In order for companies to realize the maximum benefit from social media marketing, there needs to be a reasonable effort to set goals, forecast resources, and manage expectations.
The low-hanging fruit of social proof in the form of "likes," followers, and friends has a very different value than comments, content sharing, referrals, and other forms of engagement. Many companies (and their agencies) tout superficial metrics as evidence of success. The problem is, associating business value or revenue with 10,000 Facebook fans is a difficult sell in a boardroom.
Understanding the difference between key performance indicators and value to the business in the context of marketing goals can determine success or failure. Depending on objectives, there are a number of ways to measure social media success and it's important for companies to take a practical and business goals approach to marketing on the social web.
A big step toward a practical approach to social media marketing involves an understanding of customer social preferences and needs along with how the business will meet those needs through social media engagement.
In order to better connect with customers and attract new business through corporate social media participation, here are 15 key measurement and organizational questions worth considering:
Whether a company wants to implement a test case involving a specific social channel and customer segment or there's a strategic effort at implementing a social business strategy, working through a questionnaire like this can be very useful for effective planning.
While every company and customer base is unique, questions like those above can provide valuable insight into a company's state of social media marketing readiness as well as provoking new thoughts and direction. The more informed companies are about planning for the social web, the more successful they will be.
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Lee Odden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in helping companies grow online business and community with an "Optimize and Socialize" approach to content marketing. Odden has consulted for hundreds of B2B clients over the past 14 years including: McKesson, Marketo, PRWeb, and StrongMail. He's been cited by The Economist, BtoB Magazine, and Advertising Age for his online marketing expertise and publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs on the web: Online Marketing Blog, ranked the No. 1 content marketing blog three times by Junta42. Odden speaks on the intersection of search and content marketing, PR, and social media at conferences internationally and is the author of "Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing."
March 19, 2014