Joe Hall – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Thu, 02 Sep 2010 16:17:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 How To Use Social Media Monitoring Tools For Outreach Marketing /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-for-outreach-marketing-47900 /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-for-outreach-marketing-47900#comments Thu, 02 Sep 2010 16:17:04 +0000 http:/?p=47900 Social media is all about engagement. Because of this, it is the perfect tool for outreach marketing efforts. Outreach marketing is the practice of seeking out individuals or organizations that have a shared interest in what you or your company has to offer. Sometimes, it is used in conjunction with direct sales, but often times […]

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Social media is all about engagement. Because of this, it is the perfect tool for outreach marketing efforts. Outreach marketing is the practice of seeking out individuals or organizations that have a shared interest in what you or your company has to offer. Sometimes, it is used in conjunction with direct sales, but often times it is used for more larger goals such as branding.

Generally speaking, when planning an outreach marketing campaign online there are two main areas that are important to define before you begin; your target audience, and your method of engagement. Picking the right audience is vital to successful outreach marketing. Engagement is at the core of  outreach marketing, the right type of engagement can make or break a campaign.

Defining keywords & audiences

When using social media monitoring tools for any marketing effort choosing the right keywords is an important step. When using social media monitoring tools to aid outreach marketing, choosing your keywords and targeting the right audience goes hand in hand. I like to break my keywords down into two sets, primary keywords and secondary keywords.

Primary keywords are terms that are directly related to the industry that you are in. For example, if you sell cat food, then you would use “cat food” as a primary keyword. You can expand on primary keywords by adding adjectives, such as, “dry cat food”, or “canned cat food”.

When choosing primary keywords, remember not to use your specific brand name. The point of outreach marketing is to target users that have never heard of your company before. Primary keywords are vital to finding the broadest base of audience. However, if you operate in a large ambiguous market, then you may need to refine your monitoring with secondary keywords.

Secondary keywords are still related to your market, but may not include your exact product descriptions. Back to the cat food example – you might want to refine your monitoring to “hungry cat” or “feeding the cats”. Using secondary keywords are useful at targeting your audience.

Engagement strategies

Targeting your audience with the right keywords is only half the battle. Now, we need to find an effective strategy for engaging each user. Responding to users with, “Hey awesome! You like cat food? Visit our web site!” isn’t going to cut it. Proper engagement needs to contain either one of two things a “click” factor or a “response” factor.

A click factor is an incentive for the user to click through a link. Some click factors might be pointing the user to a specific product that could solve a problem. “Oh whats that your kitty is overweight? Try some of our diet cat food.” Another click factor is combining contest marketing with your response. “Tired of buying cat food? Enter our contest to win a year supply!”

A response factor is an incentive for the user to respond and engage in dialog. This strategy is perfect for putting a personal touch on a brand. One of the easiest ways that you can utilize a response factor is to ask a question. “Whats your cat’s favorite thing to eat?” Utilizing the response factor is perfect for branding; however, it can require more time and engagement because the goal is having a valued dialog.

When executing outreach marketing in social media, social media monitoring tools can be very helpful. Defining your target audience and keywords is the first step. Breaking your keywords down into primary and secondary keywords can help refine and target your audience. Developing a strategy for engagement is vital. Combining both “click” and “response” incentives are important when engaging. So the next time you are looking for a new branding or buzz building strategy, consider combining outreach marketing with social media monitoring tools.

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How To Use Social Media Monitoring Tools To Gauge Offline Marketing Efforts /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-to-gauge-offline-marketing-efforts-45658 /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-to-gauge-offline-marketing-efforts-45658#comments Tue, 06 Jul 2010 16:08:41 +0000 http:/?p=45658 It often seems like a rare occasion when offline marketing efforts blend with social media. One of the best ways to use social media to aid offline efforts is to gauge the public’s perception with social media monitoring tools. By using monitoring tools, companies can monitor public opinion about a specific offline campaign. Probably one […]

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It often seems like a rare occasion when offline marketing efforts blend with social media. One of the best ways to use social media to aid offline efforts is to gauge the public’s perception with social media monitoring tools. By using monitoring tools, companies can monitor public opinion about a specific offline campaign.

Probably one of the most publicized efforts to gauge offline marketing with social media monitoring was Brand Bowl 2010. Here we saw Mullen and monitoring powerhouse Radian6 teamed up to monitor the public’s response to Super Bowl ads in real time. While this example was done more as a publicity stunt in its own right, its not far off from how you might want to run your monitoring campaigns internally.

5 Tips to gauge offline marketing

  1. Prepare your monitoring campaigns way in advance to your offline campaigns beginning. Not only will you be prepared to start monitoring as soon as the campaign has begun, but you will also be able to monitor any buzz that is being generated leading up to launch.

  2. Pick your monitoring keywords carefully. You don’t want to only monitor for your base brand names. Doing so may make it difficult to filter through regular dialog about your brand and dialogue specifically to your campaign. Consider monitoring catch phrases that appear in the campaign. If the campaign is humorous, monitor social sites for the “punchline”. If you are using content sharing sites like YouTube or Flickr with your offline efforts, try monitoring for the URLs that your content is at. Having your own URL shortener can help with this.

  3. Use boolean operators such as AND and OR to mix campaign specific key terms with the medium that your campaign is utilizing. For example if you are using print media, you can combine the names of the publications you are targeting and campaign terms.

  4. Pick a monitoring tool that indexes mentions at a high frequency. Knowing exactly when users are talking about your offline efforts is crucial. Having this type of data on hand can help not only gauge how the public talks about your campaign but also during what times of the day/week your campaign is most successful.

  5. Pick a monitoring tool that includes sentiment analysis. Be wary of automated sentiment analysis and try to pick a platform that easily facilitates manual sentiment analysis. Understanding the overall public sentiment is extremely important. Remember even campaigns that people hate get tons of traffic, so understanding sentiment is a must when monitoring any offline campaign.

Using social media monitoring tools can aid in offline marketing tactics by gauging the public’s opinion and response. Overtime, combining data from previous campaigns can reveal trends and expose many of the caveats missed with traditional media.

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How To Use Social Media Monitoring Tools To Aid Product Development /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-to-aid-product-development-39978 /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-to-aid-product-development-39978#comments Tue, 20 Apr 2010 16:49:29 +0000 http:/?p=39978 To many, the process of developing a successful product can be a mystery. Sometimes companies will spend months of development time to create a product that doesn’t reflect the needs or the scope of its intended market. And other times, successful products are developed completely on accident. Because of this, it can often seem impossible […]

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To many, the process of developing a successful product can be a mystery. Sometimes companies will spend months of development time to create a product that doesn’t reflect the needs or the scope of its intended market. And other times, successful products are developed completely on accident. Because of this, it can often seem impossible to develop successful products. However, if one takes the time to listen to their marketplace and plan the development process accordingly, they are more likely to succeed.

In my last post, I talked about how to use social media monitoring tools to build relationships and links. In this post, I would like to discuss how to use the same tools to aid in product development and market research.

There are many steps to developing a successful product. But the first step is always concept creation. Here we are thinking about broad-based ideas. Using social media monitoring at this step can help form a direction and scope for the rest of the development process. For example, if we want to develop a product focused on online video, we might monitor such terms as “video”, “video sharing”, or “video rating”. During this first stage of monitoring, we will want to focus on what aspects of online video people are talking about most.

funnel

Sniffing user needs out of social media

Identifying trends and audiences is extremely important to defining the scope and direction of your product. With our example, we might find that the largest demographic for video consumption are young adults and predominately focus on music and entertainment.

After we have used our monitoring tools to identify trends and audiences, we now begin to monitor scope and direction. Understanding how your target audience is using products is important in your planning process. With our example above, we might monitor conversations to determine where and when video content is being viewed the most. Questions such as “are the users using handheld devices or traditional desktop machines?” can be helpful when determining the scope and direction of your product.

While observing how the market uses similar products, you can begin to make a potential features list. For example, you might observe some users prefer video playlist and some prefer video sharing. Making a features list based on actual user conversations/engagement can be extremely powerful when deciding how to delegate resources during the development process.

Prepare your competitive position

After you’ve completed your features list, research other companies and products that meet the needs of your target audience. Use this list of companies and products to begin brand monitoring to aid in competitive analysis. Here, we will be looking at users reactions and sentiment towards competitors in your marketplace. Pay attention to any gaps between your target’s dialog and what your competitors are offering understanding these gaps can help develop a strong point of difference with your product.

At this point, you should now have a direction, feature list, and definitive point of difference that is all reflective of your marketplace. Now its time to send your ideas off to the engineers! But wait, don’t stop monitoring social media! After you have launched your new product, you are going to want to continue to monitor social media to identify flaws and improve with extended feature sets that are now more apparent after you have launched.

Understanding your marketplace and target audiences are important to product development. Whether it is concept creation or refining your feature list social media monitoring can help with the necessary research in building the perfect product.

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How To Use Social Media Monitoring Tools To Build Relationships And Links /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-to-build-relationships-and-links-38243 /how-to-use-social-media-monitoring-tools-to-build-relationships-and-links-38243#respond Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:00:52 +0000 http:/?p=38243 Social media monitoring is the practice of monitoring social media for topics and mentions that are of interest to your company or brand. Social media monitoring is generally discussed with in the context of online reputation management. However, social media monitoring can also be used to help promote a brand, aid customer service, contribute to […]

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Social media monitoring is the practice of monitoring social media for topics and mentions that are of interest to your company or brand. Social media monitoring is generally discussed with in the context of online reputation management. However, social media monitoring can also be used to help promote a brand, aid customer service, contribute to product development, and measure off line marketing efforts, among other things.

Here, I am going to talk about how to use social media monitoring to build relationships for SEO and brand building. Why are we interested in building relationships? Building relationships are at the core of every aspect of Internet marketing. Every blogger that links to you is building a budding relationship with your site/brand. When people talk about your company in social media, they are doing so because in their mind they have formed a relationship with your company. And, the stronger that these relationships are, the more strength and influence you have.

I think there are generally two ways of developing solid relationships online. The first way is developing outstanding content that draws your audience in and speaks to them on a unique level. In doing this you are forming an automatic bond with your audience. The second way is to monitor social media for conversations that surround topics and ideas that have to do with your brand or products. These conversations will be your gateway to dialogue where relationships will begin.

Before we start our monitoring campaign, it is important to understand the difference between building relationships and a pitch. When you engage a user on social media, you need to be mindful of the fact that you are approaching them as a stranger. Which means that your dialogue needs to be transparent and authentic in order to build trust. Starting your dialogue with a direct pitch is the worst way to build trust and authenticity in social media.

Social media users are looking for avenues for communication and sharing ideas around topics they enjoy. They are not looking for marketing managers to sell them on products and ideas. Often times, your first engagement with the user shouldn’t be in anyway a pitch or mention of your company. You should always try to establish an authentic bond with the user before trying to convert them. Remember this is not a pitch but an avenue to build relationships.

When and where?

When engaging social media users is important to you participate in the freshest conversations. Users do not want to revisit a conversation that took place three days ago. Therefore make sure that your social media monitoring tool is setup to send email alerts and organize your RSS feeds with freshest content first.

Choosing the right method to engage is important when forming a dialogue. Twitter is a good avenue for conversations that require discussion. However, the fast pace means that engaging the user sooner than later is important. Blog comments can be an ideal place to engage users however back-and-forth dialogue may not be suitable. Therefore, when commenting on blogs use it as an opportunity to introduce yourself and your main ideas. Then, if you are successful you can bridge the comment into other areas of social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Also remember when leaving comments, not to leave a link or direct pitch. Most bloggers are savvy enough to spot spam and do not appreciate  unauthentic comments.

Campaign keywords

With every social media monitoring campaign, selection of keywords is a vital to having a successful monitoring experience. The wrong keywords can result in chasing down the wrong conversations and missing out on the ones that matter most. However, it’s important to understand that each monitoring campaign needs to select different types of keywords depending on the goals. Here we are going to look at different types of keywords that should be monitored while building relationships.

  • Brand mentions. Monitoring brand mentions is one of the best ways to start a dialogue and build relationships. Often times people that mention brand names within social media are looking for an avenue to discuss different experiences they’ve had with your company. While some of these experiences may be negative, it still serves as an outlet to begin a dialogue for relationship building. However, positive mentions can be a valuable entry points to start a discussion regarding your brand and the user’s future involvement with your products or company. This type of dialogue will ensure that the user will be more likely to continue to discuss your brand in the future and possibly link or blog about your company.
  • Industry terms. Industry terms are terms that are specific to the industry that you exist in. For example if you are a real estate agent, you may monitor for terms such as broker, CMA, or foreclosure. All of these terms are industry specific and are often mentioned in the context of real estate. These terms are excellent for brand building and outreach marketing. It is often  easier to start a dialogue surrounding these terms because you can use past experiences to add an unique viewpoint to the conversation.
  • Personal brands. These terms are personal brands of important figures within your industry. For example, if you sell basketball jerseys you might monitor the names of famous NBA players. These terms are excellent to start dialogues about current events and news within your industry. It’s important to remember when discussing personal brands that you are talking about an individual therefore you should be as neutral as possible. Speaking negatively about an individual within your industry might have unwanted consequences to your brand. Even if the user is in agreement with you, others watching may not be.
  • Primary and secondary terms. It’s also important to know the difference between primary and secondary terms. Primary terms are terms that are directly related to your company’s products or brand. For example, if you sell cheese, a primary term may be Kraft or Velveeta. Secondary terms are terms that have to do with your industry but maybe aren’t as specific, for example Swiss cheese, American cheese, or pepper jack. Often, it is easier to begin a dialogue with secondary terms because it helps establish trust and authenticity and ensures that the user is not barraged with a sales pitch right from the beginning.

So you probably read this entire article and now are asking yourself, wait – what about the links?

Links and other benchmarks (like direct sales) are important goals with in relationship building. Without these goals, your relationship building efforts won’t have direction. However, links are icing on the cake; they should never be considered until after a direct relationship has been built on authenticity and trust. Your primary goal with relationship building is building a strong brand that can be trusted where users will refer others to you and discuss you within social media. If you are successful at that, then links are inevitable! So get out there and start monitoring social media and building strong relationships today!

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