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Collaborative conversations

May 3, 2009

More thoughts on social media marketing from Dave Evans book of the same name. (p 79-101).

Consumer-generated media includes all those sites that allow visitors to upload photos and videos, write blogs and reviews, leave comments, and post ratings.

Collaborative conversations.
Dave Evans sees a difference in the way Boomers and Millenials use these social sites. The Boomers are territorial and feel proprietary ownership, whereas the Millenials see the collective conversation as belonging to everyone and linking one site to another is as it should be, unquestionably. “The Millenial mindset is ‘we’ compared with the Boomer ‘me'” (p 89).

Creating a social feedback cycle. You’ll need to keep track of the conversations about your products/service taking place on social sites, conversations which have the potential to influence consumers who are deciding whether or not to purchase your products/service. Keep track of the positive AND negative conversations.

Create your map. Pick a product, service or brand. Evans says to make two lists, one of your business goals and second, a list of things that enable a profit. The second list could consist of new sales, new customers, or better reputation (p 92).

Metric-oriented base. Part of the marketing plan is to review and document “specific objectives for your campaign” (p 92). This will help in determining Return on Investment. Measurements should be quantitative, be used in context, and have meaning.

What are you doing now to draw attention to your products/service? How are you measuring the results? Evans says to introduce your products/services and then “sustain awareness” of your products/service. Tap “the social feedback cycle to pull social media and social conversations back into the loop where they can do you some good” (p 94).

Make a list of the “channels” you are using to draw attention to your products/service. Rate the value of each channel. Then move on to assessing the collaborative conversations about your products/service. “Identify the channels that you are using at the point-of-sale” (p 95).

Evans says the next step is “gathering intelligence” which simply means to read the conversations about your products/service. It is important to read these conversations as if YOU are a customer. What are you reading about your products/service? Any differences between promises made about your products/service and the actual experience customers have had with your products/service is “driving your point-of-sale efforts” (p 96).

Knowing about any differences between your “promise and delivery” shows where you can work on the promise and the delivery – in other words, you can be proactive.

I like Dave Evans suggestion to use the bookmarking site Delicious to gather your resources in one place. These bookmarks are resources that might include references, competitive comparison, feeds. Tools include BuzzMetrics, Cymfony, Techrigy. Be sure to check out Google’s Blogsearch, BlogPulse, Planet Feedback, YouTube, online reviews and google alerts to find conversations about your products/service.

The social feedback cycle is the “awareness, consideration, and purchase” measured by following conversations on social sites. Do the conversations show that your point-of-purchase efforts are working? Business objectives > awareness efforts > point-of-sale purchase efforts > social media intelligence.

Brand detractors and upset customers are two different puppies. Make sure “your story is also being told” (p 101).

What does your social feedback cycle map tell you? Map actual results.

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