He identified 73 of the most important keywords his prospective customers would search for. Then he created 73 different blogs that focused on each keyword and assigned a dozen employees to write those blogs.
The results amazed him. Once the blogs took off, customer contacts increased 600% in a single quarter. And everyone who contacted a blog author, commented on a blog post or downloaded a white paper opted in to the company’s customer database.
When marketing consultant Scott Stratten worked with the owners of a new restaurant, he recommended inviting residents of a nearby condo complex to a free dinner. Over two nights, the owners could get 150 people to start the buzz about the new restaurant in town.
But the owners balked at giving away free food, which they estimated would cost them several thousand dollars. Yet they had spent $5,000 on a magazine ad!
“How many customers did it bring in?” Stratten asked. “We don’t know,” they replied.
When little-known, first-term Illinois senator Barack Obama faced Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, he knew he couldn’t compete with her financially. He couldn’t afford telemarketing and direct mail campaigns or TV and radio advertising.
So instead of playing by the old rules, he made new rules. He started blogging and he created profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
He also hired the co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes, to be his Internet strategist. And he won the Democratic presidential nomination even though he spent a lot less money than his opponent.
At the time of the election, Obama had five million fans on Facebook—over four million more than Clinton. On MySpace, the numbers were approximately 800,000 and 200,000, respectively. On Twitter, he had over 100,000 followers and his opponent had about 5,000.
Canadian grocery store chain Loblaws knew they had a great BBQ sauce based on customer comments. But they didn’t understand why sales were so dismal.
Until they invited customers to post product reviews on their website. Only then did they discover the problem was the bottle – it was too tall to fit in refrigerator doors! They redesigned the bottle and their sales immediately increased.
That’s user-generated content directly leading to an increase in sales. That’s the power of social media marketing.
Are you still sitting on the sidelines when it comes to social media marketing because you know you can’t control the conversations about your company, your products and your services? And because you have no idea how to respond to negative comments?
Sounds like something from one of Shakespeare’s plays, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a quote from Pedro Calderon de la Barca, a 17th-century Spanish playwright.
You may wonder where I found such an obscure quote. It was a comment by someone named Vigrx on my blog post titled “Using Social Media to Market Your Business.” He or she was promoting the site vigrxdeals.org. The fact that the quote had absolutely nothing to do with social media was a sure sign that it was spam.
Social media has enabled people to rapidly swarm—creating monsoons that can cause serious damage to your business OR create serious opportunities if you’re ready.
The upside to real time goes way beyond crisis management. Real-time firestorms can create once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for businesses that are prepared and can quickly respond.
Do you remember the spoon-bending scene from the 1999 movie The Matrix?
It occurs the first time Neo goes to see the Oracle after he was rescued from the Matrix. In the Oracle’s waiting room, he sees two girls floating blocks above their heads and a young boy bending a spoon.
Young boy: “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead … only try to realize the truth.”
Neo: “What truth?”
So he set up a Facebook fan page with the help of his parents. In just one week, he got more than 1,200 fans and raised $400!
“I can understand using Facebook for a fifth-grade science project,” I hear you saying. “But how do I use Facebook to market my business? I keep hearing that I should include social media in my marketing campaigns, but I don’t have a clue how to do that.”
When Intuit wanted to analyze market sentiment about TurboTax, they used Radian6 to collect approximately 40,000 blog posts about Intuit and its competitors between January 1st and April 15th of 2008.
“None of [the team working on this project] felt artificial intelligence was going to come to their aid any day soon,” says Jim Sterne in his book, Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment.