We interviewed Forrester Researcher Samantha Ngo to get a greater insight into how marketers and agencies can use social data to inform their social marketing and influencer marketing strategies.
Q. How would the approach in making data actionable differ between always-on efforts and pulse campaigns?
A. Always-on requires planning with a master playbook, monitoring for industry news, competitive mentions, cultural keywords, etc. You have to field incoming customer messages or brand mentions, sort and tag messages, and direct customers to the right place. It requires responding to these inquiries (this might sit in a social team or in customer service), then measuring performance, then optimizing processes to see what’s working and what’s missing. The technology stack you might use for this includes social listening tools, relationship platforms, and measurement platforms. All your always-on effort should be on-brand.
For pulse campaigns, you’ll plan using the social media insights from your customers to know what to distribute, when to do it, etc. Then you’ll produce assets and templates for people to create content — and don’t forget that social networks might vary from TV commercial spots. This might require the use of a content management system. Then consider the distribution using automated tools. Companies with quieter social media activity might post directly in the social network dashboard, but other large companies might use a social media management platform to post large volumes of diverse social content. For example, CPGs might use this to post by brand. Then, like in always-on, measure and optimize your results — see how your campaign is doing. You can use social listening for this (is your message resonating? and is it leading to the action you want?). Then optimize by improving process efficiency and efficacy (gaps in content quality, team dynamics, etc.). Also, don’t forget to set up processes and dedicate resources for live events that can provide quick approvals.
Q. How do they see the blended relationship between the marketer, an agency and technology coming together to facilitate actionable efforts off of social data?
A. Every organization is different in how it handles its agency relationships because there are pros and cons to owning all the functions of social: Internal people know your business and business objectives more closely, but you might not have the dedicated resources necessary. Agencies have cross-brand experience and are content masters. So depending on the staff you have available and the skills you have in-house (remember if social is for a social care use case, you might not look to a marketer but to your customer service team), it could be a mix that eventually tips one way or another as your requirements change and your strategy matures. When you’re in lower-level maturity or resources are limited, you might have agencies own certain parts of the social realm, such as posting and engagement, but you might keep social listening in-house so that you can report on those insights to other parts of the enterprise, merge it with CRM data, etc. Or, you could have alerts set up through your listening vendor for specific topics or volume changes so you’re informed of a crisis, but an agency handles the day-to-day.
Q. Do they see strong best practices in managing those relationships effectively?
A. What’s most important is taking the time to get your agency on board with your strategy and training — both in-house and partners — on how you should interact with customers and stay brand-relevant. In terms of the number of tools you have, that gets a bit trickier. Often it takes a lot of effort to get everyone on the same page in terms of strategy and thinking about how social can help their marketing objectives instead of “social marketing.” It’s thinking about how social can help with your marketing objectives and not as a siloed channel with its own objectives.
If you’d like to hear more of what Samantha has to say, check out our “How to Make Social Data Actionable” webinar: