Posts Tagged ‘Social books’

Social Strategy: 3 Paths to Social ROI

IBM CMO Study findingsAccording to eConsultancy, Only 8 percent of companies say they can determine Return on Investment (ROI) from their social media spending (source: Econsultancy).  From their Global CMO study, they find 63% want to measure the ROI of their social investment.  Yet, many social pundits – while giving “lip service” to the concept of ROI, have “surrendered” to the ROI challenge and, have instead, encouraged their followers to simply focus on the “intangible” justifications for a social strategy.  In other words, don’t worry about the lack of social ROI, it is intuitive it benefits your organization and that is justification enough.

While these types of articles imply you don’t need to really consider or develop the ROI from your social investment, nothing could be further from the truth.  If you consider the “opposite side” of the IBM quote, if 63% of all organizations would like to measure their Social ROI, this means 27% of them can.  That is the direction I used when I started researching my new book – “Social IMC – Social Strategies with Bottom-line ROI“.

Social Strategy  Social Media  Social ROIThe fact is there are thousands of companies who are using Social as an integrated part of their marketing mix.  Their social strategies develop very specific KPI’s and provide a way to track their social investment from first social contact through to final purchase from the organization.  And these companies are no different than yours.  In developing my book, I looked at B2B and B2C companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100.  I examined for profit and not-for-profit firms, governmental organizations, and organizations across the globe.  From Africa to China, to the Pacific Rim, to Europe to the Americas, companies are designing, developing, deploying, justifying and measuring their social investment with the same precision as their other marketing investments.  The key is not to simply rationalize the fact you don’t have ROI today, the key to success is to look at your social investment through a marketing prism.  Start with your high value markets and you can develop strategies which transform your social programs into revenue producing, market share generating assets to your organization.

While my book goes into the strategies in great detail giving you the metrics, methodology, and best-of-breed examples from across the globe, there are three paths you need to consider in re-thinking your social investments from an ROI perspective.  They are:

  • Start with your High Value Markets – Man pundits advocate specific site strategies.  Whether it is blogging, building your Facebook presence, Tweeting, building your PInterest presence, etc., they focus on content and engagement, not ROI.  The path to an ROI strategy starts NOT with social networks but with your High Value Markets.  The goal of social strategies with bottom-line impact is to develop strategies which build 1-to-1 relationships with your high value markets.  Using social to build relationships rather than followers is one of the paths to social with measurable, provable bottom-line results.
  • Think Multimedia Engagement – If you look at social from a marketing perspective, it is logical that your high value markets are engaging on multiple levels of the social pyramid.  Whether they are consumers or business professionals, they are seeking expertise and information using blogs, websites, social networks, private virtual communities, videos, passion sites and a host of other social options.  For success, you need to understand where your high value markets are congregating, who is at the center of their conversations [the influencers] and where they are congregating.  This will allow you to maximize your impact by engaging them on the levels they “inhabit”.  This is where social monitoring comes in.
  • Build Relationship Funnels & KPIs – The final path is to begin thinking of your social strategy as a journey rather than a networking site.  To build a business relationship, you need to take your prospects through a process [a relationship or performance funnel] from prospect to customer [and beyond].  While many of these relationships will occur exclusively in social, many can use other marketing channels [sales force, conferences, meetings] to close the sale.  When I work with companies through my consultancy, we start by identifying all of the “steps” from suspect to customer.  Each level is quantified, valued, and then we begin by determining the performance required in each step of the process to be profitable.  Comparing every pair of behaviors in the relationship funnel gives us the KPIs [Key Performance Indicators] we need to manage the ENTIRE process from social contact through to purchase.

In summary, there are thousands of companies across the globe who are implementing highly effective, highly efficient, and highly profitable social marketing programs with their high value & high opportunity markets.  The key is to understand how best to use social as an integral part of your marketing mix.  Today, Social Strategies with Bottom-line ROI is a necessity and you need to know how to design, develop, deploy, measure & justify your social programs for your organization to grow and prosper.

Randy Hlavac   Social IMC  Social MarketingRandy Hlavac is a social and integrated marketing expert.  In 1990, he founded Marketing Synergy, Inc [MSI].   MSI helps business and consumer focused companies define, engage & acquire high value communities using social, web, mobile and integrated marketing technologies.  Using value based predictive systems and marketing databases integrating social and integrated marketing channels, MSI’s clients build profitable, long-term relationships with their most valuable market segments.  Marketing Synergy aids its clients in developing and deploying the marketing database, analytical, and marketing systems necessary to achieve their business goals.

In addition to being the CEO of Marketing Synergy, Randy is also a Lecturer at Northwestern.  He teaches courses on digital, social and mobile marketing.  Randy is a social marketing blogger and his first book – Social IMC – Social Strategies with Bottom-line ROI is available on Amazon.  Randy also writes articles for the Journal of Integrated Marketing, Chicago Association of Direct Marketing and is a frequent guest blogger on social, marketing technologies, and integrated marketing. 

Randy can be reached at RHlavac@SocialIMC.com.  You can also reach Randy on Twitter at @RandyHlavac or on LinkedIn at randyhlavac

 

Best Reads in 2011

Stressed and reading a book

Best Books of 2011

As an educator and consultant in social & integrated marketing, I love to read books to keep up & for use in my social & integrated marketing classes at Northwestern.  The following are some of the best books I read last year.  Several are – in my opinion – “must reads” for marketers who are involved or considering developing social marketing programs in the near future.  

Here are some of the best books of 2011.  I have included a link to Amazon.com if you want to purchase an electronic or paper copy.  Best books include:

1.  Groundswell – Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff  Amazon link  This is one of the best books exploring the transformation resulting from social media and social networks.  It is a great first book to begin understanding the marketing and business potential of social media.  It shows you how to monitor & interact with social communities.  A “must read” book.

2.  The New Rules of Marketing &PR – David Meerman Scott   Amazon link  This is a book I use in the social marketing classes as it covers how to create blog and social content which is interesting, engaging and effective.  For companies using social media for press releases, business blogs, video, and viral marketing, this is also a “must read” book.  My students really like it.

3.  Reality is Broken – Jane McGonigal   Amazon link  Gamification or game theory is playing a bigger and bigger role in the creation of community focused website for an integrated social marketing program.  This book is an excellent primer on game applications in the social world.  I have listened to Jane in TED presentations and she is right on target.  This is another “must read” for today’s marketer.

4.  Gamification by Design – abe Zichermann & Christopher Cunningham  Amazon link   This is another good book on game theory and gamification,  It is much deeper than Jane’s but is still a good read for a marketer wanting to learn more about how gamification might work for your website or social marketing program.

5.  Social Media ROI – Olivier Blanchard   Amazon link   This is a bit academic but a useful read if you are wondering about social media tracking.  Not really social marketing as we define it at Northwestern but it does present a decent overview of the challenges of applying ROI to social media.  An interesting read.

6.  Social Media Marketing – An Hour a Day – Dave Evans   Amazon link   OK, its not a book published in 2011 but I am a slow reader!  Actually, it is a book we use in class and is a great primer on how to being doing some forms of marketing using social media.  A useful read – especially if you are a marketer new to social media.

7.  Media:  From Chaos to Clarity – Judy Franks  Book link  Judy and I have been friends and colleagues for a number of years at Northwestern.  She is a media and creative guru who consults and educates companies on media and PR.  Her book explores how to use the “tried and true” media approaches and adapt them to the social & electronic ages.  It is great “must read”

These are my best reads of 2011.  Now I am preparing to being reading some of the book recommendations of Joey StrawnMark Schaefer, and other marketer / bloggers I follow to keep up

 

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