Looking to Learn more on Marketing? Get Started with Experfy's Marketing Analytics Courses.
Social media marketing is either frustrating or daunting to the majority of business owners. However, change is certainly not alway a bad thing. How hard and expensive was it for someone fifty years ago to get their product in front of 100,000 people? How about building or customizing their own audience? What was once costly and difficult is now possible for only a fraction of the cost. Like everything else in business; data is your best friend.
In this article I’ll provide you with the beginners guide to creating your data driven social media marketing strategy.
Know who your audience is
The very first step is to have an amazing product. The second step is to know who your audience is. WIth more data available than ever, it is time to go beyond the original template.The greatest benefit that comes with social media marketing is the ability to advertise directly to a specific profile. I recommend creating three possible profiles. The main things that you need are the following:
- Job Title
A good method is to dig deep into each dimension and separate the ones that have distinguished traits. An example might be that the average purchase price on your website equally varies; thus this may not be a great factor to use. On the other hand perhaps 80% of your customers are between 18-20 years old; now this tells us something.
You want to use the most disguising data sets to create your profiles. Of course the more information that you can acquire, the better. A good method is to google statistics of your industry. You can find a list of resources here. This data is going to be important for many reasons.Once you have created your customer profiles, you want to organize them into percentages of the population. This data will help you know which profile to target first. Knowing who your customer is will help you with:
- Where to advertise
- Website design
- Package design
- Ad type
You wouldn’t have the same ad for a 6 year old that you would have for someone who is retired. This is also important to track as you go. Google analytics, cart tracking software, and even most social media sites allow you to see who your audience is. We have access to more data than ever before and we can now use that data to target our profiles. The days of buying a magazine ad or TV ad and praying for the best are over. The days of data targeted marketing are here and they are saving companies tons of money. You can get most of this data for free and advertise for only a fraction of the cost.
Where is your audience’s attention?
You should never put all of you eggs in one basket, but you should know where your audience is. If you have an older demographic then Facebook and Twitter will be priority. If you have a younger demographic then Instagram and Snapchat will be priority.
A good tool to use is BuzzSumo. With BuzzSumo you can analyze your competitors and market to see where the content is. This will give you a good idea of where to post and what kind of content to post. Look for trending subjects and content that has high engagement rates. This data will help you optimize your marketing plan and save you capital.
Another tool that you should use is SUMO. Sumo will allow you to see where your traffic is coming from and where your competitors traffic is coming from. This knowledge will save you time and money. You want to closely monitor your website’s traffic. Data that will help you is:
- Unique visitors
- Visitor locations
- Channel (Are they coming from Facebook or another blog?)
- Paid vs Organic
This data will help you optimize and adjust your marketing plan. Most social media websites have a business tool that you should take advantage of. This tool will allow you to track user engagement. You will be able to see who is engaging with your ads and social media accounts. This will help you decide if your social media accounts are appealing to the right audience.
The idea is not to draw attention, but to get in front of it. Now, if your audience is on Facebook, that does not mean you should ignore Instagram or Youtube. The more content that you put out there, the more likely a lead will find you. Studies suggest that it takes an average of 8 touches for a salesperson to get an initial meeting or serious conversation. This means that a salesperson would have to reach out to someone an average of 8 times before a lead either deems them spam or worthy a chat. This is risky for companies trying to build a reputation.
With social media marketing you are able to get these touches with less risk of ruining your reputation. An example might be that leads sees a ‘how to’ video on Youtube, then sees an ad you made on Facebook, then goes to your page and sees pictures of your team on your company retreat, then ends up on your instagram where you post cool captivating pictures, then reads an article you posted on Medium, and so on. All of these are building relationships with leads before you even talk to them.
Post the right content
Stalk your competitors and see what they are posting. Learn from your competitors and see which content works for them. I’ll tell your right now; the content that doesn’t work is promotional content. Your content needs to provide value, the same way your service or product should. With each post you need to ask yourself; what am I giving away? Information costs you nothing to give away. To many companies fear that they are giving away their secrets; when all they really are doing is falling behind. You can find anything and everything on Google.
Just because you post ‘how to code videos’ doesn’t mean that everybody is going to learn to code and not hire you. It means that people are going to take you serious and trust you as an expert. Give value in your content and you will receive value in your results. Even if you decide to post a straight promotional post, it should provide value. An example of value in a promotional post is: ‘a free consultation and 20% off.’
The last thing you ever should do is ask them to buy your service/product. This is straight out of the sales textbooks. You have to build a relationship before the ask. In my opinion you should never directly ask. You should give value and solve problems.
Stay organized and persistent
Use tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to stay organized. These tools will help you track and manage your social media accounts. It is very important to stay organized and persistent with social media. Not everybody will go viral overnight.
You should post every single day and at least 2-3 times a day. There are many statistics on when to post. One thing that many companies fail to take in consideration is their profile and when they might be online. For example the hours a CEO is online will be different from a teenage girl who is in high-school. You do not want to waste your posts.
Do NOT count sales or likes
This is like bodybuilding. If you don’t see results in 3 weeks and give up, then you’ll never see results. It takes time. But trust me this is much cheaper and less time consuming than paying a salesperson to randomly call 100 people a day to ruin your brand name. You want to keep track the data that will help you connect with your customer.
Do not expect to see likes or comments. Your daily post are designed to create touches, not to win a popularity contest. This will be important for when we draw potential customers in with our paid ads. Think macro not micro!
Pay! Advertising has never been so cheap!
When in the history of business could someone get in front of 100,000 people for around a $100? Social media advertising is incredibly cheap and it is effective if you do it correctly.
The trick is not to boost every single post. The trick is to boost one and let the others be your touches. Have you ever seen a video ad on Facebook that has 80,000 likes and 100s of comments? Well if you go to their page I guarantee that you will see the majority of their post have only a few likes and probably even fewer comments. That is the secret to success. It is the same with SEO. Some people feel that if they have many websites they will have more SEO and traffic. This is completely false. It is best to pour all effort into one website because the more traffic you get, the faster that website will climb in SEO ratings.
This is the same with social media. People are more likely to click, like, or comment on a post that has likes, comments, or shares. The more likes, comments, and shares that you obtain, the more likely someone is to click on that ad. So if you attempt to boost each post, you are wasting your money. Create one attractive and visual ad to boost. This will be your bait. Then when they click on this ad you want them to come to an active page and start building a relationship with them.
SocialMention is a good tool to use to monitor everything. You want to respond to ratings, good and bad. You want to see where people are mentioning you and why. See what content they are liking, commenting on, and sharing. This will give you insight on what kind of content to boost. I remember one company that told me they were not on social media and wanted to stay that way. I did a quick search and showed them that they were on social media and it was not in a good way. You can’t have your head in the sand on this one. It is important to know what is going on and adjust. We have access to more information than ever before and you should take advantage of it.
My last recommendation is to make sure you have a great website. Social media is the flyers and your website is your store. People will judge you on your website design. You want to make sure that you cover every step of the customers journey and leave a good impression. There are plenty of free tools that will grade your website for you. These tools will give you the data you need to make adjustments.
Data is is very important for your marketing plan and it is easier than ever to obtain. There are dozens of free and cheap tools that will tell you everything that you need to know. Gain as much data as you can before you start and continue to track while you optimize.
Article was written by Justin Palmer. He has years of business development experience with both his own companies and others. He is partnered with Ikantam a software development firm that goes above and beyond to help customers with their software solutions.
Liked the beginner's guide and would love to know when we publish our advanced social media analytics guide? Don't forget to subscribe to our blog and we'll make sure you're the first one to get it!