Social Media for Financial Websites

Setting up accounts on social networking sites is not confined to solely establishing personal connections anymore. Owing to the digital age, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of creating an online presence. In fact, even financial organizations are now jumping into the fray of social media marketing.

It took a while for financial companies to take advantage of social media. Unlike other companies, those under the financial sector need to abide by laws and regulations governing online communications. In the US, for instance, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority requires financial companies venturing into social sites to comply with the regulations detailed on Regulatory Notice 10-06.

With the legal fronts cleared, financial companies can now make the most of the advantages of social media, which includes:

  1. Higher exposure.

The idea of social media marketing is to boost a company’s online reputation. Social media allows financial companies to reach a wider audience, as studies show that there is a significant number of investors who are active online.

Social media is a great tool for online campaigns, be it on various blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Customers can browse through a company’s complete set of products and services, as well as learn about company-led events. For example, finding the best stores to purchase something like cheap checks is now a click away. It gives customers—both the regular and the potential ones—convenience and quick information.

  1. More interaction, easier communication.

Less than a decade ago, clients raise their concerns through phone calls, official letters, or emails. Social media now makes it easier for both the company and the clients to create an atmosphere of respectful and open dialogue. The new Facebook Timeline, for one, allows their business-related pages to send and receive private messages from customers.

This works both ways: The financial company can reach out to potential customers, while customers now have an easier avenue to give their feedback to the company.

  1. More improvements for products and services.

Once customers have given their feedback, financial companies now have the option to act upon the comments of their customers, whether these are positive or negative.

Financial firms can capitalize on online comments. Analyzing feedback from customers can be another strategy of financial enterprises to create more personalized products and services that will cater to customers’ specific needs. Companies can improve or completely remove products and services that are no longer working. As with every business venture, satisfied customers translate to higher revenues.

  1. Peer-to-peer recommendations.

Social media thrive on numbers. Take a look at these statistics: by the end of 2011: Facebook has 845 million monthly active users; by March 2012, Twitter has 140 million users; and by January 2012, Google+ has 90 million users. Imagine the potential of tapping into this massive number of networks online.

If a financial company provides quality services and products, customers are more likely to share good stories to their online contacts. Aside from word of mouth, social sites have features that can make sharing information a lot easier, such as posts and tweets, likes, re-tweets, etc.

  1. Interactions with other companies in the financial sector.

There are various online communities that provide an area for open discussions between other companies and thought leaders in the financial industry. Financial firms can participate on topics they can relate to by sharing their website contents. They can also trade information, connect with other companies, and learn new tips and strategies.

Technology also brought many changes to the financial sector. Although there may be risks in adopting social media strategies, these advantages can undoubtedly bring more business value to various financial companies.

How To Connect With Journalists On The Social Web

The new trends in media have made it easier for journalists to reach a wider audience as the majority of people are hooked on to such media. Evidently consumption of web content is becoming more user friendly and personalized thus enabling many to be citizen journalists as they can post and publicize information using the available social tools.

Today it is so much easier to communicate with media personalities on a personal level as they are also part of the web and one can air his or her views directly to the respective person. Numerous people endeavor to know how to connect with journalists on the social web.

Some Resources

Connecting People of Different Demographic Regions

Now you can communicate with friends that are miles away. This has shown to be a good platform for many to explore in dissemination of information as information is only a click away. The internet has helped the world — be viewed as a global village but networking has personalized this global village such that people know more about people they have never met in person but only converse online.

Managers of News Rather Than the Source

The social web resources can be tapped to improve journalism in the several ways including this type of collaborative reporting. This resource is helping many types of individuals  pull information through uploading of videos, documentaries, writing notes and blogging. The main demerit of such of reporting is that there is no formal editing of the content and requires participatory of the professional journalist as information comes from the public.

Instead of broadcasting journalists they may also listen to the communities conversations as there is a lot to be said . They are able to foster these conversations and provide opportunities for the conversations to be broadcasted to the public.

Coverage of a Journalist

Communities now communicate via social networks, people no longer write many emails but rather tag people in notes . Journalists should find ways to integrate their editorial roles and to posts news via links in the various websites. Powerful journalism happens within these social sites.

Monetization of them not only by creating links that lead traffic to the main media sites. The way forward is the use of business widget space to display feed as experimented by Real Time Ads. This way the user can relate to the advertisement and the business can control what is displayed.

Lastly the mobile experience is definitely advancing with the use cells phones. Through various mobile applications readers of the news can receive and send information on the go, that is, they can report in real-time. This application can also include tasks that enable individuals to update their comments about the news on real-time.

All of these improvements in our daily lives have made it easier for journalist to connect to masses via such media. Student journalists in various schools have integrated these new trends into their education to keep them at par with the developments in this industry.

Do you have any experiences with connecting with journalist in your area??

Marketing Internationally with Social Media

As the social media phenomenon continues to grow, awareness is taking hold at all levels of business of its potential benefits, including customer intelligence, stakeholder engagement, and interactive marketing.

But it remains a new area. While many brands are localizing their own websites in pursuit of foreign consumers, they are still gaining confidence in using social media in their principal markets – and native languages.

Global, social dialogue

Yet social networking knows no boundaries. Uptake is higher in Brazil, Italy and Japan than in the US, Britain or Australia (The Nielsen Company). China alone is reckoned to be home to 1.1 billion social networking accounts.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that for global brand Coca Cola, social media has leapt from 3% to 20% of their total media spend in just five years – and is still growing apace (Harvard Business Review). Worldwide, social network ad spending is set to reach $5.54 billion this year, according to eMarketer estimates; by 2013, it will hit almost $10 billion.

Across, the world, then, social network sites have become a key terrain where conversations take place, and loyalties are forged. For brands seeking a passport to lucrative overseas markets, it’s looking increasingly necessary to establish a social media presence.

So what are the difficulties? In fact, with a little thought, integrating social media into a global marketing strategy needn’t present a headache.

Network sites around the world

The first issue to consider is what networking sites people prefer in the target market. Facebook – pre-eminent in the Anglosphere – commands more than 20 million followers respectively, in markets as diverse as Indonesia, Italy and India (Pingdom, 2010).

But in Brazil – the country where social media reach is highest– Orkut is the most popular platform. In Japan, meanwhile, FC2 Blog was visited by more than half of the local active internet users in May 2011, according to Nielsen’s Social Media Report.

While Facebook is the most popular Spanish site in terms of number of users, more time is spent per person on Tuenti. Nearly a quarter of active internet users in France visited the country’s number two site, Overblog.

Indeed, networking sites proliferate in different regions according to whether they emphasize business or consumers, text communication or multimedia, and so on. This sample is obviously just a taste – but for forward-looking brands, it’s not too difficult to find the market-specific information necessary to inform sound, strategic planning.

Networks and clients

The spread of different client devices – tablets, PDAs and mobiles – adds a further dimension. For example, it is reckoned there will be 593 million mobile internet subscribers in China by 2013 (Nielsen). Mobile devices are particularly important for accessing the internet in many developing countries, where notebooks and other computers are beyond the reach of much of the population.

Fortunately, the complexity is mitigated by factors specific to your target markets. A little research into the style and format of networking sites, and the possibilities they afford – as well as the traffic they command in your target markets – will naturally direct your approach.

Selection will also depend the priorities of your campaign: whether advertising, consumer insight and intelligence, or interactive engagement.

Language barriers

This raises the issue of language and translation. A key attraction of social media is the prospect of keeping abreast of your brand profile, and that of your competitors. For these purposes, machine translation engines –Google Translate, Babel Fish, and so on – are free, and may be adequate to get the gist of foreign language content about your brand or industry.

But machine translations of foreign text into your own language should serve as a warning against using the same method for translating your own marketing communications into other languages. The outcome is more likely to provoke ridicule than bring sales!

Finding a voice

Having identified the appropriate platforms for engaging with consumers overseas, then, you still need to find your voice. Even Facebook operates across dozens of languages – and other platforms can seem unfamiliar environments in which to strike up a conversation in a foreign language.

For this reason, when it comes to translating your content, it is vital to use the services of those who are not only native speakers, but also based in the country in question. To craft a compelling message and establish an effective, virtual presence abroad, it’s necessary to address consumers in their native idiom – with all that implies in terms of command of cultural references, allusion, and phraseology.

Depending on the nature of the campaign, it may be less a matter of translation than “transcreation” – transposing your message in a way that speaks directly to consumers in a culturally literate way.

Top Five Social Bookmarking WordPress Plugins

Social Bookmarking PlugIns have become a must have for serious bloggers and web content producers. Adding these features to your WordPress site can have incredible results. These innovative tools allow publishers to keep up with the ever progressing world of communication through its accessibility and compatibility with endless networking systems. Listed are users favorite top five social bookmarking WordPress plug ins for blog users.

Expanding Your Content Exposure

  • Facebook the networking mogul has again expanded the reach of its empire, and potentially yours, with its bookmarking plug-in option for bloggers. The like and share features which added to the popularity of Facebook are now accessible on your own WordPress publications. Adding Facebook’s plugin tool to your site will broaden your reader base, expand your content exposure, and add brand credibility to your site’s content.
  • Socialize is a WordPress PlugIn that is unique in that it promotes multiple sharing opportunities for site users. This particular plugin was designed so that it condenses relevant content while collaborating with other social bookmarking plug-ins. The format utilized by Socialize creates content accessibility while encouraging the reader to share content, respond to comments or posts, or subscribe to the site for future navigation. Overall, Socialize efficiently manages other social bookmarking plugins for optimal site content exposure.
  • Digg is a WordPress PlugIn that optimizes social voting and sharing for site users. DiggDigg currently assimilates as many as seventeen shared voting buttons. Sharing options from many sites, including network giants Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo Buzz, Google Buzz, Digg, and Linkedin for most advantageous sharing capabilities are featured. Another key feature of this plugin is that it allows multiple viewing options. Six types of text integration and seven types of control maximize the publicity potential for social sharing.

  • Sexy Bookmarks is an incredibly user-friendly plugin with multiple capabilities for customization. Sexy Bookmarks, as implied by its name, is visually appealing to viewers without being intrusive. This bookmark is one of the most popular among users. Compatibility with other sites links your expanded network into your target content.
  • AddtoAny is a WordPress PlugIn that is extremely minimalistic, user-friendly, and expandable to other networks. This neat little tool lies dormant but visible until triggered by the reader. Condensed by customizing options, AddtoAny can be formatted to complement any WordPress content. This also makes it one of the largest bookmarking tools available to online users.

Social networking share options are endless in potential for content exposure. Using these favorite top five social bookmarking WordPress plugins for blog users will enhance your content exposure.

How Is Social Media Being Taught In Academic Settings?

Social media is a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s revolutionizing the way people communicate with each other. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Skype and multi-player online games are being used to keep in touch with friends and family, but they’re making it easier for people all over the world to meet and exchange ideas as well. They’re also changing the way problems are approached and solved: just recently, a a group of gamers was able to decode one of the proteins that the AIDS virus needs to reproduce, something scientists had been trying to achieve for the past ten years. None of the gamers were trained scientists—but together, the crowd sourced gamers were able to crack the code in less than a month.

The success of this project demonstrates how valuable social media can be, as well as the potential of social media in education. Social media has been a tool in education for several years now: teachers and students use the Internet to search for information on subjects for class discussion; elementary school classes use Skype to talk to their e-mail pals from across the country or across the globe; college professors conduct lectures with online video.

But while schools from kindergarten to graduate school are using social media to teach students, teaching social media as a subject is still a new concept. The business world has learned to harness the power of social media through advertising, viral marketing and consumer interaction, and as the business world evolves, colleges and universities are also slowly evolving to teach their students how to use social media in their careers. For students pursuing an IT degree or a business degree, social media is one of the most important tools they can learn. But how can academia harness the power of social media? And how can it be integrated into higher education and taught as a skill students need for the workforce of the future?

Several big-name business schools have added social media to their curricula, and schools with online classes and degree programs are teaching their students to integrate social media into their professional interactions as well. For students attending college right now, these are lessons they can take with them into their first jobs—but for adults already in the workplace, introductory and refresher courses are becoming important: learning to use Facebook and Twitter formally, learning how to match business tactics with social media, and studying successful social media campaigns. Adults already in the workforce may want to talk to their human resources department about conducting in-service sessions on social media or about tuition reimbursement for university classes on social media. Because it’s becoming such an integral part of business, employers and employees alike need to recognize the need for social media education.

The world of social media is constantly changing, but as it becomes more incorporated into our everyday lives, students must study how it’s affecting both personal and professional interactions.

Big Friend: New Types of Demographic Data that go with Facebook’s New Platform

By this time the analogy between George Orwell’s Big Brother—the all-seeing intelligence agency of his dystopian fantasy 1984—and the entities gathering demographic data from our online activity and browser histories is a cliché. But Big Brother’s agenda was to make sure to stifle uprisings, while Facebook seems to catalyze them. And while Big Brother wanted to stop revolutionaries from gathering resources, the modus operandi of large-scale, demographically omniscient entities like Google or Facebook seems to be to connect the right people with the right products. So is Facebook ‘Big Brother’ or ‘Big Friend?’ The distinction is noxiously cartoonish, but worth addressing all the same. Here are some reasons why Facebook is more of a Big Friend.

Facebook’s ad platform has long been an almost polar opposite of Google’s AdWords platform.

Whereas Google’s AdWords allows advertisers to target massive groups of people based entirely on keyword selection, Facebook allows its advertisers to display ads based on specific demographic information, such as location, age or professed preferences. The progression of Internet advertising has trended towards increased personalization. Beginning with email marketing, companies could only target people who signed up for their services. With Google’s AdWords, companies could attempt to target users looking for information or interested in purchasing a product, while Facebook ads seem to be the latest advanced step towards complete ad customization. As it stands now, though, companies can use Google ads to drive purchases and email newsletter sign ups while the newsletters themselves can be used to tie into other social media marketing campaigns and drive consumer interaction on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook’s new Open Graph platform is the next step towards fully customizable targeting for advertisers.

The goal of Open Graph is to bring every Facebook user’s online interactions into Facebook, allowing users to stream media and share their preferences with their friends without having to leave the site. Spotify integration with Facebook allows users to see when their friends listen to specific songs and gives them the option of listening to that song themselves. Hulu’s integration allows users to stream from the Hulu app within Facebook, leave comments for friends and view their friends’ viewing histories, hopefully prompting them to explore new shows. All of this information floating around is being carefully monitored by Facebook, who will undoubtedly leverage the new massive amounts of user data by offering even further targeting to advertisers. Because Facebook’s revenue stream is based on targeted demographic marketing, it’s a safe bet that the company will continue rolling out new features to keep users on their site while providing them with more and more information.

5 Social Media Marketing Books for Bloggers

With the rising use of social media and internet marketing today, there is a need for adequate knowledge for you to be termed as a “conqueror” in the field. The competition is stiff and therefore the urge to become and expert is evident.

Use the following 5 social media marketing books

to help you with your learning.

1. Do it wrong quickly by Mike Moran

This is a book that stresses on working on any field even if it can turn out to be wrong other than doing nothing at all. Looking at the rising of online marketing nowadays, we can’t afford to time correctly but can only do it wrong quickly.

2. The new rules of marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
This book focuses on how to use online social media to reach buyers directly and the use of press releases, blogs and viral marketing. The book is rich in guidelines, tips and tricks.

3. Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
This book focuses on the use of groundswell phenomenon and how it affects your business. In addition, it talks of how you can harness the phenomenon to your advantage.

4. The new influencers by Paul Gillin
It explains how you can use social media such as podcasting and blogs to make your business grow and subsequently provide for your clients.

5. Plug your business by Steve Weber
Steve considers the use of social networks such as podcasting, blogs and you tube to plug your business. He employs scenarios, samples, explanations, tips and suggestions to adequately explain his points.

How To Interact With Your Followers For Maximum Success

Online business continues to grow at a great rate and as it does, changes must be made to maximize a business success. Social networking has become huge and getting people to follow what you are doing is just half to battle to grow your business. Once you have those followers you must engage and interact with them to see even more growth for your business or opportunity. How to interact with your followers is a key to success and we have some tips to help you accomplish that.

Post useful and timely information for the followers you have. Many times we just post to our accounts without really thinking about it. This is something you will want to try and avoid. Give something of value every day and you will be surprised at the kind of response that you will receive. You also must do this on a daily basis as well.

One of the most important tips is to build relationships and recognize your followers and what they post as well. Many times we tend to forget about what others post and that is something we should not do. Interact with the information they post should be done. This will show that you care about what they are doing and in return they will learn about you.

Introduce yourself to your followers if you have not done that yet. People like to know about you or your business before they will open up more and value what information you have to give. It is a two way street and the more you can learn about others and the more they know about you will help both parties.

Ask questions instead of just posting information all the time. The key to interaction is doing your part as well. By asking questions of followers you can learn things and the interaction will grow among people that you talk too. This is very important and many people never grasp it.

Do not be afraid to answer questions either. Part of interaction is being able to give your opinion and answer questions. You may not always have the right answers, but learning from others and answering questions when you know the answer is a great start. Follow these tips and interaction with your followers will grow your business.

Learn more about what social media and internet marketing trainingcan do for your business. Review Crushers specializes in social media marketing in Virginia and provides a variety of marketing services worldwide. Contact me today for a free consultation!