Social marketing has matured over the years and we have moved away from simple experimentation in the space and are now expected (often by executive mandate) to show the impact of our investments in growing our social communities. Likes, comments, followers, and retweets are no longer a key proxy of success because they are not connected to metrics that have meaning to the overall business goals. Social must be weaved into already existing analytics collection methodologies and reporting workflows and be held to the same standards as the rest of the digital marketing efforts.
Social must be weaved into already existing analytics collection methodologies and reporting workflows and be held to the same standards as the rest of the digital marketing efforts.
Adobe Social has been built with this philosophy in mind. We provide the ability to automate measurement of all social links and applications to ensure that when someone converts onsite we have the appropriate data available to measure the influence of social touch points on that conversion event. In traditional marketing, efforts to engage our customer base are organized around “Campaigns”. These are coordinated activities and messages over a specific time frame that have common messaging, creative assets, and goals. We are now seeing Social Marketers invited to collaborate on these large, multi-channel campaigns, and often play a key role in delivering campaign experiences to their social communities with an affixed budget and expected return. At times, even the most experienced social marketers will look at the complexities of digital analytics and recognize it as a foreign language, and as a result, much of the social content is published without measurement. This causes us to severely under report the influence social is having on business success.
Let’s say I am a Social Marketer for Geometrixx Outdoors, a large outdoors retailer.
I have coordinated with the broader Marketing team on the release of a new running shoe line that we are announcing in a few weeks from now. This is a coordinated approach with Social having a large role to drive awareness and bring customers back to the new landing pages to learn more and when the time comes, purchase the new shoes. We have created a calendar of social posts leading up to and through the shoe launch with a series of links back to the site, landing pages, and product pages. In order to be measured correctly, each of these links need a campaign code appended that will indicate that it is a part of the running shoe launch campaign.
What is configured during implementation of Adobe Social?
Let’s get a bit technical for a minute. When Adobe Social is configured, you will need to coordinate with the analytics team on campaign data collection conventions to make sure you understand which query string parameter to use for your campaign codes. A few examples that I have seen used are ‘cid’, ‘socid’, ‘cmpid’ etc. Essentially what this means is that when someone clicks on one of your links, the destination page URL will look something like this:
If the analytics team told you to use ‘cid’ or something similar, it is because they have setup measurement for that query string parameter which fires when that code is present. This is a backend setting in Adobe Social and should be given to your Social Account Manager to configure for you. This is only a one time setting.
Now that we understand how it works and is configured, lets get in and create our campaign in Adobe Social:
This should be a unique name that is contextual to the specifics of the campaign but also to the scope. I have seen one of our customers using the naming convention of “Global || Campaign Name” for a multi-channel campaign or “Social || Campaign Name” for campaigns and engagement that is strictly social. You can use whatever convention you wish here, but the more details, the easier it is to create classifications and search filters to find what you need.
Many campaigns have a start and end date. By entering this here, it will help as we are visually correlating social data with analytics data. It will also help to show only relevant and active campaigns in the reporting interface, keeping your dashboards clean and usable.
Key Success Metric (KPI):
If your campaign does not have a success metric such as orders, visits, or something meaningful, you may want to reevaluate your strategy to some degree. In addition to awareness of our Running Shoes, I also want to influence orders and revenue. In this case I will select revenue, but I can select any of the digital metrics that we are collecting in Adobe Analytics. If you still feel that this is just not applicable to this particular campaign, then I would just select instances as the default metric.
Who was it that decided that ALL reporting interfaces had to be boring pie charts and line graphs? Adding an image not only helps with contextually identifying the campaign in a long list of similar campaigns, but will also be used in data visualizations. For example:
Let’s say that during the Running Shoe campaign meetings, it was decided upon that all related campaigns will have a code prefix of ‘running’ and then the channel specific ID. We can customize that from here. The default prefix is ‘social’, but for this example, I can change it to ‘running_social’. That way all of my data will be organized as the analysts are expecting it and social will get the appropriate credit for influencing success.
Connecting the Dots Between Social Interactions and Meaningful Business Results:
Once we have the campaign in place, I can now start creating content within Adobe Social and start spreading the word about our new product line and link them to our landing and product pages.
By selecting the campaign during the content creation workflow we are ensuring that all social interaction data as well as downstream conversion data is allocated in the appropriate place:
What you can’t see here is that Adobe Social has automatically appended a campaign code to the end of this link which will allow us to measure conversion successfully. So lets have a look at the campaign report:
Not only can we see individual post performance in the Campaign Timeline, but we can also see a breakdown of conversion by Link and Post Type which helps us benchmark which specific elements of our campaign are performing the best and leverage those insights for future content and campaigns.
Using campaigns in this way will help you effectively organize your social marketing efforts and start to connect the dots between social interactions and real business results. Be sure to let me know how you are using the campaign functionality in Adobe Social or how you go about quantifying the value of your social marketing programs.