Category Archives: social networking

Social Marketing Strategy 101: Are you ready?

Previously, I highlighted how I used social media. After reading recent posts by Dave Fleet and Social Media Explorer regarding the social media marketing ecosystem and measurement respectively, I wanted to expand upon my thoughts about how to take social marketing to the next level.

One challenge for many marketers isn’t how to get started, rather it’s how to delegate your time to make the most out of your social marketing. This series of posts will look at putting a social marketing strategy together. And where relevant, I’ll add my thoughts in terms of how PR can leverage this information for their strategies as well.

While many may start strong with social media, these efforts may slowly stop without fully evaluating if you’re ready to embark on a social marketing strategy. Here are six questions to ask yourself before starting:

  • Are your executives supporting you? While social marketing is being adopted by corporations, the question is whether your executives understand the value of social marketing to the business. Since results may not be immediate, you’ll want one executive sponsor who can advocate for the program and highlight the long-term benefits.
  • What are your objectives? The tendency is to start setting up pages and accounts before fully understanding what your objectives are. Take a step back and outline what your goals are before setting up accounts.
  • Where is your audience? Along with your objectives, evaluate where your audience congregates. Jeremiah Owyang of Web Strategist Blog calls this “fish where the fish are.”
  • Do you have something to say? Getting started is easy. Maintaining the momentum is difficult. Do you and your company have something to say, consistently? If not, then maybe starting a blog isn’t the best venue for you but maybe slideshare.net where you can post occasional presentations and white papers.
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to this? According to Exhibitor Media Group, 30% of marketing professionals spend 6+ hours on social marketing a week, with 10% spending 21+ hours. Do you have the time to monitor, create content and track metrics for your programs?
  • Who’s doing the work? Ok, you’ve identified someone who has the time, but who is that person? Social marketing is an extension of your corporate brand. You need to have the right individuals in place to evangelize and steward your brand.

Conclusion

By answering the above six questions, you can develop the right approach that fits your company and time. What other questions should one ask before pursuing a social marketing program?

FREE Using Social Media eBook

freeebookcover1After the past week’s distractions, I’ve been able to finalize a FREE eBook that compiles the Using Social Media Series into one easy-to-use guide. The previous posts included:

  

Again, the purpose of this eBook is to provide a quick guide for using social media. If you find this eBook valuable, please forward this to your friends, share on Facebook, retweet it or let me know what you think. I just ask that you provide attribution to the site.

 

Let me know what you think. I look forward to improving this moving forward.

 

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PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: December 20, 2007

OOPS – forgot to publish this last week =)

This will be my last summary until the New Year. Come back next week for my post reflecting on my first 6 months of blogging and popular posts. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed: 

Pitched Into a Coma -  Ok – I shouldn’t be pointing to this but I did find Ken Magill’s of DIRECT Magazine description of a bad PR pitch quite amusing. Here’s an excerpt of his “rant”:

Open QuoteOr maybe the reason we didn’t call back is because the pitch put us into a catatonic state. Such was the case with a pitch received here several weeks back.

It was so buzzword laden that before it put me into a catatonic state, it made me cock my head to the side like a confused dog.

Remedial Social Media GuideMichael Pick wrote a great primer for social media at MasterNewMedia. For those just starting out, this is a must read, while it may seem simplistic for those already implementing social media.

Social Networking for B2B PR – Tom Pick provides some interesting tips on how to use social networking for B2B PR. I highly recommend points 1 and 3 for any PR practitioner. 

Oh No Spock! – Alec Saunders typically writes about VoIP type of issues. He occasionally looks at things that impact him, such as this interesting practice from Spock – the people search engine. Alex highlights how Spock is using interesting ways to send invites to people for your trusted network 

SEOd Blog Drives Sales ResultsBtoB Magazine highlights how a company leveraged SEO to increase blog traffic which in turn drove sales leads. As more and more B2B companies begin experimenting with social media applications and tools, there will be more case studies of this type.
 

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PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: December 14, 2007

Better late than never – here is this week’s of interesting articles. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed: 

What Consumers Really Use Media – Via KD Paine’s blog, I saw this tidbit about Ketchum’s new survey. The survey highlights where consumers turn to for information and advice. Here’s the gist of the results: “Despite the strong evidence that friends, family and experts play a key role in influencing decisions, only 24 percent of communicators report having a word-of-mouth program in place.” 

Refresher Course for Blogging – Robin Good posts this primer from Joshua Porter. Joshua provides his nine tips for blogging. As communicators/practitioners/marketers, I think it’s key to understand how bloggers are constantly seeking to improve their blogs. And personally, I liked Joshua’s tips! 

To Astroturf, Is to Be? – Now is Gone is fast becoming one of my favorite PR related blogs. In this post, Ike highlights that astroturfing is just part of our human DNA. In the great words of the Borg “Resistance is futile” – or is it?  

Take a Community to Build a Social Network – Toby Bloomberg shares 12 tips for creating a social networking community. Very solid tips for any company wanting to create a community.  

The Great Twitter Experiment – As many may have heard by now, Jeremiah Owyang started an interesting experiment earlier this week. Jeremiah’s twitter post helped many people find each other, including yours truly. Check out my post about this as well. 

When Blogging Isn’t for Everyone – This comes courtesy of the Influential Interactive Marketing blog. Seems like Scott Adams of Dilbert fame is realizing that a blog may not be the best outlet for achieving his goals. In this case, Adams had some goals for his blog. As Rohit states: “Free or not free, if your blog ends up having a different voice than what your audience expects, then you may need to come to a similar realization about your blog.”  

Social Media in China – Da Jia Hao! (Hello Everyone!) – I will always have a soft spot for China and Taiwan. Buzz Bin brings us an interview with Debbie Weil and the growth of social media in China. Don’t underestimate China. Just because the media and information is supervised doesn’t mean it will curtail participation by individuals. People have learned to adapt within the unsaid rules of the culture.  

An Evolved CMO I found this interesting CMO research from Forrester interesting as it may help to understand what a CMO’s ultimate goal is. And heck, maybe we can help with this as well! 

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Let the 2008 Trend Lists Begin

Crystal BallIt’s that time of year when reporters, bloggers and companies take out their crystal ball to predict trends for 2008. Here are my top three trends that will impact the PR industry:

1.   Let a 100 Blogomerates Bloom: With the relaunch of Industry Standard (I believe as a blog) and the popularity of GigaOm, VentureBeat and TechCrunch, I envision more blogomerates gaining prominence and influence on the media landscape. “Traditional media” have already started creating blogs in specific topic areas but this will need to branch out more in terms of open comment policies and having dedicated bloggers versus reporters who blog. 

2.       Social Media Connections: I envision savvy PR departments/agencies leveraging social media networks to keep key reporters, bloggers, analysts and other influencers up to date on announcements. Facebook is probably the best default for this as you can maintain the invites and funnel interesting tidbits related to a specific industry/company for story ideas. Will news be broken via Facebook or other similar tool, that will be interesting to see. 

3.       Long Tail PR: Chris Anderson described the concept of the Long Tail and Now Is Gone did a great review of this for PR. The question is how does this truly impact PR? Top media coverage now extends from traditional media (i.e. WSJ, BusinessWeek, etc.) to top bloggers (i.g. GigaOm, TechCrunch, Read/Write, etc.). As PR has the opportunity to manage social media relationships, then how do you balance and measure the impact of “long tail” relations will be key in 2008. 

Tom Pick of Web Market Central also provided me with his predictions for 2008. My husband would be happy with number 4:

1. The social networking space will begin to implode. There are far too many players currently competing for too few eyeballs. The biggest and strongest (e.g. Digg, MySpace, FaceBook) will survive as general purpose social sites, but smaller players will need to specialize in order to remain viable. Specialization will revolve around affinity groups and demographics.

2. As a follow-on to prediction #1, businesses (at least a few forward-thinking ones) will begin to figure out how to capitalize on the popularity of social networks. It’s not about running ads on YouTube, it’s about participation: if a CEO or anyone else can bring value to a particular community (e.g. through great content and tags, and spending the time for back-and-forth dialog that adds value), then that person’s company and product/service will benefit from indirect association with that expertise.

3. PR professionals will reach out to bloggers in different ways, beyond just pitching press releases. For example, the blog community can bring value as – pardon the language, but it’s the clearest way to say this – bullsh*t detectors, as in “we think we’ve got something really hot on our hands here. We’d like to make this claim. Will that stand up to scrutiny?” and then let the dialog of the blog help determine the answer.

4. Realizing that none of its teams has a prayer of beating New England in the Super Bowl, the NFC sends its All-Pro team to Arizona. The Patriots still win by three touchdowns.

Here are links to other Top Trends for 2008:

 

  1. Top Marketing Trends via CRM Blog
  2. Jon Fine of Business Week via blip.tv
  3. Consumer Internet Trends via VentureBeat
  4. The Year of Business Networking from Read/Write Web
  5. What’s Hot or Not PRSA Panel with top reporters: Wall Street Journal‘s Kara Swisher and Don Clark; Business Week‘s Rob Hof; Forbes‘ Victoria Murphy Barrett; and Scobleizer‘s Robert Scoble. Ann Winblad of venture capital firm Hummer Winblad moderating.
  6. BtoB’s “2008 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey
  7. 2008 IT trends from IDG 
  8. Year of LinkedIn from Anne Zelenka of GigaOm  – Personal comment – this truly depends how LinkedIn maneuvers to “catch-up” to the other social networks. Advantage – seen by most as a professional site. Disadvantage – first move advantage taken over by Facebook and slow response to changes for the site.
  9. O’Reilly’s 2008 Stories they would like to see
  10. WebWorkerDaily’s 2008 Predictions
  11. AdAge came out with some interesting 2008 trends: marketers & micro trends, another interesting list, and CMO issues
  12. David Armano states that 2008 will be the Year of Mobile - what does this mean for PR and marketing opportunities?
  13. Micropersuasion’s Digital Trends for 2008 – Part I - this is just the first of several that will be posted, so tune in to the Micropersuasion blog for updates.
  14. Interesting SaaS Trends to watch for 2008
  15. BtoB Magazine presents their 2008 Trends for Email Marketing – By the way, my company actually did point 4 for a client =)

     

  16. An Eentrepreneur’s US Tech Trends for 2008 - note – this is via VentureBeat and written by Bernard Moon.

     

  17. GigaOm Panel Discussion with Dan Farber and Rafe Needleman about 2008 Tech Trends (video)

     

  18. Jeremiah Owyang interviews Guy Kawasaki about his predictions for marketing and tech in 2008. Interesting point, Guy says 2008 will be key for marketers. Demonstrating key value of programs is important for programs.
  19. B.L. Ochman’s 2008 Marketing Trends - personally, I think privacy has been an issue. It just comes back every few years depending on the technological landscape.
  20. Judith Hurwitz provides her 2008 Tech Trends

     

  21. MediaPost provides insight for Media Trends for 2008.

     

  22. Merril Lynch Internet Trends 2008

     

  23. Raghav Gupta’s 2008 Trends and Themes to Watch via GigaOm

     

  24. John Battelle’s 2008 Predictions - hmmm, I’m actually curious to see if these company predictions come true. I’m wondering if Microsoft can regain that magic and if Yahoo! can make the turnaround happen.

     

  25. George Dearing writes his trends for enterprise content management (ECM) in InformationWeek.Adding this because has tangential relevancy to my current company. I’m curious to hear more about platform-as-a-service.

     

     

 Am I missing any compilations? Do you have any recommendations of other trends for 2008? Let me know in the comments.

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