Small businesses are a growing fan base for Facebook. Seventy percent of U.S. local small businesses interested in online marketing now use Facebook for marketing, up from 50 percent one year ago, according to a February report by MerchantCircle. Many businesses consider Facebook their best friend for low-cost brand marketing. Some also enable shopping on their pages, using Storefront, Payvment, or another ecommerce application.
Over the past few years, so many partners and even Cisco employees have asked me time and again “How do I get started in social media?” Having heard that question so often, it seemed to me that before we use our new Social Media Spotlight series to highlight best practices when blogging, or using Twitter or Facebook, we should explain how to get into the social media game.
I myself came to social media by way of journalism, so when someone asks me how to get started, I usually turn around and ask the person who’s talking to me, “What do you want to achieve in using social media?”
Perhaps you’re not certain what you want to achieve, beyond knowing that you want to use social media at your company. According to a recent survey conducted by IPED and commissioned by Cisco, about 50% of partners are interested in learning how to expand online engagement to drive business. Does that include you? Then read on for some advice on how to start process.
1) Identify Your Goal(s)
Defining what you want to achieve is the major starting point—if you haven’t used social media before, and you are looking to get started, you need to ask yourself what you want to use social media for—what is your goal?
For most businesses, social media can help amplify your company’s message, help you engage with your customers, start conversations, and deepen relationships. So keeping that in mind, you should start thinking about a social media plan by developing a list of clear goals. It should be more than just gaining followers and fans. While gaining followers is one metric, the conversation, interaction, and even leads you generate are important ways of measuring success.
Once you have that list of goals (my rule of thumb is that two or three is ideal) then your next step will be to identify which social media vehicles align with those goals. Read More »
We have three very interesting on-demand WebEx recordings from leaders in the education field talking about emerging trends in education including social media and mobile learning. Each of them contains specific advice and case studies. We hope you find these sessions helpful and thought provoking.
You don’t need any special software to view the WebEx recordings. Simply click on the title that interests you and you’ll be taken to a landing page where you can begin listening.
Using online tools is bridging the achievement gap and marking the biggest single shift in public education in more than 100 years. Innovative public schools are opting for blended or hybrid classroom environments, with 70% of learning taking place in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting and the remaining 30% of learning happening online.
Hybrid models offer a powerful mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning styles, enabling students to master core content online while deepening critical thinking, problem solving and application of content mastery in a face-to-face setting. Blended or hybrid learning models not only make pedagogical sense, they also make financial sense. Read More »
The Sky is Falling – oh no it’s worse, IPv4 addresses are running out! That was they key message in the latest Cisco campaign that utilized an integrated social media approach to get its message across. Video was the anchor of this high touch campaign which involved the viewers by allowing them to select the ending of the story and drove them to the Cisco landing page. However it was the integrated social media approach that really set this campaign apart and is the type of planning that should go into every social campaign. One key success factor was that they tapped into existing communities – the Cisco myPlanNet campaign (which by the way was the winner for the B2B integrated social media awards last year had a following in the tens of thousands and rather than start a new community the team tapped into this community to spread awareness about the IPv4/IPv6 campaign. Other existing communities on Twitter, LinkedIn and even Cisco’s Support Forum were also leveraged in addition to blogging about it on the Cisco Service Provider blog.
The results – over 50,000 video views in the first three months – the second most viewed Service Provider video of all time after the first four months! It’s no wonder that this campaign was a runner-up in the B2B integrated social media awards category; congrats to EMC for winning first place for their mega launch! It’s also worth mentioning that Cisco did take home the first place spot for the viral video category which I posted about last week – you can read about it here!
To get the back story of this campaign I was able to meet with Stephen Liu, Senior Manager of the Service Provider Marketing team who was yet again the mastermind behind this successful production. Stephen provides an overview of the campaign, shares some of the impressive metrics and ends with some best practices which he believed led to the success of this campaign (hint: humor and tapping into established communities!). Check it out!
An independent label manager in the audience of the SXSW Music panel, complained there are too many social networks for musicians and label / artist managers to keep up with. He wondered which ones are the most important to maintain presences on. Moderator Bill Werde, Editorial Director of Billboard Magazine, Michael Fiebach of the digital marketing and management agency Fame House and Paul Sinclair, SVP of Digital Media of Atlantic Records offer some strategy for this independent label manager asking the question.
As Paul Sinclair pointed out, musicians shouldn’t chase every new social network that comes along. But at a minimum, musicians are expected to have a dialog with their fans on Facebook and Twitter, and then use the conversations there to drive fans back to the artist web site.
At another SXSW 2011 panel about social networks and musicians titled ‘Musicians and the Social Graph’, DJ and video producer Mike Relm offered to the audience that musicians should take the time to figure out which social networks and services lend themselves best to the kind of conversation they want to have with fans. Relm offers that he primarily focuses on YouTube because he’s focused mostly on the production of video content. Yet he still uses the videos to drive fans back to his web site – http://mikerelm.com :
If Facebook and Twitter are the main social networks musicians are expected to engage with fans on, which other social networking services are important to fans? At the ‘Social Graph’ panel, Jonathan Crowley, Director of Business Development for Foursquare, talked about how rock giants Soundgardenused the location based social network. Twitter’s Jonathan Adams and SF Music Tech’s Brian Zisk joined the conversation, explaining how messages from musicians over social networks can then be amplified by their own fans.
Personally, I wasn’t using Foursquare as a music fan at SXSW 2011. It turns out if I had been following some of my favorite bands on Foursquare, I would have been let on the news that they were playing some secret shows. Please use the comments section below for any thoughts on the video conversations offered in this post.