For marketers to be successful, they need to have the consumer squarely at the center of their thinking. Understanding the motivations and behaviors of individuals in social media will help to explain how the media engagement framework applies to social media. Social marketing analytics must also begin in the same way. This chapter will talk about the motivations and behaviors people have in participating in social media so that we can:

  • understand how the three key players in social media—influencers, individuals and consumers—derive benefit and utility from social media
  • provide insights on how marketers can use this understanding to help them improve their social marketing communications plans.

Once we understand these motivations and behaviors, we can define strategies and tactics to take advantage of them in order to make social marketing actions more successful. With these strategies, we can then develop metrics following the media engagement framework described in Section 2.

ROI is not just about measuring the past but also, more importantly for the marketer, providing insights to improve marketing actions in the future. Measuring the past within the media engagement framework can provide good insights for improvement, but these must also be understood in context of why individuals participate in social media. Understanding these motivations will then allow marketers to make significantly better decisions for the future given the ...

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