3 Key Social Mantras for 2012

Let’s consider three aspects of social media marketing – social integration, social measurement, and social CRM – and a mantra to accompany each.

Social integration. Social integration is the combination of social media into consumer touchpoints. These touchpoints include the cash register, a mobile device, the web, email, kiosks or ATMs, call center, and the personal people channel.

Social media is word of mouth – or a conversation among people. Companies that are able to train their employees along other touchpoints in order to engage with consumers effectively can do a better job of continuing the conversation on social media channels.

Think about the last time you shopped and were handed a receipt. Almost half of the receipt contained information that requested you to fill out a survey; but the employee or self-service device (aka the brand ambassadors) that handed you the receipt made a lame connection by simply requesting you to go “like” the brand on social media to take the survey and receive an incentive. Where was the real push or connection from the brand ambassadors?

If the brand ambassadors used intrigue or incentive to lure you into the brand’s social web, they would be much more effective. Brick-and-mortar brands have presence, which gives them an opportunity to connect. The opportunity for them is to train their touchpoints.

Mantra 1: Continuously seek ways to integrate social into your brand marketing mix.

Social measurement. Social measurement can be defined as the three-fold impact of social media. The three components are the engagement metric, the reduced-cost metric, and the attributable-revenue metric.

Many businesses are throwing money at social media simply to get in and jump on the engagement train. They are desperately seeking “likes” and “followers.” I have learned that if I were to get paid on the profitability of “likes,” I would be a very poor man.

A major multi-channel merchant is in the top tier with its competitors on Facebook. Most of its interaction is driven with a $5 incentive that its consumer has been given. Taking a different approach, another multi-channel merchant has used its social presence to answer and share questions submitted by its consumers. This merchant has grown a smaller, yet more engaged following with loyalty to the brand. When you measure ROI, it’s not just the size of the list but the level of engagement.

Here are the three simple ways to measure social media impact:

  • Engagement: Compare, not just the size of the following month-over-month, but if people are talking about you.
  • Reduction in cost: Try to reduce your marketing spending by leveraging social media channels with existing channels.
  • Attributable revenue: Try using coupon codes and control groups to see if social is increasing revenue, and then invest accordingly.

Mantra 2: Measure as much as possible with your own unique goals and metrics.

Social CRM. The goal of social CRM is to allow you to segment and effectively target influential consumers. So how do you determine consumer influence?

Measure consumer influence by looking at three things:

  • Number of fans (possible sphere of influence).
  • Fan activity on social media.
  • “Friends” of the fan response to the activity.

Some businesses tend to respond only to their most influential consumers. The challenge is around recognition – can the brand match the consumer to the social ID? Also, what happens if a “non-influential” consumer has an issue that is picked up by someone with “influence?”

An effective way to incorporate social CRM is when you segment your list with offers via email or other channels. This level of personalization and customization will allow you to create unique messages that can be shared via your social channels. Let your analytics lead the way.

Mantra 3: You can achieve Zen by knowing your people.

Good luck with your social media initiatives in 2012 and I hope these simple mantras can help you drive marketing nirvana.

Related reading