While business leaders may constantly hear they need to maximize their online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, there may be more that they could do to succeed. Just having a Facebook or Twitter page is not enough. These sites need to be managed and constantly promoted.
Technology entrepreneur Alex Zhardanovsky was recently interviewed by Fox News about ways businesses can improve their online presence. He explained that Facebook can be used like a newsletter. He stated, “The nice thing about Facebook is that if you spend money building a Facebook page, you have an audience that does not go away.” This gives businesses an advantage of the old style of having people click on a link and then closing a page where they may never return again.
Facebook allows for more of a conversation where businesses can reach customers on a consistent basis. The best part is it is a free way to build a relationship with people that may later become paying customers. Facebook Fan pages are a very important thing for business to create. Businesses can post interesting content so that people will want to interact on that page. Facebook also allows companies to target specific demographics.
Zhardanovsky recommends using a company called AlphaBoost to help companies build better advertising. This site allows potential advertisers see how the competition’s ads are performing. They can see the likes, clicks and views of the competition’s ad. The thought process is that if the business is similar, they will receive a similar reaction to a comparable ad. He explained that once companies get the “likes” from posting a similar ad, then that is when they can differentiate their business from the competition.
As mobile phones have taken over the way people communicate, it is a natural progression for texting to become a marketing opportunity. In the Wall Street Journal article Teen Stores Try Texts as Gr8 Nu Way to Reach Out, author Christina Binkley explained, “Like many parents who have turned to texting to reach their teens, some youth-oriented fashion brands like Charlotte Russe, Claire’s Boutique and Vans are finding that young people are most accessible by text.”
Texting now can include more rich content, pictures and video. Marketers can send shopping passes, discounts, and offers. Rather than merely being a vehicle for chat, texting now offers a way to get customers to opt in and avoid illegal lists or spam. Customers can selectively pick who they would like to receive offers from, which leads to a higher chance of the sales message being received. The article stated, “People are five times more likely to open a text than an email. Five billion people text on mobile phones, while about two billion people use the Internet.”
This new form of communication has increased the speed of receiving offers and acting upon them. There is immediacy due to the ability to send messages that state things like “get 10% off if purchased within the next 3 hours.”
One of the hardest parts is to get people to opt in to receive the texts. Retails often post signs to ask customers to opt in by texting short codes. For more information, check out Top Links Explaining SMS and Short Codes.
The latest technological advances have allowed for marketers to perform experiments that used to be the things only considered in science fiction. Shoppers may soon have their retinas and facial expressions scanned to determine their product preferences. Although these scans are not available on the grocery store shelf, they have been used in product research.
The Wall Street Journal reported, “Kimberly-Clark’s researchers used computer screens outfitted with retina-tracking cameras when testing the newest packaging for its Viva paper towels in 2009. Their goal was to find which designs got noticed in the first 10 seconds a shopper looked at a shelf—a crucial window when products are recognized and placed in the shopping cart. They also wanted to know if the preferences held up on different count packages, from single rolls to multipacks.”
Researchers have found that they may obtain more accurate data this way than through the use of traditional surveys. The retina-tracking devices are useful because the human eye can detect information very quickly. It’s not just our eyes that can give marketers important information. Some companies have used brain scans to determine product preferences. Now with facial recognition software, even more customer data can be compiled as companies can “track involuntary facial expressions to gauge true emotional reaction.”
Organizations use technology to keep track of customers’ information. The hope is to build relationships with current and potential customers. This is referred to as customer relationship management or CRM. Social media has changed the way companies handle customer relationships. The following is a compilation of some of the top sources that I have found regarding how social media has impacted CRM:
To find out more about social networking and CRM, check out a video by Salesforce.com titled: What is Social CRM. Paul Greenberg defines Social CRM as, “a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, process, and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. Social CRM is the company’s response to customers’ ownership of the conversation.”
Anyone who has installed iPad or iPhone apps has probably seen the notification: “Would Like to Send You Push Notifications” (with the options of don’t allow or OK). IpadAcademy.com explains, “Push notifications are a way for an app to send information to your iPad or iPhone even when you aren’t using the app.” If you’ve noticed the number of email listed on your email icon, that is there due to a push notification. That notification reminds you that you have mail without making you actually open up the application.
IOS (Apple’s system) is not the only one that utilizes push notifications. Android and Windows smartphones also use them. Check out: Not all Push Created Equal.
Apple’s IOS system provides 3 types of push notifications. To manage these notifications for an iPad or iPhone, you “Go to Settings > Notifications to choose the apps you want to receive notifications from. You can also select what form you’d like the notice to take – sound, badge, alert or banner, depending on the options the app includes.” For more help, check out: IOS: Understanding Push Notifications.
Some push notifications may be very useful. However, TheNextWeb explained push notifications need to be smarter. Having the ability to adjust how they work may need to be adjusted. Lifehacker explained that push notifications may not be the best thing. In the article You Should Forget About Push Notifications for Your Email, author Adam Pash stated, “the vibrating pulse in your pocket indicating the arrival of a new email; the unpredictable “ding” from your desktop’s email notification; these things are killing your focus and destroying your ability to work to your capacity.”
Push notifications are an effective marketing tool. Check out the following video explaining why:
MobileMarketer warned that apps need to be pushy but not too pushy to be effective. “ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL is not an effective strategy in any marketing channel. An effective push notification strategy should maximize the likelihood of message relevance and a beneficial value exchange between brand and customer.”