Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day

Part II: Chapter 05 “The Social Feedback Cycle”

For the past fifty years media spending has been focused largely on awareness -- where it drives demand -- and point-of-sale -- affirming pending purchases or shifting them to a competing brand. Under-utilized by too many marketers has been the consideration process through which consumers evaluate purchase options.

The consideration phase -- in the middle ofthe purchase funnel -- turns out to be the central link between the Social Web and Marketing. This is the Operations connection of social media based marketing, where conversations between consumers based on experiences carry further and with greater trust than traditional media.

  • Social media plays a significant role in marketing: The conversations that take place on the Social Web determine how easy -- or difficult -- your task in driving conversion will be.
  • The social feedback cycle is built on the post-purchase feedback and conversational loop that augments your traditional purchase funnel activities.
  • Consumer-generated media, and in particular photos, audio, and video that supplement text (blogs), are in mainstream use now, even if concentrated in the Millennial and Gen X segments.
  • The determined detractor is an individual who plays an important role in the evolution of markets but nonetheless will not (normally) be "won over" and therefore is generally best viewed as a participant with whom you will "respectfully agree to disagree." Your best response is to simply ensure that your story is also being told.
  • Your social feedback cycle, developed and maintained over time, is a key planning tool as you develop your social media plan.

    Re “failure,” actually you are asking the right question: The subtly is this: Rather than 5,000 tweets = success, 4,999 = failure, the question posed is more like “what do you **really** think determines success and failure?” For example, would 6,342 tweets—all generated by robotic followers—constitute a success? You’ve exceeded your numerical threshhold, to be sure, but, in the words of FDR “Have we reached the goal?” Not really. Likewise, if you had 4,997 genuine tweets, is this a failure? More likely, this is a success. So, it’s less about the numbers and more about the meaning of the numbers.

    For example, on page 93 (Chapter 5) toward the end of the opening paragraph, I say: “Note here that by numbers I don’t mean 17 or 112—I mean having a quantitative basis for determining whether or not moving from 17 to 112 is getting you where you want to go.” So, while 17 may be a failure threshold and 112 might be a success threshhold, 14,15,16, 19, 20 and 110,111,112,...115,116,117…all have real meaning too.

    It’s to your credit that you are trying to set numerical goals: 5000 may be (and probably is) an arbitrary measure at this point. Watch the trend over time in addition to the literal values, and you’ll quickly discover the real success/failure values that apply to your specific case. Importantly, you cannot do this without numbers…so again you are very much on the right track.

       by evansdave

    Hi Dave,
    Firstly I would like to compliment your book; so far it has been a real eye opener and allowed me to get a much greater understanding of the social web than anything I have read before.

    The one hiccup I am experiencing at the moment is the worksheets. I appreciate that they have been provided to assist with building a plan, but for me it has been a little difficult to fully understand what information is expected to be completed. For example at the moment the Point of Sale for me is not clear. I am not sure whether this is referring to Point of Sale incentives such as competitive prices, better product, etc.. or the method of transaction such as over the phone, by online, cheque, etc. I assume it’s not the later, but I am not 100% sure when reading the information. I would recommend providing examples of completed forms, do give an indication of what is expected and help with thinking up channels and measurable data.

    Please could you clear this up so I understand a little better? Many thanks.

       by Paul May

    Paul, thank you for the nice note about the book, and for your interest in digging into it and applying it. The exercises are really the key, so your question will no doubt be helpful to others.

    In Chapter 5, the overall objective is to understand the components of your current purchase funnel and the “output” end of that funnel, which is to say the conversations driven by actual purchase and use. The focus of Wednesday’s exercise—the point of sale—complements Tuesday’s work, which was an inventory of your awareness efforts. Point-of-sale efforts aimed at driving purchase includes things like temporary discounts (aka, “on sale”, rebates, and bundles) along with end-aisle (think supermarket) or shelf displays and promotions. Online, this might include highly specific keywords associated with the an impending purchase or the use of online coupons.

    The end-goal is to be able to combine Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s results: the things you are doing to drive awareness and the things you are doing to pull potential customers across the line. Between these two is the consideration phase, which is where the conversations generated by prior customers, for example, have their impact. The supposition is this: The degree to which you are forced into rebating or discounting, or the ease with which you can sell your product based primarily on awareness efforts will provide an insight as to how to best leverage the social web.

    You’ll dive more deeply into the experience drivers in Chapter 6, and then beginning in Part III start work on understanding the various social channels and how to learn from them or use them directly toward your business objectives. The work you are doing in Chapter 5 sets up your success in creating your plan (Part IV).

    Read more:

       by evansdave

    If you’re early on in the adoption and integration process, then one tip is to focus on one or two social channels rather than attempting them all. In terms of success/failure, rather than measuring the number of platforms measure instead the effectiveness of the platforms that you start with.

    So, you may start with Twitter: it’s certainly one of the easiest to use. Be sure you have a complete profile. Then, tell others you have this presence (“Follow me here…”) and begin to develop that audience. Measure the change in the number of followers, but only on the condition that these are followers you really want. Then, add some of the Twitter API-based features: pull the conversation into your blog or onto your website, and continue to grow it.

    Once you’ve got one channel working and being measured, move to the next. As you gain in your ability to manage these you can move more quickly.

    Let me know if this helps you. wink

       by evansdave

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