Saturday, November 20, 2010

Don't Get Stuck in a Social Media Rut!

If you're looking at using social media for promotion, odds are that you have already defined your target market. Taking on or ramping up your presence on social media means that you need to keep a close eye on each platform (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) that you’re using. Each social media platform has distinctive features and means of communication. 

It is easy to get lost in the “tactics” aspect of each platform and forget to adjust your strategy. The tactics only mindset of “I’m using Twitter so I must tweet once a day” is a dangerous one. Simply posting a tweet once a day without having a strategy or structure of evaluation will get you nowhere fast. So, how do you avoid getting stuck in this mindset of what tactics will I use? The answer lies in what I like to call the 8 C’s of the Social Media Marketing Mix.

By keep in mind the 8 C's of the Social Media Marketing Mix for each social media platform, you will avoid getting in a rut with your social media marketing efforts:
  • Categorize social media platforms by target market relevancy (i.e., the ones where your target audience resides)
  • Comprehend the "rules of the road" on the platform by listening and learning how to behave, successfully spark conversation, and engage and energize the participants
  • Converse by acknowledging and responding to other users of the platform, always remembering to be a contributor, not a promoter
  • Collaborate with platform members as a means of establishing a mutually beneficial relationships with the platform participants
  • Contribute content to build your reputation and become a valued member, helping to build the community
  • Connect with the influencers, so you can enlist them to help shape opinions about your product or service
  • Community creation enables you to build discussion forums where consumers can suggest product ideas and receive customer support.
  • Conversion of strategy execution into desired outcomes (e.g., increased brand awareness, website traffic, sales, etc.)
In the event you have not established a target market, here are some resources that will provide more information on how define your target market:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Biggest Social Media Marketing Blunders in 2010

Many consider 2010 to be the year of "social media." It is also the year that many large corporations had major social media blunders. Some were the result of over reaction to social media attacks by organizations like Greenpeace (see the NestlĂ© case study below). In addition, Greenpeace effectively used Dove's own social media marketing campaign against them to pressure the parent company Unilever to reduce the use of palm oil from Indonesia, which destroys the rain forest (details below). Other corporations needed no help in shooting themselves in the foot. Perhaps the biggest social media disaster (not to mention ecological disaster) in 2010 was BP (British Petroleum) botched social media and search engine marketing campaigns in reaction to their massive oil spill in the Gulf. Imagine asking for help using social media platforms like YouTube, then turning off the comment feature! Naturally, the social Web did not take these types of patent attempts at manipulation laying down (for more, read "The Counter BP Social Media Campaign"). 

Of course, P&G’s PR response to the backlash against the introduction of a new Pamper diaper that may cause rashes is the quintessential example of breaking the Prime Directive of social media marketing: be honest and transparent. In an attempt to quash the panic about the new diaper, P&G "recruited" four influential "mommy bloggers" with a trip to Cincinnati to meet with company experts for a briefing, and then these new advocates for the product started blogging positive reviews, without being completely transparent about their compensation. Indeed, these bloggers may be violating Federal Trade Commission (FTC) laws regarding endorsements and testimonials. Worse yet, it appears that some of the posts may have been written for them to nothing more than well crafted propaganda. 

Even Southwest Airlines, known for its social media savvy, got taste of what happens when you of lapse in customer service in throwing celebrity Kevin Smith off a plane for being too fat to fly in one seat. Smith's Tweets about the incident were not only widely read and hilarious, but a PR nightmare for the airlines (see last link for the scoop).

To learn more about some of the bigger social media marketing blunders of 2010, check out these resources: