LinkedIn didn't just delight investors today with a bullish earnings report that sent its stock up 12% by the end of after-hours trading. Company CEO Jeff Weiner and his sidekick, chief financial officer Steve Sordello, also mastered the art of making LinkedIn's future sound bright, without committing themselves to any specific targets beyond the company's traditional earnings and revenue guidance for the rest of the year.
Bringing good news to Wall Street can be just as tricky — even treacherous — as communicating during troubled times. Get too ebullient about products that haven't yet been launched, or potential customers that haven't yet been signed on, and today's upbeat remarks can lead to a subsequent stock-price cave-in and investor outrage if promised breakthroughs don't happen. LinkedIn's challenges are especially intense because the company now sports a remarkable $23.5 billion market capitalization. That's more than 14 times its annualized revenue run rate, and a vastly bigger multiple of its earnings.
When you think of NASA, you probably think of spaceships, telescopes and lunar expeditions. What you might not know is that the organization is also a powerhouse when it comes to social-media marketing. An achievement they've reached without the benefit of a social-media budget.
The agency has nearly 500 social-media accounts across multiple social networks that are managed by employees at 10 different field centers. That's a lot of tweets and Facebook updates. In April, NASA's Twitter account -- which has some 4.4 million followers -- was awarded its second consecutive "Shorty award" for the best government use of social media.
I recently spoke with John Yembrick, NASA's head of social media about how the agency manages its award-winning social-media efforts. After all, government agencies tend to be known more for their bureaucracy and red tape than for openness and social prowess.
Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full?
"Would you say this glass is half empty or full?" That is the question. When looking at that glass what does your mind tell you? This is a great way to gauge at your outlook on your Social Media Marketing (SMM). Do you look at your SMM and think, "Meh, I guess that's the best we can do." Or do you look at it and say, "Awesome, look at what we have done, but what can we do now to improve?"
businessman with marker writing and planning Do you look at your SMM and pull your hair out? Perhaps you've lost your hair already from the stress. Or do you stand up straight and look at the challenge and meet it head on and smiling the whole way through? How do you keep optimistic in the ever changing world of social media marketing?
1. Have a Plan
Measuring a return on investment in a social media campaign can be challenging since these campaigns may not directly influence your bottom-line. Most of the time, what will you get from your social media campaign is a return on engagement or "social depth" which allows you to become an "influencer" in your niche of operation and in the process enhancing your brand reputation. There are brands, however, which have a measurable ROI on their businesses through social media engagement. For example, some brands are able to sell tickets and products through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. A good return on engagement would be the increase in the size of your audience or fans, good brand reputation and better customer care for your customers which will lead to greater customer loyalty. There are several techniques which you can use to increase your social depth and see greater ROI on your social media campaigns.
Engagement is one the most effective ways of increasing your social media ROI. People often want to create relationships with brands and it is important to tap into this. There is a lot of user-generated content about your brand on the social media sphere and by using various social search techniques, it is possible to make an intervention and manage these conversations for the benefit of your brand. Apart from solving client issues and problems, brands can also cater to their fan base through discounts, coupons and product giveaways.
The term "viral" is on everyone's lips these days. Media outlets large and small are increasingly devoting time to covering the latest viral video or tweet. But what exactly is viral content? Does viral content tend to have certain characteristics that lend to its success? Why do we love it? Simply put, what makes content go viral?
IS IT VIRAL?
By way of a social media marketing 101 working definition, content goes viral if it spreads very fast on the Internet, just like a flu virus would in real life. The content itself can be an article, a blog, a picture, or a video, but it must be very funny, controversial or thought-provoking so that people feel an urge to talk about it or share it on social media.
Marketers are always trying to create campaigns that go viral. Hubspot social media scientist Dan Zarella defines a viral marketing campaign as "any online content created with the intent to 'go viral.' This includes non-interactive media like videos, podcasts, articles or blog posts, as well as interactive content like tools, web-based games or ARGs (alternate reality games)."
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