The first speaker was Jennifer’s Evan’s whose presentation was about the Social Media Conversations for the little Guy. As per her, social media is not all about marketing, whereas in true essence it’s about building conversation. She focuses on how small business can integrate social media tools to improve their business. In order to connect with your customer needs, one has to carefully access social media channels and pick the one that can deliver the highest results. If the right tool isn’t carefully selected, it can lead to potential waste of time and money.
Stoney deGeyter, President, Pole Position Marketing
In an economy, which is enduring recession Social conversations are essential for research and understanding customer interest to influence their buying decisions. This channel is a great way for both businesses and customers to meet in between when consumers are tightening their belts; the consumers are worried about price and offers.
Jennifer highlights three tools which are essential for businesses to have:
Flickr – This is place not just to post pictures. A pictures speaks a thousand words and it’s community and images speak a universal language. Use pictures to communicate a message. However the flip side of using flickr is, it has a no-follow protocol and thereby you may not get the link juice passing along to your site. Despite this drawback, it’s still a great way to drive tremendous traffic to the website and more so a targeted traffic.
Twitter – Twitter creates an analogy to Post-It-Notes and you decide what note you want up. This is a great place to listen and get real time responses to your promotion or questions. It’s an opportunity not just to read the responses, but also gauge what the buzz is. Retweeting is great way to get a message across.
Youtube is the next most searched sites after Google. People use it extensively to run their searches. When uploading videos, optimize them. Make the video engaging and unique.
The next presentation was Billie Jo Waara. She highlights 4 important areas/priorities which businesses should consider before they turn to social media.
- What is the goal for diving into social media?
- How will you measure social media
- What key area which you will measure
- Are you measuring your digital dialog?
Once the metric is defined, pick the channel that will assist in complimenting your goals and efforts. The best way in reaching you goal is narrowing down your focus.
If the goal is Brand Awareness- Wanting more fans should be the goal
- To capture the sentiments- Seeking positive opinions is important
- If the goal is to increase traffic then being constantly engaged to your audience is a must
- If the purpose in driving conversion for your product the focus is about increasing sales
- Based on the above parameters a business can set the bar for social popularity.
Some good tools to measure social media goals:
- Twitrratr – to listen & respond to what people are saying.
- Compete.com- compares sites and competitors. This tool has subscription for advance services.
- Tweetstat or twitter counter – decipher the value of the conversation
Ron Jones who was the final speaker on the session highlighted the true methodology of Social Media marketing. This new medium rules out the traditional marketing style. Here, the control is switched from the business to the consumer. The purpose is to listen and understand what customers have to say. Sometime you need to chime in to lead the conversation further to channel the responses in the direction of your goal. The best practice is to Listen, Engage and Measure.
For effective results, businesses should be an active participant and contributor. Being consistent and regular is crucial in social media marketing. Be cautious not to juggle between various channels of social media. Pick few and be a part of it.
Contributed by: Bhuvana Krishnan, Milestone Internet Marketing
References: SES Session San Jose, Search engine guide