Success with social media will only be achieved if you know exactly why you’re doing it, what your objectives are and how you’re going to measure the results. Different objectives require very different approaches:
Gaining traction to build a brand, sell stuff, build a community, get registrations etc. is becoming more and more difficult. The days of success through website scraping, low-cost competitions and the mythical ‘viral video’ are over.
You need a strategy based on unique and stand-out content to succeed and build a large and valuable community.
Then you’ll need to understand influencer marketing and how to target them.
Even with that, you’ll need some paid-for social media to kickstart each campaign.
Used properly, social media can be a very effective way of monitoring, measuring then improving your levels of customer satisfaction. Sentiment analysis has improved and is a crucial tool for measuring your reputation and comparing it with your competitors.
It can also be a major element of your service delivery. You can listen to any customer service issues in real time and act appropriately. Done well, this can significantly reduce your customer service department or call centre costs.
People like to moan on social media. Complaining and airing frustrations is in the top five activities. This is a threat and an opportunity. An effective strategy for this can turn complainers into brand advocates.
With the recent changes in Facebook’s algorithms and the increasing sophistication of the advertising platforms available on social networks, it is now almost impossible to run successful campaigns without some element of paid-for activity. For example, it is likely that only a small percentage of your Facebook posts are being delivered to your community now.
The good news is that excellent targeting options are now available, allowing you to reach exactly the right audience with the right message.
Paid-for can also be an extremely useful way to reach influencers who will then spread your content organically.
Evaluating your social media activities and measuring ROI has moved on. We are now in the era of measuring, not counting.
Brands need to know outcomes not just count likes, follows, clicks and the like.
The key is agreeing what exactly your objectives are and what you want to achieve.You can then measure short term behavioural metrics – clicks, sales, registrations, etc, or long-term emotional ones – share of brand voice, volume of mentions, sentiment, etc.
Social media is rarely used in isolation, so attribution modelling is key.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
I’m Steve Downes, Digital Marketing Consultant, strategist, wordsmith, SEO practitioner and content creator. I’m also a Director of the Manchester International Festival,
Eternally curious and always learning. Lover of BIG ideas.
Otherwise bewildered dad, rugby nut and happy.