Why Your Social Media Campaign May Be Doomed

SoftwareHollis
Hollis Tibbetts Director for Software Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions Group, Dell, Inc.

Posted on December 7th 2011

Your organization's social media initiative is hobbled - potentially even endangered without integration software.

It's nearly impossible for a business of significant size to get the full value of a social media initiative in place without using some sort of Integration software layer.  Integration software is Cloud-based middleware that links disparate applications and data together. 

Why is Social Media only half of the equation when it comes to a social media initiative?

Any social media program worth its weight in salt needs to be tied into the business objectives of the organization - whether that's to increase mindshare, generate website traffic, create leads, improve customer service, whatever.  

But measuring the impact of social media against such business objectives can be challenging - the data are in different places. That's why it's  extraordinarily difficult to measure and analyze the impact of a social media initiative without an integration strategy in place. You can tweet and facebook all you want, but when the C-Suite wants to know what the return on the social media effort is, metrics like "followers, tweets, and likes" don't cut it.  In fact, they could be career-limiting and budget-reducing.

In the absence of real metrics that are tied to business objectives (i.e. objectives that are important to the C-levels), your social media initiative will be dominated by opinions, politics and personalities - and you will lose professional credibility in the process. 

In order to tie social media metrics into things like conversion rates, cost per lead, etc., as well as capture trends, data must be captured, collected and integrated across a number of different systems - and then analyzed, hence the need for an integration strategy and Cloud-based integration software.

From a conceptual/visual perspective, this is depicted in figure 1, below, in a graphic that I've adapted from an webinar given by Birst (Business Intelligence/Analytics), Cervello (BI/Analytics Consulting) and SnapLogic (Cloud-based Integration), which discussed the ROI of Social Media Analytics (on-demand replay available).  Cloud-based Integration Platforms such as SnapLogic or Boomi provide highly capable, easy to use integration capabilities and subscription-based pricing.

Social Media Cloud.png

With the demands placed on social media programs by internal customers and the executive suite, it's ever more critical to be able to integrate data across multiple systems to be able to make business decisions on marketing spend - as well as to justify marketing spend. Without a robust integration strategy, your ability to conduct an effective social media program will be severely degraded. 

SoftwareHollis

Hollis Tibbetts

Director for Software Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions Group, Dell, Inc.

Hollis has established himself as a successful software marketing and technology expert. His various strategy, marketing and technology blogs are read over 50,000 times a month. He has over 20 years experience in creating, executing and managing innovative and effective marketing programs for startup, midsize and large technology companies in Silicon Valley and Austin TX. He has substantial expertise and a highly successful track record in positioning and launching companies and products and achieving solid, sustained growth. Hollis has developed substantial expertise in middleware, SaaS, Cloud, data management and distributed application technologies, with over 2 decades of experience in marketing, technical, product management and product marketing roles at leading companies in such as Pervasive, Aruna (acquired by Progress Software), Sybase (now SAP), webMethods (now Software AG), M7 Corporation (acquired by BEA/Oracle), OnDisplay (acquired by Vignette) and KIVA Software (acquired by Netscape). He has established himself as an industry expert, having authored a large number of technology white papers, as well as published media articles and book contributions. Hollis is a regularly featured blogger at ebizQ, a venue focused on enterprise technologies, with over 100,000 subscribers (http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/integrationedge), writes extensively on Sys-con Media (http://hollistibbetts.sys-con.com) and maintains a blog focused on creating great software: Software Marketing 2011 (http://www.softwaremarketingexperts.com) He is also active on Twitter as @SoftwareHollis Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com
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