Social Media is the newer, fancier and shinier marketing channel available to all digital strategist today but like many new channels, getting a solid (and scalable) grip on ROI has been elusive. Many organisations are treating it like any other online marketing channel – targeting promotions, coupons and sales – while others are sharing viral content, posting innocuous updates or retweets, or even more often, responding to customer service complaints and inquiries. We are getting it all wrong – Social isn’t just another channel, it’s a strategy in itself. It isn’t just another online channel to add to your marketing mix – it needs discovery, planning, measurement and optimisation strategies in place in order to align with overall business goals & objectives.
Take for example the evolution of television. The first ever recognised TV advert wasn’t much different than the radio adverts of the same time. It was one image, with a logo and a voice over – a far cry from the Old Spice Ads we experienced not long ago. TV went through its biggest evolutions with the progression of the technology – when cable TV was first launched, we saw the birth of the infomercials and dedicated shopping networks like QVC. Once on demand TV, DVRs and streaming videos entered the market, advertisers are scrambling. But like every new medium, online is going through its own evolution.
100M people login in to Twitter every day, 757M login to Facebook and each day 16 YEARS worth of videos are uploaded to You Tube. The online social channels are growing so fast, it becomes difficult for brands to stand out. It is important to remember: Social has two major impacts on your business – 1) Removing barriers to interact with your brand and 2) Increase ROI. Every Social Strategy must incorporate both to be truly successful.
A balanced approach to Social can help you achieve highly successful campaigns and ultimately prove ROI on site. Each and every channel should encompass all three types of conversations – Promotional info (in moderation!), Conversational posts and fun updates, and Customer Service. This is what your consumers are expected – they demand simple, seamless experiences with a Brand in the easiest way possible in whichever channel they use at that time. It’s a high bar set for Brands to participate on Social, but with the right strategic plan in place, it can be highly productive.
Develop a Social Roadmap
Consider like any marketing campaign, you need to develop a solid roadmap for success. The same is true for Social. The best foundation is to leverage the new McKinsey Touchpoints. The original McKinsey Consumer Journey touches on the traditional buying phases of every consumer and how to capitalise on the loyalty loop for shorter buying cycles.
The new McKinsey Touchpoints focus on Social as a medium and help lay the groundwork for a Social Roadmap: Monitor, Respond, Amplify, Lead.
Identify the different Social Channels available and evaluate where, when and how you can participate. The best strategy is to combine the McKinsey steps for engagement with a Social Objectives Matrix. Look to focus on key areas such as identify each channel objective, frequency of participation and the voice of each channel. Also it is key to identify how each channel will be monitored and measured for success.
This is the foundation. If you skip one stage in the strategy, the rest will not fall into place and you will remain off-balance. You must master the monitoring and responding staging in order to one day successfully lead.