The different steps in a social media marketing campaign: an interview

Bart De Waele You probably know that I have been saying that email marketing, social media marketing and every other form of marketing you can imagine should be a part of an encompassing marketing strategy, enabling you to see the big picture (and the overall ROI), instead of focusing on the channels and media themselves.

Recently, I interviewed Bart De Waele. He’s a Belgian social media expert so you might have never heard about him before. However, his social media marketing and online reputation management company (one of his many ventures) is doing quite well.

I asked Bart to talk a bit about his views on social media marketing. 

For starters, I asked Bart what, according to him, the different steps are that should be taken in a social media marketing campaign.

He summarizes the steps in a social media marketing campaign as follows:

  • Defining and getting to know the overall marketing and communication strategy 
  • Translating this global strategy into a (long term) social media strategy 
  • Preliminary tracking of the online reputation of brand, product or company 
  • Executing the social media strategy 
  • Tracking and comparing the online reputation. 
  • From then onwards: lather, rinse, repeat and optimize where necessary. 

When reading between the lines you will notice that for De Waele online reputation management is important. However, what other types of marketing and CRM are fitted for social media (customer acquisition, retency, loyalty, customer service, etc.) according to him? 

Different social media networks offer different kinds of interaction

Bart “There is no exact formula that tells you which marketing is the best match for what kind of social media network. This depends on different parameters: the objectives, the product and market you find yourself in. Let’s not forget the different social media networks also have different audiences and offer different kinds of interaction. Your main focus should always be to fully integrate your social media within the core of your business and your global marketing strategy. You should engage in a meaningful and relevant manner with your clients”.

He continues: “Social media marketing works in two ways: it’s a way you can communicate about your products, special offers to a targeted audience. Branding, sales, acquisition. However, it will also help you, as a company, to get to know your (potential) customer better and to get direct feedback about your services and products. No need to hire a focus group: just ask people online. This knowledge will allow you to improve your services, offer solutions to problems, thus improving your PR. This covers (direct) customer service, loyalty and retention”. 

So for Bart the global marketing strategy is key too. And you should integrate social media into that strategy right from the start which is defining your goals but of course also defining the metrics that you will use to measure the success of your social media campaign. 

I also asked Bart how to measure that success and the return and what metrics to use.

He says: “There is no ROI formula to assess the social media marketing. In fact, the ROI of old media campaigns is often based on traditional assumptions and projections. The impact of a social media campaign can be assessed by measuring reach, interaction and conversation ensuing from your actions”.

To know my opinion on social marketing ROI, you can read my post here. However, it’s clear that not everyone has the same viewpoint on this topic (should I mention David Meerman Scott and Olivier Blanchard?)

Finally, I asked Bart’s view on Twitter for marketing purposes. How does he see the possibilities of Twitter? Customer service, branding, traffic building, etc.?

Twitter marketing: the good old Dell example

Bart: “When used wisely, Twitter is an extension of your overall marketing and communication strategy. In general social media can be used for customer service, branding and traffic building at the same time. An example from the US where social media have an impact on a larger scale: Dell. They are active in Twitter since 2007 and have multiple accounts on which they offer deals, customer support or suggestions. They have built a community for themselves offering extra value to customers and surfers. One of these accounts, Dell Outlet made more than $1 million in revenue in 2008. Key elements to their success: early adopters, demographic segmentation, a ‘Think Global, Act Local’ approach, creating a following and build a trust factor and targeted Sales messages to the community and a long term vision”. 

Bart runs his own company Netlash and is the co-founder of social media marketing and online reputation management company Talking Heads.

Other recent interviews:

Article marketing : an interview with Christopher Knight ( 
Twitter and marketing: relevant brands have to have a presence on Twitter
Jim Sterne on social media marketing; the customer is more visible now than ever!
Twitter and marketing: an interview with Len Cercone
Steven Woods on social media, marketing automation, and lead management
Email marketing and deliverability: an interview with Reputy
Email deliverability: an interview with Return Path’s Mario Marlisa (part 1)
Email deliverability: an interview with Return Path’s Mario Marlisa (part 2)

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