How to Ensure a Robust and Successful Social Media Strategy
Made possible by a range of industry-leading sponsors and a raft of expert speakers, #DWMF starts today in New York for the North American leg of the global digital marketing conference and expo series.
Ahead of Sprinklr’s keynote at 3:00 pm in our Content & Social Media Marketing Track today on 7 November we’ve spoken to Grad Conn, CXMO, Sprinklr about his session on “Human to Human Social Selling”
Rach Reid: First of all, thanks for joining us as Gold Sponsors at #DMWF North America.
Can you tell us a bit about what Sprinklr does, and how your customers use the platform?
Grad Conn: Sprinklr is the world’s leading social suite for the enterprise. Our mission is to help the world’s most valuable brands create happy customers. We do this with a unified Social CXM platform which enables brands to access the public conversations from all 25 of the world’s social networks; all 6 of the world’s messaging networks; and 350M other Web sources such as forums, review sites, and blogs. We convert this unstructured data into structured data, and then combine it with other 1st party data sources in the enterprise such as CRM, surveys, and marketing automation to create a complete 360-degree view of the customer. Organizations can then use this 360-degree perspective to draw deeper insights from their customers; to engage 1:1 with their customers; to create highly personalized advertising for their customers; and to provide customer care over social and messaging channels. Headquartered in New York City with 1,300 employees in 22 offices, Sprinklr works with more than 1,500 of the world’s most valuable brands, including: Allstate, McDonald’s, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nike, Philips Lighting, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Santander, SAP, Shell, Verizon, and Visa. For more information, visit sprinklr.com or follow us at @sprinklr
RR: What’s driving a demand for this centralized approach to social media management within organizations?
GC: We’re seeing the natural evolution of all new media forms. In the early days there’s a lot of experimentation and confusion, and those early-stage markets are typified by a lot of point solutions targeted at one particular task. Over time, the enterprise matures its view of the channel and realizes that they are talking to the same customer … but with multiple point solutions. This point solution approach drives a disconnected experience for the customer, who is quite frankly confused as to why the enterprise doesn’t have a complete picture of previous interactions. There’s been a huge movement of customers to Sprinklr over the last year – either new customers, or existing customer who are rationalizing their stack, and when you talk to those customers they say the same thing – they need an all-encompassing tool to deliver a unified customer experience over the modern channels of communication.
How should social media be employed in a wider marketing strategy and integrated with other channels?
GC: I’m always fascinated by this question – no one asks “how do I build TV into my wider marketing strategy” … or any other medium for that matter. Back in the day I was VP Interactive for Grey Advertising, and we used to get the same question … about the Web. Today, no one asks that question about the Web anymore. It always seems that whatever medium is the new medium is always subject to more irrational exuberance and more overabundant criticism than existing media. What I will say is that the big mistake everyone makes is that we always tend to treat the next medium the same as the last medium, and it’s not the same. The first radio ads were read like they were magazine ads. The first TV ads were filmed versions of people doing radio ads. The first Web ads were initially like magazine ads … then TV ads … and we’ve finally figured out how to do online ads. Most social ads I see are simply online ads pasted into a social feed – that is absolutely bananas. Why would you take a broadcast approach to a 1:1 medium? It would be like talking to your spouse on a soapbox in the middle of the living room screaming like you’re in the town square. Social is 1:1. It’s personal, it’s human – treat it that way.
RR: Is there any kind of formula for balancing paid and organic efforts in a social media strategy, or is it all dependent on the company’s objectives and budget?
GC: Yes, it’s a pretty simple formula actually. If you want anyone to see your posts, you need to put paid behind them. Not necessarily a zillion dollars, but every post needs a paid boost – otherwise something like less than 0.5% of your followers will see the post. The only other thing that works is to do highly personalized creative in response to comments – when you do that the re-tweet rate is 98.5% and then you can leverage the organic traffic of the person you are sending the message to … and every once in a while you’ll catch lightning in a bottle and it’ll go viral
RR: What sort of goals should marketers set with their social media?
GC: There is only one goal you should set for social media – and it’s the same goal you should set for all your marketing: How much revenue did it generate? If you can’t connect your marketing efforts to revenue generation, you’re not really a marketer – you’re an artist. Real marketers are scaled sellers, and you need to figure out how to sell with the scale tools at your disposal.
RR: Looking back on this year, what stands out as one of the most successful social media strategies you’ve seen, and what defines that success?
GC: Google has been doing some great work with micro-boosts behind posts to drive more reach, and it’s a really successful program. They are empowering their marketers down to the field level to be able to get more mileage out of the social work they’re doing, and it’s working. Julio Silva (Global Head of Social Media & Digital Analytics at Google) is doing some amazing stuff in the social space, and he’s bringing an analytical rigor to the medium which is enabling Google to make some really smart decisions on how they spend their social budget.
RR: In a similar vein, are there any brands that you consistently admire for their approach to social?
GC: I love the work that VMLY&R has been doing for Wendy’s – it’s consistently excellent work over a very long period of time. They’ve taken the approach of creating a single – shade-throwing – voice. It’s not the approach I would take – I prefer to bring down the corporate cloak of anonymity and have the real people in the organization engage directly with the real customers. However, most corporations aren’t yet ready to do that, so I respect the amount of creativity, innovation, and incredible consistency which Wendy’s has been able to bring to all of its social engagements. As a result, they’ve become a go-to brand in the media space and get a ton of organic and multi-media amplification. Finally, when they get something really viral they pool it out onto other media, which is a really smart way to get all the parts of your marketing program to work together.
RR: What three tips would you give to a brand to help ensure a robust and successful social media strategy?
Be personal – you’re talking to people, act like it;
Be human – drop the corporate-speak and pretend you’re talking to a friend; and
Be emotional – people buy based on emotion, not white papers … leverage the positive emotions engendered by the use of your product or service.
RR: Finally, what are you looking forward to most about #DMWF, whether it’s making new connections or taking in some of the agenda?
GC: #DMWF is one of the premier marketing events in the world, and as a result, it attracts a great group of marketers and agency professionals. I always love connecting with great groups of people because I get great questions; I get great feedback, and most importantly – I get great ideas. It’s also in my hometown, NYC, which is a welcome break from all the travel I normally have to do!