How much catch-up do marketers have to make before becoming extremely savvy on ways of conducting social media campaigns? Back in December I attended a conference on media convergence that was mainly about the emerging trend of social media and how top name brands like Westin Hotels and Toyota are using it to their benefit. They consider social media to be a very successful PR tool, recruit some brand ambassadors and have them start a dialogue for their brand. I walked away from that conference empowered to take my learnings back home and recommend blogging to our clients as a new way to interact with consumers and create credibility for their brands.
Today’s SXSW interactive panels shed more light on the phenomenom. Of course, to have a successful social media campaign, a brand must have a clearly defined strategy in order to see results. There is so much hype around ROI on social media campaigns and how ad agencies are going to prove to marketers that this is what they should be doing in today’s digital world. Understandably, marketers and execs have big fears of social media because no one can control it. If someone posts negative comments on a brand, there could be a downside. However, the great thing about it is you can use the same medium to do damage control. The medium is malleable. It can be a brand’s worst enemy or its dream come true. Marketers must adapt to this openness of consumers as it is the future and will be the norm from now on.
There is no formula that exists for determining ROI on social media. It’s not impressions or click-throughs, we have to dig deeper on the metrics – looking at time spent on the site—-engagement with the brand is ultimately what we want to drive. These networks are trust groups and in turn generate referrals for brands. Social media can have a high brand impact that can last for a long time unlike an ad campaign burst that has a stop and start. Advertising agencies may not be able to exactly prove to clients why social media is important or how it worked for their brand, but here are some experts who have developed nice case studies on the medium and some tutorials:
Theagencyblog.com – social media strategies by Giovanni Gallucci
Seth Godin’s blog, an expert in challenging the way we think about marketing online