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MarketingProfs B2B Forum: Proven Success Stories With Social Media in Overall Strategy

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ROI is always interesting to hear various companies talk about: what they measure, how they measure, what is considered an actual return on investment. Marketers can put a target on their back when they discuss ROI and social measurement, and it’s easy to pick out when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

The presenters of this session discussed case studies for their specific company, so lots of numbers, lots of discussion. Numbers are great, but I also think case studies need to present the HOW and WHY.  How did you get there, why did you take this approach? Leverage the two and balance it.

Each presenter had a top tip, so I break it down below.

Top Tip from each presenter:

“Forget the numbers, focus on engagement.”

Is it just me, or is that a bit naïve? Yes, focus on the engagement and the type of audiene you have. You can’t build strategy and objectives by guessing where the audience is. If you completely forget numbers, a C-Suite is likely to either a.) laugh b.) accept it and later ask for metrics or c.) Ask for the metrics anyway.

Leverage engagement (qualitative metric/soft) and quantitative metrics as a balance. Think of the “engagement thought process” as a proof point for social media, not your solution. It’s a bandage that will fall off. Do you measure it? Yes. Do you leverage it? Yes. Is it the only part? No, and those that only spout only about engagement make me question if they even understand everything about social media. Research and understand the different venues.

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed with platforms. Having a strong framework like the P.O.S.T. method (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) helps your plan."

I liked this point. Marketers latch onto platforms and don’t realize it.  “Social media is a concept, platforms are tools to execute it.” Not every platform is for every person. Are you more lead generation based? Use Twitter or Foursquare. More community based with an online presence/audience already established? Use Facebook, especially with Open Graph now available. Social media is a process that requires several steps, and it doesn’t stopping at people.

(Especially for B2B marketers) The first step in engagement should be asking, “How can we add real value to the conversation?”

Amen. You won’t have engagement if you aren’t providing real value to your audience. How do you find what’s valuable? Create your target demographic and monitor the conversation. What are they talking about? What times are high traffic? What really drives them? Then, test it. Some will succeed, others will fail. You have to know when to evaluate and pull, or when to keep building. Benchmarks in the form of metrics or social measurement are great for this.

“When creating and maintaining your SM program, always be thinking of SEO.”

This is the one area I have little knowledge of (but I’m learning and asking lots of questions of certain friends) so I won’t pretend to have an opinion. Not fair to you guys. What I do know? She says to leverage keywords and really keep track. Thoughts?


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Lauren Fernandez is a public relations and digital communications professional based in the Midwest. She is dedicated to providing clients with hybrid expertise and commitment to their brands. In her current role at Fleishman-Hillard, she works on the consumer team and digital/social media approach for the agency. Lauren has been recognized among PR Week's "Top Tweeters", as well as one of the '30 under 30' and 'Top 100 PR Professionals' on Twitter. Her blog, LAF, was named 'Best Up and Coming' in the 2009 PR Blog Awards. She is a regular contributor for MarketingProfs Daily Fix. She is also the co-founder of #u30pro, a Twitter ongoing conversation that focuses on working professionals and bridging the generation gap. The chat started in Aug. 2009, and has grown into a robust community with a weekly chat, digest, FB/LinkedIn groups and Brazen Careerist partnership. Lauren is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and graduate of the University of North Texas.

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  • by Brian Wed May 5, 2010 via blog

    One of the most competitive markets right now is student information. As in, providing students with professor reviews, grade distributions, and job assistance. Veechi is beating out the competition because they have superior products. Marketing by the others cannot change that.

  • by Kevin Horne Wed May 5, 2010 via blog

    This is so refreshing to see mprofs let someone other than a SM back-slapper write this forum update !!!

    Loved your comments on presenter #1. Let me guess - Presenter #2 was from Forrester? Wondering if presenter #3 showed how he/she actually does assign a value to conversation (or did they just give a hundred ways to do it and "good luck choosing your own"? :)

    The SEO tip from #4 makes me shiver a little. Unless your SM program is highly highly dependent on showing up in organic search results, not sure how this fits in without being forced. Seems like SM would be able to garner traffic in many other ways as well as SEO.

    Looking forward to more, Lauren!

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