Tuvel Communication's managing director Mitch Arnowitz recently participated in the Social Media Marketing panel at the Digital Media Conference, which took place on June 25th in Tyson's Corner, VA. The panel was moderated by Elizabeth Shea, President and CEO of SpeakerBox Communications, and the panel members were:
Some of the topics covered: Social media marketing is growing as brands and marketers embrace the social web as one of the most effective ways to create buzz, attention and loyal followers. What are some examples of successful social media marketing campaigns? What are some of the pitfalls and practices to avoid? What is the future for social media marketing?
Photo credit: somegeekintn
As social media marketers and online community builders, many of us have had our share of bumps and bruises along the way. But, how do you deal with the really sticky situations that come up when running online communities and executing social media campaigns?
Following are some real world situations that we’ve faced. Along with these sticky situations are resolutions or, how we dealt with them; however, we’re more interested in finding out how you would deal with these situations. So, I ask that you please read these through and leave your comments below about how you have handled similar situations, or if there are different sticky situations you’ve encountered.
Here we go:
Your research uncovers a blog whose content is spot on and has tremendous reach but, a highly questionable title.
We decided to engage the blogger in question and, as luck would have it, they were a top performer in Google Analytics during an outreach campaign. The client didn’t question having their brand associated with the blog but, did question validity of the traffic. Over time, the client became more comfortable with the blog. On our end, we changed the name of the blog in all reporting by reducing it to an acronym!
The wrong URL is sent out in a large mailing.
Our outreach campaigns ask influencers (such as bloggers, forum admins, social networkers and e-mail list owners) to pass along messages that they deem valuable. A group took us up on our offer and created a stand-alone mailing for its 1,500 members. Due to a webmail issue, recipients that clicked the link in the e-mail were taken to an incorrect log-in page. We could have tried to contact the group that sent out the message, but we didn’t have a relationship with them. Instead, we chose to wait it out, responding to every e-mail where the sender had a problem. Murphy’s Law ruled the day with lots of members responding over a long, hot weekend.
Your hashtag is hijacked.
A couple of years ago, an event occurring at the same time as our client’s started to use our client’s hashtag in outbound tweets. By this time, we had built up a sizable list of followers. At first, we took a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Eventually, we asked the client to contact competing show organizers and discuss best marketing practices. The competing event stopped using the hashtag.
Someone who loses a contest complains loudly across outposts.
Our client ran a contest for member generated content. Several entries were submitted and a winner was chosen. One contestant felt that he should have won. In fact, he felt so strongly about it that he began to publicly complain on Facebook and Twitter. Specifically, he questioned criteria used to determine the winner. True, this person made himself look foolish. But, he wouldn’t let it go. We opted not to engage him, and instead we waited it out because no other contestants we’re chiming in. The complainant eventually went away.
An attendee creates a lookalike blog that is mistaken for the ‘official show blog’.
An attendee at a client event set up a blog that was inadvertently being mistaken for the 'official' show blog. The attendee also created a Twitter feed to go along with the blog, all of which was launched before the official show blog was. Like many bloggers, his identity was anonymous. The last thing we wanted to do was create a Sampson and Goliath scenario. We asked the client to send him an e-mail that invited dialogue and gently pointed out that his blog was being mistaken as the official one. Thankfully, the blogger was simply very passionate and excited about the event – the reason he created the blog in the first place. He did not have any malicious intentions and responded positively to the overture, so we began to build a relationship.
Technology companies offer free services during 9/11 to the chagrin of list members.
An online community that we created found several company members offering free community building platforms to e-mail list members in the aftermath of 9/11, wanting to make it easier for people to congregate online. Several list members objected, claiming that these companies were trying to sell product under the guise of 9/11. We tried to calm tempers on the list but eventually had to pull the plug on the conversation.
A contact sends a spreadsheet of prospects over the transom.
During a recent campaign, a contact sent us an unsolicited spreadsheet of individuals, along with contact information. While our contact didn’t know these people personally, he vouched for how information for individuals and groups was collected. The issue, of course, was the relationship our contact had with those on the list. The contact assured us that the names were solid and they appeared to be qualified prospects; however, since it was sent unsolicited and we had not vetted the list ourselves, we opted not to mail to the list.
Exhibitors feel there’s value for all community members in hearing about show specials.
A LinkedIn group we created for a recent client conference started to get traction. Exhibitors, as well as members of the group, took notice and started to push offers through the community. Now, we do realize that there can be tremendous value in the show specials exhibitors offer, but we were concerned about these posts being construed as spam. So, we decided to set up an exhibitors sub-group specifically for the purpose of posting show specials, which we even promoted to the main group members and via Twitter.
Mom sends a note to the entire e-mail list by mistake.
Several years ago, a mom responded to a note from an e-mail list that we moderated, thinking that it was only going to the list owner. Unbeknownst to her, all e-mail list subscribers received her musings. The communication, while embarrassing, thankfully contained nothing earth-shattering. There was nothing that we could do but apologize and wait it out. Oftentimes, you can’t be certain of the direction that a community will take, and this was no exception. Several list members ended up corresponding with this mom, telling her how much they missed their parents or hoping that their mom would write more often!
Have you ever dealt with similar situations? How did you resolve them?
Here's this week's rundown of some of the more interesting social media, online marketing and digital media articles, blog posts and other media we'd like to share with you:
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In my previous post, I talked about the importance of a community outreach program to find your rock stars. To reiterate what community outreach is, it's engaging and building relationships with your influential customers (your "rock stars") in order to generate positive word-of-mouth for your company, organization, and/or products. I highly recommend reading the previous post to get a better idea of the importance of and principles behind community outreach, but today I'm going to talk about how to find your rock stars through community outreach.
Community outreach is more of an art than a science – it is, after all, about relationship-building. There are certainly different methodologies depending on the audience and marketing channel (blogs, forums, groups, social networks, etc.); however, there is a set of best practices that form the foundation of any community outreach program.
Today, I'd like to share with you Tuvel's outreach methodology in the hopes it gives you a better understanding of these best practices.
Step 1: Articulate Goals & Develop a Plan — Like with any marketing and communications campaign, it’s very important to define achievable goals and lay out a clear plan for your community outreach program. Ask yourself these questions:
Step 3: Identify & Validate Groups — As you conduct your research, be sure to validate each group and individual for overall effectiveness as message carriers, based on criteria such as marketing opportunity, activity (has anything been posted recently?) and relevance. Actually read some of the posts on each blog, forum, or group to get a good idea of the hot topics and how you can best be of benefit to them.
Step 4: Create Contact Database - Include information for researched bloggers and other new media publishers. Each entry includes the name of the communication vehicle, marketing channel, contact name and e-mail address.
Step 5: Communications Planning - Develop appropriate campaign messages based on audience, marketing channel and mode of communication for those identified, then test messages to determine the most appropriate formats for online dissemination. It’s also important to give a very brief background and get to the ask as quickly as possible – don’t make the message too long or heavy with marketing-speak. Speak to your community in their language.
Step 6: Program Execution — Once messaging is right, begin rolling out the campaign:
Step 8: Program Reporting and Analysis - You’ve already determined your metrics for success as part of step 1, so now it’s time to analyze the effectiveness of your program and return on investment. This also includes gauging response and feedback to your program from those to which you reached out. Don’t wait until the end of your program to do this – it’s important to gauge effectiveness throughout the campaign (see step 9).
Step 9: Revise, Improve and Do It Again —Revise your messaging based on feedback and campaign response. Test different messages to determine best response.
Our methodology will, of course, differ from other methodologies for outreach programs – but this will still give you a basic idea of how you can find and reach out to your rock stars – and build lasting relationships with them. For examples of how Tuvel has implemented community outreach on behalf of clients, check out our case studies for the National Association of Broadcasters and Share Our Strength.
Welcome to the newest feature on the Tuvel blog, "What We're Reading"! This is a weekly rundown of the articles, blog posts, videos, and other media we found interesting and thought-provoking enough to share with you, the discerning reader.
Here's what we were reading this week: