Wouldn't you know it...I commit to finishing Darren Rowse's 31 day challenge, and Day 7 has a scary assignment.
Write a link post. Eek!
I have to contribute something useful and constructive to someone else's blog post. 😉
As much as I like adding to the conversation, there's actually a recent article I'd like to add to more than a blog post. The article is about Neilsen teaming up with Facebook to develop ROI metrics for social media marketing. You can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/nul5oo
Sounds good, right? Everybody wants to be able to measure the effectiveness of what they're doing with social media.
First, I think what Neilsen and Facebook are doing is a good thing. Being able to track the effectiveness of ads on Facebook is definitely helpful to the people puttig ads on Facebook.
Second, putting an ad on Facebook - or any other social media site - is NOT social media marketing. Sorry Facebook, but you need to pull your face out of your...book.
Social Media Marketing has nothing to do with putting ads on social media sites.
Social Media Marketing means being social, putting some humanity into your internet presence, sharing your knowledge with people you meet and drawing them toward you to become clients or customers. That has nothing to do with the interruption marketing of an ad.
Social Media Marketing is about doing things that encourage people to trust you and want to do business with you. It's the most sophisticated, subtle and mutually beneficial forms of direct response marketing I have seen.
And, yes, Social Media Marketing is a form of direct response. When you make a post about a useful resource, you want people to go use that resource. You want them to take an action that results - ultimately - in them thinking well of you.
That Facebook thinks tracking ad performance on their site is what's most important for Social Media Marketing shows they've more than missed the boat - they never bought a ticket. An ad - on a website, in a magazine, on a billboard - is interruption marketing.
What we all want to know is: How does tweeting, updating my status, or making a blog post benefit my business?
It does - and you can measure it.
The place to start is over at HubSpot.com. They have a bunch of tools for grading your website and measuring how much people are talking about you and your business. Start there.
Maybe you find out you have a Google PR of 0 and absolutely no one is talking about you. FANTASTIC! You have a clean slate to start writing on!!
Check back once each month to see how you're improving. Set some Google Alerts for things specifically related to your business. That will help you monitor what's being said about you daily.
For example, the only person actively talking about a social media directory is me - because I just wrote it. www.mysocialmediadirectory.com. Or get a preview chapter at www.mysocialmediadirectory.com/preview.html.
And you can bet I'll watch the conversation over the next weeks and months.
I don't think the problem is that measuring the impact of your social media marketing campaign is all that hard to do. I think the problem is that most businesses using social media aren't really doing anything worth measuring.
Take a look at www.michelfortin.com. This is Michel's blog, and he has a lot of things built into his blog that help him measure how people are participating. And that's in addition to the fact that it's a website - we all know how to measure metrics on a website!
Or look at Darren Rowse's www.problogger.net. Darren has put tons of effort into building a relationship with his readers, and is reaping the rewards. Or look at his http://digital-photography-school.com site. It's a beautiful example of user generated content.
These are examples of successful social media marketing. And every one of them includes ads - just like Facebook does. But neither Darren nor Michel are making the mistake of thinking those ads represent their social media marketing efforts.
The ads they have on their sites work only because their social media marketing is successful. The ads work because the people who go to their sites trust them to advertise useful, valuable products.
I trust Darren and Michel because of my experiences with them through social media. Social Media Marketing is about content - not advertising.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate your time, and would very much like to have your comments, too.