Social media marketing may seem like a no-brainer for your marketing strategy, but it’s a bit tricky actually to produce results. Facebook’s most recent newsfeed update severely restricted the reach of organic posts by businesses over its platform and raised ad prices in the process. Beyond this, a study by Trust Mirror uncovered consumer’s deep hostility to brands, as 42% of respondents viewed brands as self-serving and abstract, while 72% stated they don’t trust advertisements outright.
With all of the drama surrounding Facebook’s use of private information, trust in government, businesses, and even NGOs has hit an all-time low. With all of these issues regularly at play, is it more beneficial to simply log off of Facebook and go back to print advertising? No!
Social media is an effective channel to engage customers and separate your brand from the competition. Investing in social media optimization services is a great way to reach the customers most important to your business, but we must remember that branding is everything. Here, we’re going to discuss ten of the best ways to maximize the reach and effectiveness of social media marketing for your brand.
1. Market on the Platforms Your Customers Use
Not all platforms are created equal, and some will be a bigger use of your resources than others. Depending on the demographics and psychographics of your customer base, they will prioritize certain platforms over others. Intent also comes into play. For example, platforms like Pinterest and Facebook will contain people with higher shopping intent than Twitter. Of course, the goal of social media marketing is primarily awareness and engagement, not sales.
Using Google Analytics, analyze where a majority of your traffic already comes from. Using the tracking and audience tools of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can uncover a better picture of where your target audience interacts and what their interests are (e.g., group forums and psychographics). This can be used to build out a budget for each platform, as well as refine your content marketing strategy, paid media strategy, etc.
2. Target Multiple Platforms
This may seem like a contradiction from the previous claim, but don’t limit the reach of your strategy to one platform. Sure, Facebook is the king, but you could be missing out on sizeable reach by ignoring platforms, such as Twitter and Tumblr, that conform to your brand’s ethos.
When executing a cross-channel social media strategy, try to tell a story that’s consistent, but optimized for each platform. You can share hashtags to further the reach of your campaign and link to a shared webpage to generate massive traffic to your site.
3. Create Personalized Experiences
The effectiveness of your campaign will be limited by your ability to apply to each of your customer’s unique needs. Here are some ways to add a touch of personalization to your campaigns:
- Segment customers by creating custom audience personas
- A/B split test different snippets and content for specific audience groups
- Run multiple campaigns simultaneously that apply to different segments of your audience
- Instead of linking to a landing page, link to your messenger account
- Share content in specific niche groups/forums
- Create content for specific follow hashtag campaigns on Twitter and Instagram
- Share user-generated content
4. Keep Your Brand Consistent
Now, when running a cross-channel campaign and micro-targeting audience members and groups, it can become quite difficult to maintain consistency. It’s important to send consistent social signals and brand curated content that establishes the ethos and identity of your brand online. This tip should be fairly obvious, but don’t share content outside of your niche or brand values.
5. Maximize Your Content Marketing Strategy
Along the same lines, all content you create, publish, and share should be fairly consistent with your brand’s mission and values.
Content and social media marketing go together like Nutella and bananas. It might sound like a weird combination, but social media platforms are probably the best way to increase the reach of your content, other than organically over search engines. On the other hand, content is a great vehicle to start and curate a conversation.
Here are some other reasons to go all-in with content marketing and social media marketing:
- Increases customer engagement
- Fosters a community
- Establishes authority
- Builds trust with customers
- Informs customers of previously unknown needs
6. Foster a Community
It’s no secret that customer retention is cheaper and more profitable than acquisition. People who are loyal to your brand are more likely to make more purchases from your brand, and more expensive purchases at that. Turning brand advocates into loyalists is quite difficult and requires a deep emotional connection between both parties.
This is where creativity comes in, such as leveraging your humor or brand values to connect with people. Engage with your customers by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts. Always respond to complaints and find ways to reward customers, either through a loyalty program, contest, or sharing user-generated content.
7. Targeted Sharing
On the other side of things, if you’re trying to increase your customer reach, then an influencer strategy is pertinent. Influencer sharing places your content directly in front of a large-scale audience who already share your values. So how do we get influencers to notice us?
You can use influencer platforms and software, or you can also contact influencers directly. That’s why I recommend targeted sharing. This can be used to tag influencers likely to be interested in your content or sources cited in your content. If they enjoy it enough, they’ll share it organically.
8. Leverage Live Stream
Want a way to engage with your customer right now. Break out the camera. Video has consistently been found to be the most effective content medium on social media, and live stream improves upon this.
Be sure to advertise a live stream before it occurs and invite users to watch it on Facebook. Afterward, you can clean up your video and share it again over all of your platforms to increase engagement. This is great to communicate with customers in real-time and answer pressing questions vital to them.
9. Implement Chatbots
You may have noticed that we’ve overlooked a major social media platform: messaging services. Now, maintaining a brand presence over Messenger and other services is difficult to respond in real-time. That’s why we automate with chatbots. According to one study, Messenger open rates among some brands can extend beyond 80%, significantly more than email marketing.
10. Check Your Analytics
Finally, it’s important to check your analytics tools to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign thus far. Using Google Analytics and your social media page tracking codes, you can discover the CTR of different snippets, the amount of traffic generated to your website from organic posts, share rates, and the reach of your posts organically. Using this, iterate and refine your strategy to maximize its effectiveness.