A friend and colleague of mine is lecturing at Emerson College this semester. He is leading a class on Sales Promotion and Special Event Management, and invited me to come in and speak about using social media. The semester began with the purposes of developing and implementing sales promotions as part of a marketing mix. From there, it went on to discuss the different types of sales promotions and progresses through the process of understanding how to develop a promotion that meets specific business and marketing objective and the tools available to implement and measure the success or failure of a promotion. At this point in the semester, the students have worked on a project and have just finished presenting their launch plans to the rest of the class for feedback. I delivered the following content just after their presentations concluded.
If you’ve been reading this blog all along, you’ll know that my first recommended step is to listen. Naturally, this is how I framed my presentation for the class. I knew the subjects/topics of the presentations ahead of time, so I did some digging in to show some real case examples of listening. Three of the five groups had mentioned some sort of social media element (to varying degrees). Interestingly enough, my friend did not tell them in advance that I’d be speaking about social media..
I’ve embedded the presentation below so you can see what I presented. Like the other presentations I’ve embedded, you miss out on the talk track. But you’ll get the general idea. You can click through and go right to SlideShare to download the slides directly if you like (you’ll need to create an account if you haven’t already). Below I posted a few of the questions I received in the class, and some answers as well.
Q: How do I go about listening?
A: On the resources page, there’s a link to another presentation I prepared that walks you through how to conduct your own listening exercise.
Q: So, assume I’ve gone through the listening exercise. Now what?
A: If you’ve done this for, say, two weeks, then you’ve amassed a fair amount of mentions. The idea isn’t to track every single mention, but rather look for the trends. So, take your 100 mentions, and look for the top four or five communities or sites where there’s activity happening. Now, repeat the listening exercise, but just in these sites. Join the groups. Become a member. Now hang out and listen. Are people complaining? Sharing files? Talking about the competition? Now you can start to enter the conversations with nodding your head, answering a question, sharing a link.
Q: Are the for-fee social media monitoring sites better than the free search? What do you get that’s better, if anything?
A: Generally speaking, yes. But let’s clarify a bit. The pay sites offer a ton of data mining, and can provide sentiment analysis and a host of other metrics. This is great if you work for a large company and this is something you need. If you work for a non-profit or a start-up, I suggest using one of the lower-priced firms, or doing this manually. I do this manually, in conjunction with a paid service, so I can see if I’m spending my budget wisely. A key in this is to set up an aggregator (I use Google Reader) and point all your news collecting into one funnel, and sort through it there.
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