Whether you work for a large brand or run your own business, you know the importance of social media as an engagement channel with your audience, a referral channel for your site or content or even as a revenue generator. Some Brands also use social media as an engagement or “listening” channel for its customers, after all it’s about being where your audience is, right?
Over the last 2 years we have all seen engagement and reach numbers dwindle when it comes to posting, especially within Facebook. I have monitored the engagement of social media and tried lots of tactics to make sure posts and messages spread as wide as they can, but it seems you can’t get away from the fact that a 9-11% reach for a lot of the organic posts is about as much as you are likely to get – unless you are posting about fluffy cats or a charity campaign obviously.
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Of course using the paid option via Facebook, for boosting posts or trying to be a bit more targeted can push the numbers in terms of reach, engagement and building more fans, but it does seem that the more you pay, the less you get when it comes to organic posting… or maybe I am being cynical?
Migrate them now… and gather more data
One strategy I advise is moving the social media audience closer to the marketing base and migrate them from the social media platform, into your database. If the customer is on your database you have a much better chance to be targeted in the messages they receive and of course increase the level of data and information you have about them. Drilling into Facebook data around your “fans” does give you a level of demographic and gender information, but if you can migrate the fan into your CRM channel, you have the opportunity to “massage” them and make that level of data a lot richer, and you don’t have to pay (minus costs of email, SMS etc) every time you want to engage with them. You may also find a higher level of engagement and begin to understand the fan/prospect/customer a lot more in their behaviour, likes, interests, where they live, possibly household income… And of course become more focused when targeting them with the information or offers that suit their needs.
If you have customer personas that have been modelled and profiled, you will quickly be able to assign the fan into a persona role and become even more focused on what they are interested in. Even if you haven’t gone so far as to model customer personas, being able to target them – straight into their inbox with timely offers or relevant content, is a lot better than using Facebook, afterall we also know how quickly a message in the timeline can disappear these days.
How to migrate them
- Run competitions on Facebook to gather customer data and feed direct into DB (using APPs like Woobox)
- Incentivise customers via social to invite their friends and capture the data
- Inbound marketing techniques, drive fans to your content – add in a newsletter sign up on the page
- Advertise on Facebook offers or content only found via your site
Keep up the social marketing though
Obviously I am not saying you need to ditch the social channel, not for one minute… You do need to be where the audience is and engage with them, growing your fans via the social media platforms isn’t a channel or activity that is going to go away, but if you have 20k followers on Facebook and you want to engage with them all, then you will need to assign a monthly budget to that channel to make sure you are getting a return on what you put in. It’s going to be a lot more beneficial and cost effective to migrate them into your database, try to get more data out them and target them with messaging, products, content that’s on relevant than having to pay every time you log on to Facebook and post a message.