Until Next Blog….

I have now come to the end of my course and finished the last chapter of Groundswell. This novel has been the basis for all my blogs. Looking back at my first post, my original goal was to connect with people and provide inform about Social Media Marketing! Although I have not received much viewership until recently, I plan to continue updating my blog; in the hopes that I will reach more people in the future!

As promised in my first blog, I have also reviewed NAIT’s Social Media Marketing class (MARK474) to help prospecting students determine if online learning is right for them. Overall, I was very impressed with the course content. The information I learned was very relevant to my Degree and I found the novel (Groundswell) to be interesting. This book was also easy to read; a nice change from many of my other post-secondary text books. I also enjoyed having the creative freedom to focus on social media issues or companies that I was interested in. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in marketing, social media or distance learning. Good Luck!!

Remember: feel free to leave a comment or question if there is something you would like clarification on or perhaps just more information. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about my blog!

Until Next Blog….

k ❤

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The Last Chapter

Chapter 12 of Groundswell focuses on the overall value of social media. When a company is considering online expansion, there are many steps required in order to successfully perform in the online environment. Having SMART goals which align with your business strategy is key. Any uncertainty surrounding your company’s objectives can cause problems later on. The POST process is commonly used to ensure that your approach to people, objectives, strategy and technology is well-thought-out. However, there are several related components that should be considered before/during implementation, such as; market challenges and competition, social technographics, online communication, public relations, as well as monitoring customer concerns and expectations. From a business standpoint a company must also ensure that social media is “adding value” to their company. This can be done by establishing a budget, tracking ROI, and reviewing customer feedback.

Taking all of this into consideration, some would argue that the most important component of a social media campaign is constant modification. Using the information generated to change or improve, then meet and maintain customer expectations, is what will set your company apart from the rest. Anyone can use social media, but not everyone can use it effectively!

If you havent read the Groundswell yet, I would suggest you do!


Also if you are looking for new social media sites to try out, I suggest downloading the Pinterest App on your smart phone or tablet. Its a great way to share ideas online!!

Pinterest logo

Until next blog….


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ROI: Measurable Outcomes for Marketing Campaigns

Skipping back a couple chapters in Groundswell, Chapter 7 focuses on the value of energised customers. A company that can successfully energize their customers will reap the benefits of loyalty and consumer praise. Energising is done through responding to customer concerns or comments in a way that meets their expectations. This creates positive buzz surrounding the company. No marketing campaign can compare to the positive opinion of a friend or family member when it comes to closing a sale. Testimonials from people your customers trust will spread the word much faster, reinforce the key benefits and be more believable than a “pretty face” on TV! as a reuslt, this is a great way to generate ROI.

Marketers can track ROI using a large number of criteria since the online environment is rapidly expanding. During my research, I read an article posted in Forbs magazine. This led me to an image that depicts five main ways ROI can be measured. These five criteria include; “followers/fans on social media sites, website traffic, social mention, lead generation and sales” – for more inflation view How to determine Facebook and Twitter ROI: http://barnraisersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/facebook-twitter-roi.jpeg. (ROI image)

Followers/Fans: One way to generate ROI is through energized customers. Previously this was difficult to track, however, social media sites have allowed companies to see how energizing (word of mouth marketing) creates revenue using customer satisfaction surveys. This process is called the Net Promoter Score. Asking open ended questions such as “How likely is it that you would recommend us or recommend against us to a friend or colleague?” can help a company with internal tracking and predicting future benchmarks (Net Promoter Score, 2009).

In my research, I was surprised to see that many people are sceptical of this approach. It would appear that because this scale uses generic customer satisfaction questions, errors are more likely to occur. Two of these errors include “Fails to Predict Loyalty Behaviors” as well as “Doesn’t Accurately Differentiate Promoters and Detractors” (Net Promoter Score, 2009). However, if best practices are followed, NPS can be valuable. For example, Jimmy Choo saw a “33% increase in sneaker sales” thanks to a successful Twitter campaign (ROI image).


Social Mention: Energizing customers is also applicable to social mention. Word of mouth marketing has always been effective, but social media has provided customers with a much larger platform to express their opinions. ROI can be tracked here by linking customer’s online conversations to the timing of a purchase. For example, “70% of law firms maintain blogs” and “40% of law firms say these efforts led to more clients”(ROI Image). These stats can be tracked through referral rates and customer comments.


Website Traffic & Sales: Assessing return on social media investment, involves collecting metrics that help assess if social media is aiding or inhibiting a company’s image/sales. This can be tracked through “click through rates” and online purchases. These are figures that hosting website providers track for clients to prove online success rates, prime viewing times, primary demographics and more. All of these factors can then be reviewed to help narrow down social techographies. This adds value to future marketing campaigns, fine tune company strategy and ensuring funds are well spent. For example, “Edible Arrangements ran a Facebook promotion which resulted in double digit sales figures”, likely because they were targeting the “right” audience (ROI image).


Additional Resources:

Forbes: Beyond ROI: The Need to Improve Social Media Integration: by Rhonda Hurwitz http://www.forbes.com/sites/rhondahurwitz/2012/09/18/beyond-roi-the-need-to-improve-social-media-integration/

Secrets 166 social media ROI case studies reveal: by Rob Petersen http://barnraisersllc.com/2012/07/secrets-166-social-media-roi-case-studies-reveal/


Net Promoter Score. (2009). The Listening Post. Retrieved November 27, 2012 from. http://blog.vovici.com/blog/bid/18204/Net-Promoter-Score-NPS-Criticisms-and-Best-Practices

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Company Transformations: Setting Expectations

Chapter 10 of the Groundswell combines some of the skills, knowledge and lessons learned from previous chapters. These approaches allow companies to effectively connect and create the groundswell through Blogs, Micro-blogs, Podcasts as well as applicable social media sites. It also requires that companies operate with disclosure, transparency & full participation. Basically, it all comes down to defining and meeting the expectations of your audience. By doing this, a company can respond to customer demands/needs using the appropriate “etiquette” while shaping the future of their company. However, today’s consumers are becoming more demanding. In my opinion, “instant gratification” is the new standard. Long ago are the days when a 24hr response time is appropriate. This means that companies need to become proficient in identifying and responding to issues within a timely manner.

I recently read a fellow bloggers review on Best Buy and their lightning fast response time via Twitter. This individual said that someone responded to their tweet within minutes. To test this theory, I quickly tweeted a simple message to Best Buy as well as their sister store Future Shop to see if the response time was different. It’s been five minutes and I’m already disappointed with the result, no reply!  This is a classic example of how customer expectations must be upheld once they are set by the company.

Follow me on Twitter to see if Best Buy or Future Shop ever reply!



Until next Blog…


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Customer Creation

Your company probably has a department dedicated to improving public image and finding out “what our customer wants”, but let’s face it, you have no idea. Everyone is a critic and now social media allows customers the option to love or hate your ideas publicly. However it also provides the opportunity to ask public input. (It’s much harder for someone to give your company a bad review, when you implemented their ideas!). Chapter 9 of Groundswell are focused on embracing and incorporating customer ideas. The textbook provides a few literary examples of authors who have successfully embraced the customer opinion. If you are interested in this subject, I would suggest Wikinomics!

-Democratizing Innovation –  by Eric Von Hippel

-Outside Innovation: How your customer will co-design your company’s future  – by Patricia B. Seybold

-Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything – by Anthony D. Williams

There are several companies that demonstrate this approach to business. Apple for example has embraced customer opinions and created the App store. Here individuals or companies can create and sell mobile applications that customers show demand for. Essentially, this allows them to gain profits due to increased customer usage/convenience. However, it more importantly positions Apple as a customer driven company with uniquely customizable products. The speed in which apps are developed and available it also remarkable – once a demand is presented, an app usually becomes available. However, this kind of business also creates high competition. If an app becomes obsolete due to a newer version, it can result in negative reviews (even though the app was originally designed to meet the specific needs of their customer). This provides incentive for companies to constantly search for customer input and make changes as required!

for more information on the App Store: http://www.apple.com/iphone/from-the-app-store/

Until next blog…


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Public Relations Strategy

I think it should be mandatory for a company to have a public relations team. They help to avoid negative brand associations and resolve public issues. They are also beneficial for sharing information and considered ambassadors of public image. Naturally, this means they work with the marketing department to ensure the best public perceptions.

Speaking about public relations, there are many opportunities and threats associated with social media. At times it can seem like the threats outweigh the opportunities. Bad news can spread in a matter of minutes, leaving companies reluctant to expand their business online. Yet, word of mouth can allow for company success to be announced just as quickly.

With regards to my last blog, I realized that “personal public relation” is just as important. Although I try not to post things that are offensive, politically tied, or embarrassing, on my Facebook; the hacker who changed the password could have… He or she would have access to my friends list and the ability to send incriminating messages, post terrible pictures or add unprofessional comments to my wall. The thought of this was very unsettling, so I can only imagine how devastating a public relations scare would be for a large company. The speed in which information travels is growing every day so it is important to use social media to one’s advantage by developing a strategy for dealing with possible threats.

For anyone who is looking for some “personal public relations” advice, I suggest this video; it’s funny but also informative!


Until next blog….


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Online Support

Chapter 8 discusses a few key areas that are important to helping the Groundswell support itself. When companies really began to move online, there were a few trends. One of these trends was reducing costs by sending customers online (e.g. company website) for information rather than speaking to customer service representative. This can improve efficiency for the company, but reduces the control of information. Yet, influence can be just as powerful as control! This chapter also focused on taking the time to speak with IT, media groups, and management to develop a dashboard that includes potential social measures to track online performance.

Looking at the lack of control aspect, there are many problems that can arise (e.g. false information or a lack of clarity for customers. Personally, I have visited a Hoax site before, thinking it was the real thing because it looked legitimate. I have also experienced problems finding the correct information when searching for it myself. This can cause issues for companies performing in the online environment and begs the question “will this add value to the customers or push them away?”…


This topic is very applicable to me right now because I had two of my email addresses and Facebook hacked last week. Let me just say, I did not realize how much I rely on technology and the internet to communicate until it was taken away from me. In my attempt to restore access to my Facebook I was given a few online options. First I could request a password reset email be sent to me (This would be an easy solution…. If I had access to my email…..which I didn’t.) – Very Frustrating!!

Therefore, the alternative was to lock my account so that no one, including myself, could access it until an “investigation” was done. This included filling out an online report and sending in a picture of my driver’s license to verify my identity. Although this seemed like a fair option, it was going to take at least one week and I wanted to resolve the issue sooner than that. So naturally, I spent an hour searching for a Facebook contact phone number, which does not exist, because they are TOTALLY online! Overall things worked out for me and my Facebook account was reactivated, but it raised another issue….


To be continued in my next blog….


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