Disclaimer: Written only out of experience. Am not an expert at social media, nor do I claim victory for any great work done in this field (while I have but I am humble you see)
It was very common for me to see people writing mails declaring victory for short campaigns (one hour long, one day long, one week long) which was only on social.
It all begins with an objective (ideally should begin with an objective but in most cases there is none, mostly there is a tech savvy subordinate and a boss who wants to show that he is tech savvy and the subordinate takes him for a ride).
Firstly why social media: Because more and more people have internet access, because people are connected all the time on their handheld devices, no. The real reason is that most companies do not have the marketing dollar to spend on print or TV or radio. Also it’s not cool to do traditional media anymore. So it’s a win-win for the marketer, lesser money, and more showoff. So the smart subordinate will ensure that one of the top KPIs for him is social media impact for the brand.
Then comes the campaign calendar, it usually has one launch, one re-launch, one big corporate campaign and one global campaign rollout.
The campaign from Global team is discussed first because the dollars would be assigned for the same. Be rest assured India would be a priority market so a lot of money. Now comes the commercial manager who has to suggest how to manipulate the global campaign so that this one can fund at-least two other campaigns. KPIs are signed off and there you have on paper four big campaigns for the year with a lot of money to spend.
First quarter goes by, targets are not met and budgets are cut and one campaign has to be dropped, another quarter and another two have to be dropped. This leaves just the Global campaign which is mandatory and also a lot of time for the brand manger and his boss to kill. Now they can’t play poker all day in office, they have to look busy and deliver other KPIs that they had agreed for social media so shorter campaigns are planned.
Campaign 1 Objective: Tie up with a partner for a promo which would lead to sales (for the partner not for you, all you get is brand equity). Please note that the objective is tie-up which will be done as soon as you sign the agreement. Rest everything is frivolous.
Now comes the brief. This is the most dreaded part for any marketer as any smart agency media or creative would look for a good brief. Brand manager can be very sure that the intellect level at the agency side is no better than his and can issue a sub standard brief.
Brief: to deliver a social media campaign to announce tie up with a partner with presence on FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc.
With such a brief, the brand manager is happy that he has named all social channels which he is aware of (You tube not included: who has the money and time and energy for video content-remember video content means a lot of stakeholder approvals so avoid). The agency is happy that they have the freedom to fleece the client and the boss is happy that the brief has been delivered on time (tick mark).
De-briefing: Agency comes back in typical style with a 30 member team with each one an expert in one of the social media channels and their parts. They present a fully integrated social media plan which takes care of all 30 touch points so that all members in the team are working and their presence in the meeting justified and their egos massaged (one has to do the cost benefit analysis of the 30 pizzas that were ordered for the meeting and the free coke that was taken home by the boss).
The boss, who wants to be cool has the final say and he asks the dreaded question (only to feel important and show his tech savvy side), how is it better than the last one. The standard answer is, we are looking at 10-50% higher engagement.
2500 likes last time, now 2750
10 comments last time, now 11
350 mentions in tweets, now 385
Campaign is executed/ delivered by the brand manager when he signs the RO, by the agency as soon as they step out. They are sure that there would be a natural 30-40% higher engagement as from last year to this year, social media penetration has increased by that % and hence they go back and have more pizza in office and party all night while SMSing the client to clarify doubts on the campaign.
Now the real work for the brand manager begins, making presentation to claim victory. Screenshots, verbatim quotes, good comments are collated, put together beautifully in a ppt and shared with the boss, complete with graphs showing the jump over last year. The boss, changes fonts, order of the sheets and the background color, converts to PDF (showing off again) and then calls for a hangout to share the results with the superiors.
No one is able to connect to the hangout on the desired date and time as no one knows how to or what it is so the good old telecon happens (in better times one would have flown down to HO to present but remember no budgets hence no mass campaign hence social media).
Boss’s boss is not happy (he is paid to sulk and make people feel miserable) and hence learnings have to be shared on how would this be done better next year, dos and don’ts are circulated, case studies are circulated, award entries are filled up and if by mistake an award is won, brand manager gets to do more such campaigns while the boss takes all credit (and also gets tagged as tech savvy marketer of the year).