Avoid the Social Media Crash of 2011

Five Functions to Use

As of August 2010, forty-three percent of companies utilizing Social Media were not measuring their ROI against this media platform.  If you are one of those companies, you are likely to fail in your social efforts in 2011 although not because Social Media is ineffective.  You will fail because your company simply won’t be able to determine the value of the time and effort that Social Media management requires.

With emerging advertising options available through social media your company needs to understand the 5 outlets or uses of social media. Jamie Turner writes “How to Avoid the Great Social Media Crash of 2011” echoing how Fortune 500 Companies and others have found success using the 5 social media functions.

1. Branding: Your company’s brand defines its value to the customer.  It makes the promise of the brand’s delivery on product quality.  It defines a brand’s reputation.  The use of Social Media allows  the brand to engage with its customers, maintain the brands reputation, familiarity, preference and brand equity.

2. eCommerce: Buying and selling goods online requires businesses and organizations to have simple landing pages and easy instructions for online purchases. eCommerce generates $204 billion (in 2008), led by eBay, the first prominent eCommerce player, earning $15 billion in sales this year (2010).  From October 31 to December 23 (2010) eCommerce saw a 15.4 percent Y/Y growth rate of $36.4 billion last Christmas season. An extension of eCommerce is mCommerce, or mobile commerce since many consumers are 3G (and some 4G) subscribers and mobile devices use WiFi.  Last year mobile ad spending reached $34 million and is projected to reach $4 billion by 2015.

3. Research: Social Media is ripe for collection of social and consumer behavior data as well as measuring social sentiment.  Ted Williams, once a homeless man from Columbus, captured national media attention this January when a viral video of Williams and his “golden voice” spread through Facebook posts.  In addition to national media attention, the Cleveland Cavaliers offered Williams a position to do voice over work for the organization (“Cavs Consider Hiring Homeless Internet Star,” by Mary Schmitt Boyer, Plain Dealer, January 6, 2011; D4).  To date, Williams has not been hired by the CAVS, however by encouraging fans to visit their landing page WeWantTedWilliams.com (now a landing page for QuickenLoans) they were able to collect fan feedback on Williams.  The move also enabled the CAVS to conduct “fan listening” with insights on fans’ views on the franchise and its hiring decisions.

4.  Customer Retention. A fourth function of social media is to inform, entertain and engage your current customers.  This is important since it costs about 5 times more to attract new customers.  Customer loyalty is met through excellent customer service including using social media as part of your customer service objectives.  Ana Papakhian, Director of Communications for The Cleveland Orchestra, uses social media to engage its current customers.

Capstone Media met with Cleveland Orchestra in October 2010 to review its aggressive use of Social Media.   In only 4 months, the orchestra reports growth of 17% on its YouTube views, 47% grown of its Flickrphotos, 53% more Facebook “Likes” for maestro Franz Welser and a very impressive growth rate of 32% for The Cleveland Orchestra Facebook page.

5.  Lead Generation:The fifth function of social media is in the area of lead generation and database collection. Actively collect customer data for mailings, email marketing, or other traditional advertising methods.  One helpful technique is to draw customers to your location through local search advertising such as Google Adwords or Googlemaps. Once you have a collected a potential customer’s contact information, remarket materials to encourage engagement and monetize the relationship.

CORRECTIONS: This blog originally published by Capstone Media, February 28, 2011 wrote that the Cleveland Cavaliers hired Ted Williams.  Quote:  “…hired Williams as their next in arena announcer” was changed to “… the Cleveland Cavaliers offered Williams a position to do voice over work for the organization.”  To date Williams has not been hired by the CAVS.


“How to Avoid the Great Social Media Crash of 2011″. Jamie Turner, Marketing Profs. December 21, 2010.