Category Archives: Twitter

Not All Numbers Matter in Social Marketing

All marketing efforts need to be justified with empirical results. And at the same time, way too many social marketers look at the wrong numbers or wrong combination of numbers. Let’s get it right on the table … Social marketing success is not defined by how many likes (friends) a brand has on Facebook or the number of followers on Twitter. Far too many executives are hell-bent on measuring success by likes and followers.

Worng numbers

Likes and followers are very important, but looking at them in isolation is meaningless and dangerous. First, lets consider the objectives of social marketing:

1) To get in front of your target audience and establish interest, value, trust, interactivity, and a growing relationship.
2) Generate brand preference.
3) Provoke referrals and word of mouth marketing.

So getting likes and followers is only the start to meeting the objectives listed above. Lets discuss Facebook likes first. I can get any brand one million followers, no problem. We’ll just give an iPad away to anyone that likes the brand. Sounds a bit silly, but there are a number of brands that do some sort of a sweepstakes or ad campaign to get people to like their brand and think the social marketing is over. Getting likes is an important start, but not everyone that likes your brand will see your posts. And if they do not see your posts, what is the purpose of having that like? Facebook uses a complex algorithm to determine what posts are seen. To simplify the complexity, lets just say that if a person is engaged and interactive with a brand on Facebook, it is most likely that brand’s post will appear on the person’s newsfeed. Thus, the most important combination of metrics to look at on Facebook is likes and “talking about this” (found just to the right of likes on a brand Facebook page).

SB FC page

I often tells brands I work with that they should track the percentage of talk about this relative to their likes to get a good Facebook metric. Remember, once you acquire many likes, you need to keep them engaged by posting compelling content that inspires people to like the individual posts, comment, and engage. If you score numerous brand likes, then work to increase the percentage of talking about this relative to your likes.

Now lets talk about Twitter a bit. How many Tweeters do you follow? I follow over four thousand. It is not possible for me to actually capture and see the tweets of that many and I am sure the scenario is close to the same for you. So getting followed is step one for a brand. The second step of success is to motivate your followers to put you on one of their twitter lists. Typically users maintain twitter lists as a short cut to capture valued information on a segmented topic. The best strategic way to get on a list is, once again, to continually provide posts of interest – entertaining, informative.

(Notes on twitter lists – it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine what list your twitter account is on. The only way I have found is to go to ‘http://twitter.com/twitter-handle/lists/membership’, but this will only give you a page worth of the list you are on. If you are on more lists than can be covered on one page worth, Twitter does not allow you to scroll and see the additional ones. A complete list was available using TweetDeck, but now that that app has been eliminated, I have found no replacement. I welcome input from others that have seen a solution.)

There are some that have emphasized looking at qualitative social results instead of quantitative results. Both are important. For example, I might be content with only having one thousand Twitter followers if those followers were every CEO and CMO at fortune five hundred companies. As a brand, you want quality likes and followers … those that will engage with you and advocate for your brand. But a good part of the onus is on your social marketing to create quality likes and followers.

In the end, let’s make sure we agree on one thing … You must generate measurable results with your social marketing efforts. But make sure you are measuring results against objectives – not just simple like and followers. There are a number of important parameters you can track to align to overall business objectives. If you want more information on this, see “Know What Social Media Success Looks Like.”

Make it Happen,
Social Steve

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Filed under brands, Facebook, measuring social media, social marketing, social media, social media marketing, social media ROI, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Twitter

How Often Should You Post?

I am probably asked this question more than any other from brand clients? The simple answer is you should post as much as your audience is likely to want to hear from you.

social postingsYes, this answer is somewhat ambiguous, but let’s peal it down a bit. First off, asking this question is not the place to start. Ask yourself, are we jumping to tactics before we have a strategy and plan? Far too many marketers forget marketing fundamentals when establishing a social marketing presence. Consider “Where You Start in Social Media Strategy Defines Where You End Up.”

Next you have to have a rich understanding and empathy for your audience. Social is not about pushing your agenda. It is about your audience, not your product/service. Yes there is a cross section of what your audience values and reinforcing you’re offering. This comes from having a solid message and content strategy. I cannot emphasis enough how important a well thought out content strategy is. Think about providing your audience content that adds value to your offering and reinforces your brand as the knowledge leader in your industry vertical.

So once we have the marketing fundamentals and content strategy in place as described above, we can answer the question of posting numbers, cadence, and timing. If you are producing content that continually provides valuable information and/or compelling entertaining content, you can post more often than if you are simply providing product push. Think about those brands that ask you to subscribe to an email list and then send you a product blast every day. Doesn’t that get tiresome and turn you off to the brand? The same is true for social posting. If you just post product spam, expect your audience to get disenchanted, not engaged, and potentially un-follow your brand.

If you provide valued content, start by posting once a day. See how your audience responds. Examining empirical data to evaluate true audience response is imperative. As an example, I pulled some posting data from Social Bakers for two top notch social brands – Coca-Cola and Starbucks. Starbucks has 34M fans and Coca-Cola 60.5M fans so the magnitude of responses has large variation between the two.

starbucks and coca-cola FB activity

There are three tables for each. I think it is important to look at the number of posts, user engagement (talking about this) and heat maps depicting activity times all together. These three charts help you draw conclusions with regards to the optimal posting for your brand. Yes there are best practices, but each audience reacts differently and you must know your audience behavior and execute accordingly. Notice that responses rates increase with hiring postings. Also, if you witness peak responses as in the case of Starbucks at the end of the month, examine the type of post that produced that spike and take note that the audience responds strongly to that content. It may be worthwhile to do more postings of that particular style.

Also noteworthy – is that postings to different channels should take on different forms. Twitter should be used for quick useful factoids and points of inspiration. Twitter should include a number of curation pieces and RTs from people that reinforce what the brand stands for. FB should be used to engage and extend the conversation and stories of the topics on a brand content hub as well as “tangential” postings of conversations and pieces that the content hub speaks to.

So to answer the question directly, “How Often Should You Post,” start with once a day on Facebook, a couple of times a day on Twitter. Make sure to provide content your target audience will value – not just product promotions. Examine the results (response to types of posts, best times for responses) and modify your posting timing and cadence based on the empirical data.

It is really not rocket science. It is more like the psychology of your audience – understand what makes them tick and play to their emotions.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve

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Filed under brands, content marketing, Facebook, social marketing, social media, social media marketing, social media performance, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Twitter

Digital Marketing Strikes Disruptive Chords for the Music Industry

download musicDigital media and platforms are disruptive. Probably no vertical knows this better than the music industry. But maybe the days of diminishing sales revenue for the music industry are behind us. (Maybe not.) Earlier this week, The New York Times reported year to year sales had increased 0.3 percent. And while you may think that is negligible, it is noteworthy that this is the first increase in music sales since 1999.

Taking this cue, James McQuivey, a Forrester Consumer Product Strategy Analyst, provided some great lessons learned at the hands of the music industry that all brands should consider with regards to managing digital disruption. You should read his entire article and get further explanation, but here are suggestions he listed:

• Disrupt yourself before someone else can.
• Build a digital customer relationship.
• Care more about convenience than quality.
• Anticipate a reduction in revenue on a per transaction basis.

There is definitely some great advice there, but if you want to see a real life example of taking these recommendations and putting them into action, consider Amanda Palmer. Amanda is a punk-cabaret performer and she spoke at TED 2013 this week.

Ms. Palmer’s presentation was titled “The Art of Asking.” She highlighted how she stopped selling music for a sticker price and simply asked people to fund her art. The result – $1.2 million raised.

Now granted, not everyone can raise that much money, but there is a strong message here for brands … have a great product; spend time engaging with your target market; and be truly genuine with your audience and build trust.

Palmer is extremely active on Twitter. She has engaged with people via social channels and has connected with people to provide a place to sleep, asked to practice on an available piano, and other face-to-face favors and meetings.

So when it came time to making money, Amanda had a trusted audience. I the love part in her presentation when she talks about the media asking her “The music business is tanking and you encourage piracy. How do you make all these people pay for music?” Amanda answers, “I didn’t make them, I asked them.” You see when you build close relationships with your audience; they come to your support when you ask them for it. If you are simply prostituting your offering, forget it. Funny enough Palmer tells a story where someone came up to her after a show and gave her a $10 bill and said, “I’m so sorry, I burned your CD from a friend, and I want to give you this money.” That’s an example of a relationship that didn’t even need “the ask.”

Audience development and emotional branding is extremely powerful in the new disruptive digital world. I am not saying brands should just let people pay what they want for their product/service, but if you have a deep relationship with your audience, you can ask them to help on your behalf. You can ask them to share your brand with their friends for example.

Another great quote from Ms. Palmer’s presentation is when she opens her arms wide and says “I trust you this much. Should I? Show me.” This was in reference to her stripping naked and letting people sign her body. I do not suggest you do this (maybe, it could be fun ), but this is a great metaphor. Can your brand strip down naked for its audience and will they show you supreme respect and admiration? She then goes on to say “Celebrity is about a lot of people viewing you from a distance. But the Internet and the content that we are freely able to share on it are taking us back. It is about a few people loving you up close and those few people being enough.” And if you are a brand, you only need a few people to get a movement to build.

So marketers, take the last word from renegade Amanda Palmer about the importance of social engagement …“when you connect with them, people want to help you.”

Are you truly building brand connections?

Make It Happen,
Social Steve

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Filed under brands, digital media, indie music, marketing, punk music, social marketing, social media, social media marketing, social network, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Twitter

Separating Personal and Professional Social Presence

For the past five years plus, I have established and maintained a professional brand as Social Steve. The focus of my Social Steve brand has been to share experiences, best practices, and my perceptions in social marketing having worked with a number of clients and brands. Being completely transparent (as I always try to be) my objectives are two fold … 1) promote social marketing as a key driver of business success through sharing experiences, and 2) be viewed as and respected as a social marketing thought leader.

Personal vs professionalAs I look to establish and maintain my own professional brand, I have made a handful of conscious decisions to separate my professional and personal social presence. Some of my own rules of thumb have been as follows:

• Facebook – I use Facebook for true friends and not professional friends and acquaintances. My litmus test has been – “If I want you to see pictures of me and my family in our bathing suits at the beach, I’ll accept your friend request.” This really makes people I work with separate from personal friends. While I really have nothing in my closet to hide anymore, I do reserve Facebook for my own personal world. Early in my social media consulting career, I made the mistake of accepting clients in Facebook.
• Tweeting – 85% of my tweets are about social media and marketing. 10% is about music (my drug of choice). 5% is about family excursions. The reason I add 15% of tweets of the personal nature is simply to give my audience a feel that there is a real person behind the professional tweets.
• 96% of my articles on the SocialSteve Blog are about social media and brand marketing. This is what people come to my blog for. There have been a few exceptions. I have blogged about Martin Luther King Jr and my sister – two people that have served as outstanding examples and models for me in my life.

Now I am not saying this is the way it should be for everyone, but rather that each person should consciously determine what is right for them and set up their own ground rules. And while I have determined some conditions to practice in my own social presences I continue to learn along the way. Continuous social learning is imperative for people and brands. Each entity needs to produce, execute, and assess how their audience reacts. Demographics, psycho-demographics, and natural behavior cause variations of different target audience’s reactions.

Now just a bit of data and then my analysis based on my own blogging.

• Most of my marketing and business blog posts get very little, if any, references on Facebook. I experience a much higher rate of mentions on Twitter and Google+ for business related postings.
• Personal stories (such as the Tribute to My Sister last week) have had very little postings on Twitter and Google+ and have had a relatively high rate of references on Facebook.

For brands, I think this has some key implications. Most users are on Facebook for friendly socialization as opposed to connecting with brands. Yes, brands can have strong Facebook programs that build relationships and brand preference, but their Facebook implementations must have a strong brand personality and not corporate-like or advertorial. While Google+ lacks the adoption of Facebook, the circles functionality allows the separation of socialization for different purposes. It remains to be seen if Google+ connection segmentation will be valued by people and if their user base sees growth.

For me, I know how I use my various social channels for different purposes. By no means am I saying this is correct and one size fits all. In fact, I’d rather this post be the basis for a discussion rather than my typical guidance. What do you think? Do you see a need to separate personal and professional social presence and if so, what are your self-imposed guidelines? I would love to learn from you. Chime in and join the conversation.

Make It Happen,
Social Steve

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Filed under behavior, brand marketing, Facebook, marketing, social marketing, social media, social media marketing, social network, social reviews, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Twitter

Defining Social Media Success

This past week, Brian Morrissey of AdWeek reported that
YouTube names top 10 brand videos of 2010.”. No shocker, the Old Spice video was top ranked. I personally liked Toyota’s Swagger Wagon video which came in 6th place. These videos are great. They create a much more compelling user experience than straight up TV ads. In fact, this use of social media is the “new generation” TV ad that plays in a different channel where users are more apt to view, interact, and ultimately build relationships with the brand.

But this got me thinking and prompted me to write my perspective on “Defining Social Media Success.” Not every organization or person can allocate the resources or budget to produce the videos that gained YouTube top accolades and numbers. So I’ll share with you the social media plight for one of the brands I work with.

You’ve heard many people state that “quality” is more important than “quantity” in social media. That is to say that you want a very engaged audience as your priority as opposed to focusing on driving fan and follower numbers. I totally agree with this perspective and I would also add that if you specifically concentrate on quality fans/followers, the residual affect is that you will actually increase the number as well.

This is the exact case with the brand I referenced. We did not allocate a hefty budget to do high production videos or massive marketing campaigns, but instead we concentrated on our users’ experience with our brand in specific social media channels and made sure we delivered a winning experience and value there. The obvious primary social channels these days are Facebook and Twitter. (They clearly are not the only ones. We do have plays in other social areas as well.)

When I started HFM-US most of the brands already had Facebook fan pages and twitter accounts as is the case with most brands and organization. But that does not mean that they were using the platforms in ways to draw in users and create word-of-mouth references. We defined how these channels were to be used and what the objective was for each. Do this! This is the start of definition for your KPIs (key performance indicators). We noticed that our post and comments were not necessarily on brand – in content, brand voice, stylization, and aesthetics. We modified what we posted, cadence of post, and format of post. We looked at how URLs were listed and images were inserted. We made some tweaks and measured (continuous process) results. The net results of these efforts are as follows:

- 211% increase of Facebook fans (likes)
– 553% increase of visits to our site from Facebook
– 1721% increase of page views on our site from Facebook
– 1084% increase of Facebook interactions
– 2411% increase of Twitter followers
– 421% increase of visits to our site from Twitter
– 952% increase of page views on our site from twitter

Pretty encouraging results! And there are some key takeaways:

1. There was not a plan for an expensive social media blitz and simply concentrated on the basics. Having a traditional marketing mentality (position, voice, communication, audience focus) and bringing it to new media, social media is imperative.
2. You must have a social media plan that is sustainable – continuous in execution; continuous in growth of audience. If you do have a quick hit growth spike, you must retain the new users’ interest. How are you going to continue to keep your audience engaged? Yes a sweepstake might help to get new gains and followers, but you need to continue to deliver value and/or entertainment to your audience. And when you do have their interested, engage with them.
3. When you are really focused on your target audience and you deliver what they want, not only do you increase your following, but you increase the consumption of your content. Yes, we increased fans and followers, but what I find most successful is the increase of page views. Page view percentage increase is much greater than the increase of friends and followers and unique visits. What this really means is that not only was there an increase in connections, but an increase in the right connections. Quality connections increased – those that measured greater consumption of brand in the past.

So when push comes to shove, do the right “marketing” things when you go about your social media endeavors. Continuously do small things right. Measure and assess. Don’t think of hitting a grand slam success like the Old Spice campaign. Do things that are sustainable. Sustainable for you to implement and sustainable with regards to keeping your target market interested and engaged.

I should add one more point since it is the topic of so much discussion and debate. It deals with social media ROI. As I mentioned in the article “Measuring the Value of Social Media,” over a year and a half ago, social media does not generate sales. Social media generates awareness and increases leads.

So the debate on social media ROI will be endless – as long as people continue to include an unrealistic expectation of measuring sales increase from social media. (If you want more on this, check out the article “Reality Check: Social Media Integration and Measurement.”) Are we still going to debate the value of having more relationships with our target segment and having those relationships deeper in nature and loyalty? This is a rhetorical question. Social media does not produce sales. It increases and strengthens relationships. Measure social media appropriate. Not sales and ROI. Attributes of relationships and KPIs.

Make it Happen!
Social Steve

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Filed under brand communication, brand marketing, brands, Facebook, social media, social media marketing, social media organization, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Twitter, Uncategorized

How You Can Execute Social Media Successfully

You know you need social media to connect with customers. You are beginning to hear more success stories. But connecting the dots and defining how YOU can leverage social initiatives to win over customers has been elusive thus far. You are not alone – I hear this from so many. So let me help.

Almost one year ago, I wrote an article “Executable Game Plan for Winning Ultimate Customers with Social Media.”. I wanted to give some real examples and direction of how you could use the A-Path to deliver social media results. I made some simple suggestions defining how to find the right keywords to use; tweeting; reinforcing your position; using RSS, Facebook, LinkedIn and enewsletters; and establishing key one-to-one relationships with influencers. While all these examples are still applicable, generating positive results with them is a little more difficult than a year ago when I suggested them. Why? – The social space is more crowded now with more noise. You’re focus and objective must be to rise above the noise. Thus, this is kind of a re-look and a revamp a year later.

The way to rise above the noise is to have a kick @$$ marketing campaign using social media. Now I know there are many comments that social media is not a campaign; that it needs to be a continuous way of life for corporations, and I totally agree. It’s just that it should START the way marketers define campaigns, but run perpetually by having on going elements that always focus on relationships with your audience and delivering them value. The initial campaign definition should address solutions for accomplishing the sequential elements of the A-Path. How will I get someone’s Attention? Attraction? Affinity? How will I get them to be part of my Audience? And then turn some audience members into Advocates? Recognize that once you have advocates, they refuel the A-Path. They do crowd sourcing for you and get attention and attraction to your brand. This is what Jeff Hazylett often refers to as having others doing your marketing work.

So let’s take a quick look at ways to execute on the A-Path. Certainly not an exhaustive execution plan, but hopefully enough guidance that should put you on your execution path specific to your brand and its position …

Attention
First recognize the difference between being a known brand versus a start up. If you are a known brand, your “attention” efforts should be focused on endeavors that are likely to provoke sharing. Use your existing audience to tell their friends and network about your value. Put incentives in place. This could be as simple as bartering mentions (blogroll and tweet mentions). If you have a Facebook fan page, your members’ likes and comments show on their friends’ news feed. Getting them to “Like” the post makes your post show up on their friends’ news feed. This is a form of sharing and getting attention.

If you are not an established brand, you need to do something to stick out. DO NOT think, oh we’ll create something that will go viral. As Jay Baer says, “It is not viral unless it is.” Many have set out to accomplish this and failed … far, far more than those that have succeeded. Restating what I wrote in an article a year ago … understand how your target might capture information. Understand the keywords they use. Compare related keywords using Google Trends. Tag these keywords to your content. Define a plan for your content distribution looking at all the possible channels. Where is the target audience already congregating? Go there for starters and engage. Join the conversation.

Consider use of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, and other niche platforms, communities, and forums specific to your industry focus.

Attract
Gaining attraction is really just a continuation of getting attention. You’re activities and channels and really pretty much the same. But, once you get someone’s attention, you need to add two things to move them forward to attraction. First, you need to continue providing valuable information to them and reinforce both your brand position and the reason why you got their attention in the first place. Second, you need to engage with them. Not just broadcast. Think about what customer service really means and how you feel when someone at a company gives you the time of day, stops to respond to you, or simply says, “Thank you.” Continue to use the same social channels you used getting attention and engage there.

Affinity
You move to affinity from attraction by having a greater focus on relationships. This will be accomplished by continuous engagement. To quote Mike Lazerow of Buddy Media, “the only way to scale social is with people.” People want to do business with those that they feel comfortable with. It takes people to build relationships – not an automated process. Affinity means people are latching on to your brand. You want to increase the number of Twitter followers, RSS subscribers for your blog, followers on a Tumblr blog, Facebook fans, bookmarking of your content, etc. You need to set (continuous) campaigns to increase “opting-in” at these channels. There are three ways you increase these numbers: 1) define incentive promotions for signing up and friend-sharing, 2) continue to deliver valuable and/or entertaining content, and 3) cross promote your socials channels.

Audience
From an entertainment perspective, an audience is usual a group of people that have paid to see a movie, show, or concert. They are one step deeper than an affinity group because they have invested some equity. In social space, personal information is equity. It usually starts with a login name and password or could be as simple as an email address. Ultimately, you want customer information so you can segment them appropriately and interact with them. Recognize you don’t get this from your Facebook fans. I am not knocking Facebook – it is an awesome platform to engage with your audience, but I would argue that you can only go so far as gaining affinity with your target market on Facebook. If you really want to take this one step further and have a true social audience, you need to define where you bring together your audience and be able to collect information about them over time. Some examples include email newsletters and social networks platforms (OneSite, Ripple6, KickApps, Elgg, etc), (You should have an information collection strategy that aims at getting more data, slowly over time, as your participants get deeper into brand loyalty and usage. You do not want to turn them off by asking for too much early on. Normal relationship building principles apply similar to building your personal relationships.)

Advocates
Once you have established an audience you will notice some power users. These are the people that are on the platform on a regular basis, peruse most sections, and often are the most vocal. This subset of your audience represents potential advocates. The way to persuade them from being power users to becoming advocates is to acknowledge them and give them things that are special and unique. Recognition might be the most valued attribute as discussed in “The Power of Generosity” by Josh Bernoff.

So just a couple more things here. I realize this is long, but my wife has been bugging me to put some more useful information in my blog.

1) When I address the brands I work with, I often say one slide shows our social strategy. Here it is …

What I want you to take away from this is what I covered about the various A-Path steps described above. You start the early stages of the A-Path offsite. Then there is a cross over to your site or your platforms. You have the strongest success of the A-Path steps offsite in the beginning and the greatest success of the A-Path steps in the later stages on your platforms.

2) Many people ask me which social platforms are best. I have said numerous times, there is more to social media than Facebook and Twitter and even wrote an article “In Social Media, Twitter is Just the Start.” When selecting the most appropriate you should consider Brain Solis’ Conversation Prism. It was introduced in 2008, and an update was provided in 2009.

While new platforms continue to be introduced and gain popularity, the categories of social channels have not really changed. You should look at the bullet list of types social outlets, understand your target market preferences and plan appropriate places to get attention and attraction, build affinity and audience, and acquire advocates. I do really like the mind map method Solis recommends in the Conversation Prism V2.0.

This is a game plan to drive success, but no game plan ensures success. Winners take some calculated risk – they are not followers. Are you ready to be a winner and willing to create something new and innovative?

Make It Happen!
Social Steve

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Filed under Uncategorized, social media, SocialSteve, Social Steve, marketing plan, socialmedia, marketing, social network, brands, brand marketing, social media marketing, Twitter, Facebook, community

Tying Social Media to the Most Important Business Question

If you had one, just one, business question to answer, what would it be? The most important one is “What does success look like?” If you can’t envision this or answer it, you can not obtain it. If you are an executive, you must communicate it. If you are part of a team in a company, you must understand it.

In the past year, much of the social media debate has changed from “should be it be done” to “how should it be done.” “How” must include a definition of successful outcomes. If you aren’t sure what success looks like, then you shouldn’t be doing social media. Most good suggestions start with having a strategy before “just doing it.” (Sorry Nike :) ) But I would back this up one more step – to an area that is often not formally stated. A strategy must be formulated around a specific objective of success and the success definition needs to continue to be formally recognized at every part in the execution.

Does success mean increasing the number of people that go to your website (unique visits)? Decreasing the number of calls into customer service? Shorten the sales cycle? Define your success!

Okay, so what about the social media tie-in? Let’s start by defining positive outcomes of social media. Take a look at the social media marketing funnel to get some ideas.

From a funnel state perspective, social media can increase awareness, consideration, loyalty, and advocacy. It is not really good at generating sales, but rather increases the probability of a sale. (See more at “Social Media Conversion and the Social Media Marketing Funnel.” )

The social media marketing funnel addresses marketing. Social media also generates positive results for customer service activities. Dell is a great example as highlighted in the book Groundswell (by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, page 159). Groundswell explains how Dell supported one of their customer advocates who worked as an informal customer solution solver on behalf of Dell. He kept his on website to do so and was actively engaged with Dell customers. The ultimate end result was greater customer satisfaction and reduction of operations costs.

So whether “success” is increasing sales or reducing costs (hopefully you are a little more detailed in your definition of success), social media is an excellent channel for producing measurable results.

Dell is a poster child for the successful use of social media dating back as far as 2007. Back then, Dell had stated social media objectives:

1. Enter into conversations with customers everyday in every major language (awareness, consideration, lead generation)
2. Address any form of customer dissatisfaction head-on knowing that not everything will be solved and some of Dell’s weaknesses will be exposed (customer service, brand reputation, QA, operations cost)
3. Encourage crowd sourcing as the next step in listening to customers (awareness, requirements capture, yield cost reduction)
4. Use video to personalize the Dell story (loyalty, advocacy)

Thus, social media isn’t something new for Dell and they have stayed committed. Dell has worked hard to have a fully integrated social media marketing plan and execution. They are one of the very few companies that use a social media channel well to promote sales. Their twitter sales presence is @DellOutlet. While I have been very adamant professing that you should not sell in social media, Dell is the one exception that I can think of. In 2009, Dell announced that they had surpassed $3M in sales via twitter. Dell sales success could not have been obtained if they had just started in social media to sell. Go back to the four objectives above. Two years after they were accomplished, they met a social sales milestone. @DellOutlet currently has over 1.5M followers. Now granted, $3M in sales is a relatively small number for Dell. But as Seth Godin points out, small percentages of swing can make a large impact.

Looking for success? Define what it looks like first and then define how to use social media to back into the success vision.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve

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Filed under brand marketing, brands, marketing plan, sales conversion, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Twitter, Uncategorized, Word of Mouth Marketing