Social Media Marketing Might Not Be the Conversion Machine You Think It Is
Social Media Marketing Might Not Be the Conversion Machine You Think It Is:
Google Analytics defines a conversion as “the completion of an activity that is important to the success of your business, such as a completed sign up for your email newsletter (a Goal conversion) or a purchase (a Transaction, sometimes called an Ecommerce conversion).”
That’s a broad definition — but it means is that a conversion for one website/business owner may not be considered a conversion for another. Conversions are unique to each website and each marketing activity.
Business Owners & Marketers WANT Conversions
Of course they do. That fact doesn’t mean that each marketing activity and or platform where great marketing occurs is the point of the conversion (furthermore it isn’t always the first touch — the conversion typically happens at the last touch).
With that said, setting expectations is key when pitching a marketing campaign. For example, if a business owner balks at social media marketing in your proposal, it’s key that you educate that business owner as to the fact that there are many touch points in a customer journey — and, brand awareness is important to the conversion process — even if that conversion happens later, from a different source of traffic.
What is Social Media Marketing & What Are Some Basic Strategies?
And, social media, while it isn’t always the conversion machine, it lends a strong hand to the conversion process — as people in the customer journey will often use a social media presence during their ‘evaluation’ period of the journey from interest to customer.
And beyond simply setting that expectation, it’s key to have a solid understanding of social and social media marketing as you are explaining and pitching to a client.
Before we go too far, let us take a deep breath and think about what social media is. Most people have been thinking of this too narrowly, it is actually much broader. It is more than just your usual Facebook and twitter. There are actually around 13 categories of social media. Here is the list:
- Monitoring tools
- Publishing tools
- Social Networking Sites
- Micro blogging sites
- Collaboration tools
- Photo Sharing Sites
- Video Sharing Sites
- Personal Broadcasting tools
- Virtual Worlds
- Social Commerce
- Location Based Services
- Social Bookmarking and News Aggregation
So when you think about your social media marketing strategy, it is important to think broader and keep this list in mind.
Questions you should ask yourself
- What do you want to gain from a social media plan?
- What does your business offer that people are likely to want to discuss?
- What is your current business model and how can social media impact that?
- Do you sell through e-commerce, retail stores, third parties, OEMs?
Forrester’s POST Methodology
Forrester’s is a really good methodology. Mentioned below is an expansion of Forrester’s POST methodology:
- People: Who are you trying to target, and why do they care?
- Objectives: What are you trying to accomplish?
- Strategies: Define how you will accomplish this using Social media
- Technologies: Look into technologies that fit
- If you keep an eye on POST, you will avoid a lot of hassles in life. Just saying For example, “I want to be on Facebook” is not a strategy. A strategy will be clear on what you want to accomplish by your presence on Facebook.
The Ignite Method of Social Media Strategy
There are six steps to it, but step 2 and step 4 are the most important.
Step 1: Discovery – Getting up to speed.
Step 2: Community Analysis – Get into a deep dive into the social space, in the process, you will uncover active target audiences, how they are engaging and interacting with each other. Also get into how they are interacting with brands, including what terminology they are using, etc. This also includes competitors.
Step 3: Goal Setting – Social media objectives are chosen for success metrics, activities, and a groundwork is laid down leading to a measurement plan.
Step 4: Engagement Plan – A plan that is detailed and a list of recommendations on social media resources, tactics, budgets and timelines that are in line to support the objectives of business and marketing.
Step 5: Metrics and Measurement Strategy – We come to an agreement on how objectives will get measured, which goals will be allocated and have reports and what will be the monitoring needs in the long term.
Step 6: Implementation/Training – Develop resources, specific teams’ trainings, putting the plans in motion and providing ongoing support.
The goals are set in step 3 but step 5 is the one that ensures that the goals are quantifiable, so they can be measured and mean the same to everyone involved.
Channel Analysis (Community Analysis)
- What Channels are currently being used by the brand?
- The first thing to look at in Channel Analysis is to figure out what channels, example: Facebook, Twitter, etc. are being used by the company/brand.
- Do they serve any clear social media needs for both the brand and audience?
- Are the resources in place to support all the channels (the puppy problem)?
- Having a social media presence is like having a puppy. If you get to have a puppy, you must feed him every day. If you cannot feed the puppy, just don’t have one!
- Previous Campaign Analysis
- Think of all the previous campaigns you have done and analyze them, see what the social spread of those campaigns was.
- What are the current strong points of campaigns? Weak points?
- How does the campaign get started?
- How strong is the social spread?
- How easy is the social spread?
- What are the short-term benefits of the brand?
- What are the long-term benefits of the brand?
- How does SEO support the campaign and/or how does the brand improve its SEO because of the campaign?
- How is the campaign supported by or supportive of other marketing channels?
- Competitive Analysis
- Take a look at your competitors and pay attention to what they are doing.
- Who are the competitors of the brand and what are they doing in the social space?
- How do the social media efforts of different brands support (or not support) the differentiation?
- What are the strong points of competitor’s campaigns using social media? Weak points?
The longest part of this is the Audience Analysis. The only superior source of competitive advantage is the knowledge about the customer. If you can get that superior information about the customer, you will be way ahead.
- Who is the target audience for the social media plan?
- What can we learn about the target audience so far?
- Which networks are they on (Composition and index)?
- What are their social behaviors (Creators, Joiners, Inactives)?
- What do they believe/watch/do that is different than non-targets?
- What do they want from the brand?
- Social Strategy (Engagement Plan)
- Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. This is where all of the information from the Community Analysis is used to make a roadmap for the client to use social media to succeed.
- What content will you be producing and in what formats (video updates, blog posts, tutorials)?
- How frequently will you create this content and what is the editorial calendar for the next few months?
- Who is producing this content, and do they have the time/ability to do so?
- Do they have access to the information to do so quickly and credibly?
- Who will care about this content, how will they find it and how/why will they share it?
- What channels will be used to implement the plan?
- Where is your target audience and how can you effectively engage them?
- Which channels are the brand ready to support (content and resources)?
- Once you have been through the homework, the next steps are designing the actual campaign and launching it.