We hear this often from prospective clients: “We need to be on twitter ASAP!”
While this may be true, our response to this exclamation is something along the lines of, “What do you expect as an end result of this?”
There is a lot of hype about social media marketing and many wonder where to begin. First, a definition is in order. Position²’s definition of Social Media Marketing (SMM) is having a conversation with self-selected communities that share a common interest and fit the profile or demographics that you are trying to reach or influence.
Successful SMM campaigns are iterative processes that constantly evaluate, monitor and analyze hypotheses around:
After performing numerous SMM projects for clients, Position² concludes that there are five possible primary objectives for SMM campaigns:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing web traffic
- Improving SEO results
- Enhancing customer loyalty
- Brand healing
There are literally dozens of possible SMM programs one may initiate and it is imperative that one prioritize one’s objectives. While focusing on any objective will have positive impacts on the others, it is impossible to measure the effectiveness of a given program unless you set your objectives first.
Once objectives are set, one must narrowly define the primary audiences being targeted. In the case of B2B companies for instance, this definition could include target company size, target company geographic location, and target business title. When the objectives are set and the target audiences are defined, determinations are then made regarding appropriate mediums (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and appropriate messages (or conversations) to be transacted over the selected mediums. Then, performance goals are established for each audience/medium combination. Each medium will have its own method for measuring success.
An attractive aspect about SMM is that it can potentially give results as quickly as a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign for about the cost of performing Search Engine Optimization. Many of our clients find that they can re-purpose much of their content and rapidly initiate conversations with it through SMM.
However, similar to PPC, SMM requires ongoing measurement and optimization to be successful. One very rarely gets it right the first time. Invariably, assumptions about audiences, messages and mediums are incorrect and one should expect to make many course corrections until the programs are optimized.
In short, to be fully effective and measurable, SMM should be perceived as a process as opposed to a series of point events. The steps to follow include:
1 - Set your objectives
2 - Determine the conversation you wish to initiate with each audience
3 - Determine appropriate mediums for each audience/conversation
4 - Create/re-purpose content
5 - Initiate campaigns
6 - Measure results
7 - Adapt your campaigns based upon the results