The Social Media Garden: 5 marketing lessons taken straight from the greenhouse

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 4, 2012

This probably comes as no surprise, but gardening can teach you a lot of things. It can teach you about patience, perseverance, ecology, pedology, and aesthetics…but it can also teach you how to be a great social media marketer. There are a lot of surprising similarities between horticulture and social culture. Here are 5 lessons your garden can teach you about social marketing:

1.    You have to have the right tools.

If you’re going to toil in the soil, you’d better have a trowel. And a few seed packets, and a watering can, and a good pair of gloves. You can’t grow flowers without the right tools, and you can’t grow your marketing strategies without them either. Before you plant your social seeds, make sure you have the right tools on hand to see the job through to the end. Gremln can help you with that; our message dashboard, analytics suite, statistics page, team management features, and compliance tools can help you nurture your social media campaigns from seed to bloom. Depending on your situation, you might need other tools as well, like budgetary support and dedication from your co-workers. Figure out what tools make the most sense for your social campaigns, and have them in order before you begin.

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Topics: 101, analytics, Business, business, dashboard, education, facebook, garden, gardening, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, marketingb, media, social, strategy, twitter

The Branding Games: London 2012 and Social Control

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 27, 2012

The International Olympic Committee has a problem. Their problem is, practically everyone in the world is going to be tweeting about their product.

Sounds like a good problem to have, right? Everyone in your office would probably do back flips if your company started simultaneously trending in 200 different countries around the world. A lot of marketing directors spend their entire careers trying to get even 1% of that kind of popularity for their brands.

But social media success is a double-edged sword. It brings a wealth of marketing strength, sure, but it also represents a huge loss of control. You control what you say about yourself, of course, but you can’t control what other people will say about you. The good, the bad, the hopelessly neutral; it all flows freely from your fans and followers, and the more people who post about you company, the less you can respond to a huge influx of negative tweets. If one person takes to Twitter to complain about your product, you can respond and attempt to correct the situation. If 1,000 people start complaining, the situation is way beyond your management. Now consider; the number of Olympic athletes alone is about 17,000. That doesn’t include managers or trainers or sponsors, and it certainly doesn’t include the masses of people who will be watching (and Facebooking, and tweeting, and Google Plusing) around the world.

In short, the potential for Olympic brand negativity is astronomical.

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Topics: brand, Business, business, dashboard, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, guideline, IOC, London 2012, Marketing, networks, policy, regulation, social, social media, strategy, twitter

Treadmills, Travel Time, and the Value of Analytics: Justifying the cost of social media success

Posted by Clayton Smith on May 22, 2012

Confession time: I pay good money on a monthly gym membership just so I can go and run on a treadmill a few times a week. It drives my wife crazy. Why spend $40 a month, she argues, when I can save money by running outside for free? It’s a reasonable question. After all, I’m sure we could find some great uses for an extra $480 a year, and if all I’m doing at the gym is running, I’m not experiencing any additional workout benefits than I would by running on the sidewalk every day. So yes, it’s a good question. Luckily, I have a good answer.

I’m buying the analytics.

Running on my own, outside, is great, and it’s actually the way I prefer to run. Fresh air, occasional sunshine, near-death experiences involving inattentive drivers; it all makes running outdoors a lot more exciting than jogging in place, staring at a wall. But when I run outside, I’m running blindly, analytically speaking. I can’t pinpoint how far I’ve run, how many calories I’ve burned, how steep my incline is, how fast I’m going, or how high my heart rate is. I don’t have access to any of these metrics when I run on my own, and to me, these analytics are a vital part of my workout routine. Tracking them allows me to see how my workouts are improving and how successful my runs are from a personal health point of view. The numbers help me stay motivated, and they constantly give me new goals to reach. For me, $40 a month is a small price to pay for those stats.

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

There is Value in Fun: An observation from SXSW

Posted by Clayton Smith on March 16, 2012

There’s a lot to love about South by Southwest, the 10-day music, film, and interactive conference and festival held every year in Austin, TX. The live music, the keynote speakers, the panel discussions, the post-conference parties, and the sheer energy generated by thousands of social networkers converging to celebrate new app launches and long-established social successes alike; it’s all pretty overwhelming, and it can be difficult for any one aspect to really stand out.

SXSW is generally lauded as the conference for launching exciting new social products. After all, it’s where Foursquare debuted in 2009, and though it wasn’t exactly the network’s official launch, Twitter really started gaining attention at SXSW 2007. New apps and services are unveiled in Austin every year, and marketers spend big bucks to make sure their booths and launch parties stand out from all the rest. But the conference can also be a good reminder that marketing promotion doesn’t always have to be expensive or flashy to add value to your product. Sometimes, all you need is a little fun.

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, education, facebook, fun, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, skype, social, south by southwest, strategy, sxsw, twitter

Which Network Works? Finding the social media network that's best for your business

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 6, 2011

According to research company Experian, approximately 91% of online American adults log on to a social network every single month. That percentage represents about 129 million Americans. That’s 129 million potential consumers your company has the ability to reach on at least a monthly basis.

Goodness. That’s a lot of people.

And that’s just in America, and just people aged 18 and over. If you’re a company with the ability to ship your product all over the world, that number rockets upward. And if your product is targeted toward teenagers as well as adults, bump that number up even higher. Frankly, it’s getting to the point where very few companies can afford to ignore the social media revolution.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that there are thousands upon thousands of social networks out there. Sure, we’re all pretty familiar with Facebook and Twitter. But how many of you are on hi5? Or Disaspora*? How about Heello? No? Then what about Bebo? Maybe Orkut?

The number of networks is growing at an almost daily rate, which is in direct opposition to the growth of resources in many companies’ marketing departments. While social networking options are seemingly infinite, marketers have extremely finite resources at their disposal. We can’t be on every social network all the time, so instead we have to strategically select which channels to use for our digital marketing messages. But which social networks are right for your company?

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Topics: Business, business, discount, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, myspace, recommendation, ROI, social media, twitter

This Week in Social Media - 11.11.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 11, 2011

Happy 11's! We here at Gremln hope you've had a great week and that you're about to have an even greater weekend. Here are some of the social media news highlights you may have missed this week:

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Topics: facebook, google+, google plus, gremln, news, QR code, social media, Social Media News, twitter

Social Media 101: Klout

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 1, 2011

“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we explore the social media influence measurement tool Klout.

Klout is a program that analyzes and scores a person’s online influence through social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Klout uses a secret algorithm in order to determine the strength of each person’s sphere of influence on a scale of 0-100. A low Klout score means a lower level of influence; a higher score means a higher influential impact. Klout arrives at its score by measuring True Reach (how many people you influence), Amplification (how much you influence those people), and Network Impact (the influence of your network). The more active and responsive you are on social networks, the higher your Klout score is likely to climb.

Klout is currently able to draw social media influence variables from 12 networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, and YouTube. The more networks a person links to his personal Klout page, the more accurate the Klout score becomes.

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Topics: 101, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremln, klout, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, twitter

This Week in Social Media - 10.28.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 28, 2011

Happy Friday, everybody! That means we're close to the end of another work week...and it also means it's time for the weekly social media news round-up!

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Topics: facebook, google+, google plus, gremln, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

This Week in Social Media - 10.21.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 21, 2011

It's been an exciting week here at Gremln, as we've officially launched our first round of beta test accounts! That's the big news here on our end--here are some more social media highlights you might have missed this week.

(Google) Buzz Off
Google's first real foray into social networking, Google Buzz, was officially laid to rest this week. This may come as little surprise, given Google's much more popular Google+, but it marks an interesting milestone for Google's social networking goals. Bon voyage, Google Buzz. Enjoy your retirement with Google Wave.

Google kills off Buzz, its ill-fated social network

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Topics: google+, google plus, gremln, Marketing, news, social media, Social Media News

The Week in Social Media - 9.30.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 30, 2011

"The Week in Social Media" is a new Friday series on the Gremln Blog where we highlight some of the important social media news stories from the past week.

Facebook's major redesign announcement last week has caused quite a ripple effect of media coverage, which has carried over into this week and overshadowed much of the more recent social media news. Here are a handful of the stories you might have missed.

Google+ Gets Bigger
Spurred on by the frustration many people felt about Facebook's latest round of design changes, the now-open-to-the-public Google+ made huge gains this week in terms of user numbers. According to "Google+ unofficial statistician" Paul Allen, G+ hit 50 million users faster than any other major social network.

Google+ traffic surges, closes in on MySpace, LinkedIn

G+ hit 50 million users today

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Topics: facebook, google+, google plus, gremln, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

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