…)

The squeeze is on. Consumer spending has been slow to recover with the economy, and, as a result, the size of the retail pie isn’t getting any bigger. To stay competitive, retailers are increasingly finding that they need to focus more on gaining and maintaining customer loyalty as an imperative to business success. Not only is it cheaper to keep current customers than to acquire news ones, but happy customers can be an amazing recruitment tool, if they are incentivized to advocate for their favorite brands. As a result, social loyalty is becoming the newest trend in retail marketing’s tool belt.

Social loyalty, according to Forrester Research, is “brand affinity built on the connection of consumers to the brand as well as to each other.” It provides an opportunity for brands to engage with members beyond the transaction — encouraging awareness, advocacy and emotional loyalty.

Here’s how front-line retailers are using social loyalty to obtain these benefits — and how you can, too:

Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Turning loyal customers into advocates on social media gives brands a powerful way to increase awareness and reach among connected consumers. (read more…)