December 2013 – UPDATE:
Does your company have a social media policy? Maybe you’ve determined your business needs one, or perhaps you’re on the fence about the value of such a policy. Maybe the one you have needs a little finesse. In any case, you need to know where to start, what to include, and why it matters. We have some tips to get you on your way toward compliant, secure, and engaging social media success.
We’re one month deep into 2013, and you’ve been hitting the gym like a champ. You’re reading more, watching less TV, eating healthy, quelling your vices, and basically knocking all your personal resolutions out of the park. Will power 1, couch potato 0. Way to go, you.
You’ve jumped on the “Bring Your Own Device” bandwagon at the office – your employees are accessing company email on their personal devices, working remotely on their own laptops, taking company calls on their cell phones. It’s time to think about how social media fits into the picture. Are you also allowing your employees to “Bring Your Own Social” (BYOS)? Before you cry “Distraction! Information leaks! Inappropriate posts! Oh, the horror!” – remember this: your employees are smart. That’s why you hired them. Not to say that mistakes can’t happen, but Gremlin Social is here to help with ways your employees can BYOS to the business world while still being responsible to your brand.
Topics: branding, bring your own device, bring your own social, Business, compliance, facebook, gremln, small business, social media, Social Media for Small Business, strategy, twitter business, twitter business tools
Now that 2012 is just about over, I can officially state, with all appropriate certainty, that the social media question I heard the most often this year was, “How do I determine social media ROI?” The main reason returns on social strategies are so important, of course, is that success (or the lack thereof) almost always determines budgets, and every now and then it even determines jobs. Which makes this a very important question indeed.
Some people will tell you that you can’t calculate social media ROI, but I respectfully disagree. Measuring social media ROI isn’t impossible…it just isn’t straightforward.
When you calculate return on a traditional financial investment, there’s a simple, straightforward calculation that allows you to quickly determine your return: ROI = (Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment. The reason this formula is so straightforward is that all the variables are distinct. You know how much money you’ve invested, and you know how much money you’ve gained from that investment. Simple.
The reason social media returns aren’t quite so simple to calculate is because the variables aren’t as clear cut. What, exactly, have you invested? Employee salary? Graphic design costs? Social media software costs? Facebook ad expenditures? Product giveaways? Where do you draw the line between social media resources and everyday business expenses?
And how about that return? Ideally, of course, you’ll see an increase in revenue as a direct result of your social strategies, but that’s not the only type of positive return you can get. What about engagement? Social media is all about building communities of people who, when the time is right, will rally around your product or service…so high levels of engagement are important, aren’t they? And how about brand strength? If you can manage to move your Facebook likers from fans to brand loyalists, what’s the dollar value there? Certainly that’s a positive return. The same goes for customer service. If you use your social media as a customer service tool (and you should), isn’t customer satisfaction a positive return on that investment?
The problem isn’t that social ROI is impossible to calculate; the problem is that there are just too many ways to calculate it. In order to get an accurate return measurement, you’ll need to settle on the type of return you want to measure. Here are four suggestions on getting started, with a little help from Gremln:
Topics: 101, brand, Business, business, campaign, dashboard, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, ROI, small business, social, social media, strategy, twitter
I mean, it’s really hard. Much harder than social B2C. You know why? Because businesses may have social media accounts, but businesses aren’t the ones using those accounts. It’s people who use them, employees like you or me or the guy next door who sit down to manage the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts for their companies. And when they sit down to manage those accounts, they typically have one directive; “Send our content out.”
Businesses exist on social networks in order to spark engagement based on their own, in-house content. Generally speaking, they don’t exist to gather other businesses’ content in, unless that other content directly involves the company (in an @mention, for example, or in a post on the company’s Facebook page).
What this basically amounts to is the fact that when you engage in B2B marketing on social media, you’re really sending out content that you hope will be seen and registered by a marketing employee who’s not looking for it.
Like I said. B2B is hard.
Although social networks are free to join and use, there’s a real cost involved in social media marketing and communications. Network training, graphic design, employee payroll, analytic tools, content creation, and product giveaways are just some of the typical expenses that often come with the territory. Because of these “secondary expenses,” many managers, directors, CEOs, and board members require social media expenditure justification.
How, exactly, do you justify the expense of social media? Simple. Just show them that social media marketing has M.E.R.I.T.
Social media marketing results are measurable, much more so than the results of more traditional advertising methods, like print and broadcast. Let's take a look at how social media marketing results stack up against the old-timers.
Topics: 101, analytics, Business, business, campaign, crm, dashboard, economic, education, facebook, google+, gremlin, gremln, interactive, measurable, merit, network, relevant, ROI, social, social media, strategy, timely, twitter
Last week, RAM Racing sponsored the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K race in Chicago. The race was held on Sunday, and the runners were to pick up their race packets on the preceding Friday and Saturday. The race on Sunday came off smoothly; packet pick-up, on the other hand, was something of a disaster.
Due to poor overall organization and a few technological hiccups, the packet pick-up process, which might normally have taken 15 or 20 minutes, took some people over three hours. Three hours of standing in line, out-of-doors, in the famously brisk Chicago wind.
This wait, born of organizational missteps, would not normally be worth mentioning here on the Gremln blog—companies find themselves handling dropped balls all the time. But the irritated runners who were made to wait outside for hours took to Twitter and Facebook to express their anger toward the organizers of the Hot Chocolate race, and RAM’s response, or lack thereof, warrants an examination.
Many runners were quite vocal in their social media anger.
Topics: 101, analytics, brand, Business, business, crm, dashboard, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, small business, social, social media, strategy, tips, twitter
Pharmaceutical companies have a fairly unique problem when it comes to social media. Like financial services companies (insurance agencies, banks, investment firms, etc.), pharmaceutical firms have to follow strict compliance guidelines in their social messages, or else risk punishment from regulatory bodies. Unlike the financial services industry, though, Big Pharmaceutical doesn’t have a set list of guidelines to follow. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can fine pharmaceutical companies if they misuse social media, yet they haven’t really set forth any clear social media guidelines for those companies to follow.
Sure is a tricky situation.
And on second thought, maybe it’s not so unique after all. If you manage the social media for a shoe store, or a delivery service, or a bakery, or a design firm, or a theater, or any number of companies, you don’t have government agencies telling you what you can and can’t post to Facebook, but you also don’t have free license to just post whatever the heck you want. You don’t need a regulatory agency to tell you that posting curse words, tasteless jokes, insensitive posts, misspelled words, and poor grammar to your company’s social networks is a bad idea. All of these can all land you in hot water with your boss, and maybe even the company’s Board of Directors.
But fear not! Whether you work in pharmaceuticals or for a company that has internal, self-imposed social media guidelines, there are steps you can take to make sure your (and your team’s) social media posts are always compliant.
Topics: 101, analytics, Business, business, campaign, compliance, dashboard, education, facebook, filter, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, keyword, Marketing, media, post, regulation, regulatory, ROI, social, strategy, twitter