Part Two: Social Media
By Aaron Neumann
Manager, CES Data Compliance & Reporting
This article series will cover basic marketing strategies for CES providers. Using a case study approach, new methods for generating greater connectivity with your customer base and AIA members through researching, developing a dynamic database of contacts and branding your courses using innovative curricular formats, will be underlined with the goal of providing you a foundation of marketing tactics to build upon. Part one of this series covered Research and Database Development while part two will focus on Social Media. Together these tactics are a powerful threesome for marketing.
Social media provides the opportunity to build relationships and enrich your network through sustained and more personal contact. The most popular and accessible social media platforms currently used by CES Providers are:
“LinkedIn enables you to build emotional connections and engaged communities.” LinkedIn is a great way for CES Providers to connect with firms, individuals and other CES Providers. It can serve two important functions for marketing. LinkedIn can quickly enable you to build a network of contacts and prospective leads for presentations, and allow you to connect on professional and more personalized level with firms and individuals whom you have present to.
Case Study #1: Citi
Take a moment to review this case study from Citi on developing compelling content with LinkedIn Managed Groups. LinkedIn has many features that allow you to categorize your customers and contacts based on various demographics, and then connect with them in different ways. This can be a very useful resource for CES providers offering educational content that applies to specific groups.
Tips for using LinkedIn effectively:
• 1. Ask for Recommendations
• 2. Reciprocate with Recommendations
• 3. Create a Brand Group
• 4. Use Regular Profile Updates
• 5. Use an Image to Create an Image
“A recent HubSpot study shows that companies that blog achieve far better marketing results that the ones that don't blog - attracting 55% more website visitors than non-blogging companies.” Blogging can enable you connect with customers in a more casual manner, and can become a vital resource for keeping your customers informed.
Case Study # 2
PSMJ Resources, Inc. posts information on upcoming course events on association on-line bulletin boards and blogs and rely on our corporate partners and sponsors to help us get the word out to new attendees. They market events, products, and knowledge to the various firm leaders and staff we have collected in our database over the past 30 years in business. They send a brochure out to targeted audiences via email, direct mail, and various social media avenues.
For Lotusphere 2011, one of IBM's annual user conferences for customers and partners, the tech firm expanded its typical social media strategy:
• Created a social media hub, a single online landing page providing
• Live stream of blogs
• Twitter comments
• *Flickr photos
• Videos of keynote sessions
• Interviews from the conference
• To keep chatter organized on Twitter, the company employed the *hashtag #ls11
• Success Metrics: By mid-event at Lotusphere 2011, which takes place from January 30 to February 3, there were more than 20,000 tweets tagged with the #ls11 hashtag, and the hub site's video channel had garnered 34,000 views. As of February 15, 2011, there were more than 35,000 tweets with the #ls11 hashtag, and 9,500 of those tweets were retweeted. IBM calculates that the campaign garnered more than 41 million total impressions on Twitter.
• Lesson: Whether it's as simple as employing a hashtag or as strategic as creating a social landing page, aggregating and organizing conversation around your brand, especially during events is key to making a splash on Twitter.
When used effectively, Facebook can enable you to expand your reach customers in incredibly dynamic ways. Take a look at this next case study, and the impressive statistics on Facebook below, which speak to Facebook as in invaluable promotional resource.
Case Study #3
Elaine Topper of BellaSoleil, (a Tuscan home decor retailer) offered a a 10% discount via a special code on a reveal page that clients saw after “liking” the Facebook page . Her email list wasn’t huge at 1,767 subscribers but the results were noticeable.
• It produced a $10,000 profit
• Facebook page “likes” grew by 200% in just 3 weeks
Interesting Facebook statistics:
• 1 in every 13 people on Earth is on Facebook
• 35+ demographic represents more than 30% of the entire user base
• 71.2 % of all USA internet users are on Facebook
• Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites
• Since social plugins launched in April 2010, an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day
• In 20 minutes 1,000,000 links are shared on Facebook
• In 20 minutes 1,484,000 event invites are posted
• In 20 minutes 1.972 million friend requests are accepted
• In 20 minutes 2,716,000 messages are sent
• In 20 minutes 10.2 million comments are posted
• In 20 minutes 1,587,000 wall posts are written
• 48% of young Americans said they found out about news through Facebook
• 48% of 18 to 34 year olds check Facebook right when they wake up
• 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
• More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook, including over 80 of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of comScore’s Global Top 100 website
• Average user has 130 friends
• People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
• There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
• Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
• Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
• More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
• More than 70 translations available on the site
• About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
• Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application
• Entrepreneurs and developers from more than 190 countries build with Facebook Platform
• People on Facebook install 20 million applications every day
• Like any product or service, Continuing Education needs branded too.