Creating connections with your customers and ultimately building relationships with them should be important to your company, and ultimately influential in the success of your organization. The most important elements in building successful digital relationships are strategy, organization, authenticity, and analytics.
First of all, developing a strategy is paramount. Take the time to determine important to begin with as the critical questions become important to be answered. Where do you want to go and what are your objectives before moving ahead. It is easy to get distracted by the sudden hype that our culture has on social media, but make sure your organization starts out with a strategy.
Secondly, Organization works hand in hand with strategy. Without organization, the strategy will likely fail. Is your information being portrayed accurately? Is your brand consistent throughout different social networks? It is important to decide on an accurate way to portray your company, implement it, and make sure that it is consistent.
Authenticity is something that everyone is looking for, but it is not always easy to find. This word “authenticity” is used so often that it has lost its effect and sadly, it often has a bad connotation. But that doesn’t change the need for your relationships with those in the digital world to be pure and authentic. Be real and be approachable. This creates trust within relationships, which will create support for your organization.
Lastly, analytics is an important factor in measuring the results of digital relationships. This will provide an opportunity to compare success of similar efforts. Analytics allows you to identify the impact that these digital relationships have had on your organization and alter the strategy in the appropriate places.
Building digital relationships can have a positive impact on any organization if the correct strategy is put in place and is then implemented. Digital relationships and social media can be the right vehicle to building connections with your customers, if used in the proper way. So build your strategy, stay organized, remain authentic, and begin to see relationships built, digitally!
This year's e-card features an image composed entirely on the iPhone by Design4 Marketing.
As we become a more digitalized society, many advertisers are left wondering where to invest their dollars. How beneficial are Facebook and Twitter? Are more people reading online advertisements? Are print advertisements passé?
Consider these numbers:
· Most organizations (81%) have chosen to incorporate Facebook in their advertising efforts for the second quarter of 2011.
· Online display ranks at 78% as the most preferred digital advertising method, followed by search at 64% and social media at 52%.
· Published advertising like USA Today or Newsquest revenues have declined 6.2% since last year.
· This has been the 17th straight quarter of declines in print-based publishing revenue, and digital now represents 20% of total revenue.
· In 2011 print advertising for the New York Times declined 7.5% while digital advertising increased 4.5%.
As consumers gravitate towards the Internet for research, communication and shopping, it would appear as though online advertising is slowly edging out print advertising. But is it really?
Newspaper companies, for example, began offering free Web access with the belief that online advertising would cover the cost. While online advertising has grown, it has not increased quickly enough to make up for the decline in traditional print advertising. Many publications have been looking at ways to make online consumers pay for article access.
The New York Times implemented a new digital subscription plan in the spring of 2011. Readers are able to access 20 articles a month for free, but once they click on their 21st article they will have the option of purchasing one of three digital news packages.
In the battle of print vs. online, it is often easy for small businesses or organizations to become unsure of where to invest their dollar for maximum profit. But rather than focus on which of the two is more popular in the general population, it is often more beneficial to focus on the audience to be reached. If the target market is Americans above the age of 70, print advertisement is most likely a more profitable investment than advertising on Twitter. If the target market is college students, a Facebook page may be just the trick.
The truth is both print and online are effective forms of advertising. Choose to focus on your specific audience and let them make the decision for you.
Design4 Marketing Communications is pleased to introduce Lauren Der as the latest addition to its communications team. As a summer intern Lauren will assist the firm in video production, social media development, media relations and potential client outreach.
Der is a native of Plant City, Fla. and is currently studying agricultural communication and leadership development at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
In the process of searching for an internship, Lauren was drawn to the social issue mix of clients Design4 represents and the environment it provides its employees. Design4 serves national Christian ministries, pro-family issue advocacy groups and conservative public policy organizations.
"I believe very strongly in the issues and organizations for which Design4 works, and being able to do that kind of work in a company whose desire is to glorify Christ seemed like the perfect place," Der said.
In her free time, Lauren enjoys outdoor activities with her dad, drinking Sonic cherry cokes, exploring her Southern culture and spending time with her donkey, Leonard. She is currently an ambassador for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and served as the 2009 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen.
Just as a pithy “sound bite” is needed for a broadcast interview, the press release needs its own version of the sound bite for the message to be accurately retweeted.
A social-media-savvy public relations practitioner has created the “Twittercue”- the practice of adding a set of words to the top or bottom of media releases that enables tweeters to pass along the message without distorting the meaning.
Adding this 140-or-less set of words can ensure that your story is not mangled when it’s repackaged by social media fans.
A great example of why this is needed is shared by the folks at Creative Territory, who wrote about the need for “Twittercue":
A government agency issued a press release during Cyclone Carlos stating that all non-essential public servants with child-caring responsibilities should take personal leave if they could not get alternate care arrangements for their children. Employees should check with their supervisor if they were not sure if they were regarded as “essential”. The tweets from those spreading the word looked something like this:
Non-essential public servants urged to stay at home due to #TCcarlos
The result? Hundreds of public servants with and without children stayed at home without ever contacting their supervisor.
The Twittercue could have been:
NTG non-essent staff who need 2 care 4 kids may take prsnl leave. Chck with supervisor #TCcarlos http://tiny.cc/3pdeaz
A simple fix in today’s social-media environment. What do you think?
Creating a Facebook initiative can be a great way to generate the opinions of your fans, but it must be done correctly for it to generate success. Though it is exciting as well as beneficial to generate “likes” on your organizations Facebook page, it is even more important to have a high level of engagement and dialogue with your fans. Facebook is the perfect outlet to stir up the fires of fan engagement, and quality is more important than quantity.
One of the first things that you need to focus on when you are creating your Facebook fan page is demographics. Who do you want to reach? It is important to think about who will be reading your information, and try to have compelling subjects to which your audience will relate.
Write your information in the right way. If you are trying to reach a younger audience, then it might be wise to use more upbeat verbiage and punctuation. If you are trying to reach the corporate world, then your writing should be neat and professional. Know who your audience is, and cater to them.
Timing is critical. Posting at the right time can make a huge difference in the success of your organization. This means staying on top of the latest news stories and how they relate to your organization.
Don’t be afraid of questions: you are going to have them, and they won’t always be easy to answer. It is important that you do not avoid questions asked. Instead, answer them the best that you can. If you have an understanding of your audience, then you shouldn’t have trouble predicting a lot of the questions that they will ask. Sharing with your fans allow them to feel actively involved in what you are doing.
Contests are great ways to get your audience involved. Ask fans for their opinions, or have them vote on an issue. The comments and answers that your receive will help you to understand where your audience is coming from.
Ask a question, but only if you want an answer. Posing questions is a good thing, as long as you are ready for answers that you may not like. If your site focuses on posting statements all the time, then you are missing out on a lot of fun dialogue.
From a marketing point of view, the fewer restrictions that are present, the more opportunity that you have for creativity. You have the opportunity to accomplish a lot, quickly and cost efficiently. How will your organization take advantage of Facebook?
2 years ago, as social media was beginning to grow quickly, businesses were uncertain of how it could benefit them. Now, businesses are rapidly responding to this growth in social media, as they are aware of the direction that our society is heading.
The Research Brief has found that 90% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business. One third of all social media marketers want to know how to monitor their social media outcomes and integrate social media activities. As social media marketers begin to understand the positive effects of social media, they will spend more time improving that aspect of their company. More than a third of social media marketers invest 11 hours or more a week to social media. 77% of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube as well as video marketing
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging are the top 4 media tools used for marketing purposes and 90% of marketers believe that social media is important for the success of their organization. In 2010 Twitter was in first place with 88% and Facebook was close behind with 87%. But since 2010, Twitter lost 4%, LinkedIn lost 7%, and Facebook gained 5%.
The self-employed and small business owners were more likely to agree that social media has influenced the growth to their organization. Small businesses are more likely to use LinkedIn while larger companies typically implement YouTube and are less likely to use blogs.
As nearly two-thirds of marketers indicated a rise in search engine rankings as a benefit of social media marketing, it has the great chance of benefiting your company.
Why wait? Get started now.
As technology advances and brand imaging continues to develop, visual advertising is having a powerful effect because it catches people’s attention in a unique way and draws them to the product. Humans are highly visual people, whether they admit it or not. Studies have found that spontaneous decisions often have better results than thought out decisions. People often make decisions on intricate products simply by taking a quick glance at a picture of an advertisement, which shows the powerful influence that advertisements have on the public eye.
MediaMind recently conducted a study (MediaMind) and found that users are 30% more likely to convert after seeing an ad for the first time, compared to additional exposures. “It appears that users make up their mind about your ad within the first few seconds of seeing it, and it would take more effort to change their mind in subsequent exposures,” according to the study.
Design4 was asked to devise a strategy to convey the public outrage against Abercrombie & Fitch and its sexually provocative marketing messages that are aimed squarely at young teens. As one of its clothing catalogs featured most of its models nude or semi-nude, the strategy devised by Design4 conveyed public outrage targeting this message to teens and to get the retailers attention—all with a relatively modest budget. Visual advertising has a powerful effect on your audience, and is a representation of the morals and values of your company. (A Case Study With Abercrombie & Fitch).
First impressions stick and Design4 makes certain that the public is satisfied with what they see and that their creative design is visually appealing, at first look. At Design4 problems are solved creatively, as ideas become reality and an impact is made.
One in five Americans uses a mobile device to access the Internet on a daily basis and experts say that within the next three years the use of mobile Internet will exceed desktop usage. Technology is growing at a rapid speed, and as this occurs, businesses are discovering the benefits found in new devices. Everyone has a desire to be mobile. With such a fast paced lifestyle, our culture has made it necessary for everything to be at our fingertips. Text messaging, Twitter, email, and Facebook, we all want it convenient, fast and mobile.
A new Knotice study found that a mobile device opens 13.36% of emails. Mobile is indeed, the marketing and communication device of the future. Smartphones have become the primary way that people stay connected to friends, coworkers, and the world. In fact, by the end of 2011, it is projected that Smartphones will attain 50% of the phone market.
Research shows that 1/3 of all text messages are acted on within the first few minutes that they are received. That's one of the reasons Design4 integrates text messaging into its marketing efforts, allowing you to start a conversation. The Mobilizer allows you to contact clients that want to receive your information. Clients must opt-in, allowing you to attract only supporters, clients, and customers that want to learn about your organization. The Design4 Mobilizer connects you to an audience by using the speed of text messaging. It will fit your fast paced lifestyle as it is managed from the web.
The Design4 Mobilizer will be a great benefit to your organization as it allows you to build email lists, conduct surveys, get out the vote, promote services for your organization, make announcements, and much more. It is personal, familiar and efficient. If you are interested in a free trial of the Design4 Mobilizer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To see how easily it works, text "mobilizer" to 24453, and watch the video.
Begin experiencing mobile marketing in its most efficient form. Start your conversation now.