Then analyze the results.
This is the the marketing process most take, and depending on the medium used it can be easy or extremely difficult to do the latter.
Advertisers have long been using TV, radio, and print ads to develop brand awareness and inform consumers. These have been extremely difficult to measure in the past, and even though some newer data has been increasing the confidence, it’s still very much a guessing game.
The problem with measuring social media, is that the marketers trying to analyze these metrics aren’t coming at it from a TV/radio perspective. They look at it as an extension of search engine or email marketing which can be highly measurable. If you look at it in comparison to TV ads, the data of impressions, clicks, likes, shares and purchasing is actually a lot to follow and very helpful. But when marketers are used to the hard numbers of Google Adwords for example, it seems an impossible task to measure purchases made because of social media interactions.
Where TV/radio is a very blind medium, and Google Adwords is a very visible medium, social media is somewhere in between. Marketers will continue to struggle with this for a long time, and each case is different in its own right.
Just some thoughts to ponder.