Marketers should be proud of themselves. You have the best qualities of both business minded entrepreneurs and scientists. We have limited budgets, and just like everyone else, we have to prove that marketing is worth the investment. This requires a keen eye for experimentation and optimization that is often overlooked by the uninitiated.
For marketers who have to prove the value of their investment, social media sites are powerful channels that can’t be overlooked. They have the massive audiences and precise targeting to reach specific prospects.
However, that doesn’t mean marketers are good at using social media. In fact, according to Hubspot, only 42% of marketers say that Facebook is critical or important to their business. And 53% of social media marketers don’t measure their success.
Today, let’s look at social media and the 4 ways you can avoid wasting your budgets on social media.
1. Research your audience.
Like we said earlier, social media sites have massive audiences. But that doesn’t mean the audience you need to reach is on every social media site. You’ll probably find that the social media channels you are using will change depending on the audience you need to reach for a specific campaign.
For instance, if you’re needing to reach owner-operators, Facebook is your best choice to find and engage these valuable drivers. LinkedIn and Twitter, on the other hand, have much lower user rates.
If you have a small budget, you have to concentrate on the most effective channels.
Before you start incorporating social media into your marketing channel mix, you need to do some research. Many sites can offer you up-to-date research on the audience you need to reach, whether they be fleet executives, owner-operators, contractors, landscapers, or etc. We have a lot of research, all of which you can find here.
You can even conduct research yourself. Working with sales and customer service teams can help you find out which social media channels your prospects and customers are currently using. This will give you a good idea of where you should invest your time and resources first.
Don’t forget to experiment with diverse channels.
Don’t just rely on the Big 4. Experiment with your channels to find the best engagement levels.
While you want to invest in the most popular channels first, don’t forget to experiment with a variety of social channels. You may find some surprising results from some other popular sites like Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest.
2. Set your objectives.
Finding your audience is important. But you have to have a plan for how to maximize your social media investment. You don’t want to have a variety of ads that aren’t driving your audience towards the most profitable conversions.
Once you’ve chosen your social media channels, you have to determine what you want to accomplish.
There are a number of different objectives you can set for your social media channels, such as:
- Build your social following.
- Increase web traffic.
- Driving mobile app downloads.
- Encourage users to sign up for newsletters and download content.
- Distribute your videos.
- Boost post distribution.
It’s important to understand that an objective isn’t set in stone, and you don’t have to choose just one. Actually, you can set a number of different objectives that define how you use social media at any given moment. You may be using it to distribute your content and increase web traffic, and also increase newsletter sign ups at the same time.
Objectives can be changed, and they should be. You have to constantly reevaluate how you’re using social media. It’s important to ensure that the actions you are taking are having a measurable impact on your marketing strategy.
You can even incorporate new objectives to help boost your various marketing campaigns.
3. Incorporate social media into campaigns.
If you’re building marketing campaigns correctly, you’re probably using some variation of the buyer’s journey. That means that you’re using channels and content to reach prospects who are at different decision stages. This propels them forward into your funnel and primes them for the ultimate purchase.
Social media can be an important part of this process.
While it’s important to have specific goals for your social media pages, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to incorporate social media into your campaigns. For instance, on our Facebook page, we continue to post daily marketing and driver recruiting content. But we’ve also incorporated multiple ad formats, including boosted posts, to help us accomplish our campaign objectives.
Balance is the key to winning on social media. You have to ensure that you’re posting frequent, relevant content and updates to your fans and followers. But at the same time, you should be testing the different ad formats for accomplishing your numerous goals.
Social media channels shouldn’t live in isolation from your marketing campaigns.
4. Measure and report your success.
If you’ll remember, earlier we established that marketers are a mixture of business and science. Now that you’ve incorporated social media into your marketing strategy, you have to prove it’s worth the investment.
That means measuring performance against objectives and goals, and reporting your success.
Fortunately, you aren’t having to do everything yourself. Most social media sites provide you with powerful analytics. This is especially true in terms of Facebook, which will give you an impressive breakdown for page and organic post performance.
If you’re using ads, you can measure success a couple of different ways.
- First, you can measure your ad performance with social analytics provided by the platform itself. For YouTube you would use Google AdWords, but other sites provide their analytics on the site itself, i.e. Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Next, you can use other tools, such as marketing automation to fill in the blanks and find out how many prospects are actually converting from your ads. This will help you understand things like ad click-through-rates to conversions.
- Finally, you can use media partners to help you measure the effectiveness of your social media ads. Most partners will even provide you with an analytics breakdown throughout a campaign.
Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and the many others are a powerful force. There are billions of users globally, and no matter your audience, you can find valuable prospects and leads. But you don’t have to do it alone. Randall-Reilly can help you build and optimize social media ads to accomplish your objectives and goals.