social media toolsGames are everywhere.

More and more businesses are using gamification to create brand awareness and drive user engagement.

Gartner, Inc. predicts that more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014.

In the last few years, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of companies that deliver gamification services and solutions including Bunchball, BigDoor Media, Badgeville and Gigya.

“Gamification typically involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging.” (From Gamification Wiki)

What follows is an A-Z guide of 26 elements you should be aware of when you consider a gamification marketing strategy for your business.

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social media how toHave you been able to turn your fans and followers into active prospects?

Are you interested in monetizing the social media channel?

Keep reading for five tips to turn fans and followers into a revenue channel.

But first…

Do Fans Mean Business?

Marketers have made tremendous strides in growing their audiences on social media channels. There have been concerns over whether social media could only be successful in business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, but we’re starting to see great case studies in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands.

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social media researchAre you being asked to prove the value of social media for your business?

Do you struggle to accurately measure the return on investment (ROI) of your social media marketing?

You’re not alone. Several new research studies reveal that marketing managers are under increased pressure to show measurable results from their social media efforts.

But these same managers indicate that measuring the returns is one of their top two challenges for 2012.

See how your experience compares to others in the industry.

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social media viewpointsAre you prepared to put your customers in charge of your brand… literally?

What would happen if you gave your customers the keys to your corporate social media channels? This article reviews the rewards and the risks marketers face as they decide how much brand control they’re willing to give up.

Marketers are just coming to terms with how to deal with customers having free rein to either praise or bash their companies, but I think there may be a new trend on the horizon—the customer brand ambassador.

You have customers who love your brand and rave about it. But their reach only extends so far. Why not give them a platform to amplify their reach and spread the word? Think about it… It really could be a beautiful partnership.

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social media how toDo you know how social media is helping your business? Want to find out how Twitter, Facebook and other sites are impacting your brand awareness?

The good news is social media has finally made it to the grand stage of “accountability.” A place where there are lots of people who want to measure it. The bad news is there isn’t a single clear-cut answer.

However, with a few simple steps, you can build a measurement strategy that accomplishes your goals.

Defining Terms

To start, let’s agree that brand awareness is a measure of how recognizable your brand is to your target audience. For those looking to get ahead of the curve on social media measurement, the first step is to align your social media metrics with metrics your company is already comfortable with.

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With social media marketing evolving at a rapid pace, it’s essential to stay current on the latest industry trends. Here are some interesting findings from recent social media studies:

#1: Social Media Engagement Big Challenge for Many Businesses (Deloitte)

Survey results from a recent Deloitte study (2009 Tribalization of Business Study), point to some key challenges that organizations are facing as they move toward integrating online communities into their social media strategy.

Here are the top three areas respondents identified as obstacles:

  • Keeping visitors engaged:  30%
  • Getting people to join:  24%
  • Encouraging return visits to the online community:  21%

In addition, the majority of respondents agreed that the following are key business outcomes for their online communities:

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In this interview I talk with Scott Monty—head of social media for Ford Motor Company—and the man in charge of Ford’s social media presence and initiatives like

When you think of Ford, you might think “old American car company.” However, under the direction of Scott Monty, Ford has become one of the leading big businesses in America using social media to connect directly with consumers. And it certainly seems that Ford is on the right track to success, recently reporting 1 billion dollars in profit!

In this video, you’ll learn how Ford uses TweetUps to help Ford executives connect with customers across America and how Ford is humanizing its brand. Scott also provides advice to other businesses that are looking to capitalize on social media. Scott also has a little fun, as you’ll see…


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