An Eye on the Long-Term Payoff

Social media marketing is an ongoing investment with the payoff coming from a culmination of activities versus coming from disjointed, intermittent efforts.

Brands get excited when they execute something new (they should be... it’s exciting!), but doing something new and different that’s disjointed from other efforts or isn’t given the proper support is only going to end in disappointment.

One example is in community recruitment (whether it’s a Facebook Page, Twitter profile, etc.). Brands want to let their advocates know they have a presence and invite them to follow them on a specific platform--a worthy goal. One tactic to achieve the goal might be to use Facebook ads, but those ads executed in a silo are a waste of resources because you may see an increase in fans. However, without a program to activate those fans to take action, it’s a pointless exercise. At the end of the day, you’ve increased your fan base, but you’re only going to reach less than 17% of them through content alone. That’s not exactly the payoff you’re looking for.

Just as social media marketing shouldn’t be done in a silo separate from other marketing communications, tactics shouldn’t either. They should be tied to a larger plan tied to business objectives.

Have a Vision.

Before you leverage the social space, you have to understand what you’re driving toward. What will be the long-term payoff for internal and external stakeholders from social media? Understanding this piece will help define how tactics build on top of each other and pick up where the previous effort leaves off, so the program is building to something bigger.

That vision should drive everything.

Know What You’re Truly Striving For.

Know what you want consumers to do and why. Then give them the reasons and means to achieve it. The example above is perfect. You don’t want the fans.  Those are meaningless. You want the potential for those fans to take action and expose your brand to their social connections.

Understand what you really want from an effort.

Social Media Marketing Is Cyclical.

At the end of the day it’s about using social media marketing to drive consumer action, and we should focus on giving them the reasons and the means to do so. Marketing efforts done bit-by-bit and in a silo get you into the mindset that social media marketing has a beginning and an end. Really, it’s cyclical. Drive consumers to take action, capitalize on that action and use that action to make your next efforts more effective.