You are probably well-aware of such terminology as:
- Nielsen ratings
- Nielsen diary
- CPM – cost per thousand
- HUT – households using television
- Share – HUT viewing specific programming
- Focus groups
These are just an example of a few tools that are used to measure the effectiveness and accuracy of traditional media. You know traditional media (newspapers, radio, television, display advertising, direct mail etc). So, you see social media came along to get us “out of our rut”. Well, sometimes I think of it that way.
The “digital” nature of social media requires different tools be used than those employed for traditional media…it makes sense, right? A completely different set of analytical tools have to be used to gain as much information about your customers as possible. Did you know that if your customers aren’t purchasing things they need on the internet that they are probably hanging out on one of their favorite social media outlets? Because social media is where your customers hangout when they aren’t out on the streets, then your brand needs to be where your customers are. Some people, and maybe you are one of them, consider social media so far a field from what they know, they are frightened away…some run away screaming waving their arms in the air. Hey, I’ve seen it.
Please continue on, I think you will find the following information very…enlightening.
IT guru David Raab (2010) warns that currently there is not a reliable way to analyze the enormous amounts of data that is gleaned from online marketing efforts. At least when it is compared with data compiled and analyzed through traditional media research methods. That being said he does indicate that social media is not simply able to link to individuals, but consumers can be identified to the source where the message was seen. Consumers are also able to be identified by member profiles and groups. Knowing this, a business can more easily determine the most effective sources. Now do you see the advantage that social media offers? Through proper use of available analytics you are able to narrow down and target your potentially most lucrative customers. Ah, it all comes down to the bottom-line at some point, huh?
For examples of popular and easy to use analytical tools visit:
Cookies are another benefit to using social media and internet marketing. Not milk and cookies type of cookies. The cookies in this case are a primary means of tagging consumers (Raab 2010). Here is a neat example to the beneficial nature of cookies. For instance, a cookie is able to show an ad with a discount coupon to a previous customer to a website where the customer discarded the “shopping cart”. This is significant because even though the specific customer cannot be identified, they can be identified to a market segment. The consumer remains a valid potential customer. So, this customer could be sent further marketing messages. You can’t do that with traditional media.
Leary (2007) mentions some other tools you may use along with your traditional media and other digital media. Consider starting a blog (weblog) on your website. Many people, especially business owners, are avid blog followers. Blogs are a great way to help promote your business in an indirect fashion. Why? Here’s a major reason.
Blogs can help in your website optimization. When customers are searching for sites, websites populate the search results by amount of visitors, relevance and the amount of new or updated content/pages to a website. With each blog post, another page is added. This increases your chance of being in the results of a relevant search for your type of business.
Another IT expert, Bryan Leary (2007) suggests using podcasts and Slideshare.net (http://www.slideshare.net/ ) as well. Podcasts are video files that can be linked to your website. They can be news stories related to your business, testimonials of satisfied customers or your own television commercials for example. IPod owners are able to download podcasts right to their device. Leary (2007) states “Think of Slideshare.net as You-Tube for Power Point presentations”.
Two benefits of podcasts and Slideshare.net
- Your presentation could be incorporated into someone’s blog or website
- Like most web-based applications, it records everyone who views the presentation.
Incorporating social media and various internet applications like your website and blogs will enhance your marketing mix. These tools still need to be used alongside traditional media and cross-promoted. This strategy will assist you in reaching your target market in virtually everyplace they frequent. The more places your company’s name is encountered, the greater the chance that consumers will think of your company when your product or service is needed.
So, stop running and saying you don’t have time or don’t understand. Make the time and learn what you can about social media. Ask around. Talk to your friends…I bet they use social media like Facebook and Twitter and / or search and shop online. Pick their brains until it hurts. If you get into using digital media to promote your business, you will see positive results. The inherent beauty of digital media is that the tools permit you to get more “hits” on your media, and get that business of yours to “go viral”…I mean that in a good way.
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Anthony, R. (2008 October), Technology for Small Business. [3 pages] Network Journal. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Cocheo, S. (2009 September), Billboards, web, Twitter spearhead bank’s comeback. [5 pages] ABA Banking Journal. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Leary, B. (2007 April), Widen Your Customer Pool. [2 pages] Network Journal. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Raab, D. (2010 April), Marketing Systems for Online media; If a single common problem threatens the outbound campaign systems, it’s the need to handle unstructured data. [2 pages] Information Management. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Raab, D. (2010 May), Bridging the Gap Between Online and database Marketing; Centralizing information is valuable even when it cannot be tied to a specific individual. [2 pages] Information Management. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Raab, D. (2010 July), Autonomous Marketing messages; Messages that can track their own movement provide important insights into the connection between messages sent and resulting customer behavior. [2 pages] Information Management. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Zahorsky, R. (2010 February), Tweet Deals. [2 pages] ABA Journal. Available: http://proquest.umi.comTweet