Tag Archives: social media

Debate Rages On– Social Media ROI: Organizations are Clueless About Social Media Marketing Metrics and Investment Pay-Offs…

What is the ROI of Social Media? Many business executives still think in terms of the traditional ROI– it’s an easy number but does it tell whole, or correct story... Social Media ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI) is a term often used but rarely defined… According to Tereza Litsa; not every organization has the same ROI from using social media, and in fact, not even every campaign yields the same ROI… And this makes it hard to answer the question: What is the ROI of Social Media? Measuring ROI doesn’t have to be about putting an absolute value on a social media campaign…  it’s more about gauging whether or not a social campaign has achieved the desired goals to the extent that justifies the resources invested into it…

According to Susan Etlinger; survey found that the top social media challenges for many organizations are– inability to tie social media to business outcomes (56%)… lack of analytics expertise and/or resources (39%)… poor tools (38%)… only 30% of brands consider themselves to be ‘effective’ or ‘extremely effective’ at connecting social media with revenue… According to Jeremiah Owyang; while ROI is important, it’s not everything— 84% of survey reported primary business impact of social media is not revenue generation but to get insight that would helped them better meet customer experience goals…

In the article Social Media ROI by Elisabet Parera writes: Although social media has amazing power through use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… profiles; they were not created to track– investments, costs, results… And this is where Social Media ROI comes into play. There’s an unflinching rule in digital marketing: If you don’t measure the results of your actions, you’ll never know if they are workingThis is what Social Media ROI deals with; measure ‘financial’ effectiveness of campaigns on social networks… In other words, the ROI tracks the economic performance of an investment in order to evaluate how much each dollar or other resources invested has generated during a social media campaign…

This may seem quite logical but according to Convince & Convert; reality is that 40% of organizations don’t know whether their efforts on social networks are successful or not… Not only this, but according to another study; 3 out of 4 digital marketing experts don’t know how to measure Social Media ROI. The main difficulty for many organizations is that they are tracking the ‘vanity’ metrics without knowing why they are important. When they should also be tracking effectiveness of the investment– dollars and resources… and evaluating the gains   (or loss) from their investment in social media activities…

In the article Social Media and ROI by Steve Penhollow writes: Try to assign a monetary value to a– ‘like’, ‘tweet’… Before an organization can attempt to calculate Social Media ROI, it must decide which side of the debate it backs– to ROI or not to ROI? Yes, there is a debate over Social Media ROI and it churns as robustly as ever… Social is like PR or customer service…You may not get a direct sale out of it… but it does have important impact in building brand awareness, trust… and keeping an organization in the mind of consumers, stakeholders… 

Hence it’s silly to ask; What is the ROI of Social Media? According to Steve Woodruff; it’s exactly the wrong question… First an organization must define a specific strategy and develop specific measurable tactics before they can move into the ROI territory..The reason for tracking measurement in social media– whether ROI or other metrics, isn’t just to prove that social campaigns are generating value, but also to make adjustments to the direction of the value…

Part of the beauty of social media marketing is that you can measure nearly everything you do, but keep in mind that measurement is only effective if you know– what to measure and why… For some the goal may be as simple as– driving traffic and measuring conversions… And they see no need for ROIs… For other organizations ROI is important, e.g.; ROI may be investment gains from handling customer service issues through Twitter instead on the phone. Perhaps tracking store traffic from social media promotion, campaign… Metrics are integral to gauging the health of an organization’s social presence…

However, many organization just track what are known as ‘vanity’ metrics… Vanity metrics make you feel as though you are succeeding when perhaps you’re not… What counts as a vanity metric depends as how you define success, e.g.; if goal of social media campaign is to raise sales and revenue, then big numbers of– ‘likes’, ‘shares’,  ‘follows’… may not be enough. However, if you are receiving lots of– ‘likes’, ‘shares’… and that gets more ‘followers’, then you may feel that a campaign is effective– even though none of those– ‘likers’, ‘sharers’, ‘followers’… purchases a single item…

A vanity metric has no direct link with the overarching aim of your social media campaign to increase sales and revenue. That doesn’t mean that those numbers are not important; it just means that they are not going to achieve financial goals…  Surely, if you’re going to spend money on something in business, it should generate some kind of return… or at least cut some visible, measurable loss… However, the value of social media that’s immediately visible and measurable is just the tip of the iceberg. The bulk of value lies below the water line– and not in most major social media initiatives…

Re-Imagine the World’s Oldest Profession; Rethink How It Adapts to Age of Social Media: No, Not That One; Selling…

Contrary to popular belief, selling is the oldest profession in the world. Long before anything else– the serpent sold Eve on desirability of an apple; and its in ‘The Book’ right after the phrase– ‘In the beginning… Hence no matter what you do, it’s always about selling… According to Dave Ramsey; selling is about connecting and that makes the magic happens, and if you fail to connect there may not be another chance… Great leaders are also great sellers, who understand the power of connections and relationships… There is little you can do in this world without selling, and if you look a little closer at every situation there is always a seller and a buyer…

Nothing happens until someone sells something! Or better yet, until someone buys something! Selling has evolved and continues to evolve into something difference; internet and social media have completely disrupted traditional selling, putting the power of decision-making in the hands of buyers, rather than sellers… Many organizations have come to realize that they must sell the way customers want to buy… They have learned that for them to sell better they must understand customers better…

Knowing buyer behaviors and preferences are keys to success in selling and that means being actively engaged on social media and carefully– listening, observing… and understanding; How buyers want to buy! When buyers want to buy! What buyers want to buy! even before sellers engage buyers about buying…

In the article Future Of Selling is Social by Brian Fetherstonhaugh writes: In the era of Facebook, Google , Twitter… buyers have as much control over the flow of information as sellers. Buying, which was once one-way interaction between informed seller and curious buyer, is now conversation between equals. According to Ogilvy; social media has had an enormous impact on buying behavior with a majority of sellers seeing social media as critical to their success…

But many organizations are not adapting fast enough, 68% of sellers say that buyers are changing the way they buy faster than their own organizations are adapting to it… Nearly one-half of sellers surveyed say organizations lack the– understanding, knowledge, commitment... about social media and its impact on the selling and buying process… Sellers to be successful must align their selling ways to be in lockstep with those of buyers…

In the article Social Selling? Hasn’t Selling Always Been Social? Paul Teshima writes: The idea of being ‘social’ so as to build a trusted relationship has been around since the beginning of time… The whole notion of social media is about building and maintaining relationships, which has changed how people buy and sell things… However, the vast majority of sellers on social media are passive users and rarely if ever, posting creative content that shows passion experience, expertise…The key to better selling through social media is by creating– engaging, interesting, relevant, buyer related content…

In the article Social Media Is Changing The Way Buyers Buy Stuff by Ryan Holmes writes: It’s easy to miss how fundamentally social media has changed how people spend not just their time, but also their money… The way people learn about products, services, evaluate them, buy them, interact with sellers are all being mediated by social media… An old selling adage says; one happy customer will tell 3 friends, while an unhappy customer tells 10… But in social media those numbers are increased by orders of magnitude…

It’s easy to say that social media is changing how people interact and engage with organizations, but it can sometimes be hard to see it up close and personal… And for the organizations that haven’t, the clock is ticking… and if they cannot or won’t make the jump they stand to see their customer base erode as it becomes ever more social…

In the article Re-Imagine Selling for the 21st Century by Ayelet Baron writes: The most important currency of the 21st century is– trust, relationships, community… The days of the traditional sales pitch, for most organizations, is coming to an end… and the important question that sellers must ask themselves and also know the answer to is; Who do you trust? And most importantly; Who trusts you? 21st century sellers must know how to bring people together around a shared purpose; and the interlocking currency is trust… and through trust– sellers and buyers can connect based on shared experience, ideas, expectations…

Selling in the 21st century is about applying two critical resources; ancient wisdom and great technology… It’s about seeing customers through the lens of sharing… simply share and connect with buyers who can benefit from the ‘things’ you have to offer… It’s a matter of recognizing people as artists and co-creators of something delightful by the collaboration of seller and buyer.. and It’s about truly believing in what can be created and having a passion for sharing it… The days of the patriarchy are coming to an end. There is power in the sellers and buyers co-creating solutions, but it requires a deep desire to know, to listen, to engage…

The world is changing, if organizations keep showing up in the same places with the same solutions they will get the same results… The dynamic of selling and buying will continue to shift… In the future (and future is now), organizations will be created in the image of their customers… According to Scott Marker; selling is learning up front; How customers want to buy: If customers want to buy online, then offer that choice… If customers want a simple transaction, then don’t go through a long relationship mating dance…

 

Language of Social Media, Internet… Sustainability: Business Must Embrace Online Language– Tweets, Acronyms, Emoticons…

If you want to change a nation, change its language… If you want to change a business, change it language… Social media, Internet and online technology are driving the rapid creation and proliferation of new language…

social media has spawned new vocabulary and morphed old ones… it has changed not only the form of language but how people interact and communicate… and this has a profound impact on how business is done; how products are developed, packaged, promoted, sold… to be sustainable a business must embrace and apply this new language of– social media, Internet, digital technology…

langauge th2QTVNXBD

According to Lee Densmer; technology-enabled communications have changed the very structure of language and biggest factor is the ever-increasing velocity of language… Social media has condensed– words, phrases, vocabularies… this adaptation of language is more concise, faster… and people communicate more quickly, efficiently, effectively… Technology has expanded people’s ability to communicate, and it certainly does not follow the traditional rules of ‘proper’ grammar. Hence some say; it’s pathetic… other say; it’s efficient. Language is alive, vital, highly mutable… for sustainability, business must embrace it…

In the article Change Language and Reframe How You Interact With Customers by Erik Flowers writes: Changing language changes very foundation of a business relationship… The purpose of changing language is to change ‘intent’ on how you do business– the interaction has a different mindset, although it seeks the same result… and that means, shifting the way you frame (or reframe) relationships and language used to embrace it…

Changing language such that it better relates with customers is the first step for building a sustainable business… According to Mitch Joel; there is only one strategy for building a successful business– and that strategy is to connect with customers… and if you don’t talk the customers’ language– you are toast…

Social Media and Internet is Changing Language: Social media is fast growing influence on language… The introduction of new words, new meanings for old words… changes in the way people communicate. These all show the increasing importance of social media, and the stamp it’s making on language, e.g.; emoticons, tweets, acronyms… growing adaptation of language express a person’s feelings;  it’s fashionable, it’s cool, it’s simple… It’s an evolving language in the world of social media, which is changing the way business must communicate…

According to Zoe Kleinman; changes in languages is not new, but historically language changes very slowly… however with the increasing use of the Internet and social media, changes in language has accelerated and is now an important factor in the way people communicate… many more people are using things, such as; ‘word play’ to form groups and impress peers… It’s like a badge of ability, e.g.; at a local ‘skate-park’ you might see kids who make skateboard do wonderful things… similarly online, people show brilliance by manipulating the language for– social media, Internet… these adaptation of language are increasingly being embraced by the general populations…

language thJMXIDEMW

In the article Social Media Must Speak Business Language by Zane Safrit writes: The language of social media is great, but for business it must be translated… so as to tell the story in the language of CEOs, CFOs… The language CEOs and CFOs want to hear is the language  of numbers, i.e.; number that go-up and numbers that go-down… Language that tell story of how certain numbers for the business– go-up, e.g.; leads, conversion rates, customer accounts, sales per customer, revenues, profits, cash-flow… and story of how these numbers for business– go-down, e.g.; customer churn, customer acquisition costs, marketing costs, advertising costs, employee turnover, hiring costs…

The language for managing business is language of numbers… words such as; tweets, re-tweets, trackbacks, links, rss feeds, feed readers, blogrolls, hackers, spambots, organic SEO are the words of an unintelligible language outside the echo chamber of social media experts… and therein lies the rub: A business built around power of conversation speaks only in its own language… and although CEOs and CFOs are hungry, anxious… for power of social media… social media language must speak and connect with language of business, e.g.; cash-flow and customers, prospects and conversion rates, hiring costs and employee turnover… That’s the language that CEOs and CFOs of millions of businesses speak every day…

In the article Social Media is Changing Language by Kate Wilson writes: Social media impacts language by altering the meaning of words, e.g.; the ‘Pinterest’ platform has changed the way people view the words– ‘pin, ‘pinning’, ‘pinned’… People know these words to be representative of a physical ‘pin’ used to ‘pin’ something to a physical surface, wall, board… Whereas in the online world, ‘pin’ or ‘pinning’ is descriptive of a similar concept, but the surface only exists digitally… Just as social media alters the usage of words, it also has introduced the usage of descriptive phrases, e.g.; full ‘verb-phrases’ have become common acronyms that are now used in everyday conversation, not just online…

These phrases include; “as far as I know” (AFAIK ), “ask me anything”( AMA), “before anyone else”(BAE), “Be right back”(BRB), “by the way”(BTW), “Got to go” (GTG), “I don’t care” (IDC), “I don’t know”(IDK), “In my humble opinion”(IMHO), “Let me know” (LMK), “Laughing out loud” (LOL), “Oh my god” (OMG), “On my way” (OMW)… these short acronyms are creeping-up in everyday language…

According to some people; these type verb-phrase acronyms cuts down on the number of words and characters used to hold a conversation, and that enables more efficient communication and greater speed… According to other people; these are perversions of language and bad for– business, society… However it’s matter of fact, social media is transforming and changing the way language is being used… and as technology and social media continues to advance, there will surely be more language-altering shifts occurring…

language thG17VJG71

In the article Language of Social Media by Elissa Nauful writes: social media has ‘gone corporate’… corporation are beginning to understand that the use of social media and its new language is good for business and offers many benefits for business and consumers alike… and corporate voice is beginning to adopt its language for online communities and developing programs that are relevant for social media, e.g.;

They are not just regurgitate traditional marketing lingo– keeping the message short and sweet… providing relevant and interesting content– content is king… focusing on strong verbs and staying away from tired old words and phrases… Being playful, being corny, having fun… and, occasionally using a bit of gentle self-mockery… Ultimately the language you choose should resonate with customers, and for best results, keep it honest and authentic…

Some people say social media is killing language, and they mostly cite the excessive usage of– undecipherable initialisms, incorrect abbreviations, cutesy emoticons… Others believe (much smaller population, to be sure) say that social media is not ruining language, but rather simply changing the ways in which people use language to express themselves…

Social media has prompted subtle revolution in language and in ways people communicate; people share more personal information and communicate with larger online audiences… Communication styles are more informal, more open… and this is seeping into other areas of business, life, culture… When communicating on social media, people have become more succinct; get to the point quicker, and operate within the creative constraints of 140 characters…

Facebook has also done more than most platforms to offer up new meanings for words, such as; friends, likes, pages, profiles… Other new meanings which crop up on social media channels also reflect the dark side of social media, e.g.; ‘troll’ is no longer just character from Norse folklore but someone who makes offensive, provocative comments online… or, ‘sock puppet’ is no longer solely puppet made from old sock, but self-serving fake online persona… or, ‘astroturfing’ is no longer simply laying a plastic lawn but also a fake online grass-roots movement…

language thOVVC81CI

According to Carolyn Cohn; technology has great deal to say about how people interact and communicate… having dialogues in language of social media and Internet can give a business a competitive edge that they wouldn’t have otherwise… But business must vigilant; to learn, keep-up, adapt, embrace… the language nuances of social media, Internet,  digital technology…

Language is dynamic, alive and evolving… and to be a sustainable business, it must keep an open-mind about– new words, changing vocabulary, evolving language, new ways of communicating…

Absurdity of Social Media Obsession Defies Reality, It Sucks: More Social You Get, Less Real You Become

Social media (or social networking) sucks; plain and simple: According to Daniel Nations; the term ‘social media’ is used to describe almost anything on the Internet… although there is vagueness in its definition most people equate social media to sites/apps, such as; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… and most people are absorbed with words, such as; ‘friends’, ‘engage’, ‘followers’, ‘connections’, ‘likes’… all kinds of other blather.

Social media has become ultimate absurdity of human psyche; it’s– repetitive, purposeless, confusing… most information is stupid, preposterous, ridiculous… the metrics are insane, e.g.; millions of ‘friends’, thousands of ‘connections’, millions of ‘followers’, thousands of ‘likes’…

The reality is that these metrics are meaningless– most people only communicate and build meaningful relationships with very small percentage of so-called; ‘friends’… less than 1% (assuming these are real people, not robots)… but for many it’s not a matter of value– it’s an ego thing, it’s mine is bigger than yours… it’s obsession  and no sense of reality…

social thGJ0RWYKS

According to Nate Elliott; Facebook has failed the business community– a Forrester survey of 395 businesses in– UK, U.S., and Canada– found that Facebook creates less business value than most other digital marketing programs… According to Rick Bomstein; understanding the Facebook phenomenon is something of an enigma; the idea of ‘connecting’ with so many people who you have not seen in years, if not decades… and, hundred if not thousands of people who you have never, or will ever meet, and don’t really care much about– seems absurd. Hence, social media is a perfect antidote for those feeling insecure about their mortal make-up… It’s simply another illusion for those desperately searching for a way to escape the reality of the world…

According to Jonathan; how stupid is Twitter? only something this tasteless could truly capture the frivolity of the compulsive… Deep-down you know that you could never get away with this level of self-important blather in any other communication medium… But as long as others keep ‘listening’ and retaliating with their own narcissistic brain-farts, you continue to group-think into the delusion that the emperor is wearing some skivvies; and it’s completely acceptable behavior to broadcast an announcement, e.g.; recovery from a hangover, or random facts you learn from reading pamphlets at the local super market, or waste away your day communicating trivia with people you don’t know or care about… Then there are the recursive loops of self-importance (better known to the self-important as ‘meta-tweets’)… it’s all an absurd waste of time…

social thMXWQEFS8

In the article Social Media Sucks! by Dawnna writes: About 80% of social media ‘sucks’! In fact, it sucks so friggin’ much that I think I am going to cut out about 80% of my network and only allow ‘real’ people in! Sounds radical? Maybe not. The first thing that I noticed is the ‘content’… Most people are just quoting other people and I could care less about what– Einstein, Steve Jobs, or others… have to say about a topic… If I wanted to know I would read the book…

Then there is the ‘most popular person’ in the world syndrome– they have more invitations in their inbox that anyone else! But not to be out done; I tested the waters of social media to see what was real and what was fake. So I attempted to communicate with people only moments after their tweet or post would hit the airwaves. My replies were consistently met with silence. Maybe they passed out on the keyboard only milliseconds after the post went out, or maybe I was connected with one of the damn automated owls on ‘Hoot Suite’! I even asked people if they wanted to meet for coffee or have a real conversation (like on the phone) and again; the response was silence…

Am I bitter? Not really: I just refuse to waste time talking to an owl. Call me crazy, but I want real conversations with real people. I want to be– dare I say– social! And I want to be social with people who have their own original thoughts; write their own articles and have something to say other than what someone else said… I don’t mind if people post their own articles; or have something interesting to say about something they actually read. However, I will drop anyone that is 100% automated that quotes others constantly; and does not have enough of a brain stem to actually interact socially… I want to socialize with real people, about real things…

social1 images

In the article Absurdity of Social Media by bitchspot writes: It’s funny but the more I look at social media and the more I partake in social media, the less impressed I am with it all. Take Twitter, for example: Of what use is Twitter? All I see is people throwing insults, retweeting endless memes, tons of pictures with famous quotes but nothing else… What is the point of it all? What does it accomplish?

There’s nothing useful going on. There are times when the same meme is retweeted more than a dozen times in a row. It’s short attention span theater! I’m not trying to insult people, but honestly, I don’t see Twitter attracting the best and brightest people… The majority of them seem to be, well, idiotic… That may very well be because of the way I use Twitter: I don’t invade other people’s hashtags and make fun of their– religion, race, politics…

Then there is Facebook and Google+, but none of these services are set up to allow intellectual discussions to occur. They are just an endless string of comments that follow one particular conversation, which is next to impossible to understand; especially when a couple of discussions are going on at the same time… it all pointless waste of time… Plus the fact that there are so many different groups on both Facebook and Google+ that your message gets diluted, e.g.; on Google+, I am member of 3 groups, 2 skeptical groups, a blogger group, several podcasting groups… and even though some of these groups have tens of thousands of members, very little is actually going on in the group… ‘lurkers’ outnumber ‘posters’ 1000-to-1, and most of the content that actually does get posted, there is a very low signal to noise ratio– it’s like watching 8 year olds post fart jokes… So where do all the intelligent people go?

social th7I26LQLK

In the article Ridiculousness on Social Media by Marc Avery writes: Social media can be a gift and a curse depending on which day you login… One of the cool things about social media is connecting with people you may have lost contact with over the years… On the flip side, things tend to become ridiculous at times… Social media has opened floodgates for people who have nothing better to do than troll people on the Internet and then hide behind fake screen names and stock photos. I love when I see good things trending on social media, and I cringe when I see the smartphone videos going viral…

Most of social media is a train wreck– there are out-of-context videos, narratives are twisted in all which ways and at the end of the day you have to make your own conclusions… Social media is what you make it, and it can be a great tool– for business, for fun, for education… if you can shield all the absurdities…

In the article Ridiculousness of Facebook Posts by Deanna writes: The ridiculousness of some posts on Facebook are stupid silly… As an avid social media user I understand the importance of ‘connections’ and I do enjoy catching-up on Facebook, and I also do my own social media postings trying to make them– interesting, fun… with some; sarcasm, charm, wit, authenticity, humor… But, what I hate is the glorification of anything that is relatively meaningless to most people, especially when a child is the star of the post…

Every; Little; Thing; that Johnny has accomplished in his three short years of life does not need to be on social media… Yes, social media is for being social– but the over-sharing, the one-upping, five to six posts a day is saturation of anyone’s life, and frankly who has that much time to post? It’s time-consuming! Some posts are just unreal: Exaggeration and expectation of being something you are not…

social thIN197K24

Most social media is absurd, ridiculous, stupid… and yet, like the prevailing human condition, we ‘connect’ to achieve some kind of significance… According to Michael Seidlinger; no matter how exhaustively you– post, tweet, comment, curate your feeds… It isn’t until you reach a plateau, a full-stop, that you realize how bound you are to the routine maintenance of your online identities… If Albert Camus were alive today, he would write ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ about people’s– massive, shared, ubiquitous digital brain and social media rendered as yet another component of absurdity…

It’s likely he would explore and exploit social media as leading example of the duality of the human condition; on its surface– pursuit of happiness and meaningful connection, but underneath a void without meaning lurking behind the mirror of self-perception… Like anything else, social media is harmless, until it isn’t… until you wake and realize you no longer live without– its conditions, its effects, its functionalities…

Power of Images in Social Media: Embracing Visual Thinking– Shift ‘Text’ to ‘Image’, ‘Video’, ‘Photo’…

Compelling social media is all about– visuals, images, photos, videos… human history is a history of images… The act of visualizing the world by adding shape and color to its essence and structure, is a fundamental part of human nature…

According to Dr. Lynell Burmark;… unless words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by short-term memory where you can only retain about seven bits of information (plus or minus 2). Images on other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched… Furthermore this effect increases over time:

A study found that after 3-days users retained only 10-20% of written or spoken information, but almost 65% of visual information… All this suggests that humans process visuals more efficiently than text…

images3

Visuals cause a faster and stronger reaction than text… visuals help users engage with content and, as such, emotional reactions influence information retention… 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and it’s processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text… A study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, they enjoy photos the most, photos generate 53% more ‘likes’ than the average post… The same goes for consumer engagement with brands; 44% of respondents are more likely to connect with brands if they post visuals  than any other media…

Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts. Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos and 85% more likely to buy/react after watching a video… content with images get 94% more ‘views/shares’ than those without… content with photos (or other visuals) are ‘bookmarked’ much more often than those without

In the article Age of Visual Culture by Jeff Bulla writes: We live in the age of the ‘camera in everyone’s pocket‘ and with more than 2.5 billion camera phones we are in a dynamic era of image creation and content, which can be broken into three phases as we enter the age of a visual culture and language. Three phases: (1) Massive increase in photo creation… (2) Rise of image-centric social media networks… (3) Images becoming interactive… If you have an online store, or issue press releases, or Facebook business ‘page’, then here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business tactics:

  • Articles with images get 94% more total views…
  • Photo and video in a press release increases views by over 45%…
  • 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results…
  • 67% of consumers say the quality of product’s ‘image’ is very important in selecting and buying decision…
  • Customers think that the quality of a products ‘image’ is more important than product-specific information (63%), long description (54%), ratings/reviews (53%)…
  • Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)…

In the article Rise Of Visual Social Media by Ekaterina Walter writes: Social media has ushered in ‘visuals’ as the breakout trend… When it comes to selling, business is learning– to show, not tell– and visual content sites fuel people’s desire for beautiful photography and sensational design… the maxim– ‘content is king’ is now supersede by the maxim– ‘image is worth a thousand words’… This trend toward visuals is shifting people’s habits– as they engage with social media via smartphones… they discover that taking a photo ‘on the go’ using a smartphone is much less tedious than typing out a status update on a two-inch keyboard…

A study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most… 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands when they post pictures than any other media. Pictures is the default mode of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to every day…

According to Detavio Samuals; pictures are a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly… The need for most business people to get to the point quickly and not lose their audience’s attention is a picture, it’s the only thing shorter than– words, tweets, posts…

image the-power-of-visual-content

In the article Harnessing Power of Images by Rebecca Swift writes: Choosing images to represent a brand is just as important as word messages or mission statement… According to Jerome Butler; a study shows that people only remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read, and around 80% of what they see and do… Hence, business must take note of the power of images and position visuals at the forefront messaging… and it’s crucial that the target audience remains central to image selection and the imagery used conjures an instant picture of the brand and its core values…

Most important, images should be kept simple, clear, uncluttered… when a website or blog is too cluttered with visuals, it becomes counter-productive and difficult for viewers to understand the fundamental business offering… Images should be used for at-a-glance comprehension and never misused or end-up diluting the company’s key messaging… To ensure the audience instantly absorb the key points– whether in text, image, video format– imagery should be a focal point on the page. This may all seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many websites are difficult to navigate because designers have cram too much information on the page…

In the article Harnessing Power of Images in Social Media by Benny Coen writes: The power of social media comes not through great written tweets, but through an image which truly sums-up everything in a thousand words… According to a survey, 87% of the most shared post on Facebook are photos… and even a good chunk of the other 13% are videos, albums, visual content to attract fans… people are more likely to engage and share when there are images or video… people on average spend 100% more time on a web page which has videos or images that attract their interest…

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but other times a picture is just a bizarre, jumbled mess which confuses followers about a business… too many confusing visuals can hurt a business…

So while images are very important, the combination of images being re-enforced with words improves the overall effectiveness of brand messaging… Also, an inspiring quote, business slogan, or other simple pithy words can emphasize the business message and inspire more followers… According to Shona Marsh; its human nature to communicate visually and connect emotionally with images, videos… It’s not hard to see the value of images on social media when you look at the statistics:

  • 80% of online visitors watch videos while only 20% take the time to read content…
  • Between 65% and 85% of people describe themselves as ‘visual learners’ meaning that they organize thoughts and generate meanings based on visual stimulus…
  • 93% of the most engaging posts on social media are photos…

images4

In the article Compelling Power of Visuals in Social Media by cpcmmunications writes: Images are attention grabbing pieces of ‘snackable’ content which users can understand and engage with easier… Images used in social media are more likely to evoke emotional reactions in viewers and can portray information more efficiently than text

As people are becoming overwhelmed with content, business must change their social media strategy to engage with users in a more inventive, exciting way… Using images allows users to inspect the product/service/cause… and that helps them decide (better than text) whether to buy it or not… But it’s important to be original and make content as interesting, brief, relevant, focus on the target audience…

Humans are visual thinkers… Tapping into this innate ability is essential, especially in a society where people are bombarded by information they don’t have time to read… Hence add personality to content, people are more likely to engage with business that feels like a friend, particularly on social media…

Images tell a better business story… share the message, show-off products, show-off workplace culture, show-off fans, show-off events. Don’t just stop at one image– create series of images, put images into content calendar… post high quality interesting images… Better yet, use videos when appropriate– videos are great for unique storytelling opportunities…

image thBRVW45JN

Power of images: you see them everywhere; billboards, magazines, bus placards… they come by mail, newspapers, magazines… in stadiums, entertainment venues… Many are compelling to watch, some are seductive, others are entertaining… they revolutionize social media content … According to Sarah Lawrence; brands that use visuals have greater and more intimate engagement… visuals tell stories quicker with greater emotions and connection…

According to James Balm; images grab attention, images explain  difficult concepts, and inspires… Powerful visuals, whether they are– images, photos, videos… is all about telling stories, creating a closer connection to audiences… making it easier and more effective to  embrace cultural relevance… Visuals is a storytelling tool; powerful visuals that elicit emotional reaction delivery deep personal and intimate engagement…

Digital Sharecropping– Vast Majority of Online Business is Sharecropping: But More Distressful– They Don’t Even Know It…

You are digital sharecropping and you don’t even know it… You are building your business on someone else’s land. Digital sharecropping means creating content that you publish on sites you don’t own–like; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… without direct compensation; Just like the sharecroppers of old who tended the land of others and lived at the mercy of large landowners…

Similarly today, many businesses with their social media strategy, which revolves around the websites of other businesses are in a powerless position and at the mercy of large social networks…

According to Kevin Marcoux; most people don’t really understand how much they are actually giving away, and how they are, in fact, devaluing their own– value, creativity, intellectual work… in exchange for free webpage that has practically no cost to the provider… if business people better understood the social media model and dynamics, they would be more enthusiastic and proactive about building their own Internet freehold, where their work, value, intellectual property remains under their control. 

share th75RM03AT

According to Nicholas Carr, who first originated the term– digital sharecropping; when you visit; Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of social media websites and post your content on their– walls, groups, forums… you are giving away a very valuable part of your intellectual property and getting absolutely nothing in return… they (the websites) and not you, own your content… It’s worth remembering that the business model of Web 2.0 social networks is the sharecropping model.

After the Civil War when the original sharecropping system took hold in the American south, plantation owners made money in two ways: They leased land to the sharecroppers and they also leased them their tools… It’s no different now in the digital age… The payments for land (i.e., web page) and tools (i.e., video, widget…) are not transacted direct through exchanges of cash, but rather indirect through the sale of ‘ads’… but the idea is the same…

So, Who owns what you post on the Internet? If you can’t say; I own my creations… then you’re getting screwed… If anybody should be making money from content you create, even if it’s just ‘ads’ revenue, you should be first in line; not Facebook, not Google… You are the means of production and social media is just the means of distribution… Without your content companies like; Facebook, Google… don’t have anything to distribute and nothing to sell…

In the article Economics of Digital Sharecropping by Nicholas Carr writes: One of Facebook’s crucial financial measures is the ‘average revenue per user’ (ARPU)… Since, Facebook’s content is created by its members, ARPU also provides the monetary value of each member’s labor. If the average Facebook sharecropper were to be paid a share of revenue for his or her work on the site, that member would make a sub-minimal wage– about enough to buy a cup of coffee… Needless to say, that amount is so small that Facebook members would never even think about it... The revenue amounts only become financially interesting when you aggregate them on a massive scale…

Now even though Facebook would very much want ARPU to grow steadily, it probably doesn’t want the number to get so large that it becomes a meaningful amount to its members. If that happened, members might start thinking about the ‘cash value of their labor’ rather than just its ‘attention’ value. The line between these two economies become blurred; by keeping ARPU modest (and focus on scale), Facebook (and others) keep the all-important divide between the ‘attention economy’ (i.e., members see themselves as working) and the ‘cash economy’ (i.e., company reaps the monetary value of the members’ work). The last thing a for-profit social network wants is for its members to start seeing themselves as laborers…

share images4RJPLPER

In the article Who Are You Promoting With Digital Sharecropping? by Jared William writes: Digital sharecropping is what happens when you create content on someone else’s property, i.e.; you do the work; you create content, and the websites keep all of the benefits… These modern-day plantation owners make it easy, e.g.; just click here to sign up, add your name, email address… now you are a sharecropper.

And, that means you have a place on the Internet– you can scream, yell, rant, play, show off your work, join conversations, constantly check your account to keep up with all of the other folks doing the same things: It’s enticing; it’s easy; it’s delusional… If you’re trying to run a business, or build a brand, or otherwise engage an audience… when it’s all said and done, you’re creating content on someone else’s digital land: You’re a digital sharecropper…

But, what happens when your digital landlord changes the rules, or even ceases to be the place that draws a crowd? You are screwed. The simple truth is that social websites are great resources but you must  bring visitors back to your home base– your website– in order to build a sustainable business… You must control the visitor’s entire experience… Social media has its place– interacting with friends and fans on Facebook, Google+, Twitter… these places are like digital watering hole… But sooner rather than later, you must have a site of your of own that’s fully engaged with your visitors, customers…

In the article Digital Sharecropping – Customer or Product? by Marion Jacobson writes: With Internet powerhouses like; Facebook, Google, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest, hundreds of others… customers are willingly posting ‘tons’ of content on these sites daily; for free… But, as you might already know, these powerhouse social media firms are in business to create communities, apps… not out of altruistic desire to help their fellow-man; it’s business stupid… They are using your content to make money… and, that’s perfectly fine with most people, in fact, millions and millions of people… Since businesses are rapidly jumping into the social content fray headfirst, it’s a good time to revisit the question; are you the product or the customer that is makes money for someone else?

Are you a digital sharecropper working hard and producing great stuff that’s making someone else rich? If your answer is ‘yes’ or unsure, then you must quickly change mindset: Bring your traffic, your authority, your links… to your own business website, not theirs… post your  company blog on your own domain; don’t use other websites… Leverage the other social media sites to– tweet, post, plus… and share your content as much as you want, but post excerpts that link back to your original post on your site…

If you have a business page on Facebook (and you should),  promote your own content along with other engaging posts, conversations… Just remember that having a ton of original content on Facebook will not help you in the search engine results contest... But, it will help you engage with customers, fans… and a great way to increase brand visibility. But the key issue revolves around– your business being ‘findable’ on Facebook… but, as important, is the protection of your original content– it  belongs to you and it must first appear on your website… Which means that you don’t have to worry about losing content, or other sharecropping issues; if the free online repository has trouble; goes out of business, decides to charge a fee, or changes rules of the game…

share th

In the article Sharecropping: Sucker’s Game by Scott Baradell writes: Sharecropping goes digital, which is a sucker’s game… Why? For two reasons:

1.) Lack of audience ownership: Just as subsistence farmers of past were stuck on someone else’s land forever; so does a strategy centered on someone else’s website leaves you dependent on that website… But, most important, if you send your audience to another site, such as; Facebook rather than to your own website, then you own nothing…

2.) Lack of predictable outcomes: Since you have no control over another website and you are easy prey for changes that might take money out of your pocket and make your labors fruitless. So what’s the solution? Simple; invest in building your own website with fresh, frequently updated, mostly non-branded content that will attract prospects and other important audiences to your site…

As for– Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Quora, Flickr and the rest… Use them, of course, but for the purpose of– leveraging their audiences to build your own website... It’s equivalent of working on someone else’s land (and, setting aside some of the harvest to build up your reserves), until you have enough resources to create a more lucrative property of your own…

But, in reality; many businesses are putting all their energy and hard work just to build someone else’s business? They are, in effect, tilling soil and helping others grow their business, rather than their own… When a business is dependent on another for livelihood; they are a digital sharecropper… in fact, it’s 21st century version of 19th century sharecropper… Digital sharecropping is not just a recipe for disaster, it’s long-term business suicide…

According to Bryan Del Monte; while individually, content may be trivial but when aggregated that what’s made digital media what it is today– a multi-billion dollar enterprise that has concentrated power in the hands of an oligopoly… In other words, content producers work for free as far as; Facebook, Bing, Google, LinkedIn… see it from their accounting books.

Just look at their terms and conditions; not only do they have effectively unlimited rights over your contributions (including, publications…), they also have much stronger rights than you, the user, have over your own digital existence… In some cases, they can involuntarily appropriate or dispose of your information, your identity, your content, your creations, and your labors, in however manner they see fit… The vast majority of businesses and people existing on the digital landscape are either; slaves or sharecroppers… that are making others rich, and they are working tirelessly to do so….

The vast majority of business, people… using social media are happy with the model because they see their primary interest in garnering ‘attention‘, not in capturing ‘value created‘… We futz about ‘Klout’ and how many followers we have, and not the fact that our daily efforts build the empire of others… Put perhaps more bluntly, most people believe– ‘being socially famous’ is more valuable than the billions of dollars that successful social networks are earning by leveraging your content generation…

Everyone is pretty miserable trying to figure out what works: The belief is– all you need is great content and you’ll be famous– that model is wrong… According to Anita Campbell; the question at the end of the day is; after all the effort you put into creating content– do you own the fruits of your labor? When you built something of value, and is it ‘yours’?

The point of business is to create value for your commercial enterprise, but if you are only creating value for other businesses, then you are defeating purpose for being in business… Remember, sharecropping is a sucker’s game and it continues (alive and well) in today’s digital age–  it’s up to you; take control of your business, protect your content, and build a profitable business…

Redefining Social Media ROI– Apply Relevant Metrics to Justify, Manage… Business Cases: Measure Things That Really Matter…

Social media ROI– businesses don’t do social media to be social, they do social to grow sales, revenues… Yet, according to ‘Social Media Today’; 70% of online businesses that utilize social media don’t bother to measure ROI (return on investment)… According to Megan Marr; it’s very shocking to discover that the majority of online businesses are conducting social media completely in the dark with no clues as to how it contributes to success of their businesses…

To be fair, it’s not entirely their fault – social media ROI is a difficult beast to tame and some say that measuring the ROI of social media simply can’t be done– Like traditional billboard advertising, some businesses  put-up social media campaigns and hope for the best, trusting that something good will come of their efforts.

roi thM5FPJKTI

Part of the reason that measuring social media ROI is so difficult is that many businesses try to measure social media success through the social channel, examining metrics such as; ‘likes’, ‘tweets’… which are almost impossible to monetize… also, most businesses are more concerned with website analytics, such as; visits, subscribers, downloads… But, these don’t relate to the bottom line, which may confuse many business  executives who think in terms of traditional ROI… On the other hand, many experts think that measuring ROI in social media is just a waste of time…

According to John Heggestuen; many brands are moving away from metrics that purport to measure ROI on social media… They’ve realized that social media isn’t– a transactional engine or sales machine, so they’re dropping half-baked indicators that gauge secondary effects, such as financial return… Instead, new metrics evaluate social media strategies, such as; audience-building, brand awareness, customer relations… but again, these indicators are very difficult to monetize…

In a report by ‘BI Intelligence’ they indicate that social media strategies are evolving and rapidly changing, as follows:

  • Decline of ROI metrics: Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of businesses using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media went from 17% to 9%, according to the February 2013 CMO survey. The percentage tracking conversion rates also dropped, from 25% to 21%.
  • Even as the vogue for ROI indicators fades, social media budgets are ballooning: On average, businesses expect to devote 9% of their budgets to social media in 2014, and 16% by 2018, according to the same survey.
  • Exceptions: Of course there are exceptions to the move away from ROI. Some social commerce applications and direct response campaigns will achieve measurable results on Facebook, or other social networks. And the end of the ROI-fever definitely doesn’t mean that all metrics can be thrown out the window…

In the article Social Media and ROI by Olivier Blanchard writes: If you are having trouble explaining or understanding social media ROI, then here are some pointers:

  • You are asking the wrong question: Do you want to know what one of the worst questions dealing with the digital world is right now? This: What is the ROI of Social Media? It isn’t that the idea behind the question is wrong. It comes from the right place. It aims to answer two basic business questions: Why should I invest in this, (or rather, why should I invest in this rather than the other thing?), and what kind of financial benefit can I expect from it? The problem is that the question can’t be answered as asked: Social media in and of itself has no cookie-cutter ROI. The social space is an amalgam of channels, platforms and activities that can produce a broad range of returns (and often none at all). When you ask; What is the social media or ROI? The question is too broad; too general. It is like asking what the ROI of email is. Or the ROI of digital marketing. What is the ROI of social media? I don’t know… what is the ROI of television? If you are still stuck on this, you have probably been asking the wrong question.
  • So what is the right question? The question is not; What is ROI of social media? but rather; What is ROI of [insert activity here] in social media? To ask the question properly, you have to also define the timeframe. Here’s an example: What was the ROI of [insert activity here] in social media for Q3 2013? That is a legitimate ROI question that relates to social media…
  • The unfortunate effect of asking the question incorrectly: What is ROI of social media? asks nothing, everything at once. It begs a response in interrogative: Just how do you mean? The vagueness of the question leads to many interpretations of the term ROI– from being a simple financial calculation of ‘investment vs. gain from investment’ to becoming any number of made-up equations mixing unrelated metrics into a mess of nonsense… They measure nothing…
  • Pay attention: Don’t think of ROI as being medium-specific; think of it as activity– specific. Are you using social media to increase sales of your latest product? Then measure the ROI of that. How much are you spending on that activity? It doesn’t really matter where you measure your cost to gain equation, e.g., email, TV, print, mobile, social… it’s all the same. ROI is media-agnostic. Once you realize that the measurement should focus on the relationship between the activity and the outcome(s), the medium becomes a detail: ROI is ROI, regardless of the channel or technology or platform… That’s the basic principle. To scale that model and determine the ROI of the sum of an organization’s social media activities, take your ROI calculations for each desired outcome, each campaign driving these outcomes, and each particular type of activity within their scope, then add them all up. Can measuring all of that be complex? You bet… Does it require a lot of work? Yes…
  • ROI isn’t an afterthought: Think about what you will want to measure ahead of time, what metrics you will be looking to influence. Think more along lines of business-relevant metrics than social media metrics, such as; ‘likes’, ‘follows’… which don’t really tell you a whole lot…
  • ROI doesn’t magically lose its relevance because social media is about ‘engagement’: If your business is for-profit and you are looking to use social media in any way, shape or form to help your business grow, then all questions regarding the ROI of investing in social media activity are relevant. Whereas, concepts, such as; Return on Engagement, Return on Influence, Return on Conversation… are all bullshit. Nice exercises in light semantic theory, but utterly devoid of substance, but they are not in any way substitutes for Return on Investment (ROI)…
  • ROI isn’t relevant to every type of activity: Not all social media activity needs to drive ROI. As important as it may be to understand how to calculate it and why, it is equally important to know when ROI isn’t really relevant to a particular activity or objective… Social media’s value to an organization, whether translated into financial terms (ROI) or not, is determined by its ability to influence specific outcomes. This could be anything from the acquisition of new transacting customers to an increase in positive recommendations… In other words, for an organization, the value of social media depends on two factors: (1.) The manner in which social media can be used to pursue a specific business objective… (2.) The degree to which specific social media activity helped drive that objective… In instances where financial investment and financial gain are relevant KPIs, this can turn into ROI. In instances where financial gain is not a relevant outcome, ROI might not matter one bit… Knowing when and how ROI matters (or not) will, (a.) help you avoid costly mistakes… (b.) hopefully help you make smart decisions when it comes to assigning precious resources and budgets to specific social media/business programs…

roi thYQTRN8OY

In the article ROI in Social Media –Where Does it Belong? by Steve Woodruff writes: It’s silly to ask; What’s the ROI of Social Media? Instead, we should ask; What’s the potential ROI of this or that specific social media tactic or campaign? Because you don’t measure the ROI of an assumed cost of doing business… You don’t ask for the ROI of a medium; you determine if that medium/channel/approach is going to be a viable and potentially profitable place to be.

Then you create a strategy… That’s why we should instantly dismiss the question; What’s the ROI of Social Media? It’s exactly the wrong question… However, once a specific strategy is defined and measurable tactics developed, then you move into ROI territory… But then again, as alternative, you can always take comfort in the ‘return on doing nothing’…

Social media’s value is not accountable as a ‘money-in-vs.-money-out’ model but rather as a ‘squishy metrics’ model, such as; user engagement, building trust, growing reach, gain insights around user behavior… Also, social media has other values that are not easy-to-quantify, and measuring results, such as; ‘growth’ year-over-year may be more important than measuring an activity, such as; ‘likes’…

According to Scott Allen; asking– What’s the ROI? It’s not a bad question. Surely, if you’re going to investment money on something in the business, it should generate some kind of return… or at least reduce some visible and measurable loss… However, the value of social media that’s immediately visible and measurable is just the tip of the iceberg… The bulk of the social media benefits-values are below the water line, and not represented in the major corporate social media initiatives, but in daily process of helping every employee do their job more efficiently, effectively… You must start looking at social media as a tool, and then you’ll begin to realize its real-full power… which is the 7/8 that’s below the water…

roi radian6-social-media-roi-300x282

According to Robert Mansson; the matter of measuring ROI within social media is still questioned by many people, but it’s an absolute  necessity to measure the effectiveness of an investments within a company… Although social media involves the use of business resources, it’s not easy to understand exactly how to measure its effectiveness… Some experts suggest– divide it into phases or, even better yet, into campaigns… But, what ever the approach there must be a ‘start time’ and ‘end time’…

According to Robert W. Joseyln; I’m a numbers guy and I would never make a financial investment without knowing what the ROI is, or likely to be at a later point in time, and then what it actually was– such that I can determine whether to stick with the investment, or not… Social media isn’t about directly selling something; it’s about– building, maintaining relationships…

When it comes to an ROI on social media, I am constantly told to just believe it, without proof… When I ask for proof, it’s as if I’m publicly committed some crime… But I’m still waiting for proven ROI results beyond a one-off anecdotal success… Then, only when I see a measurable ROI, will I be a true believer in social media for business– until then I have doubts on its real value in business…

As Winston Churchill once said; however beautiful your strategy is– you must, even occasionally, see tangible results…