Forum Con - Dan Gill - Forums: Where Social Media Purchasing Happens


Published on

While Facebook, Twitter, Geolocation, and other memes dominate the “social media” buzz, savvy marketers understand the importance of authentic communication with engaged and intent consumers, best found in online forums. We will demonstrate ways that great communities create symbiotic opportunities with marketers, explain how to accentuate the right aspects of your statistics and audience, and showcase strategies for improving your sites’ content to appeal to advertisers.

Dan is a graduate of Stanford University, 9 time All-American gymnast, and former international competitor for the US National Team. Starting his career in enterprise software, Dan held key positions in Sales, Business Development, and Marketing. Stars aligned in 2007 when his oldest brother Ted, a career engineer and technologist approached him with the concept behind Huddler.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Forum Con - Dan Gill - Forums: Where Social Media Purchasing Happens

  1. 1. ForumCon SF 2011<br />Forums: Where Purchasing Happens in Social Media<br />
  2. 2. Online Community Monetization<br />Too many options for 25 minutes…<br /><ul><li>Monetizing users: Classifieds, Schwag, Supporter Memberships, etc.
  3. 3. Ad Networks/Remnant: Adsense Ad Networks
  4. 4. Affiliate links: Viglinks/Driving Revenue, Ebay, etc.
  5. 5. Direct Sold/Premium: Building relationships with brands and agencies to advertise on your site</li></li></ul><li>The Social Media Freight Train<br />Late 2008.<br />“What in heaven’s name made you think you could monetize the real <br />estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?” <br />- Ted McConnell, GM Interactive Marketing and Innovation, P&G<br />One Year Later.<br />“P&G sees the value of digital and social media in consumers’ lives and <br />we want to connect with consumers in the environments where they are <br />spending their time.”<br />- P&G spokesperson<br />
  6. 6. Unprecedented Adoption<br />Recent Survey by Alterian of 1,068 Global Marketers:<br />“66% of marketers will be investing in engaging consumers via social media channels in the coming 12 months”<br />
  7. 7. Are Forums Social Media?<br />“Social Media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers.” –Brian Solis, Social Media Manifesto<br /><ul><li>Many to many communication – user driven
  8. 8. Conversational
  9. 9. “Real-time” – nothing more real-time about Twitter than forums…still asynchronous communication</li></ul>ABSOLUTELY FORUMS ARE SOCIAL MEDIA – so why don’t we get as much love? That’s why we’re here…<br />
  10. 10. Marketer’s Ideal: Engagement AND Intent<br />Intent<br />Ideal Blend:<br />Forums?<br />Engagement<br />
  11. 11. Forums are Social, but based on Shared Passion<br />“I love J Brand’s new Agnes black denim, any other ideas for a classy black skinny jean?”<br />“Seeking recommendations for the very best audiophile over-ear headphones on the market today?”<br />Where Purchasing Happens in Social Media<br />“What is the best high quality whole wheat flour for daily baking needs…?”<br />“We’re planning our big day, thinking Cabo…we need a great resort and amazing local photographer!?”<br />
  12. 12. So What?!<br />
  13. 13. Savvy Marketers are hip to the new reality<br />Past<br />Present<br />“Many marketers focus on media spend (principally advertising) rather than on driving advocacy. The coolest banner ads, best search buys, and hottest viral videos may win consideration for a brand, but if the product gets weak reviews – or worse, isn’t even discussed online – it’s unlikely to survive the winnowing process.” –Harvard Business Review, 12/2010<br />
  14. 14. Your Two Most Valuable Assets<br />1) Your Influencers<br /><ul><li>The Classic 1-9-90 rule of the online communities
  15. 15. Not just post count, but most threads started, largest number of replies – “Connectors” </li></ul>2) Intent Traffic<br /><ul><li>Analytics are your friend
  16. 16. How many natural search visitors came to your site using queries containing your target advertisers’ brand? Their product category?
  17. 17. Accentuate the positive – high time on site? Huge re-visit frequency? Huge audience? Lots of activity? </li></ul>Help advertisers work with you and your influencers to influence your intent users<br />
  18. 18. Symbiotic Marketing<br /><ul><li>Providing ways for brands to interact with your community that work for both your community and the brand
  19. 19. Focus groups
  20. 20. Product Sampling
  21. 21. Contests/Giveaways
  22. 22. Structured interaction within the community
  23. 23. Understand potential advertisers’ goals and what you can realistically provide
  24. 24. Product feedback?
  25. 25. Buzz?
  26. 26. Brand Loyalty?
  27. 27. Positive association?
  28. 28. Sales?</li></ul>Examples!<br />
  29. 29.<br />BDW is THEsite for brides planning their weddings around the globe<br /><ul><li>Strong focus on SEO
  30. 30. Philosophy of letting brides share not only with one another, but directly with vendors on the site
  31. 31. 1:1 conversations with vendors become 1:many conversations because of “lurkers”
  32. 32. Jan-2011 has been our highest traffic ever</li></li></ul><li>Letting a Brand Participate<br />Custom Signatures<br />Showcase Page<br />Sponsor Logos<br />
  33. 33. Other ways we’ve Invited Marketers/Anecdotes<br /><ul><li>Contests/Giveaways
  34. 34. Tell us your BFF story and get a free photo shoot
  35. 35. Review writing contest for free nights at resort in Mexico
  36. 36. Contributing Articles/Wikis with their knowledge (pay to play)</li></li></ul><li>Conversations: Sponsored by [major washer/dryer brand]<br />’s tips for washing cloth diapers<br />[new washer/dryer] saves you 2 hours a week. “How would you pamper yourself in that hour?” <br />[new washer/dryer] saves you $200 a year, “How would you spend it?”<br />[new washer/dryer] ultra-quiet features, “How would you spend your quiet time?”<br />600x250 unit (homepage) or 300x500 unit (content pages). <br />Left half of the unit involves conversations taken from Mothering and other relevant Huddler communities. <br />Right half of the unit introduces the relevant feature that saves our Whirlpool buyer time, quiet and money. <br />mothering conversations<br />
  37. 37. Think Big, but be Realistic<br /><ul><li>Your site may not be ready for Best Buy to drop $500k on it, but it may be time for a local provider to spend $500/month
  38. 38. Understand their goals
  39. 39. Understand your strengths
  40. 40. Tell a compelling story/anecdote – you wouldn’t run your community if you didn’t have passion and knowledge</li></li></ul><li>Questions?<br />
  41. 41. Context is Key<br />Response to review on video game community<br />Response to same review on Facebook<br />