10 social sites to start your year off with

2010 is going to be an interesting year for all of us. With that being said, what year isn’t right? Well anyway, I wanted to start the first week of the new year with some things you might have missed that are worth sharing. These are sites, posts and links that will make you smarter at what you do and better at it too.

1) A September 2009 MarketingProfs survey of B2B and B2C marketers found that the marketing tactics most often used on social sites are not necessarily the best ones. Odd, but the net and social media does create somewhat of a Flash mob “follow” mentality. Find out more about what’s working for  social media marketers in this great E-marketer piece.

2) As my side Twitter project Hashtagsocialmedia.com continues to build momentum, someone asked if there were a way to follow everyone who had participated in the Tweetchat. In less than 10 minutes the answer came back with Blastfollow.

3) Jay Baer is a smart dude, but we’re smarter because of him and that’s a good thing. Not only does his blog, Convince and Convert bring value to those who read it, but he also stumbles across things that he shares with his readers that make him better and us as well. One of those things is TwitSweeper– a way to clean up and clean out the spammers that are in your Twitter account. You have to pay for it, but the cost is not obscene.

4) Staying on the Twitter theme a bit longer, I came across Refollow and thought that the features were interesting. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks to be a way to tighten up your Twitter presence and the relationships you have crafted.

5) Tamar Weinberg is a star. Look no further than her latest book, The New Community Rules-Marketing on the Social Web. However she recently cranked out a blog post titled, The Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009 in which if you did nothing for the next 3 days and read all of the posts that she has compiled, it would make up for the last 362 days had you not read anything. BTW she mentions one of my posts. 🙂

6) Obviously my  #socialmedia Tweetchat is not the only Tweetchat out there. Surprisingly, to my knowledge, there are not that many. But how do you find them? What are the topics? When do they occur? Well, the beauty of the social web is that someone has decided to create just that type of source. A Google doc that lists all of the known Twitter chats.

7) Ike Pigott, one of the truly razor sharp folks out there in the social space, turned me onto this. YOURLS is a small set of PHP scripts that will allow you to run your own URL shortening service (a la TinyURL). You can make it private or public, you can pick custom keyword URLs, and it comes with its own API. How cool would it be to have Ma.rc as my own Bitly?

8. Face it, analytics for most of us, are very important. You might want to read this: 10 signs you don’t understand web analytics.

9) Want a really good list of people’s blogs to read and or follow? Check out this list of 30 bloggers to watch in 2010

10) Lastly I wanted to share with you something that we need more of this year in social media. I share with you this…

altruistic

Lets go with more of the first set and less of the motives that are not entirely altruistic in 2010!

ROI vs. Engagment: The social media conundrum continues

I can’t tell how many times I’ve written about this, but for me, this topic is the key driving metric in whether a social media campaign is successfull or not.  I had planned on writing about something else this morning and literally had only been reading a few blogs when I came across an interview by Amber Naslund for Marketing Profs in which she interviews Kodak’s Corporate Media Relations Manager Krista Gleason and Chief Blogger Jenny Cisney to find out why their social media program is so valuable to their business, and how they’ve defined success.

It’s an interesting interview but check out this question on ROI. I have to give mad props to Amber for asking the question in the first place, because I think it gets to the heart and soul of social media marketing.

Q: How do you define your “ROI” from involvement with social media? Krista:

 

  • Feedback from readers and customers via the blogs and email
  • Invitations to speak at top-tier conferences, including BlogWorld and BlogHer
  • Links to our blogs from other blogs and online articles
  • Recognition from social media experts, like Mario Sundar and Debbie Weil, and traditional media, like Business Week
  • Awards: Earlier this year Kodak won three awards for our blogs—the PRSA Bronze Anvil, American Business Award (Stevie Award), and an Interactive Media Award

Her answer entails everything that would involve branding and exposure and face time and has nothing to do with making actual money. She is not selling anything. Her ROI is measured, but it’s measured by the interaction. The money aspect takes care of itself in it’s own way, but for Krista, ROI in her world is measured by the quality and depth and reach of her social media engagements.

Some would say that if she’s not making money then there is no ROI. Would you agree with that or disagree? What do you think her efforts have done for the Kodak brand?

*Then, lets end on Ambers post of 6 things she learned from Kodak and look at #6

6. ROI isn’t always about direct revenue.
No, I’m not saying social media shouldn’t HAVE an ROI. But I took notice that, on Kodak’s list of social media ROI, not one of them cited any dollar figures. It’s about building relationships, building your brand, and making people want to learn more about you. These are the things that drive revenue for your company over the long term, even if it’s a meandering path.