This is a fairly lighthearted post, but it nevertheless outlines many social media marketing essentials. If your online initiatives are weak in any area, you could be on the wrong track or missing key opportunities.
In the spirit of alliteration, and without further delay, here are the 10 F’s of social media marketing:
- Fact-finding – Competitive intelligence and market research. Know your objectives and where you stand before you begin your social media marketing, even if the picture ain’t that pretty.
- Forethought – Planning, market segmentation, positioning, keyword analysis, social media marketing landscape, etc. “The worst social media marketing advice is just jump in.”
- Functionality – Web site design, navigability, the area above the fold, website widgets, lead capture, etc. Basic, right? Believe me when I tell you that most web sites are dysfunctional.
- Findability – Maximize your use of SEO, SEM and social media marketing.
- Follow-through – Building relationships and converting people into consumers of your content, customers and raving fans. Once you have your plan and your websites are up, this is where most of your social media marketing effort should go.
- Fundamentals – Content, transparency, community, building trust, etc. Brian Kenny at the Harvard Business School says that we can’t connect via social media unless we understand the sociology of social media, which is different from the sociology of traditional media.
- Focus – Cast a wide social media net, but when it comes to expending time and effort, live by the 80/20 rule.
- Followers – Friends. Fans. People who adore your content. You need to love ‘em.
- Facebook – Half a billion people log into Facebook each month, including me. You should probably be on Facebook too.
- Friday – Have fun! Today is Friday, after all. Isn’t it? You can obsess about your social media marketing on Monday.
At the Search and Social Leadership Forum, Veronica Fielding, whose Digital Brand Expressions sponsored the event, presented case studies of several companies that had optimized their web marketing campaigns by creating synergy between search and social.
These projects were very complex and required expert execution. However, less complex ways exist for you and I to realize similar synergies, each of us according to our own levels of expertise, by integrating search and social on personal or company blogs. Here are six easy ways you can integrate search and social on your blogs:
- Content - Post to your blog very frequently. Blogs are social, and they’re content generators. You write; others comment. When you post to your blog, you’re supplying content that attracts both search engines and humans. When you post frequently, your content is fresh. Readers like to find fresh content, and it’s like caviar for Google and other search engines, since searchers crave it.
- Comments – Elicit comments, interact with readers and build your community. Consider making your comments dofollow to increase reader participation. Comments augment content and attract both readers and search engines, just like blog posts. Similarly, frequent comments help even more. Some search engines interpret comments as votes for you and for your authority.
- Followers – Make it easy for visitors to follow and subscribe to your blog. The more people following and reading your blog, the more authority being conferred upon you by your audience and by search engines.
- Widgets – Install Google Friend Connect and other widgets on your blog to increase followers and your perceived authority. Website widgets can help build your following.
- Social – Build relationships with readers on and off your blog. I like to connect on Facebook, Twitter, by phone and face-to-face. Always keep in mind that social media is.. uh social. People who like you and your content will often refer others to you and link to you. Inbound links translate into authority with search engines.
- Search – Fine tune your search engine optimization. You may receive more visitors from search than from social, and search visitors tend to be searching for something you have. The search engines close the loop by sending new visitors who read, comment and follow your blog, helping you all over again with search engine positioning.
I’ve enjoyed our brief visit. Now it’s time for you to subscribe and leave me a comment.
At the Search and Social Leadership Forum, hosted by the Business Development Institute and NYU Midtown and sponsored by Digital Brand Expressions, Julie Sun presented a fascinating MTV Movie Awards case study.
A key part of the MTV strategy was to make it simple for people to join the conversation, especially those people who do not readily share. This was achieved by directly embedding the conversation in the event’s web pages.
The night of the awards, not only did Julie’s MTV team monitor sentiment online, they also looked for breaking news on the ground. Stories were immediately posted online, thereby fueling the enthusiasm and feeding the social media conversation.
Julie also pointed out that MTV’s social media success was due as much to months of preparation as it was to expert execution the night of the event.
There were so many fine speakers at Social Convergence and the Enterprise: Case Studies and Roundtables, hosted by the Business Development Institute, that I didn’t come away with any one favorite. However, I did especially enjoy the fast-paced and data-filled keynote of Brian Kenny, CMCO of the Harvard Business School.
Brian discussed enterprise social media convergence at HBS and presented three other enterprise social media case studies, those of NASA, Intuit and Threadless. He also discussed the state of social media and the direction in which social media is heading.
Rather than attempt to summarize Brian’s keynote speech, which would be too difficult an undertaking, I’ll share with you a few of the points he made that were takeaways for me:
- The Facebook, Twitter and YouTube social media sites are all experiencing tremendous growth, however, it’s Mobile that’s truly exploding with 6B mobile apps to be downloaded in 2010.
- Mobile is the platform of the future. The iPhone is the smartphone of choice, at least at HBS where the iPhone is the de facto standard.
- We can’t connect via social media unless we understand the sociology of social media, which is different from the sociology of traditional media.
- Twitter is the preferred social medium among Forbes Fortune 100 companies.
- Social media enables the enterprise to create communities, leverage existing ones, accelerate message distribution and collect research data via crowdsourcing.
- It’s the marketing function that’s leading the social media revolution.
- The three dimensions of enterprise social media convergence are across functions, audiences and platforms.
There’s no longer any time for your enterprise to sit on the social media fence, and social media marketing late adopters beware!
I ended up finishing 2nd in the competition and creating lots of buzz. Thank you everyone, and a special thanks to Perkett PR for the contest.
Special Facebook Event
I attended my second Business Development Institute event today, Social Convergence and the Enterprise: Case Studies and Roundtables.
What can I say? It rocked. There were top notch speakers, great exhibitors and lots of networking. Thank you Maria Feola and the entire Business Development Institute team for putting this event together.
If Business Development Institute isn’t on your radar, it should be, especially if you work at a large company, are part of an interactive or PR agency, are a business consultant, or you live somewhere in the NYC area.
I’ve already written about the Search and Social Leadership Forum, the BDI event I attended last week. I need some rest tonight, so I plan to write about Social Convergence and the Enterprise in the days to come.
During two of the earlier talks, an increase in share of voice was cited as evidence that the presenters’ social media programs had been successful.
When my turn came to query the panel, I asked whether any formal offline marketing research had been performed to measure the effectiveness of their social media marketing endeavors. Having spent most of my career at Eric Marder Associates, a once preeminent quantitative marketing research firm, I could not let this question go by.
Besides focus groups, no offline marketing research had been done. I was surprised, frankly, that the type of quantitative marketing research I was alluding to, with controlled experimentation, didn’t even seem to be on the radar of the panelists or the audience, especially with many working at big corporations.
When I returned home, I noticed that What You’re Missing By Measuring Social Media ROI Online had been posted by Tom Webster on Brand Savant that very day. I suggest you read it. I can’t yet say whether I agree with every point Tom made, but I can say with certainty that I totally agree with the spirit of his article.
It is only fair to point out that valid marketing research is costly, but how else can we satisfactorily gauge the effectiveness of our large social media marketing initiatives?
I’m going to be a roundtable moderator on Wednesday at Social Convergence and the Enterprise: Case Studies and Roundtables in New York City.
In preparation for the event, here are ten ways to integrate and enhance enterprise social media:
- Legal Department – Engage your legal people in the social media process. Explain your objectives to them, so that they can help you attain them in a compliant manner.
- Employee Guidelines – Establish written social media policies and procedures for employees.
- Using Email – Use email to communicate privately; for public communication with employees, use the company website or blog. Don’t use Facebook or Twitter. Where you possess email addresses for a group of people, such as employees or the media, use email instead of social media because it’s more direct and reaches a higher percentage of people.
- LinkedIn – All managers who interact with the public should have LinkedIn professional profiles that let their publics contact them without the intervention of gatekeepers.
- Social Networks – Internal social networks and wikis can be used to foster teamwork; private external social networks can be used to create community among clients; public social networks, which foster a sense of community, are sometimes appropriate for interacting with customers.
- Linking Out – Build relationships by linking to articles by thought leaders in your industry — even those of your competitors, if feasible. It will help you increase the authority of your websites without relying on buying links.
- Your Blog – Only your corporate blog — not social media sites — can support comprehensive enterprise social media integration. It’s under your control and can be divided into individual sections, each of which communicates with a unique stakeholder group.
- Content - To maximize stickiness on your blog, consider writing regular articles featuring employees, customers, new products, breaking news, etc. Use videos and pictures on your blog to supplement text. Make sure all videos are branded to your company, because they’ll hopefully spread virally throughout the web.
- Facebook and Twitter – FB and Twitter are well-suited to marketing and CRM and may also be effectively used to support investor and media relations. It may be helpful to have more than one Facebook page or Twitter account, with each targeted to a different group of stakeholders.
- Real People – Let real identifiable people represent your company. People relate better to people than they relate to abstract entities like companies.
Social Convergence and the Enterprise will be hosted by the Business Development Institute and New York University in order to discuss the adoption and the integration of social media across the enterprise.
I believe that a few places are still available for this exciting event.
Jordan said that authority is up, i.e., more important, while relevance is down. Content is also more time sensitive as Google pushes for more up-to-date results.
Authority is achieved by means of quality inbound links. Often it’s necessary to purchase these links.
Recency is achieved by frequent blogging and use of social sites.
I personally suggest that while you may strive for greater authority and recency, you shouldn’t neglect relevance. After all, what good is SEO and driving Google traffic to your site if your content isn’t relevant to your visitors?
Advising some 50 to 75 communications and marketing professionals who were attending the event, Tom insisted that planning must come first, and that joining social sites was somewhere around step four.
I personally think it’s unfortunate that bad social media marketing advice is so readily available, and that too many marketers jump into social media marketing without adequate planning or forethought.
“Distributed authorship,” to use Tom’s phrase, has enabled Chief Blogger Jenny Cisney and her team at Kodak to post each and every day without interruption. You must agree, that’s quite an accomplishment! Consistent blogging and social media engagement have kept the conversation going, making every moment a Kodak Moment.
Quoting Tom one last time, “The worst people can say about you is nothing!”
Please do me a favor and say something.
Veronica discussed findability, which as I understand it refers to the ability of a brand and all its associated content to be discovered and interacted with by people. She identified three key forms of findability and likened them to three forms of investment, underscoring their value and illustrating their complementary nature:
- Search Engine Marketing – Paid search results. Like cash, it’s instantly available.
- Search Engine Optimization – Organic search results. Like bonds, they’re for the long term.
- Social Media – Blogs and social media sites. Like the stock market, it’s volatile.
Veronica showcased companies successfully combining all three findability channels to build their web presence. We need use all three forms of outreach and to foster increased interaction and synergy between them. This is findability convergence.
Watch for more in the near future about this event and about the other excellent presenters:
- Julie Sun – Digital Marketing Director, MTV Networks
- Thomas Hoehn – Director, Interactive Marketing and Convergence Media, Eastman Kodak Company
- Jordan Glogau – SEO Enterprise Specialist, 1-800-Flowers
Much thanks to Steve Etzler, Maria Feola and the BDI team for making today’s Search and Social Leadership Forum a big success.
There’s still space available for the next BDI event, Social Convergence and the Enterprise at NYU Midtown on July 21.
One final note: In case you’re new to this blog, we’ve reached the place where readers generally subscribe or leave me a comment.
I learned of a technique called hyper local marketing at the REMarTech real estate marketing symposium back in April.
Why Hyper Local Marketing?
Residential real estate buyers are buying the neighborhood as much as they’re buying the property.
There are many real estate agents competing and selling the same properties, but don’t you think, all other things being equal, that buyers will prefer to purchase their homes through top neighborhood experts who are capable of answering their questions and addressing their concerns?
Hyper local marketing has gained enough traction with real estate agents that solutions providers like Pegshot have started selling agents services tailored to real estate hyper local marketing.
Other Small Businesses Can Benefit from Hyper Local Too
I see an opportunity for small businesses, especially retail or restaurants, to team up with an influential neighborhood real estate agent to create a hyper local marketing sensation.
Small local businesses could pursue a hyper local marketing strategy on their own, but working together as a group with the right real estate agent seems like a powerful idea.