Social media has captured the attention and awe of the marketing world with the promise of increased customer engagement and lower marketing costs. Yet behind the buzz lies the question of how to measure its success. With no standard means of measurement, it is difficult to decipher the value of different platforms and determine the true ROI of social media marketing. To make sense of the situation, MDG Advertising created an eye-opening video based on the findings and figures from its recently-developed infographic. Watch as we feature the facts, factors, methods and metrics that marketers need to know to understand the real return of social media.
Your online reputation matters, now more than ever. But you can impact that reputation in ways you never thought possible. Here are some of the reasons to pay attention to social feedback and how to effectively engage with reviewers to build lifelong brand advocates.
Social Engagement is Connecting
It’s simple, you just have to connect with people who post comments about you in social media sites. These people are your customers and they provide opinion, fact and detailed feedback about their interaction with you online. Contrary to popular belief, these people are not just teenagers or random people with an axe to grind, they are your customers.
Social Sites are Growing in Importance
As social site popularity grows, so should your awareness and understanding of your online reputation… Your prospective customers are on the prowl for every nugget of your online reputation.
Impact of Poor Online Reputation… Gone are the days when tweets, posts and opinions faded into the digital ether. With the surge of smartphone usage, people of all ages and social economic persuasions are using the information out there to decide about their next purchase. Your online reputation has the potential to kill your brand because people will change their mind, mid-buying cycle. You have to Listen and Act.
There is Real Value in Every Connection
Engaging with online reviewers allows you to uncover opportunities for operational improvement, increase customer loyalty, and improve your online reputation. Make no mistake about it, social media feedback can help you grow your business, perhaps in ways you never thought possible. You can glean details about your service, product or offering, your pricing and promotions. Yep, all that information is at your fingertips.
The Numbers Speak for Themselves…
85% of customers are very happy when businesses respond to their public comments in online forums and social media venues.
27% were “delighted” with a public response to their social feedback.
34% deleted their original negative review after being engaged.
Follow four simple steps to improved reputation
- Listen to all reviews from all social sites, review sites, blog posts and any other digital source.
- Target social reviews based on author influence and reach, review star rating, and keywords used in the review.
- Connect with the reviewer as fast as possible and use the best practices we spell out below.
- Watch your star ratings increase and your location’s online influence grow.
5 Engagement Best Practices
1. Marketing Sanctioned, 1 Brand Aware
Responses should mirror brand image and voice. Ensure that everyone authorized to reply to posts understands your brand voice and be sure to refresh the team as your brand voice changes. Create and distribute brand-voice guidelines. Provide a standard structure and keep your replies consistent. For example, ensure you end with a standard email for customer service and signature of replier including title. Do not copy and paste replies, rather, customize the reply to each reviewer by keying off the core messages in their review.
2. Don’t Take it Personally
Keep calm and think practically. Avoid knee jerk reactions. If you have to, give yourself a time-out before replying. Research with others before replying. Remember, customers don’t usually lie but they do embellish. Find out the details so you can address concerns confidently. Take the high road, don’t defend yourself and remember a heart felt apology never hurt anyone. As with all business, keep religion and politics out of it. This is about your company and product, not your social beliefs.
3. Target both Positive and Negative Reviews
- Reference the situation and commit to improve
- Offer help or ask what you can do for them
- Remind your brand advocates that you’re listening
- Tell them something they didn’t know
- Invite them back
IN BOTH CASES
- Respond quickly, within the day if possible
- Be thankful for their feedback, every situation is a learning experience
- Reply on the public review site, but take the conversation to a designated email address that’s monitored by more than one person
Remember the “Golden Rule,” treat others as you would like to be treated!
4. Don’t just Talk…Act
Make sure you aren’t just paying lip service to the customers with whom you engage. You Must Follow Through!
First, pass the information onto the people who can make a difference in your business. Get it to the regional and general managers and their leadership teams and empower them to fix the issues quickly.
Next, encourage GM’s to use the information in pre-shift meetings for long term improvement. Reward staff whose efforts yield amazing customer service with monetary gifts and team-wide recognition. Consider creating a social media Hall of Fame or provide incentives for staff mentions: gift cards, shift priorities, time off, priority parking, and so on.
5. Measure your Progress
Ensure you keep track of engagement replies including who replied, reply date, and actual reply content. This is valuable for audit and training purposes.
Give yourself targets for engagement defined as numbers or percentage of total reviews. Some examples of goals include:
- % of reviews engaged: shoot for engaging with 50% of all online reviewers, even tweets
- % of engaged customers who reply: monitor how many customers reply to your outreach
- % of engaged customers who return: use your loyalty program and customer relationship management (CRM) platform to track customer return rates
- % who re-evaluate and repost reviews: give yourself bonus points for reviewers who change online reviews due to your efforts
Grow Your Efforts As You Grow
Next you might wonder how to size your social media efforts. Keep it in proportion to your business and your online presence. As you grow, increase your outbound engagement, and distribute the workload after proper social media training.
Reviews about your business are out there, it’s imperative that you listen, respond and fix the issues before they recur. Plan a time, even if only a few minutes a week, to reply to social media reviews using these best practices. Ensure you size your team and efforts to expand as you grow.
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One of the bigger trends of 2013 has been flat design. Adopted by Apple’s iOS7 and used in updated logos for both Facebook and Instagram, the increasingly popular style is well on its way to replacing the clunky days of 3D.
Downloads for images reflecting the flat-design trend have spiked on Shutterstock by approximately 200 percent since 2012, with the US, Brazil, Korea, Russia, and the UK leading the surge, and Japan and Italy coming in closely behind. Based on the increase, it’s clear that flat design will remain a big deal in 2014.
One reason designers have turned toward this “flat” aesthetic is a push from new technology and its need for a simpler user interface (UI). Flat design elements lend themselves to cleaner app interfaces, responsive design, and better overall interaction with visual data, such as infographics. They also facilitate easier pictorial communication across languages and cultures.
Shutterstock contributors have taken note, adding over 170,00 related images to the collection. Here are 5 of the top downloaded flat-design images of 2013:
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Whilst the term “flat design” might not be a phrase you’re yet familiar with, you will definitely have noticed the concept and the design features whilst browsing the internet.
For those of you that have noticed an increase in the “drop shadow” trend in web design, the easiest way to describe flat design is to say it’s the opposite of that. Flat design is designing a website that has left behind the drop shadow and the 3D effects, and that is by all intents and purposes flat.
Flat design looks modern, fun, fresh and refreshingly simple compared to it’s 3D counterpart. Flat design is embracing the use of solid colors, sharp, well-defined typography and bold shapes. It takes away any faff and fussiness from the design making it so much easier to digest and to navigate. It’s modern and is without a doubt going to be a huge design trend this coming year.
How can you use flat design?
For me, the top selling point of flat design is the simplicity and minimalism of it. That’s not to say you need to have a simple product or minimalist brand to use this trend to your advantage. I actually like the way this trend could modernize a relatively complex or old-fashioned niche, making the information on your site easier for readers to take in and understand.
Of course, the simplicity of flat design makes it so much easier to optimize for different devices too which is another point in its favor.
We all know that mobile browsing is on the rise, and responsive design has already addressed this rise. Flat design makes web design more scalable in a similar way, because when you design with solid colors, rather than a more image based approach, you’re using less detail and so the information based footprint of your website becomes much smaller. This means it’s quicker to load and communicates faster with whatever platform your reader is using to view it on.
Where have you seen it before?
Flat design isn’t exactly new. You’ll actually notice that brands such as Microsoft had already embraced the trend a few years back, while other big brands such as Apple were too busy perfecting other techniques.
Looking back to 2007, a quick glance at the Microsoft Zune – and you can already see that clean, typography based interface taking shape. At the time it went relatively unnoticed, being overshadowed by bigger industry developments, but in 2013 it is definitely at the forefront of design trends.
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Last year saw the rise of flat design, with the method taking over icons and more. The trend doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon, with plenty of superb examples of flat design done right and continuous flat design projects – one of which is this latest offering from Brazilian designer Leandro Urban.
So, what is flat design? Basically, it’s a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colours and two-dimensional/flat illustrations. This latest project sees those aesthetics applied to the World Cup team shields.
Including every team taking part in this year’s competition, Urban has showcased the likes of Brazil, Argentina, England and France in the minimal flat design style. Do you think the design is improved from the original or would you like flat design to disappear?
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In many ways, the fast-paced evolution of the internet parallels the move toward “big data” in science. In less than a decade, online tools have exploded in popularity and witnessed rapid expansion (Figure 1), with an increasing number of scientists now looking to take advantage of these web-based resources (see Box 1 and Table 1 for an overview and comparison of existing tools).
Social media portals in particular undergo regular reinvention and transformation, with different tools becoming popular for different populations . Although a number of guides exist online, many researchers still feel overwhelmed and hesitant toward the virtual world, lacking sufficient information and guidance through formal scientific channels such as peer-reviewed journals. To better familiarize researchers with existing internet resources, here we discuss prospective benefits that can stem from online science conversations, explain how scientists can efficiently and effectively harness online resources, and provide an overview of popular online tools.
Box 1. Online Tools & Resources
Research Benefits from an Online Presence
Box 2. Advice for New Users
Explore online guides to social media
- The Superfund program at Oregon State University maintains an exhaustive list of resources (blog articles, videos, how-to guides) focused on science and social media: http://bit.ly/WkdN0G. We recommend this site as a good jumping-off point for new users.
Establish a professional website (at minimum)
- To establish an online presence and avoid undesirable Google search results, at minimum researchers should set up a personal website that lays out their specific research projects and areas of expertise, searchable by colleagues, journalists, and the public alike.
- Although professional websites can be established through your university/institute, external hosts (a free site at http://wordpress.com or a custom paid domain) offer more flexibility and are easier to access and maintain.
- If desired, a website can be supplemented with social media accounts (e.g., Twitter and Google+ profiles), which will also appear high in Google search results.
Locate pertinent online conversations
- Find people with common interests; follow the social media that they link to and that links to them.
- Use established social networks (e.g., a base of Twitter or LinkedIn contacts) or a means of notification (RSS feeds or personal messages from colleagues/acquaintances) to get started.
- It is completely acceptable to “unfollow” people or groups if their information is not relevant or useful.
- It can be beneficial to read first without contributing (“lurking”) to learn logistics and basic etiquette of different social media platforms.
Navigate the deluge of online information
- Strictly maintaining and organizing online accounts is an effective way to filter information (e.g., grouping people using Twitter lists and Google+ circles).
- Similar efficiency can be achieved by tracking and prioritizing the most relevant blogs and articles for reading (e.g., using RSS services such as Google Reader that can be accessed and synced to mobile devices via apps such as MobileRSS).
- Popular content is often heavily reposted and shared; the most important articles and conversations will usually reach you at some point.
- Explore multiple social media tools and related sites/apps for managing online accounts (Box 1). Find ones that you prefer with the appropriate features; consistent use of fewer tools is better than spreading yourself too thin across too many platforms.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help; there are many friendly and established communities who are willing and eager to assist new users.
Interact with diverse participants
- Effective social media use requires engagement with the audience.
- New users must be open to engaging with people outside one’s own professional background or realm of scientific expertise.
- Tone of discussions can vary wildly, from cordial (e.g., conversations about fascinating species) to highly argumentative (e.g., politically sensitive topics such as climate change).
- Users striving to impose a specific viewpoint on their audience (e.g., #arseniclife,http://nbcnews.to/152OCTH) or that are perceived to promote discrimination/sexism (e.g., #womenspace, http://bit.ly/KnEPRy) often face significant backlash and outrage.
Reach your audience
- Online communication methods only reach people who are interested in talking about science online.
- Mainstream media continues to represent the most effective platform for disseminating scientific information to broad audiences; 66% of Americans get their news through television, 43% through the internet, 31% through newspapers, and 19% through radio (participants were allowed to name two sources; 2011 Pew poll, http://goo.gl/g2j45).
- Online communities, conversations, and user demographics (sex ratios, racial demographics –) can vary across different tools, with surprisingly little overlap. Using multiple tools may be necessary to achieve one’s goals. Notably, many people shy away from using Facebook in light of lingering concerns about privacy (http://nyti.ms/KkwbDE).
- The majority of established bloggers (72% of 126 blogs surveyed ) use Twitter as a complementary outlet for disseminating new blog posts to followers.
Online Tools Improve Research Efficiency
Online Visibility Helps Track and Improve Scientific Metrics
Social Media Enhances Professional Networking
Broadening “Broader Impacts”
Defining Goals and Choosing among Online Tools
Long-term Needs and Outlook
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Why Social Media?
Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. (Wikipedia)
Google Hangout with Scientists using Social media on “The Science of Science Communication in Social Media“ (12-17-13)
- Social Media for Scientists Part 1: It’s Our Job:Part 2: You Do Have Time,Part 2.5: Breaking Stereotypes,Part 3: Win-Win,Part 4: On the Road Related article: On Naïveté Among Scientists Who Wish to Communicate (Scientific American)
Part 5: It’s Time To e-Volve: Taking Responsibility for Science Communication in a Digital Age.
Part 6: Social Media for Scientists: The Wiki – Filled with resources
- Social Networking for Scientists – The WikiTwitter | Facebook | Blogging | General
- Scientists: Social Media Is Not Necessarily a Waste of Time
- PowerPoint: Scientists and Social Media – The Importance of Being On-line
- Paper: An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists
- Social media for teaching, learning, and researching (slideshare presentation)
- Archived Video: Engaging with Social Media from the AAAS Annual Meeting 2013: Communicating Science Seminar
Social Media Planning
- CDC Social Media Tools, Guidelines & Best Practices
- CDC In the Know: Social media for Public Health Webcast Series
Background and Misc. Resources
- 10 Ways to Increase Usage and Citation of your Article Using Social Media (SAGE)
- How to Cite Social Media in Scholarly Writing | SAGE Connection
- In the Know: Social Media for Public Health Webcast series from NPIN
- Social Media Today – Stories, stats, and perspectives
- Social media increasingly used to gauge public health
- Public Health 2.0 Slides on Slideshare
- How Social Networks Can Harness the Power of Weak Ties
- Six ways to say thank you and support one another using social media
- Pew Internet & American Life Project (articles/stats on Internet Use)
- Pew Internet: Social Networking (full detail)(Aug. 2013)
- 72% of Online Adults are Social Networking Site Users (Aug. 2013)
- TED-Ed– Lessons worth sharing
- Facebook Stories Sept. 2012 highlighted OSU professor Video: Speeding Up Science
- Contaminants in the Environment: How Can I Be Exposed? from OSU SRP
- Mercury: From Source to Seafood from Dartmouth SRP
- Voices Of Coal: An EarthFix Multimedia Special
- Risk Bites
- Doodles in Motion – Alphachimp studio video examples
- Coal Export Terminals in the Northwest. Built with ZeeMaps, uses audio
- “NPL Superfund Footprint: Site, Population, and Environmental Characteristics” Mapper from Columbia SRP
- UCSF – Committed to the City, interactive map, video, social networking
- Right to Know SFSU – Interactive maps, video
- HealthMap: interactive map, visualize health | ehp article
- Forgotten People: Participatory Mapping and Environmental Justice
Digital Storytelling Examples
- The Waiting Room Storytelling Project
- ShotbyShot: digital storytelling, youtube, Facebook
- Center for Digital Storytelling
- Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
Mobile Tech and App Examples/Articles
- Microsampling Air Pollution (NY times, 6/3/13)
- Seven Guidelines to Great Public Health Mobile Messaging
- Apps for the Environment – The EPA challenged the public to find new ways to use and deliver EPA data in an app.
- GreenRN: mobile ap provides tips for nurses three times a week to educate and inspire nurse professionals and students about environmental health factors and ways to positively affect their patients and themselves.
- Locavore site and app to find and share local, in-season food.
- Healthy Child Healthy World: mobile apps (pocket guides), social networking
- Text2Quit: mobile, texting
- AirNow Mobile App from the EPA
- State of the Air App from the American Lung Assoc.
- CitiSense from UCSD scientists
- What’s on my food? from Pesticide Action Network
- Daily dose of toxics to be tracked – Nature article on how exposome studies tie environmental exposure to biological triggers of disease
- Article: It’s Time for Scientists to Tweet
- Making a Case for Social Media Twitter can help scientists build networks, develop ideas, and spread their work, report says.
- Paper: The role of twitter in the life cycle of a scientific publication
- How to effectively set up a Twitter chat – video from the Mayo Clinic
- Article and paper: Who gives a tweet? Evaluating microblog content gives us an insight into what makes a valuable academic tweet
- Slides: Twitter For Scientists – The Changing Face of Science Communication
- CDC In the Know: Twitter for Public Health webcast archive
Tweeting at Conferences
- Life Science Conferences and Twitter: What Factors Lead To Better Engagement?
- Storify of #AAAStweets: Twitter for science communication
- Live-tweeting best practices from Twitter
- How to live tweet a conference by David Shiffman
Training Opportunities and Resources
- Scientists with Stories from Duke and UNC
- SpotOn is a series of community events for the discussion of how science is carried out and communicated online.
- “Finding Your Voice” video presentation by Liz Neeley
- Communicating Science 2013: a science communication workshop for graduate students. Cambridge, MA, June 13-15, 2013. comscicon.com #comscicon Story from Harvard Gazette
- Workshops offered through the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University
- AAAS Communicating Science 101 – videos and resources
- Communicating Outside the Box from Duke
- Translating Research beyond Academia to Stakeholders and Decision- and Policy-Makers from UC Davis
- Notes from the UC Davis graduate seminar on Nov. 14, 2012“Translating Research Beyond Academia: Communicating Science and Outreach for Broader Impacts”. Using Blogs to Enhance Your Scientific Career
- Science and Policy for Environment and Health from UC Berkeley
- ENGAGE – The Science Speaker Series Seminar at UW
- Mind the Science Gap – blog to train MPH students in communicating science via social media
- From the Trenches – Student blog examples
Multimedia & Data Visualization
- Examples of “Health infographics” on Pinterest
- Data visualization tools
- 10 Steps to Designing an Amazing Infographic
- Alphachimp Studio Gallery
- Using Storify to tell a digital story
Science & Health Communication
- The Science of Science Communication – On-line videos, May 21-22, 2012 National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
- Video: Alan Alda: Helping the Public Get Beyond a Blind Date with Science
- Science Communication Papers in #scioSciComm | Mendeley Group | #scicomm
- Translating Your Research: An Investigator Toolkit from NWABR
- ScienceOnline Community | #sciox
- COMPASS is dedicated to helping scientists connect themselves and their science to the wider world.
- ScienceOnline 2013 archived sessions | Get resources from the OSU ScienceOnline Watch Party
- OSU Science Communicators blog and events | #OSUSciComm
- Mayo Clinic Social Media Network
Assessment and Evaluation
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Partnerships for Environmental Public Health Evaluation Metrics Manual. NIH Publication No. 12-7825. [Metrics are included for web and social media]
- How To Measure Social Media Efforts
- Social Media Metrics for Federal Agencies
- Google Analytics – Useful for web site and blogs and evolving and growing for social media stats
- Twitter Map: Enter Twitter search terms and visualize tweets by a users location on a map. A great visual for a report or presentation.
- 5 Twitter Metrics Beyond Follower Count
- Topsy – Real time search and analytics
- 10 Awesome Twitter Analytics and Visualization Tools (April 2012)
- The New Facebook Insights Explained in Plain English
- How to Analyze Facebook Insights to Improve Your Content Strategy [With Video!]
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Sean specialty is creating custom type logos and on this post we will take an inside look of his process and how everything gets done. Enjoy
Fabule is startup focused on providing open-source home accessories to curious and creative individuals. While the customizable nature of their products caters to the DIY community, they especially wanted to gear their branding efforts towards reaching the average person wanting to get started with tinkering and making things.
They were looking to have a friendly image developed that would give a human face to otherwise geeky concepts.
In terms of stylistic direction, the logo was to strike a balance amongst three concepts: Playful, Sophisticated, and Organic.
- Deliver your message clearly,
- Confirm your credibility,
- Connect your target audience emotionally,
- Motivate the buyer, and
- Concrete User Loyalty
As designers, adding background image via CSS is definetely a no-brainer to you. Traditionally, or typically, here’s how we do it – using
background-image property and link directly to the image source .