Why customer empowerment is good news for social media marketers

Why social media marketers should embrace the customer revolution

Recently, I had to help my boyfriend find airline tickets for an emergency trip. To find the cheapest airfare, we did what any logical person would do today: search online. We looked at price comparison sites. We read blog posts for tips on how to get cheap flights for urgent trips. And we scoured review sites to make sure that we were dealing with a decent airline.

After doing extensive research, we contacted a few airlines. But the problem was it was a Saturday evening: most airline call centers had shorter hours. All travel agencies that we called were also already closed. After being informed by Air Canada that it would take an hour for them to call me back, I decided to send them a tweet.

Guess how much time it took for them to tweet me back? Less than 15 minutes.

This experience of mine not only demonstrates why social media is a great tool for businesses today—it also highlights the fact that we’re now at a time when customers like myself have more information, more choices and more opportunities to say what’s on my mind.

Think about it: Just a decade ago, I wouldn’t have had the choice of tweeting the company. The technology that would allow me do research before contacting an airline wouldn’t be as robust. And checking reviews from other customers online would have been considered weird.

We are now living in the age of the empowered customerTweet this!

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Is the social media manager really dead? Maybe not…

Is the social media manager role really dying?

Last week, I published an article on LinkedIn about the evolution of the social media manager role.

The inspiration for the post was another LinkedIn article—one that was published by Hootsuite Founder Ryan Holmes:

Last year, Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes proclaimed the role of social media manager dead. He cited a study that found that the growth in positions with the title “social media manager” has slowed down by 50% between 2012 and 2013.

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How to remove your Facebook profile from Google search results

remove your facebook profile from search engines

If you’d like a decent online presence, then you need to control what people see when they use a search engine to find out more about you. While you definitely want future employers or business associates to find your LinkedIn profile, not everyone wants their Facebook profile to be as prominent. If you’re like me, your Facebook profile is probably a bit more personal, a place where you post some things you wouldn’t dare post anywhere else.

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Top 10 marketing and social media blog posts from 2013

best marketing blog posts of 2013

To celebrate the end of 2013,  here are my top marketing and social media posts published this year:

  1. How is Google’s Panda update different from Penguin?

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to be concerned about the different algorithm changes that Google did this past year. From Panda to Penguin to Hummingbird, Google was busy tinkering with its algorithm. Ultimately, the Panda update is about content, while Penguin addressed spamming.

  1. What are people saying about social media ROI?

Many years after social media marketing became the norm, some people still question the return on investment from this kind of marketing. Respected business leaders, authors, and pundits all have something to say about social media ROI—ultimately though, it’s about using KPIs to measure the success of your efforts as opposed to assigning a dollar amount to each tweet or Facebook update.

  1. How do I turn my private Twitter list into a public list?

It’s probably a bug, but earlier this year, I noticed that turning an existing Twitter private list into a public list isn’t exactly straightforward. This post has step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

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14 social media predictions for 2014

Lawyer Crystal Ball

Just for fun, here are my 14 social media predictions for the year ahead:

  1. LinkedIn will introduce hashtags.

The three major social networks in the West—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—tend to copy each other’s features.  This year, for example, LinkedIn started letting people tag other users or companies on the site. Facebook, on the other hand, introduced hashtags.

I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn introduces hashtags as well. It makes sense: Hashtags will enable content discovery, letting people connect with other professionals and find even more articles to share.

  1. LinkedIn will kill LinkedIn Groups.

Let’s face it: LinkedIn Groups haven’t been useful for a couple of years now. It’s a widely abused feature. Many people use LinkedIn Groups to spam people with links, without actually thinking about engagement. Earlier this year, LinkedIn killed LinkedIn Answers; I expect LinkedIn Groups to be next.

  1. Teens will flock to yet another new social network.

Teens have a very fickle taste when it comes to social networks. A few years ago, it was Facebook. Today, it’s Snapchat, Tumblr, and, to some extent, Twitter. Pheed was cool for a brief moment of time.

Teens still use the other apps/websites, but an obscure social network will once again capture the attention of the young ones in 2014. Marketers will have to pay attention since where the teens go is usually an indication of what’s going to be hot in a few years.

  1. Buffer’s user base will grow significantly.

Buffer has been a rising star for a while now. And it’s really no wonder why: With a great, easy-to-use product, a useful blog, and a competent team that can handle social media disasters, Buffer is on a roll.

I expect Buffer to grow significantly in 2014, perhaps to the point of challenging Hootsuite in the marketplace. Late this year, Buffer introduced services for businesses. And then a few weeks after that, it integrated with Mention. Buffer surely has a few more innovations along the way.

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