During this week’s research and review of supplied materials, two things became clear to me:

  1. That planning is absolutely necessary.  If you don’t know where you’re going, and why you’re setting out in the first place, what chance to you have to succeed?
  2. There was broad agreement between Mike’s posted materials and most of the presentations that I viewed on SlideShare.

Among those that I viewed, the one that I found most interesting, was posted about a year ago by communications consultant Stephen Davies of the British firm 3W PR (http://stedavies.com/).  The presentation was titled, inventively, “Social Media Marketing“.

Some of the materials I viewed recommended the use of traditional media in addition to, and in support of social media.  For the most effective campaign, their use should be interwoven, and their implementation should be planned together.  In the “Social Media Marketing” presentation, Davies shows how traditional print and news journalism amplified a Twitter campaign in support of the UK’s National Health Service.  “Social Media Marketing“, slides 55 through 64.

In the SlideShare presentation “You Don’t Need A Social Media Strategy” that Mike linked us to, the range of slides from 21 to 34 told the story of “Salty”, the unloved saltshaker.  It was a great campaign for food product maker Knorr’s SideKicks line, showing how well-planned traditional and social media campaigns can build and complement each other.  Not only did the campaigns succeed in significantly extending market share for Knorr’s product line, but they also succeeded in energizing the product line by building a fun, engaging, nearly irresistible narrative.  ROI was realized in not only in monetary terms, but also in terms of social capital.

Using traditional media in conjunction with social media to run a persuasive campaign is also mentioned in a book that Mike introduced at the beginning of class, Social Media Marketing:  An Hour a Day,  The book is by Dave Evans, an “expert” in social media marketing.  On page 234, the author states ” . . .social components are intended to complement not replace traditional media.” (Italics are mine).

Another point that was revealed in some of the material, is that one of the primary goals of social media marketing should be to drive the target audience to the client’s website.  To me this is critically important, in that after the audience’s interest has been caught, and their trust has been won, their action is needed – but, the place for that action isn’t in any of the social media venues, it’s the client’s website.

What are the strategies to use for getting the customer to that essential point of action?  The student campaign against a bank’s unfair interest rates targeted to new graduates in Social Media Marketing, showed how social media was used to inform, then motivate, then achieve a specified end, with the students’ very effectively getting the bank to capitulate to their request.

Another great example showcased in Social Media Marketing can be found in slides 65 through 72.  They feature the story of ‘Aleksandr’, the Meerkat.  The irresistible Aleksandr was created for an auto insurance company, CompareTheMarket.com, and was provided with his own, proxy, tongue-in-cheek website, CompareTheMeerkat.com.  The ‘Aleksandr’ campaign was wildly successful, increasing online conversation from 15% to 55%, tripling market share for CompareTheMarket.com, and increasing traffic to their website by 100%.