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What’s all this social media hooplah? Dilemma and frustrations of starting a social media campaign.

Posted on | January 9, 2009 | No Comments

For some years now social media initiatives have played a “minor” role in most of the online marketing initiatives that we have done. We readily admit we are still leaning towards SEO and PPC for most of our campaigns and have been gearing towards improving Landing Page performance and Web Analytics implementation.

One can only digest so much new information from a very dynamic and rapidly growing field such as online marketing. We have so far delimited ourselves to social bookmarking for content we have released and the usual profile building on the more popular social media sites such as Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. Results have been good but not as impressive as most expected.

What we think so far:

1) It really takes time to build a good “following”, were you need to network with people who have some level of interest with the services or content you provide. I have seen various tools were one can grow his/her Twitter followers to a thousand in just a matter of 2 days.

Who doesn’t want three thousand followers anyway? Probably its just another number’s game type of campaign in hopes of converting a small percentage of your followers into actual leads.

Will this work? We sure hope it does but we still follow people who have somehow engaged or have shown interest on our products. Hoping that this will bring in “targeted” traffic.

In one campaign, we diligently monitored thru Yahoo Sideline people who have interest on a particular product. Interest as we have defined it later, will be relevant discussions (like tweets) aligned with our product.

Example: We profile all twits that have the keyword “water tanks” and exclude some irrelevant keywords. Every 30 mins. or so Yahoo sideline will show twits that discussed anything about “water tanks” (just an example). We then read thru them and filtered which one we can follow – in hopes that they will follow us back.

Results: After a few weeks of implementing this strategy, we only got 30 followers so far. Bummer.

BUT WAIT!

One follower did inquire about our services and 1 conversion is good enough for us – for now.

Probably we will need to test creating a similar profile on both the 3k follower list and with the current strategy we have to see which campaign can provide a decent number of conversions.

2) If you don’t have a person knowledgeable on the subject matter, the whole campaign will simply not work. Posting new articles and typing in short “tweets” will simply not be enough.

One 2 similar cases, our clients wanted us to handle the discussion on their respective tweeter accounts. We insisted that this will not be a good idea as we probably don’t have enough knowledge nor do we know the appropriate semantics.

Then came in the questions, the technical questions. So will installing a solar panel run a 220v volt appliance? We simply Googled it and responded to the twit just to hold the fort. What if the client was a stock broker or a real estate agent? What do we know about cost averaging and stuff? Just Google it?

Social Media is primarily a tool for interaction and engaging other people. Consultants can only manage the “direction” and the technical needs of the campaign , a little content maintenance maybe, but interaction should remain with the people represented. It doesn’t take much to correspond even. Right?

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