How to Measure the Return on Social Media Contests

social media how toHave you thought about running a social media contest? Wondering how to best measure your return on investment (ROI)?

This article will help with three case studies.

But first, about that ROI… It took some time after the advent of online advertising before marketers started asking, “What are these ‘eyeballs’ worth that I’m paying for?”

With social media, the tough questions around metrics started being asked much sooner. As marketing budgets stay tight, it’s no surprise that the need to show results is high.

So when it comes to contests on the social web, how do we go about evaluating ROI?

Investing in Your Social Media Contest

Before you can demonstrate a return, you must first make an investment!

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Location-Based Services: Foursquare vs. Facebook Places

social media toolsAsk any marketer about trends for 2011 and you’ll undoubtedly hear the phrase “location-based services.” However, among Foursquare, Facebook Places, SCVNGR, Gowalla and many others, marketers have a lot to choose from.

In this article we’ll cover the two major players—Foursquare and Facebook Places—and see how they stack up.

What are location-based services?

Location-based services allow users to connect with others based on their current locations. In most cases, people use their smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) to “check in” to businesses like restaurants, bars and stores they visit. These locations are then broadcasted to their online friends.

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Facebook Promotions: What You Need to Know

social media how toAre you thinking of running a contest or promotion on Facebook? Have the rules imposed by Facebook confused you?

Look no further.  This article will provide an in-depth look at Facebook’s promotional rules.

The Tricky Rules

Running a contest on Facebook is a powerful way to generate buzz, increase engagement, boost your fan count and build your email list. But Facebook has rigorous rules governing what campaigns you can and cannot administer and promote on their platform.

For several years, the contest rules were fairly loose and Facebook users and page admins could pretty much administer whatever campaigns they wished within the confines of Facebook’s general terms (now called Statement of Rights and Responsibilities).

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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

social media book reviewsCanadian 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?

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5 Ways to Get the Support of Social Media Influencers

social media how toIt’s the Holy Grail of interactive marketing: getting “social media influencers”—the ones with the voice and the reach, the ones to whom everyone else listens—to endorse and promote what you’re doing.

Recently, my company managed to inspire 60 such influencers to participate in our event, called The Influencer Project, and they even took it upon themselves to help spread the word.

People like Social Media Examiner’s own Michael Stelzner, Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble, Gary Vaynerchuk, David Meerman Scott, and others all signed on. We were grateful beyond belief.

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The 5 Essential Pillars of a Social Media Campaign

The biggest mistake marketing and brand managers make when approaching social media is not thinking of the social web in the same strategic light as everything else they produce.

Social media is no more a one-off playground for brands than television advertising, direct mail campaigns or customer relationship management programs. It’s serious business and should be treated as such.

The following question then becomes relevant: “How do we think about social media strategically?” The good news is that it’s not that difficult, provided your planning team has an understanding of two things and a healthy grounding in another.

The two essential knowledge bases you’ll need are an understanding of the social media tools available (from blogs and social networks to wikis and beyond) and the philosophical foundations to be successful in social media (think share, not sell). The healthy grounding should be in the 5 essential pillars of a social media campaign.

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