10 Ways To Consistently Improve Your Social Media Marketing
Social media has always been somewhat of a wily beast to tame for most businesses.
The problem – We know how to use and we know how powerful it can be but we’ve always struggled to use it effectively as a tool to generate leads and sales for our businesses online, largely owing to the fact that it hasn’t always been very straightforward to measure ROI from social very accurately and also due to the nature of the beast (people on these platforms aren’t really there to buy or engage in any kind of sales).
This has obviously changed dramatically in recent years and ROI from social media marketing is now highly measurable.
So with this in mind, we’ve come up with 14 ways for you to consistently improve your ROI from social media marketing, whether you are in the process of putting together a brand new social media marketing campaign or you even if you just want to tweak your existing strategy to make it more effective, you’ll want to run through what we cover in this blog post.
1. Get Crystal Clear On Your Primary Goals
Sure, we all want to reach wider audiences, garner more fans, build engagement and generate more sales for our business at the same time.
But realistically speaking, unless you have the support of a massive team behind you and money is not an object, it isn’t possible to have it all.
Real Talk:If you’ve just launched your social media accounts and have a couple of posts out there and haven’t built an audience of first 1000 fans/followers yet… do not expect to run ads and have people flocking in droves to buy from you. That’s not how it works.
Your priority at this point should be building an audience (brand awareness and reach)… and the currency of attention is content, content, content!
Can you have multiple goals? Yes.
The point here is to be specific on which goal you’ll be spending most of your budget and time on achieving and also specific about which metrics you’ll be measuring to assess your progress.
In addition to reaching more people and building an audience on social platforms, social media can also be used to attract and direct targeted traffic (people with specific interests) to your website. Knowing which is more important, building an audience on social platforms or directing new audiences to your website, is also something you should be constantly assessing.
2. Know Where You Stand By Knowing What To Measure
Once you’ve established or re-evaluated your primary goals, the next logical step is to assess your current social media strength and assets.
All this means is doing an audit of your social media presence. This can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
If you’re serious about leveraging social media as a tool to grow an audience for your business online and funnel them into paying customers then you’ll want to make sure that at the very least you do these 3 audits:
An audit of how your current content supports your primary goals – This is pretty straightforward, if your goal is brand awareness and reaching people who are problem aware and researching for solutions would be your priority and you would use more of educational content (comparisons, how-to’s, reviews, interviews, etc) as compared to full-on branding or promotional type of content.
An audit of how your accounts compare to competitors – Here you could list your top 3-5 direct competitors and using any of the dozens of social monitoring tools online establish benchmarks for account growth (how many new followers/fans), engagement rates as well as content performance.
An audit of which platforms are performing vs underperforming – There seems to be a common unspoken consensus that businesses above a certain size (usually medium-sized companies and larger) need to be on all platforms… this is not necessary. Your business is far better off having strong accounts on just 1 or 2 platforms than having many weak accounts on all platforms. If you’re on a platform that isn’t working for you, ditch it and concentrate all your efforts on the social media platforms that are working the best for your business.
Where are you now? How close are you to reaching the goals that you have identified? Have you found certain techniques or platforms that work well for your company or are you still searching for a breakthrough that will turn your social media strategy around?
Free audits are a great way to uncover gaps in your social media marketing strategy and help you identify the tactics and content that will actually move the needle for your business online.
3. Understand Your Audience On A Deeper Level
You’ve probably read a dozen different articles all talking about the importance of “marketing personas” your “target demographic” or some variation of those words… and it is for good reason.
The golden rule of social media success: Your audience comes first.
As cliche as it sounds, there’s a lot of significance in that little insight.
Knowing your audience is crucial when it comes to social media especially because to use these platforms effectively as marketing tools, you need to understand and speak to your audience’s struggles, desires, and aspirations before you pitch them your services and products. Much like real-life conversations, social media is a tool for dialogue and conversation, not monologues and propaganda (there’s a time for that :D)
Knowing your audience also means going beyond vanity metrics like demographics. While it’s good to know their age range, gender, location, etc. What really makes the difference is understanding their specific interests, their online behavior, their perception of themselves, values they strongly identify with, brands they associate themselves with, types of books they read, etc.
Understanding your audience on a deeper level, will help you create compelling content that resonates with them and develop solutions (products/services) to fit their specific needs… and who doesn’t like to be understood?
4. Choose Your Platforms
This ties into my point before about not trying to be on all platforms. If you’ve got the resources, then, by all means, go ahead.
If you’re like most businesses though, you’ll want to pick the platforms that your audience is most active on and nail it!
Picking a platform also means knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the different social media platforms out there…
What to consider when picking your main social media platforms:
The nature of your business – B2B or B2C? Short lifetime value of customers or Long lifetime value? What’s the easiest way for your customers to stay connected with you/ which platforms do they spend most of their time on? Is your business in the trades/construction/earthmoving equipment, logistics industry or FMCG, e-commerce and professional services industry?
The nature of the platform and opportunities to advertise – Does the platform’s content show up across other platforms and search engines (like Google and Youtube)? What level of control does it offer on the information (both on your profile and the content you post) you put out? Does it offer the opportunity to promote content to a wider percentage of relevant people?
Where are your top competitors sharing their best content? Be careful here to make sure you’ve identified direct competitors who are actually industry leaders and follow the money!
The type of content you can commit to producing? Is the platform best for sharing blog posts, videos, testimonials, e-books, pictures, user-generated content or live streams? (ideally all?)
5. Appoint a Social Media Campaign Manager
Can you appoint one person to handle all things digital marketing related for your business?
Yep, and that’s what most small businesses and startups have to do initially, it makes sense.
However, if your business is in its growth stage, has some traction in the market, and your team is expanding… I recommend that you designate one person to manage your social media and content marketing (they go hand in hand). Despite what most people think, a role in social media involves a lot more than just posting content. There’s a lot of research, planning, content production & analytics involved that requires someone’s undivided attention.
By appointing a social media manager for your business, you are holding him/her (and yourself) accountable for growing your brand awareness and achieving goals that are important for your business.
6. Be Consistent
If you have chosen to put out your best efforts on more than 1 social media platform (and generally, you should) then being consistent in your branding and tone as well as the volume, frequency, and timing of your content become very important.
Being consistent is important for several reasons.First, it trains the platform’s algorithms to reward your account by showing your content to more people (you are tagged as an active and sometimes influential/authoritative account). Second, it trains your audience when to expect to see content from you and what type of content to expect. Third, it helps you track and compare the effect of one time campaigns and actual organic growth more accurately across similar periods of time (weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly growth).
7.Create Content That Your Audience Wants
Nobody disputes that we should be creating content that our audience wants.
In fact, everyone intuitively knows that to make content go viral, it needs to resonate with the audience of that platform.
So the real question is how do we know what people want??
Figuring this out is tricky but basically boils down to doing the proper research … and also just asking them!
Most marketing blog will recommend using tools like Buzzsumo and answerthepublic which can be great to come up with ideas and see which kinds of topics in your industry actually got alot of engagements on social media platforms.
But don’t stop there, you can also use Google to see what kind of questions (related questions and suggested searches) come up for a particular topic you want to explore. There are also loads of forums like quora, reddit and even industry-specific forums ( google your industry/business + “forum”) that you can pull ideas from. You can also comb through the social media platform itself to look for posts from direct and indirect competitors to identify topics worth expanding or narrowing down on.
9. Measure Your Performance
What gets measured, gets managed.
The key to measuring the actual performanceof your social media accounts is to be smart about what metrics to look at.
You want to look beyond vanity metrics like page likes, reach and impressions. These metrics are just the tip of the iceberg and have no weight by themselves. You need to know how these top-level metrics trickle down into bottom-line revenue numbers and to do that you need to know your funnels.
Here are some examples of metrics that give you a better insight into what needs more attention when evaluating your social media performance…
For brand awareness – You could contrast new page likes with the engagement rate (likes, comments, shares, mentions, etc) of your page over the same period, number of direct messages, percentage of videos watched, number of clicks to the website
If getting more people to engage with your page is a goal – You could look at your “top fans” growth numbers, engagement rate, number of new connections added, number of mentions from other accounts and groups, blog post shares, direct messages, number of people watching your stories, number of people who joined your live streams.
If you’ve already got an engaged audience and your goal is sales – You could look at click-through rates to your website, traffic from social to your website (highest volume platforms), top landing pages, bounce rates from social, behavior flow, conversions and assisted conversions and goal completions on your website from visitors who came from social. You could also look at returning website visitors and see if they were coming in from something you posted on social media.
Most of the metrics mentioned here can be tracked through Google Analytics if you’ve set it up correctly.
10. Interact with Influencers
Keep it fresh, sometimes the best way to promote yourself is to let your advocates do the talking.
We’re in the age of influencers. It is now easier than ever to partner with both, celebrity type influencers and micro-influencers to help promote your business. Larger influencers generally require a larger incentive (often money) to promote your business but for every single one of these celebrities, there are clusters of micro-influencers all eager to promote brands that align with their profiles and audiences in exchange for being able to build trust with and grow their audience sizes.
It’s a win-win and you’d be silly to not take advantage of these symbiotic digital relationships.
11. Hire Professional Content Creators
Last but not least, your social media content will be far more effective if it is crafted by someone experienced. Even if you’re on a small budget, don’t skimp on content, it really is that important.
If you’re hiring, ensure the person you hire understands social media marketing as well as copywriting. Whether you decide to outsource your businesses social media or hire and train someone internally, it’s important to have processes in place to track, measure and assess performance on a weekly or monthly basis.
I hope this article has helped you re-assess your social media marketing efforts and pen down some immediate actionables for your business. What are you currently struggling with when it comes to marketing your business on social media?
If you’d like a social media audit to uncover gaps in your social media marketing strategy or discuss more strategies on how to drive more traffic, leads and sales for your business using social media then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!