Social Media Marketing Europe

Social media mar­ket­ing is on the cusp of join­ing the busi­ness of being in busi­ness. The days are com­ing to an end where your Direc­tor of Social Media can say we have 20,000 peo­ple fol­low­ing us on Twit­ter or we’ve gath­ered 450,000 clicks on the URL’s for our blog con­tent, or the traf­fic back to the blog web­site is up 350% and con­sid­er that a suc­cess. It’s time to pay the piper. How much rev­enue was gen­er­at­ed from all those social media cor­po­rate pages and the employ­ee advo­ca­cy blog­ging effort?

Hey, you knew it was com­ing and yet, we still can’t cred­i­bly come up with met­rics and key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPIs) that are defend­able and accu­rate to give us the return on invest­ment (ROI). The ancient say­ing that it takes mon­ey to make mon­ey has come home to roost. Your CEO or Man­ag­ing Direc­tor is ask­ing you to prove that your social media gurus made more mon­ey for the com­pa­ny than they spent on the effort.

The Chal­lenges of Social Media Marketing

Many of the peo­ple I talk with ask me what the lat­est trends are in social media mar­ket­ing. The prob­lem with that is if you are wait­ing for trends to emerge, you are already behind the pow­er curve in get­ting your act in order. The real issues to be on the look­out for are what the chal­lenges are in cre­at­ing an effec­tive social mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Where are oth­er com­pa­nies strug­gling or fail­ing to deliv­er a jus­ti­fi­able, effec­tive and results-dri­ven pro­gram? There are five chal­lenges that mat­ter to me. Each is deserv­ing of a sep­a­rate blog post but in sum­ma­ry, here you go.

  1. Orga­ni­za­tion­al Inte­gra­tion
  2. – is your busi­ness case sol­id and accept­ed? Do you have clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion and under­stand­ing of your role with the oth­er busi­ness units?
  3. Busi­ness Inte­gra­tion
  4. – Are you includ­ed in the over­all cor­po­rate strat­e­gy? Do you own KPIs and met­rics that prove beyond doubt the social mar­ket­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the cor­po­rate bot­tom line? Is it tak­en seri­ous­ly at the exec­u­tive lev­el i.e. do you have a seat at the table?
  5. Cor­po­rate Cul­ture
  6. – Do you align with and sup­port the cor­po­rate goals and objec­tives on a year to year basis? More impor­tant­ly, are you in a posi­tion to influ­ence those goals and objec­tives or do you sim­ply react to them once they’re pub­lished? For those of you that are fas­ci­nat­ed by trendy things, this is your big chance to influ­ence some cor­po­rate outcomes.
  7. Social Media Matu­ri­ty
  8. – how well do you know the social media land­scape? Which social chan­nels align best with your high-val­ue cor­po­rate audi­ence? Do you have the peo­ple skills, capa­bil­i­ties and per­son­nel resources to address each chan­nel effectively?
  9. Tech­nol­o­gy beyond just social media man­age­ment plat­forms
  10. – do you have a tech­nol­o­gy inte­gra­tion plan? Do you even know the IT guy in the office down the hall? Do you use tech­nol­o­gy as a crutch to make up for lack of human resources or as a tool to enable, strength­en and enhance the pro­duc­tive out­put of your peo­ple? How many soft­ware point solu­tion prod­ucts have you bought over the past year that are gath­er­ing dust in the corner?

Rel­e­van­cy to Today

We just fin­ished our sig­na­ture EMEA Mar­ket­ing con­fer­ence (Adobe Sum­mit EMEA) in late May. Social media mar­ket­ing was on the agen­da. Europe is my back­yard. I care about how things are going in that mar­ket. Here are some of the head­lines and dis­cus­sions that were held.

  1. ROI Makes A Stronger Case For Invest­ment Than Shares And Likes — Social media has to get bet­ter at ana­lyt­ics to con­tin­ue to be tak­en more seri­ous­ly with­in organ­i­sa­tions. That means going beyond engage­ment to work­ing out ROI. That was the clear mes­sage from social media experts deliv­ered to del­e­gates today at Adobe Sum­mit EMEA.
  2. Get­ting Social To Talk The Lan­guage Of Busi­ness — All social media depart­ments are fac­ing up to the new real­i­ty that the num­ber of likes or retweets a piece of con­tent receives does not con­sti­tute a busi­ness-focused KPI com­plete with an excel­lent dis­cus­sion by Senior Social Media Com­mu­ni­ty Man­ag­er, Rober­to Kus­ab­bi. He relat­ed to Adobe Sum­mit EMEA del­e­gates his expe­ri­ences over the pre­vi­ous year of work­ing with Adobe to bet­ter under­stand social suc­cess and mea­sure it.

They align well with the chal­lenges and demon­strate that we are pur­su­ing real answers to each chal­lenge in part­ner­ship with you, our customers.

Europe at a Glance

Once you have the nuts and bolts of the chal­lenges under con­trol, the issues comes down to under­stand­ing the mar­ket at a more gran­u­lar lev­el. These issues all fit in the five fun­da­men­tal chal­lenges and are real­ly the next lev­el down as you start plan­ning cam­paigns and design­ing media assets to deliv­er the mes­sage. The bot­tom line is, “What do you need to know BEFORE you do social media mar­ket­ing in Europe?”

Many Euro­pean mar­keters take their lead from the U.S. social media inno­va­tion efforts. The curi­ous ques­tion is why? The Euro­pean social media mar­ket is sig­nif­i­cant­ly larg­er than the U.S. mar­ket in regard to social take up. In Q1 2015, there were around 390 mil­lion unique users in Europe but only 204 mil­lion in North­ern Amer­i­ca.. Maybe, we should be the orig­i­na­tors of inno­v­a­tive tech­niques and tech­nol­o­gy to address these five chal­lenges. But, I digress.

The impor­tant issues are the nature and behav­iour of the Euro­pean social media user, who spend 1.73 hours on social net­works per day in com­par­i­son North Amer­i­can users who spend 1.53. Pri­va­cy is a huge con­sid­er­a­tion and the incen­tive to share is a much more dif­fi­cult effort with the Euro­pean customer.


Our approach to the Euro­pean mar­ket is best told via a suc­cess sto­ry with one of our cus­tomers, Hon­da Motor Europe. In their own words, What we want to do in Europe — and this is the process by which Adobe Social is key — is build once and use many times.

Key Take­aways for Europe – Think Glob­al but act Local

  1. Mind your Mobile Strat­e­gy – mobile pen­e­tra­tion is far greater in Europe than the U.S. and the users are bilin­gual, with most being able to com­mu­ni­cate in three lan­guages fluently.
  2. Know your Euro­pean his­to­ry – just like any oth­er glob­al mar­ket­ing effort, the peo­ple are proud of their his­to­ry and what they’ve accom­plished. Respect it. U.S. based social media experts are gen­er­al­ly dis­missed along with their inno­v­a­tive ideas. Look at what Euro­pean busi­ness is doing in each coun­try you intend to pen­e­trate. It will give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Study the social media land­scape. Face­book may not be your best option in some Euro­pean coun­tries. Spo­ti­fy is a social media chan­nel born in Europe … think about the influ­ence it might have with the audi­ence you’re look­ing to reach.

This is just a quick snap­shot. The depth and reach of each deci­sion you make must be planned, mon­i­tored, eval­u­at­ed and redi­rect­ed as your per­for­mance met­rics dic­tate. What are your chal­lenges in social media in the EMEA mar­ket? I’d love to get in a dis­cus­sion with you and offer some addi­tion­al insight.