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Insight Brief

February 2010

10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media

Geoff Ramsey, CEO geoff@emarketer.com

Executive Summary: In just a few short years, social media has exploded, capturing the attention of not only millions of consumers, but a large and growing share of marketers as well. However, in the race to jump on the social media bandwagon, marketers should focus on the strategies and tactics that are most likely to lead to success. This Insight Brief covers 10 best practices for social marketing: 110568

Comparative Estimates: US Marketers Using Social Media, 2008 & 2009 (% of respondents) 2008

2009

49.0%

80.0%

Association of National Advertisers and BtoB magazine, Aug 2009

-

66.0%

Forrester Research, 2009

-

64.0%

Equation Research, Aug 2009

-

59.0%

PROMO magazine*, Apr 2009

-

52.1%

BtoB magazine**, Nov 2009

-

54.0%

Awareness*, Sep 2008

46.0%

-

NetPlus Marketing*, Mar 2008

38.9%

-

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research*, Nov 2009

1. Don’t think social media, think social marketing. 2. Know your objectives first—then develop your social strategy. 3. Recognize the secret ingredient: trust. 4. Listening comes first. 5. Don’t just barge into a conversation: Add value. 6. Be authentic, transparent and humble. 7. Recruit from your core: the brand enthusiasts who already

love you. 8. Target the coveted influentials. 9. Adopt a long-term/real-time approach. 10. Integrate social media with other online and offline

communications.

Note: *social networks only; **among B2B marketers Source: various, as noted, 2008 & 2009 110568

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For additional information on the above chart, see the Endnotes section.

In this Series: 10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media Slideshow: Social Media Marketing by the Numbers Five Reasons Why Marketers Need to Have a Social Media Strategy Where Does Social Media Fit Within an Organization? What You Need to Know About Earned Media Seven Guidelines for Achieving ROI from Social Media Social Media Misfires: How to Head Off Trouble Before It Hits The Future of Social Media Marketing

Digital Intelligence

Copyright ©2010 eMarketer, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Don’t Think Social Media, Think Social Marketing

Executive Summary

Already, more than one-half of marketers are engaging in some form of social media activity, according to survey data from a number of researchers. Moreover, interest in social marketing is hardly waning. A dozen independent surveys show that 41% to nearly 80% of marketers are planning to boost their spending on social marketing over the next year or so. Comparative Estimates: US Marketers Who Planned to Increase Spending on Social Media Marketing in 2009 (% of respondents)

Paid media advertising on social sites is not the biggest opportunity for most companies. Rather, marketers should recognize that social interactions can affect nearly every facet of their organization, including employee communications, customer relationship management (CRM), product design and public relations.

King Fish Media, Oct 2009 78% AdMedia Partners, Jan 2009 (1) 77% Unisfair, Sep 2009 (2) 75% VerticalResponse, Nov 2009 (2) (3) 66% Millward Brown, Apr 2009 64% BtoB magazine, Nov 2009 (2) (4) 60% StrongMail, Dec 2009 (5) 59% MarketingSherpa, Dec 2009 (2) (6)

“Companies that want to maximize their presence on the social Web must take advantage of social networks in all stages of the purchase funnel, from awareness to learning to buying to loyalty. It is shortsighted to focus only on advertising in social networks without a firm understanding of all the ways they can enhance a marketing plan, including branding, direct marketing and lead generation, e-commerce and customer relations.” —Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst, eMarketer, in the eMarketer report “Marketing on Social Networks: Branding, Buying and Beyond,”August 2009

57% Reardon Smith, Jun 2009 56% Forrester Research, 2009 53% Datran, Jan 2009 (5) 44% Association of National Advertisers and 'mktg', May 2009 (1) (7)

Research data supports this broader marketing approach. Forrester Research, for example, found that while 41% of marketers are placing ads on social sites, 64% say they’re building their own social media presence. Social marketing is more about empowering, organizing and training select staff members to engage on social platforms—and building a corporate social presence—than it is about paid media placements.

41% Note: (1) includes word-of-mouth spending; (2) in 2010; (3) among small businesses; (4) among B2B companies; (5) worldwide; (6) average of seven industries; (7) when recession ends Source: various, as noted, 2009 110571 110571

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With so much intense interest and activity, the big question is: Are marketers doing it right? eMarketer has reviewed dozens of reports, articles, interviews, blogs, conference presentations, thought leader opinions, white papers, studies, surveys and other sources in order to synthesize the best thinking and practices for social marketing. The following 10 points provide a road map for social media success.

10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media

“A very large amount of money is being spent on social networks, even though the spending isn’t necessarily going against ad inventory. If you’re good, you can get a lot of value on social networks from very little investment. You are almost rewarded for getting better results by spending less money.” —Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus, in an interview with eMarketer, June 2009 Eventually, online social activities and connections will be baked into every form of digital content on the Web, including brand marketers’ Websites, e-commerce shopping sites, search engines, and content, media and entertainment sites. 2


1. Don’t Think Social Media, Think Social Marketing

Advertising: A Tiny Slice of the Social Marketing Pie eMarketer estimates that US advertisers will spend $1.3 billion on social network advertising in 2010, up 7% from $1.2 billion in 2009. By 2011, social network advertising will rise to nearly $1.4 billion. While these may seem like large numbers, they still represent less than 6% of the total US online advertising market. Why are marketers reluctant to spend more ad dollars on social sites? The reasons are many but tend to fall into two camps: ! Marketers are concerned about their ads appearing adjacent to

content that is not appropriate for their brands. ! Research data strongly suggests that consumers tend to

ignore advertisements, particularly standard banner ads, in these environments. When companies budget for 2010 and beyond, a substantial portion of investment should go not to paid advertising but to creating and maintaining their social media presence. Paid advertising’s role should be to drive traffic and engagement with the larger social media presence.

2. Know Your Objectives First— Then Develop Your Social Strategy Since social media marketing has the potential to affect so many areas of an organization, the enormity of this opportunity leads many marketers to chase after every technique, tactic and metric that passes them by. Social media marketing works best, though, when it is tied to a select number of key objectives that support the overall business. Identifying a few metrics that directly relate to a single business objective is far more effective than trying to keep track of dozens of data sets just because the tools are available.

The Top Two Social Media Marketing Objectives Broadly speaking, the most important objectives relate to creating deeper relationships with customers and branding. According to a 2009 white paper from Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law, where 438 senior-level executives were asked to list the values of social media, the top two were to enhance relationships with customers/clients (81%) and to build their company’s brand (also 81%). Value of Social Media According to US Executives, July 2009 (% of respondents) Enhance relationships with customers/clients

81%

Build our company's brand

81%

Be a viable recruitment tool

69%

Be a customer service tool Enhance employee morale

64% 46%

Note: n=438 management, marketing and human resources executives Source: Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law, "Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks," August 6, 2009 106327 106327

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Similarly, in a December 2008 MarketingSherpa survey of social media marketing professionals, respondents said social media marketing was either very or somewhat effective at: ! “Influencing brand reputation” (92%) ! “Increasing brand awareness” (91%)

Finally, according to a September 2009 study by Econsultancy and bigmouthmedia, the top-ranked “major benefits” for social media marketing among companies worldwide were: ! “More brand awareness” (73%) ! “Increased customer engagement” (71%)

Whatever objectives or goals companies set for their social media efforts should be tied as closely as possible to ROI measurements.

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3. Recognize the Secret Ingredient: Trust If the primary benefits of using social media are to enhance a brand and form a deeper relationship with customers, the secret ingredient that allows marketers to realize these benefits is trust.

Advertising Tactics/Media Trusted* by Internet Users Worldwide, April 2009 (% of respondents) Recommendations from people known

90%

Consumer opinions posted online

70%

Brand Websites

70%

Editorial content (e.g., newspaper article)

The perception of trust is a vital component of most brands today. If consumers have high levels of trust in a given brand, that signals a strong relationship; low trust levels warn of a poor or deteriorating relationship. Marketers see social forums and communities as a means to engender trust with consumers and to allow them to share that trust with others. Businesses have realized that consumers trust other consumers—particularly their friends, family members and colleagues—more than they do any other form of media or marketing. It is one thing if a laundry detergent brand claims in its advertising that it gets clothes whiter. It is quite another thing if real consumers tell their friends and family about the brand’s benefits.

“Conversations about brands, products and services are increasingly woven into the interactions of social networks as a means to connect with others, and these conversations have great influence even though people aren’t consciously asking about brand opinions.” —Shiv Singh, vice president and global social media lead, Razorfish, in Razorfish’s “Fluent” report on social media, July 2009 Consumer Trust: Insights from Research Studies When making purchases, consumers rely more heavily on the advice and opinions of fellow consumers than they do any other form of media, including ads and editorial content. In 2009, Nielsen Online conducted a global study among 26,000 consumers in 50 countries. The study asked consumers to rate their trust in various media formats. Notably, fewer than 42% of respondents deemed mobile ads, banners or even online search results trustworthy. Instead, “recommendations from people known” trumped every other form of media by a huge margin, with 90% of consumers placing their trust in these interactions.

10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media

69%

Brand sponsorships

64%

TV

62%

Newspapers

61%

Magazines

59%

Billboards/outdoor advertising

55%

Radio

55%

E-mails signed up for

54%

Ads before movies

52%

Search engine results ads Online video ads

41% 37%

Online banner ads

33%

Text ads on mobile phones

24%

Note: *participants responded that they trusted each tactic "completely" or "somewhat" Source: Nielsen Online, "Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey" as cited in company blog, July 7, 2009 105383 105383

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Many other surveys and studies validate the Nielsen data above. For example, respondents to a Lightspeed Research survey rated family members, close friends and even social network contacts more trustworthy than blog authors, store employees or a company CEO. And Internet users surveyed by Leo J. Shapiro & Associates were far more likely to say their purchase decisions were influenced by friends and family, or by consumer online reviews, than by newspaper, TV or radio ads. Clearly, marketers see an opportunity to leverage this peer-to-peer trust factor by participating in and influencing social conversations taking place on the Web. But the way in which they do that is critical. The first step toward earning trust with consumers, as in any relationship, is to listen.

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4. Listening Comes First “Listening” in social media is a core competency that marketers must master. Companies of all kinds, including, Dell, Starbucks, JetBlue and Comcast, are attracted to online social communities because they can help marketers get closer to their customers, tap into a treasure trove of consumer insights, quickly discover changing attitudes and perceptions and potentially leverage a halo of trust through the opinions and conversations of others. But in order to realize these benefits, marketers must first listen. Moreover, they need to practice active listening—systematically monitoring what is being said, spending sufficient quality time in social communities to absorb and understand consumer sentiment, and, finally, applying what they’ve learned from the experience.

Of course, there are different levels of listening. At this point, most marketers are already at or past the stage of setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts, and have begun regularly observing what people are saying there. Other, more advanced marketers are deploying sophisticated monitoring systems that track—in real time—what targeted groups of consumers are saying. They then use that information to serve up relevant messages to their audience.

Turning Listening into a Measurement Tool Marketers who choose to listen on a consistent, ongoing basis can tap into a powerful form of marketing measurement. Marketers can use regular listening to: ! Find problems or defects with a product that may need to be fixed ! Discover that the customer service process is broken in a

particular region

“Social networks are a constantly changing database of consumer sentiment, attitudes and information, and marketers today have only the earliest glimpse of the potential.” —Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst, eMarketer, in the eMarketer report, “Marketing on Social Networks: Branding, Buying and Beyond,” August 2009 New and Better Listening Tools Listening is hardly a new concept in marketing. It’s just that the traditional listening channels of the past—conducting focus groups, observing shopping behavior in malls and offering toll-free help lines—are woefully inadequate compared with the tools marketers now have at their disposal. Today, marketers can monitor and track what vast numbers of consumers are saying in blog posts, tweets, Facebook comments and in other social communities and forums.

! Learn that consumers have a misperception about a product

or company and—even worse—are telling everyone about it on Twitter ! Gain a better understanding of how consumers perceive or

experience a product or service ! Learn about the language consumers use to describe a product

or those of competitors, and then use those insights in offline and online advertising messages ! Get a faster read on how consumers feel about a company’s

advertising campaigns and be prepared to change them on the fly

With these online social platforms, marketers can now effectively listen on a massive scale, at very little cost.

“Marketing used to be a linear process, with a discussion flowing from the CMO to the target audience. In today’s digital age, communication has evolved into a new model that requires active listening and engaging in numerous conversations.” —Pete Krainik, former marketing chief at Avaya and CMO at DoubleClick, in MediaPost, November 2009

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4. Listening Comes First

How are major brands using listening as a social media tactic?

Dell. “By listening carefully, we have been able to harness social media as an early alert system. For example, if customers are having issues with a new product and we need to develop new drivers, then we can get this information early through the Web. This enables us to react quicker, and means we often get this information six weeks earlier than we would have otherwise.” —Richard Binhammer, corporate group communications executive, Dell, in an interview with Econsultancy, December 2009

Applying Social Listening to Advertising Campaigns Marketers can also use listening to help create ad campaigns. According to a November 2009 article in The Wall Street Journal, casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment scanned reviews and comments on Twitter, Facebook and other social sites to better understand which features were most appealing to consumers. Based on this learning, Harrah’s changed the messages in its online ads, resulting in a double-digit increase in online bookings. The company also revamped its traditional ad campaigns to reflect the insights gleaned from tracking social forums.

“Being relevant to consumers is the way to communicate about your brands.” —Monica Sullivan, vice president of advertising, Harrah’s Entertainment, in The Wall Street Journal, November 2009

Hewlett-Packard. “I view listening as an important analytic. Listening and other analytics can drive your strategy at a macro level. Consumers either reinforce your strategy or correct it and give you opportunities for ideas, products and services and/or segments or geographies that you’re not even in.” —Michael Mendenhall, CMO, Hewlett-Packard, in an interview with eMarketer, May 2009

Most marketers, however, have not paid attention to this listening advice. Even though a majority of marketers are participating in social media marketing, only 16% of those surveyed by the CMO Council in 2009 said they regularly monitored social forums. Worse, marketers who ignore conversations that transpire in social media are destined to become out of touch, not only with consumers, but also with the essence of their own brand. Why? In today’s digital age, consumers have a far more powerful voice in defining and shaping a brand than ever before. Whatever reality marketers picture for a brand’s image, it is trumped a thousand times over by the perceptions, experiences and expressions of consumers.

“Social networks have allowed Clinique to gain global consumer insights. Polling, discussion boards, comments, pictures and videos have provided Clinique exposure to a wide range of qualitative consumer sentiments.” —Emily Culp, executive director of digital/consumer marketing & alternative media, Clinique, in an interview with eMarketer, July 2009

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5. Don’t Just Barge into a Conversation: Add Value There are many ways to add value to digital forums:

Listening is essential, but an even greater opportunity awaits those marketers who choose to go to the next step: fostering and responding to consumer conversations.

! Address problems that consumers bring up related to a product

or category. ! Respond to customer needs, either individually or to the group. ! Provide factual information and links to correct a misperception

or dispel a rumor.

“We’re getting to a point where if you’re not responding, you’re not seen as an authentic type of brand.” —Adam Brown, director of the Office of Digital Communications and Social Media, Coca-Cola, in an article in The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2009 Participation, however, requires caution—and likely a new mindset with regard to consumer messaging. Marketers should not assume they can simply “join” a conversation consumers are already having. Instead, they must create their own connections, be prepared to respond when they are mentioned directly and earn the right to participate in existing communities when they have something of value to offer.

Emulate How Consumers Interact with Each Other Remember grandma’s advice, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? The corollary for social conversations is this: “If you can’t add genuine value to the conversation, then don’t say anything at all.” Companies wanting to engage consumers on social networks should strive to emulate and take cues from how consumers are interacting with their friends on these sites. Consumers are motivated to participate on social platforms by the constant stream of status updates, photos, links and other forms of information that their friends post. A company that markets camera equipment, for instance, should not barge into a blog where people are discussing photography techniques and shove promotional messages under their noses while pretending to be just another consumer. It would be far better to provide some helpful (i.e., non-product-specific) advice for taking pictures, making sure it is clear that whoever is responding indicates they are a representative of the brand.

! Offer widgets, apps or other consumer applications that serve a

specific customer need or want.

“[At Clinique, we] develop engaging content specifically designed for the social media space—we do not repurpose assets and simply post them to Facebook or YouTube. This includes ensuring that content is refreshed and time-sensitive, so there is always a sense of newness for the consumer.” —Emily Culp, executive director of digital/consumer marketing & alternative media, Clinique, in an interview with eMarketer, July 2009 To keep up with the stream of conversations and do an effective job of responding, most companies will need more than one individual assigned the task.

Get the Company Involved: It Takes a Village Because social marketing has the potential to affect almost every aspect of an organization, a single employee, or even a team of social experts, will likely not be able to keep up with the dialogue taking place on social communities all over the Web. In order to scale social engagement and realize the benefits on an enterprisewide basis, companies will need to establish direct lines of communication between consumer groups and various appointed stakeholders throughout the organization, representing most or all departments. Savvy companies today are empowering select staff members to be the voice, and sometimes face, of the company, encouraging them to express their personalities on social platforms while adhering to common-sense guidelines that reflect the brand, company or product. In their white paper “EngagementDB: Ranking the Top 100 Global Brands,” consultancy Altimeter Group and Wetpaint argued that “engagement cannot remain the sole province of a few social media experts, but instead must be embraced by the entire organization.”

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5. Don’t Just Barge into a Conversation: Add Value

This is the case at Starbucks, where nearly every department has deputized a representative charged with acting as a liaison between the consumers conversing on social platforms and the department. There are about 50 such representatives worldwide, and they are uniquely equipped with the knowledge and authority to engage with consumers. H&R Block provides another example of empowering employees to directly engage with consumers via social media. According to a January 2010 article in Advertising Age, when the retail tax preparer decided to go after Intuit’s TurboTax product with a similar do-it-yourself online tax preparation software package, H&R leveraged its vast army of tax experts working across the country. From among its 100,000 employees, H&R selected a 1,000-member tax team, who were then trained to be “social media-qualified” to listen, respond, answer questions and provide advice to consumers on social platforms and forums.

6. Be Authentic, Transparent and Humble Marketers have spent decades carefully crafting press releases, television commercials, magazine ads and other advertising messages in order to paint their brands in the best possible light. The problem is, consumers today can sense insincerity. They have too much information at their disposal (think Google) and too many ways to share their feelings with countless others (think Twitter) to simply take a company’s word for it and shut up. So, as former Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley advised a few years ago, marketers need to “Let go!” Part of letting go means adjusting the corporate voice. In the social media space, consumers want to hear from real people, not disembodied corporate entities pushing an obvious sales agenda.

“If you try to mitigate every piece of risk, you will be either inauthentic or fail.” —Altimeter Group and Wetpaint, in their white paper “EngagementDB: Ranking the Top 100 Global Brands,” July 2009 Establish Clear Rules of Engagement However, before marketers invite everyone in their company to “have at it” with Twitter and Facebook communities, it is best to create and distribute a set of organizational guidelines directing employees on how to engage with consumers via social platforms. Companies must: ! Skip the “marketing speak” and talk in a conversational, natural

tone—like a real person ! Put forth real people and real voices, not an amorphous

corporate front ! Speak in the first person singular, rather than the formal “we” ! Be willing to accept and acknowledge the negative comments

as well as the positive ! Be the first to acknowledge a mistake—and own up to it ! Provide full disclosure as to who they are, what they represent

and what stake they might have in a given topic ! Respond quickly if there’s a crisis (ideally within 24 hours,

or sooner)

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6. Be Authentic, Transparent and Humble

Some companies, such as IBM and Intel, take this a step further and have instituted formal guidelines for listening and responding to consumers on social platforms: ! IBM Social Computing Guidelines ! Intel Social Media Guidelines

What have you learned about effectively driving response and engagement in social networks?

Aquafina. “Authentic brands are the most successful. Brands that engage in open, honest dialogue, as well as those that are accepting feedback and criticism from the public, are more likely to be welcomed.” —Stacy Taffett, brand manager, Aquafina, in an interview with eMarketer, July 2009

7. Recruit from Your Core: The Brand Enthusiasts Who Already Love You Any product, brand or company with a large following of loyalists—consumers who want to share the good news with others—has a ripe opportunity to exploit the viral power of social networks. Digital communities allow marketers to both find these coveted consumers (through listening) and empower them to share a brand story with many others.

“[Coke] has nearly 3.8 million fans on Facebook [who come there] to show their loyalty and affinity for our brand. Our approach is to be a strong member of the community that’s enabling consumers to celebrate manifestations of the brand.” —Michael Donnelly, group director, worldwide interactive marketing, Coca-Cola Co., in an interview with eMarketer, November 2009

US Army. “We found that personal input and responses from the Army are looked upon more favorably than input that seems like it is written like a typical news release or Army news article.” —Lt. Col. Kevin Arata, chief of social media, US Army, in an interview with eMarketer, July 2009

Carnival Cruise Lines. “In order to drive response and engagement, brands need a ‘face,’ that is, a representative of the company who actively participates on the social networks. People look for and expect us to reply to questions and provide feedback.” —Stephanie Leavitt, social media strategist-interactive marketing, Carnival Cruise Lines, in an interview with eMarketer, July 2009

Learn more in the August 2009 eMarketer report “Marketing on Social Networks: Branding, Buying and Beyond.”

10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media

By treating fans well, marketers will encourage them to spread the good word to more people, and with greater enthusiasm.

Reward Your Fans Marketers should also find ways to reward their loyal fans. H&M, the apparel retailer known for its edgy fashion looks, has used its Facebook fan page, which attracts more than 1 million fans worldwide, to promote giveaway offers for the first 200 people who come to a sale event. After the sale, H&M uploads photos and videos from the event, inviting fans to add their own comments. And Coca-Cola leveraged the 13.5 million members of its My Coke Rewards loyalty group to create a private social community that offers members a first look at new program features and invites feedback in the form of discussion boards, activities and interviews. In one promotion, the company invited its community members to design a can for Coke Classic. Other members voted for the winners and special prizes were awarded for the best designs. Many fans shared their designs on Facebook and other social sites.

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7. Recruit from Your Core: The Brand Enthusiasts Who Already Love You

Let Your Fans Speak for You Brand advocates can also help companies by coming to their rescue when trouble is brewing. If a brand is being trashed—fairly or unfairly— on social forums, for example, brand enthusiasts may step in to defend against detractors or “set the record straight” when misinformation is leaking out. This can be a very powerful counterforce, since the opinions of consumers are trusted more than a marketer’s. Consumers expect businesses to defend themselves, but they are far more likely to believe customers. Sometimes it is best for marketers to “bite their tongue” before reacting to a negative comment, to give brand advocates a chance to set the record straight.

Enlist Your Fans as Customer Service Representatives Many companies are finding that their customers can be better customer service agents than the people who work in their call centers. Why? Because the best customers are heavy users of a product or service, and they are therefore in a better position to instruct others how to use it. They also likely have an emotional connection to the product or service that no call center agent could ever match.

How do you put brand advocates to work for you?

Hewlett-Packard. “We wanted to help our customers solve their service issues more quickly, so we created the ability for people to help each other solve problems. We’ve had success in the metrics relevant to solving customers’ problems—we’re enabling them to help themselves through this kind of online peer-to-peer experience. That’s a different kind of brand effectiveness metric.” —Michael Mendenhall, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Hewlett-Packard, in an interview with eMarketer, May 2009

8. Target the Coveted Influentials Some consumers have more clout than others. These so-called influentials, representing about 10% of the population, according to Keller Fay Group, have an undue influence on others because of their extensive digital networks and perceived expertise in particular areas. Keller Fay believes that influentials are 130% more likely than others to talk about brands on any given day. These influentials can move hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of consumers—to think, feel or even act differently. Importantly, influence is less about the quantity of any individual’s connections and more about the quality and duration of those interactions, as well as the degree to which the influencer is trusted.

Case Study: HP’s 31 Days of the Dragon After seeing flat sales of its premium laptop product, nicknamed the Dragon, through traditional marketing channels, Hewlett-Packard tried a new approach using influential bloggers. The company launched a contest in which 31 tech bloggers were assigned the task of giving away a free HP Dragon (HP HDX Pavilion) laptop to one lucky reader every day for 31 days. Importantly, HP left it up to the individual bloggers, each of whom was carefully selected based on their influence with likely prospects, to devise their own promotional ideas and contest rules. The bloggers came up with creative contests that engaged consumers and encouraged them to share the promotion with others virally. At the end of the program, HP saw remarkable results: ! More than 380,000 links to the 31 blog sites

discussing the contest ! 25,000 contest entries ! An 85% increase in sales for the Dragon product

Intuit. Intuit already had a customer service operation to assist customers who were using TurboTax, a software program that allows consumers to complete their own tax return. But the company wanted to see if their customers could do a better job. So Intuit created a customer service wiki that allowed users of the software to answer questions and provide tips to other, less experienced customers. The results were compelling: 40% of TurboTax users’ questions were answered by other customers, and at a higher rate of accuracy than the traditional call center. —As described in BusinessWeek, July 2009 10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media

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9. Adopt a Long-Term/Real-Time Approach Social media is about relationships, and relationships of any kind need to be nurtured (and measured) over time. Relationships are also enhanced by connections that take place in real time.

“We are really looking to focus the company around the consumer and build long-term affinity, which includes awareness, loyalty and ultimately, sales.” —Megan O’Connor, senior manager of digital marketing, Levi’s, in an interview with eMarketer, July 2009 Real-Time Approach

Long-Term Focus As blogger and social media expert Joe Jaffe has frequently said, “[Social media] marketing is not campaign; it’s a commitment.” Ford Motor Co. takes the long-term perspective with its social media efforts. The car company uses social monitoring services to measure itself versus its direct competitors based on a number of consumer perception indexes, including product quality, environmental standing and technology. These measurements are conducted over a long period of time, so Ford can benchmark its progress, uncover shifting trends in consumer sentiment and be alerted to future potholes that may be coming its way.

Not only do marketers need to be in social marketing for the long haul, they also need to be in it 24/7. Consumers are discussing products, brands and companies at all hours of the day, seven days a week. Marketers need to avail themselves of the tools to track these conversations in real time, so they can respond appropriately, before it’s too late. As Lt. Col. Kevin Arata, chief of social media at the US Army, put it in an interview with eMarketer, “We know we have to be present on social media sites because in our absence, others will speak for us.”

“There’s a difference between monitoring [social media buzz] and measurement. Monitoring is the real-time, day-to-day stuff that gets tracked that we need to be aware of and respond to and take into account as we continue our communications efforts. Measurement is more the longer-term, trending-type studies.” —Scott Monty, global digital and multimedia communications manager, Ford Motor Co., in an interview with eMarketer, March 2009 Soft drink- and snack-maker PepsiCo is also committed to measuring social media as an ongoing effort. In an interview with eMarketer, Rudy Wilson, director of marketing for Doritos, said, “The one thing people need to remember when it comes to social media and consumer engagement is it can’t be a one-time hit. …The whole purpose of getting involved is you’re trying to build a relationship with the consumer. Building a relationship with a consumer is like building a relationship with anybody.” Mr. Wilson argues that this long-term approach to nurturing relationships online had led to improved sales. Marketers must be sure to track measurements consistently and over a sufficient period of time to observe subtle, slowmoving trends.

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10. Integrate Social Media with Other Online and Offline Communications “The essence of social media is that it connects—people with people, but also people with content and brands. Similarly, social media done right is not execution in a silo. Social media improves brands’ owned media value by generating site traffic and stimulating conversation.” —Taddy Hall, COO, Meteor Solutions, in an iMedia Connection article, December 2009 Like any other form of marketing, social media should not be deployed or measured in a vacuum. Social media represents another stream of touchpoints for the marketer, but they are most valuable when integrated with other consumer activities, from search and e-mail to watching videos and reading news online. According to the McKinsey Quarterly’s 2009 global survey, among the companies reporting measurable benefits from their social media marketing efforts, 74% said it is important to integrate the tools with other forms of customer interaction. One simple way to integrate social media within a broader marketing effort is to use it as an inexpensive “sounding board” for measuring the impact of offline campaigns and other initiatives. Doug Weaver, founder and CEO of the Upstream Group, says social media can be like a Richter scale for marketers wanting to gauge the impact of their entire marketing efforts. “For perhaps the first time ever, marketers can put a campaign or a message out into the public consciousness and then really hear and see its impact,” wrote Mr. Weaver in his May 2009 newsletter. “A brand can throw rocks into the pond and then measure both the quantity and quality of the ripples that follow. By all means, pour your time, money and resources into this channel to really understand the full ROI of all your marketing activity.” In an interview for eMarketer’s special report, “Online Brand Measurement: Connecting the Dots,” Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of digital strategic services at The Nielsen Co., reinforced this strategic approach: “On one side, you’ve got paid media and on the other you’ve got earned media. Put consumer-generated media, social media and a lot of indirect marketing on the earned side, and paid media— offline and online—on the unearned side. The two kinds [can] synergize [with] one another because paid advertising can stimulate the conversation. What we need is a measurement model that really can look at the two—both in distinct buckets, but also as an ecosystem where one is feeding the other. Brand equity is heavily impacted by the way in which the two interact.” 10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media

Search and Social: A Classic Combination Of course, social media can also be integrated with search. Social network conversations about brands, including messages or ads posted by marketers on social sites, can lead directly to search activity for a particular product or brand. Conversely, consumers who are searching for products or services online will increasingly be exposed to links emanating from social sites. Social and search represent a near-perfect virtuous cycle, with each reinforcing the other. Research studies prove that display ad exposure can lift consumer response to paid search. Data from comScore, GroupM and M80 indicates searchers are also more likely to keep a brand in mind if they have seen a combination of paid search ads and social media. The research firms found a 19-percentage-point lift in searches on the campaign brand among users who saw social media relevant to the brand in addition to the campaign’s paid search ads, compared with those who were exposed only to the search placements. And there was a further 13-point lift among those exposed to social media influenced directly by the brand. US Internet Users Who Search on Campaign Brand Terms, by Ad Exposure, 2009 (% of total) Paid search only

45%

Relevant social media and paid search

64%

Influenced social media and paid search

77%

Note: read chart as saying that 45% of Internet users exposed to paid search ad then search on campaign brand terms Source: comScore, GroupM Search and M80, "The Influenced: Social Media, Search and the Interplay of Consideration and Consumption," October 6, 2009 107404 107404

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The effect was even more pronounced when it came to searches for product terms rather than brand terms. Users were almost three times as likely to search after seeing influenced social media plus paid search, compared with paid search ads alone. US Internet Users Who Search on Brand Product Terms, by Ad Exposure, 2009 (% of total) Paid search only 23% Relevant social media and paid search 38% Influenced social media and paid search 65% Note: read chart as saying that 23% of Internet users exposed to paid search ad then search on brand product terms Source: comScore, GroupM Search and M80, "The Influenced: Social Media, Search and the Interplay of Consideration and Consumption," October 6, 2009 107406 107406

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Consumers exposed to paid search along with influenced social media also had a 50% increase in click-through rate on paid search ads. Organic search click-through rates were higher, too. 12


Endnotes Endnote numbers correspond to the unique six-digit identifier in the lower left corner of each chart. The charts from the report are repeated before their respective endnotes. 110568 Comparative Estimates: US Marketers Using Social Media, 2008 & 2009 (% of respondents) 2008

2009

49.0%

80.0%

Association of National Advertisers and BtoB magazine, Aug 2009

-

66.0%

Forrester Research, 2009

-

64.0%

Equation Research, Aug 2009

-

59.0%

PROMO magazine*, Apr 2009

-

52.1%

BtoB magazine**, Nov 2009

-

54.0%

Awareness*, Sep 2008

46.0%

-

NetPlus Marketing*, Mar 2008

38.9%

-

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research*, Nov 2009

Note: *social networks only; **among B2B marketers Source: various, as noted, 2008 & 2009 110568

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110568

Extended Note: Several of these surveys asked if companies were using social media/social networks but did not specify if it was for the purpose of marketing. Citation: Association of National Advertisers (ANA), BtoB Magazine and 'mktg', "Harnessing the Power of Newer Media Platforms for More Effective Marketing," August 3, 2009; Awareness, "Trends and Best Practices in Adopting Web 2.0 in 2008" conducted by Equation Research, September 9, 2008; BtoB magazine, "2010 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans Survey Results," November 16, 2009; Equation Research, "2009 Marketing Industry Trends Report," August 18, 2009; Forrester Research as cited by Women's Wear Daily, September 28, 2009; NetPlus Marketing, "Online Data Measurement Survey Results: Q1 2008," provided to eMarketer, March 17, 2008; PROMO magazine, "2009 Promo Interactive Marketing Survey" conducted by Penton Research, April 1, 2009, with eMarketer calcualtions; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, "Social Media in the 2009 Inc. 500: New Tools & New Trends," November 17, 2009

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More Information and Analysis from eMarketer For related information, see these eMarketer reports, articles and interviews: Marketing on Social Networks: Branding, Buying and Beyond Seven Guidelines for Achieving ROI from Social Media External Links EngagementDB: Ranking the Top 100 Global Brands Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report Giving Customer Voice More Volume Contact eMarketer, Inc. 75 Broad Street 32nd floor New York, NY 10004

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10 Best Practices for Success with Social Media

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10 Best practices for sucess with Social Media