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.