SES San Francisco 2011: Social Media Solutions on a Budget

Jeff Harmon starts us off. 40% of all media consumption is online. He created a YouTube campaign to sell a tongue cleaner.

Bad Breath Test – How to Tell When Your Breath Stinks

They did A/B testing on the landing page and found 19% of people who watched the video ended up on their website. He used YouTube Promoted Videos and wanted to at least break even. When they started to break even, he turned it up and then they sold 10 million units in a week. One YouTube power user did a review on Orabrush. The NY Times did a feature on Orabrush around the same time. The YouTube power user sent twice as much traffic to their site as NY Times.

They created a video to share an iPhone app to “detect” bad breath. They got 300,000 app downloads with no other promotion but a million video views. AdAge named Orabrush one of the top 10 social media campaigns of 2010.

93% of sales happen offline. So they wanted to figure out a way to drive offline sales.

One Walmart carried Orabrush during a holiday season and it sold more than any other oral hygiene item. They used this info to create a video to Walmart corporate featuring a tongue character. It linked to their other ads/videos and media coverage. They landed a big deal that will be coming to Walmart soon.

Well executed online video increases conversion 2-3x on the same website.
When you put that item in a store, you can increase sales 2-4x.

online offline conversion

The path a consumer takes:

  • Stimulated by advertising
  • Moment of truth 1: decide to buy or not
  • Moment of truth 2: decide to buy again or not
  • Google created a zero moment of truth – you go back and review the product which influences whether or not you’ll buy something

On packaging they have an image that says as seen on YouTube. They want to drive people back online to create a full engagement loop.

Nathan Bransford is next. He works at a Fortune 500, but like everyone else, he doesn’t have a huge budget for social media. These techniques will work for everyone.

The Keys to Social Media Success

  • There’s no social media silver bullet.
  • The best way to build an audience with consistently good content.
  • Get the big stuff right.
    • Optimize follow button placement
    • Post consistently engaging content – on FB track likes and comments, on Twitter track retweets
    • Monitor and respond to the results, especially engagement
    • Don’t overpost. 4-6 per day on Facebook and 10-20 per day on Twitter.
    • Social media is social – engage directly with fans and followers.
    • Cultivate a voice

Free Tools

  • Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts.
  • offers insights into clicks and conversations.
  • offers competitor analytics, for instance fan change per day.
  • allows you to track follower counts.

Greg Jarboe is next with how to leverage one of the most underused assets in your arsenal. PR people are the underleveraged asset. Social media solutions won’t get a budget if ROMI is under 1.1. They’re not used to measuring success as return on marketing investment. They’re used to pointing to clips. But PR people should be shown how to look at ROMI.

The case study he’s sharing is from Rutgers. The goal of the campaign was to put 6 “butts in seats” of social media marketing course. To get students to take this new course they wanted to use social media. The course was limited to 30 students but had 6 empty seats. The budget to fill these seats was $4000. Students would pay $4,995 to enroll in the course. Only one sign up with get an ROMI of 1.1 but they were shooting higher.

speakers at social media on a budget session

They identified and engaged relevant and influential bloggers. A lot of attention is given to Twitter and Facebook, but blogs still work. They used a tool Trackur to find influential bloggers in the field. They pitched a story to a blogger, who blogged the story on Sunday. You might think it’s a bad day to publish, but turns out there are a lot of people who are reading on Sundays, at the end of the week when they’re not heads down in work. They had a press release run the next day, Monday, optimized not for Google and Yahoo! but for Google News and Yahoo! News.

Rutgers also spent $4000 for an ad campaign on Mashable. It was the other horse in the race to make sure they got the seats filled.

Their press release ranked #1 and blog post ranked #2 in Yahoo! News. The press release got 2,048 views and tagged links got 143 clicks. They used Google Analytics URL Builder to tag press release links. Tagging links shows you which marketing activities are paying off. 1,097 totol posts about the course, 67 mentions in blogs and 969 mentions on Twitter. By picking targets that will create a ripple effect, you can get this wide-reaching result. Visits to a targeted landing page, one about the new social media course, jumped 143%. Goal conversions were up 106% week over week after the campaign.

They got 6 new students in the course. He was able to correlate where the new students came from.

  • 1 was from the Mashable ad
  • 1 was from tweets
  • 2 were from organic searches – and they knew the keywords searched for (“social media marketing course”)
  • 2 were from work of mouth (“my husband”)

Social media is social – it’s not always trackable in a direct marketing way – and that’s okay, they signed up for the course. The campaign worked even though they can’t tell which part.

$4000 spent on SEO-PR delivered $14,985-$24,975 in incremental revenue for ROMI of 3.7-6.2.

$4000 spent on mashable ad delivered $4,995-$14,985 in incremental revenue for ROMI of 1.2-3.7.

PR is working at least as hard as advertising. Sure, there’s still a little mystery in life, but you can measure your influence and contribution.

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

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