Welcome back to Part 2 of our three-part interview series Ashley Burgess Gall, VP of Marketing at LBM. In this installment, we will continue our exploration of the dynamic world of social media marketing. Ashley shares her experiences with memorable campaigns, provides insights into handling social media disasters, and discusses the crucial metrics that truly matter. From successful naming contests to the pitfalls of engaging with trolls, this conversation with Ashley is sure to be enlightening. Join us as we uncover the secrets to social media success and learn from Ashley’s wealth of experience in the field.
Laura: Welcome back to Part 2 of our interview series with Ashley. Let’s start with a walk down memory lane. Can you tell us about a campaign or effort you led in the past for a client, and what were the results? Did it meet the client’s and your expectations?
Ashley: Absolutely, Laura. One campaign that stands out took place over a decade ago for MasterPiece Arms. They were launching several new firearms and wanted to engage their community by allowing them to help name these products. We ran a social media contest where followers could suggest names, and the community then voted on their favorites. The response was incredible, generating numerous solid name choices and fostering substantial engagement with the brand. It was a resounding success, exceeding both the client’s and our expectations.
LB: That sounds like a fantastic campaign, Ashley. It is always satisfying when a creative idea resonates so well with the audience. On a different note, have you ever experienced any social media disasters, or perhaps witnessed them happening to other brands? What would you suggest doing in these instances?
ABG: Fortunately, I can say I have never personally encountered a disaster for any of the brands I’ve managed. However, I have observed train wrecks unfold in real time for other brands. Most of these disasters stem from how brands choose to interact with their followers, especially when dealing with trolls. It’s crucial to remember that social media is a public platform, and how you respond can make or break your brand’s reputation.
Engaging with trolls in a hostile or negative manner can quickly escalate the situation and lead to viral backlash. My advice is to adhere to your customer service protocols consistently, whether on social media or elsewhere. How you treat people, even trolls, speaks volumes about what potential customers can expect from your company. Maintaining professionalism and civility is key.
LB: Excellent advice, Ashley. Handling social media crises with grace and professionalism is indeed crucial for a brand’s reputation. Shifting our focus to metrics, what specific metrics do you typically use to measure the success of a social media campaign?
ABG: The choice of metrics to measure the success of an SM campaign can vary depending on your specific goals and objectives. However, with that being said, some key metrics that are often considered important include Engagement Metrics (likes, comments, share/retweets, CTRs), Follower Growth, Reach, and Impressions. This type of information can help you identify your most successful posts in terms of engagement and conversions, as well as understand which types of content (i.e., videos, images, etc.) perform best with your audience.
If you are a brand that can sell through social media, then Conversion Rate (i.e., the percentage of people who took a desired action, like making a purchase, after clicking on your social media content), or Revenue/ROI would be important.
If you are looking for brand awareness, then the frequency at which your brand is mentioned on social media or understanding how people perceive your brand through sentiment analysis matters. If you are using influencers, then measuring the effectiveness of the collaborations through engagement and conversion metrics is important.
In summary, choosing the right metrics depends on your campaign goals, whether they revolve around brand awareness, lead generation, sales, or customer retention. Regularly tracking and analyzing these metrics empowers you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your social media strategy effectively. Neglecting to investigate these metrics can do a disservice to your brand.
In our next and final installment, Part 3, we will further explore the ever-changing landscape of social media platforms, discussing their evolution over the years and which ones Ashley currently recommends for our industry. Additionally, we will peer into the future and discover the role that social media is poised to play in our industry over the next five years.