Friday, February 18, 2011

Social Media Marketing for Conversion at "Conversion Conference 2011"

I am super psyched to be presenting once again at Conversion Conference West, 2011 in San Francisco. This conference starts on Monday, March 14th (agenda) and goes 2 days. I will be on a panel at 4:00 on Tuesday, March 15th (agenda):

Panel Discussion: Social Media Micro-conversions (S20)
David Szetela, Clix Marketing
Erin Eschen, Perficient
Justin Rondeau, TemplateZone
Ole Bahlmann, SoundCloud Ltd

Having a Facebook fan page and a Twitter profile are not enough. This panel of social media experts will teach you how effective conversation tactics can be measured by micro-conversions. Learn how to leverage the concept of the Viral Loop to develop leads that turn into new customers. Get the latest information on building and managing campaigns on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp and how to elevate your social media efforts from basic brand building to sales & lead conversion.

I have often spoken of social media marketing as bringing, among other things, two very distinct opportunities to a business:
  1. Building brand awareness, brand equity, reputation and reach -- all part of the same bucket of building your brand, as most people call it. Social media gives you an additional medium for messaging who you are and what you can do for your target market. It's a medium for finding and connecting with prospects, customers and advocates and building conversation and interest in your brand, your products and what you're all about.
  2. Driving leads and sales. There is a big difference between A) someone who now knows your brand name or company, how you are positioned in your marketplace and what you sell (#1 above) and B) someone who is a hand-raiser - someone who says, "I not only know what you do and that you compete with X company, and that you sell Y products, but hey -- I'm interested in talking with you more about your products and seeing if I may want to buy them."
I believe that both #1 and #2 can be built via social media marketing investments. And getting more hand-raisers should lead to more leads and ultimately more sales in the long run.

Many social media strategists and also skeptics alike are publicly voicing doubt over social media's ability to convert. But I believe there's evidence to the contrary. And that's what I'll be speaking about. Join me at Conversion Conference West 2011 in beautiful San Francisco by the Bay!

Tim Ash of SiteTuners is the inspiring and fearless leader of this conference, and I'm excited to see that Aaron Kahlow of Online Marketing Summit series will also be speaking.
Lastly, the online advertising and e-commmerce guru with one of my favorite accents, Rob Snell of Gun Dog Supply and author of Starting a Yahoo Business For Dummies will also be presenting on Day 2.

Last year, I spoke about conversion in social media when the conference was held in San Jose.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Twitter is Your Path to Making New Friends

Biz Stone tweeted this article today and I found it to be an articulate explanation of why Twitter is so great for meeting new people of similar interests, while Facebook is all about connecting with, as Mark Zuckerberg has frequently said, "friends you already have."

Amplify’d from

Despite—and perhaps because of—the trivial and by necessity shortened discourse on Twitter, several friendships have blossomed, recently confirmed in person. That description may sound a bit bloodless, but Babbage turns his steely eye upon his own soul and motives, not just those of others.

Twitter enables the sort of chitchat impossible among strangers on email or instant messaging, and outside the scope of Facebook. Facebook's boss, Mark Zuckerberg, often describes his service as a way to connect with friends you already have. Facebook creates circles upon circles of acquaintance, but most conversation is among those already known to each other.

Twitter, however, is a different beast. The asymmetry of follower and followee creates a different rhythm, allowing the possibility of falling into conversation with an unknown someone without invading his or her space. It is a simple matter to ignore or block those who you find uninteresting. And people you know and trust outside the electronic realm lead you to their friends, colleagues and family. Likewise, you may be on the receiving end of tendrils of acquaintance. The shared set of relationships and communication among those you know vets new people for you and you for them.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

IBM's Social Business Jam: Sharing social business insights online

I'm participating in IBM's Social Business Jam today on behalf of Perficient. It's an online event where many people working in social business come together and share ideas, insights, opinions and experiences. Here is IBM's description of it:
Connect and share your insights with thousands of subject matter experts from other companies, industry analysts and thought leaders in the area of Social Business. The Jam will continue for 72+ hours (ending Thursday, 11 February at 12:00PM Eastern Standard Time), so you can come and go as your schedule allows.
This Jam will provide valuable insights relevant to many roles including those in marketing, operations, human resources, IT and line of business executives. We encourage you to invite others from your organization and your network to join us. They can register at
Today, one of the most active threads has been the one started by Lauren Walker of IBM asking the question: "Can you measure the ROI of social media?"
"How are companies assigning value to their social media activities? What is the measurement of "successful" social media for business?" she asked.

In a reply to one of the respondents, Lauren later referenced the ROI Pyramid put together by an Altimeter study here.

I thought I'd share my reply to Lauren's question and see what you all think?
Lauren, I did see that Altimeter report. I ended up copying a bunch of the slides and blogging about it recently: Three Goals of Corporate Social Media Strategy in 201

Thank you for sharing them here and commenting on the possibility of gauging ROI.

I believe it is very much possible to at least work toward tracking and measuring as many quantifiable metrics related to social media marketing and social business operations, and then using those to at least directionally understand if improvement (in internal collaboration efficiency, or in brand visibility) is happening, even if you can't gauge a true ROI from those metrics (i.e. actual conversions or sales).
With some types of businesses (Dell, for example, using Twitter to drive sales) it is providing a measurable and obvious ROI.

Regardless of whether you're selling actual products and can measure direct ROI or your sales cycle is 9 months long and you just won't know for a while how it pays off, do what you can to measure every metric possible and use smart tools to track progress.

From my experience, It's still worth playing in the space, understanding it and doing your best.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Most Consumers Prefer Traditional Contact with Brands over Social Media

Found this article today summarizing a report by Razorfish about how people interact with brands and what they are looking for in that brand interaction related to:

- Control

- Value

- Trust

- Efficiency

- Consistency

- Relevance

The report found that most consumers prefer traditional methods of connecting with brands, such as email or word-of-mouth over using Twitter of Facebook. This doesn't surprise me as Twitter & Facebook are much newer than email, however, it's worth a reminder to all marketers as we continue to evaluate the amount of time & effort we invest across channels and methods of connecting with our target market.

Here's a summary of the findings:

Amplify’d from
Most people still prefer to connect with brands through more traditional methods, such as email, company Web sites or word-of-mouth.  
The goal was to look at customer-relationship management more from a consumer's standpoint than a marketer's to understand how people choose to interact with brands.
That's among the key findings from a new report from Razorfish titled "Liminal"
both the hipster who DMs a company on Twitter and a boomer who sends a letter in the mail both ultimately want the same thing. Thus, companies should worry less about building out numerous channels and touchpoints and more about ensuring each customer interaction communicates value," advised Razorfish.
Among the six qualities that define engagement -- feeling valued, trust, efficiency, consistency, relevance and control -- control ranked as the least significant among consumers. "Apparently, the consumer does not need to be in as much control as we thought, seeing other things as far more important," stated the report.

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