Predicting Social Media Outcomes

Brianna Smith:

There are a lot of unknowns in social media, because it is frequently changing and we are still in the learning phase. When you start using social media, it is important to have realistic expectations regarding how much time is necessary to manage it and what the outcome will be. Nick Martin wrote a great blog on “Predicting Social Media Outcomes”.

Here is little snippit, but check out the full posting to find out more about the what to consider before you start using social media, to ensure it is a success.

  • Understanding your audience
  • Understanding your brand
  • Content
  • Context
  • SEO
  • Influencer engagement
  • Resources

Originally posted on My/Spective by Nick Martin:

Marketers get discouraged because they don’t get the results from social media that they expect. That disappointment quickly turns into a dismissal of social’s value for their business. The assumption is that the reality doesn’t live up to the hype, or that their brand just isn’t a good fit in for social.

The problem is that many marketers and advertisers view their objective, at a very high level, as getting their message in front of as large a relevant audience as possible and doing so enough times that behavior is eventually influenced.

What that point of view neglects to consider is that the social web operates under a set of unspoken norms. Conversations flow in a certain way and for specific reasons within a dynamic context that isn’t easily identified, nor easily predicted. There are more variables at work than with traditional media, but that doesn’t mean the value social brings can’t…

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SkillPath – Social Media Conference

I recently was given the opportunity to attend the SkillPath Social Media Conference here in New Orleans on behalf of Mudbug Media. After the event I wrote the following blog on key takeaways from the day:

SkillPath – Social Media Conference

I recently attended the Social Media Conference hosted by SkillPath, to expand my expertise in the field and learn from others ‘ experiences. Throughout the day, discussions centered on social media strategy creation, platform management, content writing, measuring return on investment, and how to mange your company’s online reputation.

Attendees managed social media implementation for companies in many different industries, including automobile, restaurant, retail, and education. Due to the variety of industries and expertise levels represented, insightful conversations developed, shedding light on the evolving standards and practices in the social media realm. See more below on topics covered during the conference.

What do you want to achieve?

Before starting social media, it is important to determine your goals in order to develop a social media strategy. Your goals may include:
• Driving traffic to your website
• Generating leads
• Promoting your business
• Interacting with customers

Once goals have been established, a strategy can be developed to target your specific audience.

What your social media kit should include

Social media is not a single arena; it is a combination of many different platforms, with varying audiences. A social media kit includes different platforms including blogs, social conversation sites, social profiles, business profiles, search tools, social bookmarking sites, photo sharing sites, and video hosting sites. You may or may not include platforms from each category, as it will be very important to determine which platforms are right for your business. A kit will also include tools to manage the different social media platforms, including automating and mobile blogging tools.

Writing for social media

Content writing for social media is very different from writing content for your website, especially since you may have a text limit, such as a tweet which only allows 140 characters. A few key items to remember when writing for social media are:
• Always have a call to action
• Create attention grabbing headlines
• Use bulleted and numbered lists
• Use links and images whenever possible
Realistic required time commitment

While there are many tools available to help you manage multiple social media platforms, it is important to remember that social media never turns off. People will have the ability to comment, tweet, and post about your company 24/7, so a significant amount of time is required to not only post messages but also monitor responses. This allotment will vary greatly, depending on your company’s goals and the variety of platforms used.

Measuring return on investment

Social media is still a young media outlet, and consistent standards for measuring return on investment have not been established. The metrics for measuring the return on investment will correspond directly with your social media goals. Metrics may include increased site traffic, comments, inbound links, page views, or subscribers.

Managing your online reputation

One of the biggest concerns that companies have when considering social media, is how will they control their brand name. This is a valid concern and is one of the key components of a social media strategy. There is always the risk of negative comments, but the goal is to turn the negatives into a positive for your company. Handle the situation correctly and you many not only save a relationship with a customer, but you may also gain new customers. When managing brand reputation, it is important to consider:
• When should you respond?
• Who are you responding to? (Individual or the public)
• What tone should you use?

There are many different monitoring tools available that can help streamline brand management efforts. There are both free and subscription based tools that you can use. Tool selection will be based on your goals, number of platforms, and number of followers/mentions.

Check out more blogs social media strategy, check out Mudbug’s Blog au Roux!

Top 10 Favorite Takeaways from SXSWi

This week, my twitter feed was full of quotes from SXSWi. I was not able to attend the conference myself, but agencies from all over the country have been tweeting and blogging about their experience there, so… I thought I would share some of my favorite takeaways that they have shared.

Agencies

  • Moosylvania – an independent full-service agency in St. Louis.
  • 4orce – a digital agency in St. Louis
  • Big Fuel – a social media and branded content company in New York

Top 10 SXSWi Takeaways

  1. Look forward to scary awesome targeting of ads – Moosylvania
  2. It’s becoming even more vital that brands focus on additional value and continued relationships with their customers. It’s all about the experience, and the ways a brand engages on an emotional level. – Moosylvania
  3. Social media ROI discussion haven’t evolved. Ever. Your social ROI comes down to determining which KPIs are important to your brand and what you need to measure to determine success, there isn’t a magic bullet ROI formula that works for all brands. – Moosylvania
  4. Agencies must migrate away from vertical hierarchy to horizontal hierarchy… Resist large teams at all cost. – 4orce
  5. ROI metrics are to validate not to justify social media spend. 4orce
  6. Lots of debate and confusion regarding social media ROI. Bottom line: we should measure results against upfront benchmarks. 4orce
  7. So your brand is sharing content, but is it also capturing content? Makes it less promotional & more authentic – Big Fuel
  8. Think of your brand as a host to a conversation. Morph and change with it. – Moosylvania
  9. Providing value on an ongoing basis creates relationships. Be authentic, be relevant, but don’t be creepy. – Big Fuel
  10. Products are the new marketing. We’re seeing a shift in leading-edge agencies understanding that to succeed they need to be creating digital products that benefit consumers, clients, and the agency, not selling services. Brands are starting realize this too. – Moosylvania

What have been some of your favorite blogs or quotes from SXSWi?