BtoB: How much time does a social media campaign take to pay off?
Maggie Fox: If you want your programs to have dramatic results, you either need to give them time to build an audience or you need to support them with traditional mass efforts like media buys/PR. You won’t get huge results in three weeks on a small budget unless you hit a viral gold mine, which means about the same odds as your chance of writing a bestseller.
BtoB: Should employees blog under their own brand or their employer’s?
Fox: A number of large companies have learned the hard way that employees engaging online on behalf of business should do so under the umbrella of your brand. Think RichardatDell, not Scobelizer. Otherwise they’re building their personal brand on your dime, and, if they leave, they take their audience with them.
BtoB: There is little agreement on measurement criteria. Should marketers take social media ROI on faith at this point?
Fox: Measurement does matter. The key is defining your “R” in ROI: Awareness? Conversation? Sales? There are lots of different ways to assess payoff. Figure out yours and how you can bake the appropriate metrics into the process.
BtoB: What’s the best way to start with social media? Fox: Keep your finger on the pulse. There’s a lot of great commercially available [and free] software out there that can give you an idea of what people are saying about you. No matter what scale you’re looking at, get used to using them.
BtoB: You said campaigns take time. Does that mean you should avoid making changes until the campaign has had a while to get established?
Fox: You need to course-correct. Don’t just launch and leave. Watch how people interact with your program. Based on the metrics I recommended you establish at the outset, determine if it’s working. If not, iterate, change and revise. That’s how you develop best practices of your own.