All Posts in social media

May 30, 2011 - No Comments!

ROI Is Not Spelt M.O.N.E.Y.

Money, money, money.

When I hear about ROI it's connected and described as money. But that's not what ROI is all about. Return On Investment (ROI) is "A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments." - according to Investopedia.

When a person connects ROI and Social Media, they often refer to the amount of sales they will receive from their latest campaign. They are focusing only on the Return and ignoring the Investment. Strong investments are not get rich quick schemes; they are constantly maintained and monitored investments that hone in on the best present and future gains.

Think of a simple rental investment. Once you purchase the house, you spend time making it look nice and finding the right tenants for the place. Over the years you continually maintain it and keep it in good shape and every so often update it to fit the current standards. By the time you sell it, there is a good chance (based on the previous years care) that you will get a bigger return than what you initially invested.

Your Return On Investment in Social Media if done correctly, can continue to provide you with great results on a continuous basis. But it will only work if you really care for your investment (fans) by providing advice, maintenance and updates for the months that follow. Remember, Youtube video's can stay around for years!

Moving money to the side, here are the most powerful ROI's that you can gain from Social Media:

  • Continuous communication with fans
  • Customer written blog posts about great experiences
  • Photos and Videos of incredible customer service
  • Positive brand recommendations
  • Modern understanding of what the clients want
  • Thankyou's from clients in the public eye
  • Respect for allowing fans to communicate with you
  • A general sense that company cares about the customer voice
  • Honest and raw feedback

In many cases, these returns will provide for you longer than financial avenues. They will build the stories that craft your brand into a household name and give you a great public image to boot. Brown fizzy soft drink is not exactly something that gets me excited. But seeing Coke continually push the boundaries of social engagement, connection and human development is. By focusing your honest attention to your customers you can build revenue streams far bigger than those with only traditional push marketing.

Channels of sale are important, but they pale in comparison to an investment into your customers.

May 21, 2011 - No Comments!

Why Are You Climbing The Social Media Ladder?

The intangible Social Media Ladder is a tall one, filled with people of all ages, geolocations and races. But a simple Tweet from a new Twitter friend got me thinking about the reasons behind climbing the ladder. Why are you doing it?

Climbing the ladder in itself is a marketing game in which you are aiming to be seen in the crowd of millions. It's about getting noticed so you can get what you want out of the conversation. But if you don't actually know what you want, is the game needed?

If you're climbing the ladder to gain more fans and followers but don't have any content, products or substance to back yourself up you may be wasting your own time as much as everyone elses. Instead of climbing, maybe you should focus on building quality content, or creating a new product that people will want to talk about. Or even better, give away advice from your own experiences.

Personally, I love sharing advice from my experiences. In the past I had a very direct and in-your-face approach which I soon learnt how to control. Through reading someone else's advice I found out that it was ok to fail as long as you got back up and tried again. It was through this advice that I was able to start writing again (in a more controlled and cohesive manner) which completely changed the game.

Sharing advice is an extremely strong content advantage because no two pieces of advice are the same. Your past or current experiences can often help many more people than you realise - providing a solid reason for new fans to follow you and share your advice with others. If you find yourself talking for the sake of talking, try starting a blog, podcast or live video show where you share your thoughts, opinions and experiences in short snippets of advice. If you know what you are talking about, people will eventually find you (which will save you time and energy in hunting for followers to join your 'army').

Start Small, Focus on Content and Ignore the Ladder.

May 19, 2011 - 3 comments

Are You Paying Attention? @AirTran

To many, Twitter is a fantastic tool to communicate with other like-minded people, share great information and advertise the latest offers. Some even go one step further and connect with fans and friends alike. But what happens when a company creates a profile and then neglects to update it for a year and a half? I write a post about it.

Link to full image

In the above image you will see the AirTran Airways neglected Twitter account.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that AirTran have 7,545 Followers, their Klout score is quite high (which means they get mentioned a lot) and they actually state in their first and only Tweet from October 2009: "...we'll be tweeting with you soon". Personally, I'm not going to hold my breath.

With a quick bit of research I worked out that AirTran run a few different types of planes - one of them a Boeing 717, which is capable of seating up to 117 passengers on a full flight.

That's the equivalent of approximately 64 fully booked Boeing 717's just sitting on the tarmac.

Look at the missed customer service and marketing opportunities that have flown by in just the last 5 hours (not forget the last year and a half).

Now I don't know the financial or working details behind a low-cost airline, but I know there are departments who look after the airlines advertising and customer service. By simply realising the untapped connections on their own page they could potentially save hundreds (if not thousands) per year on direct marketing and customer support. A quick @reply or discount card to some of the customers above could have brought in some great publicity, or at the very least turned negative experiences into future positives.

So how did they miss this? And why do they continue to neglect a potential gold mine of repeat customers?

@AirTran, are you paying attention?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_717

--

UPDATE: A day after I emailed them via their website I got a reply:

"Thank you for contacting AirTran Airways. I have forwarded this information to our Social Media Specialist".

I'm glad they forwarded it on to their Social Media Specialist, but I would love to know what they currently get paid to do!

May 10, 2011 - 6 comments

Keep It Real Aaaaaight!

With so many Social Tools to share updates it's very easy to get lost. It's even easier to get sucked into following the trends that gain you more followers, get you quick attention and more. But where do you draw the line?

As the great Ali G says: "Keep It Real, Aaaaaight."

This simple humourous saying is such a good mental keepsake that I say it to myself at least once a week. The moment I start to drift into the "I know how to get more clicks" territory I lose focus on being real. It's enticing to build and write content that will be seen by thousands of eyeballs, but you need to have the 'stance' to back it up. Not to mention the amount of work you will have to do to keep those people coming back once they have been burnt by your rubbish article.

The reason this is so important these days is the upcoming standard in how we communicate. Very soon, human curated news will be the norm across all news channels. We will be relying on individuals more than ever to feed us content that impacts us, rather than 80% of the trash that fills the papers. We are also moving into an age where video is becoming common place amongst companies the world over, and internal social presenters will be sought out to carry the message of the brand in play.

If you can already see through the fake 'link-bait' articles that contain so much spam, ad links and useless knowledge, imagine what it will be like when we are all online showing our faces and speaking our own words!

If you are tempted to head down the Black-Hat road to increase your blog hits, Twitter friends or unique visits, remember this: Honesty is King.

It takes years to build a proper social network, and only seconds to ruin it.

May 9, 2011 - No Comments!

Avoid The Quick Rome

Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither were the skilled workers taught the art of crafting a wall, or breaking apart rocks and hauling them to their destination. But Rome also wasn't built by mass-marketing the message. It was built one connection at a time, designer to architect, architect to worker, worker to supplier.

In this 'mass-marketing' society it is easy to forget how simple it is to build true connections in favor of a Quick Rome.

A true connection happens with one person, in one discussion, over one platform. It's these mini connections that will drive the core of your social network and create a solid social presence from day one. What's the point of having 1 million connections if you only interact and 'influence' 1%. Avoid mass-marketing and connect with people who understand your message and can inspire you to go further.

May 7, 2011 - 2 comments

You Can’t Game Real Engagement

Games can be gamed. But your real engagements and connections cannot.

I wrote a post recently discussing Social Influence titled "How To Become Influential" which talks more about how networks will represent What You Do and Who You Are, not how much you can game the system. Games are fun, but should only be used to build the experience, not the content.

For a bit of fun, I recently joined Empire Avenue (Ticker: LAWS). It's a place to buy and sell people (in a virtual stock market currency) and essentially own a piece of their social net-worth. While people may laugh at the idea, it's a brilliant concept and the idea that we should value each connection is very important. More importantly, it's a great way to find new people to engage with.

The system can be gamed (one of the easiest ways is to buy someone famous as soon as they sign up) but as the game fades (or becomes the background focus) what will happen to the spam artists or people exchanging purchases?

With any network you should remember to keep engaging, connecting and being real - so if the game fades around you, your connections will continue to grow.