So now we need objectives for social media campaigns? Really?

09 February, 2015 by Admin | Strategy

The article ‘Social media campaigns need 'objectives', warns Twitter executive’ on marketingmagazine.co.uk, reminded me of conversations I have had with some ‘social media experts’ I met at events and conferences in Australia.

I remember people saying that social media doesn’t need a plan, that you just need to go out, try it and see what happens. People used to think social media was a completely different platform that needed to be managed separately – outside of the overall marketing plan.

It seems that the tide has finally turned. Businesses are starting to understand that social is a powerful and engaging way to interact with customers that could also be damaging if you don’t plan it right from the start.

How can social media work for your business?

To make social media work for your business, you need to start from the basics. Instead of trying to solve questions like “do I need a Facebook page?” or “do I need a Twitter account?” you need to focus on the strategic drivers that are motivating your organisation to join the social conversation:

  1. Define your brand promise – regardless of whether it’s social media, web, print, etc. you need to first define what the key messages are, as well as the brand values you want your customers to engage with. If you don’t have those clear from the beginning, your marketing and social media strategies are doomed to failure.
  2. Set up SMART objectives – these should be realistic and measurable and not just the number of followers in your Twitter account or the number of likes on your Facebook page. Make sure you know exactly (in figures) what you want to achieve with your social media initiatives and create specific KPIs for them.
  3. Have a crisis comms plan for social media – your business should be ready to respond promptly and accurately when something goes wrong. As part of your social media campaign project planning, think about all the possible ‘scenarios’ where social media could damage your reputation. Make sure you have a plan of attack if something happens.
  4. Remember: social media is SOCIAL – regardless of the channel you use for social media campaigns, you need make sure you ‘humanise’ your brand by giving your social channel a human face. It’s not about broadcasting, it’s about having conversations – and that means listening too (see my blog ‘The five rules for Social Media interactions’).
  5. Think about the cross-channel experience – think about the whole marketing and communications strategy of your organisation and make social a part of it. Media convergence and multi-channel experience is the way to go. Think about how social fits with your overall digital strategy and helps bring your brand promise to life.