Mahesh reasons that marketers have lost their seat at the top table, frequently relegated from strategic decision making to more tactical promotional and marketing execution roles. The rise of social media and the modern day marketers’ desire to deliver likes, shares and engagement online, has done nothing to raise the profile of marketing at all. It really needs to start conversing at a business / P&L level.
social media marketing
Social Media Week is Upon Us
Once again it is Social Media Week in London and there is an awful lot going on, with plenty of spaces free still too. We’re both organising, attending and speaking at a host of different events during the week.
You can catch up with us here:
Monday 24th September
This regular event is a must attend if you are in B2B marketing. Hosted by Kerry Bridge, Neville Hobson and Simon Hughes, there will be a mix of keynotes and ‘unconference’ sessions which always make for an engaging event. If you miss out, you can catch the keynotes again on the For Immediate Release podcast.
Also, if you can’t make it during the day head to the Tweetup in the evening. The venue is TBC, but likely somewhere around Microsoft’s offices in Victoria (as that’s where the Huddle is taking place.)
Follow @b2bhuddle on twitter for more clues.
Tuesday 25th September
I’m speaking on a panel session at this event, where we’ll be trying to answer questions for property folks such as:
- What is the best way to promote storage on social media to landlords and tenants?
- What are the benefits of the various platforms?
- How to use Facebook better for Estate Agency?
If you are in the world of property and construction, this just might be a good place for you to pick up some hints and tips and to learn from the experiences of the speakers. I’m parrticularly interested to hear Melanie Simon from James Pendleton Estate Agents.
Strictly speaking, this one isn’t part of Social Media Week, but it is a conference we have produced for a client that’s taking place on Tuesday so where better to shout about it. There’s a stellar line-up of speakers and if you want to learn more about how to make advertising more effective, there is still time to book a ticket.
Wednesday 26th September
If you are interested in finding out how to really use the power of facebook’s open graph (we’re talking more than a company page here, or striving for likes) then this workshop is for you. It’s all about how you as a marketer or developer can use every aspect of a person’s activity on facebook, across multiple apps, to create a new experience; a new level of engagement.
It’s probably the one I’m looking forward to the most, not just because of the content, but also the format: presentations followed by a hands on workshop too.
This is the next edition of the regular London Bloggers Meetup events we organise. This time we’ll be looking at video and how to use it to ramp up the impact of a blog. We’ve got guest speakers from professional video producers, to smartphone warriors, vloggers and some research from event hosts Unruly Media too.
This one should be a cracker – not least because Unruly Media are paying for all of the beer.
Thursday 27th September
I’m co-hosting this event with Bernie Mitchell from The People Who Share. It’s being held at Google Campus and is all about how to achieve robust economic advantages through social collaborations i.e. how designing our businesses as ‘social businesses’ will enable us to grow more sustainably in both B2B and B2C markets.
I’m hugely looking forward to this one.
Friday 28th September
It will be needed by then after all these events and of course keeping on top of our clients too.
There are literally hundreds of events taking place during the week. You can find out more here. Get involved. There will not be another chance to see so many high quality events about social media in London again until September 2013!
Engaging Journalists through Social Media
I spotted this fantastic inforgraphic from PR Agency Text100 about how to engage with journalists using social media. It’s based on a fairly small sample (72 UK journalists) but it highlights the importance of social media to the modern public relations professional.
Pleasing to see the relevance of blogs in the mix along with wikipedia, but look at google+ only scoring a 37% in terms of relevance. Interesting.
Integrating Social Media into your Marketing
If you’re following trends in marketing you’ll no doubt have heard a lot recently about SoMe (social media). There’s a lot of hype and justifiably so if you look at the impact social media has had on the way we all communicate. I’m sure you don’t need me to list the top social media platforms, but if you’re thinking facebook, twitter, linkedin, YouTube and Flickr, you probably wouldn’t be too far off – although the list of options is mind boggling.
But what’s the hype really all about with social media marketing? What is it that marketing through social media platforms delivers that you don’t get through more traditional marketing tactics?
The key really is customer engagement.
If you consider traditional marketing tactics as broadcasting your messages and SoMe as creating conversation, then you might start to get a feel for the opportunities for driving engagement. After all, can you customers really engage with a print advert?
A really great example of this type of engagement is from Londonist, the blog all about London. They’ve created an account on photo sharing site flickr, which allows any of their readers to upload images for a daily photo contest and which may also be used any of the articles published on the blog. As a customer this is very rewarding as you can actually contribute to the product. For Londonist, this provides a fantastic catalogue of images at no cost while creating a strong relationship with their readers. This type of customer engagement is impossible to achieve with broadcast marketing.
Of course, the core strength of social media marketing is when it is integrated with other marketing tactics, both online and off. But how do you know which marketing tactic to use and when?
It’s useful again to think about the sales pipeline, or better still to think about the typical journey your customers might go on in order to make a purchase decision. You should read an excellent blog post from James Whatley where he describes a purchasing journey he went on for a new video game.
Have a think about how your customers decide what to buy and where, and then how you can apply this to your marketing communications.
Next think about how you can integrate your communications to increase their impact. For example in promoting a new product you might consider the following process:
- start off with some more traditional broadcast advertising, media relations and blogger outreach to raise awareness of your product within your target customer segments,
- follow this up with a direct response marketing campaign (DM plus email) targeting the same segment. Include a personalised message and strong call to action to visit your facebook page where you can begin to engage the customer and increase people’s interest and desire to buy,
- develop conversations on the facebook page, interact and create a dialogue to encourage people to actually make a purchasing decision.
Yes social media is an important marketing tool, but it’s not the be all and end all. There is still a place for more traditional marketing, but the key challenge is to think strategically about where both fit into the buying cycle and how therefore to integrate them into coherent marketing campaigns.
The type of campaign you can plan, manage, control and measure.
Is Facebook News Really Facebook Noise?
I was surprised to read in the Times and the Evening Standard this week about facebook losing users recently. Not just in the UK, but more so in the US, Canada, Russia and a handful of other countries too.
Like many social platforms before, it seems there are a few signs facebook has reached the tipping point, where early growth and popularity is replaced by saturation and dissatisfaction. The mass market has jumped on board and suddenly the early adopters are losing faith a little perhaps.
But like Friends Reunited, MySpace, Second Life and the many others in recent history, is facebook also headed for online obscurity?
Given the global nature of facebook, the fact it is still growing at an incredible rate in many countries, and perhaps most importantly, the large part it now plays in people’s lives, it looks as though there’s going to be a place for facebook for some time to come.
But why are we seeing this drop in users. What’s causing people to switch off?
I firmly believe one of the primary drivers is the increasingly intrusive nature of marketing on facebook. The facebook goldmine that we marketers have been trying to tap into is seemingly not so easy to master. But why?
Two reasons come to my mind:
1. Marketers are not building relationships effectively enough.
Many are still trying to push broadcast campaigns through social channels that should be more about long term customer relationships. I’m sure you will all have ‘liked’ a brand only to find your news feed becomes a stream of adverts, or at best, less than engaging competitions.
2. Marketers are not effectively measuring the impact of their marketing spend on facebook (and other social media channels).
It’s all very well securing 50,000 fans or followers, but how is that translating into pounds and pence, or indeed should it? If you as a marketer can’t measure the results, how do you know what’s working and what isn’t? How can you focus on separating the wheat from the chaff, kill off some of the noise and build that all important engagement?
Unfortunately until these two issues are overcome, I fear the impact of marketing on facebook may start declining. Just like the social giant’s user base.
Aligning Marketing with Resources
SEO – in house or agency?
To continue with the popular guest post series, I have asked Jo Turnbull of seojoblogs.com fame to write about search engine optimisation, or SEO. This is a subject I am particularly keen to learn more about as I’ve recently instructed an SEO agency for one of my clients and the results have been less than electric.
Business Resources for 2010
It’s high time I posted up my first post of the year, particularly given today is the last day of January. Really where did this month go..? I usually start the year with a post about kicking the year off but this year I’d like to just post up a list of really interesting resources I’ve found for small business recently.
I read an incredibly interesting and inspirational book recently about crowdsourcing. Written by Jeff Howe, the Editor of Wired magazine, it is full of case studies of how crowdsourcing is breaking down traditional corporate structures and ways of working, producing innovative ways of developing products, building communities, engaging with customers and more. Essentially new ways of doing business.
Social Media Measurement
And if you enjoyed the last post about Why Social Media?, you’ll probably enjoy flicking through my friend Mauricio‘s presentation on measuring the impact of social media campaigns. It’s probably more tailored to those of you working in agencies, but for business owners and marketers there are some good ideas for what you could ask your agencies to think about.
Mauricio, my hat off to you, I thought this presentation was superb with some good original thinking.