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Anti Hype: Measuring What Counts for Your Business in Social Media

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  • Hi everyone, I’m Dave Wieneke and thanks for joining us. In order to fulfill the promise of this presentation’s title: “Measuring What Counts for Your Business in Social Media” we’re going to really have two presentations – first one of strategy “what counts for your business” and then a “how to” demonstration “measurement” techniques. My goal is to have something useful for everyone regardless of your industry or company size. As a quick intro I’ve run strategy for a national newspaper (the CS Monitor), a division of aB2B Marketer: Thomson Reuters Legal, and today I direct digital marketing for Sokolove Law which a 21st century law firm and the largest legal marketer in the US. That’s it for the intro – let’s get the “anti-hype” view of social measurement on the road.
  • Judging from industry press, interest among marketers in social media is as pervasive as teens thinking about romance. Recognize diversity in audience – you may be a social media specialist looking for new strategy, in a firm considering it’s firstinitiatives who wants to measure it, or a friendly skeptic asking if there’s any there, there.
  • (tag = “append marketing parameters to inbound links”) -- We will turn conventional thinking about social ROI and strategy on its head – AND show how to use basic analytic tools to measure SOME of social media’s business results. That’s a lot to do, so let’s get going.
  • Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have reached mass adoption and platform status. They’re among the most trafficed websites the the world, and are literally becoming the new networks – organizing content and influence in onlne communications.
  • Investment in social media: which includes: those social networks I mentioned, user reviews, syndicated videos and blogs is growing explosively. According to Forrester, it will continue to grow 34% annually, from around 700M to 2009 to over 3B in 20104. That will leave it behind still behind search marketing and display advertising, but a larger chuck of interactive marketing than email or mobile, even as they continue to grow. If you’re a social media professional, there couldn’t be a better time to be building your practice.
  • Analytics is how we begin to rationalize the allocation of investment within the business, and to set expectations.
  • If business is ultimately focused on creating receivables – marketers like us, must move to describe the business results we can provide in tactically, and as a long term asset. Performance targets are social media’s friend – it get’s us off a hype cycle that drives magical thinking.
  • And absent this – once the group think or hype of social media subscides -- we rationalize continued investment to this part of the business….or a big problem will arise.Anyone who has done social media at any scale knows its labor intensive. Real-time presence, its about people. This may be earned or owned media – but growing to scale isn’t free.
  • And less you think this problem was confined to 2009 – as the gold slice of this pie chart shows, a lack of meaningful business data as the #1 inhibitor to social. And that certainly drives a lack of mgt buy in, and its absense on the strategic roadmap. Though social is promising, measurement is the hurdle to clear for mass business adoption. The 9% in red who can’t make the case, and the 12% in black how aren’t there because its not on their strategic roadmap – they simply want a plan to make social media worth the effort. The “magical thinking” which they are avoiding is where we start to build our case for social media in the real world.
  • This is the challenge I met as I gather a team to help a local event marketer who was days away from their event. They were out of budget, and hoped that social media could close a 40% sales gap in 10 days.
  • This is the challenge I met as I gather a team to help a local event marketer who was days away from their event. They were out of budget, and hoped that social media could close a 40% sales gap in 10 days.
  • This is one of the biggest questions in marketing. It transfixed social marketing over the last year, but as positive results accumulate, many marketers are justifying investments based on early results….and because of buzz.
  • Talk about the first two stimulus / response phases. Your directors of sales already know this is their gut. Their prospects suddenly are in charge – they are coming to sales to negotiate, and already have decision criteria in hand, and know your firms value proposition. To not make this change and provide them aircover in consumer driven social media is the kind of failure many firms won’t endure.
  • ROI measures stimulus / response transactions well. You turn off the light and no residual light remains. Turn it back on – and its like it was never dark. Investment is discreet that way – deals don’t overlap. Advertising is fairly discrete, most companies think of PR that way. That’s why it gets turned off like a switch during hard times. (note to social media folks – 20% of social teams currently sit in PR). Think of the switch – that’s what the event company that needed sales was looking for.
  • If social media is in its freshman year, then social media measurement is in junior high. I’ll not present an illusion of perfection, because honestly we all know social marketing is an evolving process. But it is a marketing process – billions of dollars are invested by firms each year. And measurement plays a vital role in connecting our activities with our strategy.
  • Faucets direct resources – they don’t create them. If you build a superior social media faucet, you need consumers to put their investment of time, network and reputation behind it. The investment made by your CONSUMERS in the brand is theresovoir behind social media. ROI calculations suppose that the firm’s investment is complete and sufficient, it misses that customers are in control.
  • Your firm is providing seed capitol for clients to make a real investment. Don’t treat it like a light switch.
  • All firms are about billability – and marketing rightly associates channels to revenue. But leads can’t be the start and finish – because creating leads isn’t your clients’ goal. And who ever speaks to them in social, needs to take off the marketer hat and do it personally.
  • This will be the only time I show my own firm’s social. We’ll look beyond legal – in our conservative space we have been an early actor.
  • Talk about benefits.
  • It is an error to choose measurability over effectiveness. 1,800+ marketers tell us the best sources may have hazy attribution.
  • The little known blender company saw its sales increase fivefold.
  • P&G has 350,000 members on vocalpoint, and 100,000 teens on tremor. General Foods has over 100,000 on pssst.generalmills.com.From this comes word of mouth,r&d, promotable validation – and ready made lists of pre-disposed buyers for future launches.
  • Usually in a cab we focus on a single metric – either cost or time. Drivers need tactical data about weather, demand and traffic patterns….but the owner care about the revenue meter. Do you have a social media strategy that connects to the revenue meter, or some key business value? If your not – that’s okay – it’s a hobby. Some people drive to enjoy the city, they’re not cabs.
  • Walk through. Every business has a different result. Coming from a print back ground there’s an “anti-pattern” separating the digital people from the print news people.
  • I used to work in news publishing. Having separate digital vs. print news teams is a big anti-pattern. Same thing with splitting Social team from marketing……One of the great misnomers is that there is anything inherantly social about the tools of social media. Video, Blogs, Networks, Twitter can all be used in an a-social, self-referential, counter productive ways. These tools aren’t social – unless they’re in the hands of socially savvy marketers. And we’re going to talk about the huge range of metrics available and what one can do with them through the social media lifecycle.
  • Consideration is tangible but incomplete. Engagement and acquisition give a more complete picture of impact, but are further from outcome.
  • I’m surprised to note that I look at RSS subs a few times per week, but general follow numbers monthly. And yes, I do a monthly report even for personal media.
  • But wait – engagement is so specific to content I look at that daily. And them sum it to monthly reports.
  • We stay engaged to promote those who promote and engage the brand.
  • Adhocracy.
  • Analytics data is the single most effective way to measure and demonstrate return on marketing investment. Analytics creates answers based of facts consumers give us. + Does social media marketing deliver website traffic that pays off in conversions and reveneue? + Which channels perform best or worst? How does this compare to organic or paid search, or radio, or mail? + What content in our blog drives the most / best leads? (what are our “money pages”)It is how we begin to rationalize the allocation of investment to this part of the business.
  • Segmented data is powerful – data in aggregate is mostly muddiness that obscured effects.
  • Overdrive Interactive’s social eye and Metricly provide early dashboards, as do some agencies and analytics consultants.