The ‘Wait & See if they Succeed’ followed by ‘I want to do exactly what that successful company is doing’ culture is still very much alive & kicking in Singapore and marketers here know that we are guilty of that every now & then.
Compared to few years ago, getting management approval to launch social media channels for your company in Singapore now is not as tough. In fact, many companies are now rushing in to be onboard this social media bandwagon. With this lowered barrier to entry, many marketers are overly zealous to kick-start their social media presence without truly understanding what the company hope to achieve from these initiatives at the end of the day.
The tough part with regards to social media implementation today is on answering this particular management question – ‘We are on social media now, so what?’ Asian companies tend to be less patient with regards to Return on Investments (ROI) timeline and place significantly less importance on branding compared to their western counterparts.
Hence marketers need to be able to offer compelling reasons within a relatively short time frame on what social media has achieved for the company and why it still deserves their attention.
Here are the 5 simple pointers to help answer this burning question:
1. Do your Homework
All results need a basis for comparison. To prove that social media is capable of making a difference in their business operations, marketers need to scope out their required statistics and figure out ways to extract these information for meaningful before & after comparisons.
2. It’s all about Numbers
I have met a few PR representatives who harp on the importance of strong fans and followers engagement as well as the ideology that people will follow your brand if they have good experience and love it. Sounds wonderful but unless you are already a well known brand, how long will reaching that nirvana state take?
Within a span of 3 to 6 months, management will be coming back to you for the statistics of your social media channels. Everyone knows that fans and followers qualtity on social media does not mean the world. But without the initial numbers, how are you going to build your community?
Aggressive acquisition in the initial phase is an absolute necessity. The engagement courtship can begin shortly after.
3. Bringing in the Dough
Depending on your organization business mode, these new social media channels will need to show strong influence on revenue contribution or even better be able to drive actual revenue monetization.
Allow me to use an education institution as an example. Enquiries posted on social media channels with regards to degree or masters programs should be treated as leads generated, followed through to final closure & recorded as revenue generated via social media.
Based on the revenue statistics, the marketer can go a step further to find out if the new social media channel is generating revenue over & above the company’s existing organic growth or if it is simply cannibalizing its existing lead generation channels.
Fantastic news if this is a new stream of leads. For the case of existing channels cannibalization, there will be a need to dissect further to find out which is a more cost efficient channel or if there are opportunities to use social media for other areas of the business.
4. Cut Fats & Get Fitter
Cost reduction is another angle which will get the management interested.
Using the same education institution example, the diversion of general enquiries and prospect leads to the social media channels may see potential call traffic reduction for inbound call centre as well as lesser requirements for outbound telemarketers in order to achieve the same targets.
Presence of social media channels can also substantially reduce the workload of student services staff particularly for pressing concerns which a large group of students may have.
Time is free up for other productive activities resulting in improved overall efficiency of the entire campus.
5. Other measurable factors
Social media may seem to be largely qualitative in nature but user activities can be easily quantified. Although users interact with channels in different ways, 4 common factors from Social Mention can help to quantify social media.
The 4 measurable factors are:
– Strength: Likelihood that your brand is being discussed in social media. Calculated by phase mention within the last 24 hours divided by total possible mentions.
– Sentiments: Ratio of generally positive mention against general negative mentions.
– Passion: Likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will continue to do so repeatedly.
– Reach: Measure of the range of influence. It is calculated by number of unique authors referencing your brand divided by the total number of mention.
An score improvement over these factors after social media implementation will be a good gauge towards better brand engagement & consumer sentiments.
I am no social media expert, the above are just my personal views with regards to social media in Singapore & nearby Asian markets. Please feel free to share your views.
I look forward to hear and learn from you.
You may also like to check out my posts on other interesting social media topics here