ROI – Social Media

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In the groundswell, they reiterate the power of social media and how this can create more value for your company then traditional marketing tools.  Once companies start to implement social media tools, how can they evaluate how well these tools are working?  Return on Investment is something that every business is interested in finding out.  Businesses want to create a brand and know the value of what marketing strategies are paying off.  They say its difficult calculating ROI, but from my research there are ways of determining your ROI (1) Get to know Facebook Insights, (2) Use your Google Analytics and (3) Twitter Analytics.

1) “Get to know Facebook Insights

Source: http://www.amplify-interactive.com/blog/facebook-insights-for-your-website/

Facebook Insights is a free metrics dashboard and analytics tool, and it contains a LOT of data. It does have its limitations, as Facebook basically decides what metrics should be important to its users and gives data to support those. All of this can be changed on a whim by Facebook.

You can use Insights to do things like track and analyze new and lifetime Likes for your Page, monitor your Page’s active users, measure your Page’s engagement and viral reach, view the user demographics for your Page, including gender, age and location, and even see which Posts receive the most engagement” (Ross, 2013).

I’m currently an admin on Facebook for the company I work for.  I was very impressed on how much information you are able to receive, in terms of whom you are reaching, how many likes your received and how many people you reached total by one simple post.  This has to be one of my faviorte ways of measuring ROI.  It’s simple, easy to read and you are able to receive data at any point of time.

2) “Use your Google Analytics

Source: http://www.techisdom.com/tag/google-analytics/

It’s surprising how many business owners completely ignore their Google Analytics. You can see where people are coming from and how they are finding your website. You can also see how long they stay on various pages on your site and what pages are most popular.

Once you run an ad, pay attention to your analytics, and look for traffic patterns. See a spike? The ad is probably working. Do you notice that a large portion of your site traffic comes from Facebook? Consider a Facebook Offer” (Ross, 2013).

During this course, we all learned the power of ‘Google Analytics’ and the inside information’s such as how many people visited your website in the last week, month and/or year.  I think its very important to know how much traffic you are getting on your website.  This will let you know if you are promoting your website and targeting the right target market.

3) “Twitter Analytics

Source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/twitonomy-francisybea.png 

Twitter now has its own analytics dashboard. With Twitter Analytics you can track timeline activity, including tweets that were favorited, retweeted, and replied to. The tool also tracks number of mentions, new followers and newly followed. For more information, see “Twitter Analytics: A Beginner’s Guide“.” (Price, 2013).

These three methods of calculating ROI is very cost efficent and if you are wanted to save money, I would strongly suggest your company looking into these three valuable tools.

Work Cited:

Price, C. (2013, November 24). Social Media ROI: 11 FREE Media Success. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from Search Engine Watch: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2308870/Social-Media-ROI-11-FREE-Tools-for-Measuring-Social-Media-Success

Ross, K. M. (2013, August 9). 5 tools to measure social media. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/08/09/social-media-matters-5-ways-roi.html?page=all

Energizing the groundswell

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The culture of marketing is changing and the groundswell confirms that the traditional mode of marketing is changing.  More companies today are focusing on their customers and they want to know what they are saying about their company, who are they talking too and how is this affects sales.  Your probably wondering what can a company do to create a buzz about their products?  The groundswell says energize the customer!

“Energizing the base is a powerful way to use the groundswell to boost your business” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 130).  Finding your customers to energize your products is going to be a task at hand.

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“Word of mouth succeeds:

  • It’s believable.  Testimonials from customers are far more credible than any media source.
  • It’s self-reinforcing.  Hear it from one person, and it’s intriguing.  Hear it from five or ten, even if you didn’t know them before, and it has to be true.
  • It’s self-spreading.  Just as Heather Locklear said, if a product is worth using, its word of month generates more word-of-mouth in a cascade that’s literally exponential” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 30).

Businesses are finding value in the word-of-mouth language, it’s the matter of understanding how to implement this.

If you follow the following steps you can too start energizing your customers:

  1. “Tap into customers enthusiasm with ratings and reviews
  2. Create a community to energize your customers
  3. Participate in and energize online communities of your brand enthusiasts” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 134).

This is a starting point and of course this will take time.   Be patient and things will start to fall into place, people will start talking about your brand and start energizing your brand more and more!

The groundswell also mentions “five steps for applying the techniques of energizing to your own organization.

  1. figure out if you want to energize the groundswell
  2. check the social technographics profile of your customers
  3. ask yourself, “what is my customers’ problem?”
  4. pick a strategy that fits your customers’ social technographics profile and problems
  5. don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul” (Bernoff, 2011, pp. 148-149).

As mentioned before, I work for Cando and we are membership driven.  As I finished reading chapter seven I began thinking of ways in energizing our customers.  We are not-for-profit and a portion of self-generated revenue is relied on membership dues.  Based on the case of Constant Contact, they had a referral strategy and this increased business significantly.  Dialog needs to happen between our staff members on what we can do to increase membership dues; I thought Cando could implement a referral program.  This would increase our membership numbers, make our customers happy and we can get our customers to talk about the great services we offer.  This is a win-win situation.  Now I can understand why energizing is so powerful and the different ways you can start getting your customers to start promoting your brand.  You essentially save money on marketing, which can be very costly.

Save your money and start energizing!

Reference: 

Bernoff, C. L. (2011). groundswell – winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts, US: Harvard Business Review Press.

Tapping the groundswell with twitter

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Twitter is on of the most recognized symbols in the world!  I did not hear of twitter or become a member until 2009.  At this time, it was new to me and it was a different language that I had to learn.  It’s certainly different than Facebook, I felt that twitter was a place to say what your feeling or what you ate that day.  As Facebook you may update your status once or twice a day, while twitter you can update on an hourly basis.  Your followers want to know what your doing and what your thinking.  Twitter is a great source of sharing information, and you can read about things that are happening at that very moment.  More and more companies are using Twitter to either boost sales in their company or just to simply tweet about their products and services.

Twitter has “a few elements”

  • “Followers
  • Hashtags and search’s
  • Mentions and retweets
  • Links
  • Lists
  • Apps and tools” (Bernoff, 2011, pp. 197-199).

It actually surprised me that “10 percent of all the influence spread in social networks comes from Twitter, even though it’s so new.  More than 70 percent of twitterers say they often tell friends about products that interest them, which is far above average” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 200).  Twitter is a valuable social network company, which does not cost your company to tweet.  Does your company have an account?  Do you have an account?  Everyone of us knows at least someone on twitter, twitter is expanding in numbers and a way for your company to expand it’s customer base.  Like the chapter 8 – helping groundswell support itself, before your company opens an account ensure you have the capacity of replying to followers and potential customers.  Like McDonalds, they hire people to just tweet all day and respond to unhappy customers.  “In our McDonalds case, the company is using Twitter both for talking and supporting” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 201).  I think this is a great way to write to your unhappy customers and solve any problems that they have had in the past.  I’m seeing more and more companies who have special care teams that are there to support customers (happy or unhappy).  It’s a great way to be proactive and support your customers 24-7.

In this chapter it talks about how Twitter uses the following:

  1. Listening to Twitter
  2. Talking to Twitter
  3. Energizing with Twitter
  4. Supporting with Twitter
  5. Embracing with Twitter

More companies today are “tapping the groundswell with twitter” and using all five elements in their social strategy.

Cando, the organization I work for has a twitter account.  I think that we as an organization can implement listening, talking, energizing, supporting and embracing with twitter.  I think finding time to update on a daily basis would be a good suggestion to my team.  Having someone continually update our account with links, sharing information like best business practices is essential to make sure we stay current.

“Twitter may well be among the simplest, most powerful social tools you can use.” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 212).  If your not already on twitter, what’s stopping you?

Work Cited:

Bernoff, C. L. (2011). groundswell – winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts, US: Harvard Business Review Press.

Helping the groundswell support itself

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“Helping your customers support each other will make them happier, save money, and generate insight.  But it also requires a great deal of effort and will change your company” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 171).  What are they saying… start dialog with your customers online and building a closer network for your customers.  By connecting your customers through online forums will essentially create this dialog and community support.  As mentioned in this text there are three things your company needs to know before you start helping.  In my previous blogs, I mention the organization I work for which is Cando , and we specialize in economic development within First Nation communities.  Based on the questions below, I will be applying Cando to the following questions:

“1 – What problem is your support activity trying to solve?”

Cando supports Economic Development Officers in their roles by providing knowledge, training and resources towards these EDO’s.  By Cando creating an online forum for EDO’s, this would provide them a way to share information and solve day-to-day issues.

“2 – Groundswell support needs your participation”

When your online forum is created, organizations need to ensure you have someone participating and also pay attention to what your customers are saying.  Cando would have to delegate one individual from our staff to head the online forum.  If we do not commit at least one person to stay up-to-date with our forum, the “helping the groundswell support it self” will not work.  It’s okay to participate in the conversations or even creating posts, where your customers can add dialog too.  “Your participation is crucial at the start” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 173)

For example, Cando can create an online forum on the topic of how to “How to write a business plan”.  This would allow us to answer any questions on this topic and allow our target market share their business plans with other EDO’s who are creating similar businesses in their communities.  This is creating that online community, by sharing information.  I once heard, why recreate the wheel when this has already been done.

“3 – Why build it if you can join it”

Creating an online forum for Economic Development Officers (EDOs) has not been done.  This will be inclusively to EDOs who share the same job responsibilities and this forum will be open to the public and allow them to share their knowledge too.  It’s about customers helping customers solving problems.  Sharing information creates a community of people who want to help each other succeed.  “Helping customers support themselves” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 175).

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Groundswell suggest the following points be looked at before attempting to start with your community:

  • “Start small, plan for a large presence”
  • “Reach out to your most active customers”
  • “Plan to drive traffic to your community”
  • “Build in a reputation system”
  • “Let your customers lead you”

Once your company commits to supporting your community through online forums ect., you have to be proactive and make sure you have the capacity to do this.  Anyone can start an online forum, it the matter of keeping it alive and continuing to support your customers by creating dialog.  This means be ready for any questions and make sure you have a solution.  If you don’t have a solution, reach out to the community and work together for a common goal.

Work Cited:

Bernoff, C. L. (2011). groundswell – winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts, US: Harvard Business Review Press.

Talking with the Groundswell

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“Hello, how are you?”  This is a question that allows one to start dialogue, which creates a two-way conversation.  Many companies today are starting to create this dialogue and this ultimately is changing how they market to their customers.  As mentioned in Chapter Four – Strategies for tapping the groundswell, “POST is the foundation of groundswell thinking-a systematic framework for assembling your plan” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 67).

POST Process stands for:

People…The Social Technographics Profile we described in the last chapter is designed to answer this question… What’s important is to assess how your customer will engage, based on what they’re already doing” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 67).

Objectives.  What are your goals?…We lay out five of the most powerful objectives in the next section”.  “We’ve identified five primary objectivies that companies successfully pursue in the groundswell.

1. Listening

2. Talking

3. Energizing

4. Supporting

5. Embracing” (Bernoff, 2011, pp. 67-68).

Strategy.  How do you want relationships with your customers to change?  Do you want customers to help carry messages to others in your market?  Do you want them to become more engaged with your company? (Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).

Technology.   What applications should you build?” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 68)

The POST Process ties into Chapter Six and discusses about the importance of talking with its customers.  In Chapter Six, talking with the groundswell mentions the traditional marketing funnel, as shown below this model is changing and many companies need to adjust to the customers changing needs.

Marketing Funnel

“The funnel has outlived its usefulness as a metaphor.  Face it: markerters no longer dictate the path people take, nor do they lead the dialogue.”  Once people are aware of your product, a new dynamic kicks in: people learning from each other.  Social technologies have revved up that word-of-mouth dynamic, increasing the influence of regular people while diluting the value of traditional marketing.” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 102).

Customers are looking to social technologies and receiving feedback on specific products and services.  Personally, I alway refer to google to see if there are any bad reviews on products I buy.  For example, If I see a negative comments on a restaurant I have never tried then I will not risk trying there food.  The internet is such a powerful tool and anybody can get any kind of information.  This is way companies need to ensure they are creating a community and talking with its customers about their products and services to continually fix any flaws.

There are four techniques for talking with the groundswell:

  1. “Post a viral video.  Put a video online, and let people share it.  That’s what Blendtec did with its extreme blending videos.
  2. Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites.  Creating a personality within social networking sites like MySpace is one of the simplest ways to extend your brand reach.  Turning it into a conversation is harder.
  3. Join the blogosphere.  Empower your executives or staff to write blogs.  Integral to this strategy is listening to and responding to other blogs in the blogosphere-and that’s one way talking with blogs is different from issuing press releases.  In this chapter we show how HP uses blogs to its advantage.
  4. Create a community.  Communicate are powerful way to engage with your customers and deliver value to them.  They’re also effective at delivering marketing messages, as long as you listen, not just shout.  We’ll show this through the example of Procter & Gamble’s beinggirl.com, a site for adolescent girls.” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 103).

“The key to succeeding in social networks is to help people spread your message and to measure the result” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 106).

“The conversation will evolve continuously.  Even as the technologies will remain central.  If you learn to talk, listen, and respond, you’ll master the middle of the funnel” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 126).  This is a great point for any company to explore and by talking with your customers through social media will help your company prosper and grow.  Your customers hold valuable information and why not explore and create a community where you can share information.

Work Cited

Bernoff, C. L. (2011). groundswell – winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts, US: Harvard Business Review Press.

People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology (POST)

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POST is the foundation of groundswell thinking – a systematic framework for assembling your plan” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 67).

 POST-method-1q13jw9-300x200

People.  What are your customers ready for?  The Social Technographics Profile we described in the last chapter is designed to answer this question… What’s important is to assess how your customer will engage, based on what they’re already doing” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 67).

Based on  Activity 1 assignment, the organization I currently work for is Cando.  Kindly click the word “Cando” for more information on the history and mandate of our organization.  Based on Cando’s Social Technographics Profile, Cando’s target market are individuals between 35-45 years old.  This link will give you an idea of who we are targeting and additional information on Social Technographics Profile on Cando.  We know the “People” we are serving and these Economic Development Officers (EDO) need resoursces and tools to make their job easier.  We know the needs and wants of these EDO’s and the beginning stages of the POST process is important because, as an organization you need to know what your customers need; which ties into your objectives, strategy and technology.

Objectives.  What are your goals?  Are you more interested in talking with the groundswell for marketing, for example, or in generating sales by energizing your best customers?  Or are you interested in tapping the groundswell internally to help your employees work together more efficiently?  We lay out five of the most powerful objectives in the next section” (Bernoff, 2011, pp. 67-68).  Based on the five objectives: Listening, Talking, Energizing, Supporting and Embracing”(Bernoff, 2011, pp. 68-69).  Listening is one of the most important objectives, because we need to continue to listen to our customers changing needs.  Regards to training opportunities, we cannot offer the same training course throughout the year therefore Cando needs to provide a training opportunity to EDO to their changing needs.  We also need to keep in mind the geographical area they live in and taylor the training needs to those different segmentations.  We continue to listen and understand what they are asking for, this allows us to reach our objectives.

Cando’s mission statement is “To build capacity which strengthens Aboriginal economies by providing programs and services to Economic Development Officers“.  We are interested in hearing the tools and resources our EDOs need.  This allows us to better serve them in their position and we as an organization is for-filling our mandate.  Cando needs to understand what type of people we are serving in order to know what our objectives are.

Strategy.  How do you want relationships with your customers to change?  Do you want customers to help carry messages to others in your market?  Do you want them to become more engaged with your company?  By answering this question, not only can you plan for the desired changes up front, but you can also figure out how to measure them once the strategy is under way.  You’ll also need to prepare and get buy-in from people within your company who may be threatened by changes in these customers relationships” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).

I think the most important way to keep our customers engaged is by continuing to offer professional development courses such as Strategic Planning or Community Plan Assessment.  These are just two PD workshops we can deliver to EDOs via internet or face-to-face workshops.  As mentioned later, The Aboriginal Centre of Excellence is a application that Cando is using to target its market.  It’s very difficult for our target market to leave their communities and by offering more training and online courses will better serve their limited budget and they get to learn right from their office computer.  Cando always offered face-to-face training, now we need to alter our strategy and move away from our traditional model of only offering training face-to-face.  We want to maintain that relationship by continuing to offer top of the line training opportunities and this has opened many doors for us and for our customers.

Technology.   What applications should you build?  After having decided on the people, objectives, and strategy, you can move on to pick appropriate technologies, including the ones we described in chapter 2 – Blogs, wikis, social networks, and so forth” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 68)

We have a Facebook Page “Cando“, Twitter account and we recently have a joint venture with ACE.  ACE (Aboriginal Centre of Excellence) is a new technology platform that Cando has 51% ownership in and is designed to promote and foster Aboriginal economic development through online courses and training opportunities.  This new application will essentially assist EDOs doing there job better and they are able to receive training if they have access to a computer and internet.  This is a go to place for all their business needs and they do not have to leave there community to attend training.

Overal, the POST Process is important to Cando and the people, objectives and strategy ties into technology.  Without having a clear vision on who your organization is targeting it will be extremely difficult on determining what technology you are going to use to target your market.  You need to have clear goals and objectives to reach ones mission statement and vision statement.

Work Cited 

Bernoff, C. L. (2011). groundswell – winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts, US: Harvard Business Review Press.

How connecting with the groundswell transforms your company

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Marketing to their customers has transformed over the years and many companies are looking at the Internet as a valuable tool in connecting with their customers.  “Big companies transformed a traditional marketing and customer support organization into one that is led by the groundswell” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 216).  Traditional marketing does not work any longer and many companies are trying to adapt to a social strategy.  As mentioned in the case “Dell: going thorugh hell on the way to transformation”, Dell struggled with their customer service and they had to start listening to what there customers were saying.  Listening is a very important trait to have, especially for a huge company like Dell.  “Listening was the crucial first stepping-stone needed to get key players in marketing, customer service, and technical support focused and coordinated on identifying and solving customer problems” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 225).

1817.Dell Timeline

Above is Dell’s timeline of when they started their social strategy.  It shows when they started using social media and when they launched their “social media listening command centre”.  When I was searching on the internet on what this was consist of, I came across this video below.

Dell’s command centre is such a power full tool, which helps employees of Dell fix any issues their customers have.  I was so surprised on how well advance technology they had in regards to customers engagement.  They certainly are raising the bar in terms of customer satisfaction.  Their system works for Dell and by them engaging with there customers has helped them increase their sales.  It’s important for all companies to communicate and listen to their customers.  Dell is a best practise and many companies are trying to engage with their customers and follow their social strategy.  Customers appreciate companies listening to them and understand what there needs and wants are.  I believe we will be seeing more and more companies engaging with customers and following Dell’s footsteps by providing exceptional customer service.

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