It’s June 2013 and for those of you still wondering, Social Media is here to stay. With over one billion users worldwide, it’s become a major channel of growth and opportunity for brands everywhere. U.S. marketers are spending more than $2 billion per year on social media and that number is growing rapidly year-over-year.
Most U.S. companies have done a good job in setting up social media pages for their brands on the major networks and maintaining basic activity on them too. In fact, a recent report by Forrester Research commissioned by Kenshoo Social suggests that organic posting is the most popular tactic used by brands. Let’s explore the social media tactics that will make it more likely to ignite your fan base and tap the power of social.
Is Organic Posting Enough for Your Brand?
The answer is no. While it is the most popular, paid advertising remains the most successful. The report which surveyed 105 large social media advertisers with an average spend of more than $100K yields some great insights for us to consider:
- More than 1/3 of advertisers are dissatisfied with their social media efforts
- Too many brands are focused only on strategies using organic content
- Brands need to combine organic content strategies with promoted content and ads to increase awareness and conversions
- Brands need to focus on optimizing campaigns by leveraging the huge amounts of data available through advanced analytics
How to Increase Awareness, Loyalty, and Conversions with Social Media
It’s time to put the “social” back in social media. Tapping the viral potential of a campaign begins with compelling content. Brands need to reconsider what they are sharing with their followers and how it will encourage their existing fans to take specific actions. There are many types of “actions” we desire from any campaign including like, comment, share, retweet, favorite, redeem, and buy, etc.
Before you launch your campaign, think about the economic power of the community as a whole. Try and identify the type of fan follower who is most likely to influence their connections by taking the specific action we are looking for; whether it be buying, liking, sharing, commenting, redeeming etc.
Depending on your campaign goals, it’s time to combine your existing organic approach with paid advertising to increase results. Here’s how:
- Consider the type of content you’re sharing. It all starts here. Long posts with a lot of text are bad. Images, quotes, offers, ebooks, and of course apps/ games are great!
- Use promoted content to increase brand awareness.
- Use paid ads to increase conversion to a desired user action (buy, share, follow, redeem, etc.) Have a strong and clear call-to-action.
- Use advanced ad targeting options beyond basic demographics such as age, location, sex, and fans/ followers. What about more specific geo-targeting, interests (people who like a competitor), friends of fans, job title, workplace, and user actions? These additional targeting methods will significantly increase your CTR and conversion rates.
- Test, test, test. Use a couple of variations of your content and three to four versions of your ads. Monitor them closely for the first few days and continue to optimize on the versions that are performing better.
- Use advanced analytics and refine your targeting further to higher performing segments.
Whether you’re stuck on organic content or going to run paid ads, your strategy needs to focus on the type of content and actions that will encourage your community to participate. Ignoring the huge array of tools at your disposal to optimize the delivery and engagement is a huge mistake and waste of your time and money.
If you’re stuck on how to bring this all together, we’re here to help. Sign-up now for a free Social Media Assessment.