Social Media – Start with the End in Mind

There’s no doubt about it – the channels now available online to target audiences have broadened media consultancy planning You can target audiences via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ (and others)- and savvy marketing teams are increasingly including these channels as a regular route to market. Being ‘active’ on social networks has many facets – it’s not just about direct lead generation – however, as with all campaigns and activities, they ideally should focus on some specific measurable outcomes. One of the most asked questions I hear is – ‘For all this social media activity, how will we measure tangible return on investment’?

It’s a fair question – after all, social media is ‘always on’ and therefore, providing ‘continuous conversations’ is a resource hungry venture – people, time, training and content creation. My ethos and the culture at Carvill Creative is always to ensure that before any activity is undertaken, the questions of ‘Why are we doing this and what are we looking to achieve’ (kind of the same thing) – are well and truly answered, so that all involved have a very clear rationale, direction and purpose.

Social Media isn’t about doing social media activity for the sake of it – just keeping you on the radar (although if that’s your objective, it could be) – as ideally, it should be working to meet your specific objectives.

This clarity in thinking why you’re doing something – then leads to clarity in the processes required to ensure you are able to measure outcomes.

“If we want to achieve X – then what processes do we need to put in place to deliver on X?”

Focus on tangible metrics and create a marketing campaign that delivers

Let’s say you are targeting a specific audience with a Facebook Ad campaign. Getting creative with the campaign / ad is one thing – but the critical element, which surprisingly is often overlooked, is the focus of where you are going to send people to and what you are going to measure.

Many Facebook Ads simply drive people back to the Facebook Timeline rather than to a specific ‘landing page’. If you send people to a place where there are not any clear signposts of what you exactly want them to do – then guess what…(it’s not rocket science)… they’re unlikely to do what you want them to do.

Whereas, if you send them to a clear and perfectly signposted landing page whereby they can clearly view the proposition and are clear on what they need to do to participate, for example, provide you with their name and email address (data capture) – in order to download an ebook, guide, join the competition, prize draw (you get the drift) – then you have created a ‘lead capture’ process which provides you not only with metrics for traffic hitting that specific landing page, but also who then converted and did what you wanted them to do – and of course, provides you with tangible data to use in follow ups or other marketing activity. A ‘joined up’ approach is far more effective and delivers you with tangible outcomes.

This same focus and approach is relevant for any activity you do.  As the briliant Stephen Covey outlines in his still relevant '7 Habits of Highly Successful People' - habit number 2 is, "start with the end in mind".   I couldn't agree more - it's fundamental to have absolute clarity on what you are looking to achieve – and this will help you design a joined up campaign that delivers.

Start with the end in mind basic planning framework:

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This framework doesn’t go into the campaign delivery detail – but it does get you thinking about top line activity – and fundamentally, what the activity needs to deliver on.

I’ll finish where I started with the wise words … ‘Start with the end in mind’.

Happy socialising… Michelle

@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of online visibility - covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.

For marketing and social media advice – view the Carvill Creative Blog