Social Media Marketing – Minneapolis Workshop

Business Behind the BuzzWorkshop – November 5, 2008: Get Your Biz On > Marketing + Social Media was quite well-attended by local companies, agencies and non-profits. 

Some of the interesting Social Media Marketing ideas from the event:

  • Rank-and-file employees now considered more credible than CEOs (Edelman Trust Barometer). Marketing implication: a blog written by an employee-enthusiast might be more effective than a CEO’s efforts
  •  Web 2.0 (an era of “co-creation”) should concentrate on integrating of “cool staff” around business bjectives. Marketing implication: social media marketing is less “social media” and more “marketing”  – achieving business objectives through new opportunities. The “staff” has to work for the objectives
  • Interesting explanation of the “long tail” as smaller pieces of diverse content that can be more important over time.
  • Definition: White Label Community solutions – a community that can be branded easily by a company or an organization
  • Interactive marketing mantra: “don’t let your technology show – let your strategy show.” The solution should not be based on certain “technical features” – the features (only necessary) should be masked by design to allow the solution to serve its business objective.
  • Is it easy to find an employee who would be willing to devote additional time to creating content for the internal community/blog/etc?  In some competitive cultures, an employee can receive a unique exposure and benefit from it. Finding an employee who would like to participate in this situation is easy.
  • Company’s promotion via social media marketing: VVPN – Very Vertical Passionate Narrative

Value evolution
Then                                    now
Tell                                      Ask
Top down expert                 co-Creation
Looking Good                     Transparency
Finished Products               Perpetual beta
Us vs. Them                        Zero distance + Community
Blockbuster                        Long Tail
“How to”                             Follow the Energy

Interesting example of social media use for internal communication (ING):
Problem: the company’s processes are cumbersome… it is not easy to accomplish some little tasks
Solution: an internal site with employee-generated tips how to accomplish tasks easier, fun webisods about success stories of simplifying tasks within ING, and an employee-written blog sharing “grass-root” viewpoints.

What worked well:

  • employee-generated conversations builds instant trust and credibility
  • people are social: mix professional and personal topics
  • make it easy for people to participate (link from the home page, etc.).

Another interesting example: a community with cost-saving suggestions (as part of introducing new CIO).

What worked well:

  • Perpetual beta: start with clear and limited scope, and keep going…
  • Know your audience (even if it is every marketer’s dream 🙂 )
  • Tie to bottom line results makes sponsorship easy
  • Make it easy for sponsors and champions do their job: provide data, sound bytes, cheat sheets, job aids and performance metrics
  • You are not done when you are “done” – the post-implementation stage
  • Measurement planning takes time

Zanby – “groups of groups” approach – unique in the industry.Zanby

Social networks… why buy rather than build?  Zanby was created over about 4 years, and at some points about 40 developers worked on the software. Do you have these resources in house?


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