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

Exploring Collections: Facebook is testing a big new e-commerce feature for businesses

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 25, 2012

Facebook has built itself a pretty great set of offerings for businesses that want to use the social network to promote their products and services. Companies can have their own Pages, they can generate social shares, they can encourage engagement through liking, commenting, and tagging, they can purchase Facebook ads, and they can pay a few bucks to promote their posts to a wider audience, thus increasing page views, awareness, and, hopefully, overall “likes.”

But for most companies, one piece of the Facebook marketing puzzle has been missing. Driving engagement on the social network is a big step toward increased sales, but all the engagement in the world won’t give your bottom line a boost if your Facebook fans don’t end up buying your product. To date, a handful of companies have been able to sell their products through Facebook with the help of third-party applications and developers, but for those organizations that can’t or won’t shell out the big bucks for a customized merchant app, many of their fans don’t have easy access to the “purchasing” step of the marketing cycle. Facebook just hasn’t offered any features designed to help companies actively sell their products through the Facebook system.

Until now.

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Topics: Business, business, campaign, dashboard, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, network, pinterest, ROI, social, strategy, tips

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

Intern Insights: Gremln Marketing intern Kristy Okada offers advice for finding internships and jobs through social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 1, 2012

Our fantastic (and socially savvy) Marketing intern Kristy Okada is wrapping up her time with Gremln, and as one of her final projects, she jumped at the opportunity to write a blog post for college students everywhere with advice on how to use social media to find internships and jobs. Kristy is a Junior at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She is majoring in Economics.

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College students, let’s be honest with ourselves for a second. Under the guise that we’ve got it all together, we are freaking out…a lot. In addition to maintaining a social life, receiving good grades, and staying involved in extracurricular activities, we feel the pressure to find an amazing internship or job that will give our resume that “WOW” factor.

Although the job market is recovering, the competition is still tough with hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of students clamoring for the same job. Especially with other candidates just as qualified as us, differentiating ourselves can be quite a tough task. Fortunately, the advent of the Internet has changed this completely. Instead of being a name on the page, we can wield our technological literacy to make ourselves standout in a sea of electronic applications by branding ourselves through our social media accounts. So loosen those strict privacy settings a little bit and show the world who you are and why you should work for them!

Here are some of my best tips:

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, job, linkedin, network, recruiting, social, social media, tips, 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

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

Go, Team! Setting up your department for social media team management

Posted by Clayton Smith on February 23, 2012

Social media is growing up. What began as an amusing method of occasional interaction is now a mass media and marketing communications force to be reckoned with. Today’s social networks boast users from all demographics, and the net is ever widening.

Social media play huge roles in today’s marketing plan, spurred on not only by the widespread appeal of networks like Facebook and Twitter, but also by the relative inexpensiveness of using them as marketing tools. The number of employment positions dedicated solely to social media marketing and content production is surging. A company’s Twitter feed used to be an intern project. Now, in many cases, social media marketing is a team effort.

While this is an exciting shift in the marketing dynamic, it also presents its own unique set of challenges. When you’ve got a few cooks in the social media kitchen, it’s easy to step on each other’s toes, and team management becomes incredibly important. As the leader of a social media team, it becomes all too easy for other members to post content that you feel is inappropriate, inaccurate, or in some other way not in lock-step with your brand. There can be some confusion as to who should respond (or who has already responded) to which Twitter question or Facebook issue, and we’ve all heard the horror stories of company employees accidentally posting their personal tweets to their business accounts. So how do you run a tight social ship?

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, moderate, network, plan, ROI, social, strategy, team management, twitter

5 Resolutions for a Successfully Social 2012

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 27, 2011

As the New Year begins to peek over the horizon, so too does the infamous New Year’s Resolution. We often design these annual edicts to help make ourselves better people. Just ask the U.S. Government; they’ve compiled some of the country's most popular recurring resolutions, which include the decision to save money, stop smoking, and lose weight.

You’ll notice that “be a better social media marketer” didn’t make the list. Even so, I think there are a lot of committed marketers out there hoping to make 2012 the most successfully social year ever. For those of you determined to make the most of your social media strategies in the coming year, here are a few resolutions to live by:

1. Be Open
Social media represents a pretty significant shift from the traditional marketing dynamic. It brings us from a one-way, hard-sell communication to a back-and-forth, community-building dialogue. In addition to changing the way we view marketing, social media itself can change pretty quickly. In 2012, resolve to be open to change. Try new networks, experiment with different strategies, and learn as much as you can about what’s new in the social media world and how you can use it to your advantage.

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Topics: 2012, Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, network, new year's, resolution, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

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