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September 2014 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

Emergency Preparedness

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 | Comments (6)

Category: Uncategorized

Emergency Preparedness 101

Be prepared for anything. Know what to do during emergency situations if you are at home, on the road, or at the office.

MicroSourcing Emergency Preparedness

5 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Campaign

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, September 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

If you want to get more from your LinkedIn ads but aren't quite sure what strategy to try next, you've come to the right place. AdStage offers five simple tips to boost the performance of your campaign and earn more impressions, clicks, and leads.

Tips to optimize your LinkedIn campaign

1. Give your ad a kick-start by changing its image.
Once you notice that your ad is lagging, don’t simply pause it and focus on the better performing ads. Instead, replace the old image with one that is both eye-catching and relevant. You may be able to triple the CTR just by using a different image. Use images that have bright colors and are easily identifiable. These tend to work well especially when compared to busy and vague images.

2. Call out your targeting to capture audience interest.
Calling your audience out in your ad is a great way to capture them. If you’re targeting by job category, use that category in the ad. This technique also helps filter out the wrong people so they don’t click on your ad and waste your budget. Don’t forget to be explicit and highlight the specific feature, product or service you are offering and this customer segment would be most interested in.

3. Let the ad description support bold headlines.
While bold headlines make your ad stand out and pique the interest of your viewers, a weak description will only make them turn away. Make sure that your description is packed with additional details to support the headline. A great description is one that explains what people can expect to find on your landing page once they click your ad. This also helps qualify your audience and limit clicks from people who aren't likely to do business with you.

4. Bid high to get more impressions.
LinkedIn can be a difficult network to earn impressions on. Bid above the suggested CPC if you’re having trouble earning a significant number of impressions. This shouldn't be a problem especially if you’re earning quality leads and have a positive ROI.

5. Target groups to reach qualified prospects.
LinkedIn users reveal their interests, skills, and expertise by joining groups. This makes targeting large and niche groups another great way to reach people who are likely to be interested in your offer. Make sure your targeted groups have a large audience size so you still have meaningful reach.

The Daily Checklist of a Social Media Manager

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Friday, September 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

A Day in a Life of a Social Media Manager

In Search Engine Journal’s report on the growth of social media, we found that 93% of marketers use social media to promote their businesses, 74% have gained new customers from Facebook, and about one-third of them successfully gained new leads from Twitter. Social media has given birth to the 24x7x365 constantly connected culture, and most of us don’t even realize the undue pressure we are putting on the people rushing to serve our needs.
Do you ever stop and think about who is behind all the clever brand updates you've been liking and sharing to your network? Or perhaps wonder how brands manage to always stay ahead of the game despite the ever-changing world of social media? Who makes sure that the message reaches the right audience? Who is under all the pressure to make some social media magic happen?
The social media manager.
If you’re tasked to manage your brand’s social media presence and now find yourself overwhelmed by the surge of notifications and updates you receive 24 hours a day across your email, social networks, and text messages, you’re not alone. Your workload may not be driving you to the brink of exhaustion, but very few social media managers are finding free time for themselves these days. Don’t let your taxing job of juggling a handful of social networks 24/7 overwhelm you. Let this checklist on Hootsuite guide you through your daily habits as a highly effective social media manager.
1. Keep an ear out for what users are saying about your brand.
Not that you don’t already do this, but it’s no. 1 on the list because it’s the most important thing you need to monitor everyday. It gives clear direction to your day and helps decide what you need to do to steer your social mentions to positive, on-brand conversations. Make use of trend monitoring tools or keyword research tools to uncover insights about your social media marketing and the direction you need to take with it.
2. Keep watch over your metrics.
Numbers make or break social media campaigns. Stay on top of your social media metrics - reach, engagement, new followers, CTRs to your site, and advertising ROI. To get a more in-depth picture of what’s happening across your networks, layer together the analytics from individual social networks with those of your social media tool.
3. Be aware of the competition and what’s happening in your industry.
We often get caught up in the whirlpool of things happening on our own social networks that we don’t have time to see what others are doing. Remember that competition tracking and analysis is a crucial to-do item, and that there are tools like Rival IQ to help you do this. Tracking the latest happenings in your industry is every bit as important as competitor analyses. Respond to topics relevant to your brand and industry via your social networks.
4. Make new connections and make them feel special.
Do not do your brand a huge disservice by getting carried away by the big picture. Stop and smell the roses on behalf of your brand. Know who the influencers are in your social networks and reach out to them. Find out what they need and see if you can do anything to help them out. Even a simple ‘thank you’ to your fans and followers goes a long way. And social media being what it is, your good deeds will surely get word of mouth.
5. A ‘happy customer’ story a day makes your followers stay.
Include this as part of your content calendar. Aside from cute videos and funny memes you may have lined up, pick one genuine customer story to be highlighted every day. You can even prove the authenticity of the story by tagging your customer. As a bonus, you get to be visible across your customers’ social networks as well.
6. Handle customer complaints in a timely manner.
Your brand may have a separate customer care team that handles customer queries on social media, but even the best teams can have complaints that fall through the cracks. If you see no response to an inquiry or complaint within an hour of it being posted, step in to help. Social media is your baby, after all, and keeping your followers happy is your top priority.
7. Build a solid content pipeline that can be used for future posts.
This helps you get out of the daily fire-fighting mode. Engage an outside content agency if you must, but always have at least a week’s worth of content prepared.
Social media managers are lucky to be doing as a full-time job what others try and sneak in during work hours and in between breaks. The job is fun, exciting, challenging, and maddening at the same time. Absorb the experience of being part of the generation that pioneered social media marketing - something that has transformed how people and businesses communicate. Don’t let the craziness overpower your work. All it takes is structure and discipline to be a happy camper in the world of social media.

Things to Consider before Using the Cloud

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Cloud Technology in the Business Industry

Cloud technology is probably the latest trend that is taking over the business industry. It is believed to improve operational efficiency and flexibility, which is why businesses are clamoring to use it for their operations.

However, not all applications and functions are compatible with the cloud, and before going any further, executives should look at what value the cloud has for the company. Info.ISG-One.com shares five things that should be taken into consideration by decision makers and business leaders when it comes to using cloud technology:

1) Make sure that the cloud can accommodate the requirements of your apps.
Applications vary in requirements, and the more resources your applications need, the more money you are going to shell out. Data and software take up storage space, and cloud heavily relies on it. Design your integration plans according to the results you want with the information you get from research analysis.

2) Define and organize your applications.
By sorting your applications across several categories such as security, workload profiles, performance, availability, transition, flexibility, technology, and bandwidth, it will be easier for you to select the specific applications that will work best in the cloud. The benefits of the cloud also depend on the type of applications that it will be integrated to.

3) Rate the providers based on a detailed set of metrics.

To identify which provider will be able to do your company justice, you would have to test them across several factors. You may even compare their contracts, service level agreements, and pricing structures. If you think analyzing which team will work best for you is not your strongest suit, then you can bring in professionals for this specific function.

4) Don’t forget to measure success.

It is a no-brainer that you should measure the success of your cloud sourcing campaign from time to time. This will keep the provider in line, and your goals duly met.

5) IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are different from one another.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) normally affects the product decision to be able to integrate application portfolio strategies properly. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), on the other hand, is more on the service decision that moves assets to improve capabilities, while (PaaS) Platform-as-a-Service is a combination of both. They are often collectively called the cloud but obviously, they vary in purpose, benefits, and results.

5 Tips for Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, September 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

The great thing about this generation is the strong belief that business can and should be done differently. After decades of profit-driven business models, more and more businesses today not only strive to meet their financial goals, but endeavor to make a positive social impact as well.

Tips on social entrepreneurship

If you’re among those determined to develop a business model that would both generate profits and make a real difference in the world, The Guardian highlights five important tips to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

Choose one from three approaches to building a platform. Social entrepreneurship is different from traditional businesses that are structured solely for profit. There are three methods for integrating giving back into your business to choose from: a) donate a percentage of the company profits, b) affiliate with a cause, community, and/or charity and create a product or service that will raise money, or c) start a fundraiser.

Know the role of benefit corporations and business incubators. There are many organizations developed to help make social entrepreneurship more accessible and successful. These organizations provide mentorship, guidance, and financial support. Incubators like Conscious Labs and The Unreasonable Institute are also rising. Do your research and make yourself known.

Start off small scale. To see your idea flourish into a successful venture, you will have to practice a lot of patience. Every entrepreneur, social or not, should know that a new business needs time and space to grow and prosper. Start by building a solid foundation through establishing smaller and more manageable partnerships to learn what works and what doesn’t. In short, partner with organizations that match your scale.

Don’t lose sight of your mission. Making business decisions strictly for the profit potential often leads to failure. Take the mission and your passion into consideration in order to stay on course and attract the right programs, partners, and the publications.

Don’t be discouraged by constant change. Instantly finding a unique proposal that sells is rare. It takes time for business ideas and goals to develop and work out. It may take you several different business models before things fall into place. It takes time, but it’s worth the wait.

3 Ways to Improve Brand Communications on Twitter

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Friday, September 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

There’s something different about the way companies are tweeting these days. There seems to be a marketing trend used by brands and the change is too large to go unnoticed. Brand communications on Twitter are improving.

Here’s a quick recap of the way brands have embraced and used Twitter in recent years:

  • In 2010, only 10% of all tweets came from brands.
  • In 2012, Twitter had 500 million registered users and major brands were buying in, but the learning curve was steep and mistakes were made in terms of customer service interactions.
  • By 2013, brands were posting tweets four times more than they were in 2012, with 10 of the most-followed brands tweeting every six to 20 minutes.

And now, it seems like the transformation of brands from skeptics to Twitter enthusiasts intent on making an impact is finally complete.

This doesn’t mean that brands don’t still make blunders, though - both with regard to the content of their posts and how they respond to consumers. But, look closely and you’ll also find an abundance of high quality content, savvy strategies, and engaging ads that show brands are attaining a maximum level of competence.

There are brands that entice their followers by having adopted the popular weekly custom and posting archived photos with the hashtag #tbt (or #throwbackthursday).

For cable and satellite television channels like AMC, filling their feed with videos and images works - their timely and high-impact posts highlight the best of their programming content. AMC’s Promoted Tweets are also powerful and memorable examples of visual marketing. Then there are motor companies like Hyundai, which has not only mastered the art of the hashtag, but has built an entire campaign around it, too. By bringing their custom hashtag to Twitter, they managed to inspire countless fan tweets around the campaign.

Brands that have found their social media marketing niche have helped redefine the way Twitter is approached. While Twitter is viewed as a customer service tool, it’s also used to broadcast company news, a channel for digital creativity, and many brands are making it their home.

How to improve brand communications on Twitter

Here’s how you can do the same:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Twitter ecosystem by leveraging Twitter trends like the #throwbackthursday hashtag. It shows a playfulness that consumers can relate to and presents the opportunity to publish noteworthy photos. Unearth interesting old content, give it new relevance, and extend its life online. It’s the best way to employ Twitter-based brand storytelling.
  2. Rich tweets, collages, multi-photo tweets - these are some of the best ways to get consumers’ attention. According to a report by Twitter, photo tweets from verified accounts result in a 35% boost in retweets on average, while including a video URL can increase shares by 28%. Add calls-to-action to your visual tweets to encourage users to reply or visit your links.
  3. One of the best ways to use a custom hashtag is by linking it to current events. However, there’s always the fear of having it misappropriated and misused with humiliating results. Make sure that your custom tag is well-crafted and supported by a solid campaign strategy. This helps elevate a concept and expand its reach. Also, to make it an ideal fit for Twitter, give your custom hashtag a mass appeal - use language that resonates with your audience.


Does Your Business Need Social Media Marketing?

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Using Social Media for your Business

When a small business owner such as yourself hears buzzwords like Facebook marketing and social media marketing, what does it mean to you? Do you think it has significance for your business? Will engaging in social media marketing bring in customers?
The first thing you need to know is that social media consists of websites and applications that enable you to interact with other people online. Add marketing and it simply lets you connect with your customers.
Second, is it really necessary for your business? The truth is that while every local business needs social media marketing, it’s not necessary to be present in all social media channels. However, not to be on any of the social media channels may be equal to burning a part of your profit.
All Businesses Need New Customers
Understand that social media marketing is an additional channel to expose your business - and an inexpensive one at that. To bring new customers through your doors, determine which social media platform would best extend your business to them - one that you can effectively and consistently utilize.
If you have a budget, you can use ads on Facebook to promote your business page. And even if you don’t have a budget, you can still promote your business page to your current, personal network. Frequent funny, viral, or any relevant status updates make it easier for your page to be exposed to other people via shares and likes.
All Businesses Need Repeat Customers
Common sense aside, thriving businesses are those that provide their customers with the best products and/or services they have to offer. Doing so builds repeat customers. It’s your loyal customers that keep your business running when times get tough, or when your budget is too small to advertise.
So how does social media help with this? Social media channels allow you to connect with your current network. Keep your business page updated with information relevant to your customers and target audience.

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