On Friday, May 9th, 2014 St. Catherine University hosted the 66th Social Media Breakfast (SMBMSP), a monthly educational event where like-minded people in the Twin Cities get together to learn and share their ideas about social media, marketing, and business. Coffee and a light breakfast are always provided including their signature side of bacon.
This month’s morning lesson was brought to us by WCG, a company that applies analytics, content, engagement, and strategy to diverse sets of clients across the consumer, technology, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. WCG group director of analytics, Rob Silas, and Lauren Hougas, senior manager of analytics, informed the audience about the value of social conversation data, provided interesting case studies using a national technology brand as well as a local Minnesota zoo. The demonstrated how they were able to successfully use social media to create useful strategies and drive revenue to the companies.
Looking to carry out some of the ideas into practice with my current integrated marketing communications class project for the Golden Valley Orchestra , I decided to review the research that my team members and I had compiled over the semester. Having just created the orchestra’s Twitter account, there was literally no data for us to pull from when trying to understand conversations surrounding the orchestra. That was a huge red flag and soon became a necessary “to-do” on my list of things to implement. We needed to HAVE a conversation before we can listen IN on it. Assuming that is completed, Rob showed us the an example of the maturity model starting with stage 1: Data Centric, or “what?” phase. 20% of companies are currently in this space and need to quickly move beyond that if they hope to achieve success in their marketing. Stage 2: People Centric, or “So what?” are where most companies camp out. They use the data found in stage one to tie them to the company’s business objectives. It’s easy to get comfortable in this middle section but to stand out they need to reach level 3: the Predictive stage, or “Now what?” A mere 1% of companies have reached this stage which aims to take actions based upon detailed analysis to give the consumer what they really want.
Lauren showed us the power of finding key influencers who create organic content about the subject at hand. WCG has developed sophisticated algorithms to search out, analyze, and spit back who these people are and how they can be found. Taking all that into consideration, the last part to consider are reach, relevance, and resonance of these content creators. Even if a targeted person has a very large number of followers on Twitter, for example, is what they are writing about relevant to what the brand’s message is and how they want to be conveyed? Does the message resonate with their readers? Applying common sense will help weed out those influencers that are not suitable for tapping into.
The lesson at the end of the session was to start something…you may not have a large team on your side to start a huge effort of social media marketing but by managing the mediums you have in place, and putting out fires as they arrive is a step in the right direction.