Marketing & Public Relations Firm - Verasoni Worldwide

All posts tagged ecommerce

By Abe Kasbo and Kim Reydel

Social media was a huge buzz word in 2009 and the hype will undoubtedly spill over into 2010.  Without a question, social media is now the new mass media (television still dominates…for now), and while businesses are still scrambling to figure out how to maximize their investment, social media delivered the following important points to the market:

1. Aggregation

2. Segmentation

3. Revelancy

As companies continue to embrace social media to grow their businesses, expand their brand footprint, and utilize the medium for PR purposes, some are still struggling to optimize social media to its full potential. According to the Social Media and Online PR Report, 86% of companies plan to more money on social media in 2010. Conversely, 54% of those surveyed say the biggest barrier to better social media engagement is a lack of resources. So, although many are plugged in to various social networking outlets, about half of them see a hurdle in using the tools to their full capacity. In addition 60% of companies say that they have gained “some benefit but nothing concrete” from using social networking. Let’s be honest, when using a tool to grow your business it’s crucial to see the results and reap the benefits. Until you know how to properly engage in social media, it’s not an essential tool for your business.

According to a survey by Econsultancy and bigmouthmedia in the B2B world 11% of respondents were heavily involved in social media while 23% were not involved and 65% experimented only. In the retail business 10% of respondents were heavily involved, 27% not involved, and 63% of retail respondents only experimented with social media. Like any other business strategy you must follow through with a plan, and a short presence on facebook is sure to generate zero business for any company. The concept of social media may have been an experiment, but building your company’s presence on a social network is a business strategy that requires a commitment and understanding of the platform. The majority of companies agree that major benefits of social media include; increased brand awareness, customer engagement, communication with key influencers, and better brand reputation. Additionally 54% of supply side respondents say their clients are incorporating video and video sharing in their use of social media. It’s superb that so many companies have hopped on the social media bandwagon but truth be told, it might as well be obsolete unless you are using it as a tool to engage your audience.

So, although statistics show that companies know how to use social media, there is a lack of understanding when it comes to the value of engagement. In other words, any company has the ability to create a fan page on facebook and populate the group, but often times it stops here. Companies have to keep in mind that those who join your network on twitter or facebook or linkedin are looking for something and it’s your responsibility to give it to them. The social networking platform allows you to offer coupons, contests, news, videos, promotions etc to ENGAGE your audience. It’s important to bring people together via your social network but it’s crucial to keep your site functional and relevant. As another year is about to begin, let’s make a resolution to remember to engage engage engage!

By Abe Kasbo

In our talks with with our clients, we hear a incessant cry for “Public Relations.” What they almost always mean “is get me in the paper.” Certainly, press coverage is a great way to get the word out and to let people know about your differential advantage, people, technologies, business processes, etc. We also recognize that print articles the right media outlet has real value. Good press can attract attention, move product, and lend some credibility to young and established business alike.

We also recognize that pitching the media these days, strong relationships or not, is becoming more challenging simply because of amount of “stuff” assignment editors and reporters have to go through. Control over the message can be a particular challenge and certainly, at times, the timing of when the piece would hit the street may not be in concert with your business goals.

It’s why we ask CEOs, CMOs and marketing and PR managers, “what is your PR plan when you are not in the media?” Because for the most part, businesses are over-whelming NOT covered by the media. So what’s your plan?

Think Outside the Media for More Strategic Public Relations:

Strategic marketing and PR strategies must be business driven. Business owners and investors must be invested in strategic public relations, of which, media relations is an important component. What to do? Here are six ideas (with more to come)

1. Strengthen business relationships with your customers for continued loyalty and growth. So develop a customer relationship campaign that will engage the customer and strengthen your relationship, as well as provide you feedback on your products and services. Yes, that’s PR.

2. Be a resource for your clients and investors. There are many ways to do this including the web, face to face, conferences, etc.

3. Investor and network relations is key. Don’t skimp here, engaging your investors is key to many things including, when appropriate, next round of funding or asking for business referrals!

5. People buy from people. So your company or its representatives must have a plan to be present in venues directly related to your business – whether on the buy-side or sell-side.

6. Create or participate relevant events that involve people and can generate news.

So, by recognizing that PR is much more than sending out press releases and getting in the news, your business can implement more strategic public relations and marketing strategies that delivers a real boost to your business.

More to come…