Focus on Five Areas to Upgrade Social Marketing

December 9, 2015
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Break down silos in these five areas to integrate social marketing into multichannel initiatives.

Thirty-nine million people debated the mother of the bride’s dress color. One wedding, one dress and 39 million people voted on the color of the dress. Was it blue and black or white and gold? For a few short days in February 2015 the Internet was consumed with this simple, confounding, and surprisingly emotional question. It seemed half the world adamantly saw blue and black while the other half adamantly saw white and gold.

“Real-time content success requires seamless integration of teams, processes and technologies.”

Real-time content success (i.e. tying a brand’s content to trending topics to drive business metrics) requires seamless integration of teams, processes and technologies, noted Jay Wilson, research director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.For a company like Adobe, it was the perfect social marketing opportunity. The Adobe social team quickly promoted a customer’s analysis of the dress color using Adobe’s color app product to generate 46 million impressions, driving a twofold increase in app downloads that week.

Adobe’s response to “The Dress” social meme exemplified the company’s social strategy of using content centered on simplicity, participation, emotion, timeliness and spreadability. Adobe’s example provides helpful context for understanding the 5 key focus areas needed to deliver better insights and results across the multichannel marketing spectrum.

“Social marketing accounts for between 23 percent and 93 percent of leads generated during events.”

Social marketing often lives in a silo based on how it was initially introduced to the organization (through PR, customer service, etc.). Enabling integration of people, process and technology is the key to fully leveraging social marketing’s value. The social team at Adobe is centrally coordinated with the multichannel marketing discipline at the company leading to quick turnaround times for real-time marketing opportunities.Integrate your organization, process, and technology.


Design a two-speed marketing strategy

Another casualty of social media teams that operate in a silo is a misaligned social marketing strategy or a lack of a strategy entirely. Determine how “always-on” social marketing can fill the gaps between the typical starts and stops of time-based campaigns. The “Dress” social content from Adobe exemplified how the use of opportunistic, “always on” content can effectively fill the gaps between campaign content.


Invest in social technology

A recent Gartner multichannel marketing survey found only 19 percent of marketers indicated that technology receives the highest level of investment in their social program, although that is changing quickly – social technology is a top investment priority going into 2016, according to Gartner’s CMO Spending Survey Evaluate your current social listening, publishing and engagement tools to ensure they are helping break down barriers versus creating them. Adobe has listening technology in place to be aware of timely and trending topics that are relevant to their marketing efforts.


Connect social with real-world data

Marketers struggle with connecting social activity to business outcomes because most data sits untapped in social media networks. Use campaigns, registrations, and customer service interactions to collect and tie social IDs to customer data to stitch together online and offline worlds. At Adobe, social is not only driving traffic to app downloads and product pages but to events and field marketing. Social marketing accounts for between 23 percent and 93 percent of leads generated during events.


Capitalize on content

User-generated content (UGC) can be wildly successful if leveraged correctly and can even impact a brand’s visual identity. Use social marketing to engage, nurture and enable “influencers” to carry your brand’s story on your behalf. Adobe tapped into the serendipitous content developed by a user to elegantly and authentically show the product in use and in context.

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