On Wednesday I attended a Media 2.0 event sponsored by PR Newswire. Michael Pranikoff, PRN’s Emerging Media director gave an animated and informative presentation to a full house at the JW Marriott on Pennsylvania Avenue. In addition to solid background information on the newest 2.0 trends, Michael put a lot of focus on free online tools that can help a company take advantage of social media. So, I’ll try to do the same in this post.
Video — learn to use it. Michael used the example of a FLIP video recorder, $100 from Costco. Play around with editing software and get to the point where you can post some clips. Why should the 12 – 24 demographic have all the fun?
Understand where your company stands online — there are free tools like www.popuri.us and www.socialmeter.com to see how popular your site is, ranked by Google PageRank, del.icio.us bookmarks, number of links, Technorati rankings for blogs. Give either a try and check how you’re doing.
One tip was very interesting to me — using http://del.icio.us/ to determine what terms people are using to bookmark your site. This gives a view to how people are thinking about your site, and more importantly your product or service. This type of exercise, along with other free tools like www.freekeywords.wordtracker.com can refine your company’s keyword advertising campaigns.
Blog measurement site like www.technorati.com and www.blogpulse.com can identify who is blogging about your company. And by analyzing who they are and how many people link to them, you know who the influencers are and can focus your outreach on them. Of course you better do it well — simply sending these people PR content won’t work. You’re looking for a conversation, not just targets to add to a distribution list.
Every 5-7 months, the blogosphere doubles in size. Many of those blogs become dormant and never attract an audience. But others pull in readers in numbers larger than the mainstream media sites. Technorati reported that in Q4 2006 22 of the top 100 media sites were blogs, not media sites: http://technorati.com/weblog/2007/04/328.html
Establishing ROI for online efforts is often difficult. Michael quoted a London School of Economics study that tried to quantify the value of managing your reputation online. The study was from 2005 and focused on very large companies, but the numbers were impressive — excerpt below:
In cash terms, for the average business in our analysis, every 1 point increase in word of mouth advocacy (net-promoter score) correlated with an £8.82 million increase in sales.
• In terms of percentage growth, a 7 point increase in word of mouth advocacy (net-promoter score) correlated with a 1% increase in growth (1 point increase = .147% more growth).
• A 1% reduction in negative word of mouth would lead to £24.84m additional revenues; every 2% reduction in negative word of mouth correlated to just under 1% growth (a 1% reduction = .414% more growth).
24.84 million pounds is about $50M US! The companies researched were credit card, automotive and airline companies in the UK — drop me a comment if you’d like the full report.
Some of these tools are more immediately applicable to b2c, unlike the b2b and b2g clients that Strategic handles. In fact, some online measurement tools like www.quantcast.com don’t work for sites with traffic below 2,000 unique visitors per month. But these 2.0 tools and applications are becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes.
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