According to the “Seriously Social” research report from Warc, social media marketing campaigns are too short, too siloed, and too hard to track. This determination came from a study of 800 marketing campaigns that included a social media tactic, which won significant industry awards. Brands like American Express, Walmart, Virgin Mobile, and AT&T were represented in the study.
The “Seriously Social” report found that social media marketing is being included in more campaigns, but those campaigns typically had lower budgets than campaigns without social elements. Furthermore, the social media part of those campaigns was often focused on short-term goals where results could not be accurately quantified. It’s this inability to calculate true return on investment that the report writers believe will ultimately separate great marketers from their peers.
The report identified several challenges that brand marketers need to address if they want to succeed with social media marketing campaigns in the future. Some of those challenges won’t be new to you. For example, Warc identifies the need to adopt a social media mindset as a significant challenge, but there is no doubt that success in social media marketing requires knowing what the target audience wants and giving it to them. The more realistic challenge is getting executive buy-in, so you can deliver the content that your audience wants, not the content that the powers-that-be think the audience wants. A second challenge identified in the report is the clear social articulation of your brand idea. In other words, let the audience engage with the brand experience on the social web and make it their own. Again, this isn’t a new concept.
More interesting to brand marketers are the second challenges identified in the report. The writers indicate that marketers need to “scale up ambition,” meaning they need to review the problem areas of social media campaigns, which Warc identified as being too focused on the short-term and limiting budgets. Finally, the Warc report warns brand marketers to avoid looking for a specific creative formula for social media campaigns, and instead, focus on learning what your target audience wants and delivering it in the way they’ll respond to. It’s not revolutionary advice, but it’s good advice.
You can subscribe and download the full report from the Warc website and get all of the details.
Image: Miki Yoshihito
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