1 days / 12 talks
Thought Leaders & Digital Innovators

13th June 2019, Royal Marine Hotel
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In the thirteen years since it’s launch, Facebook has become an integral part of our everyday lives. We’ve been refreshing our Twitter feeds for eleven years, and in the five years since its inauguration, Instagram has rapidly developed from a place to share snapshots of lunch to a leading source for brand development.

The powerful pull of social media goes beyond a means of staying connected. These platforms are excellent points for consumer engagement and product endorsements.

If you’re looking to upgrade your marketing plan through social media or boost user engagement across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, here are the five key points you need to know.

#1 The Numbers

It can be difficult to see the big picture when you’re only using Twitter to retweet your favorite song lyrics. The stats below illustrate how widespread social media usage is!

  • How many people use Facebook each month? 1.28 billion, or the population of the world’s second most-populated country, India.
  • 44% of Twitter accounts go unused; nearly half of all accounts are tweet-less!
  • Each second Linked.in gets two new users.
  • More than latte art: Instagram has a per-follower engagement rate that exceeds Facebook’s by 50 times and crushes Twitter’s (120 times higher).
  • Pinterest boasts upwards of 400% more revenue per click than Twitter and 27% more per click than Facebook

#2: Social Media and Your Competitors 

When everyone from your co-workers to your mother-in-law are your Facebook friends, you know it’s imperative for your company to be active on social media. While the thought of surviving online alongside your competitors might be intimidating, there is an upside. Today’s analytics programs make it easy to track your competitors correctly. You can determine how they use social media and then figure how you compete.

Prior to Web 2.0, organizations would have to shell out huge amounts to get access to the details of their competitors. Now, that information is easily accessible and free with social media.


Take these tips to heart to compete effectively in the social media sphere:

  • Click the blue button: follow your competitors.
  • Track the content they’re generating. What types of details, products, or business aspects are they highlighting? Do they use graphics or copy-based content? How do they engage with customers?
  • Use Facebook Pages to Watch. Create a list of pages and Facebook will monitor their statistics for you!
  • Take advantage of Twitter Lists. Like Facebook Pages to Watch, prioritize certain profiles and keep track of your competitors’ tweets.
  • Check out Google+, Facebook Pages, and Yelp Reviews. See what customers have to say. What is working? What could they improve on? Compare your findings with your own strategies.

#3: Content is Key

Social media is all-over, all the time. Customers can get weary of the onslaught of articles, pictures, and media. Don’t let your content get scrolled past. Make sure your content is engaging, authentic, and attention-catching. Developing quality, relevant content is crucial.

#4: Keep up-to-date with the latest social media networks

While you’re developing strategies to implement across Facebook and Twitter, don’t let that distract you from the numerous new social media platforms that are popping up constantly. Engagement with consumers through platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat puts your business at the forefront of social media marketing.

As we move forward, video content is quickly moving into the limelight of social media strategy. Likewise, live-streaming promises to be a fixture that turns social media marketing to a real-time affair. Brands use platforms like Snapchat and Instagram to develop brand narratives that are engaging, exciting, and current.

Visual platforms incite consumer involvement. Your visual content must be enticing and interactive, inspiring shares, likes, and comments.

#5: Engage, analyze, activate with free applications

There are a wide-range of tools that can help you monitor content reception, engage consumers, and crunch the numbers produced by social media platforms. Luckily, many of these tools are free! Learn how to work with these applications to reach wider audiences and develop a better sense of your target audience.

  • Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular tools available. The application allows you to track social media posts across multiple channels, analyze reception, and schedule tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos.

  • Buffer

Buffer monitors engagement and activity data on each of your posts. This level of tracking allows you to schedule your posts for a time when they will give you the most exposure.

  • Followerwonk

Followerwonk gives you detailed insight into how your Twitter followers operate. Search for a username and find in-depth information on when your followers are likely to be online and what time they generally post. Plus, Followerwonk categorizes followers into specific categories, such as activity, follower count, or social authority, to help you better target content.

  • Viralwoot

A Pinterest-exclusive tool, Viralwoot helps you schedule and promote pins, helping you to gain new followers along the way.

These tools make it easy to plan social media campaigns. Additionally, they equip you with the data you need to target content, schedule posts at the best times, and better develop your social media strategy.

A version of this article can be found at the 3XE Digital Conference blog.


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With the rise of user-generated content, one of the biggest challenges facing digital marketers is losing control of brand image.

With the rise of social media, brands were excited about the opportunities this new network afforded, due in part to its low-cost. However, the direct-to-consumer experience of social media necessitated an evening of the playing field many marketing specialists didn’t anticipate.

Without the capital required for more traditional marketing strategy, brands found themselves navigating a marketing terrain that required innovation and consumer-understanding. Organizations that took this into consideration and developed social media marketing strategies that served to heighten the consumer experience online were the most successful. How to connect on a personal level is a problem many marketers today still puzzle over. This post examines how two brands rose to the challenge and launched successful social media marketing campaigns.

The early days of Web 2.0 saw user-generated content and social media networks dominate the digital scene. Social media in particular was perceived as the dawn of a new age, a method of connecting brands to the consumer base in an enduring, engaging manner. Additionally, social media provided organizations with an opportunity to access data about customer behavior and response that could be utilized to further micro-target and develop tailored messages for customers.

With so much open communication and interaction with customers, social media marketing originally proved to balance the scales. Brands suddenly found themselves struggling to be heard in the expanded sphere of marketing opportunities. Customers had the choice to reject brands they perceived as obtrusive. Transplanting conventional approaches to marketing into social networks ran the risk of alienating customers.

Brands are caught in the middle of a marketing tug-of-war in the social media age. As consumers now have the power to develop content, marketers become referees for brand perception. If marketers regulate consumer-generated content too strictly, the brand is perceived as opaque, which diminishes consumer communication. Alternatively, if marketers aren’t careful enough, the brand could be represented in a fashion that doesn’t correspond to the proper brand image.

The complications marketers face in developing marketing strategies for social media are intensified when considering the rapidly altering scope of technology. A study by IBM recently claimed that under 50% of of marketing managers felt prepared to meet the marketing challenges presented in social media. Despite these reservations, a CMO survey indicated that marketing managers are looking to double funds to social media campaigns over the next five years.

The outcomes of these studies indicate the complexities and prevalence of social media in today’s marketing mediascape. It’s beneficial to examine brands who have successfully incorporated consumer-concentrated marketing strategies into their social media marketing plans. By doing so, these brands curate engaged, transparent, and rewarding brand narratives for their customer base.

Proctor and Gamble’s Old Spice campaign is exemplary of a brand utilizing social media to successfully connect and engage with consumers. YouTube provided the forum for a coordinated campaign in which spokesman Isaiah Mustafa was recorded responding to customer questions and  comments.

Mountain Dew’s DEWMocracy campaign not only communicated with, but developed a new product entirely informed by, consumers via social media. Following the release of a promotional ad, consumers were given the opportunity to develop a new flavour of the soft drink, upload video content, and discuss the project online through comments, votes, and forums. The project was incredibly successful in terms of user involvement.

Both Proctor and Gamble and Mountain Dew engage with what is predicted to be the next wave of social media mania: video content. Cisco foresees that 80% of all consumer traffic will be video based by 2019. Brands must incorporate an interactive engagement with the consumer base into a natural, brand narrative in order to be successful in the era of social media.

Mountain Dew’s DEWMocracy used, successfully, a 2009 precursor to the concept of brand influencers. Influencers virtually embody the traits the brand desires customers to associate with that brand. In 2016, 95% of marketing professions attributed boosted brand awareness to influencer marketing, while 75% of marketers stated they felt influencer marketing provokes sales leads.

In 2017, engaging with a consumer base means generating a conversation with customers through social media networks. Additionally, as customer buying habits become more complicated and social media become more pervasive across various devices, brands need to be aware of how the needs of their target audience evolve across platforms and devices. A dual approach that incorporates both social media engagement and analytical tracking is the most effective approach to developing a successful social media strategy.

Negotiating the social media sphere can prove difficult for marketers. However, by developing a dialogue of engagement and user-created content with your consumer base, your brand can develop a rewarding marketing strategy. Establishing a user experience that is involved lends a value to the consumer that goes beyond material revenue.

A version of this article can be found here at the 3XE Digital Conference blog.


  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681311000036
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681311000024
  • https://hbr.org/2016/07/fix-your-social-media-strategy-by-taking-it-back-to-basics
  • http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.pdf
  • http://www.pepsico.com/live/pressrelease/The-Mountain-Dew-DEWmocracy-2-Campaign-Empowers-Brand-Loyalists-Nationwide-to-Cr04202010


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Shop owners played many roles prior to the rise of vertical integration. Direct customer interaction and on-floor management allowed a shop owner to be not only a salesperson, but also a marketing manager, product distributor, customer service representative, accountant, and, frequently, product designer. The shop owner was present for all aspects of the sales process, from aiding customers in their search for products to redevelopment and design if these products failed to meet consumer requirements. They monitored and analyzed profits, returns, and revenue. The shop owner was present for the entire cycle, and understood the customer experience in an in-depth way.

Utilizing analytics to investigate and analyze the market and customer experience provides businesses the same opportunity as the shop owner, but with a larger scope. Customer journey mapping allows business owners to access the customer experience across all fields, providing a deeper insight into marketing, development, and customer service strategy and further improvements in these areas.

As customers interact with your organization, they come into contact with the business in countless ways. Perhaps a prospective customer locates your organization first through a search or social media. As paid campaigns kick in across email or social networking profiles, these prospects come into contact with reviews and access whitepapers and material from leading industry leaders. Consider the additional “face-to-face” interactions, the customer service representatives, sales teams, and further support a prospective connects with. Across all of these channels, the analytical information your organization accumulates grows rapidly.

Customer journey mapping is a convenient method for strategically analyzing all of that data. It’s particularly conducive for collaboration across departments. Customer journey mapping equips your organization with a structure that examines multiple channels of marketing together in order to help you better identify points in interactions with your organization that may be uncomfortable or jumbled for the customer, also known as gaps. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to implementing a customer journey map is the shared understanding of how team members fit into the overall organization. A greater awareness of how individual roles correspond to the customer experience helps to facilitate team bonding and cooperation organization-wide.

Analytics provide businesses with the tools to develop a rich understanding of how marketing practices impact the consumer to further business results. An analytical approach to customer journey mapping allows for a comprehensive examination of the entire marketing experience, from customer acquisition to consumer patterns to results and revenue. Customer journey mapping provides a cohesive, “big-picture” visualization of data from the numerous data sources your organization uses: social networks, paid campaigns, email lists, and more. Combining these different strands grants your organization a clearer depiction of what strategies customers respond best to.

Customer journey mapping provides the analytical background your organization requires to implement the best marketing and development strategies possible, ensuring a clearer user experience. Additionally, it allows for cross-departmental dialogue and collaboration. Following a customer journey map is a quick route to ensuring a cohesive, valuable experience for both the prospect and your organization.

A version of this article can be found at the 3XE Digital Conference blog.

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