Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Social Media for Non Profits

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

The not-for-profit marketing mantra:  I don’t have a lot of money for marketing, I don’t have a big staff, but I have a lot of people who would help if I had a good way to connect them. 

Sound familiar?  Not-for-profits have always been understaffed and significantly budget constrained almost by definition.  As marketing goes, social media has an opportunity to be the equalizer, the force multiplier and the inexpensive alternative for non profits.  The trend with companies is to market under a cause.  They are attempting to tie their brands to non profits, charities and other causes that have a real or perceived value to their end users.

What’s interesting is that overall, non profits have yet to capitalize on this movement.  With social media being as effective as you make it and possibly the lowest cost form of marketing and advertising that a non profit will use, they are still using it as a way to push interactive newsletters and help automate content distribution channels.  In fact, according to a survey earlier this year from CharityVillage more than 80% of non profits use social media to promote awareness as a primary function and second place use for social media was Personal (60%+)!  Excerpt of results below:

When asked what purpose they are using social media for, they told us:

  • Promote our organization – 83.3%
  • For personal use – 61.1%
  • Attract new members – 55.6%
  • Increase event registration – 44.4%
  • Receive donations – 33.3%
  • Attract youth support – 27.8%

Other uses:

Research, Networking, Prospecting, Volunteer and staff communications, Public awareness/education, Promote a cause, Provide knowledge and research to other not-for-profits, Build fundraisers vs. donors (support network +)

What’s more interesting is that the next question they asked about was how much of the non profit’s budget was going to social media.  An overwhelming 75% claimed less than 1% of their budget was going towards social media.

Companies in the private sector are moving billions of dollars to social media resulting in large percentages of their overall marketing budgets and the one’s who could benefit the most, non-profits, are not yet fully realizing the potential that social media can represent.  What is the disconnect?  I might argue that non-profits in general are poor marketers so why would this be any different.  On the flip-side, I would argue that non-profits ARE stronger operationally.  However there are many ways in which non-profits could become much stronger operationally using social media too.  With that, I may simply be a lack or education, creativity and know how.  If that’s the case, we may have the answer.  For our moderator this week, we have invited Beth Kanter to lead this discussion.  As the CEO of Zoetica, Beth is one of the foremost authorities on social media for non profits in the world.  For our discusison, we will cover the following topic and questions:

Topic:  Social Media for Non Profits

 Q1:  How can social media work for non profits? (Backstory: we know they have time and need money / sometimes volunteers. Can social help this & how?)

Q2:  What is the easiest way for an NPO to figure out how to do social?

Q3:  What are some of the best case studies of NPO’s using Social and what was the impact?

Join us Tuesday 8/17 at noon eastern for our weekly discussion.  Beth will start the first question at 12 noon and introduce the follow-up questions every 20 minutes from there.  Feel fre to participate or follow along using #sm73 from your favorite Twitter client or simply go to our live page at

Mobilizing Your Social Strategy

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Mobile devices are becoming smarter and smarter.  Devices are able to handle most functions of a computer to some degree and users have adopted smart phone use internationally.  As a marketer, your plans must include social.  Whether your business is large or small, social can play a significant role in marketing to those customers on the move.

Our host this week reigns from the digital agency Red Urban.  Tom Edwards has been around both the social media and mobile media blocks a few times and brings a true blended expertise that is tough to match.  Tom will help us understand what to look for and why to get the most out of mobile and social media. 

Topic: Mobilizing Your Social Strategy
How are you integrating mobile to extend your social initiatives?
Q2) How are you maximizing the mobile web?
Q3) What tactics are you considering (Proximity, Augmented Reality, QR Codes) to extend digital/social
into retail?

Join us for this week’s chat Tuesday 7/13 at noon eastern.  To participate follow #sm68 from your favorite Twitter client or simply follow along from our LIVE page at

How to Get Measureable Results From Your Facebook Presence

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

When it comes to social networks, Facebook is certainly the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  For this reason, Facebook is (or at least needs to be) a staple in most every company’s social media strategies.  While there are other social networks out there, none hold the attention or capture the market share of consumers especially in the US market.  In fact, here are a few stats from the Facebook stats page:

People on Facebook
  • More than 400 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
Activity on Facebook
  • There are over 160 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups and events)
  • Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 70 pieces of content each month
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
Global Reach
  • More than 70 translations available on the site
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
  • Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application

As a marketer Facebook is one of those places you have to be in order to interact and engage with your customers and also as a way to be seen as relevant and impactful.  A marketer without a meaningful presence on Facebook for their company will not last long in that position.  Therein lies one of this era’s greatest challenges, making your Facebook presence work for you and not against you.  Anyone with 20 minutes can throw up a corporate page on Facebook and call it a presence.  Like anything else though, it pays to spend the time and resources to make your presence work for you. 

One of the key things to remember when considering your Facebook presence is how it will fit into your overall digital marketing strategy and what it will accomplish as part of it.  What are some other key take-aways you ask?  We decided to bring in the queen of Facebook marketing to help us answer that question.  Mari Smith will be hosting this week’s chat on the topic.  The coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, Mari brings a wealth of practical experience to us.  The topic and questions will be:

Topic: How to Get Measureable Results From Your Facebook Presence

Q1:   How do you gain momentum with a Facebook fan page?

Q2:   What should you be measuring on Facebook?

Q3:   How do you scale Facebook engagement?

Join us for this week’s chat Tuesday 7/6 at noon eastern.  To participate follow #sm67 from your favorite Twitter client or simply follow along from our LIVE page at

Location Based Services & their Value to Corporate Marketers

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Ask any social media or mobile prognosticator and they will tell you that Location Based Services (LBS) were/are one of the hottest trends to watch in 2010.  I’m sure there are some already “going out on a limb” and saying it will be a trend to watch in 2011 as well.  Even though they were all right, LBS still has not lived up to it’s billing yet and its almost half way through the year.  Chances are it will though and we want to explore some of the applications that will take LBS from cute app store add-on to app store “must have”.

Let’s start first by defining what LBS is for those who still are not quite sure.  One way to do this is using the entry from Wikipedia:

 ”A location-based service (LBS) is an information and entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device”, Wikipedia

The other way is to just say it in plain english:

“Location Based Service allows a device (mobile, iPad, Kindle, car, etc) to identify your where abouts and offer new opportunities to better service, market, track or sell things where your location makes a difference”, Jason Breed

We are just starting to figure out how best to apply LBS in a way that consumers will use it and in a way that will move the results needle for corporate marketers.  Right now, LBS is mostly being applied to local search, navigation and some social media tools.  Most of what you hear about is consumer oriented and look like (taken directly from Wikipedia entry):

  1. Requesting the nearest business or service, such as an ATM or restaurant
  2. Turn by turn navigation to any address
  3. Locating people on a map displayed on the mobile phone
  4. Receiving alerts, such as notification of a sale on gas or warning of a traffic jam
  5. Location-based mobile advertising

From a consumer’s perspective, this is interesting and something I’ll keep in mind next time I get a craving for a taco.  This kind of thinking is why LBS has not yet become really useful or a “must have”.  This is a very consumer centric approach to providing capability.  Think about it from a corporate perspective for a minute though.  What if:

TAXIs:  you are in New York, it’s raining and your taxi company is the only one who can allow consumers to see where an open taxi is or even “bid” on a trip by seeing what others on the same street corner will pay to get a cab.  When you are running late to an important meeting, there’s a real need to win a taxi by guaranteeing a tip.

Retail Outlets: Imagine knowing who your visitors are and having employees rate their purchasing value.  Next time they come you may treat “high rollers” differentlythan “time wasters”.  Think about that loyalty program for a minute.

Services: add LBS to local search and know when an area has a a lot of people sick, send a mobile flu-shot van.  Identify needs then meet those needs with services on the go.

There are lots of ways to use LBS that will create new opportunities for the most innovative companies early on.  Whether tracking shipments, products, employees, customers, equipment or potential demand with LBS, there are many ways that are just being explored.  Our host this week, Jason Keath, will help us explore the relevance of Location Based Services for businesses.  Jason has his finger on the pulse of “trends to watch” and their application to marketers through his Social Fresh Conferences.  Jason has a knack for creating hot topics and bring the best minds together to help businesses distill where they need to focus their limited resources and time.

 Topic:  Location Based Services & their Value to Corporate Marketers

  1. Will location based services (LBS) lead to real revenue gains for large brands?
  2. Will the future user base of location based services (LBS) look more like Twitter or Facebook?
  3. What is the most significant challenge that locations based servcies (LBS) face?

Join us in this very relevant topic on Tuesday June 1 at noon eastern.  Follow along on Twitter with #sm62 or through our live page at

Managing the Marketing Mix: Which Channel is More Effective?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Just because you have Digital in your title does not make you Interactive

On its surface, this topic is a “status quo” topic, one that fits into the traditional advertising model that says radio, television and print are channels therefore the Internet is a channel too.  Agencies and old-school marketers feel comfortable when discussing digital as just another channel.  They figure if a portion of their budget allocated to digital and they tweak their messaging to match the medium then Whoalla! we are all new-age digital marketers.

The problem with this approach is it assumes consumers are the same and want the same messaging pushed at them to interfere with their online entertainment just like they consume television or radio entertainment.  Consumers have changed!  Consumers do not shop the same, communicate the same, consume content the same nor do they react the same to advertising.  When it comes down to it this topic cannot be about marketers adding a new channel, it has to be about those marketers who can adopt to changing consumer behaviors and those who cannot.

Consumers no longer want to be talked at, they want to be engaged with.  They want to see who prepares the food and talk with the baggage handlers, they want to feel they have a voice in determining the features of their next car model and want to help select what charities their soda maker donates to.   The majority of companies today are not set up to handle this new consumer.  Decades of closed systems and legally approved content are getting in the way of companies trying to interact with the consumer.

So what is this post about then?  Even though consumers are changing their behaviors by the second, companies can not move that quickly.  Companies need to have some transition period to move from traditional to digital and it’s not just in the way they advertise.  This is a cultural shift,  a systems shift, a shift in processes and approvals to a more distributed workforce.  This is much more than simply a messaging shift.

This post is about transitioning.  Many times, the only way to move the needle or to convince traditional executives is with proof.  That proof comes in comparing what they already know and are familiar with and in a way that they understand like reports and measurements that can compare traditional apples with digital apples (apples to apples).  If you measure traditional marketing with reach (ie. magazine has 100k circulation + 2 times pass along and costs $5k) and sales (call volume rises when our infomercial airs and conversion increases 12%) then your digital marketing reports cannot use language like followers, subscribers and linkbait, they must be consistent.  The good news is with proven success comes additional funding and a higher tolerance for experimentation.

Once you are able to measure and report consistently across traditional/digital and begin to show positive results, how do you determine how much is the optimal amount to spend on each?  Again, a fully integrated interactive marketer does not allocate a bucket of monies per channel.  Integrated messaging and consumer engagement is determined by the need at the time.  If a customer makes an online mess, it may require an online video response or it may require an actual television ad to express your point-of-view.  In order to stay flexible and meet your daily needs you cannot have a pre-allocated budget based on channels that was set 9 months ago.

In staying with the theme though, you need to be able to show value as you transition from traditional advertising to more integrated.  You have to show that any investment is worth the return before executives will release additional funds and approve more experiential marketing.  In light of that, what is the right mix?  Ford transitioned 25% of their marketing budget to social.  Seems like an arbitrary number but what is the right mix for your company as it transitions from what it was to what it needs to be?

To help us get a better handle on the right marketing mix for your company, we are bringing in a moderator this week who not only understands the measurement and monitoring side, she also understands the business side and promotes the advancement of companies into a more integrated marketing approach.  Amber Naslund, the Director of Community at Radian6, understands organizational change is just as important as technical change is and knows how to get people there.  While there is before digital (traditional) and after, more importantly there is a during or a transition that not many can talk to except Amber.  This week’s topic and supporting questions are as follows:

Topic:  Managing the Marketing Mix: Which Channel is More Effective?

Q1:  How do you know your traditional marketing efforts are effective?

Q2:  How do you know your digital marketing efforts are effective?

Q3:  What is the right budgeting mix between traditional & digital?

Be sure to join us Tuesday April 27 at noon Eastern and participate by following #sm57 from any Twitter client or simply goto our LIVE page during the event.

This Town’s Not Big Enough For The Two of Us: Social Media Marketing (SMM) vs. Traditional Marketing

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Marketers seem to be more judicious before hopping on or off the social media bandwagon these days, yet they are still not quite sure where “social media marketing” fits within their organization.  Is social the “new” marketing or is it complementary to exisitng initiatives?  Beth Harte has a strong opinion on this matter and if you know Beth, I don’t think I’ll argue too much with her experience.

For our post, we have used much of Beth’s post from a couple of weeks ago to prep for our conversation this week.  Her original post follows:

“All of the panelists agree that social media are exciting new ways to listen and communicate, but they are basically new tools. So how do we get across to the marketing community that boring old marketing disciplines still apply and how do we get rid of this silly dichotomy between social media marketing and classic marketing.”  

My basic response was that social media tools are not new and some have been around for ten years or more. And second, there isn’t a dichotomy because social media needs to be integrated. 

I think this is a serious discussion that needs to take place because there marketers and marketing executives who have been given the wrong impression or direction when it comes to social media. 

Integrating Social Media 

First, I am not a fan of the term ‘social media marketing’ because a) it silos social media from other marketing communications tactics and other marketing disciplines and b) because a lot of folks out there are implementing social media tools without understanding the nature (or theory) of marketing as a whole. Second, as an integrated marketing practitioner, I totally disagree that ‘social media marketing’ is replacing classic marketing (or the theory that comes with it). 

What’s new and important is how these tools are being used in business; how we have a window into what our customers are really thinking, where they interact, how to engage with them, etc.; and how we now have data to serve our customers BETTER. 

But this notion of knowing our customers isn’t anything new…that’s basic marketing (and I mean ALL of marketing here, not just the promotional aspect of marketing), public relations and communications.

While CRM systems have been the tool of choice for keeping track of customers and extracting data  they never really allowed marketers to put faces to names (unless there’s some stealth way to take a photo and add it to your CRM), to listen to conversations or to actively engage in a two-way manner. The only tool that allows that is social media. 

The key to integration today is simple. Marketers need to be flexible, able to adjust, and most importantly able to provide pertinent AND timely information when, where and how customers/potential customers need/want it. Social media allows for that across all areas of marketing (product, pricing, promotion and distribution). 

Who/What Is Creating the Dichotomy?  

I think the most important issue here, however, is who/what is creating the dichotomy? Who or what is causing marketers to think that it’s an either/or situation? 

Is it that we’ve been siloed for so long and that there hasn’t been a good job with integration to begin with? We only need to look at E-Mail Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and Direct Marketing to get a sense of the answer. 

As social media evangelists and practitioners we need to truly understand what is going on in our industry. Otherwise, we are doing a disservice to our customers and future as marketers. 

Beth’s post was perfect for this week’s chat which is set to take place Tuesday 4/6/10 at noon EST. 

Topic:  This Town’s Not Big Enough For The Two of Us: Social Media Marketing (SMM) vs. Traditional Marketing

Q1: Is SMM on its way to replacing traditional marketing?

Q2: Can marketers be as accountable with SMM as traditional marketing?

Q3: What are best practices for cooperating traditional marketing with SMM?

To follow along, use #sm54 or simply go to our LIVE site, now with new features.

Stop Campaigning and Start Conversing The New Marketing Paradigm

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

conversationBuild a relationship, garner trust and a customer will never leave.  Sounds pretty easy!?  In fact we have been talking about it since the dawn of time (social media time anyway) with the Cluetrain Manifesto that started in 1999 and identified that the Internet has forced marketing to be more about conversations than messages.  Since then we have Valeria Maltoni the Conversation Agent (a past moderator here), a great book called Naked Conversations written by Shel Israel (an upcoming moderator) and Robert Scoble and countless other examples.  So why is it that companies still market via campaigns and agencies still win business with this approach?

A classic example of movement for the sake of motion? Possibly.  Consider all the money and effort that goes into concept, strategy, creative, execution of marketing campaigns.  Brands spend all that time creating a pitch to consumers, introducing themselves time and time again, selling stuff to unwilling customers then when it’s done, they see how much product was sold, cut off the pitch to those customers and prospects then rinse and repeat the whole daunting process all over.  So where is the conversation part of this we have been talking about now for at least 10 years?  Not the cordial, “wave to each other at a cocktail party” conversation but the relationship conversation that lasts for months, years or longer?  The conversation where you find out what each other needs and wants (notice I said both), you know, a real relationship not a manufactured one.

So what does that look like and how do marketers break out of the campaign mentality?  Think about the impact of this scenario: A company with multiple brands has a consolidated marketing department focused on customer relationships.  They are in charge of courting the consumer and understanding how they live, work and play.  From that relationship, the company understands what products (Brands) can help that customer and how they add value to that consumer’s life.  Then the Brands become stewards for helping those customers buy the things they need (considering people like to buy things yet do not like to be sold).  The company pours their monies into acquiring a customer once then facilitating their purchases across the various products.  This is very different than what happens today as each Brand pays to acquire the same customers over and over across all brands independently.  This may be some utopian dream to many but the speed of communicating and the ubiquity of access to communicate is forever changing the old norms and customers have left that station.  Companies need to figure out how to adapt and soon.

We are very happy to have Tom Martin moderating this topic on tuesday.  Tom spends a lot of time in this space covering all aspects of branding, marketing and social media and brings a creative approach to his work.  He will help us work through this topic and facilitate a great learning opportunity for all of us.  The topic and questions will be:

Stop Campaigning and Start Conversing – The New Marketing Paradigm

1) What is the difference between a marketing campaign and a customer conversation?

2) How do agencies have to change in order to create conversations instead of campaigns?

3) What are some examples of brands or agencies that have succeeded in making the jump from campaign to conversation?

The chat will take place Tuesday 11/24 at noon EST.  We will use the #sm35 for the event.

Where PR Belongs in the Corporate Pecking Order with Social Media

Monday, October 5th, 2009

For many companies, just getting started is the hardest part.  Namely, who is going to own social media and social media marketing and be accountable for it?  This seems to stump most organizations.  Is it Marketing, Public Relations (PR), Information Technology (IT), the executive suite or is it a new department?  It is difficult to get started if you don’t know who is going to develop strategy and execute.

I personally meet with dozens of agencies across the country and notice some interesting patterns.  Traditional agencies that either run through existing teams or have developed a digitally focused practice seem to focus more on tools and usually in combination with a traditional campaign.  PR agencies on the other hand are typically further along on messaging into existing consumer networks (bloggers, facebook, twitter, youtube, etc) and measuring impact and sentiment.  Certainly there are exceptions although this is my experience to date.  So if that is typical in agencies, what is typical in corporate departments? 

According to Eric Schwartzman’s report, titled, 2009 Digital Readiness Report: Essential Online Public Relations and Marketing Skills, it showsDigital Readiness Report that “public relations owns the responsibility for web strategy relative to blogging, podcasting or RSS; social search; social networking; microblogging and, to a lesser extent, web content management. PR prevails in comparison to marketing, IT, HR and Executive Management.

Email marketing and search engine optimization are owned by marketing, but SEO only slightly so. The organizations interviewed for the study include corporations (22%), PR/marketing agencies (44%), non-profits/associations (14%), government agencies (6%), academic institutions (7%) and those classified as “other” (6%). The respondents were 278 public relations, marketing and human resource professionals chosen to identify trends regarding their approach to social media.

Jason Falls made some interesting insights on the report, The overall conclusion of the study was that public relations and marketing professionals had better be equipped to handle social media if they hope to get a job in the industry. The study includes some fantastic insights and is, perhaps, the first in-depth look at social media and new media marketing needs in the public relations industry.”

This gets us to our topic for this week on the positioning of PR in the pecking order of accountability and execution.  We got a real pro to cover this topic, Todd Defren from Shift Communications.   Todd’s reputation and hands on work in the industry will provide for an exceptional discussion.  The questions:

Topic: Where PR Belongs in the Corporate Pecking Order with Social Media

Q1:  Where is PR in the pecking order of must-do’s for social media and social media marketing?

Q2:  What should a PR plan integrated with social media look like?

Q3:  What is an ideal skill set for the new-age PR person?

Join Todd this week Tuesday 10/6 at noon EST and follow along with #socialmedia or on our LIVE page.