by Michael O'Neill
September 19th, 2013

On digital and social channels, one thing matters: results.

For the most part what constitutes a result is grabbing the attention of your audience. That audience can be customers, employees, media, influencers or all of the above. That attention you’re grabbing comes in many shapes and forms as well: likes, followers, fans, interactions, engagement and viewers.

What doesn’t matter? How you get that attention.

Allow me to explain using an example. Let’s create a small social campaign. Say a Facebook sweepstakes for a new product,  supported with a funny video.

The brand team will use Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for the primary channels for the campaign. The goal is to drive people to enter the sweepstakes by getting engagement through social content (Facebook posts and tweets) and the funny video.

The strategic goals, obviously, is to create awareness of the new product and to boost sales. But from a tactical measurement stand point, the team who created the campaign would want to measure at least three things:

- Views of the video. The more people who watch the video – the more people will learn about the contest and enter
- Engagement and interactions on Facebook and Twitter
- Number of entries to the Facebook contest

What doesn’t matter is how you get the views, engagements and entries. Whether you get them through earned, owned or paid media is completely irrelevant. The only thing that matters is getting the results

Now a smart distribution strategy would be a combination of all three – a strategy that has media and influencers writing about it (earned), has interesting and compelling social content (owned) and a paid distribution that gets the content in front of the right audiences (paid). But at the end of the day it should be the results that matter.

Not how you got them.

George F. Snell III is senior vice-president, digital & social communications, at Weber Shandwick Boston. This article first appeared on his blog High Talk

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