Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Social Media Marketing Isn't a Popularity Contest

For social media marketers it must be about monetizing their social media activities. Part of the inspiration for this approach comes from Wilson Kerr who made a stellar presentation last week on the subject of monetizing mobile media—more about that later. David Carter’s presentation the week before, based on the Social Funnel ebook from Awareness, laid the groundwork. In my blog post I quoted Jeremiah Owyang as saying not to show engagement metrics to C-level executives; they are interested in business results, not a popularity contest.

I watch social media marketers in all markets struggle with this issue. So I decided to pick out one case study each from B2B, B2C and NP. I’ve intentionally chosen small, not terribly well known companies. It may sound easy for Dell to make sales with its Twitter program and Taco Bell to sell chalupas and burritos with coupons distributed on its Facebook page, although it’s less easy than it sounds. But my point is that small companies, even individuals, can do important things in social media if they keep their eyes on the prize—monetizing their activities.

The biggest monetization opportunity in B2B is far and away the generation of qualified leads. Breaking Point is a cyber security firm who says its products “harden the resiliency of vulnerable converged networks and train cyber warriors” to prevent and deter cyber attacks. Are your eyes glazing over already? It’s incredibly important but at first glance it may not seem to be a candidate for social media marketing. Using a corporate blog, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and a revamped PR strategy, they joined in the online conversation, staking out a position as a respected industry source. After 6 months, 75% of their leads were coming from the inbound traffic generated by these social media activities. Their blog is well organized—a video, a list of topics, the appropriate social media chicklets, and posts that only an IT security professional could love. That is their target audience, after all! Read the details and 5 other excellent B2B case studies in the HubSpot/Marketing Sherpa presentation.

Depending on your age and gender, you may be equally unmoved by the funky shoes that Canadian B2C entrepreneur John Fluevog sells online and from a growing number of retail stores in Canada and the US. According to Australian marketer Ginger, whose blog is credited with this captivating image, Fluevog reported that sales increased 40% in 2009, the year of their entry into social media marketing. If you search the corporate name, John Fluevog Boots & Shoes Ltd., you’ll find an array of social media activities including reviews and a lot of local marketing using Google’s Places. If you look at their Facebook wall, you see a few administrator posts but mostly customers showing off their shoes and loving them. On their Twitter page they cross promote offers seen on the Facebook page and actively respond to customer questions and issues. This nicely integrated social media program (see the links on their wall page) takes time, but not a lot of money. It’s within reach of any small business.

The social media space can be productive for non-profit (NP) marketers also. Dave Morin’s birthday wish is a great story of what a single individual can accomplish. His wish on October 14, 2010 was to raise $10,000 for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital by the end of the year. He actually raised the $10k within 24 hours! The fundraising continues, with almost $14K to date and mention of a new initiative focusing on children’s health worldwide. In the interest of full disclosure, Dave Morin is hardly a novice. He was a Facebook executive and headed their Causes fund-raising function, which now operates separately. One can assume that he had a large network of Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections with whom to share his message. If you look at the list of contributors, though, most of the $14K has come from small donors. As you can see on the Causes page the largest donor is $1K and I only saw two of those. Reaching many small, often new, donors is the power of online fundraising. I look forward to the day when I see a case history of a NP who used traditional methods to grow social media small donors to traditional large donors and bequests. That should happen over time for NP organizations who harness the power of social media marketing.

There it is—a three market perspective on monetizing social media marketing. Questions, comments and links to other case studies welcome!


Article first published in condensed form as Social Media Marketing Isn't a Popularity Contest on Technorati.

13 comments:

Network Marketing Business said...

Very interesting post related to social media marketing.....I agree with your post.Thanks for post...

Social Media Marketing said...

This blog is a great combination of suitable and useful information and well-written sentences that will certainly entice your sense and update you about new happening. Here I have found the information for which I was looking for long time.
Kuware

Twitter Marketing said...

This is great! I'm very interested in Social Media Marketing and I'm always looking for new ways to market more effectively. I'll come back to this blog for sure! I bookmarked this blog a while ago because of the useful content and I am never being disappointed. Keep up the good work. :)

Mary Lou Roberts said...

Thanks for your kind words! I hope to blog more regularly over the winter when we finally get our Internet marketing textbook out!!!

SEO Expert India said...

Social Media Marketing has been considered the best tool to create brand online. People participation online has been increasing since last 7 years is the reason of choosing social media to create a brand.

geocliks said...

Organized content is the best way to display or post an article, thank you for making it easy to digest your post.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO India said...

Social sites are now a great way to promoting brand.These are also a great way to promoting ads of any sites.

Sharon Will said...

Social Media is a very powerful tool if used in an appropriate way. I am extremely happy and really wanted to know how this guy could raise $10K in 24 hours; but that shows the power of social media.

Sharon @ SEO Services Belgium

NYC SEO Expert said...

Social media is an excellent way to market your business but it can be time consuming. But there are some important sites and tools to help you manage your social media accounts better and more quickly saving you time and money.

SEO Services said...

Social media marketing is really tough, there is need to have lot of patience to start getting result from your work. Case study that you are showing really inspire me and i will continue my work

Local seo said...

Social media marketing is most valuable for Small Business as everybody know large companies but it is requirement for small companies to increase their brand presence

Suraj Rajwani said...

Its great after reading your post. It is the matter of fact today that if you have to sell something online than you have to meet people ant SMM is the only platform where you can meet with.

Suraj Rajwani

Website Designing Services India said...

This is an excellent blog because it has good volume of information, everything is described in the simplest manner and all information on this blog is genuine and real.