In 2006, I started working in social media marketing when things were simple. We only had a small handful of social channels to focus on, they had basic features compared to today, and nobody asked difficult questions about ROI. Life was peachy.
A decade later, things have changed. Social media has become a staple of the marketing mix, and while this has brought greater investment, that comes with greater accountability, so we’ve had to get better at measurement and reporting. Businesses which own consumer brands, particularly those operating in international markets, can quite easily find themselves with dozens, even hundreds, of social channels to manage.
We’re also dealing with a constantly evolving landscape, with new platforms emerging all the time and the old stalwarts continually adding new features. Third party tools that were supposed to help simplify social media management have themselves grown more complex; there are so many now that it’s difficult to know what you actually need, and which ones are any good.
So, social media took over the marketing world, but it created a lot of complexity. How do we begin to solve that problem?
Map out your organisation’s requirements
In many businesses, the social media footprint has grown organically over several years, with little forward planning. A good first step towards taming the beast is to map out in detail how social media fits into your business:
- Which social channels does your business need a presence on? If your business is international, what does this look like in different markets?
- Which teams need access to which channels? Internal departments and external agencies.
- What levels of access do all of those people need? Publishing (paid and/or organic), moderation, analytics, full admin?
- Which service levels will be put in place? How frequently will channels be updated, how quickly will you respond to customer enquiries on social, how long should it take for inappropriate user comments to be moderated?
- Who will be accountable for all of this? What reporting lines need to be put in place?
- What resourcing will be required, where will it come from?
- Implementing consistent reporting across all social channels, brands and markets, so that you’re comparing apples with apples.
- Turning the data into actionable insight, so that every report has real business value.
- Listening – tracking discussions about your brand.
- Curation – collecting relevant social content.
- Engagement – talking to people through your channels.
- Publishing – both paid and organic social posts.
- Analysis – investigating the data to find insight.
By Lance Concannon, marketing director, Europe at Sysomos
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