Skip to content

New Facebook Privacy Control….For Updates?

November 13, 2009

When I went to post a link on Facebook I wasn’t expecting this. Facebook has added a new privacy button that let’s you (from you status box) control who is allowed to see your status updates. Options include ‘Everyone’, ‘Friends of Friends’, ‘Only Friends’, and ‘Customize’. Bellow are some screen shots of what this new feature looks like.

 Privacy 1

Privacy 2This may appear as a new way of customizing your status updates, but I can’t help but think that it’s got something to do with Bing’s decision to include public Twitter and Facebook updates as part of its search results. Personally I think that this is a great move on Facebook’s part. Most Facebook users are not aware of their privacy settings and may believe that their updates are private when in fact they are not. In my opinion we could see another ‘Beacon-like’ backlash over a user’s status being available on search without the strict permission of the users. Hopefully this will solve the issue. What do you think? Should status updates and Tweets become public on search pages?

How to Successfully Manage and Implement a Social Media Campaign: Part 2

November 3, 2009

 

0905p68-measuring-tape-lIn the last post we looked at how to successfully start up and implement a social media campaign. The initial stages were identified as Setting Objectives, Listening to Conversations About Your Brand Online, Deciding What Tools to Use, and a few guidelines on How to Engage with Social Media. In this post we will be looking at how you can measure and monitor your social media campaign, as well as highlight some tools that can be used to listen to conversations about your brand online.

 

5. Measuring success

Measuring the success is a must for any social media campaign. By measuring the success of a social media campaign marketers are able to determine not only the degree of success but also what works and what doesn’t work for future reference and adjustment. One problem with measurement is that social media is a tool for engagement and communication and thus it posses a challenge to asses success and in particular convert the results into measurable figures. However that being said there are a few tools and strategies you can use to determine the success of their campaign.

 

A) Start of by determining which objectives you wish to measure, the method of measurement will directly correspond to the goals you wish to measure.

 

B) Once you have determined what objectives you wish to measure you will need to decide how you will measure them. The following are a few tools that marketers may make use of.

 

Measuring Awareness and Exposure

–          To measure awareness look at obvious figures such as page views, video views, amount of fans, followers, and subscribers.

–          Knowing the number of community members involved in brand-related conversations can serve as an indicator of exposure.

 

Measuring Engagement and Satisfaction

–          To measure engagement with content look at the length or number of lines of comments left by fans, ratings, comments, likes and replies. The number of message threads and lines of text within a thread can serve as an indicator of conversation depth.

–          Tools such as Facebook Page Insights and YouTube Insights can offer valuable means of measuring engagement and traffic.

 

Measuring Traffic

–          Page views and traditional website measurement to asses if social media sites are driving traffic to home website.

–          Click through measurement and URL tracking through services such as Bit.ly.

 

6. Measure results against benchmark

Once results have been calculated it is important to compare them to the initial objectives to determine if they are being met. If goals and objectives are not being regularly met then companies need ask themselves why, and then take corrective measures to fix the problem.

 

7. Continue to listen, measure, and monitor online reputation.

To ensure the success of your social media campaign you need to continually measure your success and mark the results against your goals to determine if you are making progress and meeting your targets. By continually listening to conversations you can also determine what topics and issues are generating most conversation amongst your customer base as well as your industry.

 

Tools for listening

  1. Facebook lexicon
  2. Twitter search and twitter monitor
  3. Blog search engine such as Google Blog and Technorati can be used to identify any mentions of UWS in the blogosphere.
  4. Google Alerts: assign keywords for Google to notify you when ever they pop up on the web. This is a good base to start listening and monitoring online conversation.
  5. URL shorteners – used to see how much traffic is being pushed through to your site, as well as where the traffic is coming from, and a few geodemographic statistics.
  6. Google advance search filters.

 

So that’s the end of this two part segment. Again if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, post them in the comments section and I’ll try answer them as soon as possible. Hope this helped.

 

————————————————————————————————-

References

Bernoff, J & Li, C. (2008) Groundswell – winning in a world transformed by social media technologies. United States of America: Harvard Business.

Evans, S (2009) 15 Ways to Measure Return on Engagement (ROE) of Social Media, accessed 16 September 2009. http://prsarahevans.com/2009/05/15-ways-to-measure-return-on-engagement-roe-of-social-media/

Klein, A (2009) Measuring the Success of Social Media Campaigns, accessed 29 September 2009. http://amitklein.com/2009/07/28/measuring-the-success-of-social-media-campaigns/

Parr, B (2009) 5 Tips for Tracking the Conversation Around Your Brand, accessed 15 October 2009. http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/5-tips-for-tracking-the-conversation-around-your-ben-parr

Turner, J (2009) Top 10 Ways to Measure a Social Media Campaign, accessed 17 September 2009, http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2009/09/09/top-10-ways-to-measure-a-social-media-campaign/

How to Successfully Manage and Implement a Social Media Campaign: Part 1

November 3, 2009

question-mark-manCompanies far and wide are currently engaging with social media. It may be to reach their customers online, convert sales, or just establish a presence on the social web. Whatever the reason may be it is important to establish a good social media strategy before jumping in and getting your hands dirty. In this two-part post I will be outlining the most important things to consider when implementing a social media strategy and how to successfully manage it so your customers are rewarded with your online presence.

1. Set objectives

First things first, you need to identify some objectives. To provide a social media campaign with guidance, companies must first establish clear and concise and most importantly measurable objectives. Clear and realistic objectives can provide companies a means to measure the effectiveness of their social media campaign. If there are no objectives how does a company know it is being effective? Objectives for a social media campaign can be anything from raising awareness to changing consumer attitudes towards your brand. Josh Bernoff, author of Groundswell, identifies 5 objectives a company can pursue when engaging with social media:

  1. Listening: to research your industry online and better understand your customer.
  2. Talking: spreading the message about your customer
  3. Energizing: find where you are being talked about most and support and energize this community ( for example Coca Cola found a Facebook page that had a large number of fans and instead of deleting it they employed the administrators and made the page official. http://www.facebook.com/cocacola)
  4. Supporting: create a community where customers can self support each other. (For example the US Army Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/USarmy)
  5. Embracing: use customers to help market your brand in social media by integrating them into your business, including using their help to design your product (for example the Vitamin Water Facebook page, where they asked online fans to help create a new flavour http://www.facebook.com/vitaminwater)

2. Listen to conversations about you online.

Before communicating and engaging with customers, you must first understand the community you are trying to establish communication with. You must also determine where your brand is being talked about, where is the conversation most influential, and how it is being talked about amongst your customers. Your company, or any company for that matter, needs to most importantly identify what kinds of questions are being asked and who it is that is not only asking but also answering these questions. Furthermore by listening, you are finding out the latest trends or buzz, relevant to your industry. Using social media as a listening tool is one of the most critical aspects of online marketing. As such I will be going into more detail about this stage in a separate post.

3. Decide what Tools to Use

Decide on which tools of social media will provide your campaign with the best results. This will be directly dependent however on your goal and strategies as well as your customers. There is no point in using Twitter to reach your customers when your customers are teenagers and chances are they know nothing of Twitter. Likewise if your customers don’t read Blogs or Blog themselves then what are the chances they will read yours?

4. Engaging in Social Media Marketing

A) Rules of Engagement

Don’t expect for customers to automatically engage and follow you on your social media sites. First you have to demonstrate trust, credibility, and value before they choose to publicly support and interact with your brand. You have to earn the respect of your customers.

The guiding factors that successful social media campaigns rely on are:

1. Honesty and Transparency

–         Build trust and credibility first and foremost: brands these days lack credibility especially on social platforms, thus ensure your brand is seen as credible by always being honest about your online intentions

–         Don’t push your message on customers: Never push your brand benefits on consumers. This is a platform for two way conversations so engage in conversations ABOUT your brand with customers. Again check out the US Army Flickr and Facebook Pages, all conversations are about the army experience not about joining (http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/)

–         Build relationships not technologies: as Josh Bernoff stresses in his book ‘Groundswell’, companies must engage and build relationships rather than focusing on the tools and technologies that forge them. Technology will change, relationship building will not.

–         Be transparent in your marketing efforts: Have authenticity. Why is Vin Diesel the number one celebrity on Facebook? The answer is he is authentic. He personally posts his updates, uploads private videos and pictures, interacts with fans on a regular basis, and even goes as far as creating his own content such as music videos and sharing it with his fans. This is engagement and appreciation for customers at its highest (http://www.facebook.com/VinDiesel)

2. Relevance and Value

–         Only post content that is relevant that the community will have interest in. There is no use posting content that nobody in your community cares about.

–         Provide content that delivers value and is timely: It is better to send 4 good messages a week then it is to send out 20 pointless and irrelevant messages. Provide your fans and followers with exclusive content that will reward them for openly supporting your brand (check out the Pringles Facebook Page for examples http://www.facebook.com/Pringles).

–         Upload content that initiates engagement: Collectively excite the community by launching engagement rich content such as quizzes, competitions, discussion threads, etc. Multimedia is the most engaging content for customers.

3. Commitment

–         Maintain a constant presence Make a commitment to building a constant presence on your social media sites. Stay committed to your online customers. Post regular and interesting updates

4. Synergy

–         Provide a link back to home or micro-sites: The company home website should support your social media efforts by providing links to sites (suggested in the form of a social media tab) and RSS feeds.

–         Connect online and offline marketing Try and fuse offline and online marketing efforts by adding a URL link to some of your social media sites on traditional media vehicles such as print or TV.

–         Connect sites to ensure campaign flows Connect your sites together through RSS feeds, widgets, badges, or links. The more your site is able to create a sense of community, the greater the likelihood of generating, retaining, and converting site visitors.

B) Handling negative comments and online consumer backlash

Establishing a company presence in social media runs the risk of receiving negative feedback or mentions from customers. Many companies stay clear of Social Influence Marketing for this very reason. It is important to remember that negative comments are a part of any marketing plan and should not be taken personally, however they should be managed to provide a solution.

  1. Don’t ignore the comments or sweep them under the rug. Rather acknowledge that there is a problem and try find a solution to the problem.
  2. Don’t argue with customers over the problem, rather acknowledge and accept the customer’s problem and suggest a solution
  3. Don’t blame anyone else for problems even if external forces may have caused them.
  4. Attempt to fix these problems in public, this way you can demonstrate confidence, openness to customer insight, and it can turn this into an advantage.
  5. Don’t let comments on your page go unaddressed,
  6. Don’t take it personally. Consider it an advantage that your customer is notifying you about it rather than posting it on online communities.

Let me know if this helped, or comment if you have any questions and feedback. Next post will look at measuring the success of your social media campaign and will identify some tools for listening to conversations about your brand on the social web.

————————————————————————————————–

Resources

Bernoff, J & Li, C. (2008) Groundswell – winning in a world transformed by social media technologies. United States of America: Harvard Business.

Balwani, S (2009) Presenting: 10 of the Smartest Big Brands in Social Media, accessed 16 September 2009, http://mashable.com/2009/02/06/social-media-smartest-brands/

Cohen, S L (2009) 5 Ways Banks are Using Social Media Well, accessed 15 September 2009, http://mashable.com/2009/09/11/banks-social-media/

Friedman, D (2009) The Six ‘C’s of Social Influence Marketing, accessed 28 October 2009. http://chiefmarketer.com/disciplines/online/social_influence_marketing_0421/#

Turner, J (2009) How to Launch a Social Media Campaign: A 10-Step Plan, accessed 8 September 2009, http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2009/08/31/10-step-social-media-action-plan/

Turner, J (2009) How NOT to Run a Social Media Campaign, accessed 8 September 2009, http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2009/08/29/how-not-to-run-a-social-media-campaign-2/

Uhrmacher, A (2009) How to Develop a Social Media Plan for Your Business in 5 Steps, accessed 17 August 2009, http://mashable.com/2008/07/10/how-to-develop-a-social-media-plan/

Advantages of going social…

November 2, 2009

social-media-marketing 

It’s no secret that the biggest thing on the Internet (besides those Kanye West memes) is social media. It seems that everyone is on it, from fake celebrities to real celebrities, athletes to politicians. And why not, these are sites that fuel creativity, help us connect with our friends, entertain us, and allow us to release the little narcissist that exists within us. However the real advantage of social media comes from its use as a marketing and branding tool. This is commonly referred to as Social Influence Marketing. Increasingly marketers are finding a need for social media as an effective tool to communicate with their customer. Yet some companies still struggle to find reason to engage in this new strand of branding, so here are a few reasons to convince any non-believers of the advantages of using Social Influence Marketing (SIM).

 1. Establish a presence in social media

If you are considering entering the social networking scene then chances are that you are already present. Companies don’t have to participate in SIM to have a presence on social media platforms. Chances are there are already conversations about your company or brand happening on these sites at this very moment. So the first and most obvious reason to go social is to establish a brand presence on platforms such as Facebook (that now has over 300 million members). Customers are talking about your brand online you might as well join the conversation. Not only are you engaging directly with your customers and building positive brand relations but it also gives you an opportunity to responds to comments and questions about your brand. Your customers are calling you to join the conversation, are you going to ignore it?

 2. Raise Awareness

By establishing a presence on social media websites companies are automatically increasing their awareness level. I trust none of you need to be told how big the internet is. Well social networking is the biggest thing on the internet at the moment. Just by having a voice and communicating with the people talking about your brand a company is automatically increasing their online awareness. Now you can assume how much awareness levels are raised when a company starts communicating with their online customers on a regular basis, engaging with them through content rich sites such as Flickr and YouTube, and providing a network of support for improved customer service.

 3. Personalized Communications

So we’ve established a need for a presence on social media sites. The conversations that take place on these sites add for another reason for companies to engage with social influence marketing. Think about the term ‘Social Media’. ‘Social’ being the keyword. Social media sites provide companies with a means to take down the corporate barrier that separates the company from its customers and engage in more conversational communications.  Furthermore it breaks down the traditional model of mass media communication and installs a more personal two-way communication model. This plays to the advantage of many companies and brands as it provides them with a means to engage with their customers and build meaningful brand relations, instead of just pushing branded messages onto them through traditional media channels such as TV.

 4. Build Credibility

The two-way communication model mentioned above is one of the most beneficial aspects of social media. For one thing it allows brands to gain back some of the credibility they have lost with today’s consumers. Consumers these days are very reserved about marketing attempts of companies, and why shouldn’t they be? Everyday we are bombarded with millions of advertising messages urging us to buy this or try that. It becomes not only overwhelming and impersonal, but it also creates a lot of mistrust amongst consumers putting them in the old mind frame “what are they trying to sell us now?” It comes as no surprise then that marketers are looking to social media to improve relations. And it does just that. By bringing the messages and communication to mediums customers are comfortable with they automatically become more trusting, and by engaging in honest and most importantly transparent communication, brands are not only improving their credibility but are also improving their customer relations. 

 5. Build meaningful brand experiences

Social media can be used as an effective tool to change consumer attitudes towards your brand. One of the ways social media builds more meaningful brand experiences is through the engagement factor that we mentioned earlier. Customers are more inclined to harbour positive feelings for a brand if the brand engages with them in value building communication. Meaning that brands that provide their customers with valuable content are more likely to create a positive experience. This valuable content usually comes in the form of competitions, videos, photos, exclusive content for fans, or interactive games that look to engage with the customer. Doesn’t matter what it is, the whole point is to use the advantage of the two way communication model of social media to provide customers with valuable and meaningful brand experiences. One of the other ways brands can build meaningful experiences with customers is by providing their customers with a community of like minded individuals. When a customer joins a branded Facebook page or a YouTube channel they are interacting with people who experience the same views, feelings, and opinions about that particular brand. They join a community of brand ambassadors that influence each other and create an environment for sharing, engaging, and appreciating a particular brand. Now, can it get better than that?

 

So there we go we’ve looked at a few reasons how a company may benefit from going social. These are only a few of the benefits that SIM brings, but in my opinion they are amongst the most important. This particular strand of marketing is something never before experienced by companies. A one to one marketing tool that looks to pull rather than push. The tools of social influence marketing may change in the future, but it is important to hang on to the idea of it, for it is set to change marketing and advertising as we know it.

Welcome…

November 1, 2009

Hi internet browsers, bloggers, and social media enthusiasts. I’d like to take a second to welcome you all and introduce you to this blog. Here I will be talking about everything internet, advertising, and marketing related. Marketing campaigns that make me stop and stare. Web 2.0 movements that get me excited. Internet memes that entertain. And Ads that plain old drive me up the wall. These will all receive a mention. So thanks for clicking and I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I will writing them…

Hello world!

October 2, 2009

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.