Is social media a key player in the marketing space?
If your first thought was “No” than you are either extremely outdated or semi-delirious and should possibly see your physician to make sure you’re physically okay.
Sorry to be so harsh, but it is 2014 (For another two days) — and The short answer to the question above should be an undeniable, “YES” (ALL CAPS, here. Show some enthusiasm, guys.)
Social Media & the overall social landscape have evolved dramatically over the past few years and the social marketing platforms have exploded in terms of the number of users and overall engagement by those users; So much development and evolution in such a small time frame makes today’s Social Media Outlets fascinating (and sometimes, frustrating for the average Business Owner)
If you have been on Facebook in the past year (according to a recent study, most of us view our News-feeds an average of 5,110 times a year — which is insane if you think about how many days are actually in one calendar year. We check our News-feeds on average, 14 times in a single day)
According to the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, published by Social Media Examiner in May of 2014:
90% of advertisers use Facebook ads.
54% say that Facebook is the most important network.
88% of marketers say they that they don’t know how to measure social media ROI.
Social ROI has always been THE grey area. How hard is it to convince a data-driven marketer or an-only concerned with the bottom line type sales manager of what the true value of social media is?
Fairly difficult, in my past years of experience.
It always will be important to track ALL of the data surrounding your Social Media Marketing Campaigns: Including Social clicks, Social CTR, Social Events / Actions, Pageviews, User Engagement, Web Visitors from Social Sources, etc.; but the truth is that these aren’t perfect key-performance-indicators (KPI’s) that hold weight with the typical Revenue Driven C-Level Executive.
So Why Invest in Social Media Marketing?
Social media is the key to open a door for us to truly track our consumers and audience in a way that we wouldn’t have imagined a decade ago. Consumer personas, their engagements and behaviors; this the new form of Social Personification and gives us as marketers, the most accurate picture or idea of any person or consumer online.
One of the most important ways your social media marketing team could be taking advantage of this is via Facebook’s “custom audiences”.
Website Custom Audiences allow us to reengage with website visitors based on a pre-defined objective and can be segmented and used to target all visitors, cart abandons, newsletter sign-ups, fans who have showed an interest in your event pages, and even your product category/description pages.
Lookalike Audiences enable us to find new customers based on profiles of existing ones. We can utilize existing custom audience lists, tracking pixels, and page fans to develop various lookalike lists that can target based on similarity or reach. This is a great way to find new customers or site visitors that are similar to those who have already purchased or visited your site.
You can also simply add in your own business opt-in or customer lists to Facebook, such as your email list — After a short-while, during which Facebook is combing through the data — Facebook will find those users active on the platform, and not only will you be able to market to them socially, but you can go even go so far as to create a ‘lookalike’ audience based on the behaviors & demographics of the opt-in list(s) that you added to your Facebook Ad Campaign. Facebook basically goes ahead and suggests many more social profiles of people who may have never heard of your company, but who fit the general demographic of your current customers and email subscribers – Targeting is key.
Twitter has also developed a similar model that allows advertisers to tailor audiences using current customer subscribed email addresses and even mobile phone numbers.
Social Re-Marketing through Google is yet another game-changer honing in on social identities and behaviors by segmenting your audience by device, channel, or via websites they commonly read.
Reach people when they’re most likely to buy: You have the option to reach people after they’ve visited your website or used your mobile app. This could be when they’re searching for your product, visiting other websites, and using other mobile apps via Re-Marketing.
So, how does this help C-Level executives realize the true value and ROI of Social Media?
- Utilize custom audiences to expand targeting beyond the “converters” circle, and into the audiences that meet all of your current converters’ criteria, but simply may not be aware that your product exists.. yet.
- Track cross-platform, cross-device impressions and actions through Social personas, engagements and behaviors; this the new form of Social Personification.
- Develop a better understanding of what KPIs relate most closely to your Marketing Department’s definition of ROI from mobile, tablet, and desktop campaigns
- Understand customer behavior and buyer personas, and where your customer is in the buyer journey.
- Optimize Search and Social campaigns accordingly and allocate marketing budget where it matters, to Search & Social Campaigns.
In this era of advanced targeting and increased measure-ability, it’s imperative that we capitalize on the wealth of information Social Media has given us, as Marketers. Continuing on the trend of capitalizing on Big Data, “Data Mining” is listed as the number one Skill of 2014 on LinkedIn in a report done by SEMRush.
There is a powerful reason for that.
Segmentation and customization together are key to reaching your desired audience in the most organic way possible. With the new concept of Social & Buyer Personas, it is very likely, that social will be the new control center for most digital strategies, so make sure you are ahead of the curve, and not behind!
Originally contributed to LinkedIn, you can view the original here.