Tag Archives: Social Marketing

Do You Know What A Like Is Worth?

In this age of social media everything, companies are scrambling to find ways to measure and quantify their social media activity.

Likes, Followers, Shares and ReTweets have given way to a cottage industry of measurement tools, but, in lieu of traditional ROI, do any of these metrics, like Klout Scores and Peer Indexes, provide a key indicator for success?

I’m of the mind that they don’t. While they measure activity, they don’t translate this information into sales or at the very least learning.

Creating engagement through social channels is important. Here are a few ways to move your friends and followers into a more results oriented relationship:

  1. Incent people to opt-in for email communication.  Doing so allows you track how they heard about you, and then you can actively market and test offers.
  2. Use microsites and unique URL promotions on social channels to measure interest of your fan base.
  3. Use coupon codes (or actual coupons if a CPG company) that are specific to a social channel to track activity to sales.

By knowing if people are coming to your site or store from social channels you can begin to measure the value of a Facebook Fan and the return on your marketing efforts.  This will help you determine if it is worth growing your fan base or followers.

Social media can play an important role in your marketing communications plans, and just like any media, you need to put the tools in place to determine what its worth to your company.

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Are You Treating All Your Social Media Channels The Same?

Social media marketing is getting easier every day, especially with great tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck that simultaneously spread your message across all your social channels.

A recent study by ad network Chitika suggests that broadcasting the same message across the various social networks may not be the most effective way to engage your customers.

The study noted that the type of information consumed on four popular social networks – MySpace, Digg, Facebook and Twitter – varied by network.

Twitter users were significantly more interested in news, while MySpace users had a penchant for gaming and entertainment.  Digg users had the greatest interest in news, celebrity & entertainment, and gaming, while Facebook users were interested in news and community.

Just like your audience varies on different social channels, the information they desire is different as well.  So if you are treating all the channels the same way, you may be missing the opportunity to truly connect.

Social media is about creating a forum to communicate with your audience, listening to them, and providing them with information they want to receive. Doing so creates interest, trust and ultimately evangelists.

By engaging your audience with relevant messaging, you can learn what they what they want from your company, what you are doing well and where you can make improvements.

Passive social media gives you the ability to listen to your audience and understand their wants and needs.  Listening can help your company become more efficient, more innovative and more customer-focused.  And when that happens, both your company and your customers win.

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The Power Of Being Passive In Social Media

imagesTo me, marketing through social media falls into two camps: Active and Passive.

Active is when a company disseminates information through channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs.

Passive is about spending time listening to what consumers are saying about your company, your products, your competitors and your industry via social media.

In their efforts toward active social media marketing, companies post press releases on Facebook, put commercials on YouTube and talk about how great their service is on their company blog.

The greatest challenge, however, is making sure you have a large enough audience to warrant implementing a social media marketing plan. Spending hours on your company’s Facebook page to market to 75 “fans” is not a good use of your time.

Creating a strong passive social media strategy, on the other hand, can provide you endless insight into your audience and help you develop a more strategic active strategy.

Tools like Tweefind, Technorati, BlogSearch, plus searching YouTube and Facebook, can help you find out what is being said about your company in social media.

Passive strategy is also monitoring your competition. Techrigy and Vitrue can provide you a picture of what your competition is doing in social media.

This type of social media monitoring will bring you closer to the consumer.  You see trends being created, identify problem areas and monitor consumer reaction to product changes.

This information allows you to improve your products and will drive your active strategy when, for example, you respond to consumers to help educate them on why you may do certain things.

Passive social media marketing in action:

A client of mine manufactured clay poker chips, so we monitored blogs, forums, etc. and found out people liked the chips, but didn’t like the powdery residue on the chips.  The powder was there to protect the chips during shipping and went away after playing with the chips a few times.  Upon our recommendation, they began including a note in the poker chip case explaining the residue and those comments went away.

If your company wants to develop a social media strategy, start with a passive strategy first.  Figure out what is being said and who’s saying it.  Once you have that knowledge your active strategy will be more compelling and successful.

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Never Contradict Your Brand

jm-fat-burneAs an exercise boot camp instructor, my guilty pleasure is NBC’s The Biggest Loser.  I appreciate the no-nonsense approach to weight loss:

  • Burn More Calories Than You Consume
  • Make Good Food Choices and Eat In Small Portions

So I was surprised to find Jillian Michaels – an extremely tough-minded trainer who thrives on reminding her trainees that there are no shortcuts to weight loss – lending her name to sell fat burning and weight loss supplements.
Doing so not only contradicts her brand; it also contradicts the Biggest Loser brand. Not surprising, as companies often contradict their brands.
For years The Home Depot swore it would never have sale prices because they always offered the lowest price.  Even before the economic downturn, they began offering sale prices instead of sticking with brand position as the lowest price provider.
Comcast promotes increased efficiency with the speed of their Internet service.  You can hear this promotional message at least 25 times as you sit on hold waiting to talk with a customer service rep.
A former client of mine wanted to be known for operational efficiency, but regularly invoiced their customers incorrectly.
Your brand is the combination of many things:

  • The customer experience with every touch point with your company
  • Marketing
  • Office/retail space
  • Packaging
  • Customer reviews
  • Web Site/Social Media presence
  • Invoicing
  • On-Hold Time/Messages
  • Guarantees/Return Policies

When managing your brand you need to evaluate your entire operation to make sure your message is communicated consistently. Any contradiction can begin to erode your brand without you even knowing.

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Listening To Your Customers – Now Made Easier

techrigy logo smallThis month I was introduced to Techrigy, a new marketing tool that measures your brand’s mentions in social media – blogs, twittter, facebook, message boards, etc.

Why use a tool like this? While you may use social media to proactively market your company, they are also accessible tools for your customers to talk about your company online. Monitoring these mentions can help you understand what is important to your customers, and help you learn from their experiences.

Techrigy will monitor your brand activity online and lets you dissect your data by demographics, sentiment (positive or negative comments), geography, days of the week and other metrics. It also identifies who writes about your brand the most; this can be helpful for marketing and customer service purposes.

It’s important that you know what people are saying about your company. Check out Techrigy. Free and Premium subscriptions are available.

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The next hot thing in marketing

listeningIn the latest issue of Fortune magazine, prominent people talked about the best advice they ever received. Lauren Zalaznick, President, Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, NBC Universal, stated the best advice she ever received was to listen.

Great advice – probably the best for anyone in marketing. And with today’s social media tools, it is now easier than ever.

Twitter:  Peter Shankman (twitter.com/skydiver) tweeted about the great service, but poor wi-fi, at a hotel he was staying at.  Someone at that hotel was monitoring Twitter and immediately had the problem resolved.

Facebook: Totino’s Pizza has 47 fan groups on Facebook where people talk about their favorite pizza, best toppings to add to a pizza and products they don’t like.  Think about how much the Totino’s product team could learn about their evangelists without paying a dime for formal research.

Rating Sites like Yelp, Kudzu, City Search: Ratings sites allow people to post what they like and don’t like about your company.  If you aren’t getting five-star ratings, do you know why?  Looking at your customer reviews will let you know what you are doing well and where you need improvement.

Blogs & YouTube: People are passionate.  And now they have the tools to express their passion through words and video.  What are bloggers writing about your company?  Have people posted videos about your service?  Remember the YouTube video where a Comcast service tech fell asleep on the couch while waiting on the phone for Comcast technical support?

Every day I am asked how to use social media for marketing.  My response? Listen to your audience.

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Monetizing Twitter

Twitter is the “hot” thing in social marketing.

The concept is simple: Provide people with quick updates called tweets (140 character limit) in this one-to-many microblog. You try to attract as many people as you can to follow you on Twitter so more people can “hear” what you have to say.

Fame on Twitter is often measured with how often you are “retweeted” – when someone tweets your tweet – and/or how many people recommended you on Follow Friday.

But like most social media, the question always remains: how does a company monetize their efforts?

Twitter has created a cottage industry of search engines, alerts, popular topics and an advertising mechanism: TwitterHawk.

TwitterHawk allows you to send a marketing message to someone who tweets about a market you serve.

For example, if you are a credit union, you can send a marketing message to anyone who tweets about a negative experience about a bank.

The cost is an incredibly reasonable $5.00 for 100 messages. You can set your message to automatically respond or you can go through the send queue to make sure your message is truly targeted by viewing the potential message recipient’s twitter profile.

The latter is more time consuming but much more effective, especially if your company serves a limited geography.

As Facebook tries to figure out its advertising model and LinkedIn’s model focuses on keywords, TwitterHawk has found a way to reach people at the exact moment they comment about something.

So if someone tweets about their car breaking down, Ford can send them a message to capitalize on the situation.

I am not certain it is the most effective marketing tool, but to be able to hone in on that “pain” moment in a cost-effective manner may become a great way to market smarter.

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