Straight Talk on Social Marketing


I’ve got to say this – I’ve seen way too much fluffy language on social marketing for way too long.

Statements from very well known professionals that just ring empty for me, like the requirement for brands to “create value” through social marketing.

Other over zealous statements purporting that your “social score” (don’t get me started on Klout) is the “new credit score” are well, lets say debatable at best. I’ll take my credit score any day – which is based on real dollars, not the return on my “influence”.

What does it mean to”create value”, anyway? Just how are you supposed to do that? Well, that’s the tricky part… I used to provide sales training sessions back in the day and I’ve told countless sales people to “sell the value” of their product. This only goes so far… I approach sales in a completely different way now.

Don’t take these kinds of statements as “advice” – make your own logic. Determine your own goals. People (like me and others) can help you focus those goals and draw tools and platforms to help meet them. Taking a tactical approach is crucial here – How you get there depends on your business, your people, your market.

What I’m essentially saying here is to just keep it real. Don’t accept luke-warm ideals. Don’t set out to “create value”. Set out to achieve X. Set out to make Y. Set out to promote or build. Be specific.

You are in business. Businesses sell products or services. If you do that well enough, you’ll be able to establish a decent credit score. Take that to the bank.


What Is Your Digital Return?



Digital Return Optimization. In a nutshell, it’s what I do.

Every team/project is different. Some are focused on fan engagement, some on driving ticket sales, others on sponsor activations. Either way – DRO is a methodology of determining what kind of “return” is desired from digital efforts and investments.

When ever I start a new project, I am often asked,How are we doing?. My response is always the same… I don’t know, what are you trying to do?

That kind of dialogue usually is in reference to a teams’ social media activities. But a lot applies to web sites as well. It comes down to a Content Management Strategy (or lack there of). It’s no longer ok to simply participate in the social space and have a 3rd party validate your efforts. Goals for social are as important as any other facet of marketing, and the plan of “social too” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

If this has been your process, don’t sweat it. You can change this. Deciding to change it is the easy part – how to change it and what it should look like is another story. That’s usually where I come in…

Teams have been working with social/digital for long enough now to have some things to measure. Start by looking back at your digital returns – the numbers and the dollars.

  • Do you like what you see?
  • How did you get those returns?
  • What’s missing?
  • What is a priority?

Those are the questions I’d start asking you. Then we start writing the story – last page first. Identify what we want to get out of this and then find ways to make it happen.

7 Tips for Social Media ROI


Where is the ROI from social media? From a sports marketing perspective – here is where you find the money:

  1. Grow your Fan and Follower populations – more eyeballs, more traffic to drive back to your website
    • Bigger pops allows you to sell the social space itself too (see #2)
  2. Custom tabs on Facebook: You can build and sell these spaces to sponsors
  3. Sponsored contests for engagement
    • Don’t just drop sponsored links, give fans a reason to click
  4. Sell your Twitter background space
  5. Get a sponsor for your Facebook page
  6. Engage with sponsors on Facebook and Twitter
    • As part of a marketing strategy, brand synergy is important
  7. Sponsored player Twitter account

7 tips to get your social media strategy integrated into your marketing mix and draw an ROI as well.

Have you tried any of these?

The NHL Draft and Twitter vs. ROI


LA KingsWhile NHL Tweetups are nothing new, the LA Kings are making a bit of a splash as they will have front office personnel tweeting from the floor of the draft.

More on that at the Sportsin140 blog .

And you can follow the LA Kings on Twitter here.

Another Twitter first for an NHL club – it will be interesting to see how this plays out from a fan engagement perspective. Here again – some significant attention is being paid to the Kings Twitter feed and there is no apparent sponsorship. Some people will criticize me for my attempts  to  monetize social media – and some people will hire me for it. I believe  it’s naive to think that ROI just doesn’t need to apply – “adding value” doesn’t add up at the end of the day (as this article attempts to counter).

My point here – and a big part of the reason I am interested in sports marketing and social media – is that sponsorship is 100% plain as day, in your face, front and centre ROI. I recall some radio broadcasts of games in Toronto with the “Home Hardware out-of-town scoreboard” (Blue twitter birdJays, I think). There weren’t too many people complaining that sponsorship was ruining the free medium of radio. Social Media is still just media.

Tweeting from the draft floor is an innovative move on the part of the Kings – but now it’s time to take that innovation a step further into revenue.

Social Media – It’s Only Us


Don’t get me wrong, I’m kind of into hype…

After some time of rampant evangelicalism, there is a sober reality taking root as more and more organizations embrace what these new(ish) platforms of engagement can do for them.

I really liked this post from Zygote. It talks about ROI, and campaign measurement, and it is visually great as well.

Like anything new, there needs to be some demystification surrounding social media – and I think the easiest way to describe this, or focus this point is that – All social media really is… is us.

Using the tools available to access, introduce and collaborate with us is the trick – this is where the how’s and what’s are applied. But the why seems quite simple – because social media is where your market already is.

And we’re not so bad are we?