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Social Strategy

4 Ways to Use Social Media for Product Launches

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Savvy marketers know that social for business extends further than just marketing efforts. Insights from social data can be used in numerous ways to support the various efforts of your brand’s overall business operations. In my latest article for the Oracle Social blog I list out four ways marketers can use social media to help with their brands product launches.

http://ora.cl/CK3L

Can you add to the list? Share your tips in the comments section.

 

#OracleEmp

Social Strategy

4 Questions To Get You To Your ROI in Social Media

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Do you feel like ROI in Social Media is harder to prove than it is to crack the da Vinci codes?

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You are not alone my friend. In fact, according to a 2015 TrustRadius report, 60% of the marketers surveyed claimed that measuring the ROI of social media was their biggest challenge.

#thestruggleisreal 

 

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I have worked with many marketers, communication coordinators, business developers and social media professionals who have asked me what the ROI in social is. Truth be told, there is no one blanket answer to that question. It really varies from business to business and one of the elements I love about social media marketing is that the analytics a brand can derive from social media data can assist in many areas of business.

There are common performance indicators that marketers will rely on to answer the ROI questions such as measuring likes, followers, impressions and reach but are these metrics really enough or is your boss still left wanting more?

In that same TrustRadius report, marketers list out their most important metrics for evaluating the success of their social media programs. While these seem like obvious KPIs to measure, marketers are still challenged with linking these metrics to business outcomes.social media measurement

 

Marketing guru Heidi Cohen, president of Riverside Marketing Strategies talks about how brands “…aim to increase awareness but can’t associate social media awareness with lead generation and sales”.

The ability to link efforts with outcomes will remain a challenge without the right frame of mind. There are a lot of articles written to educate marketers on how to measure the ROI in Social Media but I find some of those articles, while helpful are still, pretty vague and high-level without really outlining a formula to find numerical or emotional impacts. And that attributes to the fact that there is no one formula (for every business) to find the ROI in Social Media. So instead of writing another high-level and ambiguous article I want to encourage you to change your thinking of how you are going to determine what your ROI in Social Media is.

To start, let’s go back to the point before you began to develop your social media strategy and ask yourself these four questions:

Questions #1 Why is your brand on social?

This may seem like an easy question for companies to answer seeing as how it is 2016 but, I still get responses where they genuinely don’t know what they are going to do on social but they know they need to be on it.  Answering this question is the foundation of your strategy and motivating factor of every action you take on social.

Are you going on social to stay competitive? Are you trying to reach a specific market segment? Are you on social to prevent or manage future crisis? Are you trying to enhance your customer service capabilities? Are you trying to build brand awareness? Are you looking for leads?

After you answer this simple yet critical question you can move forward by developing a strategy that targets your identified motivator for being on social and identify the specific KPIs that will monitor the impact and progress of your efforts.

 

Questions #2 What will happen if you do nothing on social?

I know what you are thinking. “What a random question to ask Krystal”

That it is, but it’s an insightful question to ask yourself and it helps you to identify potential risks and consequences.  You may find that this questioning cross overs with the first question Why Is Your Brand On Social but in case you didn’t think about risk, here is your chance to do so.lazy professional

What are the consequences of your brand doing nothing or, if your brand already has a social presence established, what are the consequences if you do nothing different tomorrow than you are doing today? Will you lose engagement with your community? Will competitors gain more market share? Will you miss out in responding to customer questions? Will your brand reputation be hurt? Will you miss opportunities for sales?

The answers to this question will not only influence your strategy but if you are lacking in support from the higher ups you can use the responses to this question to back up your action plan and budget requests. Management is more willing to write a check if their is proof that they can lose a lot more if they don’t heed your word.

 

Questions #3 What tools will you need to get the job done (and make your life easier)?

If you are a small business there are many tools that you can use to measure and manage the volume of your social media efforts. But if you are a larger enterprise, you may find that tracking and managing your efforts and outcomes are more complex and require the assistance of more advance social management tools. Tools that not just monitor conversations online but actively listen to the most relevant conversations to your brand, eliminate spam and irrelevant messages (noise) and provide actionable insights into the conversation and who’s behind those conversations. You also want to to consider a tool that can handle you social engagement and marketing efforts as well. 1There are many point solutions available to concur individual actions and then there are comprehensive tools that are a one-stop shop for your social needs. It is a best practice to make sure you have the right tool to accomplish the task at hand or you will be either missing important messages and insights or waste a lot of time on tedious tasks. Tip: Your due diligence on a tool will be easier after answering these four questions and developing your strategy.

 

Lastly,

Questions #4 Are you thinking of the bigger picture?

Once you understand your objectives and what insights you need to measure them you will be looking for a tool and when considering a tool you need to also think ahead about what you will be able to do with all of your new insights and technology. I mentioned earlier that I love social data because a brand can leverage the insights from social media to enhance other areas of business. Since social really touches every aspect of business, it is in your best interests as a marketer to offer your social insights to support other department. 3A few examples of where social data can be used include: content generation, identifying influencers, customer services, sales, social selling, human resources, public relations, and product development. A great example of using social insights to influence product development and increase sales, brand loyalty and awareness is Polaris using Oracle Social Cloud. Polaris shared their story last year at the 2015 SXSW conference. Holly Spaeth, Manager of Interactive Media and Content at Polaris Industries shared with the attendees her strategy and how they achieved it with Oracle Social Cloud.

“Social is a central part to customer centricity, as it’s an arena where we can listen, learn and engage directly with our passionate fan base to make customer- and data-driven business decisions” Ms. Spaeth explained. “Social insights were helping make decisions on a new charity partner, as well as a consumer-focused and engaging campaign…We recap our social and digital insights weekly across departments and, together with other customer data, use it as a guide to make better business decisions for marketing to services to sales to product development. And Product Development is always interested in what our social fans are saying to help with everything from product naming, design, color, accessories and more.”

I love ending my posts with success stories and I want you to have a similar success story to share. The key takeaways here are to realize you are not alone in the struggle to reach ROI in Social Media. Before you start a strategy to reach ROI you need to ask yourself these four simple yet critical questions and once you answer them you can be confident in your strategy, know which unique metrics you need to prove your brands ROI in Social Media and know which tools you need to achieve your goals.

I hope you found this article helpful. Please feel encouraged to share your insights, experience and best practices on the topic of Social Media ROI.

Social Marketing Social Strategy

Jump Start Your Social Media Strategy

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Hi folks,

It has been a while since my last post but I have a good excuse. I have been taking my New Year’s resolution goal to be healthier seriously and I’ve been hitting the gym in my spear time which consequently has resulted in me neglecting this blog. Okay, so it is not a good excuse and one thing I am learning from my workouts is to eliminate excuses so here I am writing this post.

Today at the gym I had a conversation with the manager who happened to be working on developing a social media strategy. And I won’t name any names but this gym is fairly new but a quickly growing national franchise. That being said each franchise location is responsible for their own social media efforts which, as you can imagine, can be difficult for a manager of a fairly new brand to generate a following and build awareness from ground zero.

During the conversation I had with the manager, she confessed that while they are currently on social media networks they really are not sure with how to grow awareness of their location, offerings and build a loyal community.

Unfortunately, this manager is not alone. Even well-established companies are still struggling today with a Social Media strategy. They know they are supposed to be on social but they don’t fully know how to take advantage of its capabilities. 

In the time it took me to reach my target heart rate on the elliptical I was able to just 3 quick tips to building a social media strategy that I call F.I.T. and I thought this would be perfect for sharing with all of you.

improve social media strategy - socialkrystal - fit tips

Here is how to jump start your Social Media Strategy into shape with my social F.I.T. tips:

FORM A PLAN around your target audience

Casting a wide net with generic advertisement will not work for marketers any longer.  If you try to capture everyone, you’ll miss everyone. And if you have a “if you build it, they will come” mentality you are very much headed in the wrong direction. STOP and turn around.

Really think about who your customers are or who you want them to be. Having an idea of the person is not enough. You need to make a profile of your target audience. Write out who they are, what their likes are, their interest, etc. You should include what type of language they use online like keywords and phrases and when and where they post.

If this seems like a lot of work your feelings are valid, it is. But that is the work that is necessary to create a good social strategy and there are social tools  available out there in the social sphere to help you identify all the pertinent details of your target audience.

You don’t need to be on every social network (web-based community of people often grouped into common interests). Once you identifying where your target audience is posting you will be able to narrowing down the networks and sources you need to be on.

 

INFLUENCERS are critical to your brands growth

Social Media influencers (or brand advocates) are people who are active on social media and blog and according to Jay Baer, “can drive action, not just awareness”

And please don’t confuse the word influence with someone on social having a large audience.” Influencers can have a small to mid size following that are very loyal and dedicated to the influencers and more likely to take action on the influencers recommendation. And why are recommendations important? Well, because 70-90% of consumers buying decisions are influenced by social media and the recommendations from those they know and trust. If you haven’t noticed yet, social media is about being social and building relationships with others who share common interests, ideas, opinions or other characteristics. When a brand builds a relationships with the right influencers, that partnership can extend the brand’s reach and boost visibility with it’s target market. You can find out who some key influencers in your niche or industry by simply viewing profiles and seeing the amount of activity and engagement (and the content of the messages) that that person has. A more advance and effective way of uncovering unknown influncers is to utilize specialized social listening now tools which I will go into detail in on future post.

 

Lastly,

TARGET your audience with engagement  

If you haven’t yet heard the expression “Content is King” let me be the millionth person to re-state it. Content is King! And good, consistent content will lead to better SEO, more web traffic and increase in readers (followers, fans, prospects). Good content includes using relevant keywords that your target audience will be searching for. Make sure to consider the source when you are publishing content. This plays back into forming a plan around your target audience. What social networks and online sources are your audience on? Blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter?

Make sure you are pushing out your optimized content on the best channels to reach your audience. Relevant content on the right channels will increase your chances of being both found online and receiving engagement. Make sure your conversations are not one-way. Write content that promotes readers to engage with you (ask a question, comment, share an opinion, like the post, click on a link, or share the post). Most importantly, when they do engage, make sure to respond back appropriately and in a timely manner to keep the conversation going, build rapport and hopefully gain a loyal fan(s).

There you have it folks. My F.I.T tips to get your Social Strategy into shape and start seeing positive results.

Looking forward to sharing additional guidance with you in the next post. Till then, get my tweets @socialkrystal, leave a comment, and connect with me on LinkedIn.

 

Social Marketing

Social or Email Marketing. What Is Preferred In Marketing Strategy? (Infographic)

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Email marketing may dominate the “conversion” conversations but let’s not be too hasty to neglect our social media campaigns. ReachMail, a service that allows you to create, deliver, and track email (free and paid) campaigns, recently released a pretty detailed infographic (I love infographics!) that shows how well email AND social marketing can compliment each other for stronger campaign results.

With so many media channels to choose from you are left with questioning “which one is the best one to use for which campaign?”

According to Social Times, who published an article on the infographic, “it’s important to remember what each channel does best, and to stay on message.. integration holds the promise of big benefits for both email and social marketing. Email and social work best when not in competition with one another.”

I found this article to be complimentary  to the inforgraphic by ReachMail which is incredibly insightful.

FULL_Email-and-Social-IG-7-10

Inforgraphic by ReachMail.net

 

Do you have something to add on the topic of email vs social marketing? Share in the comments below.