Archive for the 'hashtagsocialmedia' Category

Social Media Postulate #639: On Influence

Taken from Hashtagsocialmedia.com tweetchat #75.

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This weeks #Social Media Topic: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media

Posted: May 3rd, 2010    By: Jason Breed

The title of this post pretty much sums it up.  So often we get caught up in frameworks and checklists and strategies and everyone is running around looking busy.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch where the real work happens, consumers are still being marketed online.  How could this be?

It is helpful sometimes to take a step back and take a look at what you are doing from the outside looking in.  Consider how your consumers view you online and where they view you.  You might begin to understand why your social programs are performing the way they are.  So many strategies stop at the tools so you end up with a blog or a Facebook page and the strategist goes home.  Inevitably the same marketer or communications person does what they know and starts blasting messages.    As a result, the consumers that you were trying to get closer to actually end up further away.  To translate this back into social media jargon, you end up with an audience of lurkers (assuming they stay that long) when you are attempting to get those consumers engaged.

Jake McKee 90-9-1.com

Jake Mckee’s infamous 90-9-1 pyramid comes to mind.  If you do not make it easy, fast and safe for consumers to engage you will end up with more than 90 percent lurkers trolling your content.  On the other hand, if you take the time to create baby steps of engagement like a simple “thumbs up/down”, share this, or even a one question “quick poll” your audience will begin to engage more.  This helps to establish trust as well.  With trust comes responsibility though.  If you allow members to digitally attack each other via comment threads, etc then you will end up with the same 4 people running your site like street dogs marking their territory on trees.  Curating community content to keep it safe will go a long ways for members to want to contribute and connect with greater frequency.

Once they are connecting with higher frequency, what’s your plan then?  What messages do you want those consumers sharing?  Your consumers have 2 experiences with every interaction they have with you.  Those 2 experiences are perception and reality.   If you ask for suggestions, get them and never respond or even acknowledge them, the consumer’s perception is that you really don’t care.  All of these experiences get crafted into a story that is told and re-told online, at dinner parties, at the gym and anywhere else someone brings up your store, brand or product.

If consumers are your storytellers, then shouldn’t you have a plan to help shape that story every chance you get?  Two main themes are emerging: 1) enable consumers to connect with you more frequently and 2) have a plan in place to help mold their story about you once you do connect.  Sound straightforward?  If it does then you have never had to a) manage a community first hand, b) never been responsible for results or c) all of the above.

By design, our moderator has a lot of experience doing both.  Kyle Lacy is the head of Brandswag and a highly sought after social media practioner for businesses.  Kyle will lead a discussion around how to better connect with consumers by converting more passive consumers into active consumers of your brand and what to do once they become active.  This discussion will follow our weekly Tuesday event schedule taking place 5/4 at noon Eastern.    The topic and questions will be:

Topic: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media

Q1) What are ways to move customers up the interactive chain from lurker to influencer?

Q2) What’s the value of storytelling vs. messaging?

Q3) How can you get customers to take action on your behalf and tell the story for you?

The event will begin with Q1 at noon eastern followed every 20 minutes with the next questions.  To follow along and add your POV simply track #sm58 via any Twitter client or follow along via our LIVE page.

This Weeks #Social Media Topic: Managing the Marketing Mix: Which Channel is More Effective?

Posted: April 26th, 2010    By: Jason Breed

On its surface, this topic is a “status quo” topic, one that fits into the traditional advertising model that says radio, television and print are channels therefore the Internet is a channel too.  Agencies and old-school marketers feel comfortable when discussing digital as just another channel.  They figure if a portion of their budget allocated to digital and they tweak their messaging to match the medium then Whoalla! we are all new-age digital marketers.

The problem with this approach is it assumes consumers are the same and want the same messaging pushed at them to interfere with their online entertainment just like they consume television or radio entertainment.  Consumers have changed!  Consumers do not shop the same, communicate the same, consume content the same nor do they react the same to advertising.  When it comes down to it this topic cannot be about marketers adding a new channel, it has to be about those marketers who can adopt to changing consumer behaviors and those who cannot.

Consumers no longer want to be talked at, they want to be engaged with.  They want to see who prepares the food and talk with the baggage handlers, they want to feel they have a voice in determining the features of their next car model and want to help select what charities their soda maker donates to.   The majority of companies today are not set up to handle this new consumer.  Decades of closed systems and legally approved content are getting in the way of companies trying to interact with the consumer.

So what is this post about then?  Even though consumers are changing their behaviors by the second, companies can not move that quickly.  Companies need to have some transition period to move from traditional to digital and it’s not just in the way they advertise.  This is a cultural shift,  a systems shift, a shift in processes and approvals to a more distributed workforce.  This is much more than simply a messaging shift.

This post is about transitioning.  Many times, the only way to move the needle or to convince traditional executives is with proof.  That proof comes in comparing what they already know and are familiar with and in a way that they understand like reports and measurements that can compare traditional apples with digital apples (apples to apples).  If you measure traditional marketing with reach (ie. magazine has 100k circulation + 2 times pass along and costs $5k) and sales (call volume rises when our infomercial airs and conversion increases 12%) then your digital marketing reports cannot use language like followers, subscribers and linkbait, they must be consistent.  The good news is with proven success comes additional funding and a higher tolerance for experimentation.

Once you are able to measure and report consistently across traditional/digital and begin to show positive results, how do you determine how much is the optimal amount to spend on each?  Again, a fully integrated interactive marketer does not allocate a bucket of monies per channel.  Integrated messaging and consumer engagement is determined by the need at the time.  If a customer makes an online mess, it may require an online video response or it may require an actual television ad to express your point-of-view.  In order to stay flexible and meet your daily needs you cannot have a pre-allocated budget based on channels that was set 9 months ago.

In staying with the theme though, you need to be able to show value as you transition from traditional advertising to more integrated.  You have to show that any investment is worth the return before executives will release additional funds and approve more experiential marketing.  In light of that, what is the right mix?  Ford transitioned 25% of their marketing budget to social.  Seems like an arbitrary number but what is the right mix for your company as it transitions from what it was to what it needs to be?

To help us get a better handle on the right marketing mix for your company, we are bringing in a moderator this week who not only understands the measurement and monitoring side, she also understands the business side and promotes the advancement of companies into a more integrated marketing approach.  Amber Naslund, the Director of Community at Radian6, understands organizational change is just as important as technical change is and knows how to get people there.  While there is before digital (traditional) and after, more importantly there is a during or a transition that not many can talk to except Amber.  This week’s topic and supporting questions are as follows:

Topic:  Managing the Marketing Mix: Which Channel is More Effective?

Q1:  How do you know your traditional marketing efforts are effective?

Q2:  How do you know your digital marketing efforts are effective?

Q3:  What is the right budgeting mix between traditional & digital?

Be sure to join us Tuesday April 27 at noon Eastern and participate by following #sm57 from any Twitter client or simply goto our LIVE page during the event.

This weeks #Social Media Topic: Managing the Effectiveness of Your Social Programs #SM55

Effective social media programs? Yeah right, how would you ever prove it? That’s the struggle of corporate social media marketers.  There are tons of systems that help you listen and monitor, there are a lot of publishing tools that let you update multiple accounts and personas in the same dashboard, hundreds of social platforms and a few reporting tools.  The problem is they are all just that, all disparate systems that are not connected and certainly not integrated.

So back to the question, How do you manage the effectiveness of your campaign?  If you are like most social marketers today, there is little support for the social manager who is typically part of the marketing or communications team.  Left to their own devices, they usually use the free tools and simply infer the results that they can patch together.

There is a new suite of tools coming onto the market that proclaim Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) that begin to couple two or three components together.  Here’s the problem, even the specific SMMS solutions don’t provide a real look.  The current SMMS solutions are tools.  They were created as tools to measure other tools.  What’s missing are the actual use cases, the tools that marketers need to track, analyze and report campaigns.  In general, here’s a list of what’s missing:

  1. Central Database – to pull the results together and create a single platform to analyze and report from
  2. Proper Reporting – that integrates the different systems and provides true enterprise analytics and reports
  3. Advanced Sentiment Analysis – not just positive and negative either.
  4. CRM Integration
  5. Traditional Marketing Comparison

Take a look at that last point.  To truly understand the effectiveness of your social programs, you have to have something to compare them against.  Think about it, a platform that could listen, suggest influencers (based on advanced sentiment), provide a place to respond from, track internal links and their paths/subpaths, manage digital ad spend, then monitor traditional ad spends, effectiveness and finally compare and recommend an optimized marketing mix based on real-time results and all at an enterprise scale.  The panacea of managing the effectiveness of your social media programs.  (From my experience, I have only seen this solution from one provider, Accenture Interactive (Disclaimer: Jason Breed works for AI)).

The reality is that only the top brands require the type of solution mentioned above.  Every marketer has unique needs and unique results that will all have different values for each marketer’s brand.  There is one marketer that has the experience to help us work through what’s most appropriate for all needs.  That marketer is Tac Anderson.  Tac has experienced the brand side at HP and the agency side from his current position at Waggener Edstrom.  He will lead the discussion around the following topic:

Topic:  Managing the Effectiveness of Your Social Programs

Q1: What type of planning should go into your social media campaigns? What is your process?
Q2: What metrics should you always be looking at?
Q3: What should always be on your scorecard to measure effectiveness? Are there any constants?

We invite you to join the conversation on Tuesday 4/13 at 12 noon EST by following #sm55 from any Twitter client or from our LIVE site.

This week’s #Socialmedia Tweetchat topic: Twitter What’s Happened and What’s Coming!

TwittervilleIt is not often that a technology comes along and changes the world.  That is the case with Twitter.  Started in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter is a micro-messaging platform used to communicate via the web or mobile 160 characters at a time.  In only a few short years the service, both widely acclaimed and widely criticized, has certainly had it’s impact across all corners of the globe.

The impact varies as much as the individuals who use it.  Some things Twitter has been used for includes:

  • Reporting News – the first news and pictures of the Hudson plane crash were sent out on Twitter before any major media was on the scene.
  • Civil Unrest- like the twitterscope (microscope that Twitter creates, yeah I just made that up!) around the Iranian presidential elections of 2009.  The world gained insight into the civil dissention surrounding the election proceedures with detail like nothing ever witnessed before.
  • Education – grade school teachers turning to Twitter to help in class projects and providing global experiences.
  • US Politics- most notably, President Barack Obama used Twitter daily to connect with supporters pre-inauguration.
  • New Business – small companies using Twitter to scale like Threadless and others use it to pick up incremental business like Tony & Alba.
  • Public Relations – many companies are lifting the corporate communications veil and using Twitter to humanize the organization like Kodak’s CMO.  Government agencies are also using Twitter to communicate better

Need more examples?  Well, this week’s moderator actually wrote the book on Twitter case studies from over a hundred interviews he completed.  Now he wants your story.  Shel Israel has a storied career in the social media space helping companies, from start-up to grown-up, better utilize digital communications to grow their businesses.  This week’s #socialmedia chat will take a look at how Twitter is affecting all of us and where Twitter’s value will lie in the future.  As one of the industry’s most respected thought leaders, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to “hang out” with Shel Israel for an hour.

Topic: Twitterville – What’s Happened, What’s Coming

Q1: How did Twitter change you business in 2009?

Q2: How will Twitter change in 2010?

Notice anything different here?  This week we will focus on only two questions (compared with the usual 3).  Please join us Tuesday 01/26 at 12 noon EST and follow along at #sm44


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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