Social Media Marketing Optimization: Start small and test


In Flint McGlaughlin’s MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011 session, our Managing Director (CEO) presented our well known and researched Email Messaging Optimization Index. I enjoyed the tweets that included the heuristic, eme = rv(of + i) – (f + a).

In a session on day three, Boris Grinkot, Associate Director of Product Development, MECLABS, moderated a panel — “Case Study: How to Track ROI for Social Media Campaigns” –where he announced that he is beginning to conduct research with Radian6 that will eventually serve as the basis for a social media marketing optimization methodology similar to the Email Messaging Optimization Index.

An early social media optimization experiment

While we’re clearly not ready to share that research yet, Boris and his panel did share an early look at some of the social media optimization research they are conducting. One of Boris’s first research subjects was our very own social media experts, and panelist Justin Bridegan, Marketing Manager MECLABS Primary Research, who shared his involvement in this research project.

Justin’s case study covered how MarketingSherpa used social media to drive Email Summit 2011 traffic. Justin based his efforts on MarketingSherpa’s heavily researched social marketing strategy, the ROAD Map.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Three social media campaigns were launched to help drive Summit traffic using all the social media channels that were applicable
  • Viral messages, incentive promotions, and affiliate contests were all part of a social marketing push to drive Summit engagement
  • Results include over 170 tweets, 60% increase in Summit tickets sales and 116 additional trending activities (blogs, posts, etc.) by affiliates (everyone included)

Justin said, “One of the most difficult parts of social media marketing is creating a lasting methodology that works.  Time and resources continue to be two of the most difficult challenges social marketers face.”

Two Summit attendees expressed these thoughts:

  • I just don’t have the time to keep up with all the new social marketing strategies, too many things are on my plate right now
  • Where am I going to find the resources, we are a small company and keeping up with social media marketing is a big task?

The ROAD Map

MarketingSherpa’s ROAD Map breaks down to:

  • Research
  • Objectives
  • Actions
  • Devices

Using MarketingSherpa’s proven social marketing strategy (ROAD Map), Justin was able to analyze what resources he needed and save time so he could refine his process instead of looking for a strategy that actually works.

Here are the three social media campaigns run by MarketingSherpa to promote Email Summit 2011:

Justin’s key takeaways:

  1. Start small and test – “You don’t know what you don’t know”
  2. Having a solid social marketing methodology in place (ROAD Map) will allow you to focus on real obtainable goals.
  3. Determine the most effective offers for your campaigns including: Contests, incentives and promotions
  4. Weigh Quality vs. Quantity with your offers, and remember the need for balance in your engagement
  5. Successful campaigns don’t always equate to revenue, but can be one of many contributing components

Particpate in our research

If you would like to participate in our research with Radian6 to create a social media marketing optimization methodology, let us know. We were, essentially, one of our own first Research Partners, and are currently looking for future Research Partners.

Please share your insights on social media marketing by taking our third annual Social Marketing Benchmark Survey. This survey is being fielded now and will only remain open through Sunday, February 6, 2011.

Related resources

Free Inbound Marketing Newsletter – Case Studies and How To articles about social media, SEO, and content marketing

New Chart: Social Marketing Maturity and the Social Marketing ROAD Map

Social Media Marketing Research: Rolling up my sleeves and getting social

Maximizing Email List Growth: How the New York Public Library drove a 52.8% lift in newsletter subscriptions

Most-Tweeted Blog Posts of 2010: Facebook case study, social media marketing human factor, antisocial media, and more

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