Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating buzz for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing for Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications, and author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies. His unique approach to integrated marketing has produced significant revenue and cost-savings for Avaya, and has led to his recognition as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a five-time finalist in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) and a 2005 gold award winner. Gain insights into Paul’s approach to integrated and social media marketing at: http://pauldunay.com
Q1. What are the most important Social Media platforms at the moment?
Well as the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009) and the soon to be released Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley – Fall 2010) I would have to say Facebook. Why? Because what once was a social network then became a platform for every form of communications we have ever seen. Name a form of communications? The Gutenberg press, the Marconi radio, the video, the movie, the photo, chat/SMS etc – think about it – they are all there on the Facebook platform AND they are all there on everyone’s Page or Profile AND for the low low price of Free! I have said before and I will say it again here – Facebook is a once in a Century communications platform.
Q2. What Social Media platforms would you recommend to a company that is just starting their online marketing?
This is a really hard one because there is no one size fits all answer here. My suggestion as a marketers is to be infinitely curious about all of these new forms of media but vigilant about the ones you choose. When you do decide that a you want to dive into say a blog or Twitter – dive into the deep end and go after it with everything you got. Creating what I like to call an “embassy” position on a form of social media is not a strategy for success.
Q3. Where is the best place to measure the effects of Social Media Marketing?
In a recent poll by the TSIA of firms using social media – 68% of companies don’t know or can’t measure the ROI of social media. Which is a real shame and if that’s the case for you I would argue that you are focusing your social media efforts in the wrong place! Certainly there are tools out there to help you measure your efforts in social media but sometimes it’s not the tool’s fault it’s the business case.
Many people take a classic approach to social media and treat it like just another media channel and expect to see instant results like they do with other online media like banners, text links and search. This is why they find it hard to see results that make for a strong ROI. I would argue that Social Customer Support is the single best place to focus your social media efforts since it can reduce customer churn and increase retention rates faster than any other program we have ever seen before. Spotting a customer issue, responding to them and solving their problem in minutes using social media provides what can only be called an exceptional customer experience.
Q4. Do you think every company (that has a website) should have a Facebook Fan page? Why?
Absolutely in fact with Facebook Fan pages you might not need a website! On the Facebook platform you can build a website that is totally FREE of hosting and server costs, public and indexable on all search engines, with unique URL’s for individual landing pages that you can tune based on if they are Fans or Non Fans, where you can host all your video and upload your product catalog with detailed descriptions (and get feedback from Fans), where you can throw an event or show presentations on a Slideshare ap, run a contest or a survey, host your blog or retweet your status updates (or better yet – just use Facebook instead of Twitter). Oh don’t forget send emails to your Fans for FREE and if you want to buy targeted ads you can do that too.
With all that in your favor – I find myself thinking – Why would any business need a website anymore?
Q5. How do you see Facebook as a Social Media Marketing tool?
I see Facebook as the social media hub of everything we have from company news, announcing events, offer tutorials, highlight videos, conduct polls and create community around discussions. Its your one stop shop for every form of media. But be sure to use it to link back to other places on your website to get more information or don’t forget to cross promote content in your other channels (ex use your newsletters and website to cross promote to Facebook with “heard on Facebook” as a feature box – many companies tell me this is the most clicked on area of there newsletter/website when they do this.
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