Shoes, Trains, Gangsta Slang – Tips for Social Media Metrics and Executive Buy-in

 

Compiling the right social data can be difficult. What the executive team needs to see in order to understand the health of their brand is quite different than what the optimizer who is running campaigns wants to see. Some metrics will be more beneficial to one business/brand/job role than another. Not all benchmarks are the same. So therein lies the challenge – what do I need to measure and how can I make sure that it actually resonates with the right group of people when called upon for reports?

Justin Kistner, Director of Social Products at Webtrends and Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzLocal will be covering this topic on Wednesday’s webinar, “The Right Social Metrics for YOUR Business.”

Most of us probably realize by now that dropping terms like status updates, followers, retweets, doesn’t necessarily capture the attention of the CEO; those types of metrics are not giving them the information they are looking for. So here a few items that might just peak their interest a bit more and provide them with the insight that helps you justify why you’ve put forth the effort to not only maintain, but expand your company’s influence in the ever broadening sphere of social:

Take off your shoes –

Yes – that’s what I said. Your shoes – your marketing shoes. And, put on the shoes of your executive director. They tend to think a little differently about social media measurement, so in turn, you might consider this also when reporting to them on the ROI of your programs. Use terminology that THEY will understand – leave out the jargon. Think 20,000-foot view and bottom line results. Daily metrics don’t matter as much as sales do.  How is your time and effort in this area affecting that? That’s what they’re looking for – align your benchmarks with these types of items.

Embody the Mindset of Thomas the Train –Put your self in your CEO's shoes

I think I CAN, I think I CAN, I think I CAN. Point being – pick three metrics that you CAN measure and report on those. Maybe its closed sales that started with a tweet or a Facebook comment that you’ve tracked, maybe its cost-savings from implementing a tool that now helps measure some of your social metrics instead of tedious hours of spreadsheet work. Whatever you CAN measure, glean your information from that. Although “influence” sounds great to us in marketing, there’s not a dollar amount you can associate with it to really bring home your point with the executive team.

“You Betta Recognize” –

Recognize what? Recognize what you’re currently working with in regards to reporting systems and see how they can all tie into your case for social. How do your CRM and your marketing automation platform help you leverage your social reach? For example, both Saleforce.com and Eloqua have application “marketplaces” with numerous social plugins that can supplement your current campaign efforts. This is where you bring up COST SAVINGS to the board. Look at what we already have, look at how I am using it, and look at how I can report back to you on items X,Y, and Z with numbers and/or percentages that make sense. You want executive buy-in? Let them know that you’re not just blowing money on new-fangled tools to measure something they don’t necessarily see value in quite yet anyway – help them recognize what you’re doing with what you already have.

What roadblocks have you run up against when reporting to your executive team on your social strategy? Leave us some feedback! And we hope you can join us on Wednesday, Nov.16, for the webinar to learn more about what you need to measure, how to measure it, how to report on those metrics, and how to determine what is good versus bad for your type of company.

 

ReadyTalk Gaffe of the Month: The Recording Never Stops

 

Accidents happen. At ReadyTalk we’re committed to helping our customers prevent accidents and mistakes. Each month, ReadyTalk’s Account Specialist Team shares a recent accident and tips for how to avoid it in the future.

Recording your conference with ReadyTalk is a great way to share your audio and web conference with others who were unable to attend your meeting. You can send out a link for your recording, embed it in your website and even post it on Facebook! One time Sarah recorded her conference, but then accidentally forgot to end her audio conference call and left the recording line going…for more than 30 hours! Unfortunately, it went unnoticed for several months and Susan continued to store the recorded conference.

Each month Sarah would receive the recording hosting charges for her recording, and unfortunately kept paying for this large recording without catching the error. Once she realized and called ReadyTalk to discuss the problem, we were able to get it all resolved.

To avoid this problem, there are a few things that Sarah could have done differently:

  • Press the Stop Recording button in her web-based Conference Controls after ending her web meeting.
  • Press *2 and then 1 on her phone to end the recording.
  • Hanging up the phone as the Chairperson to end the audio conference, which automatically ends the recording (unless she had put the conference into continuation mode).
  • Double checking that her audio conference had ended by looking in her Conference Controls and seeing if any line is still dialed into the audio conference.


Do you have a webinar or web conferencing gaffe that you’d like to share? Share it below.

 

I’m Not Listening.

 

Verizon has gotten amazing mileage out of its “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign. I think it has stuck around because we can all relate; there’s nothing worse than having a conversation with a friend and having their line cut in and out.

Unreliable audio is acceptable among friends. When it comes to business, it’s another story. 

This week, I was on an audio conference with a vendor who sells content marketing solutions. Since we’re mapping our content and identifying next year’s content marketing plan, I was very interested in hearing what she had to say. But, I couldn’t pay attention.

The sales rep was using a free audio conferencing service. With free audio conferencing, you pay for what you get and what she got was static, delay and choppiness. I tried really hard to focus on what she was saying but the poor audio made it really hard to pay attention. Poor audio makes it hard for even the best sales reps to be successful.

Analyst firm, Frost and Sullivan recently put together a white paper on the topic of free services, The True Costs of Free Conferencing: Why Consumer Services Can Hurt Your Business. In the paper, they write, “Anyone who uses free conferencing services with customers puts their professionalism and credibility at risk.”

I couldn’t agree more. What do you think? Is the savings worth the risks?

 

As the marketing communications and PR manager, Bo gets to wear many hats (but her favorite is a tiara). When she isn't tackling branding, messaging, social media and collateral, she enjoys skiing with her husband, running with her dog and playing board games with friends. You can find her on Twitter @bo_knows_

Best Practices for Webinar Setup and Planning

 

Chances are, you are very familiar with the many moving parts that go into setting up a webinar. With assistance from the American Marketing Association, we created a best practices document to offer help sorting through those details.

As a supplement to this document, the members of our Events team came up with the following additional points to consider while setting up a webinar.

  • Be sure to schedule your webinar as far in advance of the actual date as possible – ideally, at least 6 to 8 weeks prior – in order to allow enough time for proper marketing of your webinar.
  • If you have a custom script, be sure to send it your Event Manager at least 24 hours in advance of your webinar.
  • If your participants will be listening to the audio via their phone lines, you might consider adding something similar to the text below to your invitation or confirmation email.

 

To ensure you are able to join this event successfully, please dial in 10-15 minutes prior to scheduled start time. You will be greeted by an operator. Please be prepared to give them your full name and company name. You will be placed on hold until the call begins.


If you are using the broadcast audio function (allowing your participants to listen to the audio via their computer speakers, you might consider something similar to the text below.

 

 

When you log into the web portion, you will automatically be connected to broadcast audio which will allow you to hear the presentation through your computer speakers. Please make sure the volume on your speakers is set appropriately to your location and is respectful to those around you.

 

 

 

  • Prepare an introduction slide to show prior to the beginning of the webinar. This slide can include the login information and is very helpful, especially if the dial-in number is listed. Also, if the webinar uses broadcast audio, you can also use this location to remind participants to make sure the volume on their speakers is set appropriately.
  • Prior to the live webinar, you might consider sending an email to all speakers with their dial-in and log-in information.
  • Prepare a few “canned questions” just in case you need them to fill time during the Q&A session.
  • Think about audience engagement!!! Come up with a few ways of interacting with your audience!
  • Be aware of your platform’s limitations before the live webinar (participant limit, desktop sharing, video, etc.)
  • Find out what type of support you have from your platform provider before, during and after your webinar.


If you use any setup best practices that are not listed here, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to share your thoughts as others may find it helpful in their webinar setup.

 

 

ReadyTalk Attends Rocky Mountain Product Camp 2011

Rocky Mountain Product Camp 2011

On Saturday, October 29th, employees of ReadyTalk, including myself,  had the pleasure of attending the second annual Rocky Mountain Product Marketing Camp at the Tivoli Center in Denver.   While the lack of traditional camping activities had initially made me question my bringing a guitar and S'more ingredients, the long list of collaborative and educational sessions focused on Product Management and Product Marketing made the one-day camp a worthwhile experience.

With 13 sessions (including the opening keynote) available, I've detailed some of our favorite takeaways from self-stylized "unconference" below:

  • Participant driven sessions: Participants, prior to the start of the free conference, were allowed to vote for what sessions they wanted to fill the twelve session time-slots.  The twelve sessions with the most votes were these sessions offered through the day, providing attendees with a large influence on the overall tone of the conference.
  • Customers make the brand: Gerry O'Brion's keynote on "What big brands know" showcased some sharp ideas on how to simplify your product marketing by focusing on what your product's distinctive competency is and reminding everyone that in the digital age, your brand is never more than the sum of your customers interactions with your product or service.
  • Customer loyalty is influenced most by delivering on expectations: When looking at the business-to-business segment, customers rated what influenced them the most in terms of product loyalty.  Brand accounted for about 15% of their overall customer experience while their sales experience accounted for 53% of their overall customer experience.  Most customers surveyed cited that their satisfaction with a product was controlled by their initial experience with their sales person and how well the experience matched with expectations presented early on in their relationship as a customer.
  • Product Owners should focus more time on customer interaction:  Steve Jobs was unique.  Product Owners should rely more on customer interactions than intuition and impulse as we look at improving the future of Product Management.
  • Innovators should be troublemakers:  While thinking outside the box may sound cliche (because it is), innovation isn't a simple process.   There's an inherent comfort in doing what's been proven to work historically.  Challenging the status-quo requires resolve and dedication to your idea, not just creating an idea outside of a proverbial box.


While the above certainly isn't a comprehensive list of all of the great takeaways from last Saturday's sessions based on the unique format of this year's Rocky Mountain Product Camp,  I'm looking forward to seeing the annual "unconference" make a permanent foothold in the Denver region over the next few years.

 

Did we miss any key takeaways from this years Product Camp?  We'd love to hear  your thoughts on this year's Product Camp or on Product Management & Marketing in general below in our comments field.

 

Brandon Hess works at ReadyTalk as a Product Marketing Manager.  Starting his initial career as a web designer, Brandon eventually decided that the web could design itself just fine and that his true interest was in marketing. Following his passion through the agency, startup and newspaper industries, he eventually found his way home inside the wonderful walls of ReadyTalk.  In his free time, he enjoys debating why Lord of the Rings is superior to Harry Potter, collecting all things Batman and answering questions about his height (6'8" by the way).