How Consumers Find Websites

With the on going debate on SEO vs SEM vs Social, a recent study by Forrester Research released in July 2013 sheds some very interesting light on how consumers find websites  The study was conducted in 2012 and show the fast rise of social search

  • 54% of consumers find websites through natural search results, up from 50% in 2011 but still 7% less than in 2010
  • Social networks are the second-most preferred discovery resource, with 32% using them in 2012, up from 25% in 2011 and 18% in 2010.
  • 50% of 18-24 year old and 43% of 24 to 32 year old are using social media as their main internet discovery resource
  • Links are the third important means of website discovery, with 28% saying they found websites from links on other sites, down from 31% last year.
  • Just 18% of those surveyed said that they use ads for website discovery, an improvement from 2011, when paid search was the least popular form of website discovery, with only 8%
  • One-third of Americans are using Facebook and Twitter for discovery.

How consumers find websites

Physician Reviews: Patient Experience Trumps Skills

physician reviewsHow important are physician reviews

In healthcare, branding sometimes is reduced to its most basic component and it’s not what most physicians would thing about first.

Unless a patient is victim of malpractice, it’s very difficult for them to evaluate a physician medical skills.

On the other hand, patients have expectations in terms of experience and oftentimes, that experience will drive their perception of the physician or the healthcare facility.

According to a recent study of physician review websites released in April 2013 by Vanguard Communications, poor customer service and bedside manners are the biggest complaints on online medical review sites, trumping by far poor medical skills

  • 43.1 percent of the negative reviews complained about doctor indifference and bedside manner
  • 35.3 percent were about poor customer service including staff rudeness, erroneous billing, unprofessional dress and facilities not being hygienic.
  • 21.5 percent highlighted a lack of physician skills

To stand out of the crowd, just like any business, healthcare professionals need to start thinking about their brand holistically, in term of patient experience from beginning to end.

What does that mean?  That means evaluating and improving each point of contact with the patient, from the website, social media, printed material, telephone demeanor, front office staff,  assistants, nurses, bedside manners, parking lot, waiting room … to improve patient and caregivers’ experience

Think in term of great experience and patients and caregivers will flock to review sites and sing your praise.

What’s in it for you? Increasingly patients are going online for healthcare information and  to choose healthcare professionals based on peer reviews and referrals.

In addition, positive reviews improve your website organic search rankings which in turn, means better visibility and more patients and referrals.

There is no downside

Social Media For Business Mainly a Brand Builder

Social media for business study

Social media plays a significant role in small and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs) marketing efforts, providing both free and paid exposure to a wide-ranging—and often receptive—audience.

Most important social media platforms for business

According to a January 2013 survey from online magazine Social Media Examiner, Facebook continues to be the most important social network for most business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers worldwide, given its enormous user base. However, for business-to-business (B2B) marketers, there is a healthy competition among other

platforms. Among these marketers, LinkedIn tied with Facebook as the most important social network, while blogging followed 10 percentage points behind.

Interestingly, while YouTube was only the most important social platform for 4% of SMBs total, it is where the greatest percentage of businesses planned to make future investments. Nearly seven out of 10 marketers said they planned to increase their use of YouTube this year.

Benefits of social media marketing

The greatest benefits of social media:

  • 89% increased exposure
  • 75% increased traffic
  • 43% increased sales.

This points to social’s role as a brand builder, first and foremost.

And even as social media may seem like old hat to many marketers by now, quite a few are relatively new to the platforms. About one-quarter of marketers said they had been working with social media for a year or less. And another 30% were 1 to 2 years into their social media marketing tenure. But SMBs have quickly caught on to how important social is as a marketing tool: 79% said they had already incorporated social media into their traditional marketing activities.

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More Women Have Accounts on Pinterest and Instagram

Women are more likely to have accounts on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter

Women continue to lead over men on most social networks, according to a March 2013 survey of over 2,500 adult US internet users from internet advertising network Burst Media. Facebook remained the leading social network by a wide margin, and females were 6 percentage points more likely than male internet users to have an account on the site.

Google+, a social network which had been somewhat marginalized after a lackluster start, is proving itself in US user figures. The site had the second-highest number of account holders among both men and women, leading Twitter by approximately 10 percentage points for both genders. About one-quarter of male and female web users were on the site.

Women more likely to have accounts on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter

On Pinterest, the skew toward women has been well documented and remains firmly entrenched. More than one out of five female respondents had an account on the network, compared with 5% of men. About 6% of both men and women were on Instagram, with slightly more women on the site. On Twitter, penetration rates were also very close, at 17% of women vs. 15.5% of men.

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Best Social Media Marketing Tactics

Marketers are zeroing in on the best social media marketing tactics to accomplish their goals, what their biggest challenges are and how to most effectively track their performance. 
According to a February 2013 survey of marketing professionals around the world by Ascend2, most respondents, both in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies considered customer engagement to be the primary purpose of their social media marketing respectively 43% and 55%). Website traffic also ranked second for both types of marketing professionals.leading objectives of social media marketing professionals in 2013

Lead generation was more important for B2Bs than B2Cs. Twenty-nine percent of B2Bs used social to generate better quality leads, and 27% sought to get more leads with the tactic.

Search engine rankings remain an important part of businesses’ digital strategy, and social media plays a role here too. Approximately 25% of both B2Bs and B2Cs used social media outreach to improve search rank.

Increasing sales revenue was a goal for over one-third of marketers for both B2Bs and B2Cs (33% and 39%).

40% of respondents cited creating articles and blog post content respondents cited creating articles and blog post content as the best way to achieve their social marketing goals. These tactics fall directly in line with driving the goal of customer engagement. Other forms of content creation also ranked high, including research and whitepapers for B2Bs, and video and audio for both types of companies.

B2Cs found advertising on social networks to be a much more effective strategy than B2Bs did.

Most effective social media marketing tactics

The top three most effective social marketing tactics were also the most difficult tactics to execute. These findings mirror growing research that while content marketing is one of the latest and greatest marketing tactics, it is also difficult and time consuming to produce.

Most difficult social media marketing tactics to implement

As to what obstacles stood in the way of marketers achieving their social goals, the greatest percentage of respondents (42%) cited staff limitations—not having enough personnel to create the content or drive the continuous engagement that powers social.

Nearly two out five respondents, the next greatest percentage, said difficulty measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social channels was a major obstacle in their social efforts.

When marketers do set out to measure social performance, the greatest percentage—over 60% on both the B2B and B2C sides—said they looked at website traffic. This metric may be somewhat basic, but it is also direct and easy to measure. The same goes for tracking search engine rankings, which was the No. 2 response. These responses show that even as marketing tactics have become more sophisticated, marketers still turn to tried and true methods to quantify ROI.

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Do CMOs Have The Wrong Priorities?

A recent study by Forrester Research show that CMOs are more interested in launching new products and acquire new customers than keeping the ones they already have.

CMOs ranked customer retention 5th, increasing customer lifetime value came 8th and increasing customer satisfaction and advocacy 9th, which is surprising since retaining customer and increasing their lifetime value is a lot cheaper than gaining new customers. The same goes for increasing customer satisfaction.

In addition, studies have shown that satisfied customers are easier to turn into evangelist is a lot more effective than traditional marketing at generating revenues.

The study begs to ask, do CMOs have the wrong priorities?

CMOs top priorities

Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram Differing Social Media Demographics

Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram are popular with differing demographics

eMarketer estimates that by the end of 2013 there will be 163.5 million social network users in the US, and unsurprisingly they are a diverse group.

A December 2012 study of social networking demographics from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that Hispanic internet users were most likely to identify themselves as social network users, at 72% penetration, vs. 68% of black and 65% of white internet users. Pew also found that higher concentrations of women than men were social networkers by a margin of nearly 10 percentage points: 71% vs. 62%.

Social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest seem to be attracting a particularly diverse coalition of users. Black internet users, for instance, were significantly more likely than average to use Twitter—while 16% of internet users overall said they used the service, 26% of black internet users said they did so. Hispanic internet users were also slightly overrepresented: 19% reported using the service.

Twitter US demographics

Pew found this phenomenon even more pronounced on photo-sharing service Instagram, now owned by Facebook. Black internet users were nearly twice as likely to use it as the average internet user: 23% vs. 13% overall. Hispanic internet users overindexed as well, while whites were slightly less likely than the average internet user to be found on the site. Pew also found Instagram’s users skewed slightly female: 16% of women said they were on it, compared to 10% of men.

Instagram US Demographics

The study confirmed Pinterest’s reputation as skewing largely female: Fully one-quarter of female internet users said they were on it, compared to just 5% of male internet users.

Pinterest US demographics

Pinterest is also diverse in another way: While most emerging social networking sites skew heavily toward younger users, Pinterest attracts internet users in a broader range of age groups. With its friendly interface and visual orientation, Pinterest is popular with the 18- to 29-year-olds that frequent most social

 

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