Archive for June, 2012

Five Reasons Not To Abandon Email

At this point, we all know that social media is a powerful tool for business and, if leveraged correctly, can be an essential part of your marketing plan. Does this mean that social media should replace email? We say no and here’s why…

1. Road to Conversion

Email marketing is the perfect bedfellow to social media; together they form a holistic approach to project your message to a broad audience. For example, social media campaigns or newsletter opt-in promotions can be used to gain email addresses from fans and bring them into your contact list. Email marketing allows a brand to be more directly sales orientated than may be acceptable on a social media site.

2. Perfect Partner

Chances are, your email-marketing list is more robust than your fan or follower counts. Email can also be used to promote your social presence, drive awareness that you exist on social media, and provide more opportunities for you to connect with your customers. Users can be encouraged to follow you on social channels for daily updates and social sharing can be enabled to help grow your audience and drive traffic to your website. Judging by Twitter’s recent decision to start sending personalized weekly updates to their users, they also must agree that email is a useful ally.

3. Freedom Of Choice

Some of your customers may still be reluctant to let brands into their social space and most still expect to be able to subscribe to email updates. An email address can be procured at the point of sale, and this puts you in the driving seat to start a relationship. Customers who are already interested in your brand or have already bought from you are your most valuable contacts and email is a great way to get advertising copy to those people.

4. Permanence

Email is not as time sensitive as the transient social media update which lives in an ever-moving News Feed. It can be opened by the recipient at their leisure and can be referenced time and again. Whilst it is true that a subscriber can still choose not to open an email, they will at least have the choice. Email messages also allow you the freedom to get your full message across rather than the more fun and engaging but truncated messages via social media.

5. Personal Touch

Emails can be customised using details from your database to add a personal touch to your communications. A users name can be added, a product review of a recent purchase can be requested, or you can send directly relevant content to them based on their interest preferences. This customisation allows your messages to be personal and targeted, meaning users are less likely to unsubscribe – allowing you to build longer-term relationships and encourage repeat business.

Social media and email should be complementary channels that promote your business and each other. Maximise the potential of both by ensuring that they are fully integrated with each other in your marketing plan.

Social Media Measurement: Product Launches Pt 1

Measuring the performance of a corporate social media event can be a pretty tough job to tackle, but it is something that is essential to do. Knowing where to start and what to measure can be a bit of a challenge. At Adobe, we track and measure all of our social media initiatives/campaigns and have developed a categorical system for selecting and reporting on metrics; this helps us stay consistent and (relatively) sane.

  • Volume metrics are what we consider to be the low hanging fruit; metrics that can be easily collected using automated tools. Generally consisting of only numbers, these metrics don’t always contain very actionable insights; but they often provide the wow-factor that comes with large numbers
  • Conversational metrics get into the deeper analysis of what is being said and generally have to be pulled manually
  • Conversion metrics tie social activities directly to web site activities and the bottom line. More specialized tools are needed for these metrics

For this post, I’ll go over the volume metrics and how we used them to report on a recent product launch.

We are seeing the socialization of corporate communications play an increasingly greater role in many product launches. Ford shook up the auto industry when it decided to reveal the 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook rather than at an auto show, which is traditionally the place to launch new car models. Just a few months ago, Cadbury revealed a new candy bar using Google+ as the primary communication driver. Adobe is no different and social media played a big role in our launch of Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud. For a large campaign like this one, we will include all three categories in our reporting. However, depending on the size, type, and goals of other campaigns, we often choose to omit one or two.

With any of the categories, the first step is to make sure you know what you are measuring; this should be decided in part by defining your business objectives and considering who your audience for the report will be. We have found that engagement metrics are very useful for social practitioners to drive the day to day strategy, but executives and other stakeholders are often more interested in volume and conversational metrics that give a holistic view of all the social efforts. For our volume metrics for this campaign, we looked at total number of posts in the conversation, media mix (the platforms on which the conversation is taking place), and the growth of our social media fan base.

As I mentioned above, the volume metrics are those that can be done easily and automatically with most tools. These are good metrics to use for anyone just starting out in the field or with teams that don’t have a lot of resources. Regardless of the tool being used, I have found it best to export the data into Microsoft Excel which enables me to reformat it into charts (some of which I included) that easily fit into our reports. The nature of these metrics also allows for easy comparison with past campaigns or other data, giving a quick reference point for the performance of a campaign. On the volume chart below, I was able to compare the overall Creative Suite conversation (which typically receives 15K-30K posts a day) to the conversation specifically about the launch; a spike driven by the launch activity is clearly visible.

Thanks to these “low-hanging fruit” metrics, we were easily able to frame the success of the social media efforts for the Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud launch in terms of awareness and buzz. We demonstrated that the social conversation around the launch was significant and pushed the normal Creative Suite conversation to a new high. We were also able to show how many new people we added to our social media fan base. Stay tuned: in following posts, I’ll go into the conversational and conversion metrics that we also used to measure this campaign.