Social Media Marketing

John Hope-Johnstone

At HPR Internet and Social Media Marketing Seminars we not only coach corporations and organizations to market their brand by using social media and other Internet marketing tools, but we also help them develop integrated strategies for their marketing. The two key words are “help” and “integrated”. If there is anything the last three years have taught us, it is that unless social media is integrated into a complete marketing strategy, including as many of the marketing tools as economically possible, its likelihood of success does not rise above the level of “brand awareness”. The other key word is “help”. We have found that if HPR develops the strategy solo it has less adoption possibility than if it is born out of collaboration.

Another discovery is the disturbing rise of a split in some marketing departments into legacy and Internet marketing under one individual and social media marketing under another.

The marketing industry has spent a lot of time working to get all the marketing tools under one leadership. One VP/Director of Marketing who conducts all of the instruments (tools) of marketing, not just a couple. Today, we hear more and more use of such terms as “marketing and sales”, “marketing and social media”, this is a backward step and leads to a bunch of marketing silos and should be discouraged. Sales is a tool of marketing just as social media is a tool. Social Media may fall under the PR department (in fact we believe it should), but it is a tool none the less. The fact is, there are many heads of marketing that really don’t understand social media and are confused by its role in the total marketing picture.

At HPR we encourage campaigns that integrate all the tools of marketing to create a maximum effect. Our collaborative strategies are often campaign oriented rather than only about brand awareness. Our campaigns utilize legacy media such as print, TV, radio, (where applicable), and Internet and social media marketing.

We don’t discourage ongoing “brand awareness” marketing, in fact, we believe it is vital. However, we develop our strategies around campaigns/promotions that involve a beginning a middle and an end and that are highly targeted and always have built in objectives and analytics to measure success. In this kind of marketing environment using as many of the tools of marketing that a budget will allow, being highly targeted, and highly objective oriented, the campaigns are nearly always successful.

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Is Text Marketing One Way to Measure Conversion?

John Hope-Johnstone

I have been enthralled with permission based text marketing ever since I stepped off a plane in Las Vegas, turned on my phone and received a text from the hotel welcoming me to Las Vegas and offering a 20% discount on my dinner in their main dining room. This was my first experience with permission based text marketing and I thought it was great!

I had given the hotels text marketing company my permission to use text marketing after making the reservation. (It was suggested on the reservation confirmation). I texted a given number, and in the text copy placed the name of the Casino. I could opt out at any time (and I did upon leaving the hotel at the end of my stay). I received four special offers during my stay, which saved me a goodly amount of dollars.

While text marketing at the moment is not main stream and seems to be used primarily by restaurants and attractions, it can be used by any bricks and mortar business who would like to develop a text client base to fill quiet periods. Its advantage, IT’S IMMEDIATE!

There are many good text marketing companies out there to be searched, but you must choose your provider carefully. Look at their client list, are they of the same quality as your company? Contact their clients and ask if they have been happy with the service and make sure that their policy is to NEVER resell your clients to other marketers, this could massively hurt your reputation.

The tourism industry is always looking for ways to measure conversion, could this be one of them?

In the advertising fulfilment piece, or on-line, it can be mentioned that IF the prospective visitor comes to stay in the region they should open a text account during the time they visit so that they can receive specials. As soon as you see action on that account through the analytics provided by your text marketing company, you will know that conversion has or is about to take place.

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Does Social Media Marketing Really Work?

John Hope-Johnstone

Does social media marketing really work? Fewer than 1 percent of Website visits come directly from a social media URL according to research just released by customer satisfaction analytics experts ForeSee Results.

That’s not terribly exciting news. However, 18% of people surveyed say that they are influenced to visit a brand’s Web site OR purchase that brand because of social media. So here is my answer to that very important question, “does social media really work?”

NO! Not by itself but as part of an integrated marketing program it becomes a major influencer and a can double or triple the results of a regular campaign. At HPR Internet and Social Media Marketing Seminars and Coaching we have proven time and again that as part of an integrated campaign social media is a powerful tool. Left by itself it is valuable for brand loyalty but is not a “force” marketing medium.

Social Media Promotions

John Hope-Johnstone

One of the most successful tools in social media marketing are “promotions”.

So what differentiates a “promotion” to just brand awareness? A promotion has a beginning, middle and end. It is of a relatively short duration and it has a set of very well-defined objectives along with an overarching goal that closely aligns to the overall marketing plan.

Although I had been involved with social media marketing since 2005, I really burst onto the scene in 2008.

During that December a series of bad storms over the Holiday party season threatened to close some of our top restaurants who rely on such parties to carry them through the doldrums of January.

We created a promotion that utilized some well established email lists, several popular business facebook pages and a massive number of Tweets.

All of this promotion had one very clear-cut aim, to drive people to a special landing page that would explain the new promotion called “Corvallis Culinary Week”.  If they entered their first name and email they would receive a link to download a coupon for two that would allow them to have a dinner at one of our top restaurants for only $10.

Food prep for Culinary Week @ 101

1,600 people downloaded the coupons within two days. Reservations were required and waiting lists were established by the fourth day before the first week of the promotion even began.

An added benefit was the establishment of a “foodies” email list that could be used by our restaurant community to communicate with folks who like good dining.

The promotion still continues in January each year and with about the same results. The local Gazette Times newspaper stated at the beginning of the 2011 Corvallis Culinary Week, ” Corvallis Culinary Week makes its valiant return Jan. 17-23 for the third annual celebration of local fine dining, an event so glorious it’s as though it were touched by the hand of God.” Fine praise indeed.

Here’s the tip. While social media marketing was the main marketing tool, we didn’t rely on solely on social media. Like all good marketing we integrated it within all the appropriate tools available to us. However, the insert in the local newspaper and a very small TV campaign all pushed towards the special landing page. Total campaign spend (small market) was about $2,500.

For this campaign my staff were honored by being presented with the Governor’s Tourism Award for a Social Media Campaign.

Governor's Award

HPR Social Media has also created special social media marketing promotions for other types of organizations. A recent one was for a large upscale health club in Corvallis named the Timberhill Athletic Club.

The goal was to use social media to promote a two-week complimentary membership for anyone clicking through to a landing page entering first name and email and then receiving a special downloadable membership pass for two weeks. They had to take a tour and exchange the downloaded pass for a smaller more official one from membership services.

Our objective was 80 downloads for the campaign over a twelve month period. Club management put a hold on the campaign after the club received 61 down- loads and 51 club visitations after only two months.

So what is the moral of the story? Promotions work well for social media, either Public Relation or sales promotions. Management love the because they are highly targeted and it is easy to define an ROI from the marketing expenditures. While costly in staff time it is not costly in marketing dollars compared to returns. Lastly, it proves that social media really works!

Thanks for the read, please leave me a comment on any promotions that you have enjoyed with social media.