Social media technology specialist EchoJunction has announced a new Australian partnership with Tracx, an award-winning global provider of enterprise social media management software. Tracx provides services to global organisations such as Canon, Kraft, BMW and the Marriott hotel group to name a few.
For full story click here
When Facebook launched Instant Articles in May 2015 a number of major publishers including the NY Times, the Guardian and National Geographic jumped on board.
Reminder: Instant Articles means publishers publish content directly on Facebook (hence the content is controlled and effectively owned by Facebook) as opposed to linking to an article from Facebook. When you are a media company this is not an insignificant subtly: your crown jewels (ie your content/media IP) are being handed to Facebook in exchange for a share of revenue.
The dilemma is obvious. Facebook has the audience. Almost a billion people log in daily and close to 1.5 billion log in monthly. Publishers are left with an almost impossible choice – hold their IP on owned media with dwindling audiences (and thus revenue bases) or deal with the new kid on the block who controls the largest audience. I argued previously that publishing directly on Facebook would likely be revenue lucrative in the short term, but was strategically risky in the long term. As a media company, once you lose control of your content and the direct relationship with the audience, you no longer control your own destiny. In this case, Facebook does. Algorithm and all – they will decide who sees what content (and of course can re-negotiate revenue shares etc). It’s their house and their audience. They make the rules.
Thus it was with some surprise to see the announcement from the Washington Post that it will post all of its content on Facebook. 100%. Thats as “all in” as you can get; circa 1200 articles a day.
The upsides to the Washington Post are obvious. Distribution of its content to the largest audience there is. Access to a digital demographic it may normally not reach, in particular on mobile. Facebook dominates mobile usage (and hence mobile ad dollars). Assuming (as reported) the Post will get 70% of ads sold against its content, this is likely to be highly lucrative in the short term.
Long term, the jury is out as to what this could mean. Can Facebook change the rules, tweak the algorithm, determine what content is seen by whom? Of course. Will it? Noone knows, but its track record in this area is not unblemished.
It’s an indicator of the seismic shift that social media has had on the media landscape, that a newspaper as rich in history and as well regarded as the Washington Post is willing to make that bet, and put a large element of its future prosperity in the hands of Facebook.
It will be interesting to see if other major publishers follow suit.
By Adam Fraser
I think it’s safe to say that everyone would acknowledge the rapid growth of social media in the past decade. Like it or loathe it, it would be hard to dismiss social media’s significantly increased role in the way we communicate with each other (and hence with brands).
However every so often research comes out which re-affirms (and even surprises – magnitude wise), just how far we have come.
So it was this week when Pew research released a new report showing that nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites, versus 50% in 2010 and up from only 7% when Pew Research Center began systematically tracking social media usage in 2005. On any measure that’s significant growth and significant penetration.
A number of important sub trends caught the eye in this research:
- unsurprisingly, share for young adults (18-29 year olds) skews higher with 90% using social versus (a still significant) 35% of 65+ year olds
- women (68%) skew slightly higher than men (62%) in terms of usage
- those with higher educational levels are more likely to use social media
- those living in affluent households are more likely to use social media.
We can all argue about precisely what it means and the optimum marketing and media strategy to adjust to this change in the landscape, but the importance of social media in a 2015 society is undeniable.
Social media technology specialist EchoJunction has announced a new Australian partnership with Brandwatch, an enterprise social intelligence company. Brandwatch is already used by global giants such as ESPN, Heineken, Marks & Spencers, University of Melbourne, Cathay Pacific, Dell, British Airways and BSkyB.
Brandwatch’s first international partnership in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace. The exciting partnership marks an important step in broadening EchoJunction’s offering.
For full story click here
By Adam Fraser
Baseliner founder and CEO Charles Sigmon recently joined us on the EchoJunction podcast to talk CRM. Charles is extremely knowledgeable in this field and you will find some reat educational content on CRM software and processes for marketers, sales execs and IT professionals alike.
In this series we cover;
- Charles’ career to date from contact centres to CRM projects on both brand and consultancy side
- How Charles founded Baseliner to focus on CRM in Malaysia
- An overview of the history of the CRM sector, the intersection of marketing, sales and service and who the key players are in the CRM industry
- How CRM products have historically been more sales centric but the increasing recent importance of service
- The impact that the social and digital revolution have had on the typical buyers journey, and how CRM tools are adapting to this
- Why some organisations see declining sales effectiveness despite implementing great new technology
- The role CRM can play in developing a true “one view of the customer” and why this is such a challenge for enterprises
- The impact that cloud and mobile technology have had on the CRM software sector
- A typical rollout of a CRM project in a cloud based world
- How CRM systems can support customer service and customer retention activities
- Whether Charles is observing an increased focus on service and retention versus when he began working on CRM projects 10+ years ago
- The amplification impact of social media in relation to customer experience and customer retention
- What is social CRM and the importance of collaboration
- The connection between marketing, sales and service in CRM tools and business processes
- Key trends in the CRM sector and the customer experience journey
The article we discussed on the effectiveness of sales teams is here.
The most impactful business book that Charles has read is What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
This week, we are delighted to have Tony Hughes, Founder of RSVPselling as our guest blogger. Tony is an expert in the social selling, sales leadership and strategic selling space.
By Tony Hughes
Social selling matters because social buying is a reality – we live in the age of massively empowered buyers and they’ve changed the way they engage with sellers. They can research and commoditise what we offer with just a few clicks. They can also assess our assertions of value and then introduce competitors with ease. Sellers therefore need a framework for attracting customers through strong personal and corporate brands. Individuals as well as corporations need social strategies for complex business-to-business (B2B) selling where, according to CSO Insights, there are on average 6 people involved in the typical buying decision.
But social selling is a misnomer because we don’t actually sell in social. The reality is that those who spam, push, annoy, narcissistically drone or aggressively sell are unfollowed and disconnected as quick as a click. Connecting to someone new and then immediately seeking to sell is a serious mistake. I define Strategic Social Selling for business-to-business (B2B) as: The strategy and process of building quality networks online that attract clients and accelerates the speed of business and efficiency of selling, as achieved with personal human engagement through social listening, social publishing, social research, social engagement, and social collaboration.
On a foundation of a strong personal brand I have identified the 5 pillars that enable the best results in social:1) Social Listening/Monitoring, 2) Social Research, 3) Social Content Publishing, 4) Social Engagement and 5) Social Collaboration. In my definition, technology is merely an enabler but can be leveraged to create truly incredible results with the right strategies. Obviously, social initiatives are supported by the use of technology and social platforms but it’s really all about human connection and interaction to provide real value through insight or assistance with relevant content and conversations.
Social platforms have driven the era of personal brands and a new level of transparency. Social proximity is a real factor that enhances or undermines potential connection, often without the seller ever discovering how their network helped or hindered their efforts. Your social strategy will depend on what you’re seeking to achieve and where your market is but don’t fall into the trap of becoming busy in social without having a strategy for both connection and content. For example, think about the reasons for posting in LinkedIn Publisher or creating Facebook pages. Are you seeking to attract and build an audience platform? Are you wanting to evidence your credentials? Are you wanting to provide insights and credibility to support your new business meeting requests? Are you wanting to proactively deal with potential objections you could encounter? Are you seeking to associate yourself with admired brands and thought leaders? Are you perhaps chipping away at commonly held myths about your disruptive solution set to cause a sea change?
Social selling is a strategy, not a set of technologies. Most importantly, you need to know exactly who your target audience is and what insight or value you can provide before they would be interested in what you sell. Once you know what you’re seeking to achieve and have defined goals and metrics, then you can design your strategy and action plan to cascade down to the individual elements.
Tony Hughes is ranked as one of the top social sellers in the world and the #1 influencer for professional sales in Asia-Pacific. Tony is an accomplished keynote speaker and best selling author with his LinkedIn blog widely read. You can also find an interview with Tony on the EchoJunction podcast.
Plaut, a privately owned provider of SAP consulting and technical services, has announced the launch of EchoJunction, a business positioned at the intersection of social media and enterprise IT.
Adam Fraser is the Founder of EchoJunction as well as Plaut’s chief operating officer. His passion for social media blended with Plaut’s ability to seamlessly deliver cloud and on premise IT solutions to its customers gives EchoJunction a unique offering,
For full story visit B & T
This week, we asked Nick Ogle, from Conversocial in Australia to guest blog an article on the importance of social customer service.
Social Networks have become the first place we go to share news & information. Brands already know this and that’s why so much money is being spent on advertising on the Social Networks. Facebook’s recent Q2 results had 95% of their $4.02B USD revenue coming from Advertising. This is not a North American phenomenon alone as only 17% of Facebook Daily Active users are from the USA & Canada.
Whilst brands like to use their social networks to push advertising at customers these same customers are taking to interacting with these brands over social in the following ways.
General references to a brand’s products & services
- Positive experiences of the company’s products & services
- Indirect references that are relevant to the companies industry
- A customer asking the brand a direct question
- A Customer expressing dissatisfaction
- Customers that have an urgent product/service need
As well as interacting with brands, customers also have high expectations for Customer Service on Social. Customers expect that brands should recognize their preference for engagement over social media and act accordingly. Research from Forrester Consulting shows that between 2009 and 2014 the number of customers using Twitter for customer service has doubled from 11% to 22% (Forrester 2014).
- Have more choice of suppliers and channels. 66% of consumers stopped doing business with a provider and switched to another in the past year due to a poor customer service experience, up 17% since 2005 (Accenture 2013).
- Are more connected. 53% of consumers will talk about a bad customer experience they have received on social, while only 42% will share a good one (American Express 2012). This trend and the viral nature of social media show how customers can wield their power.
- Demand more speed and simplicity. 71% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service (Forrester 2013).
To handle the volume of engagement on Social brands cannot afford to use the native tools supplied by the Social Networks. Instead brands should look to deploy Enterprise ready Engagement tools that have the following characteristics:
- Context: Tools should have the ability to show prior interaction history. So if one person has tweeted multiple times then you should be able to see all of these tweets on the one screen of glass to give you more informed information on the tweeters outreach resulting in a more educated decision on how to respond.
- Prioritisation: Social media is full of noise making it difficult to identify sensitive issues that that matter to your organisation. Tools with inbuilt Intelligent Prioritization allow priority issues to be escalated to the front of the queue for immediate attention.
- Real-Time Analytics: Real-time analytics are keyt to continually monitoring the SLA & KPI attainment of agents as well as providing an early indicator for issues that might require involvement of other departments. Additionally, social customer service software should provide historical insights into trends over time to deliver actionable insights for brands.
- Security: Regardless of industry, comprehensive safeguards need to be in place to ensure information security and regulatory compliance. Look for software that provides role-based permissions, an approval workflow, IP locking and a fully searchable, exportable archive.
- Integration: In order to achieve a single view of the customer, it is vital to choose a social customer service software with a full set of APIs, which allows you to surface social information through your CRM systems and contact center technologies.
- Pro-Active Customer Service: Brands using tools that only process @mentions are likely to miss service issues, or potential sales opportunities. A tool that provides proactive searches over social media will broaden your scope for engagement, meaning you don’t miss out on valuable conversation opportunities.
- Workflow: With the high incoming message volume social brings, agents and managers need to work seamlessly to balance workload and avoid duplication of effort. Choose a social customer service software that enables you to add a layer of automation, providing a smart workflow for large-scale customer service teams, and empowering your agents to deliver better and faster social customer service.
- Expertise: Choose a social customer service partner capable of helping you implement a scalable operation that aligns with business requirements and industry best practices
For more information on the importance of social customer service, and Conversocial’s leading enterprise customer service platform, listen to founder Joshua March and CMO Paul Johns on the EchoJunction podcast
It is reported that the phrase “content marketing” was used as early as 1996, when John F. Oppedahl led a roundtable for journalists at the American Society for Newspaper Editors.
By 2014, Forbes Magazine’s website had written about the top 7 content marketing trends. The report references the B2B content marketing research (written by Joe Pulizzi) which points out that by 2013 use of content marketing had jumped from 60% a year or so before, to a whooping 93%.
When we wanted to delve deeper into the topic, it seemed apt to talk the leading global authority on the subject. So we were delighted when Joe joined us on the EchoJunction podcast.
In this podcast we gain valuable insight into;
- Joe’s career in publishing and how he formed the Content Marketing Institute
- What is the definition of content marketing
- How content marketing differs from brand journalism
- Why traditional media isn’t struggling but the business model which supports it is
- Why both media buyers and publishers alike are weaned on an advertising only model
- The massive growth in the number of ways consumers can now access information as media fragments
- How early stage businesses use less advertising versus building their own owned media
- The intersection of content marketing and social media
- How social media companies ultimately control access to the audience and have become an intermediary in terms of a media model
- Whether it makes sense to publish on LinkedIn, Medium, YouTube etc as part of a holistic content marketing strategy
- The importance of using social media distribution to drive longer term owned subscribers
- What led Joe to writing his fourth book Content Inc.
- How venture capitalists respond to the business model of building an audience first then developing a product
- Why building an audience first which confirms a need or pain point actually derisks a business
- The six distinct stages which define the Content Inc approach
- Why Joe doesn’t believe content shock is an issue
- How to find a content niche in an existing, crowded market and why there are ‘riches in niches’
- Why being first mover doesn’t necessarily matter for success in driving a successful content marketing niche and people late to a sector can still make it successful
- The importance of focusing on a single platform when launching a content marketing initiative
- Joe’s model of the subscriber importance hierarchy and why email remains the most importance way to build an audience
- Data showing the higher value an email subscriber
- How big an audience needs to be before monetisation can occur
- Different ways to monetise once a minimum viable audience has been built
Joe truly is the man when it comes to content marketing. His new book takes a really interesting position and his views on the broader market are always valuable. So tune into Joe Pulizzi talks content marketing.
By Adam Fraser.
The battle for eyeballs in the online video space is absolutely on, and I wrote recently how Facebook was beginning to eat YouTube’s lunch in this area. A significant challenge is in play for YouTube (owned by Google).
As Facebook’s sheer weight of numbers (both user and financial) continue to power on, its tentacles and market share are now spreading into other domains previously dominated by others. Surprisingly, now news.
According to new numbers from traffic analyser firm Parse.ly, Facebook now accounts for more traffic to news sites than Google. Wow. When looking at the Parse.ly network of more than 400 news sites (6bn page views and 1bn unique visitors per month), Facebook accounted for 43% of the traffic to these sites versus 38% for Google.
Note Google has ceased providing some of the keyword data it used to provide, which may have led to a declining relative interest in SEO vs social.
As ever, we shouldn’t over-react to any one set of data. The impact of publishers paying to distribute content on Facebook isn’t separated out here and the devil is always in the detail when it comes to methodology and statistics. And when it comes to researching products and services, google is still the primary place we will go.
But the headline message is clear and unquestionable. The impact of social media on media trends and how we communicate has been material and a game changer. How we access the news is of course is being swept up in this broader macro disruption and media fragmentation.
Google certainly needs to take note.
By Adam Fraser
It’s been a big year for live streaming.
Meerkat was the breakout app of SXSW in March 2015 and shortly after Twitter launched its newly acquired business Periscope. The confluence of social media at scale, bandwidth improvement and mobile phone capability meant that live streaming’s time had come.
Debate continued ad nauseum on the Meerkat v Periscope battle. Who would be the winner? How did they compare? It appeared to be a 2 horse race.
Hold on there. An 800lb gorilla just entered the room. Facebook launched its “Facebook live” service in August 2015. Initially only offered to “public figures”, it seems highly likely that once tested and refined, a broader based service will be offered to Facebook’s regular users. And as YouTube has found out, when Facebook has a serious crack at a sector, legacy participants had better take note.
Facebook is dipping its toe in the bath for live streaming for now. Given the momentum in this space and its growing popularity, I expect a further broadening of its footprint in the near future.
A two horse race just got interesting. In addition to Facebooks move, Brian Fanzo mentioned a number of other new entrants and innovations in the live streaming space in this podcast chat with me. Things just got interesting for the cosy duopoly of Meerkat and Periscope.
The themes of rapid adoption, innovation, disruption and intense competition are all evident in the live streaming sector. Meerkat and Periscope themselves continue to innovate but given the might of its user base and balance sheet, it would be unwise to dismiss or underestimate Facebook’s latest move. A dynamic and interesting space to keep an eye on for the remainder of 2015.
By Adam Fraser
I have been a passionate podcast consumer for many years now and I have previously blogged about why I am so bullish on podcasting, 5 top digital marketing podcasts and my own insights as a new podcaster after my first 10 episodes.
So you can imagine how much I enjoyed spending 45 minutes plus talking about podcasting with a fellow podcast obsessive! In this week’s podcast I had a great conversation with Jerod Morris, who is part of the Copyblogger group, and personally hosts 5 podcasts.
A great resource to refer to for some fantastic data on the podcast market (which we discuss in the podcast) is “The Podcast Consumer 2015” from Edison Research. If you want to dive deep into understanding the podcast consumer, this is the report for you.
In the podcast, Jerod I discuss:
- How Jerod stumbled across the online world, Copyblogger and ultimately podcasting
- The history of podcasting and why it initially didn’t grow in the early years
- Why connection is such an important aspect of the podcasting medium
- Why podcasting has grown so rapidly recently and the importance of mobile growth in this
- The latest stats on the size of the podcast market and the interesting demographic characteristics of podcast listeners
- The deeper emotional connection listeners feel when they listen to a regular podcast
- Why the podcast ‘Serial’ proved to be the tipping point for podcast consumption to a more mainstream audience
- Apple and iTunes’ dominance of the podcast sector
- The potential benefits for brands and enterprises thinking about launching a podcast and factors to consider before launching a podcast
- Reasons why many podcasts fail
- Why podcasting isn’t for everyone and who should launch a podcast?
- The importance of consistency in launching a podcast to build a long term connection with an audience
- How niche you should go with the content topic for a podcast
- Types of format to consider in producing a podcast and how long a podcast should be
- Once launched, how frequently podcasts should be produced
- The impact on the radio sector to date and how the growth in podcasting will impact the radio sector going forward
- Potential growth for the podcast sector over the next 5 years
- Jerod’s recently launched podcast and course “The Showrunner” which is entirely devoted to podcasting
If you want to learn more about this space, I highly recommend you listen to the whole podcast.
It’s safe to say livestreaming has taken the digital world by storm, connecting users globally to everything from sporting events and breaking news, to users streaming their walk home from work. Meerkat was the first mainstream application to enter the space, by harnessing the power of ‘live’, and has grown to nearly 2 million users today.
The next to join the scene was Periscope who claim to be fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes, a vision clearly shared by the 1 million users they gained within just 10 days of release.
Here at EchoJunction, we wanted to find out more about this fast growing media from someone that uses both apps personally and for his client base. So we invited the man that talks fast and tweets faster (we can certainly vouch for his fast talking) Brian Fanzo onto the EchoJunction podcast to talk Meerkat and Periscope.
Brian is a very knowledgeable, high energy and entertaining speaker who refers to his career as the “YouTube university”.
These are some of the topics that we covered with him as we talked Meerkat and Periscope;
- What are the key differences between Meerkat and Periscope?
- What are key differences with previous live streaming applications?
- Why are conversation and community aspects are so key to the power of Meerkat and Periscope?
- What are the authenticity and relationship aspects of Meerkat and Periscope?
- Why did Brian dive so deeply into these apps when they launched?
- What are the potential enterprise business use cases for Meerkat and Periscope?
- We explored Brian’s view that if businesses “think like a fan” they will find numerous potential uses for live streaming, looking at examples across the USA and Australia.
- Is live streaming a means for businesses to provide better customer service?
- What are the benefits for enterprises getting live real time feedback on a product launch?
- How does live streaming on Meerkat and Periscope can fit into a broader social media strategy?
- Can you generate private broadcasts within Meerkat and Periscope?
- Does Brian like one better? Meerkat or Periscope?
- We learned some great tips for using Meerkat and Periscope.
- Key copyright issues related to Meerkat and Pericope and how media rights holders should respond.
- We looked at a great example of how ESPN are using Periscope during the ad breaks.
The key piece of advice from Brian for those looking to delve into the livestreaming space “a perfect live stream sucks”.
Being a listed company, Facebook has to release a lot of detailed information about its performance. Even better, detailed results updates come every quarter, so these represent a great opportunity to look behind the headlines and really understand how the business is tracking.
The 3 month period to 30 June 2015 was another strong quarter for the world’s biggest social network. If you don’t have time to plough through all of the details, here are 10 key takeaways from the results:
- User growth powered on: Daily Active Users are now 968m (936m last quarter, 829m a year ago) and Monthly Active Users are 1.49bn (1.41bn last quarter, 1.32bn a year ago). Note Facebook is truly a global platform with only 17% of Daily Active Users coming from the USA and Canada
- Mobile increasingly dominates usage: 87.2% of Daily Active Users check via a mobile (85.3% last quarter,78.9% a year ago) and 88.2% of Monthly Active Users check via a mobile (86.6% last quarter, 81.2% a year ago)
- The financial performance reflects the user growth – revenue in the quarter was an astounding $4.042bn (yes billion), 14.1% higher than the prior quarter and an incredible 38.9% higher than a year ago
- Facebook one day may morph into a big data business but for now this is pure play media – 95% of its revenue comes from straight advertising
- At its enormous scale, average rev/user comes in at a measly sounding $2.76/user – noting some significant regional variations here (USA and Canada customers generated $9.30/user). Food for thought for those that have said they would prefer to pay a monthly fee to use Facebook rather than having to ‘sell’ their private data in exchange for a free service
- Contrasting Twitter in particular, Facebook is an extremely profitable business with operating margins of 31% and net profit of $719m for the quarter
- Facebook is also a cash machine – generating $1.3bn in free cash flow for the quarter (providing it funds to continually invest in R&D – it spent $549m in capex for this quarter alone)
- The management commentary around the results re-affirmed the importance of video, but also implied that search is coming more into the company’s strategic thinking – Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the site now processes 1.5bn searches per day and has indexed more than 2 trillion posts
- Progress continues to be made on the 2 longer term strategic goals Facebook has established; internet.org which aims to connect everyone in the world to the internet has already provided a free basic service to a billion people in 17 countries and Oculus Rift – the virtual reality play – will ship to consumers in early 2016
- Facebook’s early experiment with “Buy” buttons appears to be generating encouraging results. As COO Sheryl Sandberg told analysts. “We’re excited by what we see in the e-commerce vertical, and we’re going to continue to invest in growing that vertical as part of our ads business.”
I have written previously that a long term achilles heel for Facebook could be its approach to privacy and personal data. One day consumers may push back on mass. But for now, the juggernaut powers on. As David Wehner, Facebook’s CFO, told CNBC after the earnings came out. “The quarter was a great quarter almost any way you look at it,”.
Hard to disagree.