With my attentions focused over at my personal blog since I’ve been back in the USA, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written here on my professional blog, but I read some articles and blog entries this morning that spurred me on to pick back up the learning and teaching thinking cap.
Forgive or love the brevity, but here’s a quick round up of the messages that resonated with me from these articles and posts, followed by a taste of what I’m reading:
1. Return on Engagement > ROI, for social crews. It doesn’t matter if you are a creative prodigy for brands on digital channels if you can’t justify that what you’re doing has worth. At digital and social agencies, where apples work next to apples, there’s no need to explain that social media, done right, has indisputable value for brands and businesses. But in corporate settings, where executives want answers — in the form of numbers — ROI becomes “elusive” for social professionals. It can cause us to cower back, revoke what we know will be better, further reaching, long-term audience behavioral-shaping strategies for sub-standard methodologies. The first step is understanding, as a social and digital professional, that those executives aren’t even speaking the right language. In social, the right question isn’t ROI, but ROE – return on engagement.
As Econsultancy says, “An engaged consumer can be much more powerful than a few sales, they can be a walking brand ambassador.”
But, corporate or agency, how in the world do you measure engagement? Which brings me to my second point.
2. Insights-driven strategy through measurement and data are an indispensable, no questions asked required skill.
The ability to take gather data, analyze it and translate it from insightful statistical information about your audiences and their ongoing interactions with your business into tangible strategies and campaigns is like GOLD. When I went to school for PR, I can’t even tell you how often my professors and mentors stressed the discipline of the PR campaign planning process: Research, Define Objectives, Structure Tactics and Implement Plan, Evaluate Success.
It’s so easy, as a creative, to leap ahead to the tactics — we get caught up wanting to do the fun part without having to trudge through the necessary research. I’ve been there before, with clients and at agencies who dig themselves into ruts because they reverse this: being too quick to jump to strategies and tangible campaign elements without having done the appropriate research and gathering the data to back up your purpose often means backtracking and starting over later down the road or, worse, discovering your intentions totally flopped after you’ve spent client, or in-house, dollars.
Back to my point – the same goes for social professionals. Social media is a revolutionary channel, but it’s based on the same old school disciplines.
For us, that means basing our strategies and campaign designs off of valuable, insights – AKA, sucking it up and learning analytics.
Granted, metrics and numbers and charts and data aren’t the fun part. But it’s WORTH IT if you want to 1) form targeted, results driving strategies 2) engage with your audience and 3) prove to your executives that social media – the right way – IS valuable for your brand.
More to come on what I’m learning on social media lately, but first things first, here’s a round up of the sources and what blogs I’m digging at the moment:
John Bell’s Digital Influence Mapping Project- Social Prodigy, literally. Birth father of Social@Ogilvy http://johnbell.typepad.com/
EConsultancy Article: Proving Social Media Success with Analytics
AdAge: How Marketers Will Survive in the Coming Do Not Track Social World
TrendSpottingBlog - Latest trends in market research