As you might have noticed, times have changed. Even before the pandemic, social media had changed significantly over the prior few years. The days of throwing a few dollars at Facebook or posting some beautiful photography on Instagram to grow a massive following are gone.
The case studies held up as the supposed “gold standard” for social media success, such as Warby Parker, are no longer valid. If your brand wants to find success by merely copying what companies did five, four, or even three years ago, you will be very disappointed.
Everything Starts with Data
You must dive deep into your data to understand who your optimal customer is. Your CRM system is a great place to start to discover basic demographics: where they live, their income levels, etc. You’ll need it when it’s time to target potential new audiences.
Be Where Your Audience Is, Not Where You Want to Be
Everyone wants to dive straight into Facebook and Instagram, but that may not be the best decision for your business. Do the demographics match? Does the platform allow you to specifically target your optimal customer? Are those the places where your audience spends its time?
For example, many of our clients most active on social media are asking us about TikTok. Everyone is hearing about it — both good things and bad — and they want to know whether they should jump in. But, nearly half of all TikTok users are between the age of 16 and 24. And nearly 8 of every 10 minutes consumed on TikTok are in China.
Does that meet your needs right now? It might. If so, create a plan of attack and go. If not, keep your eye on the platform. You should only dive in when it makes sense and the demographics of your audience change.
And they do change! The number of women in their 30s and 40s using TikTok is climbing as moms keep their eyes on the media their children consume.
Use Your Tools and Focus on the Customer
Take advantage of the functionality at your disposal to learn more about your audience and their needs. Most major platforms have polling features that you can gamify so that your attempts to collect data aren’t obvious.
These days you can’t simply push your product or service on your audience, no matter how narrow the niche. You have to be empathetic to their issues and be an actual solution to their problems.
Don’t Ask Them to Marry You on the First Date
Your audience needs to trust you first. Think of your social media as the open lines of communication used to build any long-lasting relationship. You should provide value with your content that charms them before ever asking for a sale.
- If you sell products, give out a few samples.
- If you’re a service provider, provide a free eBook with essential information that helps them solve a problem.
- Create an email drip campaign in a program like MailChimp to automatically follow up with that prospect.
- Deliver additional information about your business and perhaps whitepaper that your customers find useful.
The goal is to warm up the prospect and make them familiar with your services so you can then entice them with a discount code to purchase your products or services. Social media helps with this because you can connect with them in a low-stakes way with quality, helpful content. In a digital marketing landscape where the audience member needs 8 to 20 different touchpoints before they make a decision, it’s essential that you help people learn about your company on their own terms.
Every business is different, so you’ll have to brainstorm with your team (or your agency) on creating an effective strategy. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time. You have to test and try new things until you find that right formula.
Don’t Use Your Gut, Use Data
What you think will work best isn’t always the case. Dive into your data to see what resonates best with your audience. You should examine the information for your social posts from both a paid and organic perspective to learn what gets the best engagement: shares, follows, clicks, and more.
Get your pixels installed on your website ASAP. The faster and longer they’re on your site, the faster it starts to “learn” so that you can begin targeting and retargeting the right audience.
Dynamic ads can automatically take that data and retarget based on the last thing they saw on your website. You can even retarget down to the landing page a customer visited or the last button they clicked on your site. This helps you determine the exact messaging you should send next.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Create a testing plan for your social media efforts immediately. Test your messaging and your creative assets. Once you find winners, then test them even more. Never stop testing.
We recommend boosting posts to see which ones work best and then transfer those ideas into static ads. By learning what current customers like, you can better determine what may resonate with prospective customers.
Use Your Own Data to Create Targeted Audiences
If you have email addresses, you can use that information to target your customers and create an audience. Then, you can deliver a relevant message or exclusive offer to the people who matter most. Those customers chose to give their information to you, so use it to talk to them. They WANT to hear from you!
You can also use that first-party data to create “look-alike” audiences that share similar features, demographics, or behavioral patterns. You can use that knowledge to bring potential new customers into your communication flow.
You Must Actively Plan for Social Media Success
While every company is different, you need a solid social media plan that feeds directly into your overall marketing plan to help your business grow. Contact Integrate Agency today to discuss how you can take greater advantage of social media to improve your business.