How Big Brands Do Facebook Marketing

It is not uncommon for brand managers and marketing directors to think only of Facebook when discussing social media. Sure, Facebook continues to grow (and maintain) it’s dominance on the web, but there are a plethora of other useful sites and platforms that may be more useful for your brand.

But if you ARE one of those who are actively pursuing Facebook as part of your social engagement strategy, you will be interested in the following presentation. Created by the folks from Webtrends, it provides a quick overview of the aggregated statistics, but then moves into the differing approaches that you need to take for a socially-driven campaign. Rather than working with the standard marketing funnel, they suggest that you work with a campaign cycle. And while this applies to Facebook, the same framework can easily be applied to any campaign (yes even a traditional ATL campaign).

There is a section on how Webtrends can be used in conjunction with your Facebook apps and pages, some tips on getting started and some things that you should avoid.

My experience reinforces the findings. Facebook ads have been spectacularly useful and can be minutely targeted. It requires a little more strategic thinking, and creative effort, but can generate significant results. Combine that with some smart apps or page widgets and you’ll be amazed at what can be achieved. Oh, and one other point – give yourself enough time to allow the network to grow and generate results.

How the Big Brands do Facebook Marketing

View more presentations from Webtrends.


A Big List of Social Media Monitoring Solutions

One of the challenges with social media is simply keeping up with the latest changes, additions and disappearances. It seems that just when you are feeling a level of comfort with one tool, along comes another with better functionality, new features or just better graphs. And one of the hottest, most contestable areas is the areas of social media monitoring.


Now, I use the social web in a quite deliberate way – what I call simple social media. I use social tools to:

  • Create user generated content
  • Filter the vast amount of knowledge available
  • Distribute ideas, links and content
  • Provide context for the behaviours that we see every day

But how does this work? Let me give you an example.

Ken Burbary has created a great wiki of social media monitoring solutions. He lists the name of the company and the platform, what the solution monitors and links to the site where you can find more information. I found this via a link on Twitter (the filter in action) and am now publishing this as a record of something useful here on my blog. This post aims to provide the context for Ken’s wiki and why people might find it useful. My blog also feeds through to a number of other sites such as MyVenturePad and Gooruze (amongst others) – so distribution occurs across the web. This publishing process will, in turn, act as a filter for others – providing relevant information is a small, contextual package.

And the best part? By and large all this is freely available. So now, rather than wondering where or how to find the big list of social media monitoring solutions, you can now just keep an eye on Ken’s wiki.

What Does Listening Sound Like?

Let me take you back for a moment … You are there at your bedroom door. You are what? Six? Seven? Eight years old?

The voices down the hall are muffled, barely audible. But they are familiar. Something stands out for you. Your name.

There is laughing.

Actually, there must be more people there than you imagined. Maybe it is a party. Didn’t they invite you?

Disappointment settles in. You do love a party!

And there it is again – your name. This time, no laughter. It’s quiet. Much quieter now – but the whispers wind their way down the hall.

You crack the door and feel the cool night air brush your face. The whispers rush past you, tickle the hairs in your nose like a torrent of pixies.

These conversations rush around you. They build. It sounds like excitement. It sounds like you are part of something. It’s strangely invigorating. You reach out – speak – say hello.

And then it happens. A pinch. A sting that reverberates across your nervous system. Why did they do that? What happened?

Social media isn’t child’s play

While social media has a playful aspect – it is anything but simple. It can be volatile, unpredictable and move with incredible speed. It is a space that has been colonised by consumers – and it is clearly the consumers who are in control of whatever conversation is taking place. Brands, in this analogy, are children – learning their way, soaking up experiences and making mistakes.

The unfamiliar familiars

The thing to remember with social media is that while you are AT the party, it’s not a party that is FOR you. Everything is familiar – but slightly displaced:

  • Your friends are not friends
  • Your followers are not necessarily interested in you or your brand
  • You are essentially eavesdropping which means you need to orchestrate a way in to the conversations taking place – don’t just arrive empty handed
  • People may be talking ABOUT you, not TO you

The temptation to launch into a conversation may be tantalising – but to do so without preparation, without some planning and without some goals or measurements in mind can be disastrous.

To help you get a sense of what goals and measurements you may want to consider, I have included Amber Naslund’s excellent presentation on listening, learning, social media and metrics.

Make sure you listen before you leap!

Launching a Movement, Not a Product

We often forget, when we are launching a product, that we don’t just want sales. Sure, they are great. But for a launch to be successful, it means not just getting your product or service “out there” – you’ve got to keep it out there. You’ve got to ensure that it has fuel enough to sustain it until it does, in fact, reach a stable orbit.

In a social media world, this means launching a movement, not a product. In this presentation, the folks from We Are Social show how they went about launching Marmite XO. What can you learn from this approach?

Compare and contrast this with KD Paine’s new product launch checklist. What are the overlaps? What would you do differently?

The Marmarati – We Are Social's launch campaign for Marmite XO

View more presentations from We Are Social .

Shipwrecks, Tides, Sea Monsters and Digital Strategy

Brian Solis has scoured the web and brought together a series of visual graphs, maps and statistics that seek to explain the “social web”. He calls it the State of Social Media Around the World 2010. I particularly like The Global Web Index by Trendstream which goes beyond the aggregated data points to show just exactly HOW people are using social technologies in each country. However, in reading this type of data – it often pays to cross-match data points and superimpose other frameworks to reveal more useful information. This is essential to helping you formulate a robust digital strategy. Let's see how.

Superimposing frameworks to reveal information


It is interesting to compare this against Forrester’s Ladder of Social Media Participation (or see the latest version incorporating “conversationalists”) which is more granular. Forums, in particular, are still a powerful way for people to participate in a community – and are extremely popular, well trafficked and often vibrant. 

ForresterLadder Conversation

Reading Maps 

I love maps. They are a great way of contextualising our world. But it's also important to remember that they have a long history – and an important function in the sharing of knowledge. Whenever I see a map, I always think of navigation. I think of sea monsters, reefs and shipwrecks. So for all the great information that is shown on a map – it's just important to look for what is not shown, what is just below the surface.

For example, there are a couple of ways of looking at this map:

  • Trends and tides: The colour coding helps to easily identify global and regional trends. Think of this in terms of a tide – what is coming in and what is going out. Clearly photo uploading is a global phenomenon with wide scale adoption. Is it at the high tide mark? Does that matter to your audience? Designing a strategy that incorporates photography, image sharing etc lowers the barrier to entry – but can also be seen as "old hat".
  • Sea monsters: Take a close look at your country and region. The variations from global trend can indicate potential roadblocks. Think about what is happening in your country/region and determine the root causes? Not uploading video in your neck of the woods? Is there good (and cheap) bandwidth available? Are devices such as the Flip video readily available? Remember, ease of use drives consumption – that includes devices as well as websites.
  • Shipwrecks: What can be learned from the lessons of others? This is where historical and trend data can be useful. Is there 2007 or 2008 data that you can draw upon to show shifts in patterns of behaviour? Are your audiences doing something more rather than less? What is it? What are the lessons from overseas that you can take into account in your own plans?  


Oz-SocialInvolvement The Australian figures, for example are fascinating. We now know that Australians are the number one users of social media worldwide. But we are seeing particular usage patterns emerging – which would characterise us mostly as joiners and spectators. It is still a relatively small percentage who create content.

When it comes to developing a strategy for your brand, it’s important to understand the differences in the platforms and how it influences behaviour – because knowing who drives knowing how. We need to determine not just where our audiences lie (and the numbers), but also identify the most appropriate form of engagement. A joiner is not going to contribute a video to your competition, and a conversationalist is not an optimal target for a podcast. Think also about simple social media – it’s a great way to easily map what you currently do onto a more social framework (something I will be writing about later this week).

But above all – read statistics with a critical eye. Just because you read something on the web or in a report, doesn't mean it is true. It's an opinion. And when it comes to your brand's or client's strategy, your insight and your opinion also count.

Measuring the Performance of Social Media Communications

A great presentation from Valeria Maltoni on measuring how your social media communications are PERFORMING. Yes, that's right – not just "ROI" – but actual impact on the things that are important for your business.

View more documents from Valeria Maltoni.

What does this mean?

It means that YOU have to do the hard work of defining which things you want to measure and impact. You need to be actively looking at your BUSINESS STRATEGY to determine which things can remain stable and which things need to change. From there, you put in place a whole range of initiatives (some which include social media) designed to change the behaviour of your target audiences. Again – these audiences are folks that YOU need to be clear about – are you talking employees, new customers, existing customers, partners, suppliers, potential interns …

I know, you are going to ask me "can't an agency do this for me?" Of course they can. But in my view, you want to spend your hard-earned budget on creating value for your audiences. If you understand more clearly who, how and what is interesting, useful and relevant to your audiences, then you can brief your agency to deliver real value to them. It's about planning for context over placement. Remember – the clearer you are in your briefing process, the sharper results you will get. For me, forget "reach and frequency". Show me performance and business impact any day.

Seeing the Trees in the Social Media Forest

DappledWith each passing day there are more and more case studies, examples and justifications for brands to use social media. There are best practices emerging (or easily found with a Google search), thousands of “how to” blog posts explaining every aspect of social media (or perhaps the same aspect repeated 1000 times) and agencies devoted to social media as their core competency.

But it seems to me that we are beginning to swim (or is it drown?) in data. Because our social media interactions are digital, we can measure plenty of things – the time you spend on our sites, the things you click on, where you have come from, where you are going to, how much you spend, what you liked, rated and searched for and so on. And if you happen to have created a social network profile then we know even more about you – age, work history, relationships, preferences for products, brands, music, movies and so on.

But I have to ask – in amongst all this data, are we missing the trees for the forest?

You see, as marketers and as business people, we have been conditioned to think about after-the-fact aggregated data. We are used to thinking about what people DID based on certain conditions. This then allows us to cut-and-dice, segment and fine tune our customer base. It allows us to build out personas that make sense within the context of OUR BUSINESSES.

This works fine in a model where the direction of business communication is one way. It’s perfect in a world of broadcast – for in a broadcast world we are only interested in the forests (there being far too many trees to deal with). However, in a world where communication is polyphonic – where the authority of the message depends less on how shrill you are or how much air time you can buy – and relies instead on the trusted flow of recommendations from individual to individual, then a strategy which allows you to distinguish a hardwood from plantation pine is essential.

What this requires is for us to stop thinking about ROI.

It means turning our attention away from the R – the returns that come to us or our businesses – focusing instead on the I – what it is we are investing in.

By understanding who our consumers are, what our brand advocates look like, what they do (apart from loving our brands – yeah right!), where they play and so on, we can identify opportunities to engage with them. We need to invest in the RIGHT relationships – those that lead towards returns (monetary and non-monetary). We need to remember that branding is a marathon – that it all takes time – but we also need to work smarter. We need to take our excellent marketing processes and understanding and apply it in a way that enhances the way that we view our audiences. We need to use our knowledge of the forests to make sense of the trees, and only then will we begin to realise not only that social media makes sense for our businesses, but that “social” is the business.

The ROI of Social Media

One of the best things about social media is that you don’t need to “make it up” yourself. Yes, that’s right. There are thousands of very smart people sharing their ideas, expertise and knowledge – for free (just click on any of the links in my blogroll and you will be taken to the blog of someone whose ideas and abilities I respect). Your challenge is to take this vast amount of knowledge and contextualise it.

Olivier Blanchard has put together an excellent presentation on the ROI of social media. In fact, he has an outstanding series on the subject, but this presentation nails it down to a bunch of easily digestible slides. He explains exactly what ROI is (return as in $$) and what it is not (intangibles). He talks baselines and measurements. And importantly, Olivier shows exactly how you can measure the intangibles that come with social media to show how they are impacting the growth in your revenues or reductions in your costs.

So, if you are starting to get social with your marketing, take a flick through these slides so that when you are ready to talk with the bossman, you have the answers you will need. Because even if those questions aren’t being asked now, they will be in the future.

Social Media Monitoring Tools

masha i landtjärnIf you have ever wondered what tools you can use to monitor the wide range of social media sites, then this presentation is right up your alley. Not only does it provide a good, quick snapshot of some of the technologies available, it also shows where and when they are most useful to your efforts. And while you may not find one tool for all purposes, if you at least cover listening, measuring and engaging, then much of your social media monitoring can be linked by some simple manual processes – after all, who needs workflow when you will be responding to mentions yourself?

I particularly like the case study on Kryptonite bicycle locks and how “ten days of internet chatter” not only crippled a company’s reputation, but cost it millions in product exchanges.

Via Denise Tung.