You have an awesome campaign planned. You just know it’s gonna to be a slam dunk! You launch your effort on all major platforms. It runs for months. You get accolades from media praising the engagement efforts of your social media marketing.Yay! Victory! But then the real numbers start coming in. Market share starts sliding. Sales numbers are flat. What’s happening?! Your slam dunk campaign seems like a dud. But why?
Social Media Marketing Can’t Live Alone
In a nutshell, your campaign flopped because it was an island. Turn to John Donne’s classic poem to understand what I’m layin’ down here:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
Islands are great if you’re a sun-deprived Minnesotan in the middle of February. But more times than not, social media marketing efforts operate in a vacuum. Social media that lacks context. I wrote about this earlier this week, but it’s worth repeating. Give your social media meaning and a purpose. And for the love of holy unicorns and their gummy bear friends, don’t think it’s a purple squirrel and meant to be treated differently and operate in a silo with the rest of the purple squirrels. Marketing tactics, especially in the digital realm need to integrate and rely on each other.
Death by seclusion
A recent report by Forrester examines the issue of social media not measuring up. With so many marketers leveraging the channel, more and more are finding when it comes to measuring the results, social media is comes up short. Here’s what Forrester has to say about it. “Why isn’t social working for marketers Because rather than recognizing that social is just another marketing channel, many see it as unique.” Some are keeping social completely separate from other efforts. “Others ask social to carry the weight of an entire marketing program; most use unproven metrics to track performance.”
When Social Media Isn’t Integrated
The Forrester report cites examples where measurement and integration failure lead to disappointment felt in the bottom-line. The one that hit closest to home was Best Buy’s TwelpForce. Twelpforce launched with a lot of pomp and circumstance. But it lived on an island and the focus on service was relinquished to the twitter force helping customers while the message didn’t resonate across ads and into stores. Ultimately, from 2009-2010 the campaign generated a lot of engagement. But those who know Best Buy’s story well know that sales began plummeting at Best Buy Stores. Both the CEO and CMO who paraded the TwelpForce left a few years after it’s launch. While yes, the CEO was wrapped up in many issues, the drag on Best Buy’s sales performance was creating chaos for Best Buy shareholders leading to layoffs and concerns over Best Buys viability. In 2013, Twelpforce was scrapped and shifted to GeekSquad. A failure because the effort didn’t integrate and the metrics were simply measuring engagement and not tying all the way through the value chain to sales.
Social Media Measurement Mistakes
Too often social media marketing metrics don’t measure the right thing. There is a place for engagement. There is a place for awareness and reach. Social media can touch consumers at each stage of the buying journey. But metrics need to align to each and many marketers are struggling to connect metrics back to business objectives and moving the needle on bottom-line because they either don’t have the resources or knowledge.
So why bother with social media marketing?
Why should we give social media marketing any time then? Because just like any other channel, social media is effective when taken as part of a whole. It has the capacity to reach prospects, help consumers engage with your brand and drive retention efforts and ultimately motivate sales. The key is to make sure you don’t have unrealistic expectations for what social media is or leave it by itself. When it comes to metrics, make sure you are always evolving your measurement of your social media marketing efforts while keeping consistency of message across all your channels.
If you have questions about social media, integrated marketing or measurement at your organization, Get in Touch.