Adam T. Sutton

Some Social Media Nuggets to Toss Around

MarketingSherpa members got a preview of our 2009 Social Media Marketing and PR Benchmark Guide last week. An executive summary, table of contents, and some great charts and analysis were released to them in PDF form.

The complete guide will be released the week of Feb. 9. Here are a few interesting nuggets for all of you to contemplate right now.

More than two-thirds (68%) of the marketers we surveyed for the guide agree that social media is changing the way their companies communicate. This reflects that most marketers know their brands are going to be discussed online — and they want be there when it happens.

One of my favorite charts plots the effectiveness of 2.0 marketing tactics against their measurability. Essentially, the most measureable tactics are least effective and vice versa. Social media marketing is a leap of faith.

Here are the top three 2.0 tactics from that chart, in descending order, and articles we’ve written on them.

#1: User reviews or ratings

This is a topic we’ve covered quite a bit. Many ecommerce sites have added reviews and ratings to the elation of their customers. We have research confirming that consumers prefer sites with customer reviews. That article (open access by the way) cites three B2C sites that consider the features critical. “After PETCO added reviews online, top-rated products were converting at a 49% higher clip.”

We’ve also written about a marketer who used a simple email to increase customer reviews by about 1,000%.

#2: Blogger or online journalist relations

We’ve written countless articles on how to pitch specific online publications, including:

o Forbes.com

o FastCompany.com

o Wired.com

o TechCrunch

We also covered a campaign where a marketer hand wrote perfumed love letters to bloggers to pitch for coverage. The letters provided a unique vanity URL for a personalized page and video for each blogger.

#3: Forums or discussion groups

Forums are a great way to generate repeat traffic and customer affinity. We’ve written about how to get more visitors to interact on your forum, how to use forums to become a thought leader, and how to go one step further: grow a forum into a social media site.

These three tactics aren’t always easily measured, but marketers are reporting that they’re valuable.

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