A commonly cited definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.” In today’s fast moving business environment, however, the new definition of insanity should be “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the SAME results.” That definition is especially applicable when trying to engage Generation Y.

Worldwide, there are 2 billion Global Ys (GYs) – a powerful consumer group between the ages of 18 and 34 who will represent more than $2.5 trillion in spending by 2020. This generation respects and expects innovation; more than 60% claim innovation is one of the most important qualities they look for in the brands they support.

With a little more than half the world’s population under age 30, the need to build brands that reflect millennials’ forward-thinking, creative characteristics is intensifying. Brands that understand GYs’ preferences, goals and aspirations will have a competitive advantage. (read more…)

Social media has matured into a mandatory marketing channel for brands. Today’s leading social networks have advanced advertising tools, social commerce features and mobile capabilities. The channel has come a long way toward proving ROI for businesses — and it still has plenty of untapped potential.

With all the shiny new tools and platforms digital marketers can use to maximize brand social efforts, the holiday shopping season will be a test of their ability to influence consumers and score a slice of the estimated $650 billion spent before the year’s end.

Offerpop analyzed data collected from more than 100 domestic and international digital marketers, and discovered marketing departments of all sizes are investing more in social media this year. In fact, 67% have already committed to a larger investment in social media than last holiday season.

But where is that budget going? What efforts, platforms, end goals does the increased budget support? (read more…)

Social data and analytics are all the rage these days, but what precisely should companies do with the information they collect? In the case of hotel chain Best Western, the answer was to engage with customers through social media. It partnered with SaaS customer experience management company Medallia to boost TripAdvisor scores for participating properties.

In this Q&A, Michelle de Haaff, Medallia’s vice president of marketing and a self-declared social media junkie, offer their tips for successful social media engagement with customers, advice on how to handle social data and thoughts on ways that mobile is reshaping how brands and consumers interact.

Companies are collecting more data about their customers, but making sense of that data remains a challenge. What are some best practices for marketers who are trying to glean insights from the vast trove of social data available to them?

At the most basic level, you need a system for organizing that data,Michelle de Haaff benchmarks to measure it against and a process for tracking it over time. (read more…)

“Who ‘likes’ ya, baby?” asks Devon Eyer in her recent presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit. In her talk, Johnson & Johnson’s director of corporate communications for social media explains how they improved their corporate reputation by engaging with the right social advocates.

Their influencer strategy is all about finding the people who like their brand and giving them the means to spread the word. Here are three key points from her presentation:

  • Listen strategically. Devon encourages brands to listen to what’s being said about them and the things they care about, so that they’re better prepared to enter the conversation. But it’s about more than trawling for comments on every message board. Find the critiques that will inspire improvement.
  • Let data take you to the right influencers. Devon explains that data can lead you to the people leading the conversation about your brand. It’s not about finding the blogger with the most followers — it’s about engaging with the one whose passions and values match the company’s.
  • (read more…)

There is no secret ingredient for successful content strategy, but there is a tried and true recipe. To create brand authority, increase conversion and promote participation from your readers, you have to make sure that you have the right balance of evergreen and timely content.

What are evergreen and timely content?

Evergreen content is the powerhouse of your Web presence. It stands the test of time, and remains relevant for months or years after its creation with little effort on your part. This type of content answers important questions, solves common problems and lends your brand the authority it needs to comment on more timely issues. It can come in many forms, from an infographic to a white paper, resource guide or even a blog post.

Timely content, on the other side of the spectrum, is based in trendy subject matter. It is your springboard for commenting on current events and subjects that don’t hold as much weight long-term, but are highly relevant in the here and now. (read more…)