How do you use Facebook? New data is starting to show every detail about how brands are using social mediafor marketing. There have been a number of other interesting marketing trends that emerged this week — for example, the term “gamification” is getting a little more of the spotlight and new data makes it easier than ever before to decide when to send your email campaigns. Here's a brief look at five of the hottest topics from the past week.
A study by Socialbakers found that just 5% of wall posts on a business or organization's Facebook Page are answered. That means the vast majority of input from Facebook fans is ignored completely.
Bottom Line: Just making a Facebook Page isn’t enough. Businesses and organizations need to remember that Facebook isn’t a billboard, it’s an ongoing conversation. Monitor what's being said (using tools like NutshellMail and HootSuite) and respond when you can.
A new survey in the United Kingdom revealed that around three-quarters of marketers are in the dark when it comes to the specifics of turning their marketing program into a game that further engages consumers.
Bottom Line: New marketing techniques haven’t ended with social media. Gamification is catching on (other examples of it are Foursquare and Klout), and it looks like it's here to stay. Small businesses and organizations should think about how they can add rewards to their marketing to deepen engagement.
Independent global search marketing firm Covario this week ranked Coca-Cola's as the "healthiest" Facebook Page around. More than 34.8 million people "Like" Coke’s Page, and seven posts each month attract more than 235 comments and nearly 1,750 likes.
Bottom Line: You don’t have to be a global company the size of Coca-Cola to have as successful a Facebook Page. Coke’s Facebook Page is a case study of successful social media marketing because the brand regularly posts engaging content that extends its brand and encourages interaction. Rather than promote a product, Coke's Page asks questions and shares photos or videos that provoke comments.
Research firm Kiss Metrics recently put together a sleek infographic that shows that timing really matters. Not just that, different promotions are more effective at different times. Among the study’s highlights:
23% of consumer promotions are opened from 7 p.m.–10 p.m.
Emails about property and finances are more likely to be opened from 3 p.m.–5 p.m.
17.9% of holiday promotions found success from 5 p.m.–7 p.m.
Bottom Line: While Kiss Metrics says that open and click rates are generally highest from 6 a.m.–10 a.m. (dubbed “The Consumer AM”), this data shows that some businesses and organizations may want to think about what’s going through a customer’s head at certain times of day. That said, you should look at your own email metrics to see when your subscribers are opening your emails, and create a sending strategy that takes this information into account.
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera wrote a very thoughtful piece this week about Starbucks’ recent launch of the Create Jobs for USA program with Opportunity Finance Network. The group is collecting small donations that will be turned into capital for small businesses. “If 10 million Starbucks customers donate $5, that will support $350 million worth of lending,” Nocera writes.
Bottom Line: Where will your next financing round come from? It could come from one of the world's largest coffee chains — or another similar corporation. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is hoping that other retail chains will join this initiative. If it catches on, this would be good news for many struggling small businesses.
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