A Simple Framework for Starting Your Social Media Efforts

Creating a marketing program that integrates social media is easier than you think. There IS a standard framework that can be applied to help ensure your efforts go smoothly. By following the steps below, you can build a marketing program that is complete and matches the needs of your organization.

1.       Figure out what “success” looks like for your organization.

Every organization will have different goals when it comes to social media. What is most important for yours – is it a flow of new sales prospects? Enhanced customer service? Mentions and sharing? Open Discussion? Simply getting an idea of what your customers and prospects are interested in? Spend some time developing your key indicators.

2.       Make sure there is executive buy-in.

If the leadership in your team or at the highest levels of your organization are not supportive of your efforts, the entire campaign may end up being a failure if starved of needed resources. Before starting your campaign, make sure there is agreement at all the levels necessary to execute your program.

3.       Determine your primary audience.

By carefully examining who you want to talk to before starting your campaign, you will save valuable time and energy. If you are a B2B organization, your primary audience could be your industry partners or suppliers, or perhaps existing customers and prospects. For B2C companies or non-profit groups, it could be potential customers, members of a particular interest community, or something else.

4.       Listen first.

After determining your audience, take time to listen to their existing social media conversations. This should give you an idea of their interests, perceptions and their opinions on your industry and perhaps even your company. Research gathered at this stage can be used to help build your marketing tactics.

5.       Don’t just broadcast. Engage and build value.

This is social media. You are here to engage with others, so engage! Create conversations, or find existing ones and share content relevant to them. Offer value to your audience and they will respond. Simply blasting out marketing blather no longer works as it did in “old media.”

6.       Work across channels.

Make sure that your tactics employ as many social channels as you have time and resources to engage in – but only those that you can dedicate the necessary time for. By engaging across channels, the entire program you create can be stronger overall, because connecting each channel (Twitter to Facebook, for example) can increase the interest on each.

7.       Mix content types.

Your social media marketing plan should include as many different types of content as possible, from longer-form text to short snippets to photos, infographics, video and anything else you can think of to share. Keep mixing them to keep your overall content fresh and interesting to your audience.

8.       Measure, Measure, Measure!

At each stage of your campaign, make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to measure the results of your tactics. Measure continuously against your initial goals to see what kind of progress has been made and what, if any, adjustments are necessary. Maintain your social media listening activity to gauge shifts in audience perceptions as well.

mesanford:

While establishing a paywall does not create quality online journalism, it is more likely that ad-supported journalists are going to be measured by different metrics than those working for paywall-supported sites, and those metrics will likely include things like raw page views.

The obvious point to be made here, though, is that for a paywall site to be successful, the quality of content must be high enough to justify the “entrance fee” – a high threshold to overcome. Things like general reputation of the publication’s brand contribute a lot to this. For most online journalism, especially new sites, the ad-supported model will continue to be the best route.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

There are plenty of arguments for why a newspaper or other traditional media outlet might decide to implement a paywall — including a need for revenue to supplement declining print advertising, or a desire to form a stronger bond with its readers. But do paywalls automatically mean that you get better journalism? In other words, does a free and ad-supported model mean that the journalism you get is of lower quality, because of the “hamster wheel” effect? Dean Starkman makes that case in the Columbia Journalism Review, but his argument rests on some pretty flimsy ground. The reality is that the connection between journalistic quality and paywalls is not as concrete as he makes it seem.

In his CJR column, which is entitled “The hamster wheel vs. the quality imperative,” Starkman takes aim at Digital First Media — the newspaper chain run by John Paton, which…

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mesanford:

Scott is right, of course. There’s no way that Amazon will be competing with Apple with these new Kindle tablets unless their users end up buying a TON of Amazon paid content every month. Even then, let’s be frank: Amazon is a low-margin business and always will be.

Originally posted on scottsscripts:

Tim Carmody has an interesting piece over at The Verge entitled Amazon to Apple: The Game Starts now, and while all he says isn’t really wrong, he’s still missing the point.

Go ahead and read it at the link above. I’ll wait.

Read it? Ok, good.

Here’s the problem: Amazon made 7 million bucks last quarter. Apple made 8.8 billion bucks in its “disappointing” last quarter. Think about that.

Amazon will never, ever be able to take on Apple as long as it loses substantial money on every Kindle sold, while making almost zero money on all other items it sells. Simple as that.

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Android this week: 3 new Droid Razrs; Tablet sales up; Galaxy S III on a roll

mesanford:

HUGE SURPRISE?!!? Brand New Phone Competing Against Year Old iPhone Sells Lots of Phones…

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The quiet period before year end is turning out to be noisier than normal: Several new Android(s goog) products launched, sales figures for older ones were announced and for the first time, there appears to be limited evidence indicating that Android tablets are starting to sell in meaningful numbers. No new tablets were announced — unless you count the new Amazon(s amzn) Kindle Fire HD slates — but Google’s Motorola division did introduce three new Razr phones.

Droid Razr M, Motorola, Google, AndroidThe trio — Razr M, Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD are variations on the standard Razr theme: Thin handsets packed with high resolution screens, ship with the Chrome browser, run Android 4.0 (with upgrades to 4.1 by year end), and support for Verizon’s LTE network. The Razr HD was rumored for some time and no surprise, but I find the Razr M most interesting. With a $99 two-year contract cost, the…

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

The consumerization of IT is more than a buzz phrase: It’s a very real disruptive force affecting corporate IT and business management, employees and a company’s value chain of customers, suppliers and distributors.

Though the iPad created the consumer tablet market, GigOM Pro forecasts global tablet shipments — growing from 60 million to over 375 million in 2016 — will cross over to the point where over half will be used for business.

Business tablets may start as simple email and web browsers, but they will rapidly insert themselves into collaboration, file sharing and content creation. How can business best support these laptop replacements inside and outside of their corporate networks?

Hear the panel of experts discuss these topics:

  • How fast tablets will become adopted as enterprise devices and which applications will need support
  • How tablets will optimize getting work done via content and collaboration processes
  • How collaboration tools focused…

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

Updated: A Chicago-based media startup called Journatic, which we profiled earlier this year, has sparked a firestorm of controversy over the outsourcing of hyper-local journalism by newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, after a staffer revealed that the company added fake bylines to its material — which in some cases is compiled by freelancers in other countries. A number of the startup’s clients have dropped the service as a result, while others are trying to essentially recreate it within their newsrooms. But despite the furor over what some see as Journatic’s unethical methods, the harsh reality is that the economic conditions that led the Tribune and others to make use of the service are not going away any time soon.

As we described in our post — which was based on an interview with Journatic founder and former journalist Brian Timpone — the service uses freelancers…

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mesanford:

It would be great to see some honest, non-marketing hype inflated usage numbers for Google Plus.

I think that many online marketing professionals are just waiting to see if something really happens in this space, or if things will just drift due to user disinterest.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Today at Google I/O, Google announced it has 250 million total users, 150 million monthly users, and 75 million daily users, with more usage from mobile than desktop. It released an Android tablet version too, and an iPad version is coming soon. Both as well as Google+ for Android smartphones offer brand new navigation, a new ribbon bar, new notifications, and brand new profiles.

Google+ today launches Events, with a focus on beautiful invites, a deep integration with Google Calendar, and real-time automatic photo uploads through Party Mode.

Google+ Growth

This month is Google+’s one year birthday, and Vic Gundrota rattled off stats in hopes of convincing the world of its momentum. He said 50% of monthly users (150 million) sign in every day, so that means 75 million DAU. Sure that’s only around 15% of what Facebook has, but not bad.

Google+ active users spend over 60 minutes…

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mesanford:

Really interesting. I wonder what the sales mix is going to look like here in relation to smartphones vs dumb phones, and what ramifications there may end up being for the major players.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Forget the fact that it’s summertime: it must feel pretty chilly right now if you’re a mobile operator in Europe. Across the continent, evidence is mounting that people are starting to change their relationship with the mobile industry — and it has operators worried.

A few days ago, it was revealed that record numbers of Spaniards are ditching their handsets — with the number of lines dropping by around 380,000 in April.

And now statistics from France suggest that the number of mobile sold will be down substantially this year. In fact, according to figures published by the French newspaper Les Echos, handset sales in France are set to fall from to their lowest level in years.

The mobile sector is in turmoil. And operators are not the only ones to see a change: handset manufacturers are also experiencing disruptions. According to the firm GfK, in 2012, the…

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mesanford:

Whatever users are doing with their Android tablets, they aren’t using their web browsers.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

If you thought the numbers showing Android tablet use pulling even with iPad in the U.S. from the Online Publishers Association that made the rounds earlier this week sounded a bit surprising, you’re not alone. The folks at Chitika Insights delved into their own mobile ad network for web usage data of iPads and Android tablets in the U.S. and found results that painted a different picture than the roughly 50/50 ownership market share does. The report will be published Thursday, but we got an early peek.

The OPA found in its report that in the U.S. iPad ownership had reached 52 percent market share, and various tablets running Android(s GOOG) software had reached 51 percent. The numbers imply overlap in ownership since they don’t add up to 100 percent. But beyond merely owning one, which devices are the owners engaged with the most?

What Chitika found was that iPad(s AAPL) users…

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