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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013: Social media is email with fresh paint

February 22nd, 2013
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The day one keynote presentation at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 featured Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert and co-author of The Now Revolution. Jay’s presentation was titled, “More Alike than Different: Why Email is Madonna, and Facebook is Lady Gaga.”

 

A handful of data points

Jay explained email remains an extremely relevant channel. He cited ExactTarget research from 2011 that found 58% of U.S. adults check email first thing in the morning, and research from 2012 that found 77% of people surveyed reported preferring email for promotional messages.

He also said Facebook is far and away the social media platform of choice with only 27% of U.S. social media users 12 years-old and up embracing second-tier networks such as Google+ and LinkedIn, according to research from The Social Habit.

Additionally, he added 44% of corporate social media marketers look at Facebook as a way to gain new customers based on Wildfire research from 2012. One challenge is 84% of company Facebook fans are current or former customers per DDB research.

“Email and Facebook are strategically, operationally and tactically aligned. Or they should be,” Jay said.

 

Email and social media are more alike than different

Jay stated social media, and Facebook in particular, is just email with “fresh paint.”

Along with this statement, he presented a slide of an image he titled, “Magaga,” juxtaposing Madonna and Lady Gaga side by side to illustrate his point.

 

To further make the point, Jay described three areas of integration:

  • Operations and measurement
  • Channel and audience
  • Message and content

In the case of measurement, email and Facebook share basic metrics even though the nomenclature is different.

 

Email metrics: Subscribes, unsubsribes, opens, clicks, forwards

Versus

Facebook metrics: Likes, hides/unlikes, reach, engaged users, shares

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Mining Gold through Email Integration: 3 lessons from MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2013 winners

February 19th, 2013
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On the first day of MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, I’ll be interviewing the Best-in-Show winner of MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Awards 2013, sponsored by Responsys. In this session, our winner, The National Football League, will discuss its fantastic NFL.com newsletter campaign.

However, there were several outstanding, winning campaigns from this year’s awards deserving of recognition as well.

Note: If you want to see the entire collection of winning entries, download the free Email Awards 2013 Special Report. There’s no squeeze page – just download, learn and share.

As the lead editor on this year’s Email Awards, I found it interesting that, of the myriad submissions we received, email integration played a part in many, if not all, of our winning campaigns.

In fact, as we’ll likely learn from our upcoming Summit sessions, one of the reasons email has been such a venerable channel throughout the years is because of the creative, strategic ways marketers have evolved the tactic to include elements of social media, PPC and website integration.

So, before we head west to the glitter of Las Vegas, let’s pull a few nuggets from these campaigns, seeing what you can learn from other Email Awards 2013 winners’ use of effective integration to find pure gold.

 

Lesson #1: Facebook contests don’t all have to look alike

Ritos GmbH, a consumer electronics company, submitted the OSRAM Innovation Store “Light ‘n’ Style” contest for Email Awards 2013. It was the one entrant in its category that bridged the gap between creativity and results, as it successfully tied together three key factors of an efficient, integrated email campaign:

  • Personalized emails as a support to the contest
  • A fan-gating tab on Facebook
  • A unique contest mechanism that created a viral response

The fan-gating tab on Facebook ensured only persons who were already fans of the OSRAM Innovation Store on Facebook could enter the contest. Contact with all participants was maintained throughout the contest through highly personalized emails.

The emails were personalized through use of the recipient’s name, an image of their favorite lighting product and the product’s current place in the real-time voting. The unusual contest mechanism also made the campaign go viral.

In the end, this creativity paid off handsomely, with the campaign achieving high rates of customer interaction, significantly increased social sharing and a tremendous boost (39%) in newsletter opt-ins – a “side effect” that wasn’t even a focus of the initial campaign.

  • 1,583 people participated in the contest, more than 10% of the existing newsletter mailing list.
  • 1,761,614 people were reached through Facebook ads and made aware of the new products – 119 times more than the size of the newsletter mailing list.
  • Facebook page increased its fan base by 18%.

Additionally, 582% more people posted on the Facebook page during the campaign run, while email open rates about the contest were between 55% and 70%.

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Search Engine Marketing: Navigating Facebook Graph Search

February 15th, 2013
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One aspect that makes digital marketing both exciting and challenging is always having something to contend with – such as new social media platforms, new technology and new ways to reach your target audience. Facebook Graph Search is one of the most recent of those digital marketing challenges.

Jonathan Greene, Social Media/Business Intelligence Analyst, MECLABS, said, “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has defined ‘graph’ as the network of one’s friends, relatives, favorite brands and products.  A ‘graph search’ therefore is a search that leverages one’s ‘graph’ or ‘network’ to provide more interesting, relevant results.”

He added, “The biggest implication for marketers is that Graph Search, if successful in stealing significant market share from Google, will flip SEO on its head. Links will be replaced by ‘likes’ in the SEO hierarchy, and building social capital will be the new optimization strategy for organic search improvement.”

Currently, Facebook Graph Search is only available in limited beta with a significant waiting list for platform-wide adoption.

Although Facebook Graph Search has not rolled out across the entire Facebook ecosystem, it’s certainly worth thinking about for a head start in creating a strategy to meet this new search engine marketing avenue.

To learn more on how marketers should approach Facebook Graph Search, and learn some tips and tactics to share with MarketingSherpa Blog readers, I had the chance to interview two SEM experts: Dan Sturdivant, Account Manager, Speakeasy, and Chairman, DFW Search Engine Marketing Association; and Rob Garner, Principal, Rob Garner Consulting, and author of Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing.

 

MarketingSherpa: Marketers have been told Facebook “likes” are much less important than Facebook clicks – to a landing page for example – or converting those “likes” to a database entry for the email list and other purposes. Does Facebook Graph Search change that equation a bit and make “likes” in and of themselves more valuable?

Dan Sturdivant: Yes, the equation changes with Graph Search; the importance of “likes” will be greatly increased. [For] some businesses, local retail in particular and restaurants especially, this is critical. Consumers will use Graph Search to research companies and services.  Businesses “liked” by their friends will reinforce an immediate connection with that business.

Taking that further, engaging consumers, asking them to “like” the page is important and then engaging them through a newsletter or other marketing tactic and pushing them back to the Facebook page is critical.

That last part is a big change, as well. It used to be you would want to drive folks back to your website, and while it goes against the “digital sharecropper” concept, driving people back to the company’s Facebook page is a good idea.

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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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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.”

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Overcoming ‘Get Your Money’s Worth’ Syndrome in Your Facebook Timeline Cover Image

July 5th, 2012
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Let me talk about an old advertising problem I’ve seen raise its ugly head recently, thanks to Facebook’s shift to Timeline. I like to call it … “get your money’s worth” syndrome.

This is a problem as old as media buys.

 

Are you a white space hoarder?

And, it makes sense on the face of it. A marketer buys a specific piece of media, say, a quarter-page ad in the newspaper. Then, his agency creates a clean ad with a straightforward call-to-action.

But, before that ad gets published …

The marketer must approve it. He sees a lot of white space, so he starts to think, “Well, I paid $15,000 for this space in the newspaper. And, we’re only using a small portion of it. I can add in information about three other products we offer. And, more about our features and benefits. And, seals for some of the organizations we’re members of. And …”

The list can go on forever. In the agency business, we used to call this “trying to cram 10 pounds of, um, stuff, into a five-pound bag.”

The worst offenders tend to be small mom-and-pop shops, and you can see these in the free direct mail coupon advertising magazines that are sent to your house, with names like Mint Magazine, Money Saver Magazine, Clipper Magazine, etc.

Every square millimeter, wall-to-wall, is covered with ink. I was reminded of this recently while walking down The Strip in Las Vegas one night during Email Summit 2012. Everything screams for your attention.

 

If everything is emphasized, nothing is emphasized

I noticed the same problem while helping a local nonprofit adapt to Facebook Timeline with one of my neighbors. My neighbor is not in marketing, and she’s just under 35 (young unemployed people: I’ve noticed that pretty much anyone under 35 can consult on Facebook marketing to pretty much anyone over 50, and really add value).

We agreed on a simple image with a simple headline for the organization’s Facebook Timeline Cover, the new header photo that goes across the top of Facebook Pages now that Timeline has launched.

(Note: There is a common misconception that you cannot use any words in this cover photo. You can … you just can’t sell. Here are the guidelines directly from Facebook about what isn’t allowed in your cover image:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as Web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”)

After providing direction, I stepped back and let my neighbor and the nonprofiteer work on it over the next few weeks (ah … the life of a consultant).

I found out they went through several rounds of changes. Why? The well-intentioned philanthropist kept adding more and more details into that one simple photo, trying to get across every possible thing the organization could do for the visitor.

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Social Media Marketing: 10 minutes with Brian Solis

June 5th, 2012
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Focus on what people value.” That is my main takeaway from my interview with Brian Solis, principal, The Altimeter Group. As he sees it, Facebook is a democracy, and you can’t simply shove marketing messages down your followers’ throats (or in this case, into their Timelines) and expect to be successful.

In our 10 minutes together, he discussed so much more, including why many social media marketers are misinterpreting the movie “Moneyball” …

 

Luke Thorpe, multimedia specialist, MECLABS, and I grabbed Brian Solis after his keynote at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012, and he graciously gave us 10 minutes packed with interesting marketing insights.

Here are a few key points in the video, in case you want to jump ahead:

0:09 – Social media marketing metrics and Facebook EdgeRank

1:30 – The unlike button

2:24 – How to find out what your customers want

3:56 – The American Express Link > Like > Love campaign

4:38 – How to talk to business leaders about what really matters in your social media marketing campaign

8:46 – Social media is not just conversations; it is business data

 

Related Resources:

Email Summit 2012 DVD Combo Special (includes the Brian Solis keynote)

In Social Media, Your Return Represents Your Investment

Social Media Marketing: Finding and winning hyper-social consumers

Email Summit: Integrating mobile, social and email marketing channels

Inbound Marketing 2011: The 9 social media, content marketing, and SEO articles your peers shared most

Social Media Platform Selection: Keep your eye on the bigger picture

May 31st, 2012
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The news of Facebook’s recent IPO has mostly focused on technical glitches at NASDAQ. But, one question sits in the back of many marketers’ minds: Is this a sign that the social network will not continue its market dominance?

After all, we’ve seen the rise and fall of sites like Friendster and MySpace, along with the constant emergence of new social media platforms like Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

So, in the midst of all this change, what is the biggest factor you should keep in mind when exploring social media platforms?

Not the social media platform itself, according to Kaci Bower, senior research analyst, MECLABS Content Group, and author of MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook. Kaci suggests you focus on your bigger inbound marketing strategy and architecture rather than relying on tying marketing to any one platform, even if it does have more than 800 million different users.

 

A strategic approach can give you a distinct competitive advantage

Integrating inbound tactics is the marketing equivalent of avoiding sugar and exercising every day, Kaci claims.

“The vast majority of marketers agree it’s critical, but a much smaller percentage follow through,” she says, citing MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report. “Seventy-six percent of marketers believe integrating SEO and social media is essential, but only 47% are actually doing it.

“A 30-point difference is huge,” continues Kaci. “It indicates the challenge of inbound marketing integration — it’s far easier to give it lip service than execute it.”

 

Lost in the noise

She suspects that is due to the massive amounts of information in the marketplace on SEO, social media and content creation. Consider this graphic that illustrates the complexity of the social media landscape by showing the huge amount of social media marketing and social networking tools and platforms.

Of course, you don’t have to use everything. Just use what works best for your company. As you can see in this chart from the Inbound Marketing Handbook, usage and effectiveness do not always consistently match. For example, two of the most hyped social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – showed significantly more usage than effectiveness. Meanwhile, blogs may be more effective than many marketers realize.

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PPC Advertising: How to track AdWords and Facebook ads in 5 steps

May 25th, 2012
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If you struggle with tracking and measuring the performance of your AdWords or Facebook pay-per-click ads, this blog post is for you.

It’s clear that each product, service or campaign — whether on your site’s landing page or Facebook page — should have multiple ads created to test what appeals to your audience (what they click on). Even better, you should be eliminating the underperforming ad versions and spending the budget on the winners.

It’s easy to create an ad that triggers curiosity and gets the viewer to click, but that is something you can practice when paying for impressions, not clicks. While creating your ads, think why somebody who sees it would click and find your offer/service attractive.

You can play with variations of the subject line, copy and images (for Facebook ads) to test the different combinations; however, the success metric should not be clickthrough but rather conversions on your landing page.

After all, you’re paying Google and Facebook for clicks, but customers only pay you when you earn a conversion.

So, whether the goal action of your customer is a lead or purchase, follow these five easy steps to start measuring your ads’ performance today:

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Book Giveaway: The Zen of Social Media Marketing (2012 Edition)

March 29th, 2012
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This week’s MarketingSherpa Book Giveaway features The Zen of Social Media Marketing (2012 Edition) by Shama Hyder, CEO, Marketing Zen Group.

I’ve been reading through this volume for the last several weeks, and I just keep finding new ideas and actionable advice for social media marketers. I thought one point Shama made was particularly interesting:

In this book, I’ll be using the words “customer” and “client” interchangeably to refer to both, because there isn’t much difference between them when it comes to using social media marketing techniques: you can ATTRACT, CONVERT and TRANSFORM both with the same material.

 

Instead of providing more of what I’ve been enjoying, I decided to call on a much more expert source …

 

Shama’s 5 takeaways

For MarketingSherpa readers, Shama provided her five main takeaways from this latest edition of her book:

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