, Associate Director-social media, Tamar
Brand Building Through Search Guide
Recent announcements from Twitter on its decision to base its new sponsored-tweet model on results returned through search highlight the growing relationship between search and social media. At the same time, Google and Facebook have made big changes recently that blur the line between ‘search’ and ‘social’. These changes- real-time search results in Google SERPs, Google Labs ‘social graph’ experiment, expansion of the ‘universal’ results being returned to users and so on – are focused on giving people more relevant results.
This has always been Google’s defining vision but Twitter and other services are fast becoming searchers’ first port of call when looking for emotional or opinion-based answers to their queries.
Keep updated on changes to well publicised sites like Twitter and Google, you also have to keep one eye on smaller, up-and-coming sites like Topsy and Collecta. Real-time dedicated search engines that crawl the social space for live opinion and news on any topic you could think of.
Here are our top-tips on how to keep yourself ahead of your competitors when it comes to social search:
• Find and utilise a social monitoring platform/tool that suits your needs and use it regularly. One-off reports and 500-page dossiers aren’t going to help you in the fast-paced new world we live in.
• As well as using sites like Twitter for your business, use them personally to keep your eye on industry news. Following tweeters like Mashable, AlleyInsider and, of course, the IAB will ensure you always know the new sites and services before the mainstream do.
• Apply SEO techniques and strategy to your social objects as you would do with your classic site. Keywords in titles, optimised tags and site-specific meta data will help your content get found in all the search engines, no matter how they decide rankings.
• Be everywhere. You have to make sure that when people are doing searches that are relevant to you, your brand is dominating as much of that search real estate as possible – whatever engine they choose to use.
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) –has partnered with search and social conversion agency Tamar to educate marketers about the importance of using search to build brands, with a step-by-step guide to putting the discipline at the heart of online strategies.
The full guide is available for download from the IAB site here or to request a copy please contact .
For more information on how you can contribute/sponsor one of the upcoming handbooks in the brand building series (Brand Building Through Integration, Brand Building Through Creativity and Brand Building Through Relationships) contact
One of the biggest ‘hot potatoes’ right now is how to measure social media activity and whether it’s possible to apportion ROI. It seems every man, woman and dog has an opinion on the matter!
And for good reason.
The days of whimsical experimentation have long gone. Nowadays, marketers have to justify every budget line with robust KPIs, solid business cases or definitive break-even/ ROI analysis. Not so easy when it comes to evaluating that ‘fluffy social media stuff’ but if we genuinely want this to be taken seriously it’s imperative we start making it much more accountable.
More accountability, more standardisation
But for this to happen there really needs to be a degree of standardisation across the industry so that we’re all talking the same language (or at least singing from the same ‘karaoke machine’!) But the truth is there’s currently too much inconsistency in the industry to draw any salient or meaningful conclusions. As it stands, it’s almost impossible to benchmark our respective activity as everyone is measuring performance differently. This is compounded by the fact that social media is so versatile, diverse, complex and multi-faceted, spanning many disparate objectives and many different platforms - no wonder we’ve struggled to find a common methodology which works across everything.
A step in the right direction
What I’m about to share with you may not address all these challenges but will hopefully move us in the right direction. TMW have been working in close consultation with the IAB Social Media Council to develop a new measurement framework to help practitioners evaluate their social media activity more effectively and consistently. It’s not rocket science. In fact, it’s a very simple framework, designed to be flexible enough to be applied across a broad spectrum of social media platforms, whilst at the same time giving practitioners the freedom to use their own experience and expertise to choose the most appropriate KPIs.
Rather serendipitously, the measurement framework we’re proposing shares the same acronym as the Internet Advertising Bureau, so at least it’s dead easy to remember!
You can view the full presentation of this approach below.
The presentation talks through each step of the process from establishing up front your intent, assigning the most pertinent KPIs according to the 4 As – Awareness, Apprecitation, Action and Advocacy – and consulting other benchmarks in order to draw meaningful comparisons.
There’s an array of KPIs which one can assign to each of these 4 As. As a starter for ten we’ve provided a selection to choose from but this list is not exhaustive by any means. Which KPIs you choose to apply will fundamentally vary according to the intent you define, the platform you’re using, the tracking you have in place and the internal expectations of various stakeholders and whether they demand hard financials as well as soft metrics.
Defining some hard financials
Ultimately, I believe we all need to be working towards some hard financials which over time will become established as industry standards. I’ve deliberately steered away from ROI per se – that’s a debate for another day – but instead would favour the four financial KPIs in line with the 4 As (see table below). How we calculate these KPIs is still to be defined but the principle of having one or more of this hard financials to evaluate or benchmark our activity could be extremely beneficial in my view.
The Council plans to officially promote this framework to the wider industry in a couple of weeks, but it would be great to get some feedback to ensure this is a collaborative effort. What we’ve outlined may not suit everybody but we believe it’s a step in the right direction and would encourage as many practitioners as possible to adopt it where they can. The more aligned the industry becomes, the more accountable social media will become and the easier it will be for all of us to digest the complexities of social media measurement.
Surely that’s something worth striving for?
By , Skive and , TMW
Here’s some thoughts on the biggest challenge with the content user-generated space, and a couple of things we can do about them, complete with UGC checklist. Let us know what you think!
Mark runs us through the process of how brands traditionally targeted their consumers before the days of digital. He talks about how social media can drive this consumer identification method for brands in a easier more precise way through the art of conversation.
, digital social media director at Markettiers4DC, discusses how best to use broadcast within social media and how interactive video can add to your social activity. He talks about the most effective online methods when seeding content and once it’s out there, the best ways to get your consumers to interact with it. Russell also quashes the myth that all B2B brands are dull and therefore produce less interesting work, providing some great case studies along the way.
By , head of digital strategy, Imagination
Browsing through research and social spaces as I like to do I came across this fascinating graph on TechCrunch last week.
It’s fascinating not because it shows a drop off in Facebook from December 2009 although that’s probably worth a column in itself, but because it shows the popularity of Stumbleupon. Stumbleupon has been helping users find random, rated content since 2001. It’s not new and it’s not flashy but it is very definitely a social space.
Users love stumbleupon for 3 reasons – peer-recommendation, simplicity and serendipity. Essentially they get great stuff from people they like in their network.
I’m not suggesting that Stumbleupon should be at the heart of every social media strategy, social media strategies should not be based purely on numbers but on relevance. Still, it reminded me again about the importance of considering your audience and being sure you know where they hang out online.
What this graph clearly illustrates is that the usual suspects are just that, usual. And it can pay to truly consider the whole social market place when you are investigating social media strategies. Or you might miss the most important place to be because it’s not the most high profile.
by (vice SMC chair), Head of Buzz Metrics, nielsen
When something you don’t like reminds you of something you don’t like…
You know one thing I really don’t like? Sugar cubes. They really frustrate me. I mean, for something that is supposed to be so sweet and tasty, they are so annoying. Sugar cubes take forever to dissolve, and to speed up the process, I just keep stirring and stirring, making my drink cold. In addition, their form factor is supposed to be superior, but I don’t get it. I still have to use a spoon to take one and put it in my drink, just like granulated sugar. Also, there is no way to have a half a cube of sugar in my drink like there is with the other stuff. What is this post actually about, you ask? Well, I was at a meeting this week – stirring away – when I heard yet another major company talk about how they were ‘doing social media’ as they were ‘doing Facebook and Twitter.’ When I asked them why they were using these platforms, silence filled the room and puzzled expressions came across their faces.
You see, here is how many very well known companies seem to get involved in Social Media:
- First, an executive sees a presentation at an event, reads an article, or has a meeting with a consultant who talked about the Armageddon that is social media and the end of advertising models as we know them.
- This triggers a basic corporate reaction – the message flows downhill. This executive then turns to PR, Marketing, Brand, Research, etc. and tells them to put ‘Social Media’ on their list of objectives in 2010 and to go out and ‘do social media’.
- The final stage of this process includes the selected department determining that social media is Facebook and Twitter and therefore they launch a presence on these platforms.
Thus, when I ask them why they are doing this – i.e. what are their goals or objectives in using these platforms – they draw a blank. Social Media is a huge topic with so many activities, platforms, technologies, and aspects that it can overwhelm the most sophisticated and experienced business leader. The topic is so broad and vast, that trying to label or define it can become comical (just ask the IAB UK Social Media Council).
Rather than measure ‘social media,’ I believe companies should place much more emphasis on listening and using social media for strategy creation rather than jump right into execution or engagement. Listening and learning from this then can inform decisions to focus on destinations like Facebook and Twitter. Alternatively, companies and brands should look to define their objectives first, then determine if social media is a viable way to meet these objectives. For example, a brand may want to increase awareness, advocacy, retention, or churn, or decrease negative discussion and identify threats. A brand may want to begin to measure and treat each mention like an impression, something they are more familiar with measuring. Each of these components is much easier to breakdown into its individual parts and measure accurately and effectively. Otherwise, in my mind, social media measurement becomes as useful as a sugar cube.
At our first session for our Rising Voice in social media programme from RMM took the delegates through the 6 types of social media. Matt used a colourful party planner analogy with case studies and tips to do this.
Watch the below to see the full presentation…
Our first session of the Rising Voice in Social Media kicked off yesterday. , Associate Director – Social Media at Tamar (and hardcore Eva Longoria Parker fan) talked our delegates through how to get the most out of blogging and Twitter, with some case studies and best practice examples.
Simon Daglish vice president of Fox Interactive Media was interviewed by , senior PR and marketing manager at the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) about how to engage with your audience within social media and the importance of keeping them captivated. Simon was asked questions such as; whether it is better to engage the user instead of chasing the last click, do clients still require proof to use social media? and should measurement be bespoke per campaign? He also gave some useful advice for managing friends and fans in social networks.
Watch the below video to see the full interview…