Maximising Social Media for your Brand
Still questioning whether Social Media offers any real value to your Brand?
In today’s market, a Brand’s Social Media presence is expected.
Not only does a lack of social presence raise concerns about legitimacy and trust, but will actually inhibit a business from maximising opportunities to build customer relationships, increase sales, raise awareness and manage their reputation.
Social media delivers measurable results in sales, leads, and branding.
It enables businesses to reach large numbers of people at low cost and has transformed the world of communications from one to many, to one to one. In 2018 there are over ‘3.196 billion global social media users, equalling 42% penetration.’ (We Are Social). A sizeable opportunity for any brand or business.
Social Media Opportunities
Using customers to generate prospect leads
- Encouraging customers to share experiences can generate powerful WOM marketing for organisations
- 83% of consumers trust peer recommendations (Nielsen, 2015)
Gaining insight to improve customer relations
- Social media provides the opportunity to listen in and join in with conversations that customers are having – benefitting from rich insights into target audiences
- Organisations now are required to be accessible and personable
- Opportunity to listen to customer needs and provide information they need to better use products and services.
- Providing additional value to customers through building relationships and providing a personal experience
Managing brand reputation online
- Through tuning into online conversations, organisations can identify key influencers in the marketplace and help manage the reputation of the business.
- Bad news travels fast – and social channels offer a perfect opportunity to recognise and rectify an issue quickly.
- Responding to all reviews, good and bad – using good reviews as an opportunity to add more about the brand (e.g. TripAdvisor).
Drive traffic and improve SEO rankings
- Social media can provide more creative ways of engaging customers and directing them to an organisation’s website.
- Linking social media network profiles to corporate websites can also enhance SEO and rankings.
Social Media Strategy
Many companies when developing a social media strategy will turn straight to the tools to use, rather than planning a suitable strategy first. In order to craft a progressive and supportive approach, a goal that resonates with the company vision has to be chosen first.
Typical Social Media Goals include:
- Reach new audiences
- Generate leads
- Convert leads
- Generate sales
- Engage clients
- Retain clients
- Increase share of voice
- Increase brand awareness
- Grow site traffic
- Gather customer insight
Once a goal has been chosen, a brand will be able to choose relevant channels and tactics which will work together to reach this ultimate objective. This provides consistency and efficiency, enabling the strategy to establish measurable KPI’s on which to track the campaign’s performance.
- Google+ (SEO purposes)
Each channel has its own strengths and opportunities, and businesses should look to choose only the most relevant platforms for their consumers. Social Media is by its very nature ‘social’, so a brand should plan a human-first approach, which meets their consumers where they are to maximise positive brand interactions.
When planning campaign tactics, brands need to focus on the user and their particular identifiers. This will create far more engaging and converting communications, as the campaign continually optimises its approach through the use of real data and audience insights.
Social Media campaigns offer the perfect medium to build the brand through tone of voice and personality, whilst effective community management can improve brand sentiment and customer relationships, increasing WOM referrals and organic reach.
This is invaluable to brands, as 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)
As well as seizing all organic opportunities for growth, a business should consider social advertising to support its marketing efforts. Particularly Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter due to their high-level profiling data and engaging ad content types.
The advertising platforms offer a cost-effective alternative to typical PPC channels such as Bing and AdWords, and managed correctly can really underpin a Brand’s social media success. Businesses can reach thousands of people for minimum budget – driving website traffic from as little as 1p per click.
The remarketing opportunities available can also improve online conversion rates and increase turnover by supporting the sales team through retargeting previous site visitors and warm leads with relevant and timely messaging workflows.
When trying to measure Social’s ROI and campaign success, it is important that an organisation tracks the correct metrics. Again, just as the budget, creative, content and platforms follow on from the ultimate campaign objective, the metrics need to enable brands to track performance against goal delivery. Only then will Social Media prove its true value to a company.
Purely site traffic? Focus on Click-Through Rates, Cost-Per-Click, Relevance Scores and maximising lookalike audiences.
Brand awareness? Focus turns to Engagement, Reach, Impressions and Sentiment to help indicate a campaign’s success.
Increase sales? Campaigns looking to increase sales would likely measure Cost-Per-Acquisition, Conversion Rates, Ad Frequency and remarketing campaigns to support high sales targets.
The final element to a successful and relevant Social Media presence is of course content. Without epic shareable content, all your brands time and effort will be wasted. But how do brands create content that engages their audience?
In order to speak effectively to their audience, Brands need to develop and understand their customers. These vital customer profiles will underpin all messaging and content for any of their digital marketing campaigns and are the springboard for any social media or digital marketing campaign. By understanding each personas unique identifiers, goals, challenges, demographic, personality and preferences, brands are able to align their content to speak directly to their audience, developing an element of personalisation that builds a bond between customer and brand. Creating content that resonates with and engages the target market, increases the brands’ customer loyalty and advocacy amongst its audience.
Customer Journey Mapping
Next brands need to consider the customer journey, mapping out every touch point and informational need prospects take on their journey to purchase. This ensures consistency across all platforms and can uncover prime opportunities for additional marketing avenues. The customer journey aims to understand not only the platforms a buyer will use before committing to purchase but also develops an understanding of the content required all the way from awareness, consideration, decision to advocacy.
Awareness: buyer is experiencing or expressing symptoms of a problem or an opportunity.
Information needs: research focused on vendor-neutral 3rd party information around identifying problems or symptoms.
Consideration: buyer has clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity.
Information needs: committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches methods to solving their defined problem or opportunity.
Decision: prospect has now decided on their solution strategy, method or approach.
Information needs: researching supporting documentation, data benchmarks or endorsements to make or recommend a final decision.
Now that the groundwork is in place, brands can apply their findings to SEO to discover online search behaviour that will increase their reach and visibility. By carrying out keyword analysis, brands can discover search term opportunities on which to build their content strategy, creating targeted and relevant content campaigns amplified through their social channels. This will mean that all campaign efforts are targeted at improving the website and social channels visibility during the personas buying journey.
Creating a Social Media strategy with purpose can seem daunting, but broken down into these keys stages you can be sure that all your efforts are tied back to those key business objectives. By taking the time to put in place these proven strategies for success now, will mean that your Social channels deliver the results you need for 2019.
If you need a helping hand, speak to Blimey. We help brands with all elements of Social Media, from content creation and platform advertising to campaign set up and community management – we love helping our clients maximise their platforms return on investment.
To see how we can transform your social for 2019, contact firstname.lastname@example.org