Many companies are lead down a path in social media marketing that leads them to believe all they have to do is produce content, such as blog posts, in order to gain a foothold in social media communities. They’ve been sold some list of things to do and figure what ever they put out will be valuable content to the audiences they want to engage with. The problem with that theory is that they believe they are the ones providing the valuable content, that they decide what’s valuable and just place it out there for the world to receive.
In chapter 29 of Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media, we discuss how your content must have value. There’s a lot of interesting pieces that go into what’s deemed “valuable”, but at the end of the day, it’s not the companies putting out the content who decide the value, it’s really the end users. Today’s three tips focus on that, but of course, there’s a heck of a lot more about this topic in the actual chapter.
- The End User Decides the Value of Your Content, Not You
- Produce What They Want
- Make Your Content Portable, That Makes It More Valuable
Full video transcript after the jump…
That’s probably why most corporate social media initiatives will fail. Operating without a sound plan or strategy is very much like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing if it will stick to it, just to see if its done. At the end of the day you have wasted spaghetti either on your wall or on your floor.
With companies planning to implement 10 or more endeavors into social media marketing this year, how can they operate without a plan, without guidelines, without policies, without goals and without measuring? Social media marketing is becoming a more common line item in budgets, especially in 2010, and accountability is crucial to prove whether the efforts are working or not.
Unfortunately what happens in most cases, especially with those who don’t have plans or strategies to guide them, is that the C-Suite or the person in charge suffers from “Shiny Object Syndrome“. Basically they see social media, they hear about it, they look at the results that look instantaneous or overnight that are being touted on Mashable, Tech Crunch, CNN or NBC and think “We Have To Have That!“ So the word comes from on high that they need to have a Twitter account, or be in Four Square, or have a Facebook Application. The marketing team scrambles to put it in place and just starts engaging, a few weeks later …… Nothing!
What happened, why didn’t anyone talk to us? Didn’t they like our coupons? What about our ads, did they click on our page of ads? Why didn’t they buy anything? This Social Media stuff doesn’t work!
That’s what happens when you don’t start off in social media marketing without a sound plan or strategy. It didn’t work because likely your captive audience wasn’t where you just started your tactic in, or you weren’t talking to them in the lingo they use, or you insulted them by not reading the rules or understanding the norms, or worse you treated them like the “general public”. It failed because you didn’t have policies in place or you didn’t keep your entire team (and company) clued in on your efforts or your messaging you wanted to convey in social media. If failed because you neglected to set goals and measure those tactics you implemented to see if they were helping you meet your goals and either tweak, add more resources to or switch tactics in your social media plan….. a plan which you didn’t set in place.
No matter what you see your company is doing in social media, you need to stop and ask yourself, should I be doing that too? Are we really the same if we are competition? Here’s the thing about social media marketing – no two businesses are ever the same when it comes to engaging and implementing marketing tactics in social media, especially successfully. In chapter 12 of Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media we’re focusing on understanding that just because one company is doing something in social media doesn’t mean that you should be too.
The three high level tips for today’s chapter, chapter 12 “Every Business is Different” are:
- There’s No Cookie Cutter Approach
- Listen to Your Customers
- Brand Loyalists Can Make the Difference
Full video transcript after the jump…
People come together in social media communities to share their experiences and engage with others about those experiences. A lot of times they come to these places of comfort to find like minded individuals who they can commiserate with about ideas, thoughts, information, tips or tricks around the things they are very passionate about. They come to share, to communicate, to experience and most of all to be together.
They don’t go to social media communities to be marketed to.
Sometimes marketers can have the mistaken thought that they are going to be willingly accepted into a community because they announce that they “have arrived” or they set up an account, or they have special discounts for “fans”. People in social media communities not only want more from marketers that are now injecting themselves into their social media communities, but they expect more.
Today’s three high level tips revolve around chapter 34 “People Don’t Want to be Marketed To” in Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media. The chapter really focuses on understanding that coming into social media communities with the idea of pushing a marketing message is just really the wrong approach to take:
- Let the Rules Help You
- Don’t Just Push Your Agenda
- Be An Asset
Full video transcript after the jump
There’s a lot of ins and outs when it comes to social media marketing. One of the biggest pieces to success with when you are planning your social media strategy is knowing how to integrate other marketing types in with your social media strategy. Integration with other disciplines further enhances the reach of what each of your chosen tactics is attempting to do. One of the easiest and more successful ways to promote your interactions in social media is via email.
I wrote about Email Can Be Social Media’s Best Friend a few weeks ago on ClickZ, and I still point back to how easy it is for people to share via email the content they find valuable. As much as they are sharing on Twitter and Facebook, people share in emails – probably even more so, as the level of comfort with sending an email is a lot higher due to how its been integrated into our societies. eMarketer has a piece today about integrating social media with email showing the different kinds of tactics companies are planning to do with integrating social media with email, only just under 13% of the companies surveyed aren’t integrating email and social media in some way.
So how can you get a quick start on integrating your existing email list with what your implementing in social media?
5 Quick Tips for Integrating Social Media & Email
Make Special Announcements Early To Your Email List, Then to Your Communities
There’s a reason people sign up for your email lists. They want “in on the ground floor” or they want to be the first to know what’s going on with you, and want to be the first one’s to propagate that information you relate. People who are subscribing willingly, not those people who forget to uncheck the box when they buy something from you, want to know everything that’s going on with you, your company, your brands, your services or products before anyone else, so use that to your advantage. Make special announcements to your email list early and then to your communities a day or two later. If you are consistent with this, you’re fan base is going to notice and catch on and you’ll soon have more additions to your email list if they want the information first.
Use Twitter & Facebook
Its a two way street with Twitter & Facebook, meaning promotion can work for both, in both mediums. On all your email communications, if you have a Twitter Account or a Facebook Fanpage promote it! On your Facebook Fanpage, make it easy for your fans to sign up for your newsletter. When your newest email newsletter goes out to the list, promote it on Twitter, and when it goes live on your site make sure you post the link in your active social media communities. Remember that just because you and your marketing team know you have all these ways to communicate, your audience members and interested fans and customers probably don’t. Let them know!
Offer Sneak Peeks to Email Lists Subscribers
Make your email list feel extra special by offering them limited time “first crack” at a special offer before it goes out to the general public. Make sure they know it too by promoting in ways such as “before we release this to our Facebook Fans or Twitter Community we’d like to give you, our loyal email followers, first crack at our special promotion”. Make sure though that you do place that same promotion out in Facebook, Twitter or the other social media communities after that limited time engagement because your email subscribers are savvy, there’s a very high chance they aren’t just following you with emails, but on your other social media channels as well. Your email subscribers will stand up and take notice and pass around the word that you truly do reward your email community in a special way to their own network of friends.
Turn Your Email Newsletters PDFs and Submit to Scribd
It may sound like a very simple, “no brainer” type of thing to do, but many companies forget that their newsletters that are sent through email can be very valuable content that they can leverage in social media communities. By turning your email newsletters into a PDF and placing it on your website, you get the benefit of the search engines finding and ranking the content, you also get the benefit that your PDF can then be shared across many other social channels. You can also start your own account on Scribd and share your PDF newsletter to that community as well.
Make It Easy to Share Your Email Content
Even within your email newsletters make sure that the content you provide there is easily sharable. Add “retweet”, “share on facebook”, “email to a friend” buttons and graphics to your content. Of course, don’t go overboard and make your email newsletter or content be overtaken by the buttons! Make sure where you are suggesting to share the content makes sense to your own audience. Are they using Twitter? Would Delicious be a better choice? If you’re on the email team, talking to your social media marketing team before randomly selecting buttons would be a better use of your time so you can correctly target where your company wants your content shared.
We’re back to the swing of things here on SMMarketingBook.com After a week off due to illness and vacation, the 45 Social Media Insights Over 45 Days is back in full swing. Today’s chapter in Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media is chapter 10, “Come Bearing Gifts”.
If you are a company, a marketer for a company or a consultant doing the marketing for a company and you are engaging in social media communities but are never giving back, you will find yourself out in the cold before too long. It’s important to remember to reward your community with the very things they find of most value. Giving the gift of content, or coupons, or special offers is a great way to “give back” to the community who is taking the time out of their day to share their experiences with you.
Today’s three tips focuses on the types of gifts you should consider giving.
- Understand What Is Of Value To the Community
- Content Can Be Valuable
- A Gift Needs to Be Unique
Full video transcript after the jump…
Increasingly companies are trying to tie real world value to their interactions in Social Media. How much is a tweet worth, how much does the effort cost to get a retweet, or acquiring friends on MySpace or fans on Facebook?
These are ever elusive and for each company the value is going to be different based on the amount of resources (both money and time) invested into the implementation of the particular marketing tactic of the social media marketing strategy.
eMarketer had a interesting post this morning about a report from digital consulting firm Syncapse and research company Hotspex. In their report they came up with an empirical formula that puts an average value of $136.38 on the Facebook fans of the site’s 20 biggest corporate brands. They based this how much they see that fans will spend on the brand’s products & services, with additional dollars coming from customer recommendations, loyalty and earned media.
There have been other studies that have shown social followers are more likely to buy a brand’s products if they are a Facebook fan. These studies though focused more on the brand loyalty aspect rather than the true dollar amount companies could actually connect with their efforts of building a fan base, particularly in Facebook.
So are you measuring the the Return on Conversation or the Return on Investment in your Social Media Marketing Strategy? What kind of value are you putting on a Facebook Fan, a Twitter Follower, or a friend in a forum or message board? What is their interaction worth to you and what’s the likelihood that those friends, followers and fans are going to recommend you, pass on your media or purchase from you? Those are all things that companies need to plan for, set goals for and keep constantly measuring if there is success to be had in their social media marketing strategies.
The world of social media is pretty big and there’s a lot of different types of sites out there that fall under the broad term of social media. In chapter 2 of the book, Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media, I go into specific detail about the different types of social media that are out there and how they appeal to different types of community users.
Understanding your audience is half the battle to securing a successful online social media marketing strategy. Another piece of that puzzle is understanding the types of social media out there and how they appeal to different demographics, different ethnographics, as well as different profile within social media. Today I highlight three different types for this video in the 45 Social Media Insights Over 45 Days series. Again, remember, these are just three of many that are written about in depth in the book.
- Social News
- Social Bookmarking
- Social Sharing
Full video transcript after the jump….
Programming Note: Due to vacation (I’m heading to the lovely city of New Orleans, LA) there won’t be any video posting Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. We’ll be back in the swing of the series on Tuesday June 16th, 2010. I might have a post or two about relevant topics during that time, but videos won’t be posted.
Listening is probably one of the most important things you can do when you are implementing engagement tactics in social media communities. It’s important to remember we were given two ears and just one mouth for a reason. Listening to the community members can queue you into things that you would not normally be privy too if you were just relying on focus groups or surveys.
Today’s three tips are from Chapter 26 “You Need to be All Ears” in the book Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media. Of course the full chapter digs a lot deeper into aspects of listening as opposed to just “hearing” what’s being said and how listening can even help your company out with problems it may be facing. Today’s three quick tips are:
- People Want to Be Heard
- Learn the Lingo
- Listening Helps Avoid Disasters
Full video transcript after the jump…
Two weeks ago I had the delightful opportunity to be interviewed for WebMaster Radio‘s Cover Story by Meg Walker (who’s the Director of Online Marketing at PR Web). We got to talk about a lot of different things that have to deal with Social Media and how to market, plan strategies, use tools and even about writing this book. The interview runs about a half an hour so if you have the time, let it play in the background.
In the interview I talk about some tips you can integrate into your social media marketing strategy. I also talk about what you’ll find in the upcoming in Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media. Then in the last segment I talk about Social Snap. What’s Social Snap? Well it’s a tool that’s going to be very valuable to any marketer who’s venturing into online marketing, especially social media. Social Snap is a social media monitoring & measuring dashboard tool that allows marketers, senior level and c-level management to easily be able to see how their social media marketing tactics are performing. Not only that, but it combines buzz monitoring and analytics into the mix. One stop shopping… so to speak.
Want to learn more about Social Snap? Drop me a line on the contact page and I’ll get you more information.
Take a listen to the interview in the meantime to learn about Social Snap, the book and get some more tips! (Just hit the little play button to get started)