Critical Steps to Social Media Marketing Success

Photo Courtesy of: Ole C. Salomonsen

Social Media marketing success can be as elusive as capturing this lovely shot of the Aurora Borealis over a beautiful village in Sweden.

1) You can’t be successful with any type of social media marketing unless you can quantify and measure. So many companies start building the marketing campaign before they understand what and how they are going to measure and who is talking about their Brand, Company or Products.

Sure, you can capture the number of Followers on Twitter, Facebook Likes and LinkedIn Profile views. But, this is not enough. Make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your site and if using Social Media for Customer Relationship Management you may need more lift in the back end using Platforms or Applications like:

  • Sprout Social: Free intro with pad subscription $9-49. per month; very good monitoring tool for small to medium sized businesses and agencies.
  • Lithium: Robust CRM application and geared for large corporate brands; pricing varies depending on usage and access.
  • Klout: Is not really a metrics tool but helps you identify the social influence of people and brands that are engaging with you on the social web and complements and augments anyone using Twitter or Facebook. By providing more insight about social media marketing activities and “follower value”  in your social community or sphere of influence.
  • Google Alerts: Free service from Google, enabling you to monitor what’s being said about your company, topic of choice, brand, competitors - do more than the basic set up by monitoring multiple keywords, topics, etc.
  • Twitter Search: 19 Billion searches per month are now being done via Twitter - you can datamine to your heart’s content.
  • Radian6: The de facto industry standard for listening to what is being said on the social web  and more. A powerful platform for listening, engaging and quantifying the social stream.

2) Analyze your market segment, customer focus and demographic, existing media and advertising processes underway prior to embarking on a social media marketing campaign. Social media works best as a pull marketing process and should complement and integrate with existing marketing processes.

3) Make sure you are familiar with baseline tools and applications: Blogging (WordPress Platform preferably), Microblogging via Twitter, Large Social Networks: Facebook and LinkedIn. Each Platform and community has it’s own social mores, marketing challenges, rules of engagement and interaction - pick two or three that will benefit your brand.

4) Integrate your social media marketing strategy with offline media including PR, Print, Radio and TV. Critical to ensure your referencing and mentioning social media platforms of choice via all other marketing processes - sounds basic right? But, there are millions of web sites that have no link to the social media platforms the brand is utilizing, not to mention no reference or connections via business cards, brochures, email signatures, and press releases. Social media works best when it’s cross promoted and fertilized.

5) Commit the necessary resources to ensuring your campaign will be successful. Many brands think because social media marketing is virtually free or low cost they don’t need to include it in their overall marketing budget. This is a common mistake - the real costs are like an iceberg, with 90% of the process and associated costs hidden under the surface.

6) Recognizing that social media marketing is by it’s very usage going to make your company, brand or you as an executive transparent to the rest of the world. Pay it forward by helping others, ensuring that others connected with you will get a sense that you are not just “pitching for business.”  Chris Brogan has built a wonderful brand around helping others and turning himself into one of the most powerful/connected thought leaders on the planet.

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  • Michael Hackmer

    Good points, Lee. I also think there is a time line to social media success. Just like building a business takes time, building an online audience, relationship and a reputation also takes time. I think when people start to plan their social media strategy it needs to be focused on the kinds of relationships desired. Often times, finding the right relationship is less about hard-core numbers than it is about potential for opportunity, values and ideas. Those things are hard to quantify at the outset, and they require a different kind of evaluation method later on.

  • http://SocialMediaMidAtlantic Chris Mott


    I really enjoyed reading this post. You give a ton of useful information that business owners should be implementing for the new year. Reminding businesses to understand how to measure success in social media marketing before beginning a campaign is very important.