Objectives, strategies and indicators for social media marketing
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In this report a study is presented which contributes to the knowledge of social media marketing and attempts to give an insight for (social media) marketing managers for the use of appropriate objectives and strategies for social media marketing and how this can be measured by the use of key performance indicators. Social media came up in the last few years and became a new marketing tool for brands. These days most of the famous brands use social media for their marketing purposes and therefore there is a growing interest and importance on the value of this form of marketing. The following research problem serves as the basis for this study: What are appropriate objectives and strategies for social media marketing and which key indicators can be used to determine the ROI? First, literature on social media as such is analyzed, followed by how the return on investment is measured in traditional forms of marketing. Then available literature on social media marketing is analyzed and resulted in three important social media marketing objectives. These objectives are based on literature for traditional marketing. For each objective a specific strategy is formulated according to existing literature or findings of experts. To indicate whether a strategy was effective for achieving an objective, for each strategy revenue and cost key indicators have been identified. By the use of both revenue and cost indicators a form of return of investment should be able to be formed. A Delphi study with qualified experts is used to reach consensus on the proposed objectives, strategies and key performance indicators. This research method was chosen because it makes use of the opinions of experts in the field which is very applicable to studies where only little research is available. The Delphi study consisted of two rounds in the form of online questionnaires. The first round made use of open questions and was used to gather information. The second round made use of closed questions in the form of propositions and rankings in which the experts judged the answers of the first round. The results of the study show that all of the proposed objectives are applicable and useful for social media marketing. Even two new important objectives have emerged in response to the opinions and statements of the experts. Strategies and revenue key performance indicators which were proposed, some seem to be useful and some are rejected by the experts. Also new and convincing strategies and revenue indicators mentioned by experts have reached consensus. No consensus is reached on the different cost key performance indicators for each strategy, but research has emerged that there are four important social media marketing costs, which can be measured and are applicable for almost each strategy. The final result is a model which gives a clear overview of five important social media objectives. Three objectives are further elaborated by defining the strategies and key performance indicators. The results can be used as a guideline for marketers.