Tag Archives: social direct response

A Step-by-Step Guide to Social Direct Response

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A central part of any social media strategist’s job is to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in newsfeed algorithms, analytics features and paid post programs. After managing social programs for a wide variety of brands, I’ve discovered that the best strategy is not to be reactive to these changes, but rather to authentically engage with users.

That means that, instead of seeking to take advantage of the latest loophole, engage to the point where customers — or potential customers — actually want to share their data (name, email address, zip code, etc.) because they are genuinely interested and want to participate. There are three important steps to achieving success in generated social direct response:

1) Engagement

Think of engagement as the foundation upon which you build your strategy. Approach your effort across screens and marketing vehicles so that your message reaches your target audience both offline and online. Remember, the consumer is looking for an easy and consistent experience when taking the time to engage with you, so allow your marketing messages to prompt a consumer action no matter where they see your messaging.

For example, Sprint recently partnered with The Voice to give fans of the TV show a chance to unlock exclusive, behind-the-scenes videos of the contestants. Fans had the opportunity to express interest, and Sprint responded by providing access to the content. This sort of interaction creates dialogue between brand and consumer while executing a data/content trade off. This balance between benefit received and information given allowed Sprint and the Voice to achieve specific awareness and conversion goals.

2) Conversion

Conversion can mean a sale, but it is so much more. Being able to learn about your core audience – those who consistently engage with your brand — will allow you to test and improve what you offer on each channel. To be able to connect offline (quiet) channels to social ones amplifies your brand message in a public way while giving consumers the ability to get something in return.

There is already so much time, creativity and money that goes into the content brands create — particularly with real-time social strategy during large events or holidays — that it’s time to make content that converts in an action-oriented way. You’re probably doing it already, so why not exchange valuable content that consumers want for additional information about them, which will allow you to further tailor future conversion campaigns as well.

Per our example above, Sprint and The Voice were able to capture social handle information in exchange for exclusive content. The consumer is happy sharing the data, because they get delivered to them exactly what they are asking for, on the channel they are active in. In return, the brand knows more about which channel and which consumers are willing to take action with the brand for particular marketing initiatives.

3) Measurement

Set KPIs at the outset of your campaigns and measure against them. It’s time to move beyond engagement and impressions to focus on metrics and calls-to-action that map to specific business goals. Use your metrics as a way to assess and improve. Social direct response provides terrific feedback mechanisms, allowing marketers to measure and answer key questions in new ways, such as, “What messages resonate most with which customers in which social channels?” and “What activation mechanisms are most effective for our target market?” Take advantage of the opportunity to measure, test and improve your results.

There is a lot to keep up with in social. The good news is that you can build a strategy with social direct response that, while watching the latest changes to the social networks, doesn’t mean you have to constantly change your strategy. Your decisions are based on your specific audience and what they are willing to do, not what everyone else is doing. While your individual tactics may change, keeping an eye on higher-level goals that drive higher interest and intention from consumers will keep your marketing programs running efficiently and effectively while returning dividends to the business.

To Grow Your Social Marketing Budget, Determining ROI Is a Critical Job Skill

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Written by Nadia Uddin, Client Solutions at Chirpify

“We’re the red-headed stepchild.” My friend Dave, who is a global social director at a major fashion brand, lamented as we commiserated over oysters and drinks at Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston (a must to visit if you’re ever in the area).

No offense to red heads or step children, but the phrase has meaning, especially among social media teams at big brands. And Dave isn’t the only one who feels this.

Most social media directors have difficulty proving the value of social media marketing at organizations. Sure they can measure it, but they cannot attribute it back directly to things like sales. With Dave’s case, his brand has some of the largest social media followings of any company, and fans around the world post pictures of the product, like, share, re-tweet all to the millionth degree with no incentive to do so, only because they love it. But, when it comes time to ask for budgets for staffing, marketing programs, and the like, Dave’s got an uphill battle because he can’t offer a solid ROI.

“From the outside looking in, we’re perceived as best-in-class in social. But behind closed doors, our company has gone bankrupt two times already. We really need to prove that we drive the business,” says Dave, who often times is asked to dumb down his presentations when explaining social to his colleagues. “There’s always an elephant in the room about the business meaning of a ‘like’.”

Luckily, Dave’s got hope. I shared the following ways to prove social media ROI based on what I’ve seen from my clients—it all comes down to understanding what the business values.

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Start Gathering Emails

TaylorMade knows for sure that once someone signs up for a brand email, they’re on that path to purchase and becoming a loyal customer. And even Craig Brommers, SVP of marketing for Abercrombie and Fitch said that loyalty club members are, on average, six times more valuable than nonmembers, and the top 10% of club members purchase eight times per year. Which means there’s value in an email.

While Dave is in no way connected to his brand’s email program or has knowledge of the ostensibly complex systems, he can work on a series of promotions on social that will ask his social media followers for emails in exchange for brand relevant things like content and prizes. TaylorMade did a series of bursts just like this on social, and within a course of a year, was able to hand over more than 60,000 emails to the CRM team. This left little question on whether social media marketing delivered value to the business.

Help with Ad Targeting

Promotions on social media can offer an opportunity to gather social media identities such as individual handles on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Those handles can then be fed into ad buying systems, which then can target the ads on the applicable social media channels. The handles themselves can be targeted, as well as friends of those handles. For the media buying department at Dave’s company, this would help them deliver proven ROI, such as click-throughs. By connecting better click through rates to those handles who participated in the promotion, then the reasoning and value of doing a promotion on social media increases.

Find Out Which Social Media Followers are Customers

To give you another example, one retailer I worked with wanted to know which subscribers of their list were also following them on social media. To do this, they offered their email list subscribers a special if they tweeted a special hashtag. The tweet intent was embedded in the email, so once the subscriber responded to the call-to-action directly from the email, we were able to get their social handle. From there, we compared their social handle to their Twitter followers and was able to discern which followers were customers as well. This helped the strategy team figure out which customers were the most valuable based on spend and advocacy.

As I talk to more and more friends like Dave, it’s becoming clear that to fight and win more budget for social marketing, brands need to show how their budget is bringing real business returns. Connecting the dots between social handles, email, the customer journey and ultimately sales is becoming a critical career skill for in-house social strategists.