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Webinar with Rebekah King: Hey Influencer: Try Influencing Your Boss!

Guest Post by Rebekah King, Consumer Communications Manager, Kelley Blue Book

When social media first hit the marketing world, I wasn’t very well liked.  I was told that I didn’t understand the true value of social media: how the freedom and transparency required to participate couldn’t be measured.  Social media was a ‘movement.’  Having already been in marketing for 10 years, the answer was simple – hogwash.

Sign up for Rebekah’s Vocus webinar Hey Influencer: Try Influencing Your Boss! – it’s free.

No matter where you work or how much of a believer in the movement you are, running social media programming requires money; money to pay for advertising, design, giveaways, talent, even money to pay you.  Whenever money is involved, someone has to account for it.  Enter the ‘number people.’  This could be your boss, your boss’ boss, the CFO or even CEO.  At Kelley Blue Book, I answer to these folks, providing updates to the entire organization, and providing insights to our new parent company AutoTrader.com.

I have run across many an agency, individual and consultant who had great big stories about this one person who had this big problem, which was solved solely via Facebook. Such success stories are requisite to engage your management in a dialogue on the value of social media as a practice, and make them a believer in the concept.  Once you’ve got believers, though, the real work begins.

How do we know we won’t make a Facebook page and then be overloaded with responses?  How do we keep people from saying bad things about us?  How do we get people to engage with our brand?  How do we get people to buy stuff from us online?  How do you translate ‘likes’ into revenue?  What about scalability?  How do you know if it is working?  How do we know if it’s worth doing?

Few businesses have money to just ‘throw around,’ so we all are doing more with less.  Sometimes, social media can be that ‘more with less’ avenue for driving awareness of your brand, traffic back to your homepage, and even creating advocates for your brand online.

Sounds easy, right?  It is, when you understand your own business.

How do you garner revenue?  Is it by selling a product, service, impression or click?  This is your money number.  You need to translate what you do in social into a value relevant to your organization’s revenue model.  Dell uses coupon codes to track product sales to its social programs, an easy option when you sell a product (or service, for that matter).  If your business is selling an impression or click, then you need to get proficient at tracking your referring sources and getting your conversion metrics to include social media outlets.

What about all that warm and fuzzy stuff, like engagement, brand awareness and brand affinity? Many social monitoring tools will let you track sentiment, which is becoming more and more accurate.  Conduct a ‘quiet period’ of one to three months to establish your baseline sentiment.  I always encourage folks to sign up for the monitoring and measuring tools in advance of launching your programs, so you can get a picture (literally, thanks to great graphs and charts) of what the social media environment is like for your business before your programs start moving the dial.

Rather than ramble on and turn this blog into a novel, I will invite you to join me and the folks from Vocus in a webinar discussing what to measure and how to translate social programs into numbers that the ‘number folks’ can understand.

Sign up for Rebekah’s free Vocus webinar, Hey Influencer: Try Influencing Your Boss! on Tuesday, August 16th.

To find out more about Vocus social analytics tools, click here.

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