Developing a Social Media Game Plan
Companies increasingly realize the importance of creating social media campaigns as part of their overall marketing mix, but often don't know where to start or, worse yet, use a shotgun approach without any type of business plan on what they want to achieve.
In one of Tuesday's breakout sessions at the InterACT! conference, three experts provided practical advice on what to consider when developing your firm's social media efforts. The panel included: John Foley, CEO and CMO of Grow Socially; Patrick Rooney, partner at the Zocalo Group; and Jason Weaver, president, Shoutlet Inc.
Foley, who founded InterlinkONE in 1996 and Grow Socially this year, reminded the audience to always think about planning, building, executing and measuring your marketing efforts. He also emphasized the importance of developing a strategy before tactics. To do that, Foley recommended a nine-step process to undertake first:
1. Describe your business
2. What are the business goals?
3. Who is your audience?
4. Where is the audience cyclically?
5. How does your audience use social media?
6. What is the "one thing" about your company to talk about?
7. How will you humanize your brand?
8. What is your content resource and distribution strategy?
9. How will you measure the success?
Foley also pointed out the importance of maintaining consistent branding across your Website, Twitter efforts, YouTube channel etc.
Patrick Rooney's boutique agency helps companies with their online engagement efforts, especially getting people to talk about them positively and, ultimately, to give positive recommendations. When it comes to making a purchasing decision, Rooney notes that 92 percent of people say that a recommendation from a family member, friend, colleague or expert is the single most important determinant for those making a purchasing decision. A Bain & Co. study, for example, found that word of mouth referrals account for 25 percent of Dell's sales. The monetary value of a positive recommendation is $5.25, but the cost for each detractor amounts to $57, he said.
Rooney used the analogy of an Influencer Ecosystem, which includes a pyramid consisting of brand evangelists, industry eminents, peer influencers and determined detractors. "Look at the ecosystem as a whole, and then develop a strategy that approaches each of these groups in the right way," he added.
Rooney's Top 10 advice when it comes to social media:
1. Be very clear about who your audience is.
2. Clearly articulate how you want people to talk about you.
3. Remember: It's about your message; it's not about you.
4. Avoid social media just for the sake of social media.
5. Remember the 3 F's: fun, fame and fortune. What makes it fun? How are you going to reward people?
6. Engage in a way that is relevant, compelling and sharable.
7. Integrate cross-channel engagement.
8. Don't forget that everything you do should be mobile phone accessible.
9. Be flexible. Experiment and try new things.
10. Measure everything you do in meaningful ways.
InterACT! is the first educational forum for marketers, brand owners and service providers on cross-media direct marketing opportunities and strategies organized by InfoTrends and North American Publishing Company (NAPCO) being held Aug 10-11, 2010 in Rosemont, IL.