Social Media Marketing in Four Steps

A methodology to move from sporadic to strategic use based on research with 2,317 B2B and B2C marketers

Social media marketing has been a blazingly hot topic for marketers in every industry this year. But since this technology is so new, there is still a daunting knowledge gap.

So we invited special guest Sergio Balegno, the Research Director of MarketingSherpa, to our most recent web clinic to share his findings and help you better understand the social media landscape. Then our own Boris Grinkot, Senior Manager of Research and Strategy, shared ideas based on our optimization principles to help you apply Sergio’s findings.

Based on its research, MarketingSherpa has developed a four-step
methodology – the Social Marketing ROAD (Research, Objectives, Actions, Devices) Map.

Research

In this stage, companies gather intelligence on target audiences, social use, and competition. Which prompts the question, “What should we measure to understand our audience?”

Boris walked web clinic attendees through the actions they should be observing, the intermediate metrics they should be tracking, and how these might correlate with familiar digital marketing KPIs (key performance indicators).

Objectives

Once you know where you are, you need to determine where you’re going (and, more importantly, where you want to be) by defining objectives aligned with your target audience and finding the right social and traditional marketing metrics to measure your progress.

But connecting business objectives to a social-media campaign is still little understood. So Boris outlined a five-step process to help you make the link.

Actions

So how do you get there from here? You need a social marketing strategy with a tactical plan of action to ensure you connect your audience with the right message. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

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When formulating this plan, don’t be intimidated by social media. While the technology itself is very new (and, therefore, few practitioners have in-depth experience), social media is simply facilitating a transparent two-way conversation with your audience – which should be nothing new to high-performing marketers.

Devices

Never confuse a device with an entire medium. While Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are popular now, Friendster and Second Life have had their day in the sun as well. And as we speak, there are a couple of college freshmen pulling all-nighters in an inconspicuous dorm room creating the next hot social media tool.

So while you must have a strategy and process that doesn’t overly rely on a specific device, you still face the practical challenge of selecting a platform that fits the social marketing architecture and tactics you have committed to. And then creating (or reusing) compelling content to distribute on that platform while managing the entire process in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your resources.

View the clinic replay, or listen to the audio recording (mp3) to give you the information and ideas you need to create and optimize your own social media marketing strategy.

Download the MarketingExperiments Quarterly Research Journal:

Q1 2010
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View a replay of this presentation:

Webinar Video 2010-03-24
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Credits:

Editor-in-Chief — Dr. Flint McGlaughlin

Writer(s) — Daniel Burstein
Pamela Markey
Boris Grinkot
Austin McCraw

Contributor(s) — Sergio Balegno
       Boris Grinkot
       Andy Mott

Production — Austin McCraw

Graphic and Web Designer — Landon Calabello

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