Recap 2013 – The state of Social Media

Looking back at the world of social media in 2013.
Looking back at the world of social media in 2013.

It’s interesting to see how some of the things that when launched created the splash & was thought to be game changer but as we revisit those news at end of 2013, it look like a different story. For example – Twitter launched vine as the next major offering beyond  its 140 character message but right after Instagram introduced 15′ second videos – Vine starting loosing the shine.

Whereas some obvious notions were confirmed such as Mobile is rapidly becoming the primary vehicle to consume and create content.  Brands should think how they can become more relevant specific to the channel, as it thrives on small, quick and useful information.

 Let’s see what 2014 unfolds for us. 

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Top Free & Cheap tools to Monitor Social Media Brand Mentions

More than ever, consumers are using social media to spread the word about brands they like and perhaps more importantly, those they don’t. With the introduction of each new media channel, the digital landscape shifts and brand owners need to adjust quickly to stay ahead.

But how do you measure brand mentions on Social Media? How can you really see what people are saying about your company on their Social Platforms?

 

The market for Social Media monitoring tools has grown in recent times at the same phenomenal rate as the social networks themselves. Enterprise-level tools can be eye-wateringly expensive and out of reach for many businesses, but a quick look at the number of free tools shows that you can successfully keep track of brand mentions and relevant keywords without shelling out a lot of money. I’ve compiled a list of ten of the top free tools out there at the moment:

1.Google Reader

As simple as it sounds, Google Reader is a fantastic way to begin your monitoring. You can subscribe to Twitter searches for your brand name, Google searches, RSS feeds, news sites and much more. You can also set up Google Alerts for your brand name to be sent directly to your email any time your brand is mentioned, or just in daily doses.

2.Topsy

Topsy collects results from across the web, Twitter, photo, and video streams. Real-time search for the social web, Topsy aggregates all the content related to your keyword from several social media platforms into a single stream. You can also view analytics surrounding your brand name.

3.Kurrently

Kurrently is a real time search engine for Facebook and Twitter. It allows you to monitor real-time conversations around your selected keyword.

4.Boardreader

Boardreader is a search engine for forums and boards. It searches discussion boards, press releases, articles, sites and more for mentions of your brand.

5.Addictomatic

Addictomatic instantly creates a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic. It searches sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images

6.Twilert

A straight forward and simple tool that enables you to keep up with tweets about your brand.  The app will send you an email any time a tweet mentions your brand name or keyword you have chosen.

7.Social Mention

Use this tool to measure and monitor your brand mentions in real-times on different platforms. You can also set up an RSS feed to integrate with  Google Reader, or set up email alerts.

8.Social Pointer

A nice little tool to let you monitor your brand mentions of blogs, media and social platforms  in one place. Sign up free for a Beta account.

9.Shared Count

Want to know how much your URL has been shared? Type it into Shared Count and it will let you know how many times it was shared on social media platforms and provide you with statistics on Facebook likes, tweets, comments and more.

10.Wildfire

Track your competitors, measure your performance and receive alerts for brand mentions. You can even view leader boards for both Facebook and Twitter to see who’s leading for different metrics.

There are many other great free tools out there that can be used to help monitor brand mentions and keywords in Social Media – what else do you use?

Social Media trends that will define 2013

Social media is taking center stage within any marketing campaign, brands are no longer in ‘wait and watch mode’. Every business is trying to find the right node to succeed with its audience.

  • 2010 was the year of Exploration– Where brands/business were still figuring out “How to Start or Proceed”, deciding whether to be on Facebook or Twitter.
  • 2011 was the year of Expansion – Where brands focused on expanding the size on its community, chasing those Facebook likes (fans) or Twitter followers. The one with higher number represented higher success.
  • 2012 has been the year of Engagement – Where brands have realized that ‘Size doesn’t matter’ and it is engagement that drives success on social media. Relevant two way conversation between brands and consumers is what communities thrive upon.

As we come to the end of 2012, I believe 2013 will be the year of Evolution. It will be an evolution of

  • The way we approach marketing as the business function .
  • Our take towards an interactive (Social + Mobile + Digital) approach and not activate on different channels in siloes.
  • How the consumer behaviors of content consumption are leveraged as part of campaigns (Media, TV, etc.)

In the year 2013, to succeed brands will be have to embrace the changing trends and act quick to evolve with the emerging technologies.

The folks at TwinEngine just published this infographic predicting 13 trends related to Social media in the year 2013.

Social Media Trends-2013

Crowd-sourcing- Effective way to engage & excite your fans to create value.

As social media continues to become a main stream channel for marketers, brands are constantly trying to come up with ways to involve their fans in a more meaningful way.

As engagement is the key metrics that all brands active on social media aim to achieve, but engagement is something that only come through relevant conversations initiated between brand and its audience.

One common and effective tactic for marketer has been Crowd-sourcing.   It at once sparks conversations, giving the opportunity to the fans/followers to share their opinion.  The beauty of any such campaign is that – those opinions generated matter.

Brands have been keen on utilizing the feedback/suggestions/ideas/thoughts provided by its online community and turning them in reality.  Brands have been using crowd-sourcing campaigns to various activation objectives ranging from:
1) New product development –   Where the crowd is brought into the product decision process.    

Example: Ice cream brand Baskin Robbins is doing just that. It is asking people to create their own original ice cream flavors using Baskin-Robbins’ virtual flavor creator. Submissions will get evaluated by judges and narrowed down to list of 10 new flavors entries. The 10 short-listed options will be put up for voting by public   The flavor to get the most votes will be sold in Baskin-Robbins shops nationwide in 2013.

Baskin-robbins flavor creator

Baskin-Robbins is not the only brand that has used crowd sourcing for new product development, in the past we have seen examples of Vitamin water (Letting fans decide, the flavor, the bottle, the design and the name) or Frito-Lays’s new campaign “Do us a Flavor”  (Also encouraging its fans to come up with new Flavor – with big prizes to win)

2) Feedback/ Process ImprovementWhere Crowd’s suggestions/feedback is used to improve current process/experiences centered on brand’s value.

Example:  Starbucks – “My Starbucks Idea” Starbucks using http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/for improvingMy Starbucks Idea in-store experience.

The “My Starbucks Idea” campaign is a great example in crowdsourcing feedback on both the brand and product level. The campaign encourages people to submit their comments and ideas on everything related to Starbucks.

It also keeps consumers in the loop on what ideas Starbucks is currently implementing.. At the end of the day, the brand is getting a steady stream of feedback and business ideas while deepening the bond with its customers and evangelists.

3) Community Involvement – Where crowd acts as the key contributor to influence which meaningful cause needs to be supported first and how?

Example:  Pepsi – Refresh Everything (www.refresheverything.com)

Pepsi’s “Refresh” campaign directly didn’t relate to its product or brand idea. Pepsi realized early on that the millennial generation is passionate about supporting good causes and wanted to see the brands they buy from do the same.

Therefore the Pepsi Refresh campaign was anchored around using the $20 million dollars budgeted for marketing and allowed fans to submit ideas and vote for funding to carry out local community projects.  The projects ranged from environment to education.

The above examples surely prove one point that when the conversation is taken more from being a broadcast to a one-to-one dialogue.   That’s when you turn table to your target audience and actively engage them to participate.

New Acquisition @ Facebook : Gift-Giving App Karma

Facebook continues its strategy of acquisitions by getting another popular app- Karma under its belt.  The company recently released its updated version on May 8th 2012; is based on the core philosophy of “Social Gifting”.

Karma lets you send a thoughtful gift from anywhere, at anytime.

 

 

The way Karma works is pretty simple, Using the app, you can browse through a virtual storefront to pick out a gift. Karma has partnered with companies including with Hulu, Gund, MoMa and Spotify –- so there’s a pretty decent selection of gifts.  (Mashable)

It seems Social gifting is going to get more focus,  although Karma is not the only player mixing Social & gifting but defiantly integration with Facebook just means more close execution.  Here’s what Karma’s Executives announced through blog about the acquisition.   http://blog.getkarma.com/

Hello world!

“Hello World” are probably the first two words anybody close to any technology learns about.  I clearly remember whenever I have experimented with any programing language be it “LOGO”  or more polished C++  these were the two words I coded to be flashed on my screen. I believe it has been a good common notation to start anything “Hello World.

Maybe something to do with good luck.

Therefore as I make this attempt to capture my journey around these exciting times when our social behaviors are greatly influenced by technological & conceptual innovations. I thought to mark my first post with the title “Hello World”.  The writings to follow will be my thoughts/ opinions on anything cool, meaningful or controversial as the world of Technology + Business (Marketing) + Anthropology converse.

As I professionally am part of the exciting world of Digital Marketing I will keep my focus on the same topics as I continue to Learn, Un-learn & Re-learn in amazing journey of innovations & implementations.