In a world where most people spend a significant amount of time online, the need to examine how social media marketing helps attract customers to grow a business, becomes vital.The cost of running ad campaigns can be quite costly, especially when looking at products that are low price. As an example, to run a Google ad campaign can cost c. £1.40 per click, and if the underlying item is something costing £5.00…making a decent marketing ROI becomes a challenge. Therefore, careful thought needs to be applied to defining social media strategy, and there are 5 key questions and considerations that make this easier.

What are you looking to achieve?

This is key to generating success from social media. Whether the aim is to raise awareness, drive customer loyalty or new sales, stating the ambition is key. Each one of these aims and goals need to be stated very carefully as the social media approach will vary for each one.

Who are you trying to engage?

Once you decide what you are looking to do, the next step is trying to identify your target audience i.e. who are you looking to reach. The best way to get a sense of the people you are trying to engage with is to create a series of customer personas. A persona is a profile of a person that embodies the characteristics of your target audience; age, buying behaviour, demographic information, online behaviour etc etc

How are you positioning your brand?

As more and more customer interactions move from the physical world to the virtual world the brand becomes key to letting your customers and potential customers know about who you are, and what you represent. Most companies develop a logo and a mission statement and then never re-visit the brand context. Brands like human personalities, have many dimensions which layer over time, so this is a very organic journey that encompasses learnings and experience over time.

The work of the brand is hence never done, so a key aspect of driving customer engagement is to ensure your brand has a look & feel, a language pattern and voice that is distinctive when compared to the competition.  All of these elements need to feature in every conversation you will have with the types of personas identified…remember the brand personality will evolve as these personas evolve.

What is the route to connecting?

There are a number of media channels that are open to businesses to help engagement. There is a perception that all channels are created equal, this is not the case. Going back to earlier questions, what are you trying to achieve, and which personas are you looking to attract, will determine which channel will serve your goals the best. It is much better to look at online places where your chosen persona sets actually hang-out. Also, a common error is to create the same content and push it out across all channels.

In a nutshell, each channel whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix or Pinterest are different. The profile of users varies across each one, and the therefore the method of engaging (in line with your persona and brand personality) also varies. Using the right language pattern, use of video, and having a clear call to action for each distinctive channel is key to enabling a great customer interaction. Matching the channel to the persona is important to successfully drive positive marketing outcomes.

How to get better over time?

This is perhaps the most straightforward of all of the stages of creating a great social media marketing plan. The only way to drive improvement is to measure your results for all of the following elements:

  • Engagement: did customers click through and engage with the content
  • Feedback: did customers help spread the message through “Likes” and “Retweets” and other forms of social sharing
  • Conversion: did you attract the number of customers you set out to achieve
  • Online analytics: are there any elements of the journey that broke down for the customers

Having a good set of intentions and outcomes to track is essential to understanding what needs to be changed and developing a more test, learn and evolve approach. This allows you to refine your message over time, and allows for fine tuning as nothing really works 100% first time around. This ensures that you are optimising your efforts over time, and are experimenting more proactively to get you to where you need be!

So who is embracing social media to drive the conversation?

Know Your Lemons – Worldwide Breast Cancer

Perhaps one of the most inspiring campaigns and cleverest campaigns of 2017. Raising awareness through Facebook and Twitter through the #KnowYourLemons initiative. Facebook was used to set-up regular updates, and lots of useful information with an added ability to donate to the cause.

This gave people a channel, and a voice, to discuss something which is not always the easiest thing to talk about. A highly accessible campaign, really leveraging the power of  Facebook and Twitter (250k+ retweets) communities to drive understanding and awareness.

Chase Banking

One of the key elements of Chase’s social media marketing strategy, is understanding the role, of not only the digital media channel, but also the power of social media influencers. Chase has brought together basketball star Stephen Curry and tennis icon Serena Williams for a Battle of the Paddle. The path to this campaign trending on Twitter, shows Williams firing the first shot, creating a level of hype rarely seen with banking campaigns.

Nasdaq

Nasdaq has taken to Facebook to drive better brand visibility, and create a means to connecting with young adults. The Nasdaq Marketsite social team uses Facebook Live to educate its audience of over 600k+ followers on industry trends, as well as showcasing interesting investment options for Millennials.

Looking at these examples, clear learning is be creative and think outside the box!!

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