How to Target, Measure, and Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Investment

How would you like to know more about your potential clients and partners before you invest your time building a future relationship? I have found that many of my smaller clients invest a significant amount of time chasing the wrong clients. It’s not hard to see why. In changing economic conditions sales professionals want to keep busy even if it’s with the wrong clients.

I think it’s because too many organizations are numbers focused. We’ve all heard the old adage, “What get measured, gets done.” So a lot of companies have metrics, numbers that drive the business. They believe that if you just make enough calls to enough people, business will result. Having sold professional consulting services for over 20 years, I can see where this fallacy comes from. But there’s more to running a business that coming up with a number everyone tries to hit. A former mentor of mine, Dr. Edward Deming, believed that many of the problems in modern organizations came from not exploring problems completely and looking at only part of the picture.

When I knew Dr. Deming, he was near the end of his life and had a limited tolerance for people who didn’t think things out completely. I always attributed it to his age, but after talking with members of his team, I discovered he never dealt well with people who didn’t look at the bigger issues involving organizations. He was expert at statistical quality control; however, he also had the strength of breaking things down quantitatively while still maintaining a good dose of common sense. It’s no surprise that General Douglas MacArthur chose Dr. Deming to work with Japanese industrial leaders after World War II. President Truman quickly agreed that Deming was the right choice. He wanted a person who would look beyond the immediate needs to the long term to rebuild a thriving economy as quickly as possible.

We need to follow Dr. Deming’s lead and do both the statistical analysis and look at the human factors involved in evaluating effectiveness. So what does all of this have to do with social media, you may be asking? Organizational effectiveness comes from both statistical analysis and the human factor. In social media, we have the human factor, but we don’t have the tools for statistical analysis.

Can a tweet from the right person create a relationship? I’m not sure. The fleeting nature of tweeting provides less of an impression on a person than a magazine or white paper provides. You can’t read every tweet on Twitter. I won’t say it’s impossible, but you won’t have much of a life. I don’t doubt that a well placed series of tweets can have a more immediate impact on web traffic. But we don’t yet have the tools to analyze the impact of social media on our marketing efforts. We can ask prospects and customers what impact our tweets or posts had on them, but it’s still hearsay.

However, your greatest opportunity for success in social media marketing comes from targeting those people who are most likely to want your product or service. Find the groups where your ideal customers hang out. Begin by listening to them, after a short period of time you can comfortably begin communicating with them. Find out what’s important to them and how you can help. I have several projects going on involved with determining social media’s effectiveness. I’ll share what we find as we begin quantifying the impact of social media on our clients’ business.

We’ll be sponsoring several social media surveys to better understand how you are using social media and the results you’re getting both quantitatively and on the intangibles of how you do business. Begin watching for the surveys here and in different locations around the web over the next several weeks. If you’re interested in participating in sharing your observations or in the development of the surveys, please let us know as soon as possible.

Tripp Braden is a leading technology marketing and business development consultant who specializes in developing seven figure partnerships and businesses. He is also the editor of the Market Leadership Journal blog. Discover how to grow your business faster through effective target marketing at extraordinary partnerships or by visiting

Leave a comment