No doubt about it—social is hot. Every client wants it. Every one claims to be great at it. But before you decide if social is right for you, ask, “What is social media marketing, really?”
For starters, social isn’t Facebook likes. It’s not Twitter followers or hashtags or ads on LinkedIn. It’s not advertising. It’s not broadcasting. Social is a philosophy. It’s a commitment to having two-way conversations with your audience. It’s real, honest interaction. It is as if you were in a room full of people and having a face to face conversation.
Social media marketing is a science, as complex and data-driven as any SEO or content marketing activities. The Zen approach to social? A crystal-clear focus on reaching the right audience with the right content. It’s all about building relationships to drive ROI. Website visitors, blog links, Twitter mentions, Facebook fans and Google+ connections are all numbers worth measuring. Numbers, however, tell only half of the story. There’s also the question of sentiment – what percentage of the comments about your brand are positive instead of negative? Is your social media marketing effort pushing that sentiment needle in a positive direction? Your social return on investment has to go a step further, and connect the results to your bottom line.