Social Media Marketing

The earliest social media marketing initially seemed as though it was somewhat of a latent manipulation of a digital communal setting for lighthearted socializing.  Facebook and other online platforms began as places for college students and others to interact with one another through screens.  Today, businesses and organizations of all types use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social platforms to connect with prospective customers through posts, paid ads, comments and a mutually beneficial discourse.

Tailoring Social Media Marketing to Target Personas

Time, effort and money invested in social media marketing has the potential to be in vain unless it specifically zeroes in on a target customers.  This means businesses that take their time to research prospective customers to develop a comprehensive understanding of them prior to the placement of a social media ad will find that advertising push proves productive.  In other words, it is a mistake to make a single assumption about social media users and the potential impact of an ad placed on these important platforms. 

Businesses and marketing professionals who use social data to develop a comprehensive understanding of the target audience find advertising on social media platforms is quite effective.  There’s no need to earn an MBA with a concentration in marketing to analyze social media users’ demographics and activity on social platforms.  Rather, the use of social data tools and subsequent analysis makes it surprisingly easy to pinpoint the specific platforms best for connecting with new target customers and present them with advertisements and insightful posts that spur a meaningful conversion rate.

Pinpointing the Right Platform for Ads

No two social media platforms are exactly the same.  Facebook, recently rebranded as Meta, will prove to be the coveted social media marketing space once its Metaverse launches.  Though Facebook has endured critical analysis regarding its use of user data and the presentation of controversial information, ads placed on the platform still generate a considerable return on investment.  However, it must be noted younger audiences in the millennial and Generation Z age cohorts are gravitating away from Meta toward YouTube and Instagram. 

In contrast, older individuals who are college educated lean toward LinkedIn.  Ads placed on LinkedIn are displayed to professionals looking to share and discuss information pertaining to specific sectors and industries.  It is also interesting to note the growing Pinterest social media platform draws in a considerable number of women. 

The takeaway from this analysis of social media platforms is that the platform ideal for one business might not prove optimal for another business or organization.  Everything from the product or service in question to the target customer demographics and other factors will shape the decision to advertise on a specific social media platform.

The Role of the Social media Dashboard

Developing an understanding of existing social media users is made that much easier with the use of social media dashboards.  Available on most platforms, these dashboards provide an overview of the individuals following a specific business and how those people interact with the brand on each specific channel. 

As an example, there are overarching analytical tools such as the Group Report from Sprout that empower business owners and marketers to view Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram data adjacent to one another, allowing for easy comparisons and full customization based on demographic factors and other criteria.

Mind the Metrics

Make data the focus of your social media marketing campaign and you are that much more likely to find the results of this advertising effort prove favorable.  A data-driven social media strategy is centered on the most important social media metrics.  Shift your focus away from superficial analysis and recent performance, delve into the data and perform in-depth analysis.  In particular, specific metrics will prove quite important in your quest to engage prospects through social media and move them through your sales funnel.

Let’s shift our focus to specific metrics that are particularly important in the context of social media.  Sentiment is a metric that measures how users react to a hashtag, brand or content.  If customers found the latest social media marketing campaign to be engaging, off-putting or inspiring, it will be reflected in the sentiment metric.  Analyze this information and you will have a better sense of how people genuinely feel about your business and brand.

Reach is the social media metric that quantifies the number of unique individuals who viewed a social media post.  This metric shows the level of content that actually makes its way into user feeds.  The hashtag performance metric reveals the hashtags the account uses that are most associated with the brand, those that were most used and more. 

It is particularly important for businesses to focus on social media engagement and clicks.  Clicks quantify the number of times users click on the content posted to social media.  Engagement quantifies the number of social interactions on the platform and compares it to the aggregate number of impressions to reveal the extent to which the target audience is willing to interact with the brand on the platform.

Above all, Focus on Creating Engaging Content

What matters most in the context of social media marketing is the creation of truly engaging content that inspires followers to deeply engage with the brand and also convinces prospects to convert into followers.  Produce a steady feed of high-quality content written in a manner that encourages the target audience to learn more about the industry, niche and value offering and they will prove that much more likely to convert into paying customers.

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