BHIVE blog

A few weeks ago, TechCrunch reported on comScore’s latest findings in Social App usage among Millennials. The big news was the sustained rise of Snapchat, which registered #3 in popularity behind Facebook and Instagram. “That means the app is more popular than Twitter,” writes Sarah Perez, “Pinterest, Vine, Google or Tumblr among the millennial demographic, which comScore defines as those between the ages of 18 and 34.”

More verification for a trend many have noted: Messaging apps are trending much faster among young people than broader social platforms. There are all kinds of theories why, but the hypotheses about Snapchat—first it was sexting, then it was selfies-obsession, then it was privacy from parental gaze—probably says more about the would-be theorists than the users themselves.

We all tend to view trends through the lens of our own uses and gratifications of technologies. We grope for answers to “Why Snapchat?” because the idea of taking a picture of yourself, typing or scrawling a message across it and then sending for a supposedly ephemeral viewing does not strike us as either useful or much fun. It is interesting how often our conclusions as to “why” have a dark or negative angle when there might be a much more innocent, perhaps even hopeful, reason that Snapchat and its competitors fit better. Unless you are Twitter.

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It looks like the perfect A/B test of real-time marketing. One tweet, one Facebook post for all the marbles.

Snickers, like many a brand yesterday, joined the bite-jacking fray after Uruguay’s Luis Suarez appeared to sink his teeth into an Italian defender during a FIFA World Cup soccer match. Snickers posted similar messages on both Twitter and Facebook.

And what happened? The tweet — “Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers. #worldcup #luissuarez #EatASNICKERS” — got 39,000 retweets and 17,000 favorites. The Facebook post — “Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers. #WorldCup” — fell flat, with fewer than 5,000 likes, shares and comments.

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The online ad fraud issue is far worse than you think. It involves organized crime, Russian millionaires, ex-bank robbers and one-sixth of the computers in the U.S. Oh, and forget those estimates of a few million at stake. Rather $6 billion is being stolen from advertisers—$6 billion.

Those are just some of the explosive charges being leveled by White Ops, a Web security firm born of experts from the bank fraud and Internet securities industry—i.e., the best of the best hacker fighters in the country.

The company, founded originally to fight malware and bank fraud, claims that billions are being stolen from advertisers and agencies in the U.S. The company says it has identified sites where 20 percent to 90 percent of ads and clicks are fraudulent—i.e., the result of bots, not humans. And they’ve naturally got a new tool to attack this problem.

 

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As excitement—frenzy in many places—starts to whip up as the soccer-loving world converges in Brazil in mid-June for the next World Cup tournament, brands are salivating as always at the branding and marketing opportunity that such a mega-sporting event affords.

Many brands like Nike and Coca-Cola have been perennial supporters of arguably the global sporting world’s most popular event, but with every succeeding tournament, more and more brands are taking advantage of the platform. But, like with the Super Bowl, many brands are defaulting to an over-reliance on the glittery platform of big-budget multi-million dollar in-game network television commercials. It is somewhat befuddling that many advertisers enamored with the broad reach and the presumed consumer engagement that big iconic global sporting extravaganzas offer are still approaching their media plans in 2014 with a 2004 mindset.

While running high-production value spots during the big games will definitely get your brand on the stage, complementing it with a sizable, highly strategic and hyper-targeted digital ad plan that launches months in advance of the big event will actually deliver the level of impact and ROI that brands should expect, even demand from these opportunities. So, those of you mired in the old thinking with little or perfunctory regard for this method are in for a rude awakening when your television-heavy media plans don’t fulfill the pre-ordained brand KPIs.

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The future of marketing is visual.

At least that's what about 3,000 marketers told online social media magazine Social Media Examiner in this year's Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

According to the report, marketers value social media marketing--especially visual marketing--more highly than ever before.

With 92% of marketers indicating that social media is an increasingly essential tool, there is also a growing trend towards using (or planning to use) visual content on more traditional platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, there has been an uptake in marketers using visually based platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

Marketers are now looking to create original visuals and videos to engage audiences, and there’s no question that marketers need to think about shifting their content strategy that way.

If you don't want to take my word for it, here are six findings from the report to back this assertion up:

1. Interest in visual marketing rises with experience

One of the data points that quite surprised me was that marketers with longer experience in the industry rate the importance of visual networks, such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, higher than their less experienced colleagues.

According to the report, marketers with less than 12 months’ experience with social media marketing select Facebook as their No. 1 choice of the platforms they use, followed by Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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One of the central concepts of marketing and sales is the funnel — through which companies are supposed to systematically move prospects from awareness through consideration to purchase.

But consumers are now more informed, connected, and empowered than ever. Does the funnel still work in a digital, social, mobile age?

We asked some of the leading marketers in the world — from companies like Google, Intuit, Sephora, SAP, Twitter, and Visa — to assess the relevance of the marketing funnel. What we found says as much about the future of business as it does about the future of marketing.

According to these marketers, the primary problem with the funnel is that the buying process is no longer linear. Prospects don’t just enter at the top of the funnel; instead, they come in at any stage. Furthermore, they often jump stages, stay in a stage indefinitely, or move back and forth between them.

For example, consider items that come recommended on an e-commerce site. With a click you can add them to your cart, moving straight from awareness through consideration to purchase in only a few seconds. The same holds true on items discovered in a Tweet, Facebook post, or Pinterest board.

In both B2B and B2C businesses, customers are doing their own research both online and with their colleagues and friends. Prospects are walking themselves through the funnel, then walking in the door ready to buy.

 

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Your website is what gives your potential customers their first impression of your business. Unfortunately, many business owners are making costly mistakes that could affect their sales and their reputations. Many entrepreneurs decide to create their own websites in order to save money, but before you go this route you should keep in mind that making web design mistakes can cost you.

Here are the top oversights made on countless small-business websites and how you can avoid them:

1. No Call to Action - Without telling your customers what to do, they simply won't do it. In fact, a staggering 93 per cent of small business' sites don't display their email addresses while 49 percent don't share their phone numbers on their homepages. Want them to buy a product? Tell them to! Want them to contact you? Make your contact information the first thing they see when they land on your site.

2. Poor Design - If your website is poorly designed, what do you think your customers will think of your service or product? The design of your site is the first thing consumers see. Make them feel confident by giving them an organized, attract first impression.

3. Time-Consuming Updates - When you run your own website you're wasting countless of billable hours on updates, just as 64 percent of business owners do!

4. No Metrics - A whopping 75 percent of small-business sites don't use analytics to measure their website performance. Another 60 percent don't think they have the tools needed to make sense of their site's analytics or take action when an issue arises. Professional website designers know what to look for in order to ensure your site is not only attracting the right audience but is maintaining their interest.

5. Poor SEO - If you're not helping customers find your website, you might as well not have a website. With 26 per cent of small business sites not found in search results because of poor SEO, it's important to ensure you're not one of them! When you know the best keywords for your business to be found and incorporate them into your site's titles, meta information, and on-page content, you are on the right track to standing out amongst the competition.

6. No Social Media Links - You want your customers to share your brand with their friends. To help make this happen it's important to include social media widgets for Facebook and Twitter for easy sharing.

7. No Mobile Optimization - Since most people check out websites on their mobile devices it's important to ensure your website is optimized for their phones and tablets. Unfortunately, 60 percent of small- business websites aren't mobile optimized.

8. No Designation IT Person - Have you ever clicked on a website only to be brought to a completely different page? That site was likely hacked and is now facing costly and time-consuming headaches that could have been resolved if there were a designated IT person to prevent such a security breach from happening in the first place. With a single cyber attack costing, on average, $8,669.48 and 44 per cent of small-business websites having endured a cyber attack, it's important to put an IT person in place as soon as possible.

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As more companies adopt social media into their marketing portfolios, the need for dedicated social media employees is rising along. It’s no longer practical (or recommended) to outsource your social media brand building to an unpaid intern or a marketing rep with a bunch of other responsibilities.

As evidenced by a quick scan of any social media job board these days, the job title “community manager” is in high demand. And any job this hot usually attracts a lot of interest from people looking for a job in that field — along with those looking to hire them.

Has the increased exposure and demand for quality community managers increased the rate of pay that this position commands? Are there any industry benchmarks to gauge if you’re paying your current community manager enough to stay with your organization? How much can you expect to pay a community manager these days to make sure you’re attracting the most qualified candidates?

We polled social media industry blogs and spoke to several industry professionals to help answer these questions. Their responses and the data we found will give you an accurate salary range you can expect to pay, either to keep your current community manager or to entice qualified talent to this important role within your company. Read more...

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Rush Memberships 2014

Touched by one of our bees?


Welcome to our very own news network which provides local and regional audiences with up-to-date news as well as enable us to interact locally on a one-to-one basis.  Find out more about our extended community we call our network here.

Why you should build your community, here is a (short 10 min) Peter Clayton podcast interview of Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust -- listen here.

Positive Brand Tweets

Positive Brand Tweets are four times more effective than non-tweet ads!
Research by
Deloitte suggests that a positive-message tweet can be four times more effective at getting a consumer to engage with a brand (hence, driving sales) than a non-Twitter advertisement.  More details can be found in this 8-minute video below entitled ROI Research from Twitter, it's worth a watch as you considering using Twitter for your brand.

ROI research from Twitter

Facebook vs. Twitter

 


While we still offer custom audience, moderation, and content services for Facebook, we find that clients get more bang for their buck with Twitter and Linkedin, up to 9 times more leads!  Forrester Research on the other hand confirmed that Twitter followers are more likely than Facebook fans to buy from brands they follow.  Twitter 37% Facebook 21% and also more likely to recommend brands to friends (33% vs. 21%)  Studies and statistics speak volumes.  Read more here.

BHIVE VID

Do Not Purchase Fake Followers


We build organic communities. We do not purchase any followers. Be wary of websites promising you 10K followers for $99. You are better off taking a couple of clients/friends out for dinner for the $99, because we can assure you that you’ll have a better audience. Purchasing followers, while possibly buffering your “follower numbers”, also means no one is listening. Just take your friends out or save your money.  Click here so you can check your favourite twitter accounts for fake followers or read our blog on the subject here.

What Social Media Enables

What is the most important thing you would like to use Social Media for?