Cover Story: Retailing for Dummies
Mastering Social Media Marketing
Want to be a social marketing superstar in 2013? Give your followers content they really (really, really) want to share, content they couldn't stop themselves from sharing even if they tried, content that's so fascinating, so useful, so hilarious, so inspiring and so totally ... "them."
Your brand isn't the only entity establishing itself through social media. Your fans and followers are also using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other platforms to show the world who they are and what they care about — and they can be very protective of these online versions of themselves. They remove tags from unflattering photos; they avoid (or try to avoid) saying anything humiliating; they want people to hold them in high esteem; they want people to think they're funny and clever; they want people to consider them cool, current and edgy.
What quality does associating with your content contribute to your unique fans' online "personas"? Thrifty? Competitive? Affluent? Glamorous? Smart? Techie? Sentimental? Publish content that bolsters these online personas, not detracts from them.
If liking, sharing, retweeting or reblogging your branded content makes your fans and followers look good (translation: contributes to who they are online), they'll do it. However, if your content is embarrassing, boring or irrelevant, they won't want their affinity for your brand to be known to their friends, and they're highly unlikely to click on anything. If they don't interact with your content, guess whose messaging is all wallflower and zero party animal?
Need a few good examples of companies doing social media marketing right? Check out some of the favorites of Media Logic's conversation management team: ThinkGeek, Spencer's, DKNY, National Geographic, Southwest Airlines, Taco Bell and King Arthur Flour, as well as many entertainment-based profiles (HBO, "Once Upon a Time" and "Portlandia"), publications (Rolling Stone) and sports teams. — Carolee Sherwood is the conversation manager at Media Logic, a social media-focused marketing agency. Carolee can be reached at email@example.com.
Steps to a More Profitable Email Program
Consumers in the purchasing funnel have channel preferences that change over time depending on where they are in the decision process.
In 2013, resolve to do more targeting, measurement and testing with your email marketing program. Send mobile-optimized emails to those who read most of your emails on a mobile device, which should result in increased engagement. Integrate channel behavioral data across the organization to understand how and when your customers are responding to multichannel campaigns, then use this intelligence to target your messaging at the right time using the right combination of channels.
One way to start this process is to work with a third-party data provider to overlay channel propensity information on your file to identify meaningful segments by channel — e.g., those who prefer to purchase in-store, via catalog or online. Your digital customers can be broken down further. Alternatively, have your analytics team develop predictive models to take advantage of key profit-driving opportunities within each unique customer group and then create appropriate targeted messaging. For example, you might employ RFM to identify frequent shoppers (by channel), fence sitters (engaged but not buying regularly) and inactives who are at risk of leaving your brand altogether. Once you've developed your segments, it should be easier to develop specific email campaigns for each group. — Reggie Brady is the president of Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions, a direct and email marketing consultancy. Reggie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.