This question’s been doing the rounds this week, fuelled by this presentation by Brand Science Institute.
It could use a transcript, but the pictures are nice. And so are the majority of the statements it makes. Have a read.
Lots of Social Media projects fail. Here’s my opinion on the subject.
In C&M’s experience, failure to deliver value on Social Media projects is 95.769% down to the lack of an initial plan. (In other words, lots of things don’t succeed just because people haven’t thought ahead to what success ought to (or might) look like.)
Why? Because 95.6579% of the time Social Media is seen as free (as in free beer). Free to implement (on Facebook, Twitter, etc) and ostensibly free to run (Dave in marketing, Stephanie in PR, and John in Customer Services… they’ve all been twiddling for six months now but, heck, we’re struggling to make an ROI statement).
(NB: this is the basis of a common brief for us and one that we love – ‘We’ve been experimenting – with and without agency help, can you please help us fix it with an integrated plan…?’)
Plans usually happen because something costs money. If the boss needs persuading, then a list of objectives (aka a ‘business case’) is probably going to get created early on in the piece. And some research. And a plan. And perhaps some management meetings in-between.
Web sites, PR campaigns and lead generation activities succeed when they are well planned, budgeted and executed. If it cost £50,000 to create a Facebook page, most Facebook campaigns would also succeed …because they would need to come with a plan and a rough idea of cost and returns – and all of these things would be held to close scrutiny and consistent measurement by the right people.
So, create some objectives, produce a budget and then an accompanying brief (or – better – a plan). This way you’ll be 95.87645% more likely to succeed.
(NB: things may be a bit more nuanced than this but, hey, it’s a good start.)