According to eMarketer, nine in 10 companies in the United States are using social media for marketing purposes. Clearly, this is a popular method for exposure, brand awareness, and getting in front of an organization’s most important audiences. But, are you using it correctly, are you getting the most out of what you’re doing, and are you using your resources effectively?

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Keep in mind, when launching a social media campaign of any sort, it should align with your overarching business objectives. In other words, it shouldn’t be done “just because” or without thought behind it.

A good example of how to effectively use social media, namely Twitter, comes from The Traffic Group, a traffic engineering and transportation planning firm. We were recently honored with the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Maryland Social Media Award for our work with them.  We thought this case study might demonstrate how to achieve results when a plan is thought out and put in place.

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When we initially suggested a social media program to The Traffic Group, the idea was to incorporate another tactic to further position the firm and its CEO as a forward-thinking, national thought leader while gaining more exposure.

To show them why we felt it was worth adding in social media to the PR mix, we presented them with a competitive analysis, which required a good bit of homework on our part. This deep analysis detailed who was already using major social channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter), how frequently they posted, what they posted about, a sample of posts, and who was following them. The chart was segmented by audience categories, including: Local and National Competitors, Key Prospects, and Local and National Media. We also looked at how often The Traffic Group and/or the firm’s CEO were referenced on social media already, even in the absence of an account.

Since this was all new, we opted to start with Twitter and later expand into other channels.

But before launching the account, we first determined who we were targeting in terms of those we would follow and what messages we would post and Retweet. The audiences were:

  • Prospects – Those in decision-making transportation positions in public and private sectors organizations located within the Mid-Atlantic, throughout the US, and globally;
  • Media/Influencers– National, mainstream media, high-profile media within the Mid-Atlantic, niche media, and bloggers.
  • Clients/Partners – Executives interested in additional services and capabilities, expert content, relevant company news and updates.

Results Since Launching

In the year since launching their Twitter account, TTG has stayed front-and-center and maintained top-of-mind awareness with key executives, media, politicians, and government officials. Results include securing media coverage with key trade magazines, national media Retweets (including Governing Magazine), increased key Twitter followers (including Bloomberg Media, California Transit Association, and Maryland Association of Counties), engagement with key regional planning boards, state departments of transportations, as well as Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

We also felt it was important to provide metrics, which we do on a quarterly basis. For this client, measurement equals quality – not quantity – of followers and Retweets, which ensures goals are accomplished. We also use Twitter Analytics to look at the quantity of impressions made, knowing that the majority of those reached are the right people.

In Conclusion

Before joining Twitter, both The Traffic Group and its CEO were discussed on the social media platform, but had no way to engage with those individuals. TTG now has a means to be visible and talk to target audiences, whether they are down the street or around the globe. These audiences – and visibility within modern channels of communication – are vital to the company’s continued success and growth.