JANUARY 22, 2010
Deals aren’t the only thing
Brand marketers want consumers to follow them to build buzz and engagement, but social media users often desire something in return. What they’ve come to expect is a good deal, but many consumers—including the most active users of social sites—are also interested in deeper engagement.
A December 2009 MarketingSherpa survey indicated that learning about specials and sales was the top motivation of those who friended or followed a brand online, supporting the results of earlier surveys. But looking for savings was followed closely by learning about new products, features or services.
Users described as “max connectors”—those with at least 500 social connections—were less interested than average in getting deals. Instead, they cared about new products and company culture, demonstrating the deeper engagement expected by social media power users.
An earlier study, by Razorfish, also found that exclusive deals and offers were the primary motivation of US Internet users following brands on Twitter.
Respondents who friended a brand on Facebook or MySpace responded similarly, though they were more likely to become a fan because they were a current customer (32.9%) than were users of Twitter.
Sharing interesting content that users care about, along with the deals and discounts they have come to expect, will both keep them engaged and spur them to pass along marketing messages.
Using Facebook as a Marketing Tool
Does your business have a Facebook profile? Facebook is a social tool that not only connects individuals, but it can also facilitate connections between people and businesses. One of the best reasons to have a Facebook profile is that it can be indexed by search engines. Since Facebook is one of the most highly trafficked sites on the web, you’re wasting a valuable marketing opportunity if you haven’t created a profile yet.
Here are a few tips on how to use Facebook as a strategic marketing tool:
- By inserting keyword-rich text throughout your fan page and updating it regularly, you can create tremendous search engine optimization.
- In addition to sending regular updates to fans, you can also use Facebook Events to promote upcoming events and activities. Because activities that members engage in are reported on a news feed, word about events spreads very quickly without being intrusive.
- Select an easily recognizable graphic or photo that is familiar for visitors, and write an appealing About Us/Bio to summarize what you do. Or include a call to action, click-able hyperlink for more information.
- Encourage fans and visitors to add content on your “wall” to become part of your online community. Also, their content goes out into news feeds, creating more visibility for your site.
- Actively respond to your fans’ comments, questions, suggestions, etc. to show that you are listening and want to be involved with your online community.
- Try Facebook’s Social Ads to drive targeted traffic from the entire Facebook site directly to your fan page. Just remember that many people don’t visit social networking sites to view advertisements; they visit to be social.
- Secure a unique user name (or vanity URL) that is short and memorable by using your brand name, company name, etc.
For additional ideas on how to increase brand awareness and share information with your customers and prospects, give us a call today!
Huge redemption increases to come
2009 has seen consumers not quite ready for the full possibilities of mobile commerce. Deloitte found that this holiday season, just 19% of Internet users plan to use their mobile device for shopping, and only one-quarter of that group will actually make a mobile purchase.
But mobile research—and saving money—is more popular. Yankee Group found that in 2009 more than 90% of US consumers were at least somewhat interested in scanning images or bar codes with their mobile phone to get more information or coupons for a product.
Getting coupons via SMS or MMS was nearly as popular, although only 7% of respondents had received mobile coupons in the past three months. Yankee Group expects involvement with mobile coupons to increase dramatically over the coming years, however. The number of mobile coupons redeemed in North America is set to increase more than tenfold in 2010. Triple-digit increases will follow in 2011 and 2012.
The value of mobile coupon transactions will climb commensurately. Yankee Group forecasts nearly $2.37 billion in North American mobile coupon transactions in 2013, up from just $5 million this year.
Hurdles remain for mobile coupons, which require infrastructure at the point of sale to deal with SMS codes or bar codes readable from mobile devices, but Yankee Group expects these challenges to be confronted successfully in the next few years. And since mobile coupons have been available for some time already, the research firm doesn’t predict consumer education will be a limiting factor