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  • signaltonoise 2:54 pm on July 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apps, , social media   

    Does it ever seem like your life’s cluttered… 

    Does it ever seem like your life’s cluttered? Laundry piling up? Dishes in the sink? Papers scattered across your desk?

    While I try to keep a tidy house (can’t say the same about my desk), the main source of my clutter lately has been digital. Whether it’s a new app for my phone, a new web site to bookmark or a new service to sign up for…I just can’t seem to keep pace.

    I came to this realization recently when browsing through my phone. I had all of these cool apps that seemed like must haves when I got them, but now I realize I rarely use any of them. Many apps had different functions. Some apps offered duplicate functionality to others but perhaps took a different approach. However, the more apps I loaded onto my phone the harder it became to use my phone. Should I use UrbanSpoon or Google Places? LivingSocial or Groupon? TweetDeck or Twitter?

    Sure, each of these apps are great in their own way, but my usage of all of them was sub-optimized. I wasn’t really getting the most out of any of them because I could never decide which ones to use or when to use them.

    It was sort of a paradox of choice. So, I decided to de-clutter. I had to make some hard decisions between apps I really needed and those that were nice to have or redundant. Many of the apps I had got me from point A to point B. Rather than try (and fail) to use all of them, I picked the apps that were the best at getting me from point A to point B.

    The end result? I now have far fewer apps in my life. It’s easy to get at the apps I need to use, and I don’t really miss the apps I deleted. Am I tempted to try out new apps now and then? Sure. However, whenever I make a decision now I ask myself one question, “Am I really going to use that?”

    In talking to institutions about their CRM usage I often find similar issues. Many were inticed by wiz-bang features that wound up collecting dust on a virtual shelf. Unfortunately, unlike the apps on my phone (which were mostly free), these decisions resulted in thousands of dollars spent by institutions and sub-optimized usage of their CRM. The end result for them? Clutter. Underutilization. Frustration.

    At times, we must all make hard decisions when it comes to features and ultimately you need to ask yourself, “Am I really going to use that?”

    • Design Practice 10:05 pm on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend
      who has been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast simply because I found it for
      him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
      But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your web page.

  • signaltonoise 1:23 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , social media   

    Old Spice University 

    By now, you’ve no doubt seen the latest internet meme to take the world by storm…the Old Spice Man and his personalized responses to just about anyone asking for his advice.   As reported by PC Magazine, “Old Spice this week capitalized on the popularity of its recent TV advertisements with a series of YouTube videos in which “Old Spice guy” Isaiah Mustafa answered questions from the Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit communities.”  The response has been wildly popular and blogs ranging from Techcrunch and Mashable to the Huffington Post have picked up the action.

    The Old Spice campaign is surely an excellent case study on integrating your social media efforts across various sites (as one publication puts it…they actually found a way to make YouTube social).  

    However, while Old Spice Man has found it in his heart to dish out advice on everything from grooming to relationships,  the one thing that’s been missing was some advice for college recruiters.  Until now…

    Finally, Old Spice man chimed in on how his followers should select a college.  I hope your school’s prepared to offer a B.A. in One-Handed Ship Building and a Minor in Philosophy/Bazooka Shooting.


    What’s a case study without results, right?  Well as of this writing, the stats speak for themselves….1,860 mentions on Google News, 580,000 + likes on Facebook, and nearly 6 million views on Youtube.  And it’s all happened practically overnight…just look at this one stat from Tweet Stat which shows a spike in @oldspice followers on Twitter in just one day after the response videos first started getting posted.

  • signaltonoise 1:20 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , social media   

    Email vs. Social? It’s not an either/or choice. 

    Email is dead. Long live email.

    It’s been a common refrain since marketers first jumped on the social media bandwagon.  But does all the hype around social media really spell the end for email as a marketing channel?  We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “Of course not.”  

    And this week, two separate reports seem to confirm that email is indeed alive and well in this age of social media.  

    First, Brendan Regan reports on the FutureNow blog on a MarketingSherpa survey that finds buyers still want the basics when it comes to email marketing.  He writes, “[I]f you are executing well on “the basics,” you’re in a much safer place and can confidently experiment with all the new “bells and whistles” that you could put in your marketing emails (e.g. video, social networking, fancy graphics, etc.).”

    According to Regan’s assessment of the report, email respondents also de-prioritized features like:

    • more interactivity
    • more graphics
    • advanced customization
    • less content
    • advanced delivery timing,
    • and social networking links.

    Perhaps these email recipients didn’t get the social media memo?  Or, perhaps it’s marketers that are misreading consumer cues? Because according to another report by econsultancy, many marketers are looking for ways to enhance their email campaigns using various kinds of social media.  MarketingVox reports, “The report found that more than a third of companies (37%) are using email to encourage the sharing of content on social networks, and just under a third of companies (31%) say they are planning to do this. A fifth of companies (21%) are using email to promote customer ratings and reviews, while a further 26% have plans to do this.  The research also found that 28% of companies are using video content in their emails, as marketers increasingly use email to build customer engagement.”

    One thing is clear.  Email is still very much alive and relevant as a marketing channel.  But there are two forces that seem to be butting heads.

    On the one hand you have consumers saying they’re not interested in social media tie-ins to the email campaigns they receive and on the other you have marketers rushing to combine social media with email.  

    Why the disconnect?  Are email and social media a match made in heaven (like peanut butter and chocolate) or an unholy union (like bacon and vodka…yeah, it’s real)?

    What do you think?  Vote here.

  • signaltonoise 1:16 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , social media   

    Just one of the guys 

    While some institutions are still trying to figure out whether or not they want to include social media into their marketing mix, it appears marketers have already made up their minds…”No worries, social media, you’re allowed to hang out with us.”  A survey by MarketingSherpa this week shows that social media has earned its spot to complete the holy trinity for online marketers: email, search, and now social media.  But will it replace either email or search?  Not according to most.  

    Most respondents are in violent agreement that there’s a role for social media in the marketing mix, but few believe it will replace other channels out right.  

    So what are you waiting for, why not jump in?  Not so fast.  Think about what you want to accomplish first.

    If you buy into the general notion of the Marketing Effectiveness model you’ll know that “consistency of strategy across various media, not just within each individual media message, can amplify and enhance the impact of the overall marketing campaign effort.”  Presumably, inconsistency can have the opposite effect.  

    This seems to be where many institutions fail with respect to social media.

    Tim Copeland argued recently (quite well) that certain social media channels have been over-hyped in higher education.  However, he also cautioned us to not throw the baby out with the bath water, writing:

    Students prefer the channels that colleges and universities have developed some competencies in, and are actively using today.

    Social technologies? In our research, the institutions that have jumped on the bandwagon aren’t doing a very good job.  The problem is that many are looking at these new avenues as ways to talk AT students, rather than talk WITH students.

    It’s a paradigm shift that requires institutions to think about how they want to change their relationships with prospective students. Before you start choosing the ‘Twitters’ or other revolutionary communication medium, it requires understanding what your students are ready for (their participation profile), what objectives you are trying to support, and determining the right strategies to employ. The tools come last.

    Part of the problem is that many institutions have developed siloed or unofficial social media presences that are disconnected from the rest of the organization.  Neglecting these social media channels, or not allowing them to become an “official” part of your communications strategy could result in inconsistent messaging that may ultimately hurt your efforts across other channels…they may also spark some creative ideas that influence your traditional initiatives (but that’s another blog post).  

    Even if it’s a relatively small percentage of your audience using social media to connect with your institution, do you really want to provide a disruptive experience for them as they cross from one channel to the next?  Wouldn’t it be better to provide some continuity of experience?

    Having social media live separately from your other marketing and customer engagement initiatives will not work for most organizations for this very reason. 

    Is social media a panacea?  No.  Should you put all your eggs in that one basket?  Of course not.  Does it deserve more attention than your other channels?  No, not yet anyway.  But, it’s time to stop viewing social media as a rogue channel, and time to start incorporating it into a more comprehensive marketing strategy. 

  • signaltonoise 1:13 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , social marketing, social media,   

    How are you measuring social marketing tactics? 

    It’s no surprise that in uncertain times higher education marketers look to more cost-effective tactics to help them fulfill their strategic marketing objectives.  One of the reasons why social media has seen such widespread adoption by colleges and universities is that it’s perceived to be cheap, if not free.  As you probably know, this is one of the major myths associated with social media marketing…a point highlighted recently by our own Kate Malone.

    There is a cost associated with marketing to constituents on social media.  And while that cost may not always be monetary, there’s almost always a resource/labor cost associated with your initiatives.  This is why measurement matters even in social media.  However, one of the pitfalls of social media marketing is the difficulty in measuring your impact on the social web.

    As MarketingSherpa points out this week, “Marketers are under constant pressure to measure everything they do. The result is often a default to tactics that are more easily and accurately measureable, regardless of their effectiveness. This is especially true in social media marketing which often requires qualitative measurement rather than quantitative metrics that are more familiar to online marketers.”

    While advertising on social networks and blogs ranks high in terms of measurability, social networking profiles rank low on the list.  As the MarketingSherpa article points out, this is because “The value is derived not from the quantity…but from the quality of the…”  Still, as more institutions begin to invest time and resources into building out their presence on the social web, some measurement of these quality interactions will be required to justify the effort.

    This is precisely why goal setting is so important prior to launching any social networking initiative. Internet marketing blog Dosh Dosh suggests the following goals, that could be applicable on both an institutional use as well as a personal/professional networking:

    1. Increased brand awareness. You’re interacting with others on the social media channel in order to build awareness for your personal and business brand. You’re increasing your visibility in the right areas and trying to stick in the minds of others through active interaction on many different levels. From this perspective, networking also works to drive traffic back to your website.

    3. Improved reputation. You want to improve how others think about your website so you hang out in forums or networking sites, in order to respond to feedback. You want to keep the communication channels open on all social media fronts. You may also want to improve your reputation as an expert by being consistently involved in discussions on topics that are relevant to your business or website.

    5. Personal Development. Networking with the right people will keep you in the loop on industry happenings and will also improve your knowledge levels. A big part of networking is observation. Seeing how others reflect or participate in conversations is a great way to improve your own experience in the field. (**NOTE: This is one of the great benefits of Twitter)

    7. Relationships with benefits. One can network with others with the aim of extracting future benefits such as testimonials, links or recommendations. Others are more likely to provide you with a benefit when you’ve taken the effort to interact with them. Networking is a way to build relationships that can be mutually beneficial.

    What are your goals for developing your presence on the social web?  How are you measuring against those goals? 

    • 40deuce 3:42 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      All four of these goals should be what every brand (professional or personal) should be striving for through the use of social media.

  • signaltonoise 1:12 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , social media,   

    Tuning in to social media as a channel 

    During an email exchange about social media the other day, a client asked me a seemingly simple question, “I now have the Facebook Fan page, we have a Twitter account, we have the old Facebook Group, we have two Linked In Groups (one grad, one undergrad), we have RSS and we have the electronic newsletter campaigns, SO HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TO SEND WHERE?”

    My general thinking here is that content trumps channel. In other words, regardless of the social network, you want to make sure the content you’re sending out is relevant to your specific audience. Some content may be more relevant to alumni, other content may be more relevant to current students and prospects.

    Social networking tools let you get very segmented populations since members can self-select when, where and how they want to interact with your institution. However, with content that’s relevant to all of your constituents…why not broadcast that across all of your web properties? 

    This question also prompted us to further explore the notion of social media as a channel. It’s no doubt that a ton of attention is being given to social media these days as a marketing channel (we obviously believe it its power to help develop relationships with constituents). But does this mean that you should abandon your traditional channels as this Mashable article suggests some brands are doing? Not yet.

    The reality is that we’re still living in a multi-channel world. Many consumers now view social media simply as additional channels of communication, and they opt-in (or out) of receiving information on their preferred channels much like they do with email.

    The key is finding the right balance to make sure your social media presence complements your other marketing channels without cannibalizing them.

    The first key is to build a solid foundation: Ron Bronson examined this topic a few months ago where he wrote, “The institutional web site has fully arrived as a ‘marketing tool/ on many campuses and the uneasy balance between trying to reach the students of the future, while connecting to their parents, alumni and pretty much anyone else with a rooting interest in the school can be a difficult task at times, especially for smaller schools and community colleges.” According to Bronson, the institution’s website should serve as the hub for the online brand while social media tools serve to extend that brand.

    The second key is figuring out goals for each of your channels: Brad J. Ward took this concept a step further by suggesting a social media recruitment funnel.

    He cautions that his funnel is not meant to be all inclusive (and others have commented that some of these social media tools can be used outside of the categories Brad assigned), but the general concept is pretty straight forward: Seek. Engage. Retain.

    It’s a great illustration that really helps to make sense of the social media landscape. But at its core, the message that Brad is trying convey is not all that different than what you’d expect from ANY marketing initiative. Here I’ve broken it down into 3 stages. You begin with lead generation and qualification (stage 1), continue with lead nurturing (stage 2) and move to analysis (stage 3) to hopefully improve stage 1 and 2 the next time around.

    Now, what matters here is not necessarily the channel but the action. Can you figure out ways to leverage social media to help you at each of these stages? If so, great. If you’re looking for inspiratoin on how to use social media to supplement your other marketing efforts, here are six tips published recently by DMNews.

    If not, you better make sure your other channels are working for you.

    Ultimately, you want to focus on finding the right channels to address these stages and help students move through another funnel that we’re all familiar with already.

  • signaltonoise 4:35 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , social media   

    Kids’ stuff? I don’t think so. 

    Think social networks are only good for recruiting undergraduate students?  Think again. 

    Conventional wisdom indicates that professional networking sites like LinkedIn are where adults spend their time while sites like Facebook and MySpace are where the kids hang out.  This may be true to a certain extent, however, Karine Joly points out an interesting study today from the Pew Internet and American Life Project that finds adults are rapidly buying into the non-professional social networks, and it may make some higher education recruiters rethink how they approach the social web. 

    Here are some stats that Joly highlights:

    • 75% of our college crowd, young adults aged 18-24 have a profile (no big scoop here, but always nice to have some recent data, don’t you think?), 57% of online adults 25-34, 30% of online adults 35-44
    • In February 2005, just 2% of adult internet users had visited an online social network “yesterday” while 19% of adult internet users had done so in December 2008.
    • Social network users are also more likely to be students — 68% of full time students and 71% of part-time students have a social network profile, while just 28% of adults who are not students use social networks.

    • Nearly one third 31% of online white adults have a social networking profile, compared with 43% of African-Americans and 48% of Hispanics.
    • So, where are those networking adults?
      • 50% of adult social network users have a profile on MySpace
      • 22% have a profile on Facebook
      • 6% have a profile on LinkedIn

    Now, demographics can only tell you so much. Context also matters quite a bit. For example, professional networking sites like LinkedIn are a natural fit for graduate and executive education programs looking for motivated participants seeking to advance their careers. 

    However, as Facebook users mature and expand their networks beyond their circle of friends sites like Facebook have the potential to turn into powerful professional networking tools as well. LinkedIn’s appeal amongst professional networkers is one of the reasons why so many MBA and executive programs have begun to advertise there. What if Facebook begins to attract a similar crowd? Some have already noted that Facebook may indeed have LinkedIn in its crosshairs.

    Certainly worth keeping an eye on. The lines between social networking and professional networking are beginning to blur.  Quite simply, it’s not just for undergrad anymore.

  • signaltonoise 4:30 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , obama, SMS, social media   

    The Audacity of Marketing 

    Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can all agree that the rise of Barack Obama has been a remarkable case study in the use of e-marketing. Never before has a political candidate used virtually every new media tool at his/her disposal to generate so much buzz and communicate effectively with constituents.

    Obama’s campaign not only has a presence on sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, they’ve made these sites key components in how they market to and manage relationships with constituents. Additionally, they use each channel differently to communicate with different segments of their constituency. Remember the late evening SMS message alerting the most die-hard fans of Obama’s VP pick?

    Sites that didn’t even exist during the last presidential election are now playing an integral role in the communications plans of both candidates. I only mention Obama because of the effectiveness of his outreach efforts (in fact: he was named Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year this week).

    Surely, there are lessons to be learned on how quickly both presidential candidates, and other politicians, have been able to adapt and incorporate new media into their strategies. However, as Future Now’s Jeff Sexton points out, there are other areas where marketers could benefit from paying closer attention to how politicians sell their ideas. And, in my opinion, it’s just as important as keeping an eye on what tools they’re using to get the message out.

    According to Sexton, the reasons why the best political strategists often create better messaging strategies than their marketing counterparts are not skill or deep theory (or new tools) but:

    1. Measurement – they invest time and money to see the effects of their efforts so they can know what is and isn’t working.
    2. Testing – they tweak and fine-tune copy and messaging during a campaign
    3. Agility – coming up with a great new strategy is worthless if you can’t implement it in time to win the election.

    Not too complicated, but something to consider as you add new tools to your marketing mix. Even in a world flooded with new media options, the basics still apply.

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