Sunday, November 16, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Do we want to listen? We can measure how much of the conversation we are listening to (and hopefully acting on if needed).
Do we want to talk with customers? We can measure how much they talk back.
Do we want to energize our customers? We can measure the viral spread of our brand message.
Do we want to support customers? We can measure the number of customer service issues answered through social media/number of calls averted.
Do we want to embrace customers? We can measure the product/service ideas we are getting from customers and how many we implement.
Suggestion: Only choose two or three metrics, at the most, to track for social media. Incorporate them into your marketing dashboard (you are looking at social media as another set of marketing tools, aren't you?) Follow the trends over time, rather than obsessing on daily changes.
There is also a great post today over at MarketingProfs on social media metrics.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Check it out for yourself on this video:
Several of my blogging friends have wondered whether to show the number of subscribers to their blog. Some feel it shouldn't be done until a critical mass of subscribers has been reached. Others feel that there is benefit in showing the numbers in order to help "prove" that the blog is worth reading (if others are reading it, then you should, too!). I have chosen to show the number of subscribers to my Customers Rock! blog as I think it gives the site more credibility. The above study done by Mr. Watts helps to support my point of view.
In our class we have talked about the Critics, from Groundswell, that group of social media users who rate and review other sites. A company who has customers that are willing to rate and review should most likely embrace those customers and enable them to share their thoughts and ideas on the corporate site/blog. Even if the ratings and reviews are not all good, there is an opportunity to open up a dialogue with customers, right on the site, to look into and address any concerns. Being willing to be open, transparent, and honest is a key to social media success.
What do you think? Should blogs show the number of subscribers? Should companies showcase reviews of their own products and services? Let me know what you think!
(Hat tip to The Market Research Event blog for the info on Duncan Watts.)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
One of the most interesting homework assignments I give my students is to start a blog and maintain it over the class term. This assignment really helps the students understand what it takes to create and maintain a social media property. Last night, we discussed the process of blogging and the student reactions to it.
Choosing a Topic
Some students found it difficult to find a topic they could blog about for several weeks. They had a lot of ideas but weren't sure which they could sustain!
Teacher's Advice: Always choose a topic you are passionate about. If you hope to make money from your blog someday, be sure to choose a topic others are passionate about as well. :)
Naming Your Blog
Other students struggled with finding the right name. They had noticed that, given a list of blogs, they would be more inclined to read those that had interesting names.
Teacher's Advice: While a good blog name is important, the more critical aspect of blogging is the actual content that goes on the page. A good name may bring someone to your blog once; great content brings them back!
Finding Your Blogging Voice
Students also shared they had a hard time deciding what the tone of the blog should be. Should it be very professional, with sentences properly thought-out? Should it be casual, as if one was carrying on a live conversation? The students are writing blogs on both ends of that spectrum, and both are generally OK!
Teacher's Advice: Write in a way that is natural for you and also encourages your readers to participate in the conversation.
Determining Blog Goals
One of the most important aspects of creating a new blog is deciding what you want the blog to accomplish. Is it a blog to educate others on a certain topic? Are you trying to persuade people to your side? Do you want to be seen as a content expert in a certain area?
Teacher's Advice: Determine your goals, and your audience, before writing even one post. Then, use those goals to guide you on future content, frequency, voice, and linking strategies.
Please check out the blogs from both this term (Fall 08) and last term (Summer 08) on the right. A blog to note is Blogging Around the World. This blog was started last term here in the USA which the student, Nicoletta, has decided to continue now that she is back home in Rome. She even attended a Web 2.0/blogging conference in Italy - both as an observer and as a participant. Well done, Nicoletta!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Here is an excerpt from Beth Kanter's blog (which, BTW, is on using social media with non-profits - pay attention, students, as your final project fits the bill here!). This excerpt should get one thinking - and spark some conversation:
A traditional online community is a group of people who interact
together and have a relationship over time on a site where people can interact around a common interest. A loosely coupled online community is a group of people who are joined together by a common interest and have conversations is different - this might include groups on social networking sites or a network of blogs. It's important to determine if your organization needs a traditional online community or something else.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
• August 13: Microblogging and widgets
• August 20: NO CLASS - work on your projects!
• August 27: Communities and Creating a Social Media Plan -guest speaker from Intuit
• September 3: Final Project presentations
Friday, July 25, 2008
One of my students sent me an email with this opinion:
"I'm not a fan of blogs. I receive the Google alerts for news and blogs related to my field, and virtually 100% of the blogs are essentially a waste of space. I feel compelled to read them in the event something interesting is written (which I cannot afford to miss), but my ROI on reading blogs is truly negative. Indeed, I spend 15 minutes of my day reading blogs that add no value. That is 62 1/2 hours of wasted time a year.
Most of the useful stuff people accomplish through blogs seem perfectly capable of being accomplished via Facebook or related tools. I therefore only see personal reasons for having blogs, versus business reasons. Granted, some Fortune 500 companies have blogs, but that isn't exactly an endorsement."
A blog is not appropriate for every business. It makes sense when companies want to create a two-way dialogue with their customers/clients/donors. For some, it has created a lot of discussion. For example, the Southwest Airlines Nuts About Southwest blog requests customer feedback, and Southwest employees definitely respond. The most comments seem to come on posts where the airline is discussing something controversial, such as this one announcing their winter schedule.
It is great to have varying viewpoints, as they create a healthy discussion. So, let's open this up for conversation!
- Can Facebook or other social media tools accomplish what blogs can accomplish for a business?
- There are many reasons for a business to have a blog (listen to customers, talk with them, be seen as an expert, create a community). Which reasons have you seen work, and for which company?
- Has your company tried a blog that didn't work out? (I showed the example of Moosetopia, from Denali Ice Cream, to my students last week; it was cute, but didn't get much interaction from customers.)
Let's hear about it!
(Photo credit: head-off)
Monday, July 21, 2008
Every now and then, I will have a blog entry geared to the students in my class. This is one of those!
Please continue posting to your blogs, as well as linking to and commenting on each other's blogs. I would also like to see links to blogs that are similar to yours. The best way to link is to write a post, then refer to someone else's blog in your post. Be sure to include the address of the blog post you are referring to in your post link! You can also add blogs to your blogroll/blog list.
Remember, in social media, participation and conversation are key!
You should be working your way through Groundswell, with a goal of reading through at least Chapter 7, Energizing the Groundswell, by class this week.
The midterm will be next Wednesday, July 30! It will be a few multiple-choice questions, but most of it will be a written response. You will be getting a case study to read and work through, targeted at what you would recommend for this company.
I have been trying to figure out the best way to get you slides, and I am still working on it (the file sizes are huge). Blackboard is probably it, and I am trying to get them up there. I will have something for you this week so you can review for the midterm!
(Photo credit: kjpargeter)
Friday, July 18, 2008
- The "conversation" doesn't always have to take place between company and customer in order to be effective. When customers use voting, tagging, and sharing, the conversation is between customers - and it truly beneficial.
- We can't force customers to converse with us any more than we could "manage" their relationships (when the buzz was all about CRM). I think one of the key benefits of using social media is helping to make a company seem a bit more approachable, genuine, and real. B2B or B2C, it is all about people.
- Social media should probably be a part of a marketing toolkit, but the tool used is most likely different for different companies. Some may use quite a few of the tools, as their customers want to engage with them that way, and others may use only one (and that just to listen to customers). Either way, it should not be ignored but should be explored.
Now to you
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
The best way to learn something is to do it yourself. Hence, I have asked my students to each start their own blog. Here was the assignment:
Homework Assignment Number 2: Start Your Own Blog!
1. Decide on a topic (it should be something you would enjoy writing about; please keep it appropriate)
2. Choose which blogging platform you want to use: www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com (both are free) (I use wordpress)
3. Pick a name for your blog (you will need it when signing up)
4. Set up the blog, including the theme and color (how you want it to look)
5. Write at least three posts (at least one paragraph long each) before the next class
6. Send me the link!
I am posting the student blogs in my "blog list". They are very diverse, as these students are coming from all over the world! The perspectives are great.
In our next class, we will be taking this learning experience further and talk together more as a class about blogging strategy and how you can engage your readers via comments, polls, and questions.
Friday, July 11, 2008
This will also be a place where I can communicate with my students and link to their newly-created blogs.