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5 Reminders, Tips, and Lessons about Social Media Strategy from the Ad Club Panel

This morning, a couple of us had coffee and some OJ with the Ad Club and their three panelists talking about social media strategy: 'Dunkin''? Dave Puner of Dunkin' Brands, Inc. (@dunkindonuts), Tom Matlack, co-editor of The Good Men Project (@TMatlack) and Janet Swaysland of Monster Worldwide. Listening to these social media rock stars, I was reminded of a few fundamentals that all too often we forget: Even the pros were once newbies. Up until a little over a year ago, even Dunkin' Dave was new to Twitter and Facebook and claims, of the entry into the social media space, 'we knew there were conversations happening about our brand, we just didn't know if we would be welcomed by our consumers to join the conversation.'? The lesson? They were welcome and indeed it is still better to try to guide and be a part of those discussions that are happening about your brand. To date, @DunkinDonuts has gained nearly 40,000 followers on Twitter and over 950,000 Facebook fans. The other lesson? It's natural to be hesitant, but you have to trust (Janet's advice) that it will work if done right and know your brand (Dave's advice) and your intentions. Don't forget to find your evangelists and show them some love. Much like the problem child getting all the attention, it's easy to get wrapped up in the negative comments ' and you will hear them ' from consumers instead of paying attention to the people who <3 you. Remember ' your loyalists need love too, maybe even more attention than the problem child. Never forget to thank the people who share their love for your brand and remember, when things get rowdy with a negative comment or two, it's usually your loyalists that will come to your defense. Treat each community differently. Streamlining is great, but remember that consumers use each of the spaces differently. Think about what you personally (not professionally) do on Facebook v. how you use Twitter v. what and how you're really (don't lie) watching and sharing on YouTube. Now think about your brand's professional strategy and how you approach each of them. Are you thinking about the content you are creating (oh, and, you ARE creating content by the way) and the purpose of your brand's use of each space? Do it. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. It's easy to get excited about the ways you can use social media. OOH OOH! Customer service! Oh wait!! Recruiting! OOH we should try a direct drive to sales and share exclusive deals! Especially when getting started, be sure to prioritize and know your purpose for being there. What conversations are happening already? Are you leveraging them? Or do you want to start entirely new conversations? ROI is tricky. There are an abundance of ways to measure influence in social media'?¦at AMP we call a combination of those measurements a return on engagement (ROE) or return on relationship (ROR), but a traditional ROI can be tricky ' often do-able, sure, but always tricky. Plunging into social media may require a shift in economics for your marketing plan. It's not all dollar signs, there really is a direct benefit of engaging directly with your consumers, but it may be difficult to directly measure its monetary value. Based on your goals, identify how you want to measure the effects of your brand's presence ' if your goal is customer service, then how quickly was the customer issue resolved on Twitter? How efficiently? How happy was the customer in the end? If your goal is sales, what technology are you leveraging to track this? Measurement will always be an enormous part of any social media strategy, but it's important to understand that the way you have traditionally measured success in your other marketing plans may need a tweak or two. Trust us'?¦if you can get your business into this new mindset, it will be worth it.

Twitter gets younger, Facebook gets older

According to the latest Pew Internet & American Life research results, contrary to recent reports Twitter is quickly being adopted by a younger demographic with the average age of Twitter users at 31, compared to Facebook's average user age of 33, up from 26. The average age of a MySpace user is 26 and LinkedIn, 39. A shift was bound to happen at some point this year with both Facebook and Twitter expanding its user base rapidly, but Facebook from being a college-specific social networking site to something that parents and grandparents use to stay connected and Twitter from a microblogging service that was initially adopted by an older 30-something demographic, but trending to grow a younger demographic base.

I "HEART" Free Stuff

It's no secret that I am a Twitter junkie. Personally, it is important to me to hear about Kourtney Kardashian's pregnancy 5 seconds before you and to read @jordanrubin's Tweets so I can giggle like a schoolgirl (translation: loudly guffaw and snort, I'm not dainty). Professionally, I have to know what consumers and brands are doing on Twitter to stay current and do my job, which is why last week when my personal Twitter self reaped the benefits of a brand leveraging the space in a way that my professional Twitter self often observes and admires, I felt the need to tell everyone and their brother about it. A few things led to my over the top word-of-mouth reaction: #fact 1: I follow @drew on Twitter. Drew Olanoff, an internet and social media expert was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma this year and has since launched a few campaigns including www.blamedrewscancer.com (#blamedrewscancer on Twitter), conversation threads on how cancer has affected you, and partnerships with Livestrong and a little Google-funded company called 23 and Me (www.23andme.com, www.twitter.com/23andme). I think Drew is wicked cool. He is leveraging his social media expertise and his diagnosis, infused with a sense of humor, to raise awareness of cancer in a very public, approachable way. I often #blamedrewscancer on things like AMP's office being stupid cold or my bike chain coming off on my way to work (you should try it, it's quite therapeutic) and I have contributed to conversation threads that remind me that there is a huge network of people who have also been affected by this disease. So when Drew contacted me on Twitter and thanked me for my contribution to the conversation and offered me a free 23 and Me kit, I was psyched to say the least. #fact 2: I have a history of cancer in my family. 23 and Me is an at-home DNA testing kit ' they send you the kit, you spit in a cup, send it back, and in 4 weeks you log in to their secure site to find out what diseases you may be genetically predisposed to, learn about your ancestry, and find out quirky facts like are you genetically built for sprints or marathons (my guess in my case: neither). When I first heard of 23 and Me I thought it was pretty sweet, but honestly it freaked me out' would I want to know that I am genetically predisposed to breast cancer, bipolar disorder or heart disease? The thought of knowing made me nervous until the trial opportunity fell into my lap at which point my overwhelming love of free stuff helped me overcome my fears. #fact 3: I LOVE free stuff. In fact, I ate a free Cliff Bar for breakfast, serendipitously given to me on a morning when I had forgotten to eat breakfast, but I digress. At AMP we talk a lot about the importance of trial. In my case I was offered a product that I feared trying and thought little more of other than, 'Huh ' cool,'? and now my friends, family, and others who had previously never heard of it know all about it. So why increase trial, especially for a product that once used there is no need to re-use (as is the case with 23 and Me)? Because giving someone an opportunity to try your product can instantly make it relevant to them ' I didn't care much about 23andMe before I was offered a chance to try it ' now I can't imagine not wanting it. And because once you give free stuff to loot-lovers, the word-of-mouth benefits can be astounding. And when done right, leveraging Twitter to increase trial can result in meaningful and highly measurable online impressions and highly visible consumer endorsements. I'll let you know what my DNA test says about me, but in the meantime, if you are (un?)fortunate enough to be in my circle, expect to hear all about 23 and Me for the next 4 weeks and beyond. Oh, and follow @drew (twitter.com/drew) and @23andme (twitter.com/23andme) ' two very, very cool Twitter personalities doing very, very cool things.

I "HEART" Free Stuff

It's no secret that I am a Twitter junkie. Personally, it is important to me to hear about Kourtney Kardashian's pregnancy 5 seconds before you and to read @jordanrubin's Tweets so I can giggle like a schoolgirl (translation: loudly guffaw and snort, I'm not dainty). Professionally, I have to know what consumers and brands are doing on Twitter to stay current and do my job, which is why last week when my personal Twitter self reaped the benefits of a brand leveraging the space in a way that my professional Twitter self often observes and admires, I felt the need to tell everyone and their brother about it. A few things led to my over the top word-of-mouth reaction: #fact 1: I follow @drew on Twitter. Drew Olanoff, an internet and social media expert was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma this year and has since launched a few campaigns including www.blamedrewscancer.com (#blamedrewscancer on Twitter), conversation threads on how cancer has affected you, and partnerships with Livestrong and a little Google-funded company called 23 and Me (www.23andme.com, www.twitter.com/23andme). I think Drew is wicked cool. He is leveraging his social media expertise and his diagnosis, infused with a sense of humor, to raise awareness of cancer in a very public, approachable way. I often #blamedrewscancer on things like AMP's office being stupid cold or my bike chain coming off on my way to work (you should try it, it's quite therapeutic) and I have contributed to conversation threads that remind me that there is a huge network of people who have also been affected by this disease. So when Drew contacted me on Twitter and thanked me for my contribution to the conversation and offered me a free 23 and Me kit, I was psyched to say the least. #fact 2: I have a history of cancer in my family. 23 and Me is an at-home DNA testing kit ' they send you the kit, you spit in a cup, send it back, and in 4 weeks you log in to their secure site to find out what diseases you may be genetically predisposed to, learn about your ancestry, and find out quirky facts like are you genetically built for sprints or marathons (my guess in my case: neither). When I first heard of 23 and Me I thought it was pretty sweet, but honestly it freaked me out' would I want to know that I am genetically predisposed to breast cancer, bipolar disorder or heart disease? The thought of knowing made me nervous until the trial opportunity fell into my lap at which point my overwhelming love of free stuff helped me overcome my fears. #fact 3: I LOVE free stuff. In fact, I ate a free Cliff Bar for breakfast, serendipitously given to me on a morning when I had forgotten to eat breakfast, but I digress. At AMP we talk a lot about the importance of trial. In my case I was offered a product that I feared trying and thought little more of other than, 'Huh ' cool,'? and now my friends, family, and others who had previously never heard of it know all about it. So why increase trial, especially for a product that once used there is no need to re-use (as is the case with 23 and Me)? Because giving someone an opportunity to try your product can instantly make it relevant to them ' I didn't care much about 23andMe before I was offered a chance to try it ' now I can't imagine not wanting it. And because once you give free stuff to loot-lovers, the word-of-mouth benefits can be astounding. And when done right, leveraging Twitter to increase trial can result in meaningful and highly measurable online impressions and highly visible consumer endorsements. I'll let you know what my DNA test says about me, but in the meantime, if you are (un?)fortunate enough to be in my circle, expect to hear all about 23 and Me for the next 4 weeks and beyond. Oh, and follow @drew (twitter.com/drew) and @23andme (twitter.com/23andme) ' two very, very cool Twitter personalities doing very, very cool things.

  • 3 min read
  • August 19, 2009

What is Twitter doing?

If only I could tell you in 140 characters or less'?¦ The post Ashton/Oprah effect numbers are in and according to Quantast, Twitter more than tripled in size in the three months between February and May ' up from 7 million users in February to nearly 22 million users in the month of May. While the numbers are overwhelming, what is even more noteworthy is how the demographic continues to change. Much has been said of Twitter being a platform that the Gen Y/College demographic has not adopted, but the latest numbers show that 18 ' 34 year-olds are the top age demographic in the space and even 12 ' 17 year-olds are slowly starting to dive in (5% of users, up from 1% in February), so Twitter is starting to trend younger ' great news for marketers who would like to use Twitter to reach Gen Y. Twitter has also been readily adopted by women and African-Americans; Twitter users are most likely to visit fashion and cosmetics, women's interest and African-American interest websites, in order of affinity. While Twitter still has an engagement problem ' only 1% of users are addicts and 27% are regulars (compared to Facebook where 12% are addicts, 54% regulars), people are starting to catch on. Twitter has plans to re-design its homepage this month to shift focus away from its purist intended use ' a microblogging service allowing you to tell people what you are doing in 140 characters or less - to what its "addict" and "regular" users are really going there for - to follow, whether it's Ashton, Demi, and Perez, or CNN Breaking News, the most active users are taking advantage of how Twitter allows them to interact with people, brands, and media that are otherwise fairly unreachable. It will be interesting to see if these numbers of addicts and regulars goes up as a result of the homepage re-design in the next reporting period. Ask any addict to 'explain'? Twitter and you will understand why a re-design is in order - I think we will see more and more people will stick around if done right!

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