Measuring Success: It Goes Beyond “Likes”

In this week’s readings and videos we learned that being a successful marketer goes beyond how many “likes” or “Friends” your business has. We’ve talked a lot about knowing your audience/publics, but do you know your customers’ “digital selves”? As referenced in this Mashable article is your company tying together the signals your consumers are sending? If not, you’re probably missing the boat on conversations and getting the most return on investment (ROI). At my organization, we’ve come to the conclusion it’s better to be part of the conversation, rather than ignore what people are saying about us. Since we’re a healthcare organization, referrals (personal and through social media) are a huge way we can measure ROI. A few months back I shared this Mashable article with my department, which proves more and more people are looking to social media to make healthcare-related choices, and they are trusting what they see and read on social media. It’s been a big reason, we’ve started making social media an integral part of our marketing strategy.

I thought it was also interesting to learn in this Mashable article that most companies launch social media campaigns without specific goals. Like any marketing campaign there has to be a reason you’re doing it, right? It should be no different on social media. You need a clear goal and you need to define what would be a success. Have you worked on a social media campaign? Did you feel like you had clear goals? Was the campaign a success? Why or why not?

It was interesting to read about social media’s access to public opinion and public sentiment in Effects of the Recession on Public Mood in the UK, but I wasn’t really surprised by the conclusions. It makes sense that with real-time social networking, such as Twitter, people will react honestly to events happening around them. That’s the great thing about social media, we can voice our opinions as soon as we hear about something. I’m sure if the data have been collected here in the US, the results would have been similar. When something negative is announced about the government (positive or negative) many people react via Twitter. Most recently the scandal involving the IRS comes to mind.

The Marketing Blueprint video was very informative, but George Gill needs to lay off the caffeine! What energy! But seriously, I do agree with his initial statement that businesses, small or large, need to measure everything when it comes to consumers. His formula make sense to me as well. Companies need to measure the quality of a source, measure the volume from that source, and manage content so it meets expectations in order to have high conversion rates. Companies can’t just make rash decisions when it comes to marketing plans. Having data to back up a decision or change in strategy will ultimately help you learn from mistakes or strive for bigger goals. What did you think of Gill’s marketing blueprint? Does it make sense for what you would want to achieve as a marketing specialist? 

As we learned this week and as Facebook says”It’s complicated” when it comes to social analytics and there is not magic bullet, but at least we now have a large amount or available resources to be educated and successful marketers.

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12 thoughts on “Measuring Success: It Goes Beyond “Likes”

  1. Indeed I haven’t run a social marketing campaign before, it does seem absolutely crucial to know what you want to achieve before you begin. That’s with anything, right? I’d really like know more about a step-by-step guide for creating a social media campaign. I mean, is it more than consistent messages across various sites: website, Twitter, Facebook? I guess it would also depend on what your goal is to know how to implement. Haha, and thus we come full circle.

    Concerning the marketing blueprint, from what I’ve seen so far there weren’t so many fans of this video, but it does sound like you got the gist of it. And, I liked what he said, everything the company puts online they have to have a method for measuring. I don’t have a job as a marketing or media specialist, so I’m a little bit without context here. It’s helpful to hear from other people’s experience though.

    I’d like to see if others respond to experience with a social media campaign.

    • It’s kind of funny timing after posting this blog a co-worker approached me today about doing a social media campaign focused on breast health in anticipation of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. Our yearly campaign to promote mammography screening is called “Yes, Mamm” so I’m looking forward to meeting with her in the coming weeks to develop something specific for social media! I’ll let you know how it goes.

  2. One of the social media campaigns I’ve worked on that stands out the most is a fan vote we did. We partnered with Golf Channel, our golf event broadcaster, to let fans pick what players would form a featured group during a telecast. Going into it we didn’t have clear goals other than wanting to get a lot of fans to vote and getting fans to tune in and watch. Looking back on it we should’ve put more attention into other goals like increasing followers. The campaign was promoted through all of our social media channels but the voting only took place on Twitter. I think that was one of the downfalls because people who didn’t have Twitter couldn’t cast a vote. Other than that the campaign was a success. We saw great impressions from our hashtag and recorded a lot of votes. There wasn’t much analysis done after the contest to see if we had an increase or a decrease in followers. Although this would’ve been very hard to track, did our contest increase our viewership that day?

    The Marketing Blueprint was a little fast paced for me as well. I felt I grasped a general understanding of the point he was trying to make but I didn’t understand all of the specifics. If he had given a real life example of how all the pieces and part worked I think I could’ve come away with a lot more than I did.

    • Stacy, Thanks for sharing your experience with a social media campaign. It’s always good to be able to take away the things that worked and the things you can do differently in the future. It’s interested you utilized Twitter more so than other social media networks. I’ve always wondered if my organization should target one site or try a campaign across all our sites? I guess it depends on who your audience is and what the goal is.

  3. Laura,

    Of all this week’s readings, I felt the most interesting was the effects of the recession on the mood in the UK. Since people are so quick to voice their emotions on social media it is a great way to gauge people’s mindset. However, they do mention there are slight flaws such as using the word “happy” to conclude that society as a whole is happier on a holiday when they could just be wishing people a Happy Christmas (as they do in the UK according to Harry Potter.)

    I have recently worked in a social media campaign regarding the Senior Class Award. There was a clear goal and based on the early numbers it seems to have been rather successful. I could not imagine starting a campaign on social media without a clear goal in mind. How would you know what to say? How would you know where to direct followers? To me it just seems like it would add more stress if there was not a clear goal in mind.

    I agree that Gill should lay off the caffeine, not sure that level of energy is needed. I think his blueprint makes sense for many business models, especially the area you mention about the quality of the source. If one trusted source recommends something I would more likely go for that than something recommended by a larger quantity of untrusted sources. I think most people would feel that way, or at least respond to the information that way.

    • Casey, I found the article on from the UK interesting as well. As we know, social media has made it easier for all of us to communicate and stay connected in a matter of seconds. But that doesn’t always mean it’s a great gauge of how we’re truly feeling or that it can show the overall mood of a society or culture. I think like anything else it’s another gauge but not the ultimate measurement.

      It’s great to hear you launched and implemented a successful social media campaign. What was your specific goal? Did students have to nominate someone for an award or submit something to be considered for an award? Just interested in learning if your goal was engagement or just overall attention of the Senior Class Award?

      • The Senior CLASS Award is a national award given to a student-athlete in each NCAA sport who represents the model student athlete. Good grades, community service, leadership and obviously competition. One of the seniors on the baseball team is more or less the definition of this award. Starter for several years, leader and graduated with a 3.82 while double majoring in biomedical sciences and business management. The award is partially decided based on fan votes, so the goal of the campaign was to raise awareness in the hopes of getting votes.

  4. I always love reading your blog because we both work on similar projects. It sounds like you have a firm grasp on the power of engagement. It really is so important to get to know your supporters. The fact that we work in non-profit health, engagement is even more valuable.

    It’s so obvious to see businesses who have no social media plan when interacting on Twitter. Those are the businesses that just post haphazardly every other week something about their product, with little to no interaction with their followers. It drives me crazy to go to a local business’ Facebook page, and see people’s comments and questions go completely ignored by the business. That’s such easy and free advertising. You wouldn’t ignore a customer face-to-face inside your business, so why would you ignore them on a public forum? It’s just bad business.

    PS I showed my boss (and she showed her boss) your Annual Report infographic. And they LOVED it. 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback on the infographic Lisa! My bosses will be happy to hear that as they were excited I was sharing it.

      I totally agree with your face-to-face consumer interaction equating to social media as well. I think not only is constant engagement and monitoring of social media accounts important for businesses, but also creating a “voice” or “tone” for your organization.

      As a healthcare organization we’ve decided to be part of our community and sound that way on our social media networks. We’re not just a hospital or doctor’s office posting information about scary medical conditions or how patients can schedule appointments. We’re promoting health fairs, farmers’ markets, and wishing people “Happy Father’s Day!” for example. We have a personality on social media and that’s definitely improved our engagement and I think our overall standing in the community.

  5. I think it is amazing the healthcare industry uses social media for referrals and for marketing purposes to get new patients. Three years ago when I was in the healthcare industry this was almost unheard of. When I was an interpreter at a Federally Qualified Health Center, I brought up the idea of having social media sites (only because everyone had one–I didn’t realize the marketing potential) but we had one problem–because we mostly catered to rural communities, it would be pointless because the majority of our patients were from low-income households and they didnt have internet access and many of them couldnt even read or write. What type of audience does your job serve? Do you guys take into consideration these types of exceptions when running your social media campaigns or do you just cater to the “general” population? Also can you give me some examples of things you guys tweet and post in order to interact with your audience? Do you guys ever run out of things to say? It seems like it could be challenging in the healthcare field… especially with HIPPA laws and stuff.

    I have not yet worked with a Business or company on social media campaigns but I really want to (if you know of any opportunities let me know). I think it is extremely important to have goals regarding those campaigns. If clear, concise objectives aren’t established, it’s kind of like the campaign reverts to being ran for entertainment purposes. You always have to have a goal/objective in mind that you are trying to achieve. It makes it easier for you to determine/measure the success and effectiveness of the social media campaign when its over.

    I think it is important that people can voice their opinions on social media sites but I think sometimes this can be detrimental and cause more problems than the issue they are reacting to. I typically have to delete my accounts around election time to prevent myself from engaging in INTENSE verbal debates with people in my networks. I am all about standing up for what you believe in and defending why you feel a certain way about an issue, but I hate to see people degrade and slander an individual or group because of their religion, race, disability, sex, etc. It can get ugly on these sites—they are extremely unfiltered and uncensored. What about you? How do you feel regarding this?

    I thought Gill did a good job with his video and his overall message. I would definitely know what I would want to achieve if I were a marketing specialist. He gave some good advice.

    • Tammy, we do keep HIPAA at top of mind all the time when posting to social media sites or responding to posts from fans. If there is a HIPAA violation we take a screenshot of it and immediately delete it. Again, this hasn’t happened too often and is usually personal information posted by a patient, not by one of our employees. In that case, if they are sharing their personal information in a public forum it’s not a HIPAA violation.

      Our audience is a broad one. Our healthcare system covers much of western Virginia, which includes some cities and some very rural areas. We struggle sometimes with messaging because people who live in the highly populated areas are well educated and have the technology available, other areas not-so-much. That’s why we do a lot of targeted messaging. We do have overall marketing messages for the entire system, but we also do community-based messaging for those smaller markets.

      Check out our facebook and twitter pages for examples of what we post. As you’ll see, there’s a mix of marketing messaging, community events, health and wellness, and news stories. Let me know what you think. I’m always looking for new ideas!

      http://www.facebook.com/carilionclinic
      http://www.twitter.com/carilionclinic

  6. I feel like with most of our marketing campaigns, we have goals- grow the accounts. Convert to sales. Meet this ecommerce sales goal. But we never really dive into a specific campaign and say ‘let’s finally hit 1 million followers,’ or ‘I want to see at least 50% conversion to sales.’ It seems like we always put our best foot forward, use the budget we have, and aim for the highest possible goals. That’s definitely something I’ll be trying to take a big-picture look at from now on. As for Mr. Gill… I could barely stand to watch him. The editing made it look like he was teleporting across the screen, and that didn’t help. He makes some good points, I just wish they were a bit calmer. 🙂

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