The days when social media was a niche marketing tool are long gone. It is estimated that there will be about 2.1 billion social network users worldwide in 2016, up from 1.4 billion in 2012, according to analytics firm Statista. Most brands already have a social media presence as part of their customer experience strategy, but many still struggle to engage users with relevant content in a timely manner. Many social networks are also prioritizing paid media, making it even more difficult to engage users without a large budget.
As marketers dig deeper into their social strategies, here are five tactics every brand needs to build a solid foundation for engaging people on social media.
1. Choose the Right Platform for Your Company
With so many social media platforms to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Each social network caters to a specific demographic group or audience so knowing who you want to engage is critical. Researching the social media sites that your customers and target audience are using will help you hone in on the platforms that are most relevant to your business. Most brands start with Facebook since it has the most users, but niche platforms like Pinterest or Snapchat might be relevant for your brand.
2. Convert Social Media Data into Actionable Insight
Social media provides a slew of data that, when combined with other data sets, can give you deep insights into what interests your customers and who they are. For example, combining first-party information such as email addresses with behavioral data from social platforms like Facebook or Twitter gives you a richer understanding of what your clients or customers are clicking on and why. Armed with those insights, brands can make more informed media buys and customize their offers.
3. Deliver a Consistent Experience
Data from social logins can also help marketers streamline messaging across devices, from a desktop computer to a smartphone or tablet. Social logins serve as a single sign-on that link users across devices and make it easier for brands to identify people as they jump from a laptop to a phone, for example. This is important as it allows brands to stay connected with users wherever they are. The ability to identify users across devices allows a brand to promote their campaigns--whether they are prospecting, retargeting, or reactivating because of lapsed interest--across devices while users are stationary or on the go.
4. Align Campaigns with the Right KPIs
A common mistake is to launch a social campaign while failing to measure the results against the right key performance indicators. This advice can apply to any campaign or initiative but I’ve seen it happen often with social media. Marketing, for example, will create social campaigns that build brand awareness but the CEO wants to see results measured on a cost-per-acquisition basis. It’s important to define the objective of a campaign early on and make sure that the results are measured accurately.
5. Don’t Limit Yourself to B2C Campaigns
While social media is often associated with B2C marketing versus B2B campaigns, there are numerous opportunities for businesses to engage other businesses as well. Professional networking platforms like LinkedIn offer features aimed at generating leads, such as the ability to target people by industry or job title; create groups, and publish content on your LinkedIn page. Business deals depend on building relationships with customers, just like with B2C. B2B companies that ignore social media are missing an opportunity to engage other professionals in conversations about their shared interests and causes, which could lead to new partnerships.
A successful social media strategy will look different to each company, but the fundamental elements are the same. A data-driven approach is essential for identifying the right platform for your business needs as well as understanding what content will resonate with your target audience.
Like this? Subscribe to receive blog updates via email.
Also, check out the most recent issue of our eNewsletter.
Blog Post: Social Media Company Uses Data to Accelerate Sales
Infographic: Competing on Social