• 6 Steps to a More Social Business

6 Steps to a More Social Business

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to talk with Sam Decker, the CEO of Mass Relevance. His company helps brands involve and connect with their audiences by bringing social media directly into their marketing and advertising efforts. Prior to that he was the founding CMO of Bazaarvoice and spent seven years in senior leadership at Dell. He’s also written two books on marketing. So he’s well worth listening to.

As usual, Decker was full of ideas. Most of all, he talked about how companies can better integrate social media in pretty much every aspect of their businesses. I thought his ideas were interesting enough to share.

So here are Decker’s six steps to a more social business:

1) Stop treating your social media team antisocially. According to a CMO Council study, 83% of CMOs say social media is not integrated into other parts of their business. Instead, they have a team in a corner somewhere that posts to Facebook and Twitter. This model should end. Brands should integrate social into every aspect of their organizations where it makes sense. If you empower everyone to use social media in a way that’s relevant to their channel, you can coordinate your efforts, amplify your audience’s voice, and build better customer relationships.

2) Deploy your employees socially. You have employees who are passionate about your products and company. Set appropriate guidelines, but then encourage them to participate in social networks.

3) Be open to curated content. People are drawn to content in social media. But most brands and companies find that creating it can be a drag on resources. It’s much easier (and more cost effective) to curate the best of the web as it relates to your brand. 

4) Develop a paid/ owned/ earned strategy. Essentially, this kind of strategy involves thinking of social media as a crucial part of any campaign. You buy ads and other media that point to websites and properties you own. But once you get them there, you earn their interest and allow them to plug them into social networks to spread the word. If done well, this creates momentum that that can greatly lift the reach and ROI of your paid campaigns.

5) Connect to non-social metrics. Your existing marketing programs probably already have key performance indicators that measure success. Try to connect your social media metrics to them. Instead of likes, shares, and comments, you should try to demonstrate the impact of your efforts on existing metrics.

Of course, it’s impossible to measure everything in social media (just as it’s impossible to measure everything in advertising). However, there are ways to do it. For example, you can track social referral traffic to conversions and purchasing. You can measure your leads or sales generated by Pinterest. The key is to link your visitors’ social behavior with whatever you’re already trying to achieve on your websites and other properties. The more you can do this, the more credibility your social strategy will have.

6. Don’t forget polls. This is admittedly a minor point, but photos are currently getting a lot of attention in social media. However according to our (Decker’s) metrics, polls and fill-in-the-blank activities are among the most engaging (not to mention least expensive) things you can do with social media.

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