How to Determine if Social is the Right Fit


How to Determine if Social is the Right Fit

By Kristina Knight – June 10, 2011

There is a lot of push to get businesses and brands into the social space. The problem is that social, while seemingly simple and ready to use, is that it may not be the right fit for specific brands or for the targeting of specific demographics.

Part I of my conversation with Liz can be found here.

I recently had the chance to chat with Liz Elting, CEO and co-founder of Translations about social networks and how brands building an international presence might work with that system.

Kristina: With consumer adoption, social can't be ignored. How can brands determine if social is right for them?

Liz: Before a company invests in that process, they should consider its potential value and ask several key questions, including: What are the predominant sources of our website traffic? How does this differ by region? How do we define conversion, and what are our conversion rates? Has social media had any effect on those rates in our home market? Is there evidence that it might in international arenas? Do we have local resources in each target region to manage localized social media? There is a growing demand to get traffic to international sites, and companies are going about it in a number of ways. However, what is crucial is that they look at where they'll get the most value. Social media is a popular buzzword these days, but it's not always the answer for every single situation.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips/best practices for integrating social in the international space?

Liz: 1) Know where to find your customers
If your international customers aren't using social media to find or discuss your products and services, social media isn't likely the best place for you to spend your limited resources. In fact, you could cause your brand harm by running a social media campaign that has no results.

2) Integrate your social media
There are few markets in which anything short of an integrated campaign makes sense. If a company drives prospects to a landing page that is not relevant to the ad they viewed, conversion rates suffer. If a business fails to employ nuanced localization, the effect might be felt not only in disappointing search engine results, but also on the registration page or in the shopping cart. The most successful social media campaigns are integrated into a comprehensive marketing plan with consistent messaging and branding.

3) Allocate adequate resources
Many companies funnel the majority of their marketing budgets into their English language websites, then parse out what's left to support international sites. When these resources are spread too thin across too many languages, the results are often poorly performing campaigns. Business must designate adequate resources to developing regional marketing materials, targeted messages, pay-per-click (PPC) ads and other supporting elements in order to drive conversion rates and penetrate new markets.


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