Archive for August, 2011

Social Media Marketing MeasurementRecently, we had the chance to catch up with Nathaniel Perez, global head of social experience at SapientNitro, as part of the research our team conducted for our in-depth eBook on “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing“.  Given Sapient’s experience in the social realm, working with some of the leading companies such as Coca Cola, Foot Locker, Dodge and Dove, we asked Nathaniel to share best practices his firm is seeing with leading brands tying social marketing efforts to ROI relative to increasing the likelihood of a sale.

According to Nathaniel, there are many different ways that you can measure purchase intent – some direct and some indirect. It is very different for an airline vs. a sneaker retailer, and requires an even different approach and measures for a consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand that “doesn’t even have points of distribution that they own.” For example, for a CPG brand that doesn’t have retail locations, one could measure the impact of social media conversations on seasonals. In that case key questions that need to be asked are:

– How is the brand present in the social conversations?

– What is its share of social conversations?

– What was the sentiment shared on these conversations?

– How strong was purchase intent within the conversations?

Measurement can also be tied to metrics that are derived from existing campaigns or programs where the brand is already engaging with consumers – and where consumers may already be buying and using the product.

In cases where direct sales data is not available, brands can use equivalent media value to compare the impact of social marketing on purchase intent and sales. If a brand used direct media or TV advertising, it can arrive at a measurement of the impact on purchase intent by comparing the media value vs. that realized through the social channels. In this case, a brand needs to benchmark each channel used, then measure across them to understand the increased likelihood of purchase from a social investment.

 In the eBook, we recommend the following two measures to help brands in all industries understand their ability to move a “social lead” into a traditional lead:

Social Reach-to-Traditional Lead Ratio: This ratio measures your ability to move social profiles into your traditional marketing funnel over time.

Social Profile-to-Sales Ratio: This indicator helps you track the number of social profiles turned into customers over time. Measure this ratio in the aggregate, as well as by social media platform. This analysis will help you identify the efforts on social media platforms that generate the most return on investment. (For a more detailed explanation of how brands can nurture “social leads” from the Social Funnel into the traditional marketing and sales funnel, please download our free eBook: “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing” (link))

For more direct ways to measure the impact of social marketing on sales, Nathaniel recommends “the good old sampling method for CPG products, or coupons that are offered contextually. Those are practices that, if not abused, are a very effective way to measure how fans within a context – say Facebook – react to a conversation and how that conversation can lead to trial and conversion. And then you can do that in different media, and you can compare the effectiveness of social vs. of, say, online or mailings.”

Nathaniel shares our belief that tying social profiles to traditional CRM systems is going to be the way brands link the direct and indirect impact of social marketing to business ROI. According to Nathaniel “the magic is mining all the traces of public conversation or any kind of public demonstration of opinion or content consumption. Then you start getting the media makeup of your CRM audience in a very vivid way.”

How are you measuring your social marketing efforts?  What direct and indirect measures are you using to tie social marketing to business ROI?  We look forward to your comments, insights and feedback.  Let’s continue the conversation on this blog, Twitter: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook at Awareness, Inc., Social Media Marketing Best Practices and Social Media Marketing Mavens pages, and in LinkedIn Social Media Marketing Mavens Group.

Photo Credit: Used under a creative commons license, via Flickr, by luisillusion photo: Measure

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Erik QualmanEvery couple of months I get together with Erik Qualman for lunch. I really enjoy meeting with him because we talk a lot about social media trends, basketball and what it’s like being a new dad. That picture on the right was taken at one of those meetings and believe it or not, I am not as small as I look in the picture. Erik is actually a pretty tall guy and makes me (I’m about 6′ tall) look pretty small. I was excited to speak with Erik, who many have called the “digital Dale Carnegie,” for our recent eBook, “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing.” In case you don’t know about Erik, he is the author of the #1 best-selling international book “Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business” and the producer of “Social Media Revolution“, the most-watched social media video in the world.

In his work to grow the digital capabilities of companies such as Cadillac, EarthLink, EF Education, Yahoo, Travelzoo and AT&T, Erik has observed that marketers often “expect an immediate result [from an investment in social media marketing], but it’s really a longer-term play.”

Developing relationships is the biggest piece of social marketing. Unlike other forms of media, social channels allow companies and brands to grow word-of-mouth, or highly valuable referrals by other satisfied customers. “Social media is really word of mouth on digital steroids,” he says. The approach is very effective, but it requires a long sales cycle since it “starts with someone who has purchased that product. They’re going to be your best sales advocate for the next person down the line.”

Erik advises clients to understand clearly why they want to invest in social media. The most common pitfall he sees is that people forget to ask the important question, “What does success look like?”.  People charge ahead, under the presumption that the same metrics they use to measure success in other areas – like impressions and click-through rates – will be useful in the social realm. Although some of the traditional marketing metrics apply to social, what companies need to keep an eye on, Erik shares, is their digital influence over time.

A lot of companies complain that they don’t have time for social media… that there’s just too much information coming in. “That’s a nice problem to have. People actually care enough to want to connect with you. If you don’t have time for social, then you are essentially saying that you don’t have time to listen to your customers – which wouldn’t be prudent,” advises Qualman. As you listen to customers, it should become clear that content can’t be approached with a “cookie-cutter” mindset. Content is contextual; it has to resonate with your customers. It’s not about how many times you post in a day; it’s about the quality of your content. “If you have to think for more than three seconds if it’s valuable, it probably isn’t, so don’t post it,” he says.

In our eBook “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing“, we recommend the following four measures to help companies focus in on their social marketing content strategy:

– Content-to-Contact Ratio: This ratio gauges companies’ ability to publish engaging content that helps them generate new social profiles or “social leads”. The Content-to-Contact Ratio allows companies to measure the lead generation effectiveness of content and helps focus content efforts for an increased return on sales.

– Comments-to-Content Ratio: This measure allows companies to understand the effectiveness of specific content campaigns.

– Comments-to-Profile Ratio: This ratio measures a company’s ability to connect with its social profiles over time. The more comments from existing profiles, the higher the likelihood that the brand will stay top-of-mind and be considered when the customer is ready to buy.

– Content-to-Share Ratio This ratio gauges your content’s ability to travel beyond your Social Reach. The higher the engagement, the greater the probability that your content will be shared within your profiles’ social graph, driving new social prospects for your brand and products.

To determine how to allocate resources to social media marketing, Erik recommends a customer-centric approach: meet with the top 20 to 50 customers to ask them what they buy from your company and why. “There will always be a general theme,” he says, and once you understand how you are currently serving the needs of your top customers, you can use that as a framework for resource allocation. “All the companies embracing the social change are starting to look internally as well,” he says. “They start with one center of expertise to manage social media”.

Ultimately, companies need to enable the entire organization to be engaged with social media in a “honeycomb approach, where every employee should be able to help the customer,” says Erik. Social media marketing is not an initiative that can be “isolated to the public relations department or the marketing department or the customer service department.” In the long-term, Erik advises, companies need to understand that social media “touches every aspect of the business. “The question in every meeting should be: What is the social media component of this initiative?’”

How are you allocating resources to social media marketing? What metrics are you using to drive your content strategy? What are you doing to listen to customers? We look forward to your comments, insights and feedback.

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Erik QualmanEvery couple of months I get together with Erik Qualman for lunch. I really enjoy meeting with him because we talk a lot about social media trends, basketball and what it’s like being a new dad. That picture on the right was taken at one of those meetings and believe it or not, I am not as small as I look in the picture. Erik is actually a pretty tall guy and makes me (I’m about 6′ tall) look pretty small. I was excited to speak with Erik, who many have called the “digital Dale Carnegie,” for our recent eBook, “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing.” In case you don’t know about Erik, he is the author of the #1 best-selling international book “Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business” and the producer of “Social Media Revolution“, the most-watched social media video in the world.

In his work to grow the digital capabilities of companies such as Cadillac, EarthLink, EF Education, Yahoo, Travelzoo and AT&T, Erik has observed that marketers often “expect an immediate result [from an investment in social media marketing], but it’s really a longer-term play.”

Developing relationships is the biggest piece of social marketing. Unlike other forms of media, social channels allow companies and brands to grow word-of-mouth, or highly valuable referrals by other satisfied customers. “Social media is really word of mouth on digital steroids,” he says. The approach is very effective, but it requires a long sales cycle since it “starts with someone who has purchased that product. They’re going to be your best sales advocate for the next person down the line.”

Erik advises clients to understand clearly why they want to invest in social media. The most common pitfall he sees is that people forget to ask the important question, “What does success look like?”.  People charge ahead, under the presumption that the same metrics they use to measure success in other areas – like impressions and click-through rates – will be useful in the social realm. Although some of the traditional marketing metrics apply to social, what companies need to keep an eye on, Erik shares, is their digital influence over time.

A lot of companies complain that they don’t have time for social media… that there’s just too much information coming in. “That’s a nice problem to have. People actually care enough to want to connect with you. If you don’t have time for social, then you are essentially saying that you don’t have time to listen to your customers – which wouldn’t be prudent,” advises Qualman. As you listen to customers, it should become clear that content can’t be approached with a “cookie-cutter” mindset. Content is contextual; it has to resonate with your customers. It’s not about how many times you post in a day; it’s about the quality of your content. “If you have to think for more than three seconds if it’s valuable, it probably isn’t, so don’t post it,” he says.

In our eBook “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing“, we recommend the following four measures to help companies focus in on their social marketing content strategy:

– Content-to-Contact Ratio: This ratio gauges companies’ ability to publish engaging content that helps them generate new social profiles or “social leads”. The Content-to-Contact Ratio allows companies to measure the lead generation effectiveness of content and helps focus content efforts for an increased return on sales.

– Comments-to-Content Ratio: This measure allows companies to understand the effectiveness of specific content campaigns.

– Comments-to-Profile Ratio: This ratio measures a company’s ability to connect with its social profiles over time. The more comments from existing profiles, the higher the likelihood that the brand will stay top-of-mind and be considered when the customer is ready to buy.

– Content-to-Share Ratio This ratio gauges your content’s ability to travel beyond your Social Reach. The higher the engagement, the greater the probability that your content will be shared within your profiles’ social graph, driving new social prospects for your brand and products.

To determine how to allocate resources to social media marketing, Erik recommends a customer-centric approach: meet with the top 20 to 50 customers to ask them what they buy from your company and why. “There will always be a general theme,” he says, and once you understand how you are currently serving the needs of your top customers, you can use that as a framework for resource allocation. “All the companies embracing the social change are starting to look internally as well,” he says. “They start with one center of expertise to manage social media”.

Ultimately, companies need to enable the entire organization to be engaged with social media in a “honeycomb approach, where every employee should be able to help the customer,” says Erik. Social media marketing is not an initiative that can be “isolated to the public relations department or the marketing department or the customer service department.” In the long-term, Erik advises, companies need to understand that social media “touches every aspect of the business. “The question in every meeting should be: What is the social media component of this initiative?’”

How are you allocating resources to social media marketing? What metrics are you using to drive your content strategy? What are you doing to listen to customers? We look forward to your comments, insights and feedback.

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Dialogkonferansen 2011 Any chance you are in Sweden tomorrow?  If so, I hope you have some time to swing by the Dialog Conference.  I’ll be running a workshop on Tuesday called Social Media Planning and Integration.  Here is the description of the session:

Case: Social Media Planning & Integration 
 Lær:
– Exercise: Your Social Media IQ Benchmark your social media IQ and engage in a discussion with the class on how to get to the next level
Defining your Content Strategy Building out a multi-channel content plan that aligns with your audience(s) and objective(s)
Social Media Best Practices A core set of best practices is outlined using case studies and examples

Michael var tidligere Manager, Partner Marketing at RightNow Technologies og President, Business Marketing Association, Boston. Han har også arbeidet som Vice President of Marketing, Salesnet og Director of Marketing, StreamServe.  Awareness har i nesten 10 år utviklet og solgt social media marketing software til noen av verdens største merkevarer og byråer, som Sony, McDonalds, Best Buy, Hershey’s og Air Miles.

I’m not 100% sure what that says BUT what I do know is I’ll be helping the companies in the room benchmark their social media efforts and helping them define best practices.  I’m also excited to have Jonas Nielsen presenting a detailed case study on how Carlsberg handles their international social media presence.
 
I spent a lot of time in Sweden while working for StreamServe a few years back and I have not had the opportunity to go back until now, so I a particularly excited about this conference.
 
Hope you can join Jonas and I next week at the Strømstad Spa Resort in Sweden!

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From UberSuper

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Social Media Marketing by the Numbers.  Infographic via Mashable