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Target is among many retailers using social media to attract more Black Friday shoppers.
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Marketers know social media should be a powerful way to generate positive word-of-mouth. If marketers can select the right platform, design the right message and engage the right users to spread that message, their campaign should succeed. One successful campaign — which marketers can look to as an example — took place at Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Creations, an upscale ice-cream retailer in India. By following a seven-step process, Hokey Pokey substantially improved its social media marketing.
SAP runs a 10-years old, online community network that has more than a million unique visitors a month. Mark Yolton, senior vice president of SAP Communities & Social Media, tells how his company is using social media for “outside-in” market insight and as a mechanism to immediately tell the world about its new products.
Social coupons have become a popular form of marketing promotion. Businesses such as restaurants, car washes and dry cleaners pitch coupon discounts through Internet sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial in hopes of attracting a new crop of customers. But a poorly designed coupon campaign can do serious harm to a business’s profit margin. While the coupons can generate value for customers and the social coupon service providers themselves, they can lead businesses into a thicket of problems.
Social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook have helped Kaiser Permanente — the nation’s largest nonprofit health care provider — grow its positive media mentions close to 500% in the last five years, says Vince Golla, who oversees the organization’s external digital reputation.
Research into the Twitter practices of 47 companies including Whole Foods, Starbucks, Nokia, and JetBlue shows that to build a better tweet, think short, punchy and newsy.
Hiring people to create fake online profiles and post comments on web sites is a booming business in China. This custom-written spam “poses a concrete threat to online communities,” say researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Many companies are trying to leverage the power of Twitter to connect with customers and promote their brands and products. This article identifies factors that increase the likelihood of “retweeting” so that a company’s tweets will be shared with recipients’ networks.
There are several practices that don’t work well. The most important to avoid is blatant hard-sell messages. Twitter may be better suited for building brands than for building markets for new offerings.
Companies need to understand and manage the rising threat of online public complaining. When customers believe that a company has treated them badly, they may take their grievance public — very public. What can companies do, whether in reacting to such negative publicity or in preventing its occurrence? The authors have developed an “organizing matrix” to help understand and respond to online complaints, noting that "as long as the company uses such fair processes, and as long as it makes customers aware of them, customers will tolerate the occasional service failure."
Effective social media measurement turns the traditional ROI approach on its head: "managers should begin by considering consumer motivations to use social media and then measure the social media investments customers make as they engage with the marketers’ brands."
People are connecting with one another in increasing numbers, thanks to blogs, social networking sites like MySpace and countless communities across the Web. Some companies are learning to turn this growing groundswell to their advantage.
A market research technique called conjoint analysis can help managers predict what kind of affinity marketing program is likely to offer the best return on investment for their brand.
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