Dark Social: How To Crack That Nut!

Emerging trend: Dark social, as in private social media conversations (e.g., SMS, email, Snapchat, Whatsapp, FB messenger), is significantly bigger in volume and impact more decisions than what we coin as word of mouth today. This trend was first brought to public attention by the Atlantic. And now according to a new study from Radium One cited in Media Post
·         91% of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods, and  

·         59% of all online sharing is via dark social

Implication: Critical opinions about family, health, politics, and religion will largely remain in private digital circles. Marketers will need to rely on self-reported data (e.g., surveys, interviews) and trusted relationships to gauge brand and other topic mentions in dark social.
1- Improve email targeting
2- Make your content hyper relevant to your target audience. 
3- Invest in social CRM team and infrastructure to keep close connections with customers who will take the information to their friends and family, and give you feedback.

Nutbox Moves Fast to Draw Customers Post Hurricane Irene

If you had the pleasure of shopping for food in New York between Friday afternoon and Saturday noon, your experience could simply be described as mayhem: Long lines, empty shelves, baskets filled with panic – rather than family-budget choices. You may think these shops made a killing thanks to Hurricane Irene. But remember they were closed during what would have been their busiest time in the week, because of the emergency situation in the area. 

Many stores in our Brooklyn neighborhood remained closed after the stormed moved from the area with employees stranded in other boroughs. Meanwhile Nutbox, an eclectic store that sells all sorts of nuts and dried fruit, moved fast. Around 3PM, I got an email from them saying their Brooklyn shop was open until 7PM and I could come in for a free taste of their latest coffee flavor. In 15 minutes, we were in the store, buying Spanish paprika and onion flakes. 


The cost of coffee to Nutbox is probably 15 cents. The email push is I’m guessing also nominal — they used Mail Chimp. We paid about $10 for the two items. Two other customers walked in while we were there, after they saw activity in the store. 

Nutbox’s simple email is chock full of small business lessons:

1- Use nimble technology: Use affordable, turnkey systems such as Mail Chimp e-mail manager to reach out to your opt-in list.

2- Move fast – you’re the boss: You don’t have to run your brilliant idea up the chain. If it’s at low cost to you, just do it.

3- Tailor your messages to customer needs: ‘Come and have a cup of coffee,’ was the perfect message to increase foot traffic post Hurricane Irene debacle. People were glued to their TV sets for almost two days and were aching to get back to normal – as in times when they could leisurely walk and buy something they can enjoy without a certain sense of urgency.

4- Good service means cross-sell, up-sell opportunities: We could have easily walked in to just grab our coffee and walked back out. But with so many rightly priced items at our disposal, and having just received a bit of an incentive, we went ahead and shopped for nice-to-haves.

5- Don’t miss a chance to beat competition: Both Starbucks shops in the neighborhood were closed with signs saying ‘Blame the weather, not us!’ And it would have been perfectly understandable if Nutbox remained shut through Sunday and even Monday. But, why miss the opportunity to offer something people cannot get elsewhere?





Posted via email from dotwom’s posterous

Email Still Has It

Long before myriad of apps took over itunes, there was talk of the sticky app. In Web 1.0 days, techies would wonder “What will be the one application that will have the ‘it’ factor?” Email would often come up. Then it would be quickly dismissed–many believed it had to be more complicated or futuristic than that. Fast forward to 2011, email is still going strong. In fact, according to a recent Technographics report from Forrester, consumers are now less likely to delete messages without reading. They are also less likely to opt out or wish they had opted out. 

Longitudinal data from the report shows a steady decline in what email marketers would consider bad behavior. In 2006, 73 percent of consumers deleted most email messages from advertisers without reading. This incidence dropped to 63 percent in 2008 and to 59 percent in 2010. While one-half (49 percent) of consumers wished it were easier to unregister from email offers in 2006, only 28 percent shared the sentiment in 2010. 

While these are good news for e-CRM planners, email could still use the power of organic word of mouth. Majority of consumers do not forward promotional emails. In 2006, some nine percent said they sometimes forwarded promotional emails to their friends. This incidence climbed merely to 12 percent in 2010. In the age of tell-a-friend systems such as AddThis, ShareThis and Gigya, the likelihood to forward an email could have been higher. 

Since the days Microsoft encouraged friends to tell friends to get hotmail accounts, email remains a strong and viable marketing channel. It is increasingly on target. Marketers still need work on delivering value and telling amazing stories to convince their audiences that emails are indeed worth passing along. 



Posted via email from dotwom’s posterous

Despite Facebook’s Popularity, E-Mail Leads Brand Communications


As Facebook users increasingly use their social network emails for peer communications, the e-mail marketing industry is pointing to a new study almost every month, underscoring the medium’s validity as a branding and sales channel. The latest is a study by ExactTarget and CoTweet that takes a high-level look at online consumers’ email use.

According to the study, based on more than 1,500 interviews conducted among Internet users15 and older, brands have conquered online consumers’ inboxes, they’ve seized the attention of a sizable audience on Facebook, but they have ways to go on Twitter. The study results show that grand majority of online consumers (93 percent) have signed up for some sort of daily email. Four in10 (38 percent) of online consumers are a fan of some brand on Facebook. Meanwhile, a mere five percent of online consumers follow a brand on Twitter.

Internet users’ daily surfing habits show that checking personal news reign over other online activities. Six in 10 (58 percent) users say they start their day by checking email, one fifth (20 percent) go to a search engine, and one in 10 (11 percent) begin their day on Facebook. Visits to corporate and brand sites trail behind. This hierarchy suggests that the personal inbox is the ultimate place to connect with consumers.

As Facebook took over the Internet, many focused their attention on turning the social network into a valuable relationship platform. While throwing an ever-growing online party with hundreds of Facebook fans is a significant accomplishment, email remains a critical component of full-fledged e-CRM plans. E-mail’s popularity among consumers may pose challenges to marketers to break through the inbox clutter. Yet a balanced program that blends relevant emails and entertaining Facebook content can build brand equity and increase open-rates. 


For additional information on this study, click here


Posted via web from Speaking of Social Media