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Social media marketing has become an invaluable tool in today’s modern business environment. There are few better ways to connect with your target audiences, not only in terms of numbers, but in the type of conversations. More than any other channel, social media allows brands and customers to have meaningful, organic and impactful two-way conversations. And because the channel is cost-efficient and engaging, it has become more popular–and competitive–than ever for brands.
According to research by Social Media Today, marketers who have integrated social into their overall strategy are discovering significant opportunities and new channels of revenue. Take a look at the findings:
At this point, it’s hard to imagine a business that isn’t utilizing at least one social media platform in their marketing efforts. According to Ad Week, 70% of marketers are planning to increase their social spend in the next year, and HubSpot reports that more than half of all marketers who have been utilizing one or more platforms for the last three years have indicated that it helped them improve sales.
The increased use and success of social media marketing is why marketers must make the extra effort to grab and keep their audience’s attention with personalized, strategic marketing.
Not all social media platforms are created equal. Each one has its own unique user base with their own likes, dislikes and overall preferences, and one-third of all marketing professionals say personalization is key to social media success.
Making marketing personal involves developing an intimate understanding of each platform and the ways that you can use each to reach out to and form a relationship with your audiences. An intense focus on social media and personalization is important for businesses to attract new customers and keep current ones. Making those social media marketing campaigns as personal to your target audience as possible is something that will require you to keep a few key things in mind.
Once you have your target audiences defined, you can use social media tools to send your messages directly to them. For example, on Facebook, marketers can upload their customer and prospect lists, and serve relevant advertising to these segments.
One great use case is new movers. Approximately 16% of your customers will move each year, that’s 43 million people annually. New movers are also some of the prime customers that you’ll want to reach since on average, they spend more in the first 6 months after moving than most consumers do in 3 years. Targeting them on social media or any type of marketing channel can be tough. On social media, targeting your messages to users by location can be ineffective now that they have moved. By utilizing a data appending service that produces up-to-date contact lists, you can continue to reach them, regardless of their location.
By and large, one of the most important ways to personalize your social media campaign is to identify which types of content perform well on what social media channels. An audience analysis of various channels can help you determine which platform is most appropriate for the campaign that you’re actually trying to run.
If you’re trying to conduct a visual campaign with pictures that is targeted to women, for example, Pinterest is likely your ideal platform. In addition to the fact that pictures perform well on Pinterest, it already has a large user base of women that you can tap into.
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter should be approached from the same angle. Twitter users like short bursts of information, so pictures and links work very well there. Facebook users tend to enjoy longer form posts, so the same content may not work well in that environment.
Company comSource recently conducted a study comparing the demographic composition by age for individual social networks. However, be sure to do your homework on which platform is most suitable for your business.
On its own, social media marketing has proven to be a successful channel for many businesses. However, when it is integrated with other forms of marketing like email and direct mail, social media can boost your cross-channel marketing strategy to new heights. According to a survey by Social Media Examiner, over 81% of marketers strongly agree or agree that they should integrate social media into their traditional marketing campaigns.
It is especially important to integrate social media with your website and other campaigns to create a seamless experience for your audiences. In fact, using social media can increase your website traffic by 60%, according to SteamFeed, and 93% of shoppers will make buying decisions based on social media influences.
Another critical element needed to improve your social media marketing efforts involves measuring success and tracking performance in real-time. For example, many online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others have data settings that allow businesses and marketers to view page insights and any ad campaign performance metrics.
Marketers can look for engagement metrics like clicks, likes, shares and comments to help them gauge how a campaign is performing and adjust if necessary. On Facebook, for example, marketers can gear campaigns towards geographic information to send messages only to those in their target market. Facebook users also supply a list of their interests in their profiles, which can shed valuable insight on these people.
Moving forward, simply using social media in your marketing efforts will not be enough to succeed. It won’t differentiate you from the competition, and it certainly won’t allow you to give your campaigns the personal touch that users demand. You need to understand each platform and its users intimately. In order to do so, marketers need to be strategic and data-driven to identify what their audiences want and, more importantly, what they don’t want.
To learn how to implement highly successful strategies used by today’s top data-driven marketers, download this free eBook.
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