evelynchou

Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Where’s your social gold mine? Facebook or Twitter?

In Business, Marketing, Social Media on 2010/10/15 at 2:00 AM

Nowadays there are a lot of articles discussing the value of your audience in social media sites. Even though Scott Stratten in his latest book claimed “social media isn’t for ROI, it’s for relationship & conversation,” the demand of numbers, return on investment, or even “how much we can cash out of social media” will forever and ever be an ongoing process for digital marketers or those who want to combine their business with online presence.

Forbes recently posted an article comparing social networking value between Facebook Fans versus Twitter Followers. The finding is that your Twitter followers are more likely to buy from brands (37% versus 21% Facebook friends) and recommend brands to others (33% versus 21%) than your Facebook friends. Interestingly enough, Advertising Age, around the same time, featured Eventbrite’s eCommerce result nurturing social networks to drive sales leads. According to the case study, Facebook share generates far more dollar value than the same action on Twitter (Facebook $2.52 versus Twitter $0.43).
Social Commerce
Based on Forbes article & AdAge case studies, I came to this conclusion:
When it comes to possibility of recipient action: Twitter > Facebook 
When it comes to the value per recipient action: Facebook > Twitter

Most of us agree social network has tremendous potential whether promoting brands or driving sales. (not just a bunch of geeks connecting with each other in cyberspace and give those platforms some fancy names. But if you do, you can stop reading now :P) The challenge is, it’s still new for marketers or digital strategist to develop some metrics measuring the value & the cost or each platform.

So which platform is better than the other? To answer this question, I don’t think we should merely look at individual case studies or numbers just because there are way too many variables. I suggest that you ask yourself these questions first:

  • Who is your target audience?
    If you can confidently give me an answer, then ask yourself:
  • Where are your they? Are they only use social networks to complain about bad customer service or are they avid adopters of the technology or applications?
  •  

In my opinion, Facebook and Twitter are two vary different network with very different types of users. To tackle your promotional campaign successfully, you have to at least understand who those users are. While Facebook may have dozens of games & applications to use entertaining or attracting visitors, your customers may not use Facebook for entertainment purpose or simply have no interest “liking” a brand via Facebook over a Farmville reward.

After figuring out your customer behavior & properly segmenting them, you can then look at your offer to see if that would be a relevant draw to the customers.
Personally I like to keep a list separating Facebook & Twitter and matching my strategy towards the uniqueness of each platform. You can try making one yourself.

comparison between Facebook & Twitter

Strategy-wise, I do believe whichever platform you end up using (or both), your campaign has to be connected with your brand.
If your business is about fundraising or nonprofit activities, don’t create a game and ask users to play to win some awards. If your customers don’t even know what a retweet is, don’t tweet about your weekly promotion and put a “please RT!” verbiage at the end of each tweet.
Also, utilizing visual icons or images is always a good action applicable anywhere. People in general like to be pleased in their eyes and I do believe Facebook, in this circumstances, stands a better chance than Twitter. But you can still discover various ways to make your brand “pop,” like NewTwitter’s video functionality.
 
To sum up, discovering your social network gold mine requires sophisticated customer segmentation and relevant campaign. Patrick Vogt, chairman and chief executive of Datran Media also a constant contributor of Forbes article said, “Perhaps a successful social media strategy is not about figuring out the monetary value of a Facebook fan vs. a Twitter follower, but instead involves understanding each social channel and the native advantages of both.”
 
But personally, whether you are my Facebook friends or Twitter follower, you all mean a lot to me.
 
Now, what’s your value assessment for your social network and how do you measure the effectiveness? 

 

Stop Marketing & Start Engaging – takeaways from @unmarketing book tour Detroit

In Inspiration, Marketing, Social Media on 2010/09/29 at 1:41 PM

It all starts like this on UnMarketing. “Scott Stratten is the president of UnMarketing. Between blah blah blah and blah blah blah…..”

If you haven’t had a chance to read this Canadian guy’s marvelous insight about social media and modern communication, please read on my takeaways from his presentation last night. Scott is great, sharp, insightful, and…hilarious. And he absolutely shake my head with his ideas of social media and how to communicate.

Here are some ideas Scott threw at Detroit last night:

  • Social media ROI – “Forget about ROI. Social media sucks in conversion but rocks in building relationships & engaging conversation.”Takeaway: You have to watch Scott’s animation when he talks about ROI. Besides laughing at the idea of companies or #sm gurus using statistics to prove how important this new communication medium is, I was sort of relieved the concept Scott proposed, that neither Twitter nor Facebook is a shortcut for relationship. The 140-words-limitation might force us to make content more effective, but the key lies in how you use these social media tool, not to sell, not to blast, but to engage and talk.

    But again, as an in-house marketer, I get freaked out while being told the ROI is going to suck at any tool or medium being used. So there, I contribute to one of my favorite article about social media analytic tools http://www.dailybloggr.com/2010/03/social-media-monitoring-tools-analytics/ (sorry, Scott!)

  • All the social media channels should enhance one another. Build platform first, and establish individual stream for each platform.Upon writing this, I can still hear Scott screaming in my head, “Please, do NOT feed your tweet with Facebook status!” The difference between each platform (limitation of words & how people use it) reflects the complexity (and beauty) of communication. Some people like to read concise & straight-forward messages, (Scott’s recommended tweet length: 120 words) So when the person sees the unfinished tweets and has to click on the link, then being directed to facebook status, the communication flow has been interrupted.

    Takeaway: create unique content & feed the platform on purpose. Nobody likes to go through more than one platform to have a normal conversation.

  • Consistency is the secret of success in social media

    Again, among all the content frequency myth, Scott points out he hasn’t blogged for more than a month (confirmed. His last blog is back in Aug 2010) and he doesn’t want to blog for any of the SEO purpose. “Want best SEO for your blog? Then write awesome content!” Hopefully my blog about UnMarketing book tour is qualified as a half-awesomeness 🙂
  • Sometimes you just have to polarize

    I guess the concept scare lots of people as we all try our best to manage our online reputation. As we cater to more readers, customers, the core value of products or services gets diluted. This is a scary part for me too but I guess practice makes perfect. If you have some advice taking a stand and embracing all the feedback, please do share
  • Liking auto-tweets? Please don’t.

    We all want others’ attention or feedback but that doesn’t mean we can manipulate the way how communication works. True, if you set up your tweets to go out 3AM in the morning, people in the other side of the world more likely to read your blog or even comment on it. And chances are they will retweet or exchange ideas. But what happens after 5 minutes (action taken time after a tweet)? Nothing. (because obviously you’re asleep) This kind of communication drop does more harm than help to your content strategy because it ruins the flow. You may still be able to follow the stream and answer the questions, but the vibe has already been missing.

Overall, quite an eye-opening experience hearing a successful tweep talking about his strategy and passion. I remember times I tweet like a maniac and then just wait to count followers or Klout. Those times have gone, gone to the fundamental idea Scott has been pounding us on, again and again, that social media doesn’t speed up the purchase cycle, doesn’t all of a sudden win you a thousand new customers, it’s simply a great channel to start relationships.

How do you like to use social media engaging your readers?

We Creative Folks. Am I? Are You?

In Advertising | PR | Creatives, Business, Marketing on 2010/07/26 at 12:28 PM

I recently had a great discussion with a friend about the difference between marketing and advertising. The takeaway I got: marketing people are like strategist, whereas advertising folks are, artists.

Marketing, from what I’ve learned and been doing for almost 4 years, consists all kinds of fundamentals / formulas: the SWOT analysis, the 4P idea, or as simple as seeing every business as a case study, identifying the underlying issue, analyzing the market & the consumer, then coming up with a solution. It involves studying product life cycle, conducting focus group, digging through all the stats finding the trends & pattern then trying to outweigh what competitors have been doing. To some extent, it’s a bridge between corporate & the market, sales and the customer / consumer. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

But I’ve always admired advertising industry. Like an opera with quartet: account team, creative team, media team, and the production team, the advertising realm is the creator of all kinds of masterpieces that makes you resonate, excited, or even open up your piggy bank and pay for whatever amount your monthly statement will shock you later on. I had the fortune to know a few professionals who works in advertising industry, and every time they share, they always blow my minds away.

But for many people, the difference between these two fields is sort of blurry. I mean, everyone can doodle. Right? But just as Microsoft Word doesn’t make all of us copywriters, the ability to doodle doesn’t make us creative. Not to the extent like advertisers, not at all.

Aside from knowing how to use photoshop or indesign doing some very basic rendering / retouching, marketers are far closer to sales. They are driven by stats or numbers. Their work or campaign has to have a track-able data supporting the so-called ROI (Return on Investment). Thus their point of view may sometimes be very different from a creative director’s perspective. Sometimes it’s a good thing; other times? Not so much. I recently read a great article called “The Creative vs. The Marketing Team: Yin & Yang; Oil & Water” by Speider Schneider. It lists out many ambivalent “love triangles” between these two parties. A very good read.

With that diverse angels, how do these two professionals coexist peacefully? Respect & open minds are the key. I’ve had the moments when people asked me to make a cutsheet and threw something like, “it shouldn’t be so hard or time-consuming for you to do this right?” and I couldn’t imagine if the same thing being said to any creative person. Remember? The ability to doodle doesn’t make a person creative. And certainly creating a cutsheet isn’t just about copy & paste an image to a blank document.

As much as I consider myself creative (or at least full of “light-bulbs” very often), I am still amazed how glamorous the creatives work in advertising industry. Only do I hope one day I can work with these people & learn to see the whole business in a different perspective.

Are you a creative person yourself? And how do you manage to work with people driven by different perspectives? Read the rest of this entry »

How to Live & Breathe Social Media

In Marketing, Social Media on 2010/07/09 at 12:32 PM
First off, KNOWING WHO YOU ARE, or at least why you are here tweeting or blogging about stuff others might be interested.

For me, as I call myself a “SEO/SEM/Social media enthusiast,” I use the whole social media-sphere for personal branding & connections. Many small businesses, corporate, or even retails have different goals utilizing social media, but from what I’ve seen, most of them do so just because they feel social media is becoming a trend and they HAVE to hop on. But think about this, how can you get your audience excited about you / your business when you don’t even know what you are doing?

Then DETERMINE WHAT IDENTITY YOU WANT TO PRESENT to the social world. According to Gigya and Infographic, people tend to trust different identities on different sites. (Source: Mashable) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen some “exotic” tweets and wondered why these aren’t on author’s personal blog. When I started my romance with Facebook in 2006, LinkedIn in 2008, and Twitter in 2009, I pretty much distinguish their function to be “personal | professional | information.” However, I find making the separation purely black-n-white is almost impossible. If you have a good strategy differentiating identity between these sites, please do share 🙂
What else?

  • EXPLORE INTEREST & PROFESSION. BE A HUNGRY READER – If read your posts, can I tell what profession / interest you have? While profession determines mostly the content you share, it’s your interest brining your character to life. I constantly read articles on Read Write Web, Search Engine Land, Inc, TechCrunch, Mashable, Wired, Business Insider, and AdAge. I constantly tweet about SEM/SEO, entrepreneurs, marketing, advertising, and PR – partly is what I do, and partly is what I want to do in the future. At the same time, I’m also interested in multi-cultural stuff, recipes, fashion, and travel. Rarely do I talk about those hidden sides of me, but once in a while you can see me unlock another badge on foursquare while I explore around the world. You’ll be amazed how many people in social media are connected with you because of these interest or information you share.
  • (1) ASK QUESTIONS (2) LISTEN (3) CONVERSEPardon me if you find my observation over-generalizing: many people JUST like to talk about themselves, in real life, and in cyberspace. Don’t get me wrong, it is great having the ability to tell your own story, but I doubt many of you enjoy reading lots and lots of tweets/posts about how great the person/business is and feel like answering a cold-call from some telemarketers. So I follow this sequence: first I ask questions (what do you do and how you utilize social media…etc), then I listen to others’ story (because I genuinely am interested in their story), and I share my ideas and probably a little bit about myself in the conversation.
  • STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. SHOW UP – I am NOT a shy person. Period. But from time to time I find myself stuck in the corner of a social event or don’t even know how to start a conversation. I still remember the 1st social media event I attended, Future Midwest, that was only about 3 month ago. I went by myself, picked the last row (partly because I need outlet for my laptop), and didn’t even start a conversation until I met Kathleen. But ever since I tried to be active in all the related events like tweetea and #SMCD. From those events I oftentimes have be invited to some wonderful parties (just 2 weeks ago I went to this #ilovedetroit video contest party. It’s simply amazing seeing many people gathering positive efforts for Metro Detroit) What I am trying to say is: were it not for my first baby step, I would have missed opportunities getting to know some brilliant people like Dave Murr, Brandon, Hadi, Adrian, and even some folks down in Chicago like Drew, Jeff, and Elyse. There are many other entrepreneurs, marketers, and bloggers who have enlightened my day by a short tweets or an entertaining article. Social media site is just a beginning, or a bridge, connecting to real-life experience and great minds.
  • PERSISTENCE IS THE BEST POLICY IN SOCIAL MEDIA – Last but not least, be patient & persistent. There will be times when you see absolutely no conversation or conversion heading to your way. There will be time when you FT job completely takes away your energy. But remember why you are here and how much inspiring conversation or great people you can happen to meet or have a conversation. When you make social media part of your life, you ARE, living & breathing it.
  • For corporate & small business utilizing social media, read Brian Solis article
    Also read: 5 Tips on How to Create an Effective Online Portfolio

What kind of swag would you prefer?

In Marketing on 2009/09/28 at 10:21 AM

“Evelyn, this is your package.”

“What?” I have no idea what this rectangular paper box come from.

Unwrapping the box as excited as a little kid, I am, partially, eager to find out what presents I get from this “creative marketing solutions,” but more desiring to know what this creative promotional swag can surprise me.

And here it is, under the bed of the box is a pile of shredded recycle paper, hid a diamond green digging trowel.

“We send them for three reasons:

First, to bring xxx company to your attention.

Second, to make clear our interest in working with you.

And third, to symbolize the business philosophy by which we operate: Digging Deeper, Working Smarter.”

Honestly speaking, the novelty of this digging trowel didn’t inspire me as much as this cute memo, but it’s definitely something new for my food of thought in regards to the true meaning of promotional products.

Everyone likes gifts, but marketers like you & I definitely look at these swag (something we all get) at a different angle. We focus on not only how impressive these catchy these promotional items are, we also dig beyond these gifts to find out its creative ideas & how we can relate the idea to branding.

In a recent blog post from Article Feeder titled “Choosing your promotional products,” the writer made some great points about promotional products. The rationale behind choosing a certain promotional item consists three factors: your own company image, your customer profile, and whether the product adding any value to the person’s practical uses.

I’m sure everyone has received promotional pens, mouse pad, t-shirts…etc, and it is true even these simple items deliver different messages based on its quality and deliver method (whether you receive it in mail or handed by a sales person). A female, 20 something marketer like me, is always looking for more inspiring creative ideas in all marketing channel. I remember receiving a bundle of flowers made by Cheryl Co. cookies from a PR company, a wolf claw shaped rice crispy from a hotel, and many other simply & lovely, yet outstanding swags that outshine many other buzz I get throughout the day.

What are some impressive swag you’ve gotten today?