4 Questions To Ask When It Comes To Social Media Marketing
It seems like every week there’s a new, exciting feature unveiled for social media platforms. Between live broadcasting and customer service-focused options to augmented reality and customized stickers, never has there been so many creative ways to connect with customers. Because of this, businesses often find themselves lost in a social media marketing maze. Should we grab hold of the latest and greatest, or should we focus on doing one thing really well? The good news is it’s possible to do both and it’s much easier than you think as long as you don’t lose sight of these principles:
What are you trying to say?
Ask yourself this before you post anything to social media. If you don’t, you’ll likely be stuck in the routine of sharing content that’s inconsistent with your brand and has low-to-zero engagement. It’s tempting to focus on “having a presence on Twitter,” or “finally getting on Instagram,” but it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not in the business of chasing after trends, you’re in the business of building your brand and making lasting relationships with your customers. [Tweet “A spot on every platform without a plan is like having an office in every building on your street.”] It’s less about what you could do, and more about what you should do.
It all starts with a content calendar. Plan your product launches, community events, upcoming news releases and other messaging that will come directly from your business. While you’re at it, jot down national conversation starters like big sporting events and awards ceremonies. Account for national holidays and the ones made up for the internet, too. There are built-in audiences for these events and a common theme that will act as a springboard for your messages.
Who is your audience?
I’m sure you know who your target audience is. After extensive research and market analysis, you should know everything from their age demographics and income ranges to purchasing habits and social circles. If you’ve been reading our blog, you also know we’re huge fans of developing personas, which will further help you zero-in on your customer.
When it comes to deciding which platforms you’ll have a presence on for your social media marketing, match the platform demographics up with those of your customers. Facebook is a no-brainer, but what about Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or LinkedIn? Instagram’s audience tends to skew slightly female. They’re also younger and are more apt to live in urban settings, as opposed to rural or suburban. Snapchat, much like Instagram, has a young audience and is also more popular among women than men. If you’re considering LinkedIn, its audience tends to be more educated, more affluent and skews slightly older.
Do your research and strategize your marketing efforts with this helpful blog on social media best practices. before you decide which platform you’ll focus your social media marketing efforts on.
How will you say it?
Now that you know what you’re saying and who you’re saying it to, it’s time to focus on how. This is where all of those shiny new features come into play.
Live broadcasting has made its way across almost all the social media platforms, although Snapchat is still holding out. When it comes to working live video into your social media marketing strategy, think about product announcements, speaking engagements and live Q&A sessions. There may be no better way to share your expertise on a topic than going live directly to your followers. If you go this route, be sure to promote the broadcast well in advance and leverage the final video across your other social platforms for optimal engagement.
Augmented reality is also catching fire this year and we see no signs of it slowing down. While we love games like Pokémon Go and the opportunity that exists for brands to sponsor immersive games and experiences, our focus is on Snapchat right now. Their lenses are immensely popular and we may have wasted an hour (or two) trying on different ones around the office. Working closely with their team, you can have your brand’s logo paired with a fun animation that could be shared with millions of users across the country. Facebook has jumped onto this bandwagon, so expect to see more and more brands hop aboard pretty quickly. Fox used this feature to promote their show Empire and enjoyed tremendous success, with 33 million plays and a large increase in brand awareness.
Next on our “can’t miss” features list is customized filters. These provide a different experience than the lenses I just mentioned–think about the colorful design options you see when you’re visiting a new city or college campus. Pioneered once again by Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have all caught on and allow users to drop all kinds of designs to their selfies. These on-demand geo-filters are static and may be a little more within reach for smaller brands looking to create a customized experience for users. If you’re still in the “free is the best price” category, try a new take on company culture photos by overlaying filters on employee selfies. Try to align them with the employee’s personality and throw out a few fact about them while you’re at it.
What do you want to happen?
In other words, what’s your goal for each post? Just as important as knowing what you’re saying and who you’re saying it to is figuring out what action you want your followers to take. While this is the last point in the blog, it shouldn’t be your last thought. If you’re going for website conversions, you may have limited success with a simple Instagram photo, as you can’t share a link in the post copy. Many organizations use video to launch products and highlight their culture – both great ways of increasing brand awareness. [Tweet “For successful social media marketing, determine what success looks like for your brand.”]
There’s an ever-present temptation to use your company’s social media accounts the same way you would your personal account. We tend to think, “I think it’s funny, so my followers will too.” You may be right, but a better approach would be to let your audience dictate the kinds of content you should be posting. Keep their interests at the center of your strategy and you’ll be well on your way to social media marketing success. If you’d like some help crafting a plan, we have a team of social media mavens ready to start the conversation.
Demographics Source: Social Media Update, Pew Research, 2016
Updated: Nov 18, 2020