Sword and the Script

Prediction 2014: The Year of Social Media Advertising



by Frank Strong

ROI of social ads

Ready or not, here come social ads…and lots of them.

eMarketer says 90% of marketers will use social media marketing in 2014.  In this case marketing increasingly means paid social media advertising.

In summary the publication writes:

Call 2014 the year of “social acceptance.” More marketers are committing budget to paid social media advertising. And social media companies are providing advertisers better targeting than ever, and more ways to see the return on investment, according to a new eMarketer report, “Social Media Advertising: Seven Trends for 2014.” Read More…

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5 Creative Marketing, PR and Social Media Ideas



by Frank Strong

creative PR marketing social media

If reading too much can suppress creative thinking, then so too can habit.  Sure, Aristotle said excellence is not an act, but a habit, but how easy is it for marketers to fall into a pattern? The same old pattern.

Patterns are predictable and measurable; but they are also avoidable. It is consumer reflex to avoid a pitch. Consider email, for example, which is easy enough to mark as spam.  What would happen if email suddenly was not a tool in the marketer’s toolkit?

I’d suggest that a freak-out session would be followed by a creative session – and perhaps even better and more creative marketing ideas. To that end, here are five creative marketing, PR and social media ideas: Read More…

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Fear: Why Smart People Avoid Social Media



by Frank Strong

Fear  Why Smart People Avoid Social Media

Smart people don’t avoid social media because they don’t have time; they avoid it over fear.

Why is it smart and savvy business people – especially marketers – have no social media presence?

Think the reason is time?  I suggest it’s not time at all but fear.  Why fear?  Because especially in large organizations, we’ve been classically conditioned, to avoid speaking our minds.

If we speak our mind…

  • What will our boss say?
  • What will our peers say?
  • What will our customers say?
  • What will the competition say?
  • What might the media say?
  • What will the analysts say?
  • What will the investors say?
  • What will Wall Street say?

Fear is a powerful emotion.  Which is why marketers play on it, ugly as that tactic might be.  To be clear, a little bit of fear is good — healthy even — as it keeps us safe.  Too much fear is debilitating; it clouds our judgement and in fact re-routes judgement to a primitive part of our brains.   Read More…

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Future of Social Media Marketing is a Path Paved in Payment



by Frank Strong

Future of Social Media Marketing is a Path Paved in Payment

What do you get in social ads for two dollars?

Successful social media marketing, if not now, then in the near future will require an investment.  Marketers are going to have to pay to play.

It’s an idea that’s been in the corner of my mind for a while and was crystalized last week when reading a post by Edelman’s Dave Armano titled: What Comes After Social?  In the post, Armano takes a brief look at five predictions for the future of marketing, but there’s one that truly compelling:

Social media increasingly becomes a paid game. Read More…

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9 Essential Reasons to Kill a Social Media Unicorn



by Frank Strong

social-media-unicorn

Every time a “best time to post on social media” infographic is created a unicorn dies.

This post is something of a rant, but it’s also a bit of humor. Well, an attempt at humor, because generally, I’m perhaps far too serious to ever endeavor to be funny. Besides, can one have fun and rant at the same time?

The driver for this post is a two-fold combination.  First the nearby meme by WebSIGHT Hangouts that says every time a “best time to post on social media” infographic is created a unicorn dies. The second part is the growth phase that we are going through with Google+ and the “sharing of posts.”

Every time one user “shares a post” it triggers an alert that tells the other user that, well someone shared a post.  When I see these, I think oh, great, someone want to speak with me, then I click on the alert, look at the post, and realize, I’m just one of dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of people that post has been shared with.  Read More…

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5 Takeaways from a Study on Social Media Sales



by Frank Strong

Social Media Sales

If you are influenced by social media to make purchases, please raise your hand!

Some 40% of social media users have made purchases online, or in stores after interacting with content on social networks. This according to a study by the Vancouver-headquartered Vision Critical titled: How Social Media Drives Your Customers’ Purchasing Decisions.

Vision Critical itself sells market research solutions and they used their own panels to interview about 6,000 people in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, over the course of roughly a year and a half.  The study looks at just three social networks in Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, so it’s a narrow scope across networks, but it takes a fairly deep look at these networks.

The study has been on my reading list for several months and I’m glad I kept the link.  Here are five takeaways that jumped out at me:

1. Men make more social purchases.  There are more women on social media, but men make more purchases. Pinterest users for example are 83% female as are 57% of Facebook users. Twitter was stand out as a male-heavy platform, where 54% of users are men. However, overall men are more susceptible to the influence of social media in making a purchase. Fifty-six percent of social-related purchases are made by men.

2. Older user base; youthful purchasing power.  It’s easy to think of social media as appealing to a younger demographic, and while that might have been true a decade ago, this survey says that’s no longer true. We’re all getting older, no? The majority of social media users across Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter fall into the 35-54 age group.  However of social media users that made social-related purchases 51% fall into the 18-34 age bracket. Read More…

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Social Sharing Study: Likes, Beget More Likes



by Frank Strong

Social Sharing Study

Herd mentality: likes beget likes.

Have you heard about the herd?

A scientific study out of MIT proves that the more likes, votes or shares a piece of given content receives, the more likely it is to get more. In social media, people will follow the boss cow.

The study doesn’t appear account for Facebook’s algorithm — the algorithm formerly known as EdgeRank.  The algorithm formerly known as EdgeRank means Facebook filters content based on what it thinks it’s users are interested in, based on preferences and history.  Therefore the more people that “like” an update, the more people that are likely to even have a chance of seeing an update, let alone the opportunity to like it.

In other words, if you manage a fan page, not everyone sees your status updates.

In a study published in the journal Science, titled: Social Influence Bias: A Randomized Experiment, the authors

…examined the effect of collective information via a randomized experiment, which involved collaboration with a social news aggregation Web site on which readers could vote and comment on posted comments. Data were collected and analyzed after the Web site administrators arbitrarily voted positively or negatively (or not at all) as the first comment on more than 100,000 posts. False positive entries led to inflated subsequent scores, whereas false negative initial votes had small long-term effects. Read More…

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Reading: Why Librarians Make Good Content Marketers



by Frank Strong

Why Librarians Make Good Content Marketers

Reading: There’s no shame in taking care of an itch.

The more I read, the more I find it I have to read.  Here’s some goodies I’ve come across this week:

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What If Warren Buffett had a YouTube Channel?



by Frank Strong

Fortune 500 Blogs

34% of Fortune 500 companies have blogs, which means 66% do not.

Warren Buffett doesn’t have a YouTube channel.  Or more accurately, his company Berkshire Hathaway, doesn’t have a YouTube channel.  One might credibly argue, the holdings company, which has recently, if not oddly, gone on a strange buying binge of print newspapers, doesn’t have much of a website either.

The venerable Mr. Buffett apparently prefers the nostalgia, and perhaps information, of newspapers over cat videos.  And who can question him? Preferred stock in Berkshire Hathaway is trading for just shy of $180,000 per share. Can you imagine?

The holdings company is alone among the top 1o companies on the Fortune 500 list that does not have a YouTube channel. This is according to a report published by UMASS Dartmouth titled: 2013 Fortune 500 Are Bullish on Social Media.  The school’s Center for Marketing research has a long tenure of such studies, including this one on the Inc. 500.

Among the findings include: Read More…

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Book Review: 7 Takeaways from Jay Baer’s YOUtility



by Frank Strong

YOUtility-Jay-Baer

One audiobook that deserves a spot on your summer reading list.

Every now and again a book comes along with the potential to change minds.  Though I pour through dozens of books every year — often “cheating” by listening to audiobooks on long drives, those that really capture my mind are far and few between.  The audiobook YOUtiliy by Jay Baer however, is certainly time well spent.

He breaks down the concepts of content marketing with a simple elegance that crystallizes why this is so important.  It’s a style he’s perfected on his blog, Convince and Convert, and it came through in this work.  His mantra of “hype free” will not disappoint.

Whether you are a novice or an expert that already knows everything, I can promise that YOUtility will give you something to think about.  And here are my 7 take-aways. Read More…

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