Social media has become a fundamental part of digital marketing for companies in recent years. In this post we share tips on building a successful campaign.
Your Social Media Strategy
What are you using it for?
Too many companies still seem to have a ‘well everyone else has it so we thought we’d better had’ approach to social media. Simply having an account is not enough. If anything having an ineptly maintained social media presence may well have a negative impact on your company profile.
What are you trying to achieve?
Four of the most common uses for social media for companies are:
• Brand awareness
• Customer service
• New product awareness
Each of these purposes requires a strategy of their own; one size does not fit all here.
Who is in charge of it?
It’s a common misconception that anyone with a Facebook profile can run a social media campaign. Quite often the role of social media strategist and manager is tacked on to the job description of someone who already has a full time position; or given to the young and inexperienced because it is ‘of their generation’.
Social media acts as HUGE platform to serve existing customers and gain new ones. It is a public customer service channel. It is a hub of reviews for your company, and complaints, right out there in front of the general public. It can create a media storm around the right content, make a video go viral, make and break the reputation of a company in a day.
Are you going to tack that into ten minutes a day on the end of the administrator’s day?
How will users find it?
Ok, so you’ve set up a half decent social media strategy, and created the relevant profiles and pages. Now you need to help users find it.
You could try:
• Emailing your database. Tell them why they should follow you, or incentivise them
• Add social media buttons to all pages of your site and each blog post
• Include your social media links in off line promotion
Don’t do this: LIKE MY PAGE!
Those who Like the page because you ask them to are unlikely to be your target audience; they will be friends, co-workers, family…These people are great for numbers, but not for engagement or conversion.
Give users a reason to like you. Give them good, sharable content. What that means depends on your industry. It could be breaking news, special offers, press releases, information…whatever it is it needs to carry value to help enhance your brand and given users a reason to share it and engage with it.
Don’t just talk about yourself or push your products and services. It’s repetitive, boring, and self-centred. Social media pages should not often be used as a direct sales pitch, you have adverts for that. Share posts from other relevant sources to keep things interesting.
This post from CuCo Creative shows the peak times for a number of the major sharing sites.
Test different timings and different numbers of posts per day/week. What is appropriate for your industry will be different to others, there are no hard and fast rules. Think about how often YOU would like to see posts like yours. Post too much and users will stop following you. Post too infrequently and they may forget you. One big rule of thumb: If you have nothing to say, don’t say anything.
What are you measuring?
As an example, let’s use Facebook. The default for many companies is to get more Likes.
Likes do not mean conversions, they never have. Now that Facebook are, predictably, decreasing the organic distribution of page posts, coercing companies into using their advertising, Likes have even less impact. Unless you pay for wider promotion it has been suggested that Facebook will be cutting reach to just 1-2%.
As mentioned above, if your audience is not highly targeted you don’t stand to gain much from your social media efforts.
What to measure
• Customer service resolution
• Brand sentiment
• Directly attributable conversions
• Directly attributable traffic
Make sure your goals match your original strategy. If they don’t then one or the other may need tweaking, it’s easy to go off course.
There are a number of tools you can use to help measure your social media campaign success, the most obvious being Google Analytics which now gives a far better insight into social than in used to.
Remember to tailor your pages to the needs of your users and respond to queries as soon as possible!