Get Strategic & Social!

October 3, 2012

by Bruce Nickson

“Social media is always changing, it’s confusing, and it’s hard to measure – it’s enough to make a marketer cry. Raising the discourse on social media to a strategic level creates clarity, cultivates creativity and corresponding calculable ROI.”

How do you cover all Social Media Marketing strategy, history, goals, best practices, consumer relationships, communities, the marketplace, the metrics, the potential for ROI (or not) and more? Well, at the September 26th Evening Speaker Series event, the speakers, each in their own way, gave it a shot.

If you were there, and you were listening carefully, your brain probably came close to meltdown. Mine did, almost.

So let’s go:

First up was Erin Whittle (@indenter), who is currently an Integrated Marketing Strategist with Domain7, who picked a fight with the volume-mongers out there who collect friends and followers like scalps hanging from their belt and then call it planning and strategy. The issue was about trivializing social media and its capacity to tell compelling product stories, and the absolute necessity to step back and regard social as one element of an overall campaign. So the message is, and we occasionally have to repeat this to ourselves: business objectives come first. Then the question: is there a role in social media in reaching these objectives? If yes, then great; if no, then abandon. Just don’t do random.

And then there was Jorge Amigo (@AmigoJor) – yes, that’s his real name – who founded #bemyamigo and is justifiably famous for his piece his piece on travelling through Vancouver trying to make friends (in “real life”, as my son would say). I think he felt that the point here was the increasing reliance on social media as a proxy for human interaction, especially between the sexes. Social media is a catalyst, not just for pursuing the almighty buck, but for pursuing meaningful relationships between people and developing communities of interest. Take some of your life offline, and use your online life to do it.

Brooke Angles of Admosis Media (@admosis_media) did a serious drill-down into what makes or breaks social media advertising campaigns. The theme of the talk was about “Getting Paid” and the role of paid media in getting paid. This means getting to the right people based on shared interests. It was a bit of a tips, tricks and tools presentation using the Admosis experience on a number of campaigns: Strategize, Advertize and Optimize. “Don’t push out your campaign and leave it. There’s a lot of data. Use it to optimize the message within a day or two.”

And finally, David Ian Gray of DIG360. David opened the talk with, “Social is hitting a wall.” He added that retailers jumped on the social media bandwagon a few years ago, and now they’re questioning the results. So, at the C-suite dialogue level how do you correct this? What are the strategies to be used for retailers?

As the retail landscape changes, social strategies must follow. For instance, the reality of value is coming into play as margins shrink. Is the emphasis always to be on ROI or are there other metrics such as return on engagement, and therefore loyalty development as an added factor? And what happens if you leverage your employees’ social media activity for your brand? Hard to manage, but your employees can help tell your story as well. In the end, David’s talk provided insight into social media’s role in allowing big and small retailers to create dialogue with individual customers.

 There was more, of course. Much more…

Bruce Nickson (@brucenix), who is a member of the BCAMA Marketline Committee, observes the Social Media scene and once held the fancy job title of Executive Director.

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