Daily Archives: May 4, 2011

50% Open Rate On Social Media?

Source: http://bit.ly/gxxsZi

When Content Science sends their quarterly e-newsletter to their mailing list, their email open rate is 50%.

“Well, of course,” I hear you saying. “Sending an e-newsletter to subscribers who have opted in would most certainly have a fairly high open rate.”


So why would you want to broadcast your online message to millions of people who couldn’t care less, and be happy with a 3% click-through rate? Why are you still marketing online the same way you marketed offline?

2010 article in Harvard Business Review states the case clearly. “To compete in this aggressively interactive environment, companies must shift their focus from driving transactions to maximizing customer lifetime value. That means making products and brands subservient to long-term customer relationships.”

So how do you create long-term customer relationships in an online world?

clout“The way to get results online is clout—influence or pull,” writes Colleen Jones in her book, Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content. “On the web, clout allows you to attract the right people and, at the right time, change what they think or do. Achieving clout demands new thinking and a new focus on web content.”

Because content is what people want. Content is what they spend much of their online time reading, listening to and viewing. Content is what they share with their social networks.

But you can’t just create any old content. You have to create influential content. Content that will grab people and make them change their behavior.

“Because people use the web now more than ever to make decisions, everyone from big brands to small businesses to individuals has the opportunity to influence those decisions,” writes Jones. “My goal is to help you make the most of that opportunity.”

According to Jones, if you can create online content that literally changes people’s behavior, you have achieved clout.

But Developing Clout Isn’t Easy

In fact, Jones calls this marketing technique “the hard road” to business success. “Even though the road to influential web content is hard, it’s the right road for lasting results.”

Because creating web content that influences people means using the principles of rhetoric and psychology to send the right message to the right people at the right time. If they get to know you, like you and trust you, they might just become your customer for life.

That’s what Jones means by “lasting results”—creating long-term customer relationships. Remember that it’s much easier and cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to attract a new customer.

But did I hear some of you groaning when I mentioned the words “rhetoric” and “psychology”? Not to worry. Jones summarizes these principles in just two chapters. In those two chapters, you’ll learn the art and science of persuasion.

If you need more information, she recommends many other sources throughout her book. And she has a recommended reading list at the end.

The rest of her book will show you how to:

  • Plan a content strategy
  • Handle roadblocks in your climb to clout
  • Evaluate your content strategy
  • Use quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods
  • Adjust your content strategy when necessary
  • Use clout responsibly and ethically

Her book is filled with lists and questions to guide you on this harder road to business success. And she includes success stories from many companies, universities and government agencies that have used the same principles to achieve clout.

Think of her book as your roadmap to successfully creating lifelong customer relationships by publishing influential content. You start by raising awareness of your business, becoming liked and trusted and inspiring and motivating changes in people’s behavior.

Always remember that people are more likely to buy from someone they know, like and trust. And they buy from people, not corporations.

Instead of blasting advertising messages at millions of people who don’t care, try attracting people who do care. Create content that they care about. Show them you’re trustworthy and you have a solution to their problem and then help them move toward that solution.

So save yourself the expense of getting a degree in psychology and pick up a copy ofClout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content by Colleen Jones.

Shipley, R. (2011, May 4). Do you have social media clout? [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/do-you-have-social-media-clout/

Should Google Buy LinkedIn, Now Before It’s Too Late?

Source: http://t.co/CjAIxh

Google’s new CEO Larry Page is all about winning in social, tying every Googler’s bonus to the success of the company’s social strategy.

And he’s right: Google absolutely needs to win in social because social is driving an ever increasing share of online traffic, and traffic is power and money.

An obvious shortcut for Google to win social is buying other successful social companies.

The company that most often comes up as a potential target is Twitter, because it’s the biggest Facebook rival and it’s struggling to find a good business model, which means Google could be a long term home for it. But Twitter doesn’t want to sell.

One that gets less talked about is LinkedIn, because LinkedIn is more “niche” (albeit a huge niche). But with yesterday’s news that LinkedIn is becoming a traffic firehose with its new focus on content, we should note the big reason why LinkedIn would make a very valuable social property for Google.

LinkedIn has one thing that no one else except Facebook has: REAL IDENTITIES.

The focus on real identities is one of the biggest factors in Facebook’s success. At the beginning, you could only sign up with a college, and then a work email, which made people sign up with their real identities. Today Facebook still enforces its only-real-names policy.

Real identities are why people go on Facebook all the time. It makes the site feel more trustworthy. It makes sure people have their real friends on there with real photos. Being an online identity repository and system is a huge competitive advantage for Facebook, and something it’s doing effortlessly despite every big company trying and failing to get people to use their real identities online. Real identities are what makes social networks “stick” and be so valuable.

With LinkedIn, Google would instantly get a database of 100 million real and valuable identities, which it can then cross-pollinate with Google Profiles, its own ho-hum effort to get people to give it their own real identities.

LinkedIn can then evolve its focus slowly and progressively away from “merely” professional networking. The barrier between personal and professional identity online is getting blurrier and blurrier anyway. Services like Twitter and About.me are already hard at work obliterating that distinction. That would be bad for LinkedIn as a standalone company, but great for a Google-owned LinkedIn.

Sharing content is another big social network activity that LinkedIn is already shifting to, and combining Google’s new sharing service +1 with LinkedIn would give it that instant boost. LinkedIn would stop being a resume database but become a sharing hub for information like Facebook and Twitter.

Integrating LinkedIn profiles and Gmail, like third-party tools like Rapportive already do, would also be a big boon: opening an email you would see not only a person’s email and “name” but their real identity. Integrating LinkedIn and Gmail that way might cause privacy jitters (but again, some tools already do this using publicly available info and APIs) but it would improve Gmail and drive a huge new wave of signups to LinkedIn.

In time, LinkedIn could go from being a social network for execs, to a social network for people who have jobs, to a social network for everyone. That would be a real threat for Facebook.

If Google wants to buy LinkedIn, it had better do it soon rather than before it gets a huge IPO pop. So it’s something to think about.
Read more: http://read.bi/kJwhpp

Wall Street Traders Use Twitter for Edge

Source: http://usat.ly/irbg0U

#Tweet this: To gain a trading edge, Wall Street traders are now using clever computer programs to monitor and decode the words, opinions, rants and e

ven keyboard-generated smiley faces posted on social-media sites like Twitter.com.

Human emotions, such as greed and fear, have always moved markets. Money can be made betting with or against the crowd, so measuring the mood of the masses online can be just as valuable as tracking price-to-earnings ratios, corporate profits and interest rates. The new trend on Wall Street for deciphering if the populace and investing public is in a positive or negative state of mind is computer-driven text analysis of the millions of real-time tweets and posts that flood social-networking sites.

Online surveillance of social-networking sites is emerging as a must-have tool for hedge funds, big banks, high-frequency traders and black-box investment firms that run money via computer programs. The goal: to gather market intelligence from previously untapped sources.

This emerging tool works something like this: Are you feeling glum, fearful or anxious today? Or are you in a calm, happy, optimistic mood? If you share your state of mind with the digital world via a tweet on Twitter or a soul-baring post on Facebook, Wall Street probably knows how you — and millions of other people — are feeling, too, thanks to its growing use of linguistic analysis of online posts. This incoming psychological snapshot of the Twitterati, digerati and average Joe could prompt a computer program interpreting the data at a hedge fund to place a trade without human intervention in an attempt to profit from the information.

The conversation tying tweets and social media and stocks together has gotten louder ever since last fall, when an academic study at Indiana University in Bloomington found a correlation between the collective mood of millions of people identified by tweets and the direction of the Dow Jones industrial average.

How the Twitter trade works

Based on academic research at Indiana University, here is a snapshot of how measuring the public mood by analyzing Twitter tweets can be translated into an investment strategy:

1. Capture daily tweets.
2. Analyze tweets with mood-measurement tools.
3. Determine mood content of tweets (i.e., “positive” vs. “negative” or “calm” vs. “anxious”).
4. If mood is positive or “calm” readings jump, buy stocks, because Dow is likely to rise three to four days later.
5. If mood is negative or “calm” readings plummet, sell stocks, because Dow is likely to fall three to four days later.

(IU study showed 86.7% accuracy rate in predicting the direction of the Dow three to four days later.)

Source: USA TODAY research

“We are in the early stages of a gold rush,” says Johan Bollen, a professor of informatics at Indiana University and co-author of the study linking Twitter mood measurement to stock market performance. “If you would have told anyone 10 years ago that this data would be available, they would have called it science-fiction. We know that emotions play a significant role in markets,” he says. Analyzing millions of tweets is akin to a “large-scale emotional thermometer for society as a whole.”

Derwent Capital Markets, a London-based hedge fund, was so taken with Bollen’s findings that it will soon launch a fund based on the methodology in his paper.

Interest in the marriage of social media and finance remains high. In March, a study done by a Ph.D. candidate at Pace University showed a positive correlation between stock price performance and the social-media “popularity” of well-known brands Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Nike. The Pace author, Arthur O’Connor, also found that brand popularity online may be a “lead indicator” of stock performance. And a team of economists at TUM School of Management, or Technical University of Munich, has created a website, TweetTrader.net, that attempts to profit from similar Twitter research.

For more info: http://usat.ly/irbg0U

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