Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do You Have a Personal Content Strategy?

Dan Schawbel, the personal branding guru of Gen Y, spoke in my social media marketing class last week to an audience of mostly Gen Yers. He made a strong case for building a personal brand. It makes sense to me to do it in the early stages of your career. In fact, it strikes me as the digital counterpart of having a good paper resume in the ‘olden days.’ It’s essential. The issue is how far you want to go with it and on what platforms. In other words, what are your objectives and your target audience?

Something that hadn’t occurred to me was the importance of building a network in actually getting some kinds of jobs. An applicant for a job in social media needs to be an accomplished user of social media, with friends and followers. It’s probably especially attractive if the profile of the friends and followers is similar to the target audience of the employer. When I stopped to think about it, the point was obvious. Would you hire someone to drive a car who didn’t know how to drive???

To me, the utility of a personal digital brand as you are career building is obvious. What about us older ducks? It still may be useful; think about your own situation. For some of us, it’s not. For me, that seems especially true because I have a pretty big digital footprint already. If someone wants to find me, they can. But in spite of that, I got an interesting tip from Dan and I’ve pursued it. Dan creates an enormous amount of content, but he is also a dispenser of relevant content created by others that he Gathers and Monitors. Most of us do that with email and RSS feeds; it creates a huge amount of incoming content to manage. His content management strategy is online. Mine consists of a bunch of file folders and Google Desktop search. I don’t tag, so search often comes up empty, even though I know I’ve read something and I think I’ve saved it.

So I found Dan’s Organize guidance especially useful. I had investigated Del.i.cious but I hadn’t become a regular user. I signed up and started using it over the weekend, and I think it’s going to be useful in both cutting down the clutter in my Documents file and on my messy desktop and, at the same time, enabling me to find things I need.

Now I have 3 buttons that let me easily tag the URL I’m on at that time, to look at my recent bookmarks, or to go to the Del.i.cious site to see what others are doing. There is also a bookmarks sitebar, which is easy to open and close from the pull-down menu on the Del.i.cious tab. Since I use Yahoo! as my opening page, all this was essentially automatic and I didn’t have to do much configuring. My only objections are minor; an extra line on my header but that’s text, so it’s small. It occasionally interfered with my Yoono sidebar, which is the one I prefer to always have open, but I seem to have settled that.

As you can see, I’m bookmarking content for a current project in higher ed as well as content for classes and writing. This has just got to be easier than all those files and folders. It’s also going to be useful to see what others are doing in terms of similar content and tags.

I think I like this. Will I Distribute much of this content? I’m not sure I will, but I’ll probably do more than I’ve done in the past because this makes it so easy. I’m going to be happy if it just streamlines my work!

What applications of this good concept can you make to your work or to your creation of a vibrant personal brand--or both!?!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Point of Purchase Going Mobile

I was fascinated by this interview with Scott Monty of Ford that passed through my inbox a couple of weeks ago. It’s worth listening to. About 2 minutes in he talks about the localization issue. Ford is following up their successful Fiesta introduction last year with the formal North American launch. The launch marketing is concentrated in 16 local markets. Ford will have 20 2-person teams handling the local social aspects of the launch. Monty says that Ford wants to “connect to the people that matter” and my guess is that it’s going to be dealer-centered, not Ford headquarters-centered. Really interesting!

Fast forward a couple of weeks to this article in Ad Age. It gives an additional slant on localized marketing:

It's the ad served while you are reading the news in the morning on an e-reader that knows you're at home and three blocks from a Starbucks. It's a loyalty program on your phone that, through a hotel-room sensor, sets the lights and thermostat and turns the TV to CNN when you walk in the door. It's finding a restaurant in a strange city on a Tuesday night, discovering that a store nearby stocks the TV you're looking for, or that a certain grocery on the way home has the cut of meat you need. . . "What used to be called point-of-purchase is now called mobile advertising," said Kip Cassino, VP-research at Borrell Associates. "Mobile can be an extension of a retailer's storefront."

The emphasis here is on mobile. I was reminded of these two articles as I listened to CNBC report on the CITA conference earlier this morning. If you are interested in wireless developments, and all sorts of cute new devices and appls, you can follow their coverage. I was caught by the headline of this particular report, “Charge It On Your Cell Phone.” I should add that mobile payments are not a new concept. I wrote about a concert ticket transaction that was completely mobile c. 2007 in my Internet marketing text. However, the example came from Australia; I couldn’t find an actual example in the U.S!

The section of the report that interested me most was the Visa payWave service. When I looked at that, I found that it was actually a smart card application, not mobile at this point. That’s also not a new concept; I wrote about that in an even earlier text! ExxonMobile SpeedPass still seems to be going strong, although it didn’t morph into a payment system as the initial strategy seemed to anticipate.

So initially, I said, ok nice service, but nothing new. Then I clicked on the “find merchants near you” link and saw how this fitted in. I live in a small market and admittedly the merchants now listed are mostly national or regional chains. What happens when local merchants catch on?

I’ll tell you what happens! Local merchants sign up for the service and voila—they are listed on the local map along with the big guys. More free promotion! Not to mention creating an easy transaction mechanism for their customers!

Further, this is only one step in the direction of mobile-based advertising and transactions. Billing Revolution is one firm that offers transaction processing on mobile phones. It was developed to allow mobile purchases from e-commerce sites. I can’t tell whether you can yet walk into a retail store, one that accepts PayPal apparently, and pay for your purchase with your cell phone. If you can’t do it today, it’s bound to be the next step.

As that is happening, marketing becomes more local with the ability to reach people where they are, whenever they are there. Also the opportunity to annoy them immensely while they are trying to read the morning news on a mobile device!

Haven’t I said this before? Broadcast marketing is dead. No reference implied to particular channels. The reference is to blasting a message out to all within hearing, whether they are the people you want to connect to or not! It calls for smarter, more thoughtful marketing, but the potential returns are great!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest Post: Customer Experience Gets Trumped

Thanks to Mark Krumm for recounting this experience for us!

I've been interested in the trend of corporations online efforts to fund local community projects as means of attracting attention and building good will and audience. PepsiCo is a great example of a company who does this well – see the Sunchips® and National Geographic “Green Effect” and the “Refresh” project. Both projects allow visitors to vote for ideas that prospective award recipients have submitted for consideration and funding. It’s easy to vote, it’s interesting to see the different ideas. And, most importantly, people tell their friends to vote for their favorite ideas.

Then there’s Liberty Mutual’s “Responsible Sports” project… an example of how not to engage audiences. I have two boys participating in their high school sports programs and recently the boy's coach emailed me along with all parents and urged us to go to Liberty Mutual's site and vote for the school's sports programs to get a grant of $2500. You can click through the steps too (if you are a really patient person!) here's the link:

The experience and a critique:

Landing on this page, I thought I would find a specially-created page just for first-time visitors, and that it would be simple to it to vote my support. Wrong. I found sixteen navigation choices, two of which were labeled “Community Grants”, several others that were closely related enough to make me wonder exactly where to click. I found my way eventually, but why not create an easy-to-navigate landing page for the first-time visitor?

To vote, I had to first take a test on parenting and sports. There was an online study guide I could have read to prep for the test, but I skipped that. Four clicks to get to the test and ten multiple choice questions later, I scored a 90%. Pretty good? Yes, but not quite good enough. They wanted a perfect score and sent me back to guess again on my missed question. (Is anyone really this desperate for a chance at $2500?) If I had not been just plain curious about how hard I’d have to work to vote, I would have abandoned at the failing grade of 90%. But I continued, just for my own education. Next step? I had to register with name and email. And, as expected, they needed to send a confirmation email to me to insure I’d given a real email address. I started writing this blog post while I waited for their email because it said it could take up to 5 minutes to get my verification. It took just three. Oh, and more required info about me before I could verify my email... just three more survey questions, two of which were “required”, neither had to do with my vote. How many people would have abandoned this by now? I don't even expect that any of you are still reading this account it's so long!

Okay, I got to vote. And then, of course, the kicker: "Share this." Ahh, finally we reach the heart of the promotion. But are there links to Facebook or Twitter or any other social media tools? No. They will however accept my excel spreadsheet of my soon-to-be-former-friend’s email addresses -- or just hop into my various email clients to harvest all addresses for me. Or, I could enter my friend’s email addresses manually. They also interrupted their own mission with a pop-up survey opportunity – just in case I was not diverted enough. To their credit, they did have those social media options for sharing elsewhere on their site -- but not on the page where they asked me to share.

Wow. The “good” news, my vote is sure to count for a lot since it's so hard to cast a vote. But I'll have to give this a failing grade. Old techniques, hard to use, questionable value, and having completed the task, I feel anything except warm and fuzzy about Liberty Mutual! And there was no emotional attachment. Go back to the PepsiCo programs: the rules required contestants offer ideas and they responded with how lives would change for the better if they earned a grant. This was nothing more than a popularity contest. The most votes win money.

Lessons? We all know them -- make it easy (they didn't) make it of value (a random shot at $2500 is not very compelling), make me want to share it – and give me control over who I share it with… and make me care.

More lessons from the editor:

  1. Mark's experience was not unique. While he was laboring over this post, his wife asked what he was doing. When he told her, it drew another "rant" about her own experience there--presumably equally satisfactory!
  2. When I went to the site to get the screen capture, I got a pop-up survey. I was curious, so I started to fill it out. Look at the instructions for yourself. Isn't it perfectly clear that if you cannot think of any companies, you can leave the boxes blank? Yet, when I did, I got an error message and my progress to the next screen was blocked!
What's going on here??? Two things strike me; one is responsibility run amok. You don't need to give parents a "responsibility test" in order to let them vote for their kids' projects--in fact it strikes me as an insult!

Second, have the designers of this project ever heard of website usability? They clearly didn't do any usability testing of the site itself, nor did they do a careful review of their pop-up survey.

When I wrote about Liberty Mutual earlier, I pointed out that customer experience is the function of satisfaction at all customer touchpoints. Liberty Mutual just blew it with this one!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Keeping Up With Your Social Networks

It’s an issue that faces even those of us who are only active in a few social networks. I can’t really imagine how difficult it must be for people who seriously use multiple networks, especially if it’s for business purposes.

One of my students saw the post about Yoono on CNET. She, of course, posted the link in our class community--good going, Zoe! I haven’t found a good Twitter app for my Yahoo! page that displays exactly the way I want it, so I was interested.

I finally got around to checking it out. I downloaded the Firefox app and it happily showed up, on my Yahoo! opening page (image 1), my Gmail page (image 2), and wherever I go from them (image 3)--which is essentially everywhere! It has a good search bar; that’s how I found the Washington Post article. I’d be perfectly happy with just having it on my opening page but I can’t find any settings that let me control the placement. It does let me control which social networks I include, and I choose just Facebook and Twitter. I actually would like to include two Facebook and two Twitter accounts; don’t know whether I can do that.

One thing that I find amusing. It shoves my Gmail box over so far that the AdWords ads are lost. When I’m composing, I see links to the AdWords ads, but not the ads themselves. I have to guess that Google won’t put up with this if Yoono becomes widely used!

I agree with some of the issues in the Washington Post article; especially about the amount of real estate it occupies on a page. You can minimize it easily (that minimizes it everywhere, not just on the one page) or you can drag to make the space smaller. In that case, it only shows one or two posts, and I don’t like that. So it does take up space; otherwise it seems to work fine. I searched, made a Tweet, checked out my Facebook page—all worked fine. It’s very busy this morning. Many of the people I follow are at South by Southwest and they are socializing away!

The only other thing I’d point out is that Yoono comes from a firm that appears to be French, with a cosmopolitan management team. Occasionally you run into information you might like to read, but it’s in French (and my French is not up to it!). I see their blog in English, so I don’t have any complaints about the amount of support they provide. And, oh yes, it’s a free app.

This is a good example of the social media space maturing. I’ve tried other aggregation sites, and I like this better than others because I can get what I want on my existing home page. I don’t want to lose the news feeds that are there.

My personal suggestions would be choice of formats. I’d like to be able to open a page that shows a half-dozen or so social networks in essentially the same format that my news and blog feeds show up on the Yahoo! opening page. Maybe that’s just familiarity speaking. Yoonoo works, and I think it’s something I’m going to keep around.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

International Conference Announces Speakers and Renews Call for Papers

"Contemporary Views on Business: Partnering for the Future" (Combi2010) is an important forum for knowledge co-creation and intellectual exchange emphasising partnering and international knowledge transfer as sources of competitive edge. In Combi2010, you are reserved plenty of time for lively dialogue, responsive thought transference and ideation.

Submit online your abstract of 1500-5000 characters or a full-length paper on 30 March 2010 the latest @

Combi2010 actively seeks to promote synergies between business and academia. Besides traditional Keynote, Invited and competitive paper presentation sessions, our international conference programme contains tailor-made modules such as Practicums, R&D&I Rendezvous and Academic Writing Tutorial to satisfy even the most demanding needs of faculty members, business executives and post-graduate students.
As part of the Conference social programme, Combi2010 participants will be offered an opportunity to visit for example one of the seven Unesco World Heritage sites in Finland, the Finnish Science Center and National Park. You do not want to miss the themed evening banqueting opportunities either with Reception and Gala Dinner included.
Combi2010 is hosted by four Universities of Applied Sciences from the larger Metropolitan region (HAMK, Helsinki Metropolia, Laurea, LUAS) and is being organised in collaboration with partners incl. e.g.
• International Chamber of Commerce Finland
• SIVECO Romania SA
• Efficient Consumer Response Finland
• Regional Organisation of Enterprises in Uusimaa
• International Network for Scientific Information
• 8 international scientific journals.
Combi2010 has 20 Tracks representing the subject fields of Business Studies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Please consult the attached Call documents for details. The Track Chairs represent a large variety of both business and research specialists from Japan, Yemen, Malaysia, China, India, Romania, the U.S., the UK, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Portugal and Finland. Also public bodies are involved such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control INRIA.
Combi2010 Keynotes and Invited Speakers represent both business and academia, and come from prestigious affiliations and corporations worldwide. Join the presence of for example

• Evert Gummesson, Stockholm University School of Business: “New service ideas about customers as co-creators of value together with suppliers, other customers (C2C) and other stakeholders in a network”
• Mary Lou Roberts, Harvard University Extension School: "Getting Paypack from Your Social Media Efforts"
• Tero J. Kauppinen, VIA Group: ”Mastering Managerial Leadership and the use of the G-factor for your own organisation”
• Vincent Dessain, Harvard Business School Europe Research Center: ”Social Responsibility and Innovation”
• Håkan Håkansson, BI Norwegian School of Management: “A jungle or a rainforest? – Business in Networks”
• Veli-Pekka Niitamo, Nokia/CKIR: “Innovating in a Networked Operational Environment”
• Erkko Autio, Imperial College London: ”Building momentum for innovation ecosystems”
• Jukka Ahtikari, Logica Finland: "Developing Open Architecture in a Heterogeneous Operational Environment"
• Richard A. Lancioni, Temple University: “The Impact of Strategic Pricing on Worldwide Revenue Growth”
• Alan Barrell, University of Cambridge/University of Xiamen: “Creativity, entrepreneurship and innovativeness”

Best Paper in Conference will be awarded. All the accepted papers will be published in the printed, ISSN/ISBN identified, Conference Proceedings and in an electronic format on a USB drive. In addition to this, the best papers chosen by Track Chairs are eligible for publication as double blind peer reviewed articles at least in the International Journal of Technology Diffusion, International Journal of Management Innovation Systems, Journal of Applied Sciences Research, Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, Journal of Management Sciences, International Journal of Administration and Governance, Research Journal of Social Sciences and Current Science International.
If you are available to serve as a manuscript reviewer, and/or a session chair or discussant, please do volunteer online at In order to help the Track Chairs to prepare the assignments for you, please indicate your area(s) of expertise when signing up for the position.
Please feel free to circulate this email and distribute the attached Call documents among your peers. We would be also delighted, if your home institution could post online the attached Combi2010 banner and link it to the Combi2010 website.
Keep your eye at for the latest developments. The Calls close by the end of March 2010.

The Combi2010 Organising Committee awaits to see you in Finland next October!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pepsi's Initial Foray Into Cause-Related Social Media

One of my social media students wrote a post about the Pepsi Refresh program a few days ago. It’s on our (closed) Ning community, an interesting story itself. Mark’s post gave me an additional perspective on the program that Pepsi announced in lieu of Super Bowl advertising this year. Thanks, Mark!

It turns out there was a precursor to the Refresh program. It was a $100,000 Green Effect contest which appears to have been a partnership between Sun Chips and National Geographic.

One of the winners was Hingham High School, where Mark’s son is a student. They received $20,000 to build a greenhouse to support a multidisciplinary program at the school. I can’t embed the entry video, but you can see that they’ve got a great ‘spokesperson.’ Both the entry video and the finalist video are linked on this page. The producer is a high school student—watch them both to see what kids can accomplish and the wonderful adults behind this idea.

The marketing point is that Pepsi did a trial program on a much smaller scale before launching the $20,000,000 Pepsi Refresh program. I can’t see any major differences in the two, but I’m willing to bet that Pepsi learned things from the Sun Chips program that made them more confident in dumping Super Bowl TV advertising and launching the social media effort. Is there any way that doesn’t make sense? The program is currently active and appears to be enjoying success. There are over 1 thousand project submissions in just the ecology section this month. You still have time to vote on your choice in any one of the six categories.

Congratulations to Hingham High School (they have a vibrant web site—figures!) for having this idea and the energy to see it through. They have great teachers, great high school kids, and I’m sure they’re going to have a great greenhouse and a lot of worthwhile programs. Be sure you watch the two videos.

I think Mark summed it up well:

So, what do you think about buying your way into the social media conversation? Had you heard about either project? So far, I've not purchased a Sunchip and a Pepsi -- but then again -- I did just send a message to 40 people about it!

You can argue about how Pepsi is going to measure the success of the program. But then, we’ve been arguing for years about how to measure the success of branding efforts in traditional media! Can a program like this—a program that gets consumers actively engaged in supporting an idea for branded funding—can it be any less successful?

P.S. Here are the happy winners on the green house site.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Using Facebook to Drive Traffic

My firm assumption is that marketers are using Facebook to accomplish something, and hopefully they are clear about precisely what that is—good objectives! I’ve had several questions lately that have caused me to think about how marketers are using their Facebook Wall pages (assuming the wall is the most trafficked) and what they are using for landing pages.

So I did a small and totally unscientific survey of some of the sites I follow. Some of it is food for thought; all is interesting. In the interest of disclosure, all my entry points came from searching ‘name facebook.’ Am I the only one who can’t find anything on Facebook itself?

I’ve written about Coke’s social media strategy.
Wall Page. Their main link leads me to a big happy Coke logo; when I click through it invites me to be a fan. No thank you; closing that out leads me to the main Coke page. Easy to get from there to wall page. Took me several clicks but interesting, so I’m not annoyed. Wall is completely fan posts; see nothing from Coke at the moment. You might find it worth reading their House Rules.
Landing Page. None on wall at the moment because they are fan posts. Feeds page has lots of Twitter from the UK at the moment that take you to an offer page on the Diet Coke UK website. The Coke page seems to be the main page for corporate links; see for example their recycling page on the Living Positively site. There’s much going on here; all seems to be well thought out.

I’ve also written about the Pepsi Refresh program, which seems to be Pepsi’s sole communications focus at the moment.
Wall Page. The main link takes you to the Pepsi Refresh Project page. This is a marketing campaign, not a corporate site per se. On the Wall page(s) they have covered all the bases; Pepsi Only, Fans Only, Pepsi + Fans. I’m a bit slow to catch on; I’ve looked several times before understanding this option for corporate fan pages. Try it out and see what I mean. Interesting!
Landing Page. On the Pepsi Only Wall page, most of the current posts go to either to an update message on the Refresh Everything site or to a YouTube video. Some link back to the Pepsi Refresh Project page on Facebook—think about that!

Intuit has a lot of web savvy.
Wall Page. Actually, they have several Facebook pages. I choose the Small Business Spot because I like what they’re doing with it. They have a small business grants program—interesting. When I looked at that wall page it was a mix of Intuit posts, a warning from a user about incompatibility with Chrome, and some user questions. Interestingly enough, the same coffee-drinking user who warned about Chrome compatibility is answering other user question(s). Nice! Lots of questions about taxes; Intuit seems to be responding. One frustrated user says customer service on Facebook is better than in the telephone call center. All in all, a lot that Intuit can learn here and people seem to be getting their issues resolved.
Landing Page. Links from Intuit posts go to their blog, their community, their Kiva page and probably more, depending on the message. This was the first corporate page where I saw wall posts all post linking to the corporate Facebook page, in this case the Small Business Spot page on Facebook. Offers and links there take visitors to the Intuit small business website.

I’ve written about Legal Zoom also.
Wall Page. Can a bunch of lawyers carry on a good conversation? This site says they can! The main link takes me to their Notes page. I find that uninspiring, but they have a reason; pushing Start-A-Business month. Their wall page is a nice mix of LegalZoom and fan posts. Many fan posts are quite complimentary—amazing! Also some cute lawyer-related stuff like a link to a Hollywood Reporter article about the lawyer stationed backstage at the Oscars. Great content strategy!
Landing Page. As you might guess, their content strategy results in links to many sites. Some, like Inc magazine, appear to be partners in support of small business. Let’s hear is for these lawyers—they are being positive, supportive and interesting!

The San Diego Zoo is one of my all-time favorites in many ways. Its website ranks up there with the best of corporate sites.
Wall Page. The main link takes you to their wall pages. They use the same Zoo Only, Zoo + Fans and Fans Only set of pages.They have a lot of happy visitors and lots of adorable baby animals to talk about. What's not to like? The Zoo uses a polar bear as their icon for administrator posts. Wonder if they are thinking about that after SeaWorld?
Landing Pages. Their links go everywhere—pages, blogs, live webcams; they have great content. How can fans not like a baby panda or a little tapir? Their website is engaging and using Facebook the way they do creates more engagement as well as driving a great deal of traffic to the website. The zoo has had a family of blogs for quite awhile. They are, of course, on Twitter, Tweeting away with happy visitors and about zoo animals. There is a link on the Twitter page to the Live Panda Cam. They have a platform and are making excellent use of it. Look at how they cross post on blogs.

I started this with a misperception, and I just left it there. It’s not necessarily a wall page; it can be a series of wall pages. It is not a landing page. A vibrant content strategy leads to many links to many kinds of content both on the corporate site and to related content on other sites. All keep the fan base growing and engaged.

The major take away is that there is no one right way of using a Facebook fan page. It depends on your strategy and the way you want to interact with fans and visitors. Whether it’s baby animals or lawyers being amiable, it’s all about 2-way communication and dealing with customer questions and issues. The five above have all gotten the message!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Social Media Business Model - Lead Generation?

Every once in awhile I have an ‘ahha’ moment. That’s one of the fun aspects of working in an emerging discipline where we are still figuring things out. A few months ago it was the realization that we don’t need to use awareness—in the traditional media sense—as a social media objective. Why spend money on marketing research to measure creation of awareness when we can offer people reasons to act? Is it possible for a person to take action, even a simple click-through, without having some minimal level of awareness? I don’t see how. We can manage the results of behavior to take them a step further, perhaps following the steps of the traditional hierarchy of awareness, but we can use behavior to measure each step, not marketing research. Here’s one related post.

That line of thinking probably led to the ‘ah ha’ I had last week. Almost all social media marketing is the first step in a conversion process. There are several possible scenarios:
• Most marketers are not going to sell things directly on social networks, at least for some time to come. Threadless is one of the few successful businesses doing so. Others like Zappos use social media as an integral part of their online communications but sell from their website. That’s the typical model today.
• Whether you are using social media to drive people to websites or to retail stores, there is clearly a ‘next step’ behavior you want them to take. It is possible that you link to a product page on your website or to a retail coupon, and the ‘next step’ is taken immediately. If so, you have metrics, and you can track the referral back to the social media site. However, research shows this is often not the case; purchases are often not made as a result of a first visit to a website. That requires the marketer to build a complex tracking process to match a later purchase with first exposure. That is part of conversion marketing metrics.
• Social media is often part of a relationship building strategy. Getting people to friend our Facebook page or getting them to register for our enewsletter represent two good examples. There are all sorts of reasons why people may not purchase right away. There are an equal number of good reasons why marketers should be in touch while they move through the purchase cycle.

All except the immediate click-through and purchase represent the need for formal conversion marketing strategies. I don’t have any data, but my guess is that the second and third bullets represent the bulk of social media-initiated contacts with customers. The second scenario requires creating a conversion path through the website. The third requires a conversion strategy that’s based in a set of communications steps. Both are conversion marketing!

That begs a simple definition of conversion. Consider the possibilities. For the social marketer, “conversion” can be a referral from the social network to the website. For the online marketer it can be registering for brand communications. For the brand marketer it is likely to be the purchase. It’s a process, the traditional conversion funnel. Today there are even more marketing actors involved in the process. That’s complex from the perspective of the marketing organization. It has to be seamless from the perspective of the customer.

So does this statement make sense? Most social media marketing is the first step in converting someone from a spectator to a customer.