Monthly Archives: February 2011

Patience, Hard Work & Perseverance: Social Media

You launch your campaign, the excitement is high, everyone is on board…Then about two weeks later, the excitement fizzles, the campaign looses steam and you are looking for results.

Are you kidding me… 2 weeks and you are looking for results.

A great social media campaign yielding determined results takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months and depends on the aggressiveness and goals of the campaign. Your impatience and lack of adhering to a social strategy is the reason why most of your campaigns don’t succeed.

Whenever you look to measure ROI for social media efforts, remember to be patient. I know it’s difficult, easier said than done, especially when your bosses insist on seeing results instantaneously. Start with what you have, the situations you can control and also the areas that you cannot affect.

Don’t get hung up on your metrics, how many dollars will I make, will I get traffic, how much will I sell… at least not in the beginning. What you need to measure though is the level of engagement with your ‘X’ number of fans.

Make sure you use your time and energy wisely. Analyze what metrics/KPIs make sense for your product/service.

Social media, if done right, can be classic brand building. But it takes time, time to build credibility, time to build influence, time to build a community. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, it’s not something that can happen overnight!You got be patient, hard working and have the ability to persevere to taste success.

Okay, lets broadly breakdown the results and goals of a typical social media campaign.:

1. Exposure and buzz: Exposure and buzz happen by reaching new audiences and making a repeat appearance in a strategic and relevant way. Reaching the audiences with useful information over and over will start to create the presence and allow audiences to start buzzing. The more you appear in their social networks, the more likely they will start buzzing and help fuel the exposure.

2. Branding: Reinforcing and recreating a brand is also based on repetitive exposure. Determining what the brand is and what it wants socially, will help form the online brand will ultimately help boost customer loyalty, and build the brand. Share industry knowledge and answer questions or help others. This will help you construct your image and over time, the brand will be recognized and understood.

3. Online reputation management: Social media networking can produce reputation management in two different ways such as helping irritated customers or solving problems and using search engines by having their social pages rank well on the search engines and push other results lower in the SERPs. Both creating a presence and letting customers know you have a social presence and they can utilize the accounts as necessary and search engine results, take time and effort to start achieving the goals.

4. Sales and new business: Different types of social media campaigns can have a direct influence on sales (and should if that is a defined goal). A strategic targeted message about specific sales information can be appreciated if done in moderation. The messages can direct users to viewing new products, blog posts, current specials or free offers, which can result in sales conversions. It takes some time to build the reputation and relationships before hitting the audience with a sales message, and then some additional lag time before they actually pick up the messages and respond to the call-to-action.

Give yourself and the campaign 3 to 6 months and you will see what I am talking about.

Let me know what you think by adding comments. To know more on Social Media follow me on Twitter @ajaxjoshi

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Social Media and Influence

Taking it further from one of my earlier post where I talked about the Centers of Influence (COI), I would like to talk about Influence itself.

What is influence?

According to Dictionary.com influence is the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.

There is a big debate going on in the social media blogosphere about “influence”. We are all aware about the fact that we could leverage ifluencers in our communities in order to get the word out about our causes, brands or services… and that makes total sense from a referral network leading to a viral effect.

What could we do to build influence? and then be able to measure it?

The ability to make things happen — that’s how simple influence is. Yet, it is complicated. What things does it make happen, who are these for and how much time does it take? Influence could last a moment and then also a lifetime, some make big things happen, some small.

What influences one, may not influence another. The idea – The actions/results, i.e., cause and effect, or is it the connection between the two? So even after tracking and analyzing everything, one cant tell what is it that actually worked. Influence is contextual and depends on the situation and what you care about. Whether building or measuring influence, it’s effective to understand which type of influence is important, and why. And that is what makes social media more interesting!

Sounds easy? But, is it? Let’s see – I write this post, someone on my network retweets it. A person on his network reads it, writes a comment. At the same time someone finds this post through a search and decides to follow me and spread the word for the benefit of more. Here in this scenario, each of the persons above took an action. Each action had an effect. But which of these actions is up there, the most important one? Who among these people had the most influence?

How does one have the power to influence? You have some handy applications (Klout or Twitalyzer) that would tell you how influential a person is. But are these accurate? Is it only about how many followers one has on Twitter?

Writing this post, I am beginning to wonder what algorithm should one come up with to create and application which helps measure influence.

Does influence come from trust? Since it allows something/someone to effect our decisions.

Would you like to add more? Please feel free to add under comments if I may have missed something.

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Conducting a Hashtag Twitter Marketing Campaign

I always believe that it is important to share other people’s content and information, relevant to your audience. One problem that I see here though is that because there is a large volume of information and conversation on Twitter, people are misled that it is a fast-paced advertising platform. To be successful you need to help others and let them get to know you, which will result with more people wanting to do business with you. This is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Twitter as a popular social networking platform, has a viral marketing strategy all on its own, especially if your followers like your tweets and retweet them to their followers. However, there’s another trend in Twitter usage that increases its viral marketing capabilities through the use of hashtags.

Here are 6 steps to help you create your own Twitter hashtag campaign:

1. Research. What kinds of tips would be appreciated by your target market? On what topics do you frequently receive questions from your clients?

2. Choose your name. Choose a short, simple name that reflects your brand and what you’re offering. Before making your final decision, you need to check your proposed name on Twitter Search (search by including the #) to ensure that no one else is using that name.
3. Create your tips. You can easily pick your tips out of an article or blog post you’ve created.

4. Link to relevant info. You would get the most mileage out of these tips if you link them to something relevant to that tip.

5. Schedule your tweets. In this way you put these tips on autopilot and they post themselves.

6. Let them begin to work their magic. It may take awhile for them to catch on, but eventually others will begin to retweet your tips as useful information they want their followers to access. As with most marketing strategies, consistence is the key here to your success.

Please feel free to add as comment if I may have missed something.

I would also suggest you could read – HOW TO: Grow a Quality Twitter Following and HOW TO make members of your online community feel special.

Contact me if you would want me to help you runa  Twitter Marketing campaign.

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