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4 Social Media Marketing Tips That Work

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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

17 Responses to “4 Social Media Marketing Tips That Work”

  1. Great insight. I think that understanding who your audience is in order to properly engage them is the only way to do business. Social media in particular is all about building relationships with customers, so it is important to understand what interests them. Facebook and Twitter can definitely be a great place to connect and build these relationships, but only if its done right.

  2. Great tips. These are just an addition to the typical advice of interacting and responding with others. You can listen and respond and still be spammy by plastering social networking sites. The benefits of having fun, and using a personalized approach, including your own image and videos, are all dead on.

  3. jillpr

    Thanks for posting something besides the usual and overused “listen and engage” advice. This was really useful. As a communications person, I often advise people to use one or two different words and they say “why?” I think I’ll link them to this article in the future.

  4. Hello Ning,
    You have been notified now FOUR times that there is a ning which is impersonating four people. You have received four emails sent to privacy and I have spoken to your office twice. Today I spoke to Eliana. I forwarded her the information by email three hours ago and the FAKE ning which is impersonating four people in order to just harass them is still up. You can see my email which I am not going to post here. If you don’t believe me, speak with Eliana who told me the normal turn around for response on emails is 24-48 hours. The first email that was sent has now expired past that point. Your terms of service clearly state it is a violation to impersonate. This admin (whose name on the ning is NOT who it really is) which you are hosting has a long long history of this behavior and is a very mentally ill person.

    Would you PLEASE respond to this.

  5. This is all great advice. Content is king in the social media world-it’s important that you actually have something to say that is interesting to the community of people your speaking to. Tailoring your message depending on the medium is also very important. The way you approach a tweet will be very different than a Facebook status update. They serve different purposes and have different audiences. If marketers truly understand social media and the way their audience interacts with the different platforms, it can be an extremely powerful brand-building tool.

  6. Interesting write up. I think that the way advertisers leverage “ad” content to specific demographics will have to drastically change. Contests and special incentives are a great approach since people feel like they might actually “win” something.

    The restaurant industry has been doing this for a while now. Post meal receipt, fill out a survey to win $1000 or something. You proactively fed into their lead system to direct market and in return you get a coupon or a chance to win something big. Similar system online you just have to think outside the box to be “catchy”.