75% of Consumers Have Purchased Due to Social Media – 5 Ways to Boost Your Social Marketing
Social budgets are growing and brands are using social in more innovative ways to connect and convert brand followers. With the emergence of new platforms and evolving technology, the social landscape is ripe with opportunities for marketers. In fact, according to eMarketer, social network ad spending will reach over $16 Billion in 2017.
What Do Social Users Expect From Brands?
Consumers who engage with brands on social have some very clear expectations of what they want from a brand. In a report by Sprout Social, 86% of social media users want to and do follow brands on social. But brands need to follow the rules to be a welcome presence in the social stream.
The study by Sprout revealed some interesting findings when it comes to social marketing. Don’t expect consumers to head to your content only to see a page full of self-serving content and promotions. While 86% of social media users follow a brand, nearly 60% of them are annoyed with too many promotions by brands. While the majority of followers will visit a company’s social profile looking for deals and promotions (58%) or incentives (42%), brands need to balance this mix with other content to fully engage followers.
75% of Consumers Have Purchased Due to Social Media
When used correctly, social media can have a big influence on what consumers choose to purchase. Sprout’s research revealed that 75.3% of people have purchased something because they have seen it on social media. However, they need to see a product or service 2-4 times before purchasing, and 20% stated that they need to see it on social 5-8 times before deciding to purchase.
Brands must be diligent about maintaining their social following. 57.5% of consumers who follow a brand on social are more likely to purchase.
Social Media Marketing: More Personal and More Direct
The increased use and success of social media marketing is why marketers must make the extra effort to grab and keep their audience’s attention with personalized, strategic messaging. Not all social media platforms are created equal. Brands must develop an intimate understanding of each platform and the ways each can be used to connect and form relationships with brand followers.
1. Understand Your Audience
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. You need to pick your target audience, build personas, and truly understand what their intent is on each social network. Bring together multiple sources of data for campaigns. The idea of a “360-degree customer view” is not new but the technology must be implemented to integrate data across departments.
Ask questions and add additional demographic and psychographic insights. What is their typical age? Are they married? Do they have a family? Who makes the purchasing decisions? What are your customers’ likes and dislikes and what does that tell you about them? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? How does your product or service fit into their lifestyle?
2. Know the Platforms
By and large, one of the most important ways to personalize social media campaign is to identify which types of content perform well on what social media channels. An audience analysis of various channels can help you determine which platform is most appropriate for the campaign that you’re actually trying to run.
Demographic usage among platforms is constantly changing so stay up-to-date with the latest trends. For example, research by comScore shows the significant increase in Snapchat among those aged 18-24, as well as an increase in LinkedIn, especially by Millennials.
3. Advanced Targeting Options
Social networks gather huge amounts of user information, allowing marketers to target audiences in a wider variety of ways. For example, with customer audiences, brands can reach additional audiences by uploading a list of email addresses, phone numbers, users IDs, or usernames. On Facebook, this is called Custom Audiences, and Twitter uses Tailored Audiences.
Another example is targeting by interests. Using interest targeting, marketers can target specific audiences on social sites by their self-reported interests, activities, pages they have engaged with, and more. Interests can be as general as an industry (e.g. automotive industry) or further refined to specific products (e.g. convertibles). Using Facebook’s interest targeting, a sports brand for example can target people with interests in specific universities with whom they have contracts or relationships. This degree of interest targeting is much more likely to lead to better engagement (i.e., increased likes or shares) because it’s more specific—the correct audience is seeing the post.
4. Integrate Campaigns
On its own, social media marketing has proven to be a successful channel for many businesses. However, when it is integrated with other forms of marketing like email and direct mail, social media can boost cross-channel marketing strategy to new heights. According to a survey by Social Media Examiner, over 81% of marketers strongly agree or agree that they should integrate social media into their traditional marketing campaigns.
It is especially important to integrate social media with your website and other channels to create a seamless experience for your audiences. In fact, using social media can increase website traffic by 60%, according to SteamFeed.
5. Track Performance
Another critical factor is measuring tracking performance and KPIs. Most platforms have data settings that allow businesses and marketers to view page insights and ad campaign performance metrics.
Marketers can look for engagement metrics like clicks, likes, shares and comments to help them gauge how a campaign is performing and adjust if necessary. On Facebook, for example, marketers can gear campaigns towards geographic information to send messages only to those in their target market. Facebook users also supply a list of their interests in their profiles, which can shed valuable insight on these people.
Moving forward, simply using social media in your marketing efforts will not be enough to succeed. It won’t differentiate you from the competition, and it certainly won’t allow you to give your campaigns the personal touch that users demand. You need to understand each platform and its users intimately. In order to do so, marketers need to be strategic and data-driven to identify what their audiences want and, more importantly, what they don’t want.
Contact us to learn more about how the V12 Data Cloud allows clients to seamlessly integrate their own 1st party data and V12’s 3rd party data to find new audiences, manage existing customer relationships, and execute highly targeted, omni-channel campaigns.