So, what is social media really? At its core, social media is about sharing. Whether its news articles we find interesting or video we find hilarious, sharing is the very root of Social Media. It goes on to describe social media as democratizing information; transforming people from content readers into content publishers. In this case, the word “democratization” is meant to mean a move away from a perceived old and authoritarian media - the major TV networks, film studios, record companies and newspapers – to a time where content is more personal, readily available, free, and can be delivered based on ones likes and dislikes. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in a conversational format between authors and people.
With more than 400 million active users worldwide and rising fast, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated country behind leaders China ( 1.33 billion ) and India (1.17 billion).
Year to reach 50 million users… RADIO – 38 years TV – 13 years INTERNET – 4 years iPOD – 3 year Facebook also tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
Before you start blogging and Tweeting, you’re going to need to align social media activities with your respective business objectives. The most effective way to do this is to listen first. Basically, you need to decide where your target audience is and how they are utilizing social media to gather information and make decisions. If the tone or the message is not appropriate for your main audience, or if the your audience is not hearing and engaging with your message, there is no benefit.
Social media gives us all the opportunity to establish and utilize a powerful set of digital ears to monitor and engage in conversations taking place daily online. There are filtering, aggregating and alert tools that we can use to gain access to real-time conversations about: * Client’s ongoing experiences * Any mentions of your name * Any mentions of certain keywords and phrases that you would find valuable * Complaints about competing services * Inaccurate information about you or RE/MAX Preferred * Thoughts and needs of journalists in the industry
Listening is a critical ongoing element in building an effective social media strategy. Once you determine where your target audience is and what they are saying, you can move on to developing a social media strategy.
The need to develop clear, measurable goals is critical for any social media marketing campaign. Knowing how effective tactics are can also help determine social media ROI and help decide what tactics work and which do not. Three Primary Social Media Goals When we look at online marketing, there are three broad categories into which nearly all social media related goals can fall. They are usually either aimed at: Building/Strengthening the Brand Driving Conversions Increasing/Monitoring the Presence Let's take a closer look at these three areas and how they might apply to your social media efforts.
Build Your Brand When it comes to building and reinforcing your brand, social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. It gives you the strongest and broadest opportunity to both find your target audience and to engage in conversation with them. Target a specific niche and build a blogging and Twitter strategy around that. Demonstrate your expertise in working with a certain type of client and then seek out those types of clients to have conversation with. Look for new ways to connect with them and encourage your current clients to socially share your articles with their networks .
Drive Conversions One of smartest reasons to use social media is for the potential boost it can have to your conversion efforts. Whether you're looking to drive sales, increase leads or simply drive people to action, conversions are an easily trackable goal. Sit down and write out a list of all the potential actions someone might take while engaging with your company's web site or while interacting online. Obvious options like buying your products or becoming a lead spring to mind, but don't forget about other valuable actions like subscribing to your newsletter, re-tweeting a blog post or downloading a white paper. Read over your list and think about the different ways you might be able to use social media to increase conversions for each item. Often times, this is the best way to start planning your social media efforts.
Increase Presence Finally, we come to the goal most often associated with social media outreach efforts; increasing the conversation about your brand. After all, social media is all about the conversation. It's about the only space in the world where consumers talk to each other and to companies in an environment that can be tracked, sorted and followed-up with. As we’ve already covered, setting up social media monitoring can go a long way toward helping you follow these conversations. When it comes to the conversation people might be having about you online, ask yourself a few questions. Who do you want to hear talking? What do you want them to be saying? Who do you want them to say it to? These are your starting points for setting up key goals within the realm of increasing your presence.
To fully understand the impact of your social media efforts, you need a true social media measurement dashboard. You can actually create your own social media measurement dashboard by following five key metrics. 1. Total Gross Views Gross views is the aggregate of views across your various social media channels. It represents the number of times users were exposed to your brand through your social media channels. Some of the metrics that go into this calculation include: Facebook page views Blog page views YouTube channel views YouTube video views Flickr photo views 2. Connections This is a calculation of anyone who has explicitly expressed an interest in your brand or company. By expressing their interest, the user has taken the next step beyond just being exposed to your brand or company to now having a relationship where a conversation can take place. Some of the metrics that will fall under the connection calculation include: Blog subscribers Facebook fans/likes Twitter followers YouTube friends and subscribers LinkedIn group members 3. Audience Engagements Audience engagement is a measure of how actively your audience is engaging with or talking about your brand or company. A few of the key metrics that go into the calculation include: Blog comments Twitter re-tweets Facebook interactions YouTube interactions Social media brand mentions 4. Social Media Referrals Likely one of your ultimate goals of a social media campaign is to drive visitors to a site where a conversion can take place. Measuring social media referrals to your site is thus a critical component of a social media measurement dashboard. In order to properly measure social media referrals, there will need to be some set up and configuration with your web analytics tool. Once this has been completed, you'll be able to measure social media referrals that can be tied directly to your efforts as well as social media referrals that aren't directly attributed to your efforts. 5. Social Media Conversions At the end of the day, you will judge your social media activity on its ability to deliver business value. You need to show how these types of metrics translate into conversions that provide value and, for you, sales. If you've properly set up and configured your web analytics tool to measure social media referrals and you've defined your site goals, then you're ready to measure conversions. You should measure conversions from each social media channel and then roll it up into total conversions that can be attributed to social media.
The next step is to get immersed in content creation. A key part of any ongoing social media effort should include publishing unique, dynamic content not only to a main website, but on social media outposts as well. Content includes blogs, podcasts, photos, videos, social profiles, online news releases, reviews, etc. with relevant linked content that generates traffic. It is rare these days to do any kind of normal search that does not return results from social media sites. Blog content dominates search engine queries and videos, audios and images are routinely mixed in on page one of Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com. Search engine optimization and social media are undeniably intertwined. [Show how to set up Google profile and LinkedIn profile]
It’s not easy for everyone to build lots of tools and manage multiple sites. But you could easily start a blog and you could start to participate in social media tools that will help you to build your digital footprint. The result of such activity is a network of digital assets each driving qualified traffic and leads back to your main hub, which is your website.
Hello Patrick W. Giammarco www.pwgmarketing.com Email: [email_address] Twitter: twitter.com/pwgiammarco LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/patrickgiammarco ledo.ning.com
SO•CIAL ME•DI•A [soh-sh uh l mee-dee- uh ] Wikipedia defines social media as how people discover and share news, information, opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives with each other. It’s the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into content publishers Image from www.istrat.in/blog/?tag=/facebook
BECAUSE 3 OUT OF 4 AMERICANS USE SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY Forrester, The Growth Of Social Technology Adoption, 2008
96% of Millennials have joined a social network
Nielsen, Global Faces & Networked Places, 2009 Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the Web
BECAUSE TIME SPENT ON SOCIAL NETWORKS IS GROWING AT 3X THE OVERALL INTERNET RATE, ACCOUNTING FOR ALMOST 10% OF ALL INTERNET TIME Nielsen, Global Faces & Networked Places, 2009
78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements
85% of social media users believe that a company should go further than just having a presence on social sites and should also interact with its customers. Cone, Business in Social Media Study, September 2008
UNFORTUNATELY, MOST COMPANIES ARE STILL TREATING SOCIAL MEDIA LIST JUST ANOTHER MARKETING CHANNEL
SOCIAL MEDIA IS SUPPOSED TO BE A DIALOGUE, NOT A MONOLOGUE