Social Media Marketing – More Than Just PR

Anyone who says you can’t measure social media is wrong. There, I said it.

But before the social media purists start preaching about how relationships can’t be measured, let me first say that I measure more than just happy thoughts and warm, fuzzy feelings.

The purists in this industry strictly believe that social media in the business world is just a public relations tool and is all about human interaction and emotions. Their motto is: listen, join and engage – but that’s only part of the formula. What about planning strategically, driving business and measuring social media efforts?

At dr2marketing, we take traditional social media one step further and developed an innovative formula to drive new and qualified leads in any market. When you add the word “marketing” to the phrase “social media”, you’re talking about business. So, our social media marketing services are designed to generate leads, which drives results. (It sounds like a crazy concept, but our clients seem to like it.)

How do we do it?

We harmonize multiple disciplines – brand research, marketing strategy, campaign execution, and analytics to capture the psychology of behavior. The result? A highly relevant brand that drives the marketplace reaction toward your business demands.

We participate in the daily chit-chat while carving out clear calls to action for our clients’ business purpose – whether it’s acquiring customers, optimizing existing relationships, or converting consumers into advocates.

A common misconception is that social media success is directly related to being personal and authentic. Well, that’s not entirely true. In actuality, social media success is attributed to hyper-targeting key messages. What’s the point in talking back and forth with people who don’t care about your brand, product or service? Every client is different, so every message, audience and circumstance should be different as well.

The proof that social media can be used as more than just a public relations tool comes from D&M Leasing – the largest consumer car leasing company in the nation, and one of our biggest clients.

In February 2013, D&M Leasing spent $877 on a targeted Facebook campaign to the surrounding cities of the Dallas-Fort Worth area about vehicle leasing opportunities. The result? 266 qualified leads from Facebook alone. Holy lead generation. To make this even sweeter, their lowest cost-per-lead source in the last year has been social media, hands down.

As Jason Falls wrote on Social Media Explorer:

Optimal communication takes place when a marketer can deliver a relevant message to a relevant audience in a relevant location at a relevant time.

So, to all the social media purists out there – I get it. You’re genuinely interested in “joining the conversation” and you’re good at it. Let me know how it works out when you tell your client that the professional benefit of your services isn’t direct, nor is it trackable, but that they should rest assured – it’s there.

Photo credits: Mark Smiciklas

Should You Buy Facebook Fans?

We’ve all heard the saying “You get what you pay for”, and that’s something to remember if you happen to be tempted to purchase Facebook fans.

It’s no secret that an underground market has emerged that will happily sell you manufactured Facebook Likes. (One search turned up a market price of $199 for 10,000 likes.) I’ve had clients ask if this is the strategy I use to build their social media presence, and I cringe at the thought while quickly assuring them that it’s not something I would even consider. Ever. It’s a pathetic strategy that is both deceptive and unethical, and is a complete waste of money and time.

In the world of automotive sales and leasing, credibility is key. A local auto leasing company, like a lot of small businesses, uses a Facebook page to promote its services and within a relatively short period of time (they joined Facebook on June 6, 2012), their Facebook page has garnered more than 5,000 fans.

But most of those fans are unlikely to lease a new car any time soon because most of them don’t really exist. This company’s Facebook numbers have been artificially inflated by a network of zombie accounts run by a bot master.

The most popular city for this company’s fans: Lahore, Pakistan – not exactly commuting distance to North Texas. The most popular age group for their fans is 18-24 years old, which doesn’t seem like the logical age group for people interested in leasing a vehicle.

Smart Screen Shot

This leasing company is hardly the first company that has purchased fans for the sake of looking popular and they certainly won’t be the last to do so. The bigger issue beyond the poor quality of fans lies in the mindsets of those who choose to buy them. They’re still looking for that magic bullet for their business and sadly, that mentality never leads to success. It’s almost guaranteed that these bought fans and the handful of real ones in the mix will never turn into customers, and if they never do, then what’s the point of having a Facebook page to begin with?

Our client D&M Leasing is the largest consumer car leasing company in the nation with two locations in North Texas in Grand Prairie and Dallas, and one location in Houston. Their Facebook page is an accurate representation of effective social media marketing.

With more than 16,000 fans, the most popular city for D&M Leasing fans is Dallas, TX. The most popular age group for D&M Leasing fans is 25-34 years old, which makes way more sense in terms of who is most likely to lease a car.

D&M Leasing Likes

Need even more proof that the “fans” from the first Facebook page aren’t interested in becoming potential customers?

Check out the screen shot below of a comment left on their Facebook page in response to one of their leasing specials they posted.

Smart Fake Comment

The comment makes no sense and has us scratching our heads. Ready to see what a legitimate Facebook strategy produces? D&M Leasing posted their own leasing special below.

Real D&M Comment

The facts speak for themselves. As long as you have a product or service that adds value to people’s lives, people will naturally like your page. How? You just need to know how to use the tools that Facebook gives you to provide everyone a chance to learn more about you. What happens when you do these things? You end up with many people who actually like your company and who want to do business with you.

So if you think that buying Facebook fans is the way to go, just remember that to everyone else, your page might look awesome because you have a gazillion fans, but you’ll be stuck with the heartache of knowing that you’re not making a single dollar from them.

Seeing is Believing: How YouTube Benefits Your Medical Practice

The Situation

After successfully launching a social media campaign for Dallas-Fort Worth bariatric and cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. Clayton Frenzel, dr2marketing decided to enhance his current marketing campaign by incorporating more videos into his social media channels.

We produced four spots that featured four former patients of Dr. Frenzel’s – three bariatric patients and one cosmetic plastic surgery patient. Video testimonials are a key addition to advertising for any practice because it allows individuals to connect with others in a personal and direct way, and also serves as a digital form of word-of-mouth-marketing. I interviewed each patient separately and had them tell me about what their life was like prior to surgery, what their experience with Dr. Frenzel was like, and how their life has changed since their procedure.

The Results

In the end, we produced four honest, insightful video testimonials from actual patients who were eager to share their story with others.

We then took the videos and uploaded them to YouTube to boost Dr. Frenzel’s SEO efforts. Every video we posted to his YouTube channel was tagged and indexed to increase the odds of his name appearing in organic Google searches for keywords associated with his practice and industry.

So, if you haven’t already scrolled down to the testimonials below, be sure to do it now and let us know what you think!

Bariatric Surgery Testimonials

Cosmetic Surgery Testimonial

The 5 Crimes of Tweeting

More and more companies are seeing the value of Twitter for business purposes and jumping on board the social media platform. Those doing it well are seeing real results, but many businesses – both new and experienced tweeters – are guilty of crucial errors that serve to damage their brand more than promote it. By tweeting recklessly, their strategies are often ineffective and can even be annoying, and while there aren’t any legal ramifications for committing  these crimes…there should be.

Maximize your brand’s success by avoiding these five crimes on Twitter.  

Crime #1: Undertweeting

The point of social media is to be social, if you’re not going to be social then why bother? Twitter is a great source for real-time news updates, so frequent and consistent updates are crucial as long as they’re not overbearing. Logging in every now and then to randomly tweet or retweet is a wasted effort on your part and is worthless to your followers (if they haven’t unfollowed at that point). In other words, if you’re not going to join the party, then please leave.

The Perpetrator: Amazon swung and missed during the holiday season and only tweeted six times between December 13 and January 25. Ouch.

The Resolution: Get that tweet count up. Post engaging and relevant content throughout the day and respond back to your mentions. This will give your followers a chance to interact, learn, and engage with your brand. Include Twitter in your company’s social media plan, or delete it. 

 

Crime #2: Overtweeting

If social media is socialthen follow social norms. We all have a friend that talks too much without ever saying anything of value. The point of tweeting is to deliver useful and engaging content to your consumers. Tweeting too much, or tweeting off-topic, will annoy your loyal followers.

The Perpetrator: HBO has a great brand and their content has a strong following, but having great content doesn’t grant you immunity from overtweeting. On June 10th they tweeted a whopping 48 times and that’s just way too much. We like you, HBO, but we don’t like you that much.

The Resolution: Find a balance and remember that it’s quality not quantity that matters most. Tweet enough to engage your followers, but don’t overburden them. Twitter can be a great way to connect with them to create a relationship that is more personal and interactive.

Crime #3: Ignoring Followers

You’re too busy promoting yourself in tweets that you fail to take the time to respond to the people who’ve reached out to you. No one likes to be ignored, especially when they’re upset.

Understanding how Twitter can transform customer relations for the better can be substantial for reducing costs and improving brand image. Good customer service is not just about quality of  your product or service, but also about listening to the needs of your customers and being accessible to them. Twitter is a lightning-fast platform that can help sift through and solve problems quickly, so be sure to take advantage. 

The Perpetrator: Time Warner Cable constantly tweets about themselves, but never takes the time to respond to complaints or inquiries from their customers. There are countless posts from their customers that have been left without a response, just like this one:

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The Resolution: Answer them. By using Twitter effectively, you can engage your customers, solve their problems, and build goodwill for your brand.

Crime #4: Overpromoting Yourself

Ever notice tweets in your feed from people you don’t follow? Those are promoted tweets. Some big brands have huge budgets and they want everyone to know they’re on Twitter, so they constantly ‘promote’ their own tweets. They show up in everyone’s newsfeed, all the time, and it’s annoying. Remember the kid in the neighborhood that always invited himself over? Don’t be that kid. 

The Perpetrator: Recently, Pepsi launched a “Live For Now” campaign. In order to promote it, they have been sponsoring tweets that encourage you to drink Pepsi and live for now and now we all have to read their tweets. Somehow, they believe that drinking Pepsi will allow you to make the most of your life. Flawed logic aside, it’s annoying to have tweets from someone you don’t even follow show up constantly. Pepsi, please stop, #NOW.
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The Resolution: It’s okay to sponsor your some of your tweets, but save them for when big events are coming up or for an occasional reminder that you’re active on Twitter. Do you have a huge summer sale coming up? Or a movie coming out? Sponsored tweets can be a great way to engage a new audience or target a specific time of year in which you are most relevant.

Crime #5: Hashtag Overload

Quite often, you’ll see tweets that are littered with hashtags. This defeats the purpose of hashtags and makes these tweets feel like spam. Instead of using a technique that makes you easier to find, you allowed yourself to blend in with the crowd.

The Perpetrator: Ohio State was really excited for their trip to the Final Four and in their excitement they hashtagged every topic in their tweet. A post that could have been useful and exciting now looks cluttered and feels like spam. 

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The Resolution: A hashtag is meant to label a tweet so that it’s easily searchable. They facilitate and encourage conversations and should be used to highlight current events or topics so that others can join the conversation that’s taking place across Twitter. Use one or two hashtags at the end of tweets so that people can join in, but don’t go crazy.

The moral of this story…

…is to stay away from what’s mentioned above so you won’t end up like this:

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Which of these crimes do you find to be the most annoying? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Launch of New iPad an Opportunity for Brands to Get Social

Apple's iPad goes on sale in store today.

Mobile technology makes it easier for brands to reach consumers (via USA Today).

Indicating huge anticipation for today’s iPad launch, Apple’s stock price hit $600 this week—a new high for the company.

Apple’s share price briefly topped $600 Thursday morning, and a report from Morgan Stanley predicts the stock will go up to 40% higher.

The new iPad has some great new features that include a stunning retina display with four times more pixels than the iPad 2, a 5MP iSight Camera (a huge improvement from its predecessor) and ultrafast 4G LTE.

New iPad Makes Brand Engagement Even Easier

From a social media perspective, the new iPad should make it even easier for brands and consumers to stay connected.

The iPad gives your customers yet another device to consume, download and buy your content. With a larger screen than the iPhone, the iPad makes it easier—and more comfortable—to read online.

“What Does that Mean for My Business?”

Mobile devices and the explosion of social media have made it much easier to stay in touch with your “fans” than it was 10 years ago—which gives brands more opportunities to make a lasting impression with consumers.

According to a recent Nielsen study, close to 40% of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone. With the release of the iPad—and other tablets like it—this figure should only increase in the future.

Given these figures, it is important for brands to be just as social media-savvy as the consumers they’re trying to reach.

The iPad as an Opportunity for Businesses

With more of your customers using mobile technology, it is important to stay current. Use social media as an opportunity to create conversations and goodwill around your brand.

New tools like the iPad should be considered an opportunity, because it gives you another way to communicate with your customers on an ongoing basis.

Will you be purchasing Apple’s latest technology? Leave us a comment below telling us why or why not!

Pin me, I’m board – (Some) Predictions for 2012

(Part three of a three-part series)

Pinterest is a visual social network that allows users to pin favorite ideas, pictures, recipes, etc. to boards. These boards are for personal reference or for sharing with other "Pinners."

Ah, the grand finale for my New Year Extravaganza (I am lighting the fuse now).

I hope that at the end of this year, we can fall back to this posting and say I was right. But then again, I’ve made quite a bit of predictions in my life that have fallen short.

I predicted Alex Rodriguez, the third baseman for the New York Yankees would never win the World Series, I predicted the Dallas Mavericks to lose to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, I predicted the Texas Rangers to win the 2011 World Series and I predicted my girlfriend would say “Yes” when I asked her to marry me over the holidays.

Now sure, I was wrong three of four times (am engaged now), but when it comes to predictions, getting one right can give someone a big head.

But predictions are never guarantees, they are just fun to read and think about. I could predict I am going to win $1 million, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. However, you probably thought for just a second on what you would do with $1 million, so my prediction got you thinking.

And that’s what I hope to accomplish with my ACTUAL predictions in the online spectrum — to get you thinking or to try something new.

So, when it comes to my sports predictions, the opposite always seems to happen. So maybe I should predict the Dallas Cowboys will never win a Super Bowl under Jerry Jones ever again.

As far the following predictions, well, you can tell me at the end of the year whether I was right or wrong.

  • Google+/Pinterest become social staples: Ahh, yes, I brought Google+ full Circle (pun intended). To me, because of its user-friendly layout, it’s combination of Facebook and Twitter formats, Google+ will become a major social player. And so will Pinterest, another “hot” social network at the end of 2011 (adding nearly 3 million users since August). Pinterest is a visual social network that allows users to target and pin their favorite photos/ideas featuring recipes, fashion, puppies, jewelry, etc. OK, so this sounds like more of a woman-friendly social medium, but so what? I bet lots of brands would like a better way to market to women, and here’s a way. My girlfriend, ahem, excuse me, my fiancé (got to get used to saying this) is addicted to Pinterest like I am addicted to fantasy sports. So far, she’s told her two friends, and they’ve told their two friends, and they’ve told their friends, and so on and so on…
  • Mobile surfing/app usage rides even bigger wave: A couple of weeks ago it was reported that 40 percent of Facebook users logged on through their mobile device — that’s more than 300 million people using their phone or tablet to access their profile. Apple and Google’s app downloads were at 10 billion mark each at the end of 2011. Also of note, Apple’s Mac App store, in one year since its opening, reached 100 million downloads. These figures show that users are more and more flocking to apps. The Internet is not in Kansas anymore folks, the app tornado is causing many to follow the yellow brick road of online success.
  • Social Media Marketing REALLY takes off…and won’t land anytime soon: With a continuously growing client base for us in 2011, we foresee an even bigger demand for building one’s social voice in 2012. With more than one billion users combined on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ alone, the social flock keeps growing. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow for “brand” pages, and Google+ just added this feature as well, but has some improvements (in my opinion) to make before its feature comes close to that of Facebook. These pages have allowed for brands to gain visibility online, which could be huge for success down the line.

Care to make any predictions for 2012? And no, you can’t predict the world WON’T end on December 21, 2012!

Dear Social Media: Change These 2 Things Quickly in 2012

(This is part two of a three-part series)

Hello there, how about that ride in (to 2012)?

I’m back for part two of my New Year Extravaganza (I am probably buttering up this statement just a tad). This portion focuses on what I would like to see happen in 2012.

In 2011, we’ve saw many new beginnings in the U.S. such as Google+, Spotify, Siri, to name a few. While none of these ideas would have even crossed my mind in a 2010 form of a “New Year’s Resolution” post, I hope that what I want to see this year happens (one of these wishes is very trivial, but could have great impact for everyone, but you can guess which one it is).

It’s not a long list, but if I had too many resolutions for the new year, my expectations might be let down more than I’d like.

  • Let me edit my turrible grammer: The first thing I noticed about Google+ when I joined was if I made an error, I could immediately edit, or even two hours later, without having to delete the post and re-post it, or using an asterisk, followed by my correction. If Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (to name a few social venues that do not allow for this completely) make one change, this would be it. It’s a simple request, at least in my eyes. Hey, Google+ did it, why can’t you?
  • Social media – Friend not a fad: With more than 800 million users on Facebook, 200-million-plus on Twitter, 100-million-plus on LinkedIn, 60-plus million on Google+, etc., social media does not appear to be going away any time soon. Sure, MySpace dwindled, and many networks have phased in and out, but others moved in and replaced them. I’ve been a Facebook user since 2005 (back in the good ol’ days when only college students could register), and back then, I might have thought it was a fad that would last a couple of years, but not now. That skeptic voice has long since faded away, and so should yours. Another reason social media should move to friend status is more and more businesses, companies, organizations and brands are flocking to social media to spread the word about their goods and services (remember those terms from your high school economics class?) Good thing dr2marketing specializes in social media marketing isn’t it?

What are your New Year’s Resolutions in 2012? I hope you at least ate your black-eyed peas!