Monday, December 10, 2018

YOUR AI-Driven Social Media Marketing?

How social media marketers are getting ready for AI-driven networking and branding..

Social media marketing is growing by leaps and bounds, what with Artificial Intelligence taking center stage. As user experience becomes more and more personalized, social media marketers are using AI to provide a holistic and positive customer experience.

Back in the day, social media platforms were a fun place where we would share photos or find an event or follow a friend.

But connecting with brands or businesses required a proper phone call or to visit their respective website.

Fast-forward to the present date; the scenario has experienced a mega-shift, what with consumers now connecting with brands directly on social media platforms. Studies show that consumers are more inclined towards those brands who are taking the lead in resolving issues real-time and in a thorough manner. Infact, 42% of respondents in an Edison Research Study reported of expecting a reply from a brand within an hour.

Chatbots are stealing the limelight in this, by answering customer queries instantly using natural language. This is not just helping in keeping the interested lead in the loop and triggering a sense of priority but is also giving human marketers time to build a better content and social media marketing strategy.

The focus of social media marketing has shifted from mass engagement to personalized interaction.

Today, brands have a massive amount of data about their customer base, thanks to big data. Their need of the hour is to engage each lead with relevant content or information.

Thus, the primary challenge in social media marketing is to segment this large chunk of data to do targeted content marketing based on lead behaviour and engagement.

While an advanced marketing automation tool is enabling marketers to do dynamic segmentation, social media marketers are all set to leverage the potential of AI in social networking and business branding.

Why do marketers need to turn to AI for social media marketing?

One of my fellow marketers said, "It's because the whos-who of digital industry is doing it". Sadly, that reason is not good enough or does justice to the enormous potential AI has brought in for social media marketers. To get a clear idea, let's start from the start!

You see, social media networks are dominating our lives. We spend almost 80% of our time on these networking sites. What with video-based social media marketing taking the cup this year in terms of consumer engagement on social platforms, marketers are exploring newer ways to connect with their ideal prospects. While all these read rosy, the problem is the huge amount of unstructured social data that marketers have, clubbed with a myriad of social influencers influencing consumers' buying decisions. Marketers are not left with many choices but explore AI-based tools to leverage the full power of social networking.

Quoting Lux Narayan, the CEO of Unmetric, an AI-powered social media metrics company -

According to Narayan, there are six core areas where AI is leaving a strong impact on social media marketing; an impact that is hard to ignore in this customer-centric-marketing-era.

1. Content creation
2. Consumer intelligence
3. Customer service
4. Influencer marketing
5. Content optimization
6. Competitive intelligence

There is no doubt that Narayan has himself revealed the reasons why social media marketers are getting inclined heavily towards AI-based marketing and branding.

So, how are social media marketers are exploring the impact of AI on social networking and branding?

Doing data-driven social marketing merged with creative ideas will help you get the attention of your target prospects. And yes, Social media is where you can build your brand image. There are about 3.2 billions of people active on social media platforms. You don't need to shout out to your target audience but let them find you and connect with you on-the-go. The more personalized your social strategy will be, the better will your ideal buyers connect with your brand. So, put your creative hats on and let's get ready for the future.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are two ideas that marketers are breaking down into bits and pieces to make use. But the essential question is how it will come into use in social media marketing? The answer is social media networking and social ads.

Let's be honest here. Despite various arguments, no other marketing channel has grasped AI better than social. AI defines the content you see, the ads you get, and monitors how you connect with your contacts. This is one primary reason why you should be cautious while building content for social platforms.

Social media giant, Facebook, is the living proof of this.

It does not need to optimize the time of the day or do elaborate keyword research, but run an algorithm that is individual customer-specific.

When you run an ad on Facebook, you must know that AI is at play in deciding who will see your ads and when and how. Infact, learning to sync your Facebook ads is very crucial for all marketers.

Create Facebook ads with your ideal specifications and leave the rest to the algorithm.

I am asking you to believe me blindly. For one, you can test yourself and see. Otherwise, trust this update from Facebook's business news portal where Facebook ad relevancy score is as high as 7 on an average.

What is Ad Relevance Score and why it should matter?

Relevancy score is calculated based on the reviews your brand receives, both positive and negative, to your ads. The more your ad receives positive feedback, the higher is the relevancy score. It is usually defined between 1-10, 10 being the highest.

The sole reason why relevancy score is important is that it helps in reducing your cost of reaching your target audience.

This testifies the fact that Facebook ads, when set up properly, can give you more reach to your target audience and that too lot faster. However, negative reviews can bring down your relevancy scores drastically. Infact, social media is one place where things escalate real fast - be it good or bad. For instance, remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Scandal where the company had to recall all the Note 7 handsets after various reports of batteries exploding. The news spread like fire on the brand's social media page, bringing a 30-point drop in its BrandIndex rating.

Such incidents like that of Samsung’s is accidental, but the whole point here is, your social brand image can get largely impacted by a single negative review, giving way to trolls and memes.

Brands can find themselves in sudden nightmares if product hoax stories or product disasters or trolls from competitors make way into social media. Luckily, AI is on its way to curating conversation flows and content to manage such fiascos. Using various filtering systems, AI systems are capable of monitoring millions of user comments across a large range of platforms and predict an emergency long before it occurs in real-time.

Lesson 101: Ethical companies do not usually vet comments that are offensive or inappropriate. When they get intimidation of an emergency spinning up, social media marketers can immediately work to release official statements addressing the impending issues and bringing forth transparency. This not just offers assurance to consumers but uplifts the brand's image. Infact, social media marketers are using chatbots and machine learning to send personalized messages to consumers who raise a concern.

Effective social media marketing is a pointer to a brand's strength, and social media followers and conversations are telling metrics of that brand's success.

Guest Authored By Pritha Bose. Pritha is the Marketing Content Specialist at Aritic where she writes and edits for their marketing and sales blog. She has an eye for details and likes to do in-depth research for her articles. In her free time, Pritha likes to travel and post pictures of beautiful locales on her Instagram profile. Follow Pritha on Twitter.

"While many argue that AI will take away the human element from the conversation, the reality is a lot different. Bots are adding the much-needed personalization by replicating and automating repetitive functions, allowing human marketers to focus their energy on providing a more holistic and positive customer experience.." -PrithaBose

  • Post Crafted By:
    Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, CO. where I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
Follow Me Yonder..                     Instagram

Friday, December 7, 2018

How To Get Millennials To Buy From YOU?

How to use social media to get millennials to buy from you.

By following these tips, you'll be sure to create a digital presence that captivates millennial consumers..

Ecommerce sales in the United States are projected to surpass $504 billion by the end of this year -- and millennials are historically a driving force in the ever-increasing growth of online shopping.

What's better, they are currently the most valuable target demographic for modern businesses.

But, with a plethora of digital marketing tactics, remarketing campaigns, email campaigns and more inundating consumers, how can brands capitalize on this digitally inclined demographic to boost their own bottom line?

Target them on social media, of course!

Young target audiences flock to social media in droves.

A study from the Pew Research Center examined U.S. adults' use of social media. All in all, the overwhelming majority of Americans regularly use social media. In fact, a whopping 68 percent alone frequent Facebook.

However, it seems that the younger the user, the more prominent the social media use. The research found that 88 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 78 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds use at least one social media channel -- which almost perfectly aligns with millennials' age group of 22 to 37.

Studies show that social media platforms influence ecommerce shopping experiences with millennials.

My company DesignRush conducted a study that analyzed 219 millennials' ecommerce behaviors on social media platforms. We found:

1. Thirty percent of millennials purchase products directly on Facebook.
2. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest foster the most brand trust and help young adults find discover products they would actually use.
3. Snapchat is irrelevant for ecommerce and branding -- only 5 percent of millennials believe it creates the most trustworthy relationship.
4. Sixty-one percent of millennials trust a friend's endorsement the most, followed by their own experience with a brand (51 percent) and website reviews (48 percent).
5. Thirty-one percent of respondents said social media influences their purchases. However, they complete the transaction elsewhere.

The survey's key findings show that social media marketing has a direct effect on brand visibility, awareness and conversion rates. These results also reinforce the ideas that the best platforms are those that are robust, ever-evolving and user-centric -- such as Facebook.

Here's how to integrate your ecommerce and social media marketing strategy.

The findings of millennials' social media shopping habits can be used to improve your own brand's strategy.

After all, if brands were left to guess which platforms would appeal to a younger demographic, they might find themselves going all-in on Snapchat. However, despite boasting a hefty 300 million active users, Snapchat lacks the finesse, brand discover-ability factor and website traffic capabilities to truly inspire meaningful purchases or build long-term brand growth.

Therefore, businesses shouldn't leave themselves to guess which social media channels will inspire a millennial audience, but instead look at more specific insights when formulating a strategy.

Luckily, the survey's findings outline a few simple fixes that can drastically improve ecommerce conversions through social media, including:

Invest in Facebook initiatives.

Millennials audiences (and, frankly, all demographics) overwhelmingly rely on Facebook for their social media needs. Luckily, there are plenty of tactics that can improve your brand identity, customer services' and even direct purchases right on the platform. Try strategies such as:

--Organic and sponsored posts
--Retargeting advertisements
--Advertisements targeting a custom audience
--A fully functional ecommerce store, embedded directly into the social platform

There are several programs to help you achieve the latter. These include WooCommerce, WP-eCommerce and Ecwid. By creating a separate Facebook shop, you can target potential consumers with ads and products that might love and make it easier for them to complete a purchase, which increases conversion rates.

Utilize user-generated content.

A younger target audience trusts real people as opposed to influencers and celebrities (although influencers do historically perform better than traditional famous people). Therefore, whenever possible, humanize your brand by including user-generated content.

Repost real people's photos on Instagram, ask for personal testimonials or even try a social media video featuring real consumers. This will foster an honest brand-to-consumer relationship that is proven to grow brands and increase revenue. Warby Parker, SoulCycle and Aerie, respectively, are all great examples of these user-generated content tactics in action.

Plus, don't forget website reviews! Make it easy for customers to leave reviews on your website -- and give them a few options for rating the product, such as star ratings, images, recommendations and paragraph descriptions. Not only will this build credibility with new customers, but it will make your returning consumers feel as though their voice is welcome and will be heard by your brand.

Build an authentic, well-branded online community.

Although integrated ecommerce shops and targeted advertisements are crucial for reaching millennials on social media platforms and transforming them into regular customers, taking the time to create a community that represents your brand will result in longevity. To achieve this:

--Ensure you also publish non-paid social media posts.
--Respond to comments and customer service requests.
--Create campaigns that engage consumers.
--Ensure your imagery and messaging.
--Don't just promote your products -- add some informative posts and information to your social channels, too.

These strategies can still add business value by driving traffic to your website, showcasing your area of expertise or promoting your brand's core values. However, going the extra mile and incorporating these tactics will cultivate a well-rounded and comprehensive social media presence that will appear genuine to consumers and add validity to those oh-so-important ads and ecommerce promotions.

Social media and ecommerce strategies can work together to grow your business.

It's undeniable that social media marketing strategies directly influence conversions and revenue. However, it can be difficult to understand how to leverage social media platforms to ensure success.

Guest Authored by Gabriel Shaoolian. Gabriel is the founder and director of DesignRush, a digital destination for designers to inspire creativity and career growth. Previously, he was the founder and executive director of Blue Fountain Media, a full-service NYC digital agency focused on growing brands online. Follow Gabriel on Twitter.

"By following the tips above, you'll be sure to create a digital presence that captivates millennial consumers. This will empower you to transforms them into life-long users of your brand for decades to come, ensuring a long line of success for your business.." -GabrielShaoolian

  • Post Crafted By:
    Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, CO. where I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
Follow Me Yonder..                     Instagram