One the most common topics of debate we receive from clients is setting our goal for social media tools. The easiest and familiar metric for marketers is to grow followers and fans for Twitter and Facebook respectively. It’s a solid online metric that is similar to growing traffic visits and email databases.
Whilst that is important, it does not paint the broader picture of what social media is all about. Conversations. Conversations that help build advocacy, spreading the word (WOM), relationships and ultimately trust or loyalty.
At FRANkVizeum, we have illustrated this via our Conversation Venn Diagram. By infusing the thoughts of Communities with traditionally 1 to 1 relationships between brands and consumers, we can clearly start seeing where brands sit.
Brands that communicate privately with consumers sit in “Closed Conversation.” They could be feedback forms, newsletters, or surveys. Whilst this is effective, it does not make use of the scalability of social media. The metric here could be site traffic, email database, etc.
For brands that do not participate in any conversation but have consumers enjoying sharing experiences, stories, and news within the community, they sit in “Open Conversation”. A great example is Nintendo Australia. They do not participate in Twitter but there are a multitude of conversations, posts, RT, news, etc about the brand. The metric here is volume of posts, tweets, RT from consumers. The challenge is how do involve and mobilise the legions of fans?
Brands that use Twitter feeds as a way to broadcast news with little/no followers or active conversations sit squarely in “One Way Broadcasting.” This is the traditional model in the social space with the focus on building traffic or news feed. An example is TheAge twitter feed. The metric here is growing Followers and/or volume of external tweets/post.
Ultimately, it comes down to the a brand’s objective. Through these objectives we implement a strategy using the right tools and right metrics based on the above Venn Diagram. Eg. Traffic? News? Advocacy? WOM? Monitoring?
Our belief is Brands should find the right balance and should sit in the middle of all 3. Not only broadcasting feed but to also build relationships to generate RTs and spreading the word to the community.
To support our thinking, there is recent research shared on Fast Company that looked at what is the most effective way to spread news on Twitter (a common client objective). It shows “the most influential spreaders of news aren’t neccessarily those with the greatest number of online friends or followers.”
Source: Fast Company
We have known this for a while now (we even demonstrated this for GPO in our FRANkademy sessions), but this is the first piece of research that validates our strategy. The trick is to find the right people strategically placed as the gate holder to people with larger followers that spreads the news. These guys are hard to find as they aren’t immediately obvious (eg. through their number of followers).
By implementing the strategy that address the 3 points of the Venn Diagram, we can only find these “influencers” by a) increasing followers b) be active c) increase RT and conversations. They will not only help spread the word, but build lasting relationships, loyalty, WOM, sales and traffic.