Getting Social Media Marketing Out of the Petri Dish

Social media marketing too often finds itself stuck in a silo. The question of ‘who owns social’ has led it to be relegated to internal experts and/or small teams. That’s understandable because that’s often where social media marketing has to get its start within an organization, but that should be by no means where it stays.

The Social Petri Dish

One of the biggest issues that putting social media into a silo is that it leads to isolated results. Marketers demand results and find it frustrating when social media results appear unintegrated. What else did we expect?

Real success comes when social media is part of the larger marketing plan and tied back to overarching business objectives, not just the number of followers or views. Those may serve as KPIs, but the overarching objectives for social media should tie back to business objectives. Get social media out of the Petri dish and see a real impact on business.

Marketers can start by:

  • Improving customer service by integrating social channels into their existing approaches to customer service and see customer satisfaction improve and a cost savings from making customer service more efficient.
  • Encouraging referrals and driving trial by offering an incentive that gets better each time it’s shared with someone else.
  • Generating earned impressions to support a campaign by working with online influencers and giving them the reasons and means to share brand efforts.
  • Gaining additional consumer insights by forming an online, social media focus group of passionate advocates who offer advice and insights for new products and services.

These are just a start, but each of them will only be stronger when they break free from the Petri dish and are both supporting and being supported by other marketing initiatives. Social media shouldn’t be forced to stand on its own. Just like other marketing channels, it’s stronger when it’s working with other parts of the overall plan. That’s where integrated execution delivers on overarching business objectives, and that’s the secret to taking social media marketing to the next level.

Integration Only Happens When We Push.

It’s on us as social media marketers to tell others within the organization how social can help them, not vice versa. We can’t expect colleagues to come to us. Instead, we’ll be more integrated when we make it a point to visit others at their desks and ask them what they’re up to and what their challenges are. That allows us to opportunity-spot and offer ways social media can make everyone’s job easier and more successful.

It’s on us to prove the value of social media marketing, so don’t hesitate to reach out and not just tell how social media can support the business but show it, too.