Social-media use in the U.S. has reached a tipping point, according to eMarketer estimates, as more than half of U.S. Web users log onto a social network at least once a month.
Where the U.S. goes, can New Zealand be far behind? Actually, no, not very far at all. The World Internet Project’s New Zealand results indicated that by August/September last year 48% of our fair citizens were already social network users; nine months on, we can expect to have passed the magic halfway mark ourselves.
So at least half of us can now be found hanging out on social networks. Should marketers be there too? Absolutely, notes eMarketer, channeling the results of a February 2010 survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey, a market research firm. According to their data, 33% of U.S. Facebook users have become fans of brands on the network.
And plenty more social network users are talking about brands online. Whether it’s good news or bad news, if it’s hot it spreads in milliseconds across the social networks.
An unfortunate example? On September 26 2009 Kraft launched the glorious new Vegemite iSnack 2.0 in the quarter-time adbreak of the AFL Grand Final. Before the adbreak was even over, tweets of death were resounding across Australia and thence across the world:
NO! Vegemite cream cheese product CANNOT POSSIBLY be called “Vegemite iSnack 2.0″. Bad joke or most epic FAIL in FMCG branding history” – tweeted by downesy
I said “do you speaka my language?” She just smiled and gave me an iSnack 2.0 sandwich. #vegefail – tweeted by jmappellekim
On the rather more positive side, a recent Nielsen/Facebook joint study showed significant uplift in Advertising Recall, Awareness and Purchase Intent amongst those brands “liked” in Social Media.
Nervous yet? Worried about your brand? Or just eager to take advantage of the added value if fans ‘love you’ socially?
It’s time to upskill yourself on social media — it’s too late to be an early adopter, but now would be a good time to start getting yourself socially adept. Check out our seven-week ecourse, now in its third series release of 2010:
Course SM-3: Social Media
This is a seven-week eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media programme.
This eCourse is conducted on a web-based e-learning software platform, enabling course participants to proceed at their own pace, accessing materials online. This particular eCourse provides content in a variety of multimedia forms, including videos, slideshows, flash-based presentations and PDF files. No special software is required to participate.
Course lessons are released weekly, for participants to access in accordance with their own timetables. Interaction with the course tutor is available by email or telephone.
The next eCourse in the 2010 series starts on Monday July 5, with the delivery to participants of the Introduction and Lesson One. New lessons will be delivered weekly on Mondays.
COURSE CREATION AND TUTORING
This course has been created and will be tutored by Michael Carney.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Any Marketing, Advertising, PR or Communications professionals who, while they may have a fair knowledge of what social media options are out there, don’t know how to use them effectively (and have a perfectly reasonable fear of doing the wrong thing in a very public arena).
WHAT YOU SHOULD LEARN AS A RESULT OF THE COURSE:
- The principles of effective marketing in social media
- Which social networks are strongest in New Zealand, who uses them and how to sign up
- What social media can do for your (or your clients’) business
- How to build a social media programme (you’ll start constructing your own during the course)
- The best tools and techniques for monitoring social networks
- How to really understand and engage with the consumer
- How to create relevant, informative, killer content for your social media programme
- How to define and measure meaningful numbers to determine the success (or otherwise) of your social media activities
- Answering those questions that (if you’re not prepared) could kill your career
- How to watch for, and adapt to, the Next Big Thing in Social Media (whatever that is)
WHY SOCIAL MEDIA SILENCE IS DEADLY
In which we put Social Media in context in the modern world; discuss the reality that the medium is a runaway success (regardless of whether marketers choose to participate or not); deal with marketers’ biggest fears about the medium; and discuss the key principles of effective marketing in social media.
LESSON ONE: THE BASICS
I’VE JUST ARRIVED FROM OUTER SPACE.
TELL ME ABOUT THESE “SOCIAL NETWORKS”.
For those a little fuzzy on the basics: we introduce the concept of social networks; talk about the main players; give special recognition to Facebook and review its New Zealand numbers and offerings; look at what else is out there (including the newest, Google Buzz); show you how to check out and claim your digital identity at key online sites and services; and (if you’re not already there) invite you to sign yourself up to the primary social sites.
LESSON TWO: SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOU
I’M AFRAID OF INTRUDING IN SOCIAL MEDIA –
ALL THOSE CONSUMERS WILL TRASH MY BRAND
Social Media and Marketers: are we there yet? We review the importance of social media for brands; ask the eight key questions of vital importance to marketers wanting to join this social media party; consider how to choose which social media to support (sorry, you can’t do it all, at least not on Kiwi-sized budgets and resources); look at what sort of social media personality you should adopt to flourish in the new environment; and look at the benefits, the pitfalls and the barriers when it comes to social media marketing. Applying those last attributes to your own business will be your assignment from Lesson Two.
LESSON THREE: BUILDING THE PLAN
ENOUGH TALK ALREADY, LET’S START BUILDING SOMETHING
So far, we’ve examined the principles of social media. Now it’s time to put those into practice and start building your own social media programme. This topic will occupy us for most of the lesson, as we cover the six key elements of a strategy framework. Your homework will involve turning that framework into a provisional plan.
LESSON FOUR: MONITORING
DON’T SAY A THING. JUST LISTEN FIRST (EVEN FOR JUST 10 MINUTES
A DAY), THEN THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE HEARING. MAYBE THEN YOU CAN TALK.
We know you want to get your teeth into Social Media fast, but you need to start by just listening. And yes, you can do it for just ten minutes a day (if you’re very focussed). In this lesson, we show you where and how to listen (and where to find the mostly-free tools to do so); what to listen for; who to listen to (identifying opinion leaders); and we talk about how things can go wrong and how to react to problems when they arise. Your homework will involve listening, listening, listening.
LESSON FIVE: ENGAGEMENT
WILL CONSUMERS REALLY ENGAGE WITH ME AND MY BRAND, OR WILL THEY JUST BE POLITE? (IF THEY THINK YOU’RE ANNOYING OR INTRUSIVE, DONT WORRY, THEYLL TELL YOU)
Like most marketing, social media starts with a clear understanding of consumers: who they are (by whatever metrics available) and what they need and want. Social media marketing works the same way, but even more so. In this lesson we dig ever more deeply into understanding the audience; at this point you’ll be adjusting the plan you assembled a couple of lessons ago, to take account of your new knowledge.
LESSON SIX: CREATING KILLER CONTENT
TELL ME STUFF THAT’S REALLY INTERESTING –
AND STOP SELLING AT ME, THIS ISN’T A USED CAR LOT
None of what we’ve covered so far is of any use if your contribution to the online conversation is merely self-serving and sales-oriented. In this lesson we cover the sort of content that is essential in social media, and how you can build it into relevant, informative, compelling content. Your homework will require you to create such content for your business.
LESSON SEVEN: METRICS AND ROI:
OVERCOMING THOSE QUESTIONS THAT KILL MARKETING CAREERS
Social Media in its early stages avoided those awkward issues about Return on Investment and whether it really delivered value for the time and money involved. Now times are tougher, the budgets are tighter and CFOs are asking the hard questions. In this lessons we look at the metrics that are nice to have but more importantly at the ones that matter. We also identify strategies you can follow to develop useful, meaningful measures that satisfy the C-suite. You can guess what your homework is.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Social Media (it seemed) arrived faster than a speeding bullet. What’s next for the medium, how do you tell, and what can you do to prepare? We look at the trends and offer some advice.
This seven-part eCourse is available for $347 +GST.
However we are making a special EARLY BIRD OFFER available for just $247 +GST, for bookings and payment received before 5pm MONDAY 28 JUNE, so if you are interested we recommend you book right away.
To book and pay by credit card (via secure provider PayPal), simply click here:
If you would prefer to pay by cheque or bank deposit, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. We will provide a tax invoice (please indicate in whose name you would like the invoice to be made out) which must be paid before 5pm Monday 28 June to secure your Early Bird rate.