Over the past year, we’ve talked with a lot of brilliant social thinkers – from our customers to industry experts to community managers across the world. We’re consistently impressed and enriched by their expertise. So today, we took a look back and brought together 10 brilliant insights that social thinkers shared with us via our blog, webinars and whitepapers this year.
Soak it all in, and go make 2014 your best year yet.
Jay Baer, author and blogger, on marketing that helps, not sells
“You can create Youtility, which is marketing so useful that people would pay for it. It’s marketing with so much inherent and intrinsic value that if you say ‘Hey, would you kick in a couple dollars for this?’, people would say ‘Yeah, I actually would.’ It’s marketing as a service, marketing as a product unto itself. But in order to make that happen it has to be marketing that comes from a place of usefulness – a place of helping, not selling.”
Max Crowley, Senior Community Manager for Uber, on Kitten Day:
In 2013, transportation start-up Uber partnered with popular site Cheezburger to bring on-demand kittens to three cities for National Kitten Day:
“Demand was off the charts. We would have needed 217 times the cats to fill demand. The uniqueness of this campaign was two-fold – the involvement of a brand that has offline integration (the case of Uber) and then combining forces with a website that sees crazy virality, literally bringing a website to real life and giving followers the ability to interact in the real world with a digital brand. The virality, the buzz, the press, was a great success for both brands.”
Read more from Max on Kitten Day and local-social campaigns.
Tiffany Mullins, Social Media Manager for Sandals Resorts, on the art of images
“Everything that we post has the same goal. We want you to feel something when you look at our photos. It’s about evoking emotion. It’s about a story. Instead of telling you about our product x, y or z, I’d rather tell a story so you can get to know us better.”
Hear more from Tiffany on Sandal’s image strategy.
Jason Miller, Social Content Manager for Beam Global, on the possible pitfalls of real-time marketing:
“I think the trend for brands is to go way overboard in terms of real-time marketing and trying to associate their brand with every big thing happening. So, be wary of trying to overextend yourself and force your brand into situations where it doesn’t belong… Community managers need to watch out for trying to push too hard. Be relevant. If you say fewer quality things in more relevant spaces, that will do so much more for you than trying to force-fit your brand into every pop culture event, every SuperBowl blackout that there is.”
Aaron Everson, President & Chief Strategy Officer of Shoutlet, on social data
“Millions of actions are taking place on social networks every minute. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity – a challenge to analyze the data and develop actionable insights and an opportunity to learn and strengthen your customer relationships. With just 35 percent of companies collecting social content, it’s clear there’s more work to be done.”
Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute, on why content marketing programs can sometimes fail:
“We don’t look at content on a campaign basis. A campaign means you have a stop date. Content marketing is all about consistency. People ask me “What’s the biggest reason content marketing programs fail?” The number one reason is because they stop. Once we start content programs, it’s our promise to create content ongoing to build relationships with our customers and prospects.”
Hear more from Joe on developing a content strategy.
Sandy Carter, General Manager, IBM and author, on social business
“Social business applies social into a business process throughout the organization. Not just marketing but recruiting, sales, purchasing, customer services, the list goes on. Like the production line changed manufacturing forever, we believe social will change business processes across the globe.”
More from Sandy on social business.
Matt Melander, Director of Social Media for Direct General Insurance, on social care:
“We want to respond to the customer’s question as quickly as possible through the channel that they use. If that’s social, they should receive the same treatment as if they called or e-mailed.”
Read more insights on social care.
Nate Elliott, Vice President and Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, on bringing social out of its silo:
“If you think intelligently about what social can bring to your plan, if you think intelligently about what stage in the customer journey you’re targeting with social programs, if you make sure you don’t treat social as an island or ask it to carry the weight of the world, then social media can be a very effective tool to add value to all the different parts of your marketing radar and your marketing program.”
Hear more from Nate on integrating social into your marketing plan.
Nicole Saunches, Director of Mass Communications for Chicago White Sox, on social listening:
“When we first got into social, being able to tell our fans all the great things we were doing, basically pushing out content, was huge. This year a big trend has been truly listening and engaging with fans. It’s not only having a conversation, but then taking that information and pushing it to people who can make a difference, to show fans we hear you and we’re listening to what you have to say.”
Hear more from Nicole on the White Sox social strategy.
Jason Miller, Senior Manager of Content Marketing & Social at LinkedIn, on the collision of social and content marketing
“If 2011 was the year of social and 2012 was the year of content, 2013 and 2014 are the years they come together, to complement each other and become part of an integrated marketing strategy moving forward. If you’re serious about social and content, you have to budget for both.”
Read more from Jason on real-time content marketing.
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