tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/community-management Latest Community Management content from Econsultancy 2018-02-26T15:33:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2018-02-26T15:33:00+00:00 2018-02-26T15:33:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69725 2018-01-15T14:37:00+00:00 2018-01-15T14:37:00+00:00 Facebook's News Feed update is more significant than you know Depesh Mandalia <h3>Facebook is maturing</h3> <p>It's growing out of engagement and going back to its roots:</p> <blockquote> <p>“People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”</p> </blockquote> <p>That's part of Facebook's... no... Mark Zuckerberg's vision statement. </p> <p>Facebook is moving from teen to adult stage. This means it's not just about how long people stay on the platform but how meaningful their time on the platform is.</p> <h3>Facebook primarily cares about you</h3> <p>That's the 'user' version of 'you'. The person that joined Facebook some time in the last decade, to explore connections with other people, keep in touch with friends, connect with like minded people and explore new opportunities.</p> <p>Go back to when Facebook first started serving ads. It wasn't a priority for Mark but a necessity for Facebook – in order to achieve this vision he needed to fund it. </p> <p>Ads were introduced, along with the IPO in order to accelerate Facebook's growth - they've delivered the world's largest and most unifying digital platform, bought fast growth  companies (for example Instagram, WhatsApp, Masquerade) and merged them into the Facebook family, they're trying to shift us from two dimensional digital social interactions to virtual worlds built on social principles, developing a system to connect more people in the most remote locations to the internet and much much more.</p> <p>All of these come back to the underlying goal; to create more meaningful connections with each other. With your friends, family and the human race.</p> <h3>Facebook subversion is a risk to humanity</h3> <p>Whoa there, big words right? If the Russian scandal is as true as we're to believe, then a few hundred thousands dollars in ad spend were enough to swing the US vote - through Facebook Ads. </p> <p>$100k or even $200k is not a big sum of money to spend on ads. To swing a nation of over 300 million with $200K - damn, I take my hat off to them. Truth is they must have been working with bigger budgets to have pulled this off but the fact remains that if true, a foreign government gained an upperhand by influencing an election through social media. </p> <p>The reality is this - over 2 billion are active on Facebook every single month (based on 2017 figures). There are over 7 billion people on Earth right now.</p> <p>If you want to influence entire populations where do you go? In the US alone there are between 100-200 million people accessing Facebook each month. That figure is even higher in India which has the largest number of active users on Facebook.</p> <p> That's true power, possibly more than any human or company should be responsible for?</p> <h3>With great power comes great responsibility and Zuckerberg knows this</h3> <p>It was reported that <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/05/mark-zuckerberg-is-right-to-explore-the-potential-of-the-blockchain-for-facebook/" target="_blank">Zuckerberg is looking into blockchain</a>. For those that don't know what blockchain is, its the core of what makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin so good. It decentralises power away from a bank, government or institution and therefore out of the control of higher powers. </p> <p>Reflect that back on a platform where nearly 30% of Earth's population dwell and you kind of realise how this power could be used for evil purposes and why, perhaps even Zuckerberg feels as sense of responsibility to remove himself and Facebook away from core parts of the service.</p> <h3>Facebook want us to stay connected with friends and family...</h3> <p>...to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.</p> <p>Can you honestly rate that statement with a thumbs up experience based on your newsfeed in the last 12 months? Facebook know exactly how to keep you hooked onto the platform. Those little red notifications on your phone and desktop (DOPAMINE DOPAMINE!), to knowing which content to serve when, Facebook knows so much about you. Millions upon millions of data points on when you access Facebook, when you respond best to different types of content, your interactions with people, pages, ads and groups, which websites you visit outside of Facebook (thanks to the tracking pixel all sites that run ads end up using) and lots of external data from providers such as Axciom and Epsilon which use various data collection methods to add even more insights into ad targeting.</p> <p>Yet despite all this, are you left feeling satisfied after using Facebook? It goes beyond engagement to positive impact. There's so much content to consume yet Facebook have recognised that passive, zombifying content is not what leads it towards it's goal of meaningful social interactions. There's an image of a post-apocolyptic world with people wedged into their sofa, drip-fed their food and pipes taking away the waste, glued 24/7 to their mobiles watching endless videos whilst the world around them collapses. Ok so we're some way off anything like the Matrix but just think how much brainpower has been lost across the world with meaningless use of Facebook.</p> <p>However, the news is not gloom and doom for everyone. Being a business owner that relies on Facebook like many of you, I take this news with a huge amount of optimism.</p> <h3>Place emphasis on Groups</h3> <p>Facebook made many moves in 2017 to focus on and elevate groups. It's not the big thing of 2018, it already was the big thing of 2017 and if you're not already thinking about how your brand needs to react to this then now's is definitely the time. Groups allow Facebook to provide users with virtual walls within which to have focussed meaningful interactions. It's a way of creating a secondary newsfeed if you like, and a place you can go to mingle with like minded people.</p> <p>The prominence of groups allow people to form their own tribes and followings, to move out of the reliance on the newsfeed for everything. Where once Pages were a way of creating a place for your fans to gather and show their appreciation, it was generally a monologue.  </p> <p>Groups allow those same people to instead create a dialogue, which creates a stronger affinity with your tribe and ensures people are kept both engaged <em>and</em> satisfied.</p> <p>There are rumours that ads will begin to appear inside of groups. Perhaps on the right hand side to begin with but it makes sense to monetise a piece of real estate that probably has far more dwell time and engagement than the newsfeed. What would this mean for your business? </p> <h3>Facebook is waaaay beyond a direct response channel</h3> <p>Don't treat Facebook only as a direct response channel, whether running organic or paid campaigns - comparing Adwords directly to Facebook ads, as is common, is not the right approach.</p> <p>Instead add value, build relationships and go back to marketing principles of taking customers through a funnel from awareness and consideration through to sale or lead. Facebook have a wide range of tools available to make that journey work, including a good offering of campaign objectives (from brand awareness to lead generation through to engagement and conversion), deep analytics tools with their newly updated <a href="https://analytics.facebook.com" target="_blank">Facebook Analytics</a> tool, new Events manager to improve tracking and a whole range of targeting and creative options.</p> <p>Want to find new audiences? Run a video ad to a fairly broad audience and retarget those that view a certain percentage. Want to improve email marketing response rates? Load your list into Facebook and ensure they see your message when you need them to. Facebook is a marketing behemoth and whilst the platform itself should be part of a wider portfolio of marketing channels, it still delivers huge revenues for many companies and will continue to do so in 2018.</p> <h3>Share content as a marketer that you would as a user</h3> <p>If you wouldn't be comfortable sharing your ads or organic updates with friends in your own newsfeed, it's probably not good enough for your Page, Group or ads as a business. There will always be loopholes and hacks to gain engagement but, as an example, the crackdown Facebook is taking <a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/12/news-feed-fyi-fighting-engagement-bait-on-facebook/" target="_blank">demotion for engagement baiting</a> completely seriously.</p> <p>There aren't many magic formulas to Facebook beyond targeting the right audience and creating content relevant for them. It's easy to get caught up in the technicalities of bidding and optimisation but at the core of what Facebook are trying to deliver, it pivots around user satisfaction. Creating those meaningful connections for users on the platform should be a big consideration in your creative execution.</p> <h3>Pages are about engagement through community </h3> <p>How many Pages on Facebook create a monologue with no response or interaction? No amount of paid or unpaid marketing is going to help a page that is disconnected from their fans. Organic reach began dropping around 3 years ago for Pages and the latest update would seem to be a big stake in the heart. But that's not completely the case since the message from Zuckerberg mentioned bringing more content into your newsfeed from communities - these come in the form of Pages and Groups.</p> <p>If your page is highly themed and niche, like a specific sports team then it makes sense that it may be something you're interested in. However Facebook are looking for engagement from those page and so creating conversation and keeping users engaged will be more important than ever before for Page owners.</p> <p>There will still be Pages large and small able to create good levels of interaction for free but I expect this to become harder with the latest updates. If you weren't already paying to boost your Page content to all of your fans then now's definitely the time to start experimenting with this. Expect to pay increasing costs as the newsfeed becomes even more expensive than it already is. </p> <p>Except if you're in the fastest growing Facebook countries with cheap CPMs such as India, Brazil or Indonesia. Sure, they might be your ideal market now, but there are probably other monetisation opportunities still to be explored in emerging markets like this. </p> <h3>Facebook are putting extra effort into new product development</h3> <p>On the flipside there are a growing number of product placements Facebook are developing. For me, 2017 was more the year of Messenger and in particular, bots. There's still a huge untapped market for bots and its not too late to jump on the bandwagon, both to advertise on and through Messenger.</p> <p>Then there's Instagram, where Stories became the latest growth opportunity where many have seen success. With Facebook recently announcing plans to include WhatsApp in paid marketing (Facebook warmed it up recently with a click to WhatsApp test) and other products Facebook might be working on, it could mean more advertising placements for advertisers to take advantage of.</p> <h3>Advertising on Facebook can still be profitable in 2018</h3> <p>There are over 5 million advertisers on the platform with Q2 2017 spend coming in at $9.3 billion. With more advertisers its easy to fear-monger the demise of  paid Facebook ads. Yet Facebook are clearly telling you what you need to do:</p> <p><em><strong>High relevance score = lower auction costs = more opportunities to have your ad placed in front of your target user.</strong></em></p> <p>Facebook rewards advertisers for a great user experience. But now, you need to look beyond engagement and click bait, and look at aligning yourself with Facebook - add value, create meaningful content, be purposeful. That means using the full-suite of tools at your disposal on the Facebook platforn and complementing it at least with paid search and email to attract, engage and convert.</p> <p>The world is rapidly evolving, in tech and with our closeness as a human race; there is the realisation of just how intertwined we really are on this immensely large, yet universally small planet.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/1980 2018-01-01T00:00:00+00:00 2018-01-01T00:00:00+00:00 Digital Intelligence Briefings Econsultancy <h3>Download the latest Digital Intelligence Briefing (2018 Digital Trends) <a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2018-digital-trends/">here</a>.</h3> <p>Econsultancy's <strong>Digital Intelligence Briefings </strong>look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape.</p> <p>Marketers around the world are surveyed on a regular basis to give an accurate bellwether of trends that matter to marketers. Each year kicks off with a broader view on where marketers are focusing their attention. For the rest of the year, Econsultancy’s Research Team dig into some of the key trends to add depth and insight.</p> <p>These reports will benefit senior marketers with budget and planning responsibility who wish to benchmark themselves against their industry peers. They provide many stats and data points to assist with business cases, presentations and client pitches.</p> <p>The Digital Intelligence Briefings are sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="https://www.adobe.com/uk/experience-cloud.html">Adobe</a>.</p> <p><strong>2018</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2018-digital-trends/">2018 Digital Trends</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2017</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends/">2017 Digital Trends</a></li> <ul> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-financial-services-and-insurance/">2017 Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in Retail" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-retail/">2017 Digital Trends in Retail</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in B2B" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-b2b/">2017 Digital Trends in B2B</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in the Technology Sector" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-technology/">2017 Digital Trends in the Technology Sector</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in South Africa" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-south-africa/">2017 Digital Trends in South Africa</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in Media and Entertainment" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-media-and-entertainment/">2017 Digital Trends in Media and Entertainment</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in Healthcare and Pharma" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-healthcare-and-pharma/">2017 Digital Trends in Healthcare and Pharma</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-it/">2017 Digital Trends in IT</a></li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>2016</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2016 Digital Trends" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2016-digital-trends/">2016 Digital Trends</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity" href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-pursuit-of-data-driven-maturity/">The Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-taking-advantage-of-the-mobile-opportunity/">Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: Succeeding in the Omnichannel Age" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-succeeding-in-the-omnichannel-age/">Succeeding in the Omnichannel Age</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2015</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2015-digital-trends/">2015 Digital Trends</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Quest for Mobile Excellence" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-quest-for-mobile-excellence">The Quest for Mobile Excellence</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Multichannel Reality" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-multichannel-reality/">The Multichannel Reality</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">The CX Challenge</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2014</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2014 Digital Trends" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2014-digital-trends">Digital Trends for 2014</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-finding-the-path-to-mobile-maturity">Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Delivering Digital Experiences" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-delivering-digital-experiences">Delivering Digital Experiences</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-why-marketing-should-be-personal/">Why Marketing Should Be Personal</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2013</strong></p> <ul> <li> <a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2013" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-digital-trends-for-2013">Digital Trends for 2013</a> </li> <li> <a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: From Content Management to Customer Experience Management" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-from-content-management-to-customer-experience-management">From Content Management to Customer Experience Management</a> </li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Optimising Paid Media" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-optimising-paid-media">Optimising Paid Media</a></li> <li><a title="Channels in Concert: Trends in Integrated Marketing" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-integrated-marketing">Trends in Integrated Marketing</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2012</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Digital Trends for 2012" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-digital-trends-for-2012/">Digital Trends for 2012</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Personalisation, Trust and Return on Investment" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-personalisation-trust-and-roi">Personalisation, Trust and Return on Investment</a></li> <li><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-managing-and-measuring-social">Managing and Measuring Social</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Making Sense of Marketing Attribution" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-making-sense-of-marketing-attribution">Making Sense of Marketing Attribution</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2011</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Digital Trends for 2011" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-q2-2011">Digital Trends for 2011</a></li> <li><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-q3-2011">Impact of Marketing Technology on Business</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Social Data" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-social-data">Social Data</a></li> </ul> <p><em>All reports are free to download as part of an Econsultancy subscription.</em></p> <h3><strong>More trends analysis from Econsultancy</strong></h3> <p>Enterprise subscribers also have access to <a title="Econsultancy Digital Shift" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-shift">Digital Shift</a>, a quarterly service which curates and interprets the most important developments, trends and innovation. Our aim? To make it simple for you to keep track of the key developments in digital technology and marketing. </p> <h4>Find out more about Econsultancy subscriptions</h4> <p>Email us on <a href="mailto:subscriptions@econsultancy.com">subscriptions@econsultancy.com</a>.</p> <p>Or call your local team:</p> <ul> <li>EMEA: Paul Simmons, +44 (0)20 3199 7118</li> <li>Americas: Thomas Liou , +1 212 971 0631</li> <li>APAC: Jefrey Gomez, +65 6653 1911</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69424 2017-09-20T11:47:17+01:00 2017-09-20T11:47:17+01:00 Marketers have more data than ever, so why aren’t they better at experimentation? Frederic Kalinke <p>As marketing is being transformed by advances in our ability to collect and manage data, the industry is becoming more ‘scientific’. This is why every day it becomes more important for marketers to heed Feyerabend’s advice.</p> <h3>A hypothesis about data</h3> <p>The crucial element in the recent evolution of marketing has been data. The collection of comprehensive data about customers and their behaviour promised marketers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of their efforts, including of course <a title="How retail marketers can ensure they deliver the ‘right’ customer experience" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67526-how-retail-marketers-can-ensure-they-deliver-the-right-customer-experience/" target="_blank">where they should spend more</a> and where they had been wasting their budget.</p> <p>Consequently, marketing began to worship at the altar of data, eventually giving rise to the fascination with the nebulous “<a title="Ten Ways Big Data is Revolutionizing Marketing and Sales" href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2016/05/09/ten-ways-big-data-is-revolutionizing-marketing-and-sales/1" target="_blank">big data</a>.” Marketers now have the ability to collect data on almost anything they want.</p> <p>The fact that the underlying principles of marketing have remained much the same throughout this process (sell more stuff by putting what you’re selling in front of the right people in the right way) therefore begs the question: <strong>Why aren’t marketers doing better?</strong></p> <h3>How not to do things with data</h3> <p>Marketers have been getting their relationship with data the wrong way round. Simply, the answer is never in the data. In fact, the best way to get answers is to forget about the data.</p> <p>In scientific inquiry, trawling through existing data is rarely conducive to innovation. Trying to piece new things together from the mass of what you already know is an aimless, hopeless endeavour. You become a prisoner of conventional wisdom, reaching ever narrower, less original conclusions, with an increasing likelihood of being wrong.</p> <p>Scientific research shares at least this much in common with marketing. For example, we have data on the most shared headlines for content marketing. (<a title="We Analyzed 100 Million Headlines. Here's What We Learned." href="http://buzzsumo.com/blog/most-shared-headlines-study" target="_blank">Buzzsumo collated 100 million of them</a>.)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9053/buzzsumo.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="900"></p> <p>According to the data the top three-word phrases to use in article headlines for maximum shares are “will make you,” “this is why,” and “can we guess.” Widely-shared articles also begin with “X reasons why” or “X things you,” and very frequently include appeals to emotion.</p> <p>However, as Marketing Profs’ Ann Handley correctly noted in response, marketers should not “take this information and conclude that the best headline to use forever and always is something like 10 Ways That Will Make You a Better Headline Writer (and You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!).”</p> <p>What this demonstrates is a problem with attempting to draw useful conclusions from data alone. While there are many things we can conclude from Buzzsumo’s impressively comprehensive analysis, not many of them are useful for content marketers attempting to come up with headlines.</p> <p>In fact, Handley gets it absolutely right when she urges marketers to “get a little creative with headlines.” Not only will different types of headlines work differently in different contexts (we cannot all be Buzzfeed, and we definitely should not try to be) but it is only by being creative that we actually end up writing better headlines.</p> <p>Simply mimicking the headline formats that currently work well will create not only an artificial ceiling over how successful content can be, but suffers inevitably from <a title="Regression towards the mean" href="https://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/regrmean.php" target="_blank">regression towards the mean</a>. This is what happens when marketers limit themselves according to convention.</p> <p>If the answer is clickbait, you asked the wrong question.</p> <h3>How to do things with data</h3> <p>A marketer trying to come up with more effective headlines for her content does not need an answer to the question, “what are the most popular phrases in headlines?”, she needs an answer to a specific question, “is my content going to perform better if I use this phrase or that phrase?”</p> <p>These questions are easy to confuse. The crucial difference is that our hypothetical marketer cannot use the answer to the first question to make any sort of conclusion about how to act. She will simply learn more about what has worked for others and be restricted to coming up with derivative ideas.</p> <p>Just because something worked for somebody else, it does not mean it will work for you. And when it comes to the over-saturated world of online content, the fact that something worked for somebody else means precisely that it is less likely to work for you.</p> <p>It is the second question, a specific one about some actual ideas, that represents the best way to go about dealing with this problem. It is a practical question that makes data useful and this is because it puts new ideas ahead of old conventions.</p> <h3>What does genuinely experimental marketing look like?</h3> <p>A particularly clear recent example of this is <a title="Why AS Roma revel in being the weirdest football club on social media" href="http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/08/31/why-roma-revel-being-the-weirdest-football-club-social-media" target="_blank">AS Roma’s successful approach to social media video</a>. In an industry where <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/">all the major football clubs</a> (and a lot of the minor ones) are stepping up their digital marketing and where almost every player transfer is announced with slick professional video on social media, Roma succeeded by doing something different.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Schick?src=hash">#Schick</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ASRoma?src=hash">#ASRoma</a> <a href="https://t.co/JAIvKGYS7P">pic.twitter.com/JAIvKGYS7P</a></p> — AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) <a href="https://twitter.com/ASRomaEN/status/902546975681388544">August 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>These idiosyncratic videos embody Feyerabend’s “only principle that doesn’t inhibit progress.” Where their competitors acted like sheep, <a title="Roma fan explains latest transfer announcement video on Twitter" href="http://www.asroma.com/en/news/2017/8/roma-fan-explains-latest-transfer-announcement-video-on-twitter-" target="_blank">Roma chose goats</a>. They forgot about the data on what worked for their competitors and instead asked “what if we do something else?” They chose to experiment.</p> <p>As the categories of data available to marketers have multiplied, the possibilities for experimentation have grown exponentially. However, in practice this has not led to the proliferation of a diverse range of experimental approaches to marketing. Instead, there has been a succession of “next big things” (such as <a title="How AI will impact marketing and the customer experience" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68722-how-ai-will-impact-marketing-and-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">AI</a>), which seem to sweep the industry each year. The prospective benefits of each of these potential innovations and the specific uses for them end up being submerged by the hype. Brands frantically attempt to emulate their competitors to avoid being seen as technological laggards. The appearance of innovation trumps real experimentation.</p> <p>This is because too much marketing data is not collected with a specific purpose, it is simply collected in a way that encourages marketers to emulate their competitors and reinforce the status quo. A successfully experimental approach to marketing therefore requires marketers to put their own creativity first.</p> <h3>How to experiment in marketing</h3> <p>Professor Byron Sharp recently mentioned how important it is for marketers to learn how to run “<a title="Ritson and Sharp reveal their marketing heroes and the biggest challenges facing the industry" href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/09/04/ritson-sharp/" target="_blank">proper controlled experiments</a>,” something which most formal business educations dearly lack. He is correct that experiments are only useful if they are carried out according to rigorous scientific principles (with control variables and so on).</p> <p>This emphasises the connection between the scientific and creative aspects of experimentation; marketers cannot truly have one without the other. They therefore require a consistent experimental method that can be applied repeatedly and which maintains a complementary relationship between data and innovation.</p> <p>First, an experimental method requires marketers to come up with hypotheses, i.e. “I think our content might perform better with this sort of headline” or “I think our social media engagement would be improved with this sort of video.”</p> <p>It then requires marketers to collect data for the specific purpose of testing a hypothesis. Generally this is done through A/B testing (and specifically with <a title="Using data science with A/B tests: Bayesian analysis" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65755-using-data-science-with-a-b-tests-bayesian-analysis/" target="_blank">Bayesian statistical inference</a> rather than frequentist statistical inference, given that it is <a title="What is Bayesian A/B Testing and Why is it the Best Choice for Marketers?" href="https://amigotechnology.com/blog/what-is-bayesian-ab-testing-for-marketing?ast=C8zHl9" target="_blank">better suited to getting answers quickly</a>). This approach to data allows it to inform marketers’ hypotheses in a way that complements their creativity rather than inhibits it.</p> <p>This process of testing hypotheses can then be repeated in an iterative cycle that allows marketers to try out as many new ideas as possible in order to increase the chances of a major breakthrough. This process aligns neatly with the concept of <a title="What is Agile Marketing?" href="https://amigotechnology.com/what-is-agile-marketing" target="_blank">agile marketing</a>, which perhaps goes some way towards explaining the current vogue for that term.</p> <h3>The balance of power</h3> <p>Technological advance has given marketers access to invaluable quantities of information and as a result marketing and data have become intensely-linked. However the outstanding question about this relationship is simple. Who is in charge?</p> <p>Is marketing led by the hackneyed conventional wisdom represented by existing data or is it led by marketers’ own creativity and critical thinking? Where the balance of power leans towards the data, marketers are inhibited. Where it lies with the marketers, the data can yield genuinely useful conclusions and help marketers to come up with their next great idea.</p> <p><strong><em>Need to improve your own content marketing efforts? Book yourself onto one of Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">upcoming training courses</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69288 2017-07-28T12:25:35+01:00 2017-07-28T12:25:35+01:00 Facebook launches Groups for Pages: what brands need to know and consider Patricio Robles <p>Previously, Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups were separate entities and weren't connected, but thanks to Groups for Pages, that's no longer the case. Here are some things brands need to know about Groups for Pages and what they should keep in mind when evaluating whether to take advantage of them.</p> <h3>Brands can create new Groups or associate existing Groups with their Pages</h3> <p>Brands interested in employing Groups can do so in one of two ways: they can create one or more new Groups that are associated with their Pages or they can associate existing Groups with their Pages. To do the latter, a Page administrator must be an administrator of the Group being associated. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7855/20106824_10103256906305453_3455477597868100487_n-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="402" height="402"></p> <h3>Groups for Pages could help brands build communities of "super-fans"</h3> <p>For brands aiming to turn their Likes on the world's largest social network into more meaningful engagement, Groups for Pages could be one of the more powerful tools Facebook has offered to date.</p> <p>When Facebook began testing Groups for Pages with select beta testers earlier this year, chief product officer Chris Cox stated, "This is one of thousands of interesting examples we heard of super-fans who wanted to be a part of the day-to-day discussion of the decisions inside the walls of an organization they care about, and more importantly to connect with everyone else who felt the same way."</p> <h3>The new functionality could pave the way for clever deal making</h3> <p>For brands looking to build true communities around their brands and brand assets, it would appear that Facebook's new functionality has created an opportunity to do so by partnering or acquiring existing Groups.</p> <p>For instance, a brand like Red Bull, which owns a Formula One racing team, could partner with or acquire one or more existing fan Groups to bolster its Red Bull Racing Facebook Page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7854/redbullracing.png" alt="" width="595" height="295"></p> <h3>Moderation is a big issue and shouldn't be overlooked</h3> <p>With <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69245-native-ads-gain-as-advertisers-seek-brand-safety-away-from-programmatic">brands more concerned than ever about brand safety</a>, using Groups could be a tricky proposition. After all, while Groups offer a greater opportunity for brands to create engagement on Facebook, brands will realistically need to ensure that they moderate them, either internally or through an external vendor providing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/4675-q-a-tamara-littleton-on-online-moderation/">outsourced moderation services</a>. If they don't, it's possible that Groups could be hijacked by users who post offensive content.</p> <p>The burdens of moderation will vary somewhat by Group size and activity level, but because Facebook Groups are open 24/7 and it only takes one or two people to cause trouble, brands using Groups for Pages will have to be vigilant no matter how large or active they are.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences can't currently be created to target Group members</h3> <p>Facebook <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64980-put-your-email-list-to-work-facebook-custom-audiences/">Custom Audiences</a> are one of the social network's most powerful advertising tools and there is no doubt that many brands using Groups for Pages would be intrigued by the possibility of creating Custom Audiences around Group members. Unfortunately, brands that decide to add one or more Groups to their Pages won't be able to create Custom Audiences of members they can target Facebook ads to, at least for the time being.</p> <p>If, however, Facebook changes this, brands might find that the ability to create Custom Audiences (and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65505-lookalike-audiences-the-next-big-thing-in-marketing/">Lookalike Audiences</a>) of users engaged enough to join a Group could be a compelling reason to give Groups for Pages a try.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69128 2017-06-01T12:37:00+01:00 2017-06-01T12:37:00+01:00 Seven steps for managing social media for live events Tamara Littleton <p>In 2016, the <a title="blog.twitter.com" href="https://blog.twitter.com/en-gb/2016/thishappened-2016" target="_blank">top 10 most tweeted moments</a> in the UK all occurred during football matches, from fans tweeting about teams losing to the mass celebration of last minute goals.</p> <p>It’s become second nature for many of us to take to social media to enhance a shared experience. It helps us construct our own experience of the event. It can also be rewarding for brands and creators who get to chat with individuals and experience their genuine, instant reaction to what’s happening.</p> <p>By focusing on key procedures, processes and people, brands can do their best to ensure the live events they’re involved in are a success. If you’re planning a live event, here are my steps for successful social media amplification.</p> <h3>Procedures</h3> <h4>Step 1: Create guidelines (and follow them)</h4> <p>Clear guidelines provide consistency of content and response. Larger events and longer campaigns will have a variety of people or teams working on them – they need to be enforcing the rules fairly and consistently.</p> <p>Keep a living document of content examples to help other members of the team respond in the moment. Keep the guidelines too vague – such as a simple ‘no swearing’ or ‘no bullying’ – and you’re setting yourself up for trouble. People have varying definitions of bad language and different markers for the differences between debate and hectoring. </p> <p>If rules aren’t applied consistently, the brand risks looking like it’s taking sides, when really there’s just been a shift change and Erica lets a lot more slide than Jimmy.</p> <h3>Processes </h3> <h4>Step 2: Keep an eye on the big picture</h4> <p>It can be difficult to see the campaign (or event) as a whole when you’re in the middle of managing the live social response. Even if you can’t work from an actual social media war room, keep a screen or two free to display the overview of the live chat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6477/war_room.png" alt="" width="600" height="366"></p> <p>Depending on the event, you may need to divide roles. For example, if you’re running a live demo, have one member of the team talking to the audience, answering questions in live chat and picking out questions for the presenters to answer, while the team running the demo can focus on creating entertaining and informative content. You may even have another person behind the scenes helping to moderate the live chat.</p> <h4>Step 3: Choose (and use) the right tools for the job</h4> <p>Big campaigns need content management tools that let you moderate and manage content efficiently. Tools that are flexible enough to allow for instant content modification and deletion, but that can be customised to suit the content management needs of the brand (you might want it to support pre-moderation of content, for example).</p> <h3>People</h3> <h4>Step 4: Choose your team based on experience, mindset and training </h4> <p>Great <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/">community management</a> isn’t just about hiring those with the most experience. It’s about finding the person with relevant experience and the adaptability to handle managing a live experience.</p> <p>Managing the social media response to a live event – be it a live-stream run by a brand or managing a community of fans responding to a live TV show – is stressful. Community managers and moderators need to be able to cope with split second decision-making and thinking on their feet, without caving under the pressure.</p> <p>The team also must have a solid understanding of the brand’s values, and the ultimate goal of the campaign. It helps if they have a good understanding, not only of what the brand does, but why its fans are so passionate about it.</p> <h4>Step 5: Foster collaboration in the live events team</h4> <p>Running a live event is draining. It’s like staging a play – you need your team present and invested in making the event a success. People feed off each other’s energies and rely on each other for support and reassurance.</p> <p>Having the whole team in one location allows them to adapt to evolving situations. Communication becomes simpler as people can use the extra information that body language and tone of voice provides to get a complete picture of the situation.</p> <p>Don’t isolate the social team – have them working in the same space as the producers, creators and the comms team, all of whom may have ideas on how to change content based on the live response.</p> <h4>Step 6: Keep strong lines of communication</h4> <p>Everyone needs to be in the room, even if they’re not in the same country. If it’s an event with international appeal (the Olympics, for example), establish stable communication in preparation for the event and follow the structure for <a title="thesocialelement.agency" href="https://thesocialelement.agency/managing-social-media-at-scale/" target="_blank">managing social media globally</a>. </p> <p>When my teams run Polpeo’s live crisis simulations, they keep in touch throughout the simulation via instant messenger. They share real-time feedback on how the participants are performing, and assess whether or not they need to up the ante. </p> <p>For live campaigns, the audience may seem happy and engaged when you take a look at the live chat, but how many negative posts have the moderators had to delete? Perhaps it’s the same small group of people chatting, and the majority of viewers just aren’t participating. Without talking to the moderators and the community managers, you can’t get a true picture of the response.</p> <h4>Step 7: Keep the discussion going</h4> <p>Live events are best thought of as the instigating event. Tweeting may spike when a goal is scored, but fans will continue to discuss the match after the final whistle. Once people are interested, it’s likely that some will want to keep the discussion going.</p> <p>Successful live events keep the discussion going when the event is over. That means keeping a few community managers working after the event is over, even if it’s out of hours.  </p> <p>When live events are well-managed and moderated, they can be great experiences for brands and fans alike. Hosting a live event can be a brilliant way to engage audiences and generate buzz beyond the brand’s existing fan community.</p> <p><em>If live events are your thing, then book yourself a ticket to <a href="https://goo.gl/nJMlTI">The Festival of Marketing 2017</a>, hosted in London by Econsultancy and Marketing Week.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69105 2017-05-23T12:30:00+01:00 2017-05-23T12:30:00+01:00 Three social media lessons from WWF’s Earth Hour Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how does one organisation bring together millions of people under a common goal?</p> <p>I recently heard Alice More O’Ferrall – WWF’s digital engagement manager – speak at Socialbakers's Engage Prague event on how the organisation uses social media to motivate users and help drive change. Alvaro Quesada from Tinkle – the digital media company which oversaw the campaign – also contributed to the talk. Here are a few key lessons.</p> <h3>1. Avoid vanity metrics</h3> <p>While Earth Hour is more of a symbolic event – designed to raise awareness and prompt wider change from governments and private sector companies – it aims to avoid vanity metrics (i.e. passive likes or followers on social media) and instead focus on real life, accessible and every day action.</p> <p>Using the hashtag #changeclimatechange, WWF set out to promote the easy things that people could do to get involved with Earth Hour, such as using candles instead of electricity or taking a break from technology for the evening.</p> <p>By engaging with social media users in this way, it has been able to create a sense of community around the event, encouraging people to flight against climate change throughout the year – not just during Earth Hour itself.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CZp4LX4AYnM?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>2. Harness the power of micro-influencers</h3> <p>The main way WWF encouraged participation in 2017 was to ask users to donate their social power. This involved setting up a microsite where people could login via Facebook and post localised and personalised content direct to their own news feed.</p> <p>Not only did this activity enable WWF to spread the word, but it also helped to build trust. By allowing users to add comments or opinions and post it to personal news feeds, it meant the message would come across as far more authentic and trustworthy to friends, family and fellow Facebook users than if it came from the WWF or Earth Hour official page.</p> <p>This is an example of a brand turning everyday consumers into micro-influencers, which was a topic that was referenced quite a lot during Engage Prague. WWF also regularly works with influencers in a more traditional and larger-scale sense, focusing on three areas of reach, relevance and resonance to ensure authenticity.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fearthhour%2Fposts%2F10154748402939436&amp;width=500" width="500" height="519"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Engage and interact with participants</h3> <p>In the space of 24 hours, Earth Hour 2017 generated 30m organic impressions and 19m overall engagements. According to Alvaro, whose community management team managed all content and reaction during the event – it is vital to take the opportunity to reach out and engage with users in real-time.</p> <p>The team replied to 95% of all messages received during Earth Hour (with the remaining 5% being spam) – as well as maintained a response time of two hours. In doing so, it was able to ensure that all participants felt valued and appreciated, which in turn increased the likelihood of social sharing as well as further participation once the event had ended.   </p> <p>What’s more, it also allowed WWF to gather valuable feedback based on what users enjoyed or found the most interesting, which will also inform future campaigns.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TBT?src=hash">#TBT</a> is dedicated to all of you :) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EarthHour?src=hash">#EarthHour</a> is a reflection of the strength of people &amp; your power<a href="https://t.co/eSAGlXnwKT">https://t.co/eSAGlXnwKT</a></p> — Earth Hour (@earthhour) <a href="https://twitter.com/earthhour/status/865176414940782592">May 18, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Going beyond digital</h3> <p>So does digital engagement actually drive real life change?</p> <p>Alice cited a few examples as proof, such as an Earth Hour petition in Russia that lead to the protection of marine areas from oil pollution. Similarly, in Uganda, the creation of the first ever Earth Hour forest – which involved filling 2,700 hectares of degraded land with over 500,000 indigenous trees in order to fight against deforestation.</p> <p>WWF calls this ‘people powered legislative change’, and while the phrase is meant to deliberately sound impressive - the results are equally so. By harnessing the power of social media, it has shown that big things can arise from the smallest of changes.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66620-10-inspiring-content-marketing-examples-from-charities/" target="_blank">10 inspiring content marketing examples from charities</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67451-the-smartest-experiential-charity-marketing-campaign-you-ll-see-this-year/" target="_blank">The smartest experiential &amp; charity marketing campaign you'll see this year</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68876 2017-03-09T11:32:00+00:00 2017-03-09T11:32:00+00:00 How TfL’s community managers engage with London’s cyclists Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s what he had to say about his day job, where he tweets from <a href="https://twitter.com/SantanderCycles">@SantanderCycles</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TfL" target="_blank">@TfL</a>. And to learn more about this topic, book yourself a place on Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/" target="_blank">Online Community Management Training</a> course.</p> <h4> <strong><em>Econsultancy:</em> First, could you explain a bit about what you do?</strong> </h4> <p><em>Matt Moran:</em> I’m the Online Community Manager for Cycling here at Transport for London, so essentially I’m involved in anything cycling-related that happens on social media - from initial strategy through to the day-to-day execution of tactics. </p> <p>That might mean launching a Facebook campaign for Santander Cycles, responding to reports of a problem on a Cycle Superhighway on Twitter, or sharing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66739-how-user-generated-content-is-changing-content-marketing/">user-generated content</a> on Instagram. Ultimately though, I’m here as part of a big team helping to get more people cycling in London.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What does a typical day look like?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> Like most people who work in social media, there tends not to be a typical day! But I’ll always start my morning off by checking our social listening tools - usually before I’ve left home - to see whether there are any major issues where we need to respond quickly. </p> <p>Once any pressing issues are out of the way I’ll look for any conversations taking place that might not include TfL, but where we can add value and have a positive impact. For example, somebody might be thinking of starting to cycle to work, which is great for us, as we can really help them on their way with tools such as our Journey Planner or free Cycle Skills training. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's been a stunning day in London for cycling! Enjoy the ride home<a href="https://t.co/RUWnC1zC7e">pic.twitter.com/RUWnC1zC7e</a></p> — Santander Cycles (@SantanderCycles) <a href="https://twitter.com/SantanderCycles/status/839166004752236552">March 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Most days I’ll also be working on one of the many campaigns we run throughout the year to promote cycling. Each day I document my journeys with a GoPro or my iPhone as I travel around London by bike – that provides us with a rich and relevant source of content in a relatively cost-effective way too.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What’s been the biggest challenge so far?</h4> <p><em>MM</em>: My role was new to TfL in 2016, so my first big piece of work was to develop the strategy on how we should approach cycling as an organisation on social media. </p> <p>TfL is a large organisation, so navigating stakeholders and understanding their priorities and motivations was a challenge initially. There are also lots of external stakeholders to consider too, not least the people who already cycle in London and share their thoughts on social media, so it’s important for us to empathise and understand their needs. </p> <p>Thankfully we’re all focused on one thing and that’s to get more people cycling, more safely, more often.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4441/TFL_social.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="496"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What is the structure like at TfL – how do you work alongside other Community Managers?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> As this was a new role there’s been a certain amount of freedom in determining how best to position myself within the organisation. </p> <p>Other community managers will know that the key to success is to respond quickly and accurately to what is happening across the organisation. With this in mind, I divide up my week across different locations to sit with colleagues from Press, Online, Marketing and Planning – I also work closely with the social media team at Santander, for activities around Santander Cycles. </p> <p>I truly believe that you can never know too much about the subject matter when it comes to being a great community manager (I’ve been working in both cycling and social media for almost a decade).</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Part of your role is to encourage people to take up cycling – is there a balance between this and other responsibilities such as dealing with complaints? Where does your focus lie?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> I’m 100% focused on getting new people cycling but I also recognise the importance of developing a relationship and providing value for existing cyclists through social media. They are the people who sit next to colleagues and friends in the office, in the café or the pub and enthuse about how quickly they got to work by bike, or what a great time they had riding in Hyde Park at the weekend. </p> <p>It’s simple word-of-mouth marketing, and it works in tandem both online and offline, so if I can encourage existing cyclists to ride even more (and have a great experience because of the work TfL is doing) then it’s win-win for the greater good.</p> <p>When it comes to complaints, I see it as an opportunity to develop a positive relationship with a customer - it’s simply about good communication and over-delivering on the solution. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you deal with negativity? Do you follow a certain protocol?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> This one has always been easy for me, I just respond as quickly, honestly and personably as possible. Sometimes negativity is drawn from complex issues but we don’t shy away from those and we always aim to provide a response that answers the question and gives value. </p> <p>I tend to sign off my replies with my first name and a bike emoji that helps to create a bit more of a human connection, rather than customers feeing like they’re tweeting into – and receiving an answer from - a large faceless organisation. Being human trumps negativity every time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/zefrog">@zefrog</a> Hi Nicolas, apologies, we're aware of the issue and working hard to come up with a solution to alleviate the problem. (Matt)</p> — Santander Cycles (@SantanderCycles) <a href="https://twitter.com/SantanderCycles/status/837259054825230336">March 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4> <em>E:</em> Is there a difference between social media channels in terms you how you interact with people (or conversely, how people behave)?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> Expectations from customers vary wildly across platforms and we try to play to each platforms strengths. Twitter is certainly our busiest platform in respect of queries and we respond as quickly as we can, whereas the pace on Facebook is somewhat slower and we can be a little more creative in the type of media we use. </p> <p>For Santander Cycles we’ve recently started to ramp up our efforts on Instagram which provides a really positive platform to inspire people to ride with beautiful images and the sharing of user-generated content. Our tone of voice generally stays the same but we are able to play around a little more with the creative across different channels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4440/TFL_cycling.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="475"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> 2016 was a record-breaking year for the Santander Cycle scheme. How has your role (and TfL’s greater focus on cycling in general) aided this?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> My role has helped us to move from a campaign-led approach to an always-on approach to social media. This means we can be really agile around our social content. A simple example is that we ramp up our messaging when the sun is shining, in order to inspire people to ride and pull back during periods of extreme adverse weather.</p> <p>Having a subject-matter expert in the role brings a deeper level of understanding to our messaging and allows us to provide more value to consumers with one-to-one conversations. </p> <p>I also work closely with the fantastic social media team at Santander. It’s a great partnership that has delivered some excellent work, such as the launch of the Blaze Laserlight which featured Halloween-themed video content for Facebook and a custom emoji on Twitter for @SantanderCycles. That campaign resonated well with the audience and illustrated that you can have a bit of fun layered over the top of a more serious safety message.</p> <p>If you combine the delivery of our social media content with the brilliant work my colleagues are doing on the ground - such as the East/West Cycle Superhighway along the Thames - you can really start to see how cycling is a practical and enjoyable way to travel around London. The proof of success is in the record number of Santander Cycles hires in 2016 (and as I say this we’ve just recorded our highest-ever number of hires in a February).</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Community Management now seems to be a mix of both online reputation management and general social media outreach – how do you see the role evolving in future?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> A great community manager can’t stand still. We need to be executing every day to ensure our practical knowledge and skills stay relevant. Competition for consumer attention between the major platforms is intense right now, with updates being rolled out on an almost weekly basis, so we need to be aware of these changes as soon as they happen and switch our tactics appropriately.</p> <p>Understanding the ROI of your content is fundamental to success. This means interpreting what the platform analytics are telling you, how that data matches up with your objectives and adapting your output to generate even more success. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65523-what-is-online-reputation-management-and-should-you-use-it/">Online reputation management</a> is important but if you’re consistently providing your audience with value then they’ll be much more forgiving when things do go wrong. We’re doing a lot more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">work with influencers</a>, partners and involving the community to help us spread the message more widely. Not that any of that is particularly new - it’s just the way we can do this with new platform features keeps it really relevant and interesting for the community.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Finally, what’s the best thing about your job?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> I love being able to execute each day, it lets me be really at the forefront of what is happening across the major social media platforms. And there’s no amount of training or watching YouTube videos that can replace executing, understanding what worked and why, and then fine-tuning content to ensure it performs even better. </p> <p>The best bit is that I get to do that every day around a subject that has been a passion of mine for all of my life – cycling!</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68715-what-does-a-community-manager-do-and-what-skills-do-they-need/" target="_blank">What does a community manager do and what skills do they need?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68771-q-a-with-nescafe-s-community-manager-melody-meacher-jones/" target="_blank">Q&amp;A with Nescafé's Community Manager: Melody Meacher-Jones</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68720-six-successful-examples-of-online-brand-communities/" target="_blank">Six successful examples of online brand communities</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68814 2017-02-16T11:15:00+00:00 2017-02-16T11:15:00+00:00 How utilities brands use social media for reputation management Nikki Gilliland <p>Before we go any further, what exactly is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65523-what-is-online-reputation-management-and-should-you-use-it/" target="_blank">online reputation management</a>? Well, though it largely comes under the umbrella of social media monitoring, this practice can also involve dealing with online reviews, producing content and general <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66439-three-ways-community-management-drives-loyalty-for-charities/" target="_blank">community management</a>.</p> <p>In this article, I will specifically be focusing on how utility companies use social media channels for reputation management.</p> <h3>Basic principles</h3> <p>Online reputation management on social media refers to <em>how</em> brands respond to customer conversation.</p> <p>For example, if people are complaining or even praising a service, but the brand remains entirely unresponsive – this can have a detrimental effect on its overall reputation. </p> <p>Here are a few basic rules for effective management:</p> <ul> <li>Monitor mentions</li> <li>Respond quickly</li> <li>Be transparent</li> <li>Prepare for a crisis</li> <li>Address criticism</li> </ul> <p>Let’s look at a few examples of utility brands putting the above into practice.</p> <h3>Hawaiian Electric</h3> <p>Not many electricity suppliers have an Instagram account, let alone use it to effectively communicate with customers, but Hawaiian Electric is different.</p> <p>When a storm hit shores in 2014, it utilised the channel to let customers know about areas of power outage and repairs, as well as reinforce messages about safety. It has since continued to do this, expanding its strategy to incorporate general posts relating to the local community. </p> <p>By using a visual medium like Instagram, the brand is able to project a positive image and reassure customers in the process. </p> <p>After all, while it might be useful to hear that a company is repairing a broken electricity pole, seeing a photo of it in action is far more powerful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3927/Hawaiin_Electric.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="489"></p> <h3>SSE</h3> <p>Figures from Citizens Advice revealed that SSE received the lowest number of customer service complaints last year, making it the top energy company overall for customer satisfaction.</p> <p>A big contributing factor appears to be the way it handles queries and criticism on social media, with a fast response time and polite tone of voice across the board.</p> <p>This is particularly evident on the brand’s Facebook page, where it ‘typically replies within an hour’. And although complaints are still common, the brand’s approach appears to be effective for calming angry customers. </p> <p>With <a href="http://blogs.forrester.com/kate_leggett/15-03-03-consumer_expectations_for_customer_service_dont_match_what_companies_deliver" target="_blank">77% saying</a> that valuing the customer's time is the most important thing a company can do – a fast response is one of the most effective ways for brands to ensure that they can maintain and improve a positive reputation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3928/SSE_energy.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="469"></p> <h3>PSEG</h3> <p>PSEG – a gas and electric company based in New Jersey – shows that social media can be used for brand reputation management in alternative ways.</p> <p>In 2014, it started planning for an infrastructure upgrade to replace 250 miles of gas line - a project that would result in a lot of upheaval for local residents.</p> <p>Instead of an announcement on its website, PSEG chose to use micro-targeted Facebook ads in order to let people know what was going to happen and how it would affect them.</p> <p>When users clicked on an ad, they were taken to a specific page where they’d be able to select and view a work schedule and relating disruption.</p> <p>By utilising social media in this way, not only did PSEG demonstrate transparency, but it also pre-empted its customers' needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3929/PSEG.JPG" alt="" width="540" height="716"></p> <h3>Ovo</h3> <p>Brand Q&amp;A’s on Twitter are always risky. A few years ago, British Gas suffered a huge backlash from angry customers over price hikes, leaving the social media team with egg on its face and even more of a negative reputation than before.</p> <p>On the other hand, this type of activity can work well for smaller brands. <a href="https://www.ovoenergy.com/about-ovo" target="_blank">Ovo</a> is one brand that has utilised an ‘always on’ strategy to monitor brand mentions and successfully draw in new customers, often using Q&amp;As to highlight the shortcomings of competitors. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We came here to have breakfast and help our customers. And we've just finished our toast. <a href="https://t.co/Bcr3QYnRGP">pic.twitter.com/Bcr3QYnRGP</a></p> — OVO Energy (@OVOEnergy) <a href="https://twitter.com/OVOEnergy/status/828513583000592387">February 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Despite its overall approach to social media being far more appealing than most utility companies – using a conversational and personal tone – Ovo has not had an entirely positive couple of years.</p> <p>Having failed to compensate customers for missed or late appointments, the company recently agreed to pay £58,000 to charity instead of undertaking formal enforcement action.</p> <p>While the experience has undoubtedly tarnished its reputation, Ovo’s charitable donation and intent to improve customer service is part and parcel of online reputation management in action.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68789-how-smart-switching-energy-apps-are-tapping-into-customer-need/" target="_blank">How smart-switching energy apps are tapping into customer need</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65478-how-20-top-uk-retailers-handle-social-customer-service/"><em>How 20 top UK retailers handle social customer service</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68771 2017-02-06T11:33:00+00:00 2017-02-06T11:33:00+00:00 Q&A with Nescafé's Community Manager: Melody Meacher-Jones Nikki Gilliland <p>I caught up with Melody Meacher-Jones, who is a community manager for Nestle UK, to find out what her job entails and her tips and advice for others.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3629/Melody.jpg" alt="" width="512" height="512"></p> <h3>Econsultancy: Firstly, could you explain what you do?</h3> <p>Melody Meacher-Jones: A community manager’s role is to advocate brands on social networks. Essentially, we create a brand’s persona and seek out opportunities to engage with potential or existing consumers online. </p> <p>On a day-to-day basis, I’m responsible for the look and feel of my brand’s owned social channels (Nescafé and Nescafé Dolce Gusto), generating earned media, and ensuring our community online is being engaged with and to the highest standard.</p> <h3>E: How do you measure success?</h3> <p>MMJ: For me, it’s all about gaining a high engagement rate and generating earned impressions. Whether that’s jumping on a trending topic with a custom-made piece of content or having ‘a bit of banter’ with an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68566-what-are-the-most-effective-channels-for-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">influencer</a>; success lies in those earned metrics. </p> <p>However, as a community manager I’m also passionate about every person who’s a member of my brands’ communities. Success can also mean converting just one consumer to buy or become an advocate of your brand through a simple tweet.</p> <h3>E: What are the most challenging aspects of your role?</h3> <p>MMJ: Being the first brand to jump onto a trending topic. For me, reactive marketing is an integral part of my role and being a graphic designer too, I’m always searching for opportunities online for my brands to join in. Seeing and creating the content first however, can be challenging. </p> <p>Another challenge is that consumers are expecting higher levels of engagement from brands. Over 50% of people who contact a brand on social media expect a response within an hour and they no longer want a mundane 140-character response. </p> <p>Brands like Innocent Drinks have set a benchmark for community management and customer engagement online that the rest of the industry is having to follow and hopefully exceed. </p> <p>For me, this means every interaction with a consumer has to be flawless and original to win over my communities.</p> <h3>E: Do you see the role changing/evolving in the near future?</h3> <p>MMJ: Absolutely. Community management is still a relatively new role within any marketing team, and as digital is evolving so will community managers’ responsibilities. </p> <p>With the rapid rise of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67536-three-dark-social-channels-with-a-billion-active-users-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">dark social</a>, I’m interested to see how community managers will tackle this as our role relies on what people are saying being public. We can only wait to see how this situation develops. </p> <h3>E: Do you collaborate with wider teams within the company?</h3> <p>MMJ: In my role, I sit in digital marketing and work closely with brand teams and external agencies to ensure our earned strategy is aligned with theirs. </p> <h3>E: What social channels or platforms do you think are most effective for your role and how do you use them?</h3> <p>MMJ: Tough one. They all have pros and cons. It completely depends on where your community lives online. It might be a little ‘old school’ but from a community management perspective I find interacting with consumers on Twitter really effective. </p> <p>It’s completely public (most of the time) and hashtags enable you to gain a wider reach and tap into conversations you couldn’t do on Facebook or Pinterest.</p> <h3>E: What advice would you give to people interested in pursuing community management?</h3> <p>MMJ: 1. DO IT! (It’s really fun) </p> <p>2. If you’re looking to start a career in community management, I’d first search for brands who inspire you on social and see how they engage with their community.</p> <p>Then I’d start putting that into practice by starting a Tumblr blog or an Instagram account with content that you’ve created. From there, I’d just start responding to users when they comment on your posts and start familiarising yourself with social media terms and analytics.</p> <p>On that basis, you’ll have a great case study for when you start applying to roles.</p> <p><em>To find your next role in digital marketing, check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy Jobs Board</a>.</em></p>