Posts Tagged ‘socialmedia’

Class Of 2011: If Social Media Were a High School
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

This is Part 1 of a three part series on Pitching the Benefits of Social Media to Executives.  Over the next few weeks we will cover (1) The Initial Conversation (2) Handling Resistance and (3) Measurability and ROI

Pitching Social Media to Executives, Part 1

Social media has become a major part of marketing strategies and programs because of the many benefits of engaging with consumers. If everyone is jumping on the social media bandwagon, there has to be a reason, right?

You may think so, but it’s not always an easy sell to those in charge of marketing budgets.  In this post

I’ll try to equip you with the information you need to show decision makers that social media can be a powerful addition to your marketing mix.

“Social networks are now used frequently by your customers, your prospects, and your competitors. Connect with people, learn their business needs, and respond more simply and flexibly.”Chris Brogan, on 12 Ways to Sell Social Media to Your Boss

Theory Versus Reality

For a large corporation with significant expendable dollars in marketing budget, it may be easy to get the green light for new, non-traditional marketing efforts.  But that’s not always the case, especially for companies with limited resources.

Despite some of the theoretical benefits of social media and the list of successful case studies out there, when deciding whether or not to bring new marketing methods in-house, most marketers encounter resistance.  There are still many executives that are hesitant to enter the social media space.

One of the biggest problems people have is in drawing the connection between the social media marketing they’ve been hearing about, and how it can directly benefit their organization.

Four Initial Conversation Points

There are several items you can prepare before a conversation with upper management that may help in bringing the benefits of social media to the forefront.

It’s nothing new

It’s helpful to think of and position social media not as a brand new concept, but as an extension of your current marketing and business goals. While there are some new ways of thinking about reaching your audience through these channels, they should be viewed as enhancements of your current marketing mix.  Positioning social media in this light will make it easier for your executives to relate to it and understand it.

Suggestion: Position social media as part of a planned program you are planning or have in progress.  Layout and define the other components of the campaign and include how you intend to utilize social media as part of it.  While social should be considered an ongoing part of your marketing it is sometimes easier to gain initial buy-in by positioning it as a part of a specific marketing program or campaign to make it easier to conceptualize.

Up-front benefits

If you start your conversation by highlighting the benefits of social media, as opposed to answering the questions of what social media is, or how your organization is going to do it, you’ll be able to focus the conversation on those benefits before you start your selling the process.

Suggestion: Position the benefits in terms of metrics and stay away from the less tangible benefits. Outline the increases in audience reach you will achieve through social media and how audience members will be encouraged to share key messages with their fans and followers.  Tying the upfront benefits back to something concrete makes the benefits more understandable.

Suggest hypothetical goals

At the initial stages of implementing a social media plan, your team will need to determine your goals.   When you’re selling the concept of social media to executives, it’s helpful to suggest a list of hypothetical but realistic goals your organization could reach if they were to implement a program.  This provides a direct and relevant example of what social media can do for you.

Suggestion: Begin by outlining the social media specific measures you are targeting, for example, increase in fans, followers, views, etc.   Connect these measures to traditional marketing metrics such as clicks, and conversions.  It should then be clear how social media can increase the bottom line in terms of sales.  Defining the overall objectives allows you to draw a line in the sand and benchmark performance.  This will also help executives understand the overall benefits of utilizing social media.

Demonstrate your current “social media status”

Be prepared to discuss the places where your brand and topical conversations about your brand are occurring.  Defining the landscape this way will make it much easier to illustrate that the conversations are already happening and by not participating, you are missing the boat.

Suggestion: One of the best ways to hit home on how very relevant the social media space has become is to compile a list of where your brand is currently mentioned online: tweets, blog posts or comments, Facebook mentions, websites.  This shows very obviously that your brand already exists in social media.  If you’re not actually mentioned anywhere online, the next best way to show this is give the stats of some of your competitors – either mentions of them online or where they’ve actually set up a presence on a particular social media platform.

In part 2 of this series we look at some of the most common concerns of using social media for marketing, and understand how you can better frame the issues for the decision makers in your organization.  Expect to see part 2 during the week of July 4th.

Photo Credit: That’s one of mine :-)  That is a picture of Daisuke Matsuzaka throwing the first pitch of the 2008 Red Sox season in the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

In the last year, the popularity of foursquare, and location-based services in general, has grown significantly.  Last weekend foursquare hit another milestone by passing the three million-user mark.  This is less than two months after they topped two million users. With the growing popularity among users, brands have been trying to figure how they can leverage foursquare as part of their marketing mix.  Several brands have run programs on foursquare featuring branded custom badges, unique check-in tips, and custom landing pages featuring lists of to-do items. While user adoption of foursquare is growing at a staggering pace, many brands are taking a “wait and see” approach before adding foursquare to the marketing mix.

Yesterday, Awareness launched the foursquare Social Marketing Toolkit, which is collection of five pieces designed to help enterprise marketers understand how to leverage foursquare as part of the marketing mix. It’s designed to help sophisticated and novice location-based marketers alike and contains some great sources of information. You can download the foursquare social marketing toolkit here.

For me personally the most informative piece is “foursquare for the Enterprise”, a 45-minute webinar featuring Jason Keath.  Jason weaves actionable advice with real case studies giving marketers an overview of how they can begin to use foursquare in their marketing efforts immediately.  Below is a list of the other pieces included in the toolkit.

  1. “Top 10 Ways Enterprise Marketers Can Leverage foursquare” – graphic eBook
    All the salient points of a 45-page eBook boiled down into an easy-to-consume PowerPoint-like document. Included in the eBook are not only the Top 10 Ways Enterprise Marketers Can Leverage foursquare, but also the top 4 challenges of marketing with foursquare.
  2. “The State of foursquare” eBook
    foursquare is a social network focused on connecting users and allowing them to broadcast their locations using mobile devices including the iPhone, Blackberry phones, and Android phones. In this eBook we will discuss foursquare and how brands can leverage the network as part of their marketing mix. The report features data gathered over the course of the last two months and observational analysis of key brands running marketing programs through the channel.
  3. “foursquare for the Enterprise, A Brave New World” webinar with Jason Keath
    foursquare and several other location-based services (LBS) are the new pretty girl at the party. This webinar breaks down how your business can leverage foursquare and other LBS platforms, reveals emerging foursquare marketing best practices, and how these LBS technologies can improve your other marketing efforts.
  4. “Chapter 21: The Social Marketing Compass, Creating a Social Media Plan” — complimentary download of an entire chapter from Brian Solis’ Engage!
    Brian Solis, author of Engage!, defines the Social Marketing Compass as pointing, “…a brand in a physical and experiential direction to genuinely and effectively connect with customers, peers, and influencers, where they interact and seek guidance online.” He goes on to state, “At the center of the compass is the brand; essentially, everything you do will revolve around it.” He details how the players, platform, channels and emotions all tie together with an enterprise brand to provide you, the Enterprise Marketer, with a Social Marketing Compass to lead you through the new web to help build, cultivate and measure success for your business.
  5. “Chapter 1: Word of Mouth Goes World of Mouth” — complimentary download of an entire chapter from Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics
    Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, describes the current social media movement as a time when, “It’s important to free your content from being trapped in a “walled garden” because people have quickly grown accustomed to the news finding them, and there is no turning back,” and, “Businesses don’t have a choice on whether or not to DO social media, their choice is how well they DO it.”

foursquareA few weeks back our CTO Dave Carter released two eBooks on the State of Foursquare and the Top 10 Ways Enterprise Marketers can Leverage Foursquare.  If you haven’t had a chance to view them yet, check them out, they are both great reads.  During that same time Awareness released Foursquare Perspectives, a free tool that allows marketers to research announced new functionality that provide brands with valuable and useful insights about how Foursquare users are interacting with their physical locations. In addition, we announced that the Awareness Social Marketing Hub supports publishing tips to multiple Foursquare channels.  The message is we believe Foursquare is an underutilized tool in the enterprise and when used correctly it can be a powerful part of an enterprise social media strategy.

I have also been asked to put together a presentation that talks to the challenges and benefits of Foursquare which is below.  The presentation kind of took on a life of it’s own and has grown into an extended graphical version of Dave’s eBook. It uses some of the information included in Dave’s eBooks but goes deeper into case studies and tools utilizing other resources and references.

I’d love to hear from you with any feedback you have on the presentation.  Hope you enjoy it.

How do you Maximize Engagement across the social web?  That was the question I was asked during an interactive panel discussion at SXSW.  Joining me on the panel was a team of marketing and engagement experts including, David Meerman Scott, Eric Qualman, David Carter, Chris Heuer, Paul GillinBrian Solis and Peter Fasano.  We met at the Social Media Clubhouse to discuss this topic in detail and chat about how brands using the Social Media tools to engage with their customers.

The complete video footage is below.  Hope you enjoy the discussion!

Here is a segment of my session at Web 2.0The Elephant in the Room: Social Media ROI.  While the session was on Social Media ROI this segment focused on the 7 Misconceptions of Social Media (Truth be told, this could have been be a session in itself).  I had a blast delivering it and heckling some of local Yankees fans.  All I can tell you is when a group of Yankees fans can appreciate a Sox fan has to say about social media you know all is right with the world.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

The top 7 list mentioned in my presentation are:

  1. Build it and they will come
  2. Use social media to BROADCAST, not listen
  3. What if it all goes wrong?
  4. It’s FREE!!!!!
  5. We only use the FREE social web
  6. We are tracking the wrong stuff
  7. We have no plan or objective

What do you think… Are there any misconceptions I missed?

Are you part of the Revolution?

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you have already seen this video.  At over 1M views on YouTube in the last 3 months, it’s one of YouTube’s more popular videos.  In case you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video below:

I have seen the video a bunch of times and the stats continue to impress, particularly:

  1. 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content
  2. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands
  3. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations
  4. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.

These stats tell the story – for brands social media isn’t a fad, it’s the way consumers communicate.  To keep up, organizatons need to join the conversation and participate.  Do you agree?

Who knew that talking to a crowd of Yankees fans could be so much fun?  Last week I led a discussion at Web 2.0 in New York titled “The Elephant in the Room: Social Media ROI”.  After catching some flak from the locals on being a die hard Red Sox fan we got down to business and discussed ROI.  During the talk I walked through a case for ROI and presented some case studies from companies I have worked with in the past.  The conversation sparked some interesting questions, some debates and a lot of interesting dialog.  I’m hoping to have a recording up in a few days (stay tuned)… The slides from the presentation are below, hope you enjoy!

View more presentations from Mike Lewis.

Mitch Joel

Mitch Joel, Six Pixels of Separation

Is it important to be connected? Mitch Joel, Author of Six Pixels of Separation and President of TwistImage believes we no longer live in a world of six degrees of separation. In fact, we’re now down to only six pixels of separation, which changes everything we know about doing business.

Last week we had the chance to sit down for a session with Mitch who discussed how the world of new media and how to market with a brand-new perspective that is driven by compelling results. The smarter entrepreneurs and top executives are leveraging digital channels to get their voice “out there”-connecting with others, becoming better community citizens, and, ultimately, making strategic business moves that are increasing revenue, awareness, and overall success in the marketplace-without the support of traditional mass media.

It’s was great chatting with Mitch and I, personally, learned a ton during this session.  He has great insight and case studies and has a unique way of simplifying social media marketing in a way the makes it easy to understand the benefits as well as how to get started.  We talked a little bit about the future of social media, how to build vibrant online communities and how marketers can be successful using social media.  The recording is below, I hope you enjoy it.

The conversation on Twitter was also terrific.  Here are my top 10 observations from some of the people joining the conversation on Twitter:

  1. @JayFleischman: 48% of leisure time is spent online
  2. @elysa every single day 20% of ALL searches on Google are searches that have NEVER been done before #awarenessinc
  3. @MVMNT_Mike: If you want to enter social media, do something now! Don’t worry about mistakes, learn along the way #awarenessinc
  4. @REMdreamtime: strategy component is sorely missing from digital agencies via @mitchjoel #awarenessinc
  5. @NunesThompson: Always ask WHY! Say why you’re on #SM, not the fact that you’re on it. #awarenessinc
  6. @AprilMPhillips: “It’s more about your attitude and not about your age.” // @mitchjoel on social media // So true! #awarenessinc
  7. @elysa: 6 things you can do RIGHT now: 1)acceptance 2)digital augments not instead of traditional marketing #awarenessinc (cont) 3)every opt is chance to build/share/grow 4)open up and share more 5)it’s about your attitude not your age #awarenessinc
  8. @garyasanchez: brands need to create online strategy: why are they on twitter rather than just being on twitter – build community! #awarenessinc
  9. @RonArden: #awarenessinc The shiny new objects are just a bunch of tools. You need to decide what to do with these tools to make them useful.
  10. @tamadear: Why are peer reviews trusted more? Because we think our peers’ motivation is closer to our own. #awarenessinc

Last Thursday I hosted a panel live from the Inbound Marketing Summit titled: “End the Social Media Hype“.  It was particularly exciting for me for a couple of reasons.  First, it featured an all-star panel of individuals that I have a lot of respect for in the social media space: Jason Falls, Paul Gillin, C.C. Chapman, Chris Brogan, and Brian Solis.  Second, it was the only panel to be streamed live from IMS – thanks to our friends at Visible Gains (formerly PermissionTV).  We had a great conversation, shared some interesting case studies and had a deep discussion on metrics and social media ROI.

I want to thank all the panelists for their time, honesty and insights during the session, Visible Gains for providing the streaming technology and Justin levy from New Marketing Labs for helping to pull everything together.

Below is the link to the session and I hope you enjoy it.

End the Social Media Hype

Finally, a special thanks to Matthew Mamet and the team at Visible Gains for helping to bring this session together on such short notice! As you view the highlights notice that the video has been edited to focus on the areas that are most interesting to the viewer. This is both cool and beneficial as is makes for an awesome viewer experience. If you are looking for software to support streaming video, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to check them out.