Re-Think Engagement As Direct Response

AdAge Digital published an interesting article called "The Brutal Truth About Social Media: It's Okay To Be A Little Antisocial". The point of the article was that "most" consumers will "never" engage with your brand or your content, so it's really okay to treat social media like a broadcast medium.

There's some validity to this point in that the consumption of your message and content is a form of engagement. As long as your message gets out there to your audience and they see it, watch it, or read it then your mission may have been accomplished. This has worked for traditional media, so it must work for social and digital too, right?

It might work, but how would you even know it? That's why we believe effective social media marketing is really a direct response approach.

Social media is a wonderful catalyst for incentivizing response from a relatively stable, uniquely measurable, and highly scalable (thanks to viral marketing) audience. These are characteristics that we direct marketers love, which is why you should re-think how you define engagement.

Engagement by most social media standards loosely means fostering a 1:1 relationship with your audience and getting them to "have a conversation" with your brand. But that is really wishful thinking and a misdirected goal.

Brands and organizations need their audiences to RESPOND in meaningful ways that advance their goals. That could be a sale, or an email sign-up, or a re-post, or a download, or a click to a landing page. Or any trackable and measurable action that you specifically incentivize your audience to take.

When you think about Social Media Engagement as Social Media Response, you can begin to apply successful and proven direct response marketing techniques in ways that no other media can.

It Used To Be Called "Interactive"

Remember way back (circa 7 years ago) when digital media was called "interactive"?

It seems as if many marketers have forgotten that the roots of digital/online/social media are in the now time-worn idea of interactivity. Isn't that the wonderful inherent advantage of marketing and communicating on the internet? The ability to engage in a real-time back-and-forth with your customers and prospects is something that can't be replicated by TV, Radio, Print and Mail.

Instead of just simply pushing out content on your social media portals, email campaigns and web pages, use them simultaneously as broadcast networks and response channels. Instead of just requesting a like or a follow, incentivize a click to a landing page. Lead them to a pURL. Reward people for sharing your content. Encourage them to come back and bring their networks to your brand.

Think responsively. Promote interactivity. Push Marketing and Pull Marketing can coexist on the internet.

Creating, Curating and Communicating

Social and digital media are a vast wonderland of communications. We are all now empowered to publish anything, say anything and be anything online.

The way your business or organization communicates on the internet will have a profound effect on the way your brand is perceived. Simply jumping on the bandwagon of the latest trend might score you a marginal uptick in interested prospects, but people respond most passionately to leadership.

Leaders create content, followers curate content.

How will your brand communicate?

Put “List Maintenance” On Your 2012 To-Do List

You’ve devised the right strategy, crafted the right message and followed all the best practices for generating high response rates for your direct mail campaign. But if you don’t focus the same amount of attention to your mailing list, all that hard work (and a lot of money) can be wasted. With the January USPS postage increase, make 2012 the year you place extra effort to List Maintenance.

The Weinstein Organization offers many List Maintenance services to help ensure your list data is accurate, meets USPS mailing standards, improves deliverability and ultimately increases the effectiveness of your campaign:

  • Data Standardization: Includes address standardization, ZIP correction, ZIP+4 coding, delivery point coding, carrier route coding
  • NCOA (The National Change of Address) Process: Updates old addresses to new addresses when consumers or businesses move.
  • Data Appends and Enhancements: Adds phone numbers, demographic criteria (age, HH income, Home Value, ethnicity, etc.), and Customer Profiles (buyer behavior codes) to your data so you can better understand who your customers are, and target your message more effectively.
  • CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System): Improves accuracy of 5-digit ZIPS, Zip+4, carrier routes and delivery point bar codes, and helps achieve the lowest possible postage rates.
  • Merge/Purge: Combines multiple data files and removes duplicate data, which saves you money in print production and postage.
  • List Hygiene: This process “cleans” your list by correcting addresses, spelling of names, punctuation, and removes any extraneous information that can hinder the deliverability of your mail piece.

Make your list as accurate and efficient as possible to ensure that you don’t waste money, time and resources. Effective list management should be an ongoing process throughout the year. With 20% of the U.S. population moving each year, a “good” list from 6 months ago may not now have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Contact your TWO Account Executive for more information on our List Maintenance services.

Think Before You Leap: Making Social Media Marketing Work For Your Business

Many marketers say, “We know we need to do social media marketing” without actually taking a good, hard, analytical look at how. So we’ve provided a list of considerations to determine how social media can be an effective marketing strategy for your business.

  1. Know Your Goals: What do you want to accomplish, and why? Do you want to increase awareness? Build customer loyalty? Acquire new customers? Mine your audience for new demographic and psychographic insights? When you have concrete goals, you’ll have a better idea of how to use social media more effectively.
  2. Make Sure You Can Measure: Anyone can count likes, shares, follows, re-Tweets and video views. But think about measuring specific actions beyond social media engagement that can have more of a direct impact on your business. Can you move the audience from your Facebook page to a landing page where you can capture their email address? Or consider a specific call to action at the end of a YouTube video that encourages the viewer to visit your website to download a coupon. Think about what kind of user activity you can measure beyond your social media pages.
  3. Post With Purpose: Whether addressing Facebook fans, Twitter followers or YouTube subscribers, make them a compelling offer that can only be acquired through social media. That takes mere customer engagement up to another level and strengthens loyalty and retention. Social media shouldn’t be thought of as just a web portal—make it an interactive ecommerce solution.

At The Weinstein Organization we consider social media to be an effective direct response marketing channel with many opportunities. Contact us to find out how we can help you turn “likes” into trackable, measureable responses.