Critical Success Factors of Social Media Marketing Campaigns for Consumer Goods


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This short paper describes the critical success factors of a social media marketing campaign with a rela- tion to the future trends of the social media technologies.

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Critical Success Factors of Social Media Marketing Campaigns for Consumer Goods

  1. 1. Cri t i cal Succe ss Factors of Soci al Medi a Marketing Campai gns for Cons umer Goods Daniel Walther University of Applied Science Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland daniel.walther@students.! June 2010 Abstract This short paper describes the critical success factors of a social media marketing campaign with a rela- tion to the future trends of the social media technologies. Keywords: B2C , community marketing, CRM, e-commerce, social commerce, social marketing, social media, social networks1. IntroductionToday a lot of companies are using the existing social media channels for their marketing campaigns. If they starta social media marketing campaign it is generally related to consumer goods within the B2C (business to con-sumer) field of e-commerce. The following chapters will deal with the critical success factors of such a campaign.Also the existing trends for the future will be taken in account. For example Gartner (2009a) predicts the follow-ing assumptions:• By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20% of business users.• By 2012, over 50% of enterprises will use activity streams that include microblogging, but stand-alone enterprise microblogging will have less than 5% penetration.• Through 2012, over 70% of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail.• Within five years, 70% of collaboration and communication applications designed on PCs will be modeled after user experience lessons from smartphone collaboration applications.• Through 2015, only 25% of enterprises will routinely utilize social network analysis to improve performance and productivity.In a more recent study from Gartner (2010) they declare the following processes as the most promising ones insocial media marketing:• „The primary interest is in brand and reputation monitoring on social media.• The second most popular area of interest is in technologies for idea capture and to aid new product or service development.• The third hottest area of interest is in linking campaign management to social networks.“! 1
  2. 2. systems. knowledge managementSocial networkingSocial networking applications, such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Xing, havegathered large user communities in recent years, as shown in Figure 1. Social 1027networking sites have become central points on the web for sharing personalinformation and socialising online. These applications bring together users who sharesimilar interests and create communities around centres of interests. Figure 1 showsmedia marketing 2. Social the number of users registered as unique visitors in January 2009,according to data retrieved from According to, these big growth. According a study from There are more and more social media platforms available and they all have anumbers count a person only once, no matter how many times they have visited a site.Social networks are moreover attracting(2009) the social media platforms got very popular. There are for example more Razmerita, Kirchner and Sudzina an increasing number of users, as shown inFigure 2, with data collectedregistered in Facebook. January 2008 to January 2009. than 68 millions users from from Figure 1. Number of active users of popular social networking sites in January 2009 Source: Razmerita, Kirchner and Sudzina (2009) The „Social CRM“ hype cycle from Gartner (2009b) also includes topics which have a impact on social media marketing. This cycle mostly focus on the main topic „Social CRM“ where subtopics like „Customer Service“ and ! „Community Marketing“ are described. All these topics are on the rise or already at the peak and ready to get productive. "#$%&!()!*+,!-+./!01&!21.#3/!210453&6!7889! UV(-9*$+O)88"*%(2+!$(A)98F B,.434#1<C M)#%$-+L)&%$+7-(R)9NF L)&%$+M-E% L)&%$+OHM.+O"F()8-9+L-9J%&- O)*F"$(%*@ UVK-9(%F-+S)&(%)*+*E+M*@-8-*( Figure 2. L)&%$+,(+!)9(#%$%(2 G&(%J%(2+L(9-8F L)&%$+L)A(R9-+L"%(-F Annual growth of number M%&9)#$)@@%*@ of users, according to data L)&%$+!9)A%$-F L)&%$+W))$F+A)9+H-(%$+Q-#F%(-F retrieved from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ource: Gartner (2009b) !"#$%&(%)*+,(-.+/0+1"$2+/33456,+7"8#-9.+:33;<==>?+ !@-+<+)A+<4 ! B+/334+:9(*-9C+6*&D+*E5)9+%(F+GAA%$%(-FD+G$$+H%@I(F+H-F-9J-ED+ + ! 2
  3. 3. A study by Stelzner (2009) contains a survey of marketing professionals about the usage and experience of socialmedia marketing. The result is promising because 88% employ social media for marketing campaigns and 72%have either started or will start such a campaign in the next few months.3. Critical Success Factors of Social Media MarketingSuresh Sood defined in an interview with Business21C (2010) the critical success factor for a social media market-ing campaign as „Storytelling“. This means, that not only one aspect will help such a marketing campaign to besuccessful which means that a lot of different aspects have to fit and also the philosophy of the campaign has toadequate.Parise, Guinan and Weinberg (2008), Knoll in an interview with Huber (2010) and Schneider (2010) all describemore or less the same aspects that have to be taken into account in a social media campaign. The most importantaspects are:• Regular updates on the social media channels.• Try to tell a story about your company, the product or your target of the campaign.• Let the users/consumers participate and try to give them a reason why they should participate (active listening).• Don‘t try to control the users/consumers, let them go and try to learn (especially for further campaigns and/or better products).• Try to be honest and authentic during the campaign. This will result in a individuality which makes your campaign/company unique and therefore interesting.• Embrace experimentation and be open for new technologies and channels.• Provide an added value within your campaign (e.g. iPhone application, a product forum).Social media campaigns are mostly long term marketing campaigns (e.g. campaigns on Facebook, MySpace). Shortterm marketing campaigns also exists in the social media channels. But if the campaign is defined this way, theyare mostly available for a contest or an other short term event. For the short term campaigns there will be usedgenerally the existing microblogging services (e.g. Twitter).4. Critical voices against social media marketingThe topic social media marketing is omnipresent for the marketing professionals and also for the consumers. Butthere exists also some critical voices against this trend. The main reason for the criticism is that social media isn‘ta new marketing channel but rather only a new communication channel (Harte 2009). Swain (2009) also indicatesin his article, that the social media channel is an additional communication channel. Furthermore he discoveredthat also the social media is mostly used to push the marketing through this new channel and there is not a lot ofinteraction with the consumers.In a more recent article from Harte (2010) she retain that the term social media marketing silos the social mediafrom other marketing communication tactics. She also rejects the opinion that the social marketing will replacethe classic marketing theory.! 3
  4. 4. 5. ConclusionThe social media is a big hype today and also the social media marketing is growing fast. There exists a lot of re-sources which defines a correct and successful social media campaign and there exist also criticism. I think, thatall of the marketing professional agree that the social media opens new possibilities for the marketing, but theclassical marketing will keep in place and will also be used in future. I agree with Harte (2009) that the social me-dia is „only“ one more communication channel in the marketing strategy. But I assume that most of the marketingprofessionals underestimate, that a social media campaign is much more than a classical marketing campaign. Inthe world of social media the consumers expect something special where they can participate and bring in theirown thoughts.According to Maki (2007) social media campaigns are used to increase the reputation and brand awareness. Icompletely agree with this opinion because most consumers use the social media channel for fun and are de-lighted when a new campaign is started which is different from others. So the brand of the campaign will beknown and the next time they visit a store they will remember the great campaign and probably buy a product. Ithink that a minority will buy a product direct in their social media environment.! 4
  5. 5. Re f e re n ce sBUSINESS21C, 2010. Storyte!ing: The X factor of social media marketing [online]. Sidney, UTS Business. Availablefrom: [Accessed 24May 2010].GARTNER, 2009a. Predicts 2010: Social So"ware Is an Enterprise Reality. Stamford: Gartner, (ID Number:G00172259).GARTNER, 2009b. Hype Cycle for Social So"ware, 2009. Stamford: Gartner, (ID Number: G00168875).GARTNER, 2010. Whats Hot in CRM Applications in 2010. Stamford: Gartner, (ID Number: G00200466).HARTE B., 2009. Is social media the same as marketing? [online]. Available from: [Accessed 24 May2010].HARTE B., 2010. The Dichotomy Issue: “Social Media Marketing” vs. Classic Marketing [online]. Available from: [Accessed 24 May 2010].HUBER J., 2010. Social Media Marketing – Interview [online]. Berlin, kadek-medien. Available from:–-interview/ [Accessed 20 May 2010].MAKI, 2007. Social Media Marketing Campaigns: How to Set Goals and Define Your Target Market[online]. Availablefrom; [Accessed 24May 2010].SCHNEIDER F., 2010. 9 Tipps fürs erfolgreiche Social Media Marketing [online]. München, IDG BUSINESS ME-DIA GmbH. Available from: [Accessed 24 May2010].STELZNER M.A., 2009. Social Media Marketing Industry Report [online]. Available from: [Accessed 24May 2010].SWAIN S., 2009. 5 Problems with Social Media *Marketing* [online]. Available from: [Accessed 13 May 2010].PARISE S., GUINAN P. J., WEINBERG B. D., 2008. The Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World [online]. SouthBrunswick, The Wall Street Journal Online. Available from: [Accessed 24 May 2010].RAZMERITA L., KIRCHNER K., SUDZINA F., 2009. Personal knowledge management: The role of Web 2.0tools for managing knowledge at individual and organisational levels. Online Information Review, 33(6), 1021 - 1039.! 5