As we enter the final month of a promising year of economic recovery, I'm continuing to round up the best of the Econsultancy blog.
Here you'll find around 30 posts that are definitely worth your time; either great practical advice, the best of our opinion pieces, interesting case studies, or what you definitely need to know about changes at the main tech players.
Feel free to comment on any of the posts, as our authors are always keen to extend the debate.
Brands no longer have an option over whether or not they provide social customer service as consumer demand dictates that complaints and queries are at least acknowledged even if they are ultimately dealt with via a different (less public) channel.
A new study by IMGroup found that fashion retailer Next currently provides the best overall social customer service among brick-and-mortar retailers, followed by Argos and Marks & Spencer.
Next was the top performer on Facebook and the second best on Twitter, which are the two channels most commonly used for social customer service.
All of the retailers in the report had a Twitter presence, with seven of them operating a dedicated customer service feed. Only Superdrug and Boots do not use Twitter for customer service or complaint handling.
Pinterest seems like it should be one of the great social media success stories of recent years.
It’s got 70m users, 80% of whom are female and 35% of which use Pinterest on their mobiles.
A demographic skewed towards women with decent incomes: an advertiser’s dream...surely…?
Last year, Coca-Cola launched the Journey website as its own media outlet, using an editorial, image-heavy format.
Fuelled by the brand's Content 2020 plan, the redesign was described as 'the most ambitious rethink of Coca-Cola’s web properties' since it launched the first website in 1995.
The company has gone from being declared 'creatively bankrupt' by a chief exec in 2004 to being named Creative Marketer of the Year at Cannes in 2013.
As an innately social product, alcoholic beverages should be perfectly suited to the opportunity for sharing and engagement that is afforded by social media.
However alcohol brands have to tread a fine line on social in order to ensure their messages don’t break any regulations within local markets.
At Socialbakers’ Engage NYC event this week Pernod Ricard’s social media manager Jeremie Moritz described the company’s approach to social marketing, which is based on the idea of ‘making a new friend every day’.
The company is home to many of the world’s top spirits brands, such as Absolut and Chivas Regal, and operates its own distribution channels in more than 80 countries. It employs more than 19,000 staff to ensure things run smoothly.
Last week Facebook announced on the Developer blog that it would be rolling out new designs for the infamous Like and Share buttons.
According to Facebook, these buttons are “viewed over 22bn times daily across more than 7.5m websites”.
Having active social sharing buttons on your website is most definitely a simple, yet effective way of allowing users to share your content, which in turn can result in sometimes significant amounts of traffic returning to those pages from people within their networks.
And it’s highly likely for most website owners that it will be the Like or Share button that is getting the most shares and driving the most traffic back. A recent study by Shareaholic of 200,000 publishers revealed that referral traffic from Facebook has grown by 58.81% from September 2012 to 2013.
So it’s not much of a surprise that Facebook has looked to change them, but what are the differences and how can they used?
As Twitter grows, it's more difficult to digest your own activity, to search for trends and content, and to find the right people to engage with.
To the already swollen ranks of Twitter clients comes Tame. Tame claims to provide further context for the user.
I asked a few questions of their team, to find out more about the service.
Facebook provides an unparalleled amount of real-time, accurate user data. With Facebook, marketers can be flies on the wall, quietly and unobtrusively gaining insight into their consumers by observing the details they share about their lives.
It is the world’s largest unfiltered focus group for brands to listen to, and it’s arguably the richest CRM database for marketers to take advantage of.
Consumers provide large amounts of data through their Facebook activities, enabling marketers to access far more information about who they are than a survey or poll might reveal. And, thanks to the high-frequency of consumer activity on Facebook, all of this wonderfully rich data is consistently kept up to date.
Best of all, the accessibility of consumer data on Facebook means that marketers can utilize it without interfering in their consumers’ lives.
To bring Econsultancy readers and subscribers the best blog content from the month gone, I've been writing simple posts like this one (with the best of August and September also available).
There's plenty of good stuff I've had to leave out, but the posts I've included below will bring you some new best practice, insightful opinion, and some coverage of October's biggest events in marketing, ecommerce, big brand land and GAFA World (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple).
I hope you'll enjoy the best from our myriad of authors.
So, you want to get noticed, earn respect, fans, more money, more sales. You want to pepper the web with your beautiful little avatar in search of career development.
You want to become a brand that stands for something.
Well, it’s surprisingly easy to do this, with time and effort made in the right places. So I thought I’d write up a checklist showing how to go about it.
Some of this is going to sound like best practice for a PR person, but essentially that’s the task in hand. Being as visible as possible is the best part of building a personal brand.
NB: this is aimed more at those fairly new to the world of marketing, but there's a few presumptive tips for those already established.