What makes a successful social media strategy? That was the question on many minds at last week's Connect via Hootsuite event in New York City. Panelists addressed concerns regarding engaging audiences and customers in meaningful ways, finding metrics to convince executives of social's value, and empowering employees to participate in social initiatives.
Jeannette Gibson, vice president of community and customer experience at Hootsuite, said marketers must prove the business value of social media. "This is a critical step when you're at a large company," she said. She also suggested empowering employees to help with social efforts. "Leveraging the power of the employee base will help you scale and be a personal brand to customers," she added.
Michelle Lockett, director of social marketing at Wiley, said upon transitioning to a social enterprise, Wiley knew it needed to empower its colleagues to become "modern marketers." The publisher built a three-tier custom education program to help put employees on the path to thinking of Wiley as a global, digital provider and to understand specific business triggers.
Sarah Bailey, social media marketing manager at Dow Jones, said she maintains a careful eye on understanding how social media programs map back to the organization and what actions the customer takes after the social engagement. "Our whole purpose is focused on centering on the customer and engaging beyond a click or like," she said.
At Major League Soccer, Director of Social Media Amanda Vandervort, said she enlists athletes to take over entire social media pages for a day. The organization may assign one athlete to operate its Snapchat account and another to oversee Instagram on the same day and the two will cross promote each other's pages.
Finally, Beatrice Fry, social media manager at UN Women, said impressions are meaningless. "It's more important to have meaningful conversations," she said.
The panelists underscored the importance of social media to staying competitive, understanding customer insights, and engaging with customers in creative ways, however according to Hootsuite's Social Business Benchmark, 67 percent of those surveyed find it difficult to assess the effectiveness of social media activities and another 60 percent cite that taking data gathered from social media and turning it into something actionable is a challenge for their company.
What do you think? What challenges are you having in adopting social media across the enterprise, pulling valuable metrics beyond clicks and likes, and empowering employees to engage in meaningful ways?