Posted tagged ‘social media marketing’

Social Media – It isn’t news

September 8, 2011

I attended a presentation last night at the University of Chicago Marketing Round Table.  The presenter, Jonathan Salem Baskin, made some interesting points about social media that I wanted to share.

He recently wrote a book where he traces social media throughout history.  With many major technology innovations in the past, our ability to connect with others has increased.  The social media concept isn’t new (he gave some great examples in history – the telegraph, the radio, the telephone, television, expressways built in the 50’s – all things that allowed us to connect with others in a new way).   Facebook and Twitter were the most recent examples.  And there will be others in the future that we can’t correctly predict now.  Technology innovations will always be developed to help us connect better with others.  In other words, technology change is a constant. 

While I didn’t agree with everything he said, I do think the part of his discussion that was impactful was the reminder that since technology changes will always be there, we should be focused more on the messages we give to our customers and less on the technology

We need purpose driven content – something that is meaningful to our audience. 

We need to consider who we are targeting and how they want to hear from us.  Finding your most receptive audiences and have a conversation with them if it will enhance the relationship.  If not, do not waste their time.

And I would add that if you are delivering a stellar product or service and doing it in a way that provides awesome customer service; your customer will reward you.  Great marketing – social or traditional – cannot make up for a bad product or bad service.


Customer Control and Social Media

May 5, 2011

Peter Kim from the Dachus Group (formerly with Forrester and also a UPenn alum) is a long time writer and consultant about social media.  I subscribe to his posts and want to reprint one for you in its entirety today.  I think this presents a truly balanced perspective on the amount of power consumers have through social media.  The perception is that they have a ton of power.  But the reality is that when the decision makes sense for a corporation, the corporation will make the changes requested by the consumer.  But when the change will not make sense or will not pay out in the long run, the corporation is unlikely to make the change.  And for business, that does make dollars and sense.

Here is Peter’s Post:

Customers aren’t in control.

At least not in the way that the social media cliche would have you believe.

I was on an Alaska Airlines flight last week from Austin to San Jose. This route is nicknamed “the nerd bird.” However, Alaska announced that it would be canceling the route in May. While we were boarding, a passenger was lamenting its demise to a flight attendant. She told him that another frequent flyer had been on a mission collecting comment cards from the in-flight magazine to stage a write-in campaign to save the route.

Which reminds me of another write-in campaign that was once touted a feel-good best practice example of the POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA. As background, I disclose that I’m no stranger to being on the business end of multiple write-in campaigns. I’ve heard an earful about chimpanzee exploitation, racist reggae artists, and sexually suggestive advertising. But that was before social media – faxes, phone calls, and email are all one-to-one communication. Today, detractors can voice their displeasure publicly and incite others more quickly to their cause; examples like Comcast Must Die abound. The apparent takeaway for brands: customers are in control whether you like it or not.

 In 2006, US television network CBS piloted a new show called “Jericho.” It was a tale about a small town in middle America and nuclear holocaust, with plot driven by the principles having a lack of information. CBS programming executives had all the information they needed, watching show ratings drop like a bomb. The show was cancelled. That was when social media swung into action.

CBS is nutsJericho fanatics started a write-in campaign to save their show. But they took it a step further. In the show’s final episode, a protagonist utters the rallying cry “nuts!” before heading into battle. Jericho enthusiasts embraced the idea and decided to send nuts to CBS President Nina Tassler. 40 tons of nuts. Finally, the network makes the decision to bring Jericho back for another season and tells fans, “P.S. Please stop sending us nuts.

The story is described as a victory of social media. Power to the people! Consumers are in control!

But that’s not where the story ends. Jericho came back to TV – but no one was watching. Ratings were worse than when the show went off the air. Without ratings, a network can’t drive advertising revenue – and fans aren’t enough to offset a lack of corporate sponsorship. Jericho was cancelled again and finally put to rest. People rarely tell the part of the story where social media is proven wrong and that’s important to understand.

It’s true that consumers vote with their dollars. Social media can also generate business results when used properly. Plenty of opportunities exist for applying new thinking to content, operations, viewer engagement, commercial support, cross-platform integration, and elsewhere. It’s dangerous to rely on blanket statements from the early days of social media to today’s social business operating environment.

Pete Blackshaw of Nestle offers great advice regarding customers in control:

The overheated rhetoric acts as a deceptive rationalization. We marketers have far more control than we let on. We buy the media, make the product, write the message, pick the messaging platform, select the suppliers, and hire the employees who ultimately do all the above.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen to the Alaska Airlines route, but it’ll most likely go away as scheduled. I doubt loyalists think strategically about the decision – passenger loads, fuel costs, competition from Southwest, better yield on Hawaii flights – before beating their social and traditional media drums in complaint.

Organizations must have process and policy in place to deal with detractors (individuals and groups) rather than using a blanket approach based on the wisdom of the crowd – or lack thereof. And confidence that control is best shared in carefully measured cases.”

Stop Wasting Time With Social Media

June 3, 2010

I saw this article reprinted by HubSpot and wanted to share it with you verbatim.  This is what I have been saying all along about social media marketing.  You need to make money or get leads from a social media tactic or you discontinue using it.

The article “Stop Wasting Time With Social Media” is written by Dan Schawbel, the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, and author of the Personal Branding Blog, The 2nd edition of his book Me 2.0, will be released October 5th.

“A lot of people are surprised that their thousands of followers on Twitter aren’t converting into leads, but I’m not. Ever since departing my social media job and starting my own company, Millennial Branding, LLC, I’ve been focusing on monetization. Basically, figuring out which platforms actually convert into cash, and which do not. The issue that people seem to have is where to invest their time, and depending on your goal and what’s working for you, you should allocate accordingly. If you aren’t seeing results in six months using a tool, then you might want to rethink your strategy, and how much manpower you put behind the tool. Aside from starting a company, I read the Inbound Marketing book by Brian and Dharmesh, which has inspired me to rethink lead generation. For instance, I used to spend two hours a day on Twitter, yet it didn’t result in enough opportunities to prove its marketing value.

Email vs Social Networks vs Blogs

Here is a breakdown of the significance of each platform as it relates to generating leads for your business. An email subscriber is worth more than a blog subscriber, which is worth more than a social network follower. This hierarchy isn’t changing anytime soon.

  1. Email: An email contact is worth approximately $948, as noted in an IBM study. The loyalty of a single email contact is stronger than any social media follower (unless Oprah followers you) because users are not only opting in, but providing you personal data that they might not submit elsewhere. Typically, the exchange is a name and an email address for access to free material, and a possible lead for the company. I’ve been noticing that despite the advent of social networking, 71% of marketers believe that email will be more important this year. Email, if done right, is targeted, personal, and directs subscribers to other websites, including your own. You’ve also noticed that when someone sends you a Facebook message or adds you as a contact on LinkedIn, you still receive email notifications.
  2. Blogs: A blog’s value is much different than other platforms because of different benefits. The benefits you’ll have from blogging include: ranking high in search engines, becoming a voice in your industry, having a community of users that can support your future growth, having something in common with 200 million bloggers (networking), and building a list of subscribers engage your content. Subscribing to a blog takes two clicks, which is faster than it takes to sign-up for an email newsletter. This means that blog subscribers are less valuable than email subscribers, but are more valuable than social network followers. A social network follower only has to click one button to read your content, while a blog has two.
  3. Social networks: I’m willing to bet that a lot of your Twitter followers are people you’ve never met before. I’d also like to wager that your followers don’t receive most of your tweets or Facebook status updates. They are simply following too many users to read all of your material, so it falls into the social media “black hole” (and the Library of Congress). For this reason, it is reported that a social network contact is worth a mere $3.50. Social networks are not marketing platforms, which means you have to start using them differently. Build relationships on social networks on a one-to-one basis and you’ll be more successful.

Marketing Takeaway

I’m not saying that you should stop using tools that you enjoy using. I’m trying to get you to think of how much time you’re allocating to participating in each community, with growing your business in mind. There’s a reason why the top bloggers have email newsletters, in addition to their posts. It’s because they realize what’s more valuable and they’re making the investment to get a larger return. If you’re smart, you’ll invest in an email newsletter, and then leverage your current platform to convert your viewers into subscribers. This way, you’ll have a strong list of people, who would potentially do business with you.”