1. Social Media
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Are you satisfied with the return on your investment for each of your chosen marketing channels – or do you have a sinking feeling it could be better?  If you work in marketing, you know that the pressure is always on to stretch those marketing budget dollars beyond belief – and it seems like it’s never quite enough.  From a macro perspective, we know that channel mix optimization considers both cost and return on investment per channel, which ultimately helps to guide a “balanced” (read: profitable) allocation of marketing budget across the individual channels.
 
Therefore, we need to take a step back and evaluate each channel we are utilizing.  Smart optimization focuses on one channel at a time!

Note:  In order to understand the true ROI per channel, it’s important to have a grasp on how the company views sales attribution (ex. single-touch/multi-touch) in order to get a true read on which individual channels are delivering and prioritize those investments.

Sharpening those “social” skills
Before sharing a few easy steps to optimize your social media presence, it should be mentioned that marketers should not feel compelled to be present in every social media channel, thinking that their brand should be covered everywhere. While you might believe that Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, and YouTube are all delivering results, a deeper look into sales attribution, cost invested per channel, and customer conversions might tell a different tale. It’s perfectly reasonable to focus only on the channels that are truly working for you – irrespective of what your competitors are doing.

 

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So what creates a seamless customer experience in social marketing?
Direct links between your site and social media channels, prominent share buttons, and strong keywords prompt responses to queries, relevant content, consistency/professional imagery, and ongoing SEO, so they can find you.

Here is an easy 5 step check-list that can help you assess the current experience you are delivering to your social media customer.
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A few examples illustrate the power of social media marketing once the basic functionality is optimized.
 
Oh, Snap! Strategy 
Snapchat, with over 150 million daily users, is one of the preferred social channels for 20-30-year-olds. Utilizing steps #1 and #5 from the checklist, one of our loyalty program retail clients found a fun, whimsical way to engage their customers using branded holiday filters. The Snapchat filters could be shared with the user’s friends and included fun, trendy labels. This strategy was a good example of maximizing the brand’s footprint through its own customers – and having them enjoy doing it.
 
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Ensuring your entire social media platform has been assessed to gauge the actual customer experience will help mitigate glitches when additional features are implemented.

Insta-gratification
A great example of holistic utilization (utilizing steps #2 and #5 in the checklist) in a social channel comes from retailer Wayfair, and their Instagram shopping feature; tagging specific items with virtual price-tags.  Customers can click the Shop Now button and go directly to checkout – creating a very convenient, seamless, e-commerce experience.

 
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Serious Fun with Tweeting
The myriad of opportunities to engage with your audience through Twitter are enormous and utilizing steps #3 and #4 on the checklist, one of our loyalty program CPG clients realized that it was ok to be a little irreverent and have some fun with their customers – enter Pop Tarts.  They have captured a large following in a short period, with cheeky tweets such as “How beautiful do I look in my new profile pic; very beautiful or extremely beautiful…let me know”.  This approach does not work equally well for all brands – but the main point is, with the right demographics, integrating some humor into your social channels can be a very effective retention hook.
 
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Social channels are the foundations which enable creative playgrounds to share our messages.
Whatever social media channel(s) you decide to double-down on, take some time to address existing imperfections in the functionality of those channels.   You can then leverage the channel in very creative ways, to fit the needs of your brand, and deliver a unique, seamless, and memorable experience for your customers.  

Like what you’re reading? Find out more about Brierley+Partner’s Social Strategy + Engagement
 
Check out the rest of our series Can We Just Change the Channel? for more tips on optimizing your mobile, direct mail, and e-commerce channels. 

 
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