Welcome to Choco Bay, your new one-stop resource for all things social media networking related. If you’re looking to advance your company’s social standing and reputation, our website will guide your way to that goal.

Discover the Demographics of Social Media

Does anyone from your target audience use Instagram? Do your customers in rural areas spend as much time on social media as your city-dwelling customers? These are the types of questions all companies need to ask before they invest time and money in a social media campaign. If you don’t know where your customers spend time online, you can’t be sure you’ll reach them.

An infographic from DocStoc and the Pew Research Center illustrates which demographics spend time on social media. For example, 71 percent of women use social media as compared with 62 percent of men. More city dwellers spend time on social media (70 percent) than those who live in rural areas (61 percent). You should click here for background information on this.

The graphic also features some network-specific insights:
Pinterest appeals most to rural residents, women and those with middle- to high-level incomes.
Instagram appeals most to urban residents and 18-29 year olds.
Facebook is the most popular social media site among adults, followed by LinkedIn.

Do you know where your audience spends time online? The Zena 21 website has much more to say on this matter.

Check out the full graphic for more on the demographics of social media users.

Social Media Demographics

Social Media Demographics

Where the Future of Social Media Marketing Lies

There is no better window into the fast-changing world of social media marketing than Facebook’s preferred marketing developer program. It has only been in existence for 18 months, and already there are over 260 such partners operating worldwide, helping brands plug into Facebook’s ad platforms and parse performance. Within the program, there’s an even more elite group of fourteen “strategic preferred marketing developers,” or SPMDs.

Since they have privileged access, and often help Facebook develop ad products, these so-called SPMDs are arguably the best sources to turn to when trying to predict the future of social media as a high-tech marketing platform. You can read more about this at Z Plasma.

In a recent report, BI Intelligence interviewed executives at four leading SPMDs, who pointed to the key factors driving social media marketing’s future, like the changing relationship between paid, owned and earned media. They saw consolidation in their area — the tech side of things, as opposed to the creative side — as inevitable, and believed only the marketing developers with the best technology would win out. As more brand dollars flow into social media, some firms will be able to build scale and others will lose the race and fall by the wayside. Go ahead and click here for additional details.

With over 260 PMDs all vying for the same pool of ad dollars, it is unlikely that they all will be able to remain in business. Our sources see industry consolidation via bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions. The key to this game is the technology. It’s not about a flashy name and a reputation for social media knowledge. The best social media marketing specialists will have a great tech stack at their foundation.

PMDs should see a greater share of revenue come from software and technology licensing, or software-as-a-service. Already, one prominent PMD has folded after failing to reach sustainability. Syncapse was overly dependent on a single client, BlackBerry. And it had not achieved any significant revenue figures for its software package.

The lessons for social media marketing specialists? Diversify your client base, and build your company on a foundation of great technology, not fee-skimming. You’ll find more info on this online. Other social media networks like Twitter and Pinterest will build out schemes similar to Facebook’s PMD ecosystem, and push agencies and brands to connect with their ad solutions via these partners.

Here are some of the other insights gleaned from our conversations with Facebook’s strategic marketing partners:

Influencing Facebook Product Development: SPMDs have influence at Facebook and have pushed Facebook to make many needed changes such as streamlining its paid media ad product line.

Pre-Testing Paid Media: Other elite Facebook marketing partners like Brand Networks and Adaptly understand that owned and earned media isn’t just valuable in and of itself. It’s also valuable as a source of analytics and data that will hint at what types of content will work as paid media. One airline brand using this technique saw total reach more than double to 63% of its targeted fans.

Moving beyond last-click attribution: One Adobe client, a hospitality and entertainment group, realized their apps were driving sales through other online and offline channels. They only realized this once they stopped obsessing on the last click before a sale, and tracked customers across channels. Visit www.social-media-brand-value.com for more on this topic.

Measuring Quality Of Engagement: SPMDs understand that the best metrics don’t just measure quality, but quantity too. SPMDs have the best technology and interfaces for sifting through data.

Understanding Facebook Activity In Emerging Markets: SPMDs and PMDs more broadly can be marketers’ field experts, sensitizing them to seasonal, cultural, and local economic factors.

Creating the Most Effective Social Networking Campaign

As a marketer, your every encounter with a smartphone-toting consumer should be considered an opportunity: Every mom who searches for product info in a grocery store, every kid who checks in at a concert venue, and every pet-lover who tweets a photo of his dog is a potential buyer to be reached via mobile.

They want to buy. You want to sell. But how do you make the connection happen?

Best-practices for mobile campaigns may be unclear to many, but the mobile opportunity is all around us. Here are five can’t-miss steps to highly effective social-mobile campaigns. You can click here to get more information on this topic.

Engage consumers to turn those likes into action
Get your prospects’ attention and get them to scan a QR code on your point-of-sale displays or visit your URL after seeing a banner ad. Once you have them on your page, ask them to do more than “Like” your brand on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. Social media is about more than just collecting people around your brand. It’s about creating long-term relationships with them through compelling content and engaging campaigns. The Research and Development site has more to say on this.

Turn those likes into love by engaging them around their passion for fashion, sports, music, causes, or even your own products. Offer them rewards to post user-generated content, leave a comment, or share something of yours. Such interactions help you enter the stream of social conversation and share your branded content among your consumers’ friends. When you win the social endorsement game, you win social media.

Skip the app store, and reach them through the Web browser
Don’t make your buyer download and install an app. Instead, deliver a rich user experience on a mobile-optimized site available through the smartphone’s Web browser (for example, Safari on an iPhone or Chrome on a Droid device). You should click here if you’d like to follow up on this.

In the early days of mobile campaigns, a lot of marketers focused on developing native apps that had to be downloaded from the app store. That’s OK if you’re developing a high-utility lifestyle app, but not if you’re running a marketing campaign.

Instead, deliver your message straight from the Web to remove a barrier to entry for your consumer. Plus, the Web gives you the flexibility to tweak messaging, update design, repurpose content, and test calls to action on the fly, without pushing an app update through the app store.

Don’t forget the desktop
Choose a campaign technology that enables you to simultaneously launch campaigns across mobile, social (Facebook), and the Web so that your campaigns have the consistent reach they need to succeed.

It no longer makes sense to run marketing campaigns where the mobile platform is not an access point. Conversely, mobile-only campaigns leave opportunities on the table with desktop prospects. To read more about this, click here. You can’t get the most out of your campaign investment without integrating your social properties and other Web platforms and assets.

And make sure user data and content synchronizes across all three so that a Like from a mobile device is represented on the full Facebook Web asset.

Update your CRM and start selling
All the interest and attribute data you collected during your mobile campaign is a goldmine of business intelligence. The next step is to put the data to work for you. You need a plan for following up with relevant content and offers that convert those known leads into buyers. You’ll find more info about this online.

This step requires discipline. The user data you collected during your campaign isn’t worth much if it’s never brought to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. A clean, data-rich CRM lets you segment your audience and deliver the right messages at the right times—driving new revenue from prospects and additional revenue from existing customers.

Capture interest and attribute data
Left-brain marketers will love this step: With all the new data analysis and marketing automation tools in our arsenals, we need to know more than names, email addresses, and telephone numbers; it’s important to understand our customers’ interests and attributes, too.

At a minimum, interest and attribute data refers to the information your users post publicly to their social profiles. However, it’s possible to go deeper than what’s publicly available. The right mobile technology enables you to paint a more detailed picture of your customers by analyzing their interactions with your campaign.

So, whenever you run mobile campaigns, make sure to capture user interests and attributes. Remember, this is social media, so the data is out there. It’s up to you to gather their insights to craft better messaging, repurpose content, and generate offers that lead to a purchase and create strong, enduring relationships. Check out www.video-dtp.com for more.

When you understand interests and attributes, you understand what matters most to your customers and prospects.

[Source: Andy Lombard]

Microsoft Office Undergoing a Make Over

Microsoft Corp unveiled a new version of its Office suite aimed at traditional PC users as well as the fast-growing tablet market in a major overhaul of the aging workplace software.

The revamped Office makes use of cloud computing and is compatible with touch screens widely used in tablets. It comes as Apple Inc and Google Inc make inroads into the workplace, long Microsoft’s stronghold. Office is Microsoft’s single-biggest profit driver.

“The Office that we’ll talk about and show you today is the first round of Office that’s designed from the get-go to be a service,” Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told reporters. “This is the most ambitious release of Microsoft Office that we’ve ever done.”

Microsoft has a lot riding on the 15th version of Office. Windows is one of the world’s biggest computing platforms, and the Office applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other tools – are used by more than 1 billion people around the world. If interested in this topic you should click here.

Microsoft last updated Office in 2010, when it incorporated online versions for the first time. The full version of Office 15 is expected to be available in early 2013.

Cloud computing refers to a growing trend toward providing software, storage and other services from remote data centers over the Web instead of relying on software or data installed on individual PCs.

“Your modern Office thinks cloud first. That’s what it means to have Office as a service,” Ballmer said, adding that a preview version of the software is now available online.

Microsoft has also recently announced that subscribers to Office 365 will be able to use a new Office Mobile app on their Android phones. The new app is available immediately in the Google Play store. And it comes just a few weeks after Microsoft released a similar app for iPhone users who subscribe to Office 365. The Android app is free to download. But an Office 365 subscription costs $100 a year. For that fee, users can install Office apps on up to five devices such as PCs, Macs, and smartphones. So far, Microsoft hasn’t created an Office app for tablets. If you’d like to read more then visit the Niners website.

Microsoft Office users with iPhones rejoice: Word, PowerPoint and Excel are now available on your smartphone. The Redmond, Wash., software giant released Office Mobile for the Apple smartphone Friday, finally bringing heavy Office users a way to edit their files on the go from their device.

The app can be downloaded from the App Store and allows users to edit recent files they have been working on that are saved in their SkyDrive. “After signing in to an Office 365 account, you can access, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from anywhere,” Microsoft said in a statement.

The app is free to download but not everyone will be able to use it. You’ll need a subscription for Office 365 in order to use the app’s document-editing features. Those subscriptions vary in price depending on whether you’re a student, professional or a large company, but the Office 365 for Home subscription costs $100 annually. You should click here to continue reading about this topic.

Office Mobile for iPhone will work with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 and with the fifth generation of the iPod Touch. No word on when there will be an Office Mobile app for Android.