Simone Katz, Media Planning and Buying Professional, asks:
What are common metrics used to measure the success of a social networking campaign?
When building a brand through the use of social networks, what are typical goals and how is success measured?
The direct answer to your question is metrics are either generated in-house or through a partner that specializes in such research. The reality of world today is that social media campaigns are absolutely critical, however clients often balk at integrating them due to poor data quality (i.e. you can't get clear metrics from so many different data points).
Saying "don't focus on the metrics just run with the campaign" is a naive outlook. Metrics must be integrated into the pitch and monitored throughout the campaign to understand what areas are effective and what areas need improvement.
Now to the specifics of the tools; if you do your own research, you will need to use Google Analytics and Alexa to get a clear picture of how your campaign is doing versus the competition. This will only work if you are running a fairly simplistic campaign, however the upside is that you will have virtually no research expense save for the time it takes to monitor data and produce reports.
For complex campaigns, you will need to hire an outside company such as Sway Inc. to produce what is called a Social Media Map. This document outlines the fine points of how your target audience is responding to your efforts. The data is complex, however the results are a better campaign and a greater understanding of how to connect to the target audience.
Typical goals depend on the product or service and target audience. You must compare your sales with industry averages or competitors and gauge the success of your campaign based on a comparison study. Alexa is particularly good at this bit.
Jennifer Dube, Marketing Manager at Cisco Systems, asks:
What's the marketing difference between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page?
From a marketing standpoint, when would you choose a Group vs Page to promote your company, product, brand or service? What are the pros and cons of each?
My recommendation is to both have a page AND a group. The two are not mutually exclusive and provide two different ways for your audience to connect with your company or product. One route you may choose to take is have a top executive create their own personal Facebook profile and follow with a Group administered by this person.
In social media, the more points of potential networking the better. Some individuals may want to join the Group (a less proactive way to be involved with a product or service) while others may want to network directly with the person they see to be in charge of the concept.
The bottom line is that a technical analysis of Group vs. Page is irrelevant as either one can be created in thirty minutes and require virtually identical promotions channels to be effective.
Remember Jennifer, social media will not be effective as a marketing solution unless you provide a reason for individuals to connect with you and give you their attention. This requires you providing - up front and at no charge - relevant, useful, or entertaining content with little or no branding.
Ben Ayed, CEO of NorkaTech, asks:
What is your experience with viral Bluetooth marketing? Does anyone have experience with low cost beacons such as BlueMediaServer.com for couponing, interactive point of sale or guerilla marketing?
My advice to you is seek council from the Asian and European markets. Though Bluetooth marketing is in it's infancy in the United States, other more mobile technology oriented markets are taking full advantage and have been for some time.
I recommend contacting an agency that specializes in innovation or digital marketing techniques. If your budget allows and your interest is serious, research into Bluetooth initiatives for your target audience would be the best strategy.
If you have further interest in this subject I may have a case study for you to review.
Steve Crosetti, Owner/Guide at MoJoBella Fly Fishing, asks:
I think the proliferation of video on the web is awesome, but does a mediocre video help your individual brand?
A mediocre video can actually harm a brand through opportunity cost. The mediocre video will certainly not hurt the brand reputation (assuming it is an aberration in an otherwise outstanding campaign) itself, however the budget expended on that video could have been used to send a more effective message elsewhere.
A mediocre video will generate little attention and fade to obscurity within a week (or less). Your digital advertising budget should be spent on truly outstanding and innovative concepts, thus maximizing your exposure to your target digital audience.
Nicholas Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years. He is the Digital Strategy Lead and founder of Chicago-based digital marketing firm lonelybrand, where he directs the creation and execution of digital marketing programs that generate measurable signups, conversions and sales.