Introduction to Social Media Marketing for EDOs


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Your economic development organization has a Twitter account.
Is that enough? Find out how your efforts can produce…

In this brief but informative webinar, your host, Derek Pillie, Cirrus ABS LEDO Suite Project Manager, will introduce the world of social media and how your economic development organization can harness its power to produce positive results. You’ll learn answer to important questions like…

How important is it to have legions of followers?
How can you determine if your social media connections are actually interacting with your content?
What steps can you take to transform social media activity into project leads?

The topics:

• Basic social media terms and concepts “What do I need to know?”
• How to automate and analyze your social media efforts “What tools do I need to use?”
• Which data relates to your specific activity “What does the data mean?”
• Using data to make strategic communications decisions “How do I use this data?”

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  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations: Presented by Derek Pillie for LEDO Suite by Cirrus ABS on January 13,2010 for an online webinar. You can find us at: (project page & news updates), (twitter), (facebook),, and on LinkedIn at
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations: Presented by Derek Pillie, for Cirrus ABS. You can find Derek: (project page & news updates), (twitter), (facebook), and on LinkedIn at have worked in the economic development field in northeastern Indiana for a number of years and have been through Indiana’s Economic Development Course. I just started with Cirrus ABS a few weeks ago as the Project Manager for the LEDO Suite because I have a passion for making economic development organizations more effective at attracting outside investment.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations: Why are you here?Let’s talk about why you were motivated to click on that link to sign up for this webinar! As governments and private resources become more scarce, you’re under increasing pressure to justify how you allocate your resources as an economic development organization. One of my friends in the political world is fond of saying “If it isn’t measurable, it’s not worth doing.” There are few activities you can channel your marketing resources that will give you better real-time information that website analytics.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations: What will you learn?I generally kick off our webinars with a brief description of what we’re going to cover over the next half hour or so.If you don’t feel like we’ve addressed these points by the time we’re done, I welcome you to call me out on it! I’ll try to address any of your questions at the end of this presentation.As always, much thanks to Kevin Mullett and our staff at Cirrus ABS for their help preparing this webinar. Kevin is our general technology guru who does a number of these presentations.
  • Optimizing Website Analytics for Economic Development Organizations: About Cirrus ABSWe’re not going to dwell a great deal on this, but I want you to know we’re not a fly-by-night operation and we do know what we’re talking about when it comes to online technology and marketing. Cirrus ABS has been finding ways to help make organizations more effective since the Internet became relevant to many of us.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations: About Cirrus ABSWe build projects for large companies and small businesses… we do design work and we build the backbone that runs the website.A recent development has been an improvement of our content management system that has allowed the company to develop industry-specific solutions like the LEDO Suite for economic development organizations among other specialties.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // The “Social Three”: This concept was developed by Kevin Mullett here at Cirrus and it’s a useful way to take the stigma out of entering the world of social media. It’s a framework for identifying the terms we use in social media, looking at what they’re really talking about and putting them in correct context as we begin this discussion.Ultimately, Social Media is only different because it’s new, but marketers have adapted to a number of innovations over the year. As with any other tool, you need to determine if you can get something out of the time you put into it. By the end of this presentation we hope you’ll have the tools you need to identify one or more of these channels that fit your marketing needs and use it in a manner that achieves positive returns for your company.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Social Media = Tools: Some of the icons here you may recognize, others may seem less familiar – the big three Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, are probably familiar, Blogger, FriendFeed, Buzz, LinkedIn might be less familiar to you. You’ll note a newspaper, telvevision and radio tower at the bottom of the graphic – all of these are just tools you can use to reach an audience. Your plan should incorporate Social Media (media tools) just like you would use these other marketing channels, with a careful eye for audience.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Social Networking = Visibility: If the social media is the answer to the “What is the ‘Social Three’?” then social networking is the answer to “Who is part of the ‘Social Three’?” Remember to drop the “social” moniker to figure out what it means. Networking online is not all that different from offline. You have to prioritize your opportunities, you have to engage to be effective, and people will be jealous of your popularity… oh, wait… I wish I could say it’s an adult world out there, but the relative anonymity the online offers people to let their inner child. Sometimes you get a teenager, sometimes a toddler. Don’t let that stop you from finding good folks to network with online and build up a following for your community.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Social Marketing=Application: Now we get to the “How” part of the “Social Three.” If you drop the “Social” moniker from this term we just get marketing, or the strategies and tactics you apply to connect the “network” you’ve built up through various “media” to your community and the sites or incentives available there. The focus of this interaction should be on how you can help potential investors find your community. To really over simplify once you know the players and where the game is at, this would the game is played!
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Where Is The Intent?: As the quote from Forrester Research points out, customers are expecting increasing levels of engagement when processing information. We can see it in how we consume entertainment – did any of you really expect that 3-D television would be available? If you’ve been through our webinars you’ve seen this slide before and that’s because it forms the crux of our Net-Centered Marketing concept. We constructed our LEDO Suite around that concept and believe it is the way of the future for online marketing. For the purpose of this session, it’s important to note that next to SEO (which is short for search engine optimization), there isn’t much that competes with social for both intent and visibility (and it’s much cheaper than any sponsorship!).
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Why does my LEDO need this?: There are any number of reasons to do social media – here are six key reasons you should be using it for marketing your economic development organization. Some of these relate directly to the process of attracting new investment, other’s are more long-view approaches to developing authority and reliability with the search engines. All of these are important factors, particularly if they play a role in your integrated marketing plan.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Action 1: That brings us to our first action item – the first of many. You should come away from this presentation with plenty of “homework” to jumpstart your social media marketing.I am sure you all have an elevator pitch of some sort for your organization. It should focus on what differentiates you from your competition. Each service is going to have a different amount of space for you to talk about yourself. You’ll need to adapt your pitch accordingly.The last item isn’t necessarily a hard and fast rule – more of a guideline. But you want to be sure whichever type of image you use there’s a reason for it.
  • Webinar:Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Now You Need to Get the Word Out!: We’re going to directly borrow an example Kevin used – he’s quite good with photography in addition to his many other talents! Kevin uploaded picture #1 to his Flickr account on February 28th, picture #2 was uploaded on February 9th of the previous year. He submitted picture #2 to a link sharing site called StumbleUpon and you can see the results for yourself. That’s one site, one some of you may never even have heard of! This is why social marketing is such a powerful tool.
  • Introduction to Social Media for Economic Development Organizations // Action 2a: Use a service like to go grab your brands social id’s. I think it is wise for both branding reasons, and for online marketing presence to grab them. If you have an intern, this would be a great task to set them out on. Which ones are important? Which ones don’t you want a competitor or squatter to have? While the backlink value for many is not high, the fact that search engines are constantly crawling these networks is worth noting. This is especially important while the crawl rate on your website is low. Posting links to some of these networks, like or where the search engines already spend a significant amount of time, can lead to pages being indexed in under an hour and subsequently lead to radical improvement in new pages being indexed on your site.
  • Introduction to Social Media for Economic Development Organizations // Action 2a: Now use to store your social id’s in one spot. You can use the provided code to embed it on a website. Add key social sites to your email signatures. While you’re at it create a Google profile… we went into some detail on this process in a past webinar, be sure to check it out!There are many other ID aggregators. is another type.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Action 2c: Now lets shoot for some social visibility. This concepts takes content you post via your website, twitter, facebook, linkedin, delicious and posts it on other services where others are spending time and where the search engines are crawling. Each unique URL on each service is a page that Google could choose to serve up in a SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
  • Introduction to Social Media for Economic Development Organizations // Action 2d: Last but certainly not least lets go sign up for groups on the ning network and through our personal linkedin accounts. As you can see in this example we were able to promote our Fort Wayne Social Media Seminar on one of the groups we belong to on ning. This page was crawled within hours by google and ranked on page one for many terms within one day.The second example shows posting to social media site LinkedIn for this event also shows up well in the search engine result pages.Recent changes in the ning network pricing structure could destroy some of these groups. ($3, $20, $50 plans)
  • Introduction to Social Media for Economic Development Organizations // Backlinks are important: // Social posts have unique URL’s and count as backslinks! (nofollow) Someone told you that hundreds or thousands of backlinks were the key to SEO nirvana right? Well to be sure, backlinks are important, as it was one of the founding factors Google was based on. My example about the picture in the previous slide would also stand to prove that putting links out in the public eye can produce a traffic boost as well. And yet we have the knowledge that there are over 200 criteria that Google uses to determine rank. Furthermore I have seen sites that have been active for years with tens of thousands backlinks still not rank well because they do not sufficiently cover other ranking factors. Either way, we want to put our links out there for both visibility to real people and to search engines. We want them both to come visit. That isn’t bad, it’s called promotion.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Social Activity Optimization: This is where people normally suffer paralysis by analysis. I can hear the questions forming in your heads right now. How can we make this work for our organization? Won’t this take a huge chunk out of our day? The answer is not unlike any large project. We need to make plans, prioritize our goals, delegate responsibility to those who can do the job, optimize our efforts by using the right tools, and get organized. Although it can be very different for specific markets, by and large, we see internet activity run a normal cycle. People slowly ramp up in the morning, are very active during the lunch hour, then wind down till after supper. We can minimize our time commitment by first prioritizing when we post and interact. We can further maximize our time by using tools like tweetdeck or post once services to spread the news one time and have it appear on many services. Thought should be given to the message going out and the target service. This is at the root of social media activity and participation optimization.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Nothing to Say; No One Cares: One of the most common things we hear from companies for both their websites and their social efforts is that they have nothing to say, and no one would care anyway. We can get past that by remembering some simple suggestions. Be friendly and upbeat. Avoid issues that are hot buttons. Be helpful and listen first. Don’t be a comedian but be light hearted and engaging. Remember that Gitomer quote from the beginning – people always like doing business with people they like!We also encourage you to use RSS feeds and Google Alerts as additional ways to find good material you can comment on. It should go without saying, don’t copy other peoples articles. Instead, pull a snippet and summarize what that article means to your clients or business and include a link to the original article.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Action 3: A sure fire way to lose followers or Facebook friends is to stuff your timeline with keywords or spammy words. Go ahead and include keywords, but do not treat them as a focus. First and foremost you want to sound like you are presenting information or participating in a conversation. Do use keywords and industry terms though so followers looking for information on the subject can find you, and so the search engines can include your posts in the real time search results.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Where are You Sending Them?: Now once you have their attention, we need to plan where we want to send them. A simplistic few is you are either going to send them back to your website for additional information or to your Facebook fan page where you may be more opt to develop an ongoing relationship by continuously showing up in their timeline. Let’s again think of where people spend their time. They are already spending it on Facebook, not on your website. The goal is conversion, not visits.It helps if you established goals for your social media campaign. How can you optimize efforts if you don’t know the goal? If you say the purpose is simply to drive traffic you may be disappointed depending on the efforts you put in and the type of business you are in. Instead we need to also look at client interactions, brand awareness, and referral business.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Action 4: How many in here have a Facebook page? Formally “fan pages”. How many in here have Facebook accounts? What throws a lot of people off is the fact that you need to have a profile first so you can create a fan page. Visit ( to start the page creation process. Once you have the page setup you can also add other people, who have Facebook accounts, as admins. At the recent f8 conference Facebook released some changes which included turning companies, schools, likes, and interests into “community pages”.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // action 4 (continued): The process of completing your Facebook page will involve filling out various fields, inputting that “who we are” copy mentioned earlier (think elevator speech), customization and promotion. The customization and promotion part can be extensive. You can even use what is called FBML (Facebook Markup Language) to create custom tabs, etc. That is a whole seminar by itself. Simpler items like setting up automatic RSS feeds from your website, posting to twitter when posting on Facebook, and associating your url-shortening account with Facebook are easy to setup.To keep things really simple for the purpose of this seminar, let’s just make sure to put good content on the fan page and tell people you have a Facebook page so they can connect. Also worth noting is that you can get a vanity URL ( once you have 25 fans. Our vanity url looks like this Oh. We would love for you to become a fan.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Facebook Takes Over the Internet: Facebook recently released The Open Graph Protocol, which essentially allows all websites to tie in with Facebook. This is exciting because the visitors of your site have the potential to “like” your site or individual pages of content and thus show it to their friends in the Facebook timeline. Read more about the Open Graph protocol. (
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Action 5: Since we have mentioned it several times so far, and since most of the social services or social clients have a tie in, I would suggest signing up for an account. This way you will have another way of checking traffic sources and volume. I know of well over 30 other url shortening service that are available to be used, and in fact a growing trend is for companies to create their own urlshorteners, but for our purposes should do the trick.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Measuring the Right Things: The trap many fall into is trying to hard for friends, fans, and followers due to pride or greed. They have mistaken followers as accurate measures of value. Since followers can easily be bought or faked, they cannot be accurately used for valuation. Instead we must build organic followers with intent to interact with us. We also must consider carefully how much weight we put on the types of people we engage with. These are great people to engage with, but they are likely to fill our pride tank before filling the coffers of our companies.
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // What Really Happened?: We need to look to other criteria to judge the success or failure of our efforts. Things like reach, engagement, attention capture, connectivity, interactions and more. We can use tools like Klout, TweetStats, Twitter Analyzer, Facebook Insights, TweetReach, and there are now ways to hook up Google Analytics to your Facebook fan page now as well. I could go on for a solid half hour or more on the various tools and methods for measurement. The point I want to drive home is to make sure we are measuring the right things.What are good metrics for social media success? To name just a few: influence, traffic, reputation and brand management, visibility, engagement, competitive intelligence garnered, and of course revenue. Let’s not forget revenue!
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations // Action 6: Did it work? do it again. We want to look for successes so we can repeat them and failures so we can correct or avoid them. While it sounds geeky to discuss Google A/B or multivariate testing, this will not lead to conclusive results for clients with low traffic volume. It certainly may not provide enough measurable change to warrant the cost of creating those changes. This in no way means we should not constantly be testing for improvement. We can as an alternative look to landing page effectiveness, conversion funnels, bounce rates, time on site, and many other types of clues in order to fine tune ROI. We can also check what effect our social efforts have had on our SERP (search engine results page). Use tools like Rank Checker for keywords you have selected, hopefully based on validation efforts, to check before and after results. You will also want to express the need for everyone in the company to be committed to monitoring contacts, calls, and lead sources for clues on what is working so you can do it again.
  • We’ll be doing these webinars every other week in the future, so mark your calendars. If you have suggestions for a topic you’d like for us to cover, just let us know at
  • We at Cirrus ABS appreciate you taking the time to learn how to improve your internet marketing efforts. Please let us know how we can help you and if you liked this seminar please remember to sign up for our next webinar!Please type in any questions you have and we’ll be glad to answer them!
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing for EDOs

    1. 1. Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Organizations //<br />Derek Pillie<br /><br />
    2. 2. Optimizing Website Analytics for Economic Development Organizations //<br />Derek Pillie<br /> search for “derekpillie” or “dpillie”<br />Project Manager – LEDO Suite<br />
    3. 3. Why are You Here?<br /><ul><li>You know that the success of your economic development organization means attracting new businesses and supporting existing business
    4. 4. You know attracting new investors means going where they are
    5. 5. You know that you know these investors are online
    6. 6. Over 90% of site selection begins (or ends) on the web
    7. 7. How do you know these investors are finding your website?
    8. 8. Your stakeholders want to know that they are getting a solid return on their investment in your online marketing program</li></li></ul><li>What Will You Learn?<br /><ul><li>What exactly IS this social media thing and what does it mean to you
    9. 9. What free online tools you can use to optimize your social media impact
    10. 10. What steps you need to take to determine what elements of a social media plan are necessary for your organization.
    11. 11. How to measure the data generated through your social media channels to determine the effectiveness of your plan
    12. 12. How to best utilize free information to connect with potential investors researching opportunities online.</li></li></ul><li>About Cirrus ABS<br /><ul><li>15 Years Experience in Online Marketing and Website Development
    13. 13. Hybrid company that offers the best of marketing and technology firms
    14. 14. 25+ employees
    15. 15. Full staff of technical & creative personnel
    16. 16. Clients ranging from Fortune 500 to small local businesses</li></li></ul><li>About Cirrus ABS<br />Cirrus ABS Core Competencies<br /><ul><li>Corporate Marketing Solutions - Strategic Consulting, Website Development, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    17. 17. Platform Solution Development
    18. 18. Vertical Market Solutions
    19. 19. Economic Development, Education, Insurance…
    20. 20. Corporate Solutions for Distributor/Dealer Networks
    21. 21. Franchise Solutions</li></li></ul><li>Cirrus ABS Featured ED Clients<br />
    22. 22. Cirrus ABS Featured Corporate Clients<br />
    23. 23. SM // The “Social Three”<br />SOCIAL MEDIA – <br /> Take the “social” out of it and it is just good, old-fashioned media<br />SOCIAL NETWORKING – <br /> Just like business or personal networking, just online<br />SOCIAL MARKETING – <br />The same concepts you employ in other marketing efforts will still work here<br />
    24. 24. SM // Social Media = Tools<br />
    25. 25. SM // Social Networking = Visibility<br />
    26. 26. SM// Social Marketing = Application<br />
    27. 27. SM // Where Is The Intent?<br /><ul><li> Television
    28. 28. Direct Mail
    29. 29. Radio
    30. 30. Newspaper
    31. 31. Print
    32. 32. Email Marketing
    33. 33. Social Media
    34. 34. SEO
    35. 35. Search Marketing
    36. 36. Trade Shows
    37. 37. Sponsorships
    38. 38. Yellow Pages</li></li></ul><li>SM // Why does my LEDO need this?<br />It can help you attract new investment!<br />Improves your online visibility<br />Provides opportunities for feedback from stakeholders, investors and community<br />Establishes traffic through backlinks to specific pages on your site<br />Encourages page or site indexing by search engines<br />Promotes your “likability factor”<br />“All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things being not quite so equal, people STILL want to do business with their friends” – Jeffrey Gitomer<br />6. Promotes knowledge expertise within organization and throughout community<br />
    39. 39. SM // Action 1<br />Establish an online presence! Here’s how:<br />Develop your “elevator pitch”<br />Optimize your “What We Do” paragraph, then adapt it to fit in various profile areas<br />Use photos to identify personal accounts, photos and logos (or logos) for business accounts<br />
    40. 40. SM // Now You Need to Get the Word Out<br />Picture #1 was promoted via social media channels<br />Picture #2 wasn’t promoted at all<br />Picture #1, in one day, received almost as much traffic as the other photo received over six months!<br />
    41. 41. SM // Action 2a<br />Grab your brand!<br />Mass social media id check with<br />
    42. 42. SM // Action 2b<br />Centralize and promote your brand identification through a mass social media ID listing like or set up a Google Profile<br />
    43. 43. SM // Action 2c<br />Use one or more services to help push and promote your content to your targeted audience<br />Exmamples:<br />FriendFeed, Tumblr,<br />
    44. 44. SM // Action 2d<br />Network your brand… join or start events on or LinkedIn… join or start groups on Facebook or LinkedIn –PARTICIPATE!<br />
    45. 45. SM // Backlinks Are Important<br />Social profile & post backlinks<br />Why do we want backlinks?<br />visibility / brand recognition<br />traffic generation / linkbait(to pages or our site)<br />to encourage page or site indexing<br />increase page rank / authority(can impact SERPs)<br />someone told you to get backlinks<br />
    46. 46. SM // Social Activity Optimization<br />Optimize your efforts!<br />Schedule activity during peak times<br />Coordinate your efforts through free tools!<br />
    47. 47. SM // Nothing to Say; No One Cares<br />We hear it all the time! I don’t have anything to say & no one<br />would care anyway. How do I attract followers / fans?<br /><ul><li>be friendly & upbeat
    48. 48. avoid sensitive issues
    49. 49. be helpful,listen first
    50. 50. engaging & funny</li></li></ul><li>SM // Action 3<br />Posting Tips:<br />Use keywords and keyword phrases sparingly<br />Keywords should be RELEVANT to the subject!<br />Avoid “spammy” words<br />Avoid hyperbole<br />Appear informative<br />Adopt a conversational tone<br />
    51. 51. SM // Where are You Sending Them?<br />What is your goal?<br />Will your website or fan page support conversion?<br />Which are they more likely to visit daily?<br />Are you sending them to just another link?<br />
    52. 52. SM // Action 4a<br />The Many Flavors of Facebook!<br />Community Pages<br />Groups, both old and new!<br />Profiles are for people, pages are for products/services/etc.<br />Create a fan page, on the right side look for: <br />
    53. 53. SM / Action 4b<br />Select a category and follow the instructions<br />Complete the profile on the “page” and promote it!<br />Once you get 25 “likes” you can secure a vanity URL.<br />
    54. 54. SM / Facebook Takes Over the Internet<br />visible to their friends timeline (a recommendation)<br />Simple code to add the like button<br />Backend code to add site name and attributes<br />
    55. 55. SM // Action 5<br />Setup a URL shortener account<br />(There are many other url-shorteners, but is trusted & widely used) <br />
    56. 56. SM / Measuring the Right Things<br />Is this the right kind of measurement?<br />
    57. 57. SM // What Really Happened?<br />Measuring traffic, engagement, reach…<br />
    58. 58. SM // Action 6<br />Check Google Analytics or server logs for:bounce rates, time on site, pages visited, conversion pages, confirmation pages (setup advanced filters & funnels)<br />monitor contacts, calls, lead sources<br />rank checker: firefox add-on<br /> analytics<br />
    59. 59. SM// Upcoming webinars<br />Join us for future webinars every other Thursday<br />Watch for updates<br />Thursday, January 27th, Subject to be determined – Let us know what you’d like!<br />Thursday, February 10th, Subject to be determined – Let us know what you’d like!<br />
    60. 60. We'll Help You Master Internet Marketing<br /> These days it’s more important than ever for you to reach new investors, satisfy existing businesses, find new efficiencies, and improve your local business climate. The Web is the way to do it. We can help!<br /> Call Derek Pillie at 1.877.817.4442 to find out how we can improve your online visibility.<br /> Please take our post-webinar questionnaire at<br />