Some large brands realising the importance of investing in a social media presence or outreach are having real crisis’s of confidence. They want to have facebook pages, twitter accounts, blogs but don’t want to invest time in their up-keep. They think being in the game is enough but it is not, you have got to look like a champion online and that requires regular exercise and up-keep in the social media space..a site that is always up to date and always offering more.
Over the last few months many marketing directors have demanded “edgy”, “cutting edge”, “trendsetting” social media led campaigns. When given proposals containing them, they have passed them up the ladder, then gone a little pale and said maybe we are not ready for a social media led campaign after all -”what about em, er…. party or picture stunt. Offline PR should maybe lead instead just supported by social media outreach”.
So why don’t they think they are ready for a social media led campaign “after all”? Well it is not because they don’t think a social media lead campaign is a good idea, or because they don’t like the proposals, nor because measurables can’t be provided of response through social media engagement.
It is because their bosses are not used to dealing with the PR measurables that can be provided for social media: blog posts, conversations online, views, click throughs, views of website X etc. Their bosses, whose balls are on the line if they can’t prove a particular campaign has hit the target during these tough economic times ,wish to fall back on the safety of figures they are more familiar with: AVEs, PR Value, OTS (double page print spreads). Striking terror into their hearts are phrases like “We can provide you with these measures for social media campaigns as well, but more relevant would actually be the conversations stimulated in relevant forums online or the number of views of the branded video or your sites traffic increase during the campaign?”
And I’m not surprised! We all want things made simple and clear cut where possible; and things always seem hard until we realise they are easy. So I guess the answer is to make the MD and his boss realise it is easy, give them the measurables they don’t want as well as the ones they do, so they can get used to them. Then one day they’ll turn round and say “Why haven’t you given me inbound links as a measurable you usually do”. On this special day they really will be ready for that big social media lead campaign because they understand how best to measure it and explain it upwards.
We must help marketing directors to talk about social media measurables- and to feel secure talking about them- so they can elect what methods to use in a PR campaign, based on the most effective methods for reaching their audience and moving their brand forward, not just the one that provides results they can most easily explain upwards.