How basic human responses can build you a strong brand

It is important to remember, email is a form of communication and communication is a two way street; where meaningfulness and relevancy are the parameters to success.

People are familiar with cheesy terms some marketers use to “capture” attention and increase open rates. It is quite surprising to see some marketers get excited by open rate alone and disregard actions such as report the sender as spam, delete the email straight after opening it, unsubscribe and even complain about on social media by annoyed targeted email recipients.

Of course classic email marketing mistakes are still around, excessive use of bold letters, tacky colours, spelling mistakes, broken links, capital letters and exclamation mark. We see all these happening since email has become an official mode of communication and marketing; maybe it is quite harsh to expect seeing them all disappear overnight. But this is not the point of this article, the point of this article is to know your customers and prospects very well; buying database and pray and spray may not be the most efficient and sufficient way of running sustainable marketing campaigns. Such activities may even harm the brand image and its market position in long run; like the old school SEO activities; which all faced sanctions and penalties by Google.

In-depth understanding of consumer behaviour and psychology is the prerequisite to planning for an effective email marketing campaign and strategic execution of plans. People are busy these days and receive tens of emails everyday; they tend to prioritise and open emails from those they know and trust. So, it is not enough to have good content, it is crucial to build trust with people, your audience; and that can begin with your email subject line or simple but meaningful social media updates. Although email and social media are not games but the name of the game is optimisation. All aspects of business communication activities, including PR and SEO, go hand in hand; in particular email and social media. Thus, there is great power in optimising subject lines; this is the first impression that your email communication will make.

People tend to read email subject lines and judge the content; therefore creativity and relevancy of the subject line content is another important task in creating an email marketing campaign that drives result and ROI. So, the shorter and more meaningful the subject line the more chances for emails to be read; exactly like what editors at newspapers do when creating headlines for their stories and news.

Although traditionally everyone believes content is king but, it is important to realise purposeful and meaningful conversations upon communicating content can and will add value and give authority to the king. Therefore, creating context to tell your story through your content is crucial; this is the only sustainable way that you see your content, either in form of email or social media updates, go viral. Simply because your audience see value in consuming your content; this not only multiplies the chances of shareability of your content but also earns you trust and market credibility.

It is always great to keep up with your industry benchmarks about email marketing, open rates, response rates; but also important to do your own analysis on your own email marketing campaigns. This will help you to fully understand your audience psychology, behaviour, attitude and personality; factors that help you understand why and how they interact with your stories. Needless to say how important it is to have clean databases for email marketing; this will not only help you target effectively but also help you to increase your open rate, CTR; which will lead to favourable responses and actions.

The future of sourcing is engagement, technology made it really simple to engage with your audience at all times; taking advantage of this golden opportunity will lead you to building a strong and sustainable brand. This can start from the moment your email hits your recipients’ Inbox folder or you receive a question on Twitter; your priority must be your customers not your time.

How Twitter UK is handling crisis

The world we are living in is real, so is social media. Because conversations and people are real. No matter how we communicate our messages; they all happen in real time and by real people. It is wise to take people seriously, regardless of their background and gender.

Brands and organisations can no longer afford ignoring the conversations that are taking place online, in particular those threating people’s lives and dignity; no matter where they’re made and by whom. This is the hot water Twitter in the UK found itself in; and burning at the moment. This is certainly the last thing that the medium need before its IPO. I personally like Twitter and I am really sad to see my favourite platform is struggling to regain trust. Twitter could have saved itself time and effort if they didn’t ignore their users main safety concern in the first place.

Twitter is beyond another social media platform, it is an information and collaboration platform trusted by many news agencies, professionals and businesses throughout the world. The platform is being used by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world just to be heard; which without Twitter it could be impossible.

Millions of people have called to boycott Twitter because they believe that Twitter doesn’t care about their dignity and the only thing the platform owners care about is to promote the business of Twitter.

Twitter made a revolution in modern communications and many, including traditional PR professionals adopted the medium to disseminate information and form meaningful conversations and relationship with people.

Despite such creativity and innovation, Twitter chose to go down the route of traditional PR. Unfortunately Twitter realised how frustrated people are quite late; despite the obvious fact that they are sitting on all information shared on their platform.

How people feel

There is a mix feeling out there about Twitter today; despite the public presence of Tony Wang, the General Manager at Twitter UK, and his decision to become the face of the company: perhaps to show some sense of responsibility and ownership of the situation. Tony Wang is hoping that he would be able to defuse the situation:

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Tony’s been tweeting from his own own personal Twitter account to direct everyone to Twitter blogposts; which is great but it can question the personality he’s trying to show the public. I really wish he didn’t tweet this:

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It is still good to see him tweeting and interacting with people; although it may put him on spot at some point:

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This may indicate that Twitter neglected their responsibilities up until this point in time. It is important to remember social media is a reality that one has to get it right first time. It is always better to revise intentions in the first place; as in far too many cases apologies can be seen as cover up. Simply because people are savvier than ever in our digital age; and more importantly because their feelings and emotions are involved.

This situation once again reminded us all about the importance of education and considering sociological and psychological factors upon making any decisions or statements that will have either direct or indirect impact on people. It is all about communication. Since ommunication is sophisticated, we need to spend time listening to each other in order to understand the concerns. Listening would simplify the process of identifying issues and spead up the tackling and issue management.

Finally

I wouldn’t encourage anyone to boycott Twitter; simply because it is a communication platform and great for genuine and decent debates with the right global panel on board. Boycotting Twitter means boycotting meaningful conversations; and that is going to be against our liberty. We need to find a solution, not causing more problems.

The great news is that Twitter has committed to regain the public trust while taking appropriate measures to build a better and safer future for its users.

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Socialbakers launch Vkontakte monitoring

#Facebook, Hashtag Facebook, #FB, social media, socialbakers, social bakersBusiness has always been and always will be about change. Change usually leads to success, if it is planned strategically and managed systematically. Change is dynamic in nature and requires flexibility and competent leadership. Successful businesses master change either in form of new products and services or improving the existing ones. One of the latest changes in the world of social business is introduction of hashtag by Facebook.

socialbakers, social media, facebook, Vkontakte, #facebook, #fb, Facebook hashtagFacebook has global presence but struggling to win one of the most lucrative markets, Russia. Facebook managed to penetrate in many markets including the Eastern Europe where local social networks gradually lost traffic and members to Facebook; apart from Russia’s VKontakte.

Jan Rezab, CEO of Socialbakers, believe “Facebook will never win in Russia”, because of VKontakte; simply because VKontakte “innovates faster”.

Socialbakers is known for its band monitoring and analytics services covering most popular social media channels as well as brands using those channels for their marketing communications purposes; but they never monitored VKontakte! Actually, they were secretly developing plans just to do that; monitor VKontakte.

socialbakers, social media, facebook, Vkontakte, #facebook, #fb, Facebook hashtagThree weeks today, possibly by 5th July 2013, Socialbakers will have social media data and analytics on VKontakte. This may not be a big thing for many brands operating outside the Eastern Europe but certainly a big thing for brands operating in that market as well as brands with presence in that region.

Social Care in plain English

Up until just three years ago, many major national and international brands believed Social Media is fad. Although they have been sceptical towards the new communication channels, they adopted the medium to monitor what’s being said about their brand. As more people are now talking about brands on Social Media and even and even take their customer service queries to the medium, brands are sure that Social Media is going to have life longer than email and even TV.

Latest studies show 26% of Brits complain about businesses by using Social Media and over 83% of those who complain, are unhappy with the response they receive. Brands have been taking every opportunity to market their products to people via Social Media but, customer care has been downplayed. Customer service is increasingly becoming important to both customers and businesses on channels like Twitter.

Social Media Twitter Customer Service Marketing Facebook LinkedIn Content Management Customer Care Social Networks social customer care How effective brands respond to customer queries on Twitter is the major contributing factor to their overall reliability and reputation. Businesses are striving these days to position as a social business; and customers of social businesses are social customers. Many companies tend to respond to customer queries based on Klout and or PeerIndex scores; something widely referred as ‘influence’ by those behind the algorithms. However, whether this will work in favour of brands’ reputation and customer satisfaction remains as an unanswered question.

Social customer care should be interpreted and assessed based on how customers and prospects are treated by brands; and how quickly and accurately their queries are dealt with by businesses on channels like Twitter. In social customer care, priority must be based on type of query not one’s “influential” score. So, brands have the responsibility of making the complicated simple for their customers.

Image from:getsatisfaction.com