We experience several frustrations almost every day on behalf of our clients who are struggling to tie together all the elements of end to end process to link social media monitoring with publishing, management frameworks, analytics and insight as well as business results. It is difficult to close that ‘last mile’ and bring it all together. And increasingly, we need to add social advertising into the mix and measure its effectiveness across the process. In a recent Mashable post it is explained how companies are finding it hard enough to link social to “just” brand building let alone the over all integrated digital strategy. As Dave Fleet suggests the social brand is only half the puzzle.
Organisations tend to have a Social Media Monitoring platform – either free or paid depending on the complexity of their requirements. These tools are great at sifting through large volumes of social media mentions using various analytics capabilities to provide business data which can hopefully be used to create new business insights.
These Social Media Monitoring tools have lots of great dashboards and can drill into segments, show sentiment, uncover topics or subjects or interest and determine influencers.
But almost immediately you want the ability to publish content out to the social networks; probably to multiple networks at the same time and perhaps optimized for the best time of day. So organisations deploy solutions like Hootsuite which allow multiple team members to publish to multiple networks. Or they might use a tool like Buffer or Timely to load up the posts and publish based on calculated best viewing times.
Pretty soon they begin to look for better moderation tools which allow you not only moderate posts and content on various networks but also provide sophisticated workflow to take social media activity and create a support case in a CRM solution or route it to a community manager for immediate response.
Some analysis tools have moderation, some have workflow, some allow multiple posting but mostly we have to deploy a combination of solutions. And at this point it suddenly clicks with many organisations – so now how do I tie all this with behavioural analytics (I tend to think of most social analytics as conversational analytics). How do we tie social activity to customer and prospect behavior on our websites and landing pages and ecommerce platforms. How do we know which social media campaigns are actually driving net new customer acquisition and increased web site conversation? Typically, we need yet another tool or platform for this and they are generally not integrated, and as a result, visualizing in one place the end to end analytics and insights is almost impossible.
At this point we should also be adding digital advertising analytics to the mix. What form of social advertising is driving the best response rates and what does the conversion look like? Are they sharing this with their friends? What is the reach of those campaigns. Which is working better – our Facebook ad or LinkedIn ad or promoted tweets?
Good luck with putting all this together in place on a common set of Social and Digital tools or platforms.
Yet that is exactly what we need today in social business for the marketing related goals and objectives. We believe this would vastly improve the effectiveness of social media as an integrated tactic in marketing and would advance the understanding of social marketing ROI enormously.
We see many vendors making improvements in one or another of these areas but we don’t yet see an end to end solution that scales effectively. And our clients are also wanting this development.