Opportunities for Digital Marketers: How to use Social Media

In this digital age, it has become essential for brands to keep up with their consumers through the use of technology like Social Media. But how do you use it effectively, to engage, rather than to bore? The trick is to be interactive with your user base and build real relationships. That’s the direct route toward brand advocacy, brand loyalty and repeat purchase.

Social media is a great way of gaining feedback on your products and services and seeing what ideas are popular and trending, think of it like a huge focus group. Brands can use the feedback they receive – good or bad – to help them make improvements. And although hard to measure this “big data” that social media produces, it does give brands useful insight into the behaviour of its customers, which is very helpful when creating digital content.

The most successful brands on social media are those who can form lasting relationships with their consumer, and treat each individual as an individual – it is very easy to read like your social media account is actually an automated robot! Engagement with your followers encourages the formation of relationships, which leads to brand loyalty and brand advocacy. Loyal consumers will likely do lots of leg work for you, including sharing your content which raises your brand’s awareness on a very large scale in a minimal amount of time. Of course your content still needs to have some substance and be relevant and of use to your followers!

Successful use of social media allows you to fix your reputation in the event of a mishap. Tackling the issue head on, without trying to shy away from it or argue with the consumer will again bolster relationship, gaining the respect and trust of the consumer, as they will judge you more upon how you deal with the problem, rather than the problem itself! Interacting with the customer when they have an issue shows you that the brand cares.

Another very useful advantage and opportunity of using Social Media is that your followers are following you for a reason! They are your loyal customers and your target market, which makes your social media account an essential tool for aiming marketing promotions at the right audience. They know if they post or share content their audience will be interested and will view and engage with the content.

Twitter through its use of hastags allows content to trend, go viral and reach an unimaginably-big audience with ease. Starting up a successful hashtag and getting it shared and retweeted is an incomparable way of getting media viral.

I found the following article useful whilst researching this topic: https://econsultancy.com/blog/8995-social-media-engagement-is-the-top-priority-for-digital-marketers/

This article discusses the link between good original digital content, brand satisfaction and brand engagement.

I also found this article interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2014/dec/02/tips-marketers-social-media-increase-engagement

It discusses the tendencies of some brands to merely continue broadcasting traditional-type media through their social media accounts which involves no interaction. It also tell us to focus on our audience not our platform ultimately, if you can form relationships the medium should not matter.

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Ethical concerns of new Digital Comms Trends

Big data is the term used to describe the huge volumes of data generated by traditional business activities and from new sources such as social media.

Companies use sophisticated software to analyse this data looking for hidden patterns, trends or other insights that they can use to better tailor their products and services to customers, anticipate demand or improve performance.

Accessing Big Data means more information but at what cost to our privacy?

Big data requires transparency in order to be properly gathered and utilised,  Of course, this leads to data being a business, with people such as data brokers, collecting massive amounts of data about us, often without our knowledge  and shared in ways that we don’t want. For big data to work ethically, the data owners need to have a transparent view of how our data is being used – or sold.

Our ability to to reveal patterns and new knowledge from Big Data is moving faster than our current legal and ethical guidelines can manage. If we fail to uphold the values we care about in our new digital society, then our big data capabilities risk abandoning these values for the sake of innovation.

There is a lot of ambiguity regarding Digital Surveillance, I think it is probably because the authorities have not done enough to explain to parliament and the public how they go about balancing our rights to security and to privacy.

We should not stop debating the underlying issues as technology continues to advance: about how governments go about balancing rights and responsibilities as they try both to keep us safe and to maintain a free and open society in which privacy is respected. We need therefore to be clearer about the digital ethical principles.

The law on digital communications needs to be clear and quick to adapt to change in order to keep legislation current, effective and just.

Secret intelligence should be a last resort method, there should be suspicion beyond doubt of wrongdoing in order to record data.

There is obviously a very delicate balance between allowing the security firms to protect us whilst upholding our own civil liberties in a democratic state. For the future we should ensure that they have the tools to keep up with the newest technologies. If we do not, then the only winners will be the enemies of a free and open society.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/oreillymedia/2014/03/28/whats-up-with-big-data-ethic

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/11/make-surveillance-ethical-and-effective

http://www.channel4.com/news/social-media-surveillance-needs-ethical-principles

The Internet of Things: Digital Convergence

In a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Internet of Things was the number one trend that senior marketers worldwide believe will have the biggest impact on marketing by 2020.

Digital convergence offers limitless possibilities amongst an infinite range of products and will change the way in which households are marketed to. In fact by using digital convergence, businesses could target each household differently, for instance tailoring the selection of adverts that they deliver, perhaps in a manner that resembles cookie-tracked advertising on the web. Obviously advertising on this kind of level is not possible with traditional television advertising, but converging television and the internet could make it possible.

I think the underlying dominant trend is towards personalisation of marketing; sending tailored  messages to individual customers which they can relate to and interact with on a personal level, rather than conventional advertising, which seems to almost just hope for the best when “blankly targeting” a large user base.

Once digitally activated, any product becomes a platform for content, experiences and digital relationships with consumers. Physical products that come with a digital layer of personalised interactive services can talk directly to consumers and back to the brand, sending useful information back to the business, allowing for personalisation and self-improvement of the product. Products may even be able to self-diagnose themselves if they are presented with a fault and you could receive assistance in real-time.

Converging multiple products together allows for the creation of eco-systems, such as in the home, creating new value for consumers and businesses alike.  This also offers potential for selling multiple products in groups to consumers and the more ecosystem connections your product holds, the more value it can create. For example, think if all your household items link up, and your fridge could detect what cooking equipment you have in your kitchen and suggest a recipe upon the basis of those findings!

However, processing all of this household data (which is expected to grown and multiply) in real-time from billions of devices, with end user-tailored controls and security measures poses a potential “big data” problem. And any computer down time on the businesses end could result in problems, such as security breaches. Just think, if your household doors and windows were controlled by an eco-system app, which happened to be compromised.

Indeed, a lack of trust in the Internet of Things is the biggest barrier preventing widespread consumer adoption.

I found the following articles of use whilst researching this topic;

https://econsultancy.com/blog/66544-what-are-the-opportunities-for-digital-marketing-and-the-internet-of-things/

This article detailed some very creative uses of the IOT (Internet of Things), and detailed how they could be used to tailor and improve the customer service for each end user. It also touches upon the data that can be recorded from gadgets such as wearable technology, about its users, to then be used in the marketing process.

http://www.knowthis.com/advertising/advertising-trends-digital-convergence

This article discusses the difficulty in distinguishing between different brands with the rise of convergence, meaning that different products are now not just to be used exclusively on their own and can integrate with others.

Indeed many media outlets can now take advantage of features and benefits offered through other media outlets.

Apple Watch: Digital Marketing at an arm’s length away

Apple’s latest breakthrough in consumer innovation is their “Apple watch”, which offers marketers the opportunity to get closer than ever to the consumer. Linking directly and wirelessly to the consumer’s iPhone, the watch offers the consumer a highly accessible piece of technology at just a glance away and this is important considering on average consumers look at their phones 200 times a day and most of these moments consist of no more than a quick glance.

Users want to be able to act upon the information they receive through the watch simply and immediately, and actionable, button-enabled notifications will allow the consumer to respond to messages and execute actions within apps with only a couple of button taps on their Apple Watch. These button taps provide businesses, with new ways to learn about consumer behaviours and may offer integration with other apps and provide linkup in actual physical locations.

Of course, the consumer will not want to be pestered all day long with constant notifications, so individually each customer will be able to control from which apps they allow push notifications. Ultimately, the goal is to allow each individual consumer to receive highly relevant notifications which have significance to their lives therefore providing great benefit for the user.

Mobile technology is moving towards a trend of “front door” interaction, whereby notifications are being pushed towards the user, rather than them having to scour through each individual apps, meaning that not only is information received through apps available all in one central place, but it is often now possible to avoid even opening the app to interact with the notification. Obviously with the number of notifications that an average smart phone user receives it is important for these notifications to provide rich and useful data (that the user will engage with and not ignore) and that’s where a device such as the Apple Watch comes into play as you can really remove all the unwanted waste in place of the notifications that are actually important to you as an individual, which makes interacting with notifications less like looking for a needle in a haystack and much more personal.

This new “front door” method of receiving notifications presents a large commercial opportunity for marketers, as easily-accessible notifications will drive both engagement and revenue for the next generation of mobile companies.

I found the following articles interesting on the subject of the Watch; http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-features/how-digital-marketers-can-take-advantage-of-the-apple-smartwatch/1702

Simplifying the process of allowing brands to get closer to their desired audience, by sending them tailored, relevant and increasingly easily-accessible notifications directly to their person.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/21/notifications-are-the-next-platform/

I found this article useful for its description of the competition between apps for the users’ attention. It places emphasis on notifications themselves becoming the starting point for all interactions on the phone rather than the user opening each individual app in search of information, as in the “pull” model.

– Thomas Fallon

Welcome to my blog!

Hello,

My blog is a place where I present projects that I have been involved in and music, digital and social media research that I’ve found and think is interesting.

I am a third year Marketing student with a keen interest in the Marketing industry. I hope to post thought-provoking material on topics that impact the Marketing and Music landscape on a day to day basis such as new trends and opportunities.

– Tom