Key insights into what you need to know to substantiate a business case for pursuing social media as a marketing channel. Plus 20 crucial questions to guide you through the various social media channels.
7 key Questions To Ask Before Venturing into Social Media Marketing 2010
The First Steps to Building a Business Case for Pursuing Social Media MarketingInitiatives ymarketing ▪ 3050 Pullman Street ▪ Costa Mesa ▪ CA 92626 Tel: 1.877.736.4321
Are You Ready?Building a business case for pursuing Social Media Marketing initiatives just got a wholelot easier. In 2009, Aberdeen Group produced a study on the ROI of Social MediaMarketing and found that Best-in-Class companies experienced... 95% improvement in marketing effectiveness 90% improvement in visibility into consumer-generated content 80% improvement in ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment)But can you make a compelling business case for social media for your business? Isyour company even ready to embrace this channel?Seven (7) Key QuestionsThe team at ymarketing has assembled seven (7) key questions you need to ask ofyourself and your organization to evaluate whether or not you should pursue adding aSocial Media / Social Web Strategy into your marketing mix. 1. Why? Are you considering Social Media Marketing: for community-building reasons, for the benefits to your website through natural search, for both, or for other reasons? 2. What? Do you know the difference between Digg and Twitter? Do you know why theyre important? Do you understand how they need to work together as a part of an overall cohesive strategy? 3. How? Do you know how to measure all of this? Do you know how to substantiate a business case for pursuing social media as a marketing channel? (These first three are shown as published on info.ymarketing.com/social-media) 4. Who? Do you know what percentage of the adult population is participating in social media -- as creators, editors, commenters; what the demographics are; and why its so important to understand the different audiences? 5. Does your company have a blog? How it is being used, updated, and how many individuals within your company are publishing content? How is it being received by your customers, prospects, etc.? Is your blog listed in the top 15 blog directories? 6. Do you know the top 20 social media sites relevant to your business and do you know how to create a presence, engage and take advantage of them? 7. Do you know what impact peer-to-peer recommendations and referrals from friends have? Do you know what percentage of your traffic comes from referrals? Do you recognize what impact these referrals have on buying decisions and conversion rates? Can you measure this? ymarketing ▪ 3050 Pullman Street ▪ Costa Mesa ▪ CA 92626 Tel: 1.877.736.4321
The Aberdeen Group: The ROI of Social Media Marketing (Available for Purchase - Recommended) "Social media gives direct marketers an opportunity to keep their fingers on the pulse of how consumers are responding–to what extent current campaigns are successful, how they need to refine campaigns over time and, ultimately, the business outcomes." - Jeff Zabin, Research Fellow, Aberdeen Group • 50% of US online adults are content creators • Over 75% are participating in social media in some form • 1.2 million blog posts are created daily • 83% of adults trust opinions of a friend/acquaintance who has used the product or service • One in three Internet users say purchase decisions are swayed by social media content "The benefits of social media marketing have become increasingly clear and compelling, even if the metrics for measuring success are still evolving, and more companies are viewing social media as a lead-in to a marketing plan as opposed to an afterthought." "Relative to traditional mass media buys, a small percentage of which generate positive ROI, social media marketing can be a cost- effective way for a company to achieve some key marketing objectives.” "Building brand visibility and market awareness by turning consumers into advocates and / or inducing them to share viral content that lends credibility and extends the reach of a brand are good reasons to launch a social media marketing program."The full Aberdeen Group report is available for purchase online at:http://www.aberdeen.com/summary/report/benchmark/5639-RA-social-media-marketing.asp ymarketing ▪ 3050 Pullman Street ▪ Costa Mesa ▪ CA 92626 Tel: 1.877.736.4321
The Big PictureOf course Social Media Marketing is just one important facet of a comprehensivemarketing strategy. Other vital elements of any online marketing approach shouldinclude Natural Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search Engine Marketing, LandingPage Optimization and Word of Mouth Tracking and Optimization, at a minimum. Forthat purpose, here are additional questions about Social Media and the areas mentionedabove - that may prove valuable to you.20 Useful Questions 1. How do you measure, track and plan for social media, referrals and word of mouth? 2. Do you have a social media sharing strategy in place? Do you make it easy for website visitors to share your content via services like StumbleUpon, Reddit and Delicious? 3. Do you understand the value of having your company’s content promoted on Digg.com? Do you know how to enable site visitors to “digg” your articles? 4. Does your business have a Facebook presence? (a) If so, how many fans or members do you have? Do you have a strategy in place to handle content, community building, and/or events? (b) Are you using Facebook’s Advertising platform? 5. Does your business have a LinkedIn presence? In addition to the social media marketing benefits, this presence also serves as an online business directory. 6. Have you taken advantage of what directories like DMOZ, LinkedIn and AboutUs.org offer for free? Do you have a Link Building initiative under way? 7. Are you listed on other major directories like Yahoo! and ZoomInfo? Do you understand the benefit of being a part of their directories? 8. Are you aware there are well over 200 directories that offer your business an opportunity to be listed and create a link to your website? Many have a free service, all pass SEO value, and most pass PR value to your site. Are you interested in pursuing an inbound linking strategy involving directories? 9. Do you understand the difference and the importance between quality and quantity of inbound links to your company’s website? Do you have the tools and process in place to help you evaluate these attributes? ymarketing ▪ 3050 Pullman Street ▪ Costa Mesa ▪ CA 92626 Tel: 1.877.736.4321
10. Is your website fully optimized for Natural Search? Even if you’re utilizing paid search pay per click, are you getting all the free / natural traffic you possibly can?11. Are you familiar with what a 301 redirect is and how it impacts the overall number of links attributed to your business? Do you have one in place? If yes, is it pointed to your root (http:yourcompany.com) or your www.yourcompany.com address, and why?12. Are you familiar with the role of meta data, meta tags, meta descriptions and anchor text and how they impact your business not only from a search perspective, but from a social media / linking approach?13. Do you know about the trends and analysis tools that are available at no cost / low cost online from companies like Google and Facebook? Are you interested in learning more?14. If your company or organization has a blog, is it hosted on your business domain (i.e. blog.yourcompany.com) or is all the traffic benefitting someone else’s business (i.e. yourcompany.blogspot.com or yourcompany.blogger.com)?15. Are you aware that YouTube has become the 2nd biggest search engine? Have you thought about the ramifications for your business? Are you already taking advantage of online video? Do you have content on YouTube and other video sharing sites today? Do you have an Online Video strategy in place?16. Once you have video content, do you have plans to make that content readily available to search engines – to be displayed alongside regular search content (not just in YouTube)?17. Do you know what percentage of your website traffic comes from word of mouth / referrals? If so, how do you track this metric? Are you interested in putting more formal/effective measurements in place?18. Does your company do a meaningful percentage of its business outside of North America? Are you familiar with the Social Media sites that are most influential in each region in which you conduct business?19. To what degree does your business rely on growth – new traffic, new leads, new sales? 1. If B-to-B-focused: Does your sales team have a need for new, qualified leads? 2. If Consumer-focused B-to-C: Are you in need of new sources of low-cost traffic? Can your ecommerce site scale? ymarketing ▪ 3050 Pullman Street ▪ Costa Mesa ▪ CA 92626 Tel: 1.877.736.4321
20. Have you considered creating widgets, gadgets and other online applications or downloads? Are you curious on how you could use this strategy in your business?If you have questions or would like additional information on any of the topics covered in thisdocument, please feel welcome to contact us at www.ymarketing.com or by phone at1.877.736.4321 (ext 716 or 712).About ymarketingFounded in 2002, ymarketing is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Southern California. Weimplement integrated online marketing programs including affiliate, display, eMail, natural search, paidsearch, blog and social media by utilizing best-of-breed analytical applications. Ymarketing is a GoogleCertified Partner and AdWords Qualified Company, a Microsoft adExcellence Company and a Yahoo!Search Marketing Ambassador. #### ymarketing ▪ 3050 Pullman Street ▪ Costa Mesa ▪ CA 92626 Tel: 1.877.736.4321