Archive for May, 2009

KD Paine’s 7 steps to measurable success in social media

KD Paine has got it going on. I had just re-watched a video that she had done over at Jason Falls‘s blog awhile back about social media and ROI and since I’ve been struggling with it again, I decided to hop over to her site and found that she had just put this deck up. Very worthy to share with others!

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ROI-Return On Influence

Earlier this week on Twitter I got into a back and forth discussion on whether Influence could be measured with Niall Cook. Niall essentially says that:

I am reaching the conclusion that influence cannot be measured, and thus is a futile metric for exploration.

Though this may end up being a chicken versus the egg type of discussion, I decided to throw up some visual representations of my thoughts on the matter and have some fun with it. Here are Niall’s thoughts on the topic: Social Media influence cannot be measured. One issue- there is a bit of a difference between social media influence and influence… Or is there? What are your thoughts?

A lesson in reputation managment

Fly

Social media has allowed us all to be comedians. Some of us are not that funny. Context is the fly that you cannot quite pin down nor kill sometimes. But when something is printed on hard copy, the ramifications are just as significant as if it had occurred online.

The good thing, if there is such a thing, in being slandered online is you can “do” something about it. There are ways to combat it. But what do you do if it happens in print? and what do you do if it was your 11 year old daughter who did it? Ask her to print a retraction?

Let me set the scene and you decide.

Her teacher had a class project in which everyone wrote 2 recipes. A “how to” if you will, but geared more towards life lessons or something offbeat. Tinged with a hint of sarcasm and frivolity, all of the “recipes” were pretty cute. Nicely bound, it was a collectors item for parents to cherish when they were old and gray. Unless you are my wife and I.

The title of her one recipe was “How to amass a huge gum collection”. The other, “How to get away with not cleaning your room”. Both pretty good topics until you start reading them. I will boil it down to a couple of choice sentences: “Be sure to make the lie good for your gullible parents”..and the other “your unsuspecting parents will think you listened to them..”

There were a couple of other choice nuggest in both stories that I can’t recall but there it was. Now her class consists of 30 kids, and if their parents did what we did, they read each students recipes as well. Woohoo!!! Great.. Now the other parents will think my wife and are gullible idiots..Classic!

I know, I know, they won’t. Some might, but most won’t. Even though perception is not reality, we now have that cute bound book to partly remind us of her 5th grade year. I’m over it, but do you see how important reputation management is both online and offline? And this a simple relatively harmless situation.

Obviously we’re in an offline world situation here but there it is. The big elephant will be in the room every time we go to a school function.”Oh look, here come those 2 idiot buffoon parents..”

SO.. I had to give my 11 year old daughter an abject lesson in reputation management last night. Essentially explaining how she better be sure that what she is writing won’t piss someone off. It doesn’t matter if she were trying to be funny or not. Once it’s printed hard or soft copy, its out there for someone to see or find, the digital footprint.

Engagement, Influence and User Experience

I was sitting this morning with a client having a breakfast meeting when I started to use what was on the table for props. I was explaining the different marketing channels like this…

silverware

Each of the above “tools” has a certain marketing function within your organization. You use them everyday for engaging your users and customers and even your prospects. Good, bad, or indifferent, you use them. It’s what we all have been programmed to use.

They can, however, be influenced by what you bring to the table.

breakfast

But at the end of the day, you are still going to use the same tools pretty much the same way.

You might enhance them. Or influence them.

s and p

But the tools are still the same. Regardless of look and feel, they still function the same way.

plastic_knife__fork_and_spoon

But what if we could add something to the dynamic? That enhanced the whole experience? That wasn’t there before? That perhaps no one else was doing?

orange-juice-01

Or…

Table_Cloth

Now the experience has been changed for the user. You’ve upgraded the experience by adding 2 elements that were not there before. If you don’t add them, nothing really changes. If you do add them, aren’t you better off now than you were before?

Once they are in place, you  see how much the user enjoys them, and how they told their friends and what it did for your business and your organization… the feedback has been tremendous versus no feedback before. Customers are talking about you and to you.

Now, would you ever consider removing the OJ or the table cloth? Is this better or worse than prior to your 2 new additions?

Lastly, your new customer, user, client comes up to you and says, ” We love what you have done with your OJ and your table cloths and it’s why we come here now, but you know what would be nice…?”

flowers

You listen and you now have enhanced the customer experience. You listened! and they appreciate it and tell others.

Now, would you ever consider removing the flowers?

Say hello to the most basic elements of social media.

Crowdsourcing-Social Media Listening Grids

Over the last 8 weeks @jasonbreed and I have had some tremendous #socialmedia Unpanels at Hashtagsocialmedia.com. Last Tuesday, David Alston of Radian 6, hosted a session titled Developing Corporate Listening Grids. the comments and the discussion was at such a high level, that developing a deck from it was a no-brainer. But obviously it doesn’t happen without the participation of the attendees and their voices.

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Searching for social media experts

searching

Lets say I’m a business owner and I want to get into this social media thing and I want to hire someone to handle my social media marketing. I don’t know anything about anything so I’m going to go straight to Google to find one.

If you do a search on “social media experts”, the first organic result in Google is for a post by Chris Brogan If I saw Chris’s site, I’m not sure he would be the best fit for me since I might not know any better. I might not know Chris Brogan from Mary Brogan, so I’m going to keep searching.

Interestingly enough the only ppc result for that search term is for Pandemic Labs, but their site is dark and too techy and makes me think Nintendo or Xbox, so I’m out. I’m frustrated already.

The second organic result is for giovanni gallucci, who I am familiar with, and ironically enough of the top 10 search results, this is or his site is the only one actually touting himself and his services as a social media expert. Why is this ironic?  Because of the other results, the majority of them are blog posts essentially slamming people who call themselves social media experts.

What am I saying? I’m saying, if I do a search for a social media expert, I may not be able to find one. Funny isn’t it, given the amount of blog posts about people claiming to be a social media expert?

I better change my tactic. How about social media companies?

The results are a little different but no less confusing. Your top 10 results are the following:

  1. CrunchBase company profile on Social Media.com
  2. An blog post from Jeremiah Owyang from 2006
  3. A post from David Meerman Scott’s blog on Social media company entrepreneur official garb.
  4. A post by Lee Odden from Top Rang Blog on How Big Companies Use Social Media @ BlogWell
  5. An article from Inc titled, Inc. 500 Companies Fast Adopters of Social Media
  6. A blog post titled, Valuing social media companies and Facebook apps
  7. The management team results from Pluck
  8. Tech Links piece titled, Social Media Companies See Increased Demand for Internet Marketing Services
  9. This next one is actually not too bad, though as a n00b, it might all just fly right over my head. 12 social media companies that kick ass
  10. This last result is actually a pretty good one too though again, not for the noob, it’s by Peter Kim-It’s a list of social media marketing examples

So at this point I’m striking out, big time. I’m going to try one more thing, maybe two. One is, lets do a search on social media marketing companies and the other is lets do a search on social media consultants. Waddya say?

First 2 organic results for social media marketing companies? Izea and socialmediasystems.com, the 2nd result is scary. It might be the streaming talking head in the right hand corner; but companies like this may hinder more than they help. Though, they do rank #2 for the term “social media companies”, the used car sales approach doesn’t fly with me, and shouldn’t with you.

Further down the page, we finally get to some results that may benefit me. one note though that the PPC results on this page are a little more condusive to the search term we’re using at the moment, but lets continue.

In the #6 spot we have a post by marketing pilgrim titled Social Media Marketing Beginner’s Guide Which I would most definitely read. Why? Before I go and hire and expert, here is a chance to know what I’m looking for and know what I’m talking about..

In the #7 spot, I like this article simply because it’s arming me with some more solid info, that in the long run will help me, even if I’m not the one doing any of the work. It’s titled, How to Leverage Web 2.0 & Social Media Sites to Market Your Brand & Control Your Message has over 30 sites for you to check out on social media marketing tactics.

In the #8 spot  we have 11 Marketing, which I, the business owner, might click through some and check out, it sort of talks the talk at least. In spots 9 and 10, we have blog posts from Mashable and Peter Kim and thats it.

So the results were spotty at best and if we adhere to “people only search the first page” theory, we’re done; and we have maybe 3-4 “leads” to pursue. Interesting.

Onto our last search and then some conclusions.

Wow… the results for “social media consultants” are 9 blog post results dissing anyone who calls themselves a social media consultant, and one search result for Dan Zarrella who actually is a social media consultant!

The conclusion? If you are in the social media space, then what you hear (and read apparently) are a lot of people complaining about other people calling themselves social media experts and consultants. The truth is, they(the experts and consultants that is) must be just telling themselves and anyone else who is willing to listen. Fact is,  not too many are actually doing a very good job at marketing themselves and their companies and what they do, to the masses. Or maybe they just don’t understand the importance od SEO?

Either way-by the looks of the search results, if you are looking for a social media expert, social media consultant, or social media company, or  social media marketing company, good luck weeding through all the people that are pissed about the people who are claiming to be one of those.  Sour grapes? Perhaps, but what it looks like is that not only does the cobbler not make shoes for his own children but his competition spends more time watching him, than they do doing their own job!

Top 3 ways to get that social media project you always dreamed of.

3men

So you’re scratching, you’re clawing and fighting to educate managers and business owners on the beauty of social media. You’re honing your tactics. You’re going off on the merits of engaging in conversations with customers, you’re Tweeting about how it’s all about transparency etc. etc. But what you should know is that it really comes down to 3 really basic tenets. Here they are.

1) Show them how social media can make them money

2) Show them how social media can save them money

3) Show them how you will increase brand equity

With this knowledge in your head, go ahead and push all the nuances of social media that you want. Sell and educate till the cows come home (though not sure where the cows went in the first place). But be sure you do this. Be sure that when you are done talking- or is that listening? That you have at least proved to them that one of the above three things will happen after you have embarked on your social media plan. The go do it!


The Deets

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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