Getting the Max for the Min: Calibrating Your Social Media Efforts
One of the nettlesome issues for companies is determining the optimal balance to strike between the time and effort they put into social media marketing and the results they can expect to achieve.
The fact is, many companies aren’t getting all that much out of social media, considering how much they’re expending in scarce marketing resources and labor to keep their social programs humming.
The big challenge in social marketing is tying effort to results. And that can be explained in terms of “half-life” and “durability.”
Think of the “half-life” of a social media message as how long it takes before the message starts to lose its relevance … and its “durability” as how long it takes to completely disappear from view.
Depending on the social media platform, we’re talking months, weeks, days, or just hours.
Twitter – Hours: The average half-life of a tweet is about three to six hours; the average durability isn’t even a day. This makes Twitter an OK medium for immediate, fast-action messages and for real-time customer support. But as a marketing play, it’s often not worth the time that many companies invest in it.
Facebook – Days: Most branded Facebook wall posts will have a half-life of about 1-3 days and an average durability of 3-7 days – even with sharing of these posts by brand fans.
LinkedIn – Weeks: LinkedIn has been making a push in recent times to become more of an engagement platform for professionals in addition to an HR or résumé “clearinghouse.” That said, company and brand updates on LinkedIn tend to have more staying power than ones on Facebook. Plus, the professional audience often makes for higher quality engagement.
Blogs – Months: For many companies – especially those in the B-to-B world – blogs are often the sweet spot for social media marketing in terms of achieving the best bang for the buck. Blog posts tend to be more content-rich, making them better for SEO and visibility in cyberspace. Depending on the topic, blog posts can engender comments for months afterwards. The posts can also be publicized via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for even higher engagement levels.
Wikipedia – Years: It’s surprising how few marketers make it a point to “choreograph” their company’s own presence on Wikipedia, considering how these entries routinely rank at or near the top of Page 1 search results for brands and organizations. It’s important that the content be accurately sourced and neutral in tone, or it will likely be removed by Wikipedia’s volunteer page reviewers – notorious for their vigilance in nipping blatant PR puffery in the bud.
As your organization possesses its share of unique attributes, consider the guidelines above and apply them to your particular situation. If you do, you’ll be well on your way towards a more fruitful allocation of your marketing resources across the social media spectrum.