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Content RulesI had the chance to connect with C.C. Chapman (@cc-chapman on Twitter), the co-author of Content Rules, and a sought-after marketing strategist, to get the latest and greatest in the world of social marketing.  C.C.’s strategic consulting encompasses work for some of the most admired brands, such as American Eagle Outfitters, Coca-Cola, HBO, and Warner Bros.

It was great to hear C.C. confirm that brands are “finally starting to wake up to the fact that they need to do something about social.” Where he sees a lot of them falling short is “diving in head first” or, what he calls “shiny toy syndrome.”  A lot of brands are still not thinking strategically and are “chasing whatever the hot tool of the week is.” C.C. reminded me that social and content need to integrate with all aspects of a company’s business – from customer service to sales.  “If you’re not integrating it, if you’re just trying to snap it on like a Lego and hoping that it’s magically going to work, it’s going to fail,” he says.

Rather than repeating some of the mistakes of their predecessors, C.C. suggests that today’s marketers can learn from the best when approaching social marketing. The top leaders setting the social agenda and the best practices for C.C. are Ford, HBO, and Cisco.

Ford is his favorite, as the company has embraced social in every aspect of its business.  Ford is active in almost all social media channels one can think of – not just using each social network as a single destination point, but tailoring its presence based on the passion points of fans.  For example, Ford has multiple Facebook Fan pages for some of its marquee brands, such as Ford Mustang, which has close to 1.7 million fans; Ford Focus with over 300,000 fans; and Ford Racing, which has over 125,000 fans and counting. “They’re a massive company, but it wasn’t overnight that they magically embraced social”, points out C.C. Ford’s team, led by industry legend Scott Monty, has been following a long-term strategy, which is “really the only way to be successful,” adds C.C.

Similarly, HBO has been integrating social into every aspect of its company – touting close to 4.5 million fans on Facebook in the United States alone. The company makes use of subtle things, such as adding a hashtag to the opening credits of its shows and to its HBOGo app, which allows its millions fans to watch their favorite HBO programming on the go – via iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

C.C. also sees a lot of big brands being truly creative with their marketing campaigns (now increasingly social in nature). He really likes Gap’s new jeans video campaign – the Pico Creative Loft series that tell the story of the company’s 1969 jeans brand in a documentary format (here’s a peek at one of the videos from the campaign). And before any of you skeptics out there can say that social marketing is better suited for end consumer brands, C.C. is quick to point to Cisco – a company that C.C. always brings up as a great example of how such a company can use social media effectively because “they do it better than anybody – they’ve really got social down pat.” The company uses video and humor (watch its 100th episode Cisco Unified Computing Celebration here). Cisco’s secret to marketing success? It knows its target market and know how to win them over, says C.C.

Success in social marketing comes with setting specific goals from the get-go, C.C. says.  He always advises companies to start with the end objective in mind. “Is it more views, more email sign-ups, sales, donations? Work back from there.” Specific outcomes work best. Increasing the number of views is not enough, but increasing the number of pages views by 10 percent is a very actionable goal that marketers can meaningfully pursue, he points out.  Besides such concrete metrics, C.C. says companies need to monitor what is being said about them and measure how engaged current followers are, in addition to tracking the number of people following a brand’s Fan page or reading a company’s blog. C.C. is also a believer in the power of online influencers – those who have the clout to make or break a product.  But he is also the first to tell you that companies need to know their customers first and foremost and go after channels and content that are engaging for them on their terms.

C.C. shared our enthusiasm at Awareness for the potential of integrating social media management platforms with CRM systems, as “the more information you have about customers, about the industry, about everything, the smarter business you can be.” He adds that “it’s all about relationships.”

His parting words for today’s Chief Marketing Officers serious about social? “Don’t create a separate social department.” When companies allocate social resources, they need to integrate them directly into their marketing, PR, and customer service – the first three areas that, according to C.C., have to be integrated with social. He then goes on to advise newcomers to social marketing to start small, but “make social an aspect of everything your company does, making it easy for people to talk about and share your campaigns.” Finally, empower your customer service department to listen, respond, and interact with customers over social channels. Success with social marketing comes from “empowering and training your people to be able to use social channels and to know that they’re ok to do it.”

In case you missed it, here is a webinar we recorded with C.C. and his Content Rules Co-Author, Ann Handley:

As always, we invite you to share your social success stories and your reactions to the insights and advice provided by C.C. Do you empower all of your employees to interact with customers across your social channels?  How do you ensure that employees are trained about both the risks and rewards of being a more social, open, and transparent enterprise?

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As part of our series on social marketing for business, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with my friend Dave Kerpen, CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, one of Awareness’ agency partners.  Dave and hisDave Kerpen team are at the forefront of social marketing, helping out some of the leading brands in the country such as Verizon FiOS, 1-800 Flowers.com, Neutrogena, Uno Chicago Grill, The Pampered Chef, and Heineken.  We have worked together on a few accounts and I continue to learn from what he and his team are doing and I wanted to share some of that knowledge with you.

Before I jump to the interview I had with Dave, I wanted to share some quick thoughts about his new book, “Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook and other social networks.”  As a marketer in the social media space I get the opportunity to read a lot of books that come at social media from a ton of different perspectives.  Dave put together a book that is both clearly written and uses actual examples of his work at Likeable to illustrate key points.  I find most books in the space to be theoretical in nature while Dave’s was very practical.  Not only does he use excellent examples but he also gives exercises at the end of each chapter to reinforce topics.  It’s a book that I recommend to customers and individuals interested in learning more about the spac and if you haven’t had the chance to read it, click the link aboove to buy a copy or drop me a note at mlewis-at-awarenessnetworks-dot-com and I would be happy to ship a copy to you (just put “Likeable Book” in the subject line and include your address). 

Now, to the interview. 

I asked Dave what advice he gives clients who want to impact their marketing success with social and how they can best incorporate social marketing to drive business results and ROI.  Dave advises brands to embrace social marketing as part of their company DNA, as “social media impacts all aspects of a business — from PR and marketing and communications to sales and operations”. There is no doubt, Dave says, that there are various business metrics to determine the impact of social media, but the most important metrics are “overall sales along with frequency of purchase.”  Next to that, companies are advised to measure customer loyalty via industry-established metrics such as the Net Promoter Score, a key metric ingrained into successful social businesses such as BzzAgent, which calculates the likelihood that your products or services will be recommended to others.

Ultimately, social media can be used to drive brand awareness and increase loyalty and sales, but Likeable’s philosophy is to “take people from community to customer.” Dave elaborates by saying that “we don’t ever try to drive sales until we’ve developed relationships with our prospects through communities on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks.”

Wondering where the beginnings of a relationship start? Dave says it all begins with a like on Facebook or a follow on Twitter, then comes the cultivation part.  Relationships are cultivated through content and multiple points of interaction. His next piece of advice, which he shares in the last chapter of “Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook and other social networks,” is “don’t sell, just make it easier for customers to buy.”  He has seen time and again that when prospects are in need, and brands have a good relationship with them already, prospects self-select the brand they know and respect. Here’s how building relationship paid off for one of Dave’s clients, Omaha Steaks.

Omaha Steaks is a longtime family-owned business that sells steaks and other gourmet foods. They found that by building a vibrant community on Facebook and sharing lots of interesting content, including content that was not related to steaks, they were able to develop meaningful relationships and deeper “Social Reach” for the brand (to learn more about Social Reach and how to grow it, download the latest Awareness eBook, The Social Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing) that paid off in increased sales for Omaha products over time.  Dave and his crew helped the brand develop “Table Talk,” a food-related daily conversational feature.  Because of its great educational content, “Table Talk” attracted lots of people who joined that conversation. With such high engagement, lots of Omaha Steaks customers saw Omaha Steaks at the top of their news feed on Facebook, which often led to more purchases from existing customers. “It wasn’t that they tried to sell more,” shares Dave. “Omaha Steaks appeared at the top of people’s news feeds more; therefore, they increased their top-of-mind share. If I see them on my newsfeed on Facebook, I’m much more likely to think, ‘I could use a steak right now’ and order it.”

When it comes to compelling content, Dave shares that multimedia content, such as photos, videos, and links work best in the social realm. Questions are also very impactful “because questions call for an answer whereas statements don’t.” Dave is also quick to point out that brands’ content approach cannot be formulaic – it does depend on the specific type of company and the goals they are trying to impact with social marketing. The specific type of content really does depend on the specific company.

I always ask marketing experts what their advice is for today’s Chief Marketing Offer who is about to embark on their social marketing path. Dave’s first point is to start out by conducting a listening program followed by building a cross-functional strategy that “doesn’t just take into account marketing or advertising, but all of the customer-facing channels and departments.” Next, he suggests brands allocate a sizeable portion of their overall marketing to the social realm – a minimum 10% of a brand’s total marketing budget. He also points out that social marketing is equally as important for brands in the B2B space as it is for brands in the end consumer space. “Businesses don’t make decisions; it is people who make decisions,” he comments.

We are always curious to hear from our friends, followers, and customers – what are your experiences with social marketing?  How do you plan, allocate resources, and measure your efforts?  What campaigns have driven the most success for you and why?

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The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic
Source: The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic

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Six Tenets of Social BehaviorOne of the aspects I enjoy most about my job at Awareness is the ability to hear and share insights about the future of social marketing and to connect with inspiring thought leaders such as Errol Apostolopoulos, head of innovation at Optaros, an e-commerce solution provider focused on innovated experiences for leading retailers and brands such as Rue La La, Puma, and Macy’s. Optaros is focused on social commerce innovations that create new closed-loop experience for increased revenues, along with back-office enablement of services to improve product information and management efficiencies.

On the social innovation front, Errol and his team spend a lot of time helping leading brands and retailers tap into social connections to drive new business. I chatted with Errol on the lessons learned from his work and the emerging best practices in social commerce that transcend the boundaries of commerce and can be applied to all social marketing efforts and industries.

The Three Pillars

Errol started by sharing his philosophy on what makes social marketing successful. In his view, there are three pillars to a full social strategy:

1. Social marketing activities that drive product awareness and traffic;

2. Conversion best practices using tools and tactics along your product catalog experience, such as rating and reviews, that support the consideration stage during the buying cycle; and

3. Social commerce, which is a new way of shopping that takes the social context into account from the get-go.  “Private sales have no search button; it’s a browsing experience that’s built on a time-based  group behavior, exclusive to a shopping club,” explains Errol.

Social Commerce and the Social Internet

Social Commerce and the Social InternetThis entirely new buying experience is built on a social business model. “There is no SEO, there is not the traditional customer acquisition strategy,” he said. It’s all done through viral advocacy and incentives that are driven by the customer membership. Enter the age of the “Second internet, or the social internet.” What Errol is referring to is the “evolution of the awareness that people are interconnected now.” This power can be utilized to do many things. It’s no longer an individual browsing or shopping experience. At first, the Internet gave us the power to research, where Google was the prominent player. It was about the individual researching and getting information, the individual finding out what to buy. To a certain degree, this first push was driven by “the convenience and wealth of information that I now have access to.” This new social movement, with its leader being Facebook, is all about the fact that “we’re connected and aware of each other. It’s not a one-to-one relationship between me and the brand; it’s a whole interconnected group, and our nature to be socially connected now is an experience that drives new ways of behaving,” continued Errol.

The Six Tenats the Drive Social Behavior

Six tenets drive social behavior and social psychology[1], Errol said, and these tenets come into play in varying degrees when people make decisions. These tenets are not only the drivers of social behavior, but, in Errol’s view, also the recipe for success for any social marketing strategy or campaign.

1. Social Proof: We as individuals tend to follow the crowd. Crowd-sourcing businesses that have successful used this principle abound – from music discovery platforms like OurStage to fashion prediction communities such as Krush.

2. Authority: People want to follow an authority, such as a brand, retailer, or an expert. For example, when a well-known designer like Naeem Khan, who has twice dressed Michelle Obama for black-tie state dinners, says feathers are going to be the next new fashion trend, people would have a desire to buy apparel and accessories with feathers.

3. Liking: We’re willing to follow people we like, admire, or find attractive. Look no further than Kim Kardashian’s Twitter followers which are approaching 10 million.

4. Interest: People tend to make decisions that are aligned with their particular self-selection, interest group, or passion point. “If I’m a golf enthusiast, I want to have the latest equipment or the latest gear, because I want the world to know that I’m a golf enthusiast,” explained Errol.

5. Scarcity: Things that are rare have higher value. If there are only five left of a product, “there’s this indication that other people all found it valuable, so it must be.” This is what private sales experiences tap into, said Errol, where “there’s limited inventory and you have to get there quickly or else it’s going to go, because when you arrive there are all these other items that are sold out.”

6. Reciprocity: We have an innate desire to pay it forward, or share and make decisions based on a service, incentive or a group reward provided to us. We are more likely to want to repay that reward. This is the basis of viral advocacy and viral customer acquisition.  If people receive great customer service, they will likely become an advocate of the service. “Zappos is a great example of great customer service,” shared Errol.

Equipped with these six great social behavior insights, I asked Errol how social commerce leaders measure the return on their efforts. “It’s ultimately the same as with any other initiative – it is about revenue, membership, repeat business, and cost of customer acquisition.” Additionally, he recommended connecting and engaging with key influencers, those most likely to influence their group to buy a certain product or service. “Look for the people who are your best brand advocates; measure their ability to spread the word and impact buying behavior with their circle of influence.”

To see the six social behavior tenets at play, look no further than the current two leaders – the private sale and the group buying industries. “The private sale was a $0 industry in 2007 and is now over $3 billion. Rue La La was bought by GSI Commerce within two years for $250 million; Gilt has only been around for four years and has over a billion-dollar valuation,” he said. Group buying players, led by Groupon and LivingSocial, have all been focused on marketing for local businesses, but ultimately, Errol believes, that the experience is going to evolve and “tap into the willingness to get a collective group of people to help either sell product or work together to get a benefit by participating in a particular program or experience.”

Are you the next Rue La La? Have you employed the six social behavior tenets to grow your business?

Pay it forward by commenting 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. To learn how successful companies are employing the power of social marketing, download a copy of our free eBook “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing.”




[1] Errol shared that he is a big fan of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini and some of the references were derived from that book.

Below are the slides from last week’s webinar “The Social Marketing Funnel”.  Hope you enjoy!

The Social Marketing Funnel

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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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