If you love social media the way I do, you try to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s working in many ways. You spend your time self-educating, experimenting, trying and repeat. Social media has become a routine marketing tactic for nearly every business, helping brands build awareness, share and interact with customers and prospects, and create touch point in the customer journey.
Social Media Marketing Industry report gathered the top 5 social questions marketers want answers and I did my best to answer them shortly and comprehensively.
#1. TACTICS: What social tactics are most effective?
Planning and strategizing are essential. But unless you’re implementing smart social media marketing tactics, you won’t see growth. The question is, which tactics work? What can your brand do on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to grow your audience, keep current customers engaged and reach your goals? The real answer is that it depends on what your business goals are and where your community is. You need to align content development with social media metrics and your company goals. Jayson DeMers suggests you need to start with the end picture in mind; the end goals dictate the measurement metric.”
#2. Engagement: What are the best ways to engage my audience with social media?
It all comes down to knowing your ideal customer. If you have a solid understanding of their lifestyle, desires and pain points, it will become much more comfortable to create or find relevant content they’re likely to enjoy and share. To engage your audience Forbes advises, you have to involve in social in social listening. Customers and prospects are having conversations about your business or topics that relate to your brand. You need to find out what they are discussing so you can provide them relevant and valuable content that will address their needs. Unfortunately, only 24% of businesses engaged in social listening in 2015.
#3. MEASUREMENT: How do I measure the return on my social media marketing?
Fellow marketers, if the concept of social media return on investment feels somewhat overwhelming, rest assured you are not alone. Social media ROI is one of the most densely debated topics in the online marketing world. Why? There’s no shortage of metrics to gauge performance and because measuring the effectiveness of social media marketing efforts isn’t as clear-cut as, say, running a Google AdWords campaign. Even though social media spending is projected to account for 16% of the digital ad market by 2017 is still incredibly challenging to tell how much revenue a Tweet you sent out last week brought in, or if your last blog post. Even though, there is no clear answer I would suggest following this logic: the amount you earned from your social campaigns, minus the amount you invested. Keep in mind ROI might look different depending on your goals. If you’re using social media to get leads, your return won’t be the same as it would if you were using it to build brand awareness.
#4. AUDIENCE: How do I find my target audience with social media?
The short answer to this question is knowing your target audience. Who are you trying to target? Your target customers are on social media. How do you find them? Social Media Examiner provides steps on how to research and find your audience target using social media. People are bombarded with content from all over the place; you must give them a compelling enough reason to read you. You’re not just asking people to follow your company or read about your product. You’re asking for their attention which is a limited resource. Why should they give their attention to you instead of someone else? In social media, content is king. If you create content that resonates with your target audience, they will connect and engage with your company.
#5. TOOLS: What are the best social management tools?
Good social media managers won’t just blast content onto their channels. They will have a deliberate strategy behind their campaigns and use professional tools to monitor their effectiveness. Dashboards like HootSuite and Sprout Social give social media specialists the ability to both manage channels and perform basic analytics from one interface.
The bottom line is if you want to realize the long-term potential of social media, you can’t just focus only on promoting your products. You also need to incorporate tactics and types of content that create organic (unpaid) engagement.