Archive for the 'Marketing Budgets' Category

28
Sep
10

Tweet Dreams Come True: Twitter to Provide Free Analytics

Twitter plans to release a real time analytics dashboard in Q4.

We’re enjoying the new Twitter interface discussed in the SideNoteBlog yesterday, Home Tweet Home. If you can breakaway from the new interface there’s much more exciting news coming from the microblogging site.

Ross Hoffman, a member of the Twitter business development team, recently discussed at the Sports Marketing 2.0 Summit a soon to be released free analytics dashboard that will help Twitter users understand how others are interacting with their tweets.

The dashboard is being built by Smallthought Systems, the team Twitter acquired in June. One of the exciting parts of the announcement is that by providing free analytics, Twitter is reversing the policy of incorporating analytics as a part of their business model.  Additionally, this is a shrewd strategy, as free analytics will virtually shut out third-party analytics providers such as Klout and Twitalyzer.

For marketing professionals, this is huge news from Twitter as analytics are critical to justifying marketing ROI and improving efforts. Hoffman said the product will also leverage algorithms from Twitter Resonance in order to show users which tweets are spreading and who is influential in their network.

Let us know what you would like to see in terms of Twitter analytics and how you plan to use analytics to improve your social media marketing programs. Let us know in the comments below. You can find Weise Communications on Facebook and follow @Weise on Twitter for more updates.

24
Mar
10

Social media is the next business revolution: another case study in social media success

In a recent post on The Side Note, we asked for great social media stories that have great business results. And we have great stories to share! If you would like to contribute your social media success story, let me know!

This is a guest post by Dawn A. Crawford – Communications Director at the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition and social media evangelist who spreads the good word at http://bcdcideas.wordpress.com.

The biggest foe of any communications strategy is return on investment (ROI). It can be a monster waiting to gobble up creative ideas. A failure to prove ROI on a project makes communicators look like they don’t understand business or don’t care about the bottom line.

I also know it can be one of the most popular ways for social media doubters to discount the new medium. For me, this is a moot point because social media has an amazing return on investment due to time being the only cost.

Creating a brand space on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, and Flickr is free. Even creating a blog is free. You can even go as far as to set-up a niche social network for your organization or nonprofit that could serve as your website only with more interaction and functionality for FREE (see Think 360 Arts for a great example).

The incredible aspect of social media and what places it above other communications tactics is the interaction you get out of this new medium. In the social media space, you can do exactly the same things you do with your print materials and advertising campaign. With social media, you can push key messages and tout the benefits of your work.

Only with social media, you get a bonus: interaction with your brand. You can ask to find out if people like your key messages. You get to query your customers to find out if they like your benefits or find something else more powerful. It is this rich experience of interacting with real people, in real time, is what makes social media’s return on investment invaluable.

Measuring social media ROI has to be about the interactions. It has to be about the quality of the campaign, not the quantity of eyeballs or reach. Social media communications is about connecting with real people who care about your brand and organization.

The crowning achievement of our 2009 social media efforts is a Thanksgiving campaign – The Healthy Kids Thank-A-Thon. This project was a way for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to give thanks for the healthy kids in their life. The participants were able to submit their gratitude statements on the CCIC website, Twitter or Facebook. The statement could be a simple sentence, a photo or even a video.

From these submissions we created a YouTube video, tweeted all Thanksgiving weekend long with the gratitude statements, created a Facebook album and created a landing page on our website.

The budget for this project was essentially zero. The costs included our monthly subscription to Constant Contact, website hosting fees, about 40 hours work by our intern Kelsey Gryniewicz (brain child of this whole project) and about 20 hours of my time.

See a great presentation created by Kelsey on the whole project including our ROI:

  • 34 people specifically and deeply engaged in our mission
  • The most web traffic of the year
  • 16 retweets on Twitter
  • 1,124 click through on tweets
  • 14 posts by bloggers (Including The Side Note Blog)
  • 25% email open rate and 14% click-thru
  • 2 media stories including a feature on 9News KUSA the night before Thanksgiving
  • Encouraging an intern to lead a project and bolster her resume

And we pulled this project off in three weeks. That is crazy short for a social media strategy, but it worked. Heck, that’s crazy fast for any communications strategy.

We engaged our followers to be the spokespeople for our cause. We engaged our social media base to share their passion for childhood immunizations.

Moreover, we couldn’t have done this campaign on any of the traditional communications tactics. We couldn’t have engaged a news outlet to help without major mullah or connections. Sure, we could have hosted it all on our website but without any interaction. We couldn’t have done this in print or in an event.

Social media is the next business revolution. It’s just like email. Some people hoped email would just go away so we could send faxes forever. Well, those people lost (thankfully) and now email is part of every successful business. Social media will be the same way in the coming years. If an organization is not engaged in social media they will look dated, out of touch and will be seen as having poor customer service.

So start small, and get engaged today. Your customers will thank you!

Thanks Dawn, for your contribution to The Side Note. If you would like to contribute your social media success story, let us know!

09
Jun
09

Put your Money into Marketing…Especially in a Recession

Easier said than done. Or is it? Many business owners find it difficult to allocate dollars to marketing, whether they’re starting up or growing their business. However, the name of the game these days is lead generation.

The question becomes, “How am I going to keep my client base or find new consumers?”

If you are starting up your business, you are probably struggling to raise enough capital to just open the doors. However, costs today are lower than years ago. On businessweek.com, Your Startup on a Shoestring” holds true even as our economy struggles and banks tighten up their lending process.

Look to the Internet. Establish your Web site, and even do this in steps if necessary to keep costs down. Cap your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and budget your dollars. This article also has some great money saving tips and provides great recommendation, such as “put as much of your money into marketing as possible”.

If you are an established business trying to grow or just maintain, the same is true. Look to the Internet. Evaluate your Web site. Maybe it is time for improvements. Explore social network opportunities. Get involved. Create a PPC campaign. Update your promotions and coupons.

On entrepreneur.com, the article Win Sales from Recession-Minded Consumers discusses “3 ways to woo shoppers this summer”. You know it is all about savings!

  1. Market Special Promotions
  2. Modernize Coupons
  3. Woo Stay-at-Home Shoppers
coupon

coupon

Just think, coupons are back. And, by popular demand! This article highlights that “nearly 80 percent of consumers surveyed in the 18-to-34 age group say they’re much more likely or somewhat more likely to use coupons if they can download them and have them automatically connected to an electronically swiped frequent shopper card.” That is something to think about.

dell couponAnd coupons are not just for consumers. Dell has coupons for small businesses online.

In times of recession, we must be creative and continue to think of ways to reach clients and consumers to build relationships. Talk to your audience online or at an event. In the article Recession Marketing All About Connections, the author recommends face-to-face connections to build credibility. Hold an event and promote it though your social media networks. Promote your business at a trade show. New and old ways of marketing can be combined to keep costs down and maximize exposure.

There is a lot of good conversation and advice online for B2B and B2C. You will notice writers continue to talk about Internet marketing and social media. Why? I believe it has to do with putting clients and consumers in the driver seat and putting your money into marketing channels where you can track results immediately.

How are you allocating your marketing dollars? What results are you seeing? Let us know and we may share your story!

05
May
09

Study shows social media is weathering economic storm among retailers

1052434_shoppingAccording to a new study released today by The National Retail Federation’s Shop.org and Forrester Research, social media marketing budgets are mostly on the rise despite an overall reduction in spending.

Mashable’s Adam Ostrow breaks it down like this:

•    Spending on social media is falling at a slower rate than spending in other online marketing channels, such as search engine marketing (i.e., pay-per-click)
•    Among retailers that are reducing spending, 56 percent are trimming search engine marketing, while only 24 percent will cut their social media marketing budget
•    Among retailers that are performing well, 12 to 20 percent will increase spending in social media marketing
•    Among retailers that are increasing budgets, 80 percent will put money into search, while 65 percent will put more into email marketing

As Adam points out, search marketing is a much larger space than social media marketing. This means that there is more money to be cut from search budgets, which helps explain why search dollars are being slashed faster than social media dollars.

I can’t say I was surprised by this study, but the findings were definitely encouraging. From what I’ve experienced so far, the social media trend doesn’t seem to be going away or slowing down anytime soon. It’s been a successful, cost effective option for companies in this economy, and I certainly see it growing by leaps and bounds once things pick up and businesses recover.

What are your thoughts on the study? Are you surprised by the results?




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