Yesterday Forbes Magazine had an article that predicted that companies are planning to increase social media spending. The strongest reason for this is due to the ability to measure your success and set goals with tangible results, like increased phone calls, more foot traffic and most importantly bigger sales. Although the budgets will increase, Forbes is also predicting something else that businesses will focus on, it’s a missing piece in most social media campaigns. The missing piece is integration. Read an excerpt below.
Social media is an increasingly important tactic in companies’ marketing strategy and yet results from The CMO Survey continue to indicate that many companies manage social media as a separate activity. Asked how effectively social media is linked to their company’s marketing strategy on a 1-7 scale where 1 is “not integrated” and 7 is “very integrated,” the average level of integration was only 3.9. Although we see companies planning to increase social media spending as a percent of marketing budget from 9.4% to 13.2% over the next year and 21.4% over the next five years, the level of integration has not changed in the past four years.
Integration is key to any social media campaign, otherwise you are just shouting in a windstorm and hope some gets close enough to hear you. In the same article they offer 12 Tips For Integrating Social Media Into Your Marketing Strategy so your voice can be heard no matter how loud the wind get’s. We picked and re-prioritized the three best tips that Brainjar Media integrates every day for our clients.
- Drive social media actions against marketing goals. If social media actions are undertaken without a clear customer objective, integration is likely to be elusive. This means that marketers should always identify a specific customer objective when employing social media tactics. One common approach we observed was marketers using social medial to help move the customer into and through the purchase funnel.
- Choose strategy over tools. Social media is still in its infancy, so change is constant and new tools are being introduced at lightning speed. Using the latest and greatest technology may benefit the company, especially when its target audience includes younger and more media-savvy customers. However, it is always important to judge the value and impact of a social media tool against the company’s marketing strategy rather than its innovativeness. Will the tool help the company design or develop a more effective marketing strategy? If not, leave the shiny object on the shelf for another day.
- Create social media toolkits. Brand toolkits have become standard procedure for many companies and are effectively used to guide local markets on how to portray global brands by providing templates and guidelines for tailoring content. In a similar way, some companies are starting to create social media toolkits which include templates for Facebook and Twitter posts. These kits can ensure strategic alignment and create a more cohesive brand image across geographies and platforms while reducing the time and resources required to develop social media content.
We can summarize those three tips in a single sentence. First, define your desired end result (more phone calls, visits, etc..), then decide how best to achieve that goal, and finally make it easy to duplicate on a daily basis.
As you keep up with the rest of the businesses in 2015 and increase your social media budeget, Brainjar Media would love to be the company that helps with your social media integration goals. Give us a call today at 503.929.7436 or check out our social media marketing strategy.