Wouldn’t it be nice to have a framework for measuring the impact of your social media efforts?
That’s where Susan Etlinger’s new research for the Altimeter Group comes into play. Susan did qualitative research with 60 social media marketers and vendors to understand how businesses currently measure their social media performance.
Her goal: to develop a framework for tying social media performance to business goals.
NOTE: Because Susan’s original research targeted enterprise-level companies, I interviewed her to add some small business insights. The following comments combine results of the research and that interview.
In this interview, we talk about social media marketing, Jay’s experience writing the book and about where this crazy, fast-moving industry is headed.
Mike: Jay, what’s the single most important thing that marketers or business owners need to know to be successful right now?
Jay: It’s a terrific question. One of the things that we talked about a lot in the book is the fact that you have to act quickly as an organization. The example that we use to kick off the book is if you’re at a hotel and you’re having a bad hotel experience—it’s dirty or gross or whatever—historically, you might go down to the front desk, or call the 1-800 number or write a letter.
Do you have a social media strategy? Does it involve content? Should it?
The other day I drove past a local convenience store that makes most of its profit from beer, Slush Puppies and beef jerky (not that there’s anything wrong with that). A big sign out front asked passers-by to Like them on Facebook.
“It’s official,” I thought. “Now every business in America has a Facebook page.”
Unfortunately, few businesses actually have a strategy for their Facebook page, or for the rest of their social media activity. They tweet, blog and set up a Facebook business page out of fear of being left behind, rather than as a way to engage their audience.
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?
Many small businesses and solo entrepreneurs dive into social media marketing strategies without visualizing a bigger plan. What ensues is usually far from what they had hoped. Instead of attracting more leads and sales, they end up wasting time, money and passion.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
This problem can be easily remedied by taking time to learn from those who are already experiencing success with social media marketing and by implementing a clear, specific, actionable and measurable web marketing plan.
So you’ve set up your social media empire using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and you’re blogging too.
But how do you make it all work together? You want to reach potential clients and establish your authority online, but what’s your plan?
This article delivers five foolproof steps to get you on your way to finding, formulating and distributing content that will get you noticed. Content could include your own blog posts or links to others people’s work posted on your social networks.
#1: Find Your Target Audience.
The first step in social media planning is largely the first step in identifying your brand—determine who you are and who your customers are.
Imagine marveling at Peru’s Machu Picchu ruins, and a guy nearby asks if you’ll take his picture. But it’s not just him; he’s proudly holding a paper cutout of a smiling tomato.
What, exactly, inspired this traveler to carry a cartoon tomato to one of the wonders of the world?
In a word, fun.
He’s just one of nearly 140 people who vacationed with the tomato, named “Sweetie.” These fans of the restaurant Souplantation, or Sweet Tomatoes in some markets, were enthusiastically participating in the chain’s latest social media promotion, “Where’s Sweetie?”