Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Targeting Social Media Markets

Perhaps the least discussed and most misunderstood topic in social media marketing is the identification of who your social media audience. There is even disagreement about whether this topic worthy of discussion. Some argue that it makes no sense to attempt to segment your market because those interested in your content will naturally (organically) find you on the social Web, while others believe properly targeting your audience is the key to success in a social media marketing campaign.

As an example, Forrester Research has developed a sophisticated Social Techno-graphic Profile, which classifies market segments not only by traditional demographic and geographic means, but also by the roles people play in social media, such as content creators, critics, collectors, joiners, and spectators. This approach to target marketing social media participants is carefully explained and supported with cases by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li in their book Groundswell. The power of this model rests on the notion that once a company identifies their audience's makeup and level of participation in the social Web, then the organization can optimize its efforts by focusing on the social media platforms where potential customers are likely to hang out and tailor its approach to the type and level of involvement the target market is likely to engage in.

Whether you see targeting in social media marketing as a waste of time or a valuable tool to avoid wasting time, the following resources will provide insights worth your time. I look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions on the subject.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Social Media Marketing Success Stories

Image by ThomasThomas

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything
that can be counted counts." -- Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein had the above message hanging on a sign in his office at Princeton. Why? Because he understood (better than perhaps anyone else) that not everything can be quantified. Success in social media marketing certainly falls into this category. No amount of number-crunching can guarantee a home run in every social media marketing campaign. In other words, trial-and-error will always be a necessary part of any social media effort.

So, how can you increase your odds of success in your social media campaign? One way is to look at what has worked for other companies, organizations, and individuals. The following links provide a plethora of social media marketing success stories and case studies. I would love to hear what you think is the most important lesson these stories and studies have to teach us about how to be effective and efficient. In addition, if you have a story to share, please share it with us!