According to a survey from Webs.com more and more small to medium sized businesses are flocking to social media as a way to grow their business and communicate with existing clients. Here are a few of the primary takeaways.
- 69% of small business owners use social media
- More than 89% are using Facebook
- 77,5% plan on spending more time on social media
- 40.8% use social media to attract new customers
These results are not surprising especially given the impact that a social media presence can influence your organic search presence it only makes sense to see this grow even more.
Lady Gaga’s Innovative Use of Social Media
Lady Gaga, who has already proven to be one of the most innovative and influential superstars of recent generations, has recently been at the forefront of yet another wave of change, this time in the area of social media. With the release of her new album “Edge of Glory” and single of the same name, Lady Gaga launched a social media campaign unlike any that has been used before, encouraging fans to post videos on YouTube of them singing and dancing to her song “Edge of Glory” and then editing the fan videos into one collective and compelling video promoting her new music. This strategy successfully forged a direct link between her and her fans and resulted in Lady Gaga’s gaining 36 million fans on Facebook and 10 million followers on Twitter.
Lady Gaga through this effective and innovative utilization of social media has proven to be an unlikely example for businesses to follow. Direct interaction with fans, or customers, has proven to be a compelling method of Internet marketing for businesses to employ, especially through tools such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
With the potential integration with YouTube, Product Search, and the Android Market this could be a game changer. The true value proposition with Google +1 is the ability to measure engagement.
You can read the complete post at Google +1 Integration.
Thanks to a report titled Lead Response Management Study from the Kellogg School of Management and presented by David Elkington, CEO of Insidesales.com and James Oldroyd, PHD Professor at M.I.T. Here are the facts.
- Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call in order to contact (by 49.7% over the worst day) and qualify (by 24.9% over the worst day) leads.
- Thursday is the best day to contact a lead in order to qualify that lead (by 19.1% better than the worst day).
- 4 to 6pm is the best time to call to make contact with a lead (by 114% over the worst time block).
- 8-9am and 4-5pm are the best times to call to qualify a lead (by 164% better 1-2pm, the worst time of the day).
- 4-5pm is the best time to contact a lead to qualify over 11-12am by 109%).
The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times in the 1st hour. The odds of calling to qualify a lead decrease by over 6 times in the 1st hour. After 20 hours every additional dial your salespeople make actually hurts your ability to make contact to qualify a lead. The odds of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 100 times. The odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times.
This is why a tool like Leadlander or Demandbase can be such valuable tools in your online business development process. If you’re interested in learning more about these tools, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
A common question amongst website and marketing managers is what is the most effective way to benchmark website traffic. Typically we have these discussions while we’re helping a company formulate their key performance indicators, but it is also something we need to revisit and reassess especially when considering the impact of social media. Contrary to some social media hype, websites aren’t going anywhere, but the age of social media does mean that we need to continually monitor and benchmark how our site is performing and how web traffic is being produced.
The big question is what are the averages that we should be comparing our website traffic against. First, it is important not just to measure your overall website traffic, but to measure your length of stay, percentage of first-time visits and first-time bounce rates, number of pages viewed and length of site visit. All important criteria, but there is another variable we’d recommend adding to the mix. Don’t forget to measure the percentage of website visitors coming from any particular traffic source. For example, is most of your traffic driven from direct navigation or type in traffic (when someone types your URL into their browser) or are they being driven from some other referral sources.
We find that companies that focus on building long-term relationships and use their website as a way to communicate with customers will tend to have a significantly higher percentage of traffic through direct navigation. It just makes sense, the more your drive customer back to your website the higher percentage they will be going to your site directly versus through some other source. It is not uncommon to see at least fifty percent of website traffic being driven through direct navigation. We feel that if this traffic is also engaging with your website content as demonstrated through time on site and pages viewed it generally means customers view your site as a resource. Like with all website traffic is it important to consistently measure these trends and try to spot any shifts that may require action. For example, a decline in traffic from existing customers may mean that the website needs to have content added or refreshed.
After you analyze your core customer base traffic then start to plot an analyze all other sources of traffic. These would include
- Search engines
- Paid media whether this be paid search or display advertising
- Social media
- Referring site links
It has been our experience that most clients will have between 30-60 percent of their total website traffic coming from organic search engine traffic with the rest being spread across the other channels. Obviously, a site with an aggressive paid search strategy may have a completely different percentage. The key take away is to benchmark your referral sources month to month and year to year to give you a clear sense of long-term trends and directions as well as an opportunity to revisit your online communications plan.