Tag Archives: social media program

What does viral marketing look like?

When mixing marketing and social media you never really know what you’re going to get. The response look like just another drop in the ocean or as overwhelming as a tsunami.

I came across the video below at Jason Keath’s blog, the evolution of media, in a post that compared dancing to viral marketing. How does a dancing man at a concert relate to viral marketing? Well, you’ll just have to watch to find out.

Keath sums it up perfectly in his post:

The lesson? Be remarkable and passionate about what you do. If it is genuine, others will watch, some will join in, and the movement will grow.

Challenge #1: Proving the ROI of social media

As marketers, we’re under constant pressure to prove that our tactics are working. In order to show that what we’re doing is effective, we need numbers – cold, hard, measurable numbers to back up a high return on investment.

Unfortunately, when it comes to social media, finding those measurable numbers can be  quite challenging.

Marketers cited the “inability to measure ROI” as one of the largest barriers to adopting social media tactics by their company, according to MarketingSherpa research.

“This barrier is more of a perception than a reality because social media often requires qualitative measurement rather than the quantitative metrics that online marketers have become accustomed to,” say the Sherpas.

In order to measure ROI, you need two numbers: an investment cost and income returned. The easier you can find these two factors, the easier it is to measure your tactic and show that what you’re doing is working (or not).

MarketingSherpa’s most recent Chart of the Week reveals the social media tactics marketers find to be the most accurately measurable.

Proving the ROI of social media

Proving the ROI of social media

The top three most measurable tactics include advertising on blogs or social networks, online news release distribution and user reviews or ratings.

Instead of throwing out the bottom tactics – forums or discussion groups, blogging on a company blog, creating profiles on social networks – the Sherpas suggest factoring in more qualitative values into your perceived ROI.

“Those who don’t include qualitative factors in the planning of their social media programs may find themselves employing much less effective tactics, simply for the sake of perceived measurability, resulting in a loss of confidence in performance.”

They’re talking about you, like it or not

I ran across some great advice today at the B2B Marketing Blog that needed to be passed along. In today’s post, Brian Courtney delivers some wise words:

“People will be talking about your brand with or without you. You may as well take part in the conversation.”

And he warns that there’s a new type of ROI out there – the Risk Of Ignoring.

Even if you thing you’re doing it wrong, just being a part of social media is the right way to go.

Read the full B2B Marketing Blog post.

Signs of what’s to come? Marketers plan to increase social media spending

Despite the economic recession and marketing budgets being slashed to pieces, almost every social media marketer (95%) plans to maintain or increase social media spending.

Forrester researcher Jeremiah Owyang recently released his study called “Social Media Playtime Is Over,” based on a survey from December of 2008.

Marketers will increase social media spending

Marketers will increase social media spending

Some of his key findings reveal that:

  • More than 50% of interactive marketers plan increases in their social technology spending. Only 5% plan to cut spending.
  • The fastest growing categories include social networking, blogging and user-generated content.
  • Social media spending is small compared to other types of marketing efforts. While the marketers surveyed came from companies with at least 250 people, 75% are still spending $100,000 or less on social technology efforts.

From the report’s executive summary:

These inexpensive tools can quickly get marketing messages out through interactive discussion and rapid word of mouth, and properly managed, can deliver measurable results.

Though you may not have someone in your organization with the title of ‘Social Media Marketer’, the study shows that social media is a strong marketing investment, even when our economy is in the dumps.

Like the report says “Social Media Playtime Is Over,” it’s time to get serious.

Is your company planning to increase spending on social media efforts? Why, why not?

Social media and B2B, more evidence it’s a good mix

Social media has pulled ahead of email as the most popular online activity, according to the latest research from Neilsen Online.

More than two-thirds (67%) of the world’s online population visits social networks and blogs, making participation in “member communities” the fourth most popular activity online.

Social media more popular that email

Social media more popular that email

Activity on social networks and blogs ranks fourth behind search, portals and PC software, but has moved higher than personal email use.

Social networking and blogging now account for nearly 10% of all time spent on the internet and have “become a fundamental part of the global online experience,” said John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online. “While two-thirds of the global online population already accesses member community sites, their vigorous adoption and the migration of time show no signs of slowing. Social networking will continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large. This study explains why.”

This isn’t evidence that email marketing has become ineffective, it depends on what works for your business. What the research does show is that whether your B2B or B2C, more of your customers are active in social networks and are reading blogs.

Your customers are using social media and so should you.

How to set company standards for response in social media

One of the biggest fears companies have when it comes to getting started in social media is how customers will respond to your presence and how to control the communication coming from your organization.

A simple way to ease the fear of handling customer responses is to come up with a plan.

The U.S. Air Force is an organization that is taking social media very seriously. To help their Emerging Technology Division know how to handle comments, they created this detailed chart.

How to set company standards for response in social media

How to set company standards for response in social media

By answering a series of yes-or-no questions, those within the organization can determine exactly how they should approach each comment posted within their social networks.

Using a chart like this ensures that everyone involved in your organization’s social media efforts will know the correct way to respond to your audience.

If your company has been hesitant to join social media out of a fear of losing control, you can ease some of those fears by setting standards for communication, like the Air Force’s chart.

Visit Global Nerdy if you would like to download a full-size PDF version of the poster.

What do you think of this chart? Does your organization have a “standard operating procedure” for handling communication in social media?

Mixing social media and B2B, it can be done

Think your B2B products are too technical for social media? Don’t think B2B buyers would participate?

One company is proving that social media and B2B can work together to achieve greatness.

IBM recently found success using social media marketing tools to create buzz around an otherwise “dry” technology product.

The campaign was targeted at a few hundred thousand IT professionals to inform them of their latest product that aids developer collaboration.

They created a character named Mr. Fong, and sent him off into space. Mr. Fong must now try to use every available tool to reconnect with his team.

Users can follow Mr. Fong’s progress via YouTube videos, video email messages, Facebook and MySpace profiles and a Twitter account. The central focus of the campaign is at the website www.connectmrfong.com.

Mixing social media and B2B

Mixing social media and B2B

In the past, IBM’s marketing team would have used a direct mail campaign to target potential customers. Today, the team is using a variety of online tactics in their marketing mix.

IBM has found the video email introduction to the campaign to be one of the most successful tactics. Email open rates are at 20% with 3.4% click-through rates over the past 11 weeks, according to Adweek.

Visit www.connectmrfong.com for ideas on how to leverage the power of social media to promote a seemingly “dry” product of your own.