The social media meltdown and how to overcome it

Social media has opened up a huge opportunity: to engage directly with customers, to understand what motivates and interests them, and to increase the size of the audience for your content.

But it’s the very size of the opportunity that’s often the biggest problem. When marketing budget and resources are tight, where do you focus?

And how can you be sure the right message gets out to the right audience via the right channel and that the overall approach is joined-up and consistent?

Most importantly, when your social marketing activity is fragmented across many third-party platforms, as well as your own website, how can you monitor and measure the impact?

These aren’t new questions: they’ve been vexing marketers for years now. But, with the arrival of every hot new platform (last year Google+, this year Pinterest) they become more pressing.

The challenge is to plan and execute campaigns that deliver outstanding results, without spending more money and time on them than they warrant.

That’s much easier said than done. We think it breaks down into five separate challenges:

Segmenting social media platforms

Take your selected platforms and then divide them into a tier one and tier two. For each, you need to learn how best to use the features and capabilities available.

You should look to devise campaigns and/or tailor existing campaigns for that platform as well as ensuring that specific content and messages are geared towards both the network you are using and your target audience.

Managing content effectively

For effective social media ROI, you need your content to work harder than you do. Every extra channel your content hits (successfully) increases value and effectiveness.

Great content can be sliced, diced and reused many times, so once you have spent time and effort creating it, make sure it works really hard for you, across all relevant platforms.

Making best use of available people and time

This requires that you have a good understanding of how “socially” mature your organisation is, both at a corporate level but amongst individual employees too.

Moving everyone through the social media maturity curve from monitoring and push to reach and engagement will help deliver better results, but will also pose new challenges.

Social Media Maturity Model

Measuring campaign performance

The first step here is to ensure that you have put in place a social media measurement strategy that will allow you to benchmark the results you are getting and compare them across channels and networks.

The second step is to then take the results of this measurement and actually turn it into action.

Letting technology work for you

The feeling of information overload is a common one for marketers these days. Creating and distributing content is a time consuming process.

It’s all about finding ways where technology can make a difference and save you time, allowing you focus on the places where human input will be most beneficial.

*the blogpost was first published on Econsultancy in April 2012