How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Brand

Jul 31, 2014 3:42 PM  By

How do you use social media for your brand and measure its success?

Nearly 8 out of 10 respondents to the MCM Outlook 2014 said they use social media to engage in conversations with followers. Of that group, 7 out of 10 said they measure social success by the number of followers and fans. Jaimey Wilman, director of marketing for the Action Bag Company,  said she is a fan of quality versus quantity.

“Simply counting the number of fans and followers, you just have a number,” said Wilman.

Wilman said the question is whether fans and followers are actively engaging, reading or responding.

“Having a social media presence is vital, but my take is that it is more about brand engagement,” said Wilman.  “I would much rather have active fans who engage with content, post their own, and encourage others to follow than hundreds of bystanders.”

Ian MacDonald, ecommerce manager for Silver Star Brands, said his company measures fan growth over time and the popularity of individual posts.

“We model future posts off [of] the most successful ones,” said MacDonald. “Social is not a revenue driver for us and therefore we dedicate one part-time intern to this.”

Victor Castro,  director of ecommerce with Zachy’s Fine Wine & Liquor, said it is very important to use social media to engage customers and develop a closer brand affinity, and to learn more about customers and collect customer feedback.

Castro said however that followers and fans should not be a measure of success. It should be based on either engagement and branding – which is difficult – or  ultimately in revenue.

“The proper attribution model should provide insight into how social media engagement drives revenue in the long term,” said Castro.

Reid Greenberg, director of ecommerce and consumer engagement for Seventh Generation, said social media is incredibly important for their brand as a direct line to communicate and engage with its customer base.

“While we still look at fan acquisition in the various platforms as a general KPI,  our main goal is to reach, engage and activate those fans that want to have a conversation with us,” said Greenberg.

As Facebook continuously alters their algorithms, he said, it makes it increasingly challenging and expensive to be consistently content-present.

“I would advise those brands that don’t yet have scale on social to divide their strategy between fan acquisition and engagement efforts,” said Greenberg.