- Category: March 2013 - Social Media Marketing
Just recently, Meltwater, a leading provider of online intelligence solutions, announced an upgrade to Meltwater Buzz, its flagship social media marketing suite. Meltwater Buzz 3.0 helps social media marketers efficiently monitor and engage in social conversations across large communities and execute campaigns that deliver real marketing ROI.
“Trying to monitor millions of social conversations and engage thousands of social influencers at a personal level is a huge challenge,” said Joel York, Executive Director of Marketing and Product for Meltwater. “As we move from traditional monologue marketing to social dialogue marketing, there is a clear need for an efficient, social mission control console. Meltwater Buzz helps marketers build social communities and create campaigns that drive viral word-of-mouth for real social ROI.”
Indeed, Meltwater Buzz 3.0 provides key improvements that help social media community managers efficiently move from monologue to dialogue marketing and execute more effective social media marketing campaigns, such as:
- An all new user experience for increased efficiency;
- New community analytics to measure and grow social communities;
- Comprehensive analytics upgrade for clearer insights across social conversations and social media channels.
According to Meltwater‘s recently published eBook „The four C‘s of Social Media Marketing“, social media offers more opportunities and more pitfalls than any other online marketing communication channel. Done well, social marketing programs combine the scale of broadcast advertising with the personalized service of a sales representative. Done poorly, social media marketing is a costly, manual effort with no clear business purpose. Cultivating a spontaneous, expanding, and independent online dialogue that is meaningful to your business is the central social media marketing challenge, Meltwater states.
The Social Media Marketing Holy Grail may also be called Word-of-Mouth, and to cultivate that it is necessary to understand the four C‘s of Social media marketing:
Social communities are comprised of overlapping social networks: family, friends, classmates, clubs, colleagues, customers and casual acquaintances. Marketers planning social media campaigns can still apply traditional segmentation techniques to understand their target communities. In qualifying a target community and its members, it’s important to examine demographics, like gender and age, in conjunction with psychographics like brand sentiment. However, social communities differ from advertising audiences in that the marketer is able to establish the nature of their community relationships, creating new measures with new marketing meaning, such as number and type of connections, engagement in social conversations and social influence.
Social media analytics provide essential insights for designing, implementing and assessing the ROI of social media marketing campaigns. Driving word-of-mouth buzz relies heavily on the common interests, interconnectedness and overall size of your target community. The most brilliant tweet, blog post or video will not go viral if your target community isn’t interested, doesn’t share it, or simply isn’t big enough. Understanding interests and relationships through social community analytics will help you choose more interesting topics and engage with the most influential individuals to spark the conversations that your target community will value and spread.
Some may be surprised that “content” is noticeably missing from the Four C’s of Social Media Marketing. This is no oversight; content marketing without conversation is simply long-format advertising. Facilitating social conversations starts and ends with listening. To find your target communities and understand what interests them, you must first listen to what’s being said and who’s saying it. After you join the conversation, you must listen to know if you are being heard, to understand how you are received, and to measure the business impact of your social media campaigns. Ideally, personal community interests align closely to your business interests, as when a band announces upcoming tour dates to its Facebook fans. But these goals can also be distantly related, such as a diaper manufacturer’s community blog for new parents. In either case, business goals can only be achieved in the service of the personal community goals, not at their expense. To realize ROI in social media marketing, you have to believe in social karma.
Social media channels are many and varied, but they all have one thing in common: sharing. Social conversations emerge by sharing information, and the value of that shared information builds social communities through reciprocity. Choosing the right social media channels for the ideal conversation within your target community amounts to understanding what you wish to share and the best places to share it. Brilliant business insights for sales professionals might best be shared on a company blog and LinkedIn. Humorous video that energizes a stodgy consumer brand might best be shared on YouTube. Images of beautiful designer jewellery might best be shared on Pinterest.
Social media engagement varies widely by channel, because the nature of information sharing varies widely by channel. Whereas it may take seconds to retweet on Twitter, it can take minutes to read and recommend a blog post. Therefore, engagement metrics must be analyzed in the context of the social media channel. It may also be necessary to capture cross-channel engagement metrics to understand a social conversation fully; a blog post, for example, might spark conversation through tweets, shares and RSS redistribution. As the level of distribution an engagement will vary by each channel, it’s important to establish your KPIs accordingly. The effective social media marketing manager is like an air traffic controller, managing many complex conversational trajectories with the help of sophisticated social radar, analysis and communications technology.
Social communities, conversations and channels converge holistically to form the fourth C: the social media marketing campaign. A social media marketing campaign requires a target community, a conversation, and a channel to drive word-of-mouth marketing that supports a social business goal, such as customer advocacy or viral demand generation. It is the campaign point of view that brings business meaning to your social media programs. You may have thousands of followers on Twitter, but what are they worth if they aren’t members of your target social community and don’t share your content to create social conversations relevant to your business? Remember, reciprocity is your social currency, so be sure to analyze your community and your channel to ensure that you’re fostering the right conversation.
Communities, conversations, channels, and campaigns: these are the Four C’s of social media marketing, and mastering these functional areas requires that you have the right tools and the right mindset. From there, you can achieve meaningful, measurable, social media marketing ROI.
For marketers that are evaluating social community management solutions, a free trial of Meltwater Buzz 3.0 is available on the Meltwater website at http://meltwater.com/free-trial.
By Anjum Siddiqi