Archive for ‘social media campaign’ category

Your Employees are Your Biggest Advocates

14 February, 2010 | | No Comment

Are you still pummeling the public with your ads and messages? Have you noticed that nobody is paying attention?

What people care about most now is what their friends and acquaintances say about your brand. So stop wasting your money on short-lived campaigns or what you hope will be the next “viral video” – even if you garner millions of views on YouTube, you’ll never see it translate into sales. As the saying goes, “Social Media is not a campaign, it’s a commitment.”

In today’s market where you are competing for consumers’ precious attention, you need to cultivate relationships. Those relationships already exist – in your employees’ personal networks. That doesn’t mean every employee needs to blog about how much they love their work. It could be as simple as posting a job opening to their LinkedIn and Facebook Networks. That tells their friends and family “come work at Company X – we’re good people.”

Empower your employees to talk about your brand. They’re your most powerful advocates. Authentic interactions with your employees can go a long way towards building trust in your brand. Paying an agency to Tweet or Blog or Facebook on your behalf betrays that trust.

You have to plant the seeds now for a lush and healthy garden — and stop wasting your money on what seems like a quick and easy fix.

But don’t just take my word for it. Gia Lyons (aka Social Media Evangelista Extraordinaire) presented this at Social Fresh:

“Do Social Media” = “Collect Underpants”

31 January, 2010 | | 4 Comments

The hype around social media just seems to be growing. But as the initial glow of this new medium wears off, it’s going to be up to us to prove the ROI of social media. (Thanks to Steve Mann for showing me some great case studies about smart companies who are doing it right). But the trick is finding the formula that clicks for each individual company. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to social media – you need to tailor the solution to your particular needs. This is not an easy task and it’s not easy to demonstrate ROI while you are formulating and executing your strategy.

Have fortitude, my social media kindred. Refuse to let your stakeholders consider number of HITS a metric (they are “How Idiots Track Success,” according to K.D. Paine). Help them understand the real social media metrics like buzz volume, buzz sentiment and engagement (Mike Manuel, social media genius, can teach you more about metrics). But at the same time, realize that as cool as it is to show how many followers you have on Twitter, how many fans you have on Facebook, and how much buzz you’re generating, at the end of the day, the people who write your paycheck will want to see the impact to the bottom line.

**Speaking of one size fits all…

The daily influx of invites to Webinars and conferences promising to show me the Holy Grail of Social Media Success remind me of the South Park episode about the “Underpants Gnomes” that are stealing Tweek’s underwear. One of my favorite South Park moments is the Gnomes’ business plan:

We all get the endless invitations to paid Webinars claiming to teach us how Social Media will make us successful. The truth they don’t want you to know is that nobody can give you the magic formula to “do social media.” STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY. You just need to figure out how to listen to what people are saying about you, and then how to join the conversation. Yes, there are lots of ways to do this, and it’s not always easy to figure out which way is the right way. It takes some time and effort. There is no quick fix or easy salvation — if anyone suggests you do a “viral video” run the other way – FAST! With all the tools and technologies out there, the task is daunting. But if you go for the quick fix, you may as well use this as your business plan:

Dear Pepsi: Stop Anointing and Start Listening

29 October, 2008 | | 3 Comments

WHEREAS
I don’t really give a rat’s a** what your logo looks like, as long as you don’t change the taste of Diet Pepsi (by the way, I preferred the way it tasted last year, when the cans were light blue. It tastes funny now.) However, I would appreciate it if I could get Diet Pepsi at every fast food joint, restaurant and Movie Theater. My preferred soda is notably absent at AMC Theaters and Chik Fil-A.

It’s clear that you are not asking your customers what they want. If you had asked for MY feedback, instead of rebranding, I would have suggested you focus on improving your distribution.

FURTHERMORE
Stop anointing people as “top 25” influencers. The other hundreds of top influencers are probably peeved that they weren’t chosen in your top 25. Remember that they all got to be “influencers” because, much like entertainers, they seek the approval and attention of the outside world (no offense to anyone, I’m in that category too.) This reminds me of Intel’s stunt with their “insiders” campaign. I’m sure those chosen ones are enjoying their new Macbook Airs. At least Intel used the pretense of asking social media experts for guidance. But YOUR lucky top 25 are getting packages full of old cans and bottles. Where’s the fun in that? I’d rather be an “Intel Insider” than a Pepsi “top 25-er”

IN SUMMARY
Here is my “Pepsi Challenge.” If just ONE Pepsi employee responds to this post, I’ll be thrilled and will tell MY huge following of 200+ Twitterati that Pepsi “gets it.” If not, well then Pepsi will just join my list here on my blog of the companies that DON’T. But yeah, I’ll still drink Diet Pepsi anyway.

Tac Anderson: Measuring ROI, B-to-B Marketing, and the Role of the Strategist

19 August, 2008 | | No Comment

(Second of a two-part article).

Tac Anderson is a the Web 2.0 Strategic lead for HP’s Imaging and Printing group. We met through some Gia Lyons Twitter matchmaking.

We discussed a wide variety of topics, including the types of campaigns that HP has run. One successful campaign sponsored by HP was Project Direct, a contest on YouTube for aspiring directors to upload their movies. The subtle HP branding points users to HP Creative Studio, which allows users to create their own stickers and posters, in keeping with the “self expression” theme. I did not ask Tac what kind of metrics they used to measure the success of that campaign, but he did share some of his guidelines for measuring the ROI of a campaign.

Measuring the ROI of a Campaign

“Let’s face it: there are not many best practices for Social Media and very few benchmarks. We all need to be open to learning as we go.”
— Tac Anderson

Tac likes to experiment, interact with people and see where it goes. So far he has been pleasantly surprised by the response rates. One successful tactic he mentioned was to sponsor a prominent blog, by working with Federated Media. Here are Tac’s guiding principles for measuring the ROI of a campaign:
Determine the GOAL of the initiative. Tac repeatedly said how important it is to agree VERY early on on the purpose of the campaign, and to get buy-off on the stated goals. (He spoke with the conviction of someone who has been burned by this before.)

Once you’ve settled on your goal, stick with it and don’t waiver. For example, if a campaign’s stated and agreed-upon goal is to raise awareness, don’t allow it to be judged later on by its ability to generate leads.

Once you’ve agreed on the purpose of the campaign, and the desired outcome, you can figure out what you want to measure. For example, let’s say the goal of your campaign is to raise awareness.

“How do we measure awareness? Are we going to measure online share of voice? Count hits? How about the level of engagement? What does ‘engagement’ mean to you? Comments? Links? Mentions? Pick a metric to use and then stick with it”

Tips for B-to-B Marketers
Tac said it’s important to remind people that marketing (whether it’s “b-to-b” or “b-to-c”) is driven by consumer examples.

1. Figure out what you are trying to say and then figure out what your target audience cares about Ask yourself honestly “Does this makes sense?” Do your homework. Don’t get distracted by the latest “shiny object,” which may not be the right medium for your message. A basic blog might serve your needs fine.

2. Do research on your audience: how do they like to get their information. Is it e-mail? Do they read blogs? Use Facebook? Watch video on YouTube? Feed them the information in their preferred format.

3. Conduct Yourself Appropriately, whether you host the community or join someone else’s:

“You can choose to host your own party — even be exclusive with your invite list. But if you decide to join someone ELSE’S party, be polite. Don’t get drunk and out of line.

4. Don’t think like a big Corporation. Even if you have a big budget, don’t be afraid to leverage the free social media tools like Yahoo Pipes and Feedburner.

And of course we talked about our own jobs. This is a topic that I also discussed with Kelly Feller and Jeff Moriarty of Intel:

The Role of the Social Media Strategist:

Education: For many of your colleagues, you may be their only resource into the world of social meda. Post questions and case studies internally — and translate that information into actionable intelligence for project managers and product managers.

Internal consulting: serve as a resource for people so they can come and ask specific questions.

Be the Periscope: Feed ideas to people, and keep them informed on what is happening in the world of Social Media. (e.g., “Company ‘x’ did this, here is what happened and how they responded.)

Thanks again to Tac for all of your time. You are one cool dude. I hope we get a chance to chat again soon!

Social Media at Intel: Humor Included

14 July, 2008 | | 3 Comments


Thanks to some Gia Lyons matchmaking, I spoke with Jeff Moriarty, Social Media Community Manager at at Intel. We discussed their social media program, along with a variety of other things, including social media job titles and Intel’s new Intel Insider Program. Jeff has created some new titles for us (e.g., “Social Media Ninja” and “Social Media Sherpa.”) He’s posting on that soon.

The culture at Intel is open to social media, and the higher ups have a sense of humor (Jeff’s well-received parody “Lord of the Re-Org” featured the CEO and other execs in starring roles.) There is a robust internal community, and internal bloggers who discuss all kinds of topics, not necessarily work related. They even have “internal blog ambassadors” to monitor them and keep an eye out for posts around politics and religion — flame wars have already been waged over those topics. Jeff teaches his co-workers by helping them start an internal blog so they can play with it first hand. Or he’ll brainstorm with a group that might want to experiment with social media, but may be better served by a forum or wiki.

But, similar to Cisco, social media at Intel didn’t just blossom overnight. Jeff told me how “Intelpedia” was started on an employee’s desktop, and it grew organically until IT had to support it.

And apparently, I am not the only soul to suffer from marketing folks who salivate at the idea of creating viral videos. Jeff keenly observed:

Saying “let’s make a viral video” is like saying “Hey guys, let’s plan to be spontaneous next Tuesday at 2 pm.

Finally, we decided it would be awesome to have a community of all the Social Media types from Enterprise Companies where they can share best practices. Jeremiah Owyang’s List of Social Media folks at Large Corporations is a good place to get started. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing my conversations with the Enterprise Social Media peeps I meet. So far I have also chatted with friends from Cisco and SAP, and I try to organize a little “Social Media Roundtable” with friends from the New York Times, AAA, Logitech and Disney.

Conversations with Steve Mann from SAP (social media strategist extraordinaire) merit their own post. Stay tuned…

Microsoft spends Millions to “Go Social”

26 June, 2008 | | 5 Comments

I found this new story “Microsoft Goes Social to Push E-Mail, IM” from Twitter. GeorgeDearing writes: “always get a little scared when I see a headline referring to a company “going social” — It’s implicit, STOP” http://snurl.com/2p0ja

The point of “being social” (as Maggie Fox explained at BlogPotomac) is that you begin and maintain conversations with your customers, and build a relationship. It is not about spending millions of dollars on a campaign and then ending it when the money runs out.

Hats off to the ad agency McCann-Erickson for leveraging their success from the Liberty Fillmore Campaign they did for VeriSign. It was groundbreaking for VeriSign launch a campaign like that, and it probably raised a lot of awareness for our EV SSL certificates. We know it got millions of views on YouTube. But the clear winner here is the ad agency that landed the Microsoft account.

If you’re going to spend this kind of cash on your Social Media efforts (Microsoft is dropping at least 5 million on promotions), at least be sure to measure it correctly so you know whether or not you’ve acheived the success you hoped for. Check out Katie Paine (the metrics goddess) or call Mike Manuel at Voce for expert asistance. Otherwise, the only people who profit from all this buzz and money spent are the agencies.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The “I’m Talkathon” (imtalkathon.com) features Parker Whittle, a man in his 20s, born into a well-to-do family and now having doubts about whether he’s done enough to help others. So he’s holding a “talkathon” to see how many people he can get to send messages via Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger over 30 days to raise money. Microsoft agency McCann Erickson created the character based on feedback from those who have participated in the program.

An account director on the Microsoft account at McCann says “It’s very important we not come across as fake.”

With all this cash flying around at the shiny new objects, how will I ever convince our marketers to listen and join conversations rather than launch our next “Viral Marketing Campaign”? Everyone is looking for ROI, immediate results, and quick wins. Nobody sees any problem with launching a “viral campaign,” complete with a press release.

The new “Intel Insider Program”

25 June, 2008 | | No Comment

The Intel Insider Program sounds awesome. At first. But look a little deeper…

— The group contains no actual Intel Employees (as one would infer from the term “insiders”). I saw a comment from an employee begging to be included in the fun.
— They have gathered together a “group of social media activists.” Yeah, that means some cool folks who posts tons of pics, videos and generally document every detail of their lives. *Especially* getting invited to Intel and getting a free MacBook Air.

The Intel Insider program seeks to discover some of the best practices in corporate social/new media and in doing so, the results can be shared broadly. There is no restriction on the Intel Insiders sharing the results of the program with others.

Our idea was to reach out to a diverse group of social media activists with three goals in mind:

— occasionally feature their work or opinions as part of our What’s Inside effort
— see whether any are interested in writing about Intel’s products or are following Intel’s social media efforts on their own (note: this is not a requirement)
— seek feedback on our social media efforts, upcoming product plans, roadmaps…

And, as a PR friend pointed out, there are no laws against bribing bloggers (as there are with journalists.) Enjoy those new MacBook Air Laptops, you lucky Intel Insiders!

I commend Intel for putting together a very clever marketing campaign for new Intel products disguised as a groundbreaking thought leadership program. Hey, at least someone is giving the online influencers the respect they deserve! I have no problem with that : – )