Success in social media doesn’t come by chance – and it certainly doesn’t come over night. It all starts with a plan; and the Eise Social Media Tool will help you formulate the perfect one. Start with this worksheet. Work through it and identify your goals, find out where your organization currently sits on the social media spectrum, and learn the challenges you’ll have to overcome and tactics you’ll have to employ to achieve your objectives and experience consistent success in social media.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH The first step to any strategic plan is defining specific objectives for what you want to achieve. Defining measureable and targeted objectives is also the only way to win over the social marketing skeptics who control the budget. The best way to accomplish this is to align objectives with metrics traceable back to financials such as ROI and sales conversions. Later in this workbook, you will align these objectives with target audiences and corresponding metrics. This alignment is important because it enables an organization to measure its progress in achieving the objectives and proving ROI whenever practical. Seemingly obvious, this step is often overlooked.
PART 1: WORKSHEET:
Rank Your Objectives: Complete the following worksheet to rank these common social media objectives.
PART 2: GOOD TO KNOW
Winning financial support for social marketing is no different than winning support for any other business initiative – you have to prove its value to the organization.
CHART: HOW ORGANIZATIONS PERCEIVE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AT BUDGET TIME
Social Media is producing measurable ROI. Let’s increase budget liberally for continous improvement.
Social media is a promising tactic and will eventually produce ROI. Let’s increase budget but conservatively.
49% Social Media is basically free. Let’s keep it that way.
Social Media value is unkown and something we do only as time permits. Why invest more?
Considering that social marketing is at a very early stage in its lifecycle, it’s outstanding that it received a 7% confidence rating indicating it produces measurable ROI and should be funded liberally. Conservative budget increases by half of all organizations at budget time, based on the promise that social media will eventually produce ROI, demonstrate another vote of confidence in the tactic for the longer term. The 17% of organizations who still believe social media marketing is basically free – and should stay that way – are destined to get what they pay for.
DETERMINE WHERE YOU ARE
Now that you know your objectives, you need to determine where you are in the social media lifecycle to see how far you need to go. To complete the worksheet, circle one number in each row that corresponds with the column heading that best describes the process you use for each tactic. For example, if your organization has a formal, documented process that it routinely performs for gathering intelligence on target audiences, their use of social media and your competition in the space, circle 5 in the first row. If your organization has not begun to formulate a process for this tactic, circle 1. After circling one number in each row, sub-total each column and combine columns for your total score. Matching this score to the phase shown in the bottom row will determine where your organization is now in the social marketing maturity lifecycle.
PART 1: SEE HOW YOU COMPARE
Is your company in the Trial Phase, Transition Phase or Strategic Phase when it comes to social media? See how you compare with others who took part in the MarketingSherpa survey.
We have a formal process with thorough guidlines we routinely perform -— STRATEGIC PHASE
We do not have a process or guidlines for performing social marketing programs — TRIAL PHASE
We have an informal process with a few guidlines we sporadically perform -— TRANSITION PHASE
UNDERSTANDING AND RANK CHALLENGES
Knowing the challenges you are likely to face when developing a social media strategy can help your prioritize.
PART 1: WORKSHEET
Please rank the following challenges you are having in achieving your social media objectives.
CHALLENGE Increasing website traffic through social media integration Improving brand awareness or reputation Developing an effective and methodical social marketing strategy Achieving or increasing measurable ROI from social marketing programs Converting social media members, followers, etc. into paying customers Achieving or increasing measurable lead generation from social marketing Improving search engine ranking positions Integrating social marketing data with CRM and other marketing systems Integrating social media monitoring and analytics into a single dashboard Recruiting interdepartmental staff to perform social marketing activities Improving the quality and cost efficiency of customer support programs
PART 2: HOW YOU STACK UP?
What are your biggest challenges? Here are the challenges of your peers as reported to MarketingSherpa in their 2010 survey.
Developing an effective and methodical social marketing stratgey
Converting social media members, followers, ect. into paying customers
39% 52% 56%
Achieving or increasing measurable ROI from social marketing programs
53% 59% 56%
Increasing website traffic through social media integration
34% 39% 33%
Achieving or increasing measureable lead generation from social marketing
45% 31% 32%
Integrating social marketing data with CRM and other marketing systems
25% 21% 29%
Improving brand awareness or reputation
22% 29% 28%
Recruiting interdepartmental staff to perform social marketing activities
28% 23% 24% 17%
Integrating social media monitoring and analytics into a single dashboard
26% 23% 21% 22%
Improving search engine ranking positions
Improving the quality and cost efficiency of customer support programs
5% 8% 8%
BUSINESSES — B2B CONSUMERS — B2C BOTH — B2B2C
PART 3: SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING AT YOUR CHALLENGES WHY AREN’T AUDIENCES ENGAGING? • Are you using social media channels for “push marketing/PR?” • Are you sharing information that isn’t timely or relevant? WHY CAN’T YOU CONVERT FANS? • Are you selling a commodity or an experience? WHY DO YOU HAVE AN INEFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY? • Have you completed audience research? • Do you understand how your market uses social media channels? • Have you tried to align your social media planning with organizational goals and objectives WHY CAN’T YOU MEASURE ROI? • Did you set up proper metrics for each tactic and/or campaign? • Do you have analytics set up properly? WHY ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO GET BUDGET FOR SOCIAL MEDIA? • Have you educated management internally? • Have outside resources been brought in for educational purposes? • Are there perceived risk challenges that can be addressed? WHY CAN’T YOU FIND SOLID SOCIAL MEDIA PRACTITIONERS? • Is there a perception that social media is for kids? • Are you hiring people who don’t have a solid PR or business background? WHY IS YOUR MANAGEMENT RESISTANT TO SHARING INFORMATION ONLINE? • Have you developed social media policies? • Has key management and personnel been trained in social media best practices?
MONITORING TARGET AUDIENCES AND RANKING BY SOCIAL MEDIA BEHAVIOR
A huge part of a successful social media strategy is doing the research up front to determine who to monitor, and understand their role within the industry and social media space. Continuing to monitor your target audiences will help you gain a better understanding of the audiences in your social space, and what they are saying about your company, brands and competition. Monitoring will help you establish more defined metrics that are aligned to your public.
PART 1: WHAT TO MONITOR â€” A SAMPLE AND A WORKSHEET
Start by creating an inventory of the details, keywords, and people you should be monitoring in the following categories. Below is a sample.
EX: Industry Experts
Marketing Social Media PR
KEYWORDS/ PHRASES Social Media Online Marketing Public Relations Community Relations Earned Marketing Content Marketing Word-of-Mouth Marketing SEO
PEOPLE TO WATCH David Meerman Scott Brian Solis Deirdre Breakenridge Scott Stratten Lee Odden Ann Handley Beth Harte
PART 2: WORKSHEET
Fill in the following worksheet with the details about the people/groups you are trying to reach, and the topics that interest them.
PEOPLE TO WATCH
PART 3: GOOD TO KNOW! WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN MONITORING • SOCIAL VOICE (OR STRENGTH) Determining the likelihood that your brand or search phrase is being discussed, based on a comparison of how often mentions are made. • SENTIMENT Determining the amount of positive, neutral and negative commentary about your brand or search phrase, or the ratio of positive to negative mentions. • PASSION A measure of fewer individuals mentioning your brand or search phrase more often as opposed to more individuals mentioning your brand or search phrase fewer times. • UNIQUE AUTHORS Number of unique individuals mentioning your brand or search phrase. • SOCIAL REACH A measure of unique authors divided by the total number of mentions. • TOP USERS Identification and ranking of authors most frequently mentioning your brand or search phrase. • TOP KEYWORDS Ranking of the keywords used most frequently in searches linking to your brand or search phrase mentions. • CONTENT DOWNLOADS An indicator of subject matter interest, engagement and relevancy. • CONTENT SHARING How often content is being shared is another key indicator of subject matter interest, engagement and relevancy. • REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The level of positive, negative or neutral reviews about your brand, products or services is a strong indicator of individual opinion as well as an identifier of potential brand ambassadors. • PLATFORM PREFERENCES Identifying which social media sites your prospects and customers prefer to use, and how they use them, will tell you which social media platforms to deploy. For example, will the primary social network for your technical prospects be a LinkedIn group or a Facebook brand page? Or does this audience prefer to participate in a privately-branded forum or discussion group? • AUDIENCE SEGMENTS Segmenting groups and individuals by their social media behavior and influence will help you determine content types and topics most relevant to targeted segments. More on how to segment target audiences appears in a later section.
PART 4: MONITORING AND REPORTS Eisen can help you reach and influence more buyers across social networks, online and through the media.
1. DETERMINE WHO IS SAYING WHAT AND WHERE THEY ARE SAYING IT
Letâ€™s look at the news results, blog coverage and social conversation summaries for our airline. Based on these word clouds, journalists were talking about the impact that the strike had on unions. Bloggers, however, didnâ€™t discuss the strike, and across social networks the strike was not particularly prominent. All this data provides an excellent outline on how to address each audience based on what they are interested in.
2. FIND INFLUENCE
In our airline example, we see in the pie chart that Twitter is the biggest communication channel for this company at this time (and the channel that was least concerned about the strike). We can also see that Social Forums (blogs, industry forums) are a very active communication channel. These detailed charts highlight which channels are getting the most traffic. Drill down, and you can pinpoint individual tweeters and bloggers to see who you need to follow, engage and watch.
3. UNDERSTAND TONE
Not only do you get insight into whoâ€™s talking, what they are saying and where they are saying it, but Eisen also provides a quick snapshot of tone â€“ positive, negative and neutral. This is a far better indicator of how you are achieving brand awareness, customer satisfaction and sales goals.
4. SEGMENT AND PRIORITIZE
Eisen helps you really narrow in on your audiences. And sometimes you may learn things you didnâ€™t realize. For example, this company can now see that their main contributors of positive and negative content are employees (blue bar). They can also see from the pie charts that traditional media is still keeping watch on their industry.
PART 5: SEGMENTING YOUR AUDIENCE One of the primary benefits of social media for marketing purposes is the viral effect – exponentially increasing the reach of the message beyond your immediate audience through conversation and content sharing. Understanding how different segments of your target audience use social media will help you determine the audiences to target and the content most likely to be shared with friends and peers. This model is an example of an effective, yet simple way to segment target audiences by social behavior and influence. The segments are called the Silent Majority, Vocal Minority and Social Authority.
• Joins but rarely participates • Reads/watches/listens to UGC • Lowest level of social influence
• Joins but acvtively participates • Shares UGC and commentary • Medium level of social influence
• Builds/moderates community • Creates and aggregates UGC • Highest level of social influence
The Silent Majority and Vocal Minority can be characterized as information downloaders and information uploaders, respectively. These opposing roles are important considerations because, in terms of their impact on friends and peers for marketing purposes, the Silent Majority has little influence while the Vocal Minority has a strong influence. The Social Authority is a different breed that often dominates a niche with extraordinary influence. It deserves a one-to-one relationship approach, just as traditional publicists would approach the editors and subject matter experts in mainstream media.
ALIGNING OBJECTIVES AND MEASUREMENT PART 1: DEFINING TARGETED AND MEASUREABLE OBJECTIVES FOR SOCIAL MARKETING PURPOSES Defining specific objectives for a social marketing initiative is only half the battle. The other half is aligning these objectives with target audiences and corresponding metrics. This alignment is important because it enables an organization to measure its progress in achieving the objectives and proving ROI. In the previous section, we discussed profiling social media audiences to determine which segments you want to target. Now itâ€™s time to determine what you specifically want from each of these segments. Do you want to increase the number of Vocal Minority members in your user network? Do you want Social Authority bloggers that are covering your industry to be more aware of your products? The metrics you use to track progress in achieving objectives will depend on your unique business. If your company is driven primarily by B2B leads, your metrics should include lead generation, qualification and nurturing factors resulting in success. If your organization is B2C and eCommerce-driven, then website traffic origination, consumer reviews and sales conversions may be your focus. Metrics related to financial objectives like ROI are the most beneficial, but are not always practical to track. While it may be practical to track the ROI of sales conversions on an eCommerce site, tracking more granular metrics, such as how a blog referred customers to the site and contributed to ROI, will require substantially more effort. It would require mapping the cost of blog traffic to the eCommerce site and the resulting revenue. Balancing what is possible with what matters should
OBJECTIVES ALIGNMENT WORKSHEET SAMPLE
Brand Awareness/ Thought Leadership
OBJECTIVE WHAT WE WANT TO DO
Promote our brand Monitor our brand Increase awareness Establish us as leaders Engage in communities
TO ACHIEVE WHAT
Improved brand awareness Increase search engine rankings Increase Web Traffic Improve brand or product/ service reputation
BY DOING WHAT
Delivering needed insights and know-how
WHO TO REACH
Silent Minority Prospects
Providing details about our products/ services
WHERE TO FIND THEM
HOW TO MEASURE
Increase downloads by... Increase social voice by… Increase placement by... Increase sharing by…
Identifying, listening to and engaging
Increase visitors by.... Improve sentiment by…
Increase top social users by… Improve reviews and recommendations by...
Customer Support/ Customer Advocacy
Provide customer support Create customer advocates Other
Improve customer support quality Reduce customer support costs
Monitoring the community Servicing customers that need help Creating customer service channels and establishing response processes Thanking loyal fans Other
Generate interest at all levels of the sales cycle Lead generation Other
Increase lead generation Reduce customer acquisition costs Increase sales revenue
Use social media channels for sales and promotional campaigns Coupon Offerings Other
PART 3: METRICS THAT MATTER For this process, we are highlighting the four main social media platforms – blogs, microblogs, social networks and multimedia / content sharing sites – and the metrics that matter in each. BLOGS: In terms of measurement, blogs have the advantage of being able to utilize many of the traditional Web analytics. As with a website, code can simply be added to a blog to track visitor traffic, source, behavior and other metrics. However, there are many social media metrics not applicable to traditional websites that provide a more relevant indication of blogging success: • • • • • •
Comments – tracking both the number and sentiment of opinions shared Subscribers – growth trends by email or RSS subscription Conversions – depending on your specific definition Inbound links – an indicator of blog authority SERPs – search engine ranking position for key terms on major search engines Blog Authority – blog ranking in relation to similar categories on blog directories
MICROBLOGS: While microblogging refers to the practice of blogging with posts of 140 characters or less, microblogs have more in common with social networks than blogs. Like social networks, the value and focus of microblogs is on the network of friends or followers. Metrics are, therefore, often related to social networking: • • • • •
Followers – the number of those opting-in to or following a microblog Downstream followers – the number of those following the followers Posts – referred to as “tweets” on the most predominant microblog, Twitter Velocity – the growth rate of the follower network in a given period Passion – the ratio of number of posts to number of followers
SOCIAL NETWORKS: As the name implies, social networks are primarily people-focused. However, businesses have learned to adapt the features of social networks for the purposes of marketing. This trend has not gone unnoticed by networks originally intended for personal use, which have transformed their features into commercially- viable marketing platforms like Facebook Fan Pages. While metrics are sometimes limited by the data social networks decide to share, there is plenty of tracking-worthy information available, including: • Community – the number of fans, group members, contacts, etc. • Demographics – profile information on community members • Referrals – tracking the click stream from networks to content and conversion hubs • Discussions – tracking both the number and sentiment of group discussions •Applications – usage of widgets and social media applications by the network community MULTIMEDIA CONTENT SHARING SITES: This category covers a number of multimedia sharing sites for video, photography, documents, presentations and audio content. These sites aggregate content and enable you to share it without having to rely on IT via links posted on blogs, social networks, email campaigns and other commu- nication channels. When it comes to content sharing, the metrics that matter most are related to the viral impact of content distribution, including: • Views – the number of content downloads • SERPs – search engine ranking position for key terms on major search engines • Subscribers – the number of those opting-in to the multimedia content stream • Referrals – tracking the click stream from content to conversion
PART 1: FINDING THE RIGHT TACTICS: DISSECTING A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MARKETING ARCHITECTURE The number of social media sites in your social marketing architecture is not important. What is important is that they each have a clearly defined purpose that supports your tactical plan of action. Many of the most successful social marketing architectures have a common structure based on a hub and spoke design. In a hub and spoke design, the sites at the center of the architecture are destination points for content and conversion. The surrounding sites are for building communities, engaging friends, fans and followers, and directing them into the hub of the architecture to obtain content â€“ eventually converting them to a lead or customer. The following is a dissection of a very successful social marketing architecture developed by Cisco Systems for their Collaboration solutions.