A Conversation with Serena Ehrlich, Executive Director, Attention
By UCLA X425 Student Kate Klapper
Tuesday night, Serena Ehrlich downloaded what felt like a major part of her brain, but which I expect was just the tip of the iceberg.
Having arrived early, she not only handled her own part of the evening, but also jumped in to augment Erik’s discussion about Return on Investment, or, in other words, how to justify social media efforts. One particularly useful tip advised having complaint procedures in place before initiating Twitter and other social media communications targeting customers. Erik outlined four major categories for determining ROI—awareness (visitors, page views, fans/followers), engagement (comments, retweets, time on-site), influence (links to website, mentions by top-tier bloggers & Tweeters) and action (sales, sign-ups), while Serena followed up with countless specifics in her presentation.
Serena opined that social media is likely to eventually fold back into PR or marketing. She emphasized the importance of listening and monitoring social media sites for content. Tools for this include SocialMention.com, Google & Yahoo searches in 24 hour or 30 day segments (via RSS readers), and Twitter’s geographical search function.
Serena mentioned many tools for finding your audience, including Listorious, Twellow, Alltop, AdPlanner and Compete.com. To locate “influencers,” she discussed Klout and PeerIndex. She also presented a number of sites, including Hootsuite, OneForty and Twitter Counter, that provide resources for generating statistics that measure campaign impact. She emphasized the necessity of establishing a baseline measurement, and then comparing campaign results using the same measure. Tools such as Google Analytics, KeywordSpy and Alexa are useful for shaping messages by identifying keywords and referring sites. .
Especially engaging was Serena’s narration of her campaign for Pauly Shore, which included tweeting in his “voice,” complete with misspellings; making video trailers customized for each town he visited; and having Shore take on challenges proposed by his fans. This served as a great intro to creating a social media/PR plan. Again, she stressed the importance of utilizing both approaches in tandem for maximum impact. In addition to the standard breakdown of planning steps, Serena stressed the need to have a crisis plan already thought out.
In conclusion, Serena emphasized that in order to establish and maintain one-to-one consumer engagement, social media should be regarded as part of a long-term.