Simplifying Social Media Marketing for Businesses
Self-isolation could be saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it does have a chokehold on the sales and growth of businesses. If salespersons cannot meet face-to-face, they lose a valuable source of potential customers. This elevates the importance of the remaining ways through which they can reach their target audience. It’s no surprise that this would include social media marketing
The problem with this kind of marketing is that it requires one to exercise much tact, care, and forethought. And that is only for the normal days prior to the pandemic. Now, we’re at the epicenter of a worldwide crisis. Hence, businesses must be doubly – or triply – careful when leveraging it for sales.
Right now, most companies have similar questions regarding the use of social media marketing. We list some of them below:
- Is it the best way for us to communicate right now?
- How can we use it to stay connected to our customers?
- Will the use of social media help us stabilize and grow the business?
These strategies for marketing during a crisis will answer those questions and more.
Worried they might be but you must admit social media marketing is a good way of reaching out. Just look at how the budget allocation to this channel has increased from 13% to 74% in just under seven months. Do you want your marketers to take advantage of this historic high? Then here’s how to go about it:
Have them Focus on Brand Building and Retention
A survey before the pandemic shows that the number of CMOs who expected customer retention will grow is gradually increasing. But that was then. Now, marketers know how much retention matters. In fact, it is doubly as important to them as compared to acquisition. In addition to keeping them, CMOs are also gearing to provide brand value that will help them connect with customers.
Moreover, the top marketers are using social media marketing for two main purposes these days. One, they employ it to create brand awareness and brand building. About as many marketers are now using for new customer acquisitions. Additionally, you’ll see this pattern across the B2C and B2B sectors.
Hence, leverage social media marketing for these purposes to keep the business afloat. Beyond these, many companies also find it useful for other functions.
- Brand promotions
- Improving employee engagement
- Introducing new products and services
- Improving customer service
Establish Clear Quantitative Objectives
The first rule of successful social media marketing is the establishment of clear objectives. Not knowing what you want your social media activities to achieve is counterproductive. How will you evaluate what this agency inputs without doing so? In addition to knowing that, also determine how will measure its performance. In other words, set up the metrics to do that before embarking on your social media initiative.
For instance, companies have narrowed down the objectives with the pandemic turning things on their heads. As we mentioned above, those are brand awareness, customer retention, brand building, and customer acquisition. But that is only part of the action you need to take.
To almost complete the job, know which metrics will help you achieve these objectives. Ensure that these measurement methods are getable too. After all, your marketers should know that it is possible for them to achieve the goal.
Next, close the circuit by having periodic meetings to talk on those metrics. Also, factor in any details that might mean you have to change the objective itself. Revisit them both and make appropriate adjustments. Such evaluation should be integrated into your communication strategy.
Learn to Navigate the Ever-Changing Landscape of Social Media Marketing
Since they cannot leave their homes, most of your target audience members have turned to social media. Thus, you can use this opportunity to reach a wider than ever audience. Right now is when social media marketing is the most effective way of driving traffic to your website. The platforms you use to keep on sharpening their targeting abilities every day. Hence, your job only gets easier!
Furthermore, this isn’t the time when a massive marketing budget will hold you back. Now, the average CPC is down to $1 on Facebook. So, what is keeping you from experimenting?
Even so, we’d recommend caution. Proceed only with the freshest of both ad and the actual content. That’s how you can keep your users on social media from tuning you out. Simply put, the world is changing, and your ads need to do that too.
But, in what way, you ask? For one, most image libraries are pools of the same kind of stock images. You’ll not find a shortage of 30-somethings posing in grey suits. They’re predominantly beautiful white people and who hang around conference room boards. But they don’t represent the wide palate that forms the social media user demographics anymore. So, get rid of such stock photos from your social media tool belt.
In fact, that isn’t an accurate representation of the employee composition in your company. Your customers want to see the human and authentic side of your business. And that means putting the real faces on your feed. A diverse population of employees likely works in your organization. Your feed should display insights from them. Find out their expertise. Then arrange to make them comfortable discussing it publicly. Start new conversations and show fresh perspectives on your channels.
Avoid the Content Rut with Fresh and Relevant Content
Text-copy sans a visual component that doesn’t engage as many users on social media like it used to. Now video content rules the roost. And you might not know exactly what to put there. So, think about what you like seeing on your feeds. What usually makes you stop during mid-scroll? Which kind of posts is more likely to grab your attention? Then use the results of this exercise to enter the feed of your followers. Think about their perspective. Would they like more animated content? Or, can you reach out more effectively through GIFs or infographics? Will engaging visuals like video clip make for scroll-stopping content?
Finally, finish the job with a solid call to action. Ensure that it will bring your viewers back to your website.
Remain Attuned to Social and Political issues
Which kind of discourse keeps social media agencies in business? A finger on the political and cultural pulse is what works for them. Therefore, it should do the same for your social media marketing. Right now, such topics include the upcoming elections and racial justice. Think about how your brand can express its support for the latter. Also, consider the political voice you will choose during the elections. Most importantly, which risks are associated with you speaking up either issue?
Sure, these are politically charged topics. But can your company or brand afford to remain aloof? And what could it cost you if you pick a side? Ask social media marketing experts if you don’t possess the right answers!
Listen to Produce Social Media Marketing Content that Also Answers your Audience’s Needs
According to the new normal for business success, you should be listening and responding to your audience’s needs. Hence, any strategies that derive from old customer feedback won’t work. Neither will the ones based on ancient research resonate now.
Your social media managers must listen in on what your audience is saying on the major platforms. Are there any challenges they are talking about? What do they think of the current environment? Do they think certain tools or services can get them through this time?
Other benefits can come out of monitoring conversations about your brand. For instance, you can employ social media listening to:
- Fuel your content creation strategies
- Know what fuels your competitors’
- Support your customer service team
Retaining a client is basically all about retaining their loyalty. And only brands that listen and respond will successfully do both. Base your social media marketing on what you hear. Consequently, your brand will be forging new, more meaningful connections.
Authenticity is Key in Deploying Social Media Marketing
Both transparency and authenticity are crucial in social media marketing. They have always been so but that’s even truer now. Most of your customers are now tired of screening to see which bit of news is fake and which isn’t. The ongoing medical and socio-political crises have raised their sensitivity even higher.
On the flip side, for businesses, this is a time to make up for lost sales. Many marketers lose the battle when they oversell their audience. Hence, choose the right balance. Reinforce the brand’s or product messaging points, sure. But educate your users by weaving in a human element too. For instance, go ahead and highlight your services. But also demonstrate how you’re working for the community. Your loyal customer base will appreciate your socially responsible stance. Its value is increasing, especially among the younger generations.
Make Social Media Marketing about People, not Logos
Even before the coronavirus, customers placed more trust in organizations that cared about people. Now, though, it is vital for companies to show this is true in their case. Your employee pool is full of exceptional people. Tell their stories and showcase their uniqueness.
Another way to put the human face of your brand forward is to spotlight your customers. Make posts that encourage your followers to participate in the conversation. Engage with them, and you will reap many benefits. Those include increased brand awareness and sales.
Learn from Others’ Social Media Marketing Faux Pas
First, the pandemic hit, and most businesses were blindsided by it. After the financial hit came to the protests. Users of Netflix and other brands called them out when they would have kept quiet on the issue. But it was not that bad as what happened to certain other brands. Because by weighing on it, the former could reconnect with their audience. For the latter, their fall from grace was catastrophic for sales. In short, companies weren’t prepared to deal with these twin crises. And that’s understandable. What isn’t so smart is that you repeat this behavior in the future!
Thus, evaluate where your business was when the crisis arrived. Look for its weakest areas. Then invest to remedy that and strengthen those flaws. Certainly, you cannot predict when another pandemic will hit – AI can help you in that department. However, you can ensure that your business will outlast it. That will only happen if there are a plan and protocol for future situations in place. One that will protect both your business and your employees.
In addition to that, you cannot play it safe during a pivotal moment. That isn’t the time for your brand to stay quiet. Instead, show the audience what it stands for. Social media is ideal for such a declaration. If you look ineffective again, your users will find you inauthentic.
What’s more, prepare social media responses for various ongoing situations. Gather your PR and marketing team to work on those together. The messages might require a bit of customization when you do use them. Even so, you won’t find your social media marketing department in a panic while scrambling to address an issue all in real-time. Ensure these messages are:
- Confidently acknowledging the sensitive issue at hand
- Are well –thought, meaningful, but sensitive
Maybe you think that your brand shouldn’t be taking a firm position in a sensitive situation. But you cannot prevent a user from addressing it. Neither will your target audience be unaffected when events like these happen. So, have a good reason for that stance.
MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
- Social Media in 2020! Role of Social Media in 2019!
- Some Trends in Digital Marketing in 2020
- 9 Ways of Tweaking Digital Marketing to Survive the Pandemic 2020
- 5 Ways to Increase Brand Visibility through Digital Marketing
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