Defining Social Media Success Recap
May 20, 2014
Social media remains the buzzword of the times, acting as a holy grail resource for making your marketing dreams come true – that is, if you have the time and resources to slog through all the “best practices” telling you how to create a strong campaign.
Killer social media campaigns don’t just happen: they’re part of a greater strategy, and they are specific to your needs and goals. Recently Nxtbook Media hosted an event in which four presenters discussed key topics in assessing social media success specific to the following:
1. The social landscape of today, including positive and negative effects of social coverage
2. Nxtbook Media’s overall marketing strategy in the B2B space
3. The psychology of social sharing
4. Individual use in gaining national attention for a local cause
The presentation spoke to how powerful and effective social media can be, but in its wake some audience members were left with questions on applying it to their specific business. You can view the presentation slides by clicking here, and benefit from the question and answer period by reading the responses below:
1. What should I post to drive action?
Social media posts should always tie directly to your company’s goals. Remember, “If tactics are not tied to a goal, they are not successful.” This means as you consider what “action” you want followers to take should tie to a business objective.
For example, posting giveaways and contests are great for a quick flash of activity, or if you want a high response rate. For instance, posting about giving away an iPad to one lucky survey participant is a popular way to get a lot of responses. That’s one action. If the action is to “gain more followers,” however, keep in mind the types of followers you’ll get with giveaway posts are people looking for more giveaway opportunities. (Speaking in generalities here.)
Blog posts syndicated to social platforms serve better for driving clicks or fulfilling a long-term goal of demonstrating thought leadership. Subscribes from blog posts lay a stronger foundation for return visits from people interested in what your company has to say.
To find your best post ideas, start by profiling your audience. Who are they? What do they care about? What groups are they involved with? Then consider what you want them to do: click, like, call, return? Base your posts on those two pieces, and disseminate the post to targeted channels.
Don’t worry about feeling stupid over a post. The promise and curse of digital is nothing lasts for long. (Egregious errors aside.) Don’t let fear hold you back from trying. Keep testing what works or doesn’t work with your audience. If you’re really worried about branding, or you want help on how to test social media success, try consulting with an outside source like Nxtbook Media for perspective.
2. Which is the best social media channel?
Choosing an effective channel depends on whom you want to reach. By using sources such as Pew Research and each channel’s demographics/news/blog pages, the following information can be provided for the following social channels:
Facebook had 802 million daily active users, and 1.28 billion monthly active users as of March 2014. Approximately 81.2% of the daily active users are outside the US and Canada, though 71% of online adults in the US use Facebook. Women are more likely to be on Facebook, though in general, those between the ages of 18-49 have a high percentage of use (79% and higher). Facebook users check in frequently – often multiple times a day – and it is a great avenue for building a “cult following.” This platform is best used for joking with and relating to customers in a lighthearted way.
Twitter is an excellent resource for getting personal and talking directly to your followers. It is more one-to-one than Facebook in that there aren’t posts with long strings of comments associated with them. (Though hashtags do collect responses around one topic.) 18% of online adults in the US use Twitter, though the audience skews younger than Facebook.
This platform exhibits high levels of engagement, and 17% of all online adults use Instagram. This platform’s audience skews towards women and a younger crowd, with 37% of 18-29 year olds using Instagram (versus 18% Internet-using 30-49 year olds.) Instagram is extremely visual and does not allow links to external sites. Pictures hold more sway than accompanying text.
21% of all US internet-using adults use Pinterest, though this audience skew wildly towards women: only 8% of Internet-using men using the site, while 33% of women pin. Pinterest’s audience tends to have higher education levels (college+) and higher income. This platform is also extremely visual; however, photos link directly to your landing pages.
22% of all US Internet users have a LinkedIn profile. Men are more attracted to this platform, with 24% of connected men having an account (versus 19% women). This site attracts ages 30-64, and it is very skewed towards those with higher education (college+) and higher income. This site is well known for catering to professionals communicating with other professionals, especially when looking for jobs or for a professional’s credentials.
Also part of the professional landscape, Google+ is known for connecting businesses and professionals with each other, though they only boast 300 million active monthly users (October 2013). 100 million of those users are from China, though 22% of online adults visit Google_ at least once a month. Google+ has gained some attention in being an excellent environment for user-brand interaction: 53% of users rate their interaction with brands as positive. However, only 3% of Google+ social sharing originates in North America.
Remember, you only have so many hours in a day to devote to social, so make sure you’re putting your resources in the most strategic channels. Pick two to start, and do a good job with them. When you have a good handle on that, and you’re seeing returns, then consider whether you need to add more networks.
3. Should you encourage just anyone to represent the brand on social media?
(The follow-up question was to the effect of the following: Some of my employees post drivel. Do I want my brand talked about in the middle of all that?)
You can’t control what people say on social media. That’s just another benefit and curse of social media. Hopefully you’re hiring trustworthy people who would be good representatives not only on social media, but also in other social interactions. Remember, they represent your brand no matter if you control their social media use at work, withhold the branded T-shirts, or ask them not to mention your company name in their blogs. At Nxtbook Media we encourage social media use and benefit from employees posting about the company within their own networks. It makes advertising for charity events (like this one) or spreading the word of successes (like this one) more authentic.
If, however, you have concerns about employees being untrustworthy or badmouthing the company, you probably have bigger issues than worrying that their post about the upcoming company retreat appearing next to a picture of their absolutely favorite dinner at the bestest restaurant everrrr.
If you missed the presentation, take a look at the slides either on SlideShare here or click through the embedded version below. Have additional questions? Give us a shout! We’d love to hear how your company has been handling social media and offer any answers from our perspective as we can.