Social media is one of the most important marketing channels, according to Nielsen Group. Globally, people spend 950 million hours a day on Facebook alone, so there are numerous opportunities to market to them.
Here’s how you make the most of your marketing investments in social media.
Choose the right media
It may seem like a no-brainer to start your social media campaign on Instagram or Facebook, two of the most popular platforms. In many cases, it would be the right choice, but don’t just base your decision on user volume alone.
You have to find the most appropriate social media platform in your audience region. For instance, you’d be remiss if you failed to promote your brand in KakaoTalk if you are trying to reach consumers in Korea.
Before you start your campaign, spend some time researching to see which social media platforms your target audience frequents.
Know your audience
No ecommerce endeavor can be successful if you don’t know your audience. It’s this knowledge that will help you craft the right message that will get people to convert.
Study the demographics of your audience. Gather information about leads on the website via forms or popups. It can be too challenging for visitors to leave you all the information you need in one go. Ask them questions from time to time and tie the information you receive to specific IP addresses. This can double up as your lead scoring system.
Study their activity on your website. Learn when people are most active on your website and what they do. Which posts do they read? Do they download your free ebooks or sign up for webinars? What products do they buy together?
Study their social media activity. Use Facebook to learn more about your audience. You’ll gain access to demographic information, preferences, and values. You can do manual research on social media profiles or use social media analytics software like Social Insight.
You can also message or survey your clients. Offer an incentive like a discount or a gift to make it worth their while. This will help you give your research more context than data alone.
Knowing your audience not only gives you insight into what problems your users are trying to solve with your product, but it also enables you to understand what motivates them to make a purchase.
By studying users’ social media activity, you’ll learn your audience’s interests that you can later leverage with content marketing. This approach worked wonders for Dove when the company discovered their audience, the majority of which are women, don’t feel accurately represented in ads. This made Dove create the campaign project #ShowUs in addition to changing their social media content to promote beauty that looks natural.
To boost your reach, you can use paid advertising and share buttons to grow your exposure. But these aren’t your only options. To further your efforts, you can also use influencer marketing, a marketing technique that involves working with people who have a large following on social media and have established authority in their field.
Find the influencers who work with topics related to your business and offer to collaborate with them. Here’s how to vet an influencer:
- Ensure they have at least 10,000 subscribers
- Review their content to verify their expertise on the subject
- Analyze their posts to ensure a high engagement rate
High follower counts aren’t a dealbreaker. If an influencer has about 10,000 followers, but very high engagement, they should still be considered. These micro-influencers have built a strong relationship with their audience and are more likely to collaborate for a more affordable price than celebrities.
Influencers like Pattxmakeup may not have as many subscribers as Kylie Jenner, but their fans trust their recommendations and are more in tune with their content.
Offer a small discount to people who buy from an affiliate link to drive more sales. You’ll instantly know what influencer from your campaign generated that sale.
Automate your campaigns
The amount of work required to make a social media campaign successful can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to pursue all of your ideas when you have to implement them manually. Luckily, you can purchase automation software to make this job easier. Here’s what features you should look for:
- Scheduling posts
- Multi-platform posting
- The ability to answer the comments from the app
- Ad campaign monitoring
- Analytics tools
- HR tools to plan your employees’ time (optional)
There are dozens of tools, with many offering several key features from this list. If you want an all-around tool, go for Iconosquare or Sprout Social. Both these tools offer everything on the list and their analytics software is great for the price.
Choose effective automation software, and you’ll always keep your hand on the pulse of every campaign. How effective can the effects be? Cincom, a big software corporation, launched a marketing automation campaign that included monitoring customers’ activity on the website to figure out what type of ads would suit them best. This lead to a 256% improvement in the campaign open rate.
Marketing automation is not only good for ecommerce, though. Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign used this technique to their advantage, and we all know what happened next.
Talk to subscribers
People use social media as a way to form relationships and interact with brands. Give them a personalized customer experience by engaging with them in the comments.
Subscribers of big ecommerce brands love it when they respond.
But there’s a bigger advantage of talking to your subscriber base in the comments. It increases the engagement rate, which makes the Instagram algorithm like your page. Your page now has more chances of popping up in the recommendations.
Make sure your website is ready
The majority of the traffic your social media campaign generates will end up on your ecommerce website. If you own a relatively small company, you may struggle to cater to all visitors since you can more than double your traffic with effective social media marketing.
In the worst-case scenario, your website may fail to take on so many people and just crash or slow down so much it’s not effective anymore.
Optimize website speed, and make sure it won’t crash if there is an influx of concurrent visitors. You may have to upgrade your hosting package or switch to a different hosting company altogether. If you’ve been running your website off a cheap hosting, you may find it puts significant limitations on your website’s performance.
A social media marketing campaign can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your site and grow your brand. Invest your time in prior research, be active on the platforms you choose, promote through collaborations with influencers, and automate your campaigns to ensure a successful run.
Finally, don’t forget to ensure your website is ready to host a high volume of users a day. From there, you’ll be well on your way to success.
Marie Fincher is a blogger who writes about social media and marketing trends.
Last modified: December 4th, 2019