Social media as a testing mechanism
I read a really interesting article from The New York Times over the weekend that I think proves social will become increasingly important. The article is a mini case study of how a large nutritional supplement company built and managed a large Facebook campaign:
At the highest level, I thought it was interesting because it showed:
- That large companies are shifting significant marketing investment dollars to Facebook (in this case, the company will spend ~$100M with Facebook over the next few years. That is real money!
- Marketing is marketing. It does not matter if you are doing it on TV or if you are doing it on social. The message needs to be spot on and the content needs to be of the highest quality.
- That there is a large trade-off between precision and cost in the online world. As targeting becomes more precise due to sophisticated analytics, more companies will want to access, and be willing to pay for, the eyeballs of these consumers.
While this case study focuses on a company with millions of dollars to spend, there are some very good lessons for every marketer:
- The usage of social media as a testing mechanism for a marketing campaign’s effectiveness. In this case, the initial testing period was eight weeks, but the team from Facebook admits that, “We can tell you within the first 15 minutes…whether it is a good post.” That’s proof that if you do not have any formal social listening program in place, you are missing a huge opportunity to optimize your marketing. And if you do not have a testing culture in your company, you are behind the curve.
- Everyone should strive to have quantitative goals and metrics for all their marketing activities. The old adage, “If it is important enough to do, it is important enough to measure,” has never been more true, or easier, as it is in the online world. Marketing automation tools, social media monitoring tools, and CRM systems can all support better measurement capabilities. And if you have the money, you can derive even deeper metrics like point-of-sales analysis like Nielsen and Datalogix.
- You do not need a two day session with 20 people to get deeper insight into your markets and targets. A strong social listening platform is the place to start. And it will give you a broader set of data to analyze than just FB!
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