Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy to Gain a Greater Response


My notes from the Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy to Gain a Greater Response panel, from MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer.


Pam O'Neal, Vice President of Marketing for BreakingPoint Systems, Inc., @poneal
Glenda Ervin, Vice President, Marketing, Lehman's, @Galen_Lehman
Debra Ellis, Founder, Wilson & Ellis Consulting, @wilsonellis

Pam O'Neal, Breaking Point

Pam led off with an extremely tidy and well-organized slide showing all the different social media tools BreakingPoint uses and the ways they use them. I sincerely hope she'll make her presentation available online. Here's my untidy text-only summary:

Market Intelligence

Monitoring (RSS feeds, Twitter, Clicky, BuzzStream)

Crowdsourcing (Twitter, LinkedIn groups, HARO)

Thought Leadership

Education (blog, Twitter, forums, RSS feeds)

Awareness (community, blogs, video, twitter, marketwire)

Community (LinkedIn groups, blog, YouTube, Facebook)

Demand Generation

Search/onling mktg (Google, Bing, Yahoo, StumbleUpon)

Web traffic generation/conversion (RSS feeds, Twitter, blog)


Sales Enablement

social prospecting (LinkedIn Q&A and groups, Twitter, blog)

pipeline influence/nurturing (blog, Twitter, LinkedIn)

sales education (YouTube, blog, Twitter, Yammer, Wiki, RSS feeds)

Glenda Ervin, Lehman's

Lehman's carries "the largest selection of old-fashioned, non-electric appliances in the world," Glenda said. Customers have choices. When her father started his store, it was the only store you could go to. Now customers choose how, where and when they want to shop. "For us it's not about the how many, it's about the who."

Their social media strategy revolves around "branding Dad." He has his own Facebook page, a video, his photo on the side of trucks, etc. "It's not fake, it's real."

Glenda pointed out that it's no longer enough to satisfy a customer. What you want is a loyal customer. A satisfied customer will leave. A loyal customer will come back. Take quality and marry it to consistency, and that breeds loyalty. "And then for us, we put Dad's picture on it."

They began to realize all the different things they did that could be shared in social media. "If we're doing a cider press demonstration in the store, why not shoot a video of it and put it online?"

Lehman's also subscribes to the theory that it's better to have negative comments on your own site where you can see and deal with them.

"We love to get bad reviews. We want to know immediately so we can address it. Plus, in our small marketplace it shows that we care."

Random tool mentions: They use Kaboodle and StumbleUpon, which work well with their predominantly female audience. They see Facebook as "an international, free, real-time focus group."

Steps for getting started:


  • Start by looking at sites you like and seeing what they do well.
  • Have somebody get involved and keep up with it.
  • At the very least, set up a Google Alert for your name. Find out what people are saying about you.
  • Comment carefully and non-defensively in social media because it sets you up as an expert. Answer other people's customer service questions.
  • Never ignore a super-negative post or a super-positive post.
  • Join and make a commitment to offer relevant content on a regular basis.

If people say they don't have time for social media, that's irrelevant because "it's not about you, it's about the customer."

Their blog is the number one referrer to their Web site. They post based on what customers are interested in, "from plant to plate to pantry."

Some successful blog posts have included:


  • Why do people become and stay Amish?
  • What are you growing?
  • What to know before you grow
  • What to do in Amish country (written by her 10-year old daughter)

I looked at the @Lehmans Twitter stream. This was the second tweet I read:

You can remove the hulls from grain by hand. But, it's slow. Anyone know of a home-sized grain cleaner/dehuller?

Debra Ellis, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

Debra began by focusing on how to sell social media to clients and bosses. Her advice: Have a plan. You can't walk in and say "social media is great." It needs to have goals, tangible objectives, strategy, contingency and scorekeeping.

The social media view is, "It's all about the conversation. But at the end of the conversation if we haven't discussed something about business, I don't know what you do and you don't know what I do."

The typical corporate view features a continuous cycle of Merchandising - Marketing - Operations - Financial. Where does social media fit in?

In the revised social media view, it's all about using conversation to enhance the customer experience and expand marketing reach.

The goal of traditional marketing is to get the sale. When you add social media, the becomes not only to get the sale but to get the customer talking about your company and your product.

When presenting to people inside your company you need to convince, Debra suggests presenting your ideas in corporate language: increased sales, reduced costs, specific goals, measurable results, intangibles.

Focus on what's right for you, your community and your corporate culture.

Debra's takeaways:

  • Begin with the end in mind - look for the ROI.
  • Keep it simple and strategic.
  • Complete the cycle: add consumption to the marketing/sales/fulfillment cycle. Make sure your clients are using your products and services and talking about them.
  • Get out of the fishbowl. If you hear about some new channel you think you need to try, go back and see if it fits into your plan.
  • Connect the pieces: marketing, channels, employees, operations and customers.

Debra's ebook The New Rules of Multichannel Marketing is available at

One audience question asked about Google vs. Bing. Both Debra and Glenda are Bing fans. Debra said, "I love Bing. People go deeper and stay longer." Glenda added, "Surfers use Google, shoppers use Bing."


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1 Comment

  1. David,
    This is a great summary of our session. Thank you for presenting it so well. I hope to see you at other conferences.
    Wishing you the best,

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