A central part of any social media strategist’s job is to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in newsfeed algorithms, analytics features and paid post programs. After managing social programs for a wide variety of brands, I’ve discovered that the best strategy is not to be reactive to these changes, but rather to authentically engage with users.

That means that, instead of seeking to take advantage of the latest loophole, engage to the point where customers — or potential customers — actually want to share their data (name, email address, zip code, etc.) because they are genuinely interested and want to participate. There are three important steps to achieving success in generated social direct response:

1) Engagement
Think of engagement as the foundation upon which you build your strategy. Approach your effort across screens and marketing vehicles so that your message reaches your target audience both offline and online. Remember, the consumer is looking for an easy and consistent experience when taking the time to engage with you, so allow your marketing messages to prompt a consumer action no matter where they see your messaging. (read more…)

“If you’re going to hire an analyst, hire the one that’s doing the Sudoku puzzles in the waiting room,” says Jim Sterne of eMetrics Summit. But, he says, it’s not all about the numbers.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit, Jim talks about the human side of social media analytics. He focuses on the role an analyst should play within a company and the qualifications they should have to turn social data into effective business practices.

Here are some key points:

  • Tell stories instead of reports. Jim advises analysts to skip over the nitty-gritty numbers. Instead, get right to the insight by focusing on customers and business objectives.
  • Be careful. Jim acknowledges that humans love to find patterns and make assumptions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of traps the brain can fall into when it comes to processing data. He warns analysts not to confuse correlation with causation or to give in to cognitive bias.
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The term “guerrilla marketing” is something you probably associate with outlandish stunts, like dropping a 600-pound ice block in front of a conference a competitor is hosting just to make a point, or painting a sewer to look like a coffee cup just to sneak your coffee brand into a customer’s subconscious awareness. Guerrilla marketing is great (or, um, evil) not only because it catches customers when they have their guard down, but because it also creates a much more physical connection to them in a way no TV ad can possibly do.

But you don’t need to go guerrilla in order to create this powerful connection. In fact, something very similar happens with excellent product packaging design, especially when that design incorporates an interactive social aspect that taps into a larger social media strategy to create campaigns that are tangible and interactive at every level. It’s something the world’s biggest and most powerful companies have known for years — but you don’t need a large packaging design or social media budget to create such powerful campaigns. (read more…)

Anita Malik is vice president of content operations for ClearVoice, where she leads a team of more than 20 in-house journalists and hundreds of freelance subject-matter experts, bridging the technology and editorial vision for the platform. In this Q-and-A, Malik explains the ClearVoice platform and the role of authorship, authority and influence in social, content and search.

What is authorship and what is its value?

In the simplest terms, authorship is a writer’s collected body of written work published under his or her byline. Bylines tie content to authors, thereby helping authors to establish authority in their areas of expertise. In digital publishing, when the byline is coupled with a digital signature — primarily the Twitter “creator” tag — authorship is further established through search and social.

Why does it matter?

Building authorship in a particular vertical or niche amplifies a writer’s authority. By identifying writers who produce shareable, trending content, brands or publishers can tap into a writer’s authority and following. (read more…)

Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a social media marketing tool by its most popular feature. Digging a little deeper into some of my favorite platforms has often revealed valuable features not evident at first glance.

For most of us there isn’t time to test and compare the hundreds of tools that are available to marketers. That’s why I’m going to talk about three awesome social media marketing tools that you’ve heard of; but you may not know about their hidden superpowers that can help elevate your business.

1. Canva

At first glance Canva seems very straight forward; it’s a free online photo editor. Most businesses use Canva to create unique photos for their social needs including blogs and social media marketing posts to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

However, you may not know that Canva provides a library of more than one million icons, stickers, buttons, grids and other images and layouts to choose from. (read more…)