In 2012, Wildfire joined Google with the aim of helping businesses improve their digital marketing across all channels, including social marketing. Together, our goal has been to help marketers bring together insights from their social campaigns alongside insights from the rest of their digital marketing. Last June, we took an important first step towards this goal by starting to build Wildfire technology right into our ad technology platforms

To help accelerate this, we’ve decided to dedicate our resources to this integration. The Wildfire Social Marketing Suite, which helps businesses manage their posts and content on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, will continue to be supported, but further investments will be limited: we won’t be building new features or signing up new customers. Our focus will be on integrating Wildfire's technology with our ad technology platform and building new features that enable marketers to use social insights to improve their marketing campaigns.

With this increased focus, we think we can better help marketers get the most from their digital campaigns. Our teams are looking forward to working with our customers to make that happen.

-- Victoria Ransom, Product Management Director

Social has morphed rapidly over the last several years, yet sustaining engagement with social audiences continues to be a top priority for marketers, and it remains the key metric of social success. In the second infographic of our Wildfire by Google State of Social infographic series (based on exclusive research in partnership with Ad Age), we reveal the top expectations and challenges for brands in social and how they are measuring social’s value. For example:

  • 42% of brands say the #1 impact of social is increased engagement (24/7 customer interaction is a distant second at 12%).
  • 90% of brands agree that it’s crucial to integrate social into their other digital media initiatives.
  • 57% of companies say content shares are the most important social metric, but conversion impact is closing the gap at 54%.

What are your brand’s top expectations for social and which metric leads in measuring social success? Please share your perspective with us in the comments.


How are top brands measuring, managing and budgeting for success in social? And what strategies will the top social brands follow in 2014?
Wildfire by Google, in exclusive partnership with Ad Age, recently conducted the largest survey of its kind to date, asking over 500 enterprise marketing managers and executives about their approach to social marketing. We learned what the best and most successful brands are doing to engage audiences, as well as what those that struggle with social are doing. In our three-part State of Social infographic series, we’ll share with you the key learnings and top strategies you can apply in 2014.

In this first infographic, we look at who is driving social strategy and who is paying for it. As social becomes more integrated into the overall digital and brand strategy, the key players are starting to change. Want to see where the influence is shifting? Just follow the money.
  • 45% of companies with revenue over $1 billion have 50+ social employees.
  • Marketing, PR, and Customer Experience are the top teams with a stake in social, yet social impacts up to 10 teams across the enterprise.
  • 68% of companies expect to increase social spend in the next budgetary cycle, indicating that social’s role in the marketing mix is recognized and prioritized. 

Which departments touch social at your company? And where are social budgets coming from? Please share your perspective with us in the comments.

    Fellow marketers,

    What a year! 2013 has come and gone in a flash. For Wildfire's marketing team it was a year of facing our challenges head on, embracing the need to be "always on" in social, and integrating social into our broader marketing strategy. We’re sure you can relate.

    We know that just like us, you’re up at night worrying about the nonstop changes in the world of social. You’re constantly scrambling to dish up a steady stream of compelling content. And you’re always working hard to get and keep the attention of today’s “new normal” consumers who are socially savvy and increasingly immune to traditional marketing. But those are the kind of challenges we marketers live for, right?

    So, to inspire us all for the year to come, we kicked off 2013 with our 12 Months of Social campaign, which debuted a fun, new social campaign every month. We highlighted creative ideas that were easy to duplicate, and showed how the Wildfire Social Marketing Suite could be a strategic technology partner to help you keep your social fresh and flowing.

    Each monthly campaign showcased one of our easy-to-use social landing pages from our template gallery. But that was just for starters. We also used all the other Wildfire tools to follow the social marketing best practices we’re always talking about. For instance, we made sure we always had a fully integrated marketing program that supported our broader marketing objectives. We used our messaging and ads tools to schedule posts across our social channels. We promoted the campaigns through display media, emails and website promotions. And of course, we used our analytics tools to measure our results and identify shortcomings so we could repeat our most promising successes.

    Now we’ve got 12 months of unique campaigns under our belts, big smiles on our faces, and a long list of priceless lessons learned along the way. Since social is all about sharing, we thought we’d pass along our top five lessons:

    1. Integrate for success. Social must be part of your digital marketing strategy. Sure, some of your marketing goals can be met by traditional efforts. But by adding social into the mix you’ll get a better return on your investment. You’ll gain more insights about your fans, followers, customers and advocates. And trust me, that little marketing fire inside you will burn brighter than it has in a while.

    2. Integrate for success. Didn’t I just say that? Yup, but this time I’m talking about integrating your team. Make sure you’re organized so that your social experts play a bigger role. Does that mean another meeting? Yes, but it’ll be worth it. Hold a regular meeting that includes every member of the team from the community manager, to webmaster, to the art director and project manager. Then answer these three pointed questions: (1) Where do we stand with social campaign X? (2) How are we measuring our results? (3) Are we meeting our objectives?

    3. Have fun, but be relevant. Of course your fans and followers love to have fun, but you’ll have the greatest impact if you’re also relevant. If someone makes the effort to engage with you, make sure it’s worth their time. What’s your payoff? It doesn’t always have to be about a sale … making a consumer feel good about your brand is an investment that pays dividends for a long time.

    4. Embrace technology. Great social never stops! But how do you keep it going strong in a large organization with many brand channels, a wide variety of campaigns, and a myriad of objectives? The answer is technology. The right technology helps you create great content once, then launch it everywhere. It lets you segment promotions, target content, and schedule posts. It gives you control over user permissions so you can safely tap into more resources. And it helps you gauge responses and test results to ensure your success.

    5. Fall in love with your fans and followers. This is a natural outcome, by the way. We learned that we have amazing fans and followers, and we bet you do too.

    The Wildfire marketing team would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us for our 12 Months of Social adventure. We hope we showed you that social marketing can be easy, fun, impactful and well worth the effort. Social truly is the gift that keeps on giving, so if you need our help to get started, get back on track, or take it to the next level, just let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

    From our team to yours,
    Alana Zamora

    Social Marketing Cheerleader, Wildfire

    Social media is evolving at an incredible pace, and - let’s face it - many marketers are still finding it difficult to measure what matters. What should we be paying attention to after we post, promote, tweet and pin? How should we do it?

    As our Google colleague and digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik says, you’ve got to be able to answer the big “so what” of social:

    “Did you grab attention? Did you cause people to take an action? Did your participation deliver economic value?...Social media participation, done right, adds value to the company's bottom-line. Some of its benefit can’t be computed. That is okay. But some of it can be and it is your duty to quantify that.”

    Earlier this summer we announced that Wildfire products would be integrated with DoubleClick Digital Marketing. Today we’re happy to share that two Wildfire integrations are available with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. These integrations are part of our vision for helping you better measure how social works alongside all your other digital channels, and how social can drive real business results. 

    1. Measure your ROI from social with Google Analytics
    If you use Google Analytics (GA) to measure activity on your websites, our new GA integration will allow you to zero in on the bottom of the marketing funnel – i.e. what happens when someone hits your website after clicking on a social link.

    For the first time, you can understand which social posts and pages are driving website conversions without huge amounts of manual time and labor.

    When you direct someone to your website from a social post on Google+, Facebook or Twitter, or from a social landing page, Wildfire will automatically add tracking links and allow you to view all conversion metrics in Google Analytics.

    For example, in a GA Campaigns Report, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of metrics - time on site, revenue, clicks, etc. - for each social page and post. This level of integration is unique to Wildfire.

    2. See how your customers interact with social on the path to conversion with Google Tag Manager
    Social used to be a black box. If your customer saw one of your social landing pages at some point, it likely wouldn’t be credited as part of the customer’s path to purchase. Until now! Wildfire’s new integration with Google Tag Manager (GTM) gives you a full picture of how social fits into your customer’s journey without the expense and hassle of manual tracking and tagging.

    Google Tag Manager is a free product that allows you (and your agency and website team) to easily tag content across any of your domains and websites. We’ve integrated with GTM so that in one step, you can automatically add GTM code to all your Wildfire campaign landing pages--sign up, sweeps and coupon forms. You can also tag ads related to those specific campaigns, allowing you a full view of how customers move from ads to social landing pages to your website. 

    This works for both Google and non-Google tags and will give you tremendous insights in one place:
    • First, it can help you spend your ad dollars more wisely: If you send users from a digital or social ad to a Wildfire-built landing page, you can easily track which ads were most effective in driving the most social conversions, such as coupon downloads, sign-ups and sweepstakes entries.
    • Second, you can view the full customer journey: For example, you can see if customers who started in social vs. display generated more revenue, or if social ads directing customers to a landing page were more effective in driving conversions than mobile ads sending customers straight to your website. The possibilities are almost endless.
    • Third, you can compare the effectiveness of organic vs. paid content: See if users who landed on your social page organically (from a brand post or user share) lead to more revenue or social conversions than those who came from paid ads.

    Much of the value your brand gets from social media comes from having a place where you can have a two-way, engaging conversation with customers. Yet showing how social delivers real business value will get you permission, and the budget, to do more of that brand and relationship building.

    Digital marketers are only just beginning to realize the true potential of social, and with these new integrations Wildfire by Google is working to help you take social from siloed to integrated…from nebulous to concrete. We invite you to join us in our quest to better measure social’s impact on customer interactions, web visits, ad effectiveness and ultimately revenue.

    Learn more about measuring social with Wildfire’s Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager integrations here.

    Summer offers some awesome opportunities to connect and have fun with your social community. But with vacations, holidays and the swimming pool calling your name, it can be tough to find the time. Never fear. We put together a Summer Social Calendar that makes it quick and easy for you to stay on track.

    Great social media marketing never stops, and neither do all the learning and best practice tips you can pick up about it. In May, we embraced education with a little celebration...of Cinco de Mayo, with a Wildfire twist. All month long, we welcomed our community of fans and followers to submit all their burning questions about social media, marketing, best practices and the like— and in exchange, we'd pick a question a week and answer it in a video, straight from our social marketing expert, Wildfire's Chief Evangelist Maya Grinberg! That was five videos over five Fridays— Cinco de Maya! so