Archive for June, 2010

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Top Myths About Social Media Marketing

Myth #2: I Can’t Measure the Impact / ROI of Social Media on My Business

The social media return on investment debate has been picked apart by so many intelligent and creative marketers, you would think it wouldn’t make this list.  But it continues to rank high on the list of objections about social media and I completely understand why.

Since the interaction mechanisms are different with social media than traditional marketing, judging purchase intent and likely customers from social media behavior is a completely new skill for many marketing professionals.

But there are methods to measure the impact of your social media campaigns:

Include Your Phone Number – If your business has more of a consultative sales process, starting conversations on your social networks or blog is a great way to generate more leads. And then be sure to include your phone number in every update or post that you make. You can use a separate Google Voice number that allows you to track the number of inbound calls you receive from your social media activities.

Promote offline events – Facebook has a robust functions for creating events and promoting them. You can post pictures and event location information, while also inviting your entire fan base to participate. You can also send reminders as the event draws nearer.

Offer Coupons Exclusive to Social Media Channels – Make specific offers through each social media channel you use, like 15% off a purchase if you print a coupon from Facebook, or a buy one, get one free if you use a code that was sent out via Twitter. Keep a spreadsheet of the different offers and what the response rates have been, to allow you to optimize your marketing campaigns for each channel.

Connect Your Social Media and Email Campaigns – Many businesses have established email lists they use to stay in touch with customers. Drive visitors on your social media accounts to sign up for your email list to receive more information about your business. Getting social media visitors on your email list can connect you with people you might not otherwise reach with social media. Bolstering your email list gives you an additional way to inform people about offline events and specials, in case they don’t see a specific offer you make on a social media channel.

The important thing to note is that you CAN tie online behavior to purchase decisions or offline actions, so you can track the impact social media is having on your bottom line. Also, pay close attention also to the referrals from social media sites on your web pages and these people’s behavior compared to users who get to your site through other means.

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Top Myths About Social Media Marketing

There are a number of myths that are common among many businesses that are keeping them from joining everyone else in the social media marketing world. We would like to address each of these myths and expose them for the misconceptions that they are.

Myth #1: My Customers Aren’t on Social Media

Wow, if we had had a dollar for every time we’ve heard this one….This myth keeps more companies and business owners from interacting with their potential customers through social media than any other myth.

The nice thing is that all you need is a little bit of data to convince people that their target customers are indeed on social networks.

For instance, 80% of female Internet users have become fans of a product or brand on a social network site and 72% report that they learned about a new product through social media. Take a look at the graph below – more than half of Facebook and Twitter users are over 35, not to mention LinkedIn.

Social networking is a pervasive cultural phenomenon, and there is no demographic that isn’t represented substantially on one or more social networking sites.

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14 Ways To Promote Your Company Or Brands Online – Conclusion

Top Web Promotion Methods #8 – #14:

8. Bookmarking/Tagging

Social bookmarking has become a popular method to share, organize, search and manage bookmarks of web resources. Some of the most popular social bookmarking websites: Delicious, Digg, Diigo, Fark, Mixx, MyBlogLog, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit, Slashdot.org, StumbleUpon, Yahoo!, and Buzz.

9. Discussion Forums and Boards

Participating in online forums can be a great way to market your products and services, and interact with your audience and other professionals. Engaging your audience in a niche forum can bring high value to your website and brand, too.

10. Content Aggregation

Content aggregation offers you the chance to bring all news and feeds around your online community accounts in one place. Some would argue this is the future of social media. Emerging content aggregation websites are: Bloglines, FriendFeed, Lifestream.fm, Lijit.

11. Brand Monitoring

Social networks are also offering a variety of tools that can help businesses understand the positioning of their brand. Popular examples are: Buzzlogic, Radian6, and ReputationDefender.

12. Ratings and Review Sites

Another great way to find out where your website stands, or how your brand is perceived by others, is through ratings and reviews. The two most popular are Yelp and GetSatisfaction.

13. Widgets

For those trying to promote their own brands, they can create personalized badges, using interesting widgets on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks by using WidgetBox or SpringWidgets.

14. Wikis

Wikis are like an online encyclopedia. The most well known is Wikipedia.org, but many other wikis exist, including: Citizendium.org, AboutUs.org, Pbwiki/PBworks.com, or Wetpaint.com.

Along with all the new ways of publishing your content on networking sites, it is important to publish your articles on publishing sites like EzineArticles, eHow, Google Docs (docs.google.com), IdeaMarketers, Yahoo Articles Group (groups.yahoo.com) and submit your press releases on important specialized sites like i-Newswire, PR.com, PressReleasePoint, and PRLog.org.

Social Media Marketing can be very confusing at times, since there are so many networks and channels to choose from. Creating a presence on all the channels is quite time consuming, and randomly choosing a network or networks is not a very good social media strategy either. Many companies have struggled to understand what social media marketing mix they should use to make their brand successful online.

That is why it’s vitally important to identify which channels are suitable for your business depending on your target audience. Businesses should plan a step-by-step onlíne marketing strategy, and brainstorm ideas with their onlíne marketing representative(s) that will work to promote their products and/or services.

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