We strive to provide valuable tools to help you succeed. Keep checking in on this page for more resources as we add more for your convenience and assistance.
Beyond ROI: The Need to Improve Social Media Integration.
Rhonda Hurwitz: Forbes 9/18/12
[pdf printable version]
Businesses may struggle to quantify ROI in a consistent way, but social media has earned its place in the marketers toolkit.
Whether as a means to increase sales or contribute to customer insight, the value of social media,is no longer in doubt. Numerous case studies show the benefits.
But to optimize the contribution of social, CMO’s have a new issue to deal with: how to close the social media integration gap?
The need for social media integration
It is no surprise that social media budgets continue to grow at a healthy pace. Social media spending is forecast to more than double over the next 5 years, to 18.8% of total marketing spending, compared to 7.6% currently, according to CMOsurvey.org.
Despite growing investment, however, only 6.8% of CMO’s said their organization does a very goodjob integrating social media with the rest of their firm’s marketing strategy; 16.7% say that social media is not at all integrated. Why?
What gets in the way of successful integration?
One of the biggest impediments to social media integration is when this activity exists in a silo, and fails to involve create stakeholders and participants across the organization. Here are 3 examples of social media silos I’ve seen:
The Outsourcing Silo:
The company that hires an outside agency to “do social media for us”. Without internal participation, and no personal touch, they end up with a generic execution and lousy results.
The Department Silo:
The company that assigns a bold new social initiative to a non-mainstream department. The initiative is a good idea, but without a mainstream and visible champion, and few internal supporters, it limps along.
The Employee Silo:
The company that drastically limits employee participation, instead of encouraging it. Because of the fear that a rogue employee might tweet something off message, tremendous value is left on the table.
These examples are not hypothetical … all come from real experiences.
The road to better integration
Christine Moorman, Director of The CMO Survey and Professor at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, offers 9 ways to close the social media integration gap, such as by not limiting social media to a single department, increasing social media training, seeding cross functional teams with social media personnel, and so on. F or her complete list, click here.
There are a few other approaches you may want to consider:
All Hands on Deck:
To kickstart culture change in a company, content and inbound marketing expert Marcus Sheridan runs an all hands, full day workshop. He recently observed, “when clients insist on silos, nothing magical happens”. It takes full, across the board buy-in to change a mindset, overcome resistance, and establish new patterns of behavior. Is there a parallel for organizations facing social media integration challenges?
Use of Social Scoring Metrics:
Mark Schaefer, social media expert and author of the book Return on Influence, suggests that organizations can use social scoring metrics (Klout, Kred, etc.), to leverage employees at the leading edge of influence. Granted, no social scoring measure is perfect, but why not tap the talents and affinities within your organization, wherever they exist?
When the culture shifts and customers adopt a new paradigm, organizations need to shift, too. By bringing more individuals across the organization into the social media tent, we can close the integration gap and boost the value of our social media efforts.
Now, it’s your turn: if there was one thing you could do to improve your organization’s integration of social media, what would it be? What gets in the way? Any strategies from companies who have gotten it right?