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Triple Play: Rules for Social Media

Social media experts weigh in on the best three ways to track marketing strategies

3 Steps to Measuring the ROI of your Social Media Strategy

1. Determine the objectives of your social media strategy. Why are you investing in this channel? Improved brand perception? Top-of-mind awareness of your programs and benefits? Improved customer service? Direct response? All of the above?

2. Define the word “return.” What specific behavior/perception are you trying to effect? Brand value scores? Improved customer service scores? Positive word-of-mouth? Improved perception of luck? Increased number of trips? Greater share of wallet?

3. Do benchmark research at the beginning of each year to determine baseline metrics among social media users and non-users. Repeat the research at the end of the year to determine changes in behavior or perception in user and non-user groups.

Nancy Smith, CEO, Masterminds,

3 Things Marketers Should Know About Social Media

1. Social media has overtaken porn as the No. 1 activity on the web. It isn’t a fad. Get in the game and develop a strategy to win your customers’ trust. Devote at least 10 percent of your media budget to it. Traditional media such as TV, radio and billboards invade our space. They are like uninvited guests that show up in our living room, in our car, along the highway. In social media, the customer seeks you out. With this kind of customer engagement, you need to assign necessary resources to create an ongoing dialogue.

2. Be authentic. Have personality. And listen. Check out Vinny at New York-New York or Tony Hsieh at Zappos. Find a personality that represents your brand and connects on an emotional level with your guests. Tell stories to engage your audience. Don’t turn your social media channel into advertising.

3. Define ROI. It can’t always be monetary. It depends on your goals. Social media promotes your brand, your reputation. It establishes a real-time dialogue with customers and prospects. It should reinforce your credibility with employees, shareholders, regulators and tribal leaders. Trackable ROI depends on the strategy, the channel and the available metrics. And metrics are evolving. And ROI will be a moving target. If, for example, you learn that your customers are bored to tears by a particular promotion, you may have just saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by changing the event. They are telling you loud and clear and they are telling all their friends and friends of their friends.

Patrice Gianni, CEO, Marketing Results,

3 Things Marketers Should Know (But Often Don’t) About Maximizing ROI

1. Know your customer/target: Once you know your target, you know where to aim.

2. Sometimes the old tried and true works: It’s not just abut trying to be hip.

3. Take a chance: Try something different for different results.

Marianne Martino, COO and Principal, Gaga Marketing,

3 Ways Some Marketers Fake A Better ROI (But We Don’t Recommend It!)

1. If it’s an existing resource that is temporarily utilized to market a promotion, don’t count it as an expense: Have a year-long contract on a billboard that you’ll be re-appropriating for the month of November to promote a holiday shopping event? What the heck—don’t count that expense! (Let one of your marketing colleagues take the hit on that one—what’s a little shady accounting among friends?)

2. If you have some unused promotional items at the conclusion of a promotional event, book ‘em as an asset: Remember those 1,000 leftover “Don’t be a turkey” t-shirts from your Thanksgiving 2010 promotion? Book ‘em, Danno. They’re an asset now! (You were planning on having your marketing intern peel the “0” off each shirt and reapply a “1” for the 2011 promotion, right?)

3. Immeasurable goals: Why not set “Creating Excitement on the Floor” as a campaign goal and state that it increased by 12 percent? After all, it’s always possible that your boss will let it slide. OK, not! Emotions are not measurable; actions are. “Increasing carded play by 12 percent among platinum level players” during the promotion is a good, measurable goal.

Disclaimer: Mr. Klebanow produces reinvestment analyses for his clients by pulling the truth from P&Ls. He offered the aforementioned tongue-in-cheek advice for levity only—levity he has derived from too many years of observing marketing chicanery.

Andrew Klebanow, Principal, Gaming Market Advisors,

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