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Social Media: five ways you should spend your time and money to make an impact on your business

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Anna Wilson

If the stats are to be believed (and I’m a big fan of stats) then you’re probably reading this on your phone scrolling through to get to some useful tidbits you can take back to your business.

So I’ll cut to the chase…

1. Understand Your Audience

In my experience this is the number one thing people overlook when setting out a campaign. It’s a default setting that we make assumptions and stereotypes about our customers, often based on our own experiences. To be successful it’s important to spend time looking at who your actual customers are and where they spend time, what they like and dislike, how they shop and behave, build a picture of who these people are, give them a name, a job, a home, hobbies and even a wardrobe.Simple tools to do this include:

– Google Analytics, Audience Reports
If you’re not familiar with these reports, here’s an 8 minute video which should give you a nice overview
 Facebook Insights
This will give you similar information based on your Facebook community. To access just go to your Facebook page, select ‘Insights’ then ‘People’ and you’ll get a snapshot of who is in your community.
If you have a budget to invest here (even if it’s small), it’s worth looking at a more detailed analysis of your customer:
– Run your own focus group/s
– Run a simple (Survey Monkey) questionnaire, incentivised with a small prize and use your social media channels to collect responses
– Commission an audience profile report/survey

2. Apply Your Knowledge and Findings

Another typical pitfall is organisations doing step one but then neglecting to use the information for myriad different reasons.

Spend your time:

– Analysing behaviours of your current audience, eg engagement levels, times of day spent online (it’s no use being active on Facebook at 9 am when your customers don’t log on until 9 pm), dwell time, bounce rate and conversion rates
– Understanding where you can enrich your customers’ experience (for example, audiences preferring to browse on mobile need quick load times on pages, large images and videos will slow this down, meaning a frustrated customer and higher bounce rates)
– Identifying where your brand can add value to your customers lives. You are not simply there to inform and educate about the wonders of your brand/product. Yes, you might be a retailer but in today’s world you are also expected to entertain, inspire, impress and delight
– Using channels of communication favoured by your customers, if they’re on Facebook, use Facebook. If they spend most of their time on Instagram, spend most of your time and efforts there instead.
Spend your money:
– Split testing (or AB testing) different content, ads and landing pages to understand what drives the most shares, engagement, traffic and ultimately, conversions
– Developing user-friendly content/sites. Ask for, and listen to, feedback and make changes that address issues. Don’t rush out and build an app just because other brands have, instead focus time and efforts on having clever, quality content and slick, effective site

3. Create a Point of Differentiation

Competition today is fierce. Competition for customers, but also for attention. How many of us watch the TV, hold a conversation and browse on our phones at the same time?! I’ll bet you’re reading this now while doing something else (making a brew, watching the Bake Off, thinking about your ‘to-do’ list…don’t worry if you’re on the loo – you’re in good company – as 61% of people admit to reading content on their smartphone while on the ‘throne’).

Invest your time in brainstorming, discussing and pulling apart ideas to build a campaign that will tell your story and engage your customers in a ‘real’ way. A great example (although slightly old) is the ‘Squatty Potty’ which used a satirical video to tell a brand story in a way that captured the attention of millions.

4. Bring Your Brand To Life

We are a visual society, people now look for video and images over text-based information.

Whether you’re creating social media content or developing your product pages on your site, think about how you can use video or imagery to bring this to life. Simple, yet effective ways of doing this include:

– Run photography days where you collect all your content in one day, plan out themes in advance so you’re being efficient and use simple guides (e.g. this one by the Huffington Post to get a good result)
– Maximise your content, for example if you create a video, select relevant elements and turn them into GIFs and images
– Share content created by your communities online (UGC or User Generated Content is a great way of building your online presence with limited resource)
If you have a budget available you can also invest in external resource to produce content and campaigns on your behalf, working with you to analyse results and optimise performance.

5. Be Consistent
Like anything, this will take time. It’s highly unlikely that your first Instagram post will ‘go viral’, so have realistic expectations about what success looks like. For example a 20% increase in traffic to your website and a 10% increase in conversions (which doesn’t necessarily have to be sales – this could be email addresses captured or downloads of a product brochure etc.). Take a look at Google Goals (if you haven’t already) as these will help you to track your success.

Use the data to formulate a plan and stick to it. Set regular milestones where you will feed in learnings and evolve your campaign.

Most importantly, be consistent! Dedicate a chunk of time each day/week to tasks such as:
– Developing content
– Posting content on social media
– Engaging with your communities
– Creating and honing ads
– Developing and distributing email campaigns
– Measuring success

Like anything, the more resource and effort you put in to the above, the more rewards you’ll reap. So as circumstances dictate and your budget grows, adding dedicated resource to your team (for example an apprentice) or working with an outside resource to develop content, campaigns and strategy.

About the Author – Anna Wilson 

As Director of Digital Development for Tangerine Communications, Anna focuses on developing and implementing integrated digital strategies that achieve meaningful and measured results for clients, whether that be sales, SEO, brand building or crisis management, Anna has led teams to develop innovative and award-winning strategies that stand out for both their insight and measurable return for clients including: Reebok, Pizza Hut Restaurants, British Gypsum and Iceland.

Company website: www.tangerinepr.com
Phone number: 01618176600
New business enquiry email: andrea@tangerinecomms.com
Twitter: @TangerineComms

November 14th, 2017

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