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Social media marketing is moving from its exciting adolescent phase to a more mature grownup status. Online social media obsession driven by social web hormones and testosterone that drove social networks to hyperactivity are being replaced by tried and now proven activities and mature business processes. The after work and cocktail bar chats are now about when you are commencing a start up, designing your online store or launching an app. Despite its move from sexy to staid and impending “ho hum” status, social media is embedded and integrated into almost all digital and even traditional marketing activities.
Learning to use social media effectively is now essential and required if you aren’t going to be “disrupted” by your competitors and fast growing start-ups.
So let’s look at it in context in the digital marketing ecosystem, consider core essentials and tips and tactics.
The initial attraction of social media beyond connection and engagement was that is was “free”. Earn the right to appear on page one of a search engine with optimized content and search engine optimization and it can make a large difference to your sales and inquiries. Google AdWords allows you to accelerate your brand discovery and click-throughs by paying to appear on page one for selected keywords and phrases. On Facebook you can update frequently and create content that drives organic engagement without paying a cent. Grow your Twitter followers to 10,000 and you have free crowd sourced marketing to share your tweets. The other marketing route is to log into Facebook’s self-service advertising portal and start paying for some Facebook advertisements. Effective social media marketing is requiring your organisation to learn how to do both earned and paid well to ensure success.
There are some key essentials that should be part of your social media marketing foundations. I still am surprised that many companies still don’t have the top social networks secured with their brand name in their digital assets portfolio. You don’t need to be on every social network but ensuring you have the major ten (as listed in this article) registered by your organisation is vital.
A planned social media marketing strategy that is consistent with your overall marketing activities ensures that you are not chasing quick fix tactical responses to urgent marketing goals. Social media despite being free to join, does take time and resources to implement.  It costs.
Allocate and buy the right people, software and even external expert advice to ensure that you aren’t spinning your wheels and expecting the intern to perform marketing miracles.
Social media networks seem separate but in essence they are interlinked paths to your brand and need to be integrated.
Make it easy for people to listen and view your updates on their platform of choice by ensuring that you have cross-linking to other social media networks.
These are the types of activities that should be woven into every social media marketing plan.
Don’t underestimate the time and expertise needed to create content that will flow across the web. Multi-media that is compelling to share on social networks is a creative process that is part art and part science.
Publishing updates to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ means that people will leave comments and feedback that needs a response from the organisation. What are the some of the basics the top social media marketing professionals implement that are essential to long term success? Add subscribing icons which allows people to subscribe to your social media networks including “Liking” you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter without leaving your site. Facebook cannot be ignored as it is the defacto social network with nearly one in two people that use the internet as members. Twitter is the unfiltered “Wild West” of the social media “in” group and is often underestimated as a media for connecting with focused target groups and distributing your content at velocity.
LinkedIn is the white collar professionals playground and if you work in any knowledge industry you need to be participating here.
More formal than Facebook but LinkedIn has become increasingly important as a place to share your content and engage with industry groups on a global scale.
Google+ is now the second largest social network behind Facebook and is considered by Google as core to its platforms such as Gmail, YouTube, Blogger, Picassa and even its  search engine algorithms.
YouTube can be effective for businesses that sell to other businesses (with “How to” instructional videos) as well as for consumer related brands. What many people don’t realise is that YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google and is vital for visibility on the social web. Create “How To” videos that explain insights into using your product whether that is about how to use software or even riding a horse.
It is a visual niche social network that is proving to be  a driver of significant traffic driver for image rich eCommerce sites. Instagram received fame when it was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion despite the fact is was making a loss and only had 16 employees. Arrange a feed for your Instagram photos into your interactive website, ecommerce site or blog. Use Instagram to increase engagement on Facebook by asking open ended questions when posting a photo.
Viddy and the video feature on Instagram thinks that 15 seconds is the right length for a video short message while Vine has chosen 6 seconds.
Product demonstration: One to two minute video reviews of products in your online store are now maybe too long.
Give your brand a personality: Social media allows and wants you to give your brand a personality. Re-purpose your PowerPoint’s into a blog article and embed your presentations in that post.
Use Slideshare to capture inquiries as the paid “Pro” version allows you to create a lead form that is embedded in your PowerPoint.
My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” shows you how. I’ve found success with incorporating purpose driven social websites as a way to harness the focus, attention and time from people that we are networking with on the larger social networks. We’ve also started to incorporate social websites to generate direct feedback from members to find out their habits, expectations, etc. THanks Jason for those insights and I do like the core brand which is supported by sub-brands. For me, one of the most important things to do is to create a great profile.A social media profile is meant to develop rapport with potential followers. Infografic, the marketing mix is a business tool used in marketing and by marketing professionals, four Ps. SWOT Analysis is a time-tested analytical tool that encourages you to focus your planning efforts around analyzing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing your enterprise.
Get help with SWOT Analysis or share your expertise and experiences!GO TO:•What Is Positioning? SWOT Analysis: The BasicsAn often overlooked aspect of SWOT Analysis is that it is always based around achieving a definitive objective.
SWOT Analysis: Key QuestionsWhat are the fundamental points of differentiation that define each category for your specific situation? Generally speaking, your strengths allow you to capitalize on opportunities in order to fulfill objectives.
The "You" Sales and Marketing approach to SWOT Analysis seeks to boil each set of questions down to crucial questions of customers and value.
Do you have insights, advice or a story about strategic marketing to share with other readers? You’ll be joining the 130,000 Smart Insights members from 80 countries who trust our advice to Plan, Manage and Optimize their marketing.
I think many readers will be familiar with Slideshare, a business-to-business (mostly) presentation sharing website which enables organisations to upload their PowerPoint presentations (or Mac Keynote) and Word documents and share them with the world.
As an example, you may have seen Dave Chaffey's Slideshare, its power is shown because some presentations like this one on trends for 2012 will reach several times more people through Slideshare's platform than the embeds on Smart Insights. This happens because Slideshare facilitates sharing within it's platform and through the social networks.

Elqoua and Hubspot are both great examples of leveraging Slideshare to its best potential, they leverage the paid service to turn Slideshare into a well branded repository of content that tells the brand story, whilst at the same time capturing leads. If you're serious about inbound (or content) marketing, and you're in the B2B space then you won't need me to tell you about the importance of easily digestible content in the hands of the right people (influencers or leads). A powerful branded outpost since Slideshare has serious reach, within Google and LinkedIn - hugely important for B2B marketers. Your content in one place - upload it once and the use the embed code to plant your Slideshare content wherever you wish, on your site, in blog posts, for example.
An announcement about Instagram providing 15 second videos barely makes a ripple in the blogosphere. These will help you get started and also optimize your current social media marketing activities. Spend a dollar and get a profit of two dollars means that it is an activity worth pursuing despite the cost. That challenge is becoming a mountain of effort as Facebook pushes you to pay for attention.
Twitter’s self serve advertising is also available to help you gain that important online visibility. It needs a good headline, a compelling introduction and a well structured layout with sub-titles, bullet points and short sentences that make content consumption compelling.
Bigger is better. Continue to grow your Facebook likes, Twitter followers and other social networks. It weaves social signals such as Tweets, +1’s and other social media interactions into rankings results on its search engine. This includes writing a headline for YouTube that includes keywords that are important for your industry. Recent new data is showing that it has now become the 4th largest referral network after passing Yahoo and now only sits behind Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Walmart is considering plans to include trending pins (Pinterest posts) as one of the signals it listens to in its own eCommerce search engine as signalling buyer intent. Focus on the keywords that matter most for your brand, align this with what you know about how your audience searches (and what they are searching for) and incorporate them into your board titles and pin descriptions. This social media app that started life as a mobile app without even a website makes sharing images to Facebook and Twitter from your smart phone simple and fun. Maybe there is some science behind both but let’s look at some possible ideas for marketing with a short video.
I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Some are long-term and some are just beginning, but they are what make us connect as human beings. For someone starting out like me as a blogger using social media – your advice is INVALUABLE! You want people to make a quick judgement that you are competent, sane, engaged, likable, and trustworthy. The first two are seen as being Internal to your organization while the latter two are External environmental or market conditions.A lot has been said and written around SWOT Analysis and the basics of this technique are easy to master. For each SWOT category you should have a handful a€“ ideally not more than 3-5 a€“ of essential questions that uniquely shape that category for you.
On the other hand, weaknesses make you vulnerable to threats which in turn detract from objectives.SWOT Analysis brings to light the ongoing and dynamic effort that is necessary to achieve success in any enterprise. Looking back at basic definition, your business revolves around creating value then creating customers for this value. Perhaps you have implemented a different marketing analysis approach that has worked really well or have insights into implementing strategic marketing for different kinds of businesses! Your representation of SWOT Analysis Synergies is pretty profound in a way and I have to say that I have not …Click here to write your own. It’s an excellent way to showcase your thought leadership ideas as part of a content marketing strategy. Obtain 100,000 likes and you have earned some attention that drives traffic to your digital properties. So making sure your memorable brand is recognised wherever your customer’s hangout is vital.
Also add a description, categories and tags that allow Google to find and know what your video is about. Finally, be sure to set the board “cover image” to a pin that best conveys the topic of that board. Maybe your messaging will get better as you learn to communicate the key features and not the unnecessary.
If you are an author, a business to business marketer or work in a knowledge industry then it should be in your social media toolbox. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.
If you have the time to respond, who or which app do you recommend to start a Facebook contest? It has helped attract more members to Social HubSite because community members have associated their engagement around the brand, versus an interaction with an interest based group. The content along with community management tasks is definitely a task and a half Having someone manage the process along with the platform is critical. Unfortunately, when people are making a split-second decision as to whether or not to follow you, looks count. In order to add value to this discussion, I will present the basics of SWOT in new ways as well as provide overview guidance on making the most of this analytic tool. On the other hand, your Weaknesses expose you to Threats that hinder you from your objective.Strategic Planning around SWOT is built on answering the following questions: How can you best maximize and utilize strengths? These Key Questions for each category will depend on what you are using SWOT Analysis for, e.g. Internal strengths and weaknesses must be continually assessed in order to build on opportunities while safeguarding against threats.A final element brought to light in this representation of SWOT is that the organization seeks to expand and fulfill its objectives through the market. It's easy to see how Slideshare can be a part of a hub-and-spoke approach to marketing, or the digital marketing radar as we describe it. Thus, the various entities of your business portfolio may move forward by a different pace and with a different strategy. As much as you can focus on the customer and market conditions, you will be able to meet your organizational goals. Opportunities are areas to add value to your offerings and a threat is anything that can cause you to lose customers."You" Sales and Marketing SWOT Analysis should be applied in conjunction with the more traditional SWOT approaches discussed here. A rich repository of content relating to your market and opportunity for your content to play a role in that eco-system.
The BCG analysis actually helps you in deciding which entities in your business portfolio are actually profitable, which are duds, which you should concentrate on and which gives you a competitive advantage over others.Once you know which businesses stand where in your business portfolio, you also come to know which businesses need investments, which needs harvesting (making money), which needs divesting (reducing investment) and which needs to be completely taken out of the business portfolio. Both are essential in building relationships and attracting the right community around your brand, one just brings a deeper level of context and association with the brand. For the purposes of our discussion, however, I will examine it from a purely sales and marketing perspective. In asking what our unique strengths are, the inverse of that question asks what our unique weaknesses are. On the other hand, threats and weaknesses bring the focus back home where diligent housekeeping is needed to keep you competitive and able to take advantage of all the market has to offer.
For a major organization like HUL, ITC etc which have multiple categories and within the categories, they have multiple lines of products, the BCG analysis becomes very important.
In the same way, because Opportunities and Threats are opposites that relate to the external environment, they can be explored similarly.Generally speaking, the Key Questions for any given exercise will always be the same. The tools and methods I have provide here are meant to give you a solid understanding of SWOT Analysis which you should then tailor to meet your specific needs. At a holistic level, they get to make a decision on which product to continue and which product to be divested.
I will explore additional synergies between Strengths and Opportunities and between Weaknesses and Threats later in this section.In understanding and applying SWOT Analysis to your own planning it is useful to consider the Key Questions and Pertinent Factors I have outlined below for each SWOT category (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
So, an overall business planning SWOT exercise will always revolve around the same key questions in each category. Business analysis is a vast subject of discussion encompassing countless definitions, models and theorization that extend beyond the scope of this brief summary.

In developing the right mindset for making the most out of such analytical tools you should be able to develop you own key questions as best suit your specific purpose and circumstances.Let us examine Key Questions for each SWOT category for the purpose of general business planning. This growth rate is then pitched on the graph.Thus by having 2 basic but at the same time very important factors on X axis and Y axis, the BCG matrix makes sure that the classifications are concrete. In the customer-centric view of the world I talk about with "You" Sales and Marketing your strengths should translate into unique customer benefits.
As you embark on your venture, preparation and due diligence is vital to your success.Be SpecificIn analyzing the various factors affecting your business decisions and outcomes it is important to break things down in order to arrive at the most simplistic descriptions possible. Similarly, weaknesses are where you ultimately fall short in serving customers.Operational or de facto strengths or weaknesses are based on your resources and abilities as a company.
For example, instead of listing "marketing problems" as a weakness, specify the who, what, where, why and how of the problem.Be ConsistentSWOT Analysis is not a one-time exercise but should be applied on an ongoing basis when and as appropriate.
The market share on the other hand comprises of the competition and the product potential in the market.
The ultimate goal should be creating a mindset around business planning that you use everyday and at every milestone in achieving your objectives.Be FlexibleThings change, the market changes and your business changes.
Thus when we consider growth rate and market share together, it automatically gives us an overview of the competition and the industry standards as well as an idea of what the future might bring for the product.Once the businesses have been classified, they are placed into four different quadrants of the matrix. Alternatively, comparative strengths and weaknesses are based on your knowledge of the competition can also be analyzed. As such, your planning should change as you continue to develop new strengths, investigate new opportunities, assess weaknesses and stave off new threats.PrioritizeAs with all planning, it is important to develop a order of priority in dealing with the various findings your SWOT Analysis uncovers. These shape your unique positioning strategy.Understanding how the market views you a€“ that is, customers, competition and analysts a€“ equips you to gear sales and marketing efforts around emphasizing perceived strengths while educating around real ones.
As well as measuring the importance versus urgency of issues, you can also apply a system of ranking and prioritizing various factors in terms of their organizational importance.QuantifyBuilding on the need for specificity in all your planning it is importance to incorporate as much data as possible into your SWOT exercises.
Lets discuss the characteristics and strategies of each quadrant in detail.1) Cash Cows in the BCG MATRIXThe cornerstone of any multi product business, cash cows are products which are having a high market share in a low growing market.
In the same way you must address real weaknesses while educating around perceived ones.The question of reality versus perception is crucial to all of sales and marketing. If you are looking at a problem with retaining new customers, are there specific conversion metrics you can gather?
As the market is not growing, that cash cow gains the maximum advantage by generating maximum revenue due to its high market share. It is no good having the best product in the world if nobody knows about it and the same can be said of your unique strengths and competitive advantages.
What other measurements and standards can you effect in order to shore up your study?SpecializeAs the size of your organization grows and more and more people are involved in your business enterprise, you can begin to tap into different pools of expertise in lending credibility to a SWOT Analysis.
Thus for any company, the cash cows are the ones which require least investment but at the same time give higher returns. As well as internal teams consisting of members from various departments, you can also lean on customer, partners and other industry sources for crucial insights.Strategy, TacticsAny kind of business planning can always be high level or low level going from strategic to tactical. These higher returns enhance the overall profitability of the firm because this excess revenue can be used in other businesses which are Stars, Dogs or Question marks.Strategies for cash cow –  The cash cows are the most stable for any business and hence the strategy generally includes retention of the market share. Pertinent Factors can be categorized as Internal Factors and External Factors for the purposes of SWOT planning.Internal FactorsThese factors are those that affect your Strengths and Weaknesses and are within or a part of your enterprise. SWOT planning can similarly be applied to long term objectives as well as shorter term goals and overall corporate strategy as well as day-to-day tactics.
As you can see, SWOT Analysis brings up the more basic question of how to define the internal and external factors that shape business. If you look at any top 5 telecom company, the market share is good but the growth rate too is good.
Any methodology used to define your business and business environment can then provide points of analysis for a SWOT exercise.External FactorsThese factors within a SWOT Analysis are those that affect Opportunities and Threats and are external to your organization. Thus because these two factors are high, the telecom companies are always in competitive mode and they have to juggle between investment and harvesting vis investing money and taking out money time to time. Unlike cash cows, Stars cannot be complacent when they are top on because they can immediately be overtaken by another company which capitalizes on the market growth rate.
The factors listed above are merely definitions to get your started and are not endpoints that are graded from 1-10 to establish Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. However, if the strategies are successful, a Star can become a cash cow in the long run.Strategies for Stars –  All types of marketing, sales promotion and advertising strategies are used for Stars. Each should be elaborated on as appropriate for your situation.What other ways can you find to categorize the various factors that play into your own SWOT Analysis? This is because in cash cow, already these strategies have been used and they have resulted in the formation of a cash cow.
Almost any model for analysis internal and external business conditions can be used to define specific factors that will come into play in a SWOT exercise. Similarly in Stars, because of the high competition and rising market share, the concentration and investment needs to be high in marketing activities so as to increase and retain market share. Whichever model you are comfortable with and use should also be applied to SWOT planning.There is no end to how you can categorize the various factors that affect your decisions in obtaining your objective. 3) Question Marks in the BCG MatrixSeveral times, a company might come up with an innovative product which immediately gains good growth rate.
Each set of factors is based on a specific perspective of looking at businesses and so you may find some overlap and interchange when looking at and analyzing the factors pertaining to your specific enterprise in various ways.Thinking about factors is a great way to expand your analysis of any one Strength, Weakness, Opportunity or Threat to ensure that you cover the full range of variables affecting your planning.
For example, if a specific organizational process is deemed "time intensive" and this is seen as a weakness, then what about other process delays?
The product might lose customer interest and might not be bought anymore in which case it will not gain market share, the growth rate will go down and it will ultimately become a Dog. On the other hand, the product might increase customer interest and more and more people might buy the product thus making the product a high market share product. As well, the synergies between Strengths and Opportunities as well as Weaknesses and Threats are highlighted here.
From here the product can move on to be a Cash Cow as it has lower competition and high market share. Thus Question marks are products which may give high returns but at the same time may also flop and may have to be taken out of the market. The major problem associated with having Question marks is the amount of investment which it might need and whether the investment will give returns in the end or whether it will be completely wasted.Strategies for Question marks –  As they are new entry products with high growth rate, the growth rate needs to be capitalized in such a manner that question marks turn into high market share products. New Customer acquisition strategies are the best strategies for converting Question marks to Stars or Cash cows.
Furthermore, time to time market research also helps in determining consumer psychology for the product as well as the possible future of the product and a hard decision might have to be taken if the product goes into negative profitability.4) Dogs in the BCG matrixProducts are classified as dogs when they have low market share and low growth rate. However, they are considered as negative profitability products mainly because the money already invested in the product can be used somewhere else. It can be moved only to the question mark region where again the future of the product is unknown. Thus in cases of Dog products, divestment strategy is used.Sequences in BCG MatrixSuccess Sequence in BCG Matrix – The Success sequence of BCG matrix happens when a question mark becomes a Star and finally it becomes a cash cow.
The success sequence unlike the disaster sequence is entirely dependent on the right decision making.Disaster sequence in BCG Matrix – Disaster sequence of BCG matrix happens when a product which is a cash cow, due to competitive pressure might be moved to a star. It fails out from the competition and it is moved to a question mark and finally it may have to be divested because of its low market share and low growth rate.
This sequence affects the company as a lot of investments are lost to the divested product. Along with this the money coming in from the cash cow which is used for other products too is lost.Strategies based on the BCG Matrix. These strategies are1) Build – By increasing investment, the product is given an impetus such that the product increases its market share. Example –  Pushing a Question mark into a Star and finally a cash cow (Success sequence)2) Hold – The company cannot invest or it has other investment commitments due to which it holds the product in the same quadrant. The strategies recommended after BCG analysis help the firm decide on the right line of action and help them implement the same.

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