Tag Archives: social media

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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2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner

Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner has put together a nice report on how marketers are using social media.  Check it out here.

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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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Want to learn how companies like Zappo’s, P&G, Burt’s Bees and others are improving their business through social media?  Attend IIR’s Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies conference.  To learn more visit http://bit.ly/d7mUWG and use code XM2205SMB to save 15%.

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How Do You Handle Online Criticism?

We’ve discussed the role of Passive Social Media (monitoring social media) as a way to gain consumer insight about your company. The most difficult part (by far) is hearing criticism, but one that is important to your overall growth.

The February issue of Inc. has a great story on the social review site Yelp and the impact of consumer reviews on business.  Inc. senior writer Max Chafkin lists the five steps in handling online criticism:

  1. Register – “Registering [on sites like Yelp] allows you to correct inaccuracies, receive alerts when you are reviewed and respond to your critics.”
  2. Breathe – “If there’s no way to respond to a review without being angry, profane or aggressive, don’t do it at all.”
  3. Be Gracious – “Apologize for what the customer didn’t like and offer to make it right.”
  4. Complain – “[Yelp] removes reviews in cases where there is a conflict of interest.”
  5. Avoid The Courts – “If you decide to sue, be ready for more attacks”.

The points Chafkin makes are great for handling negative reviews. It is equally important that you are not so blind to your business that you classify every negative review as wrong.

If you are a restaurant and you get negative reviews every Monday night, is there a staffing issue that needs to be addressed?

Are people frustrated with your return policy?  If so, determine if you need to change your policy or just communicate it better at point of purchase.

If you see the same point come up review after review, recognize the trend and correct it quickly. When you communicate your changes, be sure to give credit to the people who brought it to your attention.

Doing so will go a long way to endear your audience and have them defend you against unwarranted negative comments.

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IIR’s Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies conference will address “Cashing in on the Conversation”.  To learn more visit http://bit.ly/d7mUWG and use code XM2205SMB to save 15%.

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Making Social Media Work For You

Social media remains a hot topic for businesses, especially in regard to measuring the return on investment: whether that investment is money, hours or a combination of the two.

Most companies measure ROI in increased sales or revenue, but that only looks at social media from a marketing perspective and not the full potential social media can have on a business.

I have written in the past regarding Passive Social Media, using social media as a listening tool.  By listening to your customers you might discover a new product line, a way to improve customer service, predict sales or the impetus for a marketing campaign, all of which can have a positive impact on ROI.

Companies like Procter & Gamble, Burt’s Bees, eBay and Dell use social media to gain insights and will be talking about it at the Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies conference put on by IIR, May 3 – 5, 2010.

I have been invited to attend this conference and report on it, so I will be providing updates before, during and after the conference.

I encourage you to check it out if you are interested in taking advantage of everything social media has to offer.

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Measuring The Impact of Social Media

image.axdThe attraction of social media is based on its ability to reach an audience with few out of pocket costs.  However, social media does require a financial investment through an employee’s hours and opportunity costs.

As a result, companies need to know how their social media efforts are making an impact on their business.

Part of that impact should be measured by social media activity that was generated by consumers, not your marketing department.  By measuring consumer comments regarding your company, you get a good sense about their interest in your brand – good or bad.

Two new tools can help measure this activity:

BackType lets you monitor what people are saying about your company or your competitors.  Its trend section is under development but will allow you to trend activity.

Addictomatic creates a dashboard of things like flickr, digg, twitter, youtube, blogs and other tools to give you a current picture of what is being said about your brand.

The benefit of social media is bringing you closer to your consumer by understanding what they are saying about you.

BackType and Addictomatic are two tools that help make that goal easier.

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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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