I was reading an article the other day that detailed all of the reasons why CEO’s Are Skeptical of Social Media Marketing and came to the realization that, in casino gaming, in particular, marketers and leadership are often speaking two different languages. This also means that they have completely different sets of expectations when it comes to measuring the output of social media efforts. While it is not at all uncommon for marketing and leadership to have miscommunications about these kinds of things, I thought it might be helpful to dive into this a little deeper as many of us prepare the specifics of our 2022 marketing plans.
Why Does This Miscommunication Exist?
Most executives care about metrics that translate into leads, sales, and revenue. Yet, for casinos, our activity on these platforms can not always be translated into these terms. Are you running an ad for hotel bookings? Great, that can be translated. But, what about an organic jackpot photo? There isn’t a way to translate this into leads, sales, and revenue. We all know that they are important but how do we communicate that importance?
It starts with asking the right questions. Trying to attribute jackpot photos on social media into leads, sales, and revenue is trying to put a round peg into a square hole. If someone asks you what the return on the “investment” is for something like a jackpot post they are asking the wrong question. As a marketer, I would urge you, as politely as possible, to redirect and reframe the question.
At the same time, simply vomiting the number of impressions or people a post reached is not the answer either. As marketers, we all agree that reach and engagement are critical components to measuring the success of what we are doing, but in a vacuum, they don’t mean anything. Talking to your boss about social media marketing is all about the context you use to frame the numbers you present.
The examples below are by no means an exhaustive list of contexts and frameworks to try, nor are they all things that properties will swear by as the greatest way to measure their social media performance. With this being said, they are ideas that will hopefully spark conversations within your properties, and within your teams, about how to measure the success of what we do and how we communicate that value to leaders in our organization.
Some Things You Might Try
- Year over year comparisons – at the very least this comparison helps you show progress. Executives like to see that things are growing and becoming more effective, and this can help communicate that.
- Specific examples – share reviews, comments, or direct messages from followers online that show the brand equity you have with your customers. Did someone write a glowing review of a restaurant? Make that a part of the conversation or presentation to your executives. It is highly likely they will be dining there again. Did someone comment on a post about the amazing weekend they spent in your hotel? Use that too! Not only do you get to share their feedback but you know that a lot of people who saw the post YOU made also saw THEIR comment. Win, win.
- Outside data and marketing studies – as marketers we all have our favorite statistics that back up the work that we do. Use these and cite them as often as it is appropriate. The value in doing this is that it helps connect the work you are doing and the metrics that you have with a narrative that makes sense/holds some value for your leadership team. Bonus points if you cite outside statistics and then back them up with specific examples of your own work.
- Industry averages – piggybacking off the above bullet point there are social media “averages” for casinos, hotels, the entertainment industry, etc. that you can find on the internist and compare your numbers to. While the methodology behind how those averages were calculated is not always available these numbers can be trusted for benchmarking purposes. While this still won’t answer an executive’s questions about leads and revenue if your performance is above industry average that is a helpful narrative to be able to communicate in terms of building brand relationships and awareness.
Miscommunications about the role and value of social media happen all the time, so don’t stress yourself out if they are happening in your organization. Using year-over-year metrics, industry benchmarks, and specific examples from your own organization can help marketing and management come to a better understanding of the value social media can bring to your organization. The above tips are meant to help you, and your executive team plan, execute and analyze your marketing efforts and results from a relatively similar playing field.
Looking to dive a little deep or need more clarity? I’m happy to answer any questions you might have! Just send them over to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I wish you the best of luck planning your marketing initiatives for next year!