Selling Social: How Companies Are Connecting with Social Media [Infographic]

When it comes to selling online, not all social media platforms are created equal.

Have you noticed more ads lately on the social media sites  you use? There’s a good reason for that. Companies are trying to dip into the massive pool of social media users; what platforms are they using – and how is that likely to change?

This infographic – Selling Social: How Companies are Connecting with Social Media – explains which platforms companies are using, which they feel are most important, the reasons why they are using social media and what the future holds

Source: Social Media Examiner, “2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report”

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Calling all innovators: Open Innovation Newcastle has $60,000 in grants for you in July

If you’re an entrepreneur/developer/designer/sales driver interested in being funded to develop innovative solutions to problems worth solving, then Open Innovation Newcastle is the event for you. With four $15,000 grants up for grabs you don’t want to miss this.

If you’re  interested in being funded to develop innovative solutions to problems worth solving then register your interest to come along to PwC’s Open Innovation Newcastle event on the weekend of the 27th/28th July 2013.

At the event you will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage with Newcastle’s largest businesses, mentors, startup advisors and other entrepreneurs.
  • Learn about Newcastle businesses and the innovation challenges they are looking to solve through open collaboration with the entrepreneurial community.
  • Develop prototype solutions and pitch direct to businesses and investors.

Through the Innovate NSW program, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and the Department of Trade and Investment are providing $15,000 funding for each of the four most promising solutions to develop minimum viable products.

Visit the website to find out more.

The Open Innovation Newcastle event is proudly supported by Hunter DiGiT.


4 digital marketing trends in 2013

Digital marketing is evolving at an incredible pace. There is a wide range of effective tools, technologies and platforms delivering exciting changes to the digital marketing world this year.

The infographic, The Top 4 Digital Marketing Trends for 2013, provides a comprehensive analysis of tools and technologies defining the digital marketing landscape this year. It traces the impact of the digital revolution on consumer behavior and highlights key trends that marketers need to focus on in 2013.

It provides insights on optimally utilizing various elements of a digital marketing strategy like mobile marketing, social media, content marketing and author rank, to offer greater reach, better relevancy and higher customer engagement. Thanks to the team at DCI for this excellent piece.

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Levels of contact

The blogosphere can be a wonderful source of information. We all regularly trawl it looking for great ideas, inspiration and help.

The thing is, it is really only a starting point.

Most good bloggers are happy to share information, but they’re probably going to draw a line at sharing the really good stuff. And fair enough too. Most bloggers are in business and need to keep the very best ideas for their clients.

You see, good online marketers understand that there are levels of contact; social media, blogs, databases and clients. Accordingly, there are levels of information they are willing to share at each point of contact; general information, detailed information and high level / high value information.

It sort of looks like this very detailed graph I drew on a napkin:


Which leads me to this….

My team and I at Sticky have just launched a new Marketing Tips Newsletter. It is full of really useful online marketing information, much higher level than what I blog about here or over at GetSticky. Its not spammy and its not hard sell. Its the next step up as a level of contact for people interested in seriously improving their marketing results.

So, I invite you to subscribe via the form in the sidebar ———->

If you like the newsletter, keep on reading and tell your friends. If you don’t, then just unsubscribe. No harm done.

See you on the other side.

Infographic: The Growth of Social Advertising

As social networks grow and mature it has become inevitable that revenue streams such as advertising have become a key aspect of their long-term viability.

It is now predicted that social media ad revenues will to grow to $11 billion dollars by the year 2017 and so social advertising has become a huge topic of interest amongst marketers.  In fact, Facebook alone is expected to make close to $1 billion from its mobile ad revenue in 2013, according to the latest estimates.

As Salesforce Marketing Cloud VP Peter Goodman notes, “Social ads reach the audience in which you’ve invested a lot of money and time into nurturing.  You can see which audiences are engaging the most, so you can ensure that your ads are being bought correctly and you’re actually growing your fan base based on true data.”

This new infographic from Salesforce looks at the current state of the social ads ecosystem, including why you should consider using social ads.

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The DiG Festival is coming and you’re invited

I’m very proud to announce the launch of the DiG Festival. Its an idea that has been several years in the planning but is now officially underway.

For over two years I have been proposing a festival for Newcastle along the lines of SXSW Interactive in Austin,Texas. We’ve had some really good discussions about it at The Lunaticks Society events and Newcastle Coffee Mornings, as well as a “toe-in-the-water” event last year with Hunter DiGiT.

Now The DiG Festival (Design + Interactive + Green-tech) is becoming a reality and you’re invited to be an important part of it.

DiG will be held in Newcastle in the historic City Hall from 2-5 October 2013.

DiG will feature a series of Keynote Presentations, Panels, Performances and Workshops lead by international, national and local industry leaders. There will be a strong emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and ethical business.

DiG has also partnered with local tech accelerator Slingshot to conduct a Start-up Awards program during the event, with one company to receive up to $50,000 investment plus mentoring and professional advice by industry leaders.

We have already attracted several major speakers to anchor the event and ensure that it is seen as a truly national or international event and have many more on the way. Our aim is to create a vibrant social activity and fun with a Welcome Function, Awards Evening and Cocktail Evening as well as sponsor events that extend well beyond the conference venue.

How can you get involved?

A major event like DiG is only as good as the people and organisations involved. We’re looking for:

  • Attendees looking for inspiration ideas and great time
  • Start-ups to demo their ideas and compete for $50,000 in seed funding

The DiG Festival is designed to help the whole industry, not just in Newcastle, but around Australasia. Its success will require a major team effort. You’re invited to be part of that team. Get involved and lets create an amazing event.

Who’s behind the DiG Festival?

DiG will be run by Steph Hinds from Growthwise, Tracy McKelligott from Eclipse Media and Events and me and my team at Sticky. The event has the support of Newcastle City Council, Hunter DiGiT and Slingshot.


[Infographic] How the web and social media influence a purchasing decisions

What are the top 10 factors that influence a purchasing decision?

What are the most important store features?

How does the web impact shopping?

How does social media impact shopping?

The answers are all in this excellent infographic from BigCommerce.

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[Infographic] Why brands should be engaging with social influencers

Social influencers are possibly digital marketing’s most underutilised resource.

Let’s face it, we’ve always been influenced by people we admire or know. But online influence takes it to a whole other level. Buyers are listening to what their key online influencers are saying and sellers need to start paying attention.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. When Tim Ferriss talks about a new product, book or brand I usually check it out and often buy it. Same for Chris Brogan, Chris Guillebeau or Gary Vaynerchuk. These guys know their stuff and I (and many others) tend to trust their opinions.

Technorati’s 2013 Digital Marketing Report revealed that brands spend the least on the outlets consumers trust the most: the word of mouth of their friends and those they follow.

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association defines a social media influencer as a person or group of people who possess greater than average potential to influence due to attributes such as frequency of communication, personal persuasiveness or size of and centrality to a social network, among others.

Yet fewer than half of social media influencers follow brands on Facebook (47%) or Twitter (38%) while well over half of the social media marketing budget goes toward those outlets. Why? Because they are being ignored by brands who would be better off engaging with them.

Here’s the bottom line:

- 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions.
- 81% of consumers are influenced by their friends’ posts on social media when making purchasing decisions.
- Facebook and Twitter are the top platforms used by bloggers and the top platforms for generating blog revenue.
- Facebook is the number one platform for mobilizing consumers to be brand advocates.

Marketers must start to invest in influencing the feeds of key influencers and bloggers.

Who do consumers trust when it comes to their purchasing decisions? This great infographic from MBA in Marketing explains all.

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You are now the product whether you LIKE it or not

Expect a growing wave of complaints and resentment on social networks over the next few years as the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn increase their efforts to generate revenue through advertising.

You see, since the launch of these hugely popular social networks many of were under the misguided impression that we were the customer. We enjoyed using these amazing free services, connecting with family, friends, colleagues and new people around the world. Its been wonderful and it has revolutionised the way we communicate.

And its free!!! How good is that?

Hold on, didn’t your parents always tell you “nothing in life is free”?

Well, they were right. You pay one way or another for most “free” services. Payment doesn’t always have to be financial. Sometimes we pay in time or attention. That’s how traditional “free” media like TV and radio works. It interrupts our attention and asks for 30 seconds of our time in return for free entertainment.

And so it will be with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. These are big expensive beasts to run. Free memberships don’t pay for staff, servers, large buildings, Segways and funky cafeterias.

Up until recently Venture Capital was funding the growth of these services and the focus was on attracting users who in turn shared their life, loves and information. Eventually these networks had to start delivering a return to the VCs and shareholders and inevitably advertising would be the solution.

The good news is that the services are still free…. BUT you are now the product. All that information you have shared, all those like buttons you have clicked, all those groups you have joined have helped the networks understand more about you so they can attempt to deliver more valuable solutions to their real customers; the advertisers.

Ask most people what they think Facebook is for and they’ll say ‘it’s there to help me make friends’. Guess what? Facebook’s boardroom isn’t talking about how to make you more friends. It’s talking about how to monetise your social graph.” Increasingly that will be via a range of “targeted” products like Graph Search, Suggested Apps, Sponsored Posts and Sidebar Ads.

Facebook has been doing advertising for a while but its only recently that users have really started to complain about it. That’s because initially the ads were focused on the sidebar and we’d grown accustomed to that style of advertising on other sites and Google search results.

But the shift to mobile forced Facebook, and others, to rethink how they serve up advertising. There’s now room for sidebar ads on the mobile site so now the ads are steadily being seeded into your stream or newsfeed. And that’s not kosher according to some users.

Now Twitter is evolving from it’s Promoted Posts product to  unveil its newest ad product, which enables “keyword targeting in timelines” allowing brands to serve up ads to users based on the content they’re actually tweeting. (Read more about it here)

The bottom line is you need to get used to it or unsubscribe. These networks need to make money in order to continue providing you with a “free” service. They will push the limits of your loyalty to their service over time, but as long as they aren’t losing more users than they’re gaining they won’t desist.

Whether you like it or not…you are now the product.

How to rock social media in just 30 minutes a day

Social media has become an invaluable marketing and communications asset for many organisations over the last few years but it also represents yet another task for marketers and business owners to cram into their already busy schedule. And there are now quite a few social networks that can’t be ignored, so it can been seen as quite a burden.

The most common question I receive when recommending a social media plan to clients is “but how much time must I dedicate to it?” The good news is that, with a bit of planning, organisation and automation, you don’t need to become a slave to social networks. In fact, you can manage 6 popular social networks in just half an hour a day.

The team at Pardot have assembled this great guide to demonstrate how you can rock social media in just 30 minutes a day. It covers, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram and also has some excellent automation tips.

Follow this plan, fine-tune it for your business and social networks and then be consistent and you will have gone a long way to really optimising the benefits of social media.

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