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Published on August 14th, 2010 | by Saurabh Pandey

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Close Looping Your Social Media Marketing Campaign!

While we all fret about the RoI from social media marketing, there seems to be little concern over how we close loop our social media marketing efforts.

The real RoI from social media (buzz or viral effect, thought leadership or engagement) can be achieved effectively if we also focus on Close Looping our campaigns.

For example: I like the Aircel campaign christened “Save Our Tigers” because of it’s overall thought process, but most particularly around it’s attempt to close looping; it’s another fact that the attempt didn’t extend into complete execution and reality, which is sad!

So, Aircel, created an independent website Save Our Tigers and promoted this cause through hoardings and (presumably) barter ads on TV and Newspapers.

The good thing was that all mediums carried the URL of the site, and all had a very focused and common call for action and messaging.

The website gave various options to people to engage with and share. It was also integrated with their facebook page, twitter and blog.

Seems like they also extended it to offline events and seminars, not sure however what participation resulted out of it.

Now, we need to understand that when brands launch a social media engagement program or a cause program like what Aircel did, they create a high pitched initial excitement, which attracts many people to join the cause. However brands overlook a couple of factors:

1. How to sustain the excitement and
2. How to define a timeline (and hence also know when to push the pedal to extend the life of a campaign)

Which is why you must have seen, various campaigns/causes dying a sudden death or people gradually loosing interest.

Close looping if done intelligently can take care of the above gaps. How?

People join a cause or an engagement program because they think that their participation can MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

As a brand, how can you show to each participant that his/her participation did make a difference? The answer to this lies in Close Looping.

Look at a 3 year old endeavour of Dell, christened, Ideastorm! Dell invites people to participate in discussions, submit ideas for new products and improvements, and vote for other ideas.

Dell is clearly close looping by showing to people –what happens to their ideas. Dell has so far implemented over 400 ideas, many other ideas are already in the process of voting.

So participants feel ‘recognized’ and ‘important’ when their ideas become a reality. Others try again-because it’s a transparent process where their peers voted them out or in.

Similarly in the case of Aircel- imagine if Aircel created a TIGER POPULATION CLOCK- and could show how the population is increasing in future, as a function of each new participant in the program. That could be a powerful motivator for people to join-in.

As I said I like the fact that they thought about close looping, and that’s why they have a prominent section on their website ‘What’s the Progress”. However on reaching that section, one could not find any updates. That’s sad!

I think this section can have various updates in the form of either a population probability of tigers, or futuristic population clock, updates from various offline groups holding seminars, an interview with the prime minister/environment minister/chief minister (aircel has tied up with ndtv) and various other things (some of these are already in their agenda and show on the website).

So, a great social media campaign, dying a slow death-because people don’t seem to fathom what difference did their joining the cause made- which in turn makes them less excited ,less participatory and less viral. As a social media practitioner- do think about how could you close loop your social media campaign- because that really defines how great an impact you can create. Do let us know at atomthought if you have already executed close looping in your campaigns, we will be glad to share with our readers on the blog, rss and on social media.


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