Category Archives: social media manager

Adding a 5th “P” to Your Marketing Mix

The 4 P’s of marketing, also known as the “marketing mix.” Have you heard of them? Marketers use this term to describe a blending of ingredients that are typically mixed and matched in an effort to tailor marketing efforts toward various target market segment(s).
Whether you’re a business owner, newbie marketer or a social media manager, creating your marketing mix can help you identify several parameters within the business environment that will aid in getting the right message out to the right audience.

Marketing Mix 101

Image Courtesy:
http://4marketingps.blogspot.com/2009/09/4-marketing-ps.html

 

Advertising, sales, and social media all have their place and importance, but they are only a cog in a big wheel of decisions in which you have control. Your ability to get people to stand up, pay attention, buy and tell others about you is dependent on many other factors besides a cool video, headline or slick salesmanship.
A typical textbook marketing mix consists of the following framework:
• Product
• Price
• Place (Distribution)
• Promotion

(We’ll add a fifth P later)

Underneath each P reside several controllable factors that can play into a consumer’s decision to make a purchase or to go looking somewhere else.
For example, under the “product” framework, everything from your brand name, to the colors you choose for your business to how you package your products will influence how your business is perceived.

Let’s just say you’re in the process of choosing name for a new product. Will your customers remember a name with a whole bunch words, or one that doesn’t accurately describe what your product is about?

What does your product look like? Is it bland?
The Tropicana brand tried restyling the packaging of its orange juice products and met an unanticipated backlash from consumers. This is a great example of how one simple piece of the marketing mix can have a tremendous affect on business.

How about your “price” structure? Pricing products and services can be challenging. Would you consider bundling your offers? What about discounts or seasonal pricing decisions? Consumers perceive price in many different ways. Trying to stimulate demand by lowballing competitors may result in your product being perceived as cheap. Some customers balk at a monthly recurring charge. Others would prefer monthly over a one-time fee.

Is the distribution (“place”) of your products and services seamless for the customer? Are channel partners and affiliates easily able to get the information they need to help you sell? How quickly can you deliver?

How do you “promote” your products or services? Will you focus on using a website? How about face-to-face networking? What does your sales copy and marketing materials say? Are they consistent with your brand image?

The great thing about being able to adjust the marketing mix is that sometimes you can emphasize various aspects and minimize non-desirables in your communications.

The 5th P of Marketing

A fifth “P” or “people” has been proposed many times as an addition to the overall marketing mix, yet hasn’t been adopted traditionally by marketing textbooks. While this fifth P may be considered a part of the promotional aspects of the mix, it could be safe to say that promotion isn’t always a decision factoring in with today’s world of marketing.
Social media likely has a heavy hand in considering the people aspect of the marketing mix and it doesn’t always emphasize advertising and sales, but rather conversation and genuine connection.

In some cases, the “people” your company connects with may never buy from you. This can happen for many reasons related to product, price, place and promotion; however, that very same person or persons may end up being a conduit that leads them to recommend you to someone else who will buy.

What does it all mean? It means that the fifth P is a highly important component in today’s digitally connected world. From the story you tell, to the way you connect, people -your audience plays an important role in your marketing. Each aspect of the marketing mix becomes another part of your story. These components are like a recipe that you control. A pinch of this and a dash of that.

Creating Your Mix

The marketing mix is often times incorporated into either a business or marketing plan and it may be ok to stand alone if you haven’t designed either one. Yet, if you want to get an easier grasp on organizing your marketing efforts and the way you connect with target markets; consider setting up your marketing mix and maybe add a fifth P.
Have you implemented a documented marketing mix into your business? Did it help? Why or why not?

 

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It’s the Numbers….Stupid! 3 Tips for Justifying Social Media Now and Beyond

Imagine this scenario with me for one moment. You wake up to check on your client’s social media account and find that fans and followers have increased by 500 seemingly overnight. That bright glowing orb in the sky is shining on this glorious day and your ready to get to work thinking how excited you are for the day to end so you can enjoy the evening at that fancy new sushi restaurant down the street. But then, your client calls and says, “We need to talk!”

You stroll into the office and see the CEO, CFO and the marketing manager in deep discussion. You close the door and are subsequently told they are stopping all of their social media initiatives. Dumbfounded, you start babbling like Charlie Sheen, spouting off something about 500 new ‘droopy eyed one armed children.’ You tell them you and their fans are WINNING!

You ask for an explanation and receive puzzling answers. Something about costs, shifting budgets to advertisements and other mumbo jumbo. Confused, you leave dizzy and wondering what happened. Then the sad realization hits you…It’s the numbers, stupid!

Numbers Matter

What you lean very quickly is that the numbers matter. I’m not talking numbers of fans, followers, re-tweets and mentions, although those soft metrics are very important. I’m talking numbers in conversions and sales. Im talking new leads. I’m talking ROI. In most cases, those are the numbers equaling the holy grail for marketing departments, CEO’s, CFO’s and owners of small and medium sized organizations. Community building, PR, engagement, they get it, but not as much as justifying expenditures that lead to revenue.

If that scenario seems all too real, the following are 3 tips for justifying social media now and beyond:

1. Create Integration and Alignment with Business Goals

We like numbers, we like fans, followers, mentions. If you’re like me, you jump up and down when they grow and grow fast. Yet, those numbers, as exciting as they are, in the world of marketing are, “soft metrics”. Soft metrics do matter; however, soft metrics that lead to referrals, leads and sales are the “Holy Grail”. The problem stems from assumption, and you probably remember the old saying about “assume”. This means, that if we generate more views, more fans, more mentions, surely we think they’ll lead to more sales for the company. The quickest way to get a social media initiative killed is to guess or assume.

Therefore, justifying social media marketing often times comes down to the ability to integrate and capture results that align with measurable organizational goals. Not social media goals, business goals. For example, if the goal is to increase eCommerce sales by 30%, you might work with your client to set an objective using use social media marketing to drive 10% of that. Then you can work with your client to devise the tactics that will influence those numbers through social media marketing.

  • Integrate and align business goals
  • Set realistic objectives
  • Create tactics that help achieve the objectives

2. Connect the Sales Funnel

I love the word “anecdotal”. Yet, anecdotal in most organizations doesn’t fly too well. Every organization has a sales funnel. That funnel likely starts with driving awareness, influencing current customers and getting new prospects to well….BUY. If your client, even your own company is pushing social media, eCommerce, or even brick and mortar as a way of driving business, usually everyone wants to know where sales are coming from. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to know every time that social media was the driving factor, but you’ll be able to justify its use that much better.

From coupon codes, to Google Analytics, finding ways to connect the customer path to the sale can help you find and uncover the numbers and evidence you might need to show that social media works. You may need to work with your clients marketing, sales or IT departments to gather the data, but it will likely be in your best interest.

Let me add that the numbers and data will tell you a great story that help in other ways too. For example, lets say there were 2000 new visits this month to the sales page directly from say a combination of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, yet there were only five purchases. A root cause analysis might suggest that social media efforts were highly successful, but there is a problem that resides with the sales page or other areas not social media.

  • Determine the path through the sales funnel
  • Create tactics that influence that path
  • Measure each phase of the path from new leads to website visits and conversions

3. Document the Numbers

Want to really justify the worth of social media? Well now that you have connected conversions/sales to business goals and the sales funnel, now it’s time to document the numbers.

At a minimum, the formula you should calculate should include:

  • Staff Time (or your time) in $
  • Estimated Cost in $
  • Cost of Outside Services (i.e. Design, Software, Writing, Etc)
  • Media Buy (i.e. Facebook Ads, Google, Print, etc.
  • **** Total the above and label “Marketing Investment”
  • Conversions
  • Revenue Per Sale
  • Overall Revenue

ROI is typically expressed in a percentage. Now you’re talking numbers!

To calculate your ROI for social media, work this formula in Excel or other software:

(Net Revenues – Marketing Investment) / Marketing Investment X 100 = ROI%.

If you’re just starting a campaign, aligning with benchmarks (reasonable ones) can help you forecast and justify the costs of social media marketing.

Getting Tricky!

A one off sale or promotion, especially through social media is often times shortsighted. What happens next month or next year? Again you may need some data from the sales, marketing or even accounting departments. Therefore, if you’re really ready to get tricky and really impress you might calculate:

  • Lifetime value of a customer
  • Acquisition cost of a customer
  • Avg. price per purchase

We won’t get into the methods for driving sales, creating experiences and all the other integration that leads to referrals, sales and even customer retention; that’s for a whole other writing.

However, do not ever be surprised when caught of guard if you are ever asked, what is the value of a fan, follower, re-tweet or mention. When you can connect the dots of “soft metrics” to the numbers or Holy Grail…you likely won’t wonder as to why your social media initiative got killed…as in, “It’s the numbers….stupid.”

Effective Ways to Land Your First Social Media Management Client

One of the most important things that you can do to land that first client is to always be on the lookout for the next opportunity. There are countless opportunities around you. Everything from a short conversation with the diner owner that you visit for coffee each morning, to a few of your online friends can lead to a new client and a new opportunity

While it is important not to always talk like you’re trying to make the sale, keep in mind that a simple conversation can sometimes lead to great results. Keep your possibilities and your mind open.

Of course, landing a new client is not only about being in the right place at the right time, or making the opportunity happen for you. It is also about how the potential client sees you.

  • Do you present yourself as someone who is capable?
  • Do you demonstrate expertise and knowledge in your area of specialization?

By demonstrating that you are plugged into what’s happening, people are more likely to start seeing you as the go-to person for their social media needs.

With your newly acquired skills, and of course the ability to learn new ones too, all that is left is to be your natural friendly self. Be positive, be friendly, and present yourself with the confidence and professionalism that you would come to expect from those around you.

While how you present yourself and looking for opportunities is important, it is also vital to know how to accomplish those tasks. Always remember to do the necessary research. Make use of online tools such as Google Alerts or the search function on Twitter to seek out new possibilities.

One way is to start getting notifications or alerts for search words in areas that you have a special interest in. For example, let’s say that you have a special interest or knowledge in Sicilian cooking. Why not set up a Google Alert for those ideas as well as social media management? That way, when you find people searching for those terms, you’ll be able to quickly tailor what you do to fit their needs.

Also be sure to set up general searches for social media assistants or social media management as well. You never know what you’ll find on the end of the line – maybe a partner, a subcontractor, or even a client just waiting to find you!

Simple Ideas for Effective Branding

As a social media manager, your brand can truly make or break your business. So having an effective brand is essential to your success. If you’re looking into creating or even re-vamping the brand that you present, here are some surefire ways to get the job done.

One of the most effective ways to have an effective brand in social media is to be consistent. Nothing can make a business fail faster than the impression that you are not what you appear to be.

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you present a consistent image is to simply be yourself. If you have a bubbly and friendly personality, don’t come across as a take-no-prisoners-professional in your email. Conversely, if you are more comfortable keeping everything very business-like and professional, don’t start greeting everyone with a forced smile. As the saying goes, keep it real.

In today’s world, often you only get a few moments to present your brand to a potential client. Sometimes an opportunity will present itself as your walking together down the hallway, or perhaps when you are in an elevator.As a social media manager, you know that it is often necessary to get to the point quickly and effectively. You need to give them a lasting picture, a snapshot of who you are, and what you can do for them.

Thankfully, a well-made, well-practiced elevator pitch can accomplish all these things. An elevator pitch is basically a cliff notes version of your business that can be provided in under a minute. There are a number of different versions available, but they all basically have some of the same characteristics.

First, your elevator pitch should be short and to the point. Second, it is natural. Third, and perhaps the most important, it provides a way for the other person to get more information.

In order to get your elevator pitch ready to use at a moment’s notice, take your time and create the one you want, and then practice it. I know it sounds silly, but don’t be afraid to practice in the shower, in front of the mirror, and even on your friends or family. Getting critical feedback is a wonderful way to hone your elevator pitch into one of the most effective ones out there today.

How you present yourself and your company to the general public can go a long way to making sure your business venture is a successful one. Be consistent, be yourself, practice that elevator pitch and you’ll do great!

Dealing with the Negatives: How to Handle Less Than Flattering Comments and Postings in Your Social Media

There is a lot to think about and deal with as a social media manager. There are Facebook postings, business profiles, article directories, blog postings, basically a whole slew of things that you have to keep in mind.

It is important to make sure you think about something else as well – the negative comments and postings that may come from outside sources. Learning how to effectively combat these blemishes to your client’s business can mean the difference between an average social media presence and a highly effective one.

Determine Validity of the Posting or Comment

While some would argue that the best approach is to delete all negative postings or comments, I believe that not all negative comments are necessarily detrimental.

The first thing that one has to do is to see if the comment is valid. One of your client’s customers may have had bad experiences with their service. Or perhaps a product didn’t quite live up to the hype. If the complainer’s concern is a valid one, and it is not simply someone trying to put your client into a negative light for illegitimate reasons, then the best approach is to address, not delete.

By addressing the negative comment, and attempting to resolve the problem, you have accomplished two things on your client’s behalf. First, you have shown the client to be open, fair and professional when dealing with the general public.

Also, there is the potential that you could win back a lost customer for the client. A resolution doesn’t even have to come right away. A timely response of “Hi, I’m Ms. Smith from Acme Realty. I’ve read your posting, and am looking into it right now” or something to that effect can give you a bit of breathing room to get the job done.

When to Delete

Of course, there are some cases where the comment or posting might simply be spam, advertising, or just nonsense. Hyperlinks in the comments of a blog leading back to another, non affiliated website is a great example of this.

Another is blatant advertisements in a discussion group operated on behalf of the client. In these cases, the best approach is to simply delete the postings, and block the poster if deemed necessary.

In reality, negative comments or postings, whatever form they may take will always be a part of the social media presence for your client. However by removing the illegitimate comments, and addressing the ones with merit, you will help build up the positive feedback.

Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy with Your Client

Creating and implementing a social media strategy for a new or existing business can be a daunting task. There are a lot of things to consider; everything from creating a presence on LinkedIn to maintaining a viable blog and twitter account. It’s little wonder why many business savvy professionals turn to a professional like you. Your knowledge of how social media operates, as well as your ability to adapt quickly to their changing needs make you a very valuable asset.

In order to remain a valuable part of the team, and keep their business on the forefront of what is now, a social media strategy needs to be created. But it can’t be just a general strategy. No, this strategy has to be tailored for the client’s needs, expectations, and the resources and capabilities available.

With so many options and possibilities open to you, the question becomes how to create an effective social media strategy. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Brainstorm with Your Client

Often, by the time you’ve been brought into the mix, your client has tried to create or manage their social media presence without any real success. They might be tempted to simply turn over the reins and allow you to handle it completely. While this is great for the ego, it can be filled with dangerous pitfalls, especially at the beginning.

When you first meet with the client, it is extremely important that you have a detailed and frank discussion about what they expect the time line for accomplishing the tasks, and how they expect to do it. Once you have those details, you can start to brainstorm with your client about how to transform their social media presence into something effective.

Learn How Your Client Operates

One of the reasons why a successful business is successful is the type and quality of attention they pay to their customers. Your client might have a specific way of speaking through email, or responding to queries that their customers have come to expect. It is important to make sure that you do the same.

Take the time to study how your client operates, how they respond to different problems and concerns. That way, when you start working full time on their behalf, the transition between business owner and social media strategist will be completely seamless to their customers.

These are just two basic hints on how to create an effective social media strategy with your client. By continually revisiting these ideas as the need arises, you, along with your client, can create an effective social media strategy for the long haul.

Effective Ways to Bring Your Next Client to You Online

Running a successful social media manager business means that building a wide and extensive client base is an integral part of the program. While making use of the referrals from your clients is a great way to get started, it can’t be the only avenue that is used. Thankfully, the World Wide Web provides a number of different ways to get your message across.

Make Use of What You Know

As a social media manager, you know about or have access to just about every one of the most popular social media sites. So why not make use of them for your business? Having an up to date and topical Facebook fan page or profile can be a great way to get your brand out into the web.

Make sure that you make use other sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn, too. There are a number of software programs available that allows you to update your various social media outlets all at once, making is very easy to keep with the online conversation.

Your Blog

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to get detailed information out to the public about your services is through a dedicated blog. In a few paragraphs you can provide more insight, and more detail into what you can do for your potential client than anywhere else.Having a description of your services, testimonies, even your expert advice on the latest and greatest in social media in one location can be a great marketing tool.

Your clients, and soon your potential clients will know that your blog is the resource for information and insight, and of course, help when they need it. So take the time to write a quality blog, and contribute to it regularly. Then, spend some time linking and promoting it throughout the Internet.

Don’t Be Afraid to Step Out and Upwards

While the world of social media and blogs are a great way to self-promote, never be afraid to get help from those around you. Local newspapers and online magazines are always looking for topical interview subjects, and with the chaotic nature of the social media world, your expertise is likely to be in prime time demand.

Watch your twitter accounts, and keep abreast of what is going on in the world. Chances are you’ll be able to find another opportunity for exposure. Take what you apply to your clients and use it to find your next one!

Working as a Successful Social Media Manager: Starting From Scratch

One of the most important things that you can provide your client is with the sense of security that comes with knowing that their online media presence is well organized, professional, and above all effective.

So how exactly do you operate as a successful social media manager with all the different types of media outlets available on the World Wide Web? How do you stay plugged in to everything that is happening and things yet to come, especially with the titans like Google, Facebook or You Tube? It can be a lot easier than you might realize. I bet you’ve already been doing it for quite some time.

Proper Set Up is Vital

One of the great things about starting from scratch to create the social media identity of your client is that you really have so many possibilities. Your experience with your own forays into the social media jungle has taught you what things to say, what areas to highlight, even the “red flag” words or phrases that are used entirely too often.

While the details might change somewhat depending on the nature of your client’s work, the basics are the same. The focus is on providing information to the world about what your client can provide – and letting them know exactly how much their life will be enriched by it.

So use the knowledge and experience that you already have to make sure that the Facebook Page, the blog, everything that your client wants or needs is fulfilled to the exacting standards that you would want.

Make sure that the blog is well written, and timely. A quick keyword search on Google Adwords is a great place to see exactly where the true buzz is to keep the content relevant and in line with the current conversation going on around you.

Offer Suggestions and Advice as Needed

Many business owners have learned over the years the benefits of bringing in a social media manager. You have the uncanny ability to navigate the dynamic world of social media better than anyone else. So why not offer some advice to guide your client on how to maximize their social media dollar? You’re expertise can go a long way to helping them design and implement a modern, successful and dynamic social media presence.

With a bit of knowledge, a bit of effort, and one finger on the pulse of the Internet you’ll be able to transform your clients drab and boring social media presence into something that just about everyone will sit up and take notice. Just remember that you have what it takes to make it happen.

Social Media Manager: Keeping Up with the Deluge

Through the years, social media has become a dynamic tool for businesses and people alike. The opportunities for reaching out to new people, expanding on new ideas, and letting the world know exactly what a business can provide is enormous. There are quite a few methods available to leverage social media for the savvy business owner, and as a social media manager, you can make sure that they make the most of all the best options.

As a social media manger, you are often hired to maintain the online presence of your client. This means making sure everything is current, from their Facebook fan page, to their blog, and even their Twitter account. It can be a very time consuming task, but keeping a few simple ideas in mind can be a great way to get the deluge under control.

Start with a Clean Slate

One of the most problematic aspects of managing an online social media presence is wading through the volumes of old and irrelevant materials posted in the comments, on blogs, or in fan page posting. Small businesses often put their social media management on a low point in their priority, and so you might have a lot to deal with when you come on board.

Start by sifting through the information and deleting all the stuff that simply doesn’t matter to the bottom line. This includes everything from advertisements for other services, spam comments, and occasionally unwarranted and negative comments.

Formulate a Plan

As you know, one of the best ways to manage anything is to have a good plan of attack. This is no less vital in the world of online social media. As a social media manager, it is your job to make sure  the face that your client presents to the online world is professional, accurate and approachable. Sometimes this means posting using their writing voice, sometime it means searching out and responding to various comments and posting on the web and in discussion groups.

By sitting down and planning out how to respond to and start conversations, you’ll make sure that your client’s online presence coincides with their brick and mortar one. Plus, having a solid plan is a great way to maintain the efficiency of the operation.

You already know a great number of tips and tricks that you can use to make your clients social media presence the most effective it has ever been. Use what you know, learn from your research and experience, and focus on what works. If you mange that, there is no project that you can’t handle.