Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 7: Social Media Tracking and Lead Detection

Courtesy of: http://www.saleoid.com

In your previous or current experience, were you or anyone at your employer responsible for tracking Social Media ROI? If so, how was this process conducted? If not, how was the success of your social media platforms measured?

Here is an infographic on how to measure Social Media ROI: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/81768549462452591/. Because I work in the pharmaceutical industry, we do not tend to use social media as much for our campaigns, as I work mostly with healthcare professionals. I have colleagues that work with the patient campaigns and they are much more involved in social media tactics and tracking. However, we typically track the website analytics for the sites that we create. Within the last year, we have hired an analytics specialist, who helps us better manually monitor our sites, typically using Google analytics. We usually meet with him at the beginning of a project, so that tags can be set up and the report schedule can be determined.

It can certainly be confusing to use Google analytics at first. The definitions can be hard to differentiate. I have had clients who ask us to collect the data for them, but then they have no idea what we are telling them or how to respond appropriately. This video gives a basic overview of some of the terms used by Google analytics.

It is interesting because I work for a larger ad agency in one of their specialty branches. I did not believe we had a strong social media presence, but our parent company does have a Twitter account and Facebook page, which I just discovered and will now follow. As Turner states, “the best way to determine how many customers you’re gaining through social media is to look at the website analytics” (2013, para 31). I am wondering if this social media presence has led to new business leads or new employees.

Have you ever had any experience with automated lead systems for your social media? If so, do you believe they were conducive to your way of business? If not, what current lead system is in place? Do you believe these systems would be beneficial for your place of business?

Digital marketing automation is defined as “software that allows you to automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, manage complexity and measure and optimize your efforts” (Bullas, n.d., para 24).

I do not have any experience with automated lead systems. Instead, we still tend to get new business the old-fashioned way—submitting RFPs and going to pitches, as well as organically growing business with existing customers. Our new business team does a lot of the lead generation and once they have an opportunity, we may get involved to develop the presentation because we have the experience in executing the programs. Once we land a new client, it is our job to build relationships and hopefully continue to get additional business with this particular client, as well as her colleagues.

I am not sure if an automated lead system would be beneficial for where I work to gain new business. At the same time, some of these systems could be helpful in getting our recruitment numbers up for different programs that we run for our clients. We have an operations team that is constantly making cold calls, sending emails and faxes, and mailing hard-copy invites. In addition, our consumer team does CRM management for many of our clients.

Here is an article that I pinned in our group board on Pinterest: http://www.razorsocial.com/social-media-management-software/.

As marketing automation tools can improve Customer Lifetime Value, what other ways do you believe we can improve the quality of our customers’ experiences through social media? Do you feel your company’s website alone is enough to allow them to have a great experience? Or are there other areas that need to be improved? If you were in charge of improving your employers’ practices to not only retain current customers, but also gain new ones, what would your strategy be?

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is defined as “the amount of revenue a typical customer will generate for a company during the customer’s engagement with your brand” (Turner, 2013, para 11). Here is a video that explains this concept in further detail. I would be curious to know what our typical CLV is where I work. When I started working at my current company, I had a client that had a drug that was first to market in its class. As a result, the pharmaceutical company had a lot of money to spend on promoting the drug. However, as the years went on, competitors entered the market and the drug did not do as well as it had previously. Our business opportunity dwindled as our clients’ budgets decreased year after year. We no longer work with them, but it has more to do with the life cycle of the drug, rather than our performance with them.

It takes more than a company website to retain and gain customers in today’s world. According to Kerpen, “it’s essential therefore that the website is as integrated with social media as possible” (2011, p. 170). While this might be true, it also depends on the industry that you are in, as certain ones may not rely as heavily on social media as others. I do not believe my company uses our website and social media accounts to retain or gain current customers. Our website is relatively basic and gives an overview of our company and what we do. If we were to focus more on our social media and Web strategies, we could see what new leads could be generated.

Bullas, J. (n.d.). 10 top digital marketing automation tools that could transform your business. Jeffbullas.com. Retrieved from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2015/06/19/10-top-digital-marketing-automation-tools/.
Kerpen, D. (2011). Likeable social media: How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook (& other social networks). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Turner, J. (2013). An in-depth guide on how to calculate the ROI of a social media campaign. Our blog. Retrieved from: http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2013/11/17/in-depth-guide-calculating-social-media-roi/.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 6: Social Media Policies and Privacy in the Workplace

Courtesy of: LinkedIn

Employers have the right to “limit employees’ use of social media at work, during work time, and/or on company equipment” (Halpern, 2012, para 10). It is hard to stop employees from using social media at work because almost everyone has a smartphone that allows them to check their social networks through mobile applications. While an excessive amount of social media usage outside of job requirements should not be allowed, casual use should be tolerated.

Take a look at this short video about social media statistics in the workplace. The video is actually an ad for companies to purchase social media training for employees, but some of the opening information is quite interesting.

What people do on their private pages should not necessarily be monitored by one’s place of employment. Cyber-bullying is wrong, but termination by an employer may be unreasonable depending on what has been said. While social media sites, such as Facebook “fits clearly in the bull’s-eye of First Amendment protections,…state institutions might want to be particularly careful not to block Facebook on any grounds that can be construed as pertaining to free speech” (Mitrano, 2006, p. 8). Thus, employers must be careful that their policies are not so broad that they restrict actions protected by federal labor law (NLRB Report, 2012, para 3).

On the other side, companies have codes of conduct that may outline social media policies. As Scott mentions, “rather than focus on putting guidelines on blogs and other social media like Facebook and Twitter (the technology), it is better to focus on guiding the way people behave” (2013, p. 92). For example, employers can restrict public rants by employees that do not involve discussion with other colleagues (Halpern, 2012, para 2). In addition, employers can recommend that their employees use their judgment and “caution employees that if their conduct violates the rights of other employees or third parties, it may result in liability to these individuals” (para 10). Employees can also face civil suits, defamation, or libel (Mitrano, 2006, p. 8). There have been cases where employees who are fired for their social media posts are upheld in court. According to the NLRB, “an employee’s comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activity among employees” (The NLRB and social media, 2012, para 7).

While I already knew this, one of the social media privacy tips that resonated with me was that Facebook owns all of the content its users post on the site (Mitrano, 2006, p. 9). This includes photos, comments, and even personal information, which Facebook and other social media sites can then use at their discretion or even sell to marketers and advertisers. Although people will not stop using the sites, it should make them think before they post.

Halpern, S.J. (2012). When is your company’s social media policy an unfair labor practice? Recent NLRB decisions offer long-awaited guidance for employers. Retrieved from http://www.natlawreview.com/article/when-your-company-s-social-media-policy-unfair-labor-practice-recent-nlrb-decisions-
The NLRB and social media (2012). National Labor Relations Board. Retrieved from https://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/fact-sheets/nlrb-and-social-media
NLRB report: Employers’ social media policies must be narrow, must not restrict right to engage in protected activities (2012, Feb 1). National Law Review. Retrieved from http://www.natlawreview.com/article/nrlb-report-employers-social-media-policies-must-be-narrow-must-not-restrict-right-t
Mitrano, T. (2006). A wider world: Youth, privacy, and social networking technologies (EDUCAUSE Review). Educause.edu, 41(6): 16-29.
Scott, D.M. (2013). The new rules of marketing & PR. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Derek Jeter’s Social Media Presence

Courtesy of bleacherreport.com

Professional athletes have joined the social media arena in droves to connect with their fans and even get better endorsement deals (Kerpen, 2011, p. 105). As this class has shown, “social networking is an increasingly important way for people to connect and communicate” (Scott, 2013, p. 266). For example, Nick Swisher, a Major League Baseball player, has 1.3 million Twitter followers. If you take a look at Swisher’s Twitter (https://twitter.com/NickSwisher), he has now amassed 1.74 million followers and “not only shares photos and videos but also insights and thoughts directly from the dugout” (Kerpen, 2011, p. 105). It is clear that social media is an important outlet for athletes to let their personalities out.

An enigma to the social networking trend is Derek Jeter, who was the shortstop for the New York Yankees. Jeter is not an avid social media user. While he has a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/derekjeter), he does not advertise his personal, private information. Instead, he makes relevant information available, with his updates revolving around his foundation, Turn 2 (http://derekjeter.mlb.com/players/jeter_derek/index.jsp), and his website, The Player’s Tribune (http://www.theplayerstribune.com/) (Scott, 2013, p. 250). When asked by a fan about staying private throughout his career, he mentions that he started a Twitter account, but really pointed fans to a prank video (Extra Mustard, 2015, para 5).

Meanwhile, throughout his career and even now in retirement, Jeter still has a strong fan following and had many endorsement deals; “Jeter has built a fan base that’s interested in anything that he does—he can also bring people in through the strength of his brand” (Rogers, 2014, para 10). Does this show that some people do not need to create a personal brand on social media?

Ironically, after retirement, he started a social media site, The Player’s Tribune, where athletes could write directly to fans about whatever they want, however they want, rather than letting the media serve as a middleman. This site could be a transformative, new way for athletes to speak to their fans. Do you think a site like this will do well? Will media companies try to stop a site like this from being successful?

Extra Mustard (2015 Aug 27). Derek Jeter says he is on Twitter, rickrolls fans. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2015/08/27/derek-jeter-twitter-rickroll
Kerpen, D. (2011). Likeable social media: How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook (& other social networks). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Rogers, J. (2014 Oct 4). Has Derek Jeter hit a social media home run? Fox News. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/10/04/has-derek-jeter-hit-social-media-home-run/
Scott, D.M. (2013). The new rules of marketing & PR. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 4: Using Social Media to Find the "Right" Targets

Courtesy of: http://automotiveseo.org/?attachment_id=192

In this week’s readings, there is a lot of information about targeting advertisements to the “right” people. According to key marketing executives, “Fifty percent of my advertising works. I just don’t know which 50 percent” (Kerpen, 2011, p. 34). With the advent of social media, this percentage should be declining because there are more ways to reach customers. As such, “successful online marketing and PR efforts…start by identifying one or more buyer personas to target” (Scott, 2013, p. 164). A buyer persona is a description of key points that is typically representative of a specific buyer of the company’s product or service.

Although not the typical product or service, Obama used a progressive approach to win the 2008 election, truly using social media as a platform to gain voters. The campaign team identified voter personas based upon what state they were from, so that they could better focus their messaging (Scott, 2013, p. 189). You can read more about how Obama changed politics here: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/how-obamas-internet-campaign-changed-politics/?_r=0. In addition, you can see Obama’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/BarackObamadotcom and how free advertising was disseminated and watched by supporters whenever they had the time. By developing these biographies for buyer types, it makes it easier to create a strategic marketing plan that targets these people. As we start to think about the 2016 elections, it will be fascinating to see how other candidates will use social media in their campaigns.

In my professional experience, when we are recruiting healthcare professionals to come to our meetings, we have a specific list of people that we want to attend. For example, when we were holding an event at the American Heart Association’s annual conference, we had a target list that was composed of cardiologists and primary care physicians. Because the conference attracts a wide variety of attendees, we filtered out many people, such as international physicians, so that we could advertise to the people we wanted and make sure they were coming to our program. We target these groups because physicians tend to prescribe the particular product and our clients are only influencing prescriptions in the US. We typically use traditional marketing techniques, such as direct mail and door drops, but after reading some of this week’s readings, I wonder what kind of uptake we would get if we used hypertargeting to really focus in on our core audience (Kerpen, 2011, p. 35).

Do you have any personal experience using buyer personas to develop marketing campaigns at your job? If so, use the readings to support how you use these personas to increase hits on your targeted advertisements. If not, what are some of the ways discussed in this week’s materials that can help you better target your ads to customers?

Kerpen, D. (2011). Likeable social media: How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook (& other social networks). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Scott, D.M. (2013). The new rules of marketing & PR. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 3: Social Media Pros and Cons

Courtesy of: findsomewinmore.com

Social media has made it easier and more complicated for companies to market their products and services to consumers.

If a company does not have a strong media presence, it takes time and money to set one up the right way. Depending on the size of the organization, different levels of approval and support may be needed even to get things moving. Developing social media sites require work, such as creating the social personality and voice of the company, brand, and products (Kerpen, 2011, 86). Once the sites are up, it takes considerable effort to monitor social networking sites. Kerpen recommends having employees available to respond to people’s negative complaints within 24 hours or less (p. 79).

In terms of the positives, social media allows companies to interact with their customers more than ever. In addition, these organizations can get real-time market research information without even having to pay for it. Cal Henderson of Flickr says the company releases new features up to every 30 minutes (O’Reilly, 2005). If people use them, the rest of the site gets the functionality; otherwise, it is removed. Marketers can learn about what customers are looking for, find new products or features, and even discover the best way to communicate (Kerpen, 2011, p. 15). Moreover, IBM’s Listening for Leads program is a prime example of how a company can find new business opportunities by keeping an eye on social media outlets (p. 22). You can read more about the program here.

One of the downsides to social media is how easily individual complaints can become public (Kerpen, 2011, p. 14). Although negative comments are inevitable, how a company responds is crucial (p. 77). If an organization does not take the time to respond, “you risk having one horrible customer experience totally erode your reputation, and eventually your bottom line, regardless of the size of your company” (p. 69). For instance, singer Dave Carroll was on a United Airlines flight and his guitar had been broken. Carroll told airline representatives, but no action was taken. As a result, Carroll posted this video, which was viewed more than 100,000 times in its first day. United certainly felt the negative ramifications from this one incident. Although it is not always easy to have the appropriate staff on hand, responding to criticism quickly in public and then privately messaging the individual shows that the company takes these issues seriously (p. 79).

On the other hand, customers can be a company’s biggest fans, posting on their Facebook walls or Twitter pages. Because “word-of-mouth endorsements and conversation from satisfied customers remains the most potentially powerful marketing tool,” it is just as important for companies to respond to good comments (Kerpen, 2011, p. 85). As customers become loyal, they will not only be a source of information for new customers, but even defend the brands and products that they have come to love (p. 68).


Kerpen, D. (2011). Likeable social media: How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook (& other social networks). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved from http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a//web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html


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Image Courtesy of: www.perfaware.com

Welcome to my blog! If you have come across this page, I have started this site as a result of a graduate course on social media strategies in today’s personal and professional world.

It is my first stab at both a blog and a class in the integrated marketing communications department at Marist College, as I am a MBA student who wanted to strengthen her social media skills.  Previously, I graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Biology and minors in education, science and technology studies, and law and society.

In addition to my graduate studies, I also work full-time at a pharmaceutical marketing company, creating programs that help educate physicians about specific drugs and supplement the information they are getting from field representatives.

I look forward to hearing from you!