This weeks #Social Media Topic: Managing the Effectiveness of Your Social Programs #SM55

Effective social media programs? Yeah right, how would you ever prove it? That’s the struggle of corporate social media marketers.  There are tons of systems that help you listen and monitor, there are a lot of publishing tools that let you update multiple accounts and personas in the same dashboard, hundreds of social platforms and a few reporting tools.  The problem is they are all just that, all disparate systems that are not connected and certainly not integrated.

So back to the question, How do you manage the effectiveness of your campaign?  If you are like most social marketers today, there is little support for the social manager who is typically part of the marketing or communications team.  Left to their own devices, they usually use the free tools and simply infer the results that they can patch together.

There is a new suite of tools coming onto the market that proclaim Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) that begin to couple two or three components together.  Here’s the problem, even the specific SMMS solutions don’t provide a real look.  The current SMMS solutions are tools.  They were created as tools to measure other tools.  What’s missing are the actual use cases, the tools that marketers need to track, analyze and report campaigns.  In general, here’s a list of what’s missing:

  1. Central Database – to pull the results together and create a single platform to analyze and report from
  2. Proper Reporting – that integrates the different systems and provides true enterprise analytics and reports
  3. Advanced Sentiment Analysis – not just positive and negative either.
  4. CRM Integration
  5. Traditional Marketing Comparison

Take a look at that last point.  To truly understand the effectiveness of your social programs, you have to have something to compare them against.  Think about it, a platform that could listen, suggest influencers (based on advanced sentiment), provide a place to respond from, track internal links and their paths/subpaths, manage digital ad spend, then monitor traditional ad spends, effectiveness and finally compare and recommend an optimized marketing mix based on real-time results and all at an enterprise scale.  The panacea of managing the effectiveness of your social media programs.  (From my experience, I have only seen this solution from one provider, Accenture Interactive (Disclaimer: Jason Breed works for AI)).

The reality is that only the top brands require the type of solution mentioned above.  Every marketer has unique needs and unique results that will all have different values for each marketer’s brand.  There is one marketer that has the experience to help us work through what’s most appropriate for all needs.  That marketer is Tac Anderson.  Tac has experienced the brand side at HP and the agency side from his current position at Waggener Edstrom.  He will lead the discussion around the following topic:

Topic:  Managing the Effectiveness of Your Social Programs

Q1: What type of planning should go into your social media campaigns? What is your process?
Q2: What metrics should you always be looking at?
Q3: What should always be on your scorecard to measure effectiveness? Are there any constants?

We invite you to join the conversation on Tuesday 4/13 at 12 noon EST by following #sm55 from any Twitter client or from our LIVE site.


4 Responses to “This weeks #Social Media Topic: Managing the Effectiveness of Your Social Programs #SM55”

  1. 1 Jamie Beckland April 28, 2010 at 6:00 am

    The analytics capabilities of social media management platforms have a long way to grow – but some of them are more advanced than others. This doesn’t negate the need for good site analytics, but many of these tools will evolve rapidly in the next 12 months.

    I have used a number of these with different clients and on a trial basis, and have picked out a few favorites for different types of teams and goals.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this overview of the best tools:

  2. 2 marc meyer April 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    @Jamie I read your post and per your comment here, you’re not segmenting-you say social media management which encompasses, or should employ all aspects and forms of social media and not just Twitter which is really what you are evaluating-Twitter management platforms. I know, it’s semantics but as you know Twitter aint the only game in town.

  3. 3 Jamie Beckland April 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    @Marc – All of the platforms I review have the distinct feature of *not* just updating Twitter, but Facebook also (at a minimum). In fact, I’d say that a “Twitter manager” is basically a useless tool at this point for a couple of reasons:
    1. As you say, social media is more than Twitter
    2. The Twitter team has basically said that they are going to create or buy the best of breed functionality for their platform, therefore there will be serious consolidation

    In fact, Hootsuite integrates with WordPress! That’s about as broad of a social media platform as exists right now (though, as I mention in the post, I expect this space to continue adding new features).

    I think this is actually not semantics, but a crucial capacity that all of these platforms are continuing to build out.

  4. 4 marc meyer April 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    @Jamie but isn’t it even more than just a FB/WP integration that we’re talking about here? I agree that it’s a crucial capacity. But there is so much more to consider, thus my reasoning that it truly is a broader brush stroke than the 4 you compared. Though I prefer your finite analysis over my exhaustively comparing and reviewing 67 monitoring and measuring tools, sites and platforms as I did awhile back..:)

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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.


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