Five Things I Learned: “5 Ways to Measure Social Media Marketing Success”

Kudos to Anna for getting her act together and finally checking out the 2010 Social Media Summit. It had been on my to-do list too. But with the series finale of Lost, the Boston Celtics charging through the playoffs and my countless charitable endeavors, I just couldn’t find the time.

Until last night, that is. I sat myself down and watched “5 Ways to Measure Social Media Marketing Success,” by Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer. (Gotta love a guy who’s landed both Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark as clients.)

Without further ado, here are five things I learned.

Lesson One: What can social media marketing do for your company? Jason broke it down into five categories:

  1. Aids in branding and awareness
  2. Builds a “community of passionate people who love [your] brand”
  3. Provides a customer service opportunity (e.g. identifying aggrieved customers via Twitter tweets)
  4. Allows you to gather input from consumers and even collaborate with them in product development
  5. Offers the opportunity to sell your product or service directly to consumers

Lesson Two: Before you try to engage in social media marketing, make sure you understand the above capabilities. The same goes for goal-setting — if you don’t understand what social media marketing can do for you, it’s impossible to set meaningful goals.

Lesson Three: Speaking of goals, be sure to keep them “clear and singular.”

  • Good goal statement: “We’re going to use social media marketing to increase website traffic.”
  • Bad goal statement: “We’re going to use social media marketing to increase website traffic and drive website sales.” (These are two separate goals, and you should treat them as such.)

Lesson Four: Jason sees “objectives” as what supports your overarching goals. And your objectives for social media marketing should be measurable, which means identifying a target audience, level of attainment and timeframe.

An example of a measurable objective for a company looking to build a community of advocates: “We want to achieve 100,000 Facebook fans [i.e. hand-raisers] by December 1st.”

    Lesson Five: The next step is to devise a strategy that will allow you to accomplish each objective. Going back to the Facebook example, your strategy might involve:

    • Offering an incentive (e.g. T-shirt) for Facebook users to “like you”
    • Advertising on Facebook and elsewhere to get the word out about your promotion
    • Let your existing network know about the promotion and your objective (e.g. via email lists)
    • Consistently engage users on Facebook (e.g. through comments, “questions of the week”)

    Finally, developing and fulfilling a list of to-do items allows you to “achieve the strategies that ultimately meet the objectives that ultimately accomplish the goal.”

    You got all that? If not, maybe you should sign up for the Social Media Summit and dig into the archived presentations. It’s money well-spent.

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