Social media strategy and metrics are difficult pure and simple. Much of the time, a brand’s social media presence is initiated as an afterthought, an add-on to the brand’s overall marketing strategy. Traditional marketing strategies are more often than not, too shallow for social media because broadcast voices are impersonal and closed. Staking a claim on the social web and then tossing out brand messages from that platform does not make for effective social media marketing.
To create a truly relevant presence through social media, brands need to find out where their target is living online, who is leading them (you always gotta find those popular kids/social influencers/trust agents/what have you), and then figure out how to engage these influencers. This cannot be done without doing LOTS of initial research and continuing to develop post launch ad to custom tailor our communication in real time, in accordance with both the insights we gather while “live” and the data patterns we notice over time.
|Last night Marshall Sponder, a SEO and web analytics expert, spoke at the 140 Characters Conference MeetUp in NYC about using real time analytics for real time communication. Marshall referred to a high number of missed opportunities he’s seen for brands that have ignored real time data and that have neglected to continually analyze and customize their methods for gathering and interpreting the data. Additionally, Marshall honed in on, well, honing in, stating that to truly understand how their real time engagement works, brands must TAKE….. THEIR….. TIME…… and customize. Marshall reminded everyone that even though trustworthy real time communication is (seemingly) off-the-cuff, over time and the patterns we record when pulling regular data will point to distinctive insights about how to optimize our engagement methods.
Marshall discusses this in detail (with a focus on geo-location tools) and with a case study on his blog.
Jump to Brian Solis’s recent post about Behaviorgraphics. Brian describes a long list of types of communication styles and he also argues for enhanced engagement with and customization of our data.
“Genuine engagement is inspired by the research and data we accumulate as we analyze the social web and the specific activity and people who define our markets and audiences. We are now required to tailor our stories and distribute them specifically in the channels that cater to the technographics and socialgraphics of our customers. In order to truly earn relevance and prominence within our communities, we also need to connect information and objects dictated by the personality traits of those influencers who in turn activate and move markets.”
Read the rest of his post here.
That said, we need to spend more time listening to our consumers as we develop (and redevelop) our social media strategies and stop treating the concept like an afterthought. The more data we gather and the more time we spend analyzing data from this sphere of communication, the better our brands will engage with it and the more effective our communications will become.