Marketers get discouraged because they don’t get the results from social media that they expect. That disappointment quickly turns into a dismissal of social’s value for their business. The assumption is that the reality doesn’t live up to the hype, or that their brand just isn’t a good fit in for social.
The problem is that many marketers and advertisers view their objective, at a very high level, as getting their message in front of as large a relevant audience as possible and doing so enough times that behavior is eventually influenced.
What that point of view neglects to consider is that the social web operates under a set of unspoken norms. Conversations flow in a certain way and for specific reasons within a dynamic context that isn’t easily identified, nor easily predicted. There are more variables at work than with traditional media, but that doesn’t mean the value social brings can’t be predicted over time.
The key to driving predictable value through social is to identify the key imperatives and work to make good on as many of those as possible, consistently, over a period of time. It all comes down to probability. The more imperatives you nail, the higher the probability you get full value back from your effort.
Think of it like flipping a coin over and over again. If you do it enough times, eventually the ratio of heads/tails comes out to be 50/50. Same goes for social. If every day you average 70% of the variables 100% right, you’ll eventually come out on top.
Core Imperatives To Achieve Maximum Value From Social Media
- Understanding your audience- How does your audience view your brand? What shared interests do they have that are within the boundaries of your brand identity to explore?
- Understanding your brand – what values does your brand stand for? Can you articulate it, and convey it through content consistently?
- Content – Optimizing your content for social changes by channel, method of engagement, and context.
- Context - Do you understand what broader conversations are taking place at a given time that not only effect your brand, but effect conversations relating to the values or purpose your brand represents?
- SEO - Social influences SEO more than ever, and therefore you should have SEO in mind on everything you do in social. Same goes for content.
- Influencer engagement - The ability to first identify the right kinds of influencers based on the objective you seek to satisfy within a given effort is the first challenge. The second part is actually building relationships with them in a way that allows you to execute against your goals.
- Resources- Being able to consistently create content, engage with your community, and refine your approach can be arduous. If you don’t have enough resources to cover all your bases, your going to be off the mark on several imperatives consistently. That not only causes burnout among your social team it also reduces your probability of getting the value you are asking for.
To give yourself the best shot at nailing each of these imperatives on a consistent basis, you have to build frameworks that take each into account. For instance, in a previous post I shared my rough draft of an engagement framework. It’s evolved a lot since my first brainstorm I shared on my blog, but it gives a rough idea of how to consider audience, where they are in the marketing funnel, what social channels are most appropriate, and what kind of influencers to engage with to reach them in a very specific way.
There are similar social media frameworks to apply for the other imperatives as well including a great point of view from Elliott Lemenager that he shares on his blog, “Elliott’s Thoughts” which I linked to.
If you have any questions or want to share your thoughts please leave a comment or connect with me on Twitter @NickBMartin3.