Social Media Marketing

Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.

Why would a search marketer — or a site about search engines — care about social media? The two are very closely related.

Social media often feeds into the discovery of new content such as news stories, and “discovery” is a search activity. Social media helps to form links that in turn support SEO efforts. Individuals also search social media sites to find social media content.

Privacy and Legal Issues

When companies adopt social media, they are usually concerned about people saying bad things about them. Their first instinct is to issue a policy that dictates what people can and cannot say. This can often backfire, since being able to talk about wages, hours and working conditions is protected by the NLRA. Employers want to be careful about disciplining employees for off-duty conduct.

Basically, employers can’t have the one thing they really want. The law prevents it.

Legal/Liability Issues

    1. Discrimination/Harassment– Social media posts are evidence. Twitter is public and the rest is easily accessible. So if employees, particularly managers, make discriminatory comments or use social media to harass employees in a protected class, the company can be liable.
    2. Intellectual Property– Employees need to understand exactly what of the company’s trade secrets and internal strategy and financial information is confidential. This does not mean having them sign a Nondisclosure Agreement where “Confidential Information” includes the toilet paper in the men’s room. They need training on what is secret and why. Do your managers know what information can and can’t be discussed outside the company?
    3. Other Personal Information– Personal information about employees or clients should not be discussed on social media, not even on Facebook where people think it’s private. It’s not. There are many Federal and State laws that deal with employee privacy, but if it has anything to do with their medical, financial or sex lives, don’t talk about it on social media.
    4. Public Companies and Regulated Industries– Do your employees know what information is covered by insider trading regulations? It’s broad and can potentially include almost anything relating to finances or changes at a publicly held company. Other industries, especially the financial/banking industries have specific rules about what information can and cannot be disclosed.
    5. Employee Safety– Employees should not use location features or check in on Four Square if it could compromise their safety. Don’t check in when you’re making the night deposit.

Social Commerce

Social commerce, sometimes abbreviated as “s-ecommerce,” is a term often used to describe new online retail models or marketing strategies that incorporate established social networks and/or peer-to-peer communication to drive sales.

Several well-known social commerce sites predate the popular rise of social networks by more than half a decade. eBay, a peer-to-peer selling platform founded in 1995, is one of them. Epilogue, a 13-year-old site that allows users to post, discuss and sell their own fantasy and sci-fi art, is another.

Today, social commerce denotes a wide range of shopping, recommending and selling behaviors.

Types of Social Commerce

  • 1. Peer-to-peer sales platforms (eBay, Etsy, Amazon Marketplace): Community-based marketplaces, or bazaars, where individuals communicate and sell directly to other individuals.
  • 2. Social network-driven sales (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter): Sales driven by referrals from established social networks, or take place on the networks themselves (i.e., through a “shop” tab on Facebook).
  • 3. Group buying (Groupon, LivingSocial). Products and services offered at a reduced rate if enough buyers agree to make the purchase.
  • 4. Peer recommendations (Amazon, Yelp, JustBoughtIt): Sites that aggregate product or service reviews, recommend products based on others’ purchasing history (i.e. “Others who bought item x also bought item y,” as seen on Amazon), and/or reward individuals for sharing products and purchases with friends through social networks.
  • 5. User-curated shopping (The Fancy, Lyst, Svpply): Shopping-focused sites where users create and share lists of products and services for others to shop from.
  • 6. Participatory commerce (Threadless, Kickstarter, CutOnYourBias): Consumers become involved directly in the production process through voting, funding and collaboratively designing products.
  • 7. Social shopping (Motilo, Fashism, GoTryItOn). Sites that attempt to replicate shopping offline with friends by including chat and forum features for exchanging advice and opinions.

Online Reputation and Brand management

Why manage your brand’s reputation?

If your brand reputation is bad, no one would want to associate with your company or buy products/services from you. A brand’s reputation can make or break the company. Just Google your company or brand name and see what comes up. If what you see is unflattering then you have a serious problem at hand because you will lose the majority of prospective customers who prefer to look you up on major search engines before even coming to your website and deciding to do business with you.

Why monitoring is key to managing your brand’s reputation?

Listening to what people are saying about your company, its products or services and key personnels is the key to managing your brand’s reputation. If people are complaining about your company or product/services on social media, you want to be able to find that and take action immediately to diffuse the situation. In a hyper-connected social world, the risk of not responding to negative comments or conversations could be huge. A negative tweet or Facebook post that goes viral will do unimaginable damage to your brand’s reputation. There are tons of cases of brands getting destroyed or permanently scarred by either not responding to complaints online or responding back in a negative tone.

Future Trends in social media

Future Trends in social media

Future Trends

With today’s technology, roughly half of the tasks that people do can be automated. That’s a staggering figure. But just as interesting, and maybe even more important, is that only 5% of jobs can be entirely automated. What it means is that, increasingly, all jobs are going to be affected.

The way we work is going to shift over time as machines and machine learning and artificial intelligence start to take over some pieces of what we do. That will require people to adapt and change. And jobs, occupations as we know them today, will shift. No longer do bank tellers hand out cash to customers, because there are automated teller machines.

Social media and internet are a dynamic place wherein newer developments are occurring everyday.

Here’s a quick overview of the ten major social media trends happening right now:

There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users
Social media is going mobile
Social messaging overtook social media
Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses
Chatbots are becoming the norm
Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service
Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
Video is still the most popular content type
User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement
Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

Upcoming technologies, Methods and processes to be utilized for social media marketing are discussed.

Social media platform tools

Facebook:

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook out of his dorm room for his fellow students at Harvard. Today, toddlers to grandmothers can be found on Facebook. Strengths: Widely-adopted by large segments of the population. Weaknesses: Will the younger generation stay on Facebook once Grandma has “friended” them?

Google+:

This is the new kid on the block, but poses a serious threat to Facebook and other platforms. Why? Because it’s just so darn easy to use — the clean, simple interface makes connecting with friends, family and business associates a piece of cake. Google+ was the fastest-growing social network in history and looks as though it’s here for the long-run. Strengths: Ease-of-use and uncluttered environment. Weaknesses: Competition from other well-established social media platforms.

LinkedIn:

This is the Grand Pooh Bah of them all. They’ve been around since 2003, which, in social media terms is also known as “since the beginning of time.” Strengths: Everybody’s on LinkedIn. Weaknesses: Most people have trouble knowing what to do with LinkedIn after they upload their business information.

Twitter:

A surprisingly-successful tool that is widely-adopted and used for everything from business to fun and games. Strengths: Used by large segments of the population. Weaknesses: Can be a distraction, especially if you have Attention Deficit Disor … wow, look at that bird outside my window!

XING:

XING has more than 8 million subscribers worldwide. It has over 34,000 specialized groups and over 150,000 live networking events each year. Strengths: XING adds new developments to their platform on a regular basis. Weaknesses: Not as widely-adopted as some other platforms such as LinkedIn.

Testing tools and ROI calculation

a software test automation professional requires more than just developing automated test scripts. Banner You must be able to justify and even “sell” the use of test automation to management. In addition, you need to be able to assess the current or potential automation effort and make real-time decisions about what should be automated. Calculating the Return-On-Investment (ROI) – a ratio of “returns” (benefits) to costs – will aid in accomplishing both. The calculation and communication of quantifiable benefits may be required before, during or after automation implementation, but it’s almost guaranteed that it will be required at some point in time during the project, and the effectiveness of this calculation and communication will often determine the survival of the automation effort. For more information on ROI read the “Test Automation ROI” article in our Articles/Whitepapers section of the site. In addition, for a video tutorial on ROI, register with the site, and visit the Video Tutorials section under the Resources menu (the Video Tutorials menu is only available to registered members of the site).The Automated Testing Institute’s Return on Investment Calculator Tool is a good place to begin your ROI calculations. It will help you to quickly make the case for beginning and/or continuing a software test automation program. In addition, the tool may be used to determine what it will take to achieve a desired ROI or a specified period of time. (Note: calculations are not guaranteed, and ATI holds no responsibility for how they are used on your project)