Social Media Marketing - A Measured Approach
Everyone is on social media these days, and so is your business. You’ve been told that using social media as a marketing tool is free, and that utilising the platforms is a vital part in yielding your business success. Correct us if we are wrong, but like most business owners specialising in an area outside marketing, your knowledge may stop there? Because what you may not have considered is that social media marketing, like any other marketing tool, requires a measured approach, and by not having a strategy in place or the resources to maintain consistency, you can potentially damage your brand. To help with this, we have included some simple questions to which your answers will help you take a measured approach!
OK, so you have researched the optimum time to share content, and even connected your website for shopping on Instagram. Great, well done (no joke - the latter can be incredibly tricky!)! What you may not have done as a step to increase your businesses productivity through your presence on social media, is understanding what your goals are. They can be very similar reasons, if not the same, as to those you considered when building your website; What is the purpose? What am I trying to achieve? Who am I targeting?
There are vast business pages and engaging social media accounts out there, so making sure you utilise yours to reach an audience that will help you reach your business goal is important. It is vital to understand the return you can receive given the correct amount of time and consistent effort applied, rather than when a varying degree of effort is applied before the platform is left dormant.
Target Your Audience
Every social media channel has a varied demographic and reach potential. You must bypass the idea of being followed by everyone and that you are only as successful as the number of likes/followers you generate, as the goal is to find the customers that will yield your business growth, buy from your online store, etc. To find the demographic that matches your goal, this being long-term or for a specific time, you must start off by detailing some of the simpler metrics: Gender, age group, geographic reach, profession, interests. If you are unsure of how to find your target audience, you should run an AB campaign.
An AB test campaign allows you to test different versions of a single campaign to see how small changes can have a big impact on your results. Choose what you want to test, customer demographic, and compare results to find out what works and what doesn't.
The data you collect from your AB test campaign or previous campaigns must be compared, which allows for you to align the sourced information, ultimately giving you information to use your social media channels as a marketing tool.
Answers these questions to get you started in the process to understanding who your target audience are:
What channel(s) are they using to consume their news and updates?
How do your audience consume content i.e. video, image, text?
What are the best days and times to reach your audience?
What does the competition audience look like?
A few other considerations when identifying where and when a large majority of your target audience is online would be:
Do you understand the platform algorithms?
Do you have the resources to roll out and implement an effective strategy?
Does your business have the time to be consistent and interesting?
Once you have identified your suitable social channels and target audience, you can delve deeper to identify metrics that allows you to capture your audience’s attention, gain their trust and entice them to click. Again, it is important to not only analyse your social media posts through measuring ‘likes’ or ‘retweets’, but align it with the original goal of why you are marketing on social media in the first place. Having an understanding of how your potential customer interacts with you is vital - do you have low engagement levels but high clicks through to your website when the goal is to increase website traffic? Great! Do you have high engagement rates but a low click-through rate to your desired destination? Perhaps you need to tailor your website to suit the journey of a user coming from social media, consider another approach or a different social channel, or simply dig deeper into the metrics behind your customer demographics?