Category Archives: social media

Social Media Intervention for Engagement and Intelligence

Event-related communication has always been at the heart of social media, from Twitter’s debut at SXSW in 2007 to the everyday sharing of check-ins, meals and parties in Foursquare and Facebook, to Oreo’s big marketing win with a single tweet during the 2013 Superbowl.

As my colleague Daniel Honigman pointed out to me today, for brands trying to gain attention through social media, simply being event-driven does not ensure engagement. Daniel noted the social media efforts around the 2013 Oscars as an example of event-based communications that underperformed expectations because although they were clever, they were also contrived and (unlike Oreo’s superbowl message) not naturally related to the actual unfolding of the event.

So relevance and timeliness are the required characteristics for successful social media engagement, both in the proactive publicity-seeking outreach mentioned above, and in the other common form of social media communication: crisis response. Continue reading

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Organizational Politics, Digital Marketing, and the Optimization of Sub-optimal Strategies

This post appeared originally on February 22, 2012 in the iMediaConnection blog.

Biased cultures of digital marketing testing in organizations exist because of risk-aversion in the management culture. In such environments, managers see little gain in expending political capital to try testing digital approaches that might not work, even if they also might work. This is especially true when they are rewarded for efforts to fine-tune what is already working.

In these cultures, digital marketers will test variations of demand generation approaches to attract more of the segments they’ve pre-determined as “qualified” consumers based on their similarity to past consumers. They will test variations of marketing pages to drive these same consumers into a purchase funnel. And they will test variations of purchase funnels to tweak conversion rates by a few points of a percent. Continue reading

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Social Media Week Toronto

Had a great time at Social Media Week Toronto. Canada’s Globe and Mail and Marketing Magazine showed up to cover my presentation on measuring social media ROI.

Here is the Globe and Mail article on measuring social media ROI and social media strategy.

And a video interview with Scot Wheeler about Social Media ROI in Marketing Magazine Canada.

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Social Media and Marketing: Evolution Not Revolution… Part II

The first part of this blog on social media and marketing arrived at the observation that questioning the value of social media to your business is fine, but not bothering to look for an answer will be deadly.

Most businesses now understand that they cannot chose to ignore the question of how engagement in social media can benefit their business, so the search for an answer as to how this will work for them is now underway at most firms. Continue reading

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A Brief History of Social Media Measurement, and a Prescription for Web Analytics

The Challenge
Common sense asserts a wealth of marketing opportunity residing in the correct analysis of consumers’ publicly shared (and digitally documented) interests and interactions. However, there are significant challenges in separating valid information from noise, then structuring that valid data to draw actionable insights with the same level of confidence that businesses expect from their market research, web analytics insights, and other Business Intelligence functions.

The first generations of social media measurement and analysis have addressed these challenges as best they could. To advance beyond pseudo-science into the realm of truly actionable business analytics, the next generation of analysis will need to draw from the established standards and best-practices of organizations’ existing analytics functions such as web analytics, with established competency in building data-driven management practices from digital analytics. Continue reading

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Social Media and Marketing: Evolution Not Revolution… Part I

Markets and the businesses that serve them are being required to respond to the perpetual state of advance in digital information technologies, particularly social media and mobile. The question that everyone working in any part of digital communications is now facing (explicitly or not) is whether the change to business is more revolutionary or evolutionary.

As the currently pervasive online and offline discussions of topics such as “social media ROI” reveal, organizations are currently struggling to understand and manage these transformations through the established language (and mathematics) of business management. Continue reading

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Social Media for Enterprise – Value-adding Practices

Even the best general models don’t solve specific problems of practice, but they should be useful in guiding thinking around specific problems. This particular model proposes a standard path for building value from social media practices within organizations.

Each of the practices has inherent value for particular organizational problems of practice, and each additional practice draws value from the successful presence of preceding practices. The specific value of each of these practices to a particular organization will depend on many factors including organizational readiness & adaptability, product offerings and market environment, all of which must be considered when building solutions in each area.

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Walmart and Tesco Make Big Moves in Social Strategy

Tesco just announced its acquisition of social media marketing firm BzzAgent. This follows Walmart’s April acquisition of social media analytics firm Kosmix.

The world’s first and third largest retailers have thus set into motion what they view as the next stage in customer intelligence and engagement.

Each firm’s acquisition reflects a gap in their prior organization. Tesco has maintained what is apparently one of the most advanced customer intelligence databases for over a decade, while Walmart’s current consumer insights group was launched in February of 2011. (I’ve created a Storify story with background on Walmart and Tesco’s consumer intelligence approaches up to and including today’s acquisition.)

With a wealth of consumer insights already at hand, Tesco’s acquisition of a firm that specializes in linking loyalty and social-network promotions makes perfect sense in extending their existing intelligence into social engagement. What they do not get with BzzAgent is a social intelligence platform – a way to collect insights from social networks. Tesco may already have such insights through their existing database in order to add social graph connections as an additional layer on its existing consumer insights. Continue reading

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Investigative Forms of Social Media Measurement

In yesterday’s post I wrote about the category of social media measurement most frequently discussed in conference sessions; evaluative measurement which identifies/estimates the impact that communications are having across various media channels including social networks.

While this one form of measurement gets a lot of attention thanks to the facts that 1) people need to show value to their bosses/clients and 2) measurement vendors like to sponsor these conferences, there are other reasons for measurement that also bring great value to organizations.

While evaluative measurement looks backwards at what has been done to evaluate and confirm (and provides real value by this when done right), investigative measurement is a forward looking approach that seeks to discover advantages or even predict outcomes. Continue reading

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When Measurement Talk Meets Measurement Walk…

Nearly every social media conference has its requisite session on measuring social media, usually featuring the same key points (often from the same key people), 1) it needs to be done, 2) it should be aligned with business objectives, 3) volume-based measurements do not measure impact, and 4) measurements must be interpreted against objectives to yield insight.

These points are often an eye-opener to people just beginning to formalize their social media practices, and a reminder of the ideal practice to those immersed in the daily flow of social media engagement. Continue reading

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