Social media marketing
Social Media Marketing can be a nightmare especially when you don’t know where to reach your target audience. So, what are the best ways to get noticed as a business among your markets? What platforms are the best to target on? And how exactly do you use social media marketing to promote your business?
Recent studies show that on average a person spends 5 years + 4 months on social media in their lifetime. Which is the same amount of time it would take to watch every episode of Friends back to back 549 times (236 episodes)! This tells us how tricky it is getting to successfully target your audience on social media. Especially with the shelf life of an average post getting shorter and shorter.
Let's break the social platforms down, each have their own positives with very different audiences so you need to adapt your content accordingly. Whatever you do, never post the exact same content across all platforms, your audience notices and it's just brand lazy.
As of 2017, Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly active users making it one of the most well known social media platforms.
Often Facebook could be a good starting point for companies’ social media marketing strategy, especially for B2C businesses, due to the extensity of the targeting options (making it easier than ever to reach your audience)and a user-friendly advertising interface.
Facebook favours family and friends’ content above all brand posts unless you pay. Organic is very slow moving and in many cases not worth doing in isolation.
Tips for Facebook marketing:
- Create a company persona. Communicate like a person, and avoid business tone. The Body Shop are great with their Facebook marketing talking in a brand voice that appeals to their target audience and using posts that are attractive and colourful to draw attention.In some of the campaigns we have run at Adido, we directly tested imagery and in particular, the colour palette. What we found was that using colours away from the typical Facebook colour palette (blues/greys) and instead presenting contrasting colours, response rates were far stronger. Of course this has to fit into the context of the image!
- Post regularly without putting your own value at risk by annoying your followers. Only 2-4% of your followers will see your content. Post regularly but use it more as a way of social proofing and giving the brand a voice.
- Visually focused posts often perform better than text based posts as it takes less effort for the consumer to absorb. Photo/Video posts are remembered more and shared more often.Video more than anything, particularly since they acquired Vidpresso in August.
- Be inviting! Ask questions in your posts to try and drum up some conversation for your brand, and if you do get conversation - reply quickly to keep it flowing.
- Don’t use Facebook to sell to anyone and everyone, people sign up for facebook to keep in touch with friends and family and see content that’s relevant to them. However on Facebook paid ads there are powerful audience selection tools which allow you to specifically target the people that are most relevant to your business.
There are three ways to target your audience through Facebook advertising.
Firstly, core audiences where you select your audience manually through their characteristics such as age & location.
Secondly, custom audiences help you target your existing customers and the people that are already connected to you on Facebook (remarketing). This audience targeting option is great for building a relationship with your customers and driving sales. You can base this off of loyal customers, site visitors, and mobile users. Through remarketing on Facebook you’re likely to get 3x the engagement than your other ads.
Finally you can target people based on a ‘Lookalike audience’ where you take customer information and target people similar.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform where although often used for finding a new job and recruiting, its main purpose is staying connected with past colleagues, potential clients and expanding your professional network. With 332 million members and 2 new members joining every second this is a platform that you need to have a strong presence on.
LinkedIn is a good way to build relationships and shouldn’t - as with most things, be used as a platform to sell your products on as a first interaction. Share things that work for your business and provide value.
Tips we’ve found for LinkedIn marketing;
- If you’re using LinkedIn as a business, it could be beneficial to ask your employees to create a profile and connect it to the companies page, and have them matching to show synergy through the accounts.
- You don’t have to be quite as selective while making LinkedIn connections as you would be while making Facebook friends. You never know if you’ll be looking for someone in that professional field later in your career. However there are still many people who may ignore a connection request if they don’t know you - so make sure if you’re requesting to connect with someone that you add a personal note as to why the connection would be mutually beneficial!
- Spend time on both your personal and your businesses profiles to make a good first impression.
- Search for, and connect with people in your target market.
- You can create your own group targeting your ideal customers.
- Post relevant information that will be of high quality to your market, and share it with the people you’re connected to.
- Consider using LinkedIn sponsored updates. With sponsored updates you have a better way to put yourself in front of key influencers on LinkedIn, which will ultimately help you build a reputation among your market. With sponsored updates you have access to metrics like impressions, clicks, click through rate and cost per click. Here are some great sponsored ads from LinkedIn we’ve found as an example!
If you’ve been using LinkedIn for a while, you may be interested to hear that LinkedIn has recently flagged a set of upcoming tests and changes aimed at improving the offering, but this may also impact your performance data.
Twitter is known as a micro blogging site where you can send out your opinion on a particular topic summed up in 280 characters. With around 330 million active users Twitter can be useful for handling customer service within a business.
Twitter allows a business to receive questions and feedback from their customers and also make announcements of exciting updates within the business - and of course share your content! While Twitter can be a useful platform for marketing it’s also incredibly fast paced - the shelf life of a Twitter post is 4 times shorter than a Facebook post, which certainly makes it a challenge to get your posts to stick in someone’s head.
Tips for Twitter marketing:
- Be active, Twitter is a good place to demonstrate how good your customer service skills are. Subway have always been a very active brand on Twitter and it definitely works in their favour when it comes to talking to their customers. It’s easy and accessible for anyone to private message them so that they can complain or ask any questions. Subway also reply to any tweets directed at them very swiftly and are quick to defuse situations.
- Create a tweeting schedule - if there is a large event coming up that your audience might be interested in schedule some tweets for the date of the event with the appropriate hashtag and some of your audience might find them.
- Paid marketing - paid marketing on Twitter allows you to target audiences by Twitter handles, topics, keywords and profile information. For many the opportunity to pick a large influencer of your audience and target people that follow the influencer is a huge bonus. Similarly, using webcards in paid advertising to link direct to a website (as opposed to embedding the link in the tweet and people continuously clicking an image and going nowhere) is a huge benefit of Twitter ads over organic posts.
- Retargeting - Twitter has enabled a function in their ad platform whereby you can retarget anyone who has interacted with your content in the past, either paid Tweets or organic ones. An alternative to website retargeting which is handy to know.
- Use Twitter tools - there are many online tools that can be used to help you with your marketing strategy. If you’re trying to reach a smaller audience there’s a tool called ‘Audiense’ that lets you build segmented audiences based on demographics, personalities and interests.
- Make sure to measure your results using Twitter analytics so you know what’s going well and what posts could have done better. Twitter offers a marketing insights tool which gives you access to metrics like how many tweets you’ve posted in the last 28 days, how many impressions you received, profile visits, mentions and followers. It also shows you your best performing tweets, the best tweet you’ve been mentioned in, your best follower and a summary of every month.
In my opinion, Instagram is the best social networking platform for sharing visual content. This was always its intended purpose, but that being said brands don’t always follow the rules…since it is images as opposed to words, people often don’t even notice text accompaniments and definitely don’t expect too many text-based images to be included.
With over 800 million users, Instagram can be a good place to get your company brand established in your audience.
If your business is B2C based (e.g. travel, fashion or art) Instagram is the place to be, connecting with like minded accounts and getting volume to your account through the use of hashtags and also product tagging within images (Instagram ‘Shopping’).
Tips for Instagram marketing:
- Take advantage of the free tools. Instagram offers a business profile feature which has the option for a user to ‘contact’ your business through either email or calling the company. Along with the contact benefits business profiles also have access to analytics which shows you impression and engagement data. When you understand how users are interacting with your content the better you can adjust your content to improve engagement.
- Don't overpost! You want to post enough that people don't forget that you exist but at the same time you don't want to make your followers sick of you. The only way you can nail this is to test and see how your audience responds. Start by posting daily at alternating times of the day to test where the best engagement is. Then you can post more or less until you find where your engagement thrives.
- Make sure you interact with your followers - if someone takes the time to comment on your post make sure you reply and you’ll find your audience grow! Find a way to get your audience involved in your posts by inviting them to comment etc.
- Hashtags - when you use popular hashtags, anyone searching that hashtag has a higher chance of seeing your post. Starbucks do a great job of engaging their followers and encouraging them to comment back on their post and they include an excellent use of hashtags in all of their updates.
- Explore different content types, a lot of people decide on a theme for their instagram. There’s many different content types for Instagram from an ordinary photo, a video, a carousel of images or even an Instagram story! GoPro are great at including lots of different content types and frequently to keep their audience engaged like the story bar along the top of their feed or how they include both videos and images in their updates.
- Share customer reviews & success stories
- Instagram stories - amazing for sharing content. Stories sit at the top of your audiences feed so it’s an easy way to get views on what you're posting. Remember though, 2 seconds is the new 3, so frontload your brand and your message in your updates.
All of the social media platforms featured have unique things about them, from different types of content to different ways to target your audience, different expectations and different ways of communicatingon each. This means that you can open yourself up to use several social media platforms and get better visibility. Paid advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be affordable and effective which leads to your business getting recognised and possibly generate some direct transactions or leads.
And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you’re walking away from this blog post knowing a little bit more about social media marketing.