Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day?

Posted: March 20, 2010 in Research, Social Media, Social Network, Websites
Tags: , , , , ,

As I was reviewing the list of selected books for our Intro class’ book reports, I zeroed in on Dave Evans’ book, “Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day” because of the title. I wanted to know how you could spend only an hour a day working on social media marketing and be successful. When the book arrived, I noticed that the guy on the front cover was working on a laptop and talking on the phone. As I looked more closely I wondered two things: 1) why was he talking on a phone and 2) why was he talking on what looks like a phone connected to a landline.

Social media is all about communicating online and on mobile technology and not on a landline phone. From everything that we’ve learned this semester, I found it odd that a book on social media marketing would show a guy on the cover of the book talking on the phone and holding a phone that is really not used in the social media culture. After reading the first couple of chapters, I discovered that some of the observations about social media seemed a bit outdated to me. I checked the copyright on the book and found that it had been published in 2008.

That explained it. Over the last two years, social media had grown tremendously, and based on the first couple of chapters, I thought that I had made a poor choice in my book selection. But I was wrong! As I completed the book, I realized that much of the information was very valuable, especially to marketers who don’t know a lot about social media but are interested in transitioning from a traditional media strategy to a social media strategy.  It gives marketers a very logical, systematic approach to researching social media as well as evaluating their current marketing efforts and traditional media strategies. This is the foundation of developing a solid social media plan for their companies.

Part I of the book paves the way for what social media is and how it works. The rest of the book shows how you can spend an hour a day over a three-month period to develop a social media plan for your company.  Here is a summary of what marketers can do each week to create their own social media marketing plans:

PART II – PREPARE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Week #1: Engage in social media by reading blogs, web pages, flash interface, etc. Then move on to exploring multi-media sites like flckr, YouTube, etc. Check out micro blogging sites like Twitter and tagging services like del.icio.us and StumbleUpon. Learn how information comes to you when it is sent through RSS feeds. Visit these two social networks: Facebook and MySpace. (Evans really focused on MySpace rather than Facebook throughout the book – what a difference two years makes!)

Week #2: Create a feedback cycle. This will help you understand which social media elements are most likely to contribute to positive conversation around your products and services. Marketers should spend the week generating business objectives, evaluating current plans and define what success looks like. The feedback cycle is a key planning tool in developing a social media plan.

Week #3: This week is all about exploring the touchpoints of your brand. Identify all points where customers touch your brand and structure an analysis that identifies where spending is out of line with performance. Focus on high-importance, low-performance touchpoints and outline a plan.

Week #4:  Focus on establishing some basic metrics and use them to gauge influence. Identify important customers and call them to find out what is really driving conversation on the social web. Determine how likely these customers are to recommend your products or services. Then search for blog posts about your company and your competitors so you can connect with people who are having conversations about your company’s products.

PART III – SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

Week #1:  Tie the feedback cycle elements to your touchpoints. This helps to pinpoint the places where social media is most likely to help your company. Determine a reporting tool that will allow you to quantitatively track results over time. Identify the core social media channels to consider for your plan. Finalize a plan that shows your objectives, the channels to engage in and how you’re going to evaluate the results.

Week #2: Create personal profiles on business and personal social networks. Spend some time on Dell’s support forums to learn how customers can be a part of improving the customer service process.  Review other social communities with a business purpose. Determine a strategy how to tap these social spaces and insert results into your social media plan.

Week #3:  This is a content exploring week. Review several corporate blogs, videos, photos and user generated content. Register on Twitter and learn how this micro blogging system works and how people are using it. Review and subscribe to podcasts to determine if these will work for your company.  Determine which content elements fit best with your objectives and will help get your messages out in the social media space.

Week #4:  Get to know the difference between ratings, reviews and recommendations. Make a list of the last five books you read and look up the reviews on Amazon.com. Find what people are reading on Digg and watching on You Tube and learn how these sites create a place for niche content. Visit sites that use content sharing tools, review platforms and ratings services.

Week #5: Review social interactions on the web, including event and calendar services and location based information services. Check out how much bacn (pronounced ‘bacon’, it’s the email you want, just not right now) others are sending to you. Spend some on Friendfeed to learn how people are using one source to share content across all their social platforms. Determine which of these services fit into your social media plan.

PART IV – COMPLETE YOUR PLAN

Week #1: Pull your business objectives into your social media plan. Identify your audience segments and know what they are doing online.  Work through the metrics that 1) characterize conversations, 2) indicate interest and intent, and 3) connect them to your purchase process. This will help to prioritize your spending.

Week #2:  Review all the data and elements that you have generated over the couple of months. Follow the formula to finalize your social media plan.

From a marketer’s perspective, I believe that some of the tasks that are outlined in the book that the author says you can do in an hour is nearly impossible, especially the hours where you must engage in and research social media. This space has grown considerably over the last two years, so there is much more content to explore. I also recommend that you allow extra time when you are developing your business objectives and evaluating your current media plans. When you are determining what success looks like in the social media efforts, don’t base it solely on how you have evaluated media in your previous campaigns. Having loyalty-focused goals may be more important than generating a certain number of responses or page views.

I think it’s also important to note two fundamental principles that the author states as being important to building a social media plan. The first focuses on understanding the collective wisdom of the crowd. It gives the marketer a measurable, trackable feedback point about how customers are using their products and services. The second principle focuses on participation and influence rather than command and control. A marketer’s goal is to get their customers to the influence stage of the purchase process rather than just the participation stage. When customers become influential, they will not only buy the product or service, they will also encourage others to buy it as well.

This book does a good job in outlining a road map for traditional marketers to develop a social media plan. There are even worksheets in the back of the book that will help these marketers complete the process. I would recommend this book to marketers who know very little about social media but want to learn. I would also tell them to keep in mind that the book was published two years ago, and there are many social media elements that have changed since 2008.

Related Links:

Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day for sale on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Social-Media-Marketing-Hour-Day/dp/0470344024

Dave Evans’ Blog: http://www.readthis.com

Dave Evans’ Company: http://www.digital-voodoo.com

Follow Dave Evans on Twitter: evansdave

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Comments
  1. clintschaff says:

    Thanks for sharing your book review. Consider tweeting @ Dave Evans to share your review with him directly.

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