#DearKen: How The HECK Do I Measure My Social Media ROI?

social media ROIHow DO you measure your social media ROI? And here you thought pondering the answer to life, the universe, and everything was a tall order. My boss asks me this question. He should. It’s what he pays me for. My friends ask me this question. What can I say? I have some pretty geeky friends. Even complete strangers in line at my local Smog ‘N Go ask me this question. Yeah, it’s that kind of neighborhood.

With marketers spending almost two billion dollars on social media last year, it’s understandable that all of us don’t just "want", but *need*, to accurately measure the return – the ROI – of our investments in social marketing. Here’s my answer.

Sprint’s Phyllis Reuther: How Indoor Navigation Powers Micro-Marketing, Couponing, Healthcare

microsensor networkIndoor navigation -- and services that map and understand our mobility patterns - lay the ground work for a slew of exciting new location services that combine advertising, marketing, couponing and analytics to deliver people offers they truly can't refuse. What is the role of mobile operators? Where are the growth opportunities? These are just a few of the questions I explore with Phyllis Reuther, manager of the advanced analytics lab run by the major U.S. mobile operator Sprint.

OpenMarket’s Andrew Darling Talks Mobile Giving

AIME mobile giving eventHow can the charitable sector can leverage mobile to connect with the public and collect donations on a massive scale? We talk with Andrew Darling, Associate Director of Market Development at OpenMarket, a company providing payment and messaging services to mobile retail and commerce clients worldwide. OpenMarket is also a driving force in efforts to help charities put together the approaches and platforms that will allow them to take donations and connect with the people who give to relief efforts and causes around the world.

The benefits and the business models around mobile are the topic of Empowering the Charitable Sector with Interactive Technology II (September 15, London). The all-day knowledge seminar organized by AIME (the Association for Interactive media & Entertainment) is already standing room only (!), an unexpectedly high attendance that tells us the topic strikes a chord with charities, advertising & marketing agencies, service providers, broadcasters, industry bodies and mobile operators--all the players that need to come together and work together to maximize the potential for all kinds of charities to use mobile.

Rory Sutherland Tells Mobile Marketers: Focus On Value Exchange & Consumer Experience

mobile mindsetRory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group and self-proclaimed "fan" of text messaging -- advises marketers to focus on what matters most: getting the value exchange right.

There are no easy answers, but there are some questions that will help produce them. Ask yourself: "Would this [marketing/approach] annoy me?". That's a good start. "There are just basic rules of etiquette. You use different media judiciously and the ability to do that intelligently is one mark of a mature and intelligent service brand."

Mixi SVP Tak Miyata Talks Mobile Apps & Mobile-Enabled Commerce

mixi logoIn the countdown to Apps World Asia (September 1-2, Singapore) we speak with Tak Miyata, senior vice president of global business at Mixi, the fast-growing and number one social network in Japan about Mixi's strategy to expand its communications platform, enable third-party developers to make mobile apps for its members and encourage commerce that bridges online (digital) and offline (physical).

Mixi started out in 2004 allowing its users to post photos, share comments and links, and interact on community pages and forums based on themes ranging from recipes to rock-n-roll.

#DearKen: Is Social Media *Really* Like A Cocktail Party?

social media spiderThank you for your question. I am sitting here smiling. Social media has been compared to a cocktail party, high school and a Bruce Springsteen song. While each of these different analogies has their merits, I don’t think the writers were thinking big enough. Or hairy enough. Social media is like a big, hairy spider. "Social media is like a tarantula?!", you ask, out of breath from jumping on top of your nearest chair. Yes. It is. Here’s why.

#DearKen: Should I Automate My #Socialmedia?

automated social mediaAnd if I do, how can I maintain a "personal" touch?

What a *great* question, thank you! The simple answer is you shouldn't automate ANY part of your social media marketing, communications, product development, customer service, or talent acquisition efforts. At least, not until you understand social media well enough to know exactly how to use each social media channel to connect with your target audience. Yes, it is very tempting to use every tool you can find to reduce the time you spend managing your social media efforts, but think about the irreparable damage you can do to your brand. Do you really want to drive faster in the

Watch Out & Listen In! Connected Consumers Can Damage Your Brand

mobile megaphone surveyThe intersection of mobile and social changes all the rules. It gives people a voice and allows them to praise and/or punish companies/brands in public. What is the impact on marketers? Are people really influenced by posts and tweets they read? New independent research from Jeff Hasen -- a brave voice in the mobile marketing space and consistently named one of the top Chief Marketing Officers to follow on Twitter -- has stepped up to document just how people use their mobile phones to communicate their brand experiences. The result is must-read analysis that should spark marketers to listen in and answer back.

* * *

At first it

#DearKen: Am I TOO Much of a Self-Promoter on Twitter?

#DearKen: @TheMirrorTest author @JeffreyHayzlett calls people who abuse Twitter "twankers". How do I avoid being too self-promoting?

Thank you for your question. Twitter "rules", "guidelines", and "best practices" are great fun for us marketers (especially considering that the golden rule of marketing is that there are no rules). That doesn’t stop folks like Jeff and I, however, from regularly writing about Twitter do's and don'ts.

My usual disclaimer before we start to keep my company’s compliance team happy: all opinions expressed here are my own, and come from my experience running social media efforts, managing social marketers, and advising social marketing clients. Your mileage will vary.

Celebrity CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett Talks Mobile Marketing, Social Media & Privacy

jeffrey hayzlett profileHow should marketers approach social media marketing? What is the place of mobile in an effective advertising campaign? And why is mobile video shaping up to be the next big thing? These are just a few of the questions I explore in an exclusive podcast with Jeffrey Hayzlett, frequent speaker, Celebrity CMO, change agent and sometimes cowboy.

We also walk through the key themes of The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?, a must-read business book (authored by Jeff) that has been on USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Inc.’s best-seller lists.

#DearKen: Should You Put Ads in Your Tweets If You’re Not Kim Kardashian?

twitter adsTwitter is on the move, continuously launching features to enhance the advertising experience on Twitter. (Last week Twitter took the wraps off a beta service that will allow brands to target Promoted Tweets–the ad units that are actually Twitter messages–by country.) But what are the rules of engagement and to what extent (if any) should we promote goods and services in our Twitter stream? Ken Herron, social marketing authority and CMO at social applications and solutions company SocialGrow Inc., is back with a dose of valuable - and practical advice.

* * *

#DearKen What are the pros and cons of sticking ads in your Twitter feed, and what is there to consider?