They say social media is heading toward maturation. They say social is going mainstream. A recent study showed 96 percent of all marketers surveyed are involved in social media in some way. That makes sense to me.
Journalist and blogger Lance Haun recently wrote about media consumption and how bloggers and networkers are weird in the way they consume media. He’s right — when you are tech savvy and you surround yourself by other tech savvy people, it can start to feel like you’re in Amish country when you have to explain what a hashtag is.
The same study reported only 41 percent of marketers even attempt to measure their time and financial investment in social media.
The lack of accountability and measurement for social media is a mistake apparently more than half of companies make. Are you making any of these mistakes with your content marketing strategy?
- Strategy is not tied to business goals: In the beginning, when you are just getting started with social media, you might just be trying it out and seeing where it goes. But if you have committed to social media as a channel, ground your strategy with a strong connection to the goals of the business. For instance, if your company has a specific revenue goal for the quarter, you might go backwards from the dollar amount of revenue needed to find out the number of sales to find out the number of leads you want to generate for the quarter through all channels. At the end of a quarter, you could know exactly how much social impacted reached or missed business goals and you’ll even have a dollar amount for ROI if you’re tracking lead generation.
- Social media and content generation happen in a vacuum: Oftentimes, I see social happening in a vacuum even within marketing. Whoever is in charge of social is the only one who knows anything about it and no one else “gets that stuff.” When social and content marketing happen in isolation, they can’t be effectively mobilized to employees and advocates, and the content promotion process is likely to happen in a vacuum as well.
- Baseless claims and no data: Stop quoting that Pinterest is “basically all women” and “almost no B2B companies.” Stop saying you’re getting “huge growth on a monthly basis” and lean in to your data so you know exactly what’s going on. Keep your finger on the pulse with real, meaningful data.
- Misunderstand the time investment: Whether you’re underestimating or not restricting the time investment for social and content marketing, without a strategic plan, you don’t know how much time it takes to manage your content initiatives or your social presence. Without knowing how much you’re investing in social and content, how can you begin to measure?
- You’re annoying: Maybe you have an outdated outreach strategy paying for backlinks or begging for placement or you have an automated direct message setup on Twitter to reach out to new followers. You’re interrupting, disingenuous and trying to see results from your work on a social loudspeaker — and it’s damaging your brand more than a complete lack of involvement.
- Lack of accountability for social investment: As I mentioned earlier, social media marketing can hold up to scrutiny. It can be held accountable for ROI. If you don’t know how, drop us a line, we’ll help out.
David Meerman Scott says:
You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.
— David Meerman Scott
The benefits for getting social and content marketing can't be matched by any other channel strategy. The consequences for getting it wrong can be worse than total absence.
You know what to do. And if you can't do it alone, send me a note.