In this episode we talk with Scott Chappell, who is the Chief Marketing Officer for Sessions College of Design (Sessions.edu), and a presenter at the MeasureUp conference in Chicago on March 10, 11, & 12th, 2010. Sessions.edu offers online classes for the design community from real experts (author, educators and others) in an asynchronous format, pairing student with instructors in a meaningful dialog about how to develop your design sense and knowledge of the industry. His presentation at MeasureUp is titled ‘Blog, Tweet, Repeat: How Social Media improved lead acquisition, sales and the lifetime value of your customers’ and in this episode, we get to meet Scott an find out about the Sessions.edu social media efforts.
Scott talks about how social media is used by Sessions.edu and how it has supported an almost 10 fold expansion of the number of monthly ‘touches’ with the Sessions Design College audience of prospective student, current students and graduated alumni. Scott explains how he has embraced the premise of Marshall McLuhan in that “the medium is the message”, but he cautions that too many contacts to an audience can cause them to disengage. In Sessions case, while social media has allowed them to dramatically increase the number of messages, the reality is that there needs to be quality and sincerity otherwise you run the risk of turning off the audience.
The biggest understanding that has come from the use of social media is that a successful launch has to be gradual and that he needed to segment the conversation to be able to increase the touch points. Sessions.edu established messaging in three different categories – Culture, Industry & Sell. With this segmented messaging schema, Scott talks about how each has a particular characteristic and supports a conversation or connection in a specific area of the relationship with the audience. The recipients have been very open to the connections because each communication is about something different and Scott says it has ‘enriched the conversation’ and allowed the brand to flourish.
Under lessons learned, he cites trying to use every social tool for everything – he’s come to recognize that the content has to match the discussion and the relationship you want to have with your audience. He suggests that your listeners, followers, and community members need to get something from the conversation and that is a more a function of the quality of the conversation and message than the quantity of messages delivered.
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