If your organization has already decided to take the plunge and commit to building its communities across the various social media platforms, then the imperatives around social media campaign integration discussed in this post should be a no brainer. A solid social media integration plan does not only help in leveraging existing social media channels for marketing campaigns, but also helps in growing and nurturing your community. It helps in creating engagement & talking points and makes the customer feel connected and special. But despite the benefits, campaign integration in many organizations is not a well oiled engine that cranks up when needed. So let's list the imperatives of social media integration into marketing campaigns.
1. Websites (Corporate, Campaign or Blogs) Need to Be Social Friendly:
It's amazing how still many companies are failing to optimize their sites for Social media. They either don't have social media share buttons or then the content or site format is no conducive to extract content on a share. It's crazy to even think that one can propagate a campaign microsite if the share functionality on it doesn't work. All the community building is a waste if you can't drive traffic or awareness to content on your web pages.
2. Need for a Content Calendar
The content calendar becomes extremely important if you are running multiple campaigns across multiple social platforms. You can't plan your content distribution on a day to day basis it has be more long drawn and shared with content publishers much in advance. It may be worthwhile to invest in tools that help you optimize your publishing by scheduling it in advance and helping you post content at the appropriate time. There is definitely a science involved in timing your content based on time zones, demographics and amplification sweet spots.
3. Knowledge of Promotion Guidelines on Social Media Platforms
Many agencies and companies seem to struggle in the area of understanding the ever evolving policies of social media platforms. Though there is a lot of talk around use of social media in contest, sweepstakes and promotions, many promotions fail to meet both internal & social platform guideline criterion. Special precautions need to be taken to make sure that your campaign meets all the guidelines around privacy and any dispute that may arise around the promotional terms and conditions. Constant training and communication of internal as well as agency staff could help mitigate and prevent many of the problems that may show up around this.
4. Blogger/ Influencer Integration
Along with traditional media channels many organizations have started to engage bloggers for their product, service or campaign launches. But unfortunately not many PR agencies and organizations completely understand the needs of bloggers and that they behave very differently from traditional media. One of the most common approaches of engagement used currently is blogger meets where presentation and handouts are given out to influential bloggers. But if you notice closely you will see that the information handed out is not very different from the content and format that the traditional media get. More thought needs to be put in when designing the Blogger PR kit and organizing the Blogger event. This form of media definitely needs more hand holding then managing traditional media. The content ideally should be modular and giving bloggers different angles to the same story.
It's extremely important to define what success would look like at the end of a social media integration exercise. Just standard web metrics may not be sufficient to judge the effort as successful. Goals should be around things like campaign amplification, customer engagement & acquisition, incremental business results, increased margins etc. Goals that measure brand or business impact are more appreciated by the management.