This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Dante’s seventh circle of hell was reserved for errant social media marketers. Seriously — #gettngslizzerd? The end is nigh. If you want to avoid this fate, you’ve come to the right place. This tome of social media wisdom will wash the scales from your eyes and set you on the straight path to repentance.
At Argyle, we base a lot of our product development decisions on our ability to put ourselves in the clients’ shoes. The better we can understand their problems, work ow, aspirations, etc., the better we can build a product that suits their needs. Through the course of these client interactions, we often hear that it’s hard for social media marketers to nd time to think strategically about social media marketing. The typical reason cited is that they’re “just so busy engaging!” We call this tethering—marketers get so glued to the real-time stream and never step away to look at the bigger picture. It’s hard to keep your eyes on your feet and the horizon at the same time, after all. Altimeter Group Analyst Jeremiah Owyang calls this phenomenon the “social media helpdesk,” which is a great way to describe the result. If you get overwhelmed with customer inquires and become exclusively reactive, you’re o cially customer support. Your job as a social media marketer is not to respond to every tweet and comment you get. Your job is to drive business outcomes — Awareness, Trial, Churn, Hit Rate, Customer Satisfaction, and Loyalty. If you’re being swept away by the stream but don’t know how your e orts are a ecting your organization’s bottom line, swim to the nearest bank.
Worry not! With a willing heart (and the right social media tools), repentance is at hand. First, make sure you’re using an enterprise-class social media management system with a social inbox. A good social inbox will save all interactions from customers and prospects so that you can return to your desk and slog through them on your schedule. Throw in email noti cations for particularly high-sensitivity keywords and you’ll be on top of things but still able to take a step back. Once you have the tools lined up, it’s all about breathing. In... out... in... out. Now please, put down that TweetDeck.
Jeremiah Owyang: what a dreamboat!
The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist A groundbreaking report by The Altimeter Group outlining how to keep your career - and your company’s social presence - from becoming the “social media help desk”.
A Cautionary Madlib:
Oh snap! Kenneth Cole Pizza Hut Nestle Your Company
...was D-U-M dumb when they... published that tweet deleted that comment pissed o a customer that thing you did... with100k followers It proved beyond all doubt that they... don’t understand social media. ARE TOO BUSY ENGAGING! don’t like their customers. don’t eat their vegetables. don’t eat their customers. Admit it - you’ve pointed and laughed just like the rest of us, delighted with schadenfreude as an iconic brand gets scorched by the social media judge and jury. And having tempted fate just like the rest of us, what have you done to make sure that your company isn’t the next laughing stock? The marketers that work for these very large brands are, for the most part, educated, smart professionals with only the best intentions. Sometimes mistakes just happen, often as a function of systems. Someone makes an honest mistake or a snap decision, there aren’t any business controls or feedback loops to provide oversight or
corrective actions, and the simple mistake snowballs into a PR-pocalypse-ageddon. Other times, companies suffer foot-in-the-mouth encounters simply because the expectations for employees weren’t set to begin with. This is the same reason we teach children that burners on stoves are hot. Without a little heads up, it’s easy to get burned. According to Jeremiah Owyang’s recent study, Social readiness: how advanced companies prepare, approximately 76% of social media crises over the past 10 years could have been lessened or completed avoided. How, you might ask? Plan for success from the start.
A social media marketing policy is an easy way to address the “tempting fate” problem. A simple set of guidelines will help prevent mistakes, ensure consistency across your team, and set expectations for what needs to happen in the event of a mistake. One of our clients — Raleigh, NC-based digital marketing agency Capstrat — has a pretty simple social media policy: Don’t be stupid. Other organizations set up very detailed policies and build complex approval work ows for their social content. The right answer for your organization is probably somewhere in the middle. An ideal social media marketing policy will clarify: Content guidelines Roles and responsibilities for your team Escalation paths for sales, support, legal, etc. Contingencies in the event of a snafu
Example Social Media Policies From Over 100 Organizations The largest online database of social media policies from companies, governments, non-pro ts.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it certainly wasn’t built by sharing a blog entry about what someone else had built. Yet so many social media marketers seem content to retweet other people’s content exclusively, day in and day out. Curating is incredibly important and a perfectly reasonable strategy for building a follower base — especially if you’re able to consistently unearth unique, helpful nuggets: the smart content re ects on you and you earn a bit of goodwill as the conduit. Some purists might make the completely reasonable argument that curating is in fact an act of creation. Unfortunately, too many social media marketers spend all their time curating content and never stop to create
their own. A recent study we conducted nds that marketers who fall into this trap are signi cantly less successful at driving revenue from their social posts than marketers who have a more balanced posting strategy. Which makes sense. When creating your own content you have an opportunity to di erentiate your brand, and you’re creating a lasting asset that accrues value via inbound links and SEO. And, you’re getting people to your website! If you want readers to convert, they’re going to have to get to your website rst.
Think about the time that you spend reading and sharing other people’s stu every day. Now cut that time in half and spend the balance on creating new content for your business every day.
New Research Finds the Curation versus Creation Sweet Spot Argyle Social original research posted on Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert that provides data to help you determine your optimal content mix. Content Creators In The Squared Circle Matt Ridings makes an impassioned case for the value of the content creator.
“In God we trust, all others bring data.”
W. Edwards Deming: almost as dreamy as Jeremiah Owyang
You will often nd this quote attributed to W. Edwards Deming, the great American business philosopher. Ironically, there is no “data” con rming Deming ever said this. Many social media marketers believe that social media — the global, always-on cocktail party that we all know and love — is something utterly new. Something that de es measurement. They aren’t entirely sure why this is, but they’re pretty sure it has something to do with all the kittens. Well it’s not. And we’re not saying that because we don’t love kittens. (We’re fairly sure it’s corporate suicide to declare that you don’t like kittens, so let us be very clear on that point.) The truth is, social media is measurable. There is data out there that can show you whether your programs are really moving the needle for your business. It can be tricky to make sense of it, however: the core di culty is that social media marketing is actually one discipline that combines aspects of three tried-and-true marketing techniques: Brand Marketing Some marketing is purely to raise awareness of a brand, product, or topic. Ads in this category don’t contain a strong call to action and are measured based on their impact on consumer awareness. This is very common within TV, radio, print, and some forms of online display advertising.
Direct Marketing The goal of direct marketing is to cause as many potential customers possible to take a certain direct action, which is always mapped directly onto the sales funnel. Ads have a strong call-to-action and/ or o er. Direct marketing is measured based on its ability to drive sales, and it’s commonly practiced using snail mail, paid search, & display re-marketing. Market Research / Customer Service Unlike the other two functions above, the goal of market research isn’t to push information on a potential consumer. Rather, the goal is to extract data from potential consumers to make use of it within an organization. This data is used either to better serve an existing customer (customer service) or learn more about consumer preferences for use in product development (market research). Expert marketers know how to do all three of the above things. Brand marketing has been around since the dawn of time and modern measurement techniques originated alongside television in the 1950s. Direct marketing was pioneered in the 1970s alongside the rise of business computing. And so on. Social media marketing is marketing. And thus social media marketing isn’t something to “believe” but instead something that marketers can “prove.”
Being an analytics ninja is hard when you have to measure a single type of data. It can be overwhelming if you’re staring the full complexity of social media in the face. But don’t despair: there are resources, tools, and experts aplenty to get you where you need to go. Start by de ning your social strategy. What are the business outcomes you want to drive with your social presence? What metrics will you use to evaluate your progress? If you don’t start with these fundamental building blocks, all roads lead nowhere. Social media listening platforms are excellent at measuring brand mentions and share-of-voice — critical measurements in brand advertising. Use a social conversiontracking tool to measure your social conversion funnel. And use social CRM to integrate your social presence to your customer base.
Argyle Social ROI White Paper Argyle’s white paper on social ROI is the gold standard for social media marketers that are serious about social as a direct marketing channel and driving real sales. The Limits of Online In uence This wonderful piece by Tom Webster talks about how only measuring the top of the funnel can get you in trouble in social — the conversion rates from awareness to retweet to purchase can be in nitesimal.
Abusing Composite Metrics
Simple metrics never lie. A click is a click (is a click). Followers, retweets, replies, fans, likes, comments — you know exactly what each of these metrics mean. You know what it means when your follower count goes from 13,700 to 15,400 in a month, and you certainly know what it means when your replies goes from 150 on Thursday to 900 on Friday (a long weekend!). But what is a Klout score? How do you calculate it? What is a “reach” of 75 or “engagement” of 30? If your “reach” is down 15% month-on-month, what should you do? The social media world has fallen in love with composite metrics. Calculated by smart people with big computers, they lend your social dashboard a sense of weightiness. And, as long as the trend line points up and to the right, no one ever seems too interested in actually digging into the details.1 However, this is not good marketing practice, and it won’t drive long-term value for your company. Tom Webster says it best in his post on the topic:
Start from the bottom: what are the metrics that matter? If you’re focusing on quickly breaking into a large market and snapping up customers with a low-end price-point, the metrics that matter to you are Awareness and Trial. If you’re in a mature market with entrenched competitors, your metrics are Satisfaction and Loyalty. Once you’ve identi ed these metrics, build upwards. Is your vendor’s measure of “reach” a reliable proxy for Awareness? Is “engagement” a reliable proxy for Loyalty? The only way to answer these questions is via good oldfashioned market research. Fortunately, it’s more fun than it sounds, especially when you include free-response questions on your surveys. Consumers say the darndest things.
On In uence Tom Webster recounting a perfect example of why oft-measured social media metrics don’t translate into the bottom-line results you’re looking to achieve with your campaign. Derivative Measures in Social Media Tom Webster delivers the foundational wisdom on composite metrics and encourages marketers to “do the work” to determine what matters for their brand.
“…a given metric is meaningless until you can prove that it isn’t. Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean it has any ties to the metrics that matter for your organization: Awareness, Trial, Churn, Hit Rate, Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
1. 83% of social media marketers will believe any graph that goes up and to the right, up from 79% last month!
Hiding behind your brand
Often the rst step of bringing a brand onto the social scene is by creating branded social media properties. And that’s good. What’s downright sinful is that this is often where the account creation process stops. Posting all social content from branded social properties is what we call “hiding behind your brand,” and it’s all too common. Here’s the problem. Trust is a hard-wired aspect of human brains. We subconsciously assign levels of trust to every source of information we ever receive, whether it’s from a person, news source, ad, or alien invasion reports on AM radio. And it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that people don’t trust brands — people trust people. If you pause and think about it for a second, that makes complete sense. Brands have a very clear ulterior motive: they want something from you. A purchase, a trial, a positive mention - always something. As such, information coming from branded social properties has a very di erent trust pro le than non-branded personal accounts. If your brand’s only voices are @brandname and facebook.com/brandname, every one of your posts is getting a “trust haircut” — the equivalent of a subconscious eyeroll. Don’t let that happen.
“Uh…so…how the heck am I supposed to x that?” Don’t worry — there are straightforward, above-board ways to combat the trust haircut. Before you go down that path, however, evaluate the content that you’re publishing on your branded social properties. Is cultivating trust one of your main goals? Are you honest about your product’s limitations? Do you link to reviews that aren’t always 100% positive? Do you deal with criticism honestly? These are characteristics of a trustworthy brand. Once you make sure that you’re doing what you need to do to cultivate trust on your branded properties, you’re ready to move on to step #2: establishing non-branded properties. What exactly does this mean? Amber Naslund (@AmberCadabra), the VP of Social Strategy for Radian6, is a great example. Amber has a signi cant following on Twitter, and while she doesn’t use this following to actively promote her product, her public presence and employment at Radian6 clearly promotes trust in the brand. While you obviously won’t become Amber overnight, make sure that you’re investing time and attention at developing nonbranded social accounts to build trust.
Taking this approach to the next level, Zappos is about as socially open as you can get. Take a look at some of the required reading links below to learn more. Complete openness has serious customer perception bene ts, but beware: this level of openness isn’t for every company. Think hard before opening the oodgates.
Zappos Shows How Social Media Is Done Zappos has had an inclusive social policy longer than anyone in the business. This case study is from 2008! twitter.zappos.com Every tweet from every Zapponian, located on the zappos.com domain. Is your company ready to take that step?
If your organization is breaking into a new marketing channel, it makes sense to assign this initiative to a person or small team. New to search engine marketing? Pull a team together, have them build a plan, review it with the group, and have them go o and execute the plan. Simple, right? Unfortunately, social just doesn’t work like that. Social works best when integrated throughout your organization. As Warren Whitlock says, “Asking who should be doing social media is like asking who should have a phone on their desk. Assume everyone is on social media.” Why? The answer relates directly to Sin #6 above. People want to connect with people, not companies. And they want to connect with someone who can directly address their message, not to someone with a long list of planned auto-responses designed to pacify, rather than solve. If your social media team is tasked with replying to all inbound messages, your messaging will not achieve this goal. While you may know your product, you don’t know it like your product managers do. And while you may recognize a good PR opportunity, you can’t pull the appropriate resources together as e ectively as the PR folks. You don’t have all the recruiting answers for job-seekers, or customer support answers for troubleshooters. No small team can be experts in all functions of the enterprise. So don’t try to be. Social media shouldn’t be the purview of a select few. It should be an integral part of the entire company.
E ectively integrating social into your organization requires planning, buy-in, and technology. Start out by listing all of the types of interactions that you get on your social properties, as well as all of those that you could potentially get moving forwards. Create a response strategy for each. In each response strategy, focus on who within your organization is best suited to respond — customer support, HR, product, etc. Make sure you have tools in place to route messages accordingly. Your listening platform should have the option to route posts and create queues so that the social media team can function as a switchboard rather than a call center. And make sure that the social roadmap gets both executive and sta buy-in. Without broad-based support, executives won’t prioritize social and sta won’t become public advocates.
The Five Ways Companies Organize for Social Business This piece by the Altimeter Group is the most oft-cited thinking on the topic of crafting the social organization. Owyang proposes several possible models of integration and discusses the pros and cons of each. Social Media Management 101 – Cardinal Roles, Management Roles, and basic Social Business organizational structure Olivier Blanchard outlines why social is a cross-functional competency and not ultimately the purview of a single department in this canonical post.
About Argyle Social Founded in 2009, Argyle Social is an innovative software-as-a-service platform for social media marketing management and analytics. The platform helps marketers easily organize and publish social content, manage customer interactions across social channels and quantify the bottom-line impact of their social media marketing e orts. Argyle customers include Gander Mountain, Share le.com, Blue Sky Factory and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. The company is based in Durham, NC. For more information, visit http://www.argylesocial.com
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.