Social media marketing has come a long way over the years. At first, it was enough to simply have a presence. Staying in front of your audience through a few posts a week was plenty. Now, it’s a lot more complex. Social media channels continue to grow, technology enhancements provide greater capabilities to engage and learn, and audiences have higher expectations for their social engagement with your company. It’s more important than ever to ensure you’ve devised a social marketing strategy that accomplishes a wide range of marketing goals while also making use of the technologies available to you.
As you think through your social marketing strategies in this new era, consider your ultimate goals. Are you looking to grow your brand awareness among your target audience? Do you need to engage more deeply with your customers? Is it important to continue conversations with prospects in order to ensure sales? Are you trying to retain good customers? Do you, ultimately, need to drive more traffic to your site, convert prospects, and/or increase revenue?
Depending on your objectives, how you use social media may vary, but there are many opportunities for you to capitalize on social media and the capabilities technology offers. When thinking about social media marketing, look beyond the post. Consider all of the ways you can learn about, engage with, and connect with your audience.
Although it may not be at the forefront of your social media marketing strategy, learning about your audience is an excellent way to utilize your social media presence. Actively monitoring your social media accounts for key terms, product/service feedback, needs and wants of your audience, and sentiment toward your brand (and even competitors) can provide an infinite amount of information around your buyers. Utilizing social media technologies that can listen for key topics across various social media platforms, news sites, and blog posts can give you invaluable information about your company, audience, industry, competitors, and audience.
You may be surprised with what you learn about your target buyers and prospects. Social media monitoring can give you deeper insights into the demographics and psychographics of your audience, not to mention a greater understanding of their key pain points and frustrations. All of this information can be used in your targeting, messaging, and action plans.
You may also find that your marketing automation platform offers data collection opportunities through social media connections or applications. Capabilities such as LinkedIn Forms, social media logins, and the like give you the ability to capture even more data from your prospects and customers.
As you gather all of this information about your audience, make sure it is shared among your various marketing technology platforms. For certain, you will want this rich data sent to your marketing automation platforms so you can utilize it to target, nurture, and even score your leads. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to engage with your contacts much more deeply.
Consider additional nurturing capabilities when you have social media engagement data in your arsenal. You can fine-tune your messaging based on social behaviors, engagements, or profile information. You may want to consider running campaigns for social influencers, highly engaged contacts, or contacts with customer service or product concerns/issues. You may find contacts that are considering switching brands or service-providers, which is an ideal use case for running a “win-back” type of campaign. Sometimes, social media interactions and their value will even prove to increase the score you assign to your prospects
With the right technology, you can create workflows based on social media engagements. Is there an irate customer that needs immediate attention? Funnel them to your customer service team. Are there issues with your product or service? Create an action for your product development team to follow-up. Found a prospect engaging with or mentioning your brand? Create an action for your sales team to reach out. When you think outside the post, you will find many uses for your social media data.
Most marketing automation platforms give you the ability to add “share,” “like,” etc. buttons directly within your content. That technology has been available for some time. What you may not know, is that your marketing technologies may also have the ability to send contact data to your media accounts in order to create targeted ads for a specific group of individuals. In many cases, you can also create look-a-like audiences in order to target new individuals that meet the criteria of your buyers.
You should also consider behavioral retargeting based on social media activity and/or placing retargeting ads on top social media channels. Retargeting in this manner can help to ensure your brand stays front-of-mind for contacts that may not be engaging with your email campaigns or have shown lackluster interest in your website or other engagement strategies.
In order to fully maximize your use of social media marketing, you will need a social management tool manage your social listening and engagement. These tools allow you to publish and schedule posts throughout all of your social media channels. More importantly, they provide you with the ability to proactively monitor and engage with your audience in real-time. In many cases, you can integrate these tools with your other marketing technologies to ensure data is passed seamlessly for targeting and analytics. Apps like Relationship One’s Hootsuite/Eloqua integration ensure seamless transitions between your social marketing and email marketing initiatives.
In addition to social-specific tools, your marketing technologies should have the ability to integrate email and social content in order to create a unified customer experience. Consider digital asset management or content management systems that allow you to share content and asset streams across your social media channels in order to ensure a consistent experience for your customers.
You should also look for opportunities to drive social media engagement to landing pages that can not only prompt for conversion, but also track behavior for further targeting and analytics. Like all marketing initiatives, think of social marketing as a tool in your strategic arsenal. Consider social in light of your greater attribution model, and give thought to how you will integrate interactions with your posts into your greater plan.
At the end of the day, marketing is all about connected experiences. Social marketing gives us the ability to personalize at a greater capacity. It truly allows for 1:1 communication, and it gives our audience an unchallenged way to be seen and heard. Social media gives us the ability to meet our audience where they are, speak to their needs and interests, and address their concerns in real-time.
If we take it a step further, social marketing even gives us the power to target our customers more personally, fine-tuning our messages and timing to when it matters most to them. It gives us the ability to empower our marketing and sales team more deeply while also giving our customers the chance to lead their experience with our brand. From targeted messages and advertisements to personalized web pages and online recommendations (perhaps driven by their social interactions), we marketers can utilize social to truly drive our customer experiences.
At Relationship One, we work with marketers intricately to ensure they have the right technologies, integrations, processes, and tools to create immeasurable customer experiences. If you have any questions, or would like to chat, contact us anytime.