Social Media Strategy for Business: SMBSyr 5

By Joe Cunningham, Internet Marketing Manager

Other than the fact that I left Poe at the office the night before and had to drive out of my way to get him, which almost made me late, our pre-Social Media Breakfast #5 was fortunately uneventful.

Warming Up the Seat

Poe and I quickly grabbed a name tag (each) and a seat, said “hi” to Kevin (@UncleDuke) and Kate (@Just_Kate), the event organizers, and met up with Christina Trout (@iTingTrout) – Poe’s heroine who does @CafeKubal’s social media – not in that order.

Kevin intro-ed the events coming up: SMBSyr #6, a Syracuse Summer Meetup at Syracuse Media Group (click here to sign up before the slots go); and #ShowUsCNY, a Social Media Day celebration of Syracuse in pictures and vids.  Check it out.  #PoeTheGnome is planning on getting off his duff for this one.  (Let’s see if he makes it.)

And SMBSyr is now on LinkedIn!  I know, I just joined myself.  Click here to follow.  It will make your profile look cool, as opposed to right now when it doesn’t.  (I’m just kidding, for some of you.)

Without further ado…

Social Media Strategy for Business: The Power of Geo-Targeting and Measuring the Wants of the Consumer

First, there is the great Sara Wallace (@SaraKWallace): the lady behind PR, Social Media, & Marketing at Destiny USA (@DestinyUSA) – the 6th largest shopping destination in the US of A!  She speaks Russian, has a Masters in History, and lived around the world.  In short, she knows her s[tuff].

Sara spoke to us from her professional standpoint on how to use social media effectively for business, based on her huge experience in targeting consumers at Destiny USA.  The following is a brief recap of her excellent presentation.

Poe and Christina, a gnome in love.Geo-Targeting

So what is geo-targeting anyway?  Geo-targeting is connecting with the demographic you desire to reach.  When Sara came to Destiny USA, there was literally no social media plan (scandal!).  Not anymore.  Sara quickly identified their main target – women (shocker), age 35 and up – and set to work on creating an effective social campaign to “boost the roost.”  (Gosh, that was ugly.  I just made that up.  And if I blame it on the gnome I will feel bad, a little.)

How to target?  You’ve got to analyze (a.k.a. use your brain): what’s your brand?  Demographic?  What do you have that no one else does?  Why do you matter?  Out of this you want to emerge a compelling business model but also something that creates a great consumer experience.  It’s about finding the middle ground between the consumer that wants to take it easy and the store that wants to “sell!”

Facebook makes it easy to geo-target (love Facebook!) according to gender, likes (hey, you liked it), age, location, education – whatever you gave them is fair game.  But it helps.  You don’t want to get women’s sweatpants ads all the time if you’re a guy, and chicks would be equally unhappy to get [I’m just going to leave this one blank].

Sara gave us three steps: “Connect, Converse, & Convert” as part of a social media strategy.  Yeah, they like you, but do they like your posts?  Are you communicating with them?  Since social media is personal, but also business, businesses have to be human on social media because you are not engaging people at work (well…) but you’re posts are being glanced at while they’re liking prom pictures and ridiculing photos of their friends.  And convert!  Did they do the thing you wanted?  Why?

Also focus on influence.  Sara targets Canadians a lot (a hot market for the massive shopping center) and therefore capitalizes on Canadian holidays and targets the posts to them (again, great to target, I would not appreciate a Victoria Day post).  Fathers’ Day was right around the corner at the time and Sara showed how she engaged fans with a “post your story about Dad” type post (smart!).

Destiny USA now uses Google virtual tour!  And for good reason.  It’s about a 3 mile walk to “do” the whole 24 million square foot mall.  That’s a hike.  And especially in the Christmas season, you’re going to want to know, i.e. “Where’s the best place to park if I want to hit Best Buy, Banana, Sears and go home?”

Sara makes a beautiful sales funnel out of the whole idea that management executives can understand: it’s all about attracting to engage, nurturing, to sell and deliver on goals.  (It looks better as a sales funnel.  For the full presentation click here.)

Poe writing the blog (laugh).Track It!

Just a quick note on this because it is too important to leave out: it’s so essential to analyze how well (or terrible, let’s be honest) you are achieving your goals as in anything.  That’s why there are a ba-gillion free (and paid) tools out there to help with this.  First recommendation: Google Analytics.  It’s free, it’s confusing the first 100 times you use it, but it rocks!  GA makes it easy (well) to set goals and track conversions.

Sara mentioned a great book as a resource: “How To Measure Social Media: A Step By Step Guide To Measuring Social Media ROI” by Nicole Kelly.  Read it.

In Short

Sara also mentioned Destiny has a cool new video produced by Solon Quinn Studios (@SolonQuinn) about the customer experience (click here to view); how they are expanding interest-based stuff to reach the guy waiting for his wife shopping; how quality over quantity and being personal attracts more flies than…; and how too many platforms are too many platforms (“It’s a tautology.” – Zero Dark Thirty, love that quote).

Sara also pointed out how Destiny USA effectively employs six awesome interns who are fresh and creative to manage their Facebook, Twitter, newly-launched Vine, Pinterest (definitely getting the women there), and Instagram.  And, they are doing a great job (my note).

“Don’t post too much,” she said, “People don’t want to be sold as much as they want good content.  About 70/30 good content over sales is a good ratio.”  With 264 businesses trying to sell at all corners, it’s still important not to lose, but to engage and keep the fans.

Me and my gnome - it's a love-hate relationship.A Social Media Conversation with Kate Brodock

This was the first but cool nonetheless.  Facebook launched hash tags (it’s about time); and, may I add, Instagram launched video last week (it always takes a while to get these blogs out (I won’t mention any names – Poe); otherwise she would have mentioned it).  I missed the other news (also the gnome’s fault).

Poe made sure to take a picture with Sara Wallace (he’s so jealous when others get fame) and we saw the famous Anne Messenger (@AnneMessenger), both SMB Board Members.  Poe wishes he was on the board.  (I was about to tell him not to hold his breath, then I re-thought that.)  Poe also flirted with Melissa Vassenelli (@MVass444) from Advenio (@GetAdvenio) and ran into Bill Gowan from @WRVO, who said to say “hi” to Paul.  Poe, of course, forgot to mention it.

See you at the next one then.


Author's note: just found this awesome Storify from Kate B on the SMBSyr 6: click here to view!

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