Persuasive Picks for the week of 09/12/11

IBM - MidMarket4 Social Media Lessons SMBs Can Learn From IBM
This SmallBizTrends.com post from Lisa Barone shares four great takeaways for SMBs that came out of a recent interview she conducted with Ed Abrams, IBM’s Vice President of Marketing for Midmarket Business.

Social Media and Content Marketing: A One-Night Stand?
Lee Odden from the TopRank Online Marketing blog guest posts on Clickz.com with this look into why B2B marketers should consider mapping out a social content plan instead of creating and publishing individual, non-cohesive content-based campaigns.

Putting Content in Context
MarketingProf‘s Ann Handley expands on the power of content after an inspiring trip to the recent (and first-ever) Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland. She also includes a great video that opened the event and really puts “content into context.

Re-evaluate b2b social strategy to reach tech buyers
BtoBOnline.com‘s 

Andy’s Answers: How Mattel used social media to build excitement around Hot Wheels’ record-breaking stunt
Toy giant Mattel has been putting a loy of money into social this year and their recent “Fearless at the 500” campaign drew quite a bit of attention both online and off. Andy Sernovitz from Smartblogs.com highlights some of the big ideas behind the campaign. Mattel’s Betsy Burkett and Gretchen de Castellane can be seen recapping the case study here as well:

Persuasive Picks for the week of 05/16/11

sm_expert.pngI Will Never Hire a “Social Media Expert,” and Neither Should You
Lets start things off with my favorite post of the week. Peter Shankman provides a wake up call for the so called “Social Media Experts” and the companies that have made the poor choice of hiring them in this entertaining post that puts everything in perspective.

Study: Marketers Reporting Social Media ROI of 100, 200, Even 1,000 Percent
Aprimo CMO Lisa Arthur highlights four key findings from MarketingSherpa‘s 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report via this post on Forbes.com.

6 Ways to Boost Return on Twitter
So you’ve found your groove on Twitter, but are your efforts as effective as they could be? Riverside Marketing Strategies President, Heidi Cohen provides “Six strategies to boost your Twitter return” via this post on Clickz.com.

7 Guidelines To Taking Your Global Brand Local Via Social Media. And Vice Versa
Enjoy some great nuggets of advice on how to make your big company more personable, or how to make your small company look bigger, via this post on MarketingVox.com.

Unfollow, Unfriend, Retweet: AP Stylebook Adds Another 21 Words
Keep your writing in check by getting a quick brush-up on the latest social media-oriented additions to the AP Stylebook via this post from Ann Handley on MPDailyFix.com.

 

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 03/21/11

Pepsi RefreshPepsi Refresh: Social Media’s Pearl Harbor or Waterloo?
This post by Chris Yeh on the Agency Collaboration blog responds to Bob Hoffman’s “scorching” Ad Contrarian post with a fresh and insightful view on the highly publicized Pepsi Refresh campaign.

Why I’m Glad I Went to SXSW (Despite My Reluctance): One Virgin’s Experience
Fresh off the heals of our own @missusP’s post about her first-time SXSW experience comes this entertaining recap from MarketingProf‘s Ann Handley. And yes, this is the second week in a row that Ms. Handley has appeared in our picks…let the rumors begin!  ;)

Three social media marketing techniques that brands should probably ditch
Econsultancy tech reporter Patricio Robles provides a short list of social marketing techniques that brands should consider avoiding when deploying new campaigns.

Why Social Media is Perfect for Small Businesses
TMCnet.com contributing editor Gary Kim shares the results of a recent American Express survey that revealed that word of mouth is still one of the primary ways small businesses gain new customers – which is also one of the benefits of a properly executed online social strategy.

Facebook Questions Goes Where Quora Can’t
Quora certainly rocked the “buzz meter” in the beginning of 2011. ReadWriteWeb‘s Mike Melanson shares highlights from Facebook‘s announcement of its newly enhanced Questions feature that will make it more valuable to users.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 03/14/11

Lady GagaThe secrets of Lady Gaga’s social media success
Simon Owens highlights the path of Lady Gaga’s success with all things social including some pretty jaw dropping stats via this post on TheNextWeb.com.

5 Questions (and Answers) About Social Location Marketing
MarketingProf‘s Ann Handley shares a short Q&A with “Social Location Marketing” author Simon Salt, who explains why location-based marketing will continue to be relevant and worthy of consideration as part of your overall social strategy.

How Do You Know if Social Media Marketing is Working?
Ira Kalb challenges a recent post from BNET blogger Jeff Haden, where he suggests that “social media marketing is a waste of time” and “doesn’t produce tangible results.”

Most Marketers Clueless About Social Media Conversations
This SocialMediaExaminer.com post from Amy Porterfield highlights the results of the 8th annual Alterian survey, which found marketers admitting to struggles when it comes to customer engagement across multiple social platforms.

Facebook ‘Likes’ more profitable than tweets
Mashable‘s Sarah Kessler breaks down the findings from a recent Eventbrite study that used “in-house social analytics tools to track ticket sales on the site” to determine that Facebook “Likes” drive more sales than Tweets pointing to the same event.

Photo source: AllieIsWierd.com

Yes, Content Rules… With a Clear Strategy

We’re proud sponsors of tomorrow’s launch party for the new book Content Rules by Ann Handley (Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs), and C.C. Chapman (founder of DigitalDads). We’re big fans of both authors and know their ongoing content quite well – so I know the book will become a social media business bible of sorts.

Content has been on my mind quite a lot this week as we’ve been working with clients to create marketing and sales content. One thing I’ve noticed is that many businesses are getting caught up in creating content but have no strategy behind it. They want us to create a custom Facebook tab or an event microsite or a video to tell a story. But what I’ve found is that they aren’t always thinking about who they want to tell the story to, or what they want the story to accomplish – or even what action or return they are expecting from issuing their content. And, they’re usually not sure where they want the content to live – or why they want it in a certain place over another.

Jumping into content development without a strategy in mind is indicative of some of the social media hype. Brands just want to get “something cool” out there and they aren’t thinking about the RRR – resource to return ratio. At the same time, many complain that involvement in social media takes too much time and the ROI isn’t yet clear. That’s what happens when you don’t have a strategy!

Creating content for content’s sake is not a good use of your resources: time, money or people. It’s one of the reasons that I believe PR and marketing should be involved in the social media process for businesses. Sure, the marketing department doesn’t have to create the content necessarily, but they should have a hand in helping to shape the messages within it, as well as where it should live and how it should be promoted. Marketers are experts at messaging – and if your content has an empty or off-kilter message, it’s just noise.

Here are a few simple things businesses should be thinking about before they jump into creating social media content:

  • What do we want to share?
  • In what form do we want to share it?
  • Who do we we want sharing it? (CEO? Customers? Partners? Spokesperson?)
  • Who do we want to say it to?
  • Why will they listen/watch/read/care?
  • What do we want them to do as a result? (If anything)
  • What will we consider a success as a result of creating this content?
  • How will we track and measure that success?
  • What resources do we need?
  • Do we expect people to interact with this content? Share it? Write about it? How do we make that happen?
  • Where do we want it to live?
  • How will we share and promote it?

It sounds simple, but you would be surprised at how many brands jump into content development without asking these basic questions. They see something that worked for another brand (ex: Old Spice) and they say, “Hey, we can do that!” – without thinking about how it applies to their customers, their business and their goals.

Don’t create noise. Create content with a purpose. A purpose comes from defining a clear strategy before you begin.

Got more tips for businesses looking to create social content? We’d love for you to share them in the comments. Thanks for reading!