Social media has opened up a huge opportunity: to engage directly with customers, to understand what motivates and interests them, and to increase the size of the audience for your content.

But it’s the very size of the opportunity that’s often the biggest problem. When marketing budget and resources are tight, where do you focus?

And how can you be sure the right message gets out to the right audience via the right channel and that the overall approach is joined-up and consistent?

Most importantly, when your social marketing activity is fragmented across many third-party platforms, as well as your own website, how can you monitor and measure the impact?

These aren’t new questions: they’ve been vexing marketers for years now. But, with the arrival of every hot new platform (last year Google+, this year Pinterest) they become more pressing.

The challenge is to plan and execute campaigns that deliver outstanding results, without spending more money and time on them than they warrant.

That’s much easier said than done. We think it breaks down into five separate challenges: 

Segmenting social media platforms 

Take your selected platforms and then divide them into a tier one and tier two. For each, you need to learn how best to use the features and capabilities available.

You should look to devise campaigns and/or tailor existing campaigns for that platform as well as ensuring that specific content and messages are geared towards both the network you are using and your target audience.

Managing content effectively

For effective social media ROI, you need your content to work harder than you do. Every extra channel your content hits (successfully) increases value and effectiveness.

Great content can be sliced, diced and reused many times, so once you have spent time and effort creating it, make sure it works really hard for you, across all relevant platforms.

Making best use of available people and time

This requires that you have a good understanding of how “socially” mature your organisation is, both at a corporate level but amongst individual employees too.

Moving everyone through the social media maturity curve from monitoring and push to reach and engagement will help deliver better results, but will also pose new challenges.

EPiServer's Social Media Maturity Model (click image for a larger version):

Measuring campaign performance

The first step here is to ensure that you have put in place a social media measurement strategy that will allow you to benchmark the results you are getting and compare them across channels and networks.

The second step is to then take the results of this measurement and actually turn it into action.

Letting technology work for you 

The feeling of information overload is a common one for marketers these days. Creating and distributing content is a time consuming process.

It’s all about finding ways where technology can make a difference and save you time, allowing you focus on the places where human input will be most beneficial.

Maria Wasing

Published 25 April, 2012 by Maria Wasing

Maria Wasing is VP of Marketing Europe at EPiServer and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

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Comments (6)

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James Debono

I definitely agree that segmenting social media platforms is key to avoiding social media overload.

Understand what your target demographic is looking for, find out on what social media platform they spend their time on and then deliver top quality content that invokes a reaction and sharing.

over 6 years ago

Tom Howlett

Tom Howlett, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

During the day to day running of a business, social media will more than often seem like a huge time allocation. Some businesses will feel as though it isn't worth the effort, but most businesses will only need to spend an hour a day to give it a good go. Monitoring the social presence is key, just to make sure you are keeping track of people interacting with you.

over 6 years ago

Michelle Goodall

Michelle Goodall, Independent Social Media, Digital Transformation and Communications Consultant - MCIPR at EconsultancySmall Business Multi-user

Great post Maria. Love the maturity model and I have a consideration for you.

Are 'Brand Insights' and 'Monitoring' really tactical rather than strategic as your model suggests? I'd say that they are strategic functions and at the heart of any social media strategy.

over 6 years ago

Maria Wasing

Maria Wasing, VP of Marketing Europe at EPiServer

@michelle - thanks for the feedback and a great question. The reason that I put them in as tactical in this model is that most organisations start with an ad-hoc approach. And at this stage, it is usually handled by a marketing resource that might be dedicated to this, and then it quickly goes beyond tactical, but otherwise it is more of a tactical nature and a learning process to collect and understand what is being said about their brand in the social media arena. I agree with you that it is the heart of the social media strategy to monitor and collect brand insights. However, from an organisational and resource perspective, it must rapidly evolve into covering more areas as outlined by the model to become truly a strategic initiative that is beyond marketing and communications. It encompassed the complete organisation and how the business processes are set up. I also think it needs dedicated resources that has the mandate to influence the rest of the organisation. Would you agree?
@tom - yes you are right, a great way to start. Can you share some best-practices on how you keep track of the people that interact with you? I find that can be a bit challenging, as engagement and communication increases. Any input is appreciated!

over 6 years ago


Marty Levine

Maria, This is an impressive and interesting model. Do you assume that the organization has already passed the first hurdle of setting meaningful -- and measurable -- objectives for its social media activities? Ignoring that foundation seems to be the first fundamental flaw in much of what I see. The second is failing to integrate social media with overall marketing objectives and activities.

over 6 years ago



It is true that social media has opened great doors to interact with people. Besides that it also helps to know what people have in their mind and wish for. An interaction that benefits two people is what really matters.

about 6 years ago

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