We live in the age of digital transformation, and thusly, the way we communicate is constantly evolving. The internet has ushered in new communication methods through technologies as simple as a VoIP router, as inter active as social media, and as complex as chatbots. In 2021, businesses are utilizing all these influential communication channels to build customer relationships, boost CX, and strengthen customer loyalty and brand evangelism.
It’s a staggering statistic: Social media is used by 3.5 billion people around the world. It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago when social media was simply a way for users to share pictures of their children and petsor track down long-lost friends from high school days. In the modern-day world of fast and furious eCommerce and instant gratification, it’s become a necessary and invaluable asset for business development and marketing growth.
It’s likely your business utilizes some social media platform as a component of your marketing strategy, and you’re also probably charting certain growth metrics and investing some manpower and even part of your marketing budget into your social media plan, which is a smart decision. Social media’s ubiquitous status means there’s significant information you can derive from your followers and the way both current and potential customers interact with your brand on a consumer level. But how can you leverage all that information from social media to create data-driven marketing strategies? Here’s some ideas on what information to capture and how to use it to inform your overall marketing strategy.
Choosing the Right Platforms for Your Business Audience
Have you ever attended a party that you thought was supposed to be a casual BBQ only to arrive in your shorts and t-shirt and discover it’s more of a “Connecticut Casual” Garden Party? Everywhere you look you see Laura Ashley floral print sundresses and pastel Izod vest sweaters, and all you do because of it is shrink into a corner until you can make a graceful exit.
This scenario can be similar to what happens when you’re on the wrong social media platforms for your business sector and audience. Social media is not a “one size fits all” type of environment, and just because some new platform seems to be all the rage in the trade magazines doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for your business model or will help you capture a meaningful audience. While some social media platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn, have become so universal that every business can use it to their advantage, others only make sense for certain industries. For example, if you’re a SaaS business, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for you to put a lot of time and energy into Pinterest, a site designed to be highly visual and B2C centric. Conversely, if you put out a lot of authoritative, influential content in your industry, spending all your energy on Instagram rather than Twitter is a mistake as well.
If it’s been a while since you’ve done a social media platform audit, now’s the time to do it. Take a look at your platform analytics and see which ones are performing for you, and which seem to be returning the same underperforming metrics for every post. Pay special attention to engagement and impression numbers, which will help you determine if both your content and the platform itself are reaching the coveted target audience you seek. If both of these metrics seem to be consistently on the low side, it’s time to consider whether a platform refresh is needed.
Determine the Right KPIs
Once you’ve audited your social media presence and determined which platforms work best for your business and your audience, it’s time to figure out what are your social media key performance indicators (KPIs). Ideally, these KPIs should be in line with your overall business strategy. For example, if you’re trying to become an authoritative influencer in your industry, you’ll want to make sure that followers, reach, mentions, and shares of your posts are performing well on a consistent basis. If you offer lots of products for sale, you’ll want to make sure to measure how many of your posts are generating link backs to your online catalog and shopping cart. If you utilize social media to primarily generate marketing qualified leads, you’ll want to chart how many MQL’s and new customers were derived monthly from your social media channels.
Once you’ve decided on your KPIs, choosing the right tool will help you to collect and analyze data efficiently and effectively, and fold it into your overall marketing strategy with relative ease.Using a Customer Data Marketing Platform (CDMP) that allows you to extract social media performance and bake it into your overall understanding of both your customers lifestyle and how to target them is one of the most effective tools you can use for data analysis. By capturing social media analytics and demonstrating how it deepens the overall customer experience, marketers can rationalize the ROI and prove the value of social media.
Be Content Conscious
All your content should be created with your target audience in mind. However, the analytics that you can gather from social media provides you with the insights that you need to stay on top of consumer buzz. By leveraging your data so that it helps you to identify the content that is working for you and what isn’t, you can start to develop a keener understanding of your core audience. You can also monitor online brand mentions, meaning that you get more control over brand reputation and a deeper awareness of brand perception. That understanding only strengthens your company and makes it much easier to personalize your marketing content to the right people. As modern consumers demand more customized and personalized marketing messages, brands can use their data to provide those essentials, driving engagement and encouraging conversions.
Use Information Demographic, Geographic, and Times and Dates
Just a few short years ago, social media marketing experts would tell you there was a real science to when you posted your content on certain platforms, and that not following that formula could make a big difference in your post’s traction. While it is still true that there are certain consistent trends in when platforms see the most traffic, true interaction can vary depending on who your ideal audience is and what their specific behaviors are. Luckily, most social media platforms can provide you with some insight into this sort of granular behavioral data. By tracking what days of the week and times of the day your followers seem to interact with your social media content, you can not only maximize your posting schedule, but you can also use the data to continue to build a clearer picture of who your audience is. If see a spike in your social media activity or post shares around the traditional lunch break time, for example, you can glean that it’s likely your audience are professional people, who unwind on their lunch break with social media. If you see an uptick on your CTR’s on a Friday night, you can infer from that behavior that your audience is one that actively engages with social media and their eCommerce activity on the weekend. All this information can be useful data that strengthens your overall knowledge of your customers. This data can then be turned into customer experience gold, building interactions that build customer loyalty and real social media ROI for your marketing department. Book a demo, today!