This article will focus on the factors you need to consider when managing social media marketing campaigns. As we saw earlier there are so many different types of social media platforms: this in itself creates a barrier for organisations because of the problems in deciding where to concentrate their efforts. Before looking at the issues in detail it will be worth spending a moment reviewing the benefits of social media marketing.
Social media marketing campaigns have all the benefits of traditional marketing campaigns. In addition, they can also provide:
Increased exposure: if managed correctly a single post can very quickly hit a large segment of your market with very little work. As an example, if your store was to have a “one day sale” you would post this fact onto your social media sites. It would inform the followers through their news feeds, they then pass it on to their friends and family who in turn would do the same. Just a word of warning, it is highly likely that this type of spiral activity will only hit your immediate network. Only the truly unique or outlandish posts will go global.
Increased traffic: a social media marketing campaign should have links back to your main website. It should also encourage individuals to find out more by either clicking a link, making a phone call or visiting a store, thus increasing the traffic through that channel. Point to note, if you are using website links make sure it goes to a specific landing page that has more details and not just the website home page.
Market insight: Social media will provide brand managers with a platform to see what followers and others are saying about their products and services. It can be damming or complementary. If it is damming then you will need to do something about it. This market insight should also be extended to competitor’s brands.
Develop brand advocates: your brand advocates must include employees, you should consider ways of engaging these advocates in order to facilitate the process of getting your messages out through their own social networks. There are now platforms like Expion’s Social Advocator which will disseminate and assimilate messages for the benefit of the brand.
Generate Leads: we have already talked about how social media marketing can increase exposure. Ideally the campaigned you have designed will have some form of “call to action”: you should consider this as your lead generator. You should also develop a process that can identify questions raised about your brand: you need to answer these question quickly and think of ways to harvest that individual.
Now that you have a list of benefits for social marketing you should start to think of ways of utilising it for your own brands. The first thing you need to do is identify what your customers use. As an example, in the UK there is a platform called Doctors.Net.UK, it has over 80% of the UK’s physicians on its books. If you were an organisation looking to engage with doctors then you should consider this platform.
The use of social media must be driven by the marketing plan. This will ensure that the messages produced are aligned with targets relating to the total business objective. You may want to consider outsourcing the operation: if resources and skills are at a premium then this may be the best option. Do not under estimate the challenges you will face in getting staff and management to adopt social media marketing strategies. Their lack of understanding could create barriers: traditional marketers may see it as an intimidating process so you will need to think about introducing workshops and road shows to educate staff.
Another important consideration that many organisations forget is the development of a comprehensive social media policy. Don’t forget password management, I would suggest you consider developing a specific social media email address to reduce the risk of losing access once a particular employee has left.
If you are an international organisation you should also think about how you would delegate responsibilities for the process. To increase the efficiency of the social media marketing process think about using consolidation platforms. They include:
- Social Flow.
- Social Oomph.
I do have a word of warning about using social media consolidation platforms because studies have shown that it can reduce Facebook interactions.
When you are producing your campaign do not just concentration on the hard sell message. This will turn off your customers, what you need to do is make it:
- Amusing but relevant.
These aspects also need to be appropriate for the community you are looking to engage with. You may want to think about competitions (I would urge you to read my article “Social Media Marketing Campaigns from around the world“ it should give you some ideas of what you should and shouldn’t be doing).
Informing followers of discounts or sales is a good way of engaging your customer base. Posting interesting photos and videos is another.When developing your campaign make sure you test the message, ensure that it is sensitive to current and potential issues.
After doing all this you need to have a way of measuring and monitoring it. There are a number options available to you, some require payment others are free, here are some platforms you might want to consider:
Addictomatic: this site searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. Use it to see what noise your brand (or your competitor) is making. SocialMention is another similar platform that you could also use.
TwentyFeet (Sumall): is a metrics aggregator for social media and web property metrics from the web. It pulls and generates metrics from Twitter, Facebook, Google Analytics, YouTube, Friendfeed, bit.ly, RSS-Feeds and other sources. Further, it displays them in a slick interface all in one place.
Basic Analytics: as a minimum use the basic analytic platforms to measure social media marketing performance. They include Google, Twitter and Facebook.
Response code or link association: by having a response code you can quickly assess what part of your campaign was the successful. The link association element allows you to review where links came from, you can do this using Google analytics or Bit.ly.
So there you have it, these are my thoughts on how you should manage social media. If you do have any questions, just drop us a line or or use the comment feature below.
Other articles you might find interesting:
- What is social media?
- Social Media Marketing Campaigns from around the world.
- Using Twitter at Events.
- Social Media Competitions: 5 Simple Steps.
- Map Your Twitter Followers.