By Matt Anthes

 

Every organization wants a more robust social media footprint and greater engagement. The question is, how to accomplish these goals?

Before rushing into a digital campaign, I suggest a social media audit to analyze the current footprint and provide a view into social content across channels. Once an organization understands its social footprint, it can better identify its audience and engagement levels. Understanding affinities or similarities can inform strategy and content creation, driving deeper relevance on social voice.

The goal should not only be driving awareness but building an online community. While the main purpose of a social campaign typically is message outreach, it should include identifying the right channels, platforms, and solutions to engage the target audience and amplify the message.

Data-driven social listening provides guidance and expertise in finding the influencers, partners, and like-minded organizations that can best help promote the message. These include influencers, bloggers, strategic partners, and traditional media. Pro tip: Mommy-bloggers are the holy grail because they are highly engaged with their follower-base.

Effectively targeting an audience leads to increased engagement and message visibility, providing the foundation for a major uptick in brand recognition. And how do you know? Sentiment tracking, which means monitoring efforts and tracking sentiment with analytics. The old axiom is true: Numbers don’t lie!

Data-driven reports provide insights to track and fuel a strategy, ultimately guiding decision making. Analytics allow an organization to shift strategy mid-stream based on what people are saying. Sentiment provides a snapshot of how a message is trending, its Positive Impact Rating (PIR), and, in some cases, foreshadows a crisis before it’s too late. PIR can help us understand the tone and trending nature of social sentiment. The PIR calculation considers the number of positive and neutral mentions that have a positive impact on the overall conversation.

Monitoring the conversation across social platforms and tracking sentiment and dialogue as it occurs in real time is key. This enables an organization to engage in the conversation and reply, quote, favorite, and link to mentions that affect the campaign. Being involved in the conversation means not having to guess what people are saying or wondering if a message is resonating.

In short, any social media campaign should start with a social media audit and include social listening to understand message engagement, amplification, and sentiment. We shouldn’t just hope that a message reaches its target audience: tools give us the ability to interact with sentiment as it occurs in real-time to drive results.

Shaping a narrative is the first step. Delivering that message to the right people at the right time is a science, requiring tools, tactics, and strategy that requires careful thought.

 

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