We’re gearing up for a road trip down to San Francisco to attend next week’s Social Media Summit on August 15th and 16th. We were so impressed by the OMS event in Seattle, we can’t wait to catch an OMS conference dedicated to our favorite subject – Social Media!
If you’re interested in attending there are limited seats available and you be sure to use the discount code TMMPDX15 for a sweet deal.
One of this year’s speakers, Sundeep Kapur, was generous enough to take the time to answer some of our probing questions. Sundeep is a digital evangelist and the creator of emailyogi.com. We’re looking forward to his preso next week, check-out what he’s got in store!
1) What can we expect to learn from your presentation at the Social Media Summit in San Fran?
I will focus in on how the marketer can integrate social media into their organization. The key to success with social media is not to run it as a separate function; instead, we should be making it part and parcel of our normal marketing and communication mix. I usually prescribe an 11 step process where I start by looking at business goals and aligning them to the consumer that the business seeks, next I suggest writing engagement use cases per channel – for reason, season, and lifetime events. The rest of the 11 steps include important things like how to measure success, who should run social media, and how to get your consumers become facilitators.
2) What do you see as the single most important step a business can take to engage their consumers and prospects online?
Businesses should ‘be there,’ they ought to be ‘PRESENT’ on social media so they can LISTEN. If you listen, you can LEARN, and if you learn you will know how to ENGAGE with your consumers. Engagement is what drives value for your brand. But to have correct engagement you have to be PRESENT – which means not just have a site but actually dedicate the time, and money to be active on social media.
3) Do you feel Google+ is a threat to Facebook?
The numbers for Facebook are staggering and that is where consumers check-in multiple times a day. On the other side, consumers would prefer Facebook to be commercial free. But Google+ is going to be a big threat to Facebook. Google+ is of interest to consumers due to the circles of influence, i.e. your ability to carry on a conversation with people within your circles. Also a lot of younger people seem to like the interface. Google+ has also had significant growth, raking up more than 25 million subscribers in record time. Google+ also has the opportunity of watching other sites having succeeded and failed with social media. Google’s challenge is going to be to get the subscribers to start conversations on their new channel
4) In a recent article you insist businesses have to view Facebook as a marketing channel. Do you feel ALL businesses NEED to be on Facebook?
Facebook is powerful because of the number of consumers that are on Facebook. It is where consumers are having conversations. Also, Facebook is doing some good work with the concept of a universal log in; some businesses are allowing the consumer to log into their online store or bank by using their Facebook login. If your business serves consumers, and your consumers are on Facebook, I would consider Facebook as a serious channel for you. I don’t insist that the business has to be on Facebook, but I ask the business to pay attention. Here is a link to the actual article -
http://www.emailyogi.com/2011/08/seven-web-channels-you-have-to-consider.html. While a business should consider setting up their address on Facebook, it does not make sense for all companies to be active on Facebook. The key is that if you are selling a product to the end user consumer or if you are a B2B brand seeking to build awareness of your brand with the end user consumer you would want to leverage the connections through Facebook.
5) How would you differentiate the information on a businesses primary website from information/messages they distribute via Facebook pages and Twitter?
Social content should be branded and marked as such for your consumer to see. I think the value of a business website is greatly enhanced if you integrate some of the discussion from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels directly onto your site. Your focus on user generated, crowd sourcing, and listening are all bolstered via social media. You need to leverage it onto your site – ecommerce or no commerce.
6) Based upon your own experience, would you say that email marketing is as important as it was several years ago and can it still be the primary driver for recurring sales? Does anyone read email anymore?
Email is important, if done correctly. Consumers are paying far less attention to direct mail messages versus email messages. I do an annual consumer survey about the trip to ‘your mailbox’ and not surprisingly fewer people pay attention to direct mail. So email does have an opportunity to take over from direct mail. Your bank sends your statement to you via email, they can send you a receipt to an ATM transaction via email, and if they do it right they can track your ‘clicks’ and send you the perfect offer via email. Some banks send good emails, most do not. However, bad email marketing is worse than direct mail. The key to email success is sending relevant information to the consumer.
Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing
strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.
Sundeep is an industry recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and
delivered ‘relevant, inspirational, and outstanding’ education for organizations like the DirectMarketing Association, Shop.org, National Sports Forum, Online Marketing Institute, ClickZ, Search Engine Strategies, Email Experience Council, Teradata Partners, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Annual Catalog Conference, Social DevCamp, Marketing Sherpa, eCom Expo UK, NCR Self Service Universe, and the Panel of Peers.
Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, & video into a
conversational blog. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.emailyogi.com, where
he has more than 1200 articles on best practices. He has been hosting a monthly phone call
on digital marketing best practices since 1999. He has a BA in Economics, a BS in Computer
Science, an MBA, and over 21 years of practical problem solving experiences.