It is a common problem that any brand faces. They spend around 1% to 5% of their marketing budget on social media marketing and are still not sure about measured sales, leads or revenue from social media.
I am thrilled to witness that some brands are strategically moving towards aligning their business objectives with their Social Media executions. The performance metrics should be more about “did we get X’ amount of enquires/leads through our social media engagement” vis a vis “Did our TAT increase”.
Let’s get started then.
One of the most important steps are to link strategic objectives to social media actions.
Before you start with framing the social media strategy, it is very important to frame your business goals and then make each of your social media executions (tactical and campaign led promotions) to have a flavour of your larger umbrella strategy.
Here are some examples of the brands who are consciously planting social media efforts that would translate into returns for the business. Some of them are early adopters while some have recently executed interesting campaigns
#1 Starbucks – Global Coffee Chain
Starbucks has a beautiful network of customers who have now become social ambassadors for the brand through their constant efforts.
Founder Howard Schultz’s brain child MyStarbucksIdea.com has been a trend setter in the digital market since 2008. It is amazing how a brand that was going through some dark days in the early 2008, has now become a vision for the contemporaries when it comes to establishing ROI through social media.
The store has given its customer an opportunity to share their opinion, new ideas, and suggestions or simply vent on the platform. Last time I checked the brand had implemented some 100+ ideas in their selected stores which then further reflected in their sales too. It is interesting that Mr. Schultz, had not build the platform as a marketing channel but more as a customer-relationship platform but it turned out to be a huge ROI success for the brand.
#2 Faaso’s – New entrant in the Fast food category
Another example is that of Faaso’s – A small wraps and rolls brand based out of India that has been driving their engagement and sales through social media.
Apart from their tactical executions for eg: #FaasosFoodHousie and friendly social media presence, the brand has indulged in a genius lead generation mechanism called #FassosNow – A tweet to order engine that delivers food to the audience on social media on a real-time basis, sticking true to essence of fast food delivery.
#3 BlendTec – Consumer Durables
Blendtec very strategically managed to connect and promote the brand proposition “Will it blend?” by using YouTube and Twitter. The blender maker produced videos of blending a variety of items from iPads to pool cue. Some of those videos are viewed more than 14 million times.
Some may ask, “What was achieved out of such activity?” Answer is, 700% increase in revenue by that year itself. It created such an uproar that whole internet audience (and even brands) started suggesting Blendtech on what should they blend next
#4 Tata Capital – Financial Services
Sticking true to its philosophy “We only do what’s right for you”, the brand has decided to extend its services to its social media users. Tata Capital created a social media engine called “Birthday Surprise” through which they can celebrate their Facebook fans birthdays and gift them that one service that will be based on their interests.
The offers are given to the fans via a customized video which features Tata Capital’s employees wishing them on birthday. Fans can then claim their gift which in-turn reflects into sales for the brand.
If you notice the above mentioned examples, there is a pattern between all of them. They all have come from a very well organized strategic plan that reflects their social media campaigns and business goals. Without a great strategy that links these two, the brand will forever find themselves struggling for more likes and PTAT ratio.
It takes a great deal of logistics and back-end planning to execute these ideas successfully. Here is a quick to-do list before you set out to execute your plans.
Map out the business processes
Show how the social media plan will impact the entire company. Show employees — especially the ones who “don’t get it” — what you are trying to do and how it will benefit them as well as your business processes. Educate them about how will you measure the success ratio and why should they adopt it. Investing in this effort upfront will provide valuable data for the long-term.
Get support from your shop-floors
Help executives understand how social media will empower the company and support business processes. Any business department or initiative that is siloed is in dangerous territory.
Social media marketers need to step up the program and then prove their efforts as a valuable business activity. The key to this is quality analytics and reporting to internal members of your team and clients.
Define everything and make a plan for about three years
Include business processes and social media efforts for the entire company. The part of social media where most people get hung up is in the tactics, which won’t execute unless you set a framework for the activity to be developed and nurtured.
Social Media needs executions with a larger purpose to sustain the increasing competition among brands (big or small) rather than making a generic hashtag trend which has got nothing to do with the brand.
The agencies and the brands must wake up to the fact and start aligning their vision for social media marketing.
Do you think Indian brands still lack the bigger strategic picture? Please share your views with me in the comments.