What’s a "Grande Guide"?
A Grande Guide is a series of simple, easy-to-follow e-books created to allow readers to become proficient on a single marketing topic in the time that it takes to drink a "Grande" cup of coffee. Produced by Eloqua, often in concert with outside subject-matter experts, each booklet follows the same format: what it is, why it matters, what are the best practices, what tools to consider, what it looks like in action, and where it is headed.
This Grande Guide is all about social media, but with a twist: We focus exclusively on the unique needs and interests of CMOs. Lastly, we acknowledge that "media" is a plural noun, and therefore should require a plural verb. However, for readability we have treated the term "social media" as singular–don’t call the grammar police.
What Is Social Media?
The surplus in social media "experts" has led to a surplus in social media definitions. We like the definition supplied by Harvard University instructor Nicholas Lamphere in his viral presentation Harvard’s Must Have Guide to Social Media, which states: "Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues. They support the democratization of knowledge and information and transform people from content consumers to content producers..."
We see social media as a paradox. Its promise is simple: converging friends, colleagues, partners and customers into one digital melting pot. Yet the rate of progress is so rapid that it has the potential to leave behind those not paying close attention. In other words, social media could quickly become anti-social for those not keeping pace. And the priorities placed on most CMOs are so intense that daily social media responsibilities are often handed off to younger workers, so-called "digital natives."
One last thing to remember: Social media applies reach and exposure to natural behaviors previously considered private. The collapse of walls separating public from private is affecting social memes. It is, unequivocally, altering the very nature of human-to-human and business-to-human interactions. As such, senior marketers must be an active, engaged participant on the social Web.
Why Do CMOs Need to Understand Social Media Personally
Because social media moves at breakneck speed, and because each network is essentially a sub-culture with its own peculiar language and mores, many CMOs have effectively “tuned out.” They either relegate social media to junior staff, build a “bare minimum” presence (e.g., a Facebook page or Twitter handle), or farm the responsibility out to another department entirely. In fact, Econsultancy found that social media was owned by a digital marketing team in only 35% of companies is social media owned by a digital marketing team and 10% of companies “don’t do any social media” at all. This is a colossal mistake, not only professionally, but also personally. Here are several reasons why CMOs need to understand social media personally:
You are who Google says you are. This adage may appear intimidating. But for those who understand the positive impact a social media presence can have on their personal brands, it should be a source of optimism. For the first time in history, we author our professional reputations. Creating content, maintaining online profiles and participating in social networks is tantamount to a personal search engine optimization (SEO) campaign in which you can dominate the first page of Google results with your words, your likeness and the persona of your choice.
Your company looks to you. Before integrating social media into your company’s marketing strategy, it’s essential to understand the basics yourself. And because the social Web is a participatory medium, the only way to fully understand it is through engagement. Your staff looks to you for leadership, and leaders are expected to adapt to change.
Digital natives need strategic context. While younger staff, or “digital natives,” should contribute to social media marketing, their expertise is often limited to the tools themselves. Positioning, messaging, strategy...these are the hallmarks of senior leadership. In other words, would you put someone in charge of your broadcast advertising just because that person watched a lot of TV?
Why Does My Business Need to Understand Social Media?
Social media is the nexus of customer support, public relations, brand awareness, lead generation and even product development. No company can afford to ignore or minimize a medium that touches all levels of the sales funnel and all stages of the customer lifecycle. Effective social strategies reduce churn, spark word of mouth, create demand and accelerate deal-flow.
According to Nielsen, Internet users spend more than twice the amount of time on social networks as on any other online activity. Your buyers are active on the social Web. In fact, they spend nearly 23% of their online time on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Although social media may be the engine for many of your marketing efforts, the fuel for that powers it is content: testimonials, videos, widgets, ebooks, guides, whitepapers, infographics. Below is a framework for a healthy marriage of content and social distribution. We call the infographic, “The Content Grid.”
Organized, executive-sponsored social engagement models provide companies with rich opportunities for intelligence-gathering, internal communications, public influence, competitive insights, customer service and media relations. Conversely, ad hoc programs can ultimately damage companies in all of these fundamental areas. Social media is a double-edged sword–and the larger the organization, the deeper the cut.
Businesses need to understand social media because, quite simply, consumers expect companies to be present on the social Web. It is no longer a “nice to have.” It’s truly a “must have” capability for all organizations.
While the channels, language and culture may be new, the way smart companies approach social media borrows generously from traditional marketing and communications. For example:
Establish your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for success based on your objectives, not just numbers. Social media “experts” are equipped with dashboards rich with transactional stats–website traffic, view counts, fans/followers–creating the temptation to accept these metrics as proof of social media success or failure. But winning companies hold social media accountable to business KPIs, not vice versa. This case study–“A Case for Content”–measures at the impact of content and social media marketing across a variety of KPIs.
Sustain/extend advertising investments. Most marketing campaigns are planned with an end date in mind. Social media marketing is evergreen. It’s a non-stop conversation between a company and all of its audiences, which allows effective CMOs to derive greater return on traditional marketing investments by extending the lifecycle of those programs on the social Web.
Your brand has a voice and personality–cultivate it. Your brand and your products have been given a new sort of “life” on the social Web. You can create a new persona for your brand (the way that NASA personified Mars Phoenix on Twitter) or humanize it (like Ford does on Twitter). People trust people more than they trust companies. Social media allows you to add a trust- inspiring personality to your brand.
(Content Credit: Concepts adopted from “The CMO’s Dilemma,” a keynote speech given by Ogilvy PR’s John Bell at the LikeMinds conference in Exeter, UK. For the complete presentation, you can visit John’s blog.)
Social Media Best Practices: 10 Do’s and Don’ts
We all love lists. So, here are five social media “do’s” and “don’ts,” to follow:
1.Listen. Social media offers a unique window into the lives of colleagues, customers and influentials, but only if you don’t talk over the opportunity. Adhering to a “listen-first” mantra will help you can gain valuable insights that inform how–or even if–you want to engage.
2.Be authentic. The era of online anonymity is over. Social media demands honest, transparent and authentic participation. Social networks are human networks; don’t be afraid to share reasonable details about your personal life.
3.Be consistent. When cultivating your social media presence, be consistent about the information contained in your profile and the content you share. If possible, establish brand guidelines for individual and group participation within your company to “universalize” consistency.
4.Be gracious. Applauding and thanking others are the cornerstones of any good community on or offline. Whether it is citing a source with a link or publicly cheering a colleague, remember that credit is the water that turns the wheel.
5.Disclose. If you produce corporate- relevant content on the social Web, it’s necessary that you disclose your professional affiliation. For more on disclosure best practices, visit the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s . (Disclosure: Eloqua is a member of WOMMA and serves on its ethics committee).
1.Overshare. Don’t share confidential information about your company, clients, colleagues, partners, or competitors.
2.Criticize. Don’t criticize your company, clients, colleagues or partners.
3.Rumormonger. Don’t spread rumors or false information about your company, clients, colleagues, partners, or competitors.
4.Leak. Don’t reveal personal information about any of your colleagues. Examples include tweeting side conversations or posting personal photos to Facebook or Flickr without their explicit permission.
5.Falsify. Don’t misrepresent yourself or your company. Make sure the content that you are creating and impressions you are leaving, even the seemingly trivial, are accurate and honest.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have access to hundreds of millions of people? Just a few years ago, it would have cost millions to do that, but today it’s possible with social media. Social media, while nothing new in the concept of building communities through organizations that met in person, changed marketing and the ability for consumers to learn, interact and discover brands online.
While places like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter give us unprecedented audiences, they also bring the ability to target our messages to the communities that matter most. Very few companies, if any, need to or should try to reach the 500 million people on Facebook or more than 100 million on Twitter. But if they can build loyalty, understanding and engagement with their brand, even if it’s just a community of a few hundred, it’s makes the masses manageable and goals more attainable.
Additionally, social media also gives you millions of ears and eyes to provide you with one of the most valuable tools in marketing – feedback! It’s the easiest way for you to know what people think of your brand or the latest campaign. But it’s important to not just listen but to also learn from what’s being said. Use it to improve what you do!
5 Basic Social Media Tools:
Twitter, Facebook,YouTube, Foursquare and SlideShare
Now that you understand what social media is and why you should care about it, here is some more detailed information about how to access these tools. Below are five social media keystones to get you started, with insights as to what each does well and what each lacks.
Conduit of Information: Twitter has been identified as a major accelerator and amplifier of news, playing a role in business, politics and entertainment.
The real “Now Network”: The ability to receive peer-vetted, real-time information is perhaps Twitter’s most powerful value proposition.
Influencer Haven: The most active and influential accounts on Twitter are those run by the media, politicians and tech experts, creating a prime opportunity for your company to be visible to opinion setters and their massive collections of followers.
Provides a Focus Group / Early Warning System: Twitter can provide an indication of how an issue, product or service may be received by the larger public, as well as an “early detection system” if there is an issue with your company.
Drives Traffic: Along with Facebook, Twitter is fast becoming a top referrer of traffic to blogs, news sites and company websites.
Cons of Twitter
Short Shelf Life: As a content-tracking tool, Twitter is weak. Tweets are archived for a relatively short period of time. Note: Topsy.com is a valuable service for researching past Twitter activity.
Echo Chamber: Twitter can turn into a “pig pile” whereby the same people repost the same content over and over again, rarely breaking through to other networks without key “bridge” community members.
Pros of Facebook
Size: As of November 2010, Facebook consisted of 600 million users, clearly the largest social network in the world.
Engagement: According to online measurement firm comScore, Internet users spend more time on Facebook than any other website.
Attitude: Brand pages are an attraction for many Facebook members. Though many experts predicted Facebook members would reject the presence of corporations in the social network, human behavior tells a very different story.
Contests, content and community have led many Facebook brand pages to thrive. As of this writing, the Starbucks page, for example, has been “Liked” (essentially joined) by nearly 19 million people.
Targeting: Facebook offers one of the most targeted advertising platforms on the Web. Marketers can serve ads based on geography, role, employer or interest (such as their own fans or even fans of competitors.
Cons of Facebook
SEO and Storage: At over 2.5 billion photos uploaded per month, Facebook has already outpaced Flickr’s entire community, which “only” has 4 billion photos total. However, Google doesn’t index these photos.
Roadmap: Facebook’s roadmap changes frequently and requires administrators to stay informed. (An excellent resource is the AllFacebook blog.)
Privacy: A small, but high profile, minority of Facebook members closed their accounts in protest of perceptions of the company’s self-serving privacy policies.
Pros of YouTube
Content Storage and Distribution: YouTube videos are platform- agnostic and can be shared on nearly every type of site or medium.
Google-level Analytics: Because it is owned by Google, YouTube analytics include key word and traffic sources, “hot spots” (showing when viewers stop watching the clip), and insights about what other content users also watched.
Global Reach: YouTube is available in 14 different languages and 21 different countries, positioning it as one of most international social networks.
Cons of YouTube
Lack of Social Verification: Unlike Facebook, YouTube doesn’t authenticate users beyond a profile handle. As a result, the comment sections are notoriously overrun with low value content.
Proliferation of “Junk”: Low barriers to entry and relative anonymity means that there is a lot of junk posted to YouTube.
Attention Economy Challenges: With over 20 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it is one of the most “competitive markets” on the Web. Securing attention on YouTube is part science, part alchemy, and part luck.
Pros of Foursquare
Create New Era Loyalty Programs: Foursquare allows companies to reward loyal behavior with perks that surprise and delight customers, which, in turn, fosters increased loyalty and positive word of mouth.
Make Events More Engaging: One of the driving forces behind Foursquare user behavior is the collection of “digital collectibles,” or graphical badges that reward levels of engagement. Providing these badges to attendees at your company’s events ensures deeper engagement and more “buzz.”
Cons of Foursquare
Public Discomfort: The idea of volunteering location is not something everyone is willing to do. Many people have expressed safety concerns. Deeper social features and utility will need to be proven to get other more skeptical audiences on board. For high profile individuals and women, it creates a vulnerable point of access for crazed fans and stalkers.
No Clear “Winner” Has Emerged: The Betamax vs. VHS debate continues in the “geosocial” space. Facebook’s entry has shaken the category up considerably. Before investing heavily in a geosocial strategy, check to see the status of Facebook Places, as some predict that will become the dominant application.
SlideSharePros of SlideShare
Brandable: SlideShare offers a premium service, called SlideShare Channels, that allows companies to “brand” their presence on the social network, effectively creating a “social media homepage” where all shareable assets (presentations, images, videos, reports) can be shared.
Lead Capture: SlideShare allows premium subscribers to insert a lead capture form into shared assets. It is the only major social media platform to offer this functionality.
Value: At about $250/month, a branded SlideShare Channel– complete with added storage capacity, high-definition video hosting, deep analytics and lead capture–is one of the most cost-effective social networks on the Web.
Cons of SlideShare
Traffic: It is the smallest of the five social networks profiled in this Grande Guide.
Maturity: A true start-up, SlideShare is still refining its business model and the premium product still has a beta feel in some areas.
Social Media In Action
The Ford Fiesta Movement:
Using Social Media to Introduce a New Component of a Familiar Brand
In the spring of 2009, Ford began a social media marketing campaign to highlight the return of the Ford Fiesta to the United States for the first time since 1976.
The Fiesta model has been a major success worldwide, selling more than 12 million cars. But how could Ford raise awareness around a youth-oriented model that hadn’t sold in a region since before most of its potential buyers were born?
Launching the Ford Fiesta Movement, Ford offered drivers 100,000 free test drives across the United States, encouraging the drivers to report their experiences on social media communities like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr (an agile blogging platform which allows users to post from the web, mobile device and/or from existing social media feeds). Next, Ford empowered 100 citizen “reporters” by giving them a Fiesta to own and promote through their own grass roots outlets, with a strong emphasis on video.
A major branding component of the Ford Fiesta is its highly customizable nature. Empowering those 100 citizen reporters to essentially design their own vehicles was not only fun, but also gave them added incentive to promote their “creation” to their readers.
The results of the Fiesta Movement campaign are striking: User- generated videos garnered 4.5 million YouTube views, 500,000 Flickr views, 3 million+ Twitter impressions, and most importantly, 50,000 interested potential customers, 97% of which don’t own a Ford currently. And as the popular social media site Mashable observed, this was accomplished “all without spending a dollar on traditional media.”
SCVNGR: It’s Not Always The Hard Sell
How Social Games and Fun Challenges Can
Raise Awareness and Engagement
SCVNGR is a recently launched gaming platform that uses a smart phone’s GPS technology to create challenges and rewards that increase a client’s awareness and branding potential. If you played a treasure hunt game as a kid–or if your children play today–then you have a good idea of how SCVNGR works. But not every grassroots gaming platform has funding from Google Ventures and an expanding list of clients that includes Tesla, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, Warner Bros., and The New York Times.
At the Boston Commons Coffee House, participants created challenges for future visitors, including special drinks that you would order, make, take a picture of with your iPhone or Droid, and then upload to SCVNGR. Participants engage with like-minded customers but can also win prizes and other incentives. So, on one hand, SCVNGR users have a fun way to learn about new places, people and brands. But how does it work for the client and how is it different than other “check in” applications like Foursquare?
Think of the check-in as a one-dimensional point, where you just click a button and you’re done. There’s not much room in there to tell your brand’s story or message or create any real engagement.
SCVNGR on the other hand is based around the concept of a challenge, which you should picture as a three- dimensional interaction. You can ask the user to take action, to engage, to create something of value. A photo, an experience, some piece of really valuable, viral social content that they then share with their friends on Facebook and Twitter and, of course, with their friends in the real world. The challenge is just as quick as a check-in, way more fun and can be scripted and customized with audio, video, images text to produce really creative and engaging interactions.
For example, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts created a SCVNGR game to attract local college students. Their pitch was that the students could use SCVNGR to complete various challenges throughout the museum. Over the course of the semester, thousands of students visited the museum specifically to play the SCVNGR challenge.
Or, in the case of last year’s Travel and Adventure Show hosted by the Los Angeles Times, SCVNGR was used to increase overall visits and time spent at the show’s booths and exhibits. Thanks to the social media engagement achieved through SCVNGR, booth visits were increased more than threefold, going from 4 to a 15.3 average. Even more significantly, booth visitors now spent an average of 6.3 minutes at each booth, compared to 1.5 minutes for non-SCVNGR users. Over the course of the conference, SCVNGR delivered a total of 3,539 new booth visitors.
What’s Next in Social Media?
Social SEO. The Google and Bing search algorithms are placing an increased emphasis on “social signals.” That is, the more popular or “Liked” content is on the social Web, the higher the engines will rank that content. Content creation and social media distribution have never been more important for natural search than they are today.
New Measurements: An Eloqua study revealed that socially engaged clients are 450% more likely to be brand promoters. Meanwhile, a Bazaarvoice study revealed that in 2010, CMO’s measured social media success by site traffic, number of fans/members, number of positive customer mentions. These tactical measures will soon give way to revenue performance indicators. In fact, Bazaarvoice expects 3 of 4 CMOs to begin attributing revenue to social media in 2011.
Social Demand Gen. As capital and human resources assigned to social media increase, so too do ROI expectations. As a result, KPIs are beginning to shift from “awareness” stats (number of fans, number of followers) to business metrics (number of leads generated, amount of attrition prevented). In fact, The CMO Club recently determined that 81% of CMO’s plan to link revenue to social media investment. Expect to see social media monitoring companies unveil more sophisticated, business-relevant tracking and analytics tools in the coming months.
Ethics. Marketers are largely aware of the importance of transparency and disclosure. The Federal Trade Commission’s revised Endorsement Guides brought this vital issue to the forefront of corporate consciousness. Recent high profile press coverage “scraping,” a practice in which marketers use software to extract data from social networks, online communities and other private venues, is shining a light on this controversial practice.
Glossary / Resources
10 Most Followed CMOs on Twitter
Full list (65 total):
#1: Ted Rubin Chief Social Marketing Officer at OpenSky www.Twitter.com/TedRubin
#2: Ken Herron Chief Marketing Officer at SocialGrow www.Twitter.com/SocialGrow
#3: Lisa Gavales Chief Marketing Officer at Express www.Twitter.com/ExpressLisaG
#4: Sonny Ganguly Chief Marketing Officer at WeddingWire www.Twitter.com/SonnyG
|#5: Kent Huffman Chief Marketing Officer at BearCom Wireless
#6: Aaron Strout Chief Marketing Officer at Powered
#7: Sam Mallikarjunan Chief Marketing Officer at CheapHumidors.com
#8: Alan See Chief Marketing Officer at Berry Network
#9: Sebastián Jara Bravo Chief Marketing Officer at SMMChile
#10: Nigel Dessau Chief Marketing Officer at AMD
Social Media / Technology Blogs
Read, Write, Web: www.readwriteweb.com/
All Facebook: www.allfacebook.com/
Inside Facebook: www.insidefacebook.com/
The Next Web: thenextweb.com/
Wall Street Journal–Digits: blogs.wsj.com/digits/
New York Times–Bits: bits.blogs.nytimes.com/
Official Platform Blogs (great insights, news and updates from the “Horse’s Mouth”)
|Infographics, Presentations and Other Cool Stuff
CMO.com’s “CMO’s Guide to Social Media Landscape” Infographic www.cmo.com/social-media/cmos-guide-social-media-landscape
Forrester’s Who Participates Online Infographic www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_24/b4038405.htm
JESS3 and Brian Solis’ “The Conversation Prism” Infographic: www.theconversationprism.com/
JESS3 and Brian Solis’ “Exploring the Twitterverse” Infographic: www.flickr.com/photos/briansolis/3570379944/
JESS3 and Eloqua “The Content Grid” Infographic: media.eloqua.com/documents/The_Content_Grid.pdf
JESS3 and Eloqua “The Blog Tree” Infographic: blog.eloqua.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/The-Blog- Tree.jpg
JESS3 and Eloqua “Social Media Playbook”: media.eloqua.com/documents/Eloqua_Social_Media_Playbook_Public.pdf
Harvard’s Must-Have Guide to Social Media: prezi.com/xjetcvfh-chj/introduction-to-social-media/
HubSpot’s “Social Media Marketing: 27 Awesome Stats, Soundbites and Slides” Presentation: www.slideshare.net/HubSpot/social-media-marketing-27-awesome-stats-soundbites-and-slides
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s Ethics Code: womma.org/ethics/code/
The Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guides www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/adv/bus71.shtm
Most Important Twitter Lists for CxO’s to Follow: mashable.com/2010/08/03/c-suite-twitter-lists/