Social Media MERIT: 5 ways to justify social to the CEO

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 16, 2012

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.

1. Measurable

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.

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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

Ditching the Pre-Social Mentality in a Social Marketing World

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 8, 2012

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

To Schedule, or Not to Schedule? Finding a balance between scheduled and spontaneous social media marketing

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 10, 2012

One of Gremln’s most popular features is the message scheduler, which lets you set up your social media messages to post at a designated point in the future. The reason for its popularity is simple; time is an incredibly important (and finite) resource, and the more of it you can save, the better. We’ve heard it mentioned once or twice that time is money—which makes Gremln’s scheduler a tool that saves you a little of both.

Setting up your social media messages in advance saves you the time of logging in and posting them, one by one, at the best times for social media interaction. Heck, Gremln even has a bulk schedule tool that lets you upload and schedule an entire month’s worth (or, dare we say it, year’s worth) of tweets and posts with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Which leads to a very important question that we get asked pretty often. We make it possible to schedule all of your social media posts--but how many should you schedule?

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Topics: analytics, Business, business, campaign, crm, dashboard, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, social, social media, strategy, twitter

Facebook Fans: The art of passive engagement

Posted by Clayton Smith on June 13, 2012

As social media marketers, we usually tend to focus on Facebook fan engagement and active interaction. And that’s a good thing, not only because each Facebook interaction spreads your social media message to a new circle of people, but also because engaged fans are passionate fans, and passionate fans are likely to become loyal customers. For many of us, the need to engage becomes so all-important that our Facebook strategies can be boiled down into a simple equation: Engagement = Success, Silence = Disaster. Because of this, it’s easy to panic if your Facebook posts go seemingly unnoticed.

But take heart! While engagement is an excellent metric for measuring social media success, silence doesn’t necessarily mean your words are falling on blind eyes.  

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Topics: analytics, Business, business, campaign, crm, dashboard, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, insights, like, Marketing, media, network, ROI, social, social media

#CustomerService - The power of social media in customer relationship management

Posted by Clayton Smith on April 9, 2012

When it comes to managing a business, there are few phrases more daunting than “customer complaint.” Unhappy customers have been known to send entire customer support teams into cold sweats, and for good reason. A company’s customers are its lifeblood. Making them happy should be at the top of the “To Do” list, which is why a good customer support program is imperative. An easy and organized communications system is vital for connecting with and satisfying unhappy customers. The only problem is, customer relationship management software can be a little expensive, and some of them present a learning curve for your customers, which can act as a barrier to efficient (and positive) communications.

If only there were a fast, efficient, and inexpensive customer support solution available to everyone, one that millions of customers were already using and wouldn’t need additional training on in order to connect seamlessly with the company’s issue resolvers...

Oh. Wait. That program does exist. It’s called Twitter.

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Topics: Business, business, crm, customer, education, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, ROI, service, social, support, twitter

A Gift for Marketers -- The link between social media and holiday spending

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 15, 2011

I came across this infographic today (from Mr. Youth, via Mashable), which illustrates the link between holiday purchases and social media. The graphic suggests there is indeed a strong correlation between social media communication and product purchases, offering evidence from two sides of the social media coin; the social side, where you interact with family and friends, and the marketing side, where you interact with businesses and brands.

According to Mashable, Mr. Youth "polled about 4,500 adults and found that social media is a key driver of holiday gift purchases this year." Here are a few of the statistical highlights:

93% of social media users made or received purchase recommendations on Facebook.
It's a reliable piece of industry knowledge that word-of-mouth is a marketer's best tool when it comes to generating sales. Social media is, at its core, word-of-mouth amplified; instead of one-to-one personal communication, social platforms allow for one-to-many communication. Facebook is by far the largest social network out there, and if it's worth saying, then it's probably worth saying on Facebook. The importance of digital word-of-mouth just can't be overstated, so neither can the importance of social media brand representation.

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Topics: Business, crm, facebook, gremlin, gremln, holiday, Marketing, ROI, sales, social media, strategy

The Missing Link -- Can LinkedIn be a viable social media marketing tool?

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 5, 2011

LinkedIn. It’s the king of digital business-to-business connections. Unlike other popular social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is more about networking than socializing. It tends to be seen as a networking tool for the businessman rather than the everyman. Does this white-collar stigma leave any room for business owners to use LinkedIn to connect with potential customers?

Marketing vs. CRM
From a business standpoint, it’s easy to think of Facebook and Twitter as marketing tools. That’s because as a consumer, all I need to receive Nike’s marketing message is an internet connection, a Facebook account, and the ability to click “Like.” That’s it.

But LinkedIn isn’t so easy. Sure, I can follow Nike on LinkedIn, but that basically sends me links to their blogs, tweets, and other non-LinkedIn information that I’ve already found on my own anyway. If I want to use LinkedIn to its full potential, as a peer-to-peer communications tool to really connect with the company, I need to know someone on the inside. I need to be a colleague of, or have done business with, or have gone to school with, or be a friend of, or have the email address of a Nike employee.

But I don’t know anyone at Nike.  I’m just a potential customer interested in their products.

This poses a bit of a puzzle for Nike (and every company on LinkedIn). How are they going to market to me if I can’t connect directly with them? LinkedIn is booming in popularity, thanks in part to its recent IPO, and it currently boasts more than 100 million users. That’s a large pool of potential for any company that can successfully tap into it. But doing so means finding a way to break the connection barrier.

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Topics: Business, crm, facebook, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, social media marketing, twitter

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