Measuring Social Media Engagement In The Context Of Conversions and Sales

One of the issues I see a lot of business people still trying to wrap their heads around is how to measure the effectiveness and value of their social media investment.  In a lot of ways, it’s the question because no online effort is free. Even if all the tools are free, every campaign still takes time and effort, which you pay for by the hour in most cases. In almost every case where you commit to an online project the analytics will be squishy and gray at best, and you’ll have to come to terms with the immutable fear that your people could be spending their time and energy elsewhere. The fear is a given, and if you don’t have it’s because you’re not really weighing your options correctly. Read More

How To Get A Facebook Like Button For Your WordPress Blog (Plugin)

[tweetmeme] Want a Facebook “Like” button for your WordPress blog like the one you see on this blog? It’s super simple. Todd Williams, Executive Developer at Media 1 Designs, got inspired by yesterday’s announcement at F8 about the Open Graph, and coded up a nifty lightweight “Facebook Like” WordPress plugin that you can use for your WordPress site! It was officially released today on the GunnJerkens blog.

Here’s what the options panel looks like:

Installation:

1. Head Over To the GunnJerkens blog (to make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date version)

2. Download the plugin (this link to the zip file will only work for the current version)

3. Unzip the file and place the Facebook Like plugin folder in your WP-Content –> Plugins Folder

4. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.

5. Go to Plugins –> Installed

6. Activate the plugin

7. Go to The Facebook-Like options panel, configure the settings

8. Click save.

And you’re done! Simple. Lightweight. Awesome (and every time someone clicks “like” that activity will show up in their Facebook stream and bring traffic back to your blog.

Also, if you blog about this plugin, please link back to the original GunnJerkens post.

Enjoy!

I’m On A Boat! – How To Use Foursquare To Get 231 People to Check In To Your Restaurant In 1 Day

A few weeks ago, Joe Sorge showed us how he used Foursquare to get a flash mob of 150+ people into his restaurant, AJ Bombers. This Friday, with a little help from Milwaukee’s online community, he pulled together the most successful Foursquare-based event run by a restaurant to date in a 24 hour period, and proved that his Foursquare formula truly works for restaurants, and that it’s repeatable. By the end of the day on Friday, 231 people had checked in at AJ Bombers’s “I’m On A Boat!” badge party, and Joe had done more business at lunch in one day than he ever had. In this post, we’ll share some media and stats from the gathering, discuss exactly what it takes to pull off one of these events, and Joe will share some lessons learned and tips for using Foursquare to drive business.
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Case Study: How To Use Foursquare To Draw A Crowd Into Your Restaurant

ajbombers_leaderboard

[tweetmeme] Restaurant owners are quickly discovering how to use social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and Yelp to their advantage and drive customers to their tables, but there’s a guy in Wisconsin doing it better than almost anyone else.

Joe Sorge, who runs a burger joint in Milwaukee called AJ Bombers, shot me a tweet yesterday to tell me about a Foursquare party they had this week that brought a flash mob of 161 Foursquare users to his restaurant.  My eyebrows shot up when I read that number. 161 check ins in one day?! How could that be? There are only about three or four hundred Foursquare users total in Milwaukee?! Over 150 of them were in the same place, on the same afternoon?

When I called him up, Joe explained. They came to earn the highly coveted and elusive Foursquare “Swarm Badge” – something you can only get when 50 or more Foursquare users check in at the same place at the same time. I hadn’t heard of it, but apparently the promise of this coveted Foursquare badge can really draw a crowd. Read More

Sometimes It IS About The Technology

You know when the technology itself makes the most difference to how much engagement you get on the social web? In the very beginning, when it’s brand new to everyone. That’s when the alpha geeks, the 1% of  the people that produce the most content online, temporarily ignore their other social networks to focus all their attention on the shiny new object. For just a few weeks following any major launch, you can build lasting relationships with the true online influencers by being a part of the action as they congregate on the new service in an excited feeding frenzy. If you’re there, and you’re as enthusiastic, helpful and engaging as they are, you’re seen as part of the tribe.

scobleizer google buzz

The engagement cycle is almost always the same on new social networks with a lot of hype (Google Buzz is a perfect example). The alpha geeks “follow”, listen and interact a lot early on when the community is still a small, tight-knit group of early adopters. They amass large followings quickly, and while they develop dense networks of influence, they are also less discriminating about who they interact with and “friend” because the frenzy is highly social.

Eventually they all hit a saturation point, though. The numbers get too big, their sense of true community dissipates and the initial excitement wears off. The second the enthusiasm for the shiny object disappears, they start spreading their attention out evenly again on the tried-and-true social spaces where they get a real sense of intimacy and personal connection. That’s why, in the long run at least, the technology doesn’t matter much and why focusing relationships to achieve long-term social goals is so important.

I’ve made these observations from interacting online and joining and leaving social networks for years, but I don’t have any hard data to back this up. It’s just a hunch, so I’m really interested to hear other people’s opinions and ideas on this or get pointers to any good examples. It’s sound long-term strategy to focus on relationships over technology, but if it’s the early adopter crowd you want to notice to you, there doesn’t seem to be a better time to get their attention than on someone else’s launch day. What are your thoughts?

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How Social Media Can Boost Restaurant Business

This short video was posted by Chris Brogan a few days ago. I love finding real-life stories about how small business owners are successfully using social media to increase their business. Joe Sorge, who runs AJ Bombers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin shares how he uses a tool to humanize his business and keep in touch with customers.

The Four E’s Of Social Media Marketing

I’ve heard the advantages of shifting from traditional marketing to social media marketing strategies articulated many different ways, but Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer at Eastman Kodak Company, does it best in this short video. His Four Es – Engagement, Education, Excitement and Evangelism – are spot on. It’s a smart, pithy way to articulate the big picture and what the shift in strategy is all about. The second video highlights another key advantage to marketing on the web – the ability to be agile, and to respond quickly to feedback.


Consumer Expectations Are Shifting

Here’s a smart post from Gary Vaynerchuck. He’s right about this. The way we are connected to people, products, brands, celebrities etc is beginning to change what customers/fans are expecting from them. Because consumer behavior is changing, brands need to adjust and fast.

Talking Social Media In Long Beach, CA

Two weeks ago, Gunn/Jerkens, a Marketing Communications company I do social media consulting for, hosted it’s first-ever Social Media Mingle event. Clients and associates joined us for a day-long seminar that started out with a 4 hour presentation, co-delivered by myself and Katie Wynne (I am the one excitedly waving my arms around in the beginning of the video below). At the event, we covered the trends, benefits and best practices of some of the most widely used social platforms. It was a fun, engaging experience and I was delighted at how much the attendees participated and how vibrant and deep the conversations in the seminar were. Here’s a little taste of the event…

If you would like to view the presentation, a trimmed-down SlideShare version has been posted below for your convenience. If you have any questions about any of the content, please feel free to discuss in the comments here, or on the Gunn/Jerkens post.

A special thank you goes to Linda Gunn for asking me to join the team to help lead the discussion for the event.

Social Media ROI Reality Check

This slide deck by Oliver Blanchard on Social Media ROI is a hoot. It provides a witty introduction to measuring social media campaign ROI. Importantly, it highlights the fact that social media is an investment that requires people, time and resources, and if you’re not measuring impact in terms of things that matter to your business, you’re going to crash land. If you’re confused about how to measure ROI in your social media campaigns check out his presentation. It’s a good primer.

The Critical Shift

Five years ago, if someone from your marketing department said “Let’s market to our existing customers!” they would have risked losing their job. Why would any organization spend time or effort on customers who’ve already bought the product? Backwards you say? Not anymore. This is a winning strategy on the social web.

Social media changes the game by giving brands and organizations an unprecedented ability to target and energize their existing fans. 5 to 10 years ago, brands didn’t know who their biggest fans were or where to find and engage them. Now individuals come to you and they bring their entire social graph of trusted relationships with them. When the stars align and they start to come in droves, it’s word of mouth on fire – that’s the real power of the social web. Recognizing that, smart organizations that have a connected fan base shift their spending away from recruiting and start focusing on their existing community’s happiness and let the fans do the marketing for them.

BMW has had amazing success with it’s strategy of targeting existing Mini Cooper Owners because they understand how critical their passionate customers are for spreading ideas that promote the brand. Mini Ownership for many isn’t just about the car – it’s about being part of a subculture that has it’s own fashion, events and lifestyle. BMW made a smart move by focusing on treating their best customers as special insiders who love to be in the know and talk about the product. There’s a key lesson here for any brand with an existing community. People haven’t fundamentally changed, but the technology does change their ability to market for you so significantly that it changes where the dollars should be spent.

Social Media = Positive ROI

Katie Wynner and I have been putting together a presentation we’re giving in Long Beach, CA this week on Social Media Marketing and she came across this video on Social Media ROI. The video showcases several of the best known Social Media ROI examples along with other effective Social Media Strategies and data that I’ve seen from recent reports released on all the tech hubs. Two thumbs up. Hat tip to Katie for the find.