New Year's Resolution: Smarter Social Media Campaigns
As we move into 2015, most of us have spent some time setting goals and objectives for the New Year. Many studies, including Gartner's CMO Spend 2015, have found that 2015 will be the year that organizations seek to optimize their social media efforts through targeted, integrated campaigns.
To help guide you through the process, we have put together some of the best social media practices, as well as some high-level user demographic information for each of the major social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram).
Identify your Target Audience
Before you start any marketing campaign, you must define your target audience. Below is demographic information (broken down by gender, age, education level, and income) for adults who use social media.
As you already know, the reach of social media is undeniable, but here are the numbers to prove it:
Identify Your Channel and Frequency
To get the most out of your social marketing campaign you must also determine the proper channel and the frequency of use of each social channel.
Every organization should survey its target audience(s) to determine their use of social media platforms, preferred channel, and frequency. However, the infographic below illustrates some general statistics to keep in mind to get you started.
Build Content Strategy
Once your target market and social media channel are identified, the next step is to start to build out a content strategy. In order to do this, start with "social listening".
Social listening, or monitoring, is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product, or brand on the various social media channels. It is essential that you align your content strategy with what is being discussed on the various social networks.
While listening to the chatter on the various social channels, consider building an editorial calendar for your social postings. The editorial calendar should drive your postings on the select channel(s) for the day, week, month, quarter, or year, depending on the frequency you choose to post. Posting on a weekly basis maybe a good starting point for organizations beginning their social media outreach. As your organization's audience grows, so should your efforts.
It is essential that the social media editorial calendar aligns with the editorial calendar for your other marketing channels. The social efforts must not operate in a silo.
While we believe that listening and planning are essential components of an effective social media content strategy, the posting on social media channels must be natural, and not perceived as manufactured.
As with any marketing effort, it is critical to measure the effectiveness of the messages posted on social networks. There are various tools provided by each social network to measure engagement. For your reference, below is a matrix of the measures of engagement on the most popular social networks:
Facebook and LinkedIn provide some additional engagement metrics.
- People Engaged: the number of people who have clicked on, liked, commented on, or shared a post.
- Engagement Rate: the number of people who have clicked on, liked, commented on, or shared a post divided by the post's reach.
- Post-specific Scorecard: details the number of likes, comments, shares, and clicks on an individual post.
- Interactions: the number of times people have liked, commented on, or shared a post.
- Engagement Rate: the number of interactions, clicks, and followers acquired divided by the number of Impressions (followers acquired are only included for sponsored updates).
You can use these tools to measure engagement and amplification. However, each organization is unique. Creating a comprehensive measurement plan that outlines all of your social goals and objectives and assigns specific key performance indicator (KPI) to each goal is the best approach. Once this is done, determine the analytics tool(s) and process(es) that allow your organization to measure the effectiveness of your work.
It is critical to continuously refine your social marketing strategy. Using the information derived from listening and measuring, organizations should be nimble - able to adjust their content and strategy in a relatively short period of time.
Our 2015 New Year's Resolution
The reach of social media channels in undeniable - 74% of online adults use social networking sites. In 2015, we should all aspire to implement a smart social strategy that utilizes precise targeting and a focused content strategy. By continuously listening, measuring, and refining, you should be able to show greater value and deliver ever improving results.
Happy New Year!