Social media marketing is a blessing and a curse for marketers. It is an incredibly powerful tool, giving your brand a direct touchpoint with your audience. It is also extremely expensive to get right, as you need to give significant resource to doing it well. ROI can be very hard to identify for your internal or agency fees.
Social media takes three distinct forms: First, organic social media whereby you post content, events, announcements and updates for your brand. Second, paid social media marketing through pay per click advertising offered by platforms Facebook and Twitter. Thirdly, community management, in which you mobilise your brand’s online community. This frequently brings customer satisfaction into the remit of marketing.
The Bank are an outsourced social media marketing agency that focus on giving you tangible returns across each of the three areas of social media marketing.
The growth of social media has been electric. As we approach 2021, they are all huge media products, monetised through advertising. Because of this, the platforms have developed algorithms to serve organic, or non-sponsored content from brands last. This makes organic social media marketing much more challenging than it used to be.
Instead the algorithm serves updates from immediate family and friends first. This is followed by entertainment posts, humour, local interest and cause messages first. This applies whether people are directly connected to a brand, or not. Why is this? Because this is what is proven to bring you back to the site as a user. It’s also what’s most likely to prompt you to interact. The regularity of users, plus their level of interaction, is what makes the user base of value to Facebook and Twitter. You wish to connect with those you love first and brands last. So, with your marketer hat on, does that mean the only option is to pay for social media marketing?
Not quite. There are threads in that list that can be capitalised on. By generating content ideas that do entertain and amuse, or engage and challenge. This connects on a level beyond simply hawking your latest product or service. An example would be brands who create genuine customer communities who they want to have fun with – rather than simply as an audience to sell to. Brands who connect on an ethical level tend to perform equally well, using their CSR opportunities, especially within local areas, to amplify the good feeling and connection as a brand.
As with search marketing, paid social media marketing is the fastest way to reach your target audience. This can be done in two ways: targeting your current customers and targeting other prospects. Done right, this form of digital marketing is a superb way of getting your message in front of an audience. Here’s how it works –
Targeting your existing audience – this involves paying for advertising or boosting posts, while targeting those who already follow your social media account. Or, alternatively, you can utilise customer data and target those people via the social media platform. Related to this, a common way of targeting is to create lookalike audiences. This targets non-customers, based on what they have in common with your existing customers.
Targeting new customers – this type of social media marketing lets you advertise to registered social media users. It uses a variety of targeting methods to do this. Beyond the obvious, like gender and age, Facebook in particular opens up a huge range of locality and interest metrics for advertisers. Creatively applied, this can get your message in front of exactly the right prospects. When combined with highly creative content, like rich instant experiences which allow you to get your full message across without asking customers to leave the Facebook silo. Instagram, another Facebook entity, has equally rich opportunities.
So what is community management and how to you drive it’s effect? Like any form of marketing, your customers who connect with your brand on social media have a life cycle. They include –
Identifying this, brands must create channels to their social media management and output to clearly signpost the way for users – as they would in any other customer journey. This can be done in several ways, on feed structure, hashtags, bot-based automations on chat channels and more are ways that customers can guarantee their voice will be heard by the right person. The second key component is responsiveness. Ensuring that everyone knows you are a brand which can be spoken with. Not only does this post your responsiveness for all the world to see, it raises satisfaction levels and drives the conversation forward so your entire community knows that you’re there for them.
The Bank specialise in all three areas of social media marketing having handled on stream activity for numerous big brands; generating special events and unique items of content that exemplify the very best of what social media marketing can look like. So if you’re struggling with the quality or volume of output, fail to see a return or have customer orientated points of contact coming out of your ears, let The Bank lift the pressure and create genuine impact across your social channels.