Using Social Media Marketing to Connect with Customers and Increase Sales A Hot Topic
• Moderator: Glen McCandless President, Focus Marketing; Publisher, SellingToSchools.com• Panelists – Brandi Heinz Brown Social Media + E-commerce Manager, ETA hand2mind – Charlene Blohm President, C. Blohm & Associates – Ileana Rowe Principal, Corporate Growth – Mitch Weisburgh Managing Partner, Academic Business Advisors, LLC
Our Goal for This Session is to…Meet your expectations based on thedescription in the conference program:– Why social media; How to get started.– What networks to use? How to get best results.– Social media as part of your overall marketing strategy– How social media marketing can be used to attract and retain more customers– Best practices for K-12 and hi-ed audiences
Why invest insocial media marketing (SMM)? Convince Me!
What are the benefits of SMM?According toa survey ofmarketingmanagers
Choices, choices, choices …Which SMnetworks do weuse to engagevariousstakeholders?
Twitter, Google+, or Plurk • Educators often raise their problems • Educators look for good information or links • You can connect if you can offer advice or links that helps them in their jobs and lives • If you connect, you increased your brand recognitionPotential Users Users Thought Leaders
#Edchat and other chats • Expands your network of contacts • Find out what mindshare leaders are talking about • If you contribute valuably, connectors are more likely to share your informationPotential Users Users Thought Leaders
EduPln, Classroom 2.0, and other Ning Communities• These members are often the technology leaders, and you can connect with them• Many tech savvy teachers go to these sites, and if they see your name, you have increased your brand recognitionThought Leaders Potential Users
EdWeb, WeAreTeachers, and other proprietary communities• You can be a sponsor to directly reach their members – Run a contest – Run webinars – AdvertisePotential Users
Reading & Commenting on Blogs • Blog writers are often thought leaders: market research • Potential buyers & users read these blogs • Blog article links are often valuable to Tweet to other educators, while also connecting you to the blog writer if you site themThought Leaders
Writing Blogs• Places you as an expert or thought leader if your blog content if valuable to educators• Tweet to hashtags to make entries better known• When potential buyers look for you, they will find your blog articles• Method of staying in touch with potential users and buyers who subscribeProspects Customers Thought Leaders Potential DMs Users
LinkedIn • Industry groups, but not many educators • Post job openings and look for jobs • Become known within the industry by responding to group postsEducation Community Thought Leaders
Facebook• I’ve yet to see a well used education business page• Follow some groups of educators to expand your network• Contribute links and advice to groups to be perceived as helpful and a thought leaderUsers Potential Users
Diigo, LiveBinders, and other social bookmarking• Keep track and tag links that will be helpful• Recall links when they are relevant to a question that was raisedPotential Users Users Thought Leaders
How to get started: Vendor options, costs, required resourcesWhat do you really need?• Overall strategy and messaging• Implementation and development• Ongoing content creation and management• Tracking campaign results and ROIResource: How To Spend Money on Social Media, http://socialfresh.com/social-media-is-an-investment/
How much are you willing to pay for it?• Social Media isn’t FREE!• Remember your goals need to be aligned with your available resources• No budget for SMM? If you’re already allocating marketing dollars to print, TV, radio or directory listings, evaluate the ROI with hard data. Can you reallocate?
How to get it done• Full-service agency• Consultant• Full-time hire• Training (for current staff)• Free online resources• A blended approach
Effectiveness vs.Effort and Use of SMMThere are manychannel options!Expect to applymore effort(resources) to getbetter results or toexpand SMMchannels
The Steps1. Use Your Network – ask for referrals2. Expanding Your Search – online directories/investinsocial.com3. Ask, Ask, Ask – Who will be managing my account? – Will you be implementing recommendations or will I? – What tracking tools do you use? – Which metrics do you actively track and report on? – Once the engagement has ended how will the transition process work? – Which accounts will I have access to and which will I own upon contract completion? – Can you provide writing samples from any content creators working on my account? – How will I be updated regarding my campaigns progress? Weekly call? Email? Monthly report? – How will you recruit new followers and fans?
Putting it all together1) Get your house in order – The Foundation Website/Blog – usable, strong calls to action, easy to find great content for your target audience, keyword-rich landing pages2) Research/Listen Create a listening station for your brand and industry terms Survey current clients Research top industry blogs, tweet chats, hashtags, etc. Find key influencers Keyword research Study competitors
Monitoring: Who’s talking about us, and where?Start with brand mentions, then build out your keywords.Example: – Started with Follett = Too many results! – Revised to “Follett Software” and “Follett-ken” – Misspellings and abbreviations: “Follet” and “Follett Lib”Do it with: – Google Alerts – Save Twitter Searches – Did you know you can track links to your website by saving a search on your website URL?
Monitoring Others:Industry Topics and the CompetitionTopical Hashtags Keywords• #edchat • Relevant to your industry• #edtech • ebooks• #mathchat • Manipulatives• #ntchat • Math manipulativesConference Hashtags Competitors• #etis12 • Company names• #iste12 • Company social accounts• #ira2012
3) Goals/Objectives What do you want to achieve with social media? Measurable KPI’s Realistic/Time sensitive4) Strategize Create your plan to achieve and measure your goals Define target/create personas Concept creation Tactics/Tools Content strategy/Editorial calendar5) Launch! Create your assets, profiles, blog posts, etc.6) Evaluate Weekly/Monthly reporting Review of KPI’s Testing Tweaking / Optimizing
edWeb.net at ETA hand2mindStarted in January 2012Keys to success:• Hot Topic• Focused AudienceCommunity PerformanceMembers: 672April Live Webinar Attendees: ~50Total Webinar Viewings: 2,273Average Views/Webinar: 568
PinterestMost popular pins (2 oftop 6 are our products!)
Channel Possible StrategiesFacebook • Service providers: showcase personality for company or brand • Content providers: credentials/thought leadership, contests and promotions, sales leadsTwitter • Consumer engagement • Media relations • Research • Customer servicePinterest • Promote products and link back to online catalog • Illustrations and ideas for customer use • Sales leadsSlideShare • Thought leadership • Sales presentation • “How to” and “What to” featuring products or servicesYouTube • Showcase faces/voices of leadership team and customersGoogle+ • Similar to Twitter and Facebook, plus higher SEO in Google rankingsLinkedIn • Employee or customer recruitment • Credentials/thought leadership and networking