Social media has evolved into an essential marketing tool that Kevin Bobowski at Entrepreneur
likened it to a NASA mission-control center operation: dozens of software systems and screens to monitor, measure, and optimize each campaign.
There are four fundamentals that every social media marketer needs to master. These determine the outcome of campaigns and, when understood perfectly, the complexity of tools and tactics can fall into a simple and successful game plan.
The social media arena is becoming more and more crowded and busy. Not only is manually monitoring social media efforts time-consuming, itís also close to impossible. To sharpen your strategy and optimize performance, use a platform that can do the tracking and analyzing of social media conversations for you, one that enables you to tap into real-time intelligence about your industry and your competitors.
Before launching a campaign, monitor activity and get a clear idea of your competitorís strengths and weaknesses in social media. Seek market opportunities and know what consumers react to within your industry. Consider social media as your real-time A/B testing and market-research laboratory.
Once a campaign is launched in social media, its success or failure depends on management. To refine your campaign, track performance and react to what works and what does not. Let your social media manager schedule posts and tweets. Listen to what users are saying about your campaigns and your brand.
Management is the execution of the social strategy. The emphasis on the software, analytics, and strategy makes execution the driver of a social media campaignís success.
Measurement is important for two reasons: 1) social mediaís fragmentation across multiple platforms makes tracking and analyzing the full scope of social media use now more difficult than ever, and 2) measurement demonstrates the effectiveness of social marketing to the CMOs, executives, and board members.
Measurement involves tracking results on owned, paid, and earned media. Engagement can be measured across all social media platforms and how traffic is driven to your companyís website. You can also analyze how your paid ads on Twitter and Facebook encourage participation on your social media campaigns and your company website.
Sales is the most sought-after objective of social media marketing. Technology advancement has made sales from social media within reach of businesses of all sizes. We see transactions made simply through the use of a hashtag. Facebook is even launching the "Buy" button that lets users purchase items without leaving the platform.
Although closing a sale can be tricky on social media, all you need is to offer consumers an incentive, a prize or a promo. Use your data on consumer behavior to leverage the viral, sharing nature of social media to influence purchasing decisions with user-generated content or through discounts, coupons or prizes.