Should social media be a C-level priority? According to The CMO Survey, social media spend currently makes up about 10.6 percent of marketing budgets. In the next five years, that number is expected to jump to nearly 21 percent.
But, the survey also found that social media underperforms when it comes to making a direct revenue contribution. One possible culprit: Marketing teams aren’t integrating their work on social media with other marketing channels and customer experience touchpoints.
With budgets increasing, and customers and prospects turning to social media for research and to share experiences, social media needs to be integrated into a company’s overall marketing strategy. As Joel Dollar, principal, digital marketing at Commerce House, writes, “Marketers can’t afford to say nothing. And they can’t afford to say the wrong things. In particular, getting social media right is a delicate balance between playing the game and protecting the brand.”
Here’s how CMOs should approach social media to make it effective – and a contributor to the company’s bottom line.
Holistically Integrate Social Media
“Great social media blurs the marketing, customer service, research, and branding lines, which means everyone in your company needs to be included in social. Having a top down overarching strategy combined with the permission to run the channels without a great deal of friction is the fastest way to achieving the integration and authenticity “social media experts” yammer on endlessly about at their conferences. That means social media becomes a C-level priority, with its components trickling down from there and making it a function of the company, not a cost with no ROI in sight.” – Read more at The American Genius
Pay to Play
“Over the past few years, each social channel has transformed into a paid media channel where you have a six- to 12-percent chance of showing content to your existing audience, according to Social@Ogilvy. Of course, if you’re paying, you have to make sure that social media is integrated with all of your other marketing efforts…With a budget for paid promotions — and a concentrated effort to bridge silos — social media ROI really can happen.“ – Read more at Marketing Land
Invest in Channels Your Target Audience Uses
“Too many businesses dive headfirst into the social game and try to make it big on every channel. The truth is, not every social network may be suited to your brand. Unless you have the time and resources to invest in creating a meaningful presence on every platform, it’s best to pick a few channels to focus on. The idea here is to avoid spreading yourself too thin. Determine which platforms your target market is using the most and spend your time mastering them.” – Read more at Business 2 Community
Create a System for Testing
“No matter how skilled you are with social media, split testing is absolutely everything. You need to test and you need to continue testing even when you are getting the results you want… There are a lot of numbers that don’t mean anything to you. Pick out the numbers that matter most, such as conversions, interactions, and demographics. The numbers can tell you a lot. For example, you could discover that you are appealing to a demographic you never considered before or you could discover that your social media strategy is turning people away when they hit your landing page.” – Read more at Business.com
Participate, Don’t Interrupt, Social Conversation
“Abandon the illusion of control. We don’t control social media. We flow with it. We curate it, co-opt it, and converse with it. The conversation that counts is the one that’s going on, and our job is to participate, not interrupt. To do it, we need intelligence on demand, and guts. Social is about speed. You have to build for speed and let people operate at speed. To do that, your social chief has to do situational training – so people are prepared for scenarios – and let the real-time brand conversationalists join the flow.” – Read more at Forbes