Men Lie, Women Lie, Numbers Don’t

I was sitting in a meeting recently with the owner of a small marketing agency, discussing with him my service offerings and fee structure. I’m not sure of the accuracy of his calculations, but at one point, he seemed to be hesitant about what I was asking for, claiming that I was requesting nearly 1/3 of the entire marketing budget. Even to me, that seemed like a lot!

But I thought about it, and on second thought, started thinking, “Am I really asking too much?” So I did some research, and replied with the following E-mail:

I was thinking about your concern that my social media proposal asked for 30% of a marketing budget. It made me do some research to justify why a significant portion of a marketing budget should be dedicated to social media. What I found was:

  1. 36% of the average person’s major media consumption was devoted to internet and mobile devices (26% and 10% respectively) – eMarketer
  2. Social networks and blogs account for 23% of online use (37% of social media users access social media on mobile devices, and they are the 2nd most valued apps behind GPS) –  Nielsen
  3. 60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a fan/follower, and 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they are a fan/follower of – MediaPost
I certainly understand the question of how much of a client’s marketing resources should be devoted to social media, but statistics like these show it’s where people spend a significant amount of time, and it has value in terms of creating and communicating with loyal customers. Especially in Modesto where most clients can’t even afford to consider TV (which is the number 1 media consumption channel), it really isn’t a stretch to argue that a significant portion of a client’s marketing budget be directed to social media.
Food for thought. Have a good weekend-

Again, this isn’t to say that 30% is the number, or should be the number. The point is simply, you should direct your marketing/communications budget appropriately based on where you are most likely to reach your consumer, and while the thought of making social media a priority in your marcom budget may reflexively sound ridiculous, the numbers don’t lie.

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

I was recently approached by a Bridal Show marketer who relayed to me their particular concern of how to penetrate new markets from a social media angle. To this point, she has relied heavily on the SEO component, attempting to position her digital properties so that when brides-to-be type in wedding related search terms, her page(s) appear.

While there is certainly value in addressing the SEO component of digital marketing when it comes to penetrating a new market, the following are steps I would recommend that take a much more active approach, and allow for your introduction to the market to resonate more powerfully through the use of social media:

  1. Identify and engage the category influencers in the market: Find businesses and individuals who have significant followings, and can activate those followings on your behalf. The key here is how creative can you be in engaging the influencers and providing them the tools to activate their followings?
  2. Communicate the value of your brand: What is it you offer that will make me want to associate, and be associated, with your brand? Then, you must determine how you are going to communicate the value of your brand: What is the best way to tell your brand’s story through social media channels?
  3. Be part of the community: Both online and off, contribute to the community in ways that are meaningful to the new market you wish to serve. From simply replying to Facebook comments and Twitter mentions, to product giveaways or sponsorship of local events, “contributing” can take many forms.
  4. Run Facebook ads: While each market and target demographic will have it’s unique attributes, as little as $100 should be plenty to allow you to test the waters for a few days to get a good sample size and see if further investment in Facebook advertising is warranted.

The value in this approach is that all of your efforts are “endorsed” by others in the market. All touch points are supported not just by your message, but by the relationships you establish and activity you create from others who are familiar to the market you are entering. If you can effectively address these four points, you will find yourself entrenched in your new market, and in an excellent position to capitalize on your new fan base.

If you need help in finding effective methods to attack the four points, contact me.

Facebook Fans More Likely to Consume Coke

According to Coke’s senior vice president of integrated marketing, Facebook fans are twice as likely to consume and 10 times more likely to purchase than non-fans. To be honest, the full article doesn’t shed a ton of new light other than this little nugget, but if you’d like to read the full article, click here.

Random Ass Ads on Facebook

When E-40, a Bay Area rap icon, was scheduled to perform at the Fat Cat Music House and Lounge in Modesto, in addition to the traditional radio spend the promoter budgeted for, he also gave me a $400 budget to work with for Facebook ads.

The show SOLD OUT with about 500 tickets sold! Why?

Though I don’t know how much was spent on radio, the type of promotion they were doing typically costs easily at least $1,000. So let’s call it that.

Very important to note regarding radio as well was that this ($1,000) radio spend only covered approximately 50 miles of the Modesto/Stockton area through the radio station that was promoting the performance.

The only reach into the Sacramento area were through our Facebook ads, where we spent $150 of our $400 Facebook budget. The door reported that about 25% of the attendees were from Sacramento, as determined by ID checks at the door (125 of the 500 tickets sold). With just this information, we can determine that 11% of our ad budget produced 25% of the results. Quite a strong statement in support of Facebook advertising!

The Sacramento Facebook ad received 428 clicks, and 125 people attended, giving us an attendance rate of 29%. Though extrapolation can admittedly be a dangerous practice in some cases, doing so in this instance produces the following:
  • 29% of Modesto area’s 707 clicks =205 attendees
  • 29% of Fresno area’s 116 clicks = 33 attendees

The total attendance that could then be attributed to Facebook ads would be 363 (72% of total attendance). Again, 29% of the total ad budget potentially contributing to 72% of total attendance speaks volumes for the power of Facebook advertising.

You’ll hear a lot of people say, “I don’t even pay attention to those ads,” and I don’t question the sincerity of the those statements. But numbers don’t lie. And for everybody who claims they don’t notice the ads, there’s somebody out there like the guy below, who saw one of our Facebook ads for a different show for an artist on the “Stones Throw Records” label…

Do As I Say…

I just found it amusing when I saw this ad on Facebook. A Digital PR Strategist with a Facebook ad that has a distorted image that doesn’t even fill the image space, next to ad copy that talks about knowing the new rules and using the new tools. She apparently doesn’t know how to use the new tools! Fail.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Likes

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Likes

I couldn’t help but notice it. There were all these beautiful women, taking these beautiful pictures and sharing them with their “friends” on Facebook. And for what? Just because I suppose…

Regardless of why they were doing it, what they were NOT doing was using it to their advantage, or to anybody’s advantage for that matter. The only people who gained from the sharing of these images were the people who got to enjoy their beauty. And while that might be enough for the average man, that certainly wasn’t enough for me, as I took my man hat off, and put my marketing hat on.

So I took these beautiful women, and their beautiful pictures, and combined them with the biggest event in the Central Valley, X Fest Modesto. We created the “Miss X Fest” competition, where we placed 16 women in a tournament style bracket, and had them face off in head-to-head contests for the most votes until we had our winner.

Now, these women had a purpose for their pictures, and their “friends” became supporters. It took the X Fest Facebook page from 2,500 fans to 7,500 fans in a month during year 1, and equaled that success in year 2 going from 8,000 to nearly 15,000 fans! Even more important than fan growth on Facebook, event attendance grew 60% over the two year period, and sponsorship sales saw an increase as well as we were able to leverage the Facebook page to offer additional exposure for our sponsors.

At the same time, a number of the contestants (like Gabriela Rodriguez pictured above) became local celebrities in the process, expanding their opportunities to capitalize on their increased popularity.

And all from a simple picture. What can you do with a picture?