Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Social Media Goal Setting - One Firm's Approach

As one of the primary sales resources at Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) my methodology was fairly straight-forward for the better part of a decade. 

Chat up as many corporate marketing execs as credible...get a hold of a RFP for public relations support when issued...attempt to differentiate Strategic...hope for the best.

Promoting the use of social media marketing services is a dramatically different game because its adoption remains in its infancy in corporate settings.  There isn't an extensive portfolio of best practices that can be tapped, which creates an imperative to work collaboratively with a prospect to define a unique scope of work and appropriate budget.

Then there is the issue of establishing performance benchmarks that: 1) create a business case to fund a new initiative like social media; and 2) are achievable.

Here is a list of the five categories which typically cite when proposing how to best measure success:
1. Awareness building (audience readership and how it trends)

2. Engagement (topics that produce high readership, comments, retweets, social sharing, etc.)

3. Organic SEO based on a set of key words or phrases

4. Thought leadership (Doother PR/marketing opportunities present themselves as a result of the social participation? (i.e. media interviews, conference presentations, etc.)

5. Mutually agreeable sales benchmarks (lead generation, prospect relationship cultivation, deal capture)
Our preference is to use the initial two to four week period after the introduction of a social site to establish a baseline.  Goals can then be mapped accordingly.

However, some prospects prefer to define success at the onset of a program.  If that's the case, we will make assumptions based on the campaigns we've executed during the past four years.  Admittedly, those are merely best guesses.

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