The State of Enterprise Social Marketing

Enterprise Social Marketing Stats
Spreadfast and Forrester recently launched The 2014 State of Enterprise Social Marketing Report, researching how some of the world’s largest company organize, plan and execute social marketing effort. Here are some take-aways from the report:

Social Media – A Growing Priority
69 % are increasing staffing for social marketing in 2014, and 68 % are increasing their social marketing budget compared to 2013.

69,4 % believe their organization prioritizes social basted on how effort are organized and executed.

Measuring What Matters
Nearly 3 out of 4 measure the business value of social marketing, reach and resonance being the top two measuring areas. However, the measuring areas are not static, most ( 73 % ) also state that they are constantly evolving and defining best practices.

Social Means Building Awareness
“Building Brand Awareness” is the most frequent main business goal (39 % of recipients). Somewhat surprising, only 3 % answered “Provide customer services”.

Social – An Integrated Part of Marketing
Two out of three (66,9%) are integrating social with broader marketing efforts.

Nearly a third allotted between 3 % and 5 % of total marketing budget to social marketing.


Say Hello to Ello

Ello MarianneMixi
Ello is the New Kid on the Social Media Block, and it is quite the mix of new and old. I get the same feeling as when I signed up for Twitter and Facebook back in the days, the feeling of not quite knowing what it is, or how to “behave”.

What is Ello today?

Currently in Beta, invite-only (every user gets 25 invites – give me a shout if you want one!). Ello mixes features from many of the popular and well established social networks, you can @mention others, divide the people you follow between “Friends” and “Noise”, post all sorts of content, be anonymous if you like. And the key differentiation – the promise of being (and staying) completely ad free.

What can Ello be?

We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life. (Part of the Ello Manifesto)

According to this Ello post, many new features are in the loop. Such as: Private messages, a Love(!) button, the option to add videos, a repost-feature and so on. A paid version with more features is also likely.

Can it be the new Facebook? Will it be a real competition?

Some complain about Ello being over-hyped, not offering anything new, that it is certainly not Facebook nor can it compete. What they seem to forget is that Facebook has not always been like it is today, like every other social network it has evolved and changed over time (and still does).

Surely, Ello needs to differentiate itself more from other networks, gain a solid user base, come up with (or communicate) a plan for how the network can get by while staying ad-free and without selling user data (and make a mobile app, please!). But Ello is still in Beta, and while the features today are somewhat limited, I like the concept and Ello’s vision, and am excited to see what happens in the months to come.

What do you think? 


Are you on Ello?  Say hi here:

Want to know more about Ello? Check out Ten Things to Know About Ello

A/B Testing

Illustration by Experience Solutions

Illustration by Experience Soluttions

Last week I attended a breakfast seminar on the topic of Web A/B testing , hosted by Increo. Here are some of the take aways from the event:

WHAT is A/B testing?
A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. You compare two web pages by showing the two variants (let’s call them A and B) to similar visitors at the same time. The one that gives a better conversion rate, wins! ( Definition from: )

WHY A/B testing?
A/B testing is an easy way to maximize your web results. Colors, placement, size, text and so on, can have a big impact the converting rate ( Conversion rate- how many of your visitors that complete the “goal” you’ve set for the web site devided by the total number of visitors – A conversion is a goal / purpose you set for your web page. It could e.g. be downloading a whitepaper, buying a product from your web shop, register for your newsletter or signing up for your event).

Useful tips to get started:

Baby steps

Test small differences (If you change everything, you won´t know what gave you the increased effect!)

Take your time

To get the most accurate results, a significant number of web visitors are needed, and you should spend 1 – 2 weeks to testing before evaluating the results.

Less is more
The Paretto Princippal ( or the 80/20 rule): 80 % of the content on your web page is unnecessary, while 20 % is crucial. Solutions: Limit the content – get better results. Use A/B testing to see what parts of the content you can/ should remove and what parts to keep.

Hick´s law:  More options increase the web visitors decision time, and also increase the risk of them leaving the page without completing their task. Solution: Try remove some of the options.

For instance, a customer of Increo removed a section showing similar products to the item the visitor just added to their shopping cart, and experienced a significant increase in the number of customers that completed their purchase.

Size matters
Fitt’s Law: Objects that are fare away from the center of the screen ( where the visitors eyes mostly points) get less clicks. And bigger objects (banners, buttons, fonts) get more clicks than others.

Solution: Try increasing the size of the content you want to highlight and place it at the center of the page.

Push my (red) buttons
The color red might trigger some assotiaons to “Stop”, “Danger” for some people (me included), but the fact of the matter is that a red “buy now” or “register here” button generates more click-actions than any other color (tested by Increo and their customers)!

Other colors that typically also trigger web visitors attention are blue and green

Useful tools to get you started: 


Google Analytics Content Experiment


Campaign Monitor (For A/ B testing of  Newsletter / eDM subject lines, sender, design. I´ve used this a lot – and love it! :-))

Visual Website Optimizer has a lot of great resources on A / B testing.


Instagram Direct is here!

Facebook has it, Twitter has it, Snapchat practically is it, and now Instagram also introduces a feature allowing its users to send private messages (photos and videos) to one, or a selection, of your Instagram friend: Instagram Direct is here.

You can even send to people that don’t follow you back (Hello @ryan_gosling!)

What does it mean?

For marketers: A way of communicating more directly to your customers and prospects, and adjusting the message to their preferences.

For customer service staff: Solve your customers problem by replying to them with a “show and tell” video of how to fix their issue.

For teens: You went through the same thing with Facebook, and now suddenly your mom is following you on Instagram too! With Instagram Direct you have a way of streaming your content, what is for your best friends only, and what all your followers (mom included) can see.

For the fangirl / fanboy: Send a photo or video message to your favorite star.

How does it work?

First of all, make sure you have the latest update of Instagram installed.

Next, go to the feed (the tab with a house), and you’ll notice a new icon in the right top corner:
Marianne Granum - Instagram Direct - instructions

Touch the icon and you’ll enter Instagram Direct, here it is pretty much business as usual: Take or upload a photo, or record a video, choose your filter and add a your comments. Ones your done with the editing and commenting, press the next button in the right top corner.

Normally this would have uploaded your content to your Instagram stream, but with Instagram Direct there is one more step: Choosing who should receive your message:

Marianne Granum - Instagram Direct - How it works

Select the receivers and you are ready to go!

What do you think of Instagram Direct? Useful or not? And what would you use it for?

Tagboard – All Hashtags at One Place

These days, hashtags are everywhere in the social network sphere: We add tags to our posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Google+ and so on.
It has been hard to keep track and following a hashtag from one network to another-but not anymore! Tagboard is a new service that allows you to do hashtag searches across all hashtag-friendly networks.

Tagboard is very handy for both personal and professional use, use-cases include:
– At an event, or while watching a live event at TV and following the debate online
– For businesses tracking their brand across networks, discovering what network(s) their most engaged and loyal fans use, and what they are saying about you.

Marianne Granum - Tagboard - Tracking Hashtags across social networks

Instagram: The Hashtag Effect

I just stumbled upon this article, 8 Data-Based Tips for Optimizing Your Content on Pinterest and Instagram on and thought I’d share a few interesting findings.

The effect of hashtags
That the use of hashtags on Instagram generates likes and followers is no big secret, but this graph indicates that hashtags has a huge positive effect on the number of likes and followers:

Marianne Granum - Effect of Hashtags on Instagram likes - Cheetaha Analytics

Graph from

Popular hashtags

What tags you use is almost just as important, not all hashtags are as effective, here is a list of popular hashtags:

Marianne Granum - Most Liked Instagram Hashtags -

Graph from

Not surprisinlgy, the most popular hashtags touch upon Instagrams social dimention, interaction and getting something in return. Any hashtags you find surprising on the list?

Before you start adding hashtags, be sure to avoid these hashtag mistakes.

Digital Detox

Summer is here, and for many of us this means vacation time (YAY!). Have you thought about taking a vacation from more than just work/school? Maybe a digital detox with no emails, social network updates or phone calls is what you need? If so, here are some advice on the road:

– Take baby steps
Start with going without your smart-phone for a few hours and see how it feels. What’s the worst part? What do you miss the most?

– Don’t do it on your own
Tell your friends about your detox and ask for support, mentoring or a partner in crime.

– Find a substitute
To me, the scariest part about a digital detox would probably be not being able to upload photos to Instagram – I take photos all the time!:-D If you are like me, consider buying a lomography camera and re-discover the charm of not seeing the photo right away.

Marianne Granum - Lomography Fisheye
Picture borrowed from my sister, Hilde, taken with a lomography fisheye camera.

– Stay busy
Go on a phototrip, try a new recipe, play board games, take up an old hobby or learn a new skill.

– Go to a digital detox hotel or camp
If everything else fails, gather a group and go somewhere with no reception, no wi-fi and no power outlets. Did you know there are several digital detox hotels and sonatinens to go to? Here is list of the Top 10 Digtal Detox Hotels.

Are you considering a digital detox? And if so, what do you think is your biggest challenge?

#SplussM: My Wedding Hashtag

I’m getting married in a months time, and as the hashtag-loving social media addict I am, a wedding hashtag was just as much a must-have as the wedding dress!;-)

“Wedding hashtags is our times monogram”

A wedding hashtag is a great way to share moments and memories before, during and after the wedding. Neither the bride, groom or wedding photographer can be everywhere at once, and this way the guest can share their pictures for us to look at afterwards.

Marianne Granum - Wedding Hashtag - SplussM

Wedding hashtag as bachelorette theme

This weekend, I had my bachelorette party, and my bridemaids made our hashtag, #SplussM, the theme of the party. T-shirts for all the attendees, cake, picture wall and more had the hashtag on it.

Marianne Granum - Analog Instagram Wall

Real-time sharings

For my wedding I’m playing with the idea of adding an Instagram wall, showcasing all photos with the hashtag. I think this will create a fun icebreaker for the guests, make more guests aware of the hashtag and maybe increase the number of photos too.

What do you think of wedding hashtags, yay or nay?

Psst – My bridesmaids and I have a shared Pinterest board, where we share ideas and inspiration – have a look here. We have a wedding blog too ( in Norwegian) – You can see it here 🙂

Instagram: Videos are here!

For all videofans, Instagram just got a whole lot better: Instagram with video support is here!:-)

Social video apps is a big hit at the moment, Vine, Snyppit, Snapchat and so on has made it easy to make and share short videos with your friends and network. Instagram is now entering the race by adding a video capturing feature as well.

Instagram Video: Top features:
– Up to 15 second vidoes
– Filters (yay!)
– Pick your favorite scene and set it as cover image

Many is saying this is the end of Vine – and even though I really like Vine – I think they might be right. Building a strong community and a steady app takes time and I don’t think Vine is there yet – and now they might never be? I think close to all my Vine connections are also on Instagram, what will make them keep using Vine? Instagram already has the community, all your friends and your network of photo-loving connections are already on board, the app is steady (bugs and crashes are close to non) and you have more options.

On a more positive note, I think the competition is good, it pushes progress and better solutions for the end-user. Vine (and other video app start-ups) might get the push they need to creat an even better product?

Read all about the video launch on the Instagram Blog

What do you think of videos on Instagram? Noisy or cool? Will you be making videos or statying with still-photos?

Top 5 Hashtag Mistakes

Looking for more information about hashtags, what they are and how to use them? Check out this blog post.

The use of hashtags in social networks like Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and so on is very popular, and – when used correctly – hashtags can be a very efficient way of getting more readers and viewers to check out your content.

But there are some pitfalls you should be aware of before you start tagging away – here are my top 5 hashtag mistakes:

Marianne Granum - What are hashtags and how to use them
– Hashtagging every word
You probably seen this on Instagram and might have wondered if it is a good idea? It’s not. The point of adding a hashtag is to make your picture searchable and easy to find for people looking for that particular topic.

Turning every word into an hashtag is pointless – have you ever searched for #is #and #a ? No? Nobody else either… Instagram allows 50tags per picture (which I think is plenty), make sure to add tags that people actually search for and don’t “waste” tags on these words no one searches for.

– Hashtags on Facebook
Not many hashtags fails set me off like hashtags on Facebook! It has no purpose (hashtags are not searchable on FB!) and just screams “I have no clue what the #s mean!”

Update: Facebook now supports Hashtags! So tag away! 😉

– Adding hashtags that are not relevant for the picture.

In an attempt to get more IG likes and followers, some people add popular tags that are not relevant for the picture. I don’t think this is a very smart strategy, personally I get irritated when I search for a topic and a lot of the pictures that show up are off-topic. , this does make me hit “unfollow” rather than like. So this strategy is definitely not working on me – how about you?

– Special Characters
Double Check that your hashtags are working (highlighted like hyperlinks and click able), some special characters are not supported. For instants, “+”, “&” “?” and so one are not supported on Instagram.

– Hashtags on private profiles

Hashtags from private Instagram or Twitter accounts are only searchable for your friends, so unless you have a really big follower base, there is not really any reason for adding hashtags to your photos – your friends will probably see them anyway. An exception is If you and your friend made your own hashtag for a party, wedding or vacation trip e.g.

What do you think are the biggest hashtag mistakes out there?

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