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Archive for the ‘Social Networking Evangelism Community’ Category

Social Media Marketing: Penguin’s Twitter book club nets 14 million impressions for its hashtag

November 6th, 2012
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Some fields seem more resistant to social media than others, and the transition strategy isn’t always readily apparent. Marketers in these fields know the benefits social media can bring, but need to find a way to engage their consumers in a way that is familiar and will breed genuine excitement.

 

 

Reading, for instance, is usually a solitary pursuit. It is cherished by the people who love curling up in a comfy chair in a sunlit corner with a worn Penguin classic, or who craft their own alone time while in the middle of a crowded subway or city park.

Readers emerge from this private world to connect with other readers in two ways – local book clubs, and lining up to meet authors at book signings.

Penguin Group (USA) found a way to integrate the book world’s most social activities into social media.  Read more…

Social Media Marketing: A look at contests from the customer’s perspective

October 30th, 2012
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I’ve previously written about using social media contests and sweepstakes to grow your social communities on the MarketingSherpa blog, but today I’m going to write about these promotions from a unique place many marketers dare not tread – from the customer’s perspective.

You see, I just happen to be one of five finalists in a nationwide program now accepting votes on Facebook. One idea will garner $100,000 in funding. (You can read more about my rooftop farming idea, an initiative focused on content marketing for grocery stores, and vote for me, Daniel Burstein, if you like.)

Getting the opportunity to see these programs from the perspective of a customer/finalist, here are a few lessons I learned and relearned along the way that might be helpful to you for your own social media promotions …

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Social Media Marketing: How I found the Facebook topic that was 371% more effective

October 25th, 2012
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I was a fat kid. Fat kids like cake. Once upon a time, when I was eight years old, I cleaned the entire house to surprise my mother. She rewarded me with a gigantic slice of cake. From that point, I scrubbed the entire floor, organized the pantry and washed the dishes in pursuit of that glorious reward — fresh cake.

The point is, if you do something right, and you recognize the relationship between your actions and the reward, it makes sense to put forth maximum effort to reproduce the action that resulted in being rewarded. The problem with social media efforts is that success usually goes largely unnoticed by businesses.

 

Find your hidden cake

I recently conducted a social media audit for a Research Partner. While working through massive amounts of data provided via Facebook Insight reports, I noticed something interesting. When filtering the most frequently syndicated content to reveal the five most viral posts ever produced by that partner, a pattern emerged. Three out of the top five posts were on the same topic, in the same format.

There’s more. The top five most syndicated posts averaged 22,424 stories created per post by users, whereas the bottom half of the top 10 averaged only 6,042 stories created per post by users.

So, not only were the top five posts more effective at causing syndication from users, but they were 371% more effective.

Since no fat kid would knowingly forgo cake, it’s probably a pretty safe assumption that no business would knowingly do less effective social posting if they knew they could be doing something more effective. (After all, cash is better than cake.) That means the company must be unaware of its achievement.

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Informal Study: Professional image content generates 121% more Facebook shares

October 19th, 2012
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All content is not created equal. For instance, according to a Nielsen report, men spend more than 247 million minutes per month viewing video via social media. Yet, women spend just 228 million minutes, despite the fact that more than 4,000 more women log on to social videos per day. Men just watch longer. If you want to engage men, videos are a superior form of content.

The still photograph remains king of the proverbial hill in terms of generating engagement with fans on social platforms. A 2012 study by ROI research found that 44% of users are likely to engage with brands if they post pictures, against 40% for regular status updates, and just 37% for video. Given that startling piece of information, a reasonable person might be led to ask the question:

 

Are all photographs created equal?

Do grainy, low-quality photographs thrown into a Facebook stream, more or less as afterthoughts, have the same impact as high-resolution, high-quality photography? Does it matter if the content is only photographic, or do graphical images also generate higher engagement numbers? Let’s look at one industry that is quite popular among the coveted 18-24 demographic on Facebook: entertainment (the companies shall remain nameless).

We begin by dividing the image content of several popular pages into two broad categories. First, there is the professional category. Images in this category tend to be high-resolution, feature-striking photography, be character based and contain only those graphics absolutely necessary to convey essential data. For example, look at the following image:

 

Click to enlarge

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B2B Social Media: Cisco’s Kathleen Mudge shares her perspective on different networks

October 18th, 2012
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Cisco’s social efforts regarding Cisco Live, a popular event the company throws yearly, was recently covered by a MarketingSherpa case study. Kathleen Mudge, Social Media Marketing Manager and consultant, Cisco, agreed to speak further with us on how she views and uses specific social networks.

With the effort featured in the case study, Cisco was looking for a way to extend the excitement that surrounded the event through the entire year using social media channels.

Facebook proved to be the tactic with the greatest reach with Cisco’s audience, above LinkedIn, which was a bit surprising for a B2B effort.

Mudge’s view of the results is that while Facebook pulls in a larger audience, they are both effective in accomplishing her communication goals.

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Social Media Marketing: YoCrunch boosts average Facebook post interaction 821% (plus two more case studies)

September 27th, 2012
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The Social Media Club of Dallas monthly meetings always feature a presentation on social media for attendees, and earlier this year, I had the chance to take in SMC Dallas’ case study “showcase.”

This event offered up a number of quick-hit social media case studies from a variety of marketers and agencies, and I wanted to provide MarketingSherpa blog readers with a sample of several of these presentations.

 

Local pizza chain increases ROI more than 300% with charitable effort

Background:  I Fratelli, a restaurant local pizza chain with nine locations, was preparing for its 25th anniversary. Its brand identity included charitable outreach.

Marketing Opportunity: Understand that local organizations and charities are always in need of fundraising dollars.

Strategy: Create a local social and viral community fundraiser.

Jeff Schick, Director of Integrated Digital Strategy, Online Performance Marketing, said the objective of the effort was to emotionally connect with consumers so they would feel like part of the solution in i Fratelli’s charitable fundraising marketing campaign.

The campaign consisted of five steps:

  1. Create a name/identity for the effort – in this case, “Pizza DoughNation.”
  1. Get fans excited by allowing them to nominate their favorite charities.
  1. Take an “it takes a village” approach, and leverage the networks of fans, charities and organization to spread the word. Seed code words across social media, and have consumers mention these code words during pizza orders.
  1. Measure the effort by tracking code words.
  1. Give proceeds to the charities. These check presentations were seeded on owned media, but then drove earned media.

The campaign itself used three main outlets: the website and blog, Twitter and Facebook.

The blog was branded as “The Sauce,” and offered a program overview, nomination form, best practices and tips, and past results for viewing.

Twitter was used for geotargeted and contextual conversations on pizza occasions, and content was regularly pushed out timed for lunch and dinner.  Tweets were cross-promoted to both the blog and Facebook. And, influencers were identified to propel the program’s success.

Facebook documented and housed the brand’s “giving back” strategy, and was used to develop relationships with local, regional and national chapters of charities. Also, the Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm was used to focus on an “aggressive news feed optimization strategy.”

Results

  • 3,000 unique blog visits for nominations: 86% leads driven by social media, 14% direct URL entry
  • Increased Facebook impressions over from 40,000 to 125,000 per month
  • Increased retweet rate (generosity) on Twitter from 0 to 19.4%
  • Drove ROI in the form of increased sales, ranging from 304% to 381% over first four months of program
  • Impacted 32 local charities

Key learnings and takeaways

  • Social media results are not just for big brands. SMB brands can leverage social media for attitudinal, behavioral and financial objectives.
  • Get the product, service and experience right first.
  • Get cross-functional teams involved — that way they begin to place a higher value on social media.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask fans and followers for help. Engage with the social media audience.

About the effort, Jeff said, “It wasn’t necessarily a challenge, versus an opportunity. The i Fratelli brand is known for being a part of and giving back to the Dallas-Fort Worth community for the past 25 years. The opportunity was uncovering an idea that leveraged social media to make a greater impact. Historically, the community-giving initiatives were led and funded by i Fratelli alone. By creating the Pizza DoughNation program, fans could take part in and join in on the giving back efforts.”

  Read more…

Local Business Marketing: Social media is the new bare minimum to sell to Generation Y

September 21st, 2012
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Let’s face it: Marketing used to be easier, especially for entrepreneurs running small, localized businesses. You once needed nothing more than a Yellow Pages ad to secure a steady stream of business as, let’s say, a local tire shop.

Then came the Internet, and it was still just a matter of having a webpage with your address and contact information. A minor inconvenience, but worth it for those businesses whose customer segments dictated taking extraordinary measures to reach the most tech-savvy people.

Next came Web 2.0, and suddenly it wasn’t enough to just have an online presence anymore. The Web was becoming social. Also, as the bell curve of innovation adoption for the Internet shifted toward mainstream acceptance, it became necessary to engage a wider range of age groups in digital format.

 

Can potential customers easily research your company and product?

Generation Y has proven itself to be savvy beyond belief in terms of product research, and discriminating to a fault against those brands that don’t make themselves available for online investigation.

A recent study by Lim Ying San and his colleagues from the Multimedia University in Malaysia indicates that a positive significant relationship exists between access and customers’ perceived online retail service quality. Online consumers often want to access a variety of informative sources to obtain up-to-date and useful information for making informed purchasing decisions.

Those sources may include social media, Google and other search engines, and online shopping resources, such as Amazon, as means of price comparison.

In other words, the bare minimum for online marketing and social media for small businesses has changed.

 

You have no choice

Increasingly, if you can’t be found on the first two pages of a Google search, you don’t exist. If young consumers cannot easily interact with your brand on Facebook, Twitter and, for some companies, even Pinterest, you are worse than out of sight. You are out of mind.

In my house, as I suspect is the case in many Generation Y abodes, we use phone books to hold up the broken coffee table where the leg used to be. Even if I wanted to look at the Yellow Pages, it would only result in spilled coffee. If you want to talk to me about your brand, you need to do the following:

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Social Media Metrics: Three touchy-feely numbers to help you benchmark and improve

September 14th, 2012
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It’s no gigantic secret that marketing has taken a turn decidedly toward the more empathetic, conversationally oriented initiatives in the last decade. The days of corporate marketing czars sitting high atop the hill of commerce, and sipping Scotch while devising cleaver ways to manipulate consumers, have come and gone.

If you want to play the game in this new social marketing environment, you’ve got to learn how to engage people in meaningful conversations.

Given a Facebook page, the average marketer figures he or she is more social than a hipster with a smartphone. They’ve checked the social “box,” and now it’s time to return to the magical land of value propositions and conversion rates because, when measured within the context of the traditional marketing paradigm, there isn’t much return on the effort of being “social.”

Of course, we know social media marketing is valuable. For example, according to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook, 85% of marketers surveyed said social media is increasing in importance as a lead source, while most marketers found tactics like telemarketing, direct mail and trade shows to be decreasing in importance over the last 12 months.

 

Social media metrics

The problem lies in the metrics we use to measure that value. The traditional “how many, how much” metrics of historical Web analytics simple won’t do. And, while the goal of any marketing program is ROI-based metrics that truly show impact on the bottom line, many social media marketers struggle with making the transaction all the way from a top-of-the-funnel activity, like social media marketing, to revenue recognition.

So, don’t overlook the touchy-feely metrics of the social sphere to help you understand where you are and what you can do to improve. Social media isn’t paid media advertising. It isn’t a one-way conversation. Here are three metrics to get you started evaluating if you’re taking advantage of the social nature of social media:

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Social Media Marketing: Data mining Twitter for trends, sentiment and influencers

August 21st, 2012
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Data collection and analysis is a topic near and dear to most digital marketers’ hearts. Social media interaction is another topic that fits the same bill. What happens when you combine data mining with links shared on a social platform? Measurable and actionable insight that can inform your marketing planning and tactics.

Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, co-founder and Chief Scientist of Topsy Labs, took the time to explain to MarketingSherpa how marketers can mine Twitter for links, hashtags and topics to learn more about influencers, trending subjects and how your brand is perceived.

Data collection and mining is Topsy’s core business, and Rishab shares the types of data that marketers should be tracking on Twitter and what marketers can, and should, be doing with this social media information.

Eddie Smith, Chief Revenue Officer, Topsy Labs, will speak on this topic at the upcoming MarketingSherpa B2B Summit, August 27-30 in Orlando.

  Read more…

Social Media Marketing: 7 steps for using contests and sweepstakes to promote your brand

August 9th, 2012
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Bribe them and buy them. That was an old-school marketing technique to acquire customers when the value proposition of a product just wasn’t strong enough to pull in enough interest of its own.

Do corporate social media accounts face that challenge? While many Facebook pages and Twitter accounts offer strong value (news, humor, insider information, etc.), the average corporate account can find it challenging to develop a following without an incentive.

One incentive that works well for many marketers is a sweepstakes or contest. (While those terms are often used interchangeably, technically the winner of a sweepstakes is decided by random chance, and a contest is decided by skill and competition.)

“Some of the main benefits of a social media-based contest are fast time-to-market, immediate responses/results, low-cost and no-cost program options, and measureable ROI,” said Sandra Fathi, President, Affect. “I have yet to find an organization — business-to-business or business-to-consumer — that would not benefit from some type of online contest.”

Sandra pointed out that even the President is holding an online sweepstakes to help with fundraising efforts.

 

The goal of online sweepstakes and contests

 While online sweepstakes and contests can help boost your social media following, they can help you meet other objectives as well.

“The goals of any marketing effort should align directly with business goals – and the same holds true for social media promotions,” Sandra said. She provided some example objectives:

  • Accelerate social media adoption/participation
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate leads/sales
  • Drive product/service usage
  • Recognize or reward customers/prospects

However, sometimes it pays to think outside the box.

“For example, we launched the New York Intern Project as a recruiting tool that also provided ancillary benefits, such as doubling our social media following, generating media coverage and new business opportunities with clients who were interested in hosting contests of their own,” Sandra said.

Here are a few mini-case studies to help you visualize successful sweepstakes and contests, and then we’ll review seven steps for launching your own sweepstakes and contests.

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