LinkedIn Is Key to a Successful Social Media Strategy

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LinkedIn Key to Successful Social Media Strategy

Advisors and Affluent Investors Look to LinkedIn

Thirteen years after LinkedIn launched, twelve years after Facebook made its first friends and ten years after Twitter went live, social media is no longer viewed simply as an easy means of reaching and courting affluent investors and tech-savvy producers. Increasingly, asset managers and product providers are realizing they need to do more than merely set up a virtual storefront. That is, they need to develop a social media strategy, analyze connections and figure out how to work their followers effectively to stay top-of-mind. Recent findings from Cogent Reports™ highlight the critical role that LinkedIn plays for both financial advisors and affluent investors.

Advisors

Among advisors, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook are the top three social media platforms most commonly used across all channels. That said, when we asked advisors to identify their primary platform for business and financial news and information, LinkedIn claims a commanding advantage at 60%, far above Twitter (16%) and Facebook (13%), with YouTube barely registering (4%). So for advisors, it is the quality of information they find on LinkedIn that differentiates this platform, not the quantity. Continue reading

What Modern Romance Can Teach Us About Generational Research

tech-modern-romanceI was recently inspired by Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance—a well-researched, insightful look into the rapid changes in modern social life: meeting, dating, coupling, cheating, uncoupling. His book provides many great lessons about a changing world, perhaps none more so than his concept of a “phone world” which many of us now regularly inhabit:

“Through our phone world we are connected to anyone or everyone in our lives, from our parents to a casual acquaintance whom we friend on Facebook. For younger generations, their social lives play out through social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Tinder, and Facebook as much as through campuses, cafes, and clubs. But in recent years, as more and more adults have begun spending more and more time on their own digital devices, just about everybody with the means to buy a device and a data plan has become a hyper engaged participant in their phone world”.

The advancement of technology, including its adoption and influence, is moving fast—fast enough to reshape our thinking about how to best approach generational research. We often consider Millennials—those roughly age 18-34—as a homogenous group. Yet, there are distinct differences in technology device usage and technological perceptions between those in emerging adulthood (18-24 years old) and those in young adulthood (25-34 years old). These groups are adopting technology differently, and we need to approach them as distinct segments, particularly when conducting technology research.  Continue reading

Where are Affluent Millennials Going for Business and Financial News?

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Millennial ImageWhile traditional and cable television networks claim the greatest reach among affluent Millennial investors, the youngest adult generation selects a social media site—Facebook (9.7%)—as their most valuable source of business and financial news. Two networks follow suit, with CNN just barely outpacing ABC (at 8.4% vs. 8.1% respectively). Combined, these three sources account for more than one-fourth of the sources deemed to be most valuable by affluent Millennials. This distribution is vastly different from that of older generations, where the Fox News network tops the list, followed by ABC and NBC.

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Social Media Gaining Momentum for Financial Advisors [Infographic]

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Historically, there hasn’t much in the way of estimating the value of social media platforms for mutual fund, ETF and variable annuity (VA) providers. However, new tools from Cogent Reports are changing the game.

The Media Consumption™ Advisor and Advisor Touchpoints™ portals are powerful tools that track engagement on different media outlets and how advisors are using them to grow business. Despite significant barriers to use, not the least of which is the compliance office, it appears that advisors are now jumping in and using social media. Continue reading

The Pizza Turnaround: Engaging Customers Through Marketing, Social Media and One Nifty App

2014 Michigan Social Media Brand IndexFor the third year running, Market Strategies International partnered with DBusiness to rank the top 50 Michigan-based companies on social media engagement. Read the full article, “Rules of Engagement,” just released in the November/December issue. The list includes brands with a national or even international footprint as well as those with a regional one, and is dominated by companies with a rich, multifaceted presence in the social space—engaging customers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare and various other social channels.

Last year, we focused some attention on regional pop company Faygo, looking into how its strong brand following has translated into social media success. This year, we are taking a look at international pizza chain Domino’s, whose “Pizza Turnaround” has resulted in a huge improvement in customer satisfaction, company revenue and business growth since the turnaround started in late 2009. According to Adrian Campos of The Motley Fool, Domino’s increased its customer satisfaction index score 12 percentage points, rising from 69% in 2000 to 81% in 2013. And Domino’s leads among top restaurant franchises—including Starbucks, Dunkin’ Brands, Yum! Brands and McDonald’s—in international store growth, growing 43% since the end of 2008. All of this by taking harsh customer feedback seriously and committing to making improvements? That is a brand story worth taking a closer look at. Continue reading

Millennials & Social Media [Infographic]

2014-06-millennialsStill wondering how to talk to Millennials? Unfortunately, this is not parental advice! However, if your brand needs to understand more about what to say, where to say it and where to listen to Millennials, read on!

At Market Strategies International, we make it a habit to listen closely to our clients to find out what’s on their minds and to help answer the questions that are keeping them awake at night. As marketing and brand teams embark on their strategic planning process for 2015, many clients have asked us to provide best practices for targeting and connecting with the largest generation in American history. Marketers say they want more factual research on communication with Millennials, including guidance on tone and content. So we set out to find some answers in our recent study, “Marketing to Millennials.” We are often told that Millennials think and act differently from other generations, and we wanted to find out if this was indeed the case and, if so, in what ways.

In this first installment of our findings, we are focusing on communicating via social media. Our research reveals that Millennial shoppers trust social media more than do other generations but are diversifying beyond Facebook. In fact, we’ve discovered that YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other platforms play specific roles in how Millennials research products and build brand relationships. See our infographic…

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Looking at Facebook’s “Look Back” Videos

2014-02-facebookFacebook is 10, and they celebrated by releasing a new video app. If you’ve been on Facebook this week, you have undoubtedly seen it—it’s responsible for the “My Facebook Movie” posts that have been ever-present on the site the past couple of days. I’ve seen two dozen of them so far among my circle of friends. And every one of them has been perfectly charming—a beautiful (and often touching) little summary of that user’s life as seen through the lens of Facebook. The videos are spreading like wildfire on the site (and, frankly, I’m amazed that all that video sharing and viewing hasn’t crashed the servers yet).

On my commute into work this morning, I was thinking about why they’ve been so successful and seem to be truly delighting users…

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How Big Data Can Inoculate Social Networks Against Unhealthy Behaviors

2014-01-healthEditor’s Note: This post features an interview with Yale University’s Dr. Trace Kershaw

Big Data remains a big buzz word, yet professionals struggle to understand how it can add real value. Over the next few months, I will be sharing ways to combine Big Data with traditional qualitative and quantitative research to help brands answer questions and motivate target audiences.

Today, we’re going to focus on how Big Data is helping researchers understand influence in social networks, leading to the design and testing of interventions that drive healthy behaviors. We’ll also talk about how this work can be extended to help brands that benefit from word of mouth and social media.

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Faygo Fanatics, Tricycles and Redpop—A Brand Engagement Story

2013-10-faygoFor the second year running, Market Strategies partnered with DBusiness Magazine to analyze and rank the top 50 Michigan-based companies in terms of their social media engagement (“The Social Network”). The top of the list includes large national and international brands—the Big Three auto brands; national food brands Kellogg, Domino’s Pizza and Little Caesars Pizza; and Detroit-based professional sports teams the Tigers, the Red Wings, the Lions and the Pistons. As the 2013 rankings were determined, I was somewhat surprised to see regional beverage brand Faygo on the list. “Faygo?” I thought to myself. “How can the regional pop1 company Faygo be seeing the same kind of social media success as these huge national brands?” My attention was piqued so, as any good researcher would, I did some research. Continue reading

Thoughts on 3D Digital Dimensions

I attended the ESOMAR 3D Conference in Boston last week and find myself reflecting on what this event tells us about the continued evolution of market research methods.

This was the ninth conference in a series that goes back to, probably, the first-ever conference on online panels in Budapest in 2005. I’ve attended all but one (Berlin, 2010) and chaired three. I’ve always argued (as did this year’s chair, Mike Cooke) that this series of conferences tracks the evolution of digital research methods better than any other ongoing conference. It’s always a treat.

This year was no exception with a good mix of interesting papers on a variety of topics that stretched the 3D Digital Dimensions concept (online, social media and mobile) first introduced in 2011. For example, Big Data may deserve separate billing going forward given how important it’s becoming.

Titling and organization aside, the key takeaways for me were:

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