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.
- Organizational Integration
- – is your business case solid and accepted? Do you have clear communication and understanding of your role with the other business units?
- Business Integration
- – 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?
- Corporate Culture
- – 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.
- Social Media Maturity
- – 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?
- Technology beyond just social media management platforms
- – 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.