MHB WEEKLY: By the students, for the world

Paul Dunay at the SMASH | April 18, 2011

On April 7th, 2011, the MHB program hosted a social media summit at the USC Davidson Center in downtown Los Angeles. The first-ever SMASH, or Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle, amassed industry professionals, graduate students and professors for short lectures and brainstorming huddles. In the continuing MHB Weekly coverage of the event’s distinguished speakers and key ideas, today looks at social analytics expert Paul Dunay.

Mr. Dunay is the Chief Marketing Officer of Networked Insights, a leading analytical service for social media statistics and trends. He has also authored four volumes of the Dummies series, including the first two editions of Facebook Marketing for Dummies, and his widespread expertise has earned him placement in the Top 25 B2B Marketers as ranked by BtoB Magazine for two years running. Mr. Dunay’s blog, Buzz Marketing for Technology, is widely regarded as a top marketing blog for businesses and individuals alike.

Mr. Dunay pointed out metaphorically the first major error that companies make when moving their marketing strategies online: spending more time planning the wedding than the marriage. An aesthetically-appealing Facebook page is a good start — and many businesses conceptualize such pages — but more important is the analytic process that follows. Of the companies that use social media, 68 percent don’t know how to measure return on investment. Another 15 percent ignore it altogether, leaving just 17 percent of socially-connected companies that actually understand the value of ROI. To amend this problem, Mr. Dunay suggested a process of listening to consumers, sharing a brand’s personality and engaging in dialogue. He encouraged companies to use internet clearinghouses like Radian6 to make sense of social media data and monitor the web conversations that center around their products or services.

According to Mr. Dunay, the greatest power of the social internet lies in customer service — the only surefire way for a company to locate its most important customers, hear out their plaints and ultimately solve their problems. He gave the examples of Avaya, Comcast and Dell, all three of which have positively influenced their brand images through effective customer service initiatives. Sometimes this is accomplished through support forums, where average consumers and company-appointed moderators discuss technological issues and potential solutions; other times the process is more direct, involving a two-way conversation between a company representative and a client to provide personalized answers to any number of questions. The internet allows these discussions to happen more quickly and in a more genuine manner than ever before.

Mr. Dunay also differentiated between sharing and engaging, and pinpointed the online services that can assist in the execution of both. For companies looking to share expertise, he recommended traditional blogging and TweetDeck, a tracking site for communications across all social platforms. As for engaging, he recommended Facebook as well as support forums — both of which stimulate positive brand interactions and consumer sympathy.

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1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for sharing that recap of what Mr. Dunay shared at the SMASH. Since I wasn’t in attendance, I certainly appreciate it!

    “Of the companies that use social media, 68 percent don’t know how to measure return on investment. Another 15 percent ignore it altogether, leaving just 17 percent of socially-connected companies that actually understand the value of ROI.”

    I think we’ll see those numbers shifting in 2011 to show more more companies measuring and engaging.

    All the best,
    Trish (@Dayngr)
    Community Manager at Radian6

    Comment by Trish F. — April 18, 2011 @ 10:10 am


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    Established in 2009 at USC, the Master's of Science in Human Behavior is designed to equip students with knowledge of consumer psychology, social media and market analysis skills. This is our blog. Subscribe

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