5 Questions to Ask Before Building Social Media Campaigns
A new study concludes that interactive consumer packaged goods marketers are in an excellent position to communicate with their most influential customers — female professionals, ages 25 to 54 — using social media.
Such women, according to this survey of more than 3,700 consumers released by Forrester Research, make frequent use of the Internet and social media to manage their family lives. As a result, the study recommends that packaged goods marketers design campaigns that enhance communication and aid consumers' decision-making — as well as their influence on other consumers.
Citing June 2008 survey data from its JupiterResearch unit and NPD Group, the Forrester study noted that 42 percent of these "empowered women" visited social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, over the past year; 35 percent of them created or updated their personal pages on such sites; another 35 percent read blogs; and 28 percent read comments others posted on mainstream media Web sites or portals.
With this in mind, Forrester analyst Emily Riley, who wrote the report, offered the following questions consumer packaged goods companies should ask when putting their interactive campaigns together — all with social media in mind:
1. Who are you targeting? It doesn't necessarily only have to be Gen Y consumers, Riley said in her report, since more people from older generations take part in social media every day. Still, marketers should target specific audiences to avoid sounding too generic.
2. How does your target audience use social media? Make your campaign revolve around consumers' behaviors and not simply your company's objectives. Older generations use social media differently than younger ones; find out how, and plan accordingly.
3. How should you come across? Sound "genuine" in your social marketing campaign, Riley advised, and not "cooler" than normal. Make your brand sound more personal than in other channels by making consumers' experiences consistent.
4. What do you want to achieve? Don't just launch a social media campaign because your competitors are doing it or your agency wants you to do it. Figure out your company's goals first. If you're rebranding, for instance, social media may be the way to go. Riley pointed to the viral videos Dove recently produced as a model to follow.
5. Are you ready for a long engagement? If you have consumers download a widget, they'll expect greater interaction from you over a lengthier period of time than with a commercial or banner ad. So Riley suggested using site analytics tools, surveys or user-generated content analysis to gauge consumers' social interaction with your brand. Incorporate fresh content for a lengthy time period to encourage ongoing interaction.