Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

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

September 27th, 2012
Share

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…

B2B Social Media Marketing: 5 career killers and how to overcome them

August 28th, 2012
Share

Day one of B2B Summit 2012 has finally arrived.  Today, I had the opportunity to listen in on the panel discussion “5 B2B Social Media Career Killers … and how to overcome them.”

This session went beyond simply helping your company, and on to improving the future of your personal career.

MECLABS Director of Editorial Content Daniel Burstein moderated the panel of three B2B social media experts: Eddie Smith, Chief Revenue Officer, Topsy Labs; Chris Baggott, Chairman, Compendium; and Nichole Kelly, President, SME Digital.

 

With the introductions made, they jumped straight into the first B2B social media killer …

Read more…

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

May 31st, 2012
Share

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.

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: Proactive social touch generates 17.5% more sales for moving company

March 30th, 2012
Share

Hey marketers of 1985 … imagine if you could overhear many of your potential customers’ conversations in an ethical way. Why, if they had an interest in buying a product or service in your category, you could just reach out and start a conversation of your own. This would be way cooler than a hoverboard or flying car (although not quite as cool as the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor).

Of course, the year is 2012, and we’re now living the dream. On social media, people open up their conversations to the world about what they want to buy, where they want to go, and what they’re trying to crassly self-promote. But how many marketers take advantage of listening combined with proactive social touches to act on these conversations? Here’s a real-life example of how it can work. So I tweeted …

 

 

Most people probably just saw my tweet as a crassly self-promotional attempt to brag about the beautiful March weather here in Jacksonville while trying to poach top marketing talent from frigid northern locations and let them know about the job openings here at MECLABS. (wink, wink)

However, one clever marketer saw an opportunity of a different kind …

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: Opportunity knocks worldwide

February 24th, 2012
Share

Living in the U.S., we often use social media to reach domestic customers. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were popular here first, and that sticks with us. But as social networking expands worldwide, the size of the audience we could be reaching has multiplied.

Focusing exclusively on the U.S. would ignore 80% of the people on Facebook and Twitter, according to “It’s a Social World,” a report from comScore. On LinkedIn, it would ignore more than 60% of the audience (Note: You’ll need to provide an email address to download the report. It’s worth it.)

 

Click to enlarge

 

The report is full of mindboggling stats like, “social networking captures nearly 1 out of every 5 minutes spent online worldwide,” and “social networking sites now reach 82% of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users.”

If your company sells anywhere outside the U.S. (or ever hopes to), and you’re marketing through social media, then the report points to a world of opportunity. Social penetration among online audiences is above 90% in 35 of the 43 countries measured.

Read more…

Holiday Marketing: 3 last-minute ideas to boost conversion

November 22nd, 2011
Share

The holiday shopping season is upon us – the proverbial golden goose for consumer marketers. I’m sure you’ve planned thoroughly throughout the year, and just have to focus on how to execute, execute, execute in these last remaining days before December 25 rolls around.

But, it’s too late to make impactful changes to your plans, right?

Right?

Well, I’ve been listening to one of those “challenge the model” books on tape (you know, the ones that tell you, “Burn the status quo! The only rules that exist are the ones we impose on ourselves!”). So, I’m understandably pretty worked up. All the same, I say we take on this beast. Let’s try to make a few last-minute shifts and move that needle.

If you can spare a minute away from your daily transactional data, let’s brainstorm a few last-minute ideas to help you get an extra bump in sales this holiday season (and I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section, as well). After all, anything’s possible. As long as you commit.

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: Analytics are free and plentiful, so use them

November 15th, 2011
Share

For years, the debate on social media marketing centered on ROI. Marketers asked themselves “How can we measure the impact of social media?” “What’s the ROI on Twitter?” “How do we know if LinkedIn is worthwhile?”

Thankfully, those days are behind us. Data is available from tools both paid and free. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, not every marketer has taken advantage, as you can see in the chart below from Adobe and Econsultancy, which we pulled from The Social Media Data Stacks e-book.

Click to enlarge

Five of the six metrics listed above have a greater number of marketers saying they’re important than the number of marketers tracking them. This is like saying it’s important to eat right and exercise while eating chili cheese fries and canceling your gym membership. It just doesn’t make sense.

But don’t worry — we have you covered. Here is a list of free tools you can use to start measuring each social media metric.

Read more…

Marketing Career: How to get your next job in marketing

October 14th, 2011
Share

Sure, the economy is a bit uncertain. But companies are still looking for high-performing marketing professionals. I know because they post these job openings almost daily on our marketing job listings page.

In fact, I recently came across a shocking bit of data in The Wall Street Journal. From my experience, jobs in advertising and marketing tend to be the most sensitive in an uncertain economy. In a recession, most CEOs seem to cut the marketing budget as step #1 (Step #12, corporate jet).

However, according to SimplyHired, marketing managers is “where the work is,” as it’s listed as one of the occupations listed as having many openings.

I’m not personally familiar with this metric, but marketing managers is listed as having 108 job openings for every 1,000 people employed. That is much more than the “few openings” for mental-health counselors and preschool teachers, with only two openings per 1,000 employed. It’s even more than registered nurses, which I always see recruitment ads for and is widely regarded as desperately in need of more talented people (82 per 1,000).

Intuit is one such company hiring marketing professionals right now. So, I sat down with Leslie Mason, a Senior Recruiter at the computer software company, to help give you an inside scoop about what companies are looking for when they fill these plentiful marketing job openings.

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: You value (and earn ROI on) what you pay for

June 7th, 2011
Share

Free. Look inside any copywriting book or on any marketing blog, and it will tell you that “free” is one of the most powerful words in marketing. However…how often are you, as a marketer, susceptible to that magic word?

For most media we use – from PPC ads to television spots – we recognize that an investment must take place. Yet social media, with its tantalizing lack of an invoice, seems almost too good to be true. Thanks to the power of technology, you no longer have to spend money to make money!

Some say the best things in life are free…

Well, the attitude may not be that severe, but take a look at this quote from the 2011 MarketingSherpa Social Marketing Benchmark Report

“I do not look at social media marketing as something I invest in. I advertise on Facebook and consider that an online advertising expense like Google AdWords. I consider the time I spend creating, maintaining and promoting my Facebook page as “free” because I do the work myself so the costs are all soft, not cash. I know this approach isn’t really accurate and may not help me understand my costs, but it’s how I think of it for now.”

This marketer is not alone. According to the Benchmark Report’s lead author, Sergio Balegno, “On average, 15 percent of organizations think social marketing is free and wish to keep it that way. When we segment this group by primary channel, we find that B2B marketers are, by far, the least likely to believe this misconception. Social marketing is a time-consuming practice requiring significant staff commitment to execute effectively.”

…but you can keep it for the birds and the bees

As Sergio says, all of that social media buzz comes at a price. But, you may say, what is the harm in viewing soft costs as, essentially, no costs? There’s no outlay in cash, so what’s the difference?

The savvy CMO is looking for money (that’s, what he wants). Specifically, ROI. So it takes an attitude shift. From my experience, when people (and especially marketers) don’t pay anything for a product, service, or media, they don’t value it. And if they don’t value it, they don’t invest in it. And if you don’t truly invest in a tactic, you will never nail the ROI.

On the flip side, you don’t understand the true costs either. Even soft costs are costs. For example, you have the opportunity cost. A sole entrepreneur must decide whether to engage in Twitter for an hour or call some customers and see if their needs are being met. A content marketer at a major company must decide whether to invest in writing a blog post or spending some more time testing and optimizing the Web site.

In the above-referenced Social Marketing Benchmark Report, there was an interesting chart about how CMOs perceive Social Marketing ROI…

Almost half of marketers that are taking a strategic approach to social media marketing are realizing a measurable ROI.

Yet, as you look at the bottom of the chart, all too many marketers (especially those who haven’t reached the strategic phase) just look at social marketing as a freebie, not a marketing discipline.

So, in this week’s MarketingSherpa webinar (sponsored by Facebook) – Intro to Strategic Social Media Marketing: Get your business or agency started with an ROI-based approach – I’ll be moderating an hour-long session with Todd Lebo and Zuzia Soldenhoff-Thorpe from MECLABS and Tamara Rosenbaum from Facebook, that we hope will give you basic info to help you begin to take a strategic approach to social media marketing or give you ideas to optimize your current approach.

Oh, and did I mention? The webinar is absolutely free.

Related Resources

Free webinar, Thursday June, 9th 1-2pm EST — Intro to Strategic Social Media Marketing: Get your business or agency started with an ROI-based approach

Study: Marketers Reporting Social Media ROI of 100, 200, Even 1,000 percent
— via Forbes

In Social Media, Your Return Represents Investment –via Fast Company

Social Media Marketing: Facebook news feed optimization

Social Media Marketing: How to optimize the customer experience to benefit from word-of-mouth advertising

Social Media Marketing: How to optimize the customer experience to benefit from word-of-mouth advertising

April 14th, 2011
Share

Do you know the problem with the customer experience? It doesn’t have a media sales rep.

So no one is taking you out to a nice lunch, plying you with semi-fine wine while slowly separating you from your budget and increasing your media spend on it.

However, that doesn’t mean that the customer experience doesn’t generate media for you. We live in a digital age where you must assume that every customer is also a publisher. So, if you invest in your customers, you can gain significant positive media exposure. Fail to invest? You can get significant exposure as well…it just won’t be as brand-friendly as those TV spots you just bought.

So, while businesses are expected to spend $214.3 billion on advertising in 2011(according to SNL Kagan), what return will they get for their investment? In recent research by Satmetrix, only four percent of Americans said they trust advertising the most as an information source when choosing products or services. The top choice? Independent sources (83 percent), especially those with whom they have personal relationships.

While recent research from Experian (warning: there is a squeeze page) disagrees on the exact number, it reaffirms the importance of winning over your customers. It states, “Despite consumer reliance on digital devices and Internet-provided information, the most influential element driving purchase decisions today is still word-of-mouth.”

Experian found that 54 percent of consumers chose word-of-mouth as highly influential to their purchase decisions. Of course, this shouldn’t be news to you. You probably learned about word-of-mouth in Marketing 101.

But, a lot has changed since then. As stated above, every customer you have is now likely a publisher as well. So now there is even word-of-mouth advertising from people your consumers have never even met. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “nearly six-in-ten adults (58%) have done research online about the products and services they buy, and about a quarter (24%) have posted comments or reviews online about the things they buy.”

So, how do you optimize the customer experience to get the most from word-of-mouth advertising today?

There is no one right answer, of course. I asked around a little in this vast, resourceful marketing community of ours. Read on for a few tips, and I’d love to hear your thoughts as well…

Your customers can see right through your marketing so you might as well let them

“When a company is humble enough to admit a weakness, they immediately distinguish themselves from the competition. It opens the door for a trust relationship.

The consumer is all too aware of the fact that we are not perfect. To pretend otherwise only serves to raise their suspicion. Tell them what you can’t do, and they’ll believe you when you tell then what you can do.”

– Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director (CEO), MECLABS



Transparent marketing is essential. According to the Satmetrix study, 20 percentof those who defected a company did so because of unfair fees or charges.

“Companies still need to advertise to create market awareness, but market trends such as the increased use of social media networks and consumer reviews online are all increasing transparency about the actual experiences that companies deliver, and what customers think of them,” John Abraham, general manager of Net Promoter programs at Satmetrix, said. “You just can’t hide any longer behind bad quality. Advertising and marketing messages need to line up with customers’ real experiences. So, first and foremost, you have to get the experience right.”

We’ll talk about getting that experience right in just a minute. But first, how do you ensure that your advertising and marketing messages are transparent and truly reflect what your customer is experiencing? You don’t want to be the Comical Ali of your company, claiming victory while the facts on the ground so clearly conflict with your messages. And while he may have literally had a gun to his head, forcing him to make ridiculous claims…you don’t. You have a choice.

As I’ve said before in these (Web) pages, I think Transparent Marketing: How to earn the trust of a skeptical consumer is an excellent guide, but, in full transparency, it is written by the man who signs my paychecks – Dr. Flint McGlaughlin.

So, I also wanted to get a perspective from someone outside of MECLABS and provide a very granular example that you could apply to your marketing efforts today. I asked Ryan Deutsch, VP of Strategic Services, StrongMail, about transparency in email marketing. He said that “welcome programs offer the best opportunity for transparency” and offered these specific tips:

  • Provide examples of the types of messages the subscriber will be receiving
  • Provide an overview of the frequency of communication and give the consumer the opportunity to set preferences around cadence
  • Provide an explanation of how data is captured within the email program and how that is used to create more targeted and relevant messages
  • Explain the privacy policy of the brand
  • Explain the opt-out and unsubscribe options

Don’t dictate, discover

“It is the customer who determines what a business is. For it is the customer, and he alone, who through being willing to pay for a good or for a service, converts economic resources into wealth, things into goods. What the business thinks it produces is not of first importance – especially not to the future of the business and to its success. What the customer thinks he is buying, what he considers “value,” is decisive – it determines what a business is, what it produces and whether it will prosper.”

– Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management



In Peter Drucker’s day, it was far more difficult to determine what the customer considered valuable. Today, you have almost instant access to that information in many different ways:

  • Test your value proposition – You can test and measure your value proposition in real-time under real-world conditions with your actual customers using PPC ads
  • Actually ask your customers – Use automated exit surveys, ensure your sales and customer service teams track customer interactions in a CRM system, engage in one-on-one conversations in user forums, or use technology in some other creative way to pick your customers’ brains.
  • Listen to what they say – Social media monitoring has become a very powerful tool to learning from your customers. Of course, don’t stop at listening to customers and discovering what they want, use social media to respond as well. For example…

I asked Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua how he uses social media to discover what customers want and nurture word-of-mouth advertising. As co-chair of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s Ethics Panel, he knows a thing or two about the topic. Here’s what he had to say…

“All customers are not created equal. Those who engage with you on social channels are far more likely to be your brand advocates. In fact, at Eloqua, a client who engages with us on any social network is 450 percent more likely to be a brand promoter than our baseline client. This self-selecting group is a collection of ambassadors-in-waiting.  The key to unlocking their word-of-mouth is as simple as connecting with them on a personal level on their social channel of choice. That’s really all it takes.”

Truly serve your customers

“We learn whatever skills we need to service the customer. We build whatever technology we need to service the customer.”

– Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon



Think about Amazon for a moment. They mostly sell books and other stuff (lots of stuff) through an e-commerce store. Yet, out of seemingly nowhere, they launched their own hardware device – the Kindle. We take it for granted now, but for an e-commerce store to launch a hardware device in a segment that barely existed before it entered the market is quite revolutionary.

Why take that leap of faith? To truly serve the customer.

How can you truly serve your customers? After all, you’re likely not Jeff Bezos. You likely only have control over a small patch of territory in your overall company.

And yet, that patch is likely the tip of the spear in terms of customer interaction. You are in the unique position to discover and then shine a light on issues that really matter to your customers, to ensure that there is true value in your marketing propositions.

I asked Dave Ewart, Senior Director of Marketing, Satmetrix how marketers can achieve this. Satmetrix, the company behind the study referenced above, makes a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. Ewart said that successful customer-centric marketers:

  1. Continuously collect and analyze data about customer interactions and customer satisfaction, and they use automated customer listening and feedback systems;
  2. Track and measure word-of-mouth online, and identify and support customer advocates;
  3. Share data from customer interactions across organizational departments; this helps them strengthen relationships with customers and sometimes even uncovers untapped markets; and
  4. Lead a company-wide commitment to addressing and resolving customer issues and problems.

Don’t consider anything that impacts the customer “not my problem.” It’s you who made the promise upfront with your impressive marketing campaigns. So, it better be you who ensures that your company delivers on that promise with an exceptional customer experience.

If not, your customers hold the trump card. Advertising even more successful than yours. Word-of-mouth.

Related Resources

Hoax Marketing: Your brand comes first, humor second, even on April Fool’s Day

Social Media Marketing: Turning social media engagement into action at Threadless

The Last Blog Post: How to succeed in an era of transparent marketing

Inbound Marketing newsletter – Free Case Studies and How To Articles from MarketingSherpa’s reporters

Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook

Photo attribution: hansvanrijnberk