Day 2: What are the Social Media marketing best practices? [Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered]

Day 1 of our search to answer Michael Stelzner’s Top 10 Social Media Questions to ask marketers has brought us a reasonable answer to measuring your return on investment with regards to Social Media. Today we’ll be focusing on what the best practices for Social Media are:

2. What are the Social Media marketing best practices [My to-do list]?

Most people, when developing their skill sets and knowledge in a field start out with what they already know. Not bearing this is mind, large volumes of companies approach and engage in Social Media without understanding the “formal and unwritten community rules” and treating Social Media as simply another dumping ground for current “advertising assets”, as eloquently put by Lee Odden back in February 2009.

He, Odden, lists some of the best and worst practices of Social Media as:

  • Best Practices
    • Start with a thoroughly researched plan, including audiences, objectives and strategy, not just tactics
    • “Give to get”: meaning listening and participation with your audience. In effect creating value through your engagements, not just sales
    • Be transparent with intentions
    • Understand, advise, monitor and interact with the message, but realise that you can’t control it. [Read my previous post regarding this matter]
    • Metrics should roll up to objectives
  • Worst Practices
    • Being fake in any way. Just ask Trevor Noah and Cell C, by Walter Pike, about this if you need convincing.
    • Not listening
    • Being oblivious for formal and unwritten social rules and codes of conduct.
    • Being pushy or overtly sales driven
    • Approaching social media channels as silos
    • Not staffing appropriately
    • Not having a mechanism to monitor ROI correctly

So, how do I make Social Media work for me?

  • Start with listening, understand what people want
  • Share your backstory, who you are and where you come from
  • Try and crowd source content
  • Target your advertising on Facebook
  • Develop a community of Facebook, and customise their experience
  • Share your offline promotions
  • Respond quickly
  • Link back to your webpage
  • Remember your content and conversational tone, have a strong visual identity
  • Build relationships with bloggers
  • Have a clear call-to-action on Twitter, and try and build anticipation
  • Provide relevant offers and try and enhance customer service
  • Finally, show you are social and encourage sharing of your content
Advertisements

Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered

Social Media

Social Media has risen in popularity over the last several years, becoming one of the hottest topics in the marketing industry, along with words such as Online Reputation Management and Digital Engagement. Each one has had a significant impact on our burgeoning digital world and Social Media forms a strong cumulative vantage point for us as marketers to gauge and interact with our stakeholders. In his 2010 report Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Michael Stelzner summarised 1365 open-ended responses into 10 fundamental questions marketers want answered, in order to prepare and assist them in this new and exciting field. Below finds my viewpoints and findings on these questions, as part of my course on Digital Marketing Strategy, but also as part of my continuous attempts to understand and define our Social Media space. I will be posting my answers to one of the ten questions each day for ten days.

1. How do I measure Social Media return on investment?

The first question in Stelzner’s report hinges around marketer’s ability to accurately track and report on Social Media’s return on investment to companies. Taking a step back we also need to understand that one of the most compelling reasons people have found a growing use in digital has been its ability to report on ROI, through all digital channels, including Social Media.

So how can one measure Social Media? Several valuable tools exist on each of the Social Media touch points that allow for measurements. Facebook offers users Facebook Insights, which examines likes, interactions, demographics, media consumption and much more. Twitter allows for several methods of tracking, firstly through link-tracking sites such as bit.ly and Tweetdeck to influence measurement in your community through Klout and Twittergrader. Youtube has Video Statistics and each other Social Media channel has its own analytics system.

The main factor, and steps, that we need to take into consideration is how to measure the ROI for Social Media but rather the why’s of measurements. In order to determine we need to follow several steps, as set out by Adam Mitchell in his Ideate Article How to Start Monitoring your ROI from Social Media and Olivier Blanchard in Basics of Social media ROI:1.  Establish a baseline, remember through baselines we can establish delta’s (changes)

2.  Create activity timelines, plot activitiesSocial Media Return on Investment
3.  Look at sales revenue, number of transactions*, net new customers
4.  Measure transactional precursors (positive and negative mentions),
5.  Overlay all timelines
6.  Look for patterns
7.  Prove relationships

This analytical, reasoned, approach will provide you with a clear and effective business case to present to company stakeholders when reporting on the effectiveness and justifications for investments in Social Media

*Transactional data should be specific (Frequency, Reach and Yield)