Posts tagged ‘Practices’

3 Challenges of Measuring Social Media ROI


Have the right expectations when determining ROI from your social media activities.

We’ve covered plenty of posts reviewing what social media is and why it can be important in your marketing and communications. We’ve spent time covering different practices and tools, as well as how to work with your different internal stakeholders to develop your own brand’s social media framework. By now you may have already created a plan and started trying out some social media tools. So how do you measure the effectiveness of what you’re doing? We’ll start to look at measurement of all this stuff. provides a great overview of three problems with measuring return on investment so I thought it would be a great way to introduce metrics as a topic in Social Media for Dummies. Tom Pick covers some good points in a blog post on It’s geared towards the B2B space, but I think it can be relevant to anyone. Here’s why he writes it can be problematic to try to demonstrate a hard return on social media investment:

  1. Social media is much more of a PR activity than a direct response marketing vehicle.
  2. The problem of last-click attribution (i.e., a buyer is influenced by multiple brand
    exposures rather than responding to a single ad or other medium).
  3. It is as much about “influencing the influencers” as it is about reaching buyers directly.

Read the full article here.


November 9, 2009 at 3:10 am Leave a comment

Social Media Crisis Management: Domino’s vs. Burger King

Social Media Crisis Example 1 - Domino'sHere is a great case study presented by Overdrive Online Marketing Blog over two separate, but equally disturbing, events that impacted Domino’s and Burger King. In both cases, workers do distardly things while on their shifts. In both cases, the videos spread virally first via social media channels like YouTube, then get picked up by major news outlets. But as far as a corporate headquarters response, one of the fast-food chains has a specific response through social media and the other sticks with a traditional media approach. In his analysis of the two examples, Overdrive author Nick Cifuentes comments:Social Media Crisis Example #2 - Burger King

Companies traditionally understand the value of crisis management, but as gossip and complaints can spread through social channels faster than the eye can blink, this new interconnectedness of consumers and complaints has brought about a renewed importance in crisis management – social media style.

Read the full post here to see how each crisis was handled:
Social Media Crisis Management 101

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November 2, 2009 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

How One Organization Used Facebook to Rally Its Supporters

This article written by Rob Birgfeld for SmartBlog on Social Media shows how a communications professional for the Lupus Foundation of America established an official Facebook cause page and used it as an information hub to rally other activists for the cause within the FB community.

Causes_on_Facebook_Lupus_Foundation_of_America_Inc_SmartBlog on Social Media: A Facebook Success Story from the Lupus Foundation of America.

November 1, 2009 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

Avoiding Facebook Blunders and Social Media Culture Clash

In search of insights on successfully navigating the social media landscape, I talked to Gregory Bramman, Director of Marketing for Magnet Media, an award-winning production company and interactive marketing agency. With a client roster that includes Apple, HP, Toyota, Lexus, Sundance, Adobe and Microsoft, I figured a social media dummy like myself would have a lot to learn from a pro like Bramman.  

Q: I’m very interested in the work you’ve done in “An Executive’s Guide to Social Media and Digital Technology“. What are some of the top areas your clients need help with in social media?

Bramman: I think one of the top areas our clients need help in understanding is what goals should be set in Social Media. These goals should be trackable and tie into their larger business goals.  I think everyone understands that social media is here to stay and that it can’t be overlooked – but where it fits in the business landscape is where it gets hazy.  You need to understand not only the different metrics that you should be striving for in each, but also how those metrics fit into the larger picture. 

 Q: No doubt plenty of companies are diving into social media without first planning what their objectives are or what they need to get out of it. What are the most popular misconceptions that business executives have about social media? What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen?

Bramman: One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not understanding the culture of these various networks and mediums.  Understanding how people consume in each environment is critical to being successful.   A business needs to have a very different strategy and approach when running a Facebook fan page or Twitter feed versus its regular corporate communications.  Consumers are inundated with more information everyday – and now with social media even more so. You have a very small window to make your impression.   If you annoy someone or they don’t find what you’re giving them useful – you may not get another chance to win them over.

 Q: For a business that wants to build a Facebook presence, do you have any tips or basic suggestions for how we can get started? How is a corporate profile on Facebook similar or different from an individual profile?  

Bramman: A business should never be using an individual profile.  Fan pages and groups are the only accounts that should be business related.   A fan page should be the official presence of the brand on Facebook.  Although it’s business related, the tone and communication should be in the same vein as a personal profile, that goes for the status updates, wall comments and photo posts, and so on.  This is key to staying within the culture of the network.   Groups have to come across as more informal and not necessarily corporate controlled.  This is something that would be started by users of the product or service. It’s a great way to create a larger community around the brand and have more credibility because it isn’t run by the actual company.   

 Q: Can you give an example of a business that really gets social media and is doing really good things with it?

Bramman: Huffington Post is a great example.  I’ve read that their traffic referred by Facebook as well as their overall comments coming through Facebook are growing in exponentially every month.  They’re doing some very innovative things that seem to be driving great results.

If you’re looking to get the basics on understanding Social Media and how to use it for your own personal brand, check out ZIO Pro’s ‘Executive’s Guide to Social Media and Digital Technology’. Magnet Media offers a range of marketing services to help companies big and small capitalize on multi-platform ROI-focused media campaigns. For information on how Magnet Media can tailor a social media campaign for your business, contact


October 24, 2009 at 2:22 am Leave a comment

Top Tips from a Social Media Pro

In search of top tips from a social media pro, I talked with Alona Cherkassky, a social media strategist who recently came to speak to my Digital Communications class at Columbia. After a ten-year career in broadcast journalism, Alona obtained her M.S. in Strategic Communications at Columbia University, then went on to work at Fleishman-Hillard on their strategy and social media business. Most recently, Alona and a fellow Columbia alum launched their own company, Bite Size Strategies, which Alona manages along with various communications consulting projects for clients that include UNICEF and UN Peacekeeping.

Q: How important is it for a business to have clearly defined social media policies/guidelines?

Alona: It is crucial for businesses to have clear policies that outline exactly what employees can and cannot post on their private blogs. It is mainly done to protect company’s reputation when people not employed by the company are searching for information. Employees must know that posting any type of slander, or uncomplimentary information, or even information that could be considered private to the company, is just not acceptable. However, there are ways to make it work. As an example, I’ve known former colleagues to have had their own blogs. They were able to express their opinions intelligently, but were clear about disclosing that were an employee of a large public relations firm.

Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes companies make when they jump into social media without a clear strategy?

Alona: One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is taking the old “kitchen sink” approach, as well as the “me too” approach. Companies think, if my competitor is doing it, then I must do it. Social media is just a vehicle for one’s message. That message can be relayed through other mediums but social media allows for interactivity like no other mediums have been able to previously. It requires a carefully thought out strategy, which involves potential crisis management. But most importantly, it requires engagement. If you don’t engage your audience through questions, quizzes, interactivity of any sort, you’re going to lose at this game. The point is to have people come to you because you not only have interesting things to say, but you also facilitate the conversation. And you enable others to congregate under your umbrella, and so on. Remember, social media is a marketing vehicle but it should never be showcased as such. It should be authentic, smart, but never a tool to market your products. It’s a conversation tool. Strategy, potential crisis management (not everyone will say something complimentary about you), engagement, consistency, creativity and out of the box thinking  are all keys to successful social media program.

Q: Can you think of any examples of companies/brands that are really doing it right?

Alona:  Zappos’ CEO regularly tweets and engages with his customers. Ford Motor Company’s Scotty Monty who manages social media, responded to thousands of  inquiries/questions when US automakers got into a ton of trouble. Dell has a robust social media strategy and may have even rescued what was a dying brand. Apple computer – unquestionable. Wells Fargo Bank has at least 7 blogs. Sun Microsystems’ CEO regularly blogs. Visa Business Network started a small business Facebook application and community.

Q: Any tips for a company new to social media?

Alona: Engage! Social media is all about engagement with your audience. Do not use every tool if it doesn’t make sense. Use only those that make sense. It may be just a blog. It may be just a facebook page. Take it a step at a time. Monitor and monitor constantly! Watch what people are saying about you. What is their tone? What is the volume of conversation? Take your cues from this monitoring. Don’t be afraid to lose control.  Allow for it all to take a bunch of time. It’s not an overnight turnaround. You have to be patient and wait for results — but social media actually works, so results will come!

October 21, 2009 at 3:12 am Leave a comment

Defining Social Media Policies: An Inside-Out Approach

traffic-lightIn upcoming posts, we will address social media policies, including surveying what other businesses have done and tips for starting your own.

Before tackling external policies, it can be beneficial to first define your company’s internal social media policies. What are your employees saying about your company on their own personal blogs or Facebook or LinkedIn? What information about your company should be considered appropriate to comment on? What topics are off-limits? Remember to review any existing general communications policies for background. 

Starting with an internal evaluation will help you in several ways. First, it provides you with perspective on how your employees are engaging in social media. It also establishes a framework for approaching forthcoming external policies and strategies. Another benefit: by engaging multiple departments and key stakeholders to contribute to the process, you raise awareness of the importance of social media. If more decision-makers understand the importance of social media and how it impacts your organizatoin, it may be easier to get support and sign-off when it’s time to pitch your social media strategies.

 The following article from Dave Fleet offers clear guidance on common issues to look out for.

Social Media Policies for Your Company: Internal Policies

October 18, 2009 at 1:11 am Leave a comment

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