Few, proud and social

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Few, proud and social
Few, proud and social
“Our organization has a specific code of language that we try to adhere to, and on MySpace we can control the comments posted and the friends that we make to make sure that the positioning is in line with the message of the Marine Corps,” Zeilff adds.

This messaging includes the his­toric Marine brand motto, Semper fidelis, or “Always faithful,” which is surrounded by an image of a uni­formed officer standing at attention, as well as the latest Marines commer­cials. A host of wallpapers and vid­eos, which can be commented on and embedded on visitors' own MySpace pages, surround this imagery.

The MySpace page also has a “contact recruiter” button which lets visitors click directly back to its homepage, Marines.com to find out more information or to enlist.

“The MySpace page is a powerful referral tool and when we are actively adding new content to the site you can see traffic increases on Marines.com,” says Cronin.

As social networks grow more important to consumers, it makes sense for a marketer trying to connect with an audience in a life-changing way to make use of the social mar­keting channel. For the US Marine Corps — which is trying to convince a young person to choose a risky career — offering a forum for people to interact is a must.

“For a young person who is consid­ering becoming a Marine, interacting with other Marines is a good way to help them understand if it is the right choice for them,” says Zeilff.

How can marketers measure their social networking success?

Joshua Baer
GM of emerging media, Datran

"There are numerous solu­tions designed to monitor and measure social networking, but it still comes back to the same stats that we've always used. How many of your Web site views are referred by Facebook? How much revenue was produced from the links used for a particular campaign? Like any online marketing channel, keep test­ing different tactics against one another.”

Michael Winter
Media director, Agency.com

“Social media is not easily measured by impressions and click-through rate. It's about measuring engagement, so metrics such as influence (are they passing your brand around to their network) and dialog (are they commenting and joining a conversa­tion) become much more important and relevant in the social experience. Bench­marks and best practices are [still] being established, so it requires some patience.”

Kristi VandenBosch
President, Tequila\US

“Marketers are changing their expectations for ROI in social me­dia. ROI may now be measured as more positive conversations around the brand, reviews or recommendations on popular blogs, or the portability of brand-sponsored applications. The marketer needs to be willing to assign a value to new consumer behaviors. You determine the out­come your efforts had on improving overall results – demonstrating a multiplier effect.”

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