Owned social (what your brand posts) is a powerful business driver, but it’s not the only one.
Here are six things that you should be focusing on, too.
1. Mobile Optimization
Mobile optimization is a no-brainer, especially for B2C brands. Google’s “Mobilegeddon” announcement earlier this year surfaced the fact that 44% of Fortune 500 websites aren’t mobile-friendly. More recently, Google shared that mobile shopping-related searches on Black Friday increased 130% year-over-year in 2015. This tells us that the demand for appealing, intuitive mobile sites is there, but most brands aren’t meeting that demand.
Collaboration with your web developer will be necessary in 2016: it is absolutely imperative that your social planning for the new year includes giving your audience a great mobile experience once they move from your social account to your site. Otherwise, you’ve won the (social) battle, but lost the (digital) war.
2. Highly Targeted Social Ads
Social networks are constantly offering new ad products. Paid social is and will continue to be in the forefront. In the current social climate, you have to pay to play to remain scalable as a business on social.
The social space offers the most precise ad targeting, allowing marketers to capitalize on personalized insights. Facebook’s custom audience targeting, for example, allows brands to integrate first-party insights with earned social insights from social platforms to deliver ultra-targeted messages.
Social platforms are extending to other ad types as well, allowing brands to use their social platform data to reach consumers off of the social platform. Social is eating more and more of the internet, giving you even more reason to focus on social targeting.
Between retargeting strategies as well as other behavior-based targeting and interest-based targeting, broad demographic targeting should be a thing of the past. Focus on developing new strategies to get the right content in front of the right people. Your ROI will soar.
3. Leveraging Earned Social Insights
Like all marketing, the best social marketing has roots in deep consumer insights. The ability to identify novel consumer insights is where social differs from other advertising channels.
When it comes to TV advertising, it would be ideal to know when each individual watches TV, what channels they watch, which of your ads they respond to best, and what a TV ad for your brand would look like if they made it…and then play that ad for them exclusively, all at a low cost. Without a doubt, that would be effective advertising, maybe the most effective ever.
Well, that’s precisely what social ads can look like when brands leverage their earned social insights. Through effective earned social tracking and measurement, brands can see when their audience is active on social, what social networks they are active on, what social content they engage with, and what their posts look like when they share brand content (e.g. a link from the brand’s website).
4. Developing Strategies for Emerging Social Platforms
The major social networks are saturated with content. It’s why Facebook has to keep updating the news feed algorithm to surface the content that their users actually care about.
A Forrester report, Social Relationship Strategies That Work (gated), found that fewer than 0.1% of a brand’s following interacts with the brand’s post. It does show, however, that newer platforms are a promising alternative…at least for now. Instagram, for example, has over a 4% follower interaction rate.
Brands that can understand these platforms now will have a big advantage in the future, as they will better understand core consumer behaviors on these platforms and will be able to more naturally deliver positive brand experiences.
5. Connecting the Dots to Conversion
Engagement is just a stop on the path to conversion — don’t stop there. The true measure of social marketing success is the ability to drive business conversions — whether that’s leads, content downloads, email subscriptions, or even purchases.
Facebook has taken a big step forward in conversion measurement, because they know that’s where the true value is. By focusing on conversion measurement in all your social efforts, you’ll be able to prove your true impact on the business.
6. Learning More About Your Customer
Too often, brands don’t actually treat social media like a two-way street. Here’s a good little rant about it by one blogger. Treating social like a two-way street doesn’t necessarily mean going out and initiating a bunch of conversations with people who don’t want to engage with you in the first place.
Sometimes, it means that brands just need to listen first — to spend time taking in the thoughts of their audience, learning their language, and observing the experiences they go through. Do this with the goal of greater empathy. Your audience and the content you produce will benefit greatly — and remember to download Simply Measured’s 2015 Holiday Planning Guide for Social Marketers for some last-minute inspiration this holiday season.
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I’m the Content Marketing Manager here at Simply Measured. I manage our blog, produce longform content, head our co-marketing initiatives, and host the Simply Social podcast, among a few other things. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.
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