Archive for the ‘Metrics’ Category

Spring is in the air and that means MLB Opening Day is right around the corner! In honor of the big day (which will feature my Boston Red Sox receiving their 2013 World Series Championship Rings – just sayin’), the team at Facebook has put together a map that highlights team allegiances – measured in terms of likes – across the United States.

You will immediately notice that the Yankees, Brave and Rangers (which is a bit of a surprise) take up a majority or the map. Red Sox Nation is also up there as well! However, Facebook notes that there is not a single county in the US that aligns with the A’s, Mets or Blue Jays (sorry to all my friends up in Toronto).

It’s an interesting breakdown. Click on the map to get the larger view. (Courtesy of the team at Inside Facebook)

Facebook-MLB-Fandom-Map

As a marketer, you probably daydream about impressing your CEO with unforgettable statistics from your social media campaigns that clearly articulate the ROI. There is a budding business discipline around social analytics, which aggregates and analyzes online conversations and social activity generated across social channels and enables organizations to act on the derived intelligence to drive business results. But how does one get to the ultimate state of social media bliss? To achieve social analytics Zen, you have to marry the yin and yang of social media analytics. Here’s how you can do that.

Learning from External Data: Social Analytics Yin

The path to achieving social analytics Zen begins by analyzing external data. Marketers must analyze industry, competitive and consumer conversations to have a solid understanding of the industry landscape. To properly understand your Yin:

  1. Identify key data sources and determine the frequency with which you’ll collect data: Create a benchmark of what’s currently being discussed at an industry and competitive level.
  2. Separate the information by audience type: You may have several different key buyer segments and corresponding influencers. Identify your keyword set by audience type and perform social listening to determine where digital conversations are happening.
  3. Develop goals by audience: Define what action you want each audience segment to take (e.g. gain awareness of your company, influence others, purchase your product/service, engage with you). Your audience goals should be driven by your overall business goals.
  4. Monitor by audience type: At this point, you’ll have a sense of whom you want to monitor. Create lists of top targets, influencers, and new customers to quickly scan for conversations that may require your participation. Create triggers for specific user intent that is tied to business goals.

While having a finger on the pulse of your industry enables you to understand key industry trends and drivers, this is only part of the story. You also need to analyze data from your own social campaigns.

Learning from Internal Data: Social Analytics Yang

Analyzing internal campaigns allows marketers to continually get smarter, more effective and more productive. As we learned from Travis Unwin, director of media strategies for Awareness partner agency Sitewire, a full service digital marketing and interactive advertising agency you can’t ‘set-it-and-forget-it” when it comes to social media (LINK to Travis’s post). It’s important to learn from your own content. To arrive at your Yang:

  1. Determine your content and platform mix: Test on various platforms to find the right marketing mix for your company. Remember, the goal is to drive new customers to your marketing funnel.
  2. 2.     Measure your successes and failures – Get Granular: Which campaigns performed the best? On which platforms? Which posts or tweets stood out from the highest-performing campaign? Allow these learnings to guide future campaign development.
  3. 3.     Develop benchmarks: Ideally, you’ll want to invest in a toolset that helps you gain intelligence over time. You’ll want a social analytics platform that’s a one-stop destination for social intelligence.
  4. 4.     Incorporate Social Media into your Marketing Mix: Social media shouldn’t be performing alone in a silo. Make your marketing efforts more effective at driving business results by integrating all available channels (email, website, mobile, ads, and social).

Achieving Social Analytics Zen

With the knowledge gained from your social analytics yin and yang, you now have a solid understanding of your landscape. The marriage of the yin and yang (or Zen) is where your external and internal intelligence meets. This happens when you can identify and act on specific sales opportunities. The ultimate measure of Zen occurs in the Social Marketing Funnel, a sales framework we developed to help marketers monitor, identify, classify and respond to prospects and customers in social channels. Research consistently shows that the likelihood of purchase increases when people have a social connection with a brand or product – for example, fans of brands are 51 percent more likely to buy. With 90 percent of all purchases subject to social influence, and 90 percent of consumers trusting recommendations from people they know, marketers need to recognize the social marketing funnel is vital to overall prospecting activity.

In our latest white paper, Actionable Social Analytics: From Social Media Metrics to Business Insights we unveiled the Social Analytics Framework for Marketing and Sales Effectiveness. Use this framework to determine KPI’s according to marketing objective.

Actionable Social Marketing Analytics

It’s time marketers stop collecting data for data’s sake and start it for culling insights. That’s where social analytics comes in. Social analytics is the evolving business discipline that studies social media metrics to help marketers use the findings to drive business intelligence. If you’re new to this, have no fear. Look to the 15 influencers listed below for guidance on the topic. They can help you get started or finesse your approach. Here are the Top Social and Web Analytics Experts to follow (in alphabetical order):

 

Gary Angel, president of Semphonic.  Recipient of the Digital Analytics Association’s Award for Excellence as the Most Influential Industry Contributor.

Don’t miss: 3 Paths to Digital Optimization: Zen and the Art of Enterprise Analytics

Key Takeaway: To get the greatest value from analytics, you need an integrated approach.

 

Connie Bensen, Senior digital strategist at Dell

Don’t miss: Best Practices for Social Media Monitoring ROI

Key Takeaway: Great tips on how to avoid spam and noise: add exclusion criteria to your searches.

 

Keith Burtis, co-founder of MeasureMob

Don’t miss: Getting Started in Analytics From Tape Measure to #Measure

Key Takeaway: Three resources to get you started with analytics.

 

Alistair Croll, principal analyst for Bitcurrent, contributing author to Web Operations, Complete Web Monitoring and Managing Bandwidth.

Don’t miss: Writings: December 2011/January 2012

Key Takeaway: A sampling of Alistair’s thinking, including 2012 trends and how companies should think about big data.

 

Susan Etlinger, industry analyst at Altimeter Group

Don’t miss: Research Report: A Framework for Social Analytics

Key Takeaway: Measure your company’s performance against the Social Media Measurement Compass.

 

Nathan Gilliatt, principal at Social Target, co-founder at AnalyticsCamp, founder at SocialMediaAnalysis.com

Don’t miss: Applying Intelligence and Analytics to Online Statements

Key Takeaway: Insightful matrix of Intelligence/Analytics plotted against Fact/ Opinion

 

Taulbee Jackson, CEO and president of Raidious

Don’t miss: Social Media Analytics – AMA Michiana

Key Takeaway: At the end of the day, you are trying to determine ‘how good is the content?’

 

Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google and author of Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

Don’t miss: Beginner’s Guide to Web Data Analysis: Ten Steps to Love & Success

Key Takeaway: An excellent getting started guide to web analytics.

 

John Lovett, senior partner at Web Analytics Demystified Inc, author of Social Media Metrics Secrets

Don’t miss: You’re Using the Wrong Social Media Metrics

Key Takeaway: Understand corporate goals, align business objectives, tie metrics to measures of success and then define operational tactics.

 

Jonas Klit Nielsen, CEO and founder of Mindjumpers

Don’t miss: Executive Series: Listening on Social Media is about Insight Management and Analyzing Data

Key Takeaway: Listen first to relevant conversations, then break down the data to relevant insights.

 

Katie D. Paine, CEO & founder of KD Paine & Partners; author of Measure What Matters

Don’t miss: KDPaine’s How-To-Get-Good-Data Checklist

Key Takeaways: Both humans and computers make mistakes, so check your data regularly.

 

Eric Peterson, CEO and founder of Web Analytics Demystified Inc., author of Web Analytics Demystified, Web Site Measurement Hacks and The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators

Don’t miss: Finally! Standards Come to Web Analytics

Key Takeaway: Google Analytics has become the de facto standard for web analytics.

 

Sean Power, data scientist at Cheezburger; contributing author to Web Operations, and Complete Web Monitoring

Don’t miss: Complete Web Monitoring, (O’Reilly, 2009)

Key Takeaway: Learn everything from why, what and how to implement measurement in your organization.

 

Jim Sterne, founder of eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and the Digital Analytics Association and author of Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment

Don’t miss: eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summits

Takeaway: Learn from Jim in person at a summit near you.

 

Marshall Sponder, senior analyst and founder of WebmetricsGuru.com and author of Social Media Analytics: Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics

Don’t miss: Lack of Processes (or the Wrong Processes) biggest problem in Social Media Reporting and ROI

Key Takeaway: You need a standard process for measurement.

 

 

To learn more about what social analytics and how you can approach it, consult with our new position paper Social Analytics for Marketing and Sales Effectiveness.

Let’s hear it from you, marketers: Did we list all your top analytics gurus? Did we miss anyone who deserves to be included? Sound off on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and on Pinterest.

I originally published this post on ReadWriteWeb on August 2, 2011

on Brands have evolved from asking “Should we be on social media?” to “How can we improve our social media activities?” At the same, they want to understand “what is the value of social media?“  That simple question of value transcends company size, industry and focus.

Three months ago, Awareness set out to answer the question of uncovering the value in social marketing by conducting research and meeting with social media practitioners and experts alike. During the interview process, we asked the group to tell us what advice they would provide Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) as they set out to design, manage and measure their social marketing strategy.  Here are their insights:

    1. Have a plan!Jason Falls, principal of Social Media Explorer:
      “Go into social with a plan. Social channels are like other marketing channels – treat them with the same diligence. Don’t just test the waters – commit to social. It is the way of the future.  Test and iterate. Integrate social with your marketing and business initiatives – social marketing cannot exist in a vacuum.”
    2. Passion is contagious – David Berkowitz, senior director of Emerging Media and Innovation for 360i
      “Don’t think of social only as a way to drive leads and sales.  Social is about passion – Oreo has over 22 million fans because the brand has given voice to the passion of its consumers.”
    3. Focus, test and learnPaul Gillin, author ofSocial Marketing to the Business Customer
      “Focus on a limited number of tools initially and build your portfolio where you see tangible traction.  Develop a center of social marketing expertise to avoid repeating the same mistakes other brands have made.  Consider hiring social marketing experts to help you develop that expertise.”
    4. Think like a publisherDavid Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR
      “In the world of social, companies need to think like publishers. The first thing that companies need to do is understand where they rank in search engine results. Smart companies know what their prospective customers are searching on. They then create social content – blogposts, YouTube videos, webinars, etc. that leverages key words to improve search engine rankings.”
    5. Integrate social into your businessNathaniel Perez, head of social experience at SapientNitro
      “If your level of maturity with social marketing is low, rely on agencies and consultants to help you succeed. You will need carefully integrated content, processes, and governance in order to succeed. Social is not media-centric, it is customer-centric. Once you have gained experience, work towards integrating social deeper within your business. Plan your resources around the following key functional areas: research and insight, engagement and community building, media planning and integration, and data and analytics.”
    6. Understand your goals and tie into existing business processes – Andrew Patterson, manager of new media at MLB Advanced Media
      “Start with understanding your goals with social. Where and how you want to participate is a business decision. Look at your industry and beyond for best practices.  Choose a social media publishing and monitoring platform that serves your specific needs. Social requires full integration with your current analytics systems – make sure you partner with your vendors for success.”
    7. Budget and prioritizeJeremiah Owyang, industry analyst with Altimeter Group
      “Allocate your social marketing budget based on your level of social marketing maturity. In our February 2011: How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets, Altimeter reported that the average social media annual budget in 2010 was $833,000, but that figure fluctuated based on annual revenue and social marketing program maturity. Use industry benchmarks to allocate your budget.”
    8. Commit to social long termJonas Nielsen, co-founder and managing partner of Mindjumpers
      “Go in for the long haul, and don’t put social in the hands of junior brand managers.  Social is one of the one important channels of the future – your own media that will position you to spend less resources over time – for marketing, customer service, and product development.”
    9. Start by focusing on existing customersErik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Businesså
      “The best companies understand social touches every aspect of their business. Start with answering why you want to run social programs and what success looks like.  Remember: only a portion of your social efforts can be tracked directly down to sales.  Most of social is relationship-based – it is a longer-term investment in your brand. Focus with your existing customers – they will spread the word for you. Welcome to the world of mouth.”

What do you think?  Do you agree with the experts?  What would you add to their list?

The complete results of the study are available in the recently released eBook: “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing” and attend the Social Marketing Funnel Webinar on August 18th @ 2PM ET

In 2004 I launched my first corporate blog.  At the time I was running sales and marketing for a small software company and was focused on demand generation through ‘traditional channels’ like email, banner ads, direct mail, etc.  I still remember the reaction I got from the team when I told them we would be launching a new blog.  To quote a line from one of favorite movies, A Christmas Story, ‘they looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.’

Fast-forward to 2006.  That blog had grown to become an integral part our marketing mix and was directly responsible for a high percentage of our inbound leads.  We learned quickly that those ‘blog leads’ were typically higher quality leads than those that we generated from other vehicles.  The company had evolved from viewing the blog as something we were ‘experimenting with’ to a critical component of our brand.  It positioned us as thought leaders and allowed us to tell our story in a way that attracted buyers and nurture relationships with our prospects and customers.

I was reminded of my first blog story several times while developing the content for the eBook we released this morning, “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing”. Although social media is no longer seen as a fad, many companies still struggle with how to participate in it and generate meaningful results.  While companies’ social media understanding has evolved from ‘should we be on social media? ‘ to ‘How can we improve our social media activities?‘, brands still grapple with the key question of  the value of social media. That simple question of value transcends company size, industry and focus.

Our team at Awareness realized that while social is still evolving as an industry, we don’t simply need new processes, how-to’s and a set of measures – our industry needs a new decision framework.  A framework that offers companies a scalable way to think about and participate in social, allocate resources, and measure the impact to their bottom line.

The Social Marketing Funnel sits atop and alongside the traditional sales and marketing funnel and serves as a way to nurture buyers throughout their lifecycle. By utilizing and understanding the Social Marketing Funnel, brands are able to identify demand before buyers enter the traditional sales funnel.  They are also able to better manage their relationship with buyers throughout the buying process and customer lifecycle.

Social Marketing Funnel

The research also uncovered a series of metrics and key performance indicators companies can use to track their overall progress and better understand the value of social media including:

  • Social Reach Velocity: gauging a brand’s ability to attract new social profiles across social media platforms over time.
  • Social Reach-to-Traditional Lead Ratio: measuring a brand’s ability to move social profiles into your traditional marketing funnel.
  • Social Profile-to-Sales Ratio: tracking social profiles that turn into customers over time.
  • Content-to-Contact Ratio: understanding the impact of content on generating new contacts and inquiries.
  • Share of Social Conversations: measuring a brand’s ability to dominate social conversations.

I’d like to personally thank all the individuals who participated in this research for their time, their insight and their overall willingness to help with this project including David Meerman Scott, Jason Falls, Jeremiah Owyang, Nathaniel Perez, Erik Qualman, David Berkowitz, Paul Gillin, Christine Major, Jonas Nielsen, Justin Holmerud, and Andrew Patterson.

We hope you enjoy the findings of this book and we are looking forward to your feedback and comments.

This morning Awareness announced a new module for the Social Marketing Hub called the Social Intelligence Dashboard.  The new module is a single solution for measuring all social and non-social marketing activities through one interface.

Why is the Social Intelligence Dashboard both cool and valuable?

Marketers are exposed on a daily basis to an overwhelming amount of data – both from social channels and from traditional marketing tools like marketing automation platforms, email systems, web analytics tools, CRM systems and more. The challenge is how to sift through all this data and figure out what it all means.  This tsunami of data has left many marketers and wondering, ‘what is the value of social media?

This new module gives marketers the ability to create their own reports and dashboards by combining data from multiple sources like Salesforce.com, Omniture and Google Analytics – into one interface providing the details they need to go beyond the standard social media measures like number fans or followers to metrics that provide insights into their social marketing programs.

Deeper Social Intelligence

The Hub absolutely provided some of the insights available in the social intelligence dashboard before.  The big difference the Social Intelligence Dashboard provides is flexibility.  It provides a simple interface to create new reports and dashboards based on business needs and allows you to tie in non-social data to get a clearer picture of your overall social activity.

The new interface allows you to modify out of the box reports while providing the ability to create new one through a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Social Intelligence Dashboard

It also gives users the ability to access, export and manipulate the raw data which provides the ultimate flexibility for brands who want to use a separate 3rd party business intelligence tool to get to the core of their social media activities.

One other cool feature is the amount of export options.  Each report contained with the dashboard can be exported to Excel, Powerpoint, PDF or CSV giving marketers the flexibility to format the data any way they see fit.

Why I’m excited about it?

I’m not only one of the people that sell the Hub, but I am also a user.  I’m excited because in the time we have been utilizing the Social Intelligence Dashbaord – throughout the beta process and beyond – we have already been able to uncover insights that have changed some of our social media activities and how we market our products and brand.  This like really understanding our conversion from social channels to our sales pipeline, who are our influencers and understanding content performance across each channel over time have provided new insight on how we market.  I’m mostly excited to see the impact it will have on all our customers.

Want more details?

You can check out this video and also stop by our social intelligence dashboard demo webinar this Thursday at 3PM.

foursquareA few weeks back our CTO Dave Carter released two eBooks on the State of Foursquare and the Top 10 Ways Enterprise Marketers can Leverage Foursquare.  If you haven’t had a chance to view them yet, check them out, they are both great reads.  During that same time Awareness released Foursquare Perspectives, a free tool that allows marketers to research announced new functionality that provide brands with valuable and useful insights about how Foursquare users are interacting with their physical locations. In addition, we announced that the Awareness Social Marketing Hub supports publishing tips to multiple Foursquare channels.  The message is we believe Foursquare is an underutilized tool in the enterprise and when used correctly it can be a powerful part of an enterprise social media strategy.

I have also been asked to put together a presentation that talks to the challenges and benefits of Foursquare which is below.  The presentation kind of took on a life of it’s own and has grown into an extended graphical version of Dave’s eBook. It uses some of the information included in Dave’s eBooks but goes deeper into case studies and tools utilizing other resources and references.

I’d love to hear from you with any feedback you have on the presentation.  Hope you enjoy it.

Yesterday, Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare met with Adam Ostrow at the Mashable Media Summit in New York City.  During the detailed Q&A session Dennis told the attendees about some of the astounding growth numbers Foursquare is currently experiencing.  They include:

  • Close to achieving 1.6 million users
  • Adding roughly 100K users per week
  • Checkin count is growing by roughly 50K per week

Crowley discussed the issues associated with scaling to support a vast base of users and venues.  He mentioned that while checkins are increasing by (on average) 50K per week, some weeks are higher.  In fact one week saw a jump from 750K checkins to 900K. “It sounds like these are really good problems to have,” Said Crowley.  “But then we sit with our engineering group and these are difficult problem to solve.”

With user adoption and checkins on the rise, Foursquare has established themselves as a serious player in the social media space.  The question is how will they further engage with brands?  Ostrow probed Crowley about how Foursquare partnerships with brands and media companies work.  Crowley responded openly and honestly saying that, “It’s tough right now. A lot of what we are doing are just experiments”.  The big question remains, how can brands and enterprises leverage Foursquare as part of the marketing mix?

Crowley did hint at some ideas for brands as he discussed the underlying intention of the platform which he described by comparing his service to Twitter.  Essentially, Foursquare is for users to leave nuggets of content at locations that can be viewed anytime in the form of tips.  Tweets are more timely – it’s more about what is happening now.  Foursquare content can live in a location forever, while Twitter is more time based.  Translation for brands: Take advantage of the tip functionality to leave users helpful nuggets of content that either tie into a marketing program or relate to your brand in general.

In addition to tips Crowley discussed the “Digital Candy” concept of Badge Rewards.  This is essentially the idea of adding some type of value – monetary or otherwise – to the badges users acquire.  There is obviously huge potential here for brands to single out and reward loyalty.  The question many brands that I spoke with have is, will this system ever be automated or is this something you will need to partner with Foursquare to achieve?  For now, we will wait and see.

The full interview with Crowley is below.  My question to you, should brands be looking at Foursquare as a component of their social media marketing mix?  If so, how should brands leverage the platform?

Watch live streaming video from mashable at livestream.com
Photo Credit: nan palmero – Used under a Creative Commons License

Today Awareness announced that the Social Marketing Hub, our latest software innovation, became generally available. During the development of the Hub, Mark Cattini (our CEO) and I traveled to over 50 of the largest brands in the world to get their feedback on the new product.  We spent time collecting feedback on every aspect of the solution from functionality to pricing to market positioning.  While we spent time discussing the product we also spent a significant about of time talking with each company about their approach to social media, their objectives, their successes and their challenges.

I have to admit that I was surprised by some of the findings and was even more surprised to learn that most of the organizations we spoke with face similar challenges despite being of different sizes and in different industries.  What are those challenges you ask?  Below is a summary of what we learned.

1. Inability to scale

The inability for organizations to scale – to quickly and easily manage, maintain, and measure multiple social channels – was a top theme coming out of our meetings. Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group recently published a post that discusses the pain of scaling social media programs in more detail and breaks down the Social Media Management Software market. A real life example of this pain came very early on in our tour. We sat down with the interactive marketing team at a large retailer who explained that they needed to drop MySpace as a channel because they didn’t have the resources to manage and report on it in a meaningful way. Because it had become too burdensome to maintain, they opted to stop spending time updating and managing MySpace and, in their words, “break-ties with our 30K+ MySpace friends”.

The issue for them boiled down to scale. They are not able to utilize and promote additional channels because managing their primary outposts – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube – requires a huge commitment in terms of resources. They would like to be able to easily add and test new channels but don’t have the time or energy to expand on their current strategy.

2. Security & Control

Raise your hand if your organization shares passwords to your social sites via an excel spreadsheet? If you are guilty, trust me when I tell you that you are not alone. In fact, of the brands we met with only a handful were not using excel to share passwords.  In one of the more uncomfortable moments from the tour, we met with the marketing group and a representative from the IT team at a large consumer electronics company. We mentioned controlling passwords was a challenge for many organizations and they went on to explain how they share passwords through excel. When someone leaves the company they change the password, update the spreadsheet and resend to nearly 30 people who “may” need access to manage updates (this includes resending it to their multiple marketing agencies). Needless to say, the rep from IT was not happy and that resulted in a heated discussion about internal security protocols.

This example is just the tip of the iceberg for security and control. Many organizations have Facebook Pages, YouTube Channels, Twitter Accounts, etc controlled by individuals within the company, outside of the team responsible for controlling messaging. This makes it very difficult to control messaging and posts and makes it almost impossible to retract assets that may be out of date or contain obsolete messaging.  It’s also impossible to report on who published what, where and when.

3. Lack of resources and buy-in

Many of the top brands – some of which have received kudos for their social performance and strategy – are operating with an extreme lack of resources and next to no buy-in from senior execs. A contributing factor to this is a lack of meaningful reporting (see point 4) but it is still shocking that social media has not been fully accepted in the highest levels of some of these enterprises.

Take for example a large, multi-billion dollar retailer who has two individuals managing multiple twitter accts, a few Facebook pages, multiple YouTube channels and a recently launched Flickr page. The management of these channels is only a small component of their everyday jobs which makes prioritizing them very difficult.  While meeting with the social media tandem they needed to continually excuse themselves to respond to support issues on Twitter. The challenge they face is resources are difficult to get. In their words “…  from the executives perspective, we are executing on social media and doing a great job. The question we get is ‘why do you need more resources, everything is going really well’. The problem is we are working 16 hour days to make this happen and are spending large portions of our day arguing with other departments about access, controls, messaging, etc.” This is a good segue to point #4 – reporting…

4. Reporting is Ad-Hoc

Reporting on social media is the single biggest hurdle faced by large organizations because it impacts every other point on the list.  Without reporting, it’s difficult to scale, get exec buy-in, maintain control and centralize your social media strategy.  What surprised us is that pulling general reports from the big channels – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube – is a manual process that people are spending a great deal of time on. We have seen everything – interns hired specifically to pull stats and aggregate data, marketing agencies getting paid top dollar to pull data on a weekly basis, departments forwarding weekly reports to an individual who aggregates data on specific channels and pieces of content and a myriad of other ways to resolve the issue.  The point is there is a big hole to fill around reporting. Organizations want and need a central place to collect data from multiple channels and have simple way to manipulate data to see how assets are performing and which channels are providing the best bang for the buck.

5. Centralization

Organizations are looking to centralize social media efforts across the organization. What we found is that most organizations handle social media in silos. Different departments create pages and accounts for their division and this makes it difficult to deploy a centralized strategy.  Another large retailer we met with is experiencing this issue on a global scale.  They have over 200 physical retail locations in the United States and Canada and many of the local outlets have taken the initiative to develop and manage their own social outposts to target individuals within the local geography.  The problem comes when one of the local offices decides to promote a sale too early (or not at all), promotes a new product before it’s announced by corporate, uses incorrect messaging and generally doesn’t conform to corporate guidelines.  This is a huge problem faced by not only retail organizations but also inside large multinational corporations with departments that are dispersed across the globe.  Centralizing the social media strategy is something that is gaining a lot of momentum within large companies and most are moving to bring social media to one department who controls all engagement and interactions.

————————-

We used these interviews and the information we collected as a guide to help us develop the Awareness Social Marketing Hub.  By listening to our customers we gained a deep understanding of their approach to social media and built the system from the ground up based on their needs.  With the market constantly evolving we wanted to make sure the system met the needs they have today as well as be capable of supporting needs that develop over time. We are continuing to gather more knowledge about enterprise social media needs and are always using our learnings to innovate our offerings.

What do you think?  Did we miss any challenges?  Are these the same ones that you face on a daily basis?  I’d love to hear your thoughts…

All photos used under a Creative Commons license.  Photo credits:

  1. Scale: Hanson Bros. Scale 04.06.09 [96] by timlewisnm
  2. Control: No Controle (in Control) by renatotarga
  3. Lack of Resources:  089/365 Money…What Money by stuartpilbrow
  4. Reporting: AAAARRRGGGHHH by evilerin
  5. Centralize: Collegiate Church, Salzburg by andreakirkby