4 Social Media Marketing Tips That Work

Speakers at the Smash Summit in San Francisco today said brands should take a holistic, goal-oriented, authentic approach to social media marketing, rather than focusing on any one platform or method. Analyst and keynoter Jeremiah Owyang labeled the temptation of marketers to fixate on any one tool like Facebook or Twitter “fondling the hammer” as opposed to building the house — an awkward if memorable metaphor. But presenters did offer up a few solid case studies about tweaks that worked. Here are some of the ones I picked up:

Use the tools available to tweak your targeting and language and test them, said Facebook’s Bubba Murarka. In one test, he was able to boost clickthrough rates fivefold by changing the world “has” to “could” in the text of an ad. Murarka is working on publishing an academic paper on the findings, he said.

Posting fresh content is important, but the archive has value, said YouTube’s Hunter Walk. He advised brands to start on YouTube with an “anchor video.” Once it gets to about 5,000 views, it will start surfacing in search and related videos. Of YouTube’s more than 1 billion playbacks per day, Walk said, half of them are from content uploaded more than six months ago. That’s a huge opportunity.

Make promotions fun, said Wildfire Interactive CEO Victoria Ransom. For the private retailer Hautelook, Wildfire turned coupons awarded to fans on Facebook into a game. Users didn’t know the value of a coupon they received — anywhere between 10 and 90 percent off — until they registered. Hautelook received five times as much revenue as what they spent on the campaign, with customers including 20 percent first-time buyers and many more people who hadn’t purchased in a while that the company assumed weren’t coming back anymore.

Attention to details matters, said Digg’s Bob Buch. Putting a picture instead of a logo in a Digg Ad doubles the clickthrough rate, every time. Virgin America posted an ad on Digg that was just a reprint of what the company uses for search. It had a logo that was poorly sized for Digg’s image slot, and nothing in particular to appeal to Digg users. The ad had a sub-1 percent clickthrough rate, said Buch. “It doesn’t have to be a girl in a bikini,” said Buch, “any picture will work.”

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing

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