For most of us, social media is a major part of our everyday lives. It plays a key role in who we talk to, how we talk to them, how we engage with the things we interest us… and what we buy. There’s no doubt that social media marketing is now an essential element of any successful multichannel strategy.
But while we all know what makes a good post or photo on our personal social media platforms, what works in a business context can be very different altogether. In fact, the world of social media for business is almost completely removed from the fake news and cat GIFs of our own day-to-day social lives (other types of nonsense are available).
A social media marketing strategy has to be focused, relevant and interesting enough to attract the eyeballs of users with the attention span… OOH LOOK AT THE LITTLE KITTY!
Sorry. Got a bit side-tracked there. Where was I? Ah yes, social media marketing.
If you’re new or inexperienced to what can be a highly complex marketing environment, there are five key things to consider as you set up new social marketing campaigns – or, indeed, if you’re attempting to refine and improve existing ones.
First things first: set your goals
Social media for business done badly is when you’re just posting stuff for the sake of posting stuff. It might seem as if all those likes, shares and retweets shows that you’re getting attention, and that, as the old saying goes: “Any publicity is good publicity.”
In reality, that doesn’t really cut it these days – especially because the results gained from random posting doesn’t give you anything relevant to quantify.
So before you do anything, it’s important to come up with a clear plan of what you want to achieve with your social marketing. The best way to do that is determine your goal – whether that’s in sales, leads, number of followers or anything else – and keep that in focus as you work out the posting, strategies, targeting, platforms and content you need to help you get there.
Maximise your influence
As we mentioned at the top of this blog, grabbing people’s attention is a critical part of effective social media messaging (so well done for getting this far!). That’s why your planning process needs to factor in what works best for the demographics and potential customers you want to attract.
For example, millennial consumers are more likely to enjoy moving content like videos, while a more technically-minded audience like IT professionals or engineers may prefer the in-depth approach of a whitepaper or an eBook.
It’s worth looking around at similar businesses and products and seeing what works for them. If you can determine higher success rates with certain types of messaging or content, then you can focus on those to influence user thinking more effectively.
Listen and learn
To take the assessment of effective messaging a step further, you can utilise tools and services that analyse the messages and conversations posted across social media to a highly advanced degree.
This is known as social listening and involves investigating wider conversations on chosen topics over a sustained period of time. By discovering the issues, words and tags that come up the most often, and in the most relevant ways, you can use them in your messaging and content to strike the right chord with your target audience.
Social listening goes far beyond the level of social monitoring, which normally takes a much narrower and specific view. By using social listening, especially if you do so in partnership with a social media marketing agency, you can take a much more holistic approach and gain a more complete picture of your product, brand or industry.
The personal touch
In virtually every form of marketing and sales, it’s the little things that can often make the difference. Extra flourishes of creativity can help engage people that might otherwise show no interest. And generally speaking, the most effective way of reaching out to people is the personal touch.
Over recent years, consumers have come to expect messaging that talks to them personally rather than to a vague concept of a group of people like them. And as just 22% of shoppers are happy with the personalisation they receive at the moment, companies that can do it properly stand to make significant gains in their marketplaces.
How you achieve that personalisation, of course, isn’t easy. It can be a tricky balancing act to make sure you do so in a way that isn’t too invasive, and this is especially true in an era of heightened consumer sensitivity around personal data, and the advent of new legislation like GDPR.
The vital statistics
For all the extra attention that these practices can bring you, they’re all pretty much a waste of time unless you can find out exactly how successful each of your posts are – or aren’t, as the case may be!
Tracking and measurement tools analyse the behaviour of individual users with each post or message in detail. The benefits are twofold: firstly, you can easily find out what works, what doesn’t work, and better shape your future content; and secondly, you can create reports that demonstrate the success of your campaigns to colleagues and management.
However, given the huge number of variables and criteria that you can apply to your messaging with these tools, it can be easy to end up drowning in meaningless figures.
Therefore, it’s very important to make sure that the stats you focus on collecting are relevant, contextual and regularly compared with what’s gone before. That way, you can get accurate and useful measurement of messaging performance.
So, what’s next?
Well, if there’s a lot of advice in this blog that you’re not already implementing, then this is undoubtedly a lot to absorb in one go. And you also clearly have an exceptional attention span!
But in an era where consumers and businesses alike are wiser to marketing tactics, it’s important to make sure your social strategy is as good as it can be.
Just remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Whatever added services or expertise you need to achieve your goals, Creation Agency is the social media marketing company that can help you get there. Click here to find out more on what we do and how we do it.