It seems there is always another trend to chase, another metric to follow, and another golden rule to adhere to, so we try to consolidate the most important pieces of information to help you make strong social media marketing decisions. Without further ado, here are our top five recommendations to break through the social media noise and clutter in 2017.
1. Know your audience: Some brands are best suited for image-based social platforms (e.g., travel, retail). Some brands are best suited for education- or networking-based social platforms (e.g., financial services, education). You get the idea. It’s important to understand your audience so you can effectively choose which platforms to invest in and which platforms to steer away from. You don’t need to be everywhere for everyone to effectively use social media — you just need to be in front of the right people at the right time.
2. Use every tool available: Once you pick a platform, use every single tool available to you. Facebook recently released a “donate” button for nonprofit organizations that can be added to event tags and fan pages, Snapchat just released customizable event filters to promote local and geo-based marketing efforts, and Instagram’s native image advertising seamlessly blends user-generated content with ads so effectively users don’t even know they are being served a campaign … just to name a few. Each platform has certain strengths, so carefully consider how you can use every tool int our toolbox to maximize your reach and customer engagement.
3. Promote customer content: One of the most effective forms of social advertising — that also happens to be free — is promoting customer content. Simply sharing, commenting on, and promoting blog entries, social posts, and photos from past customers or potential customers can make your audience feel deeply connected to your brand and dramatically increase their likelihood to buy. For example, Nike is notorious for retweeting and liking budding athlete’s posts. When a first-time runner gets real-time social interaction as they post to the Nike+ app or Tweet about their run, they instantly feel connected to and supported by the brand in a real and authentic way that inspires action, it makes them feel good as an athlete, and will likely result in future goodwill and purchases.
4. Test to invest: Because social media gives marketers access to such a large body of people, it’s an easy place to begin testing and targeting your marketing campaigns. Don’t invest in any type of social media campaign without testing it first. Almost every platform has built-in testing tools that allow you to run multiple variations at once, track KPIs, and measure your success over time. Ignore these at your own risk. Testing allows you to verify what content speaks to your audience and helps you break through the competition and clutter.
4. A small part of the whole: Realize that social media needs to be part of your larger multi-channel marketing strategy that should ideally extend on- and offline, across traditional and non-traditional marketing platforms, and seamlessly support your customer no matter what information they need. Social media often links one channel to another, making it an integral part of cross-channel marketing strategy. Social media drives people from one platform to another and pushes people naturally toward the point of sale or call to action, so choose your success metrics accordingly. Social media can be very effective at driving customers into certain parts of the funnel, rather than simply going for the sale.
To understand where your brand fits into the world of social media, and how we can help you break through the clutter, check out our capabilities as a social media marketing agency. We believe that social media is a strong foundation in any marketing campaign and want to get social with you today.