Knowing is half the battle
Sometimes knowing what’s going on before you set out on any new marketing initiative can make all the difference in the early stages. Take a moment and ask your self if you have the answers to the following questions:
- What do you expect to achieve as a result of this particular social campaign?
- How do you plan on reaching your goal?
- What will you use to judge your success?
The answers will help you to have an idea of what you’re expecting to happen as a result of your social activity, how you plan on making that end result a reality, and how you’re going to judge whether or not you succeeded in accomplishing your goal. That’s a lot to figure out before moving forward, but trust us when we say it will be well worth the time and effort to do a little planning beforehand!
It’s all about connections
One of the most interesting things about social media campaigns is their potential for meaningful conversation. Conversation is what drives most social activity, though of course things like “likes” and “shares” are important too. For the most part, conversions stem from one-on-one interaction between brand and consumer, and this is why making a connection is very important.
When is the last time you had a meaningful conversation with someone through your social channel activity? While the definition of “meaningful” can be a bit subjective, we can usually agree on it being something that is helpful, insightful, etc.
Have conversations with your audience been meaningful? Ask yourself if your conversations have:
- Helped someone learn something new about your brand / products / services?
- Helped someone resolve a problem / answer a question?
- Helped someone to share their feedback with you or receive feedback from you?
- Truly engaged someone and enabled them to share information with you, and you with them?
- Helped you to reward someone’s loyalty / participation (i.e. presenting Facebook fans with an exclusive coupon)?
Engagement and conversions come from having objectives
Ask yourself what you really need to happen as a result of your social media campaign. What do you really need to see in order to see the effort as worthwhile and successful? And how can you reach for this goal, knowing all the while that you’re on the right path?
Clear objectives help you answer these questions by:
- Providing information on what to post
- Giving you an idea of what to include in your posts
- Showing you which conversations to continue and which to gently end
- Helping you to better understand your audience and their reaction to a crisis (which helps you form a crisis management strategy)
The effectiveness of a social campaign can be determined by the level of engagement you have seen forming around each item you post, and your brand presence as a whole. As we said before, likes and shares do help by showing what sorts of content people want to see, but they are not the only engagement metrics you should be looking at. Instead see how many comments have been made to each Facebook post, and how many conversations have been started by a given tweet on Twitter. How many people have actively engaged your brand, or allowed your brand to engage with them?
Tying any social metrics directly to profits isn’t really possible, and if it can be done it is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. This is why social success should be measured in it’s own right, and its value as a consumer engagement tool should be considered instead of exactly how it fits into the sales strategy of your business.
How do you handle your social media activity? Do you go for more “likes” and “shares” or do you head more for meaningful conversations and direct engagement?