Posts Tagged 'Olivier Blanchard'

Social Media Marketing:Do you know enough to know where to begin?

Good question right? What’s the simple answer? Maybe not. If you are a marketer thinking about social media marketing then there is a good chance, if you have not done anything yet, that its because you just don’t have enough information yet.

On Monday in Tampa, I attended and spoke at a conference titled Social Fresh, at that conference, during Maggie Fox’s keynote, she nonchalantly asked the audience how many of them were marketers. Surprisingly, more than 80% raised their hands.

Clearly, 2 things became evident: One, there is a need for more social media conferences down in the belly of the  state of Florida(that in and of itself is worth another blog post) and two, marketers were indeed starved or looking for answers/solutions to the primary social media marketing puzzle/question. The How To. Implementation. Why haven’t they done it yet?

In this post I want to address those issues so that you can get started with social media marketing.

According to Equation research, one of the primary barriers for social media marketing adoption for brands or agencies is that they just don’t know enough about social media to know where to begin.

But why? Why is it taking this long for marketers, agencies, brands and businesses to learn about social media? For some of us, we have been talking about and writing about social media for almost 4 years.  Is it fear of social media? Do we have so much on our plates that we don’t have time to check social media out?

Maybe.

Is it because your falling back on the excuse that you can’t measure social media? Please tell me that’s not the reason. If so, then please have a look at Olivier Blanchard‘s deck on the basics of social media ROI. Once you have rolled through it, I think and hope your fears on the ROI issue can be put to rest.

Another valid reason that may be preventing you from adopting social media may be budgetary. That can certainly affect any and all social media marketing efforts, as well as marketing efforts in general. If you got no money, then you go no money.  However, I do want to point out that the barriers for entry into social media are relatively low. In fact your only costs when first starting out will be or could be design and labor.

So know this, getting into “it” is easy. In fact Chris Kieff suggests just listening for the first 6 months before you do anything else. It’s quick to set up and easy to do.  I’m not adverse to that strategy, but think that maybe 2-3 months might be just as effective. But the point is, by listening for a bit, that gives you a feel for how things work in social networks and how brands, conversations, posts, links and search results all evolve because of social media.

Managing it takes a little bit more skill. My friend Jason Falls who writes a great blog on all things social media  marketing related, has a post on managing social media marketing. Though it’s from 2008, it’s still relevant and valuable even today. There are some great tips contained in the post.

So you might say you don’t have enough time.  Hey just like everything else in life, it’s all about time management and being efficient with your usage of time. Social media marketing is no different.  I have often said that social media marketing can be an incredible time suck, but the way to work thru that, is to make sure you have a plan every day that applies to your social media marketing strategy and speaks to your social media tactics. Above all stick to it. This includes your personal social media interactions. You have to know how much you allow yourself each day to engage on your own social networks.

Another issue that prevents marketers from even starting and which might be completely out of their hands, is there could be legal constraints. I can tell you from first hand experience how difficult it can be sometimes when any copy or any site designs that you create have to then pass the litmus test of legal. It seemed that everything we did was always not with the customer in mind, but always under the auspices of, “I hope legal is cool with this…”

Beyond that, you may have corporate policies that may prevent your marketing department from engaging in social media, if so, it’s up to you to try and get corporate to look at the bigger picture of social media marketing and its effectiveness. Help them create a social media policy both internally and externally that allows you to use social media in your marketing efforts! Work with them, because there could be a very high likelihood that they have no clue of social media and thus they will err on the side of caution and completely lock down your efforts and attempts at social media marketing.

Lastly, I will say this. Given that search results can return articles and blog posts that rank high on the how to’s of social media and social media marketing, I think it’s important to trust one’s peers and their associated networks. What I’m saying is that if you have questions, go to Twitter and ask a trusted and valued resource. I rely on my network. Rely on yours and get started. it’s not too late.

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This weeks #socialmedia tweetchat topic: Advancing the Discussion of Social Media & ROI

Return on Investment or (ROI) is one of those terms that has been mis-used by all in 2009.  As we look to 2010, how can we get back on track.  We know there is going to be a strong influx of interest in social media projects by companies.  In fact, a report from econsultancy and bigmouthmedia suggest that 86% of the 1,100 companies surveyed plan to spend more on social media in 2010 and 13% plan to spend the same amount.  The report is further detailed here. With all this investment in 2010, will any of it be tied to ROI or will it be looked at as non-financial impact?

We stated that the term ROI is widely mis-used.  Here’s what we mean:

This is NOT ROI:

  • The return of my Twitter usage is 2009 is 1,637 followers.
  • I increased the page views of my website by 300% on an investment of $120.
  • I increased my brand awareness by putting better content on my blog.

The actions above relate to non-financial impact on a business.  For more information on Impact on Business we did a post a couple of months ago here.  What seems to happen is that we take what is a financial term (ROI) and mix it around with investments in media measurement or listening tools or other social media tactics that are a part of non-financial metrics like building relationships, brand management or engagement.  While these are all necessary and they do require an investment, the results are almost always non-financial.  Therefore, if you are in front of executives and trying to attain funding or approvals, they will be interested in financial returns as measurement.  While redefining the terms to meet your specific needs may be fun or even cute, no one is going to sign up for ROI when it means Return on Interest or Return on INgagement.

So what is ROI?  The accepted definition of return on investment is very straightforward: gain from investment minus cost of investment, then divided by cost of investment.  In other words, recruitment, engagement, interactions, listening are all very important pieces of the ROI equation however until that customer or prospect does something (ie: make a purchase) there is no financial measurement.  The exception to this is the relation to cost savings realized by an investment.  A great image of this was done by Olivier Blanchard:

roi1

Another important piece of the ROI pie is about actuals.  ROI is not about what we think is going to happen, it is about what happened.  Or in the words of Olivier again, “It’s not about potential, it’s about actual performance.”  So ROI is not a forward looking statement, rather it is backwards looking results.  So if you are looking for a quick refresher, check out this widely viewed deck on ROI here.

You may have guessed already on who could possibly by moderating this much needed discussion on ROI.  If you guessed Olivier Blanchard aka “The Brand Builder” then you are correct!  Olivier has long been a recognized and sought after practitioner and speaker on the topic of social media ROI.  He brings a very clear yet in-depth understanding to the topic and we are thrilled to have him moderating this chat with us.  The topic and question this week are as follows:

Topic: Advancing the Discussion of Social Media & ROI

Q1: How can strategy & planning can impact ROI?

Q2: What are the steps to integrate SM across a business?

Q3: What is the difference between measurement & ROI?

Please join us this Tuesday 12/22 for the weekly chat event at 12 noon EST.  The hashtag for this event will be #sm39.

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Social Venom

snake_bite

What’s the difference between snake oil and snake venom?

Let’s recap the week.

Leigh Durst goes off on people stealing her hard earned, labor intensive work

Peter Kim laments the plague of plagiarism

David Armano discusses how to spot social media snake oil

Olivier Blanchard has called foul on bogus social media experts

Valeria Maltoni interviews Jonathan Bailey, the topic? Plagiarism Today

I wrote about Social Media might be free, but I’m not

Are you sensing a trend here? I am. That, my friend is what you call venom.  Oddly enough, none of the above posts were precipitated by the other. They all came out on their own, out of anger and frustration. And if I had taken more time, I probably would have found more posts.  Even more telling, is what you see in the comments. A lot of comments. More anger, more frustration.

I’m not sure I have a sure fire solution for any of these posts but I have a feeling that the days of wine and roses may be slowly coming to an end in some respects. If not an end, it certainly won’t be flowing like the wine at a Roman Bacchanalia. Content will be locked down more. Ideas and thoughts may not be so readily provided or shared as they once were.

Fortunately though, I have a feeling that Snake oil vendors will have a harder time of proving themselves. On the other hand, as I have experienced somewhat, we will have a harder time of climbing out of the hole that the purveyors of snake oil have dug for us with once burned clients.

I do have a feeling though, that this only the beginning, and that a larger backlash may be at hand. What to do about it is the question. A governing body? A policing body? I’m not sure. The floor is yours…

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How are you driving people to your social media presence?

cattle

What are you planning to do to drive people to your social media presence? And do you have the money to do it? I read this question this morning and thought, boom, dude you nailed it. It was a post in Clickz by Sean Carton. Though he didn’t really answer it.

So lets talk about that. What are your plans? You have gotten the gig, but now you are tasked with driving traffic to all of the social media properties that you have set up for the client.

Quick question though. Is that really a function of social media managers? To drive traffic? Or is that a pure marketing function? A search function? Something you pay for? Something you outsource?

I digress. So what are you going to do get these communities/social media personas jammin?

I think first and foremost, as Jason Falls has so aptly put it,

To be effective in social media, whether as a marketer or just an ordinary participant, you must, first and foremost, communicate well.

Ok so you have that down, you can communicate with the best of them, now what?

Well if we’re to look at social media as a messaging and communications type of activity, wouldn’t that responsibility ultimately sit on the shoulders of PR? Should PR pros be responsible for driving traffic to social media networks?

Or is it something a marketing department should do? Does a community manager do that?

Wait, I’m blurring the message here. Let’s go back.

What are you going to do to drive traffic? I don’t care if you’re in marketing, PR, or IT, you have been tasked with making this social media thing work, so wutcha got? And don’t go telling me we need to define our objectives and align them with our strategies. We get that. Yea I know numbers don’t truly define success but they certainly are going to determine a lot of things going forward. So pick your poison.

  • We have blogs-what’s your plan to drive readers?
  • You’ve created a Facebook fan page or group page, how many friends are you going to get and then what will you do with them?
  • You’ve create a social network on Ning now what?
  • What is your plan to grow your Ning group or your community?
  • You’ve got that Twitter profile rolling, what’s your goal? Do numbers even mean anything anymore? How many conversations are you looking for?
  • Now that you have that podcast where are you going to find that audience? What is going to compel them to tune in every week?
  • Wikis are a cool collaborative tool if people know about them and feel compelled to contribute. So why should they do anything with yours? Out of some benevolent stroke of contributing for contribution’s sake?
  • Is a big budget going to make it easier for you to create these communities? You know once your PPC campaign ends, your traffic might leave to..
  • What if you do suck at communicating? Then what?
  • Who should be responsible for the success or failure?

What I keep coming back to, is that with each bullet point, it still helps to define the purpose of why you are doing it in the first place. Here’s the problem though. There are a lot of hours involved in any of these activities, and if any company or person is going to work on these, then we or you need to see something on the back end that is justifiable. Is that ROI? Could be. Is it return on engagement? Well…

Try selling the story that because of social media, you had one killer conversation or engagement per blog post. Or you have 30 really awesome friends on that Facebook fan page. Or you helped 1 customer out who found you through Twitter…

I’m not sure those type of numbers can justify the time suck and investment of resources.

So I ask you again, what is your plan of action for driving traffic to your social sites and communities.


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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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