Examining My Former Employer's Social Web Strategy

@Kevin | Strategy

Note: This was posted last year when I was comparing what I was deploying at my company versus what was recommended. I think it is a good example of how not all social media and internet marketing programs work for every company. It is good to take the time to pick things apart and mold a plan that will work for the goals you have laid out.

Last week I linked to a post by Jeremiah Owyang where he laid out the various types of internet marketing available to companies. In my post I said that I was going to compare it to the general outline that I had created at work. I decided to post the outline that I created at a previous job removing references to the industry and the company I work for and figured that it would be best to compare this publicly. I figured that it would give you some insight to a general overview write up as well as showing what I was able to learn from Jeremiah.

In order to keep this brief I am going to split it up over a couple of days, with the final day being a comparison of my overview and what I need to tweak based off of Jeremiah’s overview.

A Comprehensive PR Program

Overview: A comprehensive PR program can be implemented to build brand awareness and establish us as go to experts. This can increase our national coverage as well as increasing our back links that can help our page rank with the search engines.

What we have done: Issued an occasional press release with significant news. Have done occasional interviews with local media when approached.

What we want to do: We want to create a press kit that is available for us to send out when asked; along with sending those out to specific radio stations. We also need a version that is downloadable off of all our sites and channels. Also we want to register with specific websites that list us as a source for journalists both print and talk radio. One goal of this is to craft a standard message with common information that we can deploy across all our properties. Currently we have zero consistency with our information.

As a company we need to get into the habit of regularly issuing press releases.

Affiliate Program

Overview: Affiliate programs can increase our traffic and sales on a pay per sale level.

What we have done: I believe we had an affiliate program running in the past under a former employee but need to find out what type of results we saw.

What we want to do: Look into setting up pay per sale affiliate programs with influential bloggers and or websites by using companies such as commission junction and other systems where people can set up affiliate links.

Banner Ads

Overview: Banner ads are becoming more popular within our industry due to many companies increasing their online efforts.

What we have done: We have run banners in various locations in the past, with very little expansion.

What we want to do:
We want to continue finding places that make sense to advertise – both financially and from a “branding” standpoint. Many of our banners have done very well for us. Banners generate new sales, increase brand recognition, and bring traffic to our site.


Overview: With the renewed focus on buying the marketing department needs to create a sustained push for buying ads.

What we have done: Print ads and a small run of TV spots.

What we want to do: Our first job is to regionalize and attempt a push on regional level using Craigslist, local newspapers, message boards, and other local postings. On a larger level we need to use Craigslist, message boards, e-mail pushes through other companies. As well as considering doing a national buying commercial to put on rotators.

Creation of Message Board

Overview: We need to create message boards for our customers to interact on. It gives us the ability to control conversations all while increasing our search engine positioning. We need to move past content to community.

What we have done: Nothing, we fear the idea of people writing negative things about us or our business partners. We need to change this way of thinking, we can help control a conversation that is ALREADY happening on the web. Would we rather have people talking behind our backs or to our faces?

What we want to do: We need to create a bulletin board system that can be monitored by customer service. The goals of this sub-site to our website is to increase search engine positioning, act as a customer service tool, and keep a pulse on what the conversation is. We can spin this to our partners as we are able to help squash potential customer services issues for them. The benefits out this far out weight the potential problems, message boards increased a competitor’s alexa rankings from 630K to 160K because of the implementation of message boards.

Directory Submittal

Overview: Submit our site and sub sites to as many possible directories, help with search engine boost.

What we have done:
A little submittal

What we want to do: Need to get all our sites listed and take the time to do it. This will increase our back links and increase ways that people can find out website and content.

What we have done: We have donated to various sized local charities in the past and are now expanding that.

What we want to do: Continue to be actively involved in donations to brand ourselves in WNY and increase our word of mouth advertising.

Gift Codes

Overview: We utilize gift codes to try and stimulate sales.

What we have done: We generally run gift codes in all of our sales-themed advertisements.

What we want to do: Continue to run gift codes in our current print advertisements, as they have shown to generate a decent number of new customers, and bring customers back that hadn’t ordered in a while.

Tomorrow: Part 2