Archive for ‘Social Media Marketing’

November 17, 2012

Talknowledgy Podcast #107: BB10, Ron Swanson’s Movember video, talking trash with athletes on Twitter, and more

Right off the top of the show we discuss BlackBerry 10, Pinterest brand pages, and Facebook’s rumoured job board.

This week’s “Creepy or Awesome?!” is centred on the recent Twitter outrage when big man Pau Gasol from the NBA Lakers missed the last shot of the game handing the historic club yet another early season loss.

Our YouTube Hero this week is Ron Swanson’s pro-Movember video encouraging men to keep growing their “mos” and raise money for men’s health. It also has some guest appearances from cast members from “The Office”.

Finally, a military sex scandal gets our #Hashtag Fail of the Week. That’s right, the sloppy use of email clients may have lead to the infidelity bust in the David Petraeus scandal.

If you liked the show, feel free to subscribe to this blog or our RSS feed to make sure you’re always up-to-date with Talknowledgy.

February 15, 2012

4 conclusions on Social Media ROI [Video]

This week, I was invited to participate in a unique event put on by VIA Rail and the Fairmont Royal York on the opening day of Social Media Week: Toronto 2012. The event spanned the entire first day of the conference and was focused on discussing the business case for social media:  in other words, the “social media return on investment” (ROI). Social media bloggers from Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Kingston gathered on VIA’s recently restored Glen Fraser Lounge car to debate topics centred around social media, community management, client relationship management, mobile marketing, customer service, and of course ROI.

The “pre-conference” aboard @VIA_Rail ended with a great 2-hour speaker panel and Q&A session at the @FairmontRYH. The speakers included academics, entrepreneurs, C-level executives that were seasoned media, PR, and marketing leaders from both the public and private sectors (learn more about the speakers). Some tried to explain ROI with mathematical formulas, some took the “trust me it works” approach (then asked for the ROI on a toilet), but all of them provided examples of where they saw ROI for their particular brand(s).

After 8 hours of constant talking about social media ROI, I came to a few conclusions (for now) about calculating social media return on investment:

1. Social media ROI is difficult to do properly, but it’s completely doable. There’s no magic formula, or straight-forward way, to calculate social media ROI that applies to each case. The first thing you really need to understand is how social media is used in your industry, then figure out what you want social media to do for you. If your goal is to have  a Facebook page for your business, you have already failed. If you plan to use a Facebook awareness and acquisition campaign to drive traffic to the eCommerce section of your website because you know that customers referred from Facebook are more likely to make a purchase than those referred from Twitter, you’re off to a great start. Those are the outcomes you are looking for.

2. You don’t need to measure EVERYTHING. Once you know what you want to do, you now have to measure your efforts to see if you are working towards achieving those goals. It’s important to find the “right metrics” to demonstrate the effectiveness of your tactics, and, as importantly, to help you make decisions. If you measure everything, and draw no insight, then you wasted time measuring for the sake of measuring.

3. Measuring social media ROI requires a tailored solution. After reading my first two points, you’re probably thinking, “OK, what do I do now?” Well, it’s time for the hard work, so start thinking about your goals. Start answering some of the tough questions. What do I want to achieve? How can social media help me deliver on my business plan? What business function can social media assist with? What are the costs if I don’t engage? What are the costs if I do engage? Do I work for a social organization? What are my competitors doing? If we implemented social media, what would it look like? What is our content creation strategy? How far do we go with content curation vs. creation? How can social media be tied into the DNA of your organization and to your existing business practices? Etc. etc. etc.

The good news is that there are people out there to help us do this. Academics, business leaders, strategists, and entrepreneurs lose sleep about this each night, and many of them are for hire to help organizations thrive using social media. And don’t be shy, most organizations need some level of specialized help with this. One thing that is certain, measuring YOUR social media ROI is not easy, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

4. It’s all about influence. At the end of the day, we as social media participants (including brands) want to be influential. We want to be able to drive consumer behaviour, influence legislation, promote our personal brand, make connections, etc. You can’t do them all, so you need to pick what your want to have influence over, and tailor your social media strategy to achieve that.

The video clip below is just one of the presentations at the Social Media ROI: Myth or Reality evening event at the Royal York. This clip features Dr. James Norrie, who presents his quadratic equation for measuring ROI that revolves around leveraging the power of your “captive community.”

Social Media week is where social media becomes even more social. It is a 5-day conference that takes place in 21 cities around the globe.  Each year, Social Media Week attracts more than 60,000 attendees across thousands of individually organized, and mostly free, events. It’s a great collection of minds, from the casual social media user looking for more information on their newly forming passion, to business and academic leaders who share their latest insights on the future of communication and ROI for business. And, of course, there are a lot of us nerdy bloggers.

December 6, 2011

The (sad) state of social media use in small business [Infographic]

Sure, we can all think of great examples of small businesses using social media to connect with customers in new and engaging ways using social media – I’ve blogged about some of them. But earlier this week I came across the infographic below from the good folks at Socialnomics about the feelings some small businesses have when it comes to the social frontier, and a few things jumped out at me:

1. Almost all of the respondents (88%) indicated that social media does or will have an impact on their business. Though small businesses seems to be aware of the impact, the majority (70%) of them will not be making additional investments in social media next year. So they seem to know what’s going on, but are unable, or unwilling, to leverage it.

2. Where’s Foursquare? Of the 63% who reported that they have a social media footprint, only 6% report report using Foursquare. This past year, Foursquare has been reporting booming growth, and they even have the Foursquare Merchant Platform that is designed specifically to help businesses create, track, and manage their customer outreach and rewards programs.

3. Why are you so LinkedIn? This one baffles me. Small businesses report that they use LinkedIn (48%) more than Twitter (37%) and Foursquare (6%) combined. After being baffled for a moment, I began to think through WHY small business are gravitating towards LinkenIn. Perhaps because it is comfortable, it is one of the most “traditional” forms of social media – it’s an online resume surrounded by professional conversations. They may be after some best practices as there are many B2B conversations and information sharing going on the LinkedIn blog and on-page discussion groups. But when you look further down on the infographic, you will notice that businesses report that the top three uses they have for social media are: brand awareness, lead generation, and customer service….not best practices. This could be an example of the actions of business not being in sync with their goals.

There are plenty of other interesting nuggets of information in this infographic, so take a look and feel free to share what really jumps out at you. I’d also be very interested in some more examples of good social media use in small businesses.

Small-Business-Social-Media-Infographic

April 26, 2011

Social Media for Business – The DOs and DON’Ts [Infographic]

Here’s a great infographic from The Steel Method that features a few very simple, but very valuable, do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media for business.  Before we get to the infographic, I have a few more DOs to add to the list:

Be sure to use multimedia. Photos and video are a great way to vary the way you deliver your message and engage with your audience. You don’t always need to be the one creating the content about your company;  you can share what others have created and posted online if it is on message. I often use the “favourites” option on YouTube to aggregate relevant content to appear on my channel and share it that way.

Promote and cross-promote your social networks. You need to let people know about the social networks you are active in. Promote your official accounts on your website and also on your other social media networks. I am often using Twitter and Facebook to promote new videos on YouTube or new sets on Flickr. Another trick is to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts so they can update each other. Or if you use a tool like HootSuite, you can add LinkedIn, WordPress, and Foursquare into the mix.

Establish a reporting and measurement system. Maybe this is implied in the “create measurable goals” section, but it bears repeating. Be sure to set up a reporting system so you can establish benchmarks and be able to track the progress towards your goals. This lets your executives know that you are on track, and also lets you know if you need to make any changes along the way to achieve your goals.

Now for the infographic:

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