MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Key Speakers:  Ms. Lisa Marcyes (Social Media Marketing Manager- Marketo) –  Mr. Scott Minor (Online Marketing Program Manager- Marketo)

This write-up will explore the important points learnt during the webinar which focused on ways to succeed at social media marketing. Social media is now an essential component for marketing and has to be wedded into the overall corporate strategy.

Premise

In order to reach the customer, marketers have always realized that the concerned brand needs to have a presence at places where the former visit. It includes physical locations but increasingly also virtual hotspots such as social media. Once reached, the marketers will need to conduct detailed business analysis on the audience tastes and requirements. Content is one of the critical measures to be marketable to the people today. Thus special metrics have been designed to evaluate the performances of various companies fighting out in this space. Business intelligence provided to us by Social Media Today confirms that there are a staggering 2.3 billion users on social media. About a million new users are in fact added each day using smart using smartphones.

Steps to Social Media Marketing Success- Organic:

Understanding the Audience

At first stage, the exact credentials and demographics of the target audience needs to be understood. This analysis involves an understanding of what social media platforms they use, at what time of the day, the content they prefer and also the segment of the market these regular users belong to. Some social media tools are favoured across generations and professions, while others are positioned more as niche players. Simply bombarding the target audience with content does not work with today’s generation. It has to be something that is considered useful by the customers. The topics need to selected post scrutiny and the tone of language ahs to be conversational or educational, not selling.

Set the Beat

At this stage, the brand has to assertively posture itself to the audience. At the initial stage, it needs to be industry news and suggestions on ways to leverage the current trends. The next level must involve genuine engagement. Video and pictures work best at engagement these days. For that webinars and news letter maybe curated. Also contests can be started especially on social media. Once the final sales stage is reached, here the brand must give buyers the option of product demos or trials. Also the purchase process needs to be streamlined so that it is easy to do so. A single click to active the purchase makes it user-friendly.

The brand has to create a certain perception to the audience. For younger people, the ‘voice’ may be more entertaining whereas middle aged professionals may require a more educative content.

Selecting the Social Media Channels

Social media platforms are dime-a-dozen but the brand needs to select those that really work in favour of the brand. The five leaders in customer engagement are – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Twitter works best for short messaging plus brand creation around individual business leaders. It is also the best medium to create polls. Facebook is by far the largest social media player in the business, yet has some limitations. It is accessed across generations and across geographies. However, chatting is a limitation here and Twitter scores over. Live and video streaming is the new rage and is most popular methods for engaging audiences. While Facebook allows brands to have fun, the usual perception is that LinkedIn is a more conservative tool as it is used for professionals. However, it has to be understood that even professionals need visuals and thus video based content works very well on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn is classified into various groups which allows easier segmentation as the brand may simply target one or a few such. On LinkedIn constant posting is necessary.

Instagram can be tapped very well if the right hash tags are used. Like the others so far mentioned, it is the visual content at Instagram which really stands out. One limitation of Instagram though is that Call-to-Actions (CTAs) cannot be applied here. Thus it is a purely content and engagement strategy but no direct business results. Finally, we come to Snapchat which is the latest of the tools. It has experienced phenomenal growth. Brands can connect to customers like real people using Snapchat. Like Instagram, as of now it is mainly an engagement tool rather than a direct business source.

Listening

At this stage, as the name suggests, brands need to be hooked as to what customers are talking about. There are several tracking tools to ‘listen’ to what they are saying. Business analytics can be used up on social media to analyze vast chunks of data and derive meaningful decisions out of those. With education of customers and their engagement now taken care of, at this stage, the brand has to support its customers. Their feedback needs to be analyzed carefully to provide them with relevant solutions.

Visual Content

As has been discussed, video is the best means for engagement with today’s audiences. Marketers must take care to ensure that the videos be relevant to the target market and have colour. The title must be attractive though not audacious. Keywords must be imprinted on the target line as that helps in digital marketing. Social sharing handles must be included along with the content to encourage viewers to share the matter within their circles. Brand advocates can promote the product highly effectively if share buttons are rightly inserted.

Beyond video content, what has emerged and is trending now is Live Streaming. This method allows the brand to act human rather than remote. Business research conducted confirms that Snapchat users view six billion videos a day. Similar tools have emerged from Facebook Live and Periscope.

Steps to Social Media Marketing Success- Paid

In addition to the above listed processes that are organic in nature, there are some paid means as well. How the targeting is done, plays a very important role. It is important to track usage patterns on separate social media channels and recorded. This data warehousing enables us to make informed decisions and target content accordingly. While using Twitter, it becomes necessary to know whom do the users follow most, which device do they use it from and of course the keywords must be tracked. On Facebook or Instagram, it is essential to know the basic demographics such as age or gender. LinkedIn allows specific targeting and this it is pertinent to know the designation of the person, groups he / she is a member of and the skills the person possesses. Older content can be rehashed in new format for newer audiences.

Certain points need to be considered at this stage. Separate accounts for different clients works as that allows personalized content for the audience. It is also advisable to have parallel campaigns for separate time zone so that they entire budget is not exhausted at the places where the paid ads are first targeted. Is Especially for LinkedIn it becomes necessary to optimize content individually for different levels of hierarchy.

Metrics that Count

Lots of business metrics are available but some of them count more than the others. At the early stage, reach is measured by impressions, acquisition through cost per lead and engagement is evaluated using Click-Through Rate (CTR). What matters in the end though are the conventional parameters such as revenue and ROI.

Constant testing is needed at this stage. A/B Testing has been known as universally valuable. Such tests must evaluate opinions on short text versus long text, stock images versus full designed advertisements, headline questions or listicles and whether the colour format will use bold ones or relatively conservative a style.

Thus importantly, social media marketing strategy must involve a multi-channel approach. Different channels have varying levels of engagement and final business results which need to be leveraged. 

Forum:  https://www.marketo.com/

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