Earlier this year I caught up with Jeremy Waite, the social media guru who was then working with Phones4U. We talked about how to make social media a fundamental and well valued part of the business. Here is an excerpt of what he had to say:
What advice would you give to businesses starting on a social media journey?
"It's taken almost a year to put in place our social media strategy, and if I could give one piece of advice to anyone starting a social media strategy it would be this: take social media out of the marketing department and add it to the ecommerce side of the business.
This is how we got buy ins from the board, and extra budget for a social strategy, Social media isn't judged in the same way that a typical marketing campaign would be. Take our TV campaign, with the horror film parodies, which a lot of marketing budget was spent on. Whilst this campaign created great awareness for the company, how many people who saw that advert went out and bought a phone? Where did they go after ways, what did they click, did they share this advert with their friends, how much did that advert drive conversations with their friends? It's really difficult to identify results from traditional marketing campaigns.
However with Social Campaigns, we'll run a campaign and we'll know tomorrow what the figures are going to be, we'll know in real time exactly what the return in impressions was, what the ROI is, we know how it's impacted share and voice straight away and how it's affected sentiment. We can use metrics such as engagement per thousand, rather than click through rates or cost per acquisition.
Because this is the language the web team use. Even though I'm responsible for engagement and they're responsible for acquisition, because we use a similar kind of language and it's a different type of ROI but it's still in the same space, it's not the slightly fluffier metrics that the marketing team use, it make the board understand our progress. We're not the kids that play on Facebook any more; we can offer some serious commercial value."
How do you implement a strategy where you're taking a customer from acquisition all the way through the lifecycle?
"It's really, really not about the numbers. We are the biggest mobile phone supplier on Facebook at the moment. We have 400,000 fans on Facebook, if I was distracted by the big number and thinking I was doing a fantastic job then I'd be completely missing the point. Anyone can go out and buy 200,000 fans on your Facebook page from a media company. The hard part is thinking this is about engagement and not about acquisition. How do you give them content on a daily basis that means something and is relevant, rather than let's just go and build up some numbers on the page. You can go to a company and buy 10,000 fans but it will mean nothing. Get 100 good followers, and those followers will have 130 friends. The good stuff is in the small numbers.
We ran a campaign last year about the HTC Cha Cha, which was the Facebook phone and the competition was "How well do you really know your friends?" knowing on average people have 130 – 140 friends on Facebook. Each level of this competition asked you a different question about one of your friend and we are talking very low single figures who actually knew anything about their friends on Facebook. What city did they live in, did they like the Foo Fighter, are the married are they in a relationship, you accept random additions into your social circle, it was a fascinating insight into fan acquisition and friend acquisition. Jon Snow on CH4 said "We feel like we're becoming very connected with our big social networks, when actually were becoming more and more distanced for real genuine relationships." You talk about ROI, but how can you put a value on a relationship, what's the ROI on your mum, or on your dog?"
To learn how Facebook is driving business watch this presentation from last year's Loyalty World