When it comes to creating a successful social media program, three core issues need to play together: build following; create engagement; sales action. What drives this? Content. Great content is not simply posting or promoting a product. It’s really knowing the target (down to stereotyping an individual person). It is also constantly refining and adjusting based on what is trending and being shared and commented on.
This seemingly simple equation works … and quite well for GRM. Playing in the uber-competitive cosmetics category, our team is beating the leading competitor for Milani (our client) in engagement rate by 220%, despite being outspent more than 10x by competitors in overall advertising.
The comments at the end of this blog illustrate the constant change going on … not just in Facebook, but in all social sites. Many are looking for the short cut to garnering legions of followers, but unlike traditional media the playing field is not fixed. The platforms themselves keep revising and adjusting their own rules. What works in one platform doesn’t necessarily translate to another. What works today may be dramatically altered tomorrow.
And one additional myth: Social media is not free. It is a very competitive environment (by design) where placements and ad dollars are pitted against each other. Determining your outcomes and ROI should be carefully considered up front. In other words, a plan with measurable goals … not unlike any other effective advertising or marketing program. And, like great advertising, content is the driver. Ads and sponsored posts can put you in front of more people, but what happens then? If the content (creative in traditional ad speak) is not interesting, distinctive, visual or otherwise engaging, the viewer is already rolling down the page. See ya.
Great content requires first and foremost an understanding of the person (yes, singular) you are actually trying to start a dialog with. You can build large and thriving communities, but it starts by connecting to an individual. Social media success requires creativity. Good writing, visually impactful, a sense of outcome (sales action) desired all play a key role.
This is usually why one person doing this internally at a company (typically in addition to other pressing tasks) is never as good as a team.
So, there is a cost. The cost of engaging professionals, who work multiple sites for multiple clients to understand the trial and error and know how to quickly adjust for successful outcomes (and when to cut losses and move in other directions).
The cost of a team, so that your sites are covered 24/7 and there is timely response to engagements and posts … a critical factor in building the online community of followers most brands crave.
There is also one hidden cost: how are you measuring up to competition online? Because the leading brands understand the value of building followers – it is the best and most economical database you can get. Think about the cost of buying lists, generating signups at events or trade shows, sending out direct mail? What is the real cost there? How easy is it to build that list? Many companies struggle just to build an active and accurate list of their customers, never mind, adding on interested prospects.
If your competition has more followers, simply put, their cost of marketing is less than yours. Your company is at a disadvantage. Even greater, they have the ability to exponentially add more prospects than your company, at a lower cost.
Think about this as direct marketing on steroids. That is what social media can be when done correctly. So, there is the opportunity cost of what may (or may not) be occurring for your company in social media.
Final word: referral.
Social is unlike any other media in history. It is not linear – in that advertisers (or media) push out content/programming/ads and consumers can either choose to read/watch or not. In social, consumers participate in the content. And, their participation is not a private letter or phone call. It is public … on the same site to the same viewers as your original post.
Is that a good thing? It is a great thing in our estimation. Great brands are coveted by their fans. Social has a quick and often viral way of ferreting out the good from the pretenders. Consumers are educated, experienced and not shy to weigh in with their opinions.
And their opinions count: in reviews – most consumers view peer reviews more valuable now than professional one; in following – have too few followers and your brand doesn’t seem very credible; and, most importantly in referral.
Those most passionate about your brand will follow you. We prefer to call them your ‘zealots.’ Zealots for a brand or cause willingly recommend, engage, and share … otherwise refer you to their friends. The average person on Facebook has about 300 followers (friends). This is actually consistent with old-school ‘spheres of influence’ an individual has. So, 500 followers offer a potential referral of 150,000 people. Get 5,000 followers and you have your own ‘media vehicle’ of 1.5 million! Many of these are now being introduced to your brand for the first time by their friend, the most credible referral you can get as a brand.
What is your cost of prospect / new customer acquisition? If you understand those numbers, then you understand why social media is not a nebulous cost, but the most valuable marketing asset ever available to companies.
If you believe you have an issue with more than one of the following, then you should consider rebranding. Typically, companies that need rebranding will have questions in multiple areas.
Market Perspective: has the marketplace shifted due to competition, new product entry, sales or distribution and your brand has lost some relevance or traction as a result?
Customer Shift: has the category shifted and your targeting/brand messaging has not?
As new customers enter the category, is your brand speaking to them?
New Offering: has your product or service changed? new extension or new offering? how does it fit with your existing or past brand communications? how does your core target relate?
Status Quo: the marketplace is rapidly changing, especially due to digital media. Is your brand up to date and built for the digital media age? This is a major issue for many established brands.
Shift in sales strategies: targeting new markets, change in pricing strategy, packaging or partnering are all potential ways to cause brand relevancy to drift. Alignment of brand to current sales is critical.
We recommend a strategic exploration to define the issues and brand relevance before you embark on any marketing execution. Often, companies make a go/no go decision and bypass the step of investing a little money and time in defining the strategy. Taking this relatively short and inexpensive step may save lots of wasted budget down the road.
Our Chief Zealotry Officer, April Voris, is partnering with Professional Women in Building-Atlanta Chapter to host a webinar on Social Media Tips for 2020: How to Pivot in the Pandemic. Join April via Zoom on Thursday, May 21st from 10 – 11:15 am. Don’t miss this limited-time opportunity to learn how to get the most out of your social media during the pandemic. Visit https://bit.ly/2ST7eIg to register!
Social Media Marketing Bootcamp is an online, hands-on seminar that includes case-studies and interactive exercises to reinforce the information you will learn. Through lecture, real-world examples, and discussion, class participants will have a well-rounded understanding of how social media marketing can be used for businesses, for their job, and even for career advancement.
The Bootcamp is a collaborative effort between the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia and GRM. Each seminar is limited to 50 participants to ensure personalized learning. Seminars begin promptly at 9:00 am and conclude at 12:30 pm. *Online login information will be delivered once payment is received.
Upcoming Social Media Bootcamp
June 3 – 4, 2020 – 9:00 am to 12:30 pm both days.
Four sessions total:
June 3 – Social media planning and social media platforms
June 4 – Social media advertising and analytics
The Social Media Business Boot Camp price is $199. *Online login information will be delivered once payment is received.
A survey of marketing pros by Reveries magazine a few years back remains timely. Three significant “points of pain” emerged:
You. The biggest reported “pain” was someone else, either a client or an agency person. More than 80 respondents identified someone else as their biggest pain; either not understanding issues, plans, goals, strategies, not buying into programs, subverting or discounting them or abandoning them before completion.
Information. The second biggest cluster of “pain” focused on not having enough information. More than 60 respondents noted that they did not have enough sound information to guide them. Of these, there were at least 23 mentions of not having the tools to effectively evaluate ROI or other results, not having relevant information in general, not enough information to develop effective messages, to select or assign media to create plans.
Resources. The third cluster had to do with the “pain of not having enough” – i.e., budgets, people, time to getting things done, or adequate systems.
Several noteworthy comments from respondents:
“Lack of respect within my company for marketing as a profession. We are still in the mode of “anyone can be a marketer.”
“The greatest Point of Pain is to gain the customer insight.”
“The point of pain – marketing people having no clue as to what their value proposition is, with no passion or sense of custodianship. This lack of involvement simply trickles down to the consumer, who in turn is lambasted with tired and frustrating brand messages. The result, consumers devoid of any meaningful relationship with their brand.”
“I’m pained by clients that don’t think like customers, forget that they are customers too, and are too internally focused.”
Insights gleaned and applied:
Have a clear-cut marketing strategy. Define value of planned activities, expectations on results and ensure that it is understood and bought into upfront.
Information is certainly not the issue today. Sorting through data and knowing what matters and what is important to apply is the issue. Forming insights into strategy remains an art.No passion = no connection with consumers. Act like a consumer, think like a consumer and find the point of passion, not pain.
We are so excited to partner with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits for another Social Media class!
In this five-part certificate series in the spring and fall, you’ll rapidly advance your understanding of social media practices for nonprofits, building a broad foundation and focused expertise in topics like advertising and analytics. Each course will feature tools and tips which you can apply immediately.
Learn more about the courses here.
Make sure you join us for our social media bootcamp! We’ll be providing a informational and hands-on similar on how social media marketing can be used for businesses, for your job, and even for career advancement. This year, we will be in Athens for the first time on October 27 and 28 and in Buckhead on November 18. Sign up today to reserve your spot!
At GRM, our passion is helping good companies and brands succeed. Which is exactly why we’ve made a BIG move at our agency.
Social media is a large part of what we do for our clients. Creating content, managing accounts, and providing strategic insight and planning are critical parts of our day-to-day.
However, beautiful photos and witty tweets can only take a brand so far. Which is exactly why we are putting the most emphasis on the last point made above. Strategic insight has become the core of everything that we do at GRM.
Enter: Simply Measured.
At the beginning of the year, we began using the social analytics solution to help us bring each of our clients to the next level. It’s about making informed decisions, which allow us to provide exceptional results.
Here are a few of the reasons why we have started using Simply Measured:
It allows us to analyze our brands paid, owned, and earned activity from all of their social networks. We now have a greater ability to discover and communicate meaningful patterns from social data – giving GRM, and our clients, the opportunity to grow and develop their programs.
It has become our full suite analytics arm that helps us research conversations, competitors, and audience across all social networks.
It quickly highlights the impact of brand activities, as well as helping us see, share, and optimize real business outcomes for our clients.
By providing a complete social analytics suite and process, we are able to better understand the impact of our social strategies. Simply put, Simply Measured gives us access to information, analysis, and insight necessary to plan our clients’ strategies, measure their performance, optimize their tactics, and tie social activity to larger business outcomes.
Now, that, is an exciting tool.
We have learned that sharing real-life facts of EV drivers are popular amongst our EV Facebook audience. Users that are on the fence about driving an EV can hear first-hand from their personal experiences, enticing them to learn more. When it comes to electric vehicles, we never want to communicate like car salesmen to encourage a sale but instead highlight the benefits and improvements that driving an EV adds to the average user’s life.
Up until December 2015, FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children) hosted the majority of their fundraising campaigns in a traditional manner: meetings, mailings, and checks. But this December, FODAC had an immediate need for a new delivery truck. And we were confident FODAC’s social community could rally together to raise the $30,000 needed, which would be matched dollar-for-dollar by a donor. A steady email campaign, Facebook posts, video, and a social ad budget worked wonders. And by December 31st, their fundraising goal was not only met, it was exceeded. The new truck is being ordered and FODAC is going to be able to reach twice as many people, delivering and picking up equipment for those living with disabilities. What a great first-run with an online-driven fundraising campaign. We can’t wait to see what FODAC will accomplish in the future!
Check out what you are missing if you haven’t sent someone from your team to the GRM / UGA Social Media Bootcamps. Yep, they are back and the dates are already set January, March and April. Our Social Media Marketing Bootcamp is a full-day, hands-on seminar that includes case-studies and interactive exercises to reinforce the information you will learn. Be sure to sign up today!
Got room in your wallet for another ‘rewards’ card? Didn’t think so. In the age of smart databases, why should it be incumbent on you as the customer to keep up with a reward card, punch card or remember a membership number? Tracking past purchases should be a no-brainer.
And, so it is for Advance Auto Parts. To differentiate their loyalty program, they have shifted much of the ‘loyalty program’ responsibility from the customer to the company. They promote it as “no cards, no points, no nonsense.”
Our success in social media is due in no small way to practicing the same fundamentals used in traditional ad campaigns … and not simply pushing out ‘posts’. Content (or creative) has always mattered. Greatly. More from our friend Patrick Scullin: www.EmpatheticAdman.com
“Zealotry Marketing” is about creating programs that have a primary goal of generating referral. If referral is the best indicator of long-term profitability, then it made sense to us to use that as the starting point for creating marketing programs – not merely looking at referral as an indirect end result. This has led us to a revolutionary perspective on the classic marketing principles of targeting, what is creative and how social media can be an effective touch point. And, heresy for old-school marketing types – the idea that the most effective marketing may well come from operations and service delivery.
This is the story of Zealotry Marketing. Where loyalty begins with a company exceeding a customer’s expectation. An approach that can be integrated into any company. And, doesn’t require so-called marketing pros. It does require a sensitivity and commitment to exceeding customer expectations. We believe zealotry marketing transforms the traditional loyalty equation.
What are you doing to create zealots?
“We are entering a new phase for social that sees it growing from just a “marketing” thing to something that provides value across marketing, sales, service, commerce, and more. The growing wealth of customer insights social provides is a major reason why. Today, any CRM system missing social is missing a major piece of the customer puzzle.” – Oracle.
We’re getting ready for Halloween for our client, Milani Cosmetics! Some of our employees were busy creating fun Halloween looks using Milani Cosmetics products for some upcoming projects. Check out the looks we came up with!
Inc. magazine has ranked NorSouth Constructs No. 2469 on its 34th Annual Inc. 5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
Started in 1982, this prestigious list has become the hallmark of independent, entrepreneurial success. This establishes NorSouth Constructs as not only a force in the Southeast, but a national leader within the competitive and ever-changing multi-family, sustainable and conventional construction business landscape.
GRM provides PR, digital and other marketing services to this fine company. Click here to read more on this major accomplishment!
GRM continues to build its portfolio of clients targeting Moms with the exciting appointment as agency for healthy mama! healthy mama is a brand of Maternal Science, located in New Jersey. The healthy mama brand offers organic, safe and doctor approved products designed specifically for pregnant women. Spread the word about the availability of healthy mama remedies to the pregnant moms you know.