Social media program review – from Alberta

Imagine my surprise when I heard that a Calgary, Alberta marketing company – Comrade – was the featured guest on Marketing Voices an online marketing news podcast out of the US.

Surprised in a good way of course.

Comrade’s Managing Partner and CEO Thelton McMillian discussed with Jennifer Jones, a study they conducted for Marketing Voices.  The study, which is based on conversations with twenty-five corporate marketing professionals, asked three questions concerning their social media activities and strategies. The results are succinct and to the point. You can view the study here at Comrade and listen to the podcast here at Marketing Voices.

Even though the study had a limited population sampling and was primarily a discovery tool, the results were quite interesting and no doubt typical. Here’s what caught my eye:

  • The level of success was related to the commitment and financial support provided.
  • There were many different models being used. Not surprising considering we are in the early days of social media and corporate management has no way of knowing where to put this new animal. Comrade’s suggestion was to create a social media department, staff it with savvy people and equip them with a budget line item in order to better measure ROI – solid advice.
  • For every single high-profile campaign success there were hundreds of smaller social media campaigns experiencing varying degrees of success and failure. The smaller campaign is where social media truly shines.

The study’s last recommendation is slippery but very important – getting senior legal folks involved early in the process in order to get their buy-in. If you have enough people on your social media team you might want to assign one of them the task of working closely with the lawyers. Keeping them up to date on the process and even providing them some legal articles on what specialists in social media have to say. We had a single initiative shut down due to the corporate lawyer being concerned over a single sentence in a contract clause regarding liability. This single roadblock quickly led to the larger social media strategy being shut down by the VP.



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