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Gini Dietrich

Focus Strategically On the New Social Tools

By: Gini Dietrich | September 9, 2010 | 
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It’s time for the Arment Dietrich Facebook question of the week! Erik Hare asks, “How do you get clients to focus strategically on the new social tools and not just on ‘I hear a lot about this Twitter thingy.’? How do you get them past image creation and messaging in the old idiom?

My answer follows in the video. What advice do you have for Erik? Anything he should read or view to gain more confidence in educating clients on the new tools?

(If you can’t view the video from your RSS feed, click here for my answer and for a look at how much hair was chopped off my head!)

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

12 comments
Ben Hillage
Ben Hillage

Love the haircut.....don't panic, it looks great!!!

Len
Len

Gini, good choice of questions to highlight.

I started in old school marketing (I'm old) and through keeping up with advancements added internet marketing in general 15 years ago, with a focus on social media about 5 years ago.

I run into the issue of existing and new clients wanting to jump on some social media 'thingy' every day. I learned long ago to not try to change anyone's mind about a direction they feel their firm should take. What I find works is to hear them out then get back to basics; determine the goal, settle on a budget, and then prepare a full campaign plan that includes whatever social media 'thingy' they want.

I explain the overall campaign and how it relates to their goals, how each media proposed fits, and how they complement each other... including their pet 'thingy'. I'm never afraid to take this approach because I'm dealing with business people, and they're true motivation is to make money for themselves and their companies'. If they can do so and still appear cool or trendy using the 'thingy' of the moment all the better.

Davina K. Brewer
Davina K. Brewer

Gini, Love the haircut. Having clients that want to be on social media is a blessing, even if they don't get it. Fighting the other side, clients who should have SM presence but don't want it.. another post.

You have to teach them that FB, Twitter are JUST tools.. just new ways to reach their audiences. Social media marketing should be integrated to extend their promotions: add to their newsletters and white papers, tie into the CRM and referral programs, etc. None of it happens in a vacuum, so build the strategy first, then identify the tools needed. FWIW.

Erik Hare
Erik Hare

Thanks for the feedback. I'm constantly refining my pitch because as annoying as the "Can you get us on twitter/facebook/etc?" requests seem these are people who are receptive and potentially good clients.

I always ask them what they are doing right now for media campaigns so that I can get a handle on how the overall "Total Media" strategy might look.

Measurement is critical, but I always look for easy "bottom line" measurements such as web-only coupons and specials we can track to correlate the interim measurements like traffic with something more tangible. Foursquare can be great for that, but no one ever asks me to beef up their foursquare presence! :-)

But that's all after I've landed them, frankly. I do like to hear what everyone has to say about getting potential clients to understand what a consultant like me can do for them by setting up a genuinely strategic approach to how they use all media - old, new, and the signboard on the sidewalk outside all at once.

I think we all have a lot to learn by talking about this and I hope to hear more from people who have their own methods. Mine is at the website listed by my name, and it seems to work for many kinds of small businesses.

Oh, and my haircut is today. Yours looks great, Gini. :-)

Nancy Myrland
Nancy Myrland

Gini, great question.

This reminds me of a Myrland Marketing Moment I have posted once or twice, and that is "If you want to jump in to Social Media without any strategy or plan in place, go right ahead. Just adjust your expectations of ROI in the process."

I don't mind if my clients test the waters just to see what tools look like in the safety and security of their own laptop, but what I tell them is that if they are really serious about integrating Social Media, or any other tactics, in to their Marketing Plan, we first need to have a conversation about their business so I can intelligently discuss what tools they should be using.

Last week when a potential client told me he had hoped I would present more of a game plan in my proposal to him, I told him, among other things, that if I had embarked upon a plan for Social Media without first discussing his business in depth, then he would have been getting something my next door neighbor could give him for nothing...solutions without any foundation, not to mention I get paid for those plans, but that's another discussion, isn't it?

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

Nancy, such wise words from you, my friend! Even though the social media tools are free, there is a pretty big time investment and people want to know, before beginning, what they'll achieve, in terms of dollars. We had no idea what to expect when we got on Twitter, but we quickly realized we could use it as a networking tool and created goals around community-building vs. driving sales. But we know, in the end, we're driving sales.

You're right about the discussion around ideas for free. We were just asked to participate in a new business pitch where they wanted spec work. Nope. Not going to do it. Sorry.

Christopher Burgess
Christopher Burgess

Great advice - Analogous to: You don't build a house without a plan and with the plan you select your tools.

The plan should include, as you indicate, a way to measure success in the use of the selected tools.

Well done.
Christopher
@BurgessCT
(didn't even notice the hair - looks great)

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

CT, you're such a man! I wonder if Mr. D will notice?!

Krista
Krista

Hi Gini- great advice and wonderful discussion topic! I'll be checking back on this for sure because I often run into the same issue with clients. Everyone wants to understand what's going on in social media, and why they're not a part of it without evaluating if it's right for their business or customers. A great resource I can share is www.socialmediaexaminer.com, which offers tips, case studies, and lots of data about the various social media tools on a daily basis. They also have one of the cutest blogs out there!

Thanks again for getting this discussion going. Also, your hair looks great :)

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

Krista, we are so BFFs now! Great tip on SME. Thanks!