What’s the value of each incremental fan on facebook, or the number of tweets that mention @yourbrand? Paid, owned and earned media in a social world.
When marketers respond to questions about their social media initiatives, they have one common theme: driving traffic to the corporate web site is really important. But what other metrics do marketers value? Do they even know what to value?
What social actions does a brand value? Installs of a branded widget? New facebook fans? Video views? Comments about a brand? Engagement actions such as submissions to Pepsi’s DEWmocracy challenge? Votes, thumbs up or starred ratings? Interaction with a rich media ad unit? Or good old-fashioned clicks?
What’s the value of each incremental facebook fan for a brand such as Coke? Are those people signaling their brand loyalty? Making it clear that you best not offer them a Pepsi or an RC Cola on a hot summer day? Are they influencing their friends to buy more Coke on the next trip to Super Stop and Shop or CVS (note, I could find neither retailer on Twitter)?
There are 5,000 brand mentions on twitter every minute. And a whole lot of marketers are listening and trying to make sense of the chatter. What’s the value of tweets and retweets that mention @yourbrand?
Marketers use social media to listen (e.g. monitor what people are saying about the brand on twitter), engage (respond to people talking, create opportunities for brand loyalists to connect with the brand), and earn media (unsolicited positive mentions of the brand by consumers).
A typical social media strategy has a paid, earned and owned media component.
In a recent IAB seminar (available online shortly), Secrets to Success in Social Media, taught by Nichole Goodyear of Brickfish, Peter O’Sullivan of Buzzlogic, Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer, Pete Spande of Federated Media and Anna Banks of Organic, marketers are advised to follow a few basic guidelines.
- Listen – understand what you are listening for (complaints, trends, competition) and make it actionable.
- Follow the leader – separate noise from meaningful conversations. Find and follow your most important customers.
- Add value to conversations your customers enjoy, want or need to have with you. What are the assets you can bring to the table to add value to the consumer experience.
- Leverage the Medium Take advantage of the connections that naturally happen between the different platforms. For example, when someone posts a video to Youtube, pulls it into facebook and tweets about it.
- Engage your customers in conversations they want to have, not conversations YOU want to have (such as pounding on the features and benefits of your products and services). Go to where consumers are already having conversations (such as a blog, facebook, twitter). Be open to direct conversations with your audience. Bring a personality. Some consumers will say bad things about your brand (take a deep breath). Some will say nice things. They may even defend your brand.
- Be Transparent. We’re in the era of authenticity.
- Think of your brand and messaging as an ongoing conversation, not a flighted “call to action”. It’s not a “campaign” which lasts three months. Take a long term view.
- Aim to develop and implement your social media strategy holistically. It should encompass your entire organization and all the touch points a consumer has with your brand. Break down the silos in your company (research, legal, product development, customer service, sales, pr, marketing).