In terms of brand positioning and reaching new consumers, businesses of all sizes and sectors can benefit from a strong online video presence. YouTube, with an estimated 1 billion unique users every month, is too big a potential showcase for any brand to miss out on. What’s more, as the Net’s second-biggest search engine behind parent company Google, YouTube offers those who keep their channel well maintained and search-optimized a near peerless opportunity to reach consumers with their content.

YouTubeAs with company websites, video channels must be attractive to the user, easy to navigate and quickly searchable. This desirable state can only be achieved by organizing both the channel interface and the content that sits on it. Although organizing your YouTube channel isn’t an exact science and can be dependent on your content type and industry sector, there are a number of general guidelines to follow when aiming to get the best out of YouTube’s channel infrastructure. (read more…)

Cabela’s social media response plan was a mess: Someone posts a complaint, the social media manager takes a screenshot, e-mails it to the customer care team, the customer care team tries to find the customer in their database (and most often they don’t), then 72 hours later, the social media manager responds.

That social customer service system left two-thirds of their customers’ posts unanswered and a lot of people unhappy. But it wasn’t just dropping the ball on customer complaints, they were also missing big opportunities to build relationships.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Member Meeting, Cabela’s Social Media Manager Adam Buchanan explains the steps he took to revamp their customer service in social media and earn back the love of their customers. Here are some key points from his case study:

  • Develop a streamlined process: The old system wasn’t working. So Adam hired more community managers and created a direct line of communication with two reps in corporate communications and two reps in customer relations.
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As the New Year begins, many professional services firms are busy figuring out how to prioritize their marketing goals for 2015. At the Hinge Research Institute, we found ourselves wondering the same thing. So, we conducted a study to learn just what business challenges firms are facing today and how they plan on prioritizing their professional services marketing initiatives in 2015 to address them.

The study included a survey of 530 firms over a wide range of professional services industries and first sought to uncover what their current biggest business challenges are. While there were a range of answers, the top challenge was overwhelmingly “attracting and developing new business.” With 72.1% of responses, it was more than twice as common of a response than the next most frequent answer: “finding and keeping good people.” (read more…)

About a year ago, if you posted a question, complaint or compliment on one of Olive Garden’s social pages, you’d probably be ignored. According to Justin Sikora, Darden director of public relations and social media, it’s not that they didn’t care — just that they weren’t staffed to care.

With a third-party agency creating promotions and campaigns for Olive Garden’s social presence, they were prepared to push messaging, not help customers. In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Member Meeting in Chicago, Justin explains how they turned it around with a six-month program and five steps.

Here are a few big ideas from his case study:

  • Take ownership from marketing and give PR the reins: With the public relations team handling social media, they were able to join the tougher conversations about things like breastfeeding in their restaurants, wage discussions and food preparation — not just promotional details.
  • Bring community management in-house: Justin hired two community managers to join the team.
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We were all supposed to become data scientists in 2014. Billed as a year of “data explosion” by ZDNet, brands were expected to make huge leaps in the measurement and analysis of their digital marketing efforts, using data to drive all strategy.

Social data did have its breakthrough year. In Offerpop’s most recent survey of practicing brand marketers, 75% said it was critical to collect insights from social data. This particular statistic came as no surprise as social statistics give marketers access to a wealth of real-time insights about audience preferences, demographics, behaviors, e-mails, relationships and more. The roadblock occurs after the data is put to use and it’s time to measure the return on investment.

In December 2013, Social Media Explorer’s Nichole Kelly predicted a “fundamental shift” in marketing measurement, saying it is no longer about the channels or the content or the sentiment. Instead, marketers need to prove social’s ability to show executives the money. (read more…)