5 Social Media Analytics You Can't Live Without

Posted by Clayton Smith on January 15, 2012

When it comes to social media marketing, analytics are king. Knowing the details about who’s interacting with which messages (and to what extent) is priceless when it comes to building marketing strategies. But let’s face it; it’s easy to get lost in a sea of charts and tables and graphs that delve deep into details about the demographics behind followers, fans, likes, unlikes, tweets, retweets, mentions, clicks, views, shares, check-ins, posts, comments, impressions…the list goes on and on. It’s all great information, but it can get overwhelming, especially for smaller companies that just don't have the time.

Sometimes you just need to quickly grab the most important snippets of social information. When you’re short on time, there are a handful of key analytics you can use to get a clear, bird’s-eye view of how you’re doing in the social space. Here are five essentials:

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Topics: analytics, brev.is, Business, business, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, link shorten, linkedin, Marketing, measurement, metrics, ROI, sentiment.al, sentiment analysis, social media, twitter

5 Resolutions for a Successfully Social 2012

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 27, 2011

As the New Year begins to peek over the horizon, so too does the infamous New Year’s Resolution. We often design these annual edicts to help make ourselves better people. Just ask the U.S. Government; they’ve compiled some of the country's most popular recurring resolutions, which include the decision to save money, stop smoking, and lose weight.

You’ll notice that “be a better social media marketer” didn’t make the list. Even so, I think there are a lot of committed marketers out there hoping to make 2012 the most successfully social year ever. For those of you determined to make the most of your social media strategies in the coming year, here are a few resolutions to live by:

1. Be Open
Social media represents a pretty significant shift from the traditional marketing dynamic. It brings us from a one-way, hard-sell communication to a back-and-forth, community-building dialogue. In addition to changing the way we view marketing, social media itself can change pretty quickly. In 2012, resolve to be open to change. Try new networks, experiment with different strategies, and learn as much as you can about what’s new in the social media world and how you can use it to your advantage.

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Topics: 2012, Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, network, new year's, resolution, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Staying Social at the Holidays -- 4 ways Gremln can help keep your marketing message strong over the holiday break

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 20, 2011

We're nearing the end of December, which means that many offices are about to hit Ghost Town status for a week or two. Between holiday time off and the last-minute usage of leftover vacation days that won't carry over into the next year, the time between Christmas and New Year's is a time of relaxation for many people.

This can be tricky for marketing departments, especially in small businesses, because the same surge of vacation time that's allowing marketers to stay home over the holidays is also giving millions of potential customers the chance to spend some quality time browsing around on social media. Many companies have strict policies about social networking, so their employees are likely to experience a little digital release from home over the end-of-year break. With so many potential customers surfing the Web, it's a prime time for marketers to shine. Here are a few ways you can keep your campaigns and promotions running, even if there's no one in the office:

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Topics: Business, business, christmas, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, holiday, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, small business, social media, tips, twitter

Which Network Works? Finding the social media network that's best for your business

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 6, 2011

According to research company Experian, approximately 91% of online American adults log on to a social network every single month. That percentage represents about 129 million Americans. That’s 129 million potential consumers your company has the ability to reach on at least a monthly basis.

Goodness. That’s a lot of people.

And that’s just in America, and just people aged 18 and over. If you’re a company with the ability to ship your product all over the world, that number rockets upward. And if your product is targeted toward teenagers as well as adults, bump that number up even higher. Frankly, it’s getting to the point where very few companies can afford to ignore the social media revolution.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that there are thousands upon thousands of social networks out there. Sure, we’re all pretty familiar with Facebook and Twitter. But how many of you are on hi5? Or Disaspora*? How about Heello? No? Then what about Bebo? Maybe Orkut?

The number of networks is growing at an almost daily rate, which is in direct opposition to the growth of resources in many companies’ marketing departments. While social networking options are seemingly infinite, marketers have extremely finite resources at their disposal. We can’t be on every social network all the time, so instead we have to strategically select which channels to use for our digital marketing messages. But which social networks are right for your company?

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Topics: Business, business, discount, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, myspace, recommendation, ROI, social media, twitter

Why Isn't Every Day Cyber Monday?

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 28, 2011

Ah, Cyber Monday. The Black Friday of the less motivated. We've arrived once again at what is typically the biggest online shopping day of the year. Retailers are touting great deals all over the Web, banking on the ubiquitous nature of the Internet to bring in some much-needed revenue during this persistent recession. According to the L.A. Times, today's sales could total a record breaking $1.2 billion. That's a lot of digital dollars. Given the fact that so many people (myself included) seem so willing to spend money online when the price is right, and given the continued growth of Internet culture, I can't help but wonder...why isn't every day Cyber Monday?

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Topics: Business, business, cyber monday, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, retail, ROI, social media

The Path to Glory: How to channel your social media fans through to your website

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 21, 2011

Why do you work so hard to increase your social media following? Have you ever really thought about it? I mean, really, really thought about it? When it comes down to brass tacks, what’s the actual benefit of having half a million Facebook fans? Sure, it means more potential eyes on your marketing message, but what’s the point of that? Your social media strategies aren’t living up to their full potential if your fans are just watching your social media accounts and aren’t making purchases.

Many companies don’t have the capability to sell their products directly through Facebook like Delta Airlines does, and even for those that do, there’s a drawback: Offering product sales through third-party sites necessarily results in a loss of control. While social media networks are wonderful as marketing channels, you still need to move your fans to your website to really close the deal, whether you sell your product online or not.

Your website is perhaps your greatest marketing tool. In the digital universe, your website is the sun, and your social media networks are the orbiting planets. Some people have predicted the imminent demise of the website because of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but I’m not buying it, at least not yet. Not only is a website a space where many companies make their sales (or, in the case of services, a space where would-be customers can find direct communications channels and submit requests for proposals), but it is completely under control of the company that owns it. Having a Facebook page is important, but it’s also limiting. Facebook offers a pretty rigid structure from which it’s difficult to deviate. If you have the money to burn, you can hire a firm to create a Facebook tab for you that sort of resembles a real website, but no matter what you do to spruce up your page, it’s still going to take second billing to the Facebook brand.

That's why your social media isn’t working to its full potential if it’s not driving traffic to your website. Here are a few ways to help your fans and followers make that digital journey.

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, Foursquare, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media for Small Business, twitter

Traditional or Digital Advertising: Where Should You Put Your Marketing Dollars?

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 10, 2011

According to a recent report from Forrester, “By 2016, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing – as much as they do on television today.” That means in just five short years interactive marketing—including “search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, and social media”—will be as big of an industry as television marketing is today. This represents a massive shift in marketing mentality from one-way marketing message promotion to interactive marketing communication.

It’s no secret that digital media are becoming serious players in the marketing game. The ubiquitous nature of Internet-connected devices, including computers, smartphones, televisions, e-readers, and more, has made digital marketing communications a lucrative business. But when we step back from our computers and set down our smartphones, we’re still confronted on all sides by traditional medium marketing campaigns. Television, print, and radio advertisements are still the dominant players in the advertising industry. But how much longer will that be the case? Digital media is gaining an incredible amount of traction in the marketing world.

And why not? Making the move to interactive marketing makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. Here are a few that stand out:

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Topics: Business, business, cost, digital, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, ROI, strategy, traditional media

Social Snafu -- Recovering from a social media marketing faux pas

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 25, 2011

It’s every social media manager’s nightmare. One tweet taken out of context. One Facebook post with a catastrophic grammatical error. One good-natured joke that offends legions of social media users. One accidental check-in at the strip club down the street on your company’s Foursquare account instead of your own. Before you know it, without any malicious intent, you’ve managed to spearhead the biggest PR disaster in your company’s history, in 140 characters or less.

The social media screw-up has become pretty legendary. The news seems to be flooded with examples of people making poor social media choices and putting their brands’ reputations at risk. From Gilbert Gottfried to Anthony Weiner, social media snafus are everywhere, and they can mean serious harm to your company and your career.

First, let's face facts: The social media faux pas happens. Hopefully it won't happen to you, but it might. In case it ever does, here are a few tips for dealing with it.

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Topics: Anthony Weiner, Business, business, education, embarrass, facebook, faux pas, Gilbert Gottfried, Marketing, Nivea, offensive, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Beta Testing: What it is, why we do it, and how you can get in on the action!

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 10, 2011

Things are really ramping up here at Gremln, and the word of the day is “beta.” We’re in the process of opening up our Gremln software for a limited, private beta test. Now, the term “beta test” is one that’s tossed around pretty regularly in the tech world, but Gremln is a tool designed for every business, not just tech companies. So for those of you staring warily at the screen and thinking, “What exactly do you mean by this ‘beta test’ or whatever it’s called?” – this blog’s for you.

A beta test is a step in the cycle of a software product release. The name comes from the Greek alphabet (not the fish—sorry, ichthyophiles, but that's "betta fish"), of which “beta” is the second letter, right after “alpha.” Why do we use Greek letters instead of the more popular English alphabet? Probably because “beta testing” sounds cooler than “b testing.” More to the point, though, the Greek language holds special significance in mathematics, and mathematical language is the basis for software development.

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Topics: beta, business, gremln, Gremln News, launch, Marketing, ROI, sneak peek, social media

The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 27, 2011

It may not exactly be a surprise to hear that Facebook is preparing to make some more changes to its seemingly ever-shifting profile pages. But unlike Facebook tweaks of the past, the recently announced Timeline update is a complete overhaul for the popular social network. As Facebook faces more and more competition from strengthening social networks like Twitter and Google+, it’s looking to reinvent itself in order to become “stickier.” In other words, Facebook wants its users to stick around Facebook for longer periods of time. The Timeline redesign is one effort to get people to do just that.

I was able to get a sneak peek at how the new Facebook profile pages will look when Timeline is released to the public later this month. All in all, I find the new design to be pretty slick. The profile page has moved to an overall more vertical design, opting for one wide column instead of the current three columns.

The top of the page now features a large “cover” photo that spans the entire width of the profile page. The typical profile photo that we’re used to is now a square in the bottom left corner of the cover photo. As one of our Twitter followers pointed out, this part of the redesign gives the profile page the feel of a blog; a large graphic masthead centered over the content below.

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Topics: business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, Social Media for Small Business, Social Media Updates, Timeline, twitter, update

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