Aug 17, 2011 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Social Media is very effective when it comes to building your brand and promoting it. However, it seems pricey to many organizations. At the SES San Francisco 2011, the panel discussion on-  Social Media Solutions On A Budget focused on the free to low cost tools and strategies that can help companies take up social media.

Christopher Heine, Staff Writer, ClickZ News


  1. Nathan Bransford, Social Media Manager, CNET/CBS Interactive
  2. Jeffrey Harmon, Chief Marketing Officer, Orabrush
  3. Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR

The session was focused on the tips, tricks, and tactics for running a social media campaign on a budget. Jeffrey Harmon from Orabrush started with his history in the social media. His case study on this case is a campaign he created for OraBrush.

The company worked on the concept that 40% of all media consumption is online. That is why, they decided to create a video for online users- enter-YouTube. The only advertising Orabrush did was YouTube Promoted Videos & a beta ad platform in YouTube, Trueview. They put up a video aimed to lead to conversions on the Orabrush landing page. The video got close to15.4 million views and of this number, 19% of people ended up on the website. The company has spent $500 on the video.

Jeffery further explained that Orabrush created another comical video. This featured the 'in-the-field testing of their new iPhone app'. This app tests your breath to know whether it stinks or not. The video was really funny, as the iPhone came back with funny insults or pick-up lines for nasty or fresh breath. The video went viral and the app got 300,000 downloads and 290,000 fans on Facebook.

social media solutions on a budget

The popularity gained from YouTube, led Orabrush to mainstream media coverage from leading publications. And Orabrush’s social media marketing campaigns were compared favorably with corporate giants like Old Spice, Pepsi etc. The company was now faced with the challenge of taking their online popularity offline, as 93% of sales happen offline. The task was made easier due to its popularity in the media. And Orabrush started getting calls from all over the world from pharmacies interested in carrying the product. When Walmart from Utah approached them, and they put up a video of their success at the same, then the campaign went viral nation wide.

This campaign came out with two major inferences- well executed online video increases conversion rates by two to three times on your landing page. Taking these campaigns to the store, the conversion is two to four times.

It is important that the offline customers too go online. While making the sale, you may remind the customers to return to your YouTube Channel, or Facebook page, leave a feedback-share with like-minded customers. Jeffery even recommended adding  a “As Seen On YouTube” label to your package

Jeffery said that a good social media campaign will lead to user-generated content. He said, “The responses from super YouTubers, which were sending more users to the Orabrush page than their own page or even the New York Times article that they were featured in. What does this all mean? Creating good quality social media campaigns can create a myriad of connections, and for not much money.”

Next speaker, Nathan Bransford took the stage then. His focus was on the organic ways of increasing social media followers. His tools and tactics that really work for him are organic and are free or low-cost. He said that by using these tactics, he had grown his company’s Twitter followers by 300k, and seen a huge increase in Facebook fans as well.

Social Media-Nathan-Facebook

Nathan said, “You do not have to have a large budget to make a big impact – specifically Facebook and Twitter. There is not a social media silver bullet, just be consistently good and get the big stuff right. Make sure you Like and Follow buttons are easily found. Post often and with good content. The more people interact wit you content the more it will be shared.”

Social Media-Nathan

Nathan further said that in the case of Facebook, the Newsfeed is what one must focus on. The Facebook Apps are there, and they are often costly, but the majority of time is spent in the newsfeed, will lead to more followers. As of Twitter, the focus is on Re-tweets. This means you need to keep a track of how much you’re shared (retweeted). Keep a close watch on your followers to see what content they share, and then you can also post similar content to engage them. It is really important to monitor the results and respond correspondingly. Nathan also stressed that one must focus on the engagement levels of the community, and also that the engagement grows in tandem with the growth of the followers. The key is to get quality followers. He stressed on the social aspect of social media- that is interaction. Interacting with your followers and making them feel important is very important.

Here is what he underlined:

  • Don’t over post. Facebook requires not more that 4-6 posts per day. For twitter, 10-20 posts in a day is sufficient.
  • Interact-react and engage in a one to one exchange with the followers.
  • Build on your profile. Create a personality- a voice to your brand. People should feel that they are interacting with a personality.

Social Media-Nathan-Optimizations

For Facebook, focus on the Newsfeed. Apps are cool (though costly), but the majority of the time is spent in the newsfeed, stats back that up.

Nathan said that by keeping these things in mind, an excellent point of contact can be established. He also gave a list of free tools that aid in faster promotion.

  • Hootsuite, TweetDeck – Busy marketers can use these to schedule their posts on Twitter and Facebook!
  • – This tool helps you know where you stand. You can track the insights into clicks & conversations. Also the conversions from tiny links shared.
  • – This is an analytics tool, with which you can judge how your competition is doing.
  • -This tool is to track follow counts for you and your competitors on Twitter & Facebook.

The third and final speaker- Greg Jarboe, spoke on leveraging PR, and PR individuals to focus on  Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), specifically a 1.1 return. Greg emphasized that one must get a 1.1 return on marketing investment, within 90 days of launching a campaign. This benchmark means that if one can't earn more than they spent in the first 90 of marketing, then the campaign has not worked.

Social Media Solutions On A Budget

Greg explained this process with a case study from Rutgers University that showed his team’s ability to achieve a reasonable ROMI, and also exceed it, with organic social media. The company spent $4,995 on a Social media course for 6 people. This cost included instructional materials on a preloaded iPad. Another $4k for an ad campaign on Mashable.

This are the pointers he gave-

Blogs Work– Greg advised to make connection with bloggers, they can be influential. Posting on Sunday is a good thing as it is the day of the week that most people do their reading. So, keep the announcements for Sunday.

Optimize the press releases– Greg stressed the need to optimize press releases for Google News, Yahoo News, and so forth. This has to be combined with the release of a story with precise press optimization for news sites. The story has to release a day early for popular bloggers- in an attempt to reach their huge numbers.

Use Google Analytics– Greg advised the combination of Google analytics with social media to create a better social media campaign.

Social Media is social– He advised to make sure that the campaign is focused and revolves around the followers.

Greg also gave the details of the tools that can come in handy. He said, "Google News Auto Complete Feature – Watch what words come after the each word you type (this is also important for all other search engines); Google Insights for Search – Look for options, select "news," the data it will give you will be for news searches, including for the past few years."

In conclusion, Greg tipped the audience to be weary of automation for Social Media. It is essential that your posts have a human touch to them. Combine the human element with good content and frequency-and you can't go wrong.

Social Media Solutions On A Budget – SES San Francisco 2011, Day 1!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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